Book love: “A Homemade Life”

right now, i should be reading Bartolome de Las Casas’ “The Only Way,” about how to convert the Native Americans, who the Spanish had just “discovered” back in the early 16th century, when Las Casas does his thinking.

instead, i am wandering around my mind, inspired by the book i just finished, thinking, “hey, i could do that!” for about the twenty-second time, reading the author’s old blog posts, then clicking through gmail-facebook-twitter, in the too-familiar sequence of the wired-in tic every internet addict (most of us, these days) must have.

i wonder where my “voice” is, i wonder if my writing sounds like “me.”  I rarely think it does.  i wonder what my “style” is.  instead of these really inane wonderings, i shall write a bit about this book.  this is not a “review”–notice–this is just “love.”

For one, Molly‘s prose.  It’s the first book in years that I’ve read chunks out loud to whoever happens to be nearby, just because the wording is so fantastic.  how does one do that? (i’ve been told, “practice.”)  As i read, and even more now, i turn over in my mind one of the little sentences of praise that’s on the back or on the front, it says, “every story tells a recipe.”  I thought it was a little bit trite when i first read the phrase, how clever the reviewer must have thought him/her-self, but as i gulped down the book, he/she was right.  and here lies my one qualm: each chapter, a few pages of story, a page or two of recipe, gets its title inspiration from the story, not the recipe.  So how am i to find one recipe when i want it?  I want to go back to the braised cabbage (we’re starting a winter CSA next week, and i’m eager to know what to do with what i’m sure will be lots of winter cabbage) and the chocolate cake that they used for their wedding and the cornmeal cake that’s eaten with maple syrup and the stewed prunes…  clearly, it’s a varietous collection, and now that she’s on to her second book, a similar style, it seems, about birthing a restaurant, i’m eager for more (but will have to wait till early 2013, according to her website).

what book has been so good that you read bits out loud?

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