Saturday, August 23, 2008

Good book, but now I'm hungry!

I'm currently reading several books. That's nothing new but it drives my husband crazy. How can you read many books at once??? You keep some upstairs and some downstairs and they are very different so you don't really mix up any story lines. I'm a big fan of biography and auto biography. I think there is almost nothing better than a book about someone who lives in another country writing about their life there. Can't begin to name ll the great books that I've read along those lines. Many have a lot to do with travel and cooking. Those are my favorite. This past year I have read several that were really so interesting that I would go back and read them again. "Heat", by Bill Buford is one. It's the story of his year spent cooking in the kitchen of Mario Batali. A very fun read. Mario is just enough of a nut job to make it even more fun. I'm currently reading "Last Days of Old Beijing" by Michael Meyer. It's the story of his life in Beijing in the years leading up to the Olympics and how the government transformed the area surrounding the Forbidden City and Tienanmen Square by razing the hutongs where thousands of people had lived for centuries. In his descriptions of various scenarios he records his daily life there as a teacher in one of the remaining hutong. An old woman who lives in the courtyard nearby cooks for him and daily serves him steaming bowls of noodles or dumplings in hot broth. On another say he visits the noodle shop where another family is waiting the fate of their business. They make shaved noodles in pork broth with scallions, mushroom and spicy bean curd. I don't recommend this book to anyone who is not really interested in the minutia of the changing China. Parts of it are fascinating and parts I have skipped by to get the the noodles and dumplings. All in all a pretty good read though-if you like that stuff and I do. Yesterday I picked up a copy of Sue Grafton's latest, "T is for Trespass" and I'm enjoying it so much I could hardly put it down last night. I read 3/4 of the book yesterday and that should tell you how much other stuff I got done(0).I was happy to find that I really liked it since the last couple have left me kind of cold. This one moves right along and the story interests me because it has a story line that is all too familiar to me right now. One of my friends has an 82-year-old father who is in the throws of dementia and a younger woman has moved in on him and of all things, they went and got married last week. Within 3 days there were thousands missing from a bank account and things are not looking good. Anyway, I had no idea what the plot of this book was but when I started reading I said, WOW does this remind me of that situation. My friend's father lives down south and they are holding their collective breath until they can get down there in a week or so. That'll be some hot time in the south! But I digress....the book is great and an interesting read.
We are getting the house ready for a visit from our dearest friends from Pennsylvania. They were so wonderful when we recently had our problems and hospital adventures that I can't wait to see them and spend some serious time making a fuss over them. For the time being, I'm really not doing much sewing. After our friends leave I'll get back to work again. If you don't hear from me don't worry. Roger seems to be doing well on his meds and we're in a holding pattern for now.
I only have one problem right now and it's not having access to those dumplings you see above. They are soup dumplings and if you go into lower Manhattan to Chinatown you can get a bowl full for a couple of bucks. They are very big and when you bite into them there is soup inside. It's all a big messy thing but my mouth is watering thinking about it. Unhappily for me Chinatown is 45 miles of horrible roads away. Hmmm.


Gerrie said...

I am clogged up from allergies - someof the dumpling soup would do the trick, I think.

I am amazed at you, I can't read one book any longer. I think I have ADD!!

Libby said...

I am a huge fan of the biography/autobiography section . . . ever since I discovered it in elementary school, it's where you'll often find me *s*
Mmmm - that soup sounds delicious, but maybe for a cooler day. The weather is too hot right now for soup *S*

rianammerman said...

OMG soup dumplings, we had them in Chengdu, China. Now I'm hungry. I saw a show yesterday on the building of the Birds Nest Stadium in Beijing and they showed the razing of the Houtoung. Very interesting stuff. Glad to hear Roger is hanging in there. Have a good time with your pals.

Cindra said...

I'm with you. I usually have three different types of books going at once and that doesn't include the audio book I will listen to while I knit or sew.

Glad to hear Roger is doing better. I knew he would. It took Stretch a couple of hospital visits to get the rhythm right.

Have a great visit with your friends.

Janet said...

I almost always have more than one book going at a time. Plus I can read and "watch" tv and keep up with both! I don't do that so much anymore because there's usually nothing worth watching!!

I'm glad Roger is doing ok, and I hope you both have a great time with your friends. Enjoy!!

Grazia said...

Hi Dee!!!!
I read you have had some problem...fortunately now it seems to be ok...I'm glad!