The Lexingtonienne




Posted in: Life

No recipes today because I’ve been a little under the weather. Nothing major — just some headachiness (is that a word?) and congestion — but since I had a whole pot of chili leftover from Sunday, there’s been no need to drag myself off the couch and into the kitchen. I’ve been neti potting, and Baby Girl has only been slightly restless with my lack of movement.

This morning, however, I had an email from my friend Amelia asking for a new book suggestion. So I thought I’d share with you a few books I’ve read lately.

The Glass Castle is a memoir by Jeannette Walls (she’s a contributor on detailing her nomadic childhood and the family’s adventures under the leadership of two crazy parents. And when I say crazy, I mean c-a-z-y. It was an interesting read for me while pregnant because every expectant and new parent wonders what kind of mother or father they will be, and this book makes you think, “Well I won’t be like these nutty people, that’s for sure!” There are moments where you feel just awful for Walls and her siblings — wishing you could pluck the children out of the past and into your own home instead — but they never feel sorry for themselves. The story has a broad appeal — after all, everyone has a family — that makes it recommendable to all kinds of readers. You should get it.

One Day tracks the relationship of two best friends (a guy and a girl, so of course there’s the built-in “will they or won’t they” that every good love story requires) over the course of twenty years. Each chapter is written on July 15 of a different year, providing the reader with vivid glimpses of their evolving relationship, starting when they have just graduated from college. The author gives you one day of each year and that’s it, which makes for a fun and unique way of storytelling. Also, a lot of it takes place in London, so if you’ve been to London it’s kind of fun when they mention Marble Arch or Piccadilly Circus. Clever, well-written, and a truly enjoyable read.

A Homemade Life is memoir-meets-cookbook by Bon Appetit contributor and Orangette blogger Molly Wizenberg. Y’all, this chick is like two years older than I am and has somehow turned our shared interest of cooking and eating into a madly successful career, which makes it difficult not to be a teeny bit jeally of her. But if you like recipes and the stories behind them (I’m guessing you do, if you read my blog), I think you’d enjoy this book. It’s all about her upbringing and the role that food and certain dishes in particular have played in her relationships and her life. Nothing as emotionally wrenching as The Glass Castle, but this one contains recipes.

Right now I’m about 60 pages into My Name Is Memory. It’s about Daniel, who can remember all of his past lives. In each life he chases after the same girl — in this life named Lucy — who, like most people, cannot remember her past lives. So while he can remember every detail of their intersecting history that dates back over a thousand years, in each life that he encounters her, it’s like starting over. In no previous life have the two of them ever gotten to be together ultimately, so the reader wonders if this present-day life is the one where she will finally remember him and where they can finally be together. I’m not that far into this one, but it hooks you pretty quickly. And I do love a story with a mythology behind it.

I cannot say that I recommend The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I know everybody’s all into these Millennium trilogy books and that some big blockbuster movie is about to get made (the American version, that is), but I just couldn’t get into it. I finished it because I’m not a quitter, but it never hooked me. And with all the Swedish names, it was like reading an Ikea catalog.

What about you? Read any good books lately?



  • Comment by Amelia — October 5, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

    Thank you so much! I’m off to Barnes and Noble this evening!

    Glenda and I both are a little obsessed with Sandor Marai’s novel Embers.


  • Comment by Megan Dickerson — October 6, 2010 @ 8:01 am

    I agree about The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo! Never hooked me! ‘The Help’ is a GREAT book! It is about maids in Mississippi during the 1950’s. I HIGHLY recommend that if you have not read it!

  • Comment by Pam — October 6, 2010 @ 4:55 pm

    I’ve read every one of those books Hannah, and loved them all! You know they’re making a movie of One Day. Like you, I could never get into The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo…it just never caught my interest. I tried – twice. Beach Road by Pat Conroy; The Passage by Justin Cronin; Room by Emma Donoghue. Recent reads I highly recommend. Currently reading Freedom by Jonathan Franzen…it’s taking me forever. Withholding my opinion til I’m finished.

  • Comment by Kelly Bryant — October 30, 2010 @ 8:07 am

    I finished One Day last night and didn’t expect that ending!

  • Comment by Hannilou — October 31, 2010 @ 7:59 pm

    I KNOW!!!

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