CNF Summer Reads
I notice everyone is putting out their choices for summer reading. Well I have my summer reading list too. My list doesn’t follow the typical best sellers. They are, however, a list of books that may appeal to a wide variety of readers. From food guru, to outdoor ranch woman, to New Yorker funny lady, to Leonard Bernstein’s daughter, to Thurber prize winner man memoir, I feel there ought to be something for everyone. Here are five of my “couldn’t put down” CNF favorites. I have also included some alternative gems by the same author.
Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir Ruth Reichl
Trailblazing food writer and beloved restaurant critic Ruth Reichl took the job (and the risk) of a lifetime when she entered the high-stakes world of magazine publishing. Now, for the first time, she chronicles her groundbreaking tenure as editor in chief of Gourmet.
An Alternative Gem: *Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise is Ruth Reichl's riotous account of the many disguises she employs to dine anonymously. There is her stint as Molly Hollis, a frumpy blond with manicured nails and an off-beige Armani suit that Ruth takes on when reviewing Le Cirque. The result: her famous double review of the restaurant: first she ate there as Molly; and then as she was coddled and pampered on her visit there as Ruth, New York Times food critic. * An Incredible Read.
Deep Creek - Finding Hope in the High Country Pam Houston
On her 120-acre homestead high in the Colorado Rockies, beloved writer Pam Houston learns what it means to care for a piece of land and the creatures on it. In essays as lucid and invigorating as mountain air, Deep Creek delivers Houston’s most profound meditations yet on how "to live simultaneously inside the wonder and the grief…to love the damaged world and do what I can to help it thrive."
An Alternative Gem: A Little More About Me introduces us to a woman—adventure-seeking, curious, and awestruck—whose experiences resonate with our own navigation through life’s many pleasures and challenges.
Would Everybody Please Stop? Jenny Allen
That’s what The New Yorker’s Andy Borowitz calls Jenny Allen—and with good reason. In her debut essay collection, the longtime humorist and performer declares no subject too sacred, no boundary impassable.Jenny Allen’s musings range fluidly from the personal to the philosophical. She writes with the familiarity of someone telling a dinner party anecdote, forgoing decorum for candor and comedy. To read Would Everybody Please Stop? is to experience life with imaginative and incisive humor.
Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein Jamie Bernstein
The oldest daughter of revered composer Leonard Bernstein, Jamie Bernstein, offers a rare look at her father on the centenary of his birth—illuminating a man, a city, and an era that defined modern culture—in a deeply intimate and broadly evocative memoir reminiscent of Alexandra Styron’s Reading My Father and Richard Ford’s Between Them.
The World's Largest Man Harrison Scott Key
Winner of the 2016 Thurber Prize The riotous, tender story of a bookish Mississippi boy and his flawed, Bunyanesque father, told with the comic verve of David Sedaris and the deft satire of Mark Twain or Roy Blount, Jr. Sly, heartfelt, and tirelessly hilarious, The World’s Largest Man is an unforgettable memoir—the story of a boy’s struggle to reconcile himself with an impossibly outsized role model, a grown man’s reckoning with the father it took him a lifetime to understand.
An Alternative Gem: Congratulations, Who Are You Again?: A Memoir
A Good Housekeeping Book of the Month This funny and wise new memoir from Harrison Scott Key, winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor, will inspire laughter and hope for anyone who’s ever been possessed by a dream of what they want to be when they grow up. Congratulations Who Are You Again is a no-holds-barred look at the life of every ambitious human creature, whether you want to write books or make music, start a business or start a revolution. This is a book for the dreamers.