Monday, June 28, 2010


Grounded  By Seth Stevenson   D.C. writer and his girlfriend Rebecca circumnavigate the globe without flying. At first it seems a testimony to old fashioned romantic travel. Interacting with actual people, eating and staying in offbeat places one would have never found. The author mentions the difficulty flying post 9/11 plus the movements by environmental groups. The stress discomfort and uncomfortable seating adds to Seth's resolve to cross all longitudinal lines and the equator without flying. It is harder than it seems due to timing and some far out places that don't have much ground transport. Grounded is an exciting adventure taken by a smart young couple (who surprisingly and pleasantly get along throughout the travel turmoil) and learn a lot about their lives and themselves along the way.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog  By Muriel Barbery  Renee Michel is a 54 yr old concierge in a luxury building in Paris. She grew up in poverty with little education, little nurturing and rarely a loving relationship. She is a secret autodidact and finds comfort in learning, art, music, and philosophy. One of the tenants is a 12 yr old girl named Paloma Josse. She is brilliant beyond comprehension and also hides this intellect to keep herself distant from any attention. She can see intense detail in people and the world itself. She has decided she may have to kill herself because the world will continue to be cruel. These 2 ladies form an unlikely friendship. Elegance is translated from French. The characters are lovable and this simplistic story is packed with lifes most important lessons.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest   By Stieg Larsson    The last of the trilogy murder mystery. Starting with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and then The Girl Who Played with Fire, all written by Swedish author Stieg Larsson, who unfortunately passed away before he could enjoy the success of this nail biting series taking place in modern day Sweden. Once again, Lisbeth Salander is the main character, she is a withdrawn, brilliant girl whose expertise as a hacker has both gotten her in trouble and solved many problems. Mikael Blomkvist is again her friend, journalist that cracks wide open a story of foreign affairs, cover ups, murder and intrigue. It is filled with suspense until the bitter end. The characters are many, names hard to pronounce (as it is translated), it is detail heavy and it is long. That being said, if you read the first two, it is a must read for summer!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Life in France

My Life in France  By Julia Child       Delicious, detailed, adventurous account of the lives of Julia and Paul Child. Through Julia's unique voice and words, and her nephews pen, the reader is immersed in the culinary world of Europe post WWII, their travels living abroad, interesting companions and beautiful marriage. Their support and love for each other is unending for their entire lives and Pauls black and white photographs scattered throughout the book lend a charming glimpse through history. A simpler time, a couple that found fame and fortune much later in life than one would expect, and a woman that changed the way people cook and eat the world over. Wonderfully written, easy to follow, makes the reader hunger for more.