Ron

Dirt: Adventures, with Family, in the Kitchen of Lyon, Looking for the Origins of French Cooking
by Bill Buford

A slightly mad, quirky, fish out of water tale from the Granta founder, and former fiction editor of The New Yorker. In this follow-up to 2006’s Heat, in which he learned how to cook Italian food, Buford turns his life upside down by moving to Lyon, France, with his long-suffering wife and twin Pre-K twin boys to learn the classics of French cuisine and study its origins. Buford’s writing style and personality is something like Bill Bryson with ADHD, although it should be stressed that he is never less than erudite and thoughtful. Participatory journalism taken to its extremes.

Adult Non-Fiction Hardcover pr5628244

 

 The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World
by Patrik Svensson  

Blending nature writing and memoir while exploring the human condition, Swedish journalist Svensson has written a new classic with the charm and power of H is For Hawk, or Annie Dillard. Great pandemic reading that weaves together Aristotle, Freud and Rachel Carson with a zoological mystery that continues to this day. If you only read one book on eels this year (or one book on nature), this is it.

Adult Non-Fiction Hardcover pr5433902

A Burning by Megha Majumdar

An infectious, propulsive read set in modern day India driven by the story of a young woman falsely accused of an act of terrorism. A major debut.

Adult Fiction Hardcover pr5589369

 

 

 

 Encounters with Nature

Will travel as we knew it pre-COVID ever “come back?” Closures and restrictions may be lifting, but I don’t expect to be using my points towards flights any time soon. Outside of staycation day-trips, armchair travel might be it for the next while, especially in the sense of large format books like “Encounters With Nature” with an emphasis on stunning photography. By chance, this title was one of my library lock-down books, so I’ve had three months to be lost in reveries thinking about Hawaii’s painted forest and cenote diving in Mexico. While Lonely Planet and National Geographic are your best bets for this type of book, I was very happy to have this offering from White Star Publishers to dream through self-quarantine with.

Adult Non-Fiction Hardcover pr2777439

Five Little Indians by Michelle Good

A heartfelt look at the aftermath of the Sixties Scoop, through the eyes of five survivors making their way in downtown Eastside Vancouver after the horrors of a church run residential school.

A member of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, Michelle Good worked with indigenous organizations for three decades before obtaining a law degree, and then earned her MFA in Creative Writing at UBC while still practicing law. She now lives in Kamloops, B.C.

Adult Fiction Hardcover pr5446957

 

The Heart: Frida Kahlo in Paris by Marc Petitjean

Just prior to leaving Mexico for her first solo show in New York, Frida Kahlo learned that her husband, muralist Diego Rivera, was having an affair with her sister. Leaving  New York for Paris at the invitation of Andre Breton, her work earned accolades as part of an exhibition of Mexican art, and she socialized with Duchamp, Picasso, and Dora Maar while enjoying a romance with journalist Michel Petitjean, the author’s father. Kahlo left Michel a self-portrait of loss called The Heart, which hung in the Petitjean home throughout the author’s adolescence.

This is a fascinating look at a crucial period in Kahlo’s life as a woman and an artist, and the surrealist scene in Paris on the cusp of WWII. The close degree of separation between author and subject makes for an unusually illuminating entry point to Kahlo’s inner world and development as an artist; this slim (176p) work speaks volumes compared to much of the mythologizing and iconography Frida has undergone in the last three decades.

Adult Non-Fiction Hardcover pr5366323

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