20 December 2014

Weekend Cooking: Books on my Kitchen Table

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

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As each year ends, I always pretend to get more organized (see post from 2010). This week, I was going through the books on my eReader and tablet and realized that I have quite a collection of books I want to write about for Weekend Cooking posts. Some I've already read, some I haven't even looked at, and some I'm in  the middle of reading. In any case I'm still interested in these books, and over the course of the coming year, I hope to share my thoughts on many of them.

Barefoot Contessa Foolproof, The Tucci Table, The Auntie Em's CookbookLet's Get Cooking

I love Ina Garten and her Barefoot Contessa Foolproof is sure to be a hit with me. I can't wait to get cooking from this 2012 book. (Clarkson Potter, 9780307464873) I often have mixed feelings about celebrity cookbooks, but Stanley Tucci seems to be genuinely knowledgeable about food and wine. I'll let you know how The Tucci Table holds up. (Gallery Books, 9781476738567) The Auntie Em's Cookbook by Theresa Wahl caught my eye because of the subtitle: "A Musician's Guide to Breakfast & Brunch & Dessert." Los Angeles tastes and punk rock culture meet in the kitchen--might be fun. (Prospect Park Books 9781938849268)

Curious History of Food and Drink, Bitter, Culinary Imagination, TastyHistory, Science, and Culture, Oh My!

In A Curious History of Food and Drink, Ian Crofton searches historical diaries, cookbooks, and other documents on a hunt for the origin of foods both common (noodles) and unusual (bird tongues). (Quercus, 9781623658250) I love lemons, hoppy beer, and coffee, so Jennifer Mclagan's Bitter promises to be a book made for me. Part science, part cookbook. (Ten Speed Press, 9781607745167) I'm almost done with the wonderful The Culinary Imagination by the well-respected critic Sandra M. Gilbert. From literature to politics, this collection explores our never-ending fascination with food and food writing. (Norton, 9780393067651) Tasty, by Pulitzer Prize-winning John McQuaid, comes out next month. It's a fascinating look at the sense of taste, including why some people hate what others crave. (Scribner, 9781451685008)

Jam Today Too, The Chain, Breakfast in Burgundy, Eat More BetterCulinary Musings

In Jam Today Too, Tod Davies looks at the ways food enhances our friendships and gets us through life's joys and trials. I learned about this book from one of your Weekend Cooking posts. (Exterminating Angel Press, 9781935259251) Ted Genoways tackles our food supply as it travels from farm to processor to table. After reading The Chain, you might be adding a few more vegetarian meals to your weekly plan. (Harper, 9780062288752) Breakfast in Burgundy, by Raymond Blake, is a charming tale of travel, culture clash, and--of course--food. I love the subtitle: "A Hungry Irishman in the Belly of France." (Skyhorse, 9781629144740) Dan Pashman wants us to savor our food and get every bit of deliciousness we can out of every bite. Eat More Better might make you start playing with your food--in a good way. (Simon & Schuster, 9781451689730)

Tequila Mockingbird, Of All the Gin Joints, The Brewer's TaleJust One More for the Road

Tim Federle's Tequila Mockingbird is another Weekend Cooking find for me. I love the idea of a special drink to go with a favorite novel, especially when they're given such fun names: Bridget Jones's Daquiri and Gin Eyre, for example. (Running Press, 9780762448654). I first heard of Of All the Gin Joints when I was at BEA last spring. Mark Bailey gives us the inside scoop on the drinking habits of literary giants and Hollywood's stars. Cocktail recipes are included. (Algonquin, 9781565125933). After seeing the Discovery Channel's fun documentary on beer and history, I couldn't resist William Bostwick's The Brewer's Tale, which covers 5,000 years of foamy stories. This well-researched book has it all, from the very first fermented grains to the modern craft beer movement. (Norton, 9780393239140)

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19 December 2014

Book to Movie: Giveaway & Twitter Chat with James Dashner

Maze Runner Twitter ChatIf you follow me on Twitter, then you know I love to watch movies and talk about them with my online friends. Once in a while, it morphs into a real event--and tonight is one of those times.

Tonight at 8pm Eastern Time,  get ready to join a Twitter viewing party of The Maze Runner with the author of the book, James Dashner. Once the movie starts, we will all have the chance to ask author @JamesDashner questions about the book to movie process, our favorite moments, and behind-the-scenes action.

To participate, log into Twitter or your favorite Twitter chat program and search for and use the hashtag #MazeRunnerFriday. Be sure to follow @JamesDashner, @FoxHomeEnt, and @MazeRunnerMovie so you don't miss any of the questions, answers, and reactions to The Maze Runner movie.

I'm already thinking about the questions I want to ask and can't wait to join in the fun.


The Giveaway: If don't yet have a copy of The Maze Runner, don't fret. I'm happy to be able to offer one of my readers a copy of the two-disk Blu-ray/DVD plus a copy of the book, so you can make your own book to movie comparison. Just in case you don't know the premise, here's the studio's summary:
In this heart-pounding survival thriller based on the best-selling novel, Thomas (Dylan O'Brien of MTV's "Teen Wolf" ) wakes up trapped in a massive, ever-changing maze with a group of boys who have no memory of the outside world. Facing dangerous obstacles at every turn—especially the deadly Grievers that roam the concrete corridors at night—Thomas and the others must race to piece together clues in order to discover their true purpose . . . . and find a way out before it’s too late!
The Maze Runner movieBesides, O'Brien, the film stars Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones), Will Poulter (We're the Millers), and Kaya Scodelario (Skins). It was directed by Wes Ball. The disk comes with a ton of great extras, such as a twenty-four page prequel comic book, deleted scenes, a documentary on the making of The Maze Runner, and a visual effects reel.

All you have to do to be enter to win a copy of the book and movie is to have a U.S. mailing address and fill out the following form. I'll pick a winner via random number generator on December 26. Once the winner has been confirmed, I'll erase all personal information from my computer. Good luck!

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18 December 2014

Book to Movie: Double Christmas Giveway

Angels Sing (movie)Almost everyone has a favorite holiday movie, and many families (including mine) make a point of setting aside a few nights for family viewing time. One of the newest entries in the Christmas movie catalog is Angels Sing, which is based on a short holiday novel by Turk Pipkin.

Pipkin--author, actor, screenwriter, and stand-up comic--wrote a touching story about families, fathers and sons, and the Christmas spirit. The movie, based on the book, is now out on BluRay/DVD. Here's the studio's summary:

Harry Connick Jr. stars as Michael Walker, who, as a child, wished every day was Christmas. That is, until a tragic accident crushed his holiday spirit. Thirty years later, Michael still can't muster any joy for Christmas, despite encouragement from his playful wife (Connie Britton) and well-intentioned parents (Kris Kristofferson and Fionnula Flanagan). But when his young son (Chandler Canterbury) faces a tragedy, Michael needs to make amends with his past. A mysterious man named Nick (Willie Nelson) gives Michael a gift that instills in him the courage to find the Christmas joy that he lost.
With a such a star-studded (musician-studded) cast, Angel Sings holds a lot of promise. Among the cast is Lyle Lovett and author Turk Pipkin as well as a number of other familiar faces. The movie is appropriate for the whole family, so make some popcorn and hot chocolate and get ready for a sweet Christmas story.


For more about the movie, including photos, social media links, and the film's contributions to charity, visit the Angels Sing website.

The Giveaway

Thanks to Think Jam and Lionsgate plus Cowgirl Up Entertainment, I'm pleased to offer one of my readers (with a U.S. mailing address) a great Christmas-season prize pack of both the movie Angels Sing and the book by Turk Pipkin. Because the holiday is almost here, I'm going to make this a quick giveaway. I'll pick a winner on Tuesday, December 23 via random number generator, and the movie and book will be sent to you as soon as possible.

All you have to do to be entered for a chance to win is to fill out the form. Once the winner is confirmed, I'll send his or her address to the publicist (who will ship out the prize pack), and I'll erase all personal information from my computer. Good luck, fun viewing, and happy holidays!

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16 December 2014

Wordless Wednesday 320

Fence Line, 2014


Click image to enlarge. For more Wordless Wednesday, click here.

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Best in Nonfiction: 2014

best in nonfiction 2014 from Beth Fish ReadsI know there are still two weeks left in December and I'm not done reading for the year, but I want to get my best-of lists up before everyone scatters for the holidays.

This year I have only two lists: fiction and nonfiction. I'm not making a separate audiobook list or food writing list.

Here are my top five in nonfiction, in alphabetical order. Links lead to my reviews or features. If there isn't a link, I haven't yet reviewed the book. (Note: books read in 2014, not necessarily published in 2014.)


1. Dane Huckelbridge, Bourbon (William Morrow, 2014): "the history of America as seen through the rise and fall and rise again of an all-American drink."
2. Ben Bradlee Jr., The Kid (Little Brown, 2013): "Bradlee . . . found that magic place where scholarship meets personal passion."
3. Hampton Sides, In the Kingdom of Ice (Doubleday, 2014): "Sides carefully sets the stage and builds the tension, creating an adventure story as exciting and emotional as any novel."


4. Eula Biss, On Immunity (Graywolf Press, 2014): An engaging mix of personal stories and careful research covering a broad range of perspectives on the effects of inoculation
5. Judy Melinek and T. J. Mitchess, Working Stiff (Scribner, 2014): The sometimes horrifying, always fascinating real-life business of being a New York City medical examiner

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All content and photos (except where noted) copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads 2008-2014. All rights reserved.

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