31 December 2011

Weekend Cooking: What's Cooking? (Movie)

Weekend 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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Four families. Four ethnicities. One holiday. Universal problems. What's Cooking?, with its all-star cast and focus on food and Thanksgiving, was full of promise. The summary for the film claims "an intriguing portrait of family tensions" with the common thread of an American holiday meal.

Unfortunately, despite the great actors (Mercedes Ruehl, Kyra Sedgwick, Alfre Woodard, Dennis Haysbert, and Joan Chen), the characters and ethnic portrayals were somewhat stereotypical. For example, the Jewish couple dotes on their son and doesn't understand their gay daughter, and the Vietnamese family keeps their business open during the holiday and misses on creating an American dinner.

Some critics have called What's Cooking? a feel-good movie, but four family gatherings full of tension and bickering (meddling mother-in-law, sullen teens, disappointed parents) left me far from feeling good. Although at the end the families find some sense of closure and may be on the road to understanding, it was too little, too late for me.

As for the food: Well, that's a totally different story. The kitchen scenes were beautifully filmed, and the variety of ethnic foods and classic American turkeys, were mouth-watering to behold. I watched the movie via NetFlix streaming, but I understand the DVD includes recipes for some of the dishes shown in the movie.

If you can get past the predictable plot and one-dimensional characters, you'll end up wishing for a dinner invitation from any one of the four families.



Happy new year to all my Weekend Cooking friends. Here's to great foodie books, photos, and movies and wonderful recipes in 2012!

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30 December 2011

Imprint Friday: Take Me Home by Brian Leung

Welcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Harper Perennial. Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of my favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to your wish list.

On September 2, 1885, the white citizens of Rock Springs, Wyoming, massacred the Chinese immigrants who were working the local coal mines. Brian Leung centers his haunting Take Me Home on this event, telling the stories of Addie, who moves west to be with her homesteading brother, and Wing, who is the Chinese camp's cook.

Here is the publisher's summary:

Adele "Addie" Maine is returning to Dire, Wyoming, forty years after the deadly events that drove her away from her husband without a word.

Years earlier, when Addie first heads West to stay with her brother Tommy, she is wary of the Chinese working alongside the white men in the local coal mines. But when Tommy falters at homesteading and the mine becomes their only path, Addie's eyes are opened through her association with one Chinese man in particular, Wing Lee—and a bond forms between them that is impossible and forbidden, even in a territory where nearly everyone is an immigrant. Together, Addie and Wing harbor a secret, and when racial tensions escalate to a combustion point, Addie will face a devastating choice between fighting for what is right . . . and survival.

Take Me Home is a searing, redemptive novel that explores justice in a time of violence, and the sweeping landscape between friendship and love.
I have long been attracted to historical fiction set in America's west of the late 1800s. When boarding trains or wagons in Saint Louis, homesteaders and entrepreneurs saw only possibilities and golden futures in the vast unclaimed lands and new towns of the wild west. The reality was much harder and more limiting than most could ever have imagined.

For Addie, Wyoming brought loneliness, continued hardship, and an unwanted marriage. Her relationship with Wing offered the only light in a bleak existence. When asked if she had fallen in love "with that Chinaman," Addie answered:
It's love, . . . but not the kind you're thinking. It ain't like anything I known. . . . He told me once I made him feel good because he had someone besides himself to care for. I suppose I felt the same.
Leung is a talented writer who is equally adept at characterizations and at descriptions. Addie is so well drawn that you can't help but hope that things will somehow turn out right for her, although you fully realize the constrictions of her world and of Wing's. Earlier in the month, I teased you with a passage from the beginning of the novel; today I'll end with one closer to the end:
Full daylight was slow in coming, felt delayed. A thick fog had settled into the woods, an opaqueness that made lines of small birds look like thread being drawn through gray cloth. Above her the dogwood leaves were turning pinkish red. In a couple weeks, they'd be on the ground. Another fall, and then another cold winter. Was this her life? (p. 212)
Take Me Home covers a broad range of issues (such as prejudice, love, survival, and hope) within a specific historical context, giving the reader plenty to think about.

Here are some other opinions (click on the links for the full reviews):
  • Jenny Shank, writing for The Dallas Morning News: "Leung's writing is so clear and lovely and his characters are so well-realized that he convinces the reader that the improbable attraction between Wing and Addie wasn't impossible, and the character of Wing speaks eloquently for thousands of Chinese miners whose voices are lost to history."
  • The Kirkus review: "An engaging and beguiling novel about prejudice, relationships and the possibilities of redemption."
  • T. E. Lyons writing for LEO Weekly: "Some of the secondary characters get short shrift, but that’s only noticeable because the balance of vivid characterization, engaging scene-setting and realistic plot development is so good."
Harper Perennial is a featured imprint on Beth Fish Reads. For information about the imprint, please read Erica Barmash's welcome note posted here on June 18, 2010. I encourage you to add your reviews of Harper Perennial books to the review link-up page; it's a great way to discover Good Books for Cool People. And don't miss the The Olive Reader, the Harper Perennial blog.

Take Me Home at an Indie
Take Me Home at Powell's
Take Me Home at Book Depository
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Published by Harper Perennial, 2011
ISBN-13: 9780061769092

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29 December 2011

Wrapping up 2011 (Including My Top Reads)

This post highlights my reading life for 2011. I didn't keep very good stats this year, so take my numbers as best-as-I-can tell estimates.

I read and listened to a handful of books in 2011 that are not included in the following statistics because I haven't yet reviewed them. Those books will appear as part of my stats for next year.

I decided not to include recipes or movie reviews because I think you are more interested in the books.

Some Basic Stats


Total reviewed: 182 books
First review was Eat Your Feelings by Heather Whaley
Last review will be Take Me Home by Brian Leung (to appear tomorrow)
Female authors: 101
Male authors: 81
Total hours listening to audiobooks: 747 hours, 23 minutes (that's 31 days and a bit)

My Favorite Photos

Of course I love all the photos I posted in 2011, but here are my four favorite Wordless Wednesday photos: 112 (farmhouse in snow), 133 (New York City), 153 (Maine), 158 (Brugge).
Exciting Projects

Projects Abandoned
  • I let go of my participation in the Literary Road Trip.
  • I am no longer associated with Audiobook Jukebox.
  • I reviewed for Shelf Awareness, but decided to leave them. I am, however, still reviewing freelance for other organizations and publications. I left SA because, although they expect totally honest reviews, they will publish only positive reviews. That restriction did not sit well with me.
Top Reads in 2011 (alphabetical order)

The Barbarian Nurseries by Hector Tobar
Bohemian Girl by Terese Svoboda
Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie
Emily, Alone by Stewart O'Nan
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Lions of the West by Robert Morgan
Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
Pictures of You by Caroline Leavitt
Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

Top Books in Food and Cooking 2011 (alphabetical order)


Food Lover's Guide to Wine by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger
Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain
Molto Batali by Mario Batali
Rosie's Bakery . . . Baking Book by Judy Rosenberg

Outlook for 2012

Personal: I have decided that blogging must be a guilt-free zone. What that means for you is that, although I am reading and will continue to read all your blogs, I cannot feel bad when my job or my home life means that I am not commenting on every blog I read every day. I am going to experiment with how to be more efficient at leaving comments so you know I'm still reading and I'm still there. That may mean commenting only on weekends or only at night, or I may find some other solution. I am truly wracked with guilt when I don't comment on the blogs that I have been faithfully reading for more than three years, but I am ending the guilt today. :)

Blog: I really love the rhythm of my blog and don't plan on making any large changes. I am, however, working on some exciting new things for Imprint Friday. My Weekend Cooking feature is strong, and I have posts planned into February! And of course I will continue to have my camera at my side for Wordless Wednesday.

Happy New Year! Here's to a book-filled 2012.

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28 December 2011

Wordless Wednesday 161

At the Horse Show, 2010


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27 December 2011

Today's Read: Night Swim by Jessica Keener

In Jessica Keener's Night Swim, Sarah remembers her fifteenth summer in 1970s Boston and the events that would forever change her and her family. My review of this emotionally realistic coming-of-age story will appear next week.

I've been through this hundreds of times, this stirring about the house at three, four a.m., this deep hour when people closest in my life, Alan—my husband—and three sons, dissolve like particles in a sea. Time at this hour doesn't follow lines but circles and dips into underwater caves.

. . . Then I turn off my computer, switch off my desk light, and in the darkness move down the hall to bed, returning to the past for answers, skipping as it is easy to do in my older mind from one year to the next, to a place that is no longer there. It's as if I [were] swimming toward forever, only backwards. (pp. 16-17)
Night Swim, by Jessica Keener (Fiction Studio 2012; quotes are from uncorrected proofs)

Night Swim at Powell's
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26 December 2011

Review: Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn

Kitty Norville is a DJ with the midnight slot for a Denver radio station--except when it's the full moon. On those nights, Kitty runs with her pack as a werewolf, but she keeps that part of herself hidden from her human friends. When her show inadvertently morphs into a call-in advice program for supernaturals, Kitty finds herself in trouble with not only her wolf pack but also the local vampire clan.

Because Carrie Vaughn's Kitty and the Midnight Hour is the first in a series, one of the purposes of the novel is to set up the background and premise of Kitty Norville's world. We learn how she became a werewolf and how she copes with her dual selves, and we're introduced to the people and beings who are central to her life. In Kitty's America, humans are aware of supernaturals, although not every one is a believer. It's not easy for Kitty to straddle both realms, especially because she can't predict how her friends and family would react if they knew she was a werewolf.

There are two principal interconnected plot lines: Kitty's personal growth and her involvement in helping the police track down a werewolf hunter. Of the two stories, Kitty's transformation from a timid pack follower to a strong independent individual is the more interesting. The murder mystery serves as a vehicle for Kitty's development rather than as a focal point of the novel. Kitty is smart and resourceful, although she doesn't always make wise choices.

Several story arcs are left unresolved. That's not to say Kitty and the Midnight Hour ends on a cliff-hanger or has an unsatisfying conclusion. Instead, not every issue in Kitty's world is neatly dealt with. I assume Vaughn will revisit these issues in future Kitty Norville books. Kitty and the Midnight Hour will appeal to urban fantasy fans looking for good characters and light entertainment.

The unabridged audio edition (Tantor Audio; 7 hr, 1 min) is read by Marguerite Gavin. Gavin does a great job building tension and augmenting the pacing of the novel. Her expressive narration makes you reluctant to turn off the mp3.



Published by Hachette Book Group / Grand Central Publishing, 2005
ISBN-13: 9780446616416
Source: Audio: bought; print: giveaway win (see review policy)
Rating: C+

Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)

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24 December 2011

Weekend Cooking: Holiday Side Dishes

Weekend 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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Happy holidays (whichever you celebrate) to all! For me one of the joys of the holidays is cooking for friends and family or enjoying meals prepared by friends and family. One of the tricky parts of putting together a winter meal is coming up with side dishes that use seasonal vegetables. Here are two dishes that often appear on my menu for Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve.

This carrot recipe looks very pretty on the table. I serve it in a divided vegetable bowl with a green vegetable or potatoes in the other half. The recipe comes from Art Fare a cookbook put together by the Toledo (Ohio) Museum of Art and is available from their online gift shop.

Black Tie Carrots
Serves 8
  • ½ cup pistachios, shelled
  • 2 tablespoons butter + 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup Cointreau
  • 1 pound carrots, trimmed, peeled, and cut diagonally into ¼-inch slices
  • 3 tablespoons water [you may need to add a bit more if pan begins to look dry]
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Saute the pistachios in 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Stir in the Cointreau. Remove from heat. Combine the carrots, remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, water, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium low.

Cook until the carrots are tender, stirring occasionally. Transfer the carrots with a slotted spoon to a heated serving bowl, reserving the cooking liquid. Cover to keep warm.

Bring the reserved cooking liquid to a boil. Boil until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Drizzle of over the carrots. Add the pistachio mixture and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Beth Fish's cook-ahead advice: In step 2, cook the carrots until they are just undercooked. Transfer the carrots and reduce the liquid, as directed. Then add the carrots and the pistachio mixture to the reduced sauce and let sit. A few minutes before serving your meal, heat the carrots and nuts over medium low heat until warmed through and the carrots have finished cooking. Do not let the sauce boil.

We love Brussels sprouts in my house and this dish is one of our favorites. Sometimes I roast the sprouts instead of saute them. Other times I shred them instead of leaving them whole. No matter how they're cooked, the chestnuts add a wonderful dimension. This recipe comes from Ruth Spear's The Classic Vegetable Cookbook.

Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts

serves 6-8
  • 20 ounces Brussels sprouts
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound peeled and braised chestnuts (see recipe below)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
Trim, blanch, and refresh the sprouts. Let cool. (Sprouts may be prepared ahead up to this point.) Melt the butter in a saucepan, add sprouts and chestnuts, and shake gently over medium heat until coated and heated through. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Braised Chestnuts
  • 2 cups peeled chestnuts
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until chestnuts are tender. Can be prepared ahead.

Beth Fish's tips: I drain the chestnuts before adding them to the Brussels sprouts. You can use canned or jarred chestnuts, roasted chestnuts, or microwave-cooked chestnuts in this recipe with good results.

Sorry that I don't have any photos to accompany this post. But I never take the time to pull out my camera when hungry guests are eagerly gathering around the table.

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23 December 2011

Imprint Friday: Letters to Jackie by Ellen Fitzpatrick

Welcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Ecco books. Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of my favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to your wish list.

One generation may remember where they were when they heard about Pearl Harbor; another will forever remember 9/11. In between, the rest of us have vivid memories of November 22, 1963, and the long, sad days that followed. All Americans--young and old, conservative and liberal--were affected by President John F. Kennedy's assassination. In Letters to Jackie: Condolences from a Grieving Nation, Ellen Fitzpatrick shares hundreds of letters written by ordinary citizens to the young widow.

It is perhaps the most memorable event of the twentieth century: the assassination of president John F. Kennedy

Within seven weeks of president Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy received more than 800,000 condolence letters. Two years later, the volume of correspondence would exceed 1.5 million letters. For the next forty-six years, the letters would remain essentially untouched.

Now, in her selection of 250 of these astonishing letters, historian Ellen Fitzpatrick reveals a remarkable human record of that devastating moment, of Americans across generations, regions, races, political leanings, and religions, in mourning and crisis. Reflecting on their sense of loss, their fears, and their hopes, the authors of these letters wrote an elegy for the fallen president that captured the soul of the nation.
I can clearly remember where I was when I learned the president had been shot and killed. And I also remember spending the next several days glued to the television, hearing the reports, watching Johnson being sworn in, seeing Oswald being murdered, and following the ensuing events in Washington. In this day of 24/7 news and instant access to on-the-scene videos, it's difficult to explain to younger Americans the enormous impact that that level of live TV coverage had on us.

At Jackie's request, each one of the more than one million emotional and intimate sympathy notes she received were carefully preserved in the Kennedy Library for her children and for history. Working from this archive, Fitzpatrick chose letters to represent the full spectrum of the American population, illuminating a time in America's history when presidents lived behind a veil that separated their personal lives from their political careers and when U.S. citizens still believed they lived in the best and smartest nation in the world. Many of the people who reached out to Jackie felt compelled to introduce themselves and to tell their own story before offering their condolences. Some wrote about where they were on November 22, some talked politics or civil rights, and some offered advice on dealing with grief.

There is no way to review Letters to Jackie. For those of us who remember, the letters bring tears to our eyes and draw vivid images and memories from our minds. For younger readers, the letters act as a window to a long-gone America. Fitzpatrick's collection is a must-own volume.

Here are some examples. (All spellings and punctuation are per the original.)
  • From an eleven-year-old: "I was coming home from school and was feeling fine. My mother had tears in her eyes when I saw her. I asked her what was the matter because she had tears in her eyes. . . . My first though was that it wasn't true. . . . But I turned to her and her eyes had truth in them. I broke down and cryed." (p. 31)
  • From an airman third class: "I feel If I could be a portion of the man your husband was I would thank God. . . . You mean as much, as he did. Mrs. Kennedy now you stand strong an pure in the eyes of American and God. upon you you have a strength that many men would give everything they have to possest it. . . . I pray to God your strength will stand as a simbole to American women." (pp. 60-61)
  • From a forty-nine-year-old mother of ten children: "I feels so hurted I was left in 1940 with 4 small tots & a baby to Be borne 3 months later. But you havent only lost a Husband & Father But a Hero, a man, the only man was Bringing our Race of peoples to the light. We have have lost a Dear friend." (p. 102)
  • From a young man: "I'm nobody special, just a student who, I'm afraid hasn't seen a great deal of life. But I've been told that if someone is in love and has been in love, he will have enough memories to last the rest of his life. It might be true." (p. 260)
Letters to Jackie includes many photographs, including some of the letters and letter writers, as well as Fizpatrick's introductions and clarifying notes. Although some letters are from individuals whose names you recognize (President Garfield's great-grandson, Mrs. Medgar Evers), most are from ordinary citizens who felt "a desperate urge to exend [their] deepest sympathy" (p. 130) to the Kennedy family.

Beth Fish Reads is proud to showcase Ecco books as a featured imprint on this blog. For more information about Ecco, please read the introductory note from Vice President / Associate Publisher Rachel Bressler, posted here on July 15, 2011. Find your next great read by clicking on Ecco in the scroll-down topics/labels list in my sidebar and by visiting Ecco books on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Letters to Jackie at Powell's
Letters to Jackie at Book Depository
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Published by HarperCollins / Ecco, 2011
ISBN-13: 9780061966835

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22 December 2011

Review: The Chicken Chronicles by Alice Walker

Pultizer Prize–winning author Alice Walker fell in love with Glorious. And with Rufus. And with Gertrude Stein, Splendor, Hortensia, Agnes of God, the Gladyses, and Babe. In her latest memoir, The Chicken Chronicles, Walker shares lessons learned and memories regained after she decides to raise chickens on her small farm in northern California.

In the almost 40 pieces that make up this volume (originally written for her blog), Walker shares her inner musings triggered by her daily visits to the chicken coop. Some of the essays are written as if she were composing a letter to her girls (that is, the hens), some have an agenda (vegetarianism, bullying), some are personal (childhood memories, friendship), and some are practical (raising hens). Walker's affection for her feathered friends is evident throughout, as is her everlasting wonder and appreciation of the natural world.

Walker's tone in The Chicken Chronicles is that of a parent talking to her children (the chickens), although this is hardly a children's story. The style is at first charming but becomes a bit tedious by the end of volume. Thus this is not a book to read straight through; the collection is better appreciated as it was originally intended: an occasional blog post about Walker's life with her chickens. Readers who take the time to enjoy the memoir one chapter at time will be rewarded with insight into Walker's thoughts on a number of issues and may even want to start raising chickens themselves.

The unabridged audio edition (Recorded Books, 3 hr, 39 min) is read by Walker herself, who narrates as if she were talking directly to her chickens. My full audio review was written for AudioFile magazine.

For more on Alice Walker and more posts about her chickens, visit her blog.


Published by New Press, 2011
ISBN-13: 9781595586452
Source: Review (see review policy)
Rating: C+

Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)

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21 December 2011

Wordless Wednesday 160

Number 36, Denmark


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20 December 2011

Today's Read: Extra Virginity by Tom Mueller

Tom Mueller's Extra Virginity takes us deep into the world of olive oil, from producers to tasters, from family farms to supermarkets. Americans are buying it by the gallon, and Western medicine is extolling its health benefits. But something's rotten in the state of olives: What you don't know about the oil will astound you. Look for my review before the end of the year.

"This is what nearly everyone in the world thinks is extra virgin olive oil! This stuff is killing quality oil, and putting honest oil-makers out of business. . . . But olive oil labels all say the same thing, whether the bottle contains a magnificent oil or this schifezza . . . " He pointed the neck of the bottle at me like a gun, then lifted his glasses to read the label. "It says what every olive oil says: 100 percent Italian, cold-pressed, stone-ground, extra virgin . . ."

He shook his head, as if unable to believe his eyes. "Extra virgin? What's this oil got to do with virginity? This is a whore." (p. 5)
Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, by Tom Mueller (Norton, 2011)

Extra Virginity at Powell's
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19 December 2011

Review: Virals Series by Kathy Reichs

You may recognize Kathy Reichs as the author of the Temperance Brennan books, the basis for the TV series Bones. What you may not know is that Reichs is also the author of a middle reader series starring Victoria (Tory) Brennan, niece of the famous forensic anthropologist.

Tory Brennen lives with her father, Kit, on a small island off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. Her friends are the neighbor boys who share her interests in science and nature. Because all their parents work at a research institute on a neighboring island, the teens are often left on their own to spend the summer exploring and watching the local wildlife.

When Tory discovers an old dog tag on the institute's island, the group decides to learn about the soldier who used to wear it. Their research points to an unsolved missing person case, and the teens suddenly find themselves entangled in a local scandal and coverup. When snooping around the research institute for information, the group finds a caged wolf-dog pup in an abandoned laboratory. They free the animal, hide him, and nurse him back to health.

Sometimes curiosity can get you into trouble. In this case, Tory and her friends have contracted a strange virus from the puppy. They're afraid to tell their parents because they don't want to confess to having taken the wolf-dog. Thanks to the parovirus infection, the teens now have wolf genes, which give them wolf powers.

The Virals, as they call themselves, are not werewolves, but they sometimes have increased strength and speed, heightened senses, and the ability to communicate via pack mentality. These powers stand them in good stead when they are being chased by bad guys and ultimately solve the case of the dog tag and missing person.

The second book, Seizure, picks up several months after the first, and takes place during the school year. This time the adventure starts when the kids learn that the research institute may be closing for lack of funding. They're especially distressed because their pack will be broken up when their parents find new jobs, most likely in other cities or states.

When Tory notices a painting of a woman pirate at a local social club, she is introduced to the story of real-life pirate Anne Bonney and her missing treasure. Tory convinces her fellow Virals that if they find the treasure, they'll be able to save the institute and their parents' jobs, meaning they won't have to move away from each other.

Seizure takes Tory and friends on a wild Indian Jones-like adventure through Charleston and to several coastal islands. Using their wits and their wolf powers, will the teens be able to solve a centuries-old mystery, shake off the competition, and stay alive before time runs out?

Reichs's middle reader series is full of adventures, great characters, and complex mysteries. Mix in some sci-fi elements and few less-than-attentive parents, and young readers will be engrossed in the stories, wishing they too had some super wolf powers.

I listened to the unabridged audio editions (Penguin Audiobooks; Virals 9 hr, 43 min; Seizure 10 hr, 52 min) read by Actress Cristin Milioti. Milioti is a great match for Tory Brennen, and her narration added to my enjoyment of the books. Sparse, but well-used, sound effects enhance the production. Recommended for family listening. My full audio review of Seizure was written for AudioFile magazine.

For more about the series, visit Kathy Reichs's website or Facebook page or follow her on Twitter, This review will be linked to Kid Konnection, hosted each Saturday by Julie from Booking Mama. Imprint note: The Virals series is published by Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin USA, which also published other popular young adult titles such as Thirteen Reasons Why, Vampire Academy, and Zorgamazoo.

Virals at Powell's
Virals at Book Depository
Seizure at Powell's
Seizure at Book Depository
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Published by Penguin USA / Razorbill, 2010 (Virals) and 2011 (Seizure)
ISBN-13: 9781595144263
(Virals) and 9781595143945 (Seizure)
'Source: Bought (Virals) and review (Seizure) (see review policy)
Rating: B
(Virals), B+ (Seizure)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)

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17 December 2011

Weekend Cooking: The Rosie's Bakery . . . Baking Book by Judy Rosenberg

Weekend 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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Judy Rosenberg, owner of Rosie's Bakery, a Boston foodie destination, found her calling by doing what she loved best: baking and eating truly wonderful desserts . . . and if chocolate was involved, so much the better. In her new book, The Rosie's Bakery All-Butter, Cream-Filled, Sugar-Packed Baking Book, Rosenberg shares her enthusiasm by showing us how to bake her luscious treats in our own homes.

Because Rosenberg is a self-taught baker who started her business in a small apartment kitchen, she hasn't lost touch with the realities of the home cook and noncommercial equipment. After reading just a couple of paragraphs of the first chapter, you'll be infected with her you-can-do-it attitude, and you'll have the confidence to tackle any recipe in the book.

The basics chapter and the introduction to each section contain helpful hints concerning ingredients and techniques. Rosenberg guides us through every stage, from measuring to mixing, from baking to storing. Even experienced bakers will find new information, such as specific techniques for mixing batter:
So much depends on a texture that, to me, it contributes as much to a cake's character as does its flavor. A cake's texture depends largely on the way you mix the batter, and there are basic rules for mixing that will stand you in good stead. (p. 13)
Rosenberg then goes on to explain those rules, in clear, everyday language. You'll also learn the secrets of how to use cake batter for cupcakes, how to properly pour batter into pans, and which chocolate is the best for baking.

As the title makes clear, Rosie's is not a diet cookbook. The emphasis is on fresh, real ingredients that boost flavor and richness. What the title doesn't make clear is that not every dessert is over-the-top decadent. You'll find dozens of different types of cakes and cookies plus some recipes for pies and puddings. All of the ingredients are readily available in any grocery store, and the recommended equipment list contains very few specialty items. Best of all, the recipes are so straightforward, you are practically guaranteed success.

Other features of note: Rosenberg includes several Passover recipes and a half dozen flourless desserts. There are several drawings but no full-color photographs. The index is excellent--easy to read and easy to find recipes by title or ingredient. Finally, Rosie's includes a handy chart for temperature and measurement conversions, making the cookbook useful for readers outside the United States.

I have a weakness for shortbread and a weakness for baking with semolina flour, so when I saw the following recipe I knew I had to try it. Naturally, I forgot to take photos, so I was forced to bake the cookies a second time. I hope you appreciate the sacrifice.

Semolina Shortbread Bars
Makes 16 bars
  • 1½ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons semolina flour
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Have ready an 8-inch square pan.

Place both flours, the sugar, and salt in a food processor and process to blend for 5 seconds.

Distribute the butter over the flour mixture and process just until the dough comes together, 40 to 45 seconds. Stop the processor once to scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Pace the dough on a work surface and work it gently with your hands to bring it together. Pat the shortbread gently and evenly into the pan. Using the tines of a fork, poke deep holes over the entire surface.

Bake the shortbread for 45 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 300°F and continue to baking until it is crisp, firm, and richly golden, about 30 minutes.

While the shortbread is still hot, cut it into pieces with the point of a sharp, thin knife. Then let it cool completely in the pan on a rack.

Rosie's at Powell's
Rosie's at Book Depository
These links lead to affiliate programs.

Published by Workman Publishing, 2011
ISBN-13: 9780761154075
Source: Review (see review policy)
Rating: B+
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


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16 December 2011

Imprint Friday: Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia by Michael Korda

Welcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Harper Perennial. Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of my favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to your wish list.

You've likely seen the movie, heard the tales, or at least recognize the name of the dashing World War I hero known as Lawrence of Arabia. Like millions of others over the last century, I've been drawn to his story, wondering whether the real T. E. Lawrence was anything like his popular image. Michael Korda's Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia, now out in a new paperback edition, has all the answers.

The story of an epic life on a grand scale, Michael Korda’s Hero is a gripping, in-depth biography of the extraordinary, mysterious, and dynamic Englishman still famous the world over as “Lawrence of Arabia.” An Oxford scholar and archaeologist sent to Cairo as a young intelligence officer in 1916, Lawrence was a born leader, utterly fearless and seemingly impervious to pain and fatigue. A bold and ruthless warrior, he was the virtual inventor of modern insurgency and guerrilla warfare; a writer of genius who alternately sought and fled the limelight. Korda digs deeper than anyone before him to expose the flesh-and-blood man and his contradictory nature—farsighted visionary; diplomat and kingmaker; shy, sensitive, and private man; genius military strategist; arguably the first modern "media celebrity" . . . and one of its first victims. Hero is the magisterial story of one of the most unique and fascinating figures of modern times—the arch-hero whose life was, at once, a triumph and a sacrifice.
I'm not quite halfway through Korda's engaging 700-page biography, so I can't yet comment on Lawrence's life at the end of the war and after, but I have read enough to have been utterly won over by Korda's style. Whether we are in the Arabian desert with the young military officer or back in Oxford with the boy, Korda brings out the essence of Lawrence's personality and the dynamics (and dramatics) behind his decisions.

From a young age, Lawrence held himself apart from the crowd, even moving into a small cottage behind the family home when still a teenager and choosing to live off campus when he entered university. Once in the army, he was rarely seen in regulation dress and was known to act on his own orders. In addition, unlike most of his colleagues,
he was a teetotaler, and, when he bothered to eat all, by inclination a vegetarian, except on occasions when he was obligated to please his Arab hosts by sharing their mutton. (p. 6)
His aloofness could be off-putting, but his legendary charisma would usually win people over in the end. However, no matter what others thought of his personality, few could deny his intelligence, capacity for hard work, and his visionary thinking.

Korda relies on Lawrence's own writings and letters, firsthand accounts, and other biographers in his account of the making of a hero. As Korda says in his preface, Lawrence was a hero in the classical sense of the word. He was a man of great courage who set out to become a leader, preparing himself for the role and seizing the opportunity when his chance came (p. xvi)

Because I started out knowing very little about the Arab Revolt and Lawrence's actions at Aqaba (the focus of the well-known movie), I thought it was smart of Korda to open his biography with a brief account of campaign that put Lawrence on the road to heroism. When the narrative then took us back to England and the circumstances of Lawrence's birth, boyhood, and years at Oxford, I was better able to appreciate how early events helped shape the man.

I am looking forward to reading the second half of the biography, which details Lawrence's triumphs and hardships in the Mideast as well as what he saw as his personal failures:
. . . the feeling that would motivate Lawrence through the rest of his life: the belief not just that he had failed the Arabs by not getting them the state and independence they had fought for, but that he was rendered, by what he done, seen, and experienced, permanently unclean, unfit for the society of decent people, a kind of moral leper. (p. 435)
Later chapters cover the postwar years, when Lawrence was hounded by the press, wrote his memoirs, and reenlisted in the military several times under assumed names to avoid public attention. He died in 1935, as the result of a motorcycle accident (prompting cries of assassination and conspiracy theory), when only forty-six years old. Lawrence of Arabia was a legend even in his own time, and his fame has yet to ebb.

Here are some other opinions (click on the links for the full reviews):
  • Janet Maslin, writing for the New York Times: "the strength of 'Hero' lies in its ability to analyze Lawrence’s accomplishments and to add something meaningful to the larger body of Lawrence lore. It is here that Mr. Korda’s full affinity for his subject shows."
  • Tim Ruttan, writing for the Los Angeles Times calls Hero "an unexpectedly fresh, engagingly written biography that adds substantially to our understanding of this strange, contradictory, curiously admirable and compelling subject's life and contribution"
  • Lydia Pyne, writing for The New York Journal of Books: "With so many biographies of T. E. Lawrence, Korda’s detailed research and narrative arch, coupled with the narrative explicating the creation of Lawrence as a hero, creates a unique and reflective niche for the book."
Photo credit: 1919 painting by Augustus John; in the public domain.

Harper Perennial is a featured imprint on Beth Fish Reads. For information about the imprint, please read Erica Barmash's welcome note posted here on June 18, 2010. I encourage you to add your reviews of Harper Perennial books to the review link-up page; it's a great way to discover Good Books for Cool People. And don't miss the The Olive Reader, the Harper Perennial blog.

Hero at an Indie
Hero at Powell's
Hero at Book Depository
These links lead to affiliate programs.

Published by Harper Perennial, 2011
ISBN-13: 9780061712623

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15 December 2011

Thursday Tea: Fables 9: Sons of Empire by Bill Willingham

The Book: Volume 9 of Bill Willingham's Fables series, Sons of Empire, is a collection of short stories. The title story focuses on the great battle between the Adversary and the folks in Fabletown, which is the underlying plot of the series. This is a grim tale of good and evil and involves spies, warfare, and political intrigue.

Other stories are much lighter and quite fun. We learn how Punz (Rapunzel) deals with her long hair when she must go out into the world of humans, we see Bigby's young wolf cubs learn to hunt (and get into mischief), and we meet the three blind mice.

My favorite stories have to do with the Bigby family Christmas. When I started reading this volume of Fables, I had no idea how appropriate it would be for the season. Fun to meet Santa and to learn that he is real (well, in the context of Fabletown). The scan (click to enlarge) shows one of Bigby's sons asking the question everyone wants to ask. To discover the answer, you'll have to read the book. (Yes, I'm a tease.)

The Tea: We've had colder Decembers here in central Pennsylvania, but it's still cold enough to make me look forward to my afternoon tea break. This week I'm drinking Bentley's Orange Spice tea. Believe it or not, I can't find a Bentley tea site online, so I don't have a link for you. But the tea has a nice citrus-spice aroma and it's very warming. I've always liked black tea with orange in it, and for a basic tea, this one is satisfying.

The Assessment: We've already established the fact that Bigby is probably not much of a tea drinker. But I'd like to think that Punz or Snow White or maybe even Santa would go for a cuppa. And if they do drink tea, I bet they wouldn't turn down a homey, simple tea like Ceylon orange spice.

What About You? As we race toward the holiday season, have you had time to read? If so, what's holding your interest this week? Are you drinking tea? Or have you switched to hot buttered rum or a little eggnog?


Thursday Tea was the brainchild of Anastasia at Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog.

Published by DC Comics / Vertigo, 2007
ISBN-13: 9781401213169

Source: Bought (see review policy)
Rating: B

Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)
FTC: I buy all teas myself, I am not a tea reviewer.

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14 December 2011

Wordless Wednesday 159

Queen Anne's Lace in Fall, 2011


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

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13 December 2011

Today's Read: Take Me Home by Brian Leung

MizB at Should Be Reading hosts Teaser Tuesdays. Here's how it works: Grab your current read; let the book fall open to a random page; and share 2 "teaser" sentences from that page. For more teasers, click on through to MizB's blog.

Today's tease comes from a novel set in the American west at a time when the railroad barons were king and adventurous young men sought their fortunes in mining. Both industries exploited Chinese immigrants, and sometimes there was violence. I'll be talking more about this book in an upcoming Imprint Friday feature.

Inside the observation car, well-dressed men and women lounged in straight-backed red velvet chairs, peered out the windows at rock and pine trees, read newspapers. She didn't know any of them, but she could stand where she was and make up a pretty good story for each. And wasn't that the way of the history? Strangers looking at strangers from afar, telling what was knowable, filling in the rest with interesting guesses. (pp. 5-6)
—From Take Me Home by Brian Leung (HarperCollins / HarperPerennial, 2011)

Take Me Home at Powell's
Take Me Home at Book Depository
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12 December 2011

Review: From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris

From Dead to Worse is the eighth book in Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire series. This review assumes you've read the other books in the series or at least know the premise (perhaps from the True Blood television show). There are no spoilers for this book or for any other.

Let me start by saying how much I love Sookie Stackhouse. Yes, she always seems to be getting herself in the middle of some kind of pickle with the supernatural beings that inhabit our world. And yes, it does seem odd that a waitress from a small town would be the center of so much political and emotional strife. But I can't help it, I want to know what happens next.

That said, I admit the last couple of books seemed to lack some of the freshness of the earlier ones, but I stuck with the series because I love the characters. For those in the same boat: From Dead to Worse will get you right back to Bon Temps.

From Dead to Worse is clearly a transition book, and that's a good thing. Harris did a masterful job of cleaning up and concluding some old plot lines and removing some characters from the series altogether. At the same time, she created new political tensions, new love interests, and new characters, and has left the future of many of our favorite people (creatures?) wide open.

The book takes place after two great tragedies, making the changes believable and necessary. The first tragedy takes place in book seven, and the shock waves of that are still being felt in book eight. Second, this novel addresses the effects of Katrina on New Orleans in particular and on Louisiana and the Gulf Coast in general. Few people in the area--supernatural or fully human--were left unscathed, and some of the changing relationships among the characters and factions are the result of the natural disaster.

From Dead to Worse deals with three principal themes. First is politics--not U.S. politics but the structure of the vampire kingdoms and the configuration of the werewolf packs. The weres, especially, are at a crisis point, and some pack leaders are contemplating revealing themselves in a similar way as did the vampires. Another theme is personal relationships of all types--friends, family, marriages, and lovers. There are a lot of changes in these areas, and not all of them were predictable. Finally, the novel pushed most of the characters into the next level in terms of personal growth. Some characters took a hard look at themselves and made difficult decisions, others are learning to adapt to changing circumstances, and some are succumbing to their baser natures. Bon Temps will never be the same.

With this novel, Harris revived and refreshed her Southern Vampire series. There are so many directions the books can go now, and I love all the possibilities. In fact, I bet I read the next in the series before the end of the year.

As I have done for this entire series, I listened to the unabridged audio edition (Recorded Books, 10 hr, 3 min) read by Johanna Parker. Parker does her usually excellent job. Her voice is Sookie's in my mind.

From Dead to Worse at an Indie

Published by Penguin USA / Ace, 2008
ISBN-13: 9780441017010
Source: Review (see review policy)
Rating: B

Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)

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11 December 2011

Virtual Advent Tour 2011: Latkes

Welcome to the 11th day of the 2011 book blogger Virtual Advent Tour. Please be sure to head on over to the tour site to get the links to all the wonderful posts that bloggers all over the world have shared.

One of the best holiday traditions from my childhood is the night we'd all go to my grandparents' house to exchange presents with my cousins and aunts and uncles. The celebration naturally included dinner, and one the traditional foods was, of course, latkes (potato pancakes).

When I was young, my grandmothers, mom, and aunts would have to grate the potatoes and onions by hand -- a messy job, during which at least one person would end up with grated knuckles. Ouch!

At some point over the years, one of my relatives discovered a faster, safer way to make latkes, thanks to a new kitchen gadget that hit the home scene. The food processor revolutionized the family recipe, and no one ever had to mess with that grater again.

There is apparently some debate about what to serve with latkes. Let me state right here and now, I've never understood the applesauce camp. I'm absolutely on the sour cream team and am not against a sprinkling of chives or scallions. Hope you enjoy our family's modern recipe.

Food Processor Latkes
Makes about 12

  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups of potatoes scrubbed, skins left on, diced into 1-inch dice
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash pepper
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
Place the eggs in the food processor and pulse to beat them. Add the remaining ingredients and process until there are no major lumps. Spoon batter onto a hot oiled griddle or into hot oil in a frying pan and cook until brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.

These can be frozen; reheat in a 350F oven.

No matter what foods remind you of your childhood holidays, I wish you happy eating and much joy this December.

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10 December 2011

Weekend Cooking: Review: American Flavor by Andrew Carmellini

Weekend 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.

_______

From the time he was small boy in Cleveland, Andrew Carmellini has had a love affair with food. Beginning with the down-home Polish dishes cooked by his mom, road food introduced by his father on trips to Florida, and recipes he cooked himself from Betty Crocker, Carmellini discovered early that America embraces a world of flavors.

The recipes in his American Flavor do indeed reflect the great diversity of American foods, running the gamut from the universal (peanut butter cookies and biscuits) to the ethnic (Greek lamb stew and arroz verde). Each recipe comes with a story, and most include a photograph, a tip, and/or additional information about a technique or ingredients.

I particularly liked learning about where the recipes came from. Some are family recipes (his mom's borscht), some are from his restaurant (crab on toast), some are based on dishes he's had when dining out (Korean steak), and some are from friends (Susie's beans). Carmellini is the first to tell you that the ethnic dishes in American Flavor are not exactly what you find when you travel abroad. He's all about how foods are interpreted in this part of the world and by modern tastes.

Almost all of the ingredients will be easy to find in any decent grocery store, especially in America. The recipe instructions are quite conversational, and Carmellini provides advice on the fly, just when you need it:
Transfer the chiles to a blender; add the chipotles. . . . Hold down the top of the blender with a kitchen towel to avoid hot-liquid disasters, and blend everything together on high speed for 30 seconds, till you have a thick paste. The paste will be bitter, but don't worry about that: when you cook it with the meat, it will mellow out. (p. 132)
Any reasonably experienced cook will have success with American Flavor. Carmelllini's style makes you feel as if he were standing right next to you in the kitchen. You won't feel lost or alone.

The types of dishes will appeal to most cooks and their families. The flavors are bright, tasty, and just a little bit different without being too fancy or too strange for everyday eating. To give you an idea of what you'll find, here are some recipes I'm hoping to try:
  • Lamb Chili with Chickpeas and Raita
  • Braised Beef Short Ribs with Guinness
  • Oven-Roasted Vegetables Glazed with Apple Cider, Dried Cranberries, and Pumpkin Seeds
  • Tomato Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
  • Heirloom Zucchini Bake with Fresh Tomato, Mozz, and Basil
I did make two recipes from the book (and forgot to take photos -- oops!): the Bacon-Chipotle Cornbread and the Swiss Chard with Dried Apricots and Sunflower Seeds. Both were easy to put together and won two thumbs up in the BFR household. Because the recipe directions are so chatty, I'm not going to share one here but you can see some of the lovely photographs from the book and videos of Andrew Carmellini cooking on his website.

Vegetarian alert: Although there are several vegetarian dishes, especially in the soup, salad, and sides chapters, vegans will be disappointed. I suggest that vegetarians read through the book before buying.

Beth Fish Reads is proud to showcase Ecco books as a featured imprint on this blog. For more information about Ecco, please read the introductory note from Vice President / Associate Publisher Rebecca Bressler, posted here on July 15, 2011. Find your next great read by clicking on Ecco in the scroll-down topics/labels list in my sidebar and by visiting Ecco books on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

American Flavor at Powell's
American Flavor at Book Depository
These links lead to affiliate programs.

Published by HarperCollins / Ecco, 2011
ISBN-13: 9780061963292
Source: Review (see review policy)
Rating: B
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


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09 December 2011

Imprint Friday: Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron

Welcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Algonquin Books. Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of my favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to your wish list.

Algonquin has a knack of spotting and nurturing authors who make a big splash in the ocean of books published each year. For the third time in a row, they are publishing the winner of the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Fiction, an award given "to promote fiction that addresses issues of social justice and the impact of culture and politics on human relationships."

Naomi Benaron's Running the Rift begins in Rwanda just as the Hutu-Tutsi conflict is coming to a head. Here is the summary:

Running the Rift follows Jean Patrick Nkuba, a gifted Rwandan boy, from the day he knows that running will be his life to the moment he must run to save his life, a ten-year span in which his country is undone by the Hutu-Tutsi tensions. Born a Tutsi, he is thrust into a world where it’s impossible to stay apolitical—where the man who used to sell you gifts for your family now spews hatred, where the girl who flirted with you in the lunchroom refuses to look at you, where your Hutu coach is secretly training the very soldiers who will hunt down your family. Yet in an environment increasingly restrictive for the Tutsi, he holds fast to his dream of becoming Rwanda’s first Olympic medal contender in track, a feat he believes might deliver him and his people from this violence. When the killing begins, Jean Patrick is forced to flee, leaving behind the woman, the family, and the country he loves. Finding them again is the race of his life.
There is much that attracts me to Benaron's novel, including the setting, the characters, Jean Patrick's dreams, and the backdrop of war. I don't know as much about the Hutu-Tutsi conflict as I probably should, and I am particularly interested in how Benaron's personal experience with Rwandan refugees has informed her work.

In Running the Rift, the horrors and confusion of the genocide are brought down to the individual level through Jean Patrick, whose idealistic belief in equality is massacred right along with his fellow Tutsis. The young man has had one lifelong focus: winning an Olympic metal for his country. But now he must divert his energy to survival and the need to separate dreams and reality. From the beauty of the African wilderness to the terror of being stopped by authorities demanding papers, Jean Patrick's world is one of dichotomies. People are either Hutu or Tutsi, either friend or foe, and as the killing continues it becomes harder to tell the difference:
"You have to trust him," she said. . . .

Jean Patrick touched his cheek to hers before stepping out into the wet. Trust Coach? If Coach told him that tomorrow the sun would rise in the east, it seemed to Jean Patrick there was a fifty-fifty chance it would rise in the west. (p. 189)
Benaron has written a frank, graphic novel about a shameful moment of history. Read it, remember it, and try to capture a bit of Jean Patrick's early naivete:
Before his first day in primary school, Jean Patrick had not known what Tutsi meant. When the teacher said, "All Tutsi stand," Jean Patrick did not that he was to rise from his seat and be counted and say his name. Roger had to pull him up and explain. (pp. 12-13)
Here are some other opinions (click the links to read the full reviews):
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review): "This powerful novel recounts inhumanity on a scale scarcely imaginable, yet rebukes its nihilism, countering unforgivable violence with small mercies and unyielding hope."
  • Library Journal (starred review): The novel is an "unflinching and beautifully crafted account of a people and their survival."
In the wake of the Bellwether announcement, Benaron has granted a number of interviews—for example, with Publishers Weekly and the UCLA Extension Writers' Program—in which she discusses what it was like for her to visit Rwanda as well as her experiences as a triathlete. Visit Naomi Benaron's website for more about her work. On her site, you'll also find an extract, an audio clip, more review quotes, and her book tour schedule.

Algonquin Books is a featured imprint on Beth Fish Reads. For more information about the imprint, please read Executive Editor Chuck Adams's introductory letter, posted here on January 7, 2011.

Running the Rift at Powell's
Running the Rift at Book Depository
These links lead to affiliate programs.

Published by Workman / Algonquin Books, January 7, 2012
ISBN-13: 9781616200428

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