Before Jim, the men I dated fell into two categories, the smart, well-informed ones and the “shhh baby don’t talk” variety.
The latter didn’t last long. Bottom Line: Smart is sexy and people who read books turn me on. I’m not alone in this belief.
If you’re looking for an interesting read to up your sexiness quotient, here are a few I recommend.
The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe: Peter Godwin returns to Zimbabwe hoping to witness the change in power after the election defeating Mugabe. As Mugabe refuses to leave office and sets out destroying the opposition, Godwin weaves his first-hand experience with the stories of those persons tortured and jailed by Mugabe’s goons and the story of a country destroyed by a corrupt rule whose only goal was personal power.
The Man Who Ate Everything: A series of essays, it reveals Steingarten as an enthusiastic amateur. His enthusiasm is infectious but it’s his dry wit that will have you laughing out loud. For my longer review click here. But here’s a small smackerel of Steingarten’s musings on “Greek Cuisine” to whet your appetite.
“The Greeks are really good at both pre-Socratic philosophy and white statues. They have not been good cooks since the fifth century B.C., when Siracusa on Sicily was the gastronomic capital of the world. Typical of modern-day Greek cuisine are feta cheese and retsina wine. Any country that pickles its cheese in brine and adulterates its national wine with pine pitch should order dinner at the local Chinese place and save its energies for other things. The British go to Greece just for the food, which says volumes to me. You would probably think twice before buying an Algerian or Russian television set. I thought for ten years before buying my last Greek meal.“
The Help: A stunning debut novel about the divide between white women and the African-American women who take care of them. A page-turning story of dependence, bigotry and social change. The movie based on the book comes out this summer.
The Lacuna: A Novel: Barbara Kingsolver is a master storyteller. I don’t want to give anything away, so all I’ll say is this book puts a face to several dark parts of America’s history while keeping you spellbound.
What I’m Reading Now
Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook: Anthony Bourdain’s latest. If you’ve already been hooked by Kitchen Confidential or Bourdain’s exploits on the Travel Channel in No Reservations this is a must read.
Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses: by Seattle author Claire Dederer, this memoir cleverly braids yoga, Dederer’s childhood punctuated by a pseudo-divorce (her parents separated but stayed married), life as a new mom and what that meant in liberal Seattle from the mid-90s to today (organics and clogs anyone?). Favorite line so far: “We are all trying to buy local food in a convenience store and failing.”
Note: for your convenience all links lead to Amazon in case you want to read one of these books for yourself. If you buy through the link I may receive a few pennies in return, but the cost to you is the same as if you went to Amazon without the link.