Archive for Books

The Auberge of the Flowering Hearth

The Auberge of the Flowering Hearth – by Roy Andries De Groot

Published in 1973, in which de Groot writes about the time he spent at a French inn by that name (L’Auberge de l’Atre Fleuri in St-Pierre-de-Chartreuse, Savoy) and the good meals he ate there. It addresses the logic of constructing a meal of several dishes so that they harmonize with one another, to the use of primarily local and seasonal ingredients to contribute to this harmony, and also an internal harmony within individual dishes. It is also a snapshot of old-school aperitifs, such as kir, and illustrates how a kitchen of little pretension can put out world-class food in an environment of passion, hard work, sound technique, long experience, etc. One of the more interesting aspects of the book is that de Groot was blind.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Auberge_of_the_Flowering_Hearth

My Comments~

After reading a fantastic article in a local magazine about a woman’s trek and failed attempt to find The Auberge of the Flowering Hearth in Southern Oregon, I decided I had to have it. She painstakingly drove from Grants Pass, to Rogue River, Glendale and Medford searching high and low. Even though she came back empty handed, she had a grand time trekking through our lower half of the state. All along the way she describes to her friend the reasons she must have this book. I can see why.

Never have I read such a remarkable tale of a journey filled with excitement, longing, passion and love of food. Filled with magnificent descriptive narrative of de Groots travels to a place far away and almost unbelievable, and recipes so divine they are almost un-attemptable, this book took me on a fantastic voyage. Each page better then the next. de Groot takes you from the curvy rocky roads to the Inn, to the pristine kitchen of Mademoiselle Ray and to the rustic markets of Gernoble with Mademoiselle Vivette. These remarkable women teach him the art of a well balanced meal using the valley, rivers and local famers to supply them with the freshest ingredients.

If you are a cook, chef or just have a deep love for food and travel, I encourage you to read this book. It will leave you hungry and read to pack your bags for your own journey to the Auberge.

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Wild Indigo

Wild Indigo by Sandi Ault

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~Publisher Comments:
Berkley Publishing Group
“I have been editing mysteries for close to 25 years . . . Simply put, Wild Indigo by Sandi Ault is the best debut mystery I have read in the past ten years.”— Natalee Rosenstein, Vice President and Senior Executive Editor

~ Author:
Sandi Ault has done it all. A former journalist and newspaper section editor, Sandi Ault has taught writing for many years, including holding a position at the University of Mexico-Taos. She is a volunteer firefighter, musician, bandleader and composer. She live with her husband and wolf Tiwa. Most recently, Sandi won the Edgar Award for Wild Indigo!

~My Comments:
Reminiscent of Tony Hellerman and Nevada Barr series, Bureau of Land Management Agent Jamaica Wild has witnessed the death of a Tanoah Pueblo man, Jerome Santana who was trampled and killed by buffalo. After a tribal investigation, Jamaica is held responsible for causing the stampede that took Santana’s life. Befriended by Santana’s mother and a very few helpful natives, Jamaica starts an investigation of her own to solve the mystery of who killed Santana.

This book is filled with wonderful Pueblo traditions and ceremonies. From the wolf pup Jamaica is trying to raise, to the sweet love story with her and forest ranger Kerry, to the oh so exciting mountain rescue, this book has it all.

If you love Native American history, customs and even a little Indian witchcraft, you will love this book as I did. The author is planning a series of books with this same character.

http://www.sandiault.com/

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Out

OUT by Natsuo Kirino

– Publisher Comments: Nothing in Japanese literature prepares us for the stark, tension-filled, plot-driven realism of Natsuo Kirino’s award-winning literary mystery, Out.

This mesmerizing novel tells the story of a brutal murder in the staid Tokyo suburbs, as a young mother who works the night shift making boxed lunches strangles her abusive husband and then seeks the help of her coworkers to dispose of the body and cover up her crime. The coolly intelligent Masako emerges as the plot’s ringleader, but quickly discovers that this killing is merely the beginning, as it leads to a terrifying foray into the violent underbelly of Japanese society.

– Author: Natsuo Kirino, born in 1951, quickly established a reputation in Japan as one of a rare breed of crime writer whose work goes well beyond the conventional crime novel. This fact has been demonstrated by her winning not only Japan’s top mystery award, for Out, but one of its major literary awards, the Naoki Prize for Soft Cheeks. Several of her books have also been turned into movies. Out is the first of her novels to appear in English.

– My Comments: I ordered this through Oregon Books. This book is not for the squeamish. Fast paced and highly shocking. Rarely can you find a book where a female character (the main character) commits such a gruesome crime. Also shocking was the extreme conditions of the characters workplace. Japanese women are treated with much disrespect. I highly recommend this book! If ya can stomach it!

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Tome Raider

I love books. Other then the obvious, reading, I love to hold them, feel them, smell them and buy them. My dream is to have a huge fireplace with large bookshelves on each side filled with books, books and more books. I think more then new books, I prefer used and old books. A good used book has much character. I can pick up a used book and day dream about who would have read it before myself. Did they like it? Would we have much in common? Would they like other books I have read? Did they hate it and why?

In Grants Pass we actually have several used book stores. I always try and buy local when I can. Oregon Books, formerly Book Depot, has been around several years. family owned and operated, they carry a nice selection of new and used. They also have web site to order what they don’t have in stock. Usually only takes a couple days for your book to arrive.

Oregon Books
937 NE D Street, Ste C
Grants Pass, OR 97526
(541) 476-3132
http://www.oregonbooks.com/

Book Lore and More is a used book store. This place is run by SPARC. The store is a training ground and a great place recycle used books that would otherwise been shredded. I love this store. They don’t always organize their books the best way possible, but they are very helpful can usually find what you are looking for.

Book Lore and More
122 SE H St
Grants Pass, OR 97526
(541) 471-4945

Middle of 6th street, downtown Grants Pass is Booktique, Books and More. A cute and cramped shop with both used books, funky antiques and collectables and used movies.

Booktique
212 NW 6th St
Grants Pass, Oregon 97526
(541) 474-9580

On Rogue River Highway is another cramped and dark book store with great finds. The $2.00 Book Store & Exchange. I have found some great books here. Not all books, however are $2.00 however so you need to make sure and check the price tags.

$2.00 Book Store & Exchange
914 Rogue River Highway
Grants Pass, OR 97527
(541) 479-6008

In the City of Rogue River, about 8 miles from Grants Pass is a new book store called Reading on the Rogue. New books, candy, games, gifts and one of the largest stuffed beavers I have ever seen. That thing must be 9 feet tall.

Reading on the Rogue
206 Main
Rogue River, OR
(541) 582-1712

I also absolutely love Powell Book’s in Portland, Oregon. This is a must see bookstore. Touted at one of the largest book stores in the World. The main store takes up an entire city block. New, used and rare. Powell has six store locations in the Portland Area. Including one specifically for Home and Garden. Powell’s is where I go when I just can’t find what I need locally. And whenever we make the trip to Portland, Powell’s is our first stop.

Powell’s Books
1005 W Burnside
Portland, OR 97209
http://www.powells.com/

I’ll be posting reviews here from my favorite tomes. I never seem to have as much time as I would like to read, or maybe I have too much time to read and not enough time to do anything else? Highly doubtful!

A good book should leave you… slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it. ~William Styron, interview, Writers at Work, 1958

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