Monday, April 07, 2008

What I'm reading right now...

Having a blog means never having to say...I'm lacking for things to say. I've been so immersed in some great books recently. Although I'm usually juggling at least 6-8 great reads at time, the one I take with me to bed has been Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential".

If you've seen his show on the Travel Channel, you'll know that Bourdain is no lightweight. Condeming of so-called chefs such as Rachel Ray, he is tough, abraisive and sometimes crude. But what he always is is true.

Agents and publishers talk about the need for books to have a "strong voice." If you've ever wondered what that is, run, don't walk to pick up his book.

His tales of woe and wow in the kitchen are revelational. I shall never look at a Sunday brunch the same way again. As someone whose father owned several succesful restaurants, this is the stuff I never heard of. And as someone who frequents great restaurants quite often, I can honestly say I never look at anything in them -- from the bread to the waiters -- quite the same way. If you like to eat, read this book!

CW April 2008 Pick: "The 13th Tale by Diane Setterfield

One of the joys of reading an unforgettable book is the passion that comes in sharing what the reader has read and learned. When Diane Setterfield’s “The Thirteenth Tale” was published in hardcover in 2006, many of my book-loving friends called and e-mailed to say how amazing it was and how I needed to race to the bookstore to get it. But sometimes life gets in the way of a great read, and the novel remained on my list of books to read in the not-too-distant future.
After discussions with our passionate book club members, it’s clear this is indeed the perfect time. Charlotte Weekly’s Speaking Volumes book club selection for April is “The Thirteenth Tale.”

Borrowing from literary classics such as “Wuthering Heights” and “Jane Eyre,” the story is set in the mists of England, where glamorous, well-known author Vida Winter asks Lea’s Antiquarian Bookshop owner Margaret Lea to come to her estate and write her life story. While living in the stately Gothic home, Lea tries to untangle fact from fiction as family secrets, lost loves and a mystery that keeps you guessing until the last page entwine her and her subject. Setterfield’s first novel may be one of the most well-written books of the decade. She possesses incomparable storytelling skills; the result is a book you won’t want to put down.

New book, new location

To reach out to more book club members and see more of Charlotte, our well-established book club of three years will visit several bookstores in the months to come. Join us to discuss this riveting tale on Monday, April 21, at 7 p.m., at Barnes & Noble at Carolina Place Mall, 11025 Carolina Place Parkway, Pineville. Please RSVP at