Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Five reads for October

Nigella Lawson by Mario Testino, Vogue

Whoops. The last time I wrote a Five reads post was back in June. Still, that's given me plenty of time to unearth new gems, hasn't it?

Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food

Not exactly breaking news, I know. She's been all over the press with this new book, but that's not a good enough reason not to feature Simply Nigella this month (I can think of very few reasons, if I'm honest). Instead, here is a list of all the things I bloody love about Nigella:

:: She used to write a beauty column for Vogue. One tip that I've never forgotten is that she would always prioritise groomed brows over any other make up. She's so right.
:: Her 'disgust' for clean eating (on the basis it suggests other kinds of eating are 'dirty'). Nige is all about balance.
:: The way she writes. She believes recipe writing is a form of autobiography in miniature. Never has a food writer inspired me so much.
:: Those brilliantly knowing TV shows. Just having her on in the background is as soothing as stirring risotto.
:: The books. For me, in particular, How to Eat and How To Be A Domestic Goddess (my copy is signed!).
:: The fact she is 55 and looks so damned peachy and hot, especially in those wiggle dresses.

I think I'd better stop now.

My Brilliant Friend

When recommendations pop up all over the place for the same book, you know you have to pay attention. Elena Ferrante is a mysterious Italian novelist - apparently no one knows who she really is - whose books have spread through word of mouth. Good job, really, as she refuses to do any promotion of her work, supposedly saying 'I believe that books, once they are written, have no need of their authors. If they have something to say, they will sooner or later find readers; if not, they won’t.'

Brave stuff. But it seems to have worked...

F**k It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way

Another recommendation, this book is said to have inspired a major life change in a friend-of-a-friend. The writing style is a little trendy new age but I'm enjoying the messages (only a third of the way through so far). Love the sound of the retreats the author and his wife run in Italy, and you can do a 'how F**k It are you?' quiz over on their website.

The Book of Human Emotions: An Encyclopaedia of Feeling from Anger to Wanderlust

Every so often a book comes along that could've been written just for you. This is one such tome. If you've seen the Word of the day posts extolling my love of unusual words, you'll get it right away. And these ones are *just* about human emotions? Phwoar. Sold.

A Modern Way to Cook

Book-ending October's Five reads are recipe books, I know, but they work together so well. Two brilliant, female cooks sharing their love of delicious but balanced food, two gloriously evocative writers laughing in the face of the fine line between healthy eating and taste. Anna Jones is a marvel - so many of her dishes have become such favourites (try the avocado spaghetti or dal with sweet potatoes in A Modern Way to Eat, and the white bean burritos or the quinoa or the buddha bowls or the green herb omelette in this book). My friend Lara and I went to see her do a demo in Bath a few months back. We concluded that Anna Jones must have some kind of dealing with the dark arts of cookery so explosive are her flavour combinations, so nourishing is her choice of ingredients.

What are you reading at the mo? Let me know...


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