Tag Archives: Books

Stories from the Kitchen: Like Mother Used to Make by Shirley Jackson

This story is quite unsettling, and in many ways reminded me of stories from Margaret Atwood’s collection Stone Mattress. David Turner’s apartment, which is central to the story, is located on the third floor in a dilapidated building. For the same rent, David could have afforded to set roots in a more pristine space, yet […]

The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman

Set in the early 1940s when Axis was gaining momentum in the war front, The World That We Knew recounts the story of Lea, a teenage Jewish girl. When it became clear that Berlin was becoming unsafe for the Jews with each passing day, Hanni, Lea’s mother decides to send her off to France. But with her […]

Stories from the Kitchen: The Manager of ‘The Kremlin’ by Evelyn Waugh

Montmartre is a Parisian neighborhood I’ve visited often in my imagination thanks to the Inspector Maigret novels I’ve read. I feel familiar with its charm – like I have strolled through its cobbled streets, and dinned in the little restaurants serving gourmet food many times. And today I’m back in this picturesque quarter again, this […]

Maigret Defends Himself by Georges Simenon

‘In the whole of your career have you ever encountered a truly wicked criminal… A conscious criminal, one who’s responsible for his own actions, and acts out of pure spite?’ This question Pardon, Maigret’s longtime friend and family physician, posed during a dinner conversation sets the stage to the 63rd installment in the Inspector Maigret […]

Stories from the Kitchen: On Mortality by Anton Chekhov

In what must be the shortest story in this collection, Anton Chekhov considers the deadly sin of gluttony. Its protagonist, Court Counselor Semyon Petrovitch Podtikin, is impatiently waiting for his cook to bring out the blini (a Russian pancake traditionally made from wheat). He has lined up a number of liquors to pair with his […]

Death Has Deep Roots by Michael Gilbert

After the exceptional Death in Captivity, which I quite enthusiastically reviewed here, Death Has Deep Roots was a bit of a letdown. In Death Has Deep Roots, Gilbert once again writes about what he knows best. There’s no question that the law and war are his familiar grounds. Before becoming a partner at a London based law firm, Gilbert […]

Stories from the Kitchen: On the Pleasures of the Table by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

According to Wikipedia, Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin is one of the authors credited for founding the food writing genre along with Alexandre Laurent Grimod de La Reynière. Both of them were lawyers in the nineteenth century in France, who became famous for their writings about gastronomical delights. At the time, food literature existed only in the […]

Chances Are… by Richard Russo

In this heartwarming novel, Richard Russo paints a vivid, true to life, portrait of the chances we take (or don’t take) in life and consequences of our choices. The story’s protagonists Lincoln, Teddy, and Mickey had all been scholarship students at a small liberal arts college in Connecticut in the late 1960s. In a campus […]

Stories from the Kitchen: The Joy of Cooking by Elissa Schappell

After reading A Bunch of Broccoli on the Third Shelf last week, I immediately put a request for Lara Vapnyar’s Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love at the library. And now I’m going to do the same for Elissa Schappell’s Blueprints for Building Better Girls from which The Joy of Cooking is taken! […]

Maigret and the Ghost by Georges Simenon

It is winter in Paris, and Maigret has just arrived at home in the dead of the night to catch up on sleep after wrapping up rather a difficult case. However, Maigret’s plans are shattered when Inspector Lapointe visits him at daybreak to inform him of a shooting that has happened on Avenue Junot. Inspector […]

Stories from the Kitchen: A Bunch of Broccoli on the Third Shelf by Lara Vapnyar

In A Bunch of Broccoli on the Third Shelf, Nina is a Russian immigrant living in Brooklyn, New York. Nina had developed a fascination for vegetables soon after she arrived in America – she still remembers being delighted by the sight of “colorful piles of oranges, tomatoes, cucumbers” outside a small Chinese grocery store in […]

My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education by Jennine Capo Crucet

In My Time Among the Whites, Jennine, through a series of autobiographical essays, dissects what it means to be a first-generation minority college student and the excitement and confusion that came with it, not just for her, but her family as well, while also exploring other topics. From the moment I read about Jennine’s trip […]

Stories from the Kitchen: Short Friday by Isaac Bashevis Singer

Before Short Friday I had never read anything by Isaac Bashevis Singer or even heard of him. Isaac is a Nobel Laureate and a notable author in Yiddish literature, who incorporated his orthodox Jewish roots into his writings despite identifying himself as a sceptic. Like many of his stories, Short Friday revolves around a struggling […]

The End of the World and Other Catastrophes Edited by Mike Ashley

When the British Library Science Fiction Classics series first came out, I planned on going through them in the order they get published. But ever since I received The End of the World and Other Catastrophes, I’ve been itching to read it. With catastrophic disasters striking more often nowadays, and the increase in the likelihood […]

Stories from the Kitchen: A Kitchen Allegory by M. F. K. Fisher

As she chopped herbs and sliced asparagus and poured boiling water and added the magic dash of brandy to the mixed soft meat, she kept thinking, but not in a frantic way at all, about never seeing two more people again… All she wanted to do was make them full of her love, her food, […]