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What Food is Typically American?

I’ve been reading American Cuisine: And How it Got This Way by Paul Freedman. It delves into the history of “American” cuisine and how it was shaped by the country’s history. As can be imagined, there are many factors involved in this evolution, from the various cultures and backgrounds that are the heart of America’s … Read More

Food Fiction at Carr

“Food fiction” is a broad genre that can include nuances of other categories such as humor, mystery, romance, history, self-reflection, etc. The list is endless. As a foodie, I’m always interested to see how an author can weave food or cooking into a fictional narrative. Sometimes it can be subtle touches, such as the celebrity … Read More

Gingerbread Memories

I love the spicy-sweet aroma of gingerbread baking in the oven. It permeates the whole house and lingers pleasantly afterwards, marking the arrival of the holiday season with its delicious scent. For me, it truly doesn’t feel like Christmas has arrived until I have made my gingerbread house. My aunt and I started making gingerbread … Read More

Spook: Scare Yourself Silly this Halloween

Although ghoulishly entertaining, Spook is ironically not about the supernatural happenings of the spirit world as its title eerily suggests. Instead, famed science writer Mary Roach takes a fresh approach in her investigation of the afterlife, delving into scientific explanations of “life after death.” As with Roach’s other books, it is a fun, fact-filled romp … Read More

Unlikable Characters

Does a book’s main character always have to be likable? If you think back on your favorite main characters, many were almost surely ones you liked, or at least admired or related to on some level. Even villains are sometimes not totally unlikable, especially when they have a powerful quality or a character flaw that … Read More

Finding Humor for Emotional Strength

In Diem Perdidi by Julie Otsuka, the narrator recounts her experiences dealing with her mother’s Alzheimer’s progression. Alzheimer’s is an unforgiving, unpredictable disease. Periods of lucidity are contrasted with periods of confusion. Memories are conflated in a cruel time-traveling continuum, as short-term memory is often erased, but long-term memories remain. As with all terminal illnesses, … Read More