Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

I am officially late the party in regards to praising Anthony Bourdain’s writing. I’m disappointed that it was only in his death that I came to know his writing.

Upon the announcement of his death, my coworker circulated his article “Don’t Eat Before Reading This” to our office. Up to that point, I had never read any of this writings or watched any of his shows. (If you haven’t read the article, read it here.) His book, Kitchen Confidential, is an expansion of the article. His book is a mix of memoir and restaurant expose. He would probably cringe at the expose part, because as he points out throughout the book, he is simply stating the truth. He is giving his readers an actual, first hand account of what it was like to work in various kitchens through 1970s-1990s.

His stories are hilarious. He is unafraid to poke fun at himself or his contemporaries. After I started the book, I began to watch episodes of his show No Reservations. I highly recommend this because after watching two or three episodes, I began to read the book and would hear his voice as I read it. His diction and syntax are so unique when he speaks and he wrote in the same way he speaks.

If you like to cook, fancy yourself a chef or just love food, then you need to read Kitchen Confidential.

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The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Dr. Anna Fox is a child psychologist who is suffering from severe agoraphobia. Anna spends her day drinking heavily, tossing back medications and watching black and white films. Her husband and daughter have left her. She spends almost all of her time isolated and alone. Her days are punctuated by visits from her psychiatrist and physical therapist. She watches her neighbors, following their lives through her window.

Anna witnesses a murder and finds herself engaged with the outside world for the first time in almost a year. However, no one believes what she says and she’s not even sure she believes herself. Could she have imagined what she saw? She has spent the last 10 months slamming Merlot with high powered medications that induce hallucinations while watching film noir. Even Anna recognizes her lack of credibility in the eyes of the outside world and has her doubts.

It is a book that you do not want to put down once you start reading. With every revelation, the reader is drawn further into Anna’s world. The Woman in the Window is a thriller that does not disappoint.

Circe by Madeline Miller

I have always been a fan girl of Greek and Roman Mythology. I love the story of the Gods and how they would influence the lives of humans.

Madeline Miller tells the untold story of Circe. Circe was banished by her father’s ally, Zeus, to spend her immortal life in exile on the island of Aiaia after she dares to show her true power. Circe is known in Greek mythology for turning men into pigs and being one of the many lovers Odysseus took on his journey home. However, Miller gives life to Circe and a depth to who she was as never told before. Circe is immortal. A daughter of a Titan but she is different than her peers. She longs for companionship and has a fascination for humans. She cannot help but return to them, even when she is injured by them time and time again.

Circe is our narrator and guides the reader through her life and provides more fleshed out stories to the traditional myths. The female narrator is a refreshing change in this re-telling of the Greek myth. If you love mythology, you will love this story.