We can think of plenty of excuses to unglue ourselves from our keyboards during the summer, and reading on the beach (or wherever, truly) is one of them. Sure, our team reads about food and drink when we’re not working, but many of us like to indulge our other interests like great fiction and Amy Poehler.
And as always, we would be remiss not to remind you that our summer issue makes for ideal beach reading as well. Soak it up.
Jesse Hirsch: Gulp by Mary Roach
I don’t typically read books about food (Reichl’s memoirs are an exception). I get enough of that in daily life, so I typically seek out novels in my down time. That said, Mary Roach’s book on the science of eating and digestion is so weird and entertaining that I’m making an exception. I just finished a section on human tasters of wet cat food.
Ruth Temianka: The Shepherd’s Life by James Rebanks
This book was recently gifted to me and I’m determined to make time to read it this summer. Written by a British shepherd based in the UK’s Northwestern Lake District, this is a tale of traditions seemingly removed from city life. Yet Edible is a case in point for how tied we all are to those traditions, even if city dwellers don’t necessarily feel obliged to abide by them. I’m hoping to find a home from home in those pages, even if my young New York roots find themselves temporarily transplanted to sandier soils.
Emma Cosgrove: The Third Plate by Dan Barber
I have been crawling through this lengthy read for months now chpping away at it a chapter at a time (it’s long — but great! — but long). Barber offers lovely stories about the day to day efforts, ideas, failures and successes of his farm and restaurants and really puts the reader inside the values and decisions that have shaped his food and his place in the world. But, somehow I’ve read Amy Poehler’s Yes Please three times in the same handful of months… hmm.
Tove Danovich: Fruits of Eden: David Fairchild and America’s Plant Hunters by Amanda Harris
My mother still clearly remembers the first time she ever tasted a kiwi (she was in her twenties), yet today the idea of these formerly exotic fruits not being available in the produce aisle is unthinkable. Fruits of Eden is the story of how it all came to pass. Botanist David Fairchild and others travelled the world sending shiploads of plant samples (some more useful than others) back to the United States where attempts were made at growing them in an entirely new climate. These brave plant explorers helped figure out that wasps actually were quite necessary for growing figs and brought favorite foods like mango and avocado to North America. For a book about historic botany, it’s a page-turner and a great read to accompany a beach picnic.
Sari Kamin: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer
I’ve been spending more time on planes than beaches lateley, which is bad for my work time, but good for getting reading done. Right now in the midst of Anthony Doer’s epic novel All the Light We Cannot See. This sweeping story follows the journey of two seperate characters during World War II: a blind girl in France, and a 15 year old boy in Germany attending a training school for soldiers operated by the Third Reich. Both plots are equally compelling but I am dying to find out if and when they will intersect! The language is gorgeous and if you’re a sucker for historical fiction like I am, this book will definitely appeal to you.
Yvette Cabrera: Blindness by Jose Saramago
I spend the majority of the year reading academic articles, so when I get the chance to read some fiction I’m all over it. This book was recommended to me by a couple of people so I finally decided to delve into it. Saramago writes about a blindness epidemic that starts with one man and quickly spreads like a disease to an entire country. There are times when you are utterly repulsed and other times when your faith in humanity is restored. The scary insight into human nature in a time of disaster will keep you turning the pages.