Currently Reading

We're closing in on the end of 2017 which means, amongst other things, that I'm worried about falling behind on my annual GoodReads reading goal of 52 books for the year - but no worries, I'm at 45 so far and given my current state of unemployment I feel pretty positive about hitting the mark in the next few weeks.  Here are some highlights from the last month, in case you've got any reading needs (or book gifting needs!) of your own.

By far the best book I read so far this year.  I can't get my hands on all the rest of the Zadie Smith canon fast enough.  Lovely writing, great ensemble set of characters, and perspectives into several worlds and points-of-view that we don't see often enough.  I read it while in France on our honeymoon and I couldn't put it down.  Recommended for everyone.

I meant to get through this coffee-table-worthy guide to Paris written by Lindsey Tramuta of Lost in Cheeseland before we went to Paris, but wedding festivities got in the way and instead I read it longingly from our living room upon our return.  I'm not going to lie - I might have built an entire Google Map with all of her recommendations for the next time we trip over to Paris.  I was most pleased to see a recommendation for Le Peloton, a cycling cafe in the Marais we lazily wandered into one morning after stuffing ourselves with croissants. Recommended for the modern traveler.

I kept seeing this book in bookstores and on Best New Book lists, so I picked it up even though I knew nothing about the writing or the writer.  Set in the 1970s at the tail end of the Vietnam War and the beginning of the modern feminist revolution, Eastman Was Here follows war reporter and novelist Alan Eastman as he makes comical self-sabotaging decisions one after another, trapped in an outdated masculine identity of his own fantasy-based making.  It felt like a modern response to the Updike and Roth books of yore and while Alan is the protagonist, the writing definitely respects the women as much, if not more. Recommended for fans and non-fans of the mid-century American male novelist genre.

I have loved Laurie Penny since reading Unspeakable Things a few years ago, and this was a humdinger of a read on very current politics and gender philosophy.  Her chapters on love, dating, relationships and marriage were especially prescient having picked it up several days after getting married and having some internal issues reconciling my new role in society as someone's wife with my longstanding role as fiercely independent careerist lady. Recommended for anyone writhing at the one year anniversary of last year's election.

I started getting into perfume some years after getting into wine (which came some years after getting into food) and reading Alyssa Harad's memoir on discovering perfume whilst getting married (whilst I was also getting married!) really brought all three endeavors together for me as the culmination of increasingly complex interest in palate and sensory experiences.  We spent an hour in a perfumery in Geneva shortly thereafter, discussing notes and source materials with a proprietress, and walked out with a dozen samples and new daily scent and it could not be more a romantic honeymoon memory.  Recommended for the pleasure seeker.