Literary Eats

porridge

Now, here’s some food for thought. Literally!

Do you plan your cooking around your reading? Do you plan your reading around your eating? Or do they never correlate in your mind?

I must confess, it isn’t something I thought a lot about until I recently was catching up with Elise Bishop, one of my former college professors/bosses. She’s a regular blog reader, and when I told her I was always open to blog post idea suggestions, she told me I ought to write about the connection between literature and food. Thanks for the great suggestion, Mrs. B.!

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Chigozie Obioma’s The Fishermen (2015)

the-fishermen

In the mid-1990s in Akure, Nigeria, 9-year-old Benjamin lives with his 3 older brothers, 2 younger siblings, and his parents. Their lives are going smoothly enough until their father is transferred to another city for his job at the national bank. He doesn’t want to uproot the family, so they stay in their home, and the boys develop a love for fishing at the local river. One day, a local mentally-ill homeless man, who some consider a prophet, predicts that the oldest brother will be killed by one of his siblings. This prophecy destabilizes the family as the oldest brother becomes paranoid and withdrawn and his mother and younger siblings are hurt and confused by his rejection of them.

But is the prophecy true?

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Jussi Adler-Olsen’s The Keeper of Lost Causes (2007)

the-keeper-of-lost-causes

Copenhagen detective Carl Mørck has been having a bad year. After being shot at a crime scene with his two associates, he is back at work but relegated to a basement office with the dubious distinction of being head of a new cold case department that consists of him and an assistant who seems to have a tentative grasp of the Danish language. He regards the new assignment as a punishment and responds with remarkable apathy. That is, until his realization that he can’t really pretend to be busy “setting up his office” anymore makes him actually pick up his case files. He randomly decides on a missing person case–the disappearance five years earlier of a rising young politician, presumed to have accidentally fallen off a ferry–as the subject of his first investigation. At first, his interest in the case is cursory at best, but then he starts to note inconsistencies and develop questions about the circumstances surrounding the disappearance. . . .

As I’ve mentioned a couple of times on this blog (here and here), I really enjoy Scandinavian murder mysteries. For that reason, Carol Ann suggested this book to me a few months ago and highly recommended it. Most of my previous Scandinavian crime excursions have been Norwegian, but I’m glad I broadened my horizons, comparatively speaking, with this Danish mystery. Thanks for the great suggestion, Carol Ann!

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Ask The Blogger: Harvey (1950)

Harvey

A few months ago when our blog first debuted, we hosted a “meet the blogger” reception at the library to boost patron awareness and also to provide readers with a forum for suggesting topics/books/movies for me to write about. One of the people I chatted with that day–Stephanie–asked me if I’d ever watched the classic comedy Harvey. When I told her that I knew the basic story line but had never seen it, she requested that I write about it.

Harvey is one of those movies that I’ve always heard about. I knew it starred Jimmy Stewart and that he has an imaginary friend, a giant rabbit. But that was about all I knew about the film. I’m glad Stephanie recommended it to me because it’s hilarious!

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Ask The Blogger: Mr. Holmes (2015)

Last month, we debuted the “Ask the Blogger” series, in which I answer reader questions/review reader-recommended material. This post comes courtesy of Carol Ann, who suggested I review this recent movie because it’s wonderful but under-appreciated.

cover

I actually remember seeing some advertising for this movie when it came out, made a mental note that I should see it, and then forgot about it until I read the request Carol Ann submitted. I’m glad she suggested it because she’s right–it is a great movie that more people should see.

I should probably preface this review by admitting that I am a devoted Sherlock Holmes fan. I’ve loved the character since I was a kid. In fact, I own several different editions of the complete works of Sherlock Holmes, and I’ve read all the stories twice–once in the order they were published and once in a sequence that someone proposed representing the chronology within the stories themselves. (I realize that makes me sound like a complete dork–and there’s some truth to that accusation–but it was actually an interesting experiment in watching a series evolve. I have no regrets.)

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Ask The Blogger: What 3 Books Would You Take To A Deserted Island?

One of the most important reasons the Berryville Public Library decided to create a blog is we wanted to provide a form for conversation with our patrons. To that end, I’m more than happy to take requests and suggestions for items to review and topics to discuss.

I’ve already received several great recommendations of things to review and write about, and I decided to start this series of posts with the first suggestion I received, from Kris. (Thank you again, Kris!) At our blog launch reception on January 19th, she asked me what three books I’d take with me to a deserted island, so here’s my answer:

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