Well, yesterday was rainy in Charleston, so we're going to give her one last shot today to show us her best side. In the meantime, what's better on a rainy day than a few good books? I haven't been reading quite as much during this trip as I expected I would. Mostly I think, because I'm afraid that I won't be fully embracing my own experiences if I'm getting lost in someone else's. But still, I've gotten some reading in on the long days of motoring down the ICW or at night when it gets dark so ridiculously early.
One of the books I've finished recently was Shauna Niequist's Bread and Wine. I was so excited to have won this book from Kelsea's giveaway back in August. With all the chaos going on then, I had to put off reading it for a little while. I've confessed before that I've never been quite comfortable in the kitchen, and I haven't yet mastered the arts of a natural hostess. Reading Bread and Wine, a combination of recipes and the stories and memories behind them, really left me wanting to try harder at not trying so hard. Shauna Niequist has a desire to love people through food and through welcoming them to her table, and I love when she says, "I'm not talking about cooking as performance, or entertaining as a complicated choreography of competition and showing off. I'm talking about feeding someone with honesty and intimacy and love, about making your home a place where people are fiercely protected, even if just for a few hours, from the crush and cruelty of the day."
The other book that I've finished recently was Paris in Love by Eloisa James. With my newly developed love for adventure, I've been drawn more to travel memoirs of late. This book reads like a personal journal; little bits and snippets from daily life of a year spent in Paris. Mixed among the descriptions of chic Parisian women and delectable treats at French restaurants, are hilarious things that her kids said, and mistakes, mishaps, and disappointments, too. I've never been to Paris, so you can imagine that I have a pretty romantic notion of it. I appreciated the reality check of seeing it through someone else's memoirs. It's not the kind of book that I wanted to read in one sitting, but I would pick it up and read a few passages whenever I wanted to escape to Paris for just a little while.
Oddly enough, both books left me with a strong desire to learn to make the perfect risotto. Random coincidence? I've never even attempted risotto before, and now I'm both intimidated and intrigued by the idea.
What good books have you read lately? Have you read either of these? Also... have you mastered risotto?