The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenga

Un uomo mediterraneo. Doesn't that have the loveliest ring to it? It translates from the Italian to "a Mediterranean man" but it means so much more than that bland phrase. Un uomo mediterraneo is elegant, dapper, romantic, tips his hat to ladies, dresses immaculately, does not rush through life but rather meanders joyfully, enjoys all … Continue reading The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenga

Episode 3, Season 2 of “Cooking The Books” Podcast Now Available!

My latest podcast episode just dropped and it's a hilarious one, filled with lots of laughs, an in-depth discussion of Shakespeare and food, the dubious merits of Mel Gibson's rendition of Hamlet. My guest, the witty, intelligent, extremely handsome and wonderful cook and author Giovanni Franceschini and I swap cooking methods, he creates an impromptu … Continue reading Episode 3, Season 2 of “Cooking The Books” Podcast Now Available!

Jane-Emily by Patricia Clapp

A day after Halloween, I am rereading some classics from my childhood and I thought it would be fun to focus on one of my favorite scary books from when I was quite young, and one that still has an effect upon me to this day. Childhood fears are less insidious than those we learn … Continue reading Jane-Emily by Patricia Clapp

Circe by Madeline Miller

Western culture is by definition patriarchal. You see it in our art, our music, our religion, our family genealogy, our rituals, our language, and of course, in our literature. Much of our culture is predicated on what we learned from ancient cultures such as the Hebrews, the Romans, the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons; and particularly, the … Continue reading Circe by Madeline Miller

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Horror in any form is always subjective because what is horrifying to me may not be frightening to someone else. I think that's why there is such diversity within horror - after all, anything can become scary if given the right context and circumstances. Personally, I love the horror genre because it's an excellent way … Continue reading Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Episode 17 of “Cooking the Books” Podcast Now Available!

The latest episode of my podcast "Cooking The Books" has dropped and it's a really great one, featuring an in-depth discussion about grief and how humans deal with the process of grieving in relation to one of the most frightening and dark books in literature, and a method for making the ultimate comfort food - … Continue reading Episode 17 of “Cooking the Books” Podcast Now Available!

Episode 16 of “Cooking The Books” Podcast Now Available!

Episode 16 is a raunchy and hilarious discussion of Philip Roth's coming-of-age novel Portnoy's Complaint and one of modern literature's horniest and most neurotic young men, his mommy issues and his great love of "self-servicing," and this delectable apple-banana cake, so give it a listen at: https://anchor.fm/cookingthebooks/episodes/Portnoys-Complaint-and-the-Onanistic-Pleasures-of-Cream-Filled-Apple--Banana-Cake-evpb6a https://anchor.fm/cookingthebooks/episodes/Portnoys-Complaint-and-the-Onanistic-Pleasures-of-Cream-Filled-Apple--Banana-Cake-evpb6a

The Master’s Apprentice by Oliver Pötzsch

We are all familiar with the age-old concept of selling your soul to the Devil, right? I think all of us, at one time or another have had that secret desire to wish for and get our soul's deepest desire and even considered to what lengths we would go to have our heart's greatest wish. … Continue reading The Master’s Apprentice by Oliver Pötzsch

Episode 15 of “Cooking the Books” Podcast Now Available!

Episode 15 of my podcast "Cooking the Books" has dropped and it's a good one! We're traveling to post WWII Barcelona and exploring a mysteriously alluring Cemetery of Forgotten Books, searching for a scarred man in black with a secret in his past, and making a deliciously decadent Spanish appetizer, so please give it a … Continue reading Episode 15 of “Cooking the Books” Podcast Now Available!

Episode 14 of “Cooking The Books” Podcast Now Available!

The latest episode of the "Cooking The Books" podcast just dropped, so give it a listen! We're talking the Godfather of Goth literature and my own literary boyfriend, Edgar Allan Poe, his unique and fever-dream style of writing, the Spanish Inquisition, and trying out a tasty Spanish-inspired pork dish in an Amontillado-cream sauce, so check … Continue reading Episode 14 of “Cooking The Books” Podcast Now Available!