Episode 12 of “Cooking The Books” Podcast Now Available!

The latest episode of my podcast "Cooking The Books" just dropped and it's a good one! We're talking South American politics, poetry, and the joys of the humble and sensual tomato, so check it out at: https://anchor.fm/cookingthebooks/episodes/Pablo-Nerudas-Ode-to-Tomatoes-and-the-Sensual-Pleasures-of-Tuna-Stuffed-Tomatoes-eockfo https://anchor.fm/cookingthebooks/episodes/Pablo-Nerudas-Ode-to-Tomatoes-and-the-Sensual-Pleasures-of-Tuna-Stuffed-Tomatoes-eockfo

The Heartbreaker by Susan Howatch

You wouldn't normally think that the Church of England would make for scintillating reading, but you'd be sooooooo wrong if you start reading the "Church of England" series written by British author Susan Howatch. I stumbled across one of them going on 15 years ago now, and was hooked. The series is broken up into … Continue reading The Heartbreaker by Susan Howatch

REPOST – Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

I originally posted this blog in May 2017.  Today marks two years from the date that my idol Anthony Bourdain died. One of my biggest culinary influences, as well as someone who changed my worldview in general, I loved, respected and honored his work and who he was as a human being. I hope you … Continue reading REPOST – Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell

I found The Fifth Gospel to be quite a great read, fast-paced and adventurous, but with a fascinating historical and Biblical premise as the storyline. It's simple - a Greek Catholic priest living in The Vatican must defend his brother, also a Greek Catholic priest but one attached to the Pope's staff, who is accused … Continue reading The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell

Ode to Tomatoes (A Poem) by Pablo Neruda

I don't know about you, but I've never been big on poetry. The rhythm and meters necessary to appropriately read poems just bog me down. I love hearing poetry read by someone who understands how it should be enunciated, but when I try to read poetry, either in my head or out loud, I sound … Continue reading Ode to Tomatoes (A Poem) by Pablo Neruda

Lisette’s List by Susan Vreeland

I went into this book expecting a nice, escapist type of read as I recovered from minor outpatient surgery this past weekend. It was recommended by two friends of mine as a book filled with art and food and set in France, and both of them were sure I'd love it. I minored in Art … Continue reading Lisette’s List by Susan Vreeland

The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

If I could have any set of books with me on a desert island, I'd choose the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, the Johannes Cabal books by Jonathan L. Howard, and The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series by the one and only Carlos Ruiz Zafon. This mysterious, lyrical, dark and yet oddly uplifting series, set … Continue reading The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Secret Supper by Javier Sierra

The Last Supper, that immortal painting by the equally immortal Leonardo da Vinci, always fascinated me, even as a child. Just looking at it takes you into that world, sitting beside Jesus, watching the disciples react to the news he would soon die, and noticing the amazing details of the work itself. Reading The Secret Supper … Continue reading The Secret Supper by Javier Sierra

Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

I was first given the book Winter's Tale by a woman who worked with me in a law firm,  several years ago. She was an odd woman, claiming to be psychic and in touch with - in her own words - "the universal forces." She was a practicing Wiccan, though it turns out she was … Continue reading Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Very much a fairy tale for adults, Neverwhere tells the story of Richard Mayhew, a London commuter who stops to help a young woman lying bleeding on the sidewalk one night, and finds himself in the alternate universe of London Underground. The parallels with Alice in Wonderland are fairly obvious - falling into an underground … Continue reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman