November 30, 2016
| Vicki Lorini
Editor's Note: Looking for a gift for a reader on your list? The CapRadio Team has some recommendations: http://www.capradio.org/events/capradio-reads/holiday-gift-selections-2016/
Thanksgiving is behind us, but Christmas is just around the corner, so I want to give you at least one more choice for a gift for the readers on your list. If there was one book that stood out this year, other than one written by Anthony Marra that is, it would be Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. As book club people, you probably read Her Bel Canto years ago. She has had many great books since, but Commonwealth is really quite un-Patchett like, and therefore, even more interesting. The book starts out in 1960's Los Angeles. Beverly and Fix Keating are having a christening party for their new daughter Franny. Fix is a local cop and a man he barely knows, Bert Cousins, married, shows up uninvited, with a bottle of gin as a gift, kisses lovely Beverly, sparking an affair, and the two families are off to the races. It's a domestic story in the loosest sense of the word, and Commonwealth plays a large part. Virginia, where the Cousins family lands, is of course a Commonwealth, as is the larger nature of our country, and a portion of population considers themselves a Commonwealth, but Patchett lets her readers decide what is meant by the title. There are hints throughout the book, but insights gained by the reader are just that, clues. It's a novel alive with provocative suggestions, but Patchett gives her reader credit for being smart and intuitive, so she doesn't give too much away. This book is for the smart, intuitive readers on your list. Beware, they may disappear after opening it, and not reappear until they have finished the book.
November 23, 2016
| Vicki Lorini
As the holidays come closer, I'll continue my quest to help you find the perfect book people on your list. If you are anything like me, when you go into a bookstore to buy a gift, you usually come out with something for yourself too. If you decide to buy a cookbook, there is no harm in thumbing through it, before wrapping it up. You may find the perfect appetizer for your holiday party, or the perfect dessert to add to your Thanksgiving table. Who knows, you may even find the perfect cookie to give as yet another gift for another recipient, so go ahead and peak at this short list of the best cookbooks of the season.
My first best choice would be for the brand new Dorie Greenspan book called Cookies. Dorie is responsible for one of my all time favorite cookies, The World Peace Cookie. I love it so much, I prepared them when we hosted author Meg Waite Clayton. That recipe is available online, but this new book of delicious recipes, I'm sure will have many more cookies that will become old favorites.
Another very special new cookbook this year will be Cooking for Jeffrey by television chef and personality Ina Garten. Garten's books always are gorgeous to look at, and her recipes are quite easy and good for a person who likes to give dinner parties, but also wants to enjoy her guests. The menus are thoughtful and designed to please. Just ask Ina's husband of many years, Jeffrey.
The last cookbook I would suggest, might be good for a young person, just getting started in the kitchen Alton Brown's Every Day Cook is fun, but also great at taking a novice through the "why" of cooking technique. It would be equally fun for an experienced cook, looking for some new ideas.
Whatever you choose, I'm sure it will be appreciated, and maybe there will be a cookie in your thank you note! Bon Appetit