Driving Hungry: A Memoir
Product rating: 4.2 with 22 reviews
A delicious memoir that takes us from Buenos Aires to New York to Berlin as the author, driven by wanderlust and an unrelenting appetite, finds purpose, passion, and unexpected flavor.
After putting her dream of opening her own restaurant on hold, Layne Mosler moves to Buenos Aires to write about food. But she is also in search of that elusive something
that could give shape to her life. One afternoon, fleeing a tango club following a terrible turn on the dance floor, she impulsively asks her taxista to take her to his favorite restaurant. Soon she is savoring one of the best steaks of her life and, in the weeks that follow, repeating the experiment with equally delectable results. So begins the gustatory adventure that becomes the basis for Mosler’s cult blog, Taxi Gourmet
. It eventually takes her to New York City, where she continues her food quests, hailing cabs and striking up conversations from the back seat, until she meets a pair of extraordinary lady cab drivers who convince her to become a taxi driver herself. Between humbling (and hilarious) episodes behind the wheel, Mosler reads about the taxi drivers in Berlin, who allegedly know as much about Nietzsche as they do about sausage. Intrigued, she travels to the German capital, where she develops a passion for the city, its restlessness, its changing flavors, and a certain fellow cab driver who shares her love of the road.
With her vivid descriptions of places and people and food, Mosler has given us a beguiling book that speaks to the beauty of chance encounters and the pleasures of not always knowing your destination.
Posted in Memoirs Tagged with: Driving, Hungry, Memoir, Pantheon
The Novel Habits of Happiness: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel (10)
Product rating: 4.4 with 48 reviews
The insatiably curious Edinburgh philosopher and amateur sleuth Isabel Dalhousie returns, taking on a case unlike any she’s had before—this one with paranormal implications—in the eagerly anticipated new installment of Alexander McCall Smith’s beloved and best-selling series.
Through a mutual acquaintance, Isabel is introduced to a six-year-old boy who has been experiencing vivid recollections of a past life, which include a perfect description of an island off the coast of Scotland and a house on the island where he claims to have lived. When the boy’s mother asks Isabel to investigate, Isabel naturally feels inclined to help, and so she, her husband, Jamie, and their son, Charlie, set off for the island. To their great surprise, they actually locate the house that the boy described, which leads to more complicated questions, as Isabel’s desire to find rational explanations comes up against the uncanny mystery unfolding before her. It’s an extraordinarily delicate situation that will require all of her skills, as both sleuth and philosopher, to solve.
Back home, as she begins to prepare the next issue of the Review of Applied Ethics, Isabel confronts a threat to her professional well-being in the form of two visiting academics—Lettuce and Dove—who she fears will be a destabilizing influence on her cozy perch in enlightened Edinburgh.
But no matter the trials she faces, Isabel is blissfully content in her personal life, which is centered on her young son and devoted husband. Readers will be filled with happiness as they once again spend time with their beloved heroine and the people she holds dear.
Posted in Contemporary Women Tagged with: Dalhousie, Habits, Happiness, Isabel, Novel, Pantheon
The Dust That Falls from Dreams: A Novel
Product rating: 4.3 with 9 reviews
From the acclaimed author of Corelli’s Mandolin, here is a sumptuous, sweeping, powerfully moving new novel about a British family whose lives and loves are indelibly shaped by the horrors of World War I and the hopes for its aftermath.
In the brief golden years of the Edwardian era the McCosh sisters—Christabel, Ottilie, Rosie and Sophie—grow up in an idyllic household in the countryside south of London. On one side, their neighbors are the proper Pendennis family, recently arrived from Baltimore, whose close-in-age boys—Sidney, Albert and Ashbridge—shake their father’s hand at breakfast and address him as “sir.” On the other side is the Pitt family: a “resolutely French” mother, a former navy captain father, and two brothers, Archie and Daniel, who are clearly “going to grow up into a pair of daredevils and adventurers.” In childhood this band is inseparable, but the days of careless camaraderie are brought to an abrupt halt by the outbreak of The Great War, in which everyone will play a part.
All three Pendennis brothers fight in the hellish trenches at the front; Daniel Pitt becomes an ace fighter pilot with his daredevil tendencies intact; Rosie and Ottilie McCosh volunteer in the hospitals, where women serve with as much passion and nearly as much hardship as the men at the front; Christabel McCosh becomes one of the squad of photographers sending “snaps” of their loved ones at home to the soldiers; and Sophie McCosh drives for the RAF in France. In the aftermath of the war, as “the universal joy and relief were beginning to be tempered by . . . an atmosphere of uncertainty,” everyone must contend with the modern world that is slowly emerging from the ashes of the old.
A wholly immersive novel about a particular time and place, The Dust That Falls from Dreams also illuminates the timeless ways in which men and women carry profound loss alongside indelible hope.
Posted in Family Saga Tagged with: Dreams, Dust, Falls, from, Novel, Pantheon, That