What to Read on the Subway This Week: 3/18
“All-natural” might be a trend, but these books and websites will have you thinking about nature in a deeper way.
Join novelist Barbara Kingsolver as she attempts to eat (and farm) in a deliberately old-fashioned way, then eat well with Simply Scratch and the Splendid Table. Finally, enjoy Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s novel about a damaged woman with an affinity for plants rather than people.
On Your Kindle
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver
In this highly praised book, Kingsolver explores the process of eating locally with her husband and children after they decide to turn the family’s inherited farm in rural Virginia into a permanent home. Kingsolver, the author of the fictional bestseller The Poisonwood Bible, handles the fish-out-of-water narrative with subtlety and humor, rather than ecological zeal. If you’re looking for a gentle, funny memoir, you’ll love to spend the seasons with this book.
On Your Smartphone
Looking for simple recipes with an emphasis on cooking from scratch? Check out this fun blog! I love the way each recipe’s ingredients are shown from start to finish in clear and understandable photos. Blogger and mom Laurie says that she is “on a mission to find and create recipes” that are less processed and more kid-friendly. From Lemon Blueberry Cake Loaf to Easy Homemade Chicken Soup, you’re sure to find something yummy to eat.
On a Podcast
Learn about the latest cookbooks and culinary trends with the Splendid Table podcast. My favorite episode? The “Olive Oil” episode (#500) that aired back in January. The host interviews journalist Tom Mueller, author of Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, about the controversies surrounding the classification of olive oils. Is your pricey bottle the real thing or an imposter? Mueller dishes on the real story behind our favorite brands.
The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The Language of Flowers opens with this striking line: “For eight years, I dreamed of fire; Trees ignited as I passed them, oceans burned.” The novel’s narrator, Victoria Jones, is an isolated and violent 18-year-old who has spent her life in the foster system. Unable to connect with others, Victoria is obsessed with flowers and horticulture. Will she be able to construct a life for herself? And what mystery lurks in her childhood? Diffenbaugh’s work is richly layered with floral references and uses the Victorian tradition of assigning specific meanings to plants as metaphors for Victoria’s personality and her dark past.