My French Life – Vicki Archer
Australian Vicki Archer and her family, consisting of a husband and three kids, fell in love with a dilapidated farmhouse in France, while on a vacation. In course of time, they bought the farmhouse and had it renovated. The family would then shuttle between Australia and France, building up many memories along the way. My French Life is a coffee table book about the family’s days in the French farmhouse, including the process of renovating it and bringing back its lost orchards to life. The author also speaks about the various aspects of their life in France, from the architecture to the women and the weather. Photographs by Carla Coulson, the author’s friend, supplement the story.
The book made for a great light read, I would say. The story is enchanting, and the photographs are simply beautiful. The author and her family seem to lead a grand life, shopping at the best places, hiring the best of craftsmen, using the best of products, and so on. In that sense, it does read like a fairytale, a fable of the charmed life of a family. All in all, the book is a visual treat. It made me long to visit France at least once in my lifetime.
If you like reading about places (and looking at pictures of them, too), go for the book!
The Language Of Baklava: A Memoir – Diana Abu-Jaber
The author grew up in Jordan and the US of A, with a childhood and adulthood that was rich in memories and food. The Language Of Baklava is a about her transition from childhood to adulthood, with a lot of food thrown in. Her jovial father, Bud, ensured that she had a lot to write about, for sure.
The book made for an great read. I loved how the author has interwoven recipes with anecdotes from her life – they take the story forward and make it all the more richer. The life incidents that the author has chosen to narrate are interesting, and some of them are downright amusing. I loved the way the author has brought out the various shades of the characters that have been a part of her life.
My only grouse with the book was that the end seemed quite abrupt. It seemed as if the author was in a hurry to wrap the book up, and ended it in a few short paragraphs. The passion, the wry humour, the warmth that is there throughout the book seemed to be missing towards the end.
This is a lovely light read, which will keep one entertained throughout. Go for it if you like memoirs, especially of the foodie kind.
Have you read any/both of these books? What are your thoughts about it/them?
What are you reading at the moment?