Posts Tagged ‘Triumphant’

Julie and Julia: My year of cooking dangerously

June 16, 2010

Author: Julie Powell

Title: Julie and Julia: My year of cooking dangerously

Genre: nonfiction, memoir, best-seller

Publication Date: 2005

Plot Summary:

Just like you should always do your grocery shopping on a full stomach, you should not read this book until after you have eaten. Powell’s delectable descriptions of her cooked meals are short, succinct and sexy. In this memoir, Julie Powell is a women stuck in the vicious circle of temp jobs after failing (or not even really trying) to be an actress in New York. On her latest hysteric breakdown, her husband, encouraging to a fault, suggests she do something that she actually likes, cooking, for example. Julie decides to start a blog about cooking through every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The book is cynical, hilarious, self-obsessed and triumphant. For all you horror genre lovers out there, Julie has to stalk lobsters through the boroughs of New York and murder them with knives and boiling water, while they wiggle their innocent little tentacles at her and try to jump the grocery bag.

Subject Headings:

Food Writing; Humore Writing; Autobiography; Memoir; Julie Powell; Julia Child; Women Cooks—anecdotes; French Cooking; Food Habits; Marriage

Appeals: cynical, hilarious, self-obsessed, triumphant, sexual, intimate, urban, dramatic, accessible, profanity, witty, unhurried

3 words to describe book: cynical, funny, appetizing

Read a likes:

Fiction

The School of Essential Ingredients – Erica Bauermeister

This novel tells of a cooking class that takes place at a restaurant where the students learn that they need more than just recipes and become involved in each other’s lives. This is if you like a more literary pick.

Cooking for Mr. Right – Susan Volland

At a similar age as Powell, a Seattle chef has a quarter life crisis because of her recent pink slip and break up, so she decides (once again, like Powell) to cook up a scheme to redeem her life.

Deep Dish – Mary Kay Andrews

The Cooking Channel is hiring. Gina wants the job. So does Mr. Kill It and Grill It. He is the ideal candidate, but Gina knows she can take him on… or turn him on? For foodies that also like romance.

Nonfiction

Mastering the Art of French Cooking – Julia Child

A given. Julia Child’s French cook book for American housewives without servents. The book that Julie Powell cooked out of.

My Kitchen Wars – Betty Harper Fussell

If you like historical fiction, this would be a next step. Fussell writes about her personal war with the place of women during and following WW2.

Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris

Sedaris, a humorist writer, remembers his days living in Paris as an American. (Julia Child also moved to Paris as an American, which is where she started writing Mastering the Art of French Cooking.) The book is similarly a humorous memoir like Powell’s.

Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child

June 24, 2009

Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child

Author: Elva Trevino Hart

Title: Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child

Genre: Nonfiction

Publication Date: 1999

Number of Pages: 236

Geographical Setting: Texas, migrating to and from Minnesota

Time Period: 1950’s-

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: Barefoot Heart is a vividly told autobiographical account of the life of a child growing up in a family of Mexican immigrants who worked as migrant workers to feed their six children. In 1953, when she was only three, her parents took the family from Texas to work in the fields of Minnesota and Wisconsin for the first time, only to find that in order to comply with the child labor law they had to leave the author and her 11-year-old sister to board in a local Catholic school, where they pined for the rest of the family. Hart remembers other years when the entire family participated in the backbreaking field labor, driven mercilessly by Apa (her father), who was determined to earn enough money to allow all his children to graduate from high school. Apa not only achieved his goal but was able to save $2000 so that Hart could enter college, a step that led to her earning a master’s degree in computer science.

Appeal: Fascinating, Triumphant, Proud, Struggle, Dignity, Beautiful, Picturesque, Driven, Elegant, Passionate, Heartfelt, Powerful, Extraordinary.

Subject Headings:

Hart, Elva Trevino

Mexican-American Women-Autobiography

Mexican-Americans-Biography

Mexican Americans—Social life and customs

Migrant farm workers

Migrant farm workers-Social conditions

Boarding School students-biography

Family relationships

Poor families

Minnesota

Texas

Autobiographies

3 terms that Best Describe the Book: Heartfelt, Powerful and Triumphant.

Three nonfiction titles:

Forged Under the Sun: the Life of Maria Elaena Lucas=Forjada Bajo el Sol by Maria Elena Lucas, edited and with an introduction by Fran Leeper Buss.

This is the oral history of a Chican farmworker. The story begins in Texas and follows Maria to Illinois. The narrative takes the reader through Maria’s struggles with poverty, and her involvement with the Farm Labor Organizing Committee. This also is the struggle of a women and the struggles regarding  her family.

Salaam, Stanley Matters by Subrata Dasgupta.

Arriving in Britain from Calcutta, this book is a similar migration of a child to an unfamiliar destination and the family struggle of survival and triumphs.

Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy by Carlos Eire

This novel compares to Hart’s memoir, this book tells the tale of Eire’s childhood, a survivor who describes his family’s conflicts and the impact of the Cuban Revolution on his family.

Three Fiction Titles:

Watercolor Women, Opaque Men by Ana Castillo.

This novel tells the story of migrant farm workers. Ella the main character moves to Chicago and raises her son by drawing on all her personal experiences, to be different from all the men around them.

Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez.

This story takes place in Vermont where a family of Migrant Mexican Workers. Mari, the oldest daughter of her migrant family, lives in constant fear of being discovered by the authorities and sent back to the poverty they left behind in Mexico.

The Mexican Chubasco by Roberto Haro.

This is the fictional story of the Mexican Revolution seen through the eyes of a wealthy landowner. Even as a fictional tale, this is a great way to gain a little historical insight to why many Mexicans have migrated to the United States looking for a better life.

Annotation By: Allison Robins