If I am not baking, I’m reading. January List.

January 15, 2013 | By matt | Comments

I live in New York (er…Brooklyn) and it is January and I intend to spend the bulk of my time either baking or reading. There is not much else to do. Well, there is always something to do in New York, but compared to December, January feels like a long, cold, wet hangover. So, while everyone is “cycling” and eating frozen yogurt (it’s like 1993 all over again), I am going to order a seasonal affective disorder light, pull up a pint of ice cream, and catch up on my reading.

I wish I had it in me to start a proper Baked Book Club, but I would fail out of the gate (it took me 9+ years to finish The Power Broker). The least I can do is recommend a few new (and classic) books that I absolutely love and I hope you’ll love and if we run into each other in the future we will have something to talk about besides food (by the by, I am perfectly fine discussing just food, but it might be nice to chat about books and food…we will sound so smart). And feel free to offer up any reading suggestions you have in the comments section. Always looking for new reads. By and large, these books go well with dessert (I suppose all books go well with dessert), and we have added them to our Baked Library (scroll to bottom of book page), which we will try to update more often.  Without further pause, my favorite reads for January 2013:books_1

  1. Spillover. This is a non-fiction book about future viruses/infections that makes the current flu epidemic look like a minor allergy. And, according the book, it is only a matter of time before a monkey bites a bat that bites a human (or something like that) and then our blood will boil and we will run screaming into the ocean. Suddenly, all those doomsday preparer shows don’t look so ridiculous. The book reads like a fast-paced Stephen King novel and it should be noted that I have slept all of 6 minutes since finishing the last chapter. And look at the cover…just look at that cover.  Evil monkeys will rule the world…
  2. Where’d You Go, Bernadette. This is decidedly lighter than Spillover. For that matter, everything is lighter than Spillover. I bought the book solely because the author wrote for Arrested Development (yay) and I was pleasantly surprised to laugh consistently page after page. Without giving too much away, Bernadette spends her days making fun of Seattle and to some degree Microsoft. It is funnier than I just made it sound, so please read it.
  3. The Round House. Just the read this book. You won’t be disappointed. It is definitely one of the best books I have read in years and you will recommend it to everyone because it is so good. And intelligent. And thoughtful. It is being compared to To Kill a Mockingbird which is not fair to either author, but it gives you the idea of the company this book keeps. The Round House is a novel about a tragic event that happens on an Indian reservation and it is told through the point of view of a young narrator. Again, I don’t want to give too much away, but the writing is transformative, the story moves along at a rapid pace, and you actually feel like you are gaining brain cells by reading it. books_2
  4. Behind the Candelabra: One, this book is about to become a movie with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon. Two, the loose story is about Liberace’s lover, Scott Thorson, and it is juicy: Michael Jackson makes an appearance, Liberace asks Scott to get plastic surgery to look more like….Liberace. There is more. A lot more and it will make your brain hurt (I have read this book twice…and I am not sure why). Three, I don’t know why this book is so expensive…guess it was a limited run, but if the publisher brings it back (please!!!) I can envision Fifty Shades type sales figures.
  5. Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief: This is a big event book which promises to examine Scientology with a fair and balanced eye. I haven’t read it yet (I know, I shouldn’t be recommending books I haven’t read), but it is next on my list. And I loved the excerpt in The New Yorker. And the Author won a Pulitzer, so it can’t be all that bad. Part of me just wants to flip to the index and search for Beck (speaking of which, remember when Madonna was into Kabbalah…is  that still happening?) but I expect I’ll end up reading the whole thing.
  6. Creamy and Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter: I haven’t read this book either. Bought it on a whim and well…I do love peanut butter. I was the kind of kid that used to scoop it from the jar into my mouth in heaping spoonfuls. So, I will read this book on my next plane trip and hopefully, I’ll learn something.

And, again, please let me know if you have anything I should be reading. Always on the lookout for a good recommendation.

  • Mark Neufang

    LOVED “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” Great read. As you said, I kept laughing with every page. Witty, fun read. Thanks for the recommendations. January is the perfect month for catching up on some reading!

  • Mark Neufang

    You should check out the book “Eat Cake” by Jeanne Ray. It’s fiction and sort of a fluff read – and I guess it could be called chick-lit, I suppose, but I think you will enjoy how the heroine of the book runs to baking cakes whenever she needs to ‘get away’. It’s written better than a lot of similar-style books.

    • brooklynbaker

      on my list. thanks for the rec mark.

  • And just when I was looking for some new books to read…I haven’t read a non-cookbook for a few years! Yay. 🙂

    • brooklynbaker

      go read The Round House right now. and Spillover if you have the stomach for it…

      • Oh! Stephen King is a fave, so I should be able to handle it. However, I already have an overwhelming desire to cover myself in Purell!

  • great recs! that liberace book looks too good to be true.

    • brooklynbaker

      nick, it is kind of the most amazing thing i have ever read…hope the movie is good.

  • Cristina price

    Don’t ask questions but if you love books with a weird plot, think Alice in wonderland meets Rambo, then start reading jasper fforde ant the Thursday next books. You will thank me!,,,,

    • brooklynbaker

      you had me at Rambo meets Alice in Wonderland 🙂

  • Linda

    Where’d you go, Bernadette and the Round House are about to be added to my reading list. Both sound appealing. So does Creamy & Crunch, but I’m feeling more fictiony than non-fictiony right now.

    The cover of Round House looks like it is bacon at first glance. I got a little too excited about that.

  • Laurie

    Don’t miss these 2 by Hilary Mantel: Wolff Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. They are about the reign of King Henry the 8th as told thru the eyes of his right hand man Thomas Cromwell. I couldn’t put them down.

    • brooklynbaker

      i have had wolff hall on my list for at least a year…can’t wait to read it.

  • Maddie

    I’ll definitely be adding these to my reading list! Creamy & Crunchy sounds perfect, since peanut butter is pretty much the best thing ever. I just finished reading The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami, and it’s such a quick read and super good! Some of the stories in it are strange, but it really makes you think!

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