My summer reading from National Book Store (two books for me and five books for Sophia which I didn’t order, but they sent as a present. They must have read this).
The other day I received the best summer loot from National Book Store. I had ordered Katie Couric’s book “The Best Advice I Ever Got” as soon as Katie and her friends tweeted about it – the likes of Maria Shriver, Ellen De Generes and Ryan Seacrest. It got me curious. So I ordered from National Book Store right away. They have a very efficient system. Just ask customer service and they can order any book for you. Or better yet, join their Facebook page.
Before ordering Katie Couric’s book, I had already placed an order for Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, “My Father’s Daughter.” Yes she cooks. She did a series with Mario Batali about cooking. She did a travel show. And her website Goop.com gives some of the easiest recipes. I was excited about the cookbook because, well it’s no secret I love everything Gwyneth. Shoot me.
The recipes are easy and very doable. But I’m forced to buy fancy vegetables like artichoke – which I like eating but don’t know how to cook. She also recommends vegenaise, a no-cholesterol vegan mayonaise. She’s not vegan but she prefers this over mayo. I also noticed a lot of granola and oatmeal dishes for the kids.
You don’t have to be a Gwyneth fan to like this book. Like I said, the recipes range from fun and easy to scary like duck confit. It’ll be a blogpost if I get to that level. I’ve never liked cooking before. I wish my parents allowed me to be in the kitchen as a child. My brother was daring enough to cook eggs at a young age. Now he hosts dinners with really complicated and sophisticated food. I love his cooking and he loves doing it. It took me forever to appreciate the kitchen. The past couple of years though – with maids and cooks coming and going – I decided to take control, once in a while. And the few times I’ve cooked in our kitchen have turned out to be really pleasant treats for my family. And I’ve even surprised myself that I love the process of cooking. Maybe it’s because I drink while I cook. Patrick eats “too much” when I cook. And the kids rave about the stuff I make – Lily loves “green pasta” which is pesto-based, Sophia loves my shepherd’s pie and potato au gratin, Stella goes nuts over my macaroni and Patrick loves my risotto (I make it the Jamie Oliver way). Lily, who is my most expressive child, said to me the other day, “You are the best Mummy in the world because you cook the food that I love.” (She says Mummy when she’s emphatic, otherwise it’s just Mom or Mommy).
Back to Gwyneth’s cookbook, I’m excited to try her Seafood Paella (Spanish Mama Style), Sole a la Grenobloise (which seems simple enough as it just has butter and lemon), Whole Roasted Fish with Salsa Verde, Sweet Potato Ravioli (I don’t know about making my own fresh pasta but I’ll try), Vietnamese Prawn Sandwiches and Cheesy Stuffed Burgers. This could be the start of a new me. A new mama.
Now Katie Couric’s book was a surprise. I’m not a fan of self-help and inspirational books. I don’t have the time and I just cringe at all that. So when I opened it and saw that it was a compilation of notes and essays from her famous friends, I initially thought, “What a rip off. This isn’t a book.” But when I started reading it, I got hooked. I loved reading about how people with extraordinary lives got to where they were, and about how they love what they’re doing. It was a big surprise when I found out that all profits of this book will go to fund Scholarship America – to help kids pay for college. I wish we could do something like that here!
Here are some excerpts from Katie’s book:
Life Is Not a Recipe:
“Whatever you choose to do with your life—whether it’s running a company or cooking dinner—stand for something you know is true. If there’s a recipe for success, it’s staying real and true. Which reminds me: Life is not a recipe. Recipes are just descriptions of one person’s take on one moment in time. They’re not rules. People think they are. They look as if they are. The say, ‘Do this, not this. Add this, not that.’ But, really, recipes are just suggestions that got written down.”
—Mario Batali, chef and restaurateur
Life Is a Series of Happy Accidents:
“Sometimes you just have to learn to get out of your own way. I know there are a lot of folks out there who are hoping for some words of wisdom or keys to the kingdom or that I might let them in on the Big Secret. So I will defer to Carol Brady, who in her infinite wisdom once said, “Find out what you do best and do your best with it.”
—Jane Lynch, Emmy Award-winning actress and comedian
“Find a way to say yes to things. Say yes to invitations to a new country, say yes to meet new friends, say yes to learn something new. Yes is how you get your first job, and your next job, and your spouse, and even your kids.”
—Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google
Patrick and I are consciously going back to reading books – real books. Our iPads are full of so much reading material. I must have more than 20 Zinio annual subscriptions. But reading from the iPad and reading magazines on it have sort of turned me a little impatient and distracted. I wasn’t appreciating or retaining information. So now we are buying real books again. And over breakfast instead of swiping our iPads we are turning pages. It feels good.
I highly recommend these two books. And check them out in National Book Store because they almost always have lower prices than the other bookstores.
Feel free to share your summer reading here… I’m curious to know what you’re reading now.
(Re-published from http://daphneosena.livejournal.com)