Jennifer Homans: Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet
Brilliant and BIG new history of ballet. Cool to be reading this after "The Black Swan."
Zoe Heller: The Believers: A Novel
Fun novel of family dysfunction -- an iconic leftie family (think William Kunstler) in NYC wrestles with truth and and loyalty as the patriarch lies in a coma.
Patti Smith: Just Kids
Patti Smith's style is lean and direct, but she still grabs your heart and soul in this memoir of NYC in the 70's and her lifelong friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe.
Allegra Goodman: The Cookbook Collector: A Novel
I didn't even realize it was a riff on Jane Austin. Well done novel dealing with themes of family, greed, trust and identity during the dot com boom.
Howard Jacobson: The Finkler Question (Man Booker Prize)
Substitute "Jew" for Finkler and you have a biting and hilarious novel about Jews in England.
David Kamp: The United States of Arugula: The Sun Dried, Cold Pressed, Dark Roasted, Extra Virgin Story of the American Food Revolution
How I forgot to read this I'll never know...had a copy on the shelf and overlooked it. A very entertaining and well done overview of the Foodie Revolution. Putting all the players and trends into a time line makes me see how far we've come, and how far we still have to go.
Anthony Bourdain: Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook
The always entertaining Tony Bourdain comes to terms, sort of, with aging, old grudges, and the delights of fatherhood. He hasn't totally lost his edge, but there are some knicks on the blade. The chapter on the guy who breaks down 700 pounds of fish every day for Le Bernardin is worth the whole book.
Hilary Thayer Hamann: Anthropology of an American Girl: A Novel
Well, I finished it. And I liked it alot. But then, I love books about bourgeois life where nothing much happens. The writing is sharp and evocative. The story is, I dunno, familiar? Most interesting is the story of how this book went from a self-published effort to a mainstream book. Kudos to HTH.
Clay Shirky: Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age
A must read for anyone involved with social media or who is left breathless by the pace of change in our world.