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Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lauren Owen: IMG The Other Vampire



It's a wild and thundery night. Inside a ramshackle old manor house, a beautiful young girl lies asleep in bed. At the window, a figure watches... Continue »

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Customer Comments

ehrrinkeenan has commented on (5) products.

Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller
Ad Hoc at Home

ehrrinkeenan, February 17, 2010

I've long lusted after a meal at one of Thomas Keller's restaurants, and it remains one of my dining goals in life. This is the first time I've read one of his cook books, but I'd heard that this one was especially geared to the home cook. It is amazing. At first I was put off by the gargantuan size, but then was thankful for every page and every inch. It's lovely, instructional, inspirational. Someday French Laundry/Per Se/Ad Hoc/Bouchon, you will be mine. Well, one of your meals will be.
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(7 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)



Out by Natsuo Kirino
Out

ehrrinkeenan, February 5, 2010

I'm not quite sure how to rate this one. I thought it was well-written, and was distinctly Japanese (which I both like, and find to be just different in a way that I'm not sure how to verbalize, but made me wonder about what the national tone of American literature is). I also found it to be incredibly disturbing and just utterly brutal.

We discussed this at one of my bookclubs, and lots of themes of class, cultural differences and prejudices, feminism, etc. came up. Great discussion book.
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(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)



Momofuku by David Chang
Momofuku

ehrrinkeenan, February 5, 2010

When reading cookbooks I usually read the foreword to get a sense of the author's perspective and philosophy, and then page through the recipes, reading here and there when something strikes me. But, I read David Chang's Momofuku book cover-to-cover, and thought obsessively about it when I wasn't reading it--like I would an engrossing novel. The book is set up that way--it's the story of how the Momofuku empire came into existence, and, more fascinatingly, how the dishes evolved. Chang's love...more When reading cookbooks I usually read the foreword to get a sense of the author's perspective and philosophy, and then page through the recipes, reading here and there when something strikes me. But, I read David Chang's Momofuku book cover-to-cover, and thought obsessively about it when I wasn't reading it--like I would an engrossing novel. The book is set up that way--it's the story of how the Momofuku empire came into existence, and, more fascinatingly, how the dishes evolved. Chang's love of the food and reverence for his ingredients is palpable.

Even though I'm (mostly, with the recent exception of occasional seafood) vegetarian, and Momofuku incessantly insists on celebrating meat, and even though many of these recipes are beyond what one could achieve even as an ambitious home cook, I just love this cookbook! There are several places where Chang really goes into incredible detail in tutorials so that even if you've never tried what he's doing, and never even considered trying it before, you'd have a tough time not doing it right if you follow his careful instructions.

I can imagine he's extremely difficult to work with, and his references to frequenting strip clubs made me think that he's likely a bit of a tool at times, but I have no doubt in his brilliance as a chef and innovator. I've been a little obsessed with trying the Momofuku restaurants since I saw Chang featured on the food porn episode of "No Reservations" with Anthony Bourdain last year, and reading this book just kicked my desire up to a frenzied pitch. Must get to NYC asap, and make several Momofuku stops.
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(6 of 14 readers found this comment helpful)



Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession by Julie Powell
Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession

ehrrinkeenan, February 5, 2010

I read Julie Powell's book Julie & Julia (and also saw the movie), and liked it a lot (and liked it a lot, maybe loved it).

So I was excited to read her latest book. But, then I read a horrid review on Salon.com describing Cleaving as just the worst kind of self-indulgent drivel and the cruelest (to her loving husband) account of her affair. And, it was those things. But also, it was a fascinating tale of her learning to be a butcher (even as a vegetarian a bit squeamish about meat, I was enthralled). And also a fascinating--and uncomfortable--recounting of her obsession with her lover, and her desperate, often drunken, search of her own motivations. She literally travels the world trying to find herself, under the guise of exploring the world of meat. And, in the end she does find a bit of understanding, but everything also remains up in the air--as life tends to.

I think I also liked this book because she reminds me so much of a dear friend I will not name--even while, no *because* I was frustrated with her choices, and wanted to scream a pleading "NO!" many times.

The whole thing is just very honest and raw, funny and nerdy, sad and relatable. I liked it a lot.
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(8 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)



Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
Everything Is Illuminated

ehrrinkeenan, January 2, 2010

My favorite book of the 00s, and favorite debut novel. It has a little bit of everything--magical realism, history, horrible sadness, hilarity. The story centers around the novel's "hero" who, coincidentally, shares the same name as the author--Jonathan Safran Foer. The hero travels to the Ukraine to find the woman that helped his grandfather survive the Holocaust. Along that search we learn of his family history, and that of his unintentionally hilarious translator, his family, and how they intertwine.

Nothing I can write will really do justice to this surprising and remarkably original work of fiction. Just read it already!
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(5 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)



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