On My Bookshelf

The Help; Vibrant Food; All The Light We Cannot See; Pillars of the Earth

On My Bookshelf for April:

The Help  |  Set in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960’s, a young socialite determines to write a book about what it is like to be a black maid in the South. This is an amazing book, but especially for those of us in the Foreign Service who live in countries where household help is the norm. Are we all that different from the “white folk” in this book?  |  “Every morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision. You gone have to ask yourself, ‘Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?'”

Vibrant Food  |  I choose my cookbooks based on the quality of the photographs, and this book is chock-full of beautiful photos featuring colorful, seasonal ingredients. It is a bonus when the recipes are just as wonderful as the photos! My favorite is the Summer Squash Pasta With Green Goddess Dressing.  |  “Celebrating the Ingredients, Recipes, and Colors of Each Season”

All The Light We Cannot See  |  The lives of a blind French girl and a young German soldier become intertwined in occupied France as they both deal with the devastation of WWII. The book is so exquisitely written, I didn’t want it to end.  |  “You know the greatest lesson of history? It’s that history is whatever the victors say it is. That’s the lesson. Whoever wins, that’s who decides the history. We act in our own self-interest. Of course we do. Name me a person or a nation who does not. The trick is figuring out where your interests are.”  “But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don’t you do the same?”

The Pillars of the Earth  |  Set in 12th century England, this story follows the lives of those involved in building the largest Cathedral in the world. Since we currently live in Europe, where every city, village and town has amazing churches and cathedrals, this was a fascinating look into what went into the construction, from the actual architecture to the struggle for power.  |  “Having faith in God did not mean sitting back and doing nothing. It meant believing you would find success if you did your best honestly and energetically.”

What are you reading this month?

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