Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Two books I've read recently, worlds apart.

The first is the second book that I've read by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She is undoubtedly an amazing woman and hearing her interviewed was the reason I sought out her autobiographical work Infidel. I had thought Nomad would talk more on her life since the closure of her last book, but it does not.

I'm honestly not sure what I think about this book, it's both disturbing and alienating, focussing on prejudices and fear and I found it hard to read. It is really an analytical book discussing Hirsi's thoughts on Islaam and what it is to be a Muslim, two things she thinks of as very different. It was interesting, but I found its tone disturbing.

The second book, Amacord by Marcella Hazan, could not have been more different. For me this book was as enjoyable as one I read last year about Alice Waters. If you know not of Marcella Hazan but love Italian food and culture, then perhaps this is a good place to start your education. She is a home taught Italian cook who made a life in both the US and Italy, ran a cooking school for many years from very humble beginnings and went on to pen many cookbooks, quite Classical, two of which I've referred to often.

I enjoy reading about people I've admired, albeit from afar, particularly those who share passions similar to my own. She has lived a very full and interesting life. She has always appeared to have taken challenges head on, had a wonderful husband who supported and shared her dreams. A gentle, unchallenging but completely fulfilling read.


Anonymous said...

after researching marcella hazans c/books i discovered a lovely way to eat
just picked green beans from our garden - "pesto genovese"using our homemade pesto.
will have a look see at "books for cooks" in gertrude st fitzroy - see if they have any copies of her book "essentials of classic italian cooking".
thanks so much victoria!

PlumStitches said...

the second book sounds like something i'd enjoy. the first one too, but for different reasons. i'll have to check them out...