Thursday, August 11, 2016

Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent

So Many Books, So Little Time

Working at the library we are obviously surrounded by books. With many returned books come book suggestions. With book suggestions come more book suggestions and sometimes even movie suggestions. Many times patrons tell us,

 “You have to read this book. It’s the best I’ve ever read!”

If I have read the book and enjoyed it, a lively discussion ensues. If I read the book and did not care for it, I invoke my two favorite comments:

1.) It’s well written :) Hopefully his/her next novel’s material will be more to my liking.
2.) I wanted to like the book but…

Just ask my book club friends they will tell you I use the first comment frequently during our monthly discussions.

If I have not read the book and it sounds appealing, I place it on my Goodreads app. Currently I have 172 books on my ToRead list within the app. I just need 172 weeks to read them all! So really I shouldn’t be looking for additional books to read, but I just can’t help myself.
Sometimes a book is quietly returned without any fanfare. I wonder if the book was finished, liked, disliked…

Last Thursday, Dinner with Edward: the Story of an Unexpected Friendship by Isabel Vincent (2016) was returned. As I went to reshelve this new nonfiction book, I read the back cover: a memoir of food, NYC, and friendship - what could be better? I had to give it a try. Ignoring my reading lists, I took the book home. During the course of my busy weekend, I read the book with the not-too-long and not-too-short chapters and fell in love with the book and with Edward. Each chapter begins with a menu for their weekly dinner that will be consumed when Isabel visits her friend Edward on Roosevelt Island. Each menu sounds wonderful. My only wish would be that the author had included recipes as so many of my favorite cozy mystery writers do. A cocktail and “catching up” discussion are always part of each chapter as well as some background allowing us to understand Edward and Isabel's current discussion.

Although fiction, A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson remind me of this sweet story. When asked for my current favorite, I will suggest Dinner with Edward.

~ Ann-Marie Sieczka
August 10, 2016

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