Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mystery Meat, Fisher, Bones

Day 46 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project.

The books arrived from Sweden! I refer to the 3 very-popular-now-in-English mysteries by Stieg Larsson, mentioned in earlier blog entries, including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

They came in a green padded envelope from Lund with cool Swedish stamps on them from a friend of mine (though we've never met in person) who is a cook, and the books are in Swedish. I have delivered them to another friend (definitely in person), whose husband is of Swedish descent and who can actually read Swedish, and who just had 2 Swedish houseguests who came into the store and found one of those big Swedish-language books published in Chicago for the early immigrant population there.

My Swedish cook friend got these paperback editions in a used bookstore walking distance from her house (or biking distance, as everyone rides bikes there--I've seen videos of her town on Youtube!), and she also sent me a tour book, in English, on Lund, trying to get me to visit, I'm sure. I gave the cool Swedish stamps to my stamp-collector boss.

We sent Anna-Lisa (the Swedish cook) 2 books from Babbitt's and 2 books from the annual library sale, 3 of them related to food and cooking. While she didn't want fiction, I did send her what looked like a charming book, with some "mystery meat" in it, in a plastic bag in the freezer, by Bill Richardson, Bachelors Brothers' Bed & Breakfast, which had poems & recipes & book comments all tossed in saladwise to journal entries. I have stayed in some B&Bs and vacation homes where you get to sign a guestbook, at length if you want, telling about your experience there. Sweet idea for a book.

The other two food-related books were by or about M.F. K. Fisher, fabulous essayist and foodwriter! We sent As They Were, essays that capture travel, history, personal experience, and food, and the link at Fisher's name also sends you to other books at Amazon, and we have Fisher books still at Babbitt's. My cook friend will also receive M.F.K. Fisher and Me: A Memoir of Food and Friendship by Jeanette Ferrary. It looks like some readers question the motives of the writer in befriending Fisher late in life, and others see this as a tender rendering of a feisty honest woman who might sometimes be as annoying as that masterful guy on Hell's Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares, but Anna-Lisa tells me that, as infuriated as he gets and as infuriating as he can be, he knows what he is talking about when it comes to kitchens and food.

I do not. If I ever write a cookbook, it will be about the various ways to burn things, or melt the outside of the microwave. But I do like to eat, and I am getting pretty good with vegetables.

Meanwhile, my friend with the Swedish husband, Julie, is reading 3 mysteries somehow related to books and bookstores, in preparation for writing some mysteries of her own!

And, to top it all off, Anna-Lisa's uncle plays the creepy psychiatrist in the Swedish film versions of the Larsson books!

Bon appetit! (Or shall I say "bone"?)

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