Abby and Gretchen's Picks
Abby and Gretchen's Picks

 Abby's Picks

Just My Type by Simon Garfield. Just My Type is a great title for this entertaining book about fonts.  Yes, I used the word font and entertaining in the same sentence.  Garfield explores the art and function of type along with the history of font development.  How do the letters f and l flow together on the page?  Is a certain font readable at high speeds if you are in a car?  How about designers going with different fonts (such as the Paris subway system where each stop has its own typeface) or do you prefer the New York City system where the entire system uses the same font?  Whatever your preference, fonts are everywhere and this books adds fun and interesting insight into the print world around us.

"Helvetica" -DVD Documentary. Because it wasn't enough for me to just read about fonts, I also watched this documentary on just one font: Helvetia.  An indepth look at this commonly used font and its many nuances.  Also provides interesting insight into the development of fonts and individual biases.  The reasons Helvetica is universally loved and adopted are the same reason it also has haters.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Lisa Abend. Chef Ferran Adrià restaurant elbulli has been praised as the world's greatest restaurant. What intrugued me about the book was less the food than the organizational structure. The apprentices refered to in the title are talented chefs from around the world who pursue the opportunity to work in elbulli for 6 months for no money. They are willing to put their lives on hold and work grueling hours to observe Adrià's methods, learn how to develop recipes, and decide how they will, or will not run their own kitchens some day. Most think it is worth it, but not always.

Catherine The Great by Robert K. Massie. Massie continues to develop our understanding and appreciation for russian history with this latest book.  The court of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia comes alive as you learn of her rise to power and enlightened approach to leading her nation.

Burn Down The Ground by Kambri Crews. This memoir opens with Kambri's charasmatic dad writing to her from prison asking for money. Are you ready for some dysfunction?  There is plenty of it here. Kambri Crews grew up in Texas the hearing daughter of deaf parents.  While there are stories that make you wonder how Kambri was able to successfully survive her childhood, there are also some fascinating insights into the deaf culture.  The Deaf Community enjoy a rich culture filled with pride and strong connections making the perfect topic for another book on the subject.  Clearly, humor helped Kambri through the rough times. A great book for fans of The Glass Castle and yet another Texas woman Mary Karr, author of Liar's Club and Lit.

11/22/63 by Stephen King. This massive book caught me at page 1 and held me until the end.  Playing with revisionist history and exploring the emotional of the assasination of JFK, King provides us with a scenario that asks if we had the power to alter history would we do it?  Should we do it?  What may seem clear cut decision, often is not.

Gretchen's Picks

Pink Smog: Becoming Weetzie by Francesca Lia Block.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman.

The New Laurel's Kitchen: A Handbook for Vegetarian Cookery & Nutrion by Laurel Robertson.

How to Cook Everything Veg by Culinate, Inc. (iPad app)

Epicurious Recipes & Shopping List by Conde Nast Digital (iPad app)