What I’m Reading Lately

Last week we (me, B, K) took a road trip up to Canada for our summer vacation. We drove up through Boston, into Portland ME, and hopped on an overnight ferry cruise to Nova Scotia before trekking further up to Prince Edward Island where we spent a few peaceful days relaxing.

With all the driving and ferrying I had plenty of time to read. Here’s what I’ve been reading both on my Kindle app (for iPhone/iPad) and real paperbacks.

astonish me maggie shipstead

Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead. I read this on Kindle. It is a ballet story that follows young dancer Joan throughout her life as she moves from being a professional ballerina to being a mom and wife and all the drama that comes in between. She has a brief and passionate fling with a Russian dancer in her early days that follows her throughout the story.

Review: As soon as I got into the book, about 2 chapters in, I couldn’t put it down. I did ballet growing up and ballet stories have a special place in my heart. Very well written and a very engaging story. Even if you don’t love ballet you will love this book. (I will admit that in the beginning of the book, when I wasn’t really sure what direction the story was going to take, I was slightly paranoid that some horrible tragedy was going to happen – thankfully it didn’t.)

flirting with french by william alexander

Flirting with French by William Alexander. Another Kindle book (which I started on the subway). A true story in which William sets out to master French, the ever-elusive language of romance… it turns out to be harder than he thought.

Review: It took me a few days to read this but once I got going I couldn’t stop. I too would love to become fluent in French, but it is massively difficult. Admittedly, I haven’t put in the effort that William has. If you like languages you will love this.

missing mom book joyce carol oates

Missing Mom by Joyce Carol Oates. I picked this up simply because I miss my mom. I got it in paperback at a store in Charlottetown, PEI. This is a story of a woman, Nikki, who loses her mom tragically and suddenly when she (Nikki) is 31. It follows Nikki over the year after her mom’s death as she grows and changes and her life continues on.

Review: This was my first book by Joyce Carol Oates and it will not be my last. What a beautifully written (descriptive but not flowery) and engaging story. I couldn’t put it down.

paris key book

The Paris Key by Juliet Blackwell. This was sent to me as an advance copy (paperback) and comes out tomorrow (Sept 1). Genevieve Martin moves to Paris after separating from her husband and her uncle dies (it’s her mom’s brother; her mom passed away when Genevieve was a teen) to take over his locksmith shop. She learns about her family’s history while figuring out who she is herself.

Review: I loved the writing and the story. I am a sucker for Paris. I’ll have to check out more of Juliet Blackwell’s books.

What are you reading lately?

Crepes du Nord Review (NYC)

A Very Crêpe-y Dinner

Last night I met up with a good friend from college. I gave him three options and we ended up at Crêpes du Nord down by the World Trade Center. Crêpes du Nord is a French Scandanavian Crêperie and Winebar – the French part is the crêpe and the Scandinavian parts are the “super fresh” ingredients.

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One review said, “Expect vibrant implosions of herbs and delicate wisps of flavor, joining together for a cohesive marriage of zest and texture.” I don’t think the crêpes were quite that descriptive, but they were definitely out-of-this-world delicious! They were also incredibly reasonably priced, and it was a great atmosphere for chatting.

I got the Vegetarian Ratatouille Crêpe ($8) – a savory crêpe made with organic buckwheat flour and wheat flour. It was stuffed with ratatouille vegetables (squash, mushrooms, herbs, spinach, etc…) and the most amazing ricotta. I adore ricotta. (I even eat it for dessert.) The crêpe was topped with ricotta as well. I told myself I wouldn’t eat it all but then I did.

Chris got the signature crêpe, the Crêpe du Nord ($10) – it was the some whole wheat crêpe batter but it was filled with scrambled egg and “dill crême” (?); topped with smoked salmon.

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Do you like crêpes? How often do you see your friends?