Weekend Gourmet: Piedmont (or Misadventures in Beets)

Posted 26 February, 2017 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in musings

Piedmont Logo

Piedmont: Durham, North Carolina

Experience Date: Saturday, February 25, 2017

Price: $60 per person, with wine pairings, four courses

Mr. SFR is up in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina for a period of time due to his job, so I flew out this past weekend to go see him. He made reservations at Herons, which I hope to write a future post on because it was fabulous and magical, and Piedmont which… was not. I don’t think I’ve ever written a truly negative restaurant review here – but if nothing else, Piedmont has inspired me to do that.

Before we get to the food, I’ll start with saying the atmosphere wasn’t great – right off the bat. We were seated upstairs and it seems as if the kitchen doesn’t have enough ventilation because looking across the restaurant there seemed to be a low level of haze.

Next let’s talk service. We ordered cocktails almost as soon as we sat down along with a snack of buffalo brussel sprouts. (I’ll get to the flavor in a moment.) The brussel sprouts came – no cocktails. To be fair the waiter did apologize for the delay. We went ahead and put in our order for the tasting menu – no cocktails. We finish the brussel sprouts and finally – cocktails! Literally two minutes later we get the first course of our tasting menu, which we’re not at all prepared to start because… you guessed it, we hadn’t finished our cocktails. Granted, $60 for four courses, plus wine pairings isn’t super expensive – but it’s expensive enough that I expect the kitchen and bar to be able to properly time out cocktails, food, and wine.

Okay. Let’s talk food. Apparently the prix fixe menu changes monthly. February was beets. Again, to be fair, I’m not overly fond of beets, but Mr. SFR threw down the gauntlet and I accepted the challenge. I’ve had many dishes that featured beets, which in the hands of master chefs, were absolutely delicious. But let’s start at the beginning.

Buffalo Brussel Sprouts

Buffalo Brussel Sprouts
Blue Cheese

As I mentioned, we started with buffalo brussel sprouts with blue cheese. These were absolutely delicious. They were roasted and then I assume, tossed in a buffalo wing sauce with some mild blue cheese sprinkled over it. No complaints here.

Bees Knees
Ramos Gin Fizz

The long awaited cocktails came out and they were absolutely delicious. The Bees Knees had just the right amount of honey and the Ramos Gin Fizz was a new concoction for me, I really enjoyed the heavy cream, citrus, and soda. So far, so good, right?

Rockfish, Green Olive, Beet, Sunflower Seeds, Almond Milk

First course. Since there were no preparation notes on the rockfish I wasn’t sure what to expect. Since the server just dropped off the dish without explaining it, I had to pull out my phone and look at what we were eating again. Luckily I took a picture of the menu. This wasn’t quite a carpaccio – it wasn’t pounded out thin enough. It was raw, however, and the rockfish was largely tasteless. I tried to mix in the green olives and sunflower seeds for flavor, but I found in those bites the green olives completely overpowered everything. Underwhelming, but not bad.

Beets

Slow-Roasted Beet, Scallion, Trumpet Mushroom

Second course was where Piedmont truly lost me. What you’re looking at is literally just a pile of beets. The sauce underneath was okay, but seriously. It’s just beets. Where the scallion and trumpet mushrooms ran off to – I don’t know. But this dish was nothing short of awful. Presentation wasn’t exactly stellar either.

Lamb Mezzalune, Lindale, Beet-jus, Beet Greens, Pistachio

The third course was the main course, and had it not directly followed the pile of beets, it might have been decent. As it was, I was disillusioned by this point. The mezzalune pasta was a little overcooked and the lamb a bit gamey. I thought that with the earthiness of the beet-jus that maybe a beef or even a duck center might have been a better choice as it wouldn’t have been quite as gamey as the lamb. But, the dish was flavorful and the beet greens actually were surprisingly delicious as well.

Beet Cake, White Chocolate, Vanilla

Fourth course: dessert. Now, before we had even started the adventure, I knew that from previous experience that there was no way a beet cake was going to be any good. My own misadventures in beet cake came through an exceptionally terrible Weight Watchers recipe. Still, before things actually got started in earnest, I thought maybe in the hands of a talented chef – even beet cake could be turned around. Well, in the hands of the Piedmont chefs – it could not be. The cake was dry, those red crumbles to the side? Those are beet cookies – and they were completely inedible. I did take the little vanilla frosting dollops off the top and eat those – it was basically butter cream frosting – hard to go wrong with that.

Overall: This will come as no surprise at this point – don’t do it. The prix fixe menu experience – top to bottom – was terrible. Morbidly, I asked the waiter what the seasonal prix fixe menu for March is: rice. I can’t recommend trying that out. What I can recommend is maybe stopping into Piedmont for a cocktail before moving on to somewhere else in Durham for a nice dinner.

That’s all I got, Reader. Anyone else have any misadventures in beets? Maybe yams?

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Faulkner-esque Friday: Lincoln in the Bardo

Posted 17 February, 2017 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Faulkner-esque Friday: Lincoln in the BardoLincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Published by Random House on February 14th 2017
Pages: 368
Goodreads
four-half-stars

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange honest review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The captivating first novel by the best-selling, National Book Award nominee George Saunders, about Abraham Lincoln and the death of his eleven year old son, Willie, at the dawn of the Civil War
On February 22, 1862, two days after his death, Willie Lincoln was laid to rest in a marble crypt in a Georgetown cemetery. That very night, shattered by grief, Abraham Lincoln arrives at the cemetery under cover of darkness and visits the crypt, alone, to spend time with his son’s body. Set over the course of that one night and populated by ghosts of the recently passed and the long dead, Lincoln in the Bardo is a thrilling exploration of death, grief, the powers of good and evil, a novel - in its form and voice - completely unlike anything you have read before. It is also, in the end, an exploration of the deeper meaning and possibilities of life, written as only George Saunders can: with humor, pathos, and grace.

Oh my goodness, you guys. Saunders has completely blown me away with Lincoln in the Bardo. I described it repeatedly to an illiterate co-worker (love you B!) as The Sound and the Fury with ghosts. Saunders creates a beautifully atmospheric novel without sacrificing character development – though – it doesn’t happen the way you’d expect.

This novel is incredibly, well, novel. Saunders creates a world where we are able to see the main players reflected through the eyes of the dead who are obsessed with petty (and not so petty) wrongs that happened to them in life. Thus, they are stuck in ‘the bardo’. When Willie Lincoln dies, we get to see the confusion of a dead child along with the reflections of his father’s grief. What’s so interesting about the form of Lincoln in the Bardo, is that it’s written more like a Greek chorus, with other ‘characters’ explaining the action – rather than us seeing the action.

There are intermittent background chapters that appear to be excerpts from memoirs or history books about what is happening in the world outside the graveyard. Explaining the pressure of the Civil War on President Lincoln, the party that happened prior to Willie’s death, and other general historical snippets to give the rest of the novel context.

The concept of the bardo is fascinating enough it ran me down a brief wormhole of Tibetan death rituals and the such. I may have some future reading about that.

Overall, this is an excellent novel by an author who I believe will be considered one of the great authors of our lifetimes. It has a fresh form, an interesting story, atmosphere, and just generally fantastic writing. This is a book that literary fiction lovers absolutely must check out.

Does this sound too weird for you, Reader? Too hard? It’s definitely not a beach read, but it’s hard reading that I think is totally worth it.

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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M-Mini Reviews: Tournament of Books 2017

Posted 16 February, 2017 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

by Brit Bennett, Francine Prose, Michael Chabon
Published by Harper, Riverhead Books

tournament of books

A weak correlation of books, I realize it, connecting the ‘M’ titles together in the Tournament of Books selections, but time is growing short. Today, I’m going to take a look at MoonglowThe Mothers, and Mister Monkey.

Moonglow by: Michael Chabon

Brief Synopsis: The author’s grandfather makes a deathbed confession about war, love, childrearing, and mental illness.

Brief Review: When a novel starts with the aside: “In preparing this memoir I have stuck to facts except when facts refuse to conform with memory, narrative purpose, or the truth as I understand it.” I know that I’m probably going to have a good time. (This was of course before KellyAnne Conway’s ‘alternative facts’ nonsense, but I digress.) I did find Moonglow to be pretty fun. It jumps around in time quite a bit and has inspired me to want to learn more about Werner von Braun and the Nazi development of rocket.

Brief RatingProbably a solid three stars. Maybe more if you like Nazis and space.

The Mothers by: Brit Bennett

Brief Synopsis: An African-American girl growing up in California survives her mother committing suicide only to get pregnant too young. When she makes the choice to have an abortion, lives change.

Brief Review: Look. The writing in this book is gorgeous. The characters are well developed and believable. The story is interesting and compelling. My issue with this book is the fact that it feels a little preachy. Nadia’s pregnancy and subsequent abortion completely defines who she is through the entire novel. I’ve not had an abortion, but the literature of women who have cite that more often than not, this is not the case (see Katha Pollitt’s masterpiece Pro). Let me be fair by saying that I’m sure that it can be the case sometimes.

Brief Rating: Definitely at least four stars, if it hadn’t been so preachy on the abortion thing, it would have easily been five for me.

Mister Monkey by: Francine Prose

Brief Synopsis: A novel that details pieces of characters lives involved with an off-off-off Broadway production of a children’s musical: Mister Monkey.

Brief Review: While I didn’t find the comedy to be “effervescent” nor the prose to be “breathtaking”, but this novel is unique, if nothing else. I loved how Prose has a chapter told from the point of view of each character, randomly, spiraling farther and farther from the theatre troupe the reader would expect to be hearing from. This book is fun, a little wacky, and weirdly it has its deep and important moments.

Brief Rating: 3.5 stars or so, definitely worth a try, but probably won’t change your life.

The Tournament grows nigh, dear Reader! Are you planning on playing along? How many have you read thus far?

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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For the Birds Mini-Reviews: Tournament of Books 2017

Posted 13 February, 2017 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reading, Reviews

for the birds

The time has come, (the Walrus said), to talk of many things!

Or, y’know, for me to finally get around to writing a few reviews for the fast upcoming Tournament of Books. (The Rooster waketh!) Let’s get started. This is the bird inspired group of mini-reviews.

Grief is the Thing With Feathers by: Max Porter

Brief Synopsis: The sudden death of a wife and mother gives rise to a ‘sentimental bird’, The Crow, joining the family for a period of time.

Brief Review: Look. No synopsis anyone can ever write about this book is going to do it justice. This book is part poetry, part allegory, and all beautiful. This slim book took me completely by surprise. What Porter manages to do with language from the point of view of the husband, the boys, and the crow is nothing short of breathtaking. This is a quick – though not necessarily easy – read. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Brief Rating: Five stars. For sure.

All the Birds in the Sky by: Charlie Jane Anders

Brief Synopsis: Two childhood friends. One drawn to magic, the other to science. When the world goes to hell in a handbasket, will these two work together to save the world, or are magic and science mutually exclusive?

Brief Review: This book is another weird one. It defies all genres. At some points it reminded me of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians trilogy, at other times it was a science fiction, dystopian nightmare. Still, at other times it was a love story. Despite this book pulling me in about a thousand different ways, I still found it ultimately enjoyable. I’d like to recommend it to people who love Harry Potter, science fiction, and dystopian end-of-the-world novels. However, for some of these people it just might pull in too many different directions.

Brief Rating: Three and a half stars. Maybe four.

That’s all I have right now, Reader! What is with Tournament of Books and bird novels? One of my favorites from years past is All the Birds, SingingAnyway, tell me all your thoughts on these two. How do you think they will fare in the Tournament?

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Sunday Salon: Getting Motivated

Posted 5 February, 2017 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in musings

sunday salon books

Hello, friends. I know it’s been a minute since I showed up here. I want to thank all of you for the kind words you sent in response to my Dear Friend post. It was a difficult post both to write and to decide to keep it live. (I apologize for the insane punctuation in it.) I work in a public job where I deal with many different types of people. Some of which might like to use my mental illness against me. I might also harbor thoughts of running for public office one day. Though honestly, in this current political climate and the more I realize about myself as a person, the more I realize my talents may be better used in a non-profit, like NAMI, Freedom from Religion, or the ACLU, rather than elected position. ANYWAY.

I’m trying to psych myself up to prepare for jury trials next week. I have three cases that may possibly go to trial and currently my preparation has been less than wonderful. There are still plenty of hours between now and Monday morning though.

I finally broke my running streak on Friday. For 38 days I ran at least a mile a day, most days more. I feel like my joints are thanking me for it. I think I might go back out today, I need to stay motivated. The endorphins help me, but unfortunately, they’re just not enough. Registration for the 2018 Disney marathon opens up in nine days, I plan to register.

Finally, the most interesting and relevant part to this blog, my reading has been better and more motivated than it was at the end of 2016. I’m working my way through the Tournament of Books titles at a semi-decent pace. I even have some thoughts in the back of my mind on reviews. I just finished Grief is the Thing With Feathers and absolutely adored it. Katie, my maybe, perhaps guest reviewer/future blog partner is working through the titles too – I’m hoping I can peer pressure her into writing some reviews.

That’s the status of things here in the beautiful state of Georgia, Reader. How are you? Are you motivated? How’s your reading? Exercise? Mood? 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Dear Friend

Posted 24 January, 2017 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in musings

Edit: I wrote this in the darkness, hit publish, and went to bed. When I woke up three hours later I regretted hitting the publish button – thinking this would be too alarming for friends and family, or that it would come across as attention-seeking, overly dramatic, or just plain ridiculous. Apparently though, those who did have the chance to view this in those three hours didn’t feel that way. I’ve gotten a number of emails that this meant something to some people. If I can shine a light in the dark to anyone, then I need to do that. I owe that to others who face similar demons and might possibly benefit from this.

–April

Dear Friend,

Perhaps you’ve never known anyone who has suffered from mental illness before. Perhaps you were never close with them. We have become close in recent years. All the same, I’m not sure you understand who I am at my worst.

At my worst, I am sad. But I am also more than sad: I am hopeless. This might seem like semantics — meaningless words, I promise you to me, it is more than that. When I say I am hopeless what I mean is that I live every day of my life with a low grade desire to die. Am I suicidal every day of my life? No. Not really. I don’t have a plan. I have no desire to readily accomplish hurting myself. Would I be upset if a truck hit me or lightning struck me? No. This is not a normal sentiment, yet it is what I live with. All day, every day. I’m not living the dream.

At my worst I tear up in my office. By the time I reach the point of tears, especially tears I show you friend, it’s too late. At my worst I tell you how lonely I am, but it feels like whining. Most days I smile and do my job as effectively as I can. I go to court, flatter opposing counsel, charm court staff, return to my office – close the door and cry a little.

These feelings verbalized, terrify most people. I don’t verbalize them very often – even to myself. I understand that they may terrify you as well. Stick with me, please.

I don’t have cancer, I don’t have diabetes. I wish I did. These diseases are understood, accepted, embraced by doctors – by citizens. No one tells a cancer patient to suck it up, get out of bed, and go to work. No one tells the diabetic they should be ashamed for taking insulin.

I’m okay. I’ll continue to be okay. But it’s a struggle for me. It’s the same struggle that millions of others live with every day. I know I’m not alone. And neither are you.

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Thoughtful Thursday: Commonwealth

Posted 5 January, 2017 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Thoughtful Thursday: CommonwealthCommonwealth by Ann Patchett
Published by Harper on September 13th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Literary
Pages: 322
Goodreads
four-half-stars

One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.
Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them.
When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another.
Told with equal measures of humor and heartbreak, Commonwealth is a meditation on inspiration, interpretation, and the ownership of stories. It is a brilliant and tender tale of the far-reaching ties of love and responsibility that bind us together.

I’ve never been a huge Ann Patchett fan, so I didn’t gnash my teeth too much when I missed out on Commonwealth at BEA. However, when it showed up on the Tournament of Books longlist and after hearing all the praise that had since been heaped upon this novel, I decided to go ahead and pick it up.

Lord have mercy, I am so glad that I did. Commonwealth is a long-game character study in the tradition of John Irving. Patchett manages to render her characters beautifully, despite all their flaws and ugliness. She manages to make the reader care immensely for quite a large cast of characters in an impressively short page span. At a sparse 322 pages, I would have never guessed that Commonwealth could have made me care for Fix and Franny, Beverly, Caroline, Albie, even Bert and Leo(n). (et. al.) Despite the flaws that Patchett lays bare in each character, I found it impossible to really hate any of them. Instead I found even the worst of the characters (Bert, it had to be Bert) beautiful and struggling in his own way. Maybe it’s because I literally do the job that Bert Cousins did, I found his struggle to be at home with the kids and away from work and even his attraction to beautiful Beverly to be incredibly relatable.

This is a domestic novel, but it’s not just a domestic novel. There are many layers to be peeled away in Commonwealth, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. This would be a great selection for a book club.

What about you Reader? I’m late to the game with this one? Anyone have other thoughts or feelings about Commonwealth?

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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If This, Then That: History of Wolves

Posted 2 January, 2017 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

If This, Then That: History of WolvesHistory of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
Published by Grove Atlantic on January 3rd 2017
Pages: 288
Goodreads
three-half-stars

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange honest review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Linda has an idiosyncratic home life: her parents live in abandoned commune cabins in northern Minnesota and are hanging on to the last vestiges of a faded counter-culture world. The kids at school call her 'Freak', or 'Commie'. She is an outsider in all things. Her understanding of the world comes from her observations at school, where her teacher is accused of possessing child pornography, and from watching the seemingly ordinary life of a family she babysits for. Yet while the accusation against the teacher is perhaps more innocent than it seemed at first, the ordinary family turns out to be more complicated. As Linda insinuates her way into the family's orbit, she realises they are hiding something. If she tells the truth, she will lose the normal family life she is beginning to enjoy with them; but if she doesn't, their son may die.Superbly-paced and beautifully written, HISTORY OF WOLVES is an extraordinary debut novel about guilt, innocence, negligence, well-meaning belief and the death of a child.

I want to start with a brief review of Fridlund’s History of Wolves. While I usually love debut literary fiction novels, History of Wolves was a bit of a failure to launch for me. I felt like Fridlund was a little too ambitious with this story. It’s true that the writing is lyrical. She attempts to create an atmosphere that is charged with the feeling something isn’t quite right, but this ultimately fails. The burn is a bit too slow. The juxtaposition between the scandal of child pornography and the family that seems a little too good to be true doesn’t quite come off.

Ultimately, I felt like the narrative push and pull that Fridlund seemed to be aiming for in History of Wolves failed because she was trying to do too much. The atmosphere in the woods, Linda’s school life, home life, and time she spends with the Gardners never really becomes a cohesive narrative. The reader thinks that there’s something slightly off about the Gardner’s, but honestly up until the reveal (which because of heavy handed foreshadowing was completely expected) it’s truly hard to really care.

I think that Fridlund would have been better served to focus completely on the story of Linda and the Gardner’s, cutting out the whole bit about the teacher and her odd upbringing in the commune.

That being said, if you read this book and enjoy it, or even mostly enjoy it I have to point you towards The Children Act, it explores similar themes of the rights of people to their religion weighed against the rights that their children have. It’s a fascinating first amendment discussion for anyone who wants to have it.

So Reader, what do you think? Have you read History of Wolves yet? Does it sound like your kind of thing?

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Friday Musings: A Return to Paper

Posted 30 December, 2016 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in blogging, books and publishing, Reading

I’ve been using a Kindle since the first generation was released in 2007, when it was going for $400. I was stationed in Europe and my parents bought it for me for Christmas that year. I loved it instantly, though being overseas I was unable to use the bitchin’ WhisperNet feature which was disappointing. Since then I’ve owned a few of the other models including the PaperWhite and I currently use the Voyage. I’ve bought Kindles for my husband, my mother, friends, and my sister. I have been a huge proponent of eReaders from the very beginning.

Lately, however, my enthusiasm for my Kindle has waned. I actually bought a couple of dead tree novels (not graphic novels or coffee table books) for the first time in years. I’ve been working my way (slowly) through the books that I picked up at BEA. I’m not sure what exactly has changed after nine years of steady reading on a Kindle. The conveniences of the Kindle are unparalleled, all the books on a tiny device, the backlight on certain models allowing me to read long after my husband has turned out the light, etc.

What has prompted this return to paper? I can’t exactly say. Maybe it’s the insidious creep of technology into all facets of our lives all the time. Maybe it’s the constant staring at screens all day, every day – sometimes even in court. Maybe it’s just simply nostalgia for a simpler time that is unlikely to come again. Whatever it is, it’s sent me into a renaissance of paper books. I was at Barnes and Noble yesterday looking forward to the Tournament of Books 2017 and I bought five…  five hard cover books. They’re more expensive, more bulky, and less convenient than my Kindle but I think I’m going to ride this train while it lasts.

What about you, Reader? I know there are those out there who have never taken to eReaders, is there anyone else who used to love them but now has a craving for paper books again?

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Well Written Wednesday: All That Man Is

Posted 28 December, 2016 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Well Written Wednesday: All That Man IsAll That Man Is by David Szalay
Published by Graywolf Press on October 4th 2016
Pages: 358
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Nine men. Each of them at a different stage in life, each of them away from home, and each of them striving--in the suburbs of Prague, in an overdeveloped Alpine village, beside a Belgian motorway, in a dingy Cyprus hotel--to understand what it means to be alive, here and now. Tracing a dramatic arc from the spring of youth to the winter of old age, the ostensibly separate narratives of All That Man Is aggregate into a picture of a single shared existence, a picture that interrogates the state of modern manhood while bringing to life, unforgettably, the physical and emotional terrain of an increasingly globalized Europe. And so these nine lives form an ingenious and new kind of novel, in which David Szalay expertly plots a dark predicament for the twenty-first-century man.
Dark and disturbing, but also often wickedly and uproariously comic, All That Man Is is notable for the acute psychological penetration Szalay brings to bear on his characters, from the working-class ex-grunt to the pompous college student, the middle-aged loser to the Russian oligarch. Steadily and mercilessly, as this brilliantly conceived book progresses, the protagonist at the center of each chapter is older than the last one, it gets colder out, and All That Man Is gathers exquisite power.

First, funny story about All That Man Is, I remembered hearing about it at BEA. When I saw it on the shelf at Barnes and Noble, I remembered that and picked it up. Last night, I finished it and went to take the dead tree book into the study where the rest of the books are stored when what do I see in my BEA book pile? Yep. All That Man Is. I is very smart.

Anyway, this book was a slow read for me – then again everything has been slow reading for me lately, so the fact that I finished it at all is pretty high praise. Szalay does some beautiful things with his prose, it’s really quite transporting. I think what I enjoyed most about this book was how European it is. I was stationed in Europe for about three years and I went everywhere that I could. A lot of the locations in this book were familiar-ish to me and Szalay’s writing is so transporting it was a little like being back there. At times it’s less a book about aging and growing and more of a travelogue.

The form of All That Man Is is another thing that is worth talking about. I suppose the easiest way to categorize it is to describe it as thematically related short stories. Each story follows a man in a different point of his life, in this way All That Man Is can be compared to Forty Rooms (which is amazing, read it), in that it is an exploration of aging within a particular gender. Forty Rooms spoke to me more, this could be a function of being a woman, but All That Man Is is powerful as well. The one flaw of this book is probably the fact that all the stories focus around white, middle class to rich men so social justice readers may have a hard time with that aspect.

Regardless, this is an incredibly well written and thoughtful book. Check it out.

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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