Books that Refuse to Be Shelved

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Books that Refuse to Be Shelved

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Aug 25, 2007, 7:31 pm

Does anyone else have a small stack of books that you've given up on ever having on your shelf? You know, the ones that you seem to pick up on a daily or ever-other-daily basis? They become like bedding, tucking me in at night--sometimes like toothpaste, I read parts of them to cleanse me, keep me on track... They become comfort food for the head, I guess.

Mine are:
The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov, Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein, The Physiology of Taste by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, and Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges.

Aug 25, 2007, 7:47 pm

the Bible, seriously!

Aug 25, 2007, 7:50 pm

I keep The Art of War in my bag. It's a miniature and whenever I'm confronted with a situation I'm not sure how to deal with, out it comes. It won't necessarily have anything apropos (but sometimes it will), but it will cause me to think coolly and strategically, to start looking at problems from more than one angle. I also take it out when I'm unexpectedly stuck waiting in line or something like that.

The Lucky Shopping Manual always seems to be out. I find it in the car, in different rooms. I've made a home for it in my closet, but we'll see how long it'll stay there.

Aug 26, 2007, 2:37 pm

I love it, citygirl. That's exactly what I'm talking about. I use The Physiology of Taste much the same way.

Aug 26, 2007, 2:46 pm

I looked The Physiology of Taste up and oh! Good writing and food, by a French guy! It's too much. I'll have to get it. BTW, do you have anymore suggestions for food & writing?

Aug 27, 2007, 12:45 pm

You are asking the right person... I am a researcher and content develper for a food writer/personality so I have loads of suggestions.
Of course, The Art of Eating by MFK Fisher is crucial.
Ruth Reichl is very good as well (Tender to the Bone, Garlic and Sapphires), she is the editor of Gourmet.
Michael Pollan is getting a load of publicity lately for Omnivore's Dilemma, which is a good book.
OH! But somewhere that you may want to start is American Food Writing ed. Molly O'Neill. I reviewed the book recently and it is exceptional. I'd start there, everyone I listed is in it, so you could test drive different writers before investing in their works.

Also, if you pick up The Physiology of Taste make sure to get the one translated by MFK Fisher... her notes take up half of the text and are very good...

Sep 11, 2007, 10:02 pm

Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges. I don't know how I lived without it...