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Portable Magic

Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.

Currently reading

A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle, #1)
Ursula K. Le Guin
Whisper Network
Chandler Baker
Progress: 54 %
Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison
Progress: 28 %
The Mystery at Lilac Inn
Carolyn Keene
100 Hair-Raising Little Horror Stories
Gary Raisor, Richard Chizmar, Al Sarrantonio, Avram Davidson
Progress: 70/512 pages
Leading Change
John P. Kotter
Peanuts Classics
Charles M. Schulz
Progress: 66 %
The Bungalow Mystery
Carolyn Keene
Progress: 192/192 pages
The Bungalow Mystery #3
Carolyn Keene
Progress: 192/192 pages
The Mystery at Lilac Inn
Russell H. Tandy, Mildred Benson, Carolyn Keene

The Book of Salt ★★★★☆

The Book of Salt - Monique Truong

I'm not sure why the author chose to make the famous real-life couple of Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas important secondary characters in this book about a Vietnamese cook. It really only served as a distraction, when she could easily have used a fictional couple. 


There was a lot about this book that annoyed me. There's no real story, just a rambling set of recollections and events narrated in first person by the cook, styled as if he is confiding in his lover. This telling jumps around in time and place, from paragraph to paragraph, making it hard to follow. The continuous food metaphors become overbearing. I get it. Yes, yes, I get it. 


And yet. The story is so full of emotions, of love and resentment and regret and longing and lust and hope and need and loneliness and resignation, that it is still a compelling read, for all its annoyances. 


Paperback copy, bought secondhand on impulse when I was looking for another of this author's books.