What I’m Reading:

It’s no secret that I love books. If I had my way, I’d live in a space like this. I know, I know. It’s not practical. I mean…we have earthquakes here in California (BTW, I’m currently knocking on wood). Every few months I go nutso on Amazon. Maybe it’s cuz I enjoy a package in the mail or maybe I love reading good books before bed. I just LOVE me some knowledge.

Knowledge is sexy/smart/productive/attractive/amazing.  I’m happiest when I’m learning.

It’s just what I do.

Here’s my latest book loot!!

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The Cheese Board: Collective Works: Bread, Pastry, Cheese, Pizza

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I’m pretty excited about this book. The Cheese Board Collective is a popular food destination here in the Bay Area. It’s no wonder! Their baked goods, pizza & cheese selection are aces!  They’re cheesy bread sticks make me cry & their pizza is like WHOA.

I once recreated one of their pizza recipes not knowing they had a cookbook. DOH. Turned out pretty good, though!

Corn Onion Cheddar Bread? YES. PLEASE!

In this book, you can read about how the Cheese Board Collective is an employee owned/operated business. This book gives the whole history behind that. Fascinating! They also talk about ingredients & ingredient sources. I love that.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Also, there are lots of shots of the bakery & people doing their thang. So rad.

Wait! They also talk A LOT about CHEESE. That’s pretty cool too. Cheese plate ideas galore!

Recipes I can’t wait to try:

Sourdough Starter, Raspberry Orange Muffins, Cheese Scones, Sticky Buns, Ginger Shortbread, Pesto Foccacia, Cheese Onion Curry Bread, Roasted Wild Mushroom Pizza with Goat Cheese & Roasted Red Pepper Pizza with Feta & Olive Tapenade.

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Mrs. Lilien’s Cocktail Swatchbook

by Mrs. Lilien

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Do you know Mrs. Lilien?  I think she’s the most talented artist/ graphic designer on the internet.

I love love LOVE her aesthetic like you wouldn’t believe & her sense of humor is like WHOA!! Get out of my head.

Here’s here latest creation! Mrs. Lilien’s Cocktail Swatchbook

Cocktails in swatchbook form??! Who doesn’t love a swatchbook? I know my mother-in-law travels with one!

Here’s what a sample recipe looks like. If you’re a visual person (or if you’ve had one too many to drink…this is for you!).

It’s all so cool. I can hardly stand it. Also…I want to drink with her one day. Just saying!

Recipes I can’t wait to try:

Mrs. Limeade, Mrs. Basil Rita, Mrs. Julius, Rock Lobster, Bourbon Whistle, Gilligan’s Island, Ginger Daiquiri & Lawn Party!

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Dinner: A Love Story: It all begins at the family table

by Jenny Rosenstrach

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I have this one hanging next to my bed right now! Do you know Jenny? She has the website Dinner: A Love Story and now she has her own book! She kept a journal for YEARS chronicling her cooking adventures both before and after getting married and having children! What makes this cookbook different is that she give CONTEXT to the meals. That’s what eating together/with family is all about!

Chapters are broken up by date starting spanning from 1998- 2012.

It’s about making dinner easy & interactive. Memory building!

There are illustrations throughout. Look at this gem! How to Fold a Burrito!

Family meals were super important in my family growing up. I hope I can instill that in my offspring!

Big bonus- There’s some tips for feeding kids & getting them to eat what you make!

I can’t wait to carve more time out with this book. I think it will be really helpful.

Recipes I can’t wait to try:

Chicken Soup with Orzo, Salad Pizza, Herbed Barley Salad, Zucchini Fries, Mexican Chocolate Icebox Cookies, Fishcakes, Chickpea Fries, Playdate Cookies, Apricot-Mustard Baked Chicken & Back Pocket Risotto.

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Knot Thread Stitch: 

Exploring Creativity through Embroidery and Mixed Media

by Lisa Solomon

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My friend Lisa is sooo talented with mix media. Her book is FILLED with projects combining her love of embroidery with her savvy skills at re-purposing & treasure collecting. There’s also some projects from some of my favorite artists too!

I’ve been thinking about Christmas (ugh! I know!) and I think there are SEVERAL projects in here that I’d like to tackle.

How cute is this necklace? I want one!

I think this Pet Portrait project was pretty adorable. Don’t you?

Projects that look awesome:

Arrow Pillowcase, Customizing Tea Towels, Drawing with Thread & Felt Finger Puppets.

So that’s what I have hanging out next to my bed!

What about you??! What are you reading?

 

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48 Comments

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  • August 8, 2012

    Currently I’m not reading any cookbooks. I’ve read all I own, and of course, I always keep re-reading the good ones, there are no new ones right now. I’m not spending my money on them now, no, ‘literature’ is what gets my attention these days. Although not always literature, I just read a lot. 5 books a week? Normal.

  • August 8, 2012

    I currently am reading Game of Thrones because I seem to have accidentally become a teenage boy. (I’m not even sorry.) A book I just finished for the second time that I would always recommend is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It is nice to read food books that are not just cookbooks (although I read those too).

  • August 8, 2012

    The Cocktail Swatchbook looks divine! I added it to my Amazon wish-list to treat myself at a future date. :)

  • August 8, 2012

    I love cookbooks as well. I have a little guilt when buying them recently as I have so many and only use 1 or 2 recipes MAYBE from each book. I seem to be inspired these days from your blog and others. Could my cookbook buying be over? Naaaah. Been eyeing the DINNER A LOVE STORY for a whole now.

  • August 8, 2012

    Oooo dinner a love story is is on my amazon wish list!! That cocktail recipe book would make a great gift for my husband (aka my personal mixologist ;)

  • August 8, 2012

    Wow, nice and eclectic selection, Tracy! I love pet portraits =) I am currently reading Gordon Ramsay’s Cooking for Friends. Is it weird that I LOVE that he is such an a-hole? It’s got some interesting stuff in there. I’m also reading Travels to Siberia (it turns out Siberia is not really a place).
    xo

    • Tracy
      August 8, 2012

      Not weird! Casey is actually REALLY REALLY into his show right now. He stresses me out, but he’s got some really good points!

  • August 8, 2012

    in the summer i like to read girlie fiction. i just finished the new ones by jennifer weiner and emily giffin. currently re-reading mindy kaling’s book, which has me LOLing for real on public transit.

    • Tracy
      August 8, 2012

      Oooh! I love Jennifer Weiner books. Perfect for pool lounging!

  • LOVE the Cheese Board book – especially the sourdough section. Do you ever go there? It’s right down the street from my kids school so we’re always stopping by for after school treats. And of course, the pizza place is right next door but it seems silly to me to wait in line so long for pizza – so I send the husband! LOL

    • Tracy
      August 8, 2012

      In Marin, there’s an Arizmendi! It has most of the same stuff (including the pizzas) it’s GREAT!

      • Yep, there’s one on Lakeshore in Oakland. Have fun baking with the cookbook – mine is sticky thanks to so much use, and the 4 year old helping!

  • August 8, 2012

    random fact, my husband told me he was first drawn to me because “You read books.” neerrds!

    I’m in a reading rut lately, these all looks like winners though!

    • Tracy
      August 8, 2012

      I love that!! I think Casey wishes I wasn’t so nerdy. I mean…I HAVE SO MANY DANG BOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • August 8, 2012

    might i suggest that you start with the ginger shortbread, the pizzas, and the playdate cookies? all of those sound fab and i selfishly want the recipes :)

    I’ve been reading non-fiction lately…finished Gold by Chris Cleave last night which took me all of 2 1/2 days…could not put it down!

    • Tracy
      August 8, 2012

      Ok!! You’ve given me some direction of what to make. Thank you!

      I love it a book that I can’t put down!

  • Lacey Chalenor
    August 8, 2012

    I love The Cheese Board, I make it a point to stop and binge whenever I am nearby! Now their book and the Cocktail Swatchbook are going on my Amazon wishlist.
    I think it’s awesome to hear you talk about foodies and people who inspire you, since you inspire me. I hope one day to have a drink with YOU!
    Lol, now that sounds a bit stalkery when I say it.

    • Tracy
      August 8, 2012

      I get it!!! I’m totally fun to drink with. Just ask Joy ;) HAHAHA!

  • jenny
    August 8, 2012

    now I’m totally obsessed with getting that cheese board cookbook. you’re a bad-good influence, tracy! I’ll have to wait, though, because I just spent money on sophie dahl’s “very fond of food” (thanks, joy, for that rec) and I am also still reading “sweet cream and sugar cones”…and “the age of innocence” and about half a dozen YA books. but I digress. thanks for the recommendation!

  • Jenny
    August 8, 2012

    Love this list! So many fun food related reads. I might have to get that cocktail swatch book. It looms very fun.

  • Kathy
    August 8, 2012

    Just finished The Discovery of Witches and am trying to decide to start her second book or move on to a different genre. :)

  • Tara
    August 8, 2012

    I just finished the Dark Monk, which is the second A Hangman’s Daughter book, really interesting. I am currently going through Mad Hungry, and pretty much want to make everything in there. My boyfriend likes the idea of man food in the house, because he swears I make too much girl food (I’m not even sure what that means). Thanks for the list, definitely going to have to check out Dinner: A Love Story.

  • stacy
    August 8, 2012

    I just added Dinner A Love Story to wish list- thanks! I just finished “Bringing Up Bebe” about the lady that is raising her children in Paris- very good read. Makes some interesting parenting points, especially when it comes to children and eating.

    • Tracy
      August 8, 2012

      I have that book! I got 10 pages in before I got interrupted by my BEBE! ;)

  • August 8, 2012

    Goooood selection! I really want the Dinner – A love story! Never heard of it & love the concept – i wish i’d done that!
    I’m just all about the recipe books at the moment – the ones by my bed are ‘Street Food Revolution’ by Richard Johnson (I love the recipes but also hearing all the traders stories about why & how & when is so inspiring) – then ‘Leon – book two’ – it’s been on my table for too long (every time i open it, there’s a new recipe – MAGIC!).
    Thanks for this post – i love it!

  • August 8, 2012

    I love all your choices but particularly the swatches. I am a visual person too and a pretty presentation is as essential to me as the quality of food (or the drink). Great post!

  • Stephanie
    August 8, 2012

    Dear TShutts,

    The Cboard scone is the ONLY kind of scone I make. Get into it!!

  • August 8, 2012

    I adore the swatch book!
    I just finished “Just Kids”, the Patti Smith autobiography and may be re-reading The Great Gatsby next, I love reading that in the summer…

  • August 8, 2012

    Dinner:A love Story sounds really interesting. The concept of documenting your life with food is great. – I’m currently trying to get through Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. LONG book, but a good, classic read.

    - tianna :)

  • August 8, 2012

    I so want that knot thread stitch book. Thanks for sharing!

  • August 8, 2012

    I’m also something of a book junkie. It causes a little consternation for my super-minimalist partner, all those books everywhere. But they are part of me.

    Now I think that Cheese Board book needs to be part of me. You know, I still have not been to Cheese Board OR Arizmendi. This needs to be remedied, and soon.

    I’ve been reading Tom Perrotta’s “The Leftovers” and it is compelling, a little melancholy, so well written. Just finished “Yes, Chef” and really enjoyed that. And I have some M.F.K. Fisher and Laurie Colwin in the queue.

    • Tracy
      August 8, 2012

      Laura!! YOU HAFTA GO!!! Promise me. Mmmkay?!

  • Amazon.com is my one true weakness.

    I.CANT.STOP.BUYING.BOOKS (such a problem…(not really)).

    One book I can definitely recommend is ‘the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime’ by Mark Haddon. Such a good read!

    • Tracy
      August 9, 2012

      noted!!!! I can’t stop/won’t stop!

  • August 9, 2012

    Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson is soooooooooooooooo funny and well-written. And a welcome change to my obsession with reading food books, nutrition books, cookbooks…

  • August 9, 2012

    Yay! I love crafty books.

  • August 9, 2012

    The Happiness Project, The 3 Day Cleanse BPC book, Tender at the Bone from Ms. Ruth Reichl and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Totally need to be inspired by a new cookbook. May have to get Dinner a love story.
    Thanks for a great post!

    • Tracy
      August 9, 2012

      All REALLY GOOD ONES!!

  • Emily
    August 9, 2012

    Nice books! I just started reading Geek Love this morning and am already really in to it – I recommend it, though I guess I haven’t finished it yet!

    p.s. a library with books all the way up the wall and a roll-around ladder are totally life goals of mine… though I’d settle for just a nice big room full of books, too.

  • August 9, 2012

    That cocktail book looks major. I’m totally throwing it up on my wish list!

    I’m currently reading “666 Park Avenue”. It’s nothing deep, but totally entertaining. Apparently it’s going to be a tv show, but I had no idea going in. I’d recommend it for a *pool read* for sure.

  • August 10, 2012

    I LOVE reading but somehow I can’t seem to find the time to do so.
    One week ago I started reading a 500 and something pages book though called ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and I swear I recommend it to everyone who loves reading!

    I had never heard of the author before but I decided to give the book a go because both my mom and dad really liked it and they had recommended it to me. It’s a great book and I completely got sucked into it! After 3 days of intensive reading I was bummed I had finished the book, I wish there were 500 more pages!! :D

    Love, Saar

  • August 10, 2012

    I LOVE reading but somehow I can’t seem to find the time to do so.
    One week ago I started reading a 500 and something pages book though called ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and I swear I recommend it to everyone who loves reading!

    I had never heard of the author before but I decided to give the book a go because both my mom and dad really liked it and they had recommended it to me. It’s a great book and I completely got sucked into it! After 3 days of intensive reading I was bummed I had finished the book, I wish there were 500 more pages!!

    Love, Saar

  • Rebecca
    August 10, 2012

    I’ve finally started the second Hunger Games book (Catching Fire) ~ I was busy with school (lol. .no, I’m not a ‘young adult’ reader) so couldn’t read them all in a row. I’m also partially through My Life in France and an incredibly LARGE book about the Beatles. Just finished three cookbooks; two by Ina Garten and one by Alice Waters. Next up (cuz I have to get them all in before school starts again!) is An Everlasting Meal. Can’t wait!

    ps ~ love your site!

    • Tracy
      August 12, 2012

      You will LOVE Everlasting Meal. I’m still working my way through it but it’s changed the way I cook.

  • August 12, 2012

    nice :) I want the cocktail one!

    Val

    http://valentinaduracinsky.blogspot.com/

  • August 20, 2012

    I have a wee bit of a book hoarding problem… I own so many already, with stacks next to my bed, and a huge box in my study, but I can’t stop myself from buying more and more and more. In the past couple of weeks (since I was on vacation and had a lot of time) I read Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before (very interesting and entertaining); More Home Cooking (Laurie Colwin); Blood, Bones and Butter (Gabrielle Hamilton); Under the Dome (Stephen King); and I’m in the middle of The Language of Flowers (Vanessa Diffenbaugh).
    Dinner: A Love Story might just have to come next.

  • liz
    May 29, 2013

    I know this is an old post, but I love the idea of decorating with books. In the picture you linked to, you could just add a removable wooden or metal dowel to the front of the shelf to keep books in place during an earthquake. Done right, it would even add to the aesthetic.

  • liz
    May 29, 2013

    PS Recent favorite, recommend-it-to-everybody book: Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon.

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