The Week in Books 2010, No. 2

Digging to America: A NovelI re-read Digging to America by Anne Tyler because I need to think of a book to suggest for book club in February. I enjoyed the re-reading even more than the first time through. The book has so many interesting characters, all connected by two families who adopt baby girls from Korea on the same day. The title of the book comes from an instance when the two little girls are attempting to dig a hole to China and one of them tells her grandfather that she figures on the other side of the world some little Chinese girl is digging to America. One family is from Iran and the other is just generic American, but all the characters deal in one way or another with finding their identity – as Americans, as families, as friends – and realizing that all of them in one way or another were still digging to America to figure out how they fit in with whatever life has brought them. I really love the way Anne Tyler develops her characters – her books are heavily character driven, and always offer interesting insight into human nature.
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country GirlI have a confession to make: I am one of the few people in the blogosphere who do not subscribe to The Pioneer Woman. Gasp! I don’t have anything against her, I just find her site sort of overwhelming at times and haven’t ever really gotten into it. My aunt likes PW and cooking, so I gave herThe Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl for Christmas this year. I intended to read the cookbook before ordering it, but time got away from me and I just got around to reading it this week (having already sent my aunt her copy, of course!). The book has much the same feel as the PW website, and the recipes are written up in a bloggish style with lots of pictures. People all over the internet rave about PW cinammon rolls and whatnot, so I made a list of recipes to try out next week. Lots of the recipes are of the creamy/buttery/cheesy variety, but you have to bear in mind that PW is feeding cowboys at her house. I am not feeding cowboys at my house so I will need to show some restraint, but I’m looking forward to trying out some of these recipes nonetheless! It’s too bad I never got my patio cow because Jack is just the right size to wrangle a patio cow these days. I wonder if patio cows require much wrangling. They look pretty docile, like cocker spaniels in cow suits, but looks can be deceiving.

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