Two Looks at Italian-American Food and Families Around NYC

Crazy in the Kitchen: Food, Feuds, and Forgiveness in an Italian American Family, by Louise DeSalvo In our house, no one ever went with the flow. There was no flow. There were only dangerous rapids, huge whirlpools, gigantic waterfalls. In our house, you had to be wary, vigilant. To stop paying attention, even for a... Continue Reading →

Going Underground in the Truffle Market’s Dark Economy

Book review: The Truffle Underground, by Ryan Jacobs (Amazon / Book Depository) The larger industry has managed to manufacture an image of pure beauty and romance for its consumers. "They see the truffle on the table...but before that, they don't know anything. They don't know the underworld." Truffles, one of the priciest delicacies you can... Continue Reading →

The Subtle Joys of Traveling Alone

Book review: Alone Time, by Stephanie Rosenbloom Amazon What follows are impressions of four journeys; a love letter to loners, to witches and shamans, to those who cherish their friends, spouses, and partners yet also want alone time to think, create, have an adventure, learn a skill, or solve a problem...find your "thinking path," to... Continue Reading →

Infamy in Italy

Book review: A Death in Italy, by John Follain (Amazon) London Times journalist John Follain was on the scene early in Perugia, Italy in November 2007 (ten years ago this month) when one of the country's most infamous murder cases started unfolding. In 2012, after the eventual acquittal of accused American student Amanda Knox and... Continue Reading →

Vignettes of Life and Memories from the American Midwest to Italy

Book review: American English, Italian Chocolate, by Rick Bailey (Amazon / Book Depository) English professor Rick Bailey writes a sweet, soft memoir in vignette-style essays stretching from the American Midwest to northern Italy. Musings include high school dramas and levitation parties, medical issues humorous and otherwise, death, home insect infestations, historical perceptions of beans, how Nutella might... Continue Reading →

Love, Death and Feudalism in Old World Italy

Book review: Murder in Matera, by Helene Stapinski Author and journalist Helene Stapinski comes from a long family line of thieves and crooks, as detailed in her popular history of crime and theft in Jersey City (especially her family's participation in it), Five Finger Discount. In her new memoir, Murder in Matera, Stapinski travels to the Basilicata region of... Continue Reading →

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