When I was a kid, I used to read Nancy Drew books. In the holidays I was known to finish a book in a day, and my mom was convinced that I skipped pages. We had a readathon at our primary school, and we were sponsored a couple of cents per page that we read. We had to write down the number of pages we read each morning, and the teacher thought I was lying about how many pages I went through in a morning. Now, I don’t think I am particularly ‘good’ at reading, I just talk really fast, and reading is like talking to yourself! (I also talk to myself really fast…)
Because I read so much as a kid, I have developed a thirst for books. In London we used to buy 3 books for the price of 2, and books are only around $14 at full price. Since we’ve moved to Sydney I’m become a book scavenger as they are so expensive. I will read anything you give me, as long as it’s held still for more than 5 seconds. When we unpacked our boxes I discovered three books my mom gave me that I hadn’t read yet, and I danced around the room for at least 15 minutes out of sheer joy.
My line manager, Boss-man, knows how much I love cooking. It’s just the two of us in our office, so it’s all he hears! One day he came into the office and said “I have a present for you”. It was a wonderful book, which was a story of someone’s life with recipes spattered throughout it. Now this is what I call the best of both worlds! Settling in to read it on the train home, I discovered that the book is a wonderful autobiography of a lady called Susan Loomis. So enamoured with it, I thought i would share it with you!
According to the Dymocks overview: Susan Loomis arrived in Paris in the 1980s with little more than a student loan and the contents of a suitcase to sustain her. But what began as an apprenticeship at La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine evolved into a lifelong immersion in French cuisine and culture, culminating in permanent residency in 1994. This book chronicles her journey to this ancient little street in the midst of Louviers and describes how she came to call it home. Loomis recalls the restoration she and her husband performed on the dilapidated convent they chose for their new residence. As its ochre and azure floor tiles emerged, challenges outside the dwelling mounted. From squatters to a surly priest next door, along with a close-knit community wary of outsiders, Loomis tackled the social challenges head-on, through persistent dialogue – and baking.
This is such a fun book to read, I would highly recommend it! For Australians, it can be found at Dymocks online and in store. For anyone else, check out your local bookstore. Happy reading!