Tamar Ossowski’s Picks
I am someone who cherishes the night. Perhaps because I have kids and those final hours (okay sometimes minutes) of quiet time are a way of salvaging and somehow maintaining whatever is left of my sanity.
So what is on my nightstand? What is it that I read once I finally get into bed? Imagine the perfect housewife in her pink nightgown, with her blanket pulled up past her waist and a book resting on her lap. I am not a pretty reader. I am not that housewife. I love to read cooking magazines. Some of my favorites are Cook’s Country, America’s Test Kitchen, and Fine Cooking.
What excites me most are clear and concise directions with big glossy images of gorgeously crafted food. I leave the struggles of my day behind and embark upon a step-by-step epicurean adventure. I immerse myself in butter-glazed peas and ketchup kissed meatloaf sitting atop mounds of lusciously whipped potatoes. I read these magazines like most people read novels except that I spread them across my bed until they become dog-eared and misshapen from all the times they have been bent forward and back. Unfortunately, cooking magazines are not the best choice for nighttime reading since most times I end up in the kitchen after everyone is asleep trying to pitifully recreate the delicious looking images I have just been drooling over.
So, when I am NOT reading cooking magazines, I am reading actual novels.
I just finished Matthew Quick’s Silver Linings PlayBook, about the struggles of a man coping with the end of his marriage. Quick is extremely successful at creating characters who are both vulnerable and honest. The reader is left with no other choice but to cheer them on. Quick’s style is clean and tight and he gets his point across without any fluff. I highly recommend this moving and quirky love story, which in the end, is tremendously full of hope.
I also just finished Jodi Picoult’s The Storyteller, which chronicles the life of a young Jewish girl living in Nazi Germany. Picoult counterbalances images of bread baking and nourishment against the horrific scenes taking place inside the death camps. Ultimately, we are left to ask ourselves whether there are just some acts that simply cannot be forgiven. It is a heartbreakingly, breathtakingly intense read that is absolutely not to be missed.
What currently sits on my nightstand is Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan and The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout. I plan to get to them both if I just can just stop reading those damn cooking magazines!
Tamar Ossowski is married and has three children, one of whom was born with special needs and could spell before he learned to speak. She wrote the novel Left to explore the possibility that you can only become the person you are supposed to be once you truly embrace the person you already are.
We’d love to know what books are waiting for you on your nightstand. Send a description to us here.
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