Monthly Archives: August 2016

College Road Trip – Part I

Heat-Walking-Campus Snapshots-Food Opts – HEAT

MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY, MILWAUKEE, WI

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Food Market in the Historic Third Ward
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UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN AT MADISON

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Food trucks outside the library

Food trucks outside the library

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Memorial Union terrace on the lake

Memorial Union terrace on the lake

The college prospect enjoying the campus book store

The college prospect enjoying the campus book store

Best cheese curds, ever!

Best cheese curds, ever!

Somehow I lost the best lake shots this a.m. I’ll hope to have them up in the next post. Campus and Capital area located between two lakes. Shots of Lake Mendota coming in Part II.

Apologies for errors this morning. I’m not use to posting on the run. Oh, we are having fun!

FIVE BOOKS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY JUST TO LOOK AT THEM

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At Home With Books: How Booklovers Live with and Care for Their Libraries (1995) by Estelle Ellis, Caroline Seebohn, Christopher Simon Sykes. Size=9×12
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Beautiful pictures of the homes of people who have many books with copy that includes quotes from owners and explanations of their book collections. In addition there is material on how to organize your library as well as additional book resources.

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Heartland: The Plains and the Prairie by David Plowden
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Plowden is an easterner who was stunned by the Midwest. His black and white photos bring the depth and breath of that landscape to the persons who hold his book in their arms.

my home country

my home country

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The Odyssey by Gillian Cross Illustrated by Neil Packer
This is actually somewhat scary, but mesmerizing. “Back on Ithaca, Penelope was desperate for news.”

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A Tallgrass Prairie Alphabet by Claudia McGehee
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“Y Yellow stargrass.”

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Spectacle in the White City: The Chicago 1893 World’s Fair with text by Stanley Appelbaum
Black and white photos of the White City. How could the event have been so large?

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SWEETBITTER BOOK COMMENT

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Sweetbitter: A Novel
Author: Stepahanie Danler
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover Edition: 352 pages
Source: Personal copy

This is a modern novel, possibly different than a reader might expect. The author’s exquisite use of dialogue and cadence puts the reader inside the chaos of a busy upscale New York restaurant. There’s the unexpected on nearly every page.

Young Tess goes to New York City and lands a job as a backwaiter in a famous New York restaurant. This is more of a job than some readers might expect. In this complicated place an education awaits our Tess.

There are destructive behaviors that are not much fun to read about. Maybe some readers don’t want to know the striving and failing of their waiters, runners, wine pourers, host staff and clean-up crews. But after the chef and the kitchen staff, these folks are responsible for the experiences those of us who love restaurant dining crave.

It’s a fun read to watch Tess learn about the flavors and intricacies of food. She’s a faster learner with food than with people. But then, perhaps this reader has forgotten some of the pitfalls of youth. I would agree with one reviewer who called this a young readers’s book. I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t sell-sell-sell. There’s little doubt Danler is a very talented writer who has tasted writing excellence with what I believe is her first book. There’s a sensory truth here expressed in a way as fresh as the food the fictional restaurant aspires to serve. How guests are treated in the restaurant in the novel, is how we all would like to be treated .

If you are ready for a new and different read, this is the book for you. Though I experienced moments of despair over Tess’s behaviors, I’m so glad I didn’t miss this read. It’s as exhilarating as a roller-coaster ride on a hot summer evening.