Tag Archives: Saratoga Springs



What makes a book store a place you want to spend your time?

Among the treats during my time in Saratoga Springs was a visit to a newly opened independent book store called Northshire Bookstore. It is located on Broadway in the heart of Saratoga Springs. This is a second store for the Northshire Family. Their first is located in Manchester Center, Vermont. As I have said in an earlier blog about a bookstore in Petoskey, MI, a visit to such a place always makes my heart beat faster and lightens my mood.

The Saratoga store is recently opened. It is a comfortable place that draws one in; the lighting, the seating, the arrangement of the shelves, all invite. Browsing is easy. Books are everywhere before you to see and touch. One can easily read a sentence, a paragraph, a blurb or more. This makes for an experience that is at once calming and exhilarating.

On the day I visited, it was a very busy place and yet…I was able to see and hold many books. I loved being there, taking in the extensive breadth and depth of their collection.

What did I buy? My first thought was to buy five or six books and have them shipped home. But more sober thoughts prevailed. I purchased two I could easily add to my luggage.

First, I took a closer look at some of the cookbooks I mentioned in my earlier blog “Cookbook Choices.” I was especially tempted by the beauty and wealth of information in Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison and Mr. Wilkinson’s Vegetables by Matt Wilkinson. In the end I chose The Perfect Peach: Recipes and Stories From the Masumoto Family Farm by David Mas Masumoto and others. I am enjoying the stories as well as the recipes, and will hope to share more about this book in an upcoming blog.

Having just attended the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit at The Hyde, I also purchased How Georgia Became O’Keeffe by Karen Karbo. The author brings a modern viewpoint and considerable wit to telling us something of the Georgia O’Keeffe story. I enjoyed Karbo’s writing and thoroughly enjoyed the read. I’d like to read more about Georgia O’Keeffe.

The bookstore website is terrific. It includes staff picks and reviews, a blog, new releases, upcoming events and more. They have a mail order business.


Among the staff picks in the brochure for August that especially interested me is More Scenes from Rural Life by Verlyn Kinkenborg. He is a New York Times columnist born in Iowa. I love his writing. Many vignettes feature his upstate New York farm. Another pick that caught my eye is They Poured Fire On Us From the Sky by Benjamin Ajak and others. This book details the journey of three lost boys, refugees of fighting in the Sudan who trek across 1,000 miles of country under extreme conditions. And what about Train Dreams by Denis Johnson or A Marker to Measure Drift? Maybe I just like to read book titles.

It is a place to celebrate reading.



In Saratoga Springs, NY beauty is everywhere. The countryside, the parks, the race track and Lake George inspire and make dreams, but good reads, good food, and good friends top any Saratoga Springs list. In between the sights and cultural activities, I found newly discovered books, delicious food, and connections with some dear friends I’ve known since college days.

Two books I spent some time with were a result of visiting the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit at The Hyde Collection. How Georgia Became O’Keeffe. Lessons on the Art of Living by Karen Karbo gives added insight into the person who became a legendary painter of the Adirondacks and the Southwest. Born in Wisconsin she lived into her nineties and was a woman who defied convention to become one of the most interesting artists of the twentieth century.

A Painter’s Kitchen-Recipes from the Kitchen of Georgia O’Keeffe by Margaret Wood tells of her relationship with food. The book includes a Foreword by Deborah Madison and many of Georgia O’Keeffe’s recipes. “Soup is such a comfort, Miss O’Keeffe would sometimes say.” There are sections on soup, salads, vegetables, main dishes, breads, desserts, and beverages. The reader learns something of her gardens and cooking techniques.

I love to read about woman who create local history. The friend who hosted us in Saratoga Springs allowed me to borrow a book from her library titled Strength Without Compromise. Womanly Influence and Political Identity in Turn-of-the-Twentieth Century Rural Upstate New York by Teri P. Gay. I can’t wait to find out more about how these women fought for the vote in their part of our country.

On the plane and in the evening, I read Lisa Genova’s novel Love Anthony. Others had recommended this book as a possibility for one of the book clubs I like to attend. It has so much to say about life, motherhood, family, autism and loving. Most likely I will finish it today. I will hate to leave Nantucket and the characters in this story. But most of all I am excited by a book that helps readers know something of life lived with autism, and that treats that life in such a respectful way. I would venture to say that this writer has some rules for writing that are similar to Mindy Kaling’s Rules for Writing. (See previous post on the home page of this blog.)

I ate sensibly in Saratoga (not always easy for me) and fish was my theme. Our hostess cooked delicious salmon, welcoming us with a simple but very delicious meal. During our time in Saratoga, I enjoyed haddock, calamari, and lobster roll. The latter is a favorite I don’t have a chance at very often. It was totally memorable. The comforting and oh-so-tasty tomato bisque at one day’s lunch stop has me looking for a new tomato soup recipe. The egg and ham sandwich at the racetrack was not on the sensible list, but oh, it’s one of my favorites.

But for all the deliciousness of the books and food, nothing is better than making connections with friends one has known since school days. I feel especially fortunate in the five friends I joined in Saratoga. They are talented women who never stop learning and growing. They never stop giving. They never stop having fun. They all have accomplishments to be proud of, but what I love most about each one, is her strong heart and can-do spirit. Each inspires me in a slightly different way, and I am grateful. So, while Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings, Yo-Yo Ma’s cello, the Philadelphia Symphony, a boat ride on Lake George, and a day at the Saratoga Raceway added new dimensions to my life, shopping, eating and living with these woman for a few days is the dimension I treasure most.