A Book Review That’s As Delightful As the Book

Self trying to keep her fingers from mashing the laptop keys too much — you see, she splurged on a manicure in preparation for her “big splash” (NOT!) tonight at Books Inc. in Opera Plaza. Self sorely tempted to inquire of Nona whether she, too, rushed out to get a manicure. (Geez, it is so hard to be a female author, all this worry about nails and hair and what-not!)

Anyhoo, like the little domestic troll self’s Mum has always accused her of being, self has prepared dinner for hubby (in the crock pot) : braised beef short ribs with sliced onion. And now she is trying to relax on the couch (while watching newest Netflix arrival: “Gone Baby Gone”), and has taken to perusing The New York Times (of Wednesday, 27 February). And self lands on a book review by William Grimes (So, do books reviewed in the daily edition of said paper get more — or less — attention than the ones in the Sunday New York Times Book Review, self wonders?)

The book being reviewed is a memoir by “the copy chief at Gourmet magazine,” John Haney, so of course it’s got to be about food, and here are some things Mr. Grimes has to say about it. The book’s title is: Fair Shares for All: A Memoir of Family and Food

Wartime rationing in Britain ended in 1954, just in time for the birth of John Haney. A good thing, too, because the boy had an appetite, gluttonously documented in “Fair Shares for All.”

Hmm, self considers that quite a promising beginning — wouldn’t you agree, dear blog readers? Self particularly likes the sly way that Mr. Grimes slipped in ‘gluttonously,’ just before ‘documented.’ A little further on, Mr. Grimes adds:

Mr. Haney, who eats better these days as the copy chief at Gourmet magazine, vividly captures a particular moment in history, the period when working-class families like his took their first tentative steps toward the postwar prosperity reflected in Harold McMillan’s boast that “most of our people have never had it so good.”

And here is Mr. Grimes on the subject of author Haney’s Dearest Mum:

Mum did have her eye on the prize, though. Considered just a touch “upper-crusty” by her in-laws, all true-blue Cockneys from the East End, she aspired to the finer things, especially when it came to education and culture. Her social ambitions, and a 5-pound deposit, created the first generation of suburban Haneys, transplanted from London to the Essex village of Chipping Ongar, where neighbors read books, worked in the professions and took their holidays in France.

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Self doesn’t know about you, dear blog readers, but this is one book she is definitely dying to read!

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