Monday, November 29, 2010


Herald on Sunday, 29 November, 2010

Julie Le Clerc is a cook, food writer, stylist and photographer.

The book I love most is...Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels
The images in this exquisitely written novel are profound. Fragments of the multi-layered narrative have lingered in my mind for many years now. This compelling story, so carefully told, serves to remind me to never take life for granted.

The book I'm reading right now is... People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. This is a fascinating story of a book conservator responsible for restoring the Sarajevo Haggadah, one of the oldest surviving Jewish illuminated texts. Even though it’s a work of fiction, the author has meticulously researched the text’s true history and weaves detailed facts cleverly throughout.

The book I want to read next is... The Road from Damascus by Scott C. Davis. The story of one man’s remarkable travels through Syria and the people he meets along the way. Having discovered my long-lost relatives on a trip to Syria in June of this year, I’m now keen to read as much as possible about this part of the world, as it’s my ancestral homeland.

The book that changed me is... The Gastronomical Me by M.F.K. Fisher. A great read for food lovers and Francophiles, of which I’m both - this is Fisher's personal and often witty account of the food and travel experiences that shaped her into one of the most noted food writers of the 20th century. This is not a standard biography but a literary sketchbook of vignettes, combining memoir with culinary musings, astute research and fascinating food trivia. An experienced cook and eater, Fisher wrote with unabashed honesty and a mischievous appetite for life. She had an incisive sense of prose. Her descriptions of food and eating experiences are so artful and vivid that I felt my perspective altered when I first read this book.

The book I wish I'd never read is..... I haven’t read a book I wish I’d never read, yet. Mostly because, if I’m not liking a book then I give up on it and put it aside. And I tend to avoid books I know I’d hate (like murder stories and thrillers).

Julie Le Clerc’s latest book Made By Hand (Penguin) is out now.

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