good reads | 31

eleven madison park daniel humm

I love a thoughtful link roundup as a way to discover the fantastic writing others are reading and sharing online. Here are my good reads from the week that was.

Good Reads

My favourite band sings my favourite Christmas song. (Is it too soon for carols?!)

The sanitized stories we tell. (Apart from conveying a poignant message, this article is the opposite of lazy storytelling. It’s difficult, it’s thought out, it has movement and lilt.)

The 2016 NYC Michelin rankings were released this week. With the current list, I’ve eaten 31 stars. Time for a trip to New York City!

I was riveted the entire time I read this piece on Jennifer Keesmaat, Toronto’s punchy, smart, honest Chief Planner.

Go, Joe, go!

Long form: I’ve been eager to read Molly Wizenberg’s Delancey, the story of how her husband opened a restaurant and how it almost ruined her life, for some time. I’ve read her blog, Orangette, since its very early days and enjoyed her voice in A Homemade Life, so I couldn’t place why her new book just… bothered me. I took to goodreads as I often do in these circumstances and found a review that hit my frustrations with the book straight on:

While Delancey is an interesting account of the opening of a small business and its toll on a marriage, the book was ultimately marred for me by my increasing irritation with Molly Wizenberg. The way she blamed her pursuit of “excellence” for why she couldn’t handle being a restaurant chef was the last straw for me.

I’m probably biased as a former restaurant worker, but her socialist utopian idea of what she wanted her restaurant–a restaurant she didn’t even want in the first place–to be, coupled with a neurotic inability to do much except, seemingly, agonize about why it wasn’t happening was immensely off-putting to me. It could have been worse: fretting is, after all, much better than whining.

But it was still hard to read, and I almost gave up altogether when she pulled out the extended reference to Singles (that could have just as easily applied to Cheers, as well as to a number of other TV shows/movies with a regular watering hole.) I loved Singles, too, but come on. [Maria adds: Yes, there were too many “kill your darlings” scenes in this book… where was her editor?] 

I think part of the problem is that she paints her husband as the hero of the piece, placing herself at a comparative disadvantage. She isn’t quite the villain, but her self-depiction is unflattering and, ultimately, hard to sympathize with.

Other Roundups to Love

Molly Yeh’s Friday Links (updated Fridays)

Fathom’s Links We Love (updated Saturdays)

A Practical Wedding’s Happy Hour (updated Fridays)

Elise Blaha Cripe’s Weekend Links (updated Saturdays)

Food52’s Weekend Reading (updated Sundays)

101 Cookbooks’ Favorites List (last updated: 2015/08/08)

[lead image: our menu choices from last summer’s visit to Eleven Madison Park]

Good Reads on Some Infinite Thing is updated every Friday (or Saturday) morning.

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