28 May 2011

The Empress of Ice Cream (Anthony Capella)

I'm not entirely sure why I enjoy Anthony Capella's writing so much. Is it the gastronomic erotica that he writes with such ease? Or is it the vulnerable characters he writes with such panache? The romances?

No, not the romances. He is not good at that.

And nut the vulnerable characters. I don't like reading about vulnerable characters. I like reading about people filled with unbelievable strength, charisma, sexiness and boldness. In short, I like my characters to be straight up Mills and Boon caricatures.


(Sort of).

But I am pretty sure it is the gastronomic erotica that draws me to Capella's novels. Take The Food of Love for example. It is set in Rome and centres around a young, talented chef cooking entrails and offal for the love of his life in the hope that she will be aroused by eating such earthy, bloody foods and find herself also in love with him.

It works.

I have my doubts.

But The Empress of Ice Cream is the focus of this review. It is Capella's latest and tells the story of a young, penniless apprentice ice cream maker who rises to glorious heights in both the courts of France and England as he makes ice cream confections for the royalty.

I have always been a bit ambivalent about ice cream. I would rather devour a cheese plate for two than eat ice cream. But now I find myself drifting into the ice cream camp. Who wouldn't be seduced with the promise of strawberry ice cream garnished with peppermint cream and topped with a sprinkling of white pepper? Or the luxury of champagne and peach ice cream? Or the unbelievably heavenly taste of white chocolate and red currants?

The romantic story was negligible and the historical events are arguable, but the sheer deliciousness of this tale cannot be questioned. If you like fluffy grastronomic stories, you will read this story with the desire to lick every page in hopes that some of the creamy dreamy loveliness will actually emanate out of the words into your mouth.

Rating: 7/10.

Shades of Grey (Jasper Fforde)

Oh, hilarity, thou art a wily mistress! I can remember you, remember your strength, your cleverness, your vivacity. But ask me to give examples of this and I have limited material to work with. Thus, I go searching for the source of the pleasure you gave me with my best friend Google and I find myself at best underwhelmed by what I read. This is the curse you lay on me, in payback for the pleasure I experience in your hands. You allow me to laugh out loud and open your covers with glee, but, when I try to revisit the funny parts without committing to reading the whole book again, there is no help, no mercy.


Hilarity, I think, would be a shouter. Misery is a moaner. Anger is any volume spoken with clenched jaw. Sadness is a whisper or a shouter, depending on how attention-seeking it is feeling.

All this to say that I can't quite remember why Shades of Grey was so freaking hilarious, just, trust me, it was.

A half-assed post, I apologise. I am still getting back into this blogging thing. I will try harder on my next post, I promise. If not, you, our dearly beloved readers, can draw and quarter me and offer up my body as a sacrifice to the blogging Gods.

A Slightly Bashful Return

The date is the 28th May, 2011. Almost a year after our last post. A terrible, terrible, display of laziness, I am sure you will agree. However, for the past year I have been living back in Australia, nearer to my dear sister, and the urge to connect over blogging was dampened slightly by our close physical proximity.

Now, alas, we are once again separated.

Where am I?

Not London again, at any rate. I am in Norway. For what reason? The best reason there is, LOVE of course.

Love, with all its glorious ups and downs (but mainly ups!) does lead one to some strange places. For example, I now find myself in a beautiful country, with scenery to shed buckets of tears over, people one can only hug impulsively upon first meeting cause they're just so darn cute and a household where it is quite acceptable to have caviar for breakfast (it comes in a tube!), but I don't yet speak the language properly. So my forays into job hunting have been limited severely by the fact that I sound like a drunken seal whenever I open my mouth.

Thus, I am reading again. This is a very happy thing for me. Between September when love arrived in Sydney and a month ago when I was still living in Sydney I read two books. IN SEVEN MONTHS. This is decidedly unlike me. But of course, when you have the choice between reading and love, it's easier than answering the question 'Coffee?'

Now, love is at work and I am rattling around a gorgeous big old house by myself. I have fallen back into reading with all the vim and vigour of my old days. Hopefully the sister will notice that I am blogging again and hold up her end. We may change our look soon. I know that Earhart has had some mild grumbles about the outdated look of the blog. So, fair warning, we may be UNRECOGNISABLE soon.

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