At the moment, I’m simultaneously reading both of the books pictured above. Slow Death By Rubber Duck: The Secret Dangers of Everyday Things (by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie), and Lunch In Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes (by Elizabeth Bard). Slow Death by Rubber Duck is for the mornings, because if I read it at night it’ll take about twenty Tylenol PMs to get me snoozin’. Sample quote: “Pollution is now so pervasive that it’s become a marinade in which we all bathe every day. Pollution is actually inside us all. It’s seeped into our bodies. And in many cases, once it’s in, it’s impossible to get out.” See? Total mood-upper. But the book is fascinating – the two authors, who clearly subscribe to the Michael Moore-Fast Food Nation school of journalism, literally expose themselves to a bevy of chemicals to “see what happens”…and as you can imagine, what happens is quite bad indeed.
Lunch in Paris is my sunset reading: it’s a book made for paging through while sitting in a warm pool of sun at a glorious cafe, martini in hand, waiting for my husband to get off of work and come join me (well, that only happened once last week, but that moment allowed me to quote him the first line of the book – “I slept with my French husband halfway through our first date” – in hopes of injecting him with a little inspiration). This book – which recalls Under the Tuscan Sun, Julie & Julia, and even Judith Jones’ The Tenth Muse for its life-inspired recipes, which are scattered throughout like tiny, sweet pops of sugar – is just what I want to be reading while the days grow warmer. Preferably while eating croissants in Paris, but hey…Second Avenue’ll do.
P.S. Elizabeth Bard also has a totally charming blog; check it out.