Tuesday, May 28, 2013

From Paris to Provence to Mt. Aukum

We should be coming to the end of our reading journey by now, and I am hoping the books this month have left you inspired to cook, to travel and to dine on all things Francais. 
Along with the tastes and smells Ethel Brennan and Sara Remington talk about in their beautiful book Paris to Provence they also talk about the light looking over the vineyards and the sound of the squeaky floors in their 18th century house and the church bells in the village.  I don't think there is any sound more wonderful than the middle of the night comfort of a village churchbell., or anything more European than the whine of a police siren in the streets of Paris.  Now that I've read through the book, it's time for me to get cooking.  I'll be making some treats for you to take home after our wonderful event at C.G. DiArie Vineyards a week from Saturday on June 8th.  Don't delay getting your tickets as they are starting to be quite scarce.  Just CLICK HERE for a ticket to the event.  All are welcome, so please bring a friend. The tickets are $20.00 each and you will love the refreshments, the conversation with the authors, who will be interviewed by Donna Apidone, host of Morning Edition and the Provence like setting. 
Before closing today, I have one more very special invitation for you.  We have just launched our CapRadio Reads website.  The site is full of information about our book club, books featured on NPR and stories from local authors and Capital Public Radio personalities.  It will take you further into our world of books than we have been able to go with the blog.  From now on, when you go to http://capradio.org/books on your browser, you will end up at this sight.  Hope you enjoy it. Please let us know!
I look forward to seeing many of you at the Paris to Provence event and as always, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

An Afternoon in Provence

Baguettes and Beignets

We certainly hope that after starting to read the magnificent book Paris to Provence you will be inspired to join us at the C.G. DiArie Vineyard and Winery for an afternoon of conversation, wine and delicious food in an atmosphere that will make you feel as if you are in Provence. Just CLICK HERE to make it happen.
How are you enjoying reading the books this month? From the beautiful photographs and recipes in the book by Ethel Brennan and Sara Remington to the stories of living the life of a young family and the history of Provence in A Pig in Provence I don't think it's difficult to imagine yourself doing it. Perhaps after reading a chapter you decide to have your own party in August and invite your friends to A Grand Aoili!  Have them bring their own utensils and you provide the food and some lovely wine.  What a wonderful evening it could be. If only we had old friends who could come and tell stories of truffle hunting and fighting in the resistance, of swimming in the blue waters and lying on the rocky beaches at Nice, or better yet, the beignet vendor strolling down the beach selling his basket full of beignets.....We may not have beignets, but we we will have other Mediterranean treats and very lovely wines, so we look forward to seeing you on June 8th. 
As always, thanks for reading.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I Love Paris In The Springtime

Three Visions, Two Books and One Country

The magnetism of shared experiences is really a remarkable thing.  Both the books we are reading this month, Paris to Provence by Ethel Brennan and Sara Remington and A Pig in Provence by Georgeanne Brennan are books I chose to read because of their beauty, their writing and because I have travelled to France and share the authors love of the place and the food.  Having read A Pig in Provence years ago, it inspired me to go stay in the a small village in Provence in a house owned by the author. Reading the book again, now, after being there, I am once again amazed with Brennan's ability to draw a picture of life in a very remote section of Provence, raising not only her children, but goats, lambs and a husband.  Her descriptions of the days are from the perspective of a mother who is also working hard to learn new skills, in a new country, while at the same time making an incredible life for her family. From the start of the book we see her challenges, not only to learn the craft of living in Provence, but also to be able to be accepted as a member of this small community.  How amazing it is now, to view that same time and that life, from the eyes of her daughter Ethel in her book Paris to Provence.

Her memories of the same time also revolve around the foods, but also specifically around the long dinners and the stories that were told.  The farmhouse they lived in was once lived in by German soldiers, who occupied the area.  The Resistance was also strong in the area, so the men would work the fields during the day and be out trying to thwart the Nazi's by  night.  All the stories in both books evoke a time, not that long ago that was obviously a dream fulfilled by Mother, daughter and friend, that continues to this day. Hope you are enjoying reading their stories and that you will be joining us for our amazing event at the C.G Di Arie Vineyard and Winery on June 8th at two in the afternoon.  For more details and to purchase your tickets SIGN UP HERE.  We have only a limited number of tickets left, so please don't delay.
In case you haven't filled your Francophile bookcase, I also highly recommend the new book by Edward Rutherfurd, Paris.  I just finished it and loved this portrait of Paris, done as a historical novel.  Like our two books for June, it makes you feel as if you are living through the time and in the place.
As always, thank you for reading.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

New Title Announcement

From Paris To Provence

CapRadio Readers are in for a triple creme treat in June.  It is my great pleasure to announce the title for our June CapRadio Reads event. Paris to Provence: Childhood Memories of Food & France by Ethel Brennan and Sara Remington. This book, part cookbook, part memoir, is not only a book of memories of childhoods spent exploring the roads and foods of France, but also the coming together of two new friends, with very similar memories of a very special place, but the most beautiful compilation of photos, maps and remembrances. We thought it fitting to celebrate the release of this gorgeous book in an equally gorgeous setting, so we invite you, our loyal CapRadio Readers to join us for a food and wine reception, a conversation with the authors Ethel Brennan and Sara Remington and a book signing at the beautiful vineyards of C. G. Di Arie Vineyard and Winery, 5200 Di Arie Road, Mount Aukum, Ca. 95656.  This event will take place on Saturday, June 8th, from two until four in the afternoon.  Please SIGN UP HERE  to attend this very special event. You will be able to taste the wine in the vineyard where it began it's life and speak to the wine maker himself.  If this isn't enough, I also encourage you to pick up a copy of Ethel Brennan's mother's book, A Pig in Provence, by Georgeanne Brennan.  This book will give you the mother's perspective on the same childhood. Georgeanne Brennan in a local food celebrity, who does classes on Provencal cooking, works with schools to design healthy menus for kids and has written numerous cookbooks of her own.
In future blogs we will be discussing both books, but for now, please hurry to be among the few who have the opportunity to come to this very special day.
I look forward to seeing you in our own beautiful wine country on June 8th, but for now, as always, thanks for reading.

Oh What a Night

The Ophelia Cut Launched

What a great party.  I know I saw a lot of you CapRadio Readers at the party last night and I hope you enjoyed it.  Great music, fantastic food, wonderful wines from C.G. Diarie and most important, a terrific conversation between Donna Apidone, host of Morning Edition and the man of the hour, John Lescroart.  As always, he was funny and insightful and steadfastly refused to give too much away about his new book. I guess you'll just have to read The Ophelia Cut to find out how he came up with this most unusual title.  Please let us know what you think. I loved it, but I may be prejudiced.
With this event behind us, we move on to June with another very special day planned for you. Please watch the blog later this afternoon for more information and the reveal of the newest title for CapRadio Reads.
And once again, as always, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Less Than A Week Until Our Party

Do You Have Your Ticket Yet?

Well CapRadio Readers, have you signed up to be one of the lucky 100 with a reserved seat for the May 7th Launch Party for John Lescroart's new book The Ophelia Cut?  Don't wait a moment longer, since we are almost sold out for this great opportunity.  Wonderful wines from our friends at C. G. Diarie, fantastic appetizers and the chance to hear John Lescroart and Donna Apidone, the host of Morning Edition in conversation.  Join us at the Odd Fellows Hall in Davis just by SIGNING UP HERE.
Thanks to those of you who have sent notes and comments this week.  From some of the notes I received I have a few book titles to recommend.  One of our regulars at our Face To Face meetings finished and loved Kate Atkinson's new book Life After Life, remarking on her experimentation with the structure of the novel.  I just finished a Jeffrey Archer book in preparation for his newest, Best Kept Secrets, which came out yesterday and now I am truly immersed in the newest from Edward Rutherford, Paris. 
And now, back to the man of the hour, or at least of the next week, John Lescroart and the final question and answer from my interview with him.  I hope to see all of you on May 7th in Davis.

V.L.:  Authors are often asked which of their books is their favorite, and also often respond that it's the current book.  I know The Ophelia Cut is my favorite, is it yours, and why or why not?

J.L.: The Lucky Seven Reasons why The Ophelia Cut is the favorite among my own books:

1. It was fun and easy to write, and at the same time had a powerful and compelling theme.
2. It came in at over 500 pages, which for some reason is always a cool thing and an indication that I was throwing the whole "kitchen sink" at the book and a lot of it was sticking. After writing several of my past books about one or more of my characters, this time I gathered up characters from everywhere and all of them found a place in the narrative. Abe, Diz, Frannie, The Beck, Moses, Susan (Moses's wife), Brittany (Moses's daughter), Gina Roake, Wyatt Hunt . . . in short, just about everybody. I was almost tempted to bring David Freeman back from the dead.
3. I handed it in on time. (Even though I have handed every one of my books in on time, the thrill never goes away.)
4. I really, really put a lot of my folks into serious jeopardy in many different ways. The hearkening back to The First Law brought so much depth to the anguish people were going through. The drama just seemed never to give up.
5. The courtroom stuff was not just strategic, but entertaining as all get-out. And the final courtroom turnaround was just so beautifully unexpected and riveting that I almost couldn't believe when it showed up. I probably whooped aloud when it occurred to me.
6. I got to keep my own title!!! And I firmly believe that it is the perfect one.
7. I love the prologue, which I originally wrote as a stand-alone short story and then became an integral part of this book's fabric -- first time anything like that has ever happened.

In short, this was a book that simply started running on all cylinders quite early in the process, and whose many disparate parts all fell together rather perfectly. I think readers will truly love this book as a reading experience, and that is a wonderful feeling for an author to have.