Nibbles & Bits, Vol. 4
A too-short life, but well lived and celebrated by those who loved her
I worked both days the weekend before last, so there was no newsletter from me last week. I’m back, a little worse for the wear, mainly tired, but I read and rested last weekend and feel a little better now. I made it through another tax deadline, and now just three to go until I never have to think about any deadlines again. I’m back and raring to go with a Nibble about a book I loved and a few Bits of bookish goodness. Trigger warning: the book nibble deals with death, so stop here if this is not something you wish to read about.
I enjoy most of the food competition shows, and my hands-down favorite is Top Chef. I started watching it with Season 5 and recently went back and watched the four seasons I missed. One of my favorite seasons of Top Chef was season 15 in Colorado, which featured many excellent established and up-and-coming chefs, and Fatima Ali was one of them. She seemed so kind and had such a great personality that the other chef contestants and the fans were instantly drawn to her. She was voted fan favorite for her season, but by the time her season aired, she had already been diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy.
Anyone that follows Top Chef and Ali knows how the story ends, but the memoir/biography is about so much more than her death. It’s about her life, her upbringing, her mother and brother, her friends, and all the admirers she had throughout her life. She was not only a Top Chef contestant but has also been on Chopped twice and worked at well-known restaurants during her young life and short career.
Written by Ali with the help of writer Tarajia Morrell, and along with stories told by her brother and mother, this book was difficult to read. So much truth was shared between Ali and her mother about her childhood and growing up in Pakistan; I was amazed at their strength. I often had to put the book down as I was in a puddle of tears. Being a fan of Top Chef and watching her season, I felt as if I knew her; maybe if I didn’t know who she was, reading the book wouldn’t have hit me as hard as it did, but I’m so glad I received an ARC from NetGalley and had the opportunity to read it. Savor publishes on October 11, 2022, and all seasons of Top Chef moved from Hulu to Peacock yesterday. If you’ve never watched Top Chef, check out her season to see Ali in action and to learn more about her before reading Savor.
Check out Chopped Season 12, Episode 3 and Chopped Champions, Season 4, for Ali’s episodes
A tribute written by Top Chef host and judge Padma Lakshmi in People
A listing of fifteen mostly “new to me” indie bookstores, some with unique and memorable names, and one is in my backyard. I can’t wait to visit soon. And I just missed the Trinity River Book Festival; it’s on my calendar for next year.
I’ve written about book clubs in the past, and one question that comes up frequently is, “what is a good book club discussion question?” This BookRiot article gives ideas for nine book club questions that inspire great discussions and links to other helpful hints about what makes a great book club.
I’ve been reading more crime fiction lately, and my go-to website for great book recommendations is Crimereads. Here is an article about six classic books that live at the intersection of literary fiction and crime.
What have you been reading lately? Have you read any good books or memoirs recently? You can tell me about it in the comments. Have a great week, and happy reading!
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