Thursday, June 24, 2010

Kim Severson, What Are You Reading?

Since I started asking this question of different people from the food community, I have received completely varied answers with one exception. Kim Severson’s new book Spoon Fed was recommended in two responses. Kim has been writing for the New York Times for the past six years, and prior to that, she wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle. Her resume includes time as an editor and reporter at The Anchorage Daily News and writing for daily newspapers on the West Coast. She has won four James Beard awards for food writing. On her site, you can keep up with Kim’s latest work and share your own kitchen stories. I asked Kim: what are you reading?

I am reading Hog and Hominy: Soul Food From Africa to America by Frederick Douglass Opie. It’s a terrific examination of the history of soul food in America. I wrote a story for The New York Times about food in the Bronx, and one of my editors suggested it. The book starts with folk traditions and cooking in West Africa and takes you all the way through Malcolm X and bean pies and the healthy soul food revolution in the 1980s.

I am also re-reading For You, Mom, Finally by Ruth Reichl. It came out in paperback with a different title, which was Not Becoming My Mother. Ruth really hated that title. It’s a very sweet book, full of insight and angst both from a daughter’s perspective and a writer’s perspective.

Last, I have a copy of Great Recipes from The New York Times on the pile. The women who run Omnivore Books in San Francisco gave it to me recently. Raymond Sokolov, who was the food editor at the Times in the 1970s, put it together. It’s really kind of a fun, fussy history lesson, what with all those recipes for pheasant and vegetable charlotte.

Thank you for participating, Kim! Check back to see who answers the question next time and what other books are recommended.

Previous WAYR posts:
Jaden Hair
Michael Ruhlman
Monica Bhide
Michael Natkin
Sara Roahen
Andrea Nguyen
David Lebovitz
Rick Bayless
Tara Austen Weaver
Mollie Katzen
Deborah Madison
Soup Peddler
Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan
Robb Walsh


  1. Both books must be very interesting!



  2. Sounds like n interesting books, especially the Hog and Homini.

  3. Hog and Hominy sounds fascinating as a way to learn about how the culinary traditions of Africa inform that of America. As for the tidbit about the tile of Ruth Reichl's book, I agree that the new header is much more appealing.

    Thank you Kim (and Lisa) for telling us about these titles!

  4. Great recs! I've been needing to add a few more titles to my summer reading list, and both of these look perfect. Hog & Hominy sounds like a great read -- and I'll bet it contains all sorts of interesting tidbits.

  5. I really enjoy your series of what are you reading! It's always a bit of a surprise! :)

  6. I always discover a new book (that I want to read =)) through your series. Ruth Reichl - I hate her titles but LOVE her memoirs...and they are so worth the re-read.

  7. I love these, Lisa! Almost every time, I find a book I'd like to read! This one is no different...I'm going to get the Ruth Reichl book!

  8. Ruth Reichl's book is one of my favorites. I even bought a copy for my mom after I read it. So touching. Loving this series of posts!

  9. Books sound very interesting.

  10. I remember that Ruth Reichl book well. It's the smallest of all her books, but boy, is it a great read.

  11. Hogs and Hominy is a great book. I love these lists you're offering up, keeps me informed of some great ideas.

  12. Thanks for giving new ideas. Great!

  13. I read two of Ruth Reichl's other books - this one will be next on my list.


Blogging tips