Tag Archives: Library Channel

Ann Patchett

Contributed by John Menier

8232Listed by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2012, Ann Patchett is a true woman of letters: novelist, essayist, anthologist, and co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville. Patchett is also a frequent and accomplished public speaker, noted for her anecdotes about the literary life, her insights into the creative process, and her wry wit.

One of Patchett’s favorite topics is the ever-changing relationship between readers and books. As an example she cites her own evolution reading (and re-reading) the works of John Updike, Leo Tolstoy, Pearl Buck, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and others, noting that “the books don’t change, but we do.” Put another way, the reader’s evaluation of a particular book is shaped as much by the reader’s life experience and circumstances as by the work’s innate qualities. As such our appreciation (or lack thereof) for a particular title may change over time, but the consistent commonality among the books we treasure is that they never fail to evoke a strong response. Patchett believes the writer’s primary task is to elicit that response by inviting the reader to become an active participant in their story.

Patchett’s approach to the reading public is refreshingly un-elitist. She stresses the importance of what she calls “gateway drugs,” books of dubious literary worth that may encourage readers to explore other authors and genres. She applauds the success of “trashy” pop novels such as “Fifty Shades of Gray” and “Twilight,” no matter their pedigree, for their role in re-vitalizing book sales and energizing the publishing community. What matters most to Patchett as both author and bookstore owner is that the reading habit is fostered and encouraged, and in that endeavor, there’s no place for snobbery.

Click here to watch An Evening with Ann Patchett

Click here for more programs from The Library Channel

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Willan’s Recipes

25903Anne Willan has quietly made a significant international contribution as both a teacher and a cookbook author specializing in French cuisine for over 35 years. With the support of Julia Child, Willan opened the La Varenne Cooking School in Paris in 1975. In the mid-1970s, as Willan writes in her memoir, “French cuisine was becoming a portal by which Americans were rediscovering the culinary arts after a long dormant period that began in the 1930s with the taming of vegetables in cans, followed by the 1950s and frozen foods. Julia had opened the front and led the battle, and now La Varenne was the place people could have the Julia Child experience, a working laboratory of classical French cuisine.”

As recent guests of the UC San Diego Library, Willan and co-author Amy Friedman offered morsels from Willan’s autobiography, “One Souffle at a Time: A Memoir of Food and France.” Together, they share stories, pictures and secret ingredients to a life well-lived.

With the cooking season upon us, how about trying one Willan’s delicious recipes that you can find here: La Varenne CookingOr check out our favorites below: Happy Holidays everyone!

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Roast Leg of Lamb with White Beans

Roast leg of lamb is the French cook’s pride, paraded for guests, or a birthday, or for family Sunday lunch. To make the most of this expensive cut, a gigot is invariably cooked on the bone, with a clove of garlic tucked into the shank so it permeates the whole roast. The meat may be spiked with more garlic and herbs, and is basted with butter to ensure a golden finish and tasty gravy.

Serves 6 to 8

One 4- to 5-pound/about 2-kilogram leg of lamb

[Read Full Recipe]

 

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Winter Salad of Country Ham

Endive and lamb’s lettuce are among the treats of winter, a glimpse of green among the seasonal roots on the vegetable stand. Teamed with beets for color and hazelnuts for crunch, they are a classic French combination, delicious with thinly sliced Virginia or Smithfield ham, or some imported prosciutto.

Serves 4 for supper

70g/2½oz/½ cup hazelnuts

450g/1lb cooked baby beets

[Read Full Recipe]

 

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Volcanic Apples 

These apples are hollowed to the shape of a volcano so they take more stuffing, hence their name in our family. For the filling, I’m calling for muesli as it is so easy to find, but you’ll save a bit of time if you use granola, which is already toasted.  Simply mix it with the other ingredients. You’ll need a tart variety of apple that will be fluffy and juicy when baked; traditional favorites are Rome Beauty or McIntosh (Cox’s or Reine de Reinettes in theUK), though you can always fall back on the ubiquitous Granny Smith.

Serves 4

[Read Full Recipe]

 

Join the conversation on Twitter @UCTelevision, @AnneWillan, & @ucsdlibrary

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The Library Channel Presents: Books That Changed America with Jay Parini

Library ChannelUCTV is proud to announce the launching of  UC San Diego’s Library Channel. The first spotlighted program is Books That Changed America with Jay Parini — Dinner in the Library.

Renowned author and Middlebury College Professor Jay Parini offers a compelling narrative on the evolution of the American psyche with selections from his “Promised Land: Thirteen Books That Changed America.” Parini was the keynote speaker at the UC San Diego Library’s “Dinner in the Library,” which takes place annually in Geisel Library.

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Parini explains, “These thirteen books must be seen as representative, not definitive, works. They are nodal points, places where vast areas of thought and feeling gathered and dispersed, creating a nation as various and vibrant as the United States, which must be considered one of the most successful nation-states in modern history, and a republic built firmly on ideas, which are contained in its major texts. Where we have been must, of course, determine where we are going. My hope is that this book helps to show us where we have been and engenders a lively conversation about our destination, which seems perpetually in dispute.” —from Promised Land

Jay Parini’s 13 books that changed America:

1. “Of Plymouth Plantation,” William Bradford

2. “The Federalist Papers,” Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay

3. “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin”

4. “The Journals of Lewis and Clark,” Meriwether Lewis and William Clark

5. “Walden,” Henry David Thoreau

6. “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” Harriet Beecher Stowe

7. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” Mark Twain

8. “The Souls of Black Folk,” W.E.B. Du Bois

9. “The Promised Land,” Nicholas Lemann

10. “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” Dale Carnegie

11. “The Common Sense Book on Baby and Child Care,” Dr. Benjamin Spock

12. “On the Road,” Jack Kerouac

13. “The Feminine Mystique,” Betty Friedan

Join the conversation: @UCTelevision & @ucsdlibrary

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