Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My Monthly Wrap-Up

June was a pretty big month here on Ivory Owl Reviews. Here's a quick recap and a look at what I've got planned for July.

I compiled an Updated List of Book Bloggers and I loved all the feedback I got. There are several book blogging directories but I found that a lot of them were not updated regularly. I included bloggers who have posted within the last month and have a blog that is mostly book reviews. I first made a list back in October 2014 and am planning on updating every 6 months or so.

I reviewed 9 books total but my favorite by far was The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler. I loved this book! Two other favorites this month were The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza and The Balance Project by Susie Orman Schnall. These will probably all be included in my long list of 2015 favorites. I also liked It's You by Jane PorterA Second Bite at the Apple by Dana Bate, and The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne

I had two Foodie Friday Features: Recipe for Disaster by Stacey Ballis and Elaine's by Amy Phillips Penn

My Feature and Giveaway of Love and Miss Communication by Elyssa Friedland had a great turnout and I gave away 2 signed copies.

Looking ahead:
I wish I could read them all but will probably only get to a couple, but here are The 11 July Releases I'm Excited About. Also, Tamara and I have announced our next Book Talk with R and T selection: THOSE GIRLS by Chevy Stevens. I loved THAT NIGHT and was not disappointed when I read THOSE GIRLS. I read the whole book in two sittings!

How was your June? What bookish events or releases are you excited for in July?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Foodie Friday: Elaine's by Amy Phillips Penn

Title: Elaine's: The Rise of One of New York's Most Legendary Restaurants from Those Who Were There
Author: Amy Phillips Penn
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
ISBN: 9781632202727
Number of Pages:
How I Got It: from publicist
Format: Hardcover
A tribute to legendary restaurateur Elaine Kaufman and her renowned Manhattan creative melting pot. Elaine’s was a world-famous New York restaurant that became home to writers and celebrities. Owner Elaine Kaufman was known to be “New York feisty,” controversial, often rude, always blunt, with the flare of Gertrude Stein and Dorothy Parker. Elaine was highly respected and also frequently feared, and Elaine’s the restaurant received the public’s love and praise time and time again. Woody Allen held a regular table there, and Elaine’s was even featured in Allen’s Manhattan and Billy Joel’s song “Big Shot.” Throughout the years, Mick Jagger, John Lennon, and countless celebrities, politicians, socialites, private eyes, athletes, artists, and the biggest names in Hollywood became Elaine’s regulars. Most emphatically, Elaine’s raison d’ĂȘtre was to nourish “starving writers” with encouragement, introductions to Pulitzer Prize winners, and free food and alcohol. These struggling authors responded to Elaine’s support with profound gratitude. Elaine passed away in 2010, forcing the restaurant manager to close shop shortly after. “There is no Elaine’s without Elaine,” she decreed. However, the memories remain and are recalled by a variety of Elaine’s regulars in this moving, oftentimes amusing, collection of personal essays.
My Review:
Having never been to New York, my only knowledge of this legendary restaurant is from the Billy Joel song, and having always thought that the artistic salons of Paris and any gatherings of artists always sounded so romantic, I figured that Elaine's would have been my kind of place. Except I probably couldn't have gotten in. Which would have made me want to go there even more. The essays in the book paint a woman who was brash and took no shit, but knew virtually every writer, director, and actor (that was worth knowing) in The Big Apple. This book is (I assume) a wonderful compilation of nostalgia for anyone who had the privilege of meeting Elaine and had the honor of participating in the wonderful going-ons of the restaurant, but for the person who had no such luck, it is the next best thing. Elaine's transports a reader through time and space to New York in the sixties through the aughts, from Club 54 and Andy Warhol to Chris Noth and the The Sopranos, we get to be part of the "in" crowd and hear great stories about the cool kids and the woman they all adored, Elaine Kaufman.

** Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review **