ATELIER MAY

I have to admit that I read considerably less throughout May than I had in April. On the other hand, the two books I am about to name have become my ultimate favourite novels (which brings me to the idea that I could come up with a list of my, let's say, top 10 books I have read in my life. As I've been finishing the sentence I realized that this will not be as easy as I had been thinking it could be. Anyhow...). Time to explore my May reading list.

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes - My English professor told me about this unusual and original writer, mentioning his other books such as A History of the World in 10 and ½ Chapters or Flaubert's Parrot. I started with The Sense of an Ending. A thin book is divided into two parts. It starts with a story of Tony Webster revisiting his high-school memories. What seems to be an obvious storyline rapidly changes as you reach the second part of the book, meeting retired Tony who realizes that the power of the past has had a reaching influence into his present. In order to fully understand the mystery of his friend's sudden suicide which took place more than forty years ago, he needs to reconsider some of his own memories explored earlier on in the book. Julian Barnes skilfully tackles a question of human identity and the inaccuracy of our memories, bringing to his reader a beautiful story with the passages you have to reread to fully comprehend them. You would think that because the book has no more than 150 pages, you will be done with it within one day. The truth is that you need to slow down your reading process to fully grasp the whole concept of this story of love, betrayal, hatred, and revelation to truly enjoy every moment.

History is that certainty produced at the point where the imprefections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.                  The Sense of an Ending

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - So many of my friends have been glorifying the book that one day I had to march into a bookshop and get a copy for myself. And I can confirm that this 400 pages long novel is worth of your attention. Americanah tells a story of two young Nigerian students, Ifemelu and Obinze, who are in love and full of naiveté. When the political situation in Nigerian forces them to leave their homeland and each other, Adichie follows their journeys to America and London, opening up the questions of race and becoming an immigrant in a country with completely different habits than the main protagonists were dreaming of in the safety of their homeland. The frankness of the writer was the book's key element that really got me. Adichie is not afraid to openly discuss the topics of racism and dark sides of emigration, urging her readers to rethink their entire perception of our society. She jumps between the past and the present, bringing a lot of flashbacks, but also alluding to what will happen in the future, which adds an interesting element to the story. After being absorbed with Ifemelu's powerful story set in the USA, the ending was a little bit too slow for me. However, Adichie avoids all the typical clichés, neatly tidying up the story of Americanah, leaving you want to read more.

"Why didn't she just ask 'was it the black girl or the white girl?'"

Ginika laughed. "Because this is America. You're supposed to pretend that you don't notice certain things."                           Americanah


Avocado Toast Recipes 

Have you read about Australian millionaire who said that if the millennials want to buy a house, they should stop buying avocados and drinking expensive coffee in coffee shops? If between me and my potential future house stand avocados and delightful cappuccinos, then I think I will take it. But if you feel like you should start saving money by cutting the green pleasure out of your life, then of course, I fully support you! As a proof of my words I am giving you my two favourite avocado toast recipes you can prepare at home and thus you do not need to spend money in "overprized" coffee shops. Enjoy!

  • A slice of bread (my favourite one is sourdough bread)
  • ½ ripe avocado
  • ½ fresh lemon
  • black pepper and salt
  • olive oil

Toast the slice of bread. You can either use a toaster (I know, shocking!) or a pan, adding a drop of olive oil so the toast is not so dry. But do not put there too much oil as it would get soggy. Carefully slice the avocado (I read an article about a rising number of patients with injuries caused by wrongly cutting avocados - I am not joking, google it!) and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh out of the skin. Mash the avocado with a fork so you get a nice, almost smooth paste. Add a drop of olive oil, some black pepper, salt and squeezed fresh lemon juice (I will let it up to you how much you want to season it). Properly mix up the seasoned avocado paste and spread it on your toast. Voilà.

My another favourite combination, originating from the coffee shop in Brussels (Or Espresso Bar) is slightly different:

  • a slice of bread
  • ½ ripe avocado
  • ½ fresh lemon
  • black pepper and salt
  • natural soft cream cheese spread, fresh chive, radishes

Toast the slice of bread. This time, once you scoop the avocado, do not mash it but slice it up. Slice the radishes and chop the fresh chive as well. Spread the natural cheese cream over your toast, put sliced avocado on top of that, decorate it with radishes, fresh chive and season it with lemon, pepper and salt. 

30.05.2017