I love food: how it looks and how it tastes, that when done well it relies on science and requires art, how it’s both essential to life and one of the life’s great pleasures, that it embodies cultures and family traditions, and how easily it communicates caring and friendship.
Also, I just really like to eat.
So nothing would have made me happier than if someone asked me for food pairings for each of my stories.
Just my luck then that I was indeed asked for pairings, but not with food. They wanted a playlist for my book.
By “they” I mean the Largehearted Boy “LHB” blog which has about 12,000 unique visitors a day. LHB readers are described as ‘hip, intelligent people’ into music and literature and pop culture. I figured I was two and half out of five on meeting the criteria since I’m smart enough, very into literature, and can exercise ferociously on the elliptical when equipped with a copy of People magazine.
The blog’s “Book Notes” section features short essays and a playlist from the author of a recently released book.
Other writers who met the challenge include Bret Easton Ellis, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru. Only a fool wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to join such august ranks…
So I jumped.
The resulting Louise Aronson Book Notes is a Valentine’s day post on dualities: noise and silence, doctors and patients, fact and fiction, among others. It also contains two playlists; one that describes my writing life (1. silence, 2. silence, etc.), and a second one with songs matched to each story and a brief explanation of my choices.
I should admit I had help – for which I am very grateful – not least because the selections are far less literal then they would have been had I been left to my own devices.
And now back to food. For those who, like me, would choose food over music more often than we’d like to admit, I offer the following food and wine pairings, in order, with the stories in A History of the Present Illness:
- Snapshots from an Institution Pork noodle soup Jevity 1.2
- An American Problem PBJ Milk
- Giving Good Death Moules frites Viognier
- Heart Failure Organic green salad Green tea
- Becoming a Doctor Chicken wings Microbrew
- After Burger Coke
- Twenty Five Things I Know Shaak Chai
- Soup or Sex Molten chocolate cake Single malt whiskey
- Fires and Flat Lines Mac ‘n cheese Water
- The Psychiatrist’s Wife — Lime switcher
- Blurred Boundary Disorder Broccoli burrito Australian varietal
- Vital Signs Stable Spaghetti marinara Double espresso
- Days of Awe Borscht Gin and tonic
- Lucky You Charcuterie Napa Cabernet
- The Promise Ceviche Pisco sour
- A Medical Story Oysters Champagne