This Week's Recommended Reading
Doomsday Book (Connie Willis)
Connie Willis is one of my favorite authors. Her books combine science fiction, compelling characters and a touch of humor. Like many of Willis' stories, Doomsday Book is partially set in future Oxford, England, where time travel has become a reality. Safeguards on the "net" prevent travel to times or locations where history might be changed, making it primarily useful to historians and other academics. Kivrin is an Oxford history undergraduate who travels back to the 14th century. She must cope with terrible illness, hardship and grief in Medieval England, while, unknown to her, an epidemic strikes her colleagues in Oxford. As it says in the Amazon review, the book "... draws upon Willis' understanding of the universalities of human nature to explore the ageless issues of evil, suffering and the indomitable will of the human spirit."
Doomsday Book deservedly won both the Hugo and Nebula awards in 1993.
The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook (Gloria Miller)
If you are interested in learning about Chinese cooking, the Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook is an excellent resource. The cookbook includes a helpful discussion of different Chinese cooking techniques and there is a glossary of Chinese ingredients. One of the things I like best about it is that for each recipe variations on the ingredients and preparation are described, from simple to the complex.
Some of my favorite recipes are from this cookbook, including Hot Sour Soup and Stir-Fried Curry Pork (which I may post about later).