Books Abra Berens Loves

Abra shared these books that are meaningful to her:

Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie. My dad gave me this book when he moved to Chicago for his anesthesia residency. When I was little they called me Abby and so it felt personal. It also has a super inspiring message of a girl keeping the lights in a light house glowing when she's alone. My parents were very pro-women and wanted us to absorb those messages across the board. 

As an Adult: East of Eden. This is where my name comes from and it just so happens I love Steinbeck's writing. It is so sincere without being earnest. It conveys the heartbreaking beauty of human life with out being overly sentimental. And even though it is written out in California, it feels remarkably Midwestern. 

As a Chef: Blood Bones and Butter. Gabrielle Hamilton is my kind of writer! She speaks clearly and simply and again gives voice the beauty of every day. Plus her understanding of herself as a woman in restaurants helped me to understand the role I want to play-- which is one of nuance, exuding both complete control and while simultaneously not relying on conventional tropes to find comfort. Also any writing by Jim Harrison, specifically his food writing. Again strikingly Midwestern. Again beautifully relaying the glory of nature and food and each other without getting too caught up in it all.

Check out our interview with Abra!