5 Books That Will Make You Hungry

As a foodie, I have a sot spots for books that have to do with food. I’m not necessarily particular when it comes to genres for my culinary armchair travels. I’ve read memoirs, essays, historical fiction, cozy mysteries, women’s lit, I’ll read it.

Here are a few culinary themed books I’ve really enjoyed in random order:

1. Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford was one of the first cooking memoirs I read after moving to the DC area. This book stuck with me because I was in midst of my Food Network obsession. Back when they still had real cooking shows. Buford spent a lot of time around Mario Batali so it was exciting to live vicariously through him.

2. The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears in Paris at the World’s Most Famous Cooking School by Kathleen Finn gives an insider’s look at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school.  Before I read Finn’s memoir, I considered attending the Culinary Institute of America during my quarter-life crisis. (We didn’t call it that back then!) I definitely realized that I didn’t want to work in a restaurant kitchen after reading this. I’m happy with being a foodie and a cook.

3. Life from Scratch by Melissa Ford is a fun novel about recently divorced Rachel Goldman who decides she needs to learn how to cook. She also starts writing a blog to document her lessons. It’s a fun, easy to read novel. You might be inspired to pick up a cookbook after reading it!

4. Set in Germany during World War II and present day Texas,  The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy brings memories to life through the art of making bread and pastries. This novel was one our book club selections. Check out our book club members’ discussion of The Baker’s Daughter.

5. If you’ve never read Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel or have only seen the movie, you’re missing out. This love story set in Mexico is sensual and contains recipe that you can use to recreate a little romance in your life.  Make sure you pick up some chocolate before you settle down with this novel.

What are your favorite books about food?

What I’m Reading Now

Glow by Jessica Maria Tuccelli

Sweet Tea Revenge by Laura Childs

I broke my no books from the library rule last week and borrowed a book for me. The kids had their piles of picture books (which can get heavy!). On my way to the checkout station, I spotted Laura Childs’ latest Tea Shop Mystery: Sweet Tea Revenge. Her Tea Shop Mysteries are one of my favorite cozy series. “m sure our amateur detective Theodosia Browning will be up to her shenanigans in order to solve the murder. I’m looking forward to diving in!

Glow by Jessica Maria Tuccelli

Last night I read the first 5 pages of Glow a novel by Jessica Maria Tuccelli. If the first 5 pages is any indication of how good a book it, I knew I was in for a sleepless night of frantic reading. So I forced myself to put it down. Also, the book cover is gorgeous? Yes, I do sometimes judge books by their cover.

Here’s the publisher’s description of Glow:

In the autumn of 1941, Amelia J. McGee, a young woman of Cherokee and Scotch-Irish descent, and an outspoken pamphleteer for the NAACP, hastily sends her daughter, Ella, alone on a bus home to Georgia in the middle of the night—a desperate measure that proves calamitous when the child encounters two drifters and is left for dead on the side of the road.

Ella awakens in the homestead of Willie Mae Cotton, a wise root doctor and former slave, and her partner, Mary-Mary Freeborn, tucked deep in the Takatoka Forest. As Ella heals, the secrets of her lineage are revealed.

Shot through with Cherokee lore and hoodoo conjuring, Glow transports us from Washington, D.C., on the brink of World War II to the Blue Ridge frontier of 1836, from the parlors of antebellum manses to the plantation kitchens where girls are raised by women who stand in as mothers. As the land with all its promise and turmoil passes from one generation to the next, Ella’s ancestral home turns from safe haven to mayhem and back again.

As a mother of biracial children, this portrayal of race relations in this period of American history intrigues me. Perhaps we have not come s far along in that department?

Stay tuned for a review and giveaway of Glow!

What’s on your list this week?


Spring Break Reading

Finding Camlann by Sean Pidgeon

Licorice Bookmark

I’ve been a bad book blogger lately. Total slacker. Sorry I haven’t been around, but last week was super busy. I wanted to blog here, but I opted to get some sleep, albeit not as much as I should have gotten. So I’m back. Sort of.

This week is my daughter’s spring break so I have both kids to entertain 24/7. Luckily my daughter has become an avid reader and would always has her nose stuck in a book. I saw her laid out with a book in my favorite reading chair today. I’m sure my heart grew three times its size, metaphorically of course. It was adorable!

I’ve been attempting to discover what genres she prefers so I can find new books for her. She’s in first grade but reading close to a third grade level. She keeps re-reading the same Pokemon graphic novels because she loves them so much. Still, I want her to branch out. Luckily, our local library has not just one, but two amazing children librarian. That’s how she discovered Catwings by Ursula Le Guin. It turns out my lovely daughter takes after me more than I thought. I see her leaning towards fantasy and action/adventure type stories. Of course she enjoys Captain Underpants too. What 7 year old doesn’t like a good poop joke every now and then?

Finding Camlann by Sean Pidgeon

As for me, my work load hasn’t allowed me as much time to read as I wanted. Earlier this week I begin reading Finding Camlann by Sean Pidgeon. It’s set in the UK and follows Donald, archaeologist who wants to dispel the myth of King Arthur. When his rival finds a burial site that is linked to the legendary King and an old friend introduces him to an old Welsh poem, Donald is compelled to solve the mystery.

I’m a third of the way through the book. While I am enjoying the historical and mythical mystery, there’s a lot of references to Welsh history and language that goes over my head. It’s hard to keep track of all the different poets and writers that Donald and his friend Julia introduces me to. It’s definitely not something to read when I’m tired or sleepy.

I thought about listing another book that I want to read this week, but who am I kidding? I’ll be lucky if I finish Finding Camlann this week.

What’s on your list for this week?


In a Reading Rut

Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue

I’m in a reading rut. I’m sure it was bound to happen after my hectic week of deadlines and really late nights. I started two different books and have only read past 50 pages in one of them. That’s slow for me. It’s not the books, they’re actually great so far. My brain is just too tired to read, especially when I collapse in my bed at 3AM.

Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue

The first book I’m working on (I’m a promiscuous reader) is Ronlyn Domingue’s debut novel, The Mercy of Thin Air. I actually broke my self-imposed library ban to borrow the book. So I guess I’m reading on a deadline. I think I only have another 10 days before it has to go back! I was blown away after reading The Mapmaker’s Warso it seemed natural to pick up Domingue’s first novel. The Mercy of Thin Air is written from the point of view of ghost. I’m only about 20 pages. So far, I like the ghost, but haven’t read enough to give you more of an opinion about the book.

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

My other book another novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra. It won’t be released until May (I’m reading a galley). I can tell that this novel is going to touch my heart in an unexpected way. Let’s hope no tissues will be harmed in the reading of this book. It’s not sappy at all, but the characters are carving out a life in a war ravaged land. Need I say more? Read the book blurb.

This week should be much better, as I’ll be riding the Metro one day this week for a work thing. You know what that means. About 30 minutes of uninterrupted reading time. Hopefully, I’ll catch up on sleep too so my brain can function normally. Or normally enough to digest some literary fiction.

What’s on your nightstand this week?

2012: Books in Review–Share Your List!

2012 Sparkler by Creativity103

2012 Sparkler by Creativity103

With only a few days left of 2012, I thought it would be fun to share my thoughts on the books I’ve read this year.  There’s a linky at the of the post, so if you’ve written about your favorite books of 2012 or most hated, etc, please add it to the list!

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m on track to finish the year at 80 books.  Did you know that, according to Gawker, the average reader only read 15 books this year?  (Thanks for the link Taylor!) I’m way ahead of the average, but that makes me sad too. My number would be a lot higher if I counted all the books I’ve read to my kids, but for my goal, I wanted to include books I’m reading for myself.

My favorite books I read in 2o12 were (in no particular order):

I think I recommended Gone Girl to everyone I spoke with. I just loved its twists and turns.  The other books on the list just touched me in an unforgettable way. I’m actually glad that I have two non-fiction books listed because I tend to shy away from non-fiction because I read them so slowly.
Now it’s your turn! Share with me your best and worst of 2012. Did a particular book stand out for you, whether positive or not. Leave a comment or if you wrote about it on your blog, add it to the link form below.
Photo by Creativity103 via Creative Commons


2012 Reading Goal: 26 More Days

2012 Reading Challenge Stats

2012 Reading Challenge Stats

I’m really behind on my goal of reading 100 books for this year. I’m 22 books behind. That means I need to read about a book a day to catch up. That’s a screenshot of what GoodReads tells me.

I’m not panicking or stressing out about it. I set the goal to have fun and stretch myself a bit. Plus, it’s my first year tracking the books I’ve read. It’s fun to look at my stats on GoodReads to see how many pages I’ve read, how I’ve rated them, etc.

I’m going on a long trip soon. I’m loading up my tablet with ebooks and lugging a few print books with me. I’m not sure I can read a book a day. I’m a fast reader but I’m going on a cruise. I plan on doing other things besides reading by the pool or beach. Though that sounds pretty divine right? I should really pay attention to my family during our family trip.

I think if I finish off 2012 around 80-90 books, I’ll be happy.

How are you doing with your reading goals?