Scoring big again at the library sale, I came home with a stack of books. I swore I was only going to get what was on my list, but naturally found a bit more. I’ve started working my way through these interesting books and want to share some with you. Amazon affiliate links are provided for the reviewed books for your convenience, thanks for clicking!
First, though, I needed to finish off the novel I was reading, The House on Tradd Street by Karen White. This was a fun read, about a real estate agent who specializes in selling old houses inherits one from an unexpected source. The problem is she sees ghosts, so old houses are something she’d rather sell than live in. Enter a charming but pushy guy who wants to do some research in the house, and another one with a hidden agenda, both bringing up problems from her past. There is a mystery to be solved, but Melanie isn’t sure she wants to do that. The ghosts, however, have plans of their own. Overall an easy reading, well written novel that won’t require a lot of concentration. The mystery isn’t that hard to figure out, but it is delightful anyway. The House on Tradd Street
Next, The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen, one of my all time favorite writers who sets her novels in North Carolina, with just a touch of magic. This book starts out with a quirky situation, Josey finds a friend in her closet, and the reason she is there becomes clearer at the end. Secrets and habits combine to make the life of Josey miserable, and only when she gives herself permission to be herself does she find her true happiness. In the process, surprising twists and turns in the story add humor. As in all of Allen’s books, there is just a touch of magic, this time with books that appear to another character, Chloe, when she needs guidance and the books want to be read. Sometimes the books can be quite persistent, and this added humor in unexpected scenes. I couldn’t put it down, and finished it in just two mornings of reading. The Sugar Queen
One of the books I got in the book score at the library sale is Cook’s Country Best Lost Suppers. I’ve been a fan of Christopher Kimball for a lot of years. He is the founder of Cook Illustrated, the magazine where they roast 100 chickens to find the one best way to cook it. For every recipe, they make it dozens of times, refining the recipe every time until it is perfect. He started America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country shows for PBS. If you get Netflix, be sure to watch his Fannie’s Last Supper show, a fascinating look at a dinner party from the 1800s, prepared the way Fannie Farmer may have made it before food processors and instant reading digital thermometers. He also has a new show on PBS called Milk Street, which has a new focus of bringing international recipes and techniques to the modern home kitchen. But, back to the book at hand, The Best Lost Suppers book is a collection of classic American recipes made better. They took recipes from readers like Chicken Pot Pie, Baked Beans, Pot Roast, Meatloaf, Chicken Tetrazzini, plus many more, and updated the ingredients and preparation to make the dishes even better. Each recipe contains notes from the Test Kitchen on method of preparation, use of spices, reduction of fat, and more. Notes like these are interesting to read, and invaluable to a cook like me that likes to develop my own recipes. Cook’s Country Best Lost Suppers
Omelette and a Glass of Wine is a collection of essays from Elizabeth David, one of the pioneers of food writing. I’ve written about her before (here), and I greatly admire her. This book is one that you can ‘snack read’, a friends description for books that can be read in little five or ten minute sittings. Most of the articles were written for The Spectator magazine in the 1940s to the 1960s. Her writing is timeless, however, as good food with quality ingredients will always be welcome. She writes about recipes, and restaurants, vegetables and cheese, whiskey in the kitchen, and her mentor in food writing from the 1870s among many other topics. This is one of those books every true foodie should have. An Omelette and a Glass of Wine
The Fat Quarter Shop has some great quilting books on sale right now too, click on Book Sale. Thank you to everyone that has used my link to make their FQS purchases. Although I haven’t yet reached the threshold for a payment, I’m making progress. Thank you for using my links!
What are you reading now?