One of the first memoirs I read was the first of Ruth Reichl’s three, Tender at the Bone. I was immediately entranced and quickly inhaled her other two, Comfort Me With Apples and Garlic and Sapphires, followed by her 2014 novel Delicious! Reichl went on to be an incredibly important figure in food media, and her memoirs were written through that lens; we already knew where the story ended so she was showing us how she got there. The recent memoir of another important figure in the food world, Alice Waters’s Coming to My Senses, was also very interesting, but in a very different way.
I recently read two Christina Lauren romances back to back: her newest, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, and one of her bestsellers, Dating You/Hating You. After reading both, I certainly understand the hype. Lauren’s books are fun, breezy, modern romances. I flew through both and really enjoyed them. Continue reading
When I decided to get more serious about writing a novel, Jeff had the brilliant suggestion that I read Stephen King’s On Writing. I’m not a big Stephen King fan—horror isn’t my thing—but I had heard of On Writing from an episode of the podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour. They did an episode about Stephen King and devoted a surprisingly small amount of time to his commercial fiction, instead spending time talking about this book. If I remember correctly, one of the panelists even said that he thought On Writing was King’s best work. So I picked up a copy, grabbed a highlighter and eagerly dug in. Continue reading
One and Only by Jenny Holiday is the first book in her Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series. I flew through this book—it was a fun, funny contemporary romance, perfect for a weekend getaway or just if you’re looking for a light and breezy read. Continue reading
I know that The Book Thief by Markus Zusak isn’t a new book; it was first published in 2005 and went on to become a New York Times Bestseller and win numerous awards. I picked up this special anniversary edition from work a few years ago because I thought it would look nice on my bookcase. I had every intention to read it, but I just wasn’t sure when. Well, I finally got around to it and I must say, it is truly an incredible book. Continue reading
I love books about books. Books about authors, about writing, about bookstores. I guess it’s because it creates a sense of camaraderie between me, the author and the characters in the story—I love books enough to read them, the author loves books enough to write about them and the characters love books enough to make them their life’s work. Terri-Lynne DeFino’s new novel The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (And Their Muses) fell into this category, and it made for a joyful read.
It was fitting that I finished Tina Brown’s sensational memoir The Vanity Fair Diaries this week. Last week, she appeared multiple times on CBS This Morning’s coverage of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. So I was delighted to see and hear her on TV, just so I would have her voice in my head as I finished up the memoir of her years as the editor of my favorite magazine, Vanity Fair. Continue reading
I recently expanded my reading interests into a new genre: romance. At first, this was purely because I was going on a trip, was almost finished with the novel I was reading, I’d received a couple romance novels in the mail from publishers and the books themselves are very small. So I tossed one in my bag. And I’ll admit, by the end I was hooked. So I started to do a little more research into the genre (more on why will be coming soon), and decided that my next foray should be into contemporary romance (the first one was historical). So I again went into the stash of novels I had on hand, and selected Alisha Rai’s Hurts to Love You. Continue reading
About two years ago, I went through a phase in which I read a bunch of historical fiction books in a row that were all very similar to one another: they all had at least one storyline that took place during the Holocaust, and another that took place in a different era, either before or after. As both narratives moved along, connections were revealed between the two stories, building to an emotional climax revealing the true power of the human spirit. If this sounds glib, I don’t mean it to; I love these books. I find them inspirational, heart-wrenching and heartwarming. And the novel with which I decided to revisit the genre, Jillian Cantor’s The Lost Letter, was no exception. Continue reading
I picked up this book, the latest from the prolific Chilean author Isabel Allende, because I absolutely adored her last book, The Japanese Lover. It was one of the most enjoyable novels I’ve read in the last two years, and I still highly recommend it. When I first read the book jacket on In the Midst of Winter, I wasn’t sure if I would like it. To be completely honest, I purchased it because my local bookstore had signed copies, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have an Allende-signed book, so I decided to give it a read. There were aspects that I enjoyed, and some that I didn’t. Continue reading