Here we are in February and I’m still reading. Over the holidays, I saved a few books from my sister’s house. She was going to donate the books; instead, they came home with me and will visit my friends – and then probably be donated.
Full disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on a link and buy something (even if it’s not the particular book,) I receive a little compensation. I think I’ve made $5-10 over the years of blogging, probably because I’ve clicked on my links – lol.
The Collector by Nora Roberts. You know, Nora Roberts who writes both mushy romances and thriller mysteries as J.D. Robb? The Collector combines those into one romantic thriller mystery thing that actually works. Fun vacation read with Fabrege eggs, too.
Secrets of the Tsil Cafe by Thomas Fox Averill. One of my favorite foodie books, this is a coming-of-age story about a young boy. His father is the chef/owner of the only Southwestern/Native American restaurant in Kansas City; upstairs from the restaurant, his mother runs an eclectic catering business. Don’t think Upstairs Downstairs, think habanero, chipotle, jalapeno, and life. This is one of the first books I remember reading that included recipes; of course, I wouldn’t even dare try because – well – habanero, chipotle, and jalapeno.
The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNeeds. A friend gave this to me because she couldn’t finish it. I did finish it, but don’t think it was worth reading. The ending was particularly unsatisfying and impossible to believe. On the plus side it’s well researched and authentic to the time period, I just think it wavers too far into fantasy for me (and I like a good fantasy.)
Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie. A superbly empathetic young girl is brought into the castle to serve as the emperor’s “Auraseer.” Unfortunately, her empathetic talents are untrained, and the dangers in the castle are about to skyrocket. P.S. There’s love in here, too, and it’s a series because something definitely happens after the revolution.
The Color of our Sky by Amita Trasi. This was also gifted to me from a friend, and it is magnificent, if a little unbelievable. Sometimes I’m OK with going along with the ‘unbelievability’ of a story so long as the story is worth it; this one is. Two friends are separated by years and distance; eleven years later they are reunited, and hoo boy, getting there is worth the read.
Feed by M.T. Anderson. This National Book Award Finalist from 2002 so exactly predicts our current reality it’s scary. There’s a trip to the moon, a whirlwind of advertisement, and a romance… and there’s this paragraph that sounds nothing at all like our current world, right?
“Everything we’ve grown up with — the stories on the feed, the games, all of that — it’s all streamlining our personalities so we’re easier to sell to. I mean, they do these demographic studies that divide everyone up into a few personality types, and then you get ads based on what you’re supposedly like. They try to figure out who you are, and to make you conform to one of their types for easy marketing. It’s like a spiral: They keep making everything more basic so it will appeal to everyone. And gradually, everyone gets used to everything being basic, so we get less and less varied as people, more simple. So the corps make everything even simpler. And it goes on and on.”page 97, Feed by M.T. Anderson
Life Without Water by Nancy Peacock. This is a short, heart-wrenching novel about growing up in the craziness of the late 1960s and early 70s. Mom is a beautiful young thing who hooks up with a drug dealer and artist, daughter is a free spirit, and they live on a funky commune in rural North Carolina. Until they don’t, and then do again.
Kindred Spirits by Sarah Strohmeyer. Heartwarming and heartbreaking chick flick novel. Read this with your girlfriends, decide which one of the main characters you are. Celebrate with good food, margarita’s, and a spontaneous road trip.
I am trying to work my way through They F*** You Up by Oliver James, but it’s slow going. James argues that it is as much nurture (or lack of nurturing) that forms who you become as it is nature. And there are statistics, so. many. statistics. I’m thoroughly enjoying the book but boy, it’s a slog.