Hello and welcome to the third What’s on your bookshelf? challenge hosted by fellow bloggers Deb, Sue, Donna and Jo. The idea is to share what you’re reading, what you’ve enjoyed lately – maybe why they resonated with you, how they made you feel, who are your favourite authors and what you recommend. As Deb says “The simple purpose of this challenge is to share our love of reading“. I’m publishing this on Thursday evening, NZ time, as will be at work on Friday and going to the theatre in the evening, so I’m a little early.
Four books this month, plus a cook book and an audio book. First up, Olivia Potts A Half Baked Idea, a reflection or memoir about how the author came to terms with her mother’s death and changed career from fledgling barrister to pastry chef. Potts was 25 when her mother died, and it hit her hard, and it is clear the book is a sort of cathartic release. She leaves the world of law, and enrols at Le Cordon Bleu, and finds her new path in life. It is a good book, complete with a few recipes, but just a little repetitive at times.
Greta & Valdin by New Zealand author Rebecca K Reilly is definitely on my short list of book of the year. It is funny, with some great characters, and sends a strong message (to me at least) about our identities and where we feel we belong. I loved it – it is the author’s first book so I look forward to more.
So to another set of memoirs, but a very different book to the one above, and that is Guarded by Dragons by Rick Gekosi. Gekosi has been a dealer in rare books and manuscripts for over 50 years, and this book delves into the ups and downs of the business, with lots of name dropping and self-effacing humour. It is a nice series of essays to dip in and out of when you have a spare moment to read.
The other novel this month is Elizabeth Strout’s 2006 Abide With Me. Set in a small town in Maine in the late 1950s, the book tells the story of the Reverend Tyler Caskey, who struggles to care for his two small daughters after the death of his wife. The older daughter, Katherine, stops speaking. The book conjures up small town life really well, and the emotions that come with bereavement. As of writing this post on Thursday evening, I still have a couple of chapters to read, but have enjoyed the book so far.
I’m about half way through listening to Liane Moriarty’s latest book Apples Never Fall and quite enjoying this tale of the disappearance of the matriarch of a ‘tennis family’ (the parents were coaches, the 4 now adult children all played). I agree with Deb that it isn’t quite as good as some of her earlier books, but still a good story.
And so to this month’s cook book, Kylee Newton’s follow up to The Modern Preserver, The Modern Preserver’s Kitchen. Full of recipes for pickles, preserves and ideas on how to use them, this is a lovely book full of lots of interesting recipes and food combinations. Charlie decided that smoked mackerel pate with pickled blackberries sounded good.
That is my reading this month. What have you read recently? #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge
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