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Thread: Mom's Book Thread ~ Week 24 (June 10th - June 3 - June 16th)

  1. #1
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    Default Mom's Book Thread ~ Week 24 (June 10th - June 3 - June 16th)

    I hope that it’s been an enjoyable reading week for all.

    I read Beyond the Pasta - 5 Stars - I read this lovely read shortly before our recent trip to Italy, but I didn’t want to review it until I had tried out at least one of the recipes. This is my new rule when reviewing cookbooks. I can’t believe that I have reviewed cookbooks in the past without trying out a single recipe. What was I thinking? Anyway, now that we have returned from Italy, I started skimming the book once more and I’ve decided that I would love to reread it very soon, to relive the memories of our fabulous time there.

    The author spent a month living with an Italian family, learning the language, learning to cook, and simply immersing himself in Italian culture. This delightful book is part travel log and part cookbook. It was set up in a daily journal format, each day ending with a recipe. I love books like that! My only complaint is that I do wish that the book had more illustrations, and color ones at that. How can one publish a book on Italy with grainy, drab-looking black and white pictures?

    I’ve tried out five of the recipes so far and will be trying out more. Four out of the five recipes have been absolute hits and the other one was still pretty good.

    The Yogurt Cake was wonderful. I made some slight tweaks, as I sometimes do when cooking. Rather than using regular flour, I substituted with cake flour, to make the cake as light and spongy as possible.

    The Zucchini and Onion Frittata was absolutely delicious. The family couldn’t get enough of it and I will be doubling the recipe from now on.

    We loved the Spaghetti with Garlic and Anchovies. These recipes all reminded us of Italy!

    And don’t even get me started on the Bean and Onion Bruschetta!

    The Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives was packed with flavor and good, but not the best. I made a few mistakes, which I can remedy next time.

    I wasn’t sure if I should give this book four or five stars. At one point I was even going to give it 3.5. Yet the more that I’ve re-read some of the parts, the fact that the recipes are so good, and finally, there’s simply nothing like reliving all the memories of Italy that he shares so beautifully, well, I just had to give it 5 stars.

    Some of my favorite quotes:
    “La dolce vita celebrates the fact that life is not only about a paycheck ... Life is about savoring the sunset, taking a rejuvenating nap in the middle go the day, pausing to appreciate the beauty of a rose on the side of the road, having your children's laughter fill your soul - letting those moments inspire your life. That might be more of a romantic perception than the exact truth of the situation, but it is certainly the truth I have come to witness, embrace and appreciate while living in Viterbo.”

    “For me, the ‘Sweet Life’ is going into the kitchen, preparing food and serving it to the people I love and cherish. La Dolce Vita is found in those moments of life around a table where stories are told - old memories are relived and new memories are given life. It is where food ultimately unites us through the juxtaposition of laughter, tears, joy, sorrow, happiness, pain, and ecstasy.”

    “Walking along the bank of the Tiber, I headed into Trastevere, the original Jewish ghetto of ancient Rome. Trastevere means “to traverse or to cross over” and it is still very much a working class neighborhood. The streets are very narrow and the well-worn and aged buildings are very close to each other, providing a time-forgotten atmosphere. This is not the prettiest part of Rome, but it feels the most authentic and that makes it beautiful.”

    Here's a picture that we took when we visited the beautiful Trastevere neighborhood in Rome.





    If you're interested in dystopia, you may be interested in this Kindle book that's on sale today.



    MY RATING SYSTEM
    5 Stars
    Fantastic, couldn't put it down
    4 Stars
    Really Good
    3 Stars
    Enjoyable
    2 Stars
    Just Okay – nothing to write home about
    1 Star
    Rubbish – waste of my money and time. Few books make it to this level, since I usually give up on them if they’re that bad.
    "There is no peace that cannot be found in the present moment." - Tasha Tudor

  2. #2
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    Negin, the cookbook looks good!! I’ll have to put it on my list.

    I finished Fairy Tale Girl and I’m halfway finished with Martha’s Vineyard: Isle of Dreams. I’m already sad that I’m almost to the end! I can relate to sooooo many of the cultural things because she’s only 10 years older than me and I love so many of the same things! Love these books!
    Wife to David for almost 42 years, mom to 9, homeschooling Abby (16). Grammy to 6 granddaughters and 2 grandsons and 2 new babies due in the spring of ‘19! Homeschooling since 1986, Loving FIAR since 2000.

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    Joy, I hope that you enjoy it. I wasn't that much into it at first. I got my edition used from amazon. Your library may have it.

    So happy to hear that you've been enjoying the Susan Branch books. I give away most of my books, but I've kept her books and may re-read them at some point. Her books are just so pretty and a lovely escape.
    "There is no peace that cannot be found in the present moment." - Tasha Tudor

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    Hello reading friends! I finished The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn. You may remember last week that I mentioned that there was a homeschooled teen in the book - that turns out not to be such a positive, but luckily it is not heavily emphasized! Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It definitely took a turn to a darker side. There were a couple of twists, both of which I was able to guess before I got to them. However, I found the writing so good that the fun of reading the book offset any predictable tropes that came my way. This book is the first novel by Finn, and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for this next one.

    ETA: one fun aspect of the book is the main character's love of classic black and white movies. There are some fun parallels and references throughout the book. There are especially heavy Hitchcock references, and they are clearly meant to serve as clues to what's going on in the protagonist's mind.
    ~eclectic homeschooling mom of 3

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    Negin, I love how those recipes sound! I might have to find that cookbook!

    Kathleen, I really liked The Woman in the Window as well. I thought it was cleverly written. Even though I am not too fond of unreliable narrators, i didn't mind this unreliable character because her unreliableness was understandable.

    I finished three books this past week:

    The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin. The author is an emergency medical doctor and she writes what she knows. This book is like Grey's Anatomy on paper. It's a bit fluffy but I liked it.

    Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira Lee. Two sisters deal with mental illness. I got a bit bogged down in the middle but I am so glad I pushed through. The author did an amazing job of showing how mental illness affects all who come in contact with it.

    Tangerine by Christine Mangan. I loved this one. It is set in Morocco in the 1950s. It has a gothic, black and white movie, Hitchcock vibe to it.

    I am currently reading MacBeth by Jo Nesbo and Boat People.
    Julia
    mom of 3 -- dd (19), ds (17) and dd (15)

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    Oh Negin, the recipes sound fabulous!!

    Kathleen, The Woman in the Window is on my list of TBR books.

    Julia, I also just read The Queen of Hearts. I wanted to love it but I liked it enough to stay up until 2am to finish the book. Did you think there was an excessive amount of medical jargon? I looked procedures up a few times because I was curious. lol. As you may know, as much as I wanted to read Boat People I couldn't get past the parallels to the "missing children." I'm looking forward to your opinion of the book and wondering if I shouldn't get back on the very long library list. I'm going to put Tangerine on my TBR list!!!
    IN THE END, ONLY KINDNESS MATTERS
    Mom to 5 girls and 5 furry kids too
    21 Years Homeschooling and still learning

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    Well, as mentioned above, I finished A Queen of Hearts. In agreement with Julia that it was fluffy but enjoyable. I was just notified that I have a library ebook of the new Mary Kay Andrews book, The High Tide Club. This is the last full week that my high school senior will be home before she leaves for college so, ultimate fluff is probably a good level of reading for me. Happy reading friends and hug your kidlets tightly...it really all does pass so quickly. Off to enjoy a snuggle on the couch/movie with my girls (my hard working dh has a deadline at work so he's in the office working hard).
    IN THE END, ONLY KINDNESS MATTERS
    Mom to 5 girls and 5 furry kids too
    21 Years Homeschooling and still learning

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    In addition to A Moment in the Sun (I will be saying that for many more weeks to come, lol), I am working on Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively to finish out my reading of the Golden Man Booker nominees. I've read about a fourth of it & I like it very much.

    The elderly Claudia Hampton, a best-selling author of popular history; lies alone in a London hospital bed. Memories of her life still glow in her fading consciousness, but she imagines writing a history of the world. Instead, Moon Tiger is her own history, the life of a strong, independent woman, with its often contentious relations with family and friends. At its center — forever frozen in time, the still point of her turning world — is the cruelly truncated affair with Tom, a British tank commander whom Claudia knew as a reporter in Egypt during World War II.
    Still, so far, I'm not sure it will unseat V. S. Naipaul's In a Free State in my voting.... I will have to see.

    (Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association.)
    Celebrate your freedom to read! Read a banned book!

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    I'm finding it hard to multi-quote, or at least to do it the way that I like it.

    Kathleen, glad that you enjoyed "The Woman in the Window". I've already added it to my list.

    Julia, wow! You got lots of reading done. Lucky you! Going to look into all those titles.

    Michele, yes, our kids grow far too quickly.

    Stacia, happy to hear that you're enjoying "Moon Tiger".

    Kindle book on sale today.

    "There is no peace that cannot be found in the present moment." - Tasha Tudor

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    I just realized today that I need to get busy on my next book club read, as it's due in about a week. So, this week I'll be reading The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict.
    Mama of two lovely ladies: Carina (11) & Madelyn (9).

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