Category Archives: books

Dauntless Chocolate Cake

Dauntless Chocolate Cake

ShareTweet For the last year or so, Bella and I have been in an informal book club, passing books back and forth, sitting down on a Friday night to watch the movie. For me, it’s a great excuse to read some really fun young adult novels. For her, it’s a chance to be welcomed toContinue Reading

The Whole Fromage: Adventures in the Delectable World of Cheese

The Whole Fromage: Adventures in the Delectable World of Cheese

ShareTweet My earliest cheese memory is fake, a fiction crafted from family stories, but that doesn’t make it any less real. As a toddler and an only child, we lived on the mostly pedestrian Ile St Louis in a 4th floor walk up. My mom would carry my umbrella stroller down narrow steps every dayContinue Reading

Aloha Also Means Goodbye: a Book Review

Aloha Also Means Goodbye: a Book Review

ShareTweet Today for book review, I’m sharing a title that I’m particularly excited to share with you. Aloha Also Means Goodbye is a lovely novel that celebrates love and friendship. It’s beautifully written with prose that makes you pause and rich characters that linger with you. It’s also a novel that was written by myContinue Reading

A Fall of Marigolds Book Review and Giveaway

A Fall of Marigolds Book Review and Giveaway

ShareTweet Novels about New York City have a special draw for me. I’ve been a New Yorker since moving there after college, and although my current zip code is far away, it still feels like home. Reading about New York keeps its pulse close. I recently read A Fall of Marigold by Susan Meissner, aContinue Reading

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

ShareTweet I heard about the Goldfinch by Donna Tartt for months before I sank down on the couch this January and began reading it. I read about it in the New York Times and Entertainment Weekly. It topped the Amazon 2013 best books list and popped up over and over again in my GoodReads recommendations.Continue Reading

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

ShareTweet Like many of you, I’m sure, I read Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert when it came out in 2006, and loved it. I struggled a bit through the Pray section, but ironically, Gilbert’s honest sharing of her search for faith has probably stayed with me much more than the sections on food andContinue Reading

City of Lost Dreams: Pure Guilty Pleasure Reading

City of Lost Dreams: Pure Guilty Pleasure Reading

ShareTweet When my life is crazy hectic and too filled with car pooling, I turn to guilty pleasure reading for relief, along with a well chilled glass of Riesling. City of Lost Dreams by Magnus Flyte is the perfect example of my type of fun read. Written by two friends under a pseudonym, the bookContinue Reading

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis: a Forgotten Page Turner

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis: a Forgotten Page Turner

ShareTweet How do you feel about science fiction? A great science fiction novel is one of my favorite guilty pleasures and I’ve recently joined a second book club just to indulge. We didn’t intend to limit it to women, as we thought we’d find few female science fiction lovers, but one by one, the groupContinue Reading

Life After Life Book Review

Life After Life Book Review

ShareTweet Ever wonder about the big decisions you’ve made in your life and how different things would be if you’d chosen otherwise? Kate Atkinson‘s latest novel, Life After Life, takes that notion and pushes it to the extreme, bringing her main character back to lead slightly altered lives every time she dies. The main characterContinue Reading

The Lady in the Palazzo: the Reality of Leaving It All Behind to Move to Italy

The Lady in the Palazzo: the Reality of Leaving It All Behind to Move to Italy

ShareTweet I tend to stay away from the genre of books that invite the dream of dropping everything and moving to Southern Europe. Peter Mayle’s a Year in Provence makes me hungry for a different life. Same with Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. They make it all seem too easy and leave meContinue Reading

Beautiful Ruins: The Last Book You Must Read This Summer

Beautiful Ruins: The Last Book You Must Read This Summer

ShareTweet One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday night is stroll the tables of my neighborhood independent bookstore. I pick up books as I go and finally narrow my selections down to three to bring home. I picked up Beautiful Ruins many times over the last year, but it didn’t make itContinue Reading

The Chaperone – Finally a Great 2013 Summer Read

The Chaperone – Finally a Great 2013 Summer Read

ShareTweet This summer my books have been totally blah. Nothing has moved me with either plot or prose. I was craving an escapist read, something beautifully written that hooked me from page one, and I finally found it with The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty. The novel made me think, made me cry, and most importantly,Continue Reading

Rules of Civility and Gods of Gotham: Two Summer Reading List Must Haves

Rules of Civility and Gods of Gotham: Two Summer Reading List Must Haves

ShareTweet My kids are two weeks away from their last school bell of the year. They’re counting the days, and so am I. I should be busy buying sunscreen and swimsuits, but instead I’m planning my summer reading. Once my monsters are out, free, and wild, I won’t have the time to pile my nightstandContinue Reading

Quotes and Optimism From Michael Pollan on Cooked Book Tour

Quotes and Optimism From Michael Pollan on Cooked Book Tour

ShareTweet On Sunday night, I headed to Elmhurst College with Emily Paster to hear Michael Pollan discuss his latest book, Cooked. Although I’m a big fan of Michael Pollan, I was a tad apprehensive. I was tired, mind churning with the planning to get through the busy week that would begin in the morning. IContinue Reading

The Crooked Branch – a Book Review

The Crooked Branch – a Book Review

ShareTweet Historical fiction plunges the reader into another time, and often giving readers a new appreciation for the conveniences of their easy, modern lives. Jeanine Cummins‘ novel The Crooked Branch takes the dissonance of historical fiction to another level by intermingling a mother’s story set in current day with another set in the past, inContinue Reading

The Dinner by Herman Koch: Deconstructing a Family Course by Course

The Dinner by Herman Koch: Deconstructing a Family Course by Course

ShareTweet When our book club selected The Dinner by Herman Koch, I prepared myself for a dull read. The entire novel takes place over the course of one meal. Two couples. Three courses. One expensive restaurant. The Dinner sounded more like a play than a novel, and I wasn’t sure I was in the moodContinue Reading

An American Heiress: The Book to Ease Downton Withdrawal Symptoms

An American Heiress: The Book to Ease Downton Withdrawal Symptoms

ShareTweet Downton Abby is like a dream and last night that dream ended with the Season Three Finale. We’ll have to wait another long ten months for the next installment of beautifully dressed English period drama, but there is a way to ease the pain. Lose yourself in the American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin. (paperbackContinue Reading

Classic Vanilla Rice Pudding from the Downton Abbey Cookbook

Classic Vanilla Rice Pudding from the Downton Abbey Cookbook

ShareTweet Have you fallen under the spell of Downton Abbey yet? Judging from my Twitter and Facebook feeds, it seems as though more people are passionate about the fashions and scandals of the Grantham family and their servants than about the upcoming Superbowl. I certainly am. My Sunday nights are devoted to Downton Abbey, andContinue Reading

What Alice Forgot: Weekend Escape

What Alice Forgot: Weekend Escape

ShareTweet As part of my bid for serenity in 2013, I plan on burrowing deep into a couch at least once every weekend with a good book and a steaming cup of hot cocoa. If kids are snuggled up with me, engrossed in their own books, whether they are about baseball or stridently colored ponies,Continue Reading

Escaping through Books and My Favorite Reads of 2012

Escaping through Books and My Favorite Reads of 2012

ShareTweet With one day to spare in 2012, I’m emerging from my self-imposed social media blackout. After a terrifying few weeks, my father is breathing on his own and has been moved to a lower level of ICU care. We’re very hopeful that he’ll soon be enjoying a life with far greater mobility than he’dContinue Reading

On the Road with Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Author

On the Road with Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Author

ShareTweet Some children come to a love of reading naturally. Most take a little coaxing to see the magic of books. My son’s Jack journey was long, and painful, filled with many fruitless sessions at the library, deeply uninspired by all books at his reading level. Then Jack discovered the Diary of a Wimpy KidContinue ReadingContinue Reading