Books: April Reviews

April reviews... yes, I'm behind but being confined to the house for four days has provided ample time to catch up with a few book reviews - all solid books that I would recommend to a friend going on vacation over the summer.

A mix of memory loss, missing girl suspense, a memoir, and a new favorite cookbook.

Have you read any of these? Have you read anything worth recommending?

Reviews in this post: 4
2013 Stats: Novels read this year: 10
Books reviewed (all genres): 22


Why I picked it: I adore the author's writing and prose.

Synopsis: A bittersweet masterpiece filled with longing and hope, an emotional novel explores the raw, tender complexities of relationships and personal identity.

Quick Take:  I read this a while ago, while on a family day trip.  This let me dive in and become attached to Lucie.  An interesting take on memory loss, I was invested from start to end.  Eating Heaven and When She Flew are two wonderful fiction novels - add them to your list!

Goodreads rating: 4 stars
Source: Review Copy (Netgalley)

Why I picked it: Manic Mommies Book Club May selection

Synopsis: What happened to Linsey Hart? When the Cornell-bound teenager disappears into the steamy blue of a late-summer morning, her quiet neighborhood is left to pick apart the threads of their own lives and assumptions.

Quick Take: This is a great summer read for those who want suspense without gore.  A quick read with a LOT to discuss, my book club read/discussed this for an hour.

This story is told from the eyes of several neighbors - I enjoyed Reeva's story, she's flawed and breaking her moral code.  We also hear from Linsey's ex-boyfriend, Linsey's mom and a few others households in her neighborhood.  The story is woven together nicely but in a refreshing way.  

Rating: 3 stars
Source: Review Copy

Why I picked it: I enjoy  memoirs and have a dream to sail for a year or so one day.

Synopsis: The story of Hurley's 2-year outward odyssey, deterred by rough weather and mechanical troubles, combines keen observation, poignant thoughts, and deeper introspection with glorious prose.

It also presents a rare and much-needed point of view on the familiar spiritual-journey narrative. It offers a star-crossed love story wrapped inside a rollicking good sea tale, but it also has something important to say to the reader about relationships, faith and disbelief, life and death, love and marriage, and what really matters.

Quick Take: This is one of the better memoirs I have read recently.  I learned something (boating), the author is very honest, and the story is unique. I kept underlining words of wisdom, things to remember as I read this book.  The most important moment for me in the book was the author's writing on failure and marriage.  We are so afraid to fail that we stay in failing marriages, yet aren't we failing the commitment we made the the definition of marriage? To love and cherish (vs being room mates).

I'm sending my copy to a friend, and hope my marked up copy is enjoyed.

Rating: 4 stars
Source: Review Copy

Why I picked it: Soup is probably my favorite food category!

Synopsis: This broad collection of soups, broths, bisques, and chowders ranges from summer coolers and hearty, warming stews to smooth, creamy soups and fiery broths.

The bread recipes alone could fill a cookbook. Loaves, buns, sticks, and flatbreads are here, along with pretzels, pitas, toasts and focaccias. Organized by season and complemented by evocative photographs, The Soup & Bread Cookbook is an ideal volume for anyone who takes comfort in the essential pleasures of a bowl of soup and warm bread.

Quick Take: I have been searching for the perfect carrot/ginger soup for years.  I reluctantly tried it and now am in love with this soup.  Some of the soups I intend to make are: Ginger-Carrot, Spicy Mango Melon, Asian Lemon Ginger, Summer Day Herb-Scented, Chilled Carrot and Orange, Chilled Avocado-Potato, and so many more.

The photography is amazing, I can eat popovers every day! Who doesn't want to eat Orange Toast, I might make this with soup this week. Oatmeal batter bread with dried fruit?  Divine...

I enjoyed the ecopy of this book so much that I have preordered a copy for myself.  I can't wait to make several of the recipes, and it's filled with tips that I will use.  I'm getting to a comfort level to experiment with a recipe (ie: if I don't have an ingredient... this book includes a few great tips).

Rating: 4
Source: Review Copy