Books That Caught Our Eye

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Here at Mailbox Monday, we want to encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Every Wednesday Leslie, Serena and I will each share 2 books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.

 

Leslie:
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante @ Sam Still Reading
18334881 My Brilliant Friend is a ravishing, wonderfully written novel about a friendship that lasts a lifetime.

The story of Elena and Lila begins in a poor but vibrant neighbourhood on the outskirts of Naples. The two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else, sometimes to their own detriment, as each discovers more about who she is and suffers or delights in the throes of their intense friendship.

There is a piercing honesty about Ferrante’s prose that makes My Brilliant Friend a compulsively readable portrait of two young women, and also the story of a neighbourhood, a city and a country.

This is not a new release but rather a book that I had put on my large to-read list and then forgot about. I still want to read it and have read good reviews, and so it once again caught my eye.

The Witches by Stacy Schiff @ BermudaOnion
24819449 It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister’s daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death.

The panic spread quickly, involving the most educated men and prominent politicians in the colony. Neighbors accused neighbors, parents and children each other. Aside from suffrage, the Salem Witch Trials represent the only moment when women played the central role in American history. In curious ways, the trials would shape the future republic.

As psychologically thrilling as it is historically seminal, THE WITCHES is Stacy Schiff’s account of this fantastical story-the first great American mystery unveiled fully for the first time by one of our most acclaimed historians.

Sounds like some compelling narrative non-fiction.

 

Serena:
The Race for Paris by Meg Waite Clayton @ Book Dilettante
23460961 A dynamic World War II novel about two American journalists and an Englishman, who together race the Allies to Occupied Paris for the scoop of their lives. Based on daring, real-life female reporters on the front lines of history like Margaret Bourke-White, Lee Miller, and Martha Gellhorn—and with cameos by other famous faces of the time.

This one had me at WWII! I can never resist those novels.

 

 

Twenty Dinners by Ithai Schori @ I’d Rather Be At The Beach
Twenty Dinners (338x400) A photographer (who happens to be an ex-restaurant cook) and an indie rock star (who happens to be an avid home cook) show you how to slow down your life by cooking beautiful, straightforward, but sophisticated, food for–and with–friends.

When he’s on tour with his band, Grizzly Bear, what Chris Taylor misses most about home is the kitchen and the company. With his friend Ithai Schori, he cooks dinner parties for four to forty, using skills Chris learned from his mom and Ithai picked up working at high-end restaurants. Their food is full of smart techniques that make everything taste just a little better than you thought possible–like toasting nuts in browned butter or charring apples for a complex applesauce–but their style is laid-back and unhurried. This is about cooking not just for, but with, your friends, and so the authors enlisted their favorite pastry chef, mixologist, sommelier, and baristas to write detailed material on wine, desserts, stocking a home bar, mixing drinks, and buying and brewing fantastic coffee. Through more than 100 seasonally arranged recipes and gorgeous, evocative photographs of their gatherings you fall into their world, where you and your friends have all day to put food on the table, and where there’s always time for another cocktail in a mason jar before dinner.

This sounds like a book I’d love to use!

 

Vicki:
Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal  @ Bermudaonion
23398625 Kitchens of the Great Midwest is about a young woman with a once-in-a-generation palate who becomes the iconic chef behind the country’s most coveted dinner reservation, is the summer’s most hotly-anticipated debut.

When Lars Thorvald’s wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine—and a dashing sommelier—he’s left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He’s determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter—starting with puréed pork shoulder. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva’s journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that’s a testament to her spirit and resilience.

Each chapter in J. Ryan Stradal’s startlingly original debut tells the story of a single dish and character, at once capturing the zeitgeist of the Midwest, the rise of foodie culture, and delving into the ways food creates community and a sense of identity. By turns quirky, hilarious, and vividly sensory, Kitchens of the Great Midwest is an unexpected mother-daughter story about the bittersweet nature of life—its missed opportunities and its joyful surprises. It marks the entry of a brilliant new talent.

The foodie in me is out in full force. I can’t seem to get enough cookbooks and food fiction/non fiction.

Bone Box by Jay Amberg  @ So Many Books, So Little Time 
25140977 On a hill overlooking the Aegean Sea in Turkey, an international team of archaeologists discovers a stone box that first-century Jews used to rebury their dead. The box’s Aramaic inscription: Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. Sophia Altay, the beautiful French-Turkish archaeological who heads the team, tries to keep the discovery secret until she can authenticate the ossuary. She knows that people will kill to obtain the relics—and to suppress the box’s other contents, documents that could alter Western history.

Joseph Travers, an American sent to Turkey to evaluate the archaeological dig, soon finds himself pulled into the web of betrayal, reprisal, and violence. In his journey through Istanbul’s mosques and palaces, the archaeological sites around ancient Ephesus, and, ultimately, the strange and mystical terrain of Cappadocia, he comes to understand the epochal meaning of the bone box.

I love the synopsis and it had to be one of my two picks for this week.

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3 thoughts on “Books That Caught Our Eye

  1. I just finished My Brilliant Friend (not reviewed yet) and loved it. Such an interesting story of a friendship, and in a world so different from mine. Really great book.

    The Race for Paris looks so good.

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