Sunday, October 16, 2011

7 more great reads

I've been on a bit of a reading tear the past month and read so many great books I could not wait until December to share them!

As per usual, books are listed in the order I read them and linked to their page on (Amazon should really give me a cut.)

Concierge Confidential: The Gloves Come Off--and the Secrets Come Out! Tales from the Man Who Serves Millionaires, Moguls, and Madmen by Michael Fazio with Michael Malice. If you are look for a quick, fun, gossipy read about the lifestyles of the rich and famous when they visit New York City, check out Concierge Confidential. While the writing (or editing) isn't the best, the stories more than make up for it.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentices: A Season in the Kitchen at Ferran AdriĆ 's elBulli by Lisa Abend. After Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, this is my favorite book about being a chef/what goes on in restaurant kitchens. Expertly written, Abend makes the reader feel like she is behind the scenes at elBulli, the recently closed award-winning, three-Michelin-star restaurant located on Spain's Costa Brava-- and gives you a real appreciation for what it takes to be a world-class chef and restaurant owner.

Needles and Pearls by Gil McNeil. The humorous sequel to The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club, which I also adored. Parents of young boys will particularly appreciate this funny and touching book, the continuing story of a late-thirty-something single mum who moves to a small village in Kent, England, with her two young boys and takes over her grandmother's knitting shop after her husband, who had just announced he was leaving her for another woman, crashes his car into a tree and dies. While that sounds like a gloomy premise, both books kept me smiling and turning their pages for hours thanks to the author's humor and easygoing writing style.

It's All About the Dress by Vicky Tiel. Another wildly fun, gossipy read. If you follow(ed) fashion and still miss Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, you will love designer Vicky Tiel's new memoir about her wild fashions, life, and time in Paris and London in the swinging 1960s and early 1970s. Heck, I barely follow fashion and am not into celebrity gossip and I loved this book, which made me wish I had a time machine and could sew.

Lord Langley Is Back in Town by Elizabeth Boyle. Finally, a good bad romance novel*! Woohoo! Stumbled across this one in the New Arrivals section of my local library. (Hard to avoid those six-pack abs staring out at me -- though did early 19th-century lords really have six-pack abs? I find it a bit hard to believe. But anyway....) A great bit of froth set in early 19th century London. (Is it just me or do the majority of historical romance novels take place in early 19th century London and the English countryside?) If you are looking for a fun, romantic read -- that is not too chaste and decently written with good characters -- I highly recommend Elizabeth Boyle.

Bossypants by Tina Fey. "I can't believe you're reading that," said the spouse when he saw me with Tina Fey's memoir. (I have a total sour grapes/roll the eyes thing about successful working mothers who write memoirs about how you too can have it all, completely ignoring the fact that they have parents and staffs of people taking care of their children and cooking and cleaning and driving so they can have these wonderful careers.) But I gotta admit, I really liked it -- at least the first two thirds, before she started quoting scenes from 30 Rock and discussing her guilt about not breast feeding, having a "babysitter" (i.e., nanny), and whether or not to have a second kid.

Dolci di Love by Sarah-Kate Lynch (author of House of Daughters, another favorite of mine). A forty-something couple who have lost their way. A bunch of old, well-meaning Italian busy-bodies/matchmakers. A magical Tuscan village. Heavenly sounding biscotti and gelato. And a romance rekindled. What's not to like? I smiled, I cried, I could not put this book down. (Seriously, I could not put it down. Read it in practically one sitting, which says a lot.)

To see more/former book recommendations, click here (or on the BOOK NOOK tag, below).

*I read some Georgette Heyer, at the suggestion of reader MaryRC, but was not a fan. Sorry Mary!


Paula said...

I really enjoyed The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan.

Lisa said...

Wow! Thanks for the kind words about The Sorcerer's Apprentices. I'm so glad you liked it.


J. said...

@Paula, thanks for the recommendation!

@Lisa, Wow! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. The Sorcerer's Apprentices is a great book, which I've been recommending to all my foodie friends.

Btw, in addition to author Lisa Abend, I received this lovely note from Sarah-Kate Lynch, whom I had emailed:

"Wow, Jennifer, what a wonderful email!

Thank you so much for sending it. I've just finished the second draft of my latest book and am seriously out of oomph so to hear from you and read the perfect review of my book on your blog, brought tears to my eyes.

You've made a tired writer's day!



I am so going to read her next book.

Mona said...

I've just read Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross and Unbroken, A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. Both excellent books.