Thursday, May 28, 2009

What I've Unpacked Lately

One of my jobs at the library used to be unpacking the boxes of children's books and getting them ready to circulate. Inevitably, books would catch my eye, and I'd have to give them a read. Well, now I've graduated to adult books, and I have to say, this could be dangerous. I may need to start sleeping less so I can read more! (Don't worry, I sleep plenty!)

Happens Every Day: an All-Too-True Story by Isabel Gillies: I could have easily hated this book. Oh, your totally perfect life isn't so perfect anymore? Shame, that. But Gillies was so open and honest, I found myself really respecting...and liking...her.

Spiced: A Pastry Chef's True Stories of Trials by Fire, After-Hours Exploits, and What Really Goes on in the Kitchen by Dalia Jurgensen: Just put a quote from Anthony Bourdain on the cover, and I'll read anything. Even as a non-foodie, I really enjoyed this.

The Last Secret by Mary McGarry Morris: I was all excited to see a new book by this author, but it turns out I was confusing MMM with Billie Letts. Don't ask me! I went ahead and read it anyway, and while it wasn't my favorite read, it was okay. It has that thriller vibe, with someone's past coming back to haunt her. Like I said, just okay.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley: A mystery with an extraordinary, chemistry-loving, eleven year old at its center. I had a hard time getting started with the book, but it was worth the trouble. I get the feeling Flavia (the 11 year old) is going to be very popular.

Look Again by Lisa Scottoline: Not my favorite Scottoline book. One of the things I enjoy about her books are the references to the Philadelphia area, and there wasn't enough of that in this book. It was also a little predictable. I figured it all out well before the end which is unheard of for me.

The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club by Gil McNeil: Of all the knitting group books I've read, this has been my favorite. (Confession: I couldn't even finish The Friday Night Knitting Club and it drives me a little crazy that so many people want to read it.) I think I liked it because it didn't take itself too seriously.

Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas: I loved Tallgrass by the same author and was thrilled when this book popped up on my desk. In the book, Hennie Comfort, a longtime resident of a mining town, tells her stories to Nit, a newcomer. It's just a gentle, steady book that's lovely to read.

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin: An Irish immigrant in Brooklyn in the fifties. Wow, for a man, Colm Toibin really knows how to write about women! Read the New Yorker review for more kudos. I can't do it justice.

Hungry Monkey: a Food-Loving Father's Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater by Matthew Amster-Burton: Another book with a quote from Anthony Bourdain on the cover! Also another book that could have gone very wrong. Fear not, Amster-Burton is not a sanctimonious parent-nutritionist pushing sprouts and whole wheat. He even admits to making mac and cheese from a box! And Iris, the daughter, is adorable. (Check out the video on his blog.)


Taryn Day said...

I heard this guy on the radio and was taken with his relaxed attitude toward parenting. He was funny too. I'll have to give the book a try, and then maybe give as a gift to certain people :)

Darling Petunia said...

He does seem like a great guy. Did you watch the video with Iris? What a cutie pie.

Stephanie Hill said...

I just checked out "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" from my library. I was having trouble getting in to it, but I'll press on for another chapter or two.

Darling Petunia said...

Oh, Stephanie, I hope you don't hate it! It was quirky, but I ended up really liking it.