Hello reading friends!
If you’re new here, thanks for joining us. It’s lovely to have you onboard. My goal is to recommend great books along with some simple food ideas because I think that people who have excellent taste in books also enjoy eating delicious food. The two go together, don’t you think?
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What I’ve been reading
I have two very different books to recommend this week. The first is The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston.
Florence Day is a ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance writers in the country, but she’s lost her mojo. After a bitter break-up with her boyfriend, she no longer believes in love and can’t bring herself to write the ‘happy ever after’ story her contract requires. She goes into the publishers office to plead for more time and meets her new editor who is a handsome hunk of a man (naturally), but he refuses to extend her deadline. Thinking her career is over, she retreats to her hometown to help her family deal with a sudden death in the family and it’s here that things get interesting. I won’t ruin the book with spoilers, but if you are in the mood for a sweet and funny read, this is a good choice. Even the ghosts are adorable.
The Schoolhouse by Sophie Ward was a lot darker, but definitely worth reading.
Isobel Williams is haunted by her days at the Schoolhouse, an unconventional school with lofty ideals, lax supervision and high maintenance students. It’s a dangerous combination.
As an adult, Isobel leads a quiet life, working as a librarian and keeping to herself.
Deaf as a result of a childhood accident, she retreats each evening to the safety of her small upstairs flat, where she keeps the curtains and doors tightly closed.
Sally Carter, meanwhile, is a detective sergeant, battling the hierarchy and institutional sexism of the Metropolitan police. On Friday morning, as the story begins, Carter is assigned to a missing persons case. Ten-year-old Caitlin Thompson has failed to come home after school and her parents are frantic. Meanwhile Isobel, whose schooling concluded abruptly 15 years ago, returns from the library to find a letter from one of her teachers, informing her that her old classmate Jason has been released from prison and is asking if they can meet.
As her carefully suppressed past threatens to engulf her, Isobel’s adult story is punctuated with entries from her diary from 1975, unspooling the catastrophic series of events that led to her accident with a horrible inevitability.
This is a tense and well-written novel with great characters. Recommended!
What I’ve been listening to
If you’re anything like me, you can never get enough book recommendations.
I always enjoy listening to From the Front Porch, a podcast about books and reading hosted by independent bookstore owner Annie Jones. I especially enjoyed the episode about reading resolutions (49). It made me think a lot about what I want my reading year to look like and also reminded me that we all have very specific reading tastes and that’s a good thing.
What I’ve been eating
My son and his lovely wife have moved into a house with two (yes two) fig trees and we picked the first of the crop last week. I was given a few to bring home and enjoyed them in various salads throughout the week. I love adding fresh fruit to salads, it always makes it seem a little bit fancy.
Well that’s all for this edition,
I hope your reading life is going well and you are taking care of yourself.
Oooooooh figs are so beautiful. In Tucson, we can only get them at a limited time of year, and I load up for fabulous winter salads. A nice side dish to a good book!
I thought I wouldn't like Dead Romantics but I LOVED it.