Monday, December 10, 2018

Lies by T. M. Logan

Joe Lynch thought he had a perfect life until his 4-year-old son spotted his wife's car on a freeway when they were driving back home.  Out of curiosity, he followed her car to a hotel and discovered her meeting with Ben, her best friend's husband.  Joe confronted Ben after Mel left.  Then Ben vanishes, and the police are after Joe.  Searching for the truth, Joe realizes Mel's deceit in their marriage.  Things are not what they appear.  This psychological mystery has a lot of unbelievable twists and turns.  It has a gripping beginning, but it gets blogged down and the ending is a surprise. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Reckoning by John Grisham

In the first part of this book, Pete Banning, a decorated WWII veteran, now a cotton farmer, goes into town and murders the Methodist preacher, Dexter Bell.  He offers no defense, saying only "I have nothing to say". 
The next part of the book focuses on Banning's earlier life and his time in the Philippines during WWII.  The third part deals with the aftermath of his actions.

Grisham fans will read this book anyway, but I'd recommend it to those who like historical fiction, for its portrayals of life in the South in the 1940s, and the Philippines during the war.  Plus, it keeps you guessing on certain plot points right up until the very end, making it a compelling read!

if the creek don't rise by Leah Weiss

A story of people living in the 1970's. Each chapter is told in first person by the character the chapter is about. Some characters get two chapters, but Sadie Blue gets three. She begins it, has a chapter in the middle, and ends it. You will receive real insight into what life is like for these people hidden away in the Appalachian Mountains. The hardness and the richness (in their poverty) of everyday life. Very interesting.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Mercy Watson (series) by Kate DiCamillo

Mercy is a pig that lives with Mr. and Mrs. Watson, who loves toast with a great deal of butter on top!  She dreams about it, smells it wafting from the neighbors’ homes, and eats popcorn with enormous amounts of butter.  She also has great adventures with those that live on Deckawoo Drive.

There are five Mercy Watson books in the series, along with four in the Tales from Deckawoo Drive series about her neighbors.  Children of all ages including parents (or really anyone!) will love this beginning chapter book series.

After reading about Mercy, move on to DiCamillo’s other stand alone titles!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook by Jessamyn Rodriguez

I tried out this book's method for making lean breads more flavorful by using smaller amounts of yeast and longer rising times.  It worked great, and I think I've found my method for making that type of bread.

The Hot Bread Kitchen Bakery in NYC employs immigrant women, who bake the breads from their home countries, and the cookbook has recipes for many different breads, both raised and flat -- naan, tortillas, bialys, plus many more.  There are also more familiar recipes for baguettes, Parker House rolls, and multi-grain sandwich bread.

If you're looking for clear instructions on making many different types of bread, this is a terrific cookbook.  I can't wait to try some more of the recipes!

Friday, November 9, 2018

No Good Asking by Fran Kimmel

I enjoyed this book about a family and a young girl. The family has problems like many of us do, The family has a hard working dad, a mom struggling with a young son who is sensitive to many things, as well as a 14 year old boy going through puberty. The mother has the added burden of having gone through several miscarriages (all girls).
So unbeknownst to them, an eleven year old girl is living across the road from them. While it all started out okay, things began to deteriorate after her mom died. Her caretaker becomes more and more morose, taking it out on her. Now her world is not a safe place.
One day the father comes upon her walking on the road in a bad winter storm. From this point the story begins to slowly turn around. The young girl brings a kind of healing to the family, not without troubles, but a brighter future for all.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

Becoming Mrs. Lewis is based on the true life love story of Christian author C.S. Lewis and American writer Joy Davidman.  What began in the early 1950s as a pen pal relationship to discuss their shared Christian faith, became a deep friendship after Joy traveled to England to visit C.S. Lewis (Jack) and his brother Warren (Warnie).  A few years later, when Joy was faced with having to start a new life for herself, she decided to move to England.  Joy continued to write, often collaborating with Jack, Warnie and others, and eventually Joy and Jack were married.  Told from Joy's perspective, their story is bittersweet throughout, but the depth of the love between Jack and Joy makes this book a feel-good read.