Monday, December 21, 2009

The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister

In The School of Essential Ingredients, restaurant chef and owner Lillian offered cooking classes where eight students with different walks of life gathered on Monday nights to learn the essence of cooking. Through camaraderie and awakening of the senses under Lillian's guidance, hidden memories were evoked. The students began to reevaluate their lives and came to terms with the present. If you enjoy "playing" in the kitchen or experimenting with recipes, this book is for you. I could almost taste the Mexican hot chocolate that young Lillian was preparing for her mother. Although I have no desire to crack open a live crab, detailed in the first class, this novel is a delicious read to savor.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Under the Dome by Stephen King

Under the Dome is classic Stephen King--long and suspenseful. An invisible barrier suddenly descends on the small town of Chester's Mill, cutting it off from the rest of the world. How the townspeople react to their enforced isolation and dwindling supplies is the heart of the novel. There are a lot of characters, and they are a little too neatly divided into "good" and "evil," but these are minor quibbles. The ending is a disappointment, but the build-up is worth the read. It's a page turner.