So the past month I hardly read anything. I started a couple great books and am busy working through different bits and pieces of other people's work as well as reading over my own words a ridiculous number of times... But none of that makes for really easy buying on Amazon. That meant that as soon as this time of the month rolled around I'd be in some trouble. So, I went Throwback on you. Throwback Reads: Eating Edition.
Yes, every single one of these books revolves around food in some way, shape, or form. Isn't it that time of year where we consume far more than we're supposed to? (#givemecarbsforchristmas) I'm going to mirror some popular opinions, while simultaneously making my taste in books questionable with the way I disagree with a book everyone else seemed to love. That's the joy of consumption I guess.
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by Stacey Ballis
"Going to the gym...all those people who always told me that you get addicted to it, that endorphins kick in, that eventually you crave it and look forward to it are sick lying ****s and I want to choke them with a protein bar and pummel them about the head with a bottle of SmartWater.”
Obviously (from the GIF), this one is going to make you laugh. I adore Stacey Ballis. In fact, I adore her so much I have quite a few of her books and find that when I'm feeling burned out on tough reads but not interested in reading pure fluff, she is the answer. You'll fall in love with her characters as though they are your friends and find moments of your life mirrored in the problems and triumphs of her plot lines.
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by Sarah Addison Allen“It was the truest, purest, saddest thing she had ever heard spoken. It was like hearing gospel for the first time, how it shocked you, how it made you afraid because you thought no one could see inside you.”
You won't be able to take a break from this book. The writing is simple, nothing flowery or overwrought, but the characters are easily adored. I found myself wishing and wanting alongside Josie, the main character, as well as cheering her on as she came to realize her own value. This book is a treat, honestly, a treat that would go smashingly with a snowy (or rainy) winter morning, a cozy blanket, and some coffee.
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by Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel"Oh, nuts. I'm not very good at this. What I'm trying to convey, in a clumsy way, is that I've spent a lot of time and energy (not to mention thousands of bucks on therapy) convincing myself that our fight was just one of life's many painful lessons. People change, they go different ways. Even the best of friends."
The way this novel illustrates a beautiful friendship between two women -a friendship long in distance and time- mend itself and grow is going to knock you upside the head and change you for the better. The format of two women emailing illustrates the depth and breadth of lifelong friendship -something I was refreshed to experience despite the short time period covered in the book. Moments will make you want to cry and others to laugh, deep belly laughs. The recipes included illustrate the way that our relationship with food and people is complex and, yet, formative throughout the many stages of our lives.
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by Shauna Niequist"We don't learn to love each other well in the easy moments. Anyone is good company at a cocktail party. But love is born when we misunderstand one another and make it right, when we cry in the kitchen, when we show up uninvited with magazines and granola bars, in an effort to say, I love you.”
I will start with I love Shauna Niequist's writing. I also love her recipes. I thought Bread & Wine would be over the top wonderful for me, but, in fact, I wasn't completely in love with the entirety of this one of Niequist's books. I really enjoyed the first half and all the GREAT food that it included -hi dates with goat cheese and bacon- but by the second half, I was sure of the moral of her story -gathering around the table is what's penultimate, good food just makes a great thing better- and wanted more, another story, greater statements from her. This was part of a book club choice and at the end of the book we used recipes from the novel which we all loved!
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by Barbara O'Neal
"I think that I will always remember how blue her eyes look in the brilliant sunshine of the kitchen. Years and years from now, this is what I will recall of this day --my daughter staring at me with both terror and hope, and my absolute powerlessness to make this better."
This mother-daughter tale is oh-my-soul wonderful. Your heart will break and will be mended as you move through the complicated relationships between mother-daughter-granddaughter. Moments will have you cheering, hoping, and wishing, while others will have you fighting tears. The end of the book is feel good -as are all of O'Neal's novels- but, not without tumult and unpredictable-ish changes throughout the plot.