Bitsy’s Bait & BBQ
When Kate Dodson bought Bitsy’s B&B on ebay, she thought she was buying a bed and breakfast in the Ozarks. Well, the Ozarks part was right, but Kate, her sister Emma, and her young son soon find themselves running a bait shop and barbecue restaurant, where their cooking is so bad, their speciality becomes all you can eat toast.
There’s romance, of course, in the form of Kate’s ex-husband who lets his rich mother rule his life, but really just wants Kate back, and there’s also a cast of locals to add color.
This is a fast read, good for a slow afternoon in the sunshine, with a glass of cold sweet tea, and author Pamela Morsi does an excellent job of making the setting seem familiar enough that it could be the lakeside town you drove through last summer.
Tania Aebi first sailed across my personal horizon years ago, with her book Maiden Voyage, the first-person account of her
solo circumnavigation of the world, and the people and places she encountered during here year or so asail with her intrepid cat, Tarzoon. While I may fantasize about doing something similar, the reality is that I’m much too fond of internet access, espresso bars, and regular showers to really enjoy such an experience. Still, reading about it let me escape for a few hours, and I heartily recommend that book, as it’s the perfect thing to read while tucked up in a warm quilt on a cold, stormy day. (I also recommend strong tea and crisp apples to go with the experience.)
This book, I’ve Been Around, is not a narrative, the way Ms. Aebi’s first volume was, but rather a series of essays about her life on and off the water, many of which were written for sailing-related magazines, most specifically, Latitudes & Attitudes. It’s enjoyable, thoughtful, and often entertaining, and while it is not the cozy stormy-day read that Maiden Voyage was, it is a lovely glimpse into the author’s life since then. (It’s been at least a decade, possibly two.)
Aebi’s conversational tone and obvious love of both her crafts (writing and sailing), make this an excellent read.
Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom
I picked up Carpe Demon while on a lengthy visit to a local Half Price Books with my husband and brother-in-law, and read half of it while we were there, but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I ordered it from Amazon.com along with its sequel.
I was hooked at first by the tag line, about how the protagonist, Kate, was something like an adult (as in grown up, not as in XXX) version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but while the whole “California girl fights demons” think does make their stories seem similar, Kate is not not at all like Buffy. For one thing, Kate has a husband, two children, one of whom is a teenager, and a minivan. As well, her demon hunting doesn’t seem to be mystical calling, as much as a choice made when she was largely choiceless.
Still, the snappy dialogue, humor-laced action sequences, and fast-paced plot made this book an enjoyable and entertaining read, and I’m currently in the middle of the sequel.
11 Feb 07 Upcoming titles: 27 February – Shopaholic & Baby, hardcover; 3 April – The Good Ghoul’s Guide to Getting Even, trade paperback; 15 April – The Earth Knows My Name, trade paperback; 1 May – Bright Lights, Big Ass, trade paperback; 5 June – The Harlequin, hardcover; 3 July – Demons are Forever, trade paperback; 21 July – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, hardcover.
Welcome to Bibliotica. I had a bookblog at one of my other sites, but felt the need to have a domain name that was a little more bookish. Comments are welcome, but are screened the first time anyone posts. Reviews are my own opinion, but I’d love to hear yours.
My Kingdom for a Cutting Board: Adventures in a French Kitchen v1.0, by Laura Pauli
Part luscious food-porn and part letter home from abroad, Laura Pauli’s first book is both engaging and compelling, telling the story of her initial experiences cooking in France after leaving a corporate cubicle job in Silicon Valley. Culled from her blog, and letters she actually wrote to friends and family, it shares her story – including descriptions of food that make the mouth water, and far less appetizing descriptions of things like the shoebox apartment she rents, that could fit inside one room of her former residence in the Bay Area.
Originally Reviewed 13 September 2006
Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office
Originally reviewed 13 April 2006.
I’ve read Jen Lancaster’s blog for years, so I was eagerly awaiting her first book, “Bitter is the New Black,” and after reading it (in fits and snatches over the last week) I can say I was not disappointed.
If you’ve ever been faced with the choice between re-doing your roots or paying the electric bill, if you’ve ever found yourself committing couch envy, if you’ve ever been between jobs and unable to support yourself in the lifestyle you’d become accustomed to, this book is for you.
Jen makes no apologies for her snarky, funny, manner of living, and while some of her choices aren’t the same I would make, reading about her fall and subsequent struggle to rise again made me nod my head (at times), laugh out loud (a lot), or cry real tears.
If you liked The Devil Wears Prada, if you enjoyed The Nanny Diaries, you will LOVE Bitter is the New Black.
The Earth Knows My Name: Food, Culture, and Sustainability in the Gardens of Ethnic America: Books: Patricia Klindienst
Poignant and relevant, Patricia Klindienst’s first book is a collection of essays, portraits of different immigrant gardeners and how they have retained their unique cultures through seed and soil, while blending into American society at the same time. The book takes us from Connecticut to California, from the Low Country to land-locked New Mexico, introducing us to vibrant individuals whose passion for the earth is only rivaled by the author’s own.
Herself a master gardener, Klindienst’s voice is much more akin to Studs Terkel as she shares these stories, and while there is an undertone of politics, and the importance of sustainable food use, it is the humanity that shines in this book.
The only flaw is a lack of photographs – gardens are meant to be seen, after all – and one wonders if a coffee-table style presentation might not have been more effective.
The trade paperback edition of The Earth Knows My Name will be released in April, 2007.