Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Italy In Books Reading Challenge - August

The inside back cover of jamie's italy
Dolci di Love - "Sweets of Love" is a really sweet book, a fairy tale for the 21st century.
Corporate business is Lily Turner's whole life, her husband has been sidelined as she works hard to maintain the life she has chosen for herself.
Her PA Pearl shops for his birthday and Christmas presents and has to remind Lily not to present him "another polo shirt"!
Thus shamed Lily resolves to buy her husband a new pair of golf shoes.
Because she doesn't know her husbands shoes size she has to check inside an old golf shoe, where she discovers a photograph that will shake her entire world.
I'm not going to disclose much more of the story except to say that Lily heads to a small Italian town - Montevedova - gets entangled with a group of busybody Italian widows; the local broken hearted hearthrob and a little girl who captures her heart.
Does she find "Dolci di Love"?
Well, what do you think?
If you've read and enjoyed Sarah - Kate Lynch's "Blessed Are The Cheesemakers", you'll know what to expect.
If you haven't, you could be in for a sweet treat.
This book review for the "Italy In Books Reading Challenge" is a twofer this month as I also want to mention a great cookery book which I like to dip into especially during the summer months.
jamie's italy is a fabulous book full of wonderful recipes, stunning photography and a travelogue.
It was first published in 2005 and is still available on Amazon, at about half the price I paid!
It is a marvellous journey through the many regions of Italy.
In the foreword Jamie describes it like this:
"In writing this book, I didn't just want to give you a collection of Italian recipes. I wanted to share some great experiences with you at the same time. So I wrote it while I travelled around the country, working and eating and meeting people off the beaten track. I wanted to find the food of the "real" Italy - not the place that conjures up images of olive groves and lemons-"
Jamie Olivers website click here

Submitting this post to the Brighton Blogger @ Book After Book

Inside front cover of jamie's italy

Friday, 19 August 2011

What We're Reading - August

August has been a funny month weather wise, lots of rain, that meant less time spent gardening and more time spent reading!

If you're already a fan of Harlan Coben then I recommend that you read  Just One Look, I've read  four of his books so far (there are many more waiting on the bookshelf thanks so a special Amazon promotion recently) and I enjoyed this one the most.
When Grace Lawson stops by the Photomat one afternoon, before doing the school run, she gets more than the happy snaps of her family's trip to the cider orchard than she expected.
Inside the pack is an unexplained photograph of a group of college students, one of which could be her husband, Jack.
When confronted with the photograph her husband denies all knowledge of it, later that night he get's into his car and disappears.
A great read, the pace is fast and grips you from the start.
Grace is an unlikely heroine but she will do anything to find Jack and to save her children from the sinister hit man, Eric Wu.
Along the way she uncovers not only her husband's past but also sheds light on the mysterious circumstances surrounding her own near fatal accident at a rock concert several years previously.
Mermaids In The Basement, my third Michael Lee West book, was a light and easy read. Full of great female characters oozing Southern charm and hospitality, and with a few great recipes thrown in for good measure.
The Last Apache Girl  by Jim Fergus is set in during the Depression era and tells the story of Ned who's father committed suicide when his business failed.
After his fathers suicide Ned drops out of his undergraduate studies at the University of Chicago and  with the insurance money buys an expensive camera to indulge his love of photography.
Whilst working part time at the Chicago Raquet Club, he hears about The Great Apache Expedition which will leave Douglas, Arizona on April 1, 1932 to search for a young Mexican boy who had been stolen by Apache Indians some years before.
Knowing that he cannot expect to join the expedition as a "gentleman" he drives across country in his father's Roadster and manages to sign on as the expedition photographer.
The Last Apache Girl is based on historical fact.
The Rocky Mountain News said:
"History, romance and enough adventure to make us wish by the closing chapter that the story didn't have to end quite yet", and I'd have to agree!
The Times called Trespass by Rose Tremain " Thrilling....a terrific book, accomplished and poised" .
It is a story of sibling love and rivalry; at the Mas Lunel an isolated stone farmhouse in the CĂ©vennes
Aramon Lunel lives in squalor, whilst his sister Audrun lives in a shoddily built bungalow close by. There is something very sinister about their relationship, at first just hinted at but which is explained further as the story unfolds.
When Aramon announces that he plans to sell the Mas Lunel, to Anthony Verey, an English antiques dealer, Audrun's grasp on reality becomes ever more tenuous.
Anthony leaves his depressing life and failing business behind in London to visit his sister V a garden designer and her lover Kitty at their home in the Gard.
His arrival and decision to buy the Mas Lunel creates conflict not only between Aramon and Audrun but also between V and Kitty and sets into motion a terrible series of events which changes all their lives for ever.
Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen was by far the book I enjoyed reading the most, this month.
It had been on my TBR list for ages so I was thrilled when my sister Kathryn brought it over for me in June.
I'm sure that most everyone else in the world has read WFE by now so you probably know the storyline.
Suffice it to say it was nothing like I expected to be, it was way better than that!

Joining Ricki Jill for the What We're Reading linky party tomorrow

Monday, 1 August 2011

The Simple Womans Daybook. August 2011.

When Jan visited my Normandy Life blog and commented on my blue sky collage I went over to Oz (not literally, of course!) to visit with her and learn about her life, through her blog A Tapestry of Life, in New South Wales, Australia.
There I discovered that she participates in Peggy's The Simple Woman's Daybook meme each month.

It looked interesting and so I decided to join in this month, with the following.

FOR TODAY..........

Outside my window... Blue skies and wispy white clouds.

I am thinking... that I should be out gardening instead of blogging!

I am thankful... for the friends I've made through blogging (that's why I'm here and not in the garden)

In the kitchen... for dinner tonight I'll be preparing stuffed chicken breasts wrapped in parma ham with sauteed savoy cabbage and courgettes a la Ina Garten

I am wearing... cropped linen pants, striped cotton shirt, Shalimar, Sugar Honey lipstick and flip flops

I am creating... just thinking about doing some scrapbooking later

I am going... no plans for any trips this week

I am wondering...what postie will bring today

I am reading...The Last Apache Girl by Jim Fergus

I am hoping...that I can find a dog sitter so that we can take a short holiday in Italy this October

I am looking forward to...friends visiting us next month

I am hearing...a light aircraft flying overhead

Around the house...finally found new homes for the rugs that we bought last week

I am pondering... where to hang the Cath Kidston bunting that I bought on ebay, it's a lot longer than I thought it would be!

One of my favorite things...Radley handbags

A few plans for the rest of the week: visit the dechetterie (dump), shopping on Thursday at the market and having lunch with the Senior Partner at l'Authentique afterwards

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Shabby chic garden furniture