I have rounded up the books I have read this month in one post again, aside from the ones I was on blog tour for, which you can check out by clicking those book titles below
Best Friends by Carys Jones
Last Of The Summer Moet by Wendy Holden
What She Ate by Laura Shapiro
Dorothy Wordsworth believed that feeding her poet brother, William, gooseberry tarts was her part to play in a literary movement.
Cockney chef Rosa Lewis became a favourite of King Edward VII, who loved her signature dish of whole truffles boiled in Champagne.
Eleanor Roosevelt dished up Eggs Mexican – a concoction of rice, fried eggs, and bananas – in the White House.
Eva Braun treated herself to Champagne and cake in the bunker before killing herself, alongside Adolf Hitler.
Barbara Pym’s novels overflow with enjoyment of everyday meals – of frozen fish fingers and Chablis – in midcentury England.
Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown’s idea of “having it all” meant having almost nothing on the plate except a supersized portion of diet gelatin.
In the irresistible What She Ate, Laura Shapiro examines the plates, recipe books and shopping trolleys of these six extraordinary women, casting a new light on each of their lives – revealing love and rage, desire and denial, need and pleasure.
What I Thought
This book really appealed to me as I do like a good non-fiction book, especially biographies, and I liked the twist with this focusing on what relationship the women had with food.
My favourite parts were the ones which focused on Dorothy Wordsworth, Helen Gurley Brown and the author’s own comments about her experiences with food. It was interesting to read about Dorothy possibly suffering from colitis as I suffer from Crohns. To think of someone suffering back then without the kinds of medical interventions we have now is pretty horrible, they must have gone through hell. Helen Gurley Brown’s story was also interesting as it appears she may have suffered an eating disorder or been very close to it. I also enjoyed learning about Rosa Lewis, someone I had never come across before. The similarities to the story of Eliza in Pygmalion were very true.
I was most disappointed with the Eva Braun section as I felt it focused more on Hitler and the Nazi’s in general rather than her. It was still interesting but I was hoping to learn more about her.
For anyone interested in history and biographies like me I would definitely give this one a go, it wasn’t very long but had some great information from a different angle than many of the things you read about these women.
Book Club Question
“Whether or not we spend time in a kitchen, whether or not we even care what’s on the plate, we have a relationship with food that’s launched when we’re born and lasts until we die”
“We lived in a compound surrounding a busy temple, where the faithful were going in and out all day and everyone was vegetarian – as were we at the time, except for the bouillon cubes”
The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty (Audible)
From Liane Moriarty, author of #1 New York Times bestsellers The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies, comes an unforgettable novel defined by her signature sharp wit, page-turning storyline, and lovable and eccentric characters. Sophie Honeywell always wondered if Thomas Gordon was the one who got away. He was the perfect boyfriend, but on the day he was going to propose, she broke his heart. A year later he married his travel agent, while Sophie has been mortifyingly single ever since. Now Thomas is back in her life because Sophie has unexpectedly inherited his aunt Connie’s house on Scribbly Gum Island—home of the famously unsolved Munro Baby mystery. Sophie moves onto the island and begins a new life as part of an unconventional family, where it seems everyone has a secret. Grace, a beautiful young mother, is feverishly planning a shocking escape from her perfect life. Margie, a frumpy housewife, has made a pact with a stranger, while dreamy Aunt Rose wonders if maybe it’s about time she started making her own decisions. As Sophie’s life becomes increasingly complicated, she discovers that sometimes you have to stop waiting around—and come up with your own fairy-tale ending.
What I Thought
I can’t seem to get enough of Liane Moriarty books on Audible, this is now the third I have listened to and each one has been fantastic. The lady who reads her stories has an amazing voice to listen to and really helps bring the story to life.
This book had everything you need. A good mystery (which kept me guessing until the very end and I did not expect the twist it took), great characters (Grace was one of my favourites and her side story line about postnatal depression was extremely moving) and a bit of romance (but not so much that it just turned into another girly, love story with a soppy ending).
Scribbly Gum Island seems pretty idyllic and makes a perfect setting for the story to take place. The family is a great one and all the different characters in it add something to the whole story and make it sound very realistic with all the different personalities and things they each have going on. Although the book focuses on Sophie, I feel all the characters are just as important in this book and the story lines that run alongside hers such as Grace and her PND and Margie’s weight loss adventure are equally as enthralling. Even Ste found himself being drawn in and would often put his own book down to have a listen when I had it on in the car.
Whether you choose the Audible or paper version, I very highly recommend this, as I do all of Liane’s books, which are just outstanding.
You can still sign up to the book club/reading challenge on the home page (scroll down towards the bottom) and this month’s newsletter will be sent out soon. What books have you read and enjoyed this month? I always enjoy hearing a recommendation or two so pop them in the comments below and I will see you again with more books at the end of March.