Books

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Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina Garten

Ina Garten's cookbooks are always gorgeous to look at and chatty reads. She heads all of her recipes with a short paragraph about where the recipe came from or why she created it.  So far I've only made one recipe, Salted Caramel Brownies, and it was a hit at Thanksgiving.  Foolproof is a good name for this book; all of the recipes are well written and I wouldn't have a moment's hesitation in making any of them for the first time for company. I'll be making the  Mustard and Gruyere Batons for an upcoming party and there are a couple of soup recipes I'd like to try soon.

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

Born to a single mother and adopted by Pentecostal parents, acclaimed British novelist Jeanette Winterson's childhood was extraordinary by any measure.  In this raw, fiercely honest and deeply affecting memoir, she remembers growing up with a monstrous mother and a passive father in a very specific time and place: the 1960s and 1970s in the small North England industrial town of Accrington, where some of the poorer children brought dog biscuits to school for their mid-day meal and everyone Jeanette knew was as skinny as a ferret.

A Sunless Sea by Anne Perry

The latest William Monk mystery follows the well established pattern of an early arrest but with lingering questions and a scramble for more information during trial.  With these books I find I'm not so much concerned with "whodunnit" as I am with the background history of the time period.  This story deals with early pharmacy reform and the the use, abuse and increasing addiction to opium in the 1860s.  I always enjoy Anne Perry's stories for their period detail.

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

Ditch the chilly, gray, wet weather for a castle on the Italian Riviera. A group of four very different women do just that in Elizabeth von Arnim's The Enchanted April. Each woman experiences the happiness and freedom that come with leaving your everyday worries behind for days spent exploring nature and soaking up sunshine. A beautiful novel and the perfect escape for a wintry night. Check Our Catalog

The Nightmare by Lars Kepler

In this breathtaking sequel to Kepler’s The Hypnotist, we find Swedish detective Joona Linna investigating the mysterious murder of a young woman.  The story switches between a terrifying chase scene played out over semi deserted islands, and the political intrigue of international arms deals.  Linna at times comes off as larger than life, but you want to know what he is doing and thinking.  Follow Loona and his colorful cast of heroes and villains in this excellent sequel. 

National Book Award Winners Announced

The winners of this year's National Book Awards were announced on Wednesday night. Local poet, David Ferry of Brookline won this year's award for Poetry with his collection 'Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations'. Louise Erdrich's 'The Round House' won for best novel. This story of racial injustice that takes place on a reservation in North Dakota beat out some stiff competition.

Lionel Asbo: State of England by Martin Amis

This is the story of a terrifying, yet compelling London hood and his nephew, who is trying to create a new life, free of his very heavy family baggage.  Amis creates fantastic dialogue for his characters and the language is brilliant.  Reader beware, however, this book shows glimpses of the seedier side of both the London underworld and complicated families.  Jump on board for quite the uproarious ride.  Che

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

I've wanted to read this book ever since I first saw the cover and it was just as good, better even, then I thought it would be based on that skimpy criteria.  This is the kind of book I love.  Lots of intertwined characters jumping  back and forth through time from 1960's Italy to present day Hollywood.

Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan

Duncan’s new novel picks up on the threads of the romantic entanglements of now deceased werewolf Jake Marlowe. His love, Talulla Demetriou, has survived the hunt described at the end of ‘The Last Werewolf’. Talulla is now coming to terms with being a werewolf, possibly the only one left. As she struggles with her new identity, the same forces that were after Jake now are coming after her.

The Broken Teaglass by Emily Arsenault

A different kind of mystery.  Billy Webb, a recent college grad, gets his first job as an editor for a dictionary publisher located in a small town in western Massachusetts.  From the details it is obvious the author has worked as a lexicographer herself.  Researching the word "editrix" in the enormous citation file that includes snippets from books and magazines showing words in use, Billy and co-worker Mona come across a quotation from a novel entitled The Broken Teaglass that appears to be set in their office.  Intrigued, they try to track the book down only to

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