What I Read: April

I read 6 books in April, 3 fiction and 3 non-fiction. All but one were in print.

Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown. The pirate tale you never knew you wanted – kickass female pirate captain with a social justice mission and a penchant for fine food kidnaps a chef. Great fun.

An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler. I have Thoughts about this book. It was good. It was sort of a contemplation on home cooking. Tamar Adler has cooked at various restaurants (including Chez Panisse), but this book is really focused on making food at home with a goal making home cooking seem doable – not with any tricks, just by saying, food doesn’t have be complicated, here is how you make basic things. Here is what to do if things go wrong. But not in a textbook sort of way, in a “meditations on cooking” sort of way. There is even a whole chapter about what she does when she doesn’t feel like cooking. I liked this book a lot (although I’m not sure it would be at all helpful if you don’t cook at all and are looking for a place to start). It seem perfectly focused for me – the home cook who follows a lot of recipes, but could use some help figuring out how to cook efficiently, not waste food and who needs things to be not too time consuming. I could see myself reading this again (which I very rarely say), when I need a little reinvigoration of my relationship with cooking. If you’ve read this, I would love to know what you think of it!

Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. A fun little YA epistolary novel which combines Regency England and wizardry. A good escapist read.

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. Originally published in 1932, this is one of those “classics” which I’d never actually read. I was really missing out – Cold Comfort Farm is wonderful – smart and funny. It’s a parody of the brutal, dark novels from the previous decades that focused on rural families and their “natural” violent, incestuous state. Well worth reading.

The Kids Will Be Fine: Guilt-Free Motherhood for Thoroughly Modern Women by Daisy Waugh. I got this as an Early Reviewer book from LibraryThing and I expected to love it, but I just didn’t. I’m down the basic tenents: guilt-free motherhood, the basic okayness of kids these days, throw in a snarky Brit and I thought it would be a home run. But honestly? I found Waugh to be just as judgmental as the women she’s criticizing, and not especially funny about it. Meh.

Find Momo: A Photography Book by Andrew Knapp. A lovely, fun book of beautiful photographs, in which you can Find Momo (think Where’s Waldo, but with a cute border collie instead). I don’t keep many of the Early Reviewer books I receive, but I’m hanging on to this one.

What I Read: April