Monday, February 29, 2016

It's Monday! What are you Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile!

It is Leap Year, Leap Day!
Yesterday I was lazy, lazy, lazy and read all day long and watched a weird French movie with subtitles in the afternoon -- the Handyman considered that reading too.

These are the books I finished up last week....

From Goodreads:
When Molly Wizenberg's father died of cancer, everyone told her to go easy on herself, to hold off on making any major decisions for a while. But when she tried going back to her apartment in Seattle and returning to graduate school, she knew it wasn't possible to resume life as though nothing had happened. So she went to Paris, a city that held vivid memories of a childhood trip with her father, of early morning walks on the cobbled streets of the Latin Quarter and the taste of her first pain au chocolat. She was supposed to be doing research for her dissertation, but more often, she found herself peering through the windows of chocolate shops, trekking across town to try a new pâtisserie, or tasting cheeses at outdoor markets, until one evening when she sat in the Luxembourg Gardens reading cookbooks until it was too dark to see, she realized that her heart was not in her studies but in the kitchen.

At first, it wasn't clear where this epiphany might lead. Like her long letters home describing the details of every meal and market, Molly's blog Orangette started out merely as a pleasant pastime. But it wasn't long before her writing and recipes developed an international following. Every week, devoted readers logged on to find out what Molly was cooking, eating, reading, and thinking, and it seemed she had finally found her passion. But the story wasn't over: one reader in particular, a curly-haired, food-loving composer from New York, found himself enchanted by the redhead in Seattle, and their email correspondence blossomed into a long-distance romance.

In A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, Molly Wizenberg recounts a life with the kitchen at its center. From her mother's pound cake, a staple of summer picnics during her childhood in Oklahoma, to the eggs she cooked for her father during the weeks before his death, food and memories are intimately entwined. You won't be able to decide whether to curl up and sink into the story or to head straight to the market to fill your basket with ingredients for Cider-Glazed Salmon and Pistachio Cake with Honeyed Apricots.

From Me:
I love, Love, LOVED this book!
I have no more words.
5 stars

But I'm a memoir lover and a food lover and a book lover!  That's like  a home run here!!  The Five stars is completely an emotional response.  Was it really that good? Well, if you love memoirs, food and books, then yes.  Yes it was!

From Goodreads:
In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France...but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another. 

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets the compelling and mysterious Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can...completely. When he betrays her, Isabelle races headlong into danger and joins the Resistance, never looking back or giving a thought to the real--and deadly--consequences.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah takes her talented pen to the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France--a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

From Me:
It's so-SO Good!
 I was a little hesitant  to read this book at first.  While Kristen Hannah is very talented and gifted in her storytelling, sometimes her writing is not as intense as I usually like.  This book proves me wrong on that account!
It started a bit slow  --- two sisters, France, WWII --yeah,  yeah, same old story-- but it was so much more!  So Much!!  (again, I have no words)
One quarter of the way into it, that's  all I wanted to do---listen.
I did this one on audio and loved the narrator, Polly Stone, she did an awesome job.
I couldn't stop listening and then when it was done, I was sad.
We read this one for bookclub (The Lit Wits) and everyone held the same opinion---it was just so much!   I want to say  so much good, but truthfully, it was a bit Schindler's List-y, from a female perspective.
It was just good.
4 stars.

I am adding Nightingale to my Women's Fiction challenge.  I think it qualifies in a way .
And  A Homemade Life to my Foodies Read challenge--Yay! My first foodie read of the year.


So, what's up for this week?


Katherine P said...

I loved A Homemade Life as well! I'm glad you enjoyed it. If you haven't read it already go get her 2nd book, Delancey immediately! The focus is really different but I really enjoyed it. I want to read the Nightingale but I haven't gotten to it yet. I've been warned that I will need tissues!

Melinda Ott said...

I have "The Nightingale" sitting on my kindle and HOPEFULLY I'll get to it sometime soon! I am going to put "A Homemade Life" on my wishlist, though!

Kailana said...

I read Kristen Hannah a really long time ago and can't even remember which book... I am planning to revisit her by reading her newest book at some point!

Literary Feline said...

I am looking forward to reading The Nightingale one of these days. I am sure I will like it. Glad to hear you did! The Edge of Lost sounds like it will be good. I will add it to my wish list.

Stefanie said...

I'm glad both of these you enjoyed. I have them on my TBR. I do love a good, food memoir.

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