November was a fun month! We had family from out of state visiting in the area for the Thanksgiving holiday. There were lots of visits to catch up and learn what is going on in each other’s lives. At our house, what is going on almost always involves dogs, cats, or gardens! That’s ok, most everyone in our extended family has dogs or cats, or at least has had them at some point. We also enjoyed lots of good food. My daughter hosted Thanksgiving for the first time. She and her boyfriend are both excellent cooks, so everyone was happy. Even the kids enjoyed homemade mac and cheese. With all these preparations and goings on, I still managed to make an acceptable dent in my reading stack.
- Forks Over Knives, the Cookbook-Del Sroufe (Non-fiction)
The Knives Over Forks movement started with a documentary pointing out the benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet (WFPB). The documented results are amazing. As far as the cookbook goes, once you understand the basics, I think it is pretty easy to come up with recipes on your own. This book is a good place to start.
2. Meet Me Under the Mistletoe-Jenny Baylis
Elinor Noel owns a secondhand bookshop in London. She is from a small village where she attended school at Robinwood castle on scholarship. The old gang spends a week there before the wedding of one of them. Elinor reconnects with an old nemesis and even develops a romance with said nemesis. Of course, something goes wrong, and misunderstandings must be worked out. I only recently discovered this author, and her books immediately go on my “to read” list!
3. Boards & Spreads-Yasmin Fahr (Cookbook)
There are some recipes in this book, but it is mostly about assembling charcuterie boards. Most of them are things I make anyway, served on boards. Still, the book is worth looking at for the beautiful pictures alone.
4. Eat Like You Give a Fork-Marryat Ibrahim (Cookbook)
Contains new concepts of eating for your health. Even though the diet is not vegetarian, it is too restrictive for me. It also incorporates a lot of not so common foods. You would have to be very disciplined to make this diet work.
5. To All the Dogs I’ve Loved Before-Lizzie Shane
Elinor Rodrigues’ dog is an escape artist. She’s a quick-witted Australian Shepherd that can work levers and knobs. She also moves chairs to help her reach windows as an escape route. The chief of police, who is also Elinor’s ex-fiancé, chases the dog around town and returns her many times. Elinor and Levi, the police chief have been best friends most of their lives. Now, Elinor is just so mad at him. Can they move past it? An enjoyable read
6. Bloomsbury Girls-Natalie Jenner
Evie Stone, whom we met in The Jane Austen Society, is discharged from her position at Cambridge College. She takes a job at the Bloomsbury Bookshop in London. There she meets coworkers Vivien and Grace, as well as an Indian gentleman, Ash Ramaswamy, who also works there. The women struggle to be respected, as does Ash, being in a foreign land. They become friends and work together, with support from unexpected places, to take control of their lives.
7. Peg and Rose Solve a Murder-Laurien Berenson
This is a new spin on the Melanie Travis mysteries. The main characters in this book are Melanie’s Aunts Peg and Rose. They have a history of getting along like oil and water. Still, the ladies manage to team up to join a bridge club and solve a murder. They may also be on the way to forming a friendship. I look forward to reading more installments in this branch of the mystery series.
Magazines: Cottages & Bungalows (2), Country Living
It’s hard for me to pick a standout from this month’s list. If you want to stretch your mind a little, I recommend Bloomsbury Girls. It concerns racism and the repression of women while still being fun. Meet Me Under the Mistletoe and To All the Dogs I’ve Loved Before are both fun romance novels although the former, also addresses racism. I think you would be happy with any of these fiction choices for a nice relaxing time. Then again, maybe you want to pick a Christmas themed novel since the month is upon us. If you have a good one, let me know about it!