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Posts Tagged ‘Greece’

hibernation books

Ruin and Rising, Leigh Bardugo
This conclusion to Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy finds her main characters on the run, searching for a secret weapon to use against the Darkling and his forces. Several plot twists I didn’t see coming; lots of heartbreak; some sweet romantic moments. Really enjoyable, like the others in the series.

Falling in Honey: How a Tiny Greek Island Stole My Heart, Jennifer Barclay
Barclay has loved Greece since her backpacking student days, but after a bad breakup, she spends a month on the tiny island of Tilos. The friendly people, delicious food and gorgeous views sustain her through more romantic ups and downs. I got tired of the dating play-by-play, but the descriptions of Tilos made me want to hop a plane immediately.

The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent, Susan Elia MacNeal
In November 1941, SOE agent Maggie Hope is hiding out in western Scotland, training new recruits and healing from a disastrous mission to Berlin. When her dear friend falls ill under suspicious circumstances, Maggie takes up the case. Meanwhile, U.S. and British relations with Japan grow increasingly strained. Fast-paced and fascinating – a solid entry in the series.

In Search of the Perfect Loaf: A Home Baker’s Odyssey, Samuel Fromartz
Fromartz, a longtime home baker, delves into the science and technique of bread baking, traveling to France, Germany and all over the U.S. to learn about baguettes, rye, sourdough and many varieties of flour. I liked the baking anecdotes better than the discussions of fermentation, but Fromartz blends them together engagingly. To review for Shelf Awareness (out Sept. 4).

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, Bernie Su & Kate Rorick
Based on the popular YouTube series, this retelling of Pride & Prejudice is ultra-modern (set in California; Bing Lee is a Harvard-educated zillionaire) and seriously fun. Lizzie’s voice is sharp, clever and hilariously snarky. I’m now watching (and loving) the web series.

Lizzy & Jane, Katherine Reay
Elizabeth Hughes has achieved modest fame as a New York chef, rarely visiting her family in Seattle. When a cooking slump coincides with her sister’s chemo treatment, Lizzy reluctantly heads home. An interesting take on Austen (Lizzy and Jane are quite different from the Bennet sisters); a lovely novel of food, family and new beginnings. (I also loved Reay’s debut, Dear Mr. Knightley.) Anne generously sent me her advance copy. To review for Shelf Awareness (pub date Oct. 28).

Mrs. Pollifax and the Lion Killer, Dorothy Gilman
Mrs. Pollifax heads to a fictional African country with a few characters from her previous adventure, and finds a rash of deaths caused by a mysterious killer. Not the best in the series, but I love Mrs. P.

Bunny Buddhism: Hopping Along the Path to Enlightenment, Krista Lester
This was an impulse buy at the Booksmith. It’s a compilation of tweets by Lester on bunniness, Buddhism and living (and hopping) on purpose. Utterly charming and so much fun, especially if you love bunnies (I do).

Links (not affiliate links) are to my favorite local bookstore, Brookline Booksmith.

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may books 2 charles lenox

Call Me Zelda, Erika Robuck
Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald were the darlings of New York and Paris society – for a while. This novel depicts Zelda in the years “after the party,” starting at a psychiatric hospital in Baltimore. Nurse Anna Howard, assigned to Zelda’s care, is drawn to the Fitzgeralds but wary of their magnetism. Anna is a fictional but wonderfully sympathetic character, who bears her own scars from World War I and the years after. An absorbing, bittersweet yet hopeful novel. (I also enjoyed Robuck’s previous book, Hemingway’s Girl.)

The Fleet Street Murders, Charles Finch
When two prominent London journalists are murdered in the same night, gentleman detective Charles Lenox can’t resist investigating – while also attempting to run for Parliament in the north. Dashing back and forth on trains, meeting villagers and reading news reports from London, Lenox has his hands full. A fun twist on a London mystery, and an interesting look at local elections in Victorian times.

Thinking in Numbers: On Life, Love, Meaning, and Math, Daniel Tammet
An autistic savant who has set a world record for the most publicly recited digits of pi, Daniel Tammet sees numbers a bit differently than most people do. In this essay collection, he explores math as it relates to family relationships, poetry, language, chess and other topics. Some of the essays get a bit abstract if you’re not a mathematician, but others are accessible and engaging. To review for Shelf Awareness (out July 30).

A Stranger in Mayfair, Charles Finch
As he adjusts to married life and attempts to launch his career in Parliament, Charles Lenox gets distracted by a case: a footman in the house of an acquaintance has been murdered. Soon, the man who asked Lenox to take the case begins warning him away: what is the family hiding? Cleverly plotted, with lots of twists and (of course) a bit of personal drama. Great fun.

Hungry: What Eighty Ravenous Guys Taught Me About Life, Love, and the Power of Good Food, Darlene Barnes
A former personal chef, Darlene Barnes never expected to become a frat cook. But the six years she spent cooking for the men of Alpha Sigma Phi (and insisting on fresh, local food whenever possible) taught her many lessons, not all of them about food. A fun, snarky inside look at fraternity life and communal eating (with recipes). To review for Shelf Awareness (out August 6).

A Burial at Sea, Charles Finch
Charles Lenox heads to Egypt on a clandestine government mission, only to assume his old detective role when two crew members are murdered. As the Lucy sails southward, Lenox must watch his step as he attempts to find the murderer. A fun journey in a different setting, though I missed Lenox’s family and friends who usually appear.

The Clover House, Henriette Lazaridis Power
Calliope Notaris Brown grew up spending summers with her mother’s relatives in Greece, but hasn’t returned in five years. But when her uncle dies, she must go to claim her inheritance, and try to unravel a web of family secrets. I found Callie frustratingly self-absorbed, but I liked the setting and her family, and enjoyed the flashbacks to the 1940s in Greece.

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