Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-García

I'm as guilty as the next person of judging. I judge wine by the label on the bottle, musical artists by genre, and of course, books by their covers. In this case, can you blame me? The cover for Mexican Gothic is stunningly beautiful and hits me on all my levels: aesthetic, moody, mysterious, and … Continue reading Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-García

Episode 8 of “Cooking the Books” Podcast Now Available!

Check out the latest episode of my podcast "Cooking the Books" and join me as we talk about vampires in 1990s Charleston, how one Southern belle wife and mom takes on this blood-sucking fiend, and make some delicious Southern party food, at: https://anchor.fm/cookingthebooks/episodes/The-Southern-Book-Clubs-Guide-to-Slaying-Vampires-and-the-Bloody-Thrill-of-Cheese-Straws-ei0quq

The Heartbreaker by Susan Howatch

You wouldn't normally think that the Church of England would make for scintillating reading, but you'd be sooooooo wrong if you start reading the "Church of England" series written by British author Susan Howatch. I stumbled across one of them going on 15 years ago now, and was hooked. The series is broken up into … Continue reading The Heartbreaker by Susan Howatch

The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell

I found The Fifth Gospel to be quite a great read, fast-paced and adventurous, but with a fascinating historical and Biblical premise as the storyline. It's simple - a Greek Catholic priest living in The Vatican must defend his brother, also a Greek Catholic priest but one attached to the Pope's staff, who is accused … Continue reading The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

If you're like me and you're as drawn to a book's title and cover as you are the contents of the book itself, then you'll love this one. Grady Hendrix has a knack for writing about horror against the most banal, ordinary, American backgrounds. I think of him as the literary version of the Duffer … Continue reading The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

The Wonder Worker by Susan Howatch

This is one of those books I would want with me if trapped on a desert island. The Wonder Worker has many levels, and is one of those wonderful stories that you return to again and again, always finding something new in the words. On the surface level, it's a story about four everyday people … Continue reading The Wonder Worker by Susan Howatch

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

I didn't actually read this book when I was a kid, but since it's ostensibly a kid's book that weirded me out having read it as an adult, I think it fits snugly into my own Halloween canon this year. Coraline is just plain creepy. It hits a nerve for any kid, me included, who … Continue reading Coraline by Neil Gaiman

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Apparently I missed National Hobbit Day, which was on Sunday, September 22. Well, hell! Who knew this was a thing? Me, it would seem. Anyway, three days later, I present this lovely blog post in homage to my favorite fictional fantasy foodies! Who, I ask you, doesn't love The Lord of the Rings trilogy, whether … Continue reading The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Ode to Tomatoes (A Poem) by Pablo Neruda

I don't know about you, but I've never been big on poetry. The rhythm and meters necessary to appropriately read poems just bog me down. I love hearing poetry read by someone who understands how it should be enunciated, but when I try to read poetry, either in my head or out loud, I sound … Continue reading Ode to Tomatoes (A Poem) by Pablo Neruda

Lisette’s List by Susan Vreeland

I went into this book expecting a nice, escapist type of read as I recovered from minor outpatient surgery this past weekend. It was recommended by two friends of mine as a book filled with art and food and set in France, and both of them were sure I'd love it. I minored in Art … Continue reading Lisette’s List by Susan Vreeland