Episode 12 of “Cooking The Books” Podcast Now Available!

The latest episode of my podcast "Cooking The Books" just dropped and it's a good one! We're talking South American politics, poetry, and the joys of the humble and sensual tomato, so check it out at: https://anchor.fm/cookingthebooks/episodes/Pablo-Nerudas-Ode-to-Tomatoes-and-the-Sensual-Pleasures-of-Tuna-Stuffed-Tomatoes-eockfo https://anchor.fm/cookingthebooks/episodes/Pablo-Nerudas-Ode-to-Tomatoes-and-the-Sensual-Pleasures-of-Tuna-Stuffed-Tomatoes-eockfo

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

No, I didn't read this book out of any type of name ego toward the title......ok, maybe I did a little. But that quickly went by the wayside as I traveled deeper into this very hard read. This book takes on the concept of what it truly means to be a victim in our society. … Continue reading My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

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

Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

No doubt many people saw the mediocre movie made from this book  Corelli's Mandolin,  beautifully filmed but as usual, not nearly as compelling as the book, which is written in lively, colorful prose from the viewpoint of several unique characters. These unique individuals include the main female character Pellagia, a traditionally raised Greek daughter who … Continue reading Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

You can almost feel the Italian heat baking down, and smell the bougainvillea flowers, as you read this evocative novel, The Talented Mr. Ripley. Tom Ripley is a young man from New York, struggling to make something of himself. He's approached by Mr. Greenleaf who mistakes him for a close college friend of his son, Dickie, … Continue reading The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos

Reading this book and getting to know the main character of Cesar Castillo in The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love was both a joy and a sadness. This is a man with a great lust for life, dancing and drinking and eating and womanizing.......and with a talent for making decisions based on instinct and … Continue reading The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

One of my Christmas gifts, this book is one of the most compelling that I've read in ages. I'm a terrible literary snob, as I'm sure is no surprise to anyone who follows my blog, and I am very picky about what I read. So when I am compelled by a book, for me I … Continue reading Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

I am a diehard Bond Girl. I've seen all the films, read all the books and of course, have my own opinions about who has been the best Bond of all. Having a major crush on Timothy Dalton, I am biased in his favor, but there is also something to be said for the talents … Continue reading Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Very much a fairy tale for adults, Neverwhere tells the story of Richard Mayhew, a London commuter who stops to help a young woman lying bleeding on the sidewalk one night, and finds himself in the alternate universe of London Underground. The parallels with Alice in Wonderland are fairly obvious - falling into an underground … Continue reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

The Milagro Beanfield War by John Nichols

At last, we are in New Mexico! My home state is written about beautifully in this classic, The Milagro Beanfield War. Set in the mythical village of Milagro (there is actually a Milagro, NM, but the real town is nothing like the book's version), it's the story of Joe Mondragón and his fight for water … Continue reading The Milagro Beanfield War by John Nichols