Book Sharing

You know the stereotype of the Italian momma who feeds anyone who comes in the door and sends them home with food? In my family, it’s books that are sent home.

I recently visited my 86 year old mom and between her and my older sister, I was given at least 20 book titles of “MUST” read book suggestions.BooksFromCarroll

They both grabbed books off their shelves and wouldn’t take no for an answer.  I agreed to taking three home to add to my already high pile of “to read” books. The last — and only — John Grisham book I’ve read, was “The Firm” and was given to me by my mom back in the day.

Here are the books I scored this past visit. Tell me if they are worth reading.

UPDATE: I read, “Secrets of a Charmed Life,” and it was good. I very different point of view for WWII.

SecretsOfCharmedLifeSecrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meisser. Amazon’s description is . . .
Current day, Oxford, England. Young American scholar Kendra Van Zant, eager to pursue her vision of a perfect life, interviews Isabel McFarland just when the elderly woman is ready to give up secrets about the war that she has kept for decades…beginning with who she really is. What Kendra receives from Isabel is both a gift and a burden — one that will test her convictions and her heart.

1940s, England. As Hitler wages an unprecedented war against London’s civilian population, hundreds of thousands of children are evacuated to foster homes in the rural countryside. But even as fifteen-year-old Emmy Downtree and her much younger sister Julia find refuge in a charming Cotswold cottage, Emmy’s burning ambition to return to the city and apprentice with a fashion designer pits her against Julia’s profound need for her sister’s presence. Acting at cross purposes just as the Luftwaffe rains down its terrible destruction, the sisters are cruelly separated, and their lives are transformed…

CaptiveCaptive by Brighton Walsh.  Brighton Walsh’s website says . . .

He’s the most dangerous man she’s ever met…and she’s falling in love with him.

Madison Frost is desperate to escape her life. Daughter of a prominent businessman, she has everything a girl could ask for. Except for a family who’s present in her life, and anyone to talk to outside the four walls of the prison she calls home. Madison dreams of one day leaving her life behind. She never thought being kidnapped is how it would happen.

Now she’s being held captive by a man who’s as frightening as he is sinfully gorgeous. Enormous, muscular, and filled with secrets, the man they call Ghost is an enigmatic mercenary, and Madison is trapped with him. She doesn’t know who hired him or why, but the more time she spends at his mercy, the more she realizes he’s not what he seems. Beneath his rough exterior lies an unexpected gentleness and a heart as broken and battered as her own.

But as Madison lets down her walls, Ghost holds tight to his, hiding secrets that could destroy everything.

CominoCamino Island by John Grisham. Goodreads says . . . A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a secure vault deep below Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Their loot is priceless, but Princeton has insured it for twenty-five million dollars.

Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts.

Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer’s block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable’s circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets.

— Namaste

Pesto Baby

It’s September. In my four-season location in mid-Merica, it is time to harvest my deck basil crop.

Pesto_1
My one basil plant. Plucked off the leaves while watching Girl Boss on Netflix.

“Crop” may be misleading, but my one plant yielded 4 cups.

I used the pesto recipe I found on the New York Times website. I probably added a bit more pine nuts than the recipe asked for which gave it a bitter after taste. This is not noticeable when used as a sandwich spread.Basil_Pile

It really feels good to finally harvest. There have been many years, where I water a couple of times a week for three months and NEVER use the herbs I grow.

Finished_pesto
Finished Pesto

I made homemade focaccia to use my thyme and this pesto for sandwiches.

Look at me. Starting to grow up at 52.

— Namaste

Roadtrippin

A few weekends ago, I drove two of my kids and two grandkids to a family wedding.   It was at least two hours away and to avoid a night drive, we stayed overnight in a hotel. Roadtrippin

It was so fun to experience the sheer joy the kids feel when they check into a hotel. Jump on the bed; put leftover drinks in the little frig; stick clothes in empty drawers — F-U-N.

I had forgotten what a kick it is for the kids. I had to thank my daughter for coming along, so I could experience that again.

— Namaste

Chive On

Over Labor Day weekend, I cut down my chives that I have been growing in my deck garden. I love to cut them fresh when I am cooking in the summer.Chives1

However, why miss out on this fresh taste during the winter?Chives2

I cut them down and freeze small amounts in snack freezer bags so I can simply grab a bag and dump it in whatever dish I am making at the time. They taste fresh even after months being frozen.

I put the Netflix hit, Girl Boss, on the TV so I ChivesInBagshave something to listen to while I work.  A few episodes later, I’m done. Easy peasy.

— Namaste