I heard many great things about this novel when it was published, but I wasn’t interested in reading it. If not for a bookclub I recently joined, I probably wouldn’t have picked up this book.
Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. His mother, Leonie, is in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is black and her children’s father is white. Embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances, she wants to be a better mother, but can’t put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use.
When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.
Ruth Reichl’s Delicious! was the first novel I completed in 2018. I borrowed it from the library toward the end of last year because I was in the mood for something light and fun, possibly romantic, and about food, so I picked up Delicious! because its cover beckoned to me and the title made me curious.
Billie Breslin has traveled far from her California home to take a job at Delicious, the most iconic food magazine in New York and, thus, the world. When the publication is summarily shut down, the colorful staff, who have become an extended family for Billie, must pick up their lives and move on. Not Billie, though. She is offered a new job: staying behind in the magazine’s deserted downtown mansion offices to uphold the “Delicious Guarantee”-a public relations hotline for complaints and recipe inquiries-until further notice. What she doesn’t know is that this boring, lonely job will be the portal to a life-changing discovery.
Delicious! carries the reader to the colorful world of downtown New York restaurateurs and artisanal purveyors, and from the lively food shop in Little Italy where Billie works on weekends to a hidden room in the magazine’s library where she discovers the letters of Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, who wrote to the legendary chef James Beard during World War II. Lulu’s letters lead Billie to a deeper understanding of history (and the history of food), but most important, Lulu’s courage in the face of loss inspires Billie to come to terms with her own issues-the panic attacks that occur every time she even thinks about cooking, the truth about the big sister she adored, and her ability to open her heart to love. (Goodreads)
I thought I would love this one because of all the rave reviews I’ve seen and read. Unfortunately, I didn’t. I’m not even sure what the plot is.
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…
But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
I read the e-book but I’m not a fan of the cover.
The problem with reviewing books weeks after I’ve read them is that time has passed and made my memory foggy so details aren’t as fresh in my mind anymore. I completed this book on June 11 and though my memory of the story is beginning to fade around the edges, I enjoyed it so much that certain parts are still holding out.
Maise O’Malley is an 18-year-old girl from a broken home. She lives with her mother, who’s a drug addict and cares little for her. Maise has daddy issues. She admits it. She accepts it. But despite all the hard balls life has thrown her, or because of them, Maise intends to graduate high school and attend a university in California to study film. She will not end up like her mother — strung out on drugs and turning tricks to hit the next high.
But life throws her a curve ball — Mr. Wilke, her high-school film teacher. He’s fun, attentive, caring, and good looking. It sounds cheesy but from the time they met, they’ve found it hard to stay away from each other. They try, after all, they are student and teacher and though Maise is old enough, it’s still not accetable for a teacher to engage in an intimate relationship with a student, but self-control is impossible in face of such a strong attraction, and Maise and Mr. Wilke risk getting caught.