February Reads

Love, Loss and What We Ate by Padma Lakshmi – Lately I’ve been on the hunt for books about food that aren’t necessarily cookbooks. I figured why not read the memoir from the host of one of my favourite shows, Top Chef. Padma is one of those people that has lived a lot of life, which makes for a very interesting read. I felt like she was very honest, and that made the story engaging. I laughed, I cried, and I can’t wait to try one of the recipes that was sprinkled throughout the book.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – I know I’m a little late to the party here, but I’m glad to have arrived. This is the first book I’ve read by Gillian Flynn. I like these types of thrillers. Reading at least, I don’t like watching shows of the thriller genre because I can’t control the pace of it. I like to know what happens ASAP. That lends well to book reading, because I’m a decently quick reader. I tore through this book. It was so good. I wasn’t super surprised by the ending, but how we got there was surprising. I was gripped the entire book. I enjoyed it so much that I would love to watch the series now.

The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani – While on vacation, a friend of mine who brought this book asked if I wanted to read it. It was short, around 225 pages, so I thought I would give it a shot. I started it in the morning and finished it by the late afternoon. Not because I couldn’t put it down, but because I was trying to search for some interest.

This is a thriller about a family’s nanny. At first they think she’s perfect, but after time the situation gets weirder and weirder. I am not spoiling anything by telling you this, because it is laid out in the very first sentences of the book. The nanny kills the kids. And you would think that the book would go back and tell you why. But it doesn’t really. It stops short of that. Some people might love this book. Looking on review sites, I see that many have. I did not. I need satisfying ending to a book and this was not that. The book was translated from French, but I don’t think it lost anything in the translation, I think that’s just how the book is. This would be a pass from me.

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle – Again, I’m into books that talk about a journey with food. This was recommended to me. It was a perfect vacation book. Slow-moving with an easy pace with fun anecdotes about living in the south of France.

The book is broken into chapters by month. I liked this style because it naturally progressed the story. I love reading about French culture and being able to have a window into everyday French living. I enjoyed this book a lot. I’m looking forward to reading other books by Peter Mayle.

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal – This is one of my favourite books that I’ve read in a long time. It was a recommendation from my friend Alice. She’s a librarian, she knows what she’s talking about.

We follow the life of Eva Thorvald through the eyes of the people around her. From her father and her cousin, to a high school boyfriend and the brother of her current boyfriend. And yes, we do get one chapter from Eva’s perspective. We see Eva’s journey with food in each chapter. Her father, a chef, wants to get her to eat good food as soon as she can. She grows peppers. She starts working in a kitchen, and so on.

This book has some incredibly sad moments, but they’re presented in a way that doesn’t make this book a depressing. It’s just very real. I thought that it was cool to see Eva from so many different perspectives, and try to figure out how each person made an impact in her life and what impact she’s made in theirs. Because each chapter come from a different character, you leave the chapters with a lot of questions. I found that by the end of the book, most of your questions are answered. I did feel pretty satisfied with the ending of this book. I really loved this one.

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