Month: April 2016

Initially, I read the buzz for this book, but after awhile it seemed there were more mixed reviews. However, I had to read this for a book club I was attending for the first time. One of my best friends got me into the group. She did not like this novel and found it miserable. As a result, I had a bit of bias going into this book.

I did not hate this book. I definitely did not like any of the characters. No one is likeable in this story and the few likeable characters (Cathy the roommate, the mysterious ginger guy) were one note. The women didn’t feel complex to me either. They all had issues and Rachel was more sympathetic than the other two. However, I found it really sad and annoying that all the women in this novel were defined by their relationships with men and in some specific cases, their mothers or being a mother. Most of the the men in the novel seem to dislike women. I understand it’s part of the unreliable narration, but to be fair, the actions of most of the women were crazy. Still, it was a lot of plot and not a lot of character depth.

The plot itself was predictable. I saw the murderer and cheater early on. I’ve mentioned before that twists don’t really matter to me much as a reader or entertainment consumer as long as the characters and the actual journey engage me. In this case, I did not like the journey too much and found the ending more anticlimactic than anything. I am glad it ended well because it would have been a miserable book otherwise.

In better news, the book moves along and is a very quick read. I know some people who really enjoyed this novel and others felt more neutral. It is not an awful book either, but personally, I think the hype is exaggerated.

Read April 23, 2016 on Kindle.

The Smitten Kitchen food blog is my favourite food blog and has been for many years so when Ms Perelman announced that she was going to release a book, I knew I would eventually buy it. Most of my cookbooks were sourced from a book surplus site which is more discounted than Amazon. However, I bought this book full price from because I knew I would love it.

Food and Cookbooks are in general very subjective. With the praise the blog and cookbook got, some people didn’t see the appeal. I think you will get the author, writing, and style, or you won’t. Thankfully for me, Perelman’s food and writing style seem right up my and many other people’s alleys. As always, mileage varies, but this is a rave for me.

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This was a fun book. I could not shake the Harry Potter comparisons the first quarter or third of the book, but then it became a book of its own merit with its own sincere characters.

The book started like some weird Harry Potter fanfiction. Simon is the typical chosen one like Harry.
Penelope is both Hermione and Ron. Agatha is the archetype of the girl. It was funny, satirical and subversive. While two of the leads are male, the book has a good cast of interesting, varied, and distinct female characters.

The more I read the book, the more depth was imbued in the characters and the world building. It became sincere and touching. The ending was good and a touch sad like many epic stories are.

The ending was neat enough that I doubt there will be sequel. I got so involved in this fantasy world and the characters, I hope there is one.

Recommended for readers who enjoy a good fantasy novel.

Read April 4-6, 2016.

House of Cards (March 25?-29, 2016) – A good season of the show. I enjoyed it. Maybe a bit more than the last. I love how the characters are fascinating, vulnerable, and vile at the same time. Claire’s mother was a great addition to it.

Cooked (March 29-April 3, 2016) – A Netflix documentary series based on Michael Pollan’s book Cooked. I have been more into food than ever lately if you’ve noticed so this was right up my valley especially the episodes about bread and fermentation. It was not the best documentary series I’ve seen about food, but it is a great companion to the book in many ways. I think most people interested in food would like it and definitely for those of us who have read the Pollan book.