Sometimes the weight of the winter can use leavening from a little light reading.
In the past year, I have had the fortune of reviewing a number of books. Most of them are cookbooks but every now and then, I receive books that are food related. For the record, I never agree to post about books if they aren’t my style. If I don’t care for a book or product, I usually choose to keep quiet as I prefer to live by the old adage, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” I prefer keeping my virtual table a positive, respectful place.
The two books I am giving away are not my usual choices. But, each surprised me and because of that, I have brought them into the limelight and will send them off by post to one of you.
As you can likely discern from the title, Lobsters Scream When You Boil Them: And 100 Other Myths about Food and Cooking,is a fun book that debunks a bunch of food myths. Each myth or food warning (i.e Eating turkey makes you sleepy.) is stated at the top of a page in bold letters and is then followed by a page or two of history, explanation and sometimes a recipe. I was pleased to find out that chewing gum is NOT residing in my stomach for 7 years. There isn’t anything earth shattering in this paperback and I didn’t read it from cover to cover. But, I did find myself flipping it open repeatedly to a random page to glean a factoid or two in a free moment.
The second book, More than Words Can Say, is one that I can barely believe I finished. I was contacted on Twitter about reviewing the book because though it is a novel, there is a food theme throughout. When I skimmed the back cover, I found that the author, Robert Barlay, sold a successful upstate New York consulting business and moved to South Florida to become a novelist. His bio reports that he enjoys weightlifting, Shotokan karate and going to the beach to do absolutely nothing. I love big-business-to-artist stories so I eagerly dove into the book to see what Mr. Barclay wrote between his workouts and trips to the beach.
Immediately, I was turned off. I realized that I was reading a very light, romance novel with expected hooks to keep the pages turning. Before bed, I interrupted my husband a number of times to read sappy passages aloud. Though my critique was stern, I somehow found myself on page 100 after a few nights.
Just before Christmas, I went downtown on the train to shop for the day. I decided I would tuck the novel in my purse to bide time during the commute. (I can’t believe I am about to admit this.) On the way home, I was so busy reading the romantic tale that I missed my train stop! Because it was a transfer to a new train, I had to get off the train, cross over to the tracks going back the way I had come, ride the train back to the stop I had missed, wait at that transfer station for another train and finally reach home. I was irritated with myself but to be honest, I wasn’t overly disappointed because I spent an extra 40 minutes finishing the book.
Though I will count More Than Words Can Say as one of the most romantic, lightest reads I’ve ever finished, I have to give it some credit for luring me to the end and engrossing me enough to miss a train stop!
If you are interested in these books, just leave a comment on this post. On Thursday, I will randomly choose a winner and mail them both to the next reader. I would love to hear what you are currently reading or a favorite book you would suggest.