Matt and I had many meetings this afternoon – with each other. Discussing the holidays, doing the recon (it worked!), paying sales taxes, taste-testing ginger cookies…[they are SO GOOD!]
I’ve been working on the full-color Christmas menu + gift guide this week – it’s finally in print!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Christmas trees were test batched!
Aside from cookies, I had clems for a snack. Carbs make me thirsty and these are the perfect counter balance. [Get it – counter. balance!]
I walked home from the bakery after dark and turned around to head over to Seamane’s for her Annual Christmas Book Swap!
I LOVE BOOKS! I just don’t have time to read them all. My friend from high school, Matt Compton, can read a book a day. I think he skips all nouns? I wish I could.
I’m pretty particular when it comes to books I like. Most books I give in the B- range, but every now and then I hit a perfect storm of description, plot and beautiful writing. My favorite book ever was Ahab’s Wife, or The Star-Gazer by Sena Jeter Naslund. It was a book Karen gave to me and we both loved it. Did you know I hate dialogue? I prefer books with description to dialogue – which is why I hated Pat Conroy’s South Of Broad. The best book I read this year [so far] was Little Bee. I’m really liking The Hunger Games though!
Seamane had a spread of foods and many of us brought contributions
I had two glasses of red
A bunch of cheese + crackers. Seamane’s brie!!
Hummus + pita
I contributed some Cheddar Garlic rolls and cheese along with some Cville Crunch
A single capture of the evening [i.e. not all I ate] Cville Crunch covered in hummus and red pepper jelly spread!
Because the ganache and chocolate chips were wonderful!
And the chocolate-covered pretzels that escaped my camera
Kitty likes to read.
My loot. Some of these are for Matt and family members, but I hope I snagged some good ones to read too! Have you read any of these titles? Please share the best book you ever read!
Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn says
I am really hungry right now, and this made me even more really hungry. Coming over.
Lauren @ What Lauren Likes says
I loved Ahabs wife! Good book! Also – those ginger cookies look addicting 🙂
[email protected] healthy helper blog! says
Teacakes!!?!? I don’t know what that is but it sounds fantastic! And ginger cookies are my fave!
lynn @ the actor's diet says
my favorite author is haruki murakami. he has a new one out that is a MONSTER!
Murakami is my favorite too! I just ordered his latest, but I’m saving it for winter break. If you like him, you might also like Italo Calvino or Jonathon Safron Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which has plot complexity in the same vein as Murakami.
Regardless, this evening look most perfect!
oooo I LOVE Murakami! Couldn’t even pick out a favourite… Haven’t read his new one yet, but looking forward to it 🙂
Emily Eats and Exercises says
I fourth the Murakami motion. I think I would recommend starting with Norwegian Wood if you haven’t read any of his books.
I fifth Murakami. He’s the only author I wish I had never read before, just so I could read him again for the first time. I got totally lost in “wind up bird chronicles” and would spend hours at a time reading! “Wild sheep chase” is another good Murakami starter book.
Vanessa N says
Murakami is my fav. too (tied with David Sedaris… which is weird b/c they’re so different)! Currently reading the new one, 1Q84… so far so good! Wind Up Bird Chronicles and Norwegian Wood were my favorite of his so far. Wasn’t a huge fan of Kafka on the Shore though.
maria @ Chasing the Now says
Have you guys read his book “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running”? It is THE BEST.
My favorite book is HEIDI from Johanna Spyri. I love the scenery and all of her adventures! I read it once a year at least!
I may be outing myself as an uber nerd here, but Dune was so good! Not sure if you’re keeping that one but I’m sure it will find a fascinated reader 🙂
Johanna B says
I loved Dune. I hid it in my desk drawer and read it at work. I literally could not put it down. If you’re a nerd then so am I.
Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles says
Really cool to swap book and share! I think that is such an awesome idea!!! 🙂 Red wine <3
Never going to beat “To Kill a Mockingbird” – I’ve read many stunning books since my first read of that but never quite that amazing. Have you read any Alice Hoffman? if not, try “Practical Magic” it was a better book than movie (although the movie was fun). All Douglas Adams books are fun so you will enjoy the one you got.
[email protected] Flying ONION says
I agree! To Kill A Mockingbird (along with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) is one of my favorite reads of all time. 😀
Johanna B says
Oooh, I loved A Tree Grows in Brookly but I read it so long ago that I’d forgotten about it. Thanks for the reminder.
Cookies and chocolate are among the many things I snack on well into the late late night. I need an intervention I think.
What a wonderful tradition! I may have to steal the idea of an annual book swap party!
Let the Great World Spin is wonderful! The Curious Case of the Dog in the Nighttime in interesting and compelling, but a bit quirky.
I don’t know if I could choose a favorite book…so many good ones!
Loved these both as well! Good picks 🙂 I think my favorite will always be The Poisonwood Bible
Love love love Poisonwood. Such a great read and the characters evolve so interestingly.
Katie @ Peace Love and Oats says
Ahhh ginger cookies sound so good!
Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries says
you’re eats are looking awesome today!! and those pumpkin chocolate chip christmas tree cookies look amazing. i think the GH by us should sell them too – i’d totally buy several!
that book swap is a great idea!
i like dialogue more than description!
hard to choose JUST ONE BOOK. a very very memorable read was “a prayer for owen meany” by john irving. but i could name five more amazing novels, very quickly, too!
A Prayer for Owen Meany is one of my all time favorites. I haven’t read it in years but could quote parts right now. So good!
So, I think you’re attempting to kill any chance I have of walking out of the bakery without any sweets! I need to come in soon for bread and was already salivating over the Chocolate Peppermint Oh (love some chocolate and mint!!) and now you bring out Christmas tree shaped pumpkin tea cakes! What are you doing to me?!? 🙂 I can usually limit myself to samples of the sweets, but I think that streak will end in the next couple of days! Ha!
If you love chocolate + mint, you will LOVE this OH!!
Sarah Leigh says
I’m reading a young adult novel right now called “Fever 1793.”
I’m a teacher so I like to read what kids are reading.
Its really good and a quick read. Its about the Yellow Fever epidemic in colonial America.
Man, how do I snag an invite to that party next year?! I’m in Cville and an avid reader (and eater, let’s be honest) – sounds like an amazing time!
Of the books you snagged, the only one I’ve read is THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME, which I read ages and ages ago, but I remember really enjoying it. Favorite books from oh, say, the last 10 years (so I don’t devolve into blathering about classics) are probably BETWEEN, GEORGIA by Joshilyn Jackson and THE THIRTEENTH TALE by Diane Setterfield.
Hey Jen! You are totally welcome to join us next year (I do this every December). Just save up your books for the year. We’ll just have to get in touch at some point before then, of course. And btw, I saw on your blog that you’re a freelance copyeditor — so am I! 🙂
Sounds awesome! I always have nine million books on hand that I could bring to a swap, so I’m not too worried about that part. 🙂 Do you tweet? That’s usually a pretty easy way to connect – I’m @scorpstar77 if you do. And I actually have a “real” job (in addition to occasionally editing nights and weekends), but my husband is a full-time freelance editor. At this point, we’re just building the business and trying to get enough work for him to do it full-time, so I am mostly admin support for the time being (billing, etc.) unless there’s a client who specifically needs my content expertise. We should totally meet up sometime!
We should all be friends!
Seamane just emailed me on Friday about getting together for coffee or something after the holiday crazies are over – we should all go together!
Sure! Tell her to keep me in the loop
Luv What You Do says
I am almost done with the Hungar Games book one…loving it!
Keep the Philipa Gregory book. I love her books and she does a wonderful job of mixing history with fiction.
Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga says
I’m not a person to ask about books. Ask me about blogs, websites, pinterest…I can talk…forever 🙂
“taste-testing ginger cookies” — can I get that job? And the pumpkin tree cookies. So cute!
And I remember the last time you posted about Seamane’s brie. Oh wow.
And all those holiday treats…I love a good holiday party with red wine and cookies 🙂
Christa @ O, Cake! says
LOVE Phillipa Gregory. My all-time favorite books are The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley and The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. I re-read them every year and feel strongly that all women should read both of these books. Highly recommended!!
I LOVED the Red Tent. That’s definitely one of my favourites.
I LOVED the Red Tent too!! We were just talking about it last night!
Yes! The Red Tent is one of my favs. One of those that’s hard to put down and kept me up way too late!
Here are a few others I’ve loved (though not in the same genre as The Red Tent): The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Water For Elephants (Kath, you wouldn’t like this..lots and lots of dialogue!), and a classic: Great Expectations
I won’t use the word ‘hate’ but I strongly disliked Water For Elephants
Did you dislike all of it? That was a book I wanted to love, but I enjoyed the sections with the older couple most and wanted more of them.
John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden” is beautifully written and you lose yourself in the book.”Istanbul” by Orhan Pamuk is another book I recommend because it makes me appreciate writers who can translate their thoughts into an elaborative, intriguing story.
Oh, interesting – I just read ISTANBUL a month or so ago for our book club! I enjoyed it a lot, but never expected to encounter anyone outside of book club who’d read it! 🙂
Gina @ Running to the Kitchen says
I’m not a fan of dialogue either in a book. It takes too much effort to read! haha
I used to think “I Know This Much Is True” by Wally Lamb was my favorite but after reading Hunger Games, I’m not so sure anymore.
I am so far behind this year on books. But I am liking A YEAR WITH ELEANOR. It is a fantastic read on topics of perfectionism and how it can cripple you with fear. It is really hitting home. The main character takes one year to take advice from Eleanor Roosevelt. “Do one thing everyday that scares you.”
I read Let The Great World Spin over the summer and really liked it! It is slow to get into at first, but I loved the way all of the stories coem together. Hope that one is for you 🙂 Hard for me to choose a favorite though – so many great books out there!
Love book swaps!
My two all time favourite books are Atonement by Ian McEwan and Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. I don’t think I could choose between the two if I was rescuing books from a fire!
Bel Canto is my favorite of all time!! I will have to try Atonement.
Caroline @ The G-Spot says
Kaye Gibbons, Anita Shreve and Maureen Dowd are wonderful authors — great choices! As for me, my all-time favorite book is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. 🙂
Oh my Ginger cookies! They look so good. I love the soft, chewy kind.
If you love description, you would love The Lord of the Rings trilogy then. Have you read it? I’ve read them a few times but have yet to see the movies!
Love everything by Kaye Gibbons! The book swap/Christmas party is such a great idea!!
I second both of Kathi’s comments 🙂 What a wonderful way to reuse good books!
Gillian G. @ When Bread Is Broken says
A BOOK swap – that is genius! I am going to remember this, I know so many people who would be into this idea.
Best book I’ve ever read – ouch, that’s a tough one. I adore Snow in August (Pete Hamill), and I think any and everything by M.F.K. Fisher is golden.
Kate @ Lady Bird says
I, too, loved East of Eden. The book swapping party looks very fun.
I read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time a few years ago in an English class and loved it- written from the perspective of a boy with autism, some parts are drawn to represent ideas that aren’t easily described in words. Beautifully complex, had me thinking in the book’s voice for days. Plus, I just saw a trailer for the movie, which is coming out in a couple months!
I thought this was a great book as well. I listened to the audiobook, and the reader was amazing. Oh, I didn’t know it was going to be a movie! Yay.
Also read the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime. Its a good one! I’m reading The Namesake now and i love it.
Of the books you got: Let the Great World Spin is excellent, possibly the best book I read this year. I like Maureen Dowd a lot; I haven’t read that book but want to. And I don’t like Phillapa Gregory; I just don’t think she’s a good writer.
Anita Shreve is an excellent author! I can’t remember how I felt about Eden Close but I know I have loved almost all the books I’ve read by her
Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) says
You and Matt are living mine and Tony’s bakery dreams…
Oh I love book posts! So many new ideas from the comments 🙂
If you haven’t read any of the Phillipa Gregory Tudor series yet I would suggest holding on to The Queen’s Fool and starting at the start with them (this may or may not be important to you but I have a bit of a thing about reading in order). Also, it does pay to keep in mind that they are fiction – I ran into a lady on the train one day while reading The Boleyn Inheritance and copped a 10 minute run down on how she couldn’t get through it because it wasn’t historically accurate, there is no way they would have thought or spoken like that back then, the ladies wouldn’t have schemed like that and, and, and … and in the end I just wanted to suggest that if she wanted historical then she should have grabbed herself a history book! (but I bit my tongue)
Haha – some people!
I’m curious how the book swap worked. Does each person bring a certain number or books and you go home with the same number? Do you draw names? It sounds like a great idea! I would love to do it!
It was very informal: we just dumped our books on the table and had at it
Can’t think of authors at the moment, but: Middlesex, Room, Little Women, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, The History of Love, Gone with the Wind
The hunger games is SO GOOD. Please, please look into Life of Pi by Yann Martel.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time is a really great book. Best book I’ve ever read is Pilgrim by Timothy Findley. It is the story of a man who can’t die and who lived important events of the world.
Melissa Krug says
My favorite recent novel would have to be The Help. Otherwise, I end up reading a lot of things my teens are reading. I loved the Harry Potter series and the Eragon series. My son tells me The Hunger Games is great, but I haven’t tried it yet.
I ended up reading the whole Hunger Games series after my son read them all for the second time. I thought the writing was excellent, the whole idea very imaginative and I was amazed at how the author could weave a subtle love-triangle into the whole plot. I think the series would rise to the level of Harry Potter if it weren’t for the fact that the children die in such a horrible fashion! Defintely a series worth reading.
You have come out with a great pile!
My favourite books, in no order:
-The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
-The Harry Potter series by J K Rowling, fav in the series is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban
-The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
-The Anne of Green Gables series by L M Montgomery
-Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell
-She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb
There are probably a few more, but can’t think of them right now. I have that Dune book on my shelf that I keep meaning to read.
Also, my goal during the holidays is to finally read The Lord of the Rings. I have read The Hobbit and watched the movies many many times so I need to finally read the books!
She’s Come Undone is such a good one!!
Interesting mix of titles you picked up! If you’re going to read Margaret Atwood, I wouldn’t start with The Penelopiad, but it is fairly brief, if I recall. The Edible Woman or Lady Oracle would be good Atwood reads; early, funny books before she got all gloomy.
Love Douglas Adams, but it’s better to read The Hitchhiker’s series in order, really. The book you picked up, “The Restaurant at the end of the Universe”, is the third one, I think. But still lots of fun in any order.
That copy of “Dune” looks like it’s been through a lot of readers! Pretty well-worn.
I can’t possibly choose one title as the best book I’ve ever read. My current preferred author right now is Christopher Moore. Really funny writing.
Why wouldn’t you start with The Penelopiad? Is it difficult?
Loved the Handmaid’s Tale !
Not difficult, just depressing, IMHO. Atwood tends to let her bleak side take over. I can’t read depressing books as I get older, but that’s just me. Yes, The Handmaid’s Tale is very good. I like my authors funny and clever, like Mordecai Richler (forgot to mention him before). Try Duddy Kravitz, St. Urbain’s Horseman, or Solomon Gursky Was Here.
my husband loves the Dunes series, let me know what you think.
I <3 Dune, and I'm a girl.
If you can ever get your hands on it, Half of a Yellow Sun is one of my very favorites…
I read The Queen’s Fool – it was great! My favorite book EVER is Jane Eyre. I don’t ever re-read books, but I definitely plan to read that again in the future.
Megan @ MegGoesNomNom says
I’ve read Eden Close too! I love Anita Shreve.
J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) says
Cheese, bread, books, and chocolate; that sounds like the perfect Christmas par-tay to me. 🙂
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime is a really fun read! Quick and entertaining, but clever too! Definitely one of my favorite books 🙂
I am SO impressed your friend reads a book a day! I read a book a week and I thought that was good– 52 so far this year plus I work full time and have three young children!
This book swap is a fabulous idea. Food look great too.
I have the tendency to sarcastically exaggerate – it may be a few a week 🙂
Still very impressive!
Cliche but The Help is amongst my top 5!
Hi Kath, I have never commented before but I LOVE your blog and have been following for a few months now. I just felt compelled to share my fav book, “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” by Lisa See. Maybe you have read it, but it really is a beautiful book! Thank you for all of the posts, I look forward to them thrice daily:)
P.S. With your help, my husband is an oat lover…who would have thought?!?
I have that Lisa See book on my shelf but haven’t read it yet, so glad to hear a personal recommendation!
I audio-booked Snowflower and liked it!
I just recently read my new favorite – “The Hands of My Father.” It’s a memoir about a hearing boy’s childhood with deaf parents. I swear that I both laughed and cried at least one time every single chapter!
katie @KatieDid says
I have Let the Great World Spin but only got a bit into it. Being in school I find it hard to read for pleasure when I typically have other books I need to be reading for class. I’m much better in the summer. But I heard that this book had amazing reviews and someone highly recommended it to me so I hope that helps!
I never have time to finish books. However, I like “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp, even though I only got part-way through the book.
Oh shoot, I got the email about this but then I forgot about it! Work has been crazy lately… Looks like it was a fun time! Have you had a chance to read The Scarlet Pimpernel yet?
Pimpernel is on my night stand – Hunger Games jumped in front!
I LOVE the Hitchhiker’s Guide Series (good snag!)! But I have to say that my favorite book ever is The Sound of the Kiss (the Story that Must Never be Told). It is so beautiful and everything connects together so perfectly, and it is a fantastic translation from Telugu with a definite connection back to the original language!
I love The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Kite Runner. Of course, I also love the Twilight Saga. Don’t judge me. 😉
Melissa – have you read A Thousand Splendid Suns? Same author as The Kite Runner but even better!!
Funny you should ask. I just recommended that book to my book club. I think it was rejected over chick-lit (the focus of our group). I’ll try to read it over the break! I felt like I learned so much from The Kite Runner and connected with the characters. If the other is better, I know I’ll love it.
Reb (Life Doesn't Have to Suck) says
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is da bomb! So creative and unusual.
I love British comedy writers like Nick Hornby (About a Boy) and David Nicholls (One Day). Have you seen the movie version of One Day? It’s so much better than the poster would lead you to believe.
Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl says
I am going to need to read the Hunger Games. Keep hearing about The Hunger Games, but have no idea what they are about.
I do love Debbie Macomber books! Always hardship, romance and happy endings. 🙂
I have enjoyed your blog for sometime now, but this is my first comment. In the past few years, I have been trying to read more classics and have three short ones that I would highly recommend. Death Comes for the Archbishop (by Willa Cather) is a beautiful evocation of the American Southwest in 1700s (there’s very little dialogue ;)) Others have mentioned The Great Gatsby which is also a terrific book with lots of layers. Finally, The Bridge of San Luis Rey is wonderful. It’s an exploration of life and death through the lens of 5 people who were killed when a bridge in Peru collapses.
Thanks for your comment Margaret!
Stacy @ Say It With Sprinkles says
Favorite books: The Catcher in the Rye, Great Expectations, & The House of the Spirits
Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin says
So funny that you mentioned House of the Spirits – I haven’t met very many other people who have read it! I had to read it for high school AP English and I thought it was totally insane, but I ended up really enjoying it.
Kathy W. says
All-time favorites: “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “A Wrinkle in Time.”
Margaret Atwood is my favorite author, but I have not read that book! However, The Handmaid’s Tale is really awesome.
Loved Handmaid’s Tale!
I don’t know if I have a fave read~ I just love to read! I adore old faves like Anne of Green Gables series though! But my latest reads have been from author Michelle Moran, a historical fiction author and she is BRILLIANT. I love the way she explores the facts of history with rich characters that make it so interesting. Oh, and THANK YOU for Squirrel Nut Butter advertising, bc you posted it on here, I emailed them, and they are one of the few health food companies that will ship to APO~ Peanut butter varieties are making their way to Korea and from Korea to my belly~ YUM!
Glad it was able to get to you!
I haven’t read any of the books in the pictures but my recent favorite is “1Q84” by Haruki Murakami.
Thrilling, creative, and full of things to make you think. And it’s still easy to read, it’s got everything!
I rarely read a book in a day, I like to take my time. I wish I could read faster sometimes, but I most of the time I like to take my time and not rush, after all it’s for my enjoyment! 🙂
Health Bee says
The book swap sounds so fun!
Stephanie C says
I don’t think I could pick an all time fave, but the best I’ve read this year is Little Bee and The Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende.
I don’t really like reading fiction unless there’s a lot of truth to them (historical, mostly). I love learning something new, even if the main plot is not true.
My goal for winter break (about 4 weeks) is to read Brothers Karamazov… we’ll see what happens 😉
Kim M. says
I love love loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (in your stack)! Make sure you read that one! It starts off with an upsetting scene, but stick with it! It’s wonderful.
My favorite books ever are Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles (<–nerdy English major alert) and Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast.
Ian McEwan’s Atonement I read recently and loved, also Zadie Smith’s On Beauty…
Have you read The Time-Traveller’s Wife by Aufrey Niffenegger? Has to be the best book I ever read, very emotional!
I agree. The movie doesn’t do it justice.
I actually have the problem of liking too many books! Every book I read ends up leading to wanting to read a bunch of related books or books by the same author & it just spins out of control…ha! I think in my next life I need to be in book publishing for a living 😉 I’ve not read any of the ones you chose, but I’ve been wanting to try books by Phillipa Gregory. Oh, and I could NEVER pick a favorite book – I read too many for that (about 2-3 per week). Some of my favorites are:
Gone with the Wind
Atonement by Ian McEwan
A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff
all of Curtis Sittenfeld’s books
Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
the Harry Potter books (which I know you’ve read)
books from the Valentine series by Adriana Trigiani
and I could go on forever!
I haven’t read any of the titles you snagged. Some of them look intriguing.
I love everything Anne Tyler has ever written, and my favorite is “The Accidental Tourist,” which was made into a film with William Hurt and Kathleen Turner. It’s one of the few book-to-movies that works.
Megan S says
I also loved Anna Tyler’s books, especially Back When we Were Grown Ups!
I also loved Shop Girl by Steve Martin, everything David Sedaris has ever written, Time Traveler’s Wife, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games (but didn’t like the other two in the series:() and also loved Little Bee. Phillipa Gregory is not ‘great literature’ but I’ve enjoyed the hell out of every thing I’ve read of hers (all the Tudor series and now, the Red Queen). My mom read the one about the great world spinning (can’t remember the exact title, too lazy to go look at the photo) and loved it and she’s more into description than I am.
I love Jodi Piccoult’s books, they’re a really great read, and always have such amazing, unexpected endings!
This has been so helpful now I know what to get people for Christmas, Little Bee and queens Fool
Simply Life says
oh how fun- thanks for the new book to add to my “to-read” list!
Phillipa Gregory books are great! Very descriptive and historically based (although fiction, obvi). I’ve read them all! Enjoy:)
Reading is one of the great joys of life. I enjoyed Eden Close, Kite Runner, two of my most memorable reads off the top of my head, The House of Sand and Fog, wow, The World According to Garp and so many more. I really enjoyed the fluffy series of books by Emily Giffin, Something Borrowed, Something Blue. Very fun stuff. Hubby wanted to get his favorite in too, Lion’s Game by Nelson DeMille. He said you won’t put it down.
Rebecca @ Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous says
What a great collection of new books to read! I wish I had more time to read!
Susan H. @ the food allergy chronicles says
The Ginger Cookies look amazing! I will be baking up a storm of Gingerbread this weekend with my boys for our Gingerbread House and Men! Yummy!
Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin says
I love the idea of doing a book swap! I think I may have to steal this idea to do with my friends!
My favourite books off the top of my head are Jane Eyre, The Help, Fried Green Tomatoes (I absolutely ADORE this one), Nick Hornby’s books, and Pride and Prejudice.
+1 for Nick Hornby. He is great. I always look forward to a new release from him.
If you like descriptive books you should try Cutting for Stone. SO good!
Sarah B. says
Cutting for stone was my favorite book of the year. I bought it for lots of my friends who enjoy descriptive books. I’ve never commented before, but looking at some of the books you’ve read, I would whole heartedly recommend Cutting for Stone – same type of feel.
I read Cutting for Stone this summer and enjoyed it. I was quite into it and had to put it down for a while then when I went back to read, I was stalled and not sure I could finish. I had to ask the person who recommended it if I should go on and she said “continue, it gets better” and I’m glad I did and I didn’t want it to end.
Cutting for Stone will stay with you for a long time. Our little, long-distance book club read this one then we made the meal mentioned in the book (Doro Wat.) We ate it with our hands and it was such a great experience. Try it!
So glad to read this. I have had Cutting For Stone on my iPad for months. I’m about 100 pages in and I just can’t find the will to finish. If you are saying it gets better maybe I will give it another try!
The Queen’s Fool by Phillipa Gregory is really good. All of her books are really juicy. I would read the whole series that follows the Tudor family- it’s fiction but it’s really good!
Great idea to swap books and so many great suggestions from your readers! I love to read and always looking for a good book so it will be fun to look for some of these books. I loved “The Help.” Another one called “The Forgotten Garden” was very good although, some of her descriptions were too long and I did not care for any of her other books – I believe the author is Kate Morton.
Forgotten Garden is on my shelf!
Jules @ La Petite Maison Verte says
I LOVE the book-swap idea!! Definitely going to have to see if any of my friends are interested in having one of our own….
Looks like a delicious afternoon and evening!
I grew up loving books like books/authors like Little House by Laura Ingalls Wilder, O Pioneers/My Antonia by Willa Cather, A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich along with Gone with the Wind and others. More current faves include Unbroken, Little Bee, Half Broke Horses, The Glass Castle. During my childhood I used to be able to read a book a day. I really do believe my 6 year daughter is a speed reader, she can crawl into bed with a hundred some page chapter book and be done less than an hour later. I exchange books with my friends and family. My daughter and I go to a monthly book club at the library and we suggested a book exchange that is taking place next Monday. My daughter has a stack of books picked out and is excited to see what she gets. Book exchanges are perfect this time of year, everyone gets a gift and no one has to go shopping!
Hope @ With A Side Of Hope says
That pumpkin chocolate chip tree cookie looks amazing!! 🙂 Some of those books look good! Thanks for the suggestions.
Molly @ RDexposed says
That cat is blinging!
Book swaps are great! Love Philippa Gregory and Anita Shreve! Eden Close wasn’t my favorite, I liked Fortune’s Rock a bit better.
I actually prefer dialogue in books and get very irritated when there isn’t a lot of it. I think dialogue keeps a book moving forward. When there’s a lack of dialogue, I can’t help thinking the character is really egotistical and self-absorbed. Even if they aren’t!
I forgot to mention that my description must be plot-driven too. So 5 pages about a garden wouldn’t cut it – I prefer “And then she looked around and noticed all the plants in the garden were missing…”
Katy Kopp Miller says
Curious incident of the dog in the nighttime and let the great world spin are amazing! I loved the help and the glass castle this year.
[email protected] Broken Cookies Don't Count says
I have Eden Close in my pile to read. I usually like Anita Shreve. The best book I ever read was Possession by A.S. Byatt. Loved it!
Michelle M says
I love books so much. My all time favorite book is East of Eden. I usually read it twice a year or so. But I guarantee if I’ve got a free moment, anywhere, I’m going to be reading a book.
The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh says
Just when I thought I was done baking I’m off to try the molasses cookie recipes I have bookmarked! Oh yeah, eating breakfast should come first.
The Queen’s Fool is awesome, but my personal fav is She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb. I read constantly. Like, every other book.
Oh you got a Margaret Atwood. I love her- if you have a chance to read Handmaid’s Tale take it. Fantastic read. I have read the Curious Incident and really enjoyed it as well. Happy reading!
Silly Q, but how do you get the cookies evenly flat and perfectly round?! Mine always come out a little lumpy and with jagged edges… But, as my Dear says “it’s not always about appearance and they all go down the same way!” ;P
That is a Great Harvest secret my dear 🙂
Try an ice cream scoop 🙂
Chloe (In Fine Feather) says
An ice cream scoop will definitely help with that! It makes them all the same size, just be sure to not squish them down. Most bakeries use one to make it fast, efficient, and have perfectly shaped cookies all the time 🙂
People in bakeries use ice cream scoops. It’s not a secret.
[I am legally not allowed to disclose this, but you are all correct!]
Johanna B says
“Gone with the Wind” is my favorite book of all time. I re-read it every year. Another one I re-read frequently is “Alas, Babylon” by Pat Frank. It’s an apocalypse novel but I love it. My prof suggested it in my adolescent literature course as an undergrad. My favorite two authors are Jonathan Kellerman and Kathy Reichs (of Bones fame).
Ashley @ Cooking for John says
I loved Little Bee! Probably the best book I read this year- I need to read the Hunger Games series too!
Dune is great.
Patty @ Foodie and the Beatz says
I’m late but I have to chime in! Have you ever read Jhumpa Lahiri? Her short story collection, Interpreter of Maladies, is one of my all time favorites. Simple, brilliant writing. The Namesake, the book that followed, is equally good and was made into a movie. Good stuff!
Glad to know I am not the only one who can narrow down favorite. I am reading Mockingjay right now and totally love the Hunger Games series!
Recently read The Language of Flowers and loved it. Beautiful story and a great read. I read such a wide variety of books I don’t know if I even could name a top 5. The book I am currently reading is always my favorite 🙂 I am apparently quite fickle.
*can’t narrow down.
The Queens Fool is good if you liked The Other Boleyn Girl (which I did).
The Alchemist is a great classic read. Other books I’ve enjoyed recently are Memoirs of a Geisha, The Help (couldn’t put this one down!), and anything by David Sedaris (he is such a phenomenal story teller!)
Man everyone loves this Queens Fool, Ive got to get a copy
Kristi @ Hiding in Honduras says
Can’t think of my all time favorite on the spot but for nonfiction my husband and I love anything by Jon Krakauer.
By chance I came across The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time in our Peace Corps library and the hubs and I both enjoyed it. It’s a little strange and the narrator has a very interesting speech pattern that we picked up and still use! Although we need to ditch it before we move back to the States in a few months b/c it sounds very ridiculous. You’ll probably see what I mean once you read it!
Johanna B says
My favorite Krakauer book was “Into Thin Air” but I’ve read them all (unless he’s come out with one recently.)
I liked Into Thin Air a lot as well.
Army Amy* says
I’m reading Into Thin Air right now and can’t put it down!
My favorite book of the year was ‘A Visit from the Goon Squad’ by Jennifer Egan. It’s a very contemporary novel with a lot of commentary about life in a digital age. I also have to echo previous recommendations for ‘Cutting for Stone’. It’s a marvel of a book.
Good Squad is our next book club book!!
I’ve been a blog lurker for a while now, but this post inspired me to comment as I’m hosting a book swap here in town myself tomorrow! Are you on GoodReads? It’s my favorite way to keep up with what some of my friends/family are reading and get good ideas for future books. Some recent winners include
Then We Came To The End (Joshua Ferris)
A Homemade Life (Molly Wizenberg)
One Day (David Nichols)
Five Quarters of an Orange (Joanne Harris)
Thanks for delurking!
And thanks for such an entertaining blog. 🙂 I hope our paths will cross in Cville at some point — partly because of what looks like our overlapping interest in sustainable food, and also (and more importantly, now that it’s the season for it) because I see you’re a fellow Duke bball fan and sadly my game watching companion has recently moved away. I grew up in Durham but went to UVa, so I get grief all the time about my basketball allegiance. If you’re ever having a game viewing and need extra Duke spirit, let me know!
I think we have met before!? I toured the UVA garden once and went to see a panel – I think you introduced it?
Oh, how funny! I just googled ‘katheats uva panel’ and sure enough your post about that Food Collaborative event that I helped organize/host last year popped right up (that was probably five or six months before I started reading KERF). That’s cool that you found out about it via the Sustainable Dining blog I maintain for work – I’m sure I’ll see you around town!
Oh fun!!! We need to get together 🙂
For sure. I’ll email you at the start of the new year!
rachel p says
“Fall On Your Knees” by Anne Marie MacDonald and “Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver are hands down my favorites!
Anything from Phillipa Gregory I LOVE! If you like anything about The Tudor Dynasty then you will love this! I loved the Showtime series “The Tudors”! Highly recommend her books!
If you prefer description to dialogue I would recommend Isabel Allende. I’m surprised no one has mentioned her yet. Especially “The House of The Spirits” and “Daughter of Fortune.” Since you listed Ahab’s Wife as your favorite, then you will love the main character in each one of these books.
I commented last night but thought of more this morning. I read a lot of non-fiction and one favorite is Growing Up by Russell Baker. Another that is historical fiction, Loving Frank by Nancy Horan written about the lives and loves of Frank Lloyd Wright, very moving. For non-dialogue and tons of description, The Mitford Series by Jan Karon. Love books!!!
I adore Father Tim, Cynthia and everyone who resides within the town of Mitford. Such wonderful books.
love the Mitford books
Growing Up by Russell Baker is my all-time favorite biography – I first read it when I was quite young and it had such a profound effect on me. More recently I loved Andre Agassi’s Open. Possibly my #1 non-fiction book is Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc.
Katie @ Plates and Paste says
I’m picky with books too. I don’t enjoy fiction to much. I like reading real stories and love memiors. It takes me forever to get through books though cause I can never seem to make time to read!
Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife says
The Queen’s Fool is a good one–but I LOVE brit lit.
Hi Kath –
I have read your blog for a few years. I suppose it’s time I stopped lurking and said “Hi!” I loved Ahab’s wife as well, it is one of my favorites. The following books are my top five:
The Power of One – this book is simply beatiful.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
The Book Thief
Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine says
This was such a fun, pretty post. I loved The Hunger Games—couldn’t put them down!! I can’t wait for the movie!!
Anything by Paul Auster is good. “Mr. Vertigo” is my favorite.
The Queen’s Fool is actually my favorite by Philippa Gregory–her best, imho.
My most recent favorite read is The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield–definitely a book for book lovers! And if you haven’t read A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, put it on your list! It’s like Harry Potter for grown-ups, only better. (/end librarianerd)
I, too, LOVED The Thirteenth Tale! What an excellent story!
Jen Papaya says
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. Amazing!
Hannah @ eat, drink and save money says
Everyone is different when it comes to books. Pat Conroy is my favorite author, so I guess I like dialogue. Never thought of it that way before. Good to see you got a book by Margaret Atwood. I also like her a lot.
The Queens Fool is really good!
My favorite new series are the Alan Bradley books. He writes about a girl named Flavia deLuce. They are wonderful books.
Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio says
Book swaps are such a great idea!! I think this is great!
The book that made me want to become an English teacher was The Awakening by Kate Chopin. I really, really think you would like the Game of Thrones series (it was made into an HBO series this year). If you like HP and LOTR, you will love this series. I just finished book 2 last night and I am HOOKED!
You MUST read The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. All the women in my family loved this book!
love the Red Tent also
The only book out of that stack that I’ve read was the Curious Case of the Dog in the Night time. It was good.
Alexandra Petroff says
Awww your cat is so pretttyyy
I love book swaps! I wish I was back in high school/college when I had more time to read. Curious Incident of the Dog is really interesting. It gives a perspective on autism that leaving you thinking about the disease. The Queen’s Fool is ok, but not one of her best novels. Let the Great World Spin is ok…I always felt like it was ‘dense’ which I don’t know if that’s the best way to describe it, but it was good…but I couldn’t never read it for very long each sitting.
The best book I’ve ever read is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. If you haven’t read it, you NEED to read it. Really amazing and inspirational and amazing!!!!!!!
Hope you are enjoying the Hunger Games!
The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty. I have read it four times, I have even emailed the author with my admiration of this novel, and I must say, he replied back. Its about an over weight guy who faces some really tough crap in his life and then one day he just gets on this old bike and takes off.Oh and what he experiences, oh my. GREAT READ!
The best book I ever read is the one I am reading right now. My English teacher suggested it to me and I have loved it because I think it has really influenced my thinking of people, culture, morals, and religion. It’s called The Piosonwood Bible. I wouldn’t call it an easy read but for people who want a deep book but aren’t ready to take on a classic, I would suggest this book.
Sarah Williams says
Still Alice and Left Neglect are two of the best books Ive ever read!
I completely agree – I just read Left Neglected in one day -albeit a long one flying from the States to SE Asia, but it really spoke to me and the hectic life I lead and was a wake-up call I am taking seriously to try to slow down my crazy life.
My favorite books of all time all time are the Anne of Green Gables series–brings me back to my childhood. I recently read The Postmistress, and it was an interesting read of different ways people react to the effects of one overarching crisis: WW2.
I’m getting a kindle for christmas, so this has been a great way to build my list for downloads!
Love the idea of the book swap–were there leftovers afterward? I suppose you could donate the leftovers to a library or goodwill…
Chloe (In Fine Feather) says
LOVE book swaps and will read almost anything. Right now I’m reading Mountains Beyond Mountains when I have time between work & school.
Maybe I’ll arrange a swap between my friends 🙂 Also a great way to save some moola!
Kelsey K says
The Curious Incident of the Dog at Nighttime is such a good book. So interesting and a very quick read!
I love Cider House Rules.In an effort to be a grown-up I’m trying to expand my horizons by reading more non-fiction. I thought Barbara Dernick’s Nothing to Envy:Ordinary Lives in North Korea was incredible.
I absolutely loved “love virtually” by Daniel Glattauer. It might not be for you since it’s written like a virtual conversation via emails. But I found it very witty, funny and absorbing – a quick, fun read that immediately caught my attention. Maybe you’ll give it a try, I highly recommend it.
I loved The Help. Anything by Jodi Picoult is great too.
jenna k says
jd salinger is my favorite author. most people only know him because of “the catcher in the rye,” but i like his other stories better. “raise high the roof beams, carpenters” is quite possibly my favorite book/short story ever. salinger tends to write with lots of description as well. 🙂
i read “seven types of ambiguity” by elliot perlman a few years ago, but i remember really liking it. it’s pretty long, but it’s broken up into seven parts that are overlapping parts the same story, just told through the eyes of different characters. his collection of short stories, “the reasons i won’t be coming” has some gems, too.
i just graduated, and i already have a list of books i want to read asap. the list will probably get 10x longer from reading the comments on this post!!
jenna k says
oh, and you should try reading a screenplay for a fun change. they tend to have way more description 🙂
Zoe @ loseweightandgainhealth says
Def start with ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog…’ which is original and intriguing and well written. My favourite books ever are ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ , ‘ The Cider House Rules’ and ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ by Khaled Hosseini (who also wrote the brilliant “the Kite Runner’). A Thousand Splendid Suns is one of those books you can not put down and it makes you so glad to be a female in a democratic country and so thankful to everyone in your life who is kind and decent to you.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is fantastic! Whoever gets that is lucky. My favorite book of all time is Slaughterhouse-5. Close runner-up is The Great Gatsby.
To Kill a Mockingbird, She’s Come Undone, Good in Bed & 1984 are some of my faves. If you’re interested in swapping your books online, I highly recommend Swap.com, it’s a great place to swap books, movies & music. All you pay is a few $ shipping! I use it all the time.
I lovvvvvvvvvved Let the Great World Spin, my boyfriend lovvvvvvvvvvved Dune (except the ending. I kind of thought it sounded like a dorky boy book :D) I lovvvvvved Are Men Necessary in college. Don’t necessarily know how I’d feel now 😀
My favorite book of all time is The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.
I know I am posting on this a week late. But I love books 😀 So I figured you wouldn’t mind.