Time for another instalment of What I’ve Been Reading. I’ve been going through quite a lot of books recently and I can’t wait to share my latest finds with you. I was all over the place in the past couple weeks in terms of genres reading historical fiction, non-fiction, and mysteries and I pretty much loved them all this time around!
How to Bake a Perfect Life- by Barbara O’Neil
I really enjoyed this story, and found the plot and writing style itself to be uplifting and comforting. Like going home to a nice cozy fire after a long day. It’s the perfect book to read if you’re having a bad day…or if you need something light to take to the beach. It’s primarily a story based on a family of women of various generations and the dynamic relationships they have with one another. The main character Ramona, had a child when she was 15 years old, and during this time she grew to have a passion for bread making. However, the bulk of the story takes place about 30 years later when Ramona owns her own bakery and, through a series of events, comes to take care of her daughter’s stepdaughter. The chapters are sprinkled with many different bread recipes, an aspect of the book that I LOVED.
The Last Camellia- by Sarah Jio
I have read quite a few mysteries and I think I’m hooked. The Last Camellia by Sarah Jio was no exception- it was a page turner right from the beginning. It’s set in England at a mysterious old manor house (just from this you know it’s going to be good!), and flips back and forth between the 1940s and present day. A rare camellia flower is at the centre of the plot, and as the story delves deeper in to the background of the two main characters, Flora and Addison, we get to see how the flower has shaped the lives of both women through their search into details of a terrible mystery.
The House Girl- By Tara Conklin
This book has been on my list of things to read FOREVER. I’m so happy I finally got a chance to take it our from the library recently, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
It was by far, one of the best books I’ve read this summer. While at the beginning I wasn’t sure about it (it starts off slowly but so do many of the best books- think Harry Potter), by the end I was crying along with the characters. Set in 1852 and 2004, the stories of Josephine a house slave and Lina a young lawyer, are intertwined and layered with incredible detail and forethought. Just when you think you know where the story is going to go, and what will be around the next turn, Conklin suprises you, spurning you on to read further.
Somehow Tara Conklin also makes you think about truth and the American justice system and the big questions surrounding slaves and their descendants, all amidst the most heartfelt and captivating story. If I was going to suggest a book to read for the rest of the summer, as of right now, this would be it.
Gulp- By Mary Roach
Another book in Mary Roach’s series of literary endeavours focused on some of the least talked about topics in common society. For instance, her previous books have looked at the science and people behind sex research (Bonk), and the curious world of corpses (Stiff). Roach approaches each subject with such an open mind and genuine interest that you can’t help enjoying each subject and learning something new in the process. This book, as well as the others, are entertaining through and through. Roach is the most humorous scientific author I know of who writes without being to intellectual, or like an academic paper. Her books are fun! Seriously!
Gulp in particular delves into the digestive tract and all the mysterious functions and idiosyncrasies that surround it. Roach covers the GI tract from top to bottom- quite literally, and you’ll be astounded by how much you learn and take away about your own body!