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This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett
Really enjoyed this collection of Patchett’s essays on topics from writing to relationships. My favorite was “The Mercies,” a story of Sister Nena, a nun who taught her in elementary school and later became a friend. Also enjoyed her tale of RV’ing with the man who became her husband. Great read, especially for commuters- the essays end and you won’t get stuck at a cliffhanger point just when it’s time to get off the train.
Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, by Anne Lamott
This book followed Lamott’s Traveling Mercies, and is the second in a three part series. In each chapter, Lamott reflects on finding God’s presence amidst various struggles, including aging, parenting, dealing with grief, and living through the Bush presidency. I just love Lamott’s writing. Her voice is wise, soothing, and warm, and reading her books always helps me to take it easy and trust.
Martha Stewart’s Hors d’Ouevres Handbook, by Martha Stewart and Susan Spungen
An oldie but a goodie. Published in 1999, the recipes and ideas are classics. Appetizers range from upscale, perfectly presented canapés to casual dips, and chapters are organized by presentation, ie, “Layered and Stacked,” “Dips,” etc. Plus, there’s a photo for every single recipe, though the photos are all up front, with the recipes in the second half of the book, an organization I found a little strange. Still, the content and quality is awesome. I’m looking forward to trying out the tropical fruit salsa for the Superbowl.
The Fault in our Stars, by John Green
I kept seeing this book everywhere. It’s about two teenaged lovers with terminal cancer, and while that alone sounded awful, the praise was so high I decided to check it out anyway. It was a sweet story, and better than I thought, but I’m still not sure what all the fuss was about. Maybe I’m just too old for young adult novels.
The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty
This one came recommended to me by my mother in law. She wouldn’t tell me anything about the book except that I had to read it, and I resisted for awhile as our taste in books doesn’t typically coincide. I found it a bit dark at first, (surprising, given the pink flower on the cover!) but I couldn’t put it down. The book had tons of twists and turns, fascinatingly drawn characters, and a compelling multi-person point of view. Few popular novels really make me think, but this one brought up so many questions for me- what would I do? Why was this character a certain way? I don’t want to give too much away, as going into it knowing nothing made it better for me. An excellent read.