Saturday, June 4, 2016

Book Review: Delicious! by Ruth Reichl

I discovered the novel Delicious! by Ruth Reichl through an Amazon recommendation awhile ago and just knew it would make the cut for my summer reading list. Plus, since I had fallen out of the habit of reading lately, for my first book of the summer, I knew I wanted a work of fiction that I would devour in a couple of days. Having started Monday afternoon and finished Wednesday evening, this book was perfect. I love being captivated by a good story.

I downloaded the eBook from the 3M Cloud Library, which I accessed through my library system. I read it on my Kindle. Although, since the main character's close friend uses wonderful old-fashioned formal diction, the Kindle version would be ideal because you can tap a word and receive the definition automatically. Not that it is difficult. In fact, I didn't Google a single word because I either knew each one or could figure it out in context. The free format was better for me.

This is a story of a college-aged woman named Billie who lands a job at a food magazine in New York City, far away from home and school in California. She has a gift in her amazing palate. With one taste, she can name all the ingredients in a dish, even uncommon ones! She can also easily recommend what ingredient the dish needs or needs more of in order for it to improve. Despite this talent, Billie does not cook. This is just one of many ways that she holds herself back, mainly due to family issues. I adore her colorful friends, Italian ones included, who help her create a new life. The long-running magazine shuts down, but she is the only employee allowed to stay in order to deal with warranty issues. In her grand workplace, she and a former colleague discover hidden scattered letters from a twelve-year old girl who enjoys cooking to famous chef James Beard during World War II. This included history enriches the story. All of this leads her to a few more adventures, love, and healing. I love how she blossoms. Such growth. There are a lot of life lessons for the reader. I highly recommend this book.

This is my 599th post. I am dedicating my next one (the 600th!) to answering your questions, so if you have a question, please ask me in the comment section or on any of the blog's social media. I normally post about a simple pleasure or signature item every Sunday, but I will break that tradition just this once. Instead, I will work on drafting detailed answers tomorrow. Since I've had so many wonderful inquiries over the last day, I'm unsure when you may expect the Q&A post to go live. Probably sometime next week. Thank you so much for your questions!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Summer 2016 Reading List

One of my items on my summer to do list was to get back into reading. I started the first book on this list last Monday afternoon and finished it Wednesday evening. Needless to say, I have thoroughly enjoyed this return to reading so far. I intentionally kept the following list short, so that if titles on my prior lists still pique my interest, then I can read them as well. From my Spring 2016 Reading List, for example, I would really love to finish my hardcover copy of all in good taste by Kate Spade New York. This book on entertaining has been sitting on my night stand for months! In addition, if I come across something good, I can read even more!

Plus, during the summer, I relish reading a book poolside, on the beach, or simply outdoors to get some sun. I look forward to reading every title on this list.

Michelle's Summer 2016 Reading List:

Or at the library.

I have already read Delicious!: A Novel by Ruth Reichl and loved it! Anticipate my glowing review soon! This was also the perfect book to use to get back into reading. In fact, I devoured this wonderful work of fiction in two and a half days. This is a story of a young woman who lands a job at a food magazine in New York City. She has a gift in her amazing palate. With one taste, she can determine all the ingredients in a dish, even weird ones! She can also easily recommend what ingredient the dish needs or needs more of in order for it to improve. The magazine shuts down, but this launches another adventure, complete with a little World War II history. Through all of this, the reader witnesses her tremendous personal growth. I downloaded an eBook through my library.

Or at the library.

I enjoy entertaining and look forward to reading Lauren Conrad Celebrate by Lauren Conrad. Full of photos as well as tips and examples, this guide comes highly reviewed. I expect it to inspire me to throw elegant affairs on a budget throughout the year. I placed a hold on this book at my library.

Or at the library.

I selected Invincible Summer by Alice Adams from this list of new books from the lovely Shannon of the blog The Simply Luxurious Life. This novel follows the lives of a group of friends during their 20s and 30s who live across Europe. Again, I placed a hold on this book at the library.


I truly look forward to reading Thirty Chic Days: Practical Inspiration for a Beautiful Life by Fiona Ferris of the blog How to be Chic. This is a fun French-inspired guide for living each day beautifully. I adore her blog and usually find that her words stick with me. Since I am not spending any money on the previous books on this list (nor am I shelling out any more money on the titles from lists intended for past seasons), I am planning to purchase the paperback on Amazon next Friday with my paycheck. I would like to own this one.

What will you read this summer?

I do realize that since May had 31 days, I promised 9 blog posts that month and only managed 8. Readers, I sincerely apologize. I will try better next time. I will also try not to beat myself up over not hitting my goal both now and in the future. 

I simply adore this blog's intimate community. ...but since my audience remains on the small side, I truly need questions for my upcoming Q&A blog post. So, if you would like to know what clothing item I cannot wait to wear this summer, how I organize my jewelry, what I daydream of doing in Italy next, or are curious about something else, please ask me in a comment. Friends, I need your help in making this special 600th post successful. I look forward to receiving more questions. Grazie.