Alrighty, it’s that time of the month where I tell you what I’ve been reading.
Before I do that though, in book club we’re reading Charlotte Bronte’s Villette and, let me tell you, it’s doing my head in! So far we’re about halfway through, but, dear reader (that’s a Charlotte Bronte-ism), I’m not a happy camper. The story is, however, beginning to get interesting, so let’s see where we go with it. My next challenge is to come up with what we’ll be baking at the end of it!
What I read in September
The Moment I Met You, by Debbie Johnson
From my Goodreads review:
I’m a fan of everything by Debbie Johnson and was devastated when she finished the Comfort Food Cafe series. But this one? It had all the feels. Just wow. I know September has only just begun, but I’m calling it this as my favourite book of the month. Big call I know.
As it turns out this wasn’t my read of the month, but it was definitely a contender.
Chewing The Fat, by Jay Rayner
I love Jay Rayner’s writing – although it does make me hungry and craving bacon sandwiches. Strange but true. And this collection of his columns for the Observer are no different. Tasty and easy to digest. And yes, Jay, bacon really does improve everything.
I listened to this Audible edition narrated by Jay Rayner.
Loving Lizzie March, by Susannah Hardy
I thoroughly enjoyed this debut by Susannah Hardy. Classic chick lit, it was the perfect antidote to the week I’d had. At first, I wondered whether I’d ever like Lizzie, but she grew on me – as all good chick lit characters should.
The Five Year Plan, by Jodi Gibson
Jodi is one of the hardest working authors I know – and that work is evident in this book. She’s also a staunch supporter of Australian authors and I’m endlessly grateful to her for that – in fact, she even gets a shout-out in my new novel to say thank you.
All that aside, I devoured this book – and devour is the most appropriate word to use in this instance. I began it at the end of a very tough day jobby week and it was the perfect escape route. Set between Italy and Melbourne it’s full of my favourite things – food, travel, food, Italy, food, romance, food, Melbourne, food…
And last week I made the lemon ricotta cake from the book. Jodi hasn’t yet uploaded the recipe to her website so I’m afraid I can’t share it here, but it got the tick of approval from hubby.
This Love, by Dani Atkins
I seem to be handing out 5-star ratings at the moment, but given that my stars are based purely on my enjoyment, I’ve read plenty of books of late that I’ve loved. This one tugs at the heartstrings – I mean really tugs at them, and doesn’t let go. I sort of had an idea about how it would be, but that didn’t detract from the impact when it ended as it did. An ending that I’m still picturing playing out in my head.
Another contender for read of the month.
The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig
I have no words for how I feel about this book…well, I do, but they don’t make sense. The possibility of infinite lives made my head swim in such a good way. I confess to suspecting how it would end and was very satisfied that it did end that way. Loved loved loved loved loved this one. (Did I mention that I loved it?)
I listened to this book on Audible, narrated perfectly by Carey Mulligan – in whose voice I could imagine Nora.
Despite some strong competition, this was my favourite read in a month filled with great reads.
Cookbook of the month
I resisted the urge to buy a new cookbook in September but spent some time revisiting some of the faves on my shelf. One of which is this one – Annabel Langbein’s Free Range In The City. Each of the books in her Free Range Cook series is good (the original is, however, the best), but this one is full of ideas for after-work dinners – as well as some great bakes.
I’ve cooked plenty from this one over the years. This recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies is one I make again and again, while the Lime and Sesame Beef Stirfry is one of our go-to mid-week dinners. The zucchini fritters made an appearance in Wish You Were Here, the Tuscan meatballs are the lightest meatballs of all time, and her New York Cheesecake is what I bake if I’m having gluten-free guests over for dinner.
Okay, over to you…what’s on your bookshelf?
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