Book Picks

It’s time for some book picks again.  We always love to share what we have been reading with people.  The stories we read become a part of our life and what better way to share our life then to recommend books to people we love.  This month we thought it would be fun to highlight some books we have read that have food as a character in the story.  We have said in the past how often we love reading about food, so these are fun, having food as a main component of the novel.

This month we have The Memory of Lemon by Judith Fertig which is the sequel to The Cake Therapist that we previously highlighted, The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe  by Mary Simses and The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen (one of our favorite authors).

The Memory of Lemon by Judith Fertig

The Memory of Lemon

From Amazon:

The author of The Cake Therapist returns with another sweet and emotional tale featuring Neely, the baker with a knack for finding exactly the right flavor for any occasion…

A crisp tang of citrus that is at once poignant and familiar, sharpening the senses and opening the mind to possibilities once known and long forgotten…
 
Claire “Neely” Davis is no ordinary pastry chef. Her flavor combinations aren’t just a product of a well-honed palate: she can “taste” people’s emotions, sensing the ingredients that will touch her customers’ souls. Her gift has never failed her—until she meets a free-spirited bride-to-be and her overbearing society mother. The two are unable to agree on a single wedding detail, and their bickering leaves Neely’s intuition frustratingly silent—right when she needs it most.

Between trying to navigate a divorce, explore a new relationship, and handle the reappearance of her long-absent father, Neely is struggling to make sense of her own conflicting emotions, much less those of her hard-to-please bride. But as she embarks on a flavorful quest to craft the perfect wedding celebration, she’ll uncover a family history that sheds light on both the missing ingredients and her own problems—and illustrates how the sweet and sour in life often combine to make the most delicious memories…

May’s Review: A continuation from The Cake Therapist, I enjoyed Judith Fertig’s second book, The Memory of Lemon. Make sure you read The Cake Therapist first, because this book pretty much continues where the last one left off with Clare and her bakery, The Rainbow Cake. I found the book  entertaining, and of course loved the mouth watering descriptions of her sweet treats. In addition to Clare’s gift of tasting the flavors of her customers personal backgrounds, Clare is also working on her own personal relationships including a new romance and reconnecting with her estranged father. There is also a second story intertwined within this one that takes place in the past, involving women who are healers. This was a fun read for summer.

June’s Review:  I really enjoyed the previous book, The Cake Therapist, so I was excited when this one came in for my at the library.  After reading it, I think I liked this one more than The Cake Therapist, but if you have not read The Cake Therapist make sure you read it because it provides a lot of background that you need for this story.  I love Clare’s that gift to taste flavors of other people tells her about that person’s story.  Some of the insight she gets is a little sad.  This book gives a little more background about where she gets that gift.  This book alternates between Clare’s current story of running her bakery and wedding cake business and her personal life, with a past story taking place in the Appalachians, the underground railroad and women who are healers.  I loved the past story.  The description reminded me of spending time in the Ozarks.  And the women who are healers have a spiritual side which is lovely.  I also liked how the story had a connection to Clare’s current life.  I recommend this as a read this summer.

The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe by Mary Simses

Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop

From Amazon;

A high-powered Manhattan attorney finds love, purpose, and the promise of a simpler life in her grandmother’s hometown.
 
Ellen Branford is going to fulfill her grandmother’s dying wish–to find the hometown boy she once loved, and give him her last letter. Ellen leaves Manhattan and her Kennedy-esque fiance for Beacon, Maine. What should be a one-day trip is quickly complicated when she almost drowns in the chilly bay and is saved by a local carpenter. The rescue turns Ellen into something of a local celebrity, which may or may not help her unravel the past her grandmother labored to keep hidden. As she learns about her grandmother and herself, it becomes clear that a 24-hour visit to Beacon may never be enough. THE IRRESISTIBLE BLUEBERRY BAKESHOP & CAFE is a warm and delicious debut about the power of a simpler life.
May’s Review: I read this one in a weekend. It was a fun book to get lost in on a hot summer day, and of course included some yummy dessert recipes with blueberries. It was the story of a big city girl with a high powered career, finding comfort and love in a small town in Maine. It was light and romantic, another great summer read.
June’s Review:  This book is sweet much like the desserts that are made with the blueberries described in the book.  I could identify with Ellen and her high powered career that maybe she does not like so much.  This book is similar to Them Memory of Lemon in that there is a past story to be unraveled that is important to the main character’s current life.  A great read if you are looking for a sweet and happy book that will make you feel good.  Plus there are some great looking recipes.
The Sugar Queen

In this irresistible novel, Sarah Addison Allen, author of the New York Times bestselling debut,Garden Spells, tells the tale of a young woman whose family secrets—and secret passions—are about to change her life forever.

Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter is her favorite season, she’s a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother’s house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night…. Until she finds her closet harboring Della Lee Baker, a local waitress who is one part nemesis—and two parts fairy godmother. With Della Lee’s tough love, Josey’s narrow existence quickly expands. She even bonds with Chloe Finley, a young woman who is hounded by books that inexplicably appear when she needs them—and who has a close connection to Josey’s longtime crush. Soon Josey is living in a world where the color red has startling powers, and passion can make eggs fry in their cartons. And that’s just for starters.

Brimming with warmth, wit, and a sprinkling of magic, here is a spellbinding tale of friendship, love—and the enchanting possibilities of every new day.

May’s Review: My first book by this author was Garden Spells, which I enjoyed and I liked this one too. Set in the south, this book is about three southern women, all eccentric and going through a bit of an identity crisis. Each chapter is named after a kind of sweet treat which was fun, there were a few twists, and even a few moments where I shed a tear or two.
June’s Review:  I love Garden Spells by this author and this was her follow-up and is my second favorite of all of her books.  This is a book full of quirky characters that have special gifts.   Once again food plays a big role in moving the story forward.  I read this book a few years ago but I remember that I loved it and it made me miss the characters when it was over.  Pick it up and if you haven’t read Garden Spells either pick that one up too.
Have a great weekend!  –May and June
“You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.” -Paul Sweeney 
 
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