Saturday, August 6, 2011

Alice Steinbach, Kate Muir and More Summer Reading

I love reading and will read anything;  magazines, blogs, cereal boxes and books! I will read books on my computer, on my Kindle on the Ipad but most important a good old fashioned book!  I love the feel of the pages between my fingers, I love the smell of the book and I love the art on the covers.

These are the books I read in the last couple of  weeks, maybe you will see something here that you want to read before the beach days are over.

The Sisters Mortland by Sally Beauman

This is an interesting and yet haunting book. It is about three sisters who live on an old family estate and are painted during the summer  of  1967. The story moves between that summer and 1991 when the now famous portrait is featured in a retrospective of the artist.

There is a little mystery about the sisters and about a a tragic event that summer in 1967.

I liked this book a lot, then again, I enjoy books written about mouldering family estates and the lives of the people who live there.

The Recipe Club by Andrea  Isreal and Nancy Garfinkel

I loved this clever book! The entire book is letter's and recipes between  two life long friends, Lily and Val and it follows them through love, family relationships, tragedy and life.  Easy read and very enjoyable.

The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton

This is another great book and an easy read. It follows the lives of five young mothers who meet in a park in the 1960's. After forming a friendship based on raising kids, marriages and a love of books they form a writing society, which they call "The Wednesday Sisters Writing Society." In between their writing they experience the key events of life in the 60's, the Vietnam War, the race to the moon, and everyday life.

House of Daughters by Sarah Kate Lynch

I loved this book, in fact I love all of this authors books, to include Blessed are the Cheese makers, By Bread Alone. This is a funny, whimsical look at what happens when three sisters inherit a vineyard in the Champagne region of France. Sarah-Kate researches her books thoroughly and you almost feel as if you could be a vintner or a bread maker or perhaps a cheese maker. These books are light ready and incredibly entertaining!

Memoirs of a Highland Lady II by Elizabeth Grant

OK, this book is not light reading, and at times it is a little dry because let's face it, it is a history book. Highland Lady follows Elizabeth from the time she is 17 in 1814 living in  Edinburgh to surviving a broken engagement and her families problems to marriage to a Irish landowner and her life until she is 33.  I liked it because I am fascinated with Scotland and with the lives of women in history. How do you survive and what do you live for when you are from a wealthly family and their only goal is to see you married well and to have a brood of children?

Left Bank by Kate Muir

This books follows the sophisticated social  life of Oliver and Madison Malin. He is a handsome French philosopher and she is an American film star that is now an "it" girl in Paris. They live a fabulous life on the Left Bank going to the best parties, wearing the most wonderful clothes and bags and living what should be an enviable life. But when their is a crisis involving their daughter these two self centered people must focus on something other than themselves which can sometimes be a challenge.

Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach

I loved this book as much as I did her previous book Educating Alice. This book is about Alica who is an award winning writer who takes a leave of absence from her her job to travel the world and be educated in life: while traveling to Paris, London, Oxford, and Milan. Along the way she meets a man, and makes several new friends! What I love about the book is Alice is middle aged, and she leaves her comfortable life in Baltimore to journey through Europe and in the process makes some incredible discoveries about herself, and life.

Eva Moves the Furniture by Margot Livesey

This is a great book about Eva who's mother dies shortly after her birth, she is raised by her aunt and her father and helped along the way by a small girl and an older woman who can only be seen by her. The book follows Eva's journey from childhood to her first job, to her marriage in even the birth of her own child. The book is entertaining, beautifully written and magical.

The Tenth Gift (Crossed Bones) by Jane Johnson

I loved this book! It is part adventure, part history and vastly entertaining. Julia the main character is given the gift of a book by her boyfriend, it is a book of seventeenth century embroidery patterns written by a woman named Catherine Ann Tregenna. In the margins of this book are notes that tell another tale; Catherine has been kidnapped along with many others from their church by Muslim pirates. The book tells the parallel tales of the lives of these two women Catherine surviving her ordeal and Julia on her adventure to see if the writings are true.

I do not know if my notes will entice you to read any of these but I hope so! They are all great reads and offer a little respite from the heat or in many cases the rain of summer.

by me
 Grab your beverage of choice, in my case a cup of hot chocolate, sit back and be transported to another world.

Linkin to: What we're reading party.


  1. Elizabeth,
    I am ashamed to say I have not read any of your list and look forward to making my selection.
    Enjoy your weekend dear friend.
    Warmest wishes


    Dearest one, I TOO READ ANYTHING, labels on products, ANYTHING!!!! But this summer, I finished reading LES MISERABLES in French and then I have been studying how to write poetry, and I have been reading MARY OLIVER'S poetry. Such a joy. Dearest, you are such a kind soul!

    Enjoy everything you endeavor my friend, Anita

  3. What a great list. I'm going to see if any are on kindle, ad I'm in France this summer. Thanks for the suggestions:-)

  4. I know me too!! I love the feel of a book, to feel the paper and wonder what the next page will hold. You are a fast reader. It has been a while since I read a good book, lately I have been enjoying the pictures of some decorating books I bought.

  5. So do I. I have a Kindle so I can shop during the night when I can't sleep. I love it because it allows you read a sample without purchasing. If you like it after about 30-40 pages, you buy it.
    Thank you for visiting me today and leaving your wonderful comment. I'm following. Kudos to you.


    Your comments are so kind. JUST SO KIND!

    I just want to spread joy in a world where it could easily be a garden to plant bad seeds. I just want to plant good things to watch them grow.

    You are a sweet spirit and so happy to know you dearest!

    Have a splendid day, Anita

  7. Hello there Elizabeth!

    I am delighted to discover your beautiful blog via sweet Dianne from Yonks. Looking forward to discovering your view of the world, so far I love what I see! LOVE the little mousie photos and Marianne Williamson powerful, so true, it's one of my favorites.
    Have a lovely day!

  8. Happy Sunday to you Elizabeth. So many magnificent reads & how I appreciate you giving us your thoughts on each book. I must admit, I don't read as I would like, but I hope doing so more often is in the near future? You are like me, my favorite hot drink is the perfect cup of hot chocolate? Mexican h.c. is my very favorite! Hoping your weekend has been fun and thank you for your terrific comment yesterday. I really appreciate it!

    Cheers x Deb


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