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Tonstant Weader Reviews

Opinionated Book Reviews.

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Random House Books

Food With Friends by Leela Cyd

Food With Friends by Leela Cyd is an excellent cookbook oriented toward entertaining friends and even oneself, from time to time. It has an appropriate mix of simple and fast recipes and complex, time-intensive recipes so you have options to... Continue Reading →

These Heroic, Happy Dead by Luke Mogelson

These Heroic, Happy Dead is an excellent short story collection by Luke Mogelson. Mogelson covered Afghanistan as a freelancer which gives his stories that experiential authenticity that is common in the best writing about war. Of course, calling The Heroic, Happy Dead... Continue Reading →

The Basque Book by Alexandra Raij and Eder Montero

The Basque Book by Alexandra Raij and Eder Montero is far more than a cookbook. It's a primer on a new approach to cookery, an exploration of Basque cuisine and culture and a love story. There is more personal narrative... Continue Reading →

Malibu Farm Cookbook by Helene Henderson

Reading Malibu Farm Cookbook by Helene Henderson, I had to pinch myself. This is a cookbook made especially for me. Well, not everything, but the kinds of recipes, the flavors and the style of cooking is exactly what I like.... Continue Reading →

Tasting Rome by Katie Parla and Kristina Gill

Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City is as much travel memoir as cookbook. Katie Parla and Kristina Gill provide a rich narrative story of the neighborhoods and culture of Rome. Interviewing the chefs and bakers of... Continue Reading →

Around the Fire by Greg Denton, Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, Stacy Adimondo

When I saw that the new cookbook Around the Fire was written by local Ox restauranteur chefs Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton with Stacy Adimondo, I was excited to read it and try out some of the recipes. Ox is known... Continue Reading →

The Never-Open Desert Diner by James Anderson

There is something old-fashioned about James Anderson's The Never-Open Desert Diner. By old-fashioned, I guess I mean honorable and by honorable, I guess I mean something that would star someone like Humphrey Bogart or Gary Cooper. The men who were honorable... Continue Reading →

Sweeter Off the Vine by Yossy Arefi

I am in love with Sweeter Off the Vine by Yossy Arefi. Arefi grew up in Seattleand moved to New York, but she has the Pacific Northwest orientation toward fresh, seasonal vegetables. As a transplant myself, I will never forget the revelation... Continue Reading →

Sisi: Empress on Her Own by Allison Pataki

Allison Pataki's Sisi: Empress on Her Own is an affecting and engrossing historical novel of the beautiful and melancholy Empress Elizabeth of Austria. Married to Franz Joseph, the last of the Hapsburg emperors of Austria-Hungary at the age of fifteen, she... Continue Reading →

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins opens on a brutal scene. Our protagonist, Carolyn, is walking down the street drenched in blood, walking toward home after murdering a police officer and hoping she won't be forced by circumstance to... Continue Reading →

Brooklyn on Fire by Lawrence H. Levy

I wanted to enjoy Lawrence H. Levy's Brooklyn on Fire. It has all the things I love in a historical detective novel, good period detail with historical figures and events presented with accuracy and attention to detail. It also features an intriguing... Continue Reading →

Democracy in Black by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul contributes important ideas to the struggle of black liberation. The author, Eddie S. Glaude Jr. argues that the core of the issue is a "value gap" that is woven into the... Continue Reading →

Wreck and Order by Hannah Tennant-Moore

Wreck and Order is not for everyone. While the story is interesting, capturing my attention and drawing me in and carrying me quickly through the book; it is also brutal, grim and sexually graphic without one iota of eroticism. Elsie... Continue Reading →

A Fifty-Year Silence by Miranda Richmond Mouillot

A Fifty-Year Silence: Love, War, and a Ruined House in France is an entrancing memoir written by Miranda Richmond Mouillot as she puzzles out the fifty-year estrangement between her grandparents, Anna and Armand. So entrancing, I started to read this book... Continue Reading →

Ruby by Cynthia Bond

Cynthia Bond is a lyrical writer with a gift for crafting beautiful language. I would love to read another book by her, but only if it nothing like Ruby. I nearly quit half way through and then, having resolved to finish... Continue Reading →

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