Books we love
♥ 1, Recipes From My Mother To My Daughter Lisa Faulkner - First of all the title, recipes from mother to daughter - SOLD! I am a sucker for anything like this, but I enjoyed watching Lisa on Masterchef and the book was on offer in my local Tesco's so I bought it (why I'm making excuses I don't know - everyone knows I have a cookbook weakness!) It's a pretty book with great photography (oh how I love a pretty cookbook) It's also separated by season which I really like in a cookbook but, most importantly, the recipes are good. Nothing ground breaking or too complicated but a good range of recipes suited to family life. I've already tried out the 'Wild Mushroom Fettuccine' which the children loved - even Oli the mushroom hater, the 'Chicken Tarragon' and at the weekend, when it was rainy and miserable, the children and I made her 'Sunshine Shorties' a nice all in the saucepan biscuit mix - Lovely.
♥ 2, The Language of Flowers Vanessa Diffenbaugh - I loved reading about the language of flowers (i.e. honeysuckle for devotion) I have heard about the meaning of flowers but I was really interested in the way this was woven into a work of fiction. The story is about a young girl who, after spending her whole life in foster care, develops into a young woman sleeping rough and who is unable to connect with people except through flowers and their meanings. I enjoyed it, it's sometimes quite refreshing to have a heroine you don't immediatley love. At first it reminded me of 'Perfume - The Story of a Murderer' but only in that the main character struggles with feelings and human contact and develops her own form of communication - that is where the comparison ends. It is not a dark story at all, more a redemptive story about family (in whatever form it takes) and the way that love and childhood can shape us.
♥ 3, Before I Go To Sleep S J Watson - This is Watson's debut novel and it is just a triumph, a psychological thriller that you won't be able to put down; I mean that literally, I hardly slept for wanting to keep reading and finished it within two days! It's based around Christine, a woman who suffers from a form of amnesia following an accident, which means the moment she falls asleep she forgets who she is and what has happened in the previous days and weeks. Every morning she wakes up next to a man she doesn't know (her husband Ben) thinking she is twenty years younger. Each morning she receives a call from a doctor she has been secretly meeting to remind her of a journal she keeps hidden; written on the first page is 'Don't trust Ben'. This is a really dark tale, that leaves you permanently on edge as you remember what she has written and wait for her to catch up every morning!
♥ 4, (Lulu's) Unpoppable Tim Hopgood - This has been the most requested bedtime story, along with 'The Hungry Caterpillar', this month. It's a picture book about a boy and his unpoppable yellow balloon. The illustrations are lovely and the story very simple, although I think the main reason she loves it so much is that she is just obsessed with balloons!
♥ 5, (Oli's) Flat Stanley Jeff Brown - I bought this for Oli once we had worked our way through the short Roald Dahl books we own. I was looking for something else with humour that he would enjoy. This is a smallish book with illustrations about the adventures of Stanley who wakes one morning to find he has been flattened by a notice board. Stanley soon finds that being flat has many advantages including being able to turn himself into a kite and disguise himself as a picture to catch thieves! Oli loved it.
♥ 6, (K's) Before I Fall Lauren Oliver - This is the second book by Lauren Oliver that K has read this month (the other being 'Delirium') and she has loved them both. From what I gather 'Before I Fall' is a bit like 'Groundhog Day' where a young girl has to re-live her last day on earth over and over until she has achieved what she needs to. I asked K if she found this a bit depressing but she said no, that it wasn't all depressing and that by the end 'you just wanted her to die in peace' that was from my ELEVEN year old *sigh*. It sounds good so I may have a read, although I still have to catch up on the rest of the Hunger Games trilogy that she has also devoured!
So that's it for this month and I will close with this picture of our very tasty Sunshine Shorties:
*Please note, I don't always drink my tea from a vintage cup and saucer but sometimes, just sometimes, when the house is tidy, the kitchen clean and the children calm I like to indulge and pretend that I am a domestic goddess! (told you it wasn't often)
Bye for now. Em xx