Book

The Knitted Slipper book: Slippers and House Shoes for the Entire Family by Katie Startzman

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I am always looking for a last minute knitted project I can use as a gift.  The beauty of this book is half the patterns are felted making the knitting part fast and the felting part a cover up for any mistakes, perfect!

Fun, functional, and an offering of slipper & shoe options with patterns ranging from whimsical to practical.  Get out that leftover skein of wool, grab your needles, and whip up a quick gift.

Holiday Food

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I don’t know if it was Thanksgiving or the swiftly approaching holiday season, but I can’t stop thinking about (and reading about!) food. Whether I’m eating it, talking about it, reading about it, or making it, food is awesome! If you’re anything like me, be sure to pick up one of the following titles to satisfy your appetite for a delicious read:

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley

Part memoir, part graphic novel, this book will suck you in with its awesome illustrations, delicious recipes and musings on the author’s life, favorite foods, and family. I dare you to read it and not go eat all the things!

Born Round: The Secret History of a Full Time Eater by Frank Bruni

This witty, well written memoir traces the author’s complicated relationship with food from early adolescence to his present gig as a NY Times food critic. It’s refreshing to know that even well revered critics have their limits and weaknesses.

Tender at the Bone: Growing up at the Table by Ruth Reichl

Reichl was the editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine, and this, her first memoir, tells the story of her coming-of-age through recipes. Beautifully written and well worth a read for her excellent food descriptions and recipes.

Relish coverBorn Round coverTender at the Bone cover

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg

Best known for her food blog, Orangette, this is Wizenberg’s recollection of the food and people that influenced her life. Each chapter includes a recipe, and her writing is so fantastic that you’ll be torn whether to keep reading or stop just long enough to cook something before diving back in.

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks by Kathleen Flinn

Put down that box of Hamburger Helper and pick up this highly entertaining book about how Flinn, a culinary school graduate, taught 9 women from all walks of life to prepare basic meals for themselves and their families using fresh, simple ingredients.

I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci

Relationships are like recipes – some are worth the work and some totally fail.  Melucci does a great job of navigating the sometimes rocky terrain of her romantic life by relating the men she dates to the things she loves to cook. Oh, and there’s lots of pasta!

Homemade coverKitchen counter cooking coverI Love I Lost I Made Spaghetti cover

Picture Book Selection: Each Kindness

In “Each Kindness”, award winning author Jacqueline Woodson and amazing illustrator E.B. Lewis have made a wonderful book about how treating people with kindness can help everyone. Maya is a new student and different from her other classmates with her hand-me-down clothes and old- fashioned toys.  Maya wants to make friends with Chloe and her gang of friends, but they reject her. Their teacher gives a lesson on simple kindness and Chloe realizes the opportunity for friendship that was missed, and how much better it would have been if she had been kind. 

Family Picture Book Selection: You Were the First

You Were the First by Patricia MacLachlan, celebrates all of the stages of the firstborn baby in a family.  There may be other children in the family later, but there is always a first one to teach the parents how to be parents.  This will make parents and children of all family sizes smile and remember all of the good first times they each experienced. A beautiful mixture of words and illustrations for all ages. 

The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood

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If Tara French and Gillian Flynn went on vacation in England together to an amusement park (think English Jersey Shore) this would surely be the outcome. Two women who haven't seen each other since they committed a heinous crime together as children cross paths as adults when one, now a reporter, visits the other, an amusement park employee, to investigate the brutal murders that take place in the vacation town. If you're anything like me, you'll most likely peg the killer within the first third of the book, but be warned that things are definitely not what they seem.  A perfect beach read for those in denial about the recent wintry weather or an equally creepy Halloween appropriate thriller. 

I am Malala: the girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

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This beautiful and absorbing book follows the life of a bravely determined young woman, Malala, living in the Swat Valley along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Malala publicly supported female education which was a strong defiant act toward the local Taliban.  With poise, strength, and courage Malala gives us a first person account of what it is like to live in current Pakistani society.  Her detailed narrative of being shot by the Taliban along with her miraculous recovery is truly moving.

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