Book Club: June 2020
One of the things I've wanted to do with this blog is a monthly or bi-monthly "book club," where I share my to- read book list.
This one is a little late, but that's ok. You can still read them!
A big theme for me was cookbooks, not just baking but actually cooking, because Lord knows I used to get way too much take out. It's expensive, and I wanted the satisfaction of making things at home.
So, I'll start bottom- up with my June 2020 to- read book stack.
1. Magnolia Table, Volume 2, by Joanna Gaines.
I really liked this one. I have the original Magnolia Table, Volume 1, with the black spine, and it's a favorite. I think what I like about these most is that they have recipes for normal foods.
What do I mean by this?
Food that's eaten regularly. Banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, spaghetti, chicken noodle soup, simple salads, and more. None of that "triple corn maple hot dog mango spinach mix salad with a side of broccoli chicken and mayonnaise." Literally nobody eats that.
Joanna gaines writes recipes with simplicty, very much mimicking her design aesthetic. She takes pleasure in tried and true classics, things that are already there, things that kids will eat and adults won't wince at.
By far my favorite cookbooks for everyday meals! And I actually use them. Also a favorite for the month.
2. Teighan Gerard's Half Baked Harvest: Recipes from My Barn in the Mountains.
Really fun book with some classics sprinkled in. Nothing too bizarre or out of range for someone to try. Also beautiful photography, rustic foods, and overall great, fun writing style. Another great cookbook recommendation.
3. Ken Forkish The Elements of Pizza
You do not understand pizza until you understand Ken Forkish.
Mr. Forkish is also the writer behind Water. Flour. Salt. Yeast. These cookbooks are most definitely not for the everyday baker or for someone who wants a short, simple Betty Crocker- esque cookbook. This is detailed, researched, and wonderful.
Each page has paragraphs of research, information, and knowledgeable tips on pizza around all parts of Italy and the U.S., and there are recipes for all types of pizza- New York floppy thin crust, Chicago stiff deep dish, Italian bubbly crust, and more. So, so good. And the pictures alone will make you drool.
Definitely more if a read than a quick scan through, but 100% worth it.
4. Daniel G Amen's The End of Mental Illness
Mental illness is not taken seriously, nor is it treated properly in most cases.
I can't write enough about how good this book is, I highly recommend you visit Dr. Amen's website to learn more about his practice, as well as read this book!
5 + 6. Robert Galbraith's Cormoran Strike Novels
I've never been to London but I desperately feel like I need to be there and these books further that feeling ×1000.
For those of you who don't know, J.K. Rowling is Robert Galbraith, a pen name. J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series, as well as the screenplays for Fantastic Beasts, and many other smaller works. These novels are detective novels, and are much more mature and difficult reads than Harry Potter, however they are still great nonetheless.
The stories all take place in London, as well as some surrounding towns and villages. The main characters, Cormoran and Robin, are fun and serious at the same time.
If you love anything British, as well as mystery novels, these are for you. Although they are not remotely close to Harry Potter, they are from the same third person omniscient perspective.
7-9. Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe
Some of the best detective novels out there. Funny, hilarious, and quick to read. Written in the mid- 20th century but still readable today. The way Rex Stout writes from the perspective of Archie makes it laughable and very quick- witted. BUT, you still get the aspect of the detective solving along the way. These books doesn't emotionally drag you in, so it's a great lightweight read.
Pictured here is Where There's a Will, Black Orchids, The Silent Speaker, Over My Dead Body, and The Second Confession.
10. Margaret Atwood, The Handmaids Tail
Very interesting. Kind of sci- fi, which I normally don't like. This was so interesting and quick to read. I'm already waiting to purchase the second installment, which I believe Atwood wrote more recently. It's a tragic yet interesting tale of women who have the ability to birth, and how if the world ever comes to be taken over again, we will be it's slaves.
...Also, how cute is that cookie? I snacked on those while reading in June. Recipe coming soon....