It's officially Fall! The air outside can safely be described as "crisp," I'm able to wear Juicy Couture sweat suits like it's nobody's business (it's about all that's comfortable now anyway), and like the Doors would say, it's time to light those fires. And with fires, comes reading. A fire and a book is a wonderful pairing—like cheese and wine, coffee and a rich blueberry scone, or milk and warm chocolate chip cookies. There's absolutely nothing like getting cozy on the couch next to a blazing fire with a good book in hand. Well, unless you can add a glass of wine! And although many in my neighborhood aren't yet opening their chimney flues, this California girl isn't waiting! I'm COLD! And ready to read.
Story in a nutshell: What happens when a thirty-year-old who can barely boil water inherits her late grandmothers cooking school?
When Holly Maguire inherits her late grandmother's Italian cooking school, twelve of the sixteen students enrolled drop out. Holly isn't exactly a seventy–five-year-old Milanese loving goddess, whose secret sauces had aphrodisiac properties and whose kitchen fortune-telling often came true. Holly's a thirty-year-old who's still trying to find her niche, and by the way, can barely boil water. Determined to keep her grandmother's legacy alive, Holly welcomes the lovely class of characters who are still enrolled—everyone from a twelve-year-old who wants to learn Italian cooking in an attempt to stop her father from marrying his ditzy girlfriend to Simon, who's struggling with being an every-other-weekend dad to his young son after his wife left him. Together, Holly and her students create their own recipes for happiness.
The plot: Rich and filling, like a lovely Italian sauce.
The characters: Full of depth, charm and surprises like a savory Italian meal you're experiencing for the first time.
You'll absolutely love this book. And I must warn you, it will make you very hungry! So I suggest curling up next to the fire with that glass of wine and a delicious bowl full of spaghetti.
Melissa Senate's fabulous book made me so hungry that I knew it was time to read the memoir I'd had my eye on for a while: I Loved, I lost, I made Spaghetti: A Memoir of Good Food and Bad Boyfriends.
The story in a nutshell: A woman who's always dreamed of finding the perfect guy but after twenty years of searching, shes found that fresh ingredients are scarce.
When Giulia Melucci moves out of her mother's Brooklyn home where she was raised on romantic hopes and her mother's excellent Italian cooking, she braves the New York dating world for twenty years and ends up with nothing more than a slew of failed relationships under her belt. She's seen it all: an affectionate alcoholic, a classic commitment-phobe, and two novelists with Peter Pan issues. But no matter their fatal flaws, Melucci has cooked for all of them. And she learns to handle her disappointments with a sense of humor and a bowl full of pastina. (Recipes are included!)
The plot: A perfect recipe for any woman who has ever been at the end of her dating rope.
The characters: Hilarious, entertaining, and delicious like the meals Melucci cooks and writes about.
I could relate to Melucci's stories of looking for love in all the wrong places. Especially when she talks about the commitment-phobes. Let's just say, been there, done that—more than once. This memoir had me simultaneously laughing out loud and craving lasagna! And I think you'll love rooting for Melucci as she uses sarcasm and wit to tell her story of searching for love and ultimately finding it on the stove.
Lisa Steinke, along with her best friend Liz Fenton, co-authored the chick lit novel I’ll Have Who She’s Having and co-created the popular Chick Lit blog, Chick Lit is Not Dead.
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