Summer Slowdown Reading (Part 1)

Here are a few books you might want to look into for relaxing outside or while on vacation. I hope to post another set of books later in the summer.

Delicious Memories by Nancy Mohr is a lovely memoir that includes recipes, since the author is, among other things, a foodie. The book takes you on Mohr’s journeys and assignments during her life, including her stint as a restaurant owner of the Wild Goose Inn,  one in Montana to write stories about Montana ranchers, an adventure with a  circus, weddings, sailing trips, and picnics. Many photos and recipes accompany the text, so the reader is actually privvy to a photo album and many recipes. Here is one from her summer family picnic chapter from a friend or family member named Sally:

Sally’s Prizewinning Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar (I will sub. stevia – es)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch of ground cloves (optional)
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine (melted)
1 80ounce container plain low-fat yogurt
1 large egg
2 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 14 muffin cups

Combine flour, sugar (stevia-es), baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add blueberries and toss to coat with flour mixture.
Melt butter, cool. Add yogurt, egg, lemon rind, and lemon and vanilla extract. Beat until blended.
Stir yogurt mixture into flour-blueberry mixture until just blended and dry ingredients are moistened–do not over mix.
Divide batter into cups. Bake 20-25 minutes, until muffins spring back when gently pressed with fingertip.
Cool in pan on wire rack, 5 minutes. Remove muffins from cups. Serve warm.

(P.S. I made them using gluten-free flour and stevia and they came out delicious!)


In searching for the cover of Wish You Well (Below), I learned it is also a motion picture, so this photo is not the book cover and the covers have changed as new editions were printed, so look for the title itself, either as a book or DVD.Wish You Well by David Baldacci is a heartwarming family story totally different from his usual suspense novels. The story is about a young girl whose family becomes disrupted and finds her and her younger brother living with her great-grandmother in the mountains of Virginia in the 1940s. The story is very moving and I think somewhat autobiographical of his mother, to whom the book is dedicated. The dedication reads, “To my mother, the inspiration for this novel.” The story feels a lot like To Kill a Mockingbird, since a lawyer is a main character and the girl reminds me of Scout.

The author created the wishyouwellfoundation.org to support family literacy. His website is davidballadici.com and states: “The ability to read is the foundation for everyday life. Indeed, virtually none of the major issues we face as a nation today can be successfully overcome until we eradicate illiteracy. Together with your support, we will win this war.”


 

Life Could Be Verse: reflections love, loss, and what really matters by actor Kirk Douglass is a delightful memoir using photos, short essays and then poems about his long life. The title is based a Yiddish saying: “It could be verse,”  with the “v” pronounced as a “w.” Dedicated to his wife of 60 years, Anne, it is a touching book about his life, his wife, his children, and his work as an actor. Here is one poem that shows his insight:

Actors are Children

Actors are children,
who refuse to grow up.
They live in a land of make-believe.
They play sailors, soldiers, and cowboys, too.
They’re a happy when they deceive.
hard work can get you fame and fortune,
and maybe make you a star.
But nothing will make you happy
until you know who you are.

Life Could be Verse is published by Health Communications (www.hcibooks.com) and costs $10.95. It is small enough (5″ X 7″) to fit into your purse or beach bag for moments of happy reading.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe