For the Love of Books, a look at what's new and exciting in the world of reading

Archive for February 2015

Annie Aster is a modern-day San Franciscan…..with an 1890 Kansas wheat field in her back garden. As strange as that may be, stranger still is the mailbox that hangs on the fence that divides the two worlds. The mailbox that is used by both Annie and Elspeth, the school teacher who lives on the edge of the wheat field. Through their letters the two women try to find out why their worlds have been connected and about a murder that may or may not have already occurred.

This totally original premise delivers a solid story of mind bending proportions. For readers of The Time Traveler’s Wife


Who better to take you on an eating tour of the Eternal City than a woman who has been trawling the city’s cafes, farmer’s markets and gelato stands since she was a child. Minchilli reveals some of the best kept secrets of one of the world’s most beautiful cities, where to find the best artichokes, the best wine or the best cheese. Filled with beautiful photographs, recipes and anecdotes, this is a must for anyone who has been to Rome, or just wishes they had.

Steven and Scotty may be twins, but they have always been as different as night and day. Steven is the responsible, mature one who always makes the right decisions. Scotty has always been wild, impulsive and very popular with the ladies. Their differences have caused more than a few problems between them, so they have been estranged for three years when Steven gets the news that Scotty is dead. Ever the dutiful son and brother, he heads to Singapore to collect his brother’s remains. But once there, Steven finds himself undergoing a remarkable change. He meets his late brother’s latest fling, Dania, who remarks on how much alike the two brothers are. Always sensible Steven finds himself behaving in a most insensible way. He talks to his brother’s urn and gets ever closer to the one woman who knows the truth about Scotty’s death

Beulah Land (lord, what a name!) left behind her family and her past when an unplanned pregnancy distanced her from her religious upbringing. These days she plays piano at the local dive bar, the Fountain. When she learns her best friend’s dying wish was for Beulah to become piano player at the Methodist church across the street from the Fountain, she feels compelled to try to grant the wish. But Beulah and the conservative congregation and equally conservative minister, Luke Daniels clash over her desire to bring more modern, contemporary music to the choir. Undeterred, Beulah makes up her own chorus from the drinkers at the Fountain to form the Happy Hour Choir.

A charming story about faith, second chances and not taking yourself too seriously.

Bianca Goddard does what she can to help the poor and wretched inhabitants of 16th century London. Using her knowledge of plants and herbs, she prescribes remedies for ailments ranging from unwanted pregnancies to cures for hangovers. But when her best friend comes in complaining of stomach pains, Bianca’s cure seems to do more harm than good, as the woman dies almost immediately. Bianca believes the woman would have dies no matter what she had prescribed because she believes the woman was poisoned before she ever showed up on the healer’s doorstep. But now she must prove it, using her knowledge of the plants and herbs to find the real killer, before she is sent to the gallows.

Lawrence paints an incredibly vivid portrait of the past. It was hard to come back to the 21st century after reading this absorbing story

There has been tremendous popularity of regional foods and the “feel good” dinners of our parents and grandparents day in the last ten years or so. There has also been a lot of heart disease and obesity and that caused Randall to rethink how we make the food we love. The food that we were eating a daily basis was the same food our ancestors ate, but they ate those meals on special occasions, like holidays or birthdays. We were eating them everyday, that combined with our more sedentary lifestyle was literally a recipe for disaster. Here, Randall reworks some of those old recipes for today, with less fat and sodium. Stories about her family, combined with recipes for starters, mains and desserts make this a fun and useful addition to any cook’s shelf

Jane Ryan had to make a terrible decision when she learned she was pregnant with twins. Knowing she could only afford to care for one child, she gave the other up for adoption. Fourteen years later, that child, Isabel, reenters Jane’s life when she and her adoptive mother move to town. Isabel is eager to get to know her birth mother and her twin sister, Harper. The girls look alike, but their personalities seem to be as different as night and day, with Isabel sweet and loving, and Harper sullen and unhappy. Still, the girls seems to like each other and appear to become friends, but when strange things begin to happen, people begin to grow ill, Jane had to wonder if the girls are somehow involved. How well does she know her daughter? And is Isabel all she portrays herself to be? A creepy and insidious thriller that kept me reading late into the night