Welcome to my monthly book report! This is the space where I discuss the books I’ve read this month. It’s mostly a compilation of random thoughts, quotes and tidbits that I found interesting. I can’t resist a conversation about books!
“Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day” by Winifred Watson
“Now she, herself, had a destination. What a difference that made! All the difference in the world. Now she lived.”
This is such a delightful and charming story! After a slew of unsuccessful governess positions (“I can’t manage children. I grow more afraid of them every year.”), Miss Pettigrew is jobless and nearly homeless. She’s given one more chance as a governess for Miss LaFosse. Except, from the moment the door opens on her new job, things are not quite what Miss Pettigrew had planned on! She’s swept into this glamorous, luxurious lifestyle that she’s only seen in the movies. Through a series of events, she becomes the hero of the story and captures the hearts and admiration of all the characters in the book. Be warned, Miss Pettigrew will capture your heart, too! I couldn’t stop smiling as I was reading this book. It’s Cinderella circa. the Jazz Age.
“An Irish Country Doctor” by Patrick Taylor
“What happened can’t be helped. Learn from it, and put it behind you.”
Barry Laverty, a young M.D., is taken “under the wing” of the quick-witted doctor, O’Reilly – a character who adds both humor and wisdom to the story – and so begins the challenges and joys of being the village doctor in the Irish countryside. It’s a sweet story, filled with charming characters, and a bit of romance. It’s an easy world to escape into. In some ways, it reminded me of the Call the Midwife series.
“Present Over Perfect” by Shauna Niequist
“The world will tell you how to live, if you let it. Don’t let it. Take up your space. Raise your voice. Sing your song. This is your chance to make or remake a life that thrills you.”
I listened to this book as an audiobook and I’m so glad I did. I think I appreciated it more hearing it in the author’s own voice, especially since it was so introspective and personal. She pours her heart out about her struggles and insecurities, and about the dangerous road she was on. She had it all – the success, the speaking engagements and the book deals – but she was deeply unhappy, she was exhausted, and her health was declining quickly. This book is about how she came to the realization that things needed to change and then sorted out ways to fix the problem. I’m thankful she was so honest with us readers in her struggles. It’s easy to imagine she has the “perfect” life (I mean, it does seem glamorous, right?!). Although my life is much less glamorous, I could definitely relate to her struggles with needing approval and numbing ourselves with busyness. It was a relief to have someone put those struggles into words. At times it feels a bit repetitive, but overall it’s a very good book and one that will make you ponder about your own life.
Whether you think you’ll read the book or not, I recommend this podcast featuring Shauna. It’s a great interview.
“It’s All Easy: Delicious Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook” by Gwyneth Paltrow with Thea Baumann
I scooped this book up when I saw it in my library’s “Fortunate Finds” section. I like Gwyneth Paltrow and her lifestyle website, Goop. It’s a gorgeous cookbook filled with beautiful pictures of Gwyneth’s life and, of course, the recipes. It’s definitely not some far-fetched or hoity-toity cookbook. Many of the recipes seemed doable (hello, BBQ Chicken Skewers!). There were a lot of soup recipes and many vegan recipes. I tried two cauliflower recipes – the Roasted Curry Lime Cauliflower and Cauliflower Tabbouleh – and both times my husband, who has always turned his nose up at cauliflower, declared them to be “really good.” What better praise can I give for a cookbook than that? Another winner was the Black Bean Soup recipe. I was sad to turn this one back into the library.
As usual, I’m linking up with the fellow readers at Modern Mrs. Darcy.
What have you been reading lately? Please share in the comments!