Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, December 07, 2018

My last library haul of 2018

With all of the rush to get things ready for the holidays, it's hard to make time for yourself,let alone spend some quality moments searching for a book or two that's not meant to be a gift for someone else.

Even so, I did have a few literary items to return to the library(some of which I didn't get to really read,alas!) and of course, borrowed a trio that should hold me until the end of the year.

First up is Treble at the Jam Fest, the fourth book in Leslie Budewitz's Food Lovers' Village Mystery series. This time out, Merc manager Erin Murphy is getting the town of Jewel Bay prepared for a jazz festival that ought to hit the right note for residents and visitors alike.

Unfortunately, the main musical attraction, Gerry Martin, winds up taking a fatal fall off the cliffs of the nearby river, causing concern for more than ticket refunds. Erin does wind up looking into the matter and discovering a whole orchestra of suspects to audition. Hopefully, she can find the killer before the only music playing in town is the funereal variety.

I just finished Crime Rib(book two in the series) and started Butter Off Dead(book three) before reaching the library, along with being able to renew As The Christmas Cookie Crumbles, which happens to come right after this one. Oddly enough, the first book(Death Al Dente) is the one I haven't read yet or about to at the moment.

Yet, this series is easy as pie to get into and I look forward to enjoying all of the story telling gems that Jewel Bay has to offer,  perhaps even a tasty jam recipe to boot:

Next, I came across a copy of Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella and it was a welcome surprise indeed.

Sylvie and Dan Winter decide to keep their marriage as lively as the day they first wed ten years ago by giving each other little "surprise" gifts. That doesn't sound too bad, despite a few mishaps such as picking a truly awful sweater and setting up a reunion with the last person on earth the other wanted to see again.

However, Sylvie starts to wonder about a few of the secrets that Dan appears to be keeping from her that involve a hidden cell phone. As these surprises go on, she becomes less sure of the continued success of her marriage, not to mention the memories of her late father, who Dan seems to still resent.

Kinsella's light and humorous set-ups do tend to lead to emotional depth and deeper character development, as it was with an earlier library loan of hers that I read(My Not-So Perfect Life) this year. It was a good while since I read one of her novels but it's nice to have her literary voice to listen to again:

On my way out, I strolled by the biography section and plucked off the shelf quite the tasty looking read. My nonfiction reading has been in a bit of a slump lately, so this feels like the perfect dish to revive my appetite in this area.

The French Chef In America by Alex Prud'homme covers the "second act" of his famous culinary aunt Julia Child's life and times. As the co-author of her memoir My Life in France, he is quite familiar with her early days and this book showcases her career throughout the 1970s and early 1980s as she became more than a PBS mainstay.

From arranging the first televised viewing of a White House state dinner to not being shy about her political views when it came to feminism, Child grew to be a central figure in the food world, maintaining solid relationships with friends such as beloved editor Judith Jones and fellow chef Jacques Pepin as well as family. Her influence is keenly felt today and this book offers us a peek behind the culinary TV curtain to truly savor the woman she was:

No doubt this will be my last visit to the library this year and there is no doubt that I'll be back in 2019(I do have to return these books, after all!) for more. With all of the confusion and craziness going on in the world right now, it is so good to have a serene spot for some quiet contemplation and good reads like a local library.

I know that it's hard on libraries as well these days, with budget cuts and more demand for their services and resources, but I am truly grateful for this iconic institution for persevering in times like these and to all of the librarians and volunteers out there, thank you so much for all that you do. May your holidays be happy and best wishes for the new year as we honor and still need you very much:

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