When I was pondering what to write about this month, I had the brilliant (um…no) idea of making asparagus pudding. The recipe is in Mrs. Beeton’s Cookbook, which was first published in 1861. It sounds so awful that it’s been on my very short bucket list for years (the other items on the list have to do with knitting and will never be accomplished, because the older I get, the worse my knitting becomes). So anyway, it’s called a pudding, I realized, because it’s boiled for ages in a mold (I didn’t have one, so I used a teeny little bread tin). It didn’t taste awful, but it wasn’t good either, unless I dressed it up with lots of salt and butter. I’m not going to waste any more of your time with it (but if you’re curious, there’s a pic at the bottom of this blog).
So, because my favorite thing to talk about is books, I’m doing book recommendations instead.
Not long ago, I heard about the Peter Grant mysteries by Ben Aaronovitch from two sources I respect. One was the Word Wenches, and I think it was Joanna Bourne who recommended them. (She has a new book out tomorrow – yay!) The other source was Jennifer Crusie’s blog, Argh Ink. I bought the first in the series, Midnight Riot, and wow! Definitely worth a read. Apart from the awesome main character, great supporting characters, mystery, magic, etc., there is all kinds of fabulous historical information about London sprinkled here and there (although the story takes place in the present day). I never seem to get tired of reading about London, and the author’s love for his city shines through. I have already read the second book, and will soon embark on the third…
Another book I’m recommending today is The Reluctant Wife by Caroline Warfield. It’s a suspenseful historical romance that takes place in the 1830’s. I loved the hero, who has a passion for justice, and I can never resist a heroine fighting for control over her life in a man’s world. The story starts in India, which is fascinating in itself, and was so exciting that I read most of it in a day (this is NOT my usual reading speed). I only stopped because I was sleepy, and then I couldn’t fall asleep because I was so keyed up! I’ve read all her books so far. They’re gripping reads, and I always learn something new while reading them, too.
Last of all, My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. I haven’t watched any of the TV series based on this book, because the ads make it look too serious. The book is a mixture of natural history—Durrell was fascinated by any and every animal, including bugs—and hilarious anecdotes about the Durrell family’s years in Corfu. I read it as a teen and loved it, and reread it again recently. It’s not fast-moving—most books written fifty or more years ago weren’t—but it’s a delightful story.
So…please tell me about some books you’ve read recently! Or about a book you’re planning to read.
As for the giveaway – one lucky commenter will win the e-book book of her choice from Amazon – any mystery or romance priced at 7.99 or less. Because I just love giving people good books. 🙂
Here’s the asparagus pudding. It’s a lousy picture, but really, it wasn’t worth my while to try taking a better one.