Saturday, 4 April 2015

The Year in Books - April

March was a good month for reading. I started with my Year in Books choice for March which was The Foundling Boy by Michel Deon, also our village book club choice for this month. I didn't dislike it but it left me feeling rather indifferent and unimpressed. I just didn't care enough about what happened to the characters. I was also left feeling, as I often find with translations, that there was something lacking. Perhaps if I could have read it in French it might have been different... But I can't... My poor O level French would definitely not be good enough!

Next, I read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. Initially this irritated me as it is written in the form of diary entries and it felt all a little pathetic, self pitying and self obsessed. But once I got into the story I couldn't put it down. A real page turning thriller.

At the time I also happened to be reading a blog that pointed me to another blog, which led me on to another as they do, and I finished up on Molly Wizenberg's blog Orangette. Molly is a talented food writer and on the strength of what I read on her blog I ordered her book Delancey, which is a memoir peppered with recipes. I loved it! I loved the easy frank style of writing and I liked the sound of the recipes too... the type of food I like to cook... and probably the type of book I would like to write too if I were ever to write a book... which is unlikely!
Of course, I couldn't read a book like this and not make something from it and although you may not think so from the photo... I didn't think to take it until we'd made a serious dent in the dish... this Vietnamese noodle salad was amazing, with fragrant fresh flavours and wonderful crunchy vegetables. So amazing I made it again the following day and could quite happily have this for lunch every single day and not get tired of it. Although, even though they enjoyed it, I'm not sure everyone around here was quite so enamoured with that idea!

I enjoyed Delancey so much that I also ordered Molly's first book A Homemade Life, which I remember seeing doing the rounds on blogs years ago... but I'm a bit slow to catch on! It is another memoir but with loads of recipes and I enjoyed it every bit as much as Delancey. And naturally I had to make something from this book too so in order to use up a load of egg whites (the result of all the ice cream last week) I made coconut macaroons. I wish you could smell the wonderful vanilla scent as I took these out of the oven.

I followed the recipe and added a chocolate ganache coating and although they tasted pretty good (Crunchy on the outside with a sweet soft centre) I'm not sure they looked so pretty with a large dollop of chocolate on top and my inclination would be to either leave them plain or just pipe a couple of lines of chocolate over the top.

I've also been browsing through these guides this month too... whilst hatching a plan. It may not come to anything given the problem of finding enough free time combined with my dodgy knees but it is something I have wanted to do for years. I'll be sure to let you know if it comes to anything!

And so after all that I've come to my Year in books choice for April - Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I'm just a few chapters in and already finding it hard to put down.

Which is okay, because having spent most of yesterday baking and cooking for the family, the rest of this holiday weekend is looking pretty free so I'm hoping to get in plenty of walking, gardening and reading. Which is just as well as Gone Girl isn't the only book sitting on the pile beside my bed!

Wishing you all a very happy and relaxing Easter too!
Joining in with Laura of  Circle of Pine Trees and The Year in Books


  1. I just counted up my reading total for March - 13 books! I clearly have too much time on my hands.

    Happy Easter Gina, to you and yours.

  2. It sounds like a pretty good months reading!! Happy Easter! xx

  3. You are like me and don't like to give up on a book without having tried to enjoy it. The two by Molly Wizenberg are perfect for you - recipes included! The salad looks wonderful and I think coconut macaroons were the first thing I made when learning to cook as a child. I agree with you about just a drizzle of chocolate on the tops. Enjoy the rest of Easter - feet up and book in hand.

  4. I think I have been on the blog Orangette before, I remember this vaguely. High time to go back, thanks for reminding me. I have the Girl on the train in my to read list but I am trying to stay clear of non put downable books just now because I simply inhale them, at the expense of everything else I should rather be doing. Your baking looks very delicious indeed. xx

    P.S. I gobbled up all the chocolate eggs you sent and realised that I forgot to thank you for those. Thank you. x

  5. coast to coast must have fierce hills in the middle?

  6. I love the look of that noodle salad. Happy Easter :)

  7. You do get through your books Gina and when they inspire cooking and baking, well that's a bonus in my 'book' (sorry)!
    Have a lovely Easter!
    V x

  8. I have Gone Girl on my Kindle, ready to start reading next week. I would love to do the coast to coast walk, but like you I have only got as far as buying the book. Recipes sound great x

  9. Happy Easter. I need a birthday present for an avid reader, my mum. So thanks for sorting that out. I'm going to get her Delancey.

  10. Interesting post Gina, I've still to do the 2nd half of the coast to coast!

  11. Goodness you are a prolific reader Gina! Thankyou so much for leading me towards Delancey and the Homemade Life. These look like excellent reads for me.

    I have to shamefully admit that I have hardly read a thing in the last year. I have been chatting on Twitter instead. I know. A bad business. Still, I have just started 'H is for hawk' and am already gripped. Must do better.

  12. there are some brilliant sounding books there. I enjoyed doing a bit of Easter reading, curled up with some macaroons too! It sounds like we had similar weekends! I hope you enjoy Gone Girl, that was one I couldn't put down.

  13. I think you will enjoy Gone Girl Gina. I did, and was completely surprised at the end! Now reading 'Dear Thief' by Samantha Harvey. So far, I'd recommend it but need to finish it and get it back to the library before the date expires. On the walking front I read Simon Armitage's 'Walking Home' the other week and you might like that, all abut walking the Pennine Way from the less popular direction and doing poetry readings to earn a bed for the night. Wry and full of humour along with clever observations about walkers.


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