Life Without a Recipe: A Memoir of Food and Family by Diana Abu-Jaber
Diana Abu-Jaber tosses in a bit of this, a pinch of that, and a smidgen of the other to create a thoroughly engaging meal in Life Without a Recipe: A Memoir of Food and Family. Abu-Jaber pulls together American life and the influence of her father's Jordanian roots in a book that spoke to me in unexpected ways. Her descriptions of being in the kitchen with her grandmother made me long to be in the kitchen with mine just one more time. Fond memories from my own life stirred as she described her experience with her grandmother and then with her father sprinkled with her journey toward and into motherhood. When she describes obstacles encountered as she ventured out from her family's belief systems, I nodded and smiled. Abu-Jaber tapped the moment we all share when our opinions, experiences, and choices veer away from the recipe we've been assigned to create a life much more delicious. She explores love and loss and desire and need along side insecurity and confidence and self-discovery and growth. Abu-Jaber demonstrates the connection we all share with a life recipe that is sometimes overcooked, sometimes undercooked, sometimes too salty, sometimes too sweet as we search for the perfect ingredient to balance all the flavors to find the most delicious result. Life Without a Recipe is the story of a woman who knows her recipe is still being written...
This review is written based on a free advance reading copy provided by the publisher.
I ordered 52 Lists for Happiness: Weekly Journaling Inspiration for Positivity Balance and Joy by Moorea Seal because I enjoyed her The 52 Lists Project: A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration. I wanted to keep exploring this idea of a weekly guided journal. 52 Lists for Happiness took on a different tenor for me though. I opted to do the lists every Sunday because I felt it would be a good way to start off the week. I had some struggles this year that sometimes made the lists hard to write and other times the lists cheered me up. Focusing on simple moments of happiness gave me an opportunity to remember the good in my life no matter what happened in the world around me.
I read Four O'Clock Sizzle: A Rebecca Mayfield Mystery by Joanne Pence while travelling. It's an easy, light, fun read. Pence likes to blur the lines between procedural and cozy mystery in this series in a way that makes Rebecca Mayfield sometimes do things it's hard to imagine a police officer doing yet Pence gives her believable if flawed reasons for making the decisions she makes. The chemistry between Rebecca and Richie Amalfi has the reader both cheering for them and wondering what each of them is thinking at different times throughout the book. And, then there's the police investigation where Rebecca is torn between her feelings for Richie and her concerns that the rumors about Richie might hold more truth than she wants to believe. She struggles to reconcile the Richie she spends time with and the Richie of his reputation. As her investigation continues, Rebecca finds she needs Richie to solve the crime and she needs to protect him from danger for her own person…
Remarkable Oregon Women: Revolutionaries & Visionaries by Jennifer Chambers offers a snapshot into the history of the role of women in Oregon's history. Chambers provides enough information about each woman mentioned to spark an interest in learning more even providing sources for further reading. Remarkable Oregon Women is an interesting book that reminds the reader that women have always played an important role in the progress of society even when they've been stymied or their efforts have been hidden by history.