Book: Do or Diner

Trixie Matkowski grew up watching her aunt and uncle run a classic diner in upstate New York. Now grown and newly divorced, she’s returned to the small tourist town and purchased the diner, some ...

Book: Blue Plate Special

If you’re expecting a novel about food, Frances Norris’ “Blue Plate Special” is not what you’re looking for. (Good news: there are half a dozen other novels and memoirs out ...

Book: The Summer that Melted Everything

Fielding Bliss is the son of a prosecutor who sees himself as an arbitrator of good and evil. He knows what evil looks like, but just to be sure, he puts an ad in the local paper inviting the devil to ...

Book: Pet Friendly

“Pet Friendly” is an enjoyable, if light, little book. Readers won’t be surprised much by the twists and turns of the story, but they will be charmed by Archie and his human friends — ...

Book: Today Will Be Different

I love Maria Semple’s stories: fun, fresh, quirky and thought-provoking, too. In “Today Will Be Different,” Semple revisits territory she created in “Where’d You Go, ...

Book: Unbecoming

Grace — or Julie, as she calls herself in France, since the French pronunciation is “easy on the tongue” — is a chameleon who quickly adapts to any setting in order to get what ...

Book: Kitchen Confidential

The best thing about Anthony Bourdain’s writing is how clearly readers can hear his voice.  You may not like what he’s saying — I, for one, am appalled by the fondly remembered, ...

Book: Cat People

While the extended title strikes me as desperate -- if something really is hilarious and entertaining, you don’t need to tell readers in the title — “Cat People” is an amusing and ...

Book: The Trespasser

What a great way to start 2017: reading "The Trespasser," the latest novel by one of my favorite authors, Tana French. She's known for her tension-filled Dublin Murder Squad stories, which feature intricate ...

Book: Year of No Sugar

“Year of No Sugar,” by Eve O. Schaub, Sourcebooks, 2014 Vermont writer Eve Schaub’s memoir about avoiding fructose, “Year of No Sugar,” may leave a bad aftertaste in your ...

Book: Moloka'i

White settlers moved into the Hawaiian Islands and eventually claimed them, taking the land and many of the traditions away from the native people. But they brought the natives something, too: a variety ...

Book: Life Without a Recipe

Novelist Diana Abu-Jaber wrote “Life Without a Recipe,” her memoir about food, her Jordanian father and family in general, as she was learning to balance work and parenthood. As an aspiring ...

Book: Housebroken

Parts of “Housebroken, Admissions of an Untidy Life” feel as if I’m reading my own diary — and I suspect many readers, especially women, would say the same. Author Laurie Notaro ...

Book: The Handsome Man's Deluxe Cafe

Alexander McCall Smith, a Scotsman born in Zimbabwe, writes about Africa with such love and gentle descriptiveness. Readers can feel the relief of parking under an acacia tree, which shades them from the ...

Book: A Great Reckoning

In the most recent installment in her series about deep-thinking detective Monsieur Gamache, “A Great Reckoning,” Louise Penny takes readers down a snowy, twisting road that leads from the ...

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