Authors’ best books read lately
Holly Ringland recommends:
The Friendship Cure
By Kate Leaver
A compelling, fresh and thought-provoking exploration of friendship – what it is, how to keep it, and why we need it more than ever.
Friendship is like water. We need it to survive, we crave it when it’s scarce, it runs through our veins and yet we forget its value simply because it’s always available. The basic compulsion to make friends is in our DNA; we’ve evolved, chimp-like, to seek out connection with other human beings. We move through life in packs and friendship circles and yet we are stuck in the greatest loneliness epidemic of our time. It’s killing us, making us miserable and causing a public health crisis. But what if friendship is the solution, not the distraction?
Journalist Kate Leaver believes that friendship is the essential cure for the modern malaise of solitude, ignorance, ill health and angst. If we only treated camaraderie as a social priority, it could affect everything from our physical health and emotional well-being to our capacity to find a home, keep a job, get married, stay married, succeed, feed and understand ourselves.
In this witty, smart book – an appealing blend of science, pop culture and memoir – she meets scientists, speaks to old friends, finds extraordinary stories and uncovers research to look at what friendship is, how it feels, where it can survive, why we need it and what we can do to get the most from it – and how we might change the world if we value it properly.
Kate Forsyth: recommends:
Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society
By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
A celebration of literature, love, and the power of the human spirit, this warm, funny, tender, and thoroughly entertaining novel is the story of an English author living in the shadow of World War II and the writing project that will dramatically change her life. An international bestseller.
A moving tale of post-war friendship, love and books, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a captivating and completely irresistible novel of enormous depth and heart.
It’s 1946, and as Juliet Ashton sits at her desk in her Chelsea flat, she is stumped. A writer of witty newspaper columns during the war, she can’t think of what to write next. Out of the blue, she receives a letter from one Dawsey Adams of Guernsey – by chance he’s acquired a book Juliet once owned – and, emboldened by their mutual love of books, they begin a correspondence.
Dawsey is a member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and it’s not long before the rest of the members write to Juliet – including the gawky Isola, who makes home-made potions, Eben, the fisherman who loves Shakespeare, and Will Thisbee, rag-and-bone man and chef of the famous potato peel pie. As letters fly back and forth, Juliet comes to know the extraordinary personalities of the Society and their lives under the German occupation of the island. Entranced by their stories, Juliet decides to visit the island to meet them properly – and unwittingly turns her life upside down.
Gloriously honest, enchanting and funny, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is sure to win your heart.
Sarah Mills recommends:
Ship of Magic
The Liveship Traders: Book 1
By Robin Hobb
Bingtown is a hub of exotic trade and home to a merchant nobility famed for its liveships – rare vessels carved from wizardwood, which ripens magically into sentient awareness. The fortunes of one of Bingtown’s oldest families rest on the newly awakened liveship Vivacia.
For Althea Vestrit, the ship is her rightful legacy unjustly denied her – a legacy she will risk anything to reclaim. For Althea’s young nephew Wintrow, wrenched from his religious studies and forced to serve aboard ship, Vivacia is a life sentence.
But the fate of the Vestrit family – and the ship – may ultimately lie in the hands of an outsider. The ruthless pirate Kennit seeks a way to seize power over all the denizens of the Pirate Isles … and the first step of his plan requires him to capture his own liveship and bend it to his will …
Authors’ best cookbooks read lately
Holly Ringland recommends:
The Rawsome Vegan Cookbook</em>
By Emily von Euw
Whether you’re a vegetarian, a raw vegan, avoiding dairy, a meat-lover just looking for something new and delicious or you want to lose weight and cleanse, Emily von Euw, author of the bestselling Rawsome Vegan Baking and newly released 100 Best Juices, Smoothies and Healthy Snacks, has creative recipes for savoury, mouthwatering main dishes and meals.
Emily’s balance of raw and lightly-cooked savoury recipes range from Veggie Wraps with Miso Mustard Gravy to Raw Pizza with Spinach Pesto and Yam Burgers with Daikon Fries and Ketchup. They deliver the comfort and complexity sometimes missed in vegan diets-and they’re eye-catching to boot. Readers will be left feeling stuffed and satisfied.
Emily’s popular blog, This Rawsome Vegan Life, won the Vegan Woman’s Vegan Food Blog Award and was named one of the Top 50 Raw Food Blogs. Her tempting vegan eats paired with her spectacular photography mesmerises a strong following of more than 86,275 Facebook followers.
Kate Forsyth recommends:
Everything I know about cooking I learned from the Country Women’s Association of NSW
By The Country Women’s Association of NSW
A selection of 120 tried and true recipes, in a giftable format, from the Country Women’s Association archive.
With recipes for a perfect sausage roll snack, a succulent Greek-style roast chicken for dinner or honeycomb cheesecake slice for dessert, Everything I know about cooking I learned from CWA is the perfect kitchen companion, in a deceptively small format. Offering a range of recipes to suit both the beginner and the expert cook,there are recipes for snacks, soups, sandwiches, salads, main courses, desserts, cakes, biscuits, slices and – of course – scones.
Sarah Mills recommends:
Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Companion
By Stephanie Alexander
Following on from the phenomenal success of The Cook’s Companion, Stephanie Alexander has written an authoritative kitchen garden companion, with detailed information on how to grow and cook 73 vegetables, fruits and herbs at home.
If you have ever dreamed of picking fresh salad leaves for the evening meal, gathering vine-ripened tomatoes or pulling up your own sweet carrots, this is the book for you.
Follow in the footsteps of one of Australia’s best-loved cooks and food writers as she reveals the secrets of rewarding kitchen gardening. Be encouraged by detailed gardening notes that explain how adults and children alike can plant, grow and harvest 73 different vegetables, herbs and fruit, and try some of the 250 recipes that will transform your fresh produce into delicious meals.
Whether you have a large plot in a suburban backyard or a few pots on a balcony, you will find everything you need to get started in this inspiring and eminently useful garden-to-table guide.