September Book Reviews

 

I can’t believe another month has gone by. The weather here in the northeast is getting colder and the days are getting shorter. Perfect for curling up with a blanket a book and a warm drink. I spent some time at the shore this month so my reading was light and fun. Here’s a few books that I got through this month….

Haunting Jasmine by Anjali Banerjee

haunting-jasmine I grabbed this book at a rummage sale because strangely I love books that incorporate the ghosts of writers into the story line.

The story follows Jasmine, who has recently been left by her husband for another woman. She reluctantly agrees to watch over her aunt’s dusty old bookstore while she returns to India. As a business exec Jasmine immediately wants to change everything about how the bookstore looks and runs.  Little does Jasmine know the store knows exactly what book each customer needs and more importantly, what Jasmine needs.

I really wanted to like this book more. I enjoyed aspects of it, but you could see the twists a mile away and it was a little too tidy for me. I took away some thoughts on heartbreak and strength, but mostly I would have preferred Jasmine to recover without a rebound and for more to be centered on the supernatural store and the authors that haunt it. All and all I read through it quickly but it kind of fell flat for me. I wouldn’t recommend against it, but I wouldn’t buy it as a gift either.

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

kitchen-confidentialAhhhh, Anthony Bourdain. I have often referred to him as my spirit animal, and when people ask me what my dream job is I simply point to his life. Seriously, If I could make a living out of traveling, immersing myself in other cultures, eating and (heavily) drinking with locals I would. I have watched and loved him for years. Recently I was asked if I had read his books and I was embarrassed to say no, and I had no idea WHY I had not to this point devoured his volumes.

I started with Kitchen Confidential where he narrates his rise from cocky Vassar student working in a kitchen in P Town, through CIA, to the still cocky chef and world cuisine/travel expert we love today. I was thrilled to find the book reads just as he speaks! Straight, sexy, unedited, and swirling with snark and a passion for life. I imagined sitting with him, having a beer, while he told me his tales. He writes about his first experiences with trying new food and how he discovered it’s much more than just nourishment. He takes us behind the dirty scenes of how the best kitchens operate and the camaraderie and commiseration of those in the industry. He adds more than an ounce of sarcasm, humor and philosophy which keeps the words flowing flawlessly. I think  Anthony Bourdain should be required reading. His grit isn’t for everyone I guess but it only makes me admire him more. 

Sea Magic – Connecting with the Ocean’s Energy by Sandra Kynes

sea-magicI bought this in a little Pagan shop by the beach. I had been looking for this book everywhere and I was so happy to find it in my favorite place on the coast. It just seemed to add more meaning to my trip.

 Drawing on the ocean and it’s transforming energy the author walks you through the symbolism and power behind the sea itself and the shells and things you find along it. There are chapters on how the moon affects the tides, sea gods and goddesses and sea creatures as well. It guides you through building a sea inspired altar and calling on the energy, and power held within the waves. There’s plenty of quotes as well as history and science laced in with meditations and grounding exercises to bring about a deeper connection to nature whether you live beach side or not.

I loved this book. As an ocean lover and pagan I marked up this book completely with notes and thoughts and it won’t be long until it’s dog-eared and worn. It opened up different paths for me to research and learn more about. So much information and inspiration packed into this rather light book, I will absolutely return to it again and again.

Well, another month of reading over. As always feel free to comment below. I enjoy hearing about what you’re reading and I love recommendations! You can also connect with me on Goodreads!

 

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