Looking for something to read during your holiday break? I’ve got a few book/Kindle recommendations for you of things I enjoyed over the last year. It’s really two fiction books (plus a sequel), and a cookbook, plus a bonus story that was too funny not to include. Read on, readers!
Our Best Attention & Assured Attention
by Jane Tulloch
I met Jane when I lived in Scotland, as she worked in the autism field (I used to take minutes for her at meetings!) After she retired from the National Health Service, she became a writer. Her first book, Our Best Attention, is set in a Scottish department store in the mid-1970s and was inspired by her experience working in such a department store before joining the NHS. The Amazon description states, “Murray’s is a place largely defined by its staff and customers: their dramas, comedies and tragedies large and small mark each working day. Life, death, laughter and some big surprises go on at the store.”
The book is absolutely charming, and I found myself rooting for some of the characters (and against a few, too.) My favorite is Mr. Da Costa, but I’ll spare you the spoilers and let you figure out why. It’s an easy read, and despite the variety of different characters, it’s quite easy to keep them straight in your mind.
The second book, Assured Attention, picks up where the first left off. Immediately we get to revisit some of the favorite characters from the first book, and the drama continues.
In the United States, your best bet is to get the Kindle versions, as the paperbacks are hard to find.
The Handmaid’s Tale
by Margaret Atwood
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve no doubt heard about the Hulu television series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” based on the novel. I decided I’d read the book first (I still haven’t gotten around to watching the series!) and I’m glad I did. Set in a dystopian version of the US, women quickly lose all rights under a new controlling government, and end up in some pretty unreal situations. The book mainly follows the story of one woman, Offred, and her fate under the new laws.
It’s terrifying, particularly in our current political and cultural climate. If you haven’t read it yet, you must.
Vegan for Everybody: Foolproof Plant-Based Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and In-Between
by America’s Test Kitchen
In a total shift of gears, my last recommendation is a cookbook. This year, Gluten Free Grandma T found out she’s dairy intolerant, which meant a whole new way of eating. Knowing how great the America’s Test Kitchen gluten free cookbooks are, I took a chance on their vegan cookbook, Vegan for Everybody: Foolproof Plant-Based Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and In-Between, as a birthday gift for her. I saw that it had recipes for ranch dressing and nacho cheese, and figured my mom would be really happy to have either one of those actually work out. It turns out, the ranch recipe is awesome, and the nacho “cheese” isn’t bad either. Even if you’re just looking to incorporate more vegetables into your diet without going all the way vegan, this is a great book.
Tender Wings of Desire
by Colonel Sanders
I’m not even sure how I heard about the existence of this, but for some reason Kentucky Fried Chicken released a steamy romance novel for Mother’s Day. (Be warned, spoilers at the link!)
At any rate, I downloaded the novella on my Kindle, because of course I did, and I actually enjoyed it. Full disclosure: when I travel, I go through the free Kindle offerings on Amazon and download all the cheesy romances and smutty stuff I can find. Sorry to anyone who has ever been seated next to me on a plane – you probably caught an eyeful if you were snooping around my Kindle.
If you’re in to steamy, cheesy romance stories, this is a pretty good one.
For some reason, it isn’t available on Amazon right now (WHY!?) but in the meantime, amuse yourself with the reviews.
Have you read any of these? What do you plan to read during your holiday break? Tell me in the comments!