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I think you'll really like Pomegranate Soup...I read a library copy & now want to get my own copy for the recipes. I might even read it again!


Hey, just wondering how do you decide on which books to read?
I mean I sometimes check out reviews on Amazon but they are not definitive...
Right now,my to be read list is all award winning books..but these tend to be a little heavy and i like to vary genre from book to book..any ideas?


CROW LAKE is very's the only book my afternoon book group gave a unanimous thumbs-up. Just to tempt you a bit! LOL


From a selfish perspective I would love you to read Brick Lane and let us know what you think! I have it down to read for the Orbis Terrarum Challenge but haven't got to it yet.


Based on the two I've read, I'd second the vote for Pomegranate Soup- it's a heartwarming story about three Iranian sisters who migrate to Ireland and open a cafe. It includes some delicious recipes, the baklava is my favourite.

The Bookshop is the bittersweet story of a widow who tries to make a success of a bookshop which is quietly enjoyable but pessimistic.

I've been meaning to read Brick Lane, so would be interested to hear about it.


I'm sorry you're in a rut - it happens to all of us at some time! I really enjoyed Crow Lake, but that's the only one of these I've read.

Chez Moi appeals to me on the first line basis and as you say it's set in Paris so that would be a different setting (for me anyway). But then again I'm tempted by The Bookshop - it's the title, I suppose and the first line sounds promising.

Brick Lane just doesn't appeal to me, but it would be interesting to know what you make of it.


I have to say that I adored The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets. It's a funny, charming, easy comfort read. A cross between Nancy Mitford and Clare Chambers. But don't let me influence you.... ;)

Oh and I must do that email!!!

Margaret Powling

I'm so glad you mentioned The Best of Everything! I've been trying to remember the title/author of this book since Virago has decided to re-issue Valley of the Dolls and then I suggested to them they re-issued a superior read, Mary McCarthy's The Group. And that set me thinking about other novels of this style from the 1950s/1960s, and The Best of Everything was one of them; it was also made into a film which I went to see with my (late) mother. Can't remember the name of the actress, I think a former model, who was in the leading role? Suzy Parker, perhaps?


Pam--I first spotted this in the library, but thought I'd rather have a copy myself, too! I think I'll get the sequel, too.
Vipula--Lately I get a lot of reading ideas from other bloggers. They'll write about a book and it will appeal so much that I want to read it, too. Also lately I've been into novels from between the two world wars--mostly novels written by British women (lots of Virago and Persephone titles). Usually I'll read a book and then read the intro and the editor will talk about another book or books from the period maybe that influenced the author and then I'll move on to that next author. Also I've found a couple of books of criticism about this period that is chock full of books that they talk about and now I want to read. I do need to read more award winners, though--more contemporary fiction--I don't think I read enough! I used to read Amazon reviews, but sometimes they give away too much of the plot, and I hate that when I've not read the book, so I've been avoiding their reviews.
Kay--It's rare that a book club will all agree on a book! I've heard lots of good things about it.
Karen--It sounds very appealing to me, so I'll read it sooner or later for sure. I was going to choose books from my own challenge lists, but I discovered hardly none of them are contemporary lit!!
Sarah--I'll have to move Pomegranate Soup up the pile, I think. I love books with recipes in them, but I'm always too afriad to try them. I was wondering about The Bookshop--it does sound like it has some conflict in it, though anything about a bookshop must be good?
BooksPlease--I always settle into the same reading pattern. Although I look at my stacks and see all the newly published books set in more contemporary settings and think I must read them, I don't ever seem to pick them up. A Paris setting would be nice...
Litlove--I really am going to read the Rice book--one way or another. Everyone I know who's read it has loved it. And a combination of Mitford and Chambers would be perfect. I also just saw someone compare it to I Capture the Castle--one of my favorite books!!
Margaret--I read Valley of the Dolls a few years ago--had to know what the controvery was all about. Of course by our standards it is pretty low key, but it must have raised some eyebrows. The Group is another I read a long time ago--and definitely much more highbrow! Ihadn't realized the Jaffe was also written back then until I looked at the intro, so will have to read it as well as I love those sorts of books (high or lowbrow I guess). I also want to read Peyton Place--haven't gotten to that one yet. Have you read it? I didn't realize the Jaffe was made into a movie--I'll have to see if it's still available on Netflix--after I've read the book of course.

Margaret Powling

No, I didn't read Peyton Place although I watched the TV drama serial which starred the young Mia Farrow acting with her mother (the name of whom escapes me.)


I enjoyed Brick Lane. But didn't see the movie.

Ann Darnton

That's a Piercy I haven't read so I would definitely be putting that at the top of my list. but the Fitzgerald is as perfect as everything she writes. I wouldn't want you to be missing out on that.


I vote for the Piercy novel. The first line grabbed me...the other ones, meh. You'll have to let us know which one you pick. :-)

Dorothy W.

The Piercy book certainly sounds interesting! I get moods like the one you describe now and then -- the desire to try something very different from what I've just been reading. I hope you settle on something you really enjoy!


Margaret--I forgot there was a movie of that as well. I like Mia Farrow when she was younger--Rosemary's Baby was nice and creepy!
Isabel--When did the movie come out? I like the sound of the book and have heard good things about it.
Ann--So many good books. I've only read one Piercy book (though I think I've read it about three times!). I like the sound of some Sci-Fi. And I must read something by Penelope F.--I must have about 5-6 of her books.
Trish--I decided on Chez Moi, but after reading all these comments I'm starting to wonder if I made the right choice! :)
Dorothy--I think I overdo it sometimes on the historical fiction (if that's possible!). All of a sudden I'll just get the urge to read something set in the here and now. I've had that Piercy book for ages now, too, so really need to get it read one of these days.


I've read "Brick Lane" (very good, I strongly recommend it) and I want to see the film based on it, and also "The Pomegranate Soup" (a bit too superficial for me, though quite nice and warm). I also have "Crow Lake" but I haven't read it yet.


Chihiro--I do really want to read Brick Lane and have left it by my bedside. Pomegranate Soup does look a bit fluffy, but fun anyway. I'm thinking of reading it alongside Chez Moi, since they're both restaurant stories. Crow Lake does look good, too, but definitely more serious--will wait until I'm in that sort of mood!


The Best of Everything also has a movie counterpart starring Joan Crawford. Highly recommended.


Joanna--I've always been curious about Joan Crawford--I've never seen her in a movie, though, only heard of her by reputation! I will have to see if I can get my hands on the movie when I've read the book!

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