Taste of Home recipes across America : 735 of the best recipes from across the nation

From Jackie Cantwell
Author:  Taste of Home Books
Title:  Taste of Home recipes across America : 735 of the best recipes from across the nation
This is a fun cookbook to read. The recipes were submitted by readers of Taste of Home magazine. The book features glossy color photos of most, but not all of the recipes. It is divided into these sections: Northeast, Southwest, Midwest, West, and South. You’ll find recipes for soups, breads, entrees, desserts, appetizers, drinks, and side dishes. There are classics such as Yankee Pot roast, Philly cheesesteak, and Texas sheet cake. The recipes are not daunting and are suitable for the novice to the experienced cook. Most recipes have ingredients you’ll find in your pantry or at the local grocery store. There are no calorie counts or nutritional information for the recipes; some of them do seem to be high in fat. I tried the Chili Artichoke Dip which was very easy to make and was delicious. I liked the interesting food facts and histories, as well as photos of the towns and cities from which the recipes hail. They even mention food festivals.

Chestnut Street

From Margaret Mezzacapo
Author:  Maeve  Binchy
Title:  Chestnut Street 
Chestnut Street is a collection of short stories published posthumously. The common thread is that all of the characters live on the same street, albeit with different lives and circumstances, and serve as proof that appearances can be deceiving. People can differ significantly from the images they project (although you’ve never met such a large cast of philandering husbands and deserting fathers in any of Binchy’s prior works). The stories seem a little disjointed at times, yet you’ll still hear the lilt of the characters’ accents as you read along, and you’ll still wish that there would be more Maeve Binchy books to come.

Don’t Look Down

From Elaine Pasquali

Title:  Don’t Look Down

Author:  Jennifer Crusie  and Bob Mayer

A difficult book to get into.  In the first dozen pages, twelve characters, give or take a few, were introduced.  In addition, characters were alternately referred to by their first names, their surnames, and/or their nicknames.   I was unwilling to plow through the ensuing confusion and discover the nature of the plot.  It’s unusual for me to give up on a book, but that’s exactly what I did with Don’t Look Down.