Same rules as usual: Please leave a comment below and let me know which of these 2 books you’re interested in. If you’re interested in both, that’s fine. You have until the end of this month to enter, and then I’ll draw names at random and announce the winners on Mon, Aug 1st. Must have US mailing address — sorry, international friends!
Images and descriptions courtesy of GoodReads.
“Half my life ago, I killed a girl.”
So begins Darin Strauss’ Half a Life, the true story of how one outing in his father’s Oldsmobile resulted in the death of a classmate and the beginning of a different, darker life for the author. We follow Strauss as he explores his startling past—collision, funeral, the queasy drama of a high-stakes court case—and what starts as a personal tale of a tragic event opens into the story of how to live with a very hard fact: we can try our human best in the crucial moment, and it might not be good enough. Half a Life is a nakedly honest, ultimately hopeful examination of guilt, responsibility, and living with the past.
Holly Maguire’s grandmother Camilla was the Love Goddess of Blue Crab Island, Maine — a Milanese fortune-teller who could predict the right man for you, and whose Italian cooking was rumored to save marriages. Holly has been waiting years for her unlikely fortune: her true love will like sa cordula, an unappetizing old-world delicacy. But Holly can’t make a decent marinara sauce, let alone sa cordula. Maybe that’s why the man she hopes to marry breaks her heart.
So when Holly inherits Camilla’s Cucinotta, she’s determined to forget about fortunes and love and become an Italian cooking teacher worthy of her grandmother’s legacy. But Holly’s four students are seeking much more than how to make Camilla’s chicken alla Milanese. Simon, a single father, hopes to cook his way back into his daughter’s heart. Juliet, Holly’s childhood friend, hides a painful secret. Tamara, a serial dater, can’t find the love she longs for. And twelve-year-old Mia thinks learning to cook will stop her dad, Liam, from marrying his phony lasagna-queen girlfriend. As the class gathers each week, adding Camilla’s essential ingredients of wishes and memories in every pot and pan, unexpected friendships and romances are formed — and tested. Especially when Holly falls hard for Liam… and learns a thing or two about finding her own recipe for happiness.
Kristan’s random note: I intensely dislike and disagree with the choice not to put the “s” after the possessive apostrophes in both “Strauss’” and “Goddess’.”