Do good things come in pairs? They do, in this latest advicesisters.com book review roundup. These pairs (not pears, lol) organize six books in a specific genre in “duos.” Which of these will you choose for Winter reading?
Duos- Indian Recipe Collections:
I love Indian food. During the pandemic lockdown in New York City, I couldn’t get any, I started using my Instant Pot/slow to make it myself. Our first of the duos focus on Indian cooking, but although they’re the same topics, they are quite different:
This book is big and it’s not brand new this year. However, if you love Indian food you’ll want 600 Curries by Raghavan Iyer (Workman Publishing Company (March 27, 2008) for your cookbook collection. It’s not just recipes for curries but also biryanis, bread, pickles, relishes, and more. Alas, not all of them are for beginners.
There no photos except on the cover to guide you as to what your dish should really look like. The softcover book is already so large, but a few would be nice.
Make Your Own or Buy??
If you don’t have the right spices, you might find some of these quite challenging. Also, there are items used frequently (e.g. fresh serrano peppers pr ghee) that you might not find in your fridge a the moment. But you’ll need plenty of both. You can make your own ghee and paneer (to name just two things) and make things more authentic.
However, if you can find an Indian grocery nearby or find what you need online, that is helpful. There is, however, a nice section to introduce you to Indian curry including some how-to (e.g. different ways to grind spices). The recipes are nicely organized by different types with plenty of vegetarian options. With 600 recipes, you are sure to find some that will become your favorites. Buy This Book
The Indian Slow Cooker 2nd Edition by Anupy Singla (Agate Surrey 2018 offers “70 healthy, easy, authentic recipes). If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, it’s a great recipe resource because so many of the recipes are for beans and legumes. There’s a small section of recipes for meat such as one of my favorites, Chicken Tikka). What makes this cookbook unique is that the recipes are mostly for a slow cooker. However, there are some recipes for the stovetop as well.
As with the larger recipe collection above, not all of these are for beginners or for those without local resources to purchase spices and other ingredients (you can purchase most ingredients online). Some reviewers complained that the recipes are inconsistent in quality but it’s trial and error with every recipe. There are nice color photos and a bunch of ways to make recipes your own.
I should mention…
It’s not mentioned in the book and this is more for MultiPot users, but when you cook in these pots with spices, you may find that they get infused into anything rubber or silicone. Consider dedicating a slow cooker or instant pot to your Indian food, and keep another one for less aromatic cooking. . Buy This Book
Duos – Must-Read Non-Fiction Books:
In a sea of reality shows and faux news, true non-fiction is often the best of reading. Here are two new books I’ve reviewed as duos (although they’re quite different) . They will keep your attention while giving you the information you might just need–someday.
Did you ever wonder what it would be like to live in outer space? How to Astronaut by Terry Virts, Workman Publishing Company; Illustrated edition (September 15, 2020). a man who has spent time at the International Space stations and in a variety of space capsules will tell you what it is really like. The book is a fast and easy read, and really fascinating.
Colonel and astronaut Virts will give you an up-close and personal idea of what it’s really like to be an astronaut. He talks about it both on the ground, in the spaceship, on the International Space station, and even in outer space itself.
Maybe You Next?
The author has an easy, just-between-you-and-me style that kept me reading the book late into the night until it was finished. Most of us will never experience space flight or living in outer space, but Terry Vits has been there and done that. You’ll learn all about what can happen, what does happen, and even what he thinks about life beyond the stars. It’s a great book for just about any age. Buy This Book
In Case You Get Hit By A Bus: How to Organize Your Life Now for When You’re Not Around Later by Abby Schneiderman, Adam Seifer and Gene Newman (Workman, December 22, 2020) might have a grim sounding title, but it’s a must-read for every adult. You never know what might happen to you and if the unthinkable does happen and you’ve prepared your wishes in advance, you won’t leave your loved ones in the lurch.
Those You Leave Behind:
Also, those who might stand to inherit might be completely frustrated or clueless. I say this because recently my brother in law suddenly passed away, and I was the one who ended up having to deal with the situation even though I wasn’t truly the next of kin. He left a will, but few instructions. Also, I didn’t realize how much a digital will is important these days, actually more than even.
There’s so much information in this book. It will really make you think and hopefully, put your thoughts into action. As my departed brother in law showed me, if you don’t know what someone wants after death, it’s really difficult to deal with it. Buy This Book.
Duos: Very Different Romance Novels:
If you read these book review roundups on advicesisters.com on a regular basis, you know that I don’t review a ton of fiction, especially when I can’t relate to characters and the plot lines seem wildly unrealistic. But these two romantic novels from very different centuries ended up as a duo because you’ll like them for a bit of escapism!
Four Seasons at Angelinos by Caroline McBride Post Hill Press (July 21, 2020) is a cute, romantic romp through a young woman’s jet-setting life. “Charlotte” seems to have everything. She has brains, beauty, loyal friends, and a career as a PR girl for a trendy restaurant chain that takes her around the world. What she doesn’t have is a steady boyfriend. Of course, she is looking for Mr. Right while going out with a ton of toads.
I can totally understand that Charlotte’s biological clock is ticking and she feels the time is running out to find a man worthy of fathering and nurturing her progeny. For a supposedly smart woman, she makes astoundingly bad choices in relationships. However, her job leaves her mostly with temporary liaisons. She gives herself a year “four seasons” to find her man.
I think a lot of women would gladly change lives with her exciting and glamorous one. So I didn’t buy the desperation, but I did enjoy the story. Buy This Book.
The Princess and the Rogue by Kate Bateman (A Bow Street Bachelors Novel), St. Martin’s Paperbacks (December 29, 2020) is a “feel good” romanced novel with typical elements, but also with a “royal” who is hiding her identity. In doing so she must use her wits and re-define herself. Of course, she is beautiful. However, fearing for her life, she flees to London where she works as a companion to an older woman.
As the simple “Anna Brown” she catches the eye of a man who really didn’t have any interest in love –until he sees the mysterious “Anna and offers to protect her from men who are trying to kill her. Of course, she is really Princess Anastasia Denisova. Will the flames of love be fanned when she agrees to live under his roof at a gambling house to save her life? Buy This Book.