What are you doing tonight? Read this Advicesisters.com Winter Book Review Winter 2023 and cozy up with a new book! There’s nothing nicer than some “ME” time with a book that inspires, excites, motivates, or empowers you. So I’ve got 9 books to suggest including a sneak preview of a book that’s coming out this March. I don’t suggest reading in the snow as in this man is doing in the photo above. However, do get cozy and try some of these new titles! Which of these will you download or buy from your favorite bookstore?
Winter Book Review 2023 – Three Novel, Novels:
The Seamstress of Sardinia:
The Seamstress of Sardinia by Bianca Pitzorno (Harper Perennial December 2022 is a sweet novel about a young girl who learns the trade of needlework from the grandmother (her Nonna) that she lives with. They are very poor but proud and they understand their place in the world as they sew for upper-class families with lots of secrets. The grandmother is known for her beautiful work as a seamstress.
After Nonna passes away, this young girl takes over as a seamstress for some of the same families. It’s a story about morays, social class, pride, goals, and the wealthy (and not-so-wealthy) patrons who employ her and her sewing machine to serve them. Over the years, she keeps her eyes and ears open and learns about their weaknesses and love affairs while doing her best to survive. Ca It’s a charming book that was a joy to read from beginning to end. Get this Book.
About a Young Man and Lou Reed:
The Perfume Burned His Eyes by Emmy-winning actor and screenwriter Michael Imperioli (Akashic Books December 2022) is interesting. It’s a somewhat disturbing account of a young man (Matthew) living in the same apartment building as the musician Lou Reed. The rocker is there with his transgender girlfriend Rachel. Matthew has moved to the City and to a new school and works as a delivery boy.
The discovery that Lou Reed lives above him in the same building starts to build a friendship between the rocker and the teenager. The book is full of what seems like personal references that make you believe that Lou Reed befriended Matthew in some way in real life. However, it’s still a fictional coming-of-age story. Still, it’s done so convincingly as I am writing this book review I’m still wondering whether it truly is all fiction. Get this Book.
The Matchmaker’s Gift:
The Matchmaker’s Gift by Lynda Cohen Loigman (St. Martins Press 2022) is another period piece about a young woman who has a particular knack for matching people in love relationships. Due to the fact that she is a girl and then a woman, the male matchmakers in her area of New York try to stop her. The novel is intertwined with another grandmother’s story. When her beloved grandmother dies, a young female lawyer inherits her grandmother’s journals. She learns about her grandmother’s special gift of matchmaking.
As she learns about her grandmother and the matches she made in the past, she learns that she too might have the matchmaker’s gift. The characters both past and present are relatable and believable and the story goes back and forth between past and present. This too was a charming book that was a joy to read from beginning to end. Get this Book.
Winter Book Review 2023- Two Books About Self-Empowerment:
Find Joy in Your Journey:
Finding Joy in the Journey: a 50-week guide to Manifesting Your Goals in Finding Your Purpose by Erica Ross (Rock Point, May 2022) is a workbook. There is an affirmation of the day (for self-empowerment) what you are manifesting and what you are grateful for. It’s easy to fill out the worksheet and if you do it every day you will learn a lot about yourself. You can do this easily with a plain diary, but this one with lined sheets and fill-in boxes makes it much easier to get the important stuff out and done.
Self-care is not just trendy, it’s seriously important! I like the slim format with an elastic band to keep you going from page to page. Whatever you want to have to happen this year can…with a little help from this journal. Get this Book
An Amazing Cancer Story:
And you think you’re having a bad day?!
Can you even imagine having two serious cancers at one time? That’s just what the author of The Cancel Channel” One Year Two Cancers Three Miracles by Sarah E. McDonald (Sarah McDonald Press September 2022)) had to face. The self-published book is written in an intimate way and reads like a diary of what I imagine would be the worst year in a lifetime of bad years. But this two-time cancer survivor breaks it all down from the ugly to the good. She even manages to have a baby in what surely is a nearly unendurable situation.
Sarah writes in the first person with a lot of humor. However, I found the book hard to read. It brings up fears you can’t possibly know how to handle should this ever happen to you. Sarah shows you how she did it. I am sure will bring comfort and hope to those who are going through a cancer journey of their own. It is also for those who have already walked that road and survived. Get this Book.
Winter Book Review 2023 – Unique Cookbooks:
Really Creative Kosher Cooking:
If you’re thinking that The Best of Kosher: Iconic and New Recipes From Your Favorite Cookbook Authors by & 10 more (Mesorah Publications LTD November 2022) will be just another way to make kugel or tzimmes, you’re totally off base. This cookbook brings together some of the most popular kosher recipes from 15 kosher cookbook authors. They’re not messing around here. There are over 320 pages in this hefty and beautifully photographed book.
The recipes offer something for everyone from traditional to modern, easy to challenging, and everything in between. I personally love the food processor mushroom soup that’s not only easy and doesn’t require a ton of prep. You can even make this ahead of time and freeze it. Everyone will love Ellie’s Onion Crusted Chicken with just four ingredients and a lot of delicious crunchiness. The photographs are gorgeous too. Get this book and enjoy yummy food all year long, whether you’re kosher or not. Get this Book
mmm Muffins & More:
I cannot lie, I was enchanted by the idea of tiny food in muffin tins. Therefore, I am a huge fan of Muffin Tin Chef by Matt Kadey ( Ulysses Press April 2012). While this isn’t a new book, I just loved it and have to share it with you. If you have a muffin tin or many muffin tins, you can whip up dozens of little delights. Consider making fish tacos, pot pies, chocolate cakes, and all manner of appetizers for your next party. The recipes look delicious (and they are). They are also easy to make.
I love the idea that I can make a dozen little breakfast, lunch, dinner, and appetizer cups at once. It’s also a good way to exercise portion control. The photographs are mouth-watering. This book (with 101 recipes) is a must for anyone who wants to “get it done” and “do it easy.” I never would have thought my basic muffin tin could be used in such creative ways. You’ll be amazed. Get this Book
For Lovers of Trader Joe’s & the Air Fryer
When I requested a copy of the I love my Trader Joes Air Fryer Cookbook by Rita Mock-Pike (Ulysses Press 2021) I imagined that this book would give me great ideas, maybe from the recipes that used to be published in Trader Joe’s newsletter/flyers. However, this is a book of recipes that was independently authored and published and it’s not affiliated with Trader Joe’s (the company) at all.
This is good to know before you dig into the 150+ recipes in this cookbook that Trader Joe’s doesn’t sponsor or endorse. The recipes are fairly easy to make and sound delicious. What I didn’t love about it is that every recipe requires some sort of unique Trader Joe’s product. If you are a regular shopper and fan of Trader Joe’s, getting the ingredients might not be too much of a hassle. But there is no easy way to figure out what you might substitute for something only Trader Joe’s makes (e.g. Trader Joes Spicy Cashew Butter Dressing). This makes all the recipes a bit challenging,
Consider too that Trader Joe’s doesn’t always carry the same thing at every store and the items you need may be out of stock. However, if you have an air fryer and love Trader Joe’s, you’ll find this cookbook a fun challenge. I also like that the prep time, rest time, cook time, and servings. and the total time for each recipe is listed. If you don’t like the first recipe, Fry Fry again! Get This Book
The Little Book of the Occult by Astrid Carvel (Andrews McMeel Publishing March 2023) is not a book of spells for witches. Rather, it’s a very interesting book about the Occult and its various parts of it. There are just a few spells, and they are relegated to the back of the book.
Ms. Carvel is a white witch and she delves into all sorts of fascinating topics from tarot cards to using the occult (in a good way) to help you feel empowered. Each page (or a couple of pages) describes a practice or tool. For example, what is a pendulum and how do you use it to answer questions. The descriptions are rather basic, but it’s a little book with a lot of information. Reading it will keep you entertained for 126 little pages! By the time this review is published, you will be able to pre-order or order it.