Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Turn the Page...Tuesday

'Along Elena's smooth white back is an ancient scar that cuts downward in grotesque beauty like a long, graceful snake.  It begins at the joint of her right shoulder and sails south across her shoulder blade, then her spine, swoops around the lower edge of her left ribs and across the unguarded softness where vital organs once lived, and finally ends deep in her left buttock.  In places, it looks like a rope, dark pink and angry;  in others, it submerges beneath the flesh, showing only a slight white scratch above the skin.'

So begans The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O'Neal, the story of Elena and the ghosts who haunt her.   Elena is a chef, raised in New Mexico who, many years ago, was the sole survivor of a terrible car accident that took the lives of her sister, brother, a cousin and Elena's boyfriend.  It wasn't until much later, when Elena finally woke from her own devestating injuries that she found that her siblings and friends were gone.  Her sister, after all, had stayed by her side the whole time, holding her hand and helping her through.  Years later, her sister is still with her, helping her along.  Elena's dog, Alvin, is her faithful companian and a big help on the days that Elena's body is screaming from pain and she can barely move.  Armed with her grandmother's wonderful recipe's and the love of her dog, Elena finds herself in Aspen, Colorado, opening a restaurant for a famous director who is also trying to find some peace and stability in his life.  Will Elena be able to put her ghosts to rest and move on to a life and the happiness that she deserves?

I had so much fun reading this book.  Some parts have a bit to much steamy romance for my tastes, but they're easily skipped over to move on to the better parts.  Scattered here and there throughout the book are some of Elena's recipe's and the food she concocts is described beautifully.  Had me craving real authentic southwestern food.  I still am.  Anybody have a tamale?

Adrienne at Some of a Kind is the delightful host of Turn the Page...Tuesday.  This year, she has challenged us to read a book each month that has been languishing around on our shelves which was perfect and fit right in with my own goals of reading one of my old classics each month.  I have a passion for old books and from time to time my family feeds that passion.  This month, I pulled my old hardback version of The Voyages of Doctor Doolittle by Hugh Lofting of the shelf, dusted it off and read on.  My sister, Susan, had given me both this one and The Story of Doctor Doolittle a couple of years ago and boy are they ever fun!

'All that I have written so far about Doctor Doolittle I heard long after it happened from those who had known him- indeed a great deal of it took place before I was born.  But I now come to set down that part of the great man's life which I myself saw and took part in.'

This story is told from the perspective of Tommy Stubbins, the 10 year old son of the local cobbler in the village of Puddleby where the great Doctor John Doolittle lives.  Tommy meets the Doctor when he finds a squirrel with a broken leg and takes it to him for mending.  At the Doctors house, Tommy is fascinated by all the animals and the fact that the Doctor can understand and even talk to them.  He spends much time there and eventually is apprenticed to the Doctor, learning the language of some of the animals and embarking on a great adventure.  Another famous naturalist, Long Arrow, seems to have gone missing, so Doctor Doolittle, Tommy and a few of the animals voyage on the sea to Spidermonkey Island, hoping to find out what has happened to Long Arrow.  Many fun adventures befall them, including a vogage on the bottom of the ocean inside of a giant snails shell. 

These old classics are so much fun.  I absoluely love them!
Hurry over to Some of a Kind to see what others have been reading...
and happy reading adventures to you.  Hope you've been traveling to some wonderful places!


~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

I did well last month, but I ventured into the library and grabbed a stack of disappointing books. So, I'm going to revisit my bookshelf in February. I could use a good romance book -- thanks for sharing.

Love Bears All Things said...

Thanks Paula, I liked the review so much that I bought it for my kindle.

Adrienne said...

Sounds like you've had an interesting reading month ~ and I always thought the Eddie Murphy movies were original (he he). Thanks for participating!

Jill said...

I just saw an article about Dr. Doolittle... I can't remember where. I think I might need to find a copy and reacquaint myself with the original stories. Thanks!

Stacey's Treasures said...

Both of these novels sound so good I didn't know there was a Dr. Doolittle book like that.
I just started the book you sent me for Christmas.

Anonymous said...

I love books that talk about food! I totally forgot to mention that aspect of The Lacuna in my review. She describes Mexican food in perfect detail and it made me SO. HUNGRY. I loved that.

Paige said...

Ahhhh, some more books to add to my list of wanna reads! I saw the book you recommended last month at Target the other day and almost bought it, but resisted because I'm gonna try to stick to my own shelves at home. Happy reading to ya!