Daily Bites Reading Room

August 15th, 2013 at 6:06 am
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Even though this is my personal blog, sometimes I think it’s funny how little I share about myself personally. I get so caught up in how great a recipe is or the fantastic health benefits of this or that ingredient that I sort of slip into the shadows and get lost behind the kale leaves! Well, if there’s one thing should know about me, it’s that I love—as in the sit-in-one-spot-all-day-and-forget-to-eat kind of love—to read.

On any given day when I have some spare time, it’s one of my greatest pleasures to sit down in a comfy spot and read, read, read. During the week, most of my reading takes place at the end of the day before bed, but on weekends, holidays, and vacations, I would be happy to read from dawn to dusk.

From time to time, to delight all of you other book worms out there, I’ve decided to welcome you into my reading room for a glimpse of what I’ve been reading. I’m not going to candy coat things. If there’s a book that I read or am reading that I don’t like, I’m going to tell you so! I won’t be giving you reviews or recaps (you can find those on Amazon), just my thoughts and personal perspective.

So grab a cup of tea, pull up a chair, and come on into the reading room. Everyone’s welcome.

The Kitchen House, by Kathleen Grissom

I heard about The Kitchen House quite a while ago, but just got around to reading it back in July. Historical fiction continues to remain one of my favorite genres (ever since I started reading The Royal Diaries series as a kid), and this one did not disappoint. Although it’s very sad in certain parts, overall I thought the character development and plot were spot on. Although I probably wouldn’t rank it among my top 10 books of all time, I enjoyed this one from cover to cover and would recommend it for historical fiction lovers.

(Some of themes are rather mature, so for kids under high school age I wouldn’t deem this appropriate. If you’re looking for a great young adult historical fiction author, I’ve always loved Ann Rinaldi.)

The Leader Who Had No Title, by Robin Sharma

I think I found out about The Leader Who Had No Title through the Twitter grapevine. I picked up a copy at the library expecting it to be a good “business book” that was easy to pick up here and there. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed. Many of the concepts presented are good points, but the book is written in a storytelling voice, like a fable…which I should have noticed from the cover, I suppose! I expected it to read more like a self-help book and less like a story with tidbits of wisdom nestled throughout. While some may enjoy this storytelling way of conveying business/life advice, I found it kind of cheesy and awkward.

I made it about two thirds of the way through before I thew in the towel and took it back to the library.

The Shoemaker’s Wife, by Adriana Trigiani

Do you ever finish a book feeling like the characters are old friends? That’s how The Shoemaker’s Wife left me. I’ve never read a book that takes place (in part) in Italy with Italian heritage speckled throughout, so I really enjoyed this change of pace. A few parts were rather slow, but if I’m being honest, they were easy to skip over. (Hey, don’t tell me I’m the only one who does this!) Compared to many titles out there today, this book was clean. No profanity, crude humor, or other junk that crowds out what I love so much about literature: the writing itself!

The Shoemaker’s Wife left me feeling uplifted and glad that I had invested the hours into reading this story. I’m curious now to read more by this new-to-me author.

Oh, and for my fellow foodies, the references to food in this book are worth the read alone! Sandwiches of fresh sheep cheese and dandelion greens enjoyed in the dewy spring grass of a mountain? Yes, please.

Mind Over Medicine, by Lissa Rankin, M.D.

My copy of Mind Over Medicine arrived in the mail last week and I started reading it right away. I haven’t read it cover to cover yet, but what I’ve read so far I’ve really found fascinating. If you’ve ever wondered if there is a connection between how we think or feel and how we heal, this book is a must read! Some of the case studies are absolutely amazing. Dr. Rankin dives into wellness from all aspects: physical, mental, spiritual, emotional—the whole nine yards. This is holistic health research and writing at it’s finest, from what I’ve read so far.

If anything, Mind Over Medicine is reminding me of just how connected all of our systems are. The physical affects the spiritual. The soul is tethered to the workings of the body. When one aspect is out of balance or suffering, all others follow suit.


So that’s what I’ve been reading lately, plus a few others that were so bad they weren’t worth a mention.

What’s in your reading room these days? Anything I should add to my list?


  1. I tend to prefer non-fiction, because I find it hard to find fiction that I like. I am currently reading Empire of Shadows by George Black, which is about the discovery and exploration of Yellowstone National Park, which is probably my favorite park on the planet. On my list of books to read are Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough, about Teddy Roosevelt and The Greater Journey, also by David McCullough, about Americans in Paris. I’ve read a several of McCullough’s other books, and he doesn’t write a bad book.

  2. I love to read also. One book I recently read I enjoyed was Buddy, by Brian McGrory. A true story about a pet chicken. But the first part of the story is about his beloved golden retriever, and you wonder when they said it was about a chicken :). But I did enjoy it.

  3. I am always looking for great fiction- especially historical fiction. One of my favorite books is “Innocent Traitor” by Alison Weir. I also loved Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series. Two of my all time favorite authors are Francine Rivers and Lynn Austin. Give them a try!

  4. I love to read too! It’s great to see what you are reading. One of my favorite authors is Nicholas Sparks but I love to try all kinds of books. I like Terri Blackstock, Tracie Peterson, Nevada Barr. . . Only ones I don’t really enjoy are sci fi.

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