27 January, 2017

Sister Reads January | Cooking and Black History

Welcome to Sister Reads! Vernell and I are joining forces this year to talk about what is probably our very favourite thing, yes even more loved than crafting: books! Growing up books were everywhere over our home. Our mum is an English teacher, and so we had shelves filled with literature from around the world: Britain, the US, Africa, and of course the Caribbean. We were both avid readers as children, and that love followed us into adulthood.

This year we will be posting a monthly book review on the last Friday of every month: a brief recap of the books we read during the month. We invite you to tell us about what you’re reading in the comments below too!

This year my reading goal is 64 books. This is the same goal I set last year, and I made it to 62 reading frantically on the night of December 30th. 64 books means just over five books a month. I’m already behind, having only read two books in January, (A Homemade Life and The Third Life of Grange Copeland) but I’m not worried. I always start the year off slowly, as I use January for reflection (and recovery from the holidays!), so I know I’ll be back in the swing of things next month.

A Homemade Life

I started the year by reading A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. It’s a collection of stories and recipes from the creator of the blog Orangette. I was vaguely aware of her blog, but had never read it. After reading the book I am now! Not only did Molly share 53 very delicious sounding recipes, but also stories from her life including her childhood and adolescence. She waxes poetic about her time spent living in Paris, which of course totally sucked me in. To top it off this is probably the first book of its ilk that I’ve read that made me actually want to make all the recipes shared. So much so that I plan to cook my way through the book this year. The recipes range from simple to more involved, and cover basics like potato salad (her dad’s recipe), her mom’s chocolate cake, and Molly’s own twist on recipes and meals she has come across throughout the years. I was pretty much drooling as I made my way through the book, and could already envision which meal I could make when.

Have you read this book? What did you think about it?

Want to read this book? You can pick it up here at

or the book depository

The Third Life of Grange Copeland

I love Alice Walker, and of course The Color Purple is her iconic novel that everyone knows. I was really looking forward to reading Grange Copeland, the first novel she wrote, and it didn’t disappoint. It kept me spellbound, though not in the same way as The Color Purple did.

The book recounts the life of black tenant farmers in Georgia, the state that Alice Walker grew up in. It’s definitely a tough read as the stories told are brutal and at times extremely depressing.

My main takeaways from the book were 1. all the things I learned about life for sharecroppers in the deep south in the early part of the twentieth century, and 2. an appreciation for the unexpected heroine who emerges at the end of the book. The story didn’t leave me as satisfied as The Color Purple, but it confirmed my belief that Alice Walker is a superb storyteller.

Have you read this book? What did you think about it?

Want to read this book? Pick it up here at

or the book depository

Looking Ahead

I’ve already started on my third book for the year, The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. Look for that review next month! I’m also gearing up to read the following books:

Hidden Figures
Sag Harbor
I am The Messenger
Britt-Marie Was Here

Those should get me back on track to meet my goal!

This year I plan to blog lots more about books and reading, as it really is my favourite thing. And I want to get you involved too, because I love discussing books with other readers. I’m excited to announce that I’ll be launching a free online book club in February for this purpose!!

If you want to be notified when it’s all ready to go just sign up for my Books & Reading newsletter. You’ll also get a free printable checklist to track all the books mentioned on the Gilmore Girls.

So. What are you reading right now? Have you set a reading goal for the year?

Let’s go see what Vernell has read so far.

Book Reviews - The Third Life of Grange Copeland and A Homemade Life