Review: Lust & Wonder by Augusten Burroughs



Title: Lust & Wonder 
Author: Augusten Burroughs
Publisher: St. Martin's
Publication Date: March 29, 2016
ISBN: 9780312342036 (hardcover)
Number of Pages: 295
How I Got It: from publisher
Format: paperback ARC

Goodreads and Publicist's Descriptions:

In chronicling the development and demise of the different relationships he's had while living in New York, Augusten Burroughs examines what it means to be in love, what it means to be in lust, and what it means to be figuring it all out. With Augusten's unique and singular observations and his own unabashed way of detailing both the horrific and the humorous, Lust and Wonder is an intimate and honest memoir that his legions of fans have been waiting for. You may know him best as the author of bestsellers Running with Scissors and Dry, memoirs about his unbelievable teenage life and then his struggle for sobriety as an adult. Picking right up from where Dry left off, Lust & Wonder is the story of Augusten's search for what brings his heart home.

My Review:

I have not read any of Augusten Burroughs' previous books but I can now see what all the fuss is about. I loved his brutal honesty, crippling anxiety, and uncontrollable neuroses. His voice was one I have not heard before. Not because he's a gay man living in "the big city" but a person (maybe) struggling with sobriety and (maybe) trying to find love. As a reader, we get to experience the minutiae of his daily life. I enjoy knowing what kind of sandwiches people like to eat and their routines. Burroughs writes in a way that makes you feel you are just two friends sharing stories of your unconventional lives. I wish I could have him over for dinner. But what would I make? If you've read this, what do you think Mr Burroughs would like for dinner?

***Disclaimer:: I was given a copy of this release in exchange for an honest review. I received no additional compensation. ***

Foodie Friday: Review of Best Food Writing 2015 edited by Holly Hughes


Title: Best Food Writing 2015
Author: Multiple (edited by Holly Hughes)
Publisher: De Capo / Perseus 
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
ISBN: 9780738218649
Number of Pages: 320
How I Got It: Library
Format: Paperback
Goodreads Description:
Anthony Bourdain, John T. Edge, Jonathan Gold, Francis Lam, Ruth Reichl, Calvin Trillin, Alice Waters. These are just some of the celebrated writers and foodies whose work has appeared in Best Food Writing over the past fifteen years. Whether written by an established journalist or an up-and-coming blogger, the essays offered in each edition represent the cream of that year's crop in food writing. And 2015 promises to uphold the same high standards with a dynamic mix of writers offering provocative journalism, intriguing profiles, moving memoir, and more.
My Review:
I wanted to read this book not just because I love reading about food but because I wanted to know more about how to write about it. I enjoyed the collection but didn't feel very connected to the authors. Their relationship with food is much different than mine. I suppose I would consider myself a home cook rather than a connoisseur or fancy chef. This collection featured everything from butchering and cooking an entire pig to 21 course meals. Most of the essays were a bit snobby for my taste. 

Foodie Friday: Review of The Witches of Cambridge by Menna Van Praag


Title: The Witches of Cambridge
Author: Menna Van Praag
Publisher: Ballantine
Publication Date: February 9, 2016
ISBN: 9780804179003
Number of Pages: 306
How I Got It: Netgalley
Format: Kindle
Goodreads Description:
For fans of Alice Hoffman, Sarah Addison Allen, and Adriana Trigiani, The Witches of Cambridge reveals an astonishing world where the heart's deepest secrets give way to the magic of life-changing love.

"Be careful what you wish for. If you're a witch, you might just get it."

Amandine Bisset has always had the power to feel the emotions of those around her. It's a secret she can share only with her friends all professors, all witches when they gather for the Cambridge University Society of Literature and Witchcraft. Amandine treasures these meetings but lately senses the ties among her colleagues beginning to unravel. If only she had her student Noa's power to hear the innermost thoughts of others, she might know how to patch things up. Unfortunately, Noa regards her gift as a curse. So when a seductive artist claims he can cure her, Noa jumps at the chance, no matter the cost. Noa's not the only witch in over her head. Mathematics professor Kat has a serious case of unrequited love but refuses to cast spells to win anyone's heart. Her sister, Cosima, is not above using magic to get what she wants, sprinkling pastries in her bakery with equal parts sugar and enchantment. But when Cosima sets her sights on Kat's crush, she conjures up a dangerous love triangle. As romance and longing swirl through every picturesque side street, The Witches of Cambridge find their lives unexpectedly upended and changed in ways sometimes extraordinary, sometimes heartbreaking, but always enchanting.

My Review:
As soon as I read this description I wondered if a book more perfectly suited to me could be written. I love magic realism, witches, and food. Spells + baking = a happy, relaxing read for me. The Witches of Cambridge combined all three loves deliciously. Each of the witches have different powers but there is something about the Cosima storyline that I especially loved. Her baking causes people to fall in love, heals broken hearts, and satisfies Cambridge's collective sweet tooth. Each of the other witch's storylines was equally interesting and one was delightfully dark. For lovers of Linda Francis Lee's The Glass Kitchen and Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic, readers of The Witches of Cambridge will be wrapped in magic realism and let wanting nothing....except maybe a cupcake.

***Disclaimer:: I was given a copy of this release in exchange for an honest review. I received no additional compensation. ***