Out of my Comfort Zone Book Reviews

Happy Monday!

I have two new book reviews for y’all. I don’t read many books outside of mystery/crime fiction BUT these two books were so good. I’m glad I stepped away from my “norm” for a little while.

Dorothy Benton Frank is from Charleston and is one of my favorite authors. She had a book signing a few weeks ago, but I was sick and couldn’t make it. When I was in Barnes and Noble a couple of weeks ago and was checking out, there were signed copies of her new book at the register. Obviously I bought it, and I am thrilled I did.

By Invitation Only is the perfect summer read.  The book centers around Diane Stiftel and her family as they prepare for her only son to marry into a wealthy family from Chicago. The book gives us her point of view, her future daughter in law’s point of view, and the mother of the bride’s point of view. There are so many issues at play in the book, and the author does an amazing job of bringing it all together. The book has everything you could want in a story: love, heartache, surprise, and surprisingly a little bit of crime. I highly recommend checking this book out, as well as her other ones, especially if you are from Charleston.

The next book is an audiobook titled, A Piece of the World, by Christina Baker Kline. It’s an emotional book told from the perspective of Christina Olson, a disabled farm girl. She is destined to live her life on her family’s farm, partly from her disability but also because of her pull to stay true to her family’s legacy. While her world is small, she does end up having an influence on the outside world. She becomes the muse for Andrew Wyeth as she hosts him for over twenty years at the family farm. She is the subject of one of the most well known American paintings of the twentieth century. The author blends fiction and fact incredibly well, and tells a story that will make you cry for the character one minute and be angry at her the next. This book is not one I would have normally chosen, but I am glad it was available through Overdrive for me to check out and listen to!

piece of the world

Mema’s Rolls

When I was younger, my grandma “Mema” made the most amazing yeast rolls. She was an amazing cook, and she taught many people how to make her yeast rolls. I was too young to really remember anything other than kneading the dough though. I have always wanted to try to make them, but I put it off.

A few weeks ago I found her recipe book and I recreated them. I was pretty concerned they wouldn’t turn out well, because a lot of people in my family have tried to make them since she passed away and have failed. Yeast is notoriously difficult, because just the slightest thing can go wrong and it can fall. If it falls, the rolls are going to be awful. I prepared the dough and I covered it with aluminum foil and put it on my balcony for it to rise. It needs to be in a warm place to rise, and outside in the South Carolina summer did the trick.

I could not believe they turned out so good. The minute I took a bite, I almost cried because it felt like I was back in her kitchen. If you can read her handwriting, I hope you will try to make them as well if you like to bake! Let me know how it goes.

 

recipe

 

recipe2baking

yum

baked