The Book Worm part 2.


I know I know, it’s been awhile since the last installation of this little series, but with all the pictures from Paris, Venice, Florence and Rome, I felt like the blog had enough non-food related posts for a few weeks. BUT- that’s all done with and I have two more of my all time favorite reads to share with you. I loved the great discussion we had last time with so many wonderful suggestions from everyone- keep them coming!

The first book I’m suggesting is another one I’ve read several times, loving it more and more each time.


Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett is beautifully written, romantic, haunting and engaging. Here’s a summary I liked:  In an unnamed South American country, a world-renowned soprano sings at a birthday party in honor of a visiting Japanese industrial titan. His hosts hope that Mr. Hosokawa can be persuaded to build a factory in their Third World backwater. Alas, in the opening sequence, just as the accompanist kisses the soprano, a ragtag band of 18 terrorists enters the vice-presidential mansion through the air conditioning ducts. Their quarry is the president, who has unfortunately stayed home to watch a favorite soap opera. And thus, from the beginning, things go awry.

I can’t quite describe what it is about this book that like the music of a beautiful opera, sat with me for weeks, months and years since I read it for the first time 6 years ago. Have any of you read it?

This next  book, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield is special to my heart, as it was the first book that my book club of 4 years read together. I don’t remember how we chose it, but I remember that we all loved it and agreed it was one of those riveting, suspenseful stories that could NOT be put down.


Biographer Margaret Lea returns one night to her apartment above her father’s antiquarian bookshop. On her steps she finds a letter. It is a hand-written request from one of Britain’s most prolific and well-loved novelists. Vida Winter, gravely ill, wants to recount her life story before it is too late, and she wants Margaret to be the one to capture her history. The request takes Margaret by surprise—she doesn’t know the author, nor has she read any of Miss Winter’s dozens of novels.

Late one night while pondering whether to accept the task of recording Miss Winter’s personal story, Margaret begins to read her father’s rare copy of Miss Winter’s “Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation”. She is spellbound by the stories and confused when she realizes the book only contains twelve stories. Where is the thirteenth tale? Intrigued, Margaret agrees to meet Miss Winter and act as her biographer.

The plot of full of twists and turns and I remember getting cozy one night and reading almost the whole thing in one sitting. Why can’t all books be this good??

Now I realize neither of these books are particularly new, but before I share my favorite new releases, I thought I should keep you up to date with some of my old favorites!

What are you reading? Anything I should add to my list?


  1. Bel canto! Such a great read. Keep them coming please:)

  2. You had me at Bel Canto!!! One of my favorite books. So, I had to go back to your original post and re-read it.
    The Thirteenth Tale is on my list.

  3. These both sound wonderful! I haven’t read either one of them. I’m just beginning Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte. Have you read it? I’ll recommend The Thirteenth Tale at my next book club meeting. It sounds reminiscent of the book The Shadows of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, which was one of my favorite books ever!

    1. Shadow of the Wind is my all time favorite! I wrote about it last time! :)

  4. Girl, sometimes you just need to reread an old favorite! I just started my favorite book of all time – East of Eden by John Steinbeck – for the…um…probably 10th time? Really. Some books just beg to be read over and over – they teach you something new each time!!

  5. Marnely Rodriguez Murray says:

    I love me some great book recommendations, will add these to my list!

  6. Thanks for the suggestions. I am a pretty avid reader and honesty nothing recently has me ranting, “you must read this.” I just finished Loving Frank, not bad; The Good House- so-so, my book club is reading The World We Found for May but I just started it. I want to read Z about Zelda Fitzgerald. I did really enjoy Defending Jacob,I truly thought it was an excellent read. The Dinner was also an interesting read. I know many loved Gone Girl, I thought it was over rated myself. I just checked out the Aviator’s Wife too which got good reviews, we’ll see. I must try Bel Canto this summer.

  7. Wonderful suggestions! I am always looking for good books to read. Although, these days I find that it takes me much longer to get through a book because I have less time to read due to the girls and keeping up with my blog. I haven’t read either of these so I’ll be adding them to my list. I just finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Love it! I didn’t want to put it down!

  8. Becca from cookie jar treats says:

    The Thirteenth Tale sounds pretty interesting. You now have me wondering why there are only twelve tales, haha. I can’t remember if I mentioned this last time, but I’ve really gotten into books. In the past two months I’ve read Zodiac, The Notebook and now I’m halfway through with The Help. All three are very different genres but that’s what I love about books. I’m trying to get into different genres like that.

  9. lisaelaine says:

    One of my favorite books is The Wedding Officer by Anthony Capella. It’s about food, romance and Italy.

  10. Liselle Konig says:

    The Thirteenth Tale is one of my all-time favorites too. You either love or hate that book. I’ve read it twice and I never re-read books. Here’s a suggestion for those of you who like series and historic fiction – The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. You feel like you and the characters are best friends and when you aren’t reading, you are thinking about what the characters are doing. There are about 8 books in the series so far and I think she’s writing more. I’m ready to re-read those books now that I’ve told you about them. Maybe I’ll put them on my list of books for this summer. I read very fast and read between 6 and 8 books per month.

    1. lisaelaine says:

      I LOVE the Outlander series. I second your suggestion to read it. I have read all but the latest one in the series. A book club I am in has The Thirteenth Tale on tap for November so I will probably read it this summer. Good to know that many people like it.

  11. Thanks for sharing your favs! It isn’t for everyone, but my favourite book of all time is the God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy. The language is unlike any other book I’ve ever read, which means it can be challenging, but the story is heartbreaking, poignant and full of profound insights. Try it and you may love it too!

  12. I have the thirteenth tale on my wishlist for ages now… almost embarrassed about that I have still not read it ;)

    1. me again, sorry about the double post :P
      I have just ordered the book, cause I couldn’t live any longer with that shame ;) and in the description of the website is says:
      ‘The Thirteenth Tale’ is a compelling and emotional mystery in the timeless vein of Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’, about family secrets and the magic of books and storytelling.”
      And I was immediately more drawn to it than ever as Rebecca happens to be my favorite book (kind of has to be after being named after it :P) and I just wanted to let you know that if you haven’t read it so far, you really really should read it! :D I think we might have a similar taste in books ;) Enjoy :D

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