Book Review: The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

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Title: The Dinner List
Author: Rebecca Serle
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publish Date: September 11, 2018
Genre: Magical Realism
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.67

from Amazon:
“We’ve been waiting for an hour.” That’s what Audrey says. She states it with a little bit of an edge, her words just bordering on cursive. That’s the thing I think first. Not: Audrey Hepburn is at my birthday dinner, but Audrey Hepburn is annoyed.”

At one point or another, we’ve all been asked to name five people, living or dead, with whom we’d like to have dinner. Why do we choose the people we do? And what if that dinner was to actually happen? These are the questions Rebecca Serle contends with in her utterly captivating novel, THE DINNER LIST, a story imbued with the same delightful magical realism as One Day, and the life-changing romance of Me Before You.

When Sabrina arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner she finds at the table not just her best friend, but also three significant people from her past, and well, Audrey Hepburn. As the appetizers are served, wine poured, and dinner table conversation begins, it becomes clear that there’s a reason these six people have been gathered together.

Delicious but never indulgent, sweet with just the right amount of bitter, THE DINNER LIST is a romance for our times. Bon appetit.

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Sabrina’s birthday dinner has quite the guest list – her best friend, her father, her boyfriend, her favorite college professor, and Audrey Hepburn. This is not any normal dinner gathering, and it seems Sabrina has some things from her past to discuss with the invited guests.

A unique and magical story that answers the question that many people have discussed – If you could have dinner with any five people, living or dead, who would they be? Sabrina chooses people she cares about, and Audrey Hepburn. Because, who wouldn’t invite Audrey.

As the dinner progresses, it’s clear there are some serious topics to be discussed. While sometimes emotional, there are moments of humor. A delightful book for readers who enjoy magical realism. Thought-provoking, engaging, and heart-breaking.

I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library.

Book Review: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Sing, Unburied, Sing
by Jesmyn Ward

Jojo and Kayla live with their grandparents, and the grandmother is dying from cancer. Their mother is a mostly absent drug addict and their father is in prison. When the father gets released from prison, the mother takes her two kids and a drug addict friend on a road trip to get him. Also, there are ghosts.

Jojo is thirteen and has way more responsibility than he should be dealing with at that age. He looks after his sister and is the one person who really takes care of her. I adored Jojo. He was the best developed character, and my heart was invested in him and where his story was going. The whole road trip, which is a good portion of the book, I was worried about Jojo and Kayla.

There is a magical realism element to the story. Jojo, Kayla, their mother, and their grandmother all have a “gift” and can see ghosts. Not all ghosts at all times, but they have some contact with the spirit world. The ghost part of the story was iffy for me. In some ways, I enjoyed that part and found it added insight to other characters, but in some ways it was just too much.

Sing, Unburied, Sing deals with some tough topics, including poverty, racism, child abuse/neglect, and addiction.

Lyrical writing. Haunting story.

Book Review: Sourdough by Robin Sloan

Sourdough by Robin Sloan

by Robin Sloan

Lois is a computer programmer who is gifted a sourdough starter by her favorite food delivery service. Lois learns to bake, and makes amazing sourdough bread with this starter. The sourdough is so good, she finds herself able to sell it. She checks out the farmers markets, and gets involved with a secret market that is preparing to open in town. Also, the sourdough is high maintenance… and really likes music.

Lois is a smart young woman recruited by a tech company in San Francisco. She takes the job, moving from Michigan, so she’s new in town and doesn’t know anyone. Reading about her desire to get out and be more adventurous with her life made her feel very real. Once she had the sourdough starter and started baking bread, she found a way to put herself out there. She’s a likable character. Really, everyone in the book was a likable character.

This book combines technology and geeks with food and foodies. The secret market is a group of people that are working to revolutionize the food market. They all use new methods and technologies to produce their products.

An easy reading, fun, and magical read.