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  • BN Editors 5:00 pm on 2020/02/13 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , recipe for a perfect wife   

    Guest Post: Karma Brown Shares the Classic Cake that Inspired Recipe for a Perfect Wife 

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    I have a beloved, vintage family cookbook (Purity Cookbook, 1945 edition), which is tattered and food splattered but contains the recipe that inspired Recipe for a Perfect Wife: the “Busy Day Cake.” It’s a basic, white cake that can be decked out with fancy adornments—like the sugared flowers my 1950s character, Nellie, uses—or kept simple with a shake of sprinkles. As a writer who works from home (and often bakes for procrastination) I love that something like the Busy Day Cake exists—because who isn’t busy these days? Writing this novel raised a lot of questions for me about gender roles and expectations, questions I am not sure there are full answers for, but it also made me appreciate my daily life in a new way.I have choices and freedoms about how I spend my time (cake baking in the morning, writing in the afternoon), unlike many of the women of past generations. 

    Busy Day Cake, Purity Cookbook (1945 edition)  

    ½ cup butter 

     teaspoon lemon or vanilla extract 

    1 ¾ cups granulated sugar 

    2 ½ cups sifted Purity Flour 

    ¼ teaspoon salt 

    2 teaspoons baking powder 

    1 cup sweet milk 

    4 egg whites, unbeaten 

    Cream butter until it is soft and creamy, add flavoring while creaming. Add sugar. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder and add to butter mixture, followed immediately by the milk and unbeaten egg whites. Stir mixture quickly and gently until it is well blended. Spread carefully into well-greased 7 x 12-inch cake pan and bake in moderate oven (350°F) for 60 to 65 minutes. Allow baked cake to set for 20 to 25 minutes before removing from pan. Cool and spread with any desired icing.  

    The post Guest Post: Karma Brown Shares the Classic Cake that Inspired <i>Recipe for a Perfect Wife</i> appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Kat Sarfas 11:00 am on 2020/01/17 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , jedidiah jenkins, , recipe for a perfect wife, , , to shake the sleeping self   

    Barnes & Noble Books of the Month for January 

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    So you’ve resolved to read more this year—fantastic! That also means you might be in the market for some brilliant and highly recommended titles to add to your must-read list for 2020, and we just happen to have the perfect place to start—our new Books of the Month program!

    Books of the Month was created to engage and inspire you—our avid readers. Each month we aim to spark new and exciting conversations around powerful narratives with thoughtfully selected stories picked by our amazing team of booksellers. We love a really good book recommendation and look forward to sharing ours with you.

    Our choices this month range from a heart-racing thriller set in the brutal isolation of the Australian outback to an unflinchingly honest memoir that travels from Oregon to Patagonia. We shine a light on an up and coming author’s clever look at two women ultimately finding their power in eerily similar patriarchies, some sixty years apart, and complete our list with a hilarious new middle grade novel that mashes together a class of lovable misfits and academic train wrecks and a teacher who just wants to retire.

    Thriller of the Month

    The Lost Man, by Jane Harper

    “Jane Harper has done it again! This standalone novel takes the reader on a thrilling rollercoaster ride through the Australian Outback as Nathan tries to solve the mystery of his brother’s death and learns that his family has more to hide than he could have ever imagined.” – Heidi Shinbaum, Bookseller, Brentwood, TN

    Two brothers meet for the first time in months at the remote fence line separating their cattle ranches deep in the Australian outback—where their third brother lies dead at their feet. With no sign of foul play and a victim with seemingly everything to live for, eldest brother Nathan starts his search to understand what led his brother Cameron to his fate. With a brutal climate and formidable landscape looming over the story, Nathan will wade through haunting urban legends and be forced to reckon with his family’s own secret history of violence.

    Just when you think you have all the pieces in place, this slow burn thriller will casually rebut all your theories, keeping you guessing until the very end. Thoroughly atmospheric and filled with compelling characters, this is a story that stays with you long after you finish reading.

    Non-Fiction Book of the Month

    To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regretby Jedidiah Jenkins

    To Shake the Sleeping Self is a remarkable story of self-reflection and growth. Jedidiah Jenkins’s humor, wit and honesty easily made this one of my favorite books. You’ll laugh, cry, and grow, all within 330 pages.” – Stephen Harrington, Visual Merchandiser, New York, NY

    Terrified of being funneled into a life he didn’t choose, Jedidiah Jenkins decides to set off on an epic adventure all his own, spending sixteen months cycling from Oregon to Patagonia—and chronicling his meditations and experiences on Instagram along the way. While a yearning for the great unknown may be in his blood—his father is the author of the classic A Walk Across Americathis is more than just a travelogue. Emboldened by his travel companion and the people he meets along the way, Jedidiah focuses as much energy on his internal quest for self-discovery, grappling with questions of faith and his own identity.

    A powerful reminder that extraordinary things can happen when we truly embrace uncertainty and escape our comfort zones, this poetic and inspirational memoir takes a piercing look at the fears we carry and those moments of bravery that can set us free.

    Children’s Book of the Month

    The Unteachables, by Gordon Korman

    Any book that makes me both laugh out loud and tear up on the subway will always hold a special place in my heart! I found I unexpectedly learned a lot from the misfit group known as Unteachables, and their journey to connect with each other will resonate with every kid in a classroom today.” – Shannon Devito, Book Buyer, New York, NY

    Isolated from the rest of the student body in Room 117, the Unteachables are just thatan infamous group of middle school misfits with a colorful array of quirks that are considered simply irredeemable.  To add to the fun, their newly assigned teacher Mr. Kermit is by far the most burned-out teacher in all of Greenwich. Once a rising star, Mr. Kermit’s career was rocked by a cheating scandal some 26 years prior and now the only thing he cares about is counting down the days until early retirement.  When a gutsy vuvuzela heist rallies them all together, the Unteachables and Mr. Kermit might finally get their true shot at redemption after all.

    Hilarious, insightful, and deeply heartfelt, a rotating first person narrative keeps this story lively and completely entertaining. This is a true underdog story that shows a little kindness can ignite the hidden sparks in all of us.

    Discover Book of the Month

    Recipe for a Perfect Wife, by Karma Brown

    Recipe for a Perfect Wife has all of the ingredients for a page turning story that you will not want to put down. Rife with secrets, intricate storylines, and compelling characters—not to mention a recipe for the perfect meatloaf—Karma Brown’s latest is a tasty read this winter.” — Marisa Gothie, Bookseller, Wilmington, DE

    After reluctantly leaving New York City for the suburbs, newlywed Alice struggles with shifting roles at home and achieving domestic bliss in a new fixer-upper. When she discovers a vintage cookbook in her basement the allure of cooking up Baked Alaska and Chicken à la King soon reveals the darker story of the woman who previously owned it. As Alice discovers striking parallels between this woman’s life and her own, it finally forces her to focus on the trajectory of her own life, questioning the foundation of her marriage and what it means to be a wife fighting for her place in a patriarchal society.

    This mesmerizing dual narrative of a modern-day woman and a quintessential 1950s housewife is all at once witty and charming as well as dark and sinistermuch like its focus characters. With great care and gravity, this book creates a satisfying look at the lies we tell to feed the secrets we keep.

    The post Barnes & Noble Books of the Month for January appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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