In the Kitchen with David

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Sadie and I have a love for In the Kitchen with David on QVC.  It airs every Wednesday night and Sunday afternoon hosted by the fabulous David Venable.  I got the unique opportunity to go see the show live at QVC Studio Park in West Chester, PA.

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It was everything I thought it would be and so much more.  I saw Tara McConnell, the creator of Temptations, and the oh-so-famous Bob Warden.  Before the show started, we had a chance to have a quick question and answer session with David and Mary.  It was confirmed that David is down to earth and really cares about his fans.  In fact, he announced that he would be available for a cookbook signing session after the show.  My mom and I were ecstatic.  In fact, my mom was a little starstruck when she met David.

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He mentioned that one of his favorite recipes from his new book was Italian Wedding Casserole.  Well folks, it is simply divine.  I made it last night and I must say it was a success.  You can find the recipe here in this preview of his latest cookbook, Back Around the Table.  Have fun foodies!

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That Time of Year Again…

The lack of good television this (almost) summer has driven me to read. Shocking, I know!

I think this seems to happen around this time every year. I’m not sure if it’s the bad television or the need for a beach book, but I did it again. I read a book!

This happened on somewhat of a whim. I was near a Barnes and Noble, so I popped in with the intention of picking up Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And, of course, since BNs seem to have a reduced stock these days, they didn’t have it. Instead, I browsed around and picked up two other titles that were more in the realm of business/personal development (nerd alert!).

The first one I read was How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying by Carol Leifer. It’s basically a combination of a memoir and an advice book about life lessons that will help you climb the ladder, whatever ladder that may be. I had never heard of Carol Leifer before I read the book, but I learned she’s a very well established comedienne (Seinfeld era) and screen writer.

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I thought the book was pretty good. I wasn’t expecting ground breaking, and I was right, it wasn’t really ground breaking. I think it might be more valuable for college students or recent graduates who are polishing up their professional skills. It still never hurts to hear a new spin on the important lessons in the working world. And it was especially valuable (and reassuring) to learn that so many professional values are pretty universal whether you’re in a corporate office, or a film director’s living room.

She covers really basic concepts, like there is never an excuse for being late to an interview, and the importance of work ethic. Or no matter what your personal values are, there is still always a certain level of decorum that is required in a professional atmosphere, which includes showering every day. This makes the Emily Post loving, clean freak Virgo inside of me happy. This is going to make me sound like senior citizen, but I think it’s good for kids these days to learn those types of things.

As far as memoirs go, there were some funny anecdotes, but I’m sorry to say I never really laughed out loud like I might with some of Jen Lancaster’s books. It was a quick, worthwhile read, but not my “goldielocks.”

Two Books, One Winner

I have been reading a lot over the past years so I figured that I can start a new blog spot comparing two books that I have read that are similar.  The first two victims are Gone Girl and The Cuckoo’s Calling.  Both of these books are mysteries about a girl’s questionable death which makes them easy to compare.  While one put me to sleep, the other left me on the edge of my seat.  The winner and loser is revealed below.  You can read them both for your self to judge or you can trust my opinion.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn *****

I simply could not put this book down.  The first part of the book is from Nick Dunne’s perspective.  I felt like I was looking in on his life.  Nick Dunne is a character for which you feel sympathy.   He returns to his house only to discover that his wife is missing.  The book is a detailed description of the events that unfold the truths of her mysterious vanishing.  The author changes it up when she gives us a new perspective.  You will just have to read the book to experience the tantalizing events on your own.  I would also like to note that Ben Affleck is making a movie out of this titillating tale.  Isn’t that just another enticing reason to read this book?

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith **

At the time of it’s publication, no one knew that Robert Galbraith was the pseudonym of JK Rowling.  Some refer to this book as a brilliant mystery, however, I would say it is nothing of the sort.  Unlike Gone Girl, you are not sympathetic to any of the characters.  Though JK Rowling tries to lure you in by using a war vet with a prosthetic leg, Detective Cormoran Strike’s character does not lend himself to any emotional attachment for the reader.  As we follow the detective’s investigation of the suicide of supermodel Lula Landry, we are not drawn in to the story.  The reader is bombarded with a series of interviews that will eventually have a decently dramatic ending.  The last chapter was the most riveting part of the entire book.  I was bored not even halfway through the book, at which point I should have turned to read the final pages and called it a day.  I would suggest leaving this book on the shelf at your local library.  There are too many other great books to read.  Perhaps start the Harry Potter series instead.  If you’re reading this JK Rowling, stick to the children’s fantasy novel because it’s what you’re good at.