I finished reading “Black Cake” yesterday. I highly recommend it. Without giving away the story, I will say I loved the characters — and the story. The story opens in what was called the West Indies with a half Chinese, Black young girl who loves the ocean and swimming.
She learns to cook black cake with other women in her village. Black cake is a traditional cake at weddings in the Caribbean and plays a central role throughout the book.
The characters are all strong. The story covers three generations of the same family. The children are in their 40s when they discover secrets about their family’s past.
“Wilkerson debuts with a shining family saga that stretches from the 1960s Caribbean to present-day Southern California….Readers will adore this highly accomplished effort from a talented new writer.”
What books have you read lately that you can highly recommend? I need more good book ideas.
This is one of the towers at Bella Sirena. They also have single story villas and beach front houses.
Here are some of the photos I took from our beach getaway. The first two days were super windy, but Saturday and Sunday were perfect. We stayed at Bella Sirena, which has towers A through D. We’ve stayed there before and love the amenities of tucked away pools and hot tubs in addition to the central large pool with pool bar and live music. The only downside to Bella Sirena is that the rooms on the ground floor don’t have ocean views. We prefer the ground floor to be able to walk out our room and not wait for elevators. But I’m sure the rooms higher up have spectacular views. In any case, we took several beach walks each day and I sat and read where I had an ocean view.
This is Sandy Beach at low tide. The water is warm and there aren’t any waves if there’s no wind.
Where I liked to hang out and read this past weekend. The ocean view pool.
This was our private patio outside our room. Another amazing place to hang out and read.
Another beach walk. Notice the waves? This was on a windy day.
The hot tub below our deck. It was 102 degrees hot! There was a cold plunge pool nearby.
Where’s your favorite place to relax and read a good book?
It rained all night, but today the rain has stopped and we have a gray cloudy day. We’re supposed to get more rain for the next two days. I hope we do. I find rain in the desert to be exciting and exhilerating.
But the gray cloudy day fits my mood and makes me want to curl up on the sofa with a book and not do anything but read.
I came home from my kids’ homes a week ago and now I feel myself going through bouts of grief and sadness. I guess that’s normal that I’m home without being busy taking care of my kids, walking Waffles, watching movies with them, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning.
There isn’t that much to do here with my husband and me. We don’t eat much and the house, especially the kitchen stays surprisingly clean. I could start the taxes for 2022, but I’m not motivated today.
I think I’ll give into my blahs on this gray day and bury myself with a book. My mom would call a day like this a “mung” day. She would feel no guilt for staying in her nightgown and reading all day.
Does weather affect your mood? How do you feel on gray damp days?
Our front yard after a rainy night. The gravel is a weird color because the yard was sprayed for weeds.
I was sitting in the casita writing with Olive the cat on my lap when “knock knock knock” sounded on the wall. The kitty leaped and tore out of the room. I quickly followed the cat into my husband’s office.
I told him what happened and he went outside to investigate. He came back empty handed, so I guess it was a bird? Maybe a woodpecker.
I finished reading my book club selection in a few days. I dedicated time to get it done, plus it was a pleasant, easy read. I was fascinated with the story about the Post cereal heiress and her extravagant life. Her father, C.W. Post, who changed how America ate breakfast with Grape Nuts, raised his only child Marjorie to be a hard worker and ready to take over his business. But as a woman, she didn’t have the right to vote, let alone sit on a Board of Directors. She ran the company, which became General Foods, by proxy — through men including a husband and a friend of her father’s.
I told my husband about the story and he mentioned a TV show called “The Food that Built America.” I watched an episode that included Marjorie Post when she bought Birdseye frozen foods. It also highlighted the dueling Mars and Hershey’s companies.
A neighbor I have never met texted and invited me to her home for movie day. She said the movie is “Lion.” I’ve never seen it, but it sounds interesting. I was instructed to bring a salad. I agreed to go because I am trying everything out to see what I enjoy and to meet people.
A funny thing happened yesterday. This neighbor sent a long winded text going through all the details she’s doing to prepare for movie day –everything from cleaning, cooking to getting her hair done. She sent it to the invitees. Then she texted again embarrassed saying she thought she was texting her daughter!
I have one of the most embarrassing text snafus to share. But I’ll save it for another day!
What are some of the mistakes you’ve made with texts or emails? Have you been on the receiving end of a text error?
I’m trying to be open-minded about book club. I joined wanting to meet people in my neighborhood. Plus, I had never been in a book club before. Several of my friends from Palm Springs were in book clubs and they tried to get me to join. I always shied away for various reasons — not enough time, not wanting to be assigned a book, wanting to read what I want on my own schedule…
You can read about my first impressions of book club HERE.
I got an email yesterday from the woman who is hosting July’s book club. She asked which date next week would be good for “The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post,” by Allison Pataki.
Yikes. This is the first time I heard the title. I’m thinking I missed an email with the book selection — or she announced the title at the last meeting which I didn’t attend due to vacation. Or, the entire book club is getting one week’s notice to order and read the book.
I’ve ordered it from Amazon. I’m going to give it my best effort because it does look like a book I’d enjoy. I also downloaded it to Audible. It’s a little over 14 hours long. But once again I’m struggling with book club and wondering if it’s more annoying than fun?
Have you read “The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post?” How much time do you think book club should give people to read a book? How does your book club work with book selections?
I ordered the June selection for book club from Amazon. I’m facing a 500-page book that I have no desire to read. Is it rude to select a book that long? As a new member of our neighborhood’s book club, I realize why I never joined one before. Mostly I was too busy to have to read a book by a certain date. Also, I enjoy reading what I want to read. I have no qualms about putting down a book I don’t like and not finishing it.
I’ve read three books so far for book club. One I despised, one I disliked and then there was Hemingway’s “Old man and the Sea” which was a joy to read.
The latest book is called “The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell: A Novel.” Has anyone read it? Can you tell me something encouraging like you loved it?
I’m not a quitter, but I’m considering that as an option.
Or, I could be a no show for June. We are going to a wedding out of state on several of the dates being considered for the next meeting.
The last book was “Less,” a Pulitzer Prize winning book about a gay man whose love was marrying another man. Arthur Less was an author who decided to accept all sorts of engagements around the world to escape the upcoming wedding.
There were good parts to the book, but I found myself not caring about Arthur Less. He was too self-deprecating and insecure. That made the book drag for me. But there was depth and humor to the story, too.
The conversation at book club got heated between people who “didn’t want the gay agenda shoved down their throats” and those who said “I saw it as a story that the main character just happened to be gay.” It went downhill from there to race and religion — which had nothing to do with the book. I left early to go on a walk with my husband. It went on for more than an hour after I left. I was relieved to get out!
What are your thoughts about book clubs? What do you enjoy about them? What do you dislike?Can you recommend any books for book club?
I’ve been struggling reading the book “Delta Wedding.” I almost put it down for good. But then I decided to give it one more try the day I skipped lap swimming. I was going to start my book club assigned book “Less” by Andrew Sean Greer.
I finally got caught up into the story about plantation life in the Mississippi Delta in the 1920s. I’ve never read Eudora Welty before. My son recommended the book and said it was his favorite assigned book in college.
It’s literary fiction which is code to mean there’s no plot. Or, as Wikipedia says “Literary Fiction is character-driven rather than plot-driven and examines the human condition.”
The writing is detailed and beautiful. It accurately depicts life on a plantation. I finally figured out who all the characters are which was confusing at first. There are three generations in the Fairchild family. Some of the characters in different generations have the same first names. There are eight children in the family and one of the daughters is getting married. Hence the title, “Delta Wedding.”
Here’s another bit from Wikipedia:
Delta Wedding is a 1946 Southern fiction novel by Eudora Welty. Set in 1923, the novel tells of the experiences of the Fairchild family in a domestic drama-filled week leading up to Dabney Fairchild’s wedding to the family overseer, Troy Flavin, during an otherwise unexceptional year in the Mississippi Delta.
A New York Times Review from 1946:
The interplay of family life, with a dozen different people saying and doing a dozen different things all at the same time, is wonderfully handled by Miss Welty so that no detail is lost, every detail had its place in the pattern of the whole. The transitions are so smoothly made that you seem to be all over the place at once, knowing the living members of three generations and all the skeletons and ghosts.