Tag Archives: Brooklyn Bites

Review of the Year 2012- Fiction


This year I read quite a few books which scored 5/5 so could be my best fiction book of the year.

The Secret Keeper- Kate Morton

As a child Laurel witnessed her mother stabbing a man, as her mother is dying years later Laurel begins to wonder who that man was, and what had driven her mother to do such things. As with Morton’s previous work it’s a story of family history, family secrets, and family love.


Charlotte Street- Danny Wallace

Completely different to The Secret Keeper Charlotte Street is a romantic comedy. A chance meeting on Charlotte Street leaves a man with a woman’s camera and sparks off an adventure across London- and the wider UK area- to find her. It’s a funny book and reminds me a lot of Nick Hornby’s writing

The Brooklyn Bites Books 1 & 2- Scott Stabile

I’ve been championing these beautiful short stories all year. The imagery of food is beautiful, and the relationships well written, I am eagerly anticipating book 4.

 

The Last 100 Days- Patrick McGuinness

The Last 100 Days is a story of the last 100 days in communist Romanian. It took a while for me to get into but was very realistic.

 

The Hunger Games books 1 & 2- Suzanne Collins

Every year in Panem 2 children in each district have to fight in a battle to the death in the annual Hunger Games. In The Hunger Games Katniss is the tribute for district 12 and the story continues in a further 2 books. After initially being sceptical I ended up loving these books, I even have 2 copies of the first one, one on my kindle and one in paperback.

It’s a bit difficult to really compare these books. they are all so different. One mystery, one comedy, one short story, one historical, and one young adult. However looking at them it’s obvious which one sticks out for me…

Scott Stabile’s Brooklyn Bites Series



I never thought I would say that the best book(s) I had read all year were short stories. I generally find that short stories lack something- like they don’t go into enough depth. The Brooklyn Bites stories however are pretty simple plotwise, and that means that more words can be devoted to things like building character and atmosphere. All the stories are about food, and they’re all about people. Stabile does fantastic work in really giving a good sense of the characters and their relationships, combined with mouth-watering descriptions of food. I recommend these pretty much every time I get a chance, plus they’re only 77p on the kindle, so you can’t really say you can’ afford it!

The third books A Pickle and Carrot Cake is also very good, just not quite as fantastic as the previous 2

3 Comments

Filed under general

Top 10 Indie


Top 10 Tuesday is a meme hosted every Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish where bloggers compile lists of different top 10s. This week it’s free choice

Top Ten Indie Authors/Books

I think as bloggers we are in a great position to promote indie authors. Unlike professional reviewers we can read whatever we want and that means we can more easily review lesser known authors and books. I have read some great indie authors (and let’s face it, some not so great ones!). I’m not sure if I can make 10 but for once they are sot of in an order of preference, 1 being first of course!

1) Scott StabileIf you’re a regular reader of this blog you may well know how much I love Scott Stabile’s Brooklyn Bites series of short stories. I’m not a big reader of short stories but I adored these. The descriptions of food and sense of relationships are particularly good. Read my reviews 1, 2, 3. Stabile has also co-written some children’s stories, a children’s film, a crime show, has a full length novel in the works, and plans for a further volume of Brooklyn Bites (does this guy ever sleep?).

2) Linda Gillard I first encountered Gillard as a published writer but she now self-publishes as she often find publishers want to pigeon-hole her books a bit. Her last 2 (possibly 3, although I have a feeling one had been published before?) novels were completely self-published (House of Silence, The Glass Guardian, possibly Untying the Knot), and her first three (A Lifetime Burning, Emotional Geology, Star Gazing) were ‘professionally’ published in the past. My favourite is A Lifetime Burning, closely followed by House of Silence.

3) That Day in September- Artie Van Why  this 9/11ir is incredibly moving without a shred of self-pity. It’s not easy to read in an emotional sense but it’s one of those types of books you should really give a try to. That Day in September was originally written as a play (which has been preformed off-Broadway) before it became a book.

4) My Dead Friend Sarah- Peter Rosch A crime/mystery novel with a bit of a twist, My Dead Friend Sarah follows a man who attempts to prevent the abduction and murder of a woman he has dreamt about. It’s a novel I can see appealing to a wide variety of readers and is one of the most professional self-published novels I have come across.

5) Pegasus Falling- William E. Thomas: essentially Pegasus Falling is a war novel, however it is more of a novel about the effects of war than about the war itself. There is also a love story element which has some messages about love. Pegasus Falling is the first book in The Cyprus Branches Trilogy, the second part It Never Was You is due out later this year.

6) 27- R.J. Heald This novel has an air of One Day around it which could make it very popular, but I actually preferred it. A perfect one for 20-somethings.

 

12 Comments

Filed under Memes, Top 10 Tuesday

Literary Givaway Hop


This Giveaway is now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered and of course to Judith for hosting.

Hi guys. I’s been a while since I’ve done a giveaway and when I saw that Judith was hosting the literary giveaway blog hop again it seemed the perfect reason to do one.

The giveaway starts today and ends on Wednesday 27th June.

This time around I have 2 prizes up for grabs:

1) Copies of all the Brooklyn Bites series of short stories for you kindle (This one is one of my favourites so far this year. You can see my reviews here- 1, 2, 3)

2) A copy of The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts in paperback (This was my favourite read last year- see my review)

Both giveaways are open internationally (but for the 2nd you need to be in a country to which The Book Depository delivers for free).

To enter just comment saying which prize you would like. You can enter for both if you wish. However if by some strange coincidence the same person is picked for both prizes I will only give them one (they can choose which) just to spread the love a bit wider!

There are around 60 bloggers participating in this hop- why not visit them all?

  1. Leeswammes
  2. Candle Beam Book Blog
  3. Musings of a Bookshop Girl
  4. The Book Whisperer
  5. Book Journey (US/CA)
  6. breieninpeking (Dutch readers)
  7. bibliosue
  8. heavenali
  9. I Read That Once…
  10. The Parrish Lantern
  11. The Bibliomouse (Europe)
  12. Tell Me A Story
  13. Seaside Book Nook
  14. Rikki’s Teleidoscope
  15. Sam Still Reading
  16. Nishita’s Rants and Raves
  17. Readerbuzz
  18. Books Thoughts Adventures (North America)
  19. 2,606 Books and Counting
  20. Laurie Here (US/CA)
  21. Literary Winner (US)
  22. Dolce Bellezza
  23. The House of the Seven Tails
  24. The Book Diva’s Reads (US)
  25. Colorimetry
  26. Roof Beam Reader
  27. Kate’s Library
  28. Minding Spot (US)
  29. Silver’s Reviews (US)
  30. Book’d Out
  31. Fingers & Prose (US)
  32. Chocolate and Croissants
  33. Scattered Figments
  34. Lucybird’s Book Blog
  35. The Book Club Blog
  1. Lizzy’s Literary Life
  2. The Book Stop
  3. Reflections from the Hinterland (US)
  4. Lena Sledge’s Blog
  5. Read in a Single Sitting
  6. The Little Reader Library (UK)
  7. The Blue Bookcase (US)
  8. 1morechapter (US)
  9. The Reading and Life of a Bookworm
  10. Curled Up with a Good Book and a Cup of Tea
  11. My Sweepstakes City (US)
  12. De Boekblogger (Europe, Dutch readers)
  13. Exurbanis
  14. Sweeping Me (US/CA)
  15. Living, Learning, and Loving Life (US)
  16. Beauty Balm
  17. Uniflame Creates
  18. Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book (US/CA)
  19. Curiosity Killed The Bookworm
  20. Nose in a book (Europe)
  21. Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews (US)
  22. Giraffe Days
  23. Page Plucker
  24. Based on a True Story
  25. Read, Write & Live
  26. Devin Berglund (N. America)
  27. Ephemeral Digest
  28. Under My Apple Tree (US)
  29. Annette Berglund (US)
  30. Book Nympho
  31. A Book Crazy, Jane Austen Lovin’ Gal (US)
  32. Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity

37 Comments

Filed under Blog Hop, general, Giveaway

Brooklyn Bites: A Pickle & Carrot Cake- Scott Stabile


Image from Amazon

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Brooklyn Bites is a collection of short stories that centers around the compelling people, diverse relationships and simply remarkable food in Brooklyn, New York. A Pickle & Carrot Cake are the fifth and sixth stories in the compilation.

In A Pickle, two close friends—a man and a woman—enjoy some deli sandwiches and new dill pickles while they discuss the frustrations of dating in New York City. As the woman pressures the man to reveal more about himself, she finds herself incapable of digesting what he ultimately reveals.

Carrot Cake is set in Mary’s kitchen, as she prepares a Lebanese feast for her family. When her son arrives with his fiancee, the ordinary meal takes an unexpected and uncomfortable turn, one that leaves Mary having to explain a lot more than her hummus recipe.

Review.
A Pickle & Carrot Cake is the third volume of Scott Stabile’s Brooklyn Bites story collections (read my reviews of volumes 1 & 2). I really think these stories are beautifully written especially when it comes to the descriptions of food. This volume probably has been my least favourite, however. I did enjoy the first story a lot. I didn’t really get much of a sense of the food (a pickle) as I had previously when reading the Brooklyn Bites stories. I did however really get a sense of the relationship between the two friends, and I enjoyed the different style of writing in the story, it read like a conversation and this really helped to make it seem like you were there listening to the two friends talk. That’s the link between the two stories, relationships, one the relationship between two friends, the other (Carrot Cake) about the relationship between a mother and her family. While with the first story you got a sense of how the relationship worked with the second I liked how well there was a sense of how the mother felt for her family. The second story was much more descriptive when it came to food, and sometimes I could almost taste the flavours, although there were so many dishes described that sometimes the descriptions were a little brief to really give a sense of the food.
These are still amongst some of the best stories I have read this year, but this volume doesn’t rank quite as high as the other 2.
4.5/5
Buy it for the Kindle:
This Volume (£0.77)
Volume 1 (£0.77)
Volume 2 (£0.77)

9 Comments

Filed under Fiction review, Short story

Brooklyn Bites: Meatball Sandwich & Cream Crumb- Scott Stabile


Image from Amazon

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Brooklyn Bites is a collection of shorts stories that centers around the compelling people, diverse relationships and simply remarkable food in Brooklyn, New York. Meatball Sandwich and Cream Crumb are the third and fourth stories in the compilation.

In Meatball Sandwich, Jeremy sits on the Brooklyn Heights promenade, miserable from having been dumped by text the night before. When some stranger named Maggie sits down next to him against his wishes, Jeremy imagines a giant fish leaping out of the East River and swallowing her whole. That is, until she offers him a homemade meatball sandwich and a night on the promenade he never expected.

Cream Crumb follows Josh into Peter Pan’s Donut Shop, where he is about to have his last meal before jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge. Josh orders a cream crumb donut for the first time and is so overwhelmed by its taste that his life changes in completely unexpected ways even before he finishes the last bite.

Review
Meatball Sandwich & Cream Crumb is the second volume of Scott Stabile’s Brooklyn Bites stories. Each volume contains 2 short stories focused around food, and around Brooklyn. I read the first volume (Truffle Fries and a Little Taste of Chocolate) as a review book earlier this year and fell in love. This second volume really keeps up the standard. The descriptions of food are so intense you can almost taste the food, I’m not a big meatball person but Sabile’s descriptions of the meatball sandwich had me  craving one, and after finishing Cream Crumb I wished I was in walking distance of Krispy Kreme! In some ways I actually prefered this volume. I didn’t think either story was stronger than the other, as I had with the first volume. I thought they linked together a bit better. They were both about hope, which is a lovely thing to read about in itself.
I had really wondered how a donut could really change someone’s life. As I started to find out I was a little skeptical but Stabile made a strange idea sound realistic, which is a real feat.
Seriously guys you have to read this series.
5/5
Buy it:
Kindle (£0.77)

10 Comments

Filed under Fiction review, Short story