The Sunday Salon-Comfort Food

 The Sunday

Winter has been so reluctant to let go its grip this year, and I rose this morning to leaden skies and snow flurries dotting the air.  But you needn’t fear,  for the heat has been turned on, there’s (always!) fresh coffee brewing, and I’ve just dished up a ham and swiss cheese frittata that smells heavenly. Come in, and welcome to the Sunday Salon.

Forgive me if I’m still yawning, for last night was one of those nights when sleep was troubled by nagging worries.  I found myself up at 3:30 a.m., wrapped in a soft blanket, indulging in Comfort Food -edible and literal.  You see, my usual comfort food remedy for middle-of-the-night wakefulness is a hot cup of cocoa, and cinnamon toast.  Add a good book into the mix, and I can usually lull myself back to sleep.

And last night’s reading was, quite literally, Comfort Food, a new novel by Kate Jacobs, author of The Friday Night Knitting Club  (a book I enjoyed immensely last year even though I don’t know a thing about knitting!)  Imagine my excitement when I received an ARC of Comfort Food which centers around cooking, an activity in which I have more than a perfunctory interest.

I must admit, for comfort reading there’s nothing I love more than a big sprawling story about a strong female character, her friends, family, and life in general.  The Friday Night Knitting Club had every one of those qualities, and the writing was taut, with strong, well developed characters and believable situations.

Comfort Food  is created from this same recipe, and features Gus Simpson, hostess of a popular televsion cooking show, on the eve of her 50th birthday.  Gus is the quintessential mother hen, the woman who can fix anything with equal measures of aplomb- from her daughter’s love lives, to a fallen souffle.  But her approaching birthday has Gus rethinking her life, and a shake up at the network forces her to put her rejuvenation plans into high gear.  What emerges are some delicious changes for Gus as well as for her family and friends.

It was a good novel for a kind of worrisome weekend.  I’m not sure if the writing was quite up the standards of Ms. Jacobs’ first novel, and sometimes I felt the characters and situations were a bit contrived. But is was a good read – a comforting kind of book.  And worries always appear a bit brighter in the light of day, don’t they?

Hmm, I’ve just noticed Ms. Jacobs is appearing at my neighborhood Borders on May 14 -maybe I’ll stop by and say hello (smiles).

Meanwhile, it’s time for another cup of coffee, and a perusal of bookstack to see what’s next.

Perhaps Run, by Ann Patchett.  Or Wings of Fire, by Charles Todd. 

What do you think?



16 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon-Comfort Food

  1. I really enjoyed The Friday Night Knitting Club by Jacobs. I wasn’t sure how much of the enjoyment was due to her writing and how much of it was due to the subject matter — knitting. For whatever reason, I really enjoyed it. I didn’t know that she had a new book coming out. Thanks for alerting me to this one. Who doesn’t love food??

  2. Friday Night Knitting is on my TBR list and now Comfort Food will be too!
    As for your next pick…I read Run and wasn’t so much a fan. I always think I’ll like Ann Patchetts work and then I usually don’t. It just feels a little lacking to me.
    I’d like to see what you think.
    Hope your worries disappear soon! 🙂

  3. This sounds like the perfect kind of comfort reading. I do hope it soothed you. Nothing ever looks right at three in the morning, you know. I have a theory that worries are magnified by silence!

  4. I have completely selfish reasons to ask you to read Run next: I have it on my wishlist and would love to read your thoughts about the book! 😉

    The other book and writer are completely unknown to me, so in the spirit of “keep an open mind” I could also advise you to take up Wings of Fire next so I get to find out about a new to me book and author. :-p

    You pick the “advice” you want to follow! 😉

  5. I love the Sunday Salon…even if I’m reading it early Monday morning!! Had a very busy Sunday preparing son’s week long return from Uni (exam break) and his 20th birthday (where do the years go?!).

    I have now added these 2 books to my list — I add everything you read to my list (this is where I discovered “The God of Animals”!)…and I do hope you go to Borders to meet and greet!!!

    I loved “Run” by Ann Patchett…don’t know the other author at all (guess where that name is going?!).

    Hope the snow is DONE….we had flurries in our forecast but they didn’t materialize…though that’s not to say they won’t. We have had snow in April’s not unheard of!

  6. ‘Run’ is near the top of my pile as well, so read that one first so that we can share views. Sorry about the bad night. Nothing gets to me more than losing sleep. I always wake up and want to be about by 6.30, so I can never make it up the next morning even if in theory I’m able to lie in. I hope you’re feeling more rested now. At least you can’t be tempted to go out and about if the weather is so bad. If it’s any comfort it’s just as awful in the UK. You should have seen the hailstones on Saturday.

  7. Lisa – The Friday Night Knitting Club made me want to learn how to knit in the worst way! But I know myself well enough to know I’m hopeless and needlework 🙂

    Mrs.B- You’ll love Comfort Food, I think. It comes out officially in May, and I believe it will have its own blog with recipes.

    J. Kaye-Happy Sunday to you too! Look up Knitting Club when you’re in the mood for some quality chick lit.

    Andi-Both books are fun reads, and very enjoyable.

    Gautami-I’ve never read any of this series, but have heard good things about it. I’ll keep you posted on the results!

    Litlove-You’re so right -the darkest hour is just before dawn, as the saying goes. Too much quiet allows the mind to run wild!

    Myrthe-I did choose Run to read next – so far, it’s interesting in the typical Patchett style. If you’ve read Bel Canto, you’ll know what I mean. It’s quite similar in its way of bringing a group of disparate people together and seeing what happens.

    Sherry (my fellow cinnamon toast lover!) – I am onto Run, so I’m glad to hear you enoyed it. We seem to have similiar tastes in books (and in comfort food!)

    Ann- I’m amazed at all the bad weather you’ve had over there! Now you know what we put up with every winter. Hopefully, it’s over soon for all of us – I’m ready for more sunshine!

    Stephanie- I’m glad you enjoyed Comfort Food. Is Kate appearing anywhere in your area? I thought I’d take my copy in for an autograph 🙂

    Danica -Food books are great aren’t they? And ARC is “advanced readers copy.” The book hasn’t been officially published yet.

  8. Wow — both these books sound right up my alley. Two of my favorite things — knitting and cooking shows! Have to check her out and move Kate Jacobs to the top of my list. Some of the books with knitting as a thematic thread (no pun intended) seem a little lame. I’ll be excited to find one that really draws you in and keeps you there.

    Did you watch Masterpiece “A Room with a View”? I’m curious about your take on the ending.

  9. Jeanie-I think you’d love Friday Night Knitting Club. There was also a good novel by Ann Hood about knitting that came out about the same time – I think it was called The Knitting Club. Very well written. And no, I missed Room With A View. I saw the old movie version – was this a remake? I’ll have to look for it in re-run or on Netflix.

    Stephanie-Too bad…I’m definitely going to try and make it that appearance.

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