August 1 Star Reads – Sourdough & My (not so) Perfect Life

Sourdough – By Sarah Owens 

Goodreads Synopsis: Sarah Owens spent years baking conventional baked goods, only to slowly realize she had developed a crippling inability to digest or tolerate their ingredients. Unable to enjoy many of her most favorite foods, she knew she must find a health-sustaining alternative. Thus Sarah started experimenting with sourdough leavening, which almost immediately began to heal her gut and inspire her anew in the kitchen. Soon after, her artisan small-batch bakery, BK17, was launched, and with that, a new way to savor and share nutritious sourdough breads and treats with her Brooklyn community. Sourdough and other fermented foods are making a comeback because of their rich depth of flavor and proven health benefits. In Sourdough, Sarah demystifies keeping a sourdough culture, which is an extended fermentation process that allows for maximum flavor and easy digestion, showing us just how simple it can be to create a healthy starter from scratch. Moreover, Sarah uses home-grown sourdough starter in dozens of baked goods, including cookies, cakes, scones, flatbreads, tarts, and more–well beyond bread. Sarah is a botanist and gardener as well as a baker–her original recipes are accented with brief natural history notes of the highlighted plants and ingredients used therein. Anecdotes from the garden will delight naturalists and baked-goods lovers among us. Laced with botanical and cultural notes on grains, fruits and vegetables, herbs, and even weeds, Sourdough Baking celebrates seasonal abundance alongside the timeless craft of artisan baking. 

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

My bread baking hasn’t been going very well this last year, and so I’ve been trying to read more about bread and how to make mine better. Thus I decided to read this book.

Sadly I did not find it helpful at all for me. Although this book has beautiful pictures none of these recipes are practical. I couldn’t find a single one that I would use in my every day life and that was incredibly frustrating. The author is obviously very privileged and can afford to buy eccentric ingredients. But I can’t, and I just want practical delicious recipes.

Maybe this book is for some people, but it wasn’t for me. I didn’t like it and I can’t recommend it. I gave it one star on Goodreads.

My (not so) Perfect Life – By Sophie Kinsella 

Goodreads Synopsis: Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie’s life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle–from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she’s trying to negotiate. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she’s desperate to make her dad proud.

Then, just as she’s finding her feet–not to mention a possible new romance–the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family’s farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away–until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie’s future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

This book was a nominee for last year’s Goodreads Choice Awards, but sadly I never made it very far into the story.

One of the problems I found was because I decided to get the audiobook and I could not stand the narrator. Her voice bugged me to no end and I had a hard time actually listening to the story.   But it wasn’t only that, I also just found the entire story so obnoxious. I think I only got through the first disk of the audiobook before I quit it. The main character was uber annoying,  and there was nothing new about the story.

I feel bad whenever I give up on a book, but sometimes it can’t be helped. Maybe you will enjoy this story, I didn’t and I won’t recommend it. I gave it 1 star on Goodreads.

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