My First Bookmail of 2023

Between Christmas and New Year’s 2022, I went on a shopping spree. This was spurred on by the fact that I got a couple of gift cards over the holiday season and decided it was time to use them UP.

And use one I did! I’m saving the other gift card for a rainy day; a day when I just want to browse the stacks in a local bookshop and take home anything I like. I purchased several things with the other from my parents – a mix of books and kitchen items that are beginning to appear in my mailbox.

The first was another set of these really cool triangular ended cooking tongs you see in a lot of South Korean and Japanese cooking YouTube channels. I love them more than American style tongs. The second purchase was a set of WECK jars. Then I gave in and got some of those wide, wooden spatulas and spoons for the kitchen. And finally, I bought a whole bunch of books. I refuse to subscribe to Amazon Prime, so I pay for all the shipping. And you know what? I think they ship faster without Prime! Anywho…let’s take a look at the first books to roll into my mailbox in 2023!

Skinny Taste Air Fryer Dinners

Okay, so it’s really not fiction, but my parents got me a new air fryer for Christmas and I was totally lost on how to actually use this new piece of equipment. They also got me a cookbook, but – me being me – I couldn’t resist picking up a few more. This is the first title to come, and I also bought this magnetic flip style guide to keep on my fridge right near the air fryer. Don’t worry – this blog won’t turn into a cooking/baking venue any time soon. I am not that confident in my abilities! But cookbooks are a form of print, so that’s why I include them on this website.

Synopsis: Gina Homolka returns with a must-have collection of deceptively healthy dinners for the beloved air fryer appliance. Air fryers allow you to cook meals with less oil and little clean-up by using hot, well-circulated air to evenly cook and crisp up foods in record time. In Skinnytaste Air Fryer Dinners, Gina delivers 75 air fryer meals that are the perfect quick solution to weeknight meals, hearty dinners that are satisfying served as is or with just a simple salad or side. 
True to Gina’s signature “light on calories, big on flavor” promise, the recipes allow you to indulge in creative and crave-worthy dishes, including crispy fried fish with hush puppies, juicy chicken breasts stuffed with brie cheese, California-style burritos made with steak and fried potatoes, and a perfectly cooked salmon topped with mustard and dill. All recipes include helpful icons for different diets (such as keto, gluten-free, and vegetarian) and nutritional information, with the most up-to-date Weight Watchers points available on the Skinnytaste website.
The recipes in Skinnytaste Air Fryer Dinners are sure to satisfy the whole family and show you just how versatile the air fryer is!

Jacqueline in Paris

I’m really not that big a fan of Parisian set stories, so I don’t truly know why this novel drew me in. I’m especially not a fan of World War II stories, so this purchase is still a complete mystery to me.

I think the reason for purchasing this novel boils down to my willingness to try reading different genres in 2023. While still historical fiction (and if you know me you know I love historical fiction), it deals with a different part of history I’ve always been afraid to touch. This is the year to be brave and give a new subgenre a try.

Synopsis: In September 1949 Jacqueline Bouvier arrives in postwar Paris to begin her junior year abroad. She’s twenty years old, socially poised but financially precarious, and all too aware of her mother’s expectations that she make a brilliant match. Before relenting to family pressure, she has one year to herself far away from sleepy Vassar College and the rigid social circles of New York, a year to explore and absorb the luminous beauty of the City of Light. Jacqueline is immediately catapulted into an intoxicating new world of champagne and châteaux, art and avant-garde theater, cafés and jazz clubs. She strikes up a romance with a talented young writer who shares her love of literature and passion for culture – even though her mother would think him most unsuitable.

But beneath the glitter and rush, France is a fragile place still haunted by the Occupation. Jacqueline lives in a rambling apartment with a widowed countess and her daughters, all of whom suffered as part of the French Resistance just a few years before. In the aftermath of World War II, Paris has become a nest of spies, and suspicion, deception, and betrayal lurk around every corner. Jacqueline is stunned to watch the rise of communism – anathema in America, but an active movement in France – never guessing she is witnessing the beginning of the political environment that will shape the rest of her life—and that of her future husband.

Evocative, sensitive, and rich in historic detail, Jacqueline in Paris portrays the origin story of an American icon. Ann Mah brilliantly imagines the intellectual and aesthetic awakening of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, and illuminates how France would prove to be her one true love, and one of the greatest influences on her life. 

The Nurse’s Secret

This book has been on my wish list since last year – around this time, actually. It’s fun finding authors (who are also apparently best sellers) I’ve never even heard of before.

I am also not a fan of medical novels; they run in the same vein as WWII stories. However, I know that not all medical novels go that gruesome route. And I am still approaching this one with caution. They say a New Year is the perfect time to test your limits and try new things. So here I am. Trying a new thing.

Synopsis: Based on Florence Nightingale’s nursing principles, Bellevue is the first school of its kind in the country. Where once nurses were assumed to be ignorant and unskilled, Bellevue prizes discipline, intellect, and moral character, and only young women of good breeding need apply. At first, Una balks at her prim classmates and the doctors’ endless commands. Yet life on the streets has prepared her for the horrors of injury and disease found on the wards, and she slowly gains friendship and self-respect. 
Just as she finds her footing, Una’s suspicions about a patient’s death put her at risk of exposure, and will force her to choose between her instinct for self-preservation, and exposing her identity in order to save others.

Book mail still on the way:

  1. The Queen’s Fortune by Allison Pataki
  2. The Premonition at Withers Farm by Jaime Jo Wright

I suppose I didn’t buy as many books as I thought. But that’s okay – the year is still young with many more books to, ahem, find their way into my mailbox!

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Budding #historian. Writer of #adventures and #sciencefantasy. Lover of mushrooms and libraries. Fan of #chocolate, #books and Pennsylvania history.

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