Show Us Your Books, April 2022

Here’s what I read in March.  The list is a bit shorter than the last two months.

There’s one “cookbook,” one foodie read, an art book,  a massive saga and a couple of book club selections.

Healing Spices HandbookHealing Spices Handbook by Barbara Brownell Grogan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve always been very interested in utilizing herbs in the most healthy way, but I guess I’ve always thought that spices were used for just that…spice and flavor. Grogan’s book is a great reference and resource for promoting a healthy lifestyle through spices.

The book is separated into three parts: “The Spicy Backstory,” “40 Spices and Their Uses,” and “40 Ailments Treated by Spices.” An easy to access and informative glossary is also included.

For a full review, please see March 13th post.


HomegoingHomegoing by Yaa Gyasi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Perhaps one of the best books I’ve read this year. Homegoing was chosen by a virtual book club that I belong to, otherwise, I doubt I would have been aware of this book.

Gyasi is a master at creating voices that are relatable. It matters not that the book starts out in the 18th century (in what is current day Ghana). I could hear and see and feel every character. In the late 20th century, Marjorie, the great-great-great-great-great granddaughter of one of the two sisters, looks for books that speak to here, to feel “inside her.”

Gyasi achieves that feeling.   YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK.

Red Sparrow (Red Sparrow Trilogy #1)Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

With about 60 pages to go, I decided to revisit the movie version of this novel (which I had seen before).

IF I had not done that, this might be a five star rating. This is a long read and it covers many characters. I did enjoy how the book fleshed out characters like Forsyth, Gable, and Benford and MARBLE. I also appreciated the humor these characters added..

I deplored all the acronyms and their explanations but I am sure that Matthews was trying to be as authentic as possible.

Considering the current state of affairs, I wondered how realistic the Russian portrayal was, including that of Putin (who is a character in this book).

Matthews ends each chapter with a brief recipe, everything from traditional dishes to Italian recipes. The were interesting interludes.

I preferred the movies ending to that of the novel’s but there’s always Palace of Treason.  For a more complete review with a recipe from the book please check out my Sweet and Spicy Balsamic Vinaigrette.   Red Sparrow round up was a Cooks the Books selection so you can also check out what other members thought at this .

Another World: The Transcendental Painting GroupAnother World: The Transcendental Painting Group by Malin Wilson Powell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I bought this book at a museum shop after visiting the exhibit. I was amazed at the artwork. If you are like me, I had never heard of Transcendental Painting (or knew it was a NM school of art).

TPG artists attempted to connect with viewers actively rather than passively, inducing a feeling of transcendence, or creating a transcendental state of being, in those who viewed their art. They did so through carefully arranged combinations of highly charged—and primarily nonobjective—forms and colors that they believed had mystical resonance. (35)

The book is filled with essays and does provide pretty comprehensive bios of these artists.

Again, the art is amazing.

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I did not enjoy the second book in the Game of Thrones series as much as I did the first but I would still recommend. There were a few too many Lords and Sers abounding that really didn’t add to the plot and just added to my confusion.

The first book, Fire and Ice, followed the series to a “T.” Apparently the series’ screenwriters (George R.R. Martin??) veered away a from the original novel.  Ayra’s storyline differs a little bit as does Bran’s. These are very slight variations. I am continuing on with my reading and am about 40% through A Storm of Swords.

View all my reviews


I’m currently reading Taste by Stanley Tucci.  Taste is the Cooks the Books April/May selection.  Everyone is welcome to join in.  For more information, click here .

In fact, think about joining us for all of our upcoming reads:   Bourdain’s A Cook’s TourCooking with Fernet-Branca, and children’s classic Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland.

Show Us Your Books is hosted by Jana and Steph.

7 comments to Show Us Your Books, April 2022

  • mae

    I like your books! Tucci’s “Taste” as I may have mentioned to you, was one of my recent favorites.
    Reviewed here:

    “Alice…” is also a lifelong favorite of mine!

    best… mae

  • SMD

    Homegoing has sat in my stomach for years after reading. Truly an exceptional book. I just picked up a used copy to own.

  • I’d super recommend the audiobook of Taste. Stanley Tucci’s voice is nice to listen to! Ciao, Cristina

  • I love Stanley and i really enjoyed Taste.

  • Everyone I know says _Taste_ is terrific. Must get around to that! I’m currently reading some of the Patrick O’Brian naval books. Interesting and rather fun, though I doubt if I’ll get anywhere close to reading the entire series (currently reading the 4th in the series, and that will probably be it — just other things I’d rather read).

  • Homecoming definitely has caught my interest. Thanks!

  • Liz

    I will have to get Taste, it sounds like a good read and several commenters have recommended it as well. Many years ago I read the entire available books in the George R.R. Martin series (my kid was reading them at the time). I was furious that he never finished the series and couldn’t bring myself to watch the TV series.