Monday, February 25, 2013


February 24, 2013


I cannot live without books. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Third president of the United States.


Genre: Novel on friendships of all types

Because this new blog is all about sharing with friends and hopefully soon to be friends my love of reading and the books I read and review I thought this the perfect book to begin with.

It is an easy to read novel by Darien Gee who also writes under the name Mia King.  This is the first book I’ve read by the author under either name and I found it an enjoyable read.

It has all the highlights of a good “soap opera” type book.  You begin with Julia, a grieving mother, who mysteriously finds a plate of Amish Friendship Bread along with a bag of the starter and how to use instructions on her front porch one day.

As the story develops you are introduced to more and more characters with a bit of their background explained as the book continues forward and the starter is spread about the small fictional town of Avalon, Illinois. 

The starter takes on a life of its own, similar to that of a chain letter, only no dire consequences (other than the possible waste of good food) if you do not pass it on. 

There, as in all good soap operas, are moments of drama, the possibility of a love affair or two, some hilarious moments and of course the sad and good times.

While I seldom read novels, much preferring other genres including mysteries I did enjoy this one.  However, it does have a bit of a mystery as to where the first bag of starter came from and you must read the book to find out who started the sequence of events that brought several lonely people together in the small town of Avalon, Illinois.

Then there are the recipes in the back of the book to intrigue you and a website  and a facebook group dedicated to the hundreds of recipes you can use the starter for. It also has gluten and dairy free recipes for both the starter and the uses of it.

In my tough rating system of one to five stars I give this book a 3.5 star rating.  It moved a little slow for me in a few places with a bit of the drama being repetitive, but it was an interesting read. Interesting enough I will be reading more about the ladies of Avalon, Illinois in the second book by Darien Gee “The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society” soon.

Books written by Ms. Gee under the name of Mia King are: “Good Things”, “Sweet Life”, and “Table Manners”.

On a personal note I have often heard of Amish Friendship bread, but had never had any.  I did know prior to reading the book that it was not actually developed by the Amish, but just some how got the name and it stuck. You can read more about the history of this starter and its use on various sites on the web.

I decided to “create” the monster and try this recipe out for myself to see if it’s a sour dough recipe my men folk would like. I’ll be posting my adventures with Amish Friendship Bread on my Patterson’s Pantry blog and the recipes I use will also of course be on the recipe blog as well.  Today is day one of my starter.  Follow the hyper links over to see how it goes.

Jan who hopes you will enjoy the book “Friendship Bread” by Darien Gee and in the solid form of bread in your own kitchen in the near future in OK


Sunday, February 24, 2013


OUTSIDE A DOG a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” ― Groucho Marx, The Essential Groucho:Writings For By And About Groucho Marx  This is one of my favorite quotes on reading.  It’s even on my library book bag. I am a person who haunts the library’s website on a regular basis for all sorts of materials, education, and relaxation. 


Often I find a book I might be interested in, but too little info on the book itself.  Sometimes I don’t check out the book for that very reason because as Frank Zappa said “So many books, so little time.” 


As you can tell I also love quotes about books and reading as well.  So why not combine the two and do a book review blog? I read a large variety of books both fiction and non-fiction.  I follow the teachings of my father who encouraged both my brother and myself to “learn one new thing every day” and do still study at the age of 62 something new constantly. Groucho, by the way was also my dad’s favorite comedian.  So as a salute to both men this blog is born.