April Booking It: Reviews of The Language of Flowers, Tasty Food Photography, & Blood Royal

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April Booking It: Reviews of The Language of Flowers, Tasty Food Photography, & Blood RoyalBooking It is an online book club where we share the good reads we’ve found in the previous month. We’ve found that over the years we’ve discovered some great new books thanks to this monthly book share. Carrie and Anne are my fellow bookworms and help round out the selections.

What Anne read:

April Booking It: Reviews of The Language of Flowers, Tasty Food Photography, & Blood Royal

The Language of Flowers

by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

I’ve been hearing wonderful things about The Language of Flowers for a year, but it wasn’t until I began reading that I realized the title comes from the Victorian Era’s literal language of flowers: they used flowers to carry the meanings they didn’t speak: ardor and friendship, jealousy and envy, infidelity and grief.

We meet Victoria Jones on her eighteenth birthday: the day she is emancipated from foster care. Victoria is fluent in the language of flowers, and she uses her flowers as weapons, to communicate distrust. But as she strikes out on her own, she comes to learn that the language of flowers is more complicated than she was taught to believe.

This is a beautiful debut novel. It’s simple and easy-reading, but has depth and feeling. Ultimately, it’s a redemption story (and I love a good redemption story.) Put this one on your summer reading list.

What Jessica read:

April Booking It: Reviews of The Language of Flowers, Tasty Food Photography, & Blood Royal

Tasty Food Photography

by Lindsey Ostrom

I actually didn’t read this book this month; I read it a few months ago when I was on a treadmill-walking binge and read through more books than I could tell you about in one blog post. This has not been one of those months. I think I’ve been to the gym twice. My hip was hurting and I thought if I rested it, it would get better. No go. So, I’m back to the gym this week because why not?

Anywho, I bought Tasty Food Photography when Pinch of Yum had it on sale last fall and devoured it in one or two sessions on the treadmill. This book helped me scale a major learning curve when it came to my food photography. Majorly. I credit this book and God for any good picture I’ve ever taken.

If you want to learn more about photography but don’t have time for a class or long videos, etc, this is a stellar resource. I’ve learned so much.

Currently, you can get Tasty Food Photography as part of the Ultimate Photography Bundle. It’s an amazing value to help you take better pictures of any kind.

What Carrie read:

April Booking It: Reviews of The Language of Flowers, Tasty Food Photography, & Blood Royal

Blood Royal: A True Tale of Crime and Detection in Medieval Paris

by Eric Jager

First things first: I won a copy of Blood Royal in a Goodreads giveaway (happy dance for free books!). However, free or not, this true story of mystery, murder, and political intrigue from the 15th century held me spellbound. It was completely outside the realm of what I normally read, but coming so soon after The Monuments Men, I’m starting to think I might have a “thing” for historical non-fiction.

One complaint I have read from others is that the murder story is wrapped up pretty early on. While that is true, the author goes into great detail about what happened after the fact, completing the circle of those who were involved in the sordid tale. In the end, what was really more important than the story itself, is the story that was set into motion through the affairs and murder of one man.

Due to the status of the man who detailed the event, I find it truly amazing that the records of this deed and subsequent investigation have survived for more than 600 years. Jager did an extensive amount of research for this book, and though it was a murder story, I also learned a lot about the French aristocracy and political climate of the 1400’s. Bottom Line: If you enjoy early European history and real-life whodoneits, you’ll like this book; otherwise, try Anne and Jessica’s suggestions. 🙂

What did YOU read this month that you loved?

April Booking It: Reviews of The Language of Flowers, Tasty Food Photography, & Blood Royal– Anne loves strong coffee, long books, and big ideas. She puts a timely spin on timeless women’s issues at her blog Modern Mrs Darcy.

Be sure to download Anne’s Kid Lit Guide, Paper Gains. It’s a great collection to help you navigate the book store and come through with some great, meaningful reads for the children in your life.

April Booking It: Reviews of The Language of Flowers, Tasty Food Photography, & Blood Royal– Carrie adores culture, coffee, books, British mystery shows, Parisian cafés, and her husband of 13 years. She’s spent time in Africa, southeast Asia, and Alaska, and now works from home as a social media book launch project manager. 

In her spare time, you can find her blogging at Carrie’s Busy Nothings

April Booking It: Reviews of The Language of Flowers, Tasty Food Photography, & Blood Royal– Jessica is a married mom of six kids, aged 5 to 16. Most can read independently which means the homeschool experiment is working – at least on the literacy front.

She has been a lover of books for 40 years and counting. We won’t count the first year of life. She runs this here show called Life as MOM and also posts all the food things over at Good Cheap Eats.

Tell us what YOU’VE been reading.

Leave a comment or a link below. Please be sure to link back here so your readers know where to find the party. Share your recent book reviews with us!

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  1. I have read The Language of Flowers and found it enjoyable. I think I may add Blood Royal to my reading list. I do love historical stories, though I mostly stick to fiction 🙂 I am currently reading The Summer Palace, the third book in the Bronze Horseman series, by Paulina Simons.

  2. I read Seasons of Mother’s Heart by Sally Clarkson, Made to Crave by Lysa Terkurst, and I just started Beth Moore’s Believing God.

  3. I read Language of Flowers too. It was just ok for me but I ended a long streak of reading just non fiction. My April Booking it -http://myviewofthehoneypot.blogspot.com/2014/04/april-booking-it.html. Blood Royal sounds interesting to me I might need to put that on my list.

  4. It’s Anne who loves cookbook/memoirs mash-ups, right? I’m reading More Than Moonshine: Recipes and Recollections from Appalachia. I’m really enjoying it, both for the recipes and the recollections. As the author says, some recipes are ones that I want to try and perhaps add to my own collection; others are interesting reads in methods of preparation (BBQ possum, anyone?). At one point the author mentions The War on Poverty of the 1960’s. I didn’t even know such a thing ever existed. Apparently, one thing that people sought to change in the lives of these poor folk of Appalachia was the food and it’s preparation. Now, there’s quite a bit of lard and butter being used, and I’m not a generally a fan of greasy food as daily fare nor do I like my veggies cooked to death with some fatback. However, these people were using the simple, real foods available to them from their environment and the occasional trip to the store. So now I want to know, not only what was this War on Poverty, but why oh why did they want to change the food and do I dare find out how they thought people should eat? I like the book, and I like it when books send me in quest of more knowledge.

    1. I’m with you on questioning the war on poverty. If it was the 60s, I wonder if the food giants already had a foothold or if it was really trying to help people eat more fruits and vegetables.

      1. In the part of the country the book is about, I would be a little surprised if the food giants had taken hold by the ’60s — mostly based on the way the author describes food and how it was acquired. On the other hand, the author writes partly from her memories of childhood, and she was an adult in the ’60s. Anyway, I’m planning to do a little research and find out if I can.

  5. With the weather warmer on a few days last month, and the end of the school year busyness I didn’t get as much reading done as I hoped. There was quite a stack on my nightstand all month that didn’t move much! http://wp.me/p4rdQ0-y4

    I am enjoying your monthly reviews, and the perspectives you each bring to the discussions! Thank you!

      1. I’ve always been more of a fiction reader. I get a lot of recommendations from friends, librarians, and now Good Reads. Behind the Scenes at the Museum I read for a book club. Sapphire Ice I have seen people recommend around online, and the author is a blogger so I like to support that! Mockingbird I heard one of the faculty mention at the book club. (It is a faculty book club at the private high school where my husband teaches. We see a lot of YA recs this way, too!) Cress I think I saw the first book in that series at the library and it looked interesting, so I grabbed it. And The Dog Stars I saw someone mark as read or want-to-read on Good Reads so I clicked on it because I liked the cover!

        If you ever want to talk fiction recommendations, I’m happy to do so!

  6. War on Poverty: Lyndon B Johnson’s legislation to enact more federal funds for all kinds of things. Sort of an extension of FDR’s New Deal in the 40’s. After years and years of throwing money into more and more federal handout programs that seemed to be going nowhere, Clinton during his tenure brought much of it to a close.

  7. My last read, “Why Men Hate Going to Church” by David Murrow. The author, a pastor, hypothesizes it is due to the feminization of the church. I found his research compelling and plausible. Whether one agrees or not he does a good job of explaining his rationale. 4 stars Amazon.