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The Last SummerTHE LAST SUMMER
By Judith Kinghorn

$15.00 Penguin
www.penguin.com

If you are a fan of the “Downton Abbey” series on PBS, you will want to get your hands on a copy of  THE LAST SUMMER, a debut novel about love in a time of war from author Judith Kinghorn.

It’s the early summer of 1914 and most of England is rumbling with concerns about the inevitable war with Germany. Everyone, that is, except seventeen-year-old Clarissa Granville who lives in idyllic splendor at her family’s estate, Denying Park in Sussex. Innocent to the ways of the world, the beautiful heiress is inexplicably drawn to Tom Cuthbert, the housekeeper’s sublimely handsome son who, along with her three brothers, is spending his summer break from university at Denying. It doesn’t take long for the two to fall head-over-heels in love and for a few weeks, their passionately perfect world spins only for them. But when war is declared, Tom goes off to fight and all bets are off.

Although they do begin a correspondence, Clarissa’s mother intercepts Tom’s letters and thinking he has stopped caring for her, Clarissa makes plans to marry another man. Meanwhile, Tom finds his way back to her, only to find he has been usurped and despite their deep and abiding love for one another, the war and the great divide of their positions in society keep them apart. Over the next decade, they continue to circle in and out of one another’s lives, which is all at once heart-breaking and breathtakingly romantic. But the secrets that ensue in the intervening years may be their undoing and no one, least of all these star-crossed lovers, have any way of knowing how things will end.

Well drawn characters combined with flawless writing make Kinghorn’s debut a triumph. This story kept me up for many nights in a row, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Un-put-downable and relentlessly intriguing, this is a tale for the ages. I expect it’s not the last we’ll hear from this talented story teller; at least, I hope not!  

 

All There IsALL THERE IS Love Stories From Story Corps
By Dave Isay
$15.00 Penguin
www.storycorps.org

In 2003 Dave Isay and his team began a project called StoryCorps. Anyone who wanted to could make an appointment to visit a booth in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, where he or she could record a 40 minute interview with a person they loved. At the end of the session, they could walk away with a CD, and a second copy would go to the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress where someday, long after they are gone, it could be listened to by friends, strangers or members of their family. This simple but brilliant concept has now taken wings and has spread from coast to coast, with nearly 75,000 people from all walks of life participating in the project.

Now some of these interviews have been collected into two best-selling books, Listening Is An Act Of Love and Mom: A Celebration of Love from StoryCorps  and have also been a regular feature on NPRs “Morning Edition”. And now, just released in paperback, Isay brings us ALL THERE IS Love Stories from StoryCorps, a collection of stories about love.

Focusing on romantic love, this inspiring collection speaks to love found, love lost and love found at last. Each of the stories has been edited in order to keep them brief, but the enormous amount of emotion that comes spilling across the pages of this collection are anything but small. From Gayle and Frank Newby, now in their 70’s, comes the tale of a three day courtship which spawned a 57 year marriage. And the Blooms talk about how they met shortly before World War II, had ten children, and then Jane went to school to become a doctor. When Beverly Eckert remembers her husband, Sean Rooney, who was killed on September 11, you will feel as if you are standing beside her holding her hand, as she recounts their final conversation. And when you read the story of the Guerrero’s, who were stationed in Iraq together when he proposed, your heart will skip a beat.

Stories from those young and old, gay and straight, newlyweds and life-long partners will touch you in ways you wouldn’t expect,and lead you to wonder what questions you would ask a loved one if you only had 40 minutes to do so.

 

Talk To Me Like I'm Someone You LoveTALK TO ME LIKE I’M SOMEONE YOU LOVE Relationship Repair in a Flash
By Nancy Dreyfus, Psy.D.
$17.95 Tarcher/Penguin (Accompanying Flash Cards $15.95)
www.nancydreyfus.com

Even the strongest of relationships can be tricky to navigate at times, making it difficult to express our feelings to one another, especially in the heat of the moment. Luckily Nancy Dreyfus, Psy.D. is here to help us re-open the paths of communication in her new book and accompanying flash-card set, TALK TO ME LIKE I’M SOMEONE YOU LOVE.

Divided into six sections, Shifting Gears, Setting Limits, Apologizing, Getting Clarification, Making Love and Deepening Trust, this handy guide makes it easy to communicate by providing us with over 100 “flashcards for real life” that we can use to diffuse almost any argument. Examples of the phraseology Dreyfus uses here are: “Rather than just criticize me, can you tell me what you want in a more positive way?” or “What can I say that would make you feel more understood?” and “Right now, I’d do anything for you to know how much I love you.” Each of these calming and direct declarations can serve to cool you and your partner down, giving you each a chance to breathe, re-group and think before reacting out of anger, spite or ignorance. And to add to the overall impact of each statement, Dreyfus explains how to share the sentiments she’s outlined, why they work and how to use them in any given situation.

Accompanying this easy-to-use guide is a set of flashcards with 64 written statements which you can read from or refer to, when you don’t know the right words to say or the way to say them. The reverse side of each card contains “field notes” written by Dreyfus which explain the appropriate time to use each statement. This great set of materials teach you to stop, think, take a breath and communicate with the one you love; it’s like having your own personal therapist on-call 24/7.

 

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Anti-Inflammation CookbookTHE COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE to the ANTI-INFLAMMATION COOKBOOK
By Elizabeth Vierck and Lucy Beale
Alpha Books
www.idiotsguides.com

As a person who suffers from arthritis, I am keenly aware of the discomfort cause by inflammation. But recently, I have come to understand that inflammation is also related to many other health conditions, such as high blood pressure, asthma and cancer. All of these conditions can be addressed however, by changing our daily diet. And to that end, THE COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE to the ANTI-INFLAMATION COOKBOOK might very well be the tool we need to prevent disease while enjoying some great food along the way.

Elizabeth Vierck, author of 16 books on aging, health and other related topics, teams up here with Lucy Beale, author and wellness coach, to bring us over 200 recipes that run the gamut from light snacks to full-on dinners and even desserts. But this little tome is also filled with information on inflammation, including its causes, how to manage this condition, and how to move forward with changes to diet and lifestyle, which includes re-stocking your pantry with organic, healthy food.

This is a great resource to add to your coterie of cookbooks, as it has something for everyone in your family. Though all of the recipes here look amazing, a few of my favorites are Chicken with Pine Nut Pesto, Salmon Tacos with Avocado Sauce, Portobello Burgers, Sesame Asparagus Salad, Parmesan Barley Risotto, Chocolate Macaroons and Crunchy Almond Butter Drops. And not only do these dishes taste good, they are good for you! Now what could be better than that?

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 142 - September 6271
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