Finally resumed my reading (without guilt) since JLPT is over!

1) The Sugar Queen, by Sarah Addison Allen

Light and stress-free. Josey is a rich girl who’s kept on a tight rein by her stiff mother, Della the notorious one who has a knack for getting into trouble and Chloe a book-lover who runs a small cafe at the court-house. The three know little of one another initially, until Della starts living in Josey’s closet and gets her to befriend Chloe and slowly emerge from the shield her mother has built around her.

The author’s imagination works pretty well for me. I especially like how she weaves fairytale elements into a modern setting. For instance, Chloe is a book magnet. Books mysteriously appear around her when they want to be read. (Sounds appealing but apparently can be a source of irritation when the wrong books appear at the wrong times.)

2) French by Damien Pignolet

I’d seen the hardcover version in various libraries but was hesitant to borrow it because it is way too heavy and bulky. Finally succumbed one day as I was only 15 minutes away from home.

Damien Pignolet is an Australian chef working in a French-Australian restaurant. His book is pretty useful as a starter to French cuisine. He goes through the basic ingredients, tools and techniques, and includes a variety of recipes for each course. Unfortunately (or fortunately), his recipes didn’t motivate me enough to try cooking them, but it definitely deepened my appreciation for French cooking.