The Cookbook Club by Beth Harbison

Hello Kittens! This month is going by so fast that it is giving me whiplash. I’m having a decent reading month, despite a lot of distractions, but I’ve been finding a lot of comfort in lighter, fluffy reads recently. I wanted to share one of the newer releases that I’ve enjoyed with you today. Beth Harbison is probably best known for her Shoe Addict book series, but this new standalone from her hit all of the right notes for me. It is sweet, it has some serious moments, and it talks about food. I think I can safely blame reading this book for some of my holiday binge-eating. Some of the food descriptions in this book are definitely going to get your mouth watering. Sorry, not sorry.

Title: The Cookbook Club

Author: Beth Harbison

The Cookbook Club: A Novel of Food and Friendship

Author website:

Publisher: William Morrow

Publish date: October 20, 2020

ISBN: 9780062958624

Buy the Book: Amazon, Barnes & Noble,


We get the stories of three women who seemingly could not be living more different lives. Margo has spent the last few years working on her perfect life. She has a good husband and a beautiful house and generally wants for nothing. Unfortunately, digging a little deeper proves that Margo’s husband is selfish and doesn’t care about her very much and wants to leave her and her beautiful house is a social burden that isn’t bringing her any happiness. The only thing that does bring her happiness at this point is cooking. She has an impressive assortment of cookbooks, and as she begins her newly single life Margo joins 2 other women in a cookbook club: a book club dedicated to experimenting with recipes from various well-known cookbooks.

Aja is a young woman who is trying to become a better cook to impress her boyfriend. Her boyfriend comes from a wealthy family and definitely has some high expectations for her behavior. As she struggles to meet his expectations, and those of his family, she befriends the other women and learns about cooking, but also about herself. When her prince charming turns out to be charmless and she finds out her life is going to be irrevocably changed, Aja buckles down and gets a new job working for her ex-boyfriend’s mother. He is scandalized, but Aja knows that a good paying job is hard to come by and she’s not afraid of a little hard work.

Trista used a to a lawyer, but working in that highly competitive world for so many years wore her down. She decides to take a leap of faith and quit her job to fulfill her dream of owning and operating a restaurant. She finds a place and buys it, but it needs a lot of work and she’s got to come up with some creative ways to bring in more customers, otherwise she’ll be going broke sooner rather than later. Creating the cookbook club is her idea in an effort to come up with some new recipes for the restaurant.

As each woman deals with the messes in their lives, they come together to cook delicious food and form friendships with each other that get them through the hard times.

Why I liked it:

This book was a quick read with an agreeable cast of characters. Each woman has a major issue or two to deal with in their lives, and while they don’t all handle every situation with perfect grace, they are not portrayed as weak or in need of saving. I love when characters save themselves and get by with a little help from their friends. I also appreciated that while there are a few romances sprinkled around, none of them become the prime focus of the story. This story is foremost about the power of female friendship.

What I would like to change:

Everything wrapped up pretty quickly at the end and I would have liked a little more detail. Even after going back over it a few times, I still don’t entirely understand what happened with Margo’s husband, and there was some unresolved tension left over from his visit to the house to take his things. I feel like there was more set-up to that relationship falling apart and the ending felt half-hearted. It was like we knew that they weren’t going to have any sort of reconciliation, so their story just ended abruptly.

Disclaimer: I received an electronic galley of this title from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My library rating: I didn’t see anything objectionable in this one and I think it would be a great book club pick. It could even inspire people to start their own cookbook clubs.

lemonade_iconlemonade_iconlemonade_iconlemonade_iconlemonade_icon5 glasses of lemonade= you could recommend this book to anyone.  There is nothing in here that is going to upset anyone and you could start handing it out on street corners. 

My personal preference rating: 3 stars. I enjoyed reading this book, but I don’t think the story or the characters are going to stick with me very long. It was a good palate-cleanser read.

Now That I’ve Found You by Kristina Forest

Hello Kittens! I’ve got a treat for you that is publishing soon. When I first read the synopsis for this book, I thought it was going to be some sort of wacky YA caper, with two teens traipsing all over New York City in search of a little lost glamorous grandma. It is so much more than that. It is a story that deals with all sorts of relationships, presents diverse characters without framing their struggles in terms of diversity, and resolves itself without too many overdone contrivances to make the plot make sense. I was expecting a full-on rom-com, and to an extent I did get that, but the story was also deeper, which I really appreciated. It’s a great YA find from an author who was new to me.

Title: Now That I’ve Found YouNow That I've Found You

Author: Kristina Forest

Author website:

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Publish date: August 25, 2020

ISBN: 9781250295026

Buy the Book: Amazon, Barnes and Noble


Evie Marie Jones is an acting legend, or at least she will be. Her grandmother is the famous actress Evelyn Conaway and her parents are documentary film makers. The screen is in her blood and she has been pursuing her acting career since she was a young child. She is poised to hit it big when she lands a major movie role and is on the cusp of landing a beauty contract with one of her favorite brands. Unfortunately, one viral video of Evie doing an imitation of her new boss is going to land her in a lot of trouble. The public who loved her just a few days ago is going to turn on her big time and Evie doesn’t know how to handle it.

The one constant in Evie’s life has been her grandmother. So when everything comes crashing down with her career, which she sees as her grandmother’s legacy, Evie can’t even bring herself to return Evelyn’s calls. As time begins to heal some of Evie’s wounds, she heads to New York City to visit Evelyn and try to get her career on track. Her grandmother has been out of the spotlight for years and doesn’t understand why Evie is in such a rush to get back to that life. Little does Evelyn know, Evie needs her grandmother’s blessing on a project from the one producer who hasn’t blacklisted Evie, a man that Evelyn had a famous falling out with nearly a decade ago.

In coming to New York City, Evie is forced to confront her failed career, her feelings about disappointing her family, her betrayal by a friend that she trusted, and the feelings of loneliness that she has struggled with her whole life.

Why I liked it:

This story is part “Where’d You Go, Bernadette”, part “You’ve Got Mail” and part “She’s All That”, which I absolutely loved. There’s a romance in the story, but I felt like Evie’s personal growth was the highlight, as it should be. I love Evelyn’s character because she is so strong and sure of herself. She’s got enough money to live any kind of lifestyle she wants, but she lives in a comfortable home and appears to be nice to everyone that she comes in contact with.

I also appreciated that some of the issues Evie struggled with weren’t just chalked up to teen angst. Her parents really weren’t as present in her life as she needed them to be, but eventually she tells them that and they make an effort to do better.

What I would like to change:

Nothing. This is exactly the type of book that I like, even though it wasn’t the book that I thought I was getting into when I first read the synopsis.

Disclaimer: I received an electronic galley of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My library rating: Here we have it, the coveted perfect library rating. There’s almost no bad language, no questionable morality, no tough scenarios. It’s just a light story with complex characters.

lemonade_iconlemonade_iconlemonade_iconlemonade_iconlemonade_icon5 glasses of lemonade= you could recommend this book to anyone.  There is nothing in here that is going to upset anyone and you could start handing it out on street corners.  (This kind of book is a Librarian’s dream.  As much as we love good literature, suggesting a book for someone can be nerve-wracking work that can backfire BIG TIME.)

My personal preference rating: I rated this title 5 stars. It was the book that I didn’t know I needed to read right now.