Tag Archives: Jennifer Ryan

Top 10 Tuesday — Back to School

30 Aug

Don’t know much about history, don’t know much about biology . . . ? Well, I’ve got some books for you! This week’s TTT is Back to School Freebie. I love Sam Cooke‘s song, What A Wonderful World This Would Be and always think about it when I hear back to school. My list today features books that fit the lyrics of this old school song (see what I did there? 😉 ). There are 6 subjects listed in the lyrics, and I have come up with 2 books each. An even dozen of great books! Who cares if some of the books loosely fit the category — it’s all in fun! I hope you enjoy my list.

For more fun back to school lists, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top “Back To School” Books

History

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan (WWII, could also count as Home Ec 😉 )

To Love A Viking by Heather Day Gilbert and Jen Cudmore (Dark Ages Europe)

Biology

Healing Skye by Janet W. Ferguson (marine biology)

Sunrise by Susan May Warren (bear tracking in Alaska)

Science

Fatal Code by Natalie Walters (nuclear physics)

The Engineer’s Wife by Tracy Enerson Wood (bridge building)

French

The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar (WWII France)

Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin (WWII France)

Geography

Every Word Unsaid by Kimberly Duffy (globe-trotting journalist)

The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel (a bucket list trip)

Mathematics

Enchantress of Numbers by Jennifer Chiaverini (early computing machine)

The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White (WWI code breaking)

Audiobook Mini-Review — The Kitchen Front

25 Aug

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan, a WWII-era novel featuring women’s friendships and cooking was my book club’s choice this month. While it got mixed reviews from my members — some liked it, others said it was just okay — it did inspire some fun discussion — from horrible wartime foods, to the role of home economists, to relationships. I listened to the well-narrated audiobook and enjoyed it. It was a quick read full of interesting details on a woman’s place in the mid 1900s and of course lots of food! The four main characters were all involved in a fictional cook-off featuring the real BBC radio program, The Kitchen Front. They each had unique struggles, and as the book progressed they grew and became stronger. While two of the characters were especially odious at the beginning of the book, I came to appreciate them all. The book also caused me to search an old family cookbook I own which features rationing tips and meal plans for all socio-economic levels. The Kitchen Front is a general market novel, but I found it to be an overall clean read. Recommended for those who like fiction set in the WWII-era, especially featuring those who remained at home.

Two years into World War II, Britain is feeling her losses: The Nazis have won battles, the Blitz has destroyed cities, and U-boats have cut off the supply of food. In an effort to help housewives with food rationing, a BBC radio program called The Kitchen Front is holding a cooking contest—and the grand prize is a job as the program’s first-ever female co-host. For four very different women, winning the competition would present a crucial chance to change their lives.

For a young widow, it’s a chance to pay off her husband’s debts and keep a roof over her children’s heads. For a kitchen maid, it’s a chance to leave servitude and find freedom. For a lady of the manor, it’s a chance to escape her wealthy husband’s increasingly hostile behavior. And for a trained chef, it’s a chance to challenge the men at the top of her profession.

These four women are giving the competition their all—even if that sometimes means bending the rules. But with so much at stake, will the contest that aims to bring the community together only serve to break it apart?

Jennifer Ryan is the author of National Bestseller The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, The Spies of Shilling Lane, and The Kitchen Front. Before she began writing, she was a nonfiction book editor with a passion for the Second World War. Her warm and cheerful grandmother would tell stories about that era, both funny and fascinating, and the books are based on these. 

http://www.JenniferRyanAuthor.com