Over the last few years, I've developed a habit of reading several books during one season, starting several, deciding which ones are worth it, and plodding along at random intervals on whichever book strikes my fancy for the mood or moment I am in. Book summaries are copied from other pages and are not my own.
The Campaign for Domestic Happiness by Isabella Beeton
Firmly of the belief that a home should be run as an efficient military campaign, Mrs. Beeton, the doyenne of English cookery, offers timeless tips on selecting cuts of meat, throwing a grand party and hosting a dinner, as well as giving suggestions on staff wages and the cost of each recipe. With such delicious English classics as rabbit- pie, carrot soup, baked apple custard, and fresh lemonade - as well as invalid's jelly for those days when stewed eels may be a little too much - this is a wonderful collection of food writing from the matriarch of modern housekeeping. (Note: this was originally published in the 1860's)
Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow
In Washington: A Life celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one-volume life of Washington, this crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his troubled boyhood, his precocious feats in the French and Indian War, his creation of Mount Vernon, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's first president.
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
A Moveable Feast is a softer novel-cum-memoir, a story of a young artist--impoverished and living in Paris. The book is also tribute to the numerous characters he meets. Hemingway projects himself to us as a young man. He examines his younger self--his foibles--but we also get a sense of nostalgia for the struggle and hardship that characterized his introduction into a writer's life in literature.