Nothing But Reading Challenges discussion

How to Bake a Perfect Life
This topic is about How to Bake a Perfect Life
177 views
Previous BRs - Authors; M - P > O'Neal, Barbara-How to Bake a Perfect Life:Informal Buddy Read; Starts November 19, 2014

Comments Showing 1-50 of 116 (116 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3

message 1: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30837 comments Mod
This topic is open for discussion about How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O'Neal.



Book Synopsis:
Professional baker Ramona Gallagher is a master of an art that has sustained her through the most turbulent times, including a baby at fifteen and an endless family feud. But now Ramona’s bakery threatens to crumble around her. Literally. She’s one water-heater disaster away from losing her grandmother’s rambling Victorian and everything she’s worked so hard to build.

When Ramona’s soldier son-in-law is wounded in Afghanistan, her daughter, Sophia, races overseas to be at his side, leaving Ramona as the only suitable guardian for Sophia’s thirteen-year-old stepdaughter, Katie. Heartbroken, Katie feels that she’s being dumped again—this time on the doorstep of a woman out of practice with mothering.

Ramona relies upon a special set of tools—patience, persistence, and the reliability of a good recipe—when rebellious Katie arrives. And as she relives her own history of difficult choices, Ramona shares her love of baking with the troubled girl. Slowly, Katie begins to find self-acceptance and a place to call home. And when a man from her past returns to offer a second chance at love, Ramona discovers that even the best recipe tastes better when you add time, care, and a few secret ingredients of your own.

Expect Spoilers!


message 2: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30837 comments Mod
Reserved


message 3: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30837 comments Mod
Reserved


Margaret (everlastinggrace) | 2360 comments I can't wait to read this one, I have already purchased it for the Kindle. yep.


ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (ilovebakedgoods) Thanks, Red Baron!

Yay, Margaret! This will be my first by this author.


Rebecca NJ (njreader) | 1945 comments I might join you guys - the ebook is currently available at my library but I'm not sure if it will be in a few weeks so we'll see.

I really enjoyed The Lost Recipe for Happiness by this author and I've been curious about this one.


message 7: by Margaret (last edited Nov 19, 2014 02:40PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Margaret (everlastinggrace) | 2360 comments Has anyone started the book yet? I started last night and so far I am enjoying it. I am a baker of sorts, I come and go with the mood or the recipe. I just brought out my sourdough and am reviving it up. Perfect timing for reading this book. I am in Chapter 4 (view spoiler)


Margaret (everlastinggrace) | 2360 comments I am now on Chapter 6 in which I am going to copy the recipe for the starter down, I love rye and I think it will make a good bread. Okay....back to reading. I can't for you all to catch up with me which won't be hard, this book is an easy read. :)


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

I hope to start this one soon.


Margaret (everlastinggrace) | 2360 comments Pigletto....oh good, I can't wait to discuss this one with you. I am up to chapter 19 and I don't mind going back to where you are to discuss the book. :)


Danielle (savemykissesx) | 151 comments I have the book out from the library and am going to be starting it this weekend.. preferably tomorrow night so I can participate in this buddy read. :)


Margaret (everlastinggrace) | 2360 comments Danielle, I will be looking forward to discussing it with you. So far I am enjoying it :)


ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (ilovebakedgoods) I'm behind on my own buddy read, lol. This has been one horrible, stressful week with little reading to compensate. I had two days off and barely read!

Sigh... soon, I hope...


Margaret (everlastinggrace) | 2360 comments Teresa....no worries! you'll be able to get to it, I look forward to hear what you all think of it. I love the recipes thrown in the storyline and the bread baking talk in the book, you'll love it. :)


ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (ilovebakedgoods) Mmm, I love the smell of freshly baked bread. Wonder if this book will make me crave some.


message 16: by Margaret (last edited Nov 20, 2014 08:32PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Margaret (everlastinggrace) | 2360 comments It will! I have a sourdough starter going now and the more I read it, the more anxious I am to bake. I wrote down one of the recipes from the book for a rye starter. :)


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Argh! This book was quite expensive here in the UK compared to the others I buy so I bought a used copy from the Amazon marketplace only to find out it's being sent from the US. The vast majority of sellers are from the US so it doesn't seem to have had a big release here. Maybe explains why it's more expensive than most other fiction books on Amazon.

It may be weeks before I get it though.


Rebecca NJ (njreader) | 1945 comments Pigletto wrote: "Argh! This book was quite expensive here in the UK compared to the others I buy so I bought a used copy from the Amazon marketplace only to find out it's being sent from the US. The vast majority o..."

That's a bummer Pigletto!


Rebecca NJ (njreader) | 1945 comments I just started this morning and I've read through Chapter 3.

I really like the way the chapters are set up and I love having recipes scatter throughout any book.

I am reading it on my nook so I assume it's set up the same in other editions but I do like the way that the print (so far) is different for each character's chapter. Hopefully that continues.


Margaret (everlastinggrace) | 2360 comments Pigletto wrote: "Argh! This book was quite expensive here in the UK compared to the others I buy so I bought a used copy from the Amazon marketplace only to find out it's being sent from the US. The vast majority o..."

awwww! Well, I'll be back to discuss it with you once you get it and start to read :) I love to discuss books and so far I am really enjoying this. Perhaps your book will come in sooner, so hold on!


Margaret (everlastinggrace) | 2360 comments Rebecca NJ wrote: "I just started this morning and I've read through Chapter 3.

I really like the way the chapters are set up and I love having recipes scatter throughout any book.

I am reading it on my nook so I a..."


@ Rebecca....yes, isn't it great with the recipes and the characters dispersed throughout the book. I am on Chapter 20 and it does continue in this style. I am reading it on my Kindle, I imagine it is similar to the Nook? the spoiler concerns through Chapter 3 (view spoiler)


Rebecca NJ (njreader) | 1945 comments @Margaret - (view spoiler)


Margaret (everlastinggrace) | 2360 comments Rebecca...I agree! I thought about that at the time.


Danielle (savemykissesx) | 151 comments So I have a horrible memory luckily because I think I actually may have read this one already a long time ago! but some parts are seeming kind of familiar.. anyways I am planning on reading more of it tonight so I'll be able to chime in here..

how is everyone doing with this book?


Rebecca NJ (njreader) | 1945 comments Danielle - maybe it just reminds you of something else? (We never want to admit to horrible memories, lol!)

I have read through Chapter 12 and I am really enjoying it.

(view spoiler)

How is everyone else coming along with the book?


Danielle (savemykissesx) | 151 comments Well I've only read 4 pages but remember the daughter and the step daughter coming to live, etc.


Rebecca NJ (njreader) | 1945 comments Danielle wrote: "Well I've only read 4 pages but remember the daughter and the step daughter coming to live, etc."

Oh. :)


Margaret (everlastinggrace) | 2360 comments I am ahead of you all but that won't stop me from commenting or spoiling your fun, I'll stay aware of where you all are....I am on Chapter 33 and enjoying it.

@Danielle: so, you are saying that you have read the book? will you be continuing on with it? I hope so :)

@Rebecca: (view spoiler)


Rebecca NJ (njreader) | 1945 comments @Margaret - (view spoiler)


Margaret (everlastinggrace) | 2360 comments Rebecca NJ wrote: "@Margaret - [spoilers removed]"

Rebecca: (view spoiler)


ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (ilovebakedgoods) I decided to start this tonight, even though I've got 3 other books to get through. I was in the mood for something warm and cozy. Already hungry for some freshly baked bread! I just ate two dinner rolls so I'm good, haha.

So far, I like the book. It's still really early -- page 18. There is something that kind of bugs me and that is that I don't see Sofia's doctor allowing her to fly with only 8 weeks left of her pregnancy. I shall suspend my disbelief, though!

I also wonder why Sofia lives with her mom instead of on post in military housing, where she could be near her fellow spouses who are going through the same things she is. I know some spouses choose to live with their parents when the military member goes overseas but that's usually if they are not in the same state, but it seems that Sofia's husband is stationed near Ramona. Being a former military spouse, I guess things like this tend to irk me, haha. I shall read on to see if there is any explanation for this, though.

I liked the part when Ramona was noticing in the mirror that she is starting to look like her grandmother. It is neat how our features change as we age and how we may not notice the changes until one day we find ourselves looking in a mirror and really taking notice.

Can't wait to meet Katie and see the way things go between her and Ramona.


ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (ilovebakedgoods) @Margaret -- I agree with you about Chapter 3 and the (view spoiler)

@Rebecca - I like how the chapters are set up, too. In my print book, the chapters are all the same print, except for Sofia's journal being in italics.

@Margaret and Rebecca - re: (view spoiler)


Danielle (savemykissesx) | 151 comments I am definitely continuing on with the book. I am currently at Chapter six. :P (not that far into it at all) but it is familiar to me, but I have a bad memory so even if I remember some things, or some things seeming familiar, it still feels like a new book because I don't remember it exactly. It has to have been years since I've read it if I did read it before. :P

(view spoiler)

I have a kitty named Ramona. <3


Margaret (everlastinggrace) | 2360 comments ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) wrote: "I decided to start this tonight, even though I've got 3 other books to get through. I was in the mood for something warm and cozy. Already hungry for some freshly baked bread! I just ate two dinner..."

Teresa: oh good I was hoping to hear your thoughts on the book and you being a former military spouse, it is interesting to hear your thoughts and insights about this. I have had two brothers in the military their spouses and a niece who were in situations where mostly they stayed on base. I see your point and I agree, perhaps the author didn't do her research?

Funny how Ramona was beginning to see herself starting to look like her grandmother. I see that I am leaning more and more to feeling closer to certain things that my mother and grandmother had felt or done. Such as cooking or baking, that always makes me feel closer to them. I don't look anything like what they did, I look more like my father and brother. lol.

(view spoiler)


Margaret (everlastinggrace) | 2360 comments ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) wrote: "@Margaret -- I agree with you about Chapter 3 and the [spoilers removed]

@Rebecca - I like how the chapters are set up, too. In my print book, the chapters are all the same print, except for Sofia..."


(view spoiler)


Danielle (savemykissesx) | 151 comments I'm afraid to click all of these spoilers... I don't want to ruin anything for myself but I want to be a part of the discussion and I'm not sure what the spoilers contain.


message 37: by ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (last edited Nov 22, 2014 06:15PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (ilovebakedgoods) Margaret - your wink has me wondering!! LOL! What is to come that you know about...hmmm!

I'm reading as I sit here and look through GR posts. I like Katie already. Love that she writes to her best friend.

I also really liked the part where Ramonia is thinking about how she would like to know what the hospital looks like and how she would envision Sofia when Sofia was in college. I am the exact same way! I love little touches that an author provides to a character like this.

I love the addition of pets in this book. It feels like the author must really like animals.

Oh! Another thing - I lived in Colorado Springs for a short time and I loved it. While I may not be familiar with the streets and areas that are described in this book, I still find myself envisioning the little bits of my own visual experience of that city. I loved looking at Pike's Peak every day!


Margaret (everlastinggrace) | 2360 comments ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) wrote: "Margaret - your wink has me wondering!! LOL! What is to come that you know about...hmmm!

I'm reading as I sit here and look through GR posts. I like Katie already. Love that she writes to her bes..."


I realized after posting and I left that "wink" I thought "oh great, now you've done it!" I didn't mean to leave that but couldn't help being mischievous! I'll try and be good from now on. :) lol

I think that the author slowed up to the book building and then it grows momentum and then like you say she leaves little touches to her character/s....I look for that in an author. I don't expect a perfect book every time, just show me something, a growing into the book, their own character, some good thought processes. :)


ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (ilovebakedgoods) Haha! No worries on the wink. It's got me intrigued and eager to get deeper into this book. I am finding it very easy to get into. I had planned to stay up longer, perhaps watching some TV online but I think I want to get into bed with this book and read. It is a very stormy day so the weather is perfect for all the bread baking and family storytelling that this book provides.


Danielle (savemykissesx) | 151 comments I also love the addition to pets to the book; I am a very big animal lover - so it's a plus when there are animals in books. I love Milo, too, I am a foster mom and have fostered some feral kitties before, he isn't feral, but the fact that he is really only trusting of her says a lot. Of course in my book I want all cats to be indoors for safety purposes. :P


Danielle (savemykissesx) | 151 comments I'm on page 60 now, chapter 10... and am not done reading for the night. :) I'm glad (view spoiler)


Margaret (everlastinggrace) | 2360 comments Danielle wrote: "I also love the addition to pets to the book; I am a very big animal lover - so it's a plus when there are animals in books. I love Milo, too, I am a foster mom and have fostered some feral kitties..."

Absolutely....I believe in cats being kept indoors especially around here where anything from neighbor dogs, skunks, bears to mountain lions would probably love to snack on a cat. Funny I used to joke about people and their "indoor cats" gee, let the poor things outdoors to play! Now I have two cats that I have raised from 2 weeks old and I freak out just thinking about their going outside! They are indoor cats all the way. lol....funny how you end up doing what you complain about, typical, huh?

It is pretty stormy here as well and it is perfect weather for reading. :)


Danielle (savemykissesx) | 151 comments I'm gunna head to bed, but (view spoiler)


Margaret (everlastinggrace) | 2360 comments So....I am done! I thought I would discuss along with you all instead of commenting on what I thought of the ending. I rather discuss it as it is fresh for you all, it will be more fun that way. I don't mind backtracking, I have been doing this while reading another book elsewhere. :)


ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (ilovebakedgoods) Yes, discuss along, Margaret, I can't wait to read your thoughts on things as we go!

I'm on chapter 18, about page 145. The only reason I'm putting the book down is to come here and discuss it and then go eat breakfast. I am really enjoying this book. It took me awhile to warm up to the present tense writing during Ramona's chapters but now that I'm reading about her past, I've gotten comfy and really involved in the story. I am loving Ramona at 15! And Jonah!!! I would be in love with him!

What I love about Ramona at 15 is that I was exactly her age then, too! I think back to the summer I was 15, going on 16 and the things I was into. I loved the same music she does, loved going to record stores to discover new music, loved going to the library and reading romance novels. One of my favorite scenes is (view spoiler)


Margaret (everlastinggrace) | 2360 comments Lol....I love your thrill Teresa in discovering (view spoiler)


ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (ilovebakedgoods) I agree about (view spoiler)


Danielle (savemykissesx) | 151 comments I am on page 108 and plan on reading a bunch today! I'm not feeling that great so I want to just relax at home... Which is perfect for reading :)

I like (view spoiler)


Margaret (everlastinggrace) | 2360 comments yep...I thought the same thing Danielle major ew! :) hope you feel better and get a lot of reading done. I have a cold so I will take it easy though I do hope to take a hike on one of our trails here while we have a break in the weather. I'll see how I feel.


ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (ilovebakedgoods) I've read chapters 18 through 29 so far this afternoon.

Starting to worry about Katie and (view spoiler)


« previous 1 3
back to top