Book Club- The Library of Fates
The book we read this month was The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana. We didn’t realize until after the fact that it was actually a Young Adult book. That made sense after reading it because the writing is a little simple, however, I still really enjoyed this book! It’s the story of Princess Amrita and takes place in her kingdom of Shalingar. The characters were interesting and it had a little of everything: adventure, folklore, romance, and coming of age. I really enjoyed all of the Indian folklore and stories and it made me want to read Khorana’s other novel, Mirror in the Sky. The book also talked a lot about fates and destiny which I really connected with. It may sound hokey but fate is something that’s been on my mind a lot lately. Whenever someone asks if I would go back in time to change anything in my life I always say no. I would never want to jeopardize having Derek, and now our Little Cupcake, in my life. It’s crazy to think that all Derek and I have gone through together has now also brought us to her. What would have happened if we got married at a different time or place? Or what if one of us went to a different high school or chose a different career? Anyway, I really enjoyed that aspect of the book.
There was at least one part in the book we felt was unnecessary, a side plot that involved stopping to visit celestial beings that didn’t really move the story along, but overall I think we all enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend this book. It’s a quick and interesting read!
Book rating: Would recommend and read again (9/10)
Shalingar was meant to be a facsimile of India, I believe, and some of the characters were from Macedonia so I used both of those places as my menu inspiration. Here’s what we had:
- Prawn Curry
- Beef and Potato Moussaka
- Orange & Pomagranate Salad (see recipe below)
- Mango Panna Cotta
Along with the food, I was able to find some beer from India called Taj Majal. It was only about $3.50 for a 22-ounce bottle and was nice and light. I thought its crisp flavor went really well with the curry and I wouldn’t mind having it again, especially as we move into hotter weather. I might even call it the “porch pounder” of beers. 😉
Beer rating: Will probably drink again (8/10)
Our next read will be Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn. It takes place in Jamaica, which is perfect timing as we head towards summer! I’d love to hear your thoughts on either of these books and, as always, you can follow my Book Club board on Pinterest to see all the books we’ve read!
Pomegranate & Orange Salad
Pomegranates and candied walnuts were mentioned several times in this book so I used that as the inspiration for this salad. I wanted something fresh and bright to counter some of the richer foods I knew we’d be eating. It was a big hit with the book club ladies! Not only is it easy to make but it’s delicious with a variety of textures. It’s great on its own but would also be good on top of some fresh spinach with roasted chicken breast on top for a nice lunch.
The first order of business will be to candy the walnuts. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the walnuts, sugar, butter, and a large pinch of salt.
Occasionally give it a stir until the sugar starts to melt. At that point, do not walk away. Constantly stir until all of the sugar is dissolved and the nuts are coated.
Pour the candied walnuts onto a sheet of parchment paper and separate them with forks or a rubber spatula. Set that aside to cool.
Now onto the dressing! In a jar or small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey, cardamom and a pinch of salt until it’s all mixed together.
It’s time to assemble. Place the orange segments and half of the pomegranate arils (seeds) in a shallow bowl (or a plate with high sides). I should tell you that I have NO patience when it comes to de-seeding pomegranates so I “cheated” and bought the little cups of the arils in the cooler of the produce section (this recipes uses 2 of those cups). Pour the dressing over and gently toss. Now top with the rest of the pomegranate and the candied walnuts.
- 1 cup walnut halves
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 sugar
- large pinch of salt
- 5 oranges, segmented
- 8 ounces pomegranate arils (seeds)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- pinch of salt
- Add walnuts, sugar, butter, and salt to a saute pan over medium heat.
- Stir occasionally until sugar starts to melt. Stir constantly until sugar is completely dissolved and nuts are coated. Pour onto a sheet of parchment paper and separate with forks or rubber spatulas. Set aside to cool.
- Whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey, cardamom and pinch of salt until mixed.
- Place orange segments and half of pomegranate arils in a shallow bowl (or a plate with high sides).
- Pour the dressing over and gently toss.
- Top with remaining pomegranate and the candied walnuts.