Wednesday, September 28, 2022

The Year of the Projects - The Pint of No Return + Jell-O Girls

I do love a good list.  It gives a nice sense of order and focus and I love making lists about the books I want to read.  Last year I focused just on series I was behind on.  The project went great and I caught up on a ton of series but I felt like I was neglecting other books on my shelf and books at my library.  This year I have a few lists going - Series, Library, Clear Off My Shelves, and a random TBR Bingo where I pull books off my Goodreads TBR.  Here are a few of my most recent reads.

Goodreads:  The Pint of No Return (A Sloan Krauss Mystery #2) by Ellie Alexander

Project:  Series

Blurb:  No other festival compares to Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, Washington. The whole town is buzzing with excitement over this year’s activities and eagerly awaiting Nitro’s latest offering Cherrywizen, made with locally sourced cherries. But local brewmaster Sloan Krause is tapped out. Between trying to manage the pub, her pending divorce with Mac, and her mounting feelings for Garrett, she’s fermenting in internal turmoil.
To complicate matters, dreamy movie star Mitchell Morgan and his production crew have arrived in the village to film during the authentic Bavarian brewfest. Mitchell has his eye on Sloan and a taste for Nitro’s Cherrywizen. Sloan escapes his advances for good when she finds Mitchell slumped over the bar. Is this a case of one pint too many, or has Mitchell been murdered by microbrew?

My Thoughts:  I'm really enjoying this series!  I'm not a beer drinker (or much of a drinker at all) but Sloan's enthusiasm of the brewing process and the descriptions of all the types of beer has me fascinated.  I also love the mystery about Sloan's past that seems to be running through the series.  I can't wait to see how it all plays out.  The mystery in this book was interesting and kept me guessing until the very end.  My Rating:  Really Liked It! (4 Stars) *Received in exchange for my honest review*

Goodreads: Jell-O Girls: A Family History by Allie Rowbottom

Project: TBR Bingo

In 1899, Allie Rowbottom's great-great-great-uncle bought the patent to Jell-O from its inventor for $450. The sale would turn out to be one of the most profitable business deals in American history, and the generations that followed enjoyed immense privilege - but they were also haunted by suicides, cancer, alcoholism, and mysterious ailments.
More than 100 years after that deal was struck, Allie's mother Mary was diagnosed with the same incurable cancer, a disease that had also claimed her own mother's life. Determined to combat what she had come to consider the "Jell-O curse" and her looming mortality, Mary began obsessively researching her family's past, determined to understand the origins of her illness and the impact on her life of Jell-O and the traditional American values the company championed. Before she died in 2015, Mary began to send Allie boxes of her research and notes, in the hope that her daughter might write what she could not. JELL-O GIRLS is the liberation of that story.

A gripping examination of the dark side of an iconic American product and a moving portrait of the women who lived in the shadow of its fractured fortune, JELL-O GIRLS is a family history, a feminist history, and a story of motherhood, love and loss. In crystalline prose Rowbottom considers the roots of trauma not only in her own family, but in the American psyche as well, ultimately weaving a story that is deeply personal, as well as deeply connected to the collective female experience.

My Thoughts:  I didn't care for this one.  This is a family that is loosely connected to Jell-O (a great-uncle by marriage purchased the patent for cheap, got Jell-O going and starting to become a household name and then sold it all long before the author, her mother or really anyone in the book is born) but the author references it regularly to show how stuck the women in her family were and makes regular comparisons to different kinds of Jell-O salads.  At first it's clever but after happens about a dozen times in 50 pages it gets a bit old.   Jell-O has nothing to do with the family's misfortune -it's more alcoholism and generations of family dysfunction.  Really they just needed lots of therapy and rehab and a bit more therapy.  Looking at the reviews it looks like they were fairly split.  Half the readers loved it and half the readers had similar feelings towards the book that I did.  My Rating: Not For Me (DNF)


  1. Bummer about the Jello book. I need to add a DNF tag in my Goodreads. I wish they had it as an option as they do for Want-to-read, Reading and Finished categories.

    1. I agree with you! I never didn't finish a book until a few years ago but since I do now, I'd love a DNF tag on GR!

  2. It's too bad that Jell-O Girls wasn't better. But at least you can get it off your shelf now.

  3. How sad about the book Jell-O Girls, I'll pass on that one.

  4. The premise sure is interesting. Too bad it fell short for you.

  5. I am enjoying another series by Ellie Alexander, this one sounds extra good, always like a back story for a character that slowly reveals.

  6. The Ellie Alexander series is another one on my list to read. Looks great.