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Book Chat - Issue #9

Book Chat
Hello reading friends!
I’m excited to welcome some new subscribers to this edition. Thanks for signing up, it’s great to have you on board. This newsletter comes out every two weeks, usually on a Wednesday. Let me know if you have any comments or suggestions.
This week I’m focussing on comfort reading because many of my friends have mentioned that they are struggling to concentrate on anything serious. They seem embarrassed about this, but I don’t know why. Any reading is okay as long as it makes you happy.
It can be hard to find books that are not too difficult to read, but are also satisfying, so in this edition I’ll share a few of my favourite comfort reads.
I had a lot of fun trawling through my book list to find titles that are engaging, well-written and not too cloying or predictable. Let me know if you have any recommendations for books that you’ve really enjoyed.

What I've been reading
If you like non-fiction, you could try I Miss You When I Blink, a collection of essays by Mary Laura Philpott. It’s funny and wise. I’m looking forward to her next book which is due out next year.
I Miss You When I Blink – Mary Laura Philpott
Readers who like books about writers could try Writers and Lovers by Lily King. I really enjoyed this book about a young writer struggling to finish her book.
Writers & Lovers by Lily King · Readings.com.au
When a friend lent me The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland, I was a bit put off by the cover, but I really enjoyed this one. It’s set in a bookshop which is always a draw card.
THE LOST FOR WORDS BOOKSHOP | Kirkus Reviews
If you like mysteries that are a bit spooky, but definitely not scary, then I recommend The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths.
THE STRANGER DIARIES | Kirkus Reviews
What I've been writing
This week I wrote a short post about making the most of your opportunities. Here’s the link if you missed it.
Windows of opportunity
What I've been cooking
When I was a child, a friend of my mother’s made the most amazing custard power sponges. They were light and fluffy and the most beautiful yellow colour.
Later I married into a family with many excellent cooks, but Aunty Thelma specialised in making sponges. Since then, I’ve been wanting to make a sponge that was light as a feather but most of my efforts have been dismal. Last week I tried a recipe from a cookbook published by the Country Women’s Association of Victoria, From Our Kitchen to Yours. It sounds complicated, but it wasn’t really all that hard. I was pretty chuffed with the results. The recipe is below.
Ginger Fluff sponge cake
Ginger Fluff sponge cake
Ginger Fluff (Makes one 21cm layered cake)
 
Ingredients
4 eggs
1 cup of white sugar (165g)
pinch of salt
1 dessertspoon (12ml) golden syrup
½ cup (60g) cornflour
2 dessertspoons (24ml) plain flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
whipped cream to serve
chopped glace ginger and icing sugar
 
Method
Beat eggs, sugar and salt for 20 minutes, using an electric mixer. Add golden syrup and mix until blended in.
Sift together the cornflour, plain flour, spices, cocoa, bicarb soda and cream of tartar. Sift twice, then fold into egg mixture very gently.
Pour into two greased sandwich tins, 21cm X 6cm deep.
Bake in a moderate oven for 15 - 20 minutes. The sponge is cooked if the centre springs back when lightly pressed.
Take out of oven and run a knife around the edge to free it from the sides, or it may collapse. Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack covered with a tea towel to stop them sticking to the rack.
Once cooled, place whipped creamed between the layers. (I added a bit of jam I wanted to use up, but it would be fine without it). Dust with icing sugar and top with glacé ginger if desired.
Cheers and happy reading
Marg xxx
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Margaret Moon
Margaret Moon

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Central Coast, Australia