Love, gelato and even more [Café Libro]

According to Jenna Evans Welch’s novel Love and Gelato, people come to Italy for just that: love and gelato. For Lina, however, things are a bit more complicated. Before her mother lost her battle with cancer, she made her last wish clear: that Lina travel to Tuscany to finally meet the father figure she never had while growing up. Upon her arrival, Lina receives the journal her mother had filled while studying photography in Florence as a young woman. Now, years later in the same city, Lina finds herself facing not only an uncertain future but also the jarring story of her mother’s own rendezvous with love and gelato. As she follows along on her mother’s adventures, Lina’s own story begins to unfold—one complete with an air of mystery and a charming young man named Ren (as in Lorenzo, not Kylo Ren).

I found Love and Gelato so refreshing. When I read this book, I was in real need of a break from the stress I had been under, and this trip to Tuscany was just what I needed to recover myself mentally. Besides the intriguing setting, though, I also loved Welch’s style of writing and the parallels between Lina’s and her mother’s plotlines. Despite the cheesy title, that element and the underlying themes gave this read a depth that I truly appreciate.

The Next Challenge:

Carson, I have been waiting to recommend you this next one for a long time. This week, I challenge you to read The Hound of the Baskervilles, one of the longer Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I opened up the first volume of the Sherlock Holmes tales over the summer, and ever since, I’ve been in love. As I was rather surprised to discover, Conan’s original version of the great detective isn’t too far off from Benedict Cumberbatch’s modernized portrayal in BBC’s series “Sherlock.” The classic Holmes has the same amazing intelligence and many of the same quirks, though he arguably has more in the way of friendliness and gentlemanly manners than the modern version.

After reading just a few of the classic stories, I was already in love with Watson’s narration, with the cozy relationship between him and Holmes, and with the fog-covered atmosphere of Victorian-era London. No matter how much time passes between readings, I don’t think I will ever get tired of settling in to hear Watson begin another tale, describing the two famous Londoners sitting in front of the fire and wondering what mystery their next client will bring them.

On this blog, Emily Dexter and Carson TerBush will put their book recommendations to the test. Each week, one will challenge each other to read a book she has read before and enjoyed. The following week, they will judge the recommended book and then propose the next challenge. They hope to inspire new readers to read some new books. To read more, check out the Café Libro blog at