Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Eat Beautiful by Wendy Rowe

I have to say I was a bit reluctant to pick up this book. It sounded a bit to 'fluffy' for me. However, I must say there is more than meets the eye here. 

Divided by the seasons, Rowe gives foods common during that time of the year, along with the nutrients and some yummy recipes using that ingredient. This is going to be helpful since we all want to eat better this year (lots of stress, you understand) for not only weight management, but overall health.

While it probably will not be my first 'go-to' cookbook, there are a lot of interesting ones I will try. And the layout and pictures are fantastic. Well worth a look through every now and then.

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Chemist - Stephanie Meyer

If you pick this book up expecting something in the line of The Twilight Saga or a sequel to The Host, you are going to be very disappointed. Nothing paranormal here.

However, if you want a book to keep you on the edge of your seat, then pick up The Chemist.

Alex is on the run and has been for the past three years. On the run from her past employers at a top secret government agency. Hoping to resolve her dilemma she gets involved, quite by accident, with other people and dogs.

I enjoyed the book on one hand. However, I do have a couple of problems with it.  First, it did take me a bit to get into it. It was quite lengthy in describing how she has been protecting herself for the past three years and all the precautions she takes - gas, poison rings and other booby traps. However, part of me feels it is necessary to really understand why she is referred to as The Chemist.

Secondly, I'm not really sure I understand exactly what she was running from or trying to stop from happening and even if was really resolved.

Given my issues with the book, would I recommend it? Absolutely! No sparkling vampires here, but an intense action read, well worth settling in on a cold and snowy winter day with.

By the way, I want a dog like Einstein.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Under the Tuscan Sun - Frances Mayes

Twenty years! Where did the time go?

If there is one book I have given away more copies of it's this book. 

This is the book which is responsible for starting my love affair with travel books, it's Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes.

Forget the movie (please, forget the movie) and settle back in a chair, preferably in the sun. I always seem to wind up with a sprig of basil as a bookmark and fix lots of Italian food to eat afterwards.

From the trials of buying property in Italy, to the difficulty of finding people to help restore your new, but falling down, villa, it's a romp through Italy which will have you packing your bags and heading to the airport.

With a new copy of the book in my hands, it's time for a dinner of spaghetti, red wine and fresh bread.


"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Amaro - The Spirited Worlds of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs

I really don't know much about bitters. I do know a local distillery has started producing their own bitters.  So when I had a chance to get ahold of Brad Thomas Parsons new book, Amaro, I was pleased to not only get a history of amaro, but also a volume of fantastic sounding drinks and recipes for using bitters.

A beautiful book filled with recipes for various drinks and the stories behind them, I was particularly taken with the section on how to make my own bitters (and the Autumnal Amaro sounds so good), as well as other recipes using amaro.  Right now, despite the cold in Helena, a Campari Float, made with orange soda, ice cream and Campari sounds like a wonderful slice of summer.

This is a keeper for our drink shelf.

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A Study in Scarlet Women - Sherry Thomas

Charlotte Holmes has invited ruin upon her good name in order to live the life she choses. And she does so under the guise of being Sherlock Holmes.

The names are familiar...to a certain point. And the interweaving of story lines makes for a great read. Between the deaths which occur (or were they murders?) and the twists and turns of Charlotte's own life, you find yourself flipping pages and reading far past your bedtime.

A great alternate version of the Sherlock Holmes legend and I can't wait to read the next one. 

You can find the book here, on Amazon, just in time for Christmas reading!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Heartless is Breathtaking!

First off, I love anything to do with Lewis Carroll and the "Alice" stories. Love it, love it, love it. Not so far as to have an entire sleeve being tattooed on my arm, but close enough. (Note to self - go back and read my annotated copy of Alice in Wonderland.)

Actually, I am going to claim ignorance of what the book was about.  I don't always read the fly-leaf on the cover. I just know I have enjoyed Meyer's retelling of fairy tales in The Lunar Chronicles, so I brought it home with me.  And devoured it. Much like the delectable confections Cath prepares in the book. The result - I discovered something special (and cried a bit too).

Catherine is nobility. But all she wants to do is open a bakery, preparing all manner of sweets and tarts. However, the King has his eye on more than her tarts and a new court jester has arrived. Along with the Jabberwoky.

What happens is a romp through Wonderland with all your favorite characters, including a Mad Hatter, who might not be quite as mad...yet.

I don't think I could recommend Heartless by Marissa Meyer any more. In fact, if you hurry over to Amazon, you can get the first four chapters on ebook free.  Since it's suitable for teens on up, this would make an excellent Christmas present for someone. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Story Genius - Lisa Gron

I am a sucker for books on writing.  Almost as much as I am a sucker for anything chocolate.

And interestingly enough, this book came to me right be National Novel Writing Month started.  However, Story Genius is not a quick read, especially in light of some of the other writing books I'm read.

Lisa Cron takes what most of the books on writing says to do and turns it on it's head.  Using the old '5 W's and How' from journalism, Cron has you crafting your novel using "What If?, The Who, The Why, The Worldview, The When and What Next?".  Creating the inside story is the first half of the book. Then she takes you into 'blueprinting' your story, pulling out cards, and building your story.  

There is a lot to absorb with this book and each chapter ends with an exercise based on that chapter's contents.  This is not a book to breeze through and stick on your shelf, but a deep read and write.  So much so, my initial read through is now a 'go-back-and-reread'.  But after NaNoWriMo.  Otherwise, I would be trashing what I've got and starting all over again (exactly what Cron's warns me about!)

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."