Tuesday, May 31, 2016

52 Cups of Coffee - Megan Gebhart

I am sorry, but I forgot where I saw this book recommended.  But I am glad I had an interlibrary loan made to get ahold of a copy of 52 Cups of Coffee.

The introduction to the book starts with the quote, "Who you are in five years depends on the people you meet and the books you read." (Twyla Tharp)

Megan Gebhart was a college senior and embarked on a personal project, to have coffee, once a week for a year, with people she normally wouldn't come in contact with and to write about each encounter on her blog, www.52cups.com.

This project was brave on her part in my opinion.  I couldn't image sitting down with complete strangers and having an intimate conversation for 30 minutes or an hour.  But she did and the results are fantastic.

Each chapter is only three or four pages long and you would think it would be a quick read.  But it isn't.  Because you want to savor each one.  There is a lot of insight packed into each chapter.

The format for the book is the same, chapter to chapter.  The person being interviewed and the place and coffee (or beverage) consumed during the interview.  And a takeaway thought from the chapter, such as, from Lou Anna K. Simon, Michigan State President, of "Hard work is the currency that buys good fortune."

While reading the book I found myself taking notes on each chapter.  At first, I thought it would be sporadic.  However, looking at my notes, I had something to write about almost every chapter.

This book is now on my 'to-get' list so I can go back and underline and write in it (they tend to frown on that with library books).  And stock up on coffee.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

When you live in Helena, Montana and "Sleeping Giant" comes up, you naturally grab the book.  And Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel is well worth grabbing.

Eleven year old Rose literally falls into a giant hand while riding her bicycle near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota.  Now, 17 years later, she is the head scientist studying the same hand.

Written as a series of debriefings between an unnamed government official and the various scientists and military personnel putting this puzzle together, it's an interesting read from this perspective.  As events unfold and more of the giant is discovered, more questions and unexplained events occur.

Book 1 in the Themis Files series, this is a good summer read.  It will also make you look at our own Sleeping Giant a little bit differently.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Somethingtofoodabout by Questlove

Being that I can sit in front of the TV and watch food show after food show, this book is a feast for my senses.  Somethingtofoodabout by Questlove is a collection of interviews with innovative chefs from around the country, interspersed with artful photographs.

The tagline of the book is what really captured by attention initially - "exploring creativity with innovative chefs".   Also the Arcimboldo-like picture, who I really love, was a second reason I wanted to take a look at this book.

This is a book to sit down with a plate of good bread and cheese, a glass of wine, prop your feet up and spend the evening with.  Much like you would do if you were enjoying a great meal.  It is one to savor in bites and not gulp down in a single serving.

Besides, anything with an introduction by Anthony Bourdain has to be good, right!

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

4 X 4 Diet by Erin Oprea

So, when Lady K is sitting on my bed and tells me 'exercise, exercise', I guess I had better pay attention.  However, my capacity for exercise has the attention span of Lady K, about 5 minutes max. Which is one reason 4 X 4 Diet by Erin Oprea sparked my interest.

Erin Oprea's approach is like the diet and exercise, simple and clean.  One thing which really caught my attention (and I personally like) is she doesn't say "NO" sugar.  She just says 'cut back' on sugar.  Her recipes included in the book show simple substitutes for my favorite ingredient - sugar.

Sometimes when you get a diet book there are all kinds of hoops and tricks you have to do, but this one is fairly straight forward.  And the exercises are simple too.  High intensity, rest, repeat, but only 4 minutes worth.  However, Oprea does encourage getting up and walking more, setting the bar at 10,000 steps, which is what my daily goal is already.

I liked the book and will probably incorporate many of her suggestions, recipes and ideas into my daily life - like drinking more water, for one.   I'll have to work up to the 4 minute workouts though.

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

June - by Miranda Beverly-Whittlemore

Cassie Danver’s life is in need of as much repair as the crumbling family mansion, Two Oaks. And rural St. Jude, Ohio is just the place to hide, and not only mourn the grandmother, June, who raised her, but to try and figure out where she wants to go from here. 

But the house, and life, have other plans for Cassie, such as a surprise inheritance from legendary movie idol, Jack Montgomery, someone who Cassie only knew from old movies. When his two daughters arrive to challenge the will, Cassie’s peace is turned upside down. What transpires is a sixty year old secret full of murder, Hollywood and intrigue. 

Alternating between June, 2015 and June, 1955, Beverly-Whittlemore skillfully weaves a tale of a young June and the woman Cassie thought she knew as her grandmother. The house itself seems to come alive during this investigation into what really happened in St. Jude, Ohio during the filming of a movie in June, 1955. Was there a romance between the star, Jack Montgomery, and 19 year old June? Is Cassie really his granddaughter? 

While I was a bit irritated with Cassie early in the book for not immediately starting repairs on Two Oaks (that’s the type A in me), I quickly became immersed in the back and forth of Junes, sixty years apart. While the young June had to deal with Hollywood movie stars, Cassie has to deal with the equally famous daughters of movie stars, who may, or may not, be her aunts. Definitely a good summer read.

Find your copy of June at the Lewis and Clark Library or here.