Monday, March 30, 2015

Mailbox Monday (3/30/15 edition)

 Image licensed from bigstockphoto.com
Copyright stands

Mailbox Monday is hosted here. I've received a few new books recently:

Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran
Received from the author

When the British Empire sets its sights on India in the 1850s, it expects a quick and easy conquest. After all, India is not even a country, but a collection of kingdoms on the subcontinent. But when the British arrive in the Kingdom of Jhansi, expecting its queen to forfeit her crown, they are met with a surprise. Instead of surrendering, Queen Lakshmi raises two armies—one male, one female—and rides into battle like Joan of Arc. Although her soldiers are little match against superior British weaponry and training, Lakshmi fights against an empire determined to take away the land she loves.

Told from the perspective of Sita, one of the guards in Lakshmi's all-female army and the queen’s most trusted warrior, The Last Queen of India traces the astonishing tale of a fearless ruler making her way in a world dominated by men. In the tradition of her bestselling novel Nefertiti, which Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series, called “a heroic story with a very human heart,” Michelle Moran once again brings a time and place rarely explored in historical fiction to rich, vibrant life.



Pure Food: Eat Clean with Seasonal, Plant-Based Recipes
by Veronica Bosgraaf 

Received through Blogging for Books

Bring more whole, real ingredients into your kitchen and replace processed foods with the 120 plant-based recipes in Pure Food.

A busy mother of three who was frustrated with trying to find healthy, organic snacks for her kids, Veronica Bosgraaf decided to make one herself, the Pure Bar. Now nationally available and widely beloved, the bar kick started a nutrition overhaul in Veronica’s home. Clean foods and a new, simple way of cooking and eating replaced anything overly processed and loaded with sugar.
     

Organized by month to take advantage of seasonal produce, Pure Food shares Veronica’s easy vegetarian recipes, many of which are vegan and gluten-free, too.

   • January: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Winter Garlic and Vegetable Stew, Chocolate Rice Pudding
   • April: Asparagus with Turmeric-Spiced Almonds, Egg Noodles with Wild Mushrooms and Spring Greens, Roasted Cauliflower with Quinoa and Cashews
   • July: Watermelon Mint Salad, Grilled Garlic and Summer Squash Skewers with Chimichurri, The Perfect Veggie Burger
   • November: Caramelized Pear Muffins, Parsnip and Thyme Cream Soup, Wild Rice and Pecan Stuffing

With 18 color photographs and tips for "cleaning" your kitchen and lifestyle—from drying your own herbs to getting rid of chemical cleaners—Pure Food shows the simple steps you can take to make your cooking and living more healthful.



Received through Netgalley:

1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die: A Food Lover's Life List
by Mimi Sheraton


The ultimate gift for the food lover. In the same way that 1,000 Places to See Before You Die reinvented the travel book, 1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die is a joyous, informative, dazzling, mouthwatering life list of the world’s best food. The long-awaited new book in the phenomenal 1,000 . . . Before You Die series, it’s the marriage of an irresistible subject with the perfect writer, Mimi Sheraton—award-winning cookbook author, grande dame of food journalism, and former restaurant critic for The New York Times.

1,000 Foods fully delivers on the promise of its title, selecting from the best cuisines around the world (French, Italian, Chinese, of course, but also Senegalese, Lebanese, Mongolian, Peruvian, and many more)—the tastes, ingredients, dishes, and restaurants that every reader should experience and dream about, whether it’s dinner at Chicago’s Alinea or the perfect empanada. In more than 1,000 pages and over 550 full-color photographs, it celebrates haute and snack, comforting and exotic, hyper-local and the universally enjoyed: a Tuscan plate of Fritto Misto. Saffron Buns for breakfast in downtown Stockholm. Bird’s Nest Soup. A frozen Milky Way. Black truffles from Le PĂ©rigord.

Mimi Sheraton is highly opinionated, and has a gift for supporting her recommendations with smart, sensuous descriptions—you can almost taste what she’s tasted. You’ll want to eat your way through the book (after searching first for what you have already tried, and comparing notes). Then, following the romance, the practical: where to taste the dish or find the ingredient, and where to go for the best recipes, websites included.



The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne

A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.

But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity—that she, in fact, is Lydia—their world comes crashing down once again.

As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past—what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died?
 

 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Introducing... Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

Introducing books through the first chapter or so...

The bedroom is strange. Unfamiliar. I don't know where I am, how I came to be here. I don't know how I'm going to get home.

-- Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mailbox Monday (3/2/15 edition)

 Image licensed from bigstockphoto.com
Copyright stands

Mailbox Monday is hosted here. I've received a few new books recently:

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
Received from publisher

The hilarious, heart-breaking new novel by the author of the international bestseller A MAN CALLED OVE.

'Granny has been telling fairy tales for as long as Elsa can remember. In the beginning they were only to make Elsa go to sleep, and to get her to practise granny's secret language, and a little because granny is just about as nutty as a granny should be. But lately the stories have another dimension as well. Something Elsa can't quite put her finger on...'

Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy. Standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa's best, and only, friend. At night Elsa runs to her grandmother's stories, to the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas. There, everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

So when Elsa's grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has hurt, it marks the beginning of Elsa's greatest adventure. Her grandmother's letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones-but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises is told with the same comic accuracy and beating heart as Fredrik Backman's bestselling debut novel, A Man Called Ove. It is a story about life and death and one of the most important human rights: the right to be different.


I received an ARC of this book, and it has My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry shown as the title, but while the ebook on Goodreads is listed under that title, the paperback is listed as My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises.

The Great Grammar Book by Marsha Sramek

I received this book from the author. Loving grammar as I do, I thought this would be a good fit. It is a workbook, and I'm learning a lot. I even dreamed about grammar last night!




The Man Who Loved Too Much by John Rachel
Received from the author

This is the story of Billy Green. When he was just turning four, his father tried to throw him in the trash. He was a smart kid but that just seemed to create enemies.

His mom did everything to protect him. But this was Detroit, armpit of the wasteland! Catholic school didn’t help much, except the time he got his first kiss from an atheist nun. Home life was dismal. Was his father capable of anything but drinking beer and farting? And what was with that neighbor who made puppets and tried to molest Billy? Golly! Detroit was sucking the life out of him. At such a young age!

Then adolescence swirled around him. Like water in a toilet bowl. High school was a B movie. Only without a plot. So finally he did something about it. Billy ran away… to college. Cornell University. That was a good move for sure! He studied hard, lost his virginity, met the love of his life. Things were definitely looking up! What could possibly go wrong? Isn’t that what we always ask?


Received through Netgalley:

Normal by Graeme Cameron

This is a love story. No, really.

He lives in your community, in a nice house with a well-tended garden. He shops in your grocery store, bumping shoulders with you as you pass him and apologizing with a smile. He drives beside you on the highway, politely waving to let you into the lane ahead of him.

What you don't know is that he has an elaborate cage built into a secret basement under his garage. And the food that he's carefully shopping for is to feed a young woman he's holding there against her will--one in a string of many, unaware of the fate that awaits her.

This is how it's been for a long time. It's normal...and it works. Perfectly.

Then he meets the checkout girl from the 24-hour grocery. And now the plan, the hunts, the room...the others. He doesn't need any of them anymore. He needs only her. One small problem--he still has someone trapped in his garage.

Discovering his humanity couldn't have come at a worse time.



The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

In this astonishing book from the author of the bestselling memoir The Good Good Pig, Sy Montgomery explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus' surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature: and the remarkable connections it makes with humans.

Sy Montgomery's popular 2011 Orion magazine piece, "Deep Intellect"; about her friendship with a sensitive, sweet-natured octopus named Athena and the grief she felt at her death, went viral, indicating the widespread fascination with these mysterious, almost alien-like creatures. Since then Sy has practiced true immersion journalism, from New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, pursuing these wild, solitary shape-shifters. Octopuses have varied personalities and intelligence they show in myriad ways: endless trickery to escape enclosures and get food; jetting water playfully to bounce objects like balls; and evading caretakers by using a scoop net as a trampoline and running around the floor on eight arms. But with a beak like a parrot, venom like a snake, and a tongue covered with teeth, how can such a being know anything? And what sort of thoughts could it think?

The intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees was only recently accepted by scientists, who now are establishing the intelligence of the octopus, watching them solve problems and deciphering the meaning of their color-changing camouflage techniques. Montgomery chronicles this growing appreciation of the octopus, but also tells a love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about consciousness and the meeting of two very different minds.
 


I love octopi! They are intelligent and fascinating creatures! 

QUICK REVIEW: Shaggy Dog Eats by Christy Bright

Synopsis

Now you can make your own healthy dog treats without spending a fortune. All the recipes in this book have been developed and made in my very own kitchen. There is a recipe for every special taste and sensitivity. Also, most of the ingredients can be modified. Have some fun and play around. Your four-legged friends will thank you.

Most of these recipes are fast and easy to make. They also make great gifts and are perfect for bake sales raising money for animal rescue organizations.

A portion from every sale of this book will support animal rescue.


Hardcover, 56 pages
Published December 1st 2014 by Beachbrights Publishing (first published November 19th 2014)
ISBN 0990985601 (ISBN13: 9780990985600)



My Thoughts

This is a brief book of only 56 pages. There is no introduction, no text aside from the recipes, and few photos.

The recipes are very simple to follow. Some are super easy, like "No Bake Treats", which only has three easy-to-find ingredients and no baking required. Some may be more complicated, like the "Celebration Cake" for special canine celebrations, and some may have harder-to-find ingredients, like rice flour.

I made the No Bake Treats, which are just peanut butter, milk (I used almond milk) and oats. The pups love them!

This is a good book for simple homemade dog treats. Nothing fancy and wholesome ingredients.


Buy Now:

Barnes and Noble
Amazon

My Rating:





 

Disclosure:

I received a copy of this book to review through Netgalley and the publisher, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel.