Dec 302017
 

Turtles All the Way Down

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
Narrated by Kate Rudd

Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 7 hours and 12 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Listening Library
Audible.com Release Date: October 10, 2017

It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward.

Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity.

Thoughts
Aza has mental health issues including OCD and anxiety and can’t stop thinking about getting C Diff. That’s a big part of this book.

Aja and her BFF Daisy are investigating the disappearance of Russell Pickett, the father of Davis, one of Aza’s friend from a few years before. There is a huge cash reward to anyone who calls the police with a clue that leads to him.

I liked Aza, Daisy, Davis, & Mychal. I felt so bad for Davis’s younger brother.

There is a lot that happens. Good things and bad things, and it all makes this a fascinating book. The whole story about the tuatara was great, even though some of it left me shaking my head.

The book is narrated by Kate Rudd who did such an amazing job with all the different characters, even the men. I really don’t know how she did it, but they all had their own unique voice.

The ending came sooner than I was expecting, but it left me satisfied. I would love a sequel to this book.

Dec 292017
 

Bare Bones: I'm Not Lonely If You're Reading This Book

Bare Bones: I’m Not Lonely If You’re Reading This Book by Bobby Bones

Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 6 hours and 28 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: HarperAudio
Audible.com Release Date: May 17, 2016

A touching, funny, heart-wrenching, and triumphant memoir from one of the biggest names in radio, the host of The Bobby Bones Show, one of the most listened-to drive time morning radio shows in the nation.

Growing up poor in Mountain Pine, Arkansas, with a young, addicted mom, Bobby Estell fell in love with country music. Abandoned by his father at the age of five, Bobby saw the radio as his way out—a dream that came true in college when he went on air at the Henderson State University campus station broadcasting as Bobby Bones, while simultaneously starting The Bobby Bones Show at 105.9 KLAZ. Bobby’s passions were pop, country music, and comedy, and he blended the three to become a tastemaker in the country music industry, heard by millions daily. Bobby broke the format of standard country radio, mixing country and pop with entertainment news and information, and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the business, including Luke Bryan, Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Lady Antebellum, and Jason Aldean.

Yet despite the glamour, fame, and money, Bobby has never forgotten his roots, the mom and grandmother who raised him, the work ethic he embraced which saved him and encouraged him to explore the world, and the good values that shaped him. In this funny, poignant memoir told in Bobby’s distinctive patter, he takes fans on a tour of his road to radio. Bobby doesn’t shy away from the curves he continues to navigate—including his obsessive-compulsive disorder—on his journey to find the happiness of a healthy family.

Funny and tender, raw and honest, Bare Bones is pure Bobby Bones—surprising, entertaining, inspiring, and authentic.

Thoughts
I had never heard of Bobby Bones before seeing this book, but it sounded good so I decided to get it in print and audiobook.

The book is very interesting, he tells the story of what his childhood was like, and how he fought his way to making it big. He had a lot of struggles and the odds were against him, but he made it. BIG time.

He almost sabbatogged himself a few times, but things always worked out in the end.

I started with the audio and didn’t ever start the print because I loved listening to Bobby. He did a great job with the narration. It was like listening to him talking to his friends.

I am now a huge fan of Bobby Bones. If you aren’t familiar with him (I can’t be the only person to never hear of him before can I?) check him out on the radio or pick up a copy of this book. It’s very interesting and he holds nothing back. A few times he gives a little tmi, but he’s very funny. Loved this book!

Dec 282017
 

Little Ree by Ree Drummond
Illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Series: Little Ree
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (March 28, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062453181
ISBN-13: 978-0062453181

New York Times bestselling author, Food Network star, and the Pioneer Woman herself, Ree Drummond brings us the first book in a brand-new picture book series! In Ree’s own words: “I was all grown up when I moved out to the country. When I first arrived, I felt so out of place! But eventually, I looked around and discovered all the wonderful things about country life. So I decided to write a story about my experiences, as seen through the eyes of a little girl named Ree. Little Ree moves to the country and feels as scared and unsure as I was. But then she finds that if she sets her mind to it, being a country girl is a pretty cool thing. Come along on her adventures!”Little Ree trades in her city days for a country way of life when she moves with her family to her grandparents’ ranch. She’s excited to ride horses, swim in the pond, and help Grandma cook for everyone. But on her first day, she finds that living on a ranch can be tough. She has to get up at the crack of dawn, learn to herd cows, and make sure her horse, Pepper, doesn’t eat everything in sight. And that’s all before breakfast! Will she ever get used to this new place? Luckily, the end of the day brings a big family barbecue … and the happy discovery that being a country girl isn’t about the right pair of boots, it’s all about the right attitude.

Thoughts
I’ve been a fan of Ree Drummond for years. I love her tv show, her cookbooks, her blog, and now this book. I know she’s written quite a few other books and I want to read them too.

There is such a great message in this book. I know there are a lot of families that move, and sometimes that’s not so easy for the kids. But this book will show them that a move isn’t always bad. And maybe, it just might end up being a wonderful thing.

Cute short book with great illustrations.

Dec 172017
 

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
Narrated by Christina Moore
Newbery Honor Book

Listening Length: 54 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Recorded Books
Audible.com Release Date: October 22, 2008

Never out of print since its 1944 publication, this tender story offers readers of all ages a timeless message of compassion and understanding. At its heart is Wanda Petronski, an immigrant girl in an American school, who is ridiculed for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. When she tells her classmates that she has one hundred dresses at home, she unwittingly triggers a game of teasing that eventually ends in a lesson for all.

In restoring the reproduction of Louis Slobodkin’s artwork, this new edition recaptures the original vivid color. And to celebrate the book’s enhanced beauty, Helena Estes, the daughter of the author, has written a new letter to readers about the true story behind The Hundred Dresses.

Thoughts
I didn’t remember ever hearing about this before seeing it online, but have since learned that it was required reading in many elementary schools.

The book is really short, but it’s full of lessons every child should learn, like bullying or making fun of someone is not acceptable, and that if you see/hear anyone bullying someone you should say stand up for that person.

It also shows that even if you don’t believe what someone says, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. It may not be exactly the way it sounds, but still it could be true.

The book also shows how important forgiving someone is. It makes you feel so much better than holding a grudge.

I loved this book and think it should be required reading for young children. Most adults will probably love it too.

Dec 142017
 

Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff

Capital Gaines by Chip Gaines

Narrated by: Chip Gaines, Joanna Gaines, Melinda Paul, Rachel Agee, Gabe Wicks
Length: 5 hrs and 7 mins
Unabridged
Release date: 10-17-17
Language: English
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

The funny and talented Chip Gaines is well known to millions of people as a TV star, renovation expert, bestselling author, husband to Joanna, and father of four in Waco, Texas. But long before the world took notice, Chip was a serial entrepreneur who was always ready for the next challenge, even if it didn’t quite work out as planned. Whether it was buying a neighborhood laundromat or talking a bank into a loan for some equipment to start a lawn-mowing service, Chip always knew that the most important thing was to take that first step.

Now a #1 New York Times bestselling book, Capital Gaines offers readers a ringside seat as Chip relives some of his craziest antics and the lessons learned along the way. His mentors taught him to never give up and his family showed him what it meant to always have a positive attitude despite your circumstances. Throw in a natural daredevil personality and a willingness to do (or eat!) just about anything, and you have the life and daily activity of Chip Gaines.

Capital Gaines is the perfect book for anyone looking to succeed not only in business but more importantly in life.

Thoughts
I’ve watched Fixer Upper for a years and love not only the show but Chip and Joanna and their relationship. Chip never fails to make me lol and I enjoy the banter between the two of them. I also love the way they transform a so so house into a beautiful place to call home.

As soon as I saw this book I knew I wanted to read it. I learned a lot about Chip that I didn’t know. I learned about his childhood, that he owned a few businesses when he was young, and his love for family and friends, and so much more.

He takes you on a very interesting journey of his life and I enjoyed every minute of it. Whether you are a Chip fan or not, this book is so worth reading/listening to, a 5★.

 

Dec 082017
 

Murder on the Orient Express cover art

Murder On The Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Narrated by: Dan Stevens
Series: Hercule Poirot, Book 10
Length: 6 hrs and 37 mins
Unabridged
Release date: 09-10-13
Language: English
Publisher: HarperAudio

“The murderer is with us – on the train now…”

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer.

Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again….

Thoughts
This is a whodunnit at it’s best. Poirot is my favorite detective, and Christie always does a great job with his character. He always makes me think one person is guilty, then makes me change my mind usually more than once, and then says who the killer is and it shocks me every time.

There were more characters than I normally like in a book, but the descriptions of them are so vivid that I had no problem keeping them straight.

There were so many clues, so much happening, and so many ways the story could have gone, but in the end it was one of the best endings I’ve ever read in a book.

The book was narrated by Dan Stevens who did a great job with all the voices.

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to all lovers of  this genre of book.

Dec 012017
 

Talking as Fast as I Can cover art

Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham

Narrated by: Lauren Graham
Length: 4 hrs and 38 mins
Unabridged
Release date: 11-29-16

In her first work of nonfiction, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood recounts her experiences on Gilmore Girls – the first and second times – and shares stories about life, love, and working in Hollywood. This collection of essays is written in the intimate, hilarious, and down-to-earth voice that made her novel, Someday, Someday, Maybe, a New York Times best seller.
“This book contains some stories from my life: the awkward growing up years, the confusing dating years, the fulfilling working years, and what it was like to be asked to play one of my favorite characters again. You probably think I’m talking about my incredible achievement as Dolly in Hello, Dolly! as a Langley High School junior, a performance my dad called ‘you’re so much taller than the other kids.’ But no! I’m talking about Lorelai Gilmore, who, back in 2008, I wasn’t sure I’d ever see again. Also included: tales of living on a houseboat, meeting guys at awards shows, and that time I was asked to be a butt model. A hint: all three made me seasick.”

Thoughts
I love Lauren Graham and I enjoyed Someday, Someday, Maybe. So when I saw this book I knew I wanted to read (listen) to it.

I learned a lot about the author that I didn’t know. One of those things was that she lived on a houseboat for a time while she was growing up. This resonated with me because my husband and I came really close to buying a houseboat when our kids were young. But in the end we decided not to because they didn’t want to leave their friends and live on the water. I know, what was wrong with them?

Lauren talks a lot about her years on Gilmore Girls, the show, the relationships with her co-workers, the emotions of everyone when the show was ending etc.  And of course those stories were my favorite part of the book. I also loved hearing the stories of her growing up, the years of trying to make it as an actor, and her dating life.

The book is very funny of course, and she gives the reader bits of advice that you may or may not take, but will enjoy hearing either way.

This is a short book and it is well worth the time. It’s interesting, funny, and informative.

The author narrated the book and I thought she did a good job, but at times I found her a bit over the top. But of course, that’s Lauren Graham.

Nov 272017
 

The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking

Narrated by the author

Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 3 hours and 13 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: HarperAudio
Audible.com Release Date: January 17, 2017
Language: English
ASIN: B01N63906B

Embrace Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) and become happier with this definitive guide to the Danish philosophy of comfort, togetherness, and well-being.

Why are Danes the happiest people in the world? The answer, says Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, is Hygge. Loosely translated, Hygge—pronounced Hoo-ga—is a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. “Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience,” Wiking explains. “It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe.”

Hygge is the sensation you get when you’re cuddled up on a sofa, in cozy socks under a soft throw, during a storm. It’s that feeling when you’re sharing comfort food and easy conversation with loved ones at a candlelit table. It is the warmth of morning light shining just right on a crisp blue-sky day.

The Little Book of Hygge introduces you to this cornerstone of Danish life, and offers advice and ideas on incorporating it into your own life, such as:
Get comfy. Take a break.
Be here now. Turn off the phones.
Turn down the lights. Bring out the candles.
Build relationships. Spend time with your tribe.
Give yourself a break from the demands of healthy living. Cake is most definitely Hygge.
Live life today, like there is no coffee tomorrow.
From picking the right lighting to organizing a Hygge get-together to dressing hygge, Wiking shows you how to experience more joy and contentment the Danish way.

Thoughts
I first saw this book when JoAnn reviewed it, and I thought I’d like learning more about Hygge. I put a hold on it at my library but was #6 in line and didn’t want to wait so I bought the audio version.

I really enjoyed this short book. I learned that I’ve been living a Hygge life for most of my life. How do I Hygge? Every day I curl up on the sofa and cover up with a soft throw, I light candles, the rooms of my house are barely lit when there’s no company. I  spend as much time as I can with family, just talking or playing games, mainly just enjoying each other’s company. I love walks on the beach, along the river, or at the park. Riding the nearby trials on my bike. Burning incense, adult coloring books, romantic movies or listening to soft music. I bet there are ways you Hygge too, you just didn’t know it.

I really enjoyed listening to this book, the author did a really good job of narrating it.

I recommend this book to everyone. We all need Hygge in our lives.

Nov 202017
 

House on the Forgotten Coast by Ruth Coe Chambers

Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: She Writes Press (September 19, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1631523007
ISBN-13: 978-1631523007
 

Like a monarch surveying her domain, the house has stood for over a hundred years in the fishing village of Apalachicola on Florida’s northwest coast. She has known life. She has known passionate love. She has known brutal death. But she has guarded her secrets well . . .

Then eighteen-year-old Elise Foster and her parents arrive from Atlanta in their silver Jaguar, bringing with them their own secrets and desires. Seeking friendship in their new community, they find instead that the townspeople resent their intrusion. But this intrusion on the house’s privacy also provides a pathway for the past and the present to merge—and for the truth behind an unsolved murder to finally be brought to light. As you strive to solve the mystery, you and the Fosters are forced to address two critical questions: What is real? What is delusion?
 

 Thoughts
Elise is moving to Apalachicola with her parents and she is definitely not happy about it. But soon she becomes engrossed in the town, it’s residents, and it’s history.  And then she gets the feeling that she is somehow connected to the house she’s living in and to the past of Apalachicola.
 
The author brings the story and the small town alive with her words, and makes this book very hard to put down.
 
This story is not like what I usually read, but it caught my attention because it takes place in Apalachicola, Florida. The story is interesting from the start and keeps your attention through to the end with many twists and turns and a lot of mystery and secrets.

 
About the Author:Ruth Coe Chambers takes pride in her Florida panhandle roots and her hometown of Port St. Joe has inspired much of her writing.She is indebted to the creative writing classes at the University of South Florida where she found her “voice” and began writing literary fiction. Listed in the Who’s Who of American Women. She has recently republished one novel, and published it’s sequel, and has written two award-winning plays. She is currently working on the third novel in her Bay Harbor Trilogy. She has two daughters and lives with her husband and one very spoiled Cairn terrier in Neptune Beach, Florida.

Her two earlier novels include The Chinaberry Album and Heat Lightening

Buy The Book
 
Blog Tour Schedule:
Nov. 16: Bookfan Mary (Spotlight/Giveaway)
Nov. 20: I’d Rather Be at the Beach (Review)
Dec. 1: Book Nerd Native (Review)
Dec. 8: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen (Review)
Dec. 13: Silver’s Reviews (Spotlight/Giveaway)
Dec. 15: Readaholic Zone (Review)
Dec. 20: 100 pgs. A Day .. Stephanie’s Book Reviews (Review)
Dec. 28: Broken Teepee (Review)
Dec. 29: Book Nerd Native (Guest Post/Giveaway)
Jan. 3: Wall-to-Wall Books (Review)
Jan. 8: Svetlana Reads and Views (Review)
Jan. 13: Jorie Loves A Story (Review)
Jan. 18: Erica Robyn Reads (Review)

Follow the blog tour with the hashtag #RuthCoeChambers

Nov 162017
 

Nourished by Lia Huber

Listening Length: 7 hours and 24 minutes
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Random House Audio
Release Date: October 24, 2017
Language: English
ASIN: B076DSKKCY

A noted entrepreneur, food writer, and recipe developer serves up an evocative adventure story abouther quest to find healing, meaning, and a place at the table.

Hunger comes to us in many forms, writes Lia Huber–we long to be satisfied not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. Nourished invites readers on Huber’s world-roaming search to find the necessary ingredients to nurture all three.
She begins her quest with an Anthony Bourdain moment in a Guatemalan village: she’s slipping fresh vegetables into a communal pot of soup she’s cooking up for chronically undernourished children. Village grannies look on disapprovingly… until the kids come back for more.
From there, Huber takes readers to the Greek island of Corfu, where she learns the joys of simple food and the power of unconditional love; to a Costa Rican jungle house (by way of an 8,000-mile road trip), where she finds hope and healing; and finally to California’s wine country, where she steps into the person she was meant to be and discovers her calling to nourish others.

Thoughts
I loved this book. It took me on a journey to Guatemala, Corfu, Costa Rica, and California, following along with Lia and then with her husband Christopher. It was like listening to two stories. One centered around the customs and people in the places they traveled, and the other centered around Lia and her relationships, food, and life.

The recipes were mostly ones that sounded more complicated than I like, and foods I’ve never tried, but I would like to make a few of them sometime.

I’m glad I listened to the book instead of read it. The author is the narrator and she brings a lot of emotion into the telling of it. I’d give this book a 5 ★

Nov 132017
 

 

Barbra Streisand on the Couch by Alma Bond, Ph.D.

Publisher: Bancroft Press (Oct 1, 2017)
Category: Literary Fiction, Celebrities, Barbra Streisand
Tour dates: Oct/Nov, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-61088-211-8
Available in Print, 308 pages

About the book
We all know Barbra, the star, but how well do we know Barbra, the woman? In the latest installment of my On the Couch series, Dr. Darcy Dale, a renowned, pioneering Manhattan psychiatrist, is confronted by Barbra, who is dismayed after thirty years of minimally successful therapy. Over the course of a year, Dr. Dale conducts an intimate psychoanalysis, breaking through Barbra’s defense mechanisms and repressions to delve deep into the heart and mind of one of America’s last remaining superstars.

Published at the same time as Streisand’s own, long awaited memoir, Barbra Streisand: On the Couch is an essential companion, a sensitive, objective, pitch-perfect opportunity to look behind the voice and image, and to understand and fully appreciate Barbra Streisand, the human being.

Thoughts
I was very excited to have a chance to review this book because I’ve been a fan of Barbra Streisand since I was young. I’ve seen all but a few of her movies and have listened to her music for many years. I couldn’t wait for the book to arrive and was thrilled when it did. I was even more thrilled when I saw that it was signed.

The book is very good. I learned things about Barbra that I didn’t know. Things about her childhood, her school days, her start in show business, her relationships with men.

The author dedicates this book to her, saying that she’s “The funniest person I’ve ever known.”  And it’s true, many times throughout the book she made me laugh.

This book is very interesting. The thing that surprised me the most though is that she spent thirty years in analysis and no one could give her the help she was looking for and needed until she went to the author.

I recommend this book to everyone, whether a fan of Barbra or not. If you are a fan, it will make you a bigger fan. If you aren’t, it will make you one.

This is such a good book, and now I want to read the rest in the “On The Couch” series.

Buy Barbra Streisand: on the Couch by Alma H. Bond, Ph.D.
Amazon
Barnes&Noble
Indiebound
BookDepository

Praise Barbra Streisand: on the Couch by Alma H. Bond, Ph.D.
“Thoroughly enjoyable.”—Kitty Kelley, author of mega bestselling biographies on Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Reagan, the British Royal Family, the Bush family, and Oprah Winfrey

“Absolutely delightful … and wonderful … with fabulous insight … Fans of Barbra Streisand [will] love this book . . . It’s impossible to come away from [it] with anything but a warm, fuzzy feeling for this . . . adored songbird… Underneath is [an] . . . insecure little girl who lost her daddy . . . and never truly got over it.”—Readers Favorite

“This will appeal to anyone who enjoys discovering information about such a celebrity, how she feels about the ups and downs of her life, and other juicy details of her storied sex life and stellar career. […] The book has a can’t-put-it-down quality; the juiciness of the gossip, the emotional insights into her joy and pain, and the remarkable triumphs and failures of her long career are completely fascinating. Although the book is fiction, the author lists in a bibliography the numerous books and articles from which she garnered the very factual events and many of Miss Streisand’s own words from interviews that she used to create the sessions…”-Midwest Book Review

I’ve been a fan of Bond’s On the Couch series for years, but this one is absolutely her best. Barbra Streisand–with all her foibles and charms–comes alive on the pages of this book. Bond digs deep into Streisand’s psyche to give the reader a close-up look at a mega-star.
Instead of a tell-all novel that dishes out the dirt on her many costars, we follow along with Streisand as she herself recounts her many projects, affairs, and early history. Instead of a public relations–approved biography that glosses over Streisand’s need to be in control of her projects, this book revels in it, explores the reasons for a demanding actor/musician/director to behave as she does, shows the reader just how dedicated to her craft Streisand is.
If you’re a fan of her acting, her music, her career, or her activism, this is definitely a book you should read. Even if you’re not a fan, chances are you will be by the time you finish the book.”- Ann Beardsley
Barbra Streisand: on the Couch by Alma H. Bond

About The Author
Award winning author, Alma Halbert Bond received her Ph.D. from Columbia University, and became a highly successful psychoanalyst in private practice for 37 years in New York City. She “retired” to become a full-time writer. Barbra Streisand: On the Couch is currently in production with Bancroft Press, who publish the On the Couch series.

Hillary Clinton: On the Couch was published a few months ago, and received a Best Books Award Finalist book award. Jackie O: On the Couch, the first of her On the Couch series to be published by Bancroft Press, was published on August 15, 2011, and received a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, Best Books Award Finalist USA Book News, and International Book Awards Finalist. . Margaret Mahler, a Biography of the Psychoanalyst was published by McFarland Press in 2008. It received two awards, Best Books Award Finalist USA Book News and Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Finalist.

Michelle Obama, a Biography, was recently published by Greenwood Press. Dr. Bond has had 20 other books published.

Among other organizations, Dr. Bond is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Dramatists Guild, PEN, the International Psychoanalytic Association, and the American Psychological Association. She taught psychoanalysis at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, where she is a fellow, and also has been a faculty member of WritersSchool, where she taught Psychology and Literature.

Website is http://almabondauthor.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlmaHBond
Twitter: https://twitter.com/almabond

Barbra Streisand: on the Couch Web Tour Schedule
Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Oct 19 Giveaway

Gayle Books Reviews Etc Oct 20 Review

Dawn Bound 2 Escape Oct 24 Excerpt & Giveaway

Sal Bound 4 Escape Oct 24 Review

Patricia Reviews by Room With Books Oct 27 Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Katy Amazon Review Oct 30 Review

Lisa I Feel So Unnecessary Nov 1 Review

Kristin Second Book to the Right Nov 7 Review & Excerpt

Vicki I’d Rather Be Reading At The Beach Nov 13 Review & Giveaway

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Nov 22 Review

Greg Amazon Review Nov 30 Review

*This schedule is subject to change.

GIVEAWAY
The giveaway for this tour is for one winner’s choice of print or ebook. Print is only open to the U.S., ebook is available worldwide.

To enter, leave a comment with your email address. Winner will be chosen by Random.org on November 27th.

 

Nov 112017
 

The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty

Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Amistad (August 1, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062379291
ISBN-13: 978-0062379290

A renowned culinary historian offers a fresh perspective on our most divisive cultural issue, race, in this illuminating memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces his ancestry—both black and white—through food, from Africa to America and slavery to freedom.

Southern food is integral to the American culinary tradition, yet the question of who “owns” it is one of the most provocative touch points in our ongoing struggles over race. In this unique memoir, culinary historian Michael W. Twitty takes readers to the white-hot center of this fight, tracing the roots of his own family and the charged politics surrounding the origins of soul food, barbecue, and all Southern cuisine.

From the tobacco and rice farms of colonial times to plantation kitchens and backbreaking cotton fields, Twitty tells his family story through the foods that enabled his ancestors’ survival across three centuries. He sifts through stories, recipes, genetic tests, and historical documents, and travels from Civil War battlefields in Virginia to synagogues in Alabama to Black-owned organic farms in Georgia.

As he takes us through his ancestral culinary history, Twitty suggests that healing may come from embracing the discomfort of the Southern past. Along the way, he reveals a truth that is more than skin deep—the power that food has to bring the kin of the enslaved and their former slaveholders to the table, where they can discover the real America together.

Thoughts
This is not a true cookbook, it’s also a mix of historical non-fiction, the African Slave experience, how and what the slaves cooked and what they used to cook it. It’s about how the author became so obsessed with food and his need to to learn about his ancesters who were slaves.

The book is funny, sad, thought provoking and at times a tough read. I learned a lot from this book. But the library wanted it back sooner than I wanted to let it go, and so I rushed through it. Because of that I feel the need to re-read it, slowly next time. I want to take my time and enjoy it completely.

I love the photos that were in the book.

Here are the first two things I plan on making from the book:
Kitchen Pepper: Goes in everything in place of just pepper
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground mace
1 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground ginger

Mix together and store in a cool place

 

Mr. Wesley Jones’s Barbecue Mop
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 large yellow or white onion, well chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1 pod long red cayenne pepper or 1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried rubbed sage
1 tsp dried basil leaves or 1 tbsp minced fresh basil
1/2 tsp crushed coriander seed
1/4 cup dark brown sugar or 4 tbsp molasses (not blackstrap)

Melt the butter in a large saucepan
Add onion and garlic and saute on medium heat until translucent
Turn heat down slightly and add vinegar, water, and the salt and spices
Allow to cook gently for about thirty minutes to an hour
To be used as a light mop sauce or glaze during the last 15-30 minutes of barbecuing and as a dip for cooked meat.

I highly recommended this book, and I also recommend his blog, Afroculinaria 

 

Weekend Cooking

Nov 082017
 

The Last Lecture
By: Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow
Narrated by: Erik Singer, Randy Pausch
Length: 4 hrs and 39 mins
Unabridged
Release date: 04-08-08
Language: English
Publisher: Hyperion AudioBooks

A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture.” Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?
When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave–“Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”–wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.

Thoughts
This is a book that will make you think. It’s a book that will make you want to hug your loved ones. It’s a book that will make you appreciate your life a bit more than you did before you started it.

I enjoyed this book a lot, it was full of interesting stories of the author’s life. I just wanted more stories of situations where things didn’t turn out so perfect.  Most of us have more of those than the the ones that include perfect choices and endings. I just wanted more of those.

I know the book is about his childhood dreams, but I’m sure he had really dark days and I would have liked to know how he coped with those times. I would have liked more of his wife’s thoughts. Still, I’m glad I listened to the book.

Nov 042017
 

Eat Like a Gilmore: The Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of Gilmore Girls

Eat Like A Gilmore: The Unofficial Cookbook For Fans Of Gilmore Girls
by Kristi Carlson

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (October 25, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 151071734X
ISBN-13: 978-1510717343

The infamous appetites of the Gilmore Girls are given their due in this fun, unofficial cookbook inspired by the show. Fans will eat up the delicious recipes honoring the chefs who fuel the science-defying metabolisms of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or new to the scene, author Kristi Carlson invites you to pull up a chair and dig in. Luke’s diner menu, Sookie’s eclectic inn fare, Emily’s fancy Friday Night Dinners, and town favorites are the key influences behind these tempting dishes. One hundred recipes, covering all the bases from appetizers and cocktails to entrées and desserts, invoke key episodes and daily scenes in the Gilmores’ lives.

Prepare yourself for:
Salmon Puffs
Risotto
Pumpkin Pancakes
Rocky Road Cookies
The Birthday Girl Cocktail
And many more!

With beautiful photos, helpful kitchen tips, and fun tidbits about the show, this cookbook is a must-have for any Gilmore Girls fan. Easy-to-follow recipes make it possible to cook and eat your way through Stars Hollow. So don your apron, preheat the oven, and put on your favorite episode. It’s time to eat like a Gilmore!

Thoughts
So many people I know watched and loved Gilmore Girls. I didn’t. Even after all the years since the series ended in 2007, they still gush about it. I kept thinking I’d watch and see what all the hoopla was about and finally decided it was time. So after waiting and waiting for all my shows to come back on, I started GG right before they started. Yea, I know. Anyway…

OH MAH GERSH!

From the first episode, I was hooked! So much so that I didn’t watch anything else until I had watched all 7 seasons, and then I watched the “Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life” and I’m hoping there’s a season two. This series is in my top 3 favorite series ever!

I loved everything about this show. Lorelai , Rory, Luke, Sookie, I loved them all. Well, Jess was iffy but by GG: AYITL I was a fan of him too. I love all the other characters (and boy were some of them characters), the town, and the small town feel.

Anyway, last week I was looking online for Gilmore Girl books and I ran across this cookbook on Amazon. I immediately ordered it.

I love this book. Lorelai and Rory didn’t cook much and so their main meals were from Luke’s Diner, Sookie, or from the Friday night dinners at Lorelai’s parents house.

I love that the recipes have a little background story from the show. There are so many recipes I want to try (I just got the book a few days ago so I haven’t tried any yet) like Banana Fosters French Toast, Roasted Duck In A Chocolate Orange Sauce, Zucchini Soup, Double Chocolate Chip Muffins. Everything sounds good.

I love everything about this book. I recommend it to fans of Gilmore Girls or to anyone who likes to cook, or just likes to collect cookbooks.

 

wkendcooking

Weekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Nov 012017
 

Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall & Denver Moore
Narrated by: Dan Butler, Barry Scott
Length: 3 hrs and 28 mins
Abridged
Release date: 03-20-08
Language: English
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers

 

A dangerous, homeless drifter who grew up picking cotton in virtual slavery…
An upscale art dealer accustomed to the world of Armani and Chanel…
A gutsy woman with a stubborn dream…
A story so incredible no novelist would dare dream it…

It begins outside a burning plantation hut in Louisiana and in an East Texas honky-tonk – and, without a doubt, in the heart of God. It unfolds in a Hollywood hacienda, an upscale New York gallery, a downtown dumpster, and a Texas ranch.

Gritty with pain and betrayal and brutality, this story also shines with an unexpected, life-changing love.

Thoughts
I’ve had this book on my list to read for years but just never got to it. Then I saw that the movie based on the book was being released. Luckily I had just finished listening to another book so I quickly downloaded the audio and started listening to it.

I was immediately drawn to Denver and Ron, and stayed hooked throughout the book. I loved the relationship that grew between Ron, his wife Deborah, and Denver. It supports what I’ve always known, that people are just people. We all want/deserve the same things in life. Skin color and the amount of money you have is not at all important. How you treat people is.

This is such an inspiring book, full of love, kindness, and caring people.  There is a sadness there too for how Denver’s life played out before he met the Hall’s.  It’s also very funny at times and I laughed out loud quite often.

I’m glad I decided to listen to the audio instead of reading this book. I found out after I had finished it that the book was hard to follow because the chapters alternated between Ron and Denver but they weren’t labeled “Ron” or “Denver”.  Some reviewers had a hard time with that.

The narrators did a good job, making this easy to listen to. One thing I wasn’t crazy about was the music in between the chapters. Sometimes it made me jump because it came out of the blue and was loud, and it scared me. Sometimes the music played over the narrator making it hard to hear the last few words.

I loved this book and can’t wait to see the movie. I highly recommend this to anyone who hasn’t read it yet.

Oct 232017
 

Here We Go Again Audiobook

Here We Go Again: My Life In Television by Betty White

Narrated by: Betty White
Length: 2 hrs and 56 mins
Abridged Audiobook
Release Date:05-21-10
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

“Here is Betty White – a woman who has been on television forever!” is generally how Betty White is introduced. And quite accurately, too, since she first appeared in 1949, when both she and television were rank beginners.

Since then, she has had one of the most amazing careers in TV, winning five Emmy awards, creating such unforgettable characters as Sue Ann Nivens and Rose Nylund, and appearing in a host of television classics from 1952’s Life with Elizabeth to The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls.

Here We Go Again gives an overview of television’s golden era, packed full of wonderful anecdotes about the many famous personalities with whom Betty has worked. It also gives a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at television over five decades, from her first show, Hollywood on Television, which ran live five and a half hours a day, six days a week (33 hours per week!), to Betty’s current television work. In addition, she talks about her personal life – how her hectic career caused strain in her relationships and how she finally found happiness with her third husband, the late talk-show host Allen Ludden.

As warm and funny as its author, Here We Go Again will thrill her many fans and delight all of those who are interested in the history of America’s most popular form of entertainment.

Thoughts
Betty White is such an interesting person, how could this book be anything but interesting. I enjoyed learning things I didn’t know about her. She knows so many people in “the biz” and leads such an amazing life. I loved listening to her thoughts on making some of the decisions she made, her love for her family, friends, tv, Alan Ludden, and animals. I loved hearing her infectious laugh.

This was a short listen but it’s pack full of wonderful stories. I think we need an update on what’s happened in her life since this book.

America loves you Betty!

Oct 162017
 

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:08-31-09
Publisher: Recorded Books
Charlie Gordon knows that he isn’t very bright. At 32, he mops floors in a bakery and earns just enough to get by. Three evenings a week, he studies at a center for mentally challenged adults. But all of this is about to change for Charlie. As part of a daring experiment, doctors are going to perform surgery on Charlie’s brain. They hope the operation and special medication will increase his intelligence, just as it has for the laboratory mouse, Algernon. Meanwhile, each day Charlie keeps a diary of what is happening to him. This is his poignant record of the startling changes in his mind and his life.

Flowers for Algernon was first published as a short story, but soon received wide acclaim as it appeared in anthologies, as a television special, and as an award-winning motion picture, Charly. In its final, expanded form, this haunting story won the Nebula Award for the Best Novel of the Year. Through Jeff Woodman’s narration, it now becomes an unforgettable audio experience.

Thoughts
This book was required reading when I was in Jr. High. I really liked the book and never forgot about reading it so I decided to read it again, but this time I wanted to listen to the audio version.

I loved this book in school, and I loved it as I read it again. I felt for Charly. He was a kind soul who laughed along with everyone when they laughed at him, because he didn’t know they were laughing AT him. He didn’t have the best home life either.

Things started to drastically change once the experiment started and Charlie was able to read, write, and learn the way he had always wanted to. I loved that he finally knew what it was like to be “normal”, and even a genius.

I felt many emotions while listening to this book. Parts made me happy, some made me cheer for Charlie, and some made me sad.

It’s funny that the parts I remembered were of Algernon and Charlie, and had forgotten the relationships he had with the two women in his life. I’m a little shocked that this was assigned to us in Jr. High. I’m wondering if it was a “cleaned up” version. No, it wasn’t R rated, but for 12 year old kids back in the ’70’s, it was a bit risque.

The book is narrated by Jeff Woodman, and he did a great job. His voice made it easy to listen to.

This book was a great read, and listen, and I’m so glad I revisited it.

Sep 272017
 

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King

Narrated by Anne Heche
Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:12-16-99
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Somewhere in New England, nine-year-old Trisha gets lost in the woods while on a walk with her family. Her only comforts are the radio broadcasts of Boston Red Sox games featuring her favorite player, closing pitcher Tom Gordon. Lonely, frightened, starving, and cold, Gordon becomes Trisha’s imaginary companion – and the key to her survival against an unidentified someone (or something) leaving death and destruction in its wake.

Thoughts
I’m a huge King fan but somehow I missed this book. When I ran across the audio version I decided to get a copy.

I can’t even imagine being 9 years old and being lost in the woods. Whenever I went somewhere outdoors or any place that was really big with my parents, they always told me that if I ever got lost to stay where I was when I realized I was lost and they’d find me. Thankfully I never got lost, but Trisha did while out walking with her mom and brother. And she didn’t stay where she was, she started walking and ended up in a completely different state.

She was lost, alone, scared, hungry, thirsty, tired and sick. A lot of things happened and she wasn’t sure if they were real or she imagined them. She did find a bit of comfort in her favorite Red Socks player, Tom Gordan.

Trisha is one tough little girl. I think she lasted way longer than most girls that age in that situation would have.

The book is narrated by Anne Heche who I thought did a really good job.

I was expecting a lot more scary than this book had, but it still was a good book and I’m glad I listened to it.

Sep 212017
 

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips

Narrated by Cassandra Campbell

Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 8 hours and 3 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Audible.com Release Date: July 25, 2017
Language: English
ASIN: B06XWYHS2N

An electrifying novel about the primal and unyielding bond between a mother and her son, and the lengths she ll go to to protect him
The zoo is nearly empty as Joan and her four-year-old son soak up the last few moments of playtime. They are happy, and the day has been close to perfect. But what Joan sees as she hustles her son toward the exit gate minutes before closing time sends her sprinting back into the zoo, her child in her arms. And for the next three hours the entire scope of the novel she keeps on running.

Suddenly, mother and son are as trapped as the animals. Joan s intimate knowledge of this place that filled early motherhood with happy diversions the hidden pathways and under-renovation exhibits, the best spots on the carousel and overstocked snack machines is all that keeps them a step ahead of danger.

A masterful thrill ride and an exploration of motherhood itself from its tender moments of grace to its savage power Fierce Kingdom asks where the boundary is between our animal instinct to survive and our human duty to protect one another. For whom should a mother risk her life?”

Thoughts
I was really excited to start listening to this book since I’d read a lot of positive reviews.

While I enjoyed the book very much, there was a lot of time spent on the layout of the zoo. I did like that Joan had taken Lincoln to the zoo so often that she knew where she could keep them safe.

I liked all the characters. They all made the book exciting and I thought they were perfect choices for the book. The author was very descriptive, so even after a few weeks, I can still “see” some of the scary scenes in my mind. I can’t imagine being in that situation, especially with a young son.

The book was really good. I liked the relationship between  Joan and her son Lincoln. I liked how close they were and how well behaved Lincoln was. They listened to each other and the love they shared was obvious.

If I had to say something negative about the book it would be that I thought the ending was a bit too abrupt. I would have liked more closure.

The book was narrated by Cassandra Campbell and I enjoyed listening to her.

Sep 042017
 

Guy Fieri Family Food by Guy Fieri

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks (October 11, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062244736
ISBN-13: 978-0062244734

The Food Network superstar and New York Times bestselling author dishes up flavorful All-American family-friendly meals for weeknights and weekends alike.

As one of Food Network’s biggest stars, Guy has taken America on a cross-country tour in Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. He’s challenged great home chefs at their culinary expertise in Guy’s Grocery Games. He’s shared his greatest hits in Guy Fieri Food, and went all out in the great outdoors in Guy on Fire. Now, in Guy Fieri Family Food, he brings fun to the table with delectable dishes everyone will love.

Family meal planning couldn’t be easier with Guy’s tips, fun-filled ideas, and best-loved recipes. Influenced by his Californian background, this full-color cookbook is packed with fresh, flavorful recipes, fabulous photos, and, of course, Guy Fieri flair. Every family favorite is here, from burgers and sandwiches to grains and greens to pasta and noodles. Guy even includes chapters like One for the Week, a budget-friendly big weekend cook “that keeps on giving through the hectic workweek”; All Hands on Deck, with Kebab Night, Pizza Night, and a Chili Bar that get the kids involved; and Under Pressure, where hearty dishes are made in the pressure cooker in a fraction of the time they usually take.

Whether it’s Turkey and Roasted Poblano Burger with Crushed Avocado, Fire-Roasted Fieri Lasagna, Buffalo Chicken Soup, Sweet Italian Pepper Poppers, Balsamic BBQ Short Ribs, or Deep Fried Ice Cream “Boulders,” Guy Fieri Family Food includes tasty, crowd-pleasing meals that make weeknights easier, weekends more fun, and everything more delicious!

Guy Fieri Family Food is illustrated with color photos throughout.

Thoughts
I love Guy Fieri. I’ve been watching him from when he first started out on tv. He’s funny, likable, and is very entertaining. I also love his books.

But…this book didn’t interest me much at all. I didn’t find many recipes that I wanted to try, and that shocked me. Was it  just the mood I was in? Maybe, but I love food so I don’t know. Was it the long lists of ingredients and too many steps? I like the opposite.

I did love the cooking info,  family photos, and the stories about his family. I may pick this book up again sometime in the future to try it again because I have loved every book by Guy before this one.