I was caught up in the life of Georgia Gray from the moment I started this book. I read this book in a few hours on a Sunday afternoon and it had me w...moreI was caught up in the life of Georgia Gray from the moment I started this book. I read this book in a few hours on a Sunday afternoon and it had me whisked away to the streets of New York and the vineyards of Italy, if only for an afternoon. Nelson's writing is very good and it let me lose myself into another world, imagining myself as Georgia and having her adventures as a chef. This book has it all, romance, disappointment, excitement, and triumph. The book was a great read and I hope you will all check it out.(less)
I love books. I love the feel of them in my hands, the smell of the ink printed pages, and I love devouring all of those words on the pages. I also lo...moreI love books. I love the feel of them in my hands, the smell of the ink printed pages, and I love devouring all of those words on the pages. I also love to read books about books. I just finished My Reading Life by Pat Conroy, about ten minutes ago and I want to start at the first page of it again. I have to admit that I have never read one of Conroy's novels and now I know that I must. His language and writing make me want to read and read as much as I can take in and never stop. I love hearing how people started reading and what keeps them enthralled with books and Conroy's book delves into his life long love and how it started and kept going. It is easy to see that Conroy writes with a passion for words and language and wants every reader to grab a bit of that passion for themselves. Towards the end of the book, there was a passage that I have to share:
"Each day of my life begins with a poem that will unloose the avalanche of words inside me, that secret ore that, once polished, will sit before me disguised as the earth's jewelry. I'll select from its garnets, its milky-eyed opals, its insect-killing amber-it's the language I revere above all. I cheer when a writer stops me in my tracks, forces me to go back and read a sentence again and again, and I find myself thunderstruck, grateful the way readers always are when a writer takes the time to put them on the floor. That's what a good book does-it puts readers on their knees. It makes you want to believe in a world you just read about-the one that will make you feel different about the world you thought you lived in, the world that will never be the same."
In the words of Conroy, I was "thunderstruck" by this book and once again my love of literature has been conjured up from within where it is always hiding in wait for that next great story to make it explode and remind me of why I started reading voraciously in the first place.(less)
I love to read book about books or about people that work with books in some way. So, when I saw this book was coming out, I got excited. I thought th...moreI love to read book about books or about people that work with books in some way. So, when I saw this book was coming out, I got excited. I thought this is a new twist on working with books and I can't wait to read it. However, once I got my copy and started reading, I was disappointed. The writing is mediocre and I found the details lacking. I wanted more details of his life as a prison librarian and the author only gives an overview of his time in this job. I did like how he connected with inmates and his telling of their stories. The writing of their stories and the emotion he showed in doing so, brought the writing from mediocre to a start of something very good. It seems the author would begin to hit his stride at times and then lose it again. I found myself getting involved in one of the personal stories and thinking that the book had gotten past the slow start and was going to get really good. Yet, the book never really takes off for me. (less)
Lipstick in Afghanistan is the first novel of Roberta Gately and she has written it as fiction, but loosely based it on her own experiences as a nurse...moreLipstick in Afghanistan is the first novel of Roberta Gately and she has written it as fiction, but loosely based it on her own experiences as a nurse in third world war zones. It is the story of Elsa, a nurse from Boston that didn't seem to have an easy life growing up but tried to change her way by becoming educated and striving to help others. Elsa first read a story about Rwandan refugees in a magazine when she was a young teenager and felt from that moment on that she would pledge her life to helping those that had it so much worse than she could even imagine.
Once Elsa becomes a nurse, she does all it takes to become an aid worker and is sent to Afghanistan on her first mission. Once there, she finds herself immersed in running a clinic and learning to live a lifestyle that includes restrictions just because she is a woman. Not only does she find herself overwhelmed with starting a new life in a strange land, she really make a go of it for herself. Elsa finds friends that become a new family to her, she finds love, and she finds herself in that she becomes a new person and accomplishes what she had wished for.
The story isn't just a simple story of finding friendship, love, and a new life. This book opens up your mind to an area of the world that most of us can't even begin to imagine. Although the book is fiction, it is very real in the occurrences that it talks about. Gately has taken her own experiences and shared them with the world to open up what a war zone is like and what the people living and trying to survive in those areas are going through. The book brings home a quality of compassion, tenderness, and that people everywhere should value each other. It doesn't matter what culture you are from or what beliefs you have, relationships can form and thrive across those barriers. Sometimes it is through a common idea, or hobby, or perhaps it can be achieved over an item as simple as a love of lipstick.
The book was a quick read that I finished in a few hours over two days. I found myself waking up during the night after I had read about half of the book. I woke and found myself thinking of the characters in this book and imagining if I lived in Afghanistan and how different my life would be. The characters, the story, and the writing really made me think. I like to read for pleasure and escape but I also like for a book to resonate with me for awhile after I have finished that last page, and this book did all of that.
Elsa first feels empowered by her wearing of lipstick and she makes sure that is one of the few personal items she takes with her to Afghanistan. In the book, the women bond over tubes of lipstick. Is there an item that you can't do without and makes you feel empowered? If you were to go to a foreign country to do aid work, what would your item be? I would love to read your comments on this.(less)
This is a great book that I think every kitchen needs. Bracken is humorous and talented in the way she wrote and the recipes she devised. The recipes...moreThis is a great book that I think every kitchen needs. Bracken is humorous and talented in the way she wrote and the recipes she devised. The recipes contain common ingredients that most will have in their kitchen and if not, they are easy to go to the local grocery and buy. The book contains recipes for all occassions and a good variety so that you will not get bored eating the same things over and over. I commute an hour to and from work each day and it seems that when I get home, I spend my time cooking dinner, I eat, and then it is time for bed. I can't wait to try all these recipes to make my day a little easier and so that I will have more time after work for things I enjoy. I would love to get your comments on what you thought about this book and the recipes you have tried from it.(less)
Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy is a book comprised of short essays by various authors. Each essay contains how Alice in Wonderland relates to phil...moreAlice in Wonderland and Philosophy is a book comprised of short essays by various authors. Each essay contains how Alice in Wonderland relates to philosophy in some way. The authors of the essays are all in the academic field and the essays read as such. The book was something I would not normally read for pleasure. In just taking an English Lit Criticism class, it reminded me of the selections I had to read for class. This is a great book for those doing academic research in the fields of English and/or Philosophy but I don't think that the average reader will find this as their typical read. (less)
Love, Sex & Deception is a book that contains personal stories of internet dating and what happened on those excursions. Each chapter is set up wi...moreLove, Sex & Deception is a book that contains personal stories of internet dating and what happened on those excursions. Each chapter is set up with a theme such as Disaster Dates From Hell, College Kids, My Date Lied, just to name a few. Each chapter contains personal stories from internet daters, along with some tips from the authors about what you should and shouldn't do in the world of online dating. The book was a quick read as I finished it in a few hours. I think this is a book for readers that like to read short, funny episodes from people and what has happened to them in their daily life adventures. The book was entertaining and might be slightly reminescent of Jerry Springer episodes. It was a break in between the books I usually read that allowed me a few hours of humor. I think this book will be liked for that reason. It is a humorous, light read that can create an escape from your own life and worries. (less)
Catherine de Medici is often remembered as a witch and one that used her skills to attain what she wanted. Gortner's book includes those themes, yet h...moreCatherine de Medici is often remembered as a witch and one that used her skills to attain what she wanted. Gortner's book includes those themes, yet he shows a strong woman that often did what she had to do in order to survive and keep her family alive. Her life was one of triumph at times, yet great suffering was most often the case. In this book, Catherine is the narrator and it has the feel that you are sitting by her side as she tells you the story of her life. I liked this about it as it made her more human and made me feel as if I was a part of the story that took place in the sixteenth century, instead of sitting on my couch in the new millenium reading about an historical figure. Some may hesitate as the book is long at 389 pages but the non-stop action keeps it moving at a good pace and leaves the reader wanting more when it is over. I highly recommend this book.
The Confessions of Catherine de Medici is the second book I have read by CW Gortner and he has quickly become one of my favorite writers. The writing is superb and he captures my attention with the first sentence and holds it until the last one of the book. I minored in History in college and have a high interest in historical reads. However, Gortner's writing and story telling abilities propels me to seek out more on each of his characters. I can't just read the book and be done with it, the stories of the characters stay with me and urge me to dig into their lives on my own. Gortner is an author that should be writing our history books as he brings to life the inner workings and details that would leave a student craving more instead of claiming that this history stuff is boring. (less)
The Last Queen is the best book I have read so far this summer. The writing is superb and I have to admit I was very shocked to find out that the auth...moreThe Last Queen is the best book I have read so far this summer. The writing is superb and I have to admit I was very shocked to find out that the author had a hard time finding a publisher for it. The story grabbed me from the beginning and I was sad for the last page to appear. Gortner entwines the world of European royalty with flair as he gives an inside look to arranged marriages and the intrigue of the ruling royal families. I had no prior knowledge of Spanish history or the characters contained in this book (besides a small knowledge of Tudor England) and I have become utterly fascinated with their stories. As I was reading through the pages, I found myself fascinated, excited, saddened, and at times wanting to throw the book across the room from the actions of certain characters. Yet, I had to hold to the cover tightly as I couldn't waste a minute of reading time in having to go retrieve the book if I had done that. I finished the book about five days ago and I am still yearning to be involved in the lives of these characters. The book ends with what I particularly liked-an inclusion of an afterword that gave more detailed information about the characters. I recommend this book to all, even if you aren't a fan of historical fiction, Gortner's writing is so good, I think you will quickly become a fan of his and the genre.(less)
I really liked this book. It was a quick read and gave insight into how to take care of your skin and hair without spending a fortune. Ruder covers ev...moreI really liked this book. It was a quick read and gave insight into how to take care of your skin and hair without spending a fortune. Ruder covers everything from acne, fine lines, adding body to your hair, to whipping up your own self tanner. It was refreshing to read about homemade remedies that came from her grandmother and the "old country" as there were ingredients I would have never thought of using on my skin or hair. The book not only contains recipes but old wisdom passed down from her grandmother. I recommend this book to everyone and thinkn that all will find it is a great tool in revigorating their skin, hair, and bodies.
I wanted to include one of the recipes in the book to give all a taste of what they were like. I decided on this one as it is summer and everyone wants to look good in that bathing suit.
This is the perfect body scrub to use before getting into a bathing suit.
Oat Couture *2 tablespoons rolled oats, ground *2 teaspoons brown sugar *2 tablespoons aloe vera *1 teaspoon lemon juice
Put the rolled oats in the blender and grind into a very fine powder. Place the powder in a small mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar and lemon juice. Mix well. Now add the aloe vera and stir to form a paste. Be sure there are no lumps. Dampen the skin and massage the paste onto it. Rinse with warm water.
I would love to hear from anyone that tries this or any of the other recipes in the book to see what they think. I know I can't wait to try them all.
I really liked this book. I think it let me live vicariously through the author as I read about her shopping trips and the items she bought and left m...moreI really liked this book. I think it let me live vicariously through the author as I read about her shopping trips and the items she bought and left me thinking that I would have liked that lifestyle. If only I could have afforded it. I thought the writing was really good and the author was very candid about her shopping, spending, and addiction. I can see how the addiction could start and build, as I have a slight book addiction. Yet it gives credence to the world of today and what fashion magazines and the media say that women should wear and look like. I highly recommend this book. (less)
Shades of Morning was a quick read for me as I couldn't put it down once I started reading the first page. The story is touching, emotionally wrought,...moreShades of Morning was a quick read for me as I couldn't put it down once I started reading the first page. The story is touching, emotionally wrought, and at times heart wrenching, yet with an uplifting overall message. I could identify with the characters, even though I have never been faced with the situations in the book. I think many will find that to be true as the extraordinary situations in the plot bring about a feeling of hope and connection and that all will be right in the end. I think at this point with so much going on in our world, a story like this is what is needed to uplift and show there is hope and how to find it. The writing was very good and kept me craving more-I finished this book in two days. Yet, it kept me wanting more after the last page. I thought about this book, the characters, and the "moral of the story" for days after I finished. I think even if you don't normally read in the Christian fiction genre, that you will enjoy this book. It isn't preachy or condemning but shows the compassion that humans can have and what good can come out of that. On a final note, the book was worth reading just for the ending, just when I thought I had it all figured out, there was a twist that I did not see coming and filled me with the unexpected and joy of what can happen when you believe and have faith.
I am not sure what I expected of this book, but I enjoyed it. It was a quick, fun read that included tips for everything from buying cookware to how t...moreI am not sure what I expected of this book, but I enjoyed it. It was a quick, fun read that included tips for everything from buying cookware to how to cook certain food items to how the hierarchy in a restaurant works. Having worked in a restaurant years ago, parts of it made me laugh to hear the slang again. I would recommend this to anyone that that is a foodie or not, I think everyone will enjoy it.(less)
I have to admit that I almost stopped reading after the first few chapters but I thought, let me keep going to see how this turns out. I did finish th...moreI have to admit that I almost stopped reading after the first few chapters but I thought, let me keep going to see how this turns out. I did finish the book but it wasn't one that resonates with me after I closed the cover. The characters seemed flat and I wasn't really drawn to any of them. A quote on the front of the book from Lauren Weisberger says, "Makes Desperate Housewives look like amateur hour." As I was reading, I can picture this book as a weekly television show and see it working, it just didn't seem to work in book form. There were several short chapters that I wondered why they had been included, as the character for that short chapter had not appeared prior and did not appear afterwards. It seemed a bit disjointed and random and felt it could have been edited better to take those parts out. The writing was mediocre and I felt it and the story could have been more developed. I am not discouraging others from trying this book, it just wasn't my cup of tea.(less)
Jackie Warner may be the fitness guru to the stars but this book is a book for anyone that wants to lose weight and get healthy. I liked the layout of...moreJackie Warner may be the fitness guru to the stars but this book is a book for anyone that wants to lose weight and get healthy. I liked the layout of the book as she lays out the plan and what you should do and follows with helpful extras. The book contains detailed pictures and instructions for the weight training portion of the plan, menus and recipes, and appendices with charts to help you plan and track your meals and exercise. Jackie writes in an easy to read, motivational, get your butt in gear and do it attitude that I really liked. The food plan is one that I would actually use with food items I would eat. Most of the diet and health books I have read before contain ingredients and food items that I have never heard of or are items that are hard to find in my area. I am overweight and unhealthy and this book has motivated me to make a change. I have set up another blog just for my journey in following Warner's plan. I would love for any of you to join me in using her plan or just stop by to read about my journey. Check it out at: http://thediet-journey.blogspot.com(less)