I received a copy of Double-take Tales by Donna Brown from The Indie Exchange as part of the April Blog Tour.
Double-take Tales is a collection of threI received a copy of Double-take Tales by Donna Brown from The Indie Exchange as part of the April Blog Tour.
Double-take Tales is a collection of three short stories all with a bit of a twist at the end. The stories are Round Trip, Poison, and C'est La Vie.
My favorite of the three was Poison about a woman who uses her husband's nut allergy as a method of obtaining satisfaction. I thought this one had the best flow of all the stories and I could truly feel the emotion from the main character. My favorite line "Disappointment can chip away at your heart slowly until the damage is so extensive there is no suitable response."
I struggled a bit with Round Trip because most of the paragraphs were single short sentences and I couldn't quite catch the flow. I liked the idea of the story and the ending but I think I needed it to be a bit more filled in.
C'est La Vie had me rereading after the twist at the end to see if I could find clues that I had missed the first time. The story is compelling and the method of telling it is brilliant. It is a story with high anxiety and questions that you are not certain will be answered....more
* I won a copy of The Persnickety Princess in a no-obligation giveaway from the author & publisher. The opinion stated here is entirely my own. *
I* I won a copy of The Persnickety Princess in a no-obligation giveaway from the author & publisher. The opinion stated here is entirely my own. *
It is a rare thing for a book to make me smile and even more rare for me to laugh out loud while reading. The Persnickety Princess had me doing both. Falcon Storm has created an enchanting story with fun characters and amusing situations. Princess Lavender gets herself into all kinds of trouble as she attempts to fulfill her ideal fantasy of being rescued by a prince. Unfortunately, the prince she wants to rescue her is off to rescue her sister, Princess Petunia. Instead Lavender is rescued over and over by a man she believes to be the prince's squire.
The story moves quickly and is sure to hold a child's attention. The target audience for this book is ages 6 - 9 so it is still a little beyond my four year old. I have no doubt that she will be ready for it soon though even if we do have to stop often for all the inevitable "why" questions and a few vocabulary lessons. At the same time I think the story is fun and interesting enough for readers a bit on the older side of the age range.
The only thing that might make this book even more fun would be a small illustration at the beginning of each chapter to go along with the beautiful chapter headings.
I am so glad that Falcon Storm will be writing more books in this children's series as the first was a complete delight....more
French Twist was interesting enough (and short enough) that I finished it in four days. Considering my lack of reading time with two young children thFrench Twist was interesting enough (and short enough) that I finished it in four days. Considering my lack of reading time with two young children this is fairly amazing.
At first I was a bit put off by Crawford's tone that implied all French children were absolutely perfect and all American children were little monsters. Of course the reason I picked up the book was in hopes of some tips for how to handle my daughters but her enthusiasm for all things French was a bit daunting. This idea was tempered a bit later on in the book as she admitted a few French parenting ideas that she didn't hold in such high regard and that her own brand of parenting was more a French-American hybrid rather than going completely native.
I was dismayed when Crawford started off talking about pregnancy and the French way of preparing for the baby. While this is probably relevant to examining the French culture in regard to children, I didn't see it having much to do with Crawford's experiment in treating her family in the French manner. All it seemed to do was reveal her completely neurotic tendencies during her own pregnancies and allow her to express regret for starting her children off in the American fashion.
What I had hoped to get out of this book were some ideas on a different parenting approach. I wanted concrete suggestions that I could implement with my children. While there were a few of those at the end of the book, the majority of the book contained sweeping generalizations without specific examples. Crawford would go on and on about how well behaved the children of her French friends were while almost being unable to put her finger on the parenting approach that led to this behavior. She gushed at how much improvement she has seen in the behavior of her own children but gave very little insight into how her parenting method changed beyond simply becoming more strict.
I realize that documenting every single parenting example would make for a long and boring book but I wish there had been a better balance between practical, usable information and the philosophic presentation on how French parents are successful while American parents are failing....more
My daughter is 4 and we have read Tommy Goes Tick-or-Treading over and over and over again. She loves both the story and the unique illustrations.
As tMy daughter is 4 and we have read Tommy Goes Tick-or-Treading over and over and over again. She loves both the story and the unique illustrations.
As the parent, I love that this is a fun book to read to my daughter. This is a more advanced 3 - 6 year old story in that it is a little longer and more complex than many of the books we read. This provides a great opportunity to talk through the story and illustrations with her as she asks the inevitable "Why" questions. I could see her puzzling through the events as we read it the first few times as she put together the concepts of cause and effect. We have been having a lot of discussions about choices and consequences at our house lately and this book provides the perfect example of that.
Tommy and Michael's curiosity about humans matches my daughter's curiosity about everything. Their process of trial and error with Trick-or-Treating is perfect for this age group as children are trying to figure things out on their own. My daughter and I both love that Tommy and Michael do the right thing in the end even if moderation was a painful lesson to learn....more
My four year old has enjoyed all 4 of the Bird Brain books we have read so far. She loves the stories and the illustrations. At 4 she is just startingMy four year old has enjoyed all 4 of the Bird Brain books we have read so far. She loves the stories and the illustrations. At 4 she is just starting to read so not ready to read these on her own yet but we love reading them together.
Davey the Detective is my favorite of the Bird Brain books we have read. I love his enthusiasm for solving the mystery of the stolen shiny object even if he does get a little ahead of himself at times. Sarah is a fun sidekick with her endless chatter and bubbly personality. Together they learn to follow clues and to not jump to conclusions, to slow down and listen, and to apologize when the situation calls for it. The two friends stick together until the fantastic shiny object is recovered.
This book provides several opportunities to talk to my daughter about different life lessons while not hitting the reader over the head with a moral. The story is enjoyable and not preachy. It flows well and is easy to read in one sitting. ...more
Scribbling is the first story that I've read by Jonathan Gould. It is actually the second adventure of Neville Lansdowne but you definitely don't needScribbling is the first story that I've read by Jonathan Gould. It is actually the second adventure of Neville Lansdowne but you definitely don't need to have read Doodling to enjoy Scribbling.
Gould has a great story-telling technique, taking unusual characters and a quirky storyline then layering in social commentary. The story can be enjoyed on the surface or you can really think about the choices that the characters make and the events that result from those choices by applying a larger world view. I look forward to reading about Neville's first adventure....more
I read The Demon Lover because I received a copy of The Water Witch from the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program. At the time I requested The Water WiI read The Demon Lover because I received a copy of The Water Witch from the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program. At the time I requested The Water Witch I did not realize that it was the first book in a trilogy.
I was apprehensive about starting The Demon Lover because I knew, based on the title and description alone, that there would be parts of the story I would dislike. I do not read much in the romance genre, paranormal or otherwise, for a reason. I just hoped that the rest of the story would be enough to carry the book for me.
I had a very difficult time at the beginning of The Demon Lover because it seemed that sex scenes would be the main focus of the book. At one point I was considering putting it down and moving on to The Water Witch with the hope that it would stand on its own.
I am glad that I kept reading because I did get drawn into the actual story between sex scenes and I grew curious about the characters. The setup for the second book is interesting and I want to see how things play out in The Water Witch....more
I received this book from the Library Thing Early Reviewer program not realizing that it was the second in a trilogy. I borrowed The Demon Lover fromI received this book from the Library Thing Early Reviewer program not realizing that it was the second in a trilogy. I borrowed The Demon Lover from the library to read before The Water Witch and I'm so glad that I did. While I wasn't crazy about The Demon Lover, I would have been utterly lost reading The Water Witch without the background it provided. Unfortunately I found the book description for The Water Witch to be a bit misleading as the story contains a much larger thread of the romance with the incubus than I had expected. The story line described on the back cover is merely one element of the book and that story thread is often overshadowed by others. I believe I would have enjoyed the book more had the story been focused more in the way I had expected. Although I am curious as to the ending of the trilogy now that I have read the first two books, the final book will not be high on my list of reading priorities....more
I received a copy of Living Paleo for Dummies from the Amazon Vine program.
Living Paleo for Dummies has all the positives that one expects from a "ForI received a copy of Living Paleo for Dummies from the Amazon Vine program.
Living Paleo for Dummies has all the positives that one expects from a "For Dummies" book. The layout is uncluttered and consistent. The book is filled with check lists, tips, text boxes, and symbols indicating various important bits of information. The table of contents and index lead the reader quickly to specific information topics.
As for the content, the authors do a wonderful job giving an overview of the entire Paleo lifestyle. I have seen other books that focus simply on the diet or eating focus of Paleo but far less on exercise, stress, sleep, sun exposure, and eliminating toxins. Living Paleo for Dummies presents the whole package.
Simple check lists are provided for approved (protein, veggies, fruits, and healthy fats) and not approved foods (grains, dairy, sugar, and anything processed). There are delicious sounding recipes as well as tips on eating out, holidays, social gatherings, and even navigating the office break room.
A 30 Day Reset is detailed in Chapter 8 although it is referred to many times in the book before that point. This is a month long period of being entirely strict with the Paleo diet to reset the body's system and move it toward burning fat for fuel instead of the sugar it is used to. After the 30 Day Reset each individual must choose how strictly to keep to the Paleo way of eating. The section on cleaning out the kitchen and restocking it is particularly helpful in moving into a Paleo lifestyle.
It is the Paleo way of eating combined with the exercise that can lead to weight loss or at the very least lost inches as the body looses fat and increases muscle. There are simple exercises included that require no equipment at all. Other suggested exercises do use minimal equipment and exercise plans are provided for all levels.
There were a few things in this book that I disliked. One was the way the authors phrased their claims about what changing to the Paleo lifestyle could do. They were enthusiastic almost to the point of claiming that Paleo could heal or prevent any illness. While they did back some of their claims with scientific studies, some of the claims seemed extreme which could turn people off to the great information that was being presented.
The other issue that I had with the book was the lack of a conclusion. The last section in the book presented ten food items to always have in the kitchen and ten simple exercises that could be done almost anywhere. Then it just ended. It felt cut off like there was nothing that wrapped up all of the information into a cohesive finale....more
I find many memoirs to be a bit pretentious as they meander through time and space attempting to give an individual's life greater meaning by connectiI find many memoirs to be a bit pretentious as they meander through time and space attempting to give an individual's life greater meaning by connecting it to a larger societal context. Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde certainly falls into this category, especially as the author admits to the shallowness of her life's ambitions. Rebecca Dana's dream from childhood is to move to New York, living the life depicted in Sex and the City. She achieves this dream with a job as a reporter giving her access to high profile parties and the perfect relationship. When the relationship falls apart her life is turned upside down and she begins to question if getting the life she wanted is really all it is cracked up to be. Moving into a Jewish neighborhood with a rabbi who is not a rabbi, she begins exploring another aspect of New York culture.
While some of the descriptions and interactions were interesting enough I found little of substance to hold my attention. Dana seems to end with the conclusion that she is who she is but that she is also more based on her belonging to various micro-communities. I think that this is an essential truth that we all have and it doesn't take a year in Crown Heights or writing a book to discover it....more
Food for Thought: an Indiana Harvest is a wonderful book about the food and people of Indiana.
When you think of food in Indiana, what comes to mind? CFood for Thought: an Indiana Harvest is a wonderful book about the food and people of Indiana.
When you think of food in Indiana, what comes to mind? Corn. That is probably what most people think of. Did you know that Indiana hosts the National Maple Syrup Festival? Neither did I but now I want to go there! I also learned how much duck is produced in Indiana, about Indiana pickles, family run farms, and family run restaurants. I learned that Clabber Girl and Red Gold Tomatoes both call Indiana home and that if I get Tyson brand pork at the grocery store it might have come from an Indiana pig.
I think the thing that makes this book really special though is the variety of stories it contains. There are stories from people who have been farming the same land for generations, people just starting out, restaurant owners, people running breweries and distilleries, big agricultural businesses, and everything in between. The stories are told in their own words so there is a richness to the book that would have been lost if it had been written in another format. The photographs capture these faces and you get that sense of sitting down with people and chatting about food, farming, family, and feeding people.
I am so glad that I have gotten to experience this book! It is probably the most interesting non-fiction book that I have read this year. If you know anyone interested in food or Indiana I highly recommend Food for Thought: an Indiana Harvest. ...more