Our family ate gluten free dairy free for about 5 years and sugar free for one summer, so we know how challenging it can be to find yummy recipes andOur family ate gluten free dairy free for about 5 years and sugar free for one summer, so we know how challenging it can be to find yummy recipes and cook books. I did an experiment when the Recipe Hacker came in. I let my children sit down with it first and look through the photos. They were excited to try
-beef noodle bowl
-island style fried rice
I was surprised by their enthusiasm and also by the recipes they chose! I myself was looking a the mint chocolate chip ice ream made with coconut milk, key lime pie, frosted watermelon cake and passion fruit sorbet.
This cookbook is all about eliminating gluten, refined sugar and dairy while keeping the appeal of the food. It is well designed and easy to follow. Thumbs up from my family's hardest to please! ...more
This is a short collection of three novellas that can easily be read in one day. They are light and clean by well-known LDS fiction authors. The coverThis is a short collection of three novellas that can easily be read in one day. They are light and clean by well-known LDS fiction authors. The cover is cute for Valentine's Day.
Melanie Jacobson's contribution follows the saga of a New York editing professional who has just lost her boss and does NOT get along with the uppity woman taking his position. She's relegated to the small, menial tasks of a new worker and basically demoted to a slush pile minion. When a manuscript comes in written by an Afghanistan correspondent with depth and feeling, things get interesting! This was my favorite of the three shorts :)
Jennifer K. Clark's saga is set in Moab between three workers of a river rafting company. I couldn't quite buy the love triangle or scheming going on and it wrapped up way too neatly. It is a fun setting and circumstance though.
And lastly, Julie Daines addresses two tough subjects, domestic violence and taking care of a terminally ill parent in the book's final chapters. I loved the doctor and character Mac. There is a bit of drama which I had a hard time stomaching. Nothing too violent, but malevolent circumstance none the less.
I recommend this one for adults. It is written with characters more in adult and new adult roles. Great carpool read where I could read a few pages and pick up like I never left the stories!...more
I read my children I Want To Be Baptized at the breakfast table. As a read aloud it is a bit long, with each paragraph ending “and what else?,” so aboI read my children I Want To Be Baptized at the breakfast table. As a read aloud it is a bit long, with each paragraph ending “and what else?,” so about 3/4 of the way through I stopped. All of my children urged me to keep going, then one took over reading it aloud, which shows me it is a good book! They enjoyed that the author compares those things included in baptism, like covenants, to examples in the every day world. Our oldest commented that “it teaches everything you need to know to be baptized.” With beautiful illustrations by Corey Egbert it is bright and attention holding. We loved it and look forward to reading the authors other book The Holy Ghost is Like a Blanket....more
I have really mixed feelings about Becoming Beauty. The book was well written and it's a great twist in a fairytale we all know. The cover is gorgeousI have really mixed feelings about Becoming Beauty. The book was well written and it's a great twist in a fairytale we all know. The cover is gorgeous! However, I just couldn't relate to or fully fall in love with the main characters. There were three of them, and I just kept holding out, hoping I could connect-- but it never happened. Belle is incredibly self- centered and selfish for quite a bit of the opening scenes, and then at times she is overly pushy and dramatic. Beast has his control freak, grumpy, "slight" anger managements issues going boiling beneath the surface. And, Jack--well, he seems a bit to self sacrificing and codependent for my liking. I wanted to see more relationship development between Belle and the man she gives her heart to, it seemed rushed. While I didn't fully connect with any of them, I will say I enjoyed the story.
The author adds plot twists, shows transformation of characters and weaves in a lot of magic with a cursed, or maybe enchanted ruby pendant. There is romantic tension and a great lesson at the end about family. It's a clean read, and a creative re-working of Beauty and the Beast. Well done and I'm interested in reading any more fairy tale twists Sarah Boucher comes up with!...more
We've received a lot of Christmas books over the past few weeks and this was the one my nine year old picked up first. She read all the way though andWe've received a lot of Christmas books over the past few weeks and this was the one my nine year old picked up first. She read all the way though and loved the story. "Sam got his Christmas wish!" With beautiful life like illustrations and a tender story of selfless service, Sam's Christmas Wish is also a tear jerker.
Sam is a grumpy dad and gruff neighbor who will call the Sheriff if you try to serve him with "charity." But his heart softens over the years and he is given an opportunity to extend a hand of love. We loved Sam's Christmas Wish and will read it year after year!...more
First thing I have to say is that the cover is gorgeous and absolutely fits the plot and character featured. Nine is a teen waiting for her 17th birthFirst thing I have to say is that the cover is gorgeous and absolutely fits the plot and character featured. Nine is a teen waiting for her 17th birthday when she will pick her trade and be "remade" as either a male of female. She is free to choose her physical features and ultimately the trajectory of her life according to her society's laws. But what she does not understand is that there is a whole other reality out there that involves family, fertility and love. This book tested the limits of conventionally accepted values and the turn our society is taking towards gender less definition of youth at the same time. It openly discusses sex, gender, and God but is set in a futuristic dystopian society much like The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld or Divergent by Veronica Roth. I personally would not let my children read it until they are older and had been well exposed to both sex and gender issues. However, as an adult who has read a wide range of similar YA dystopian books, I enjoyed Remake as a fresh take on what could very well be in our near future. The themes are freedom of choice, family, seeking truth and government oppression.
I wish there would have been a bit more character development, especially with the two boys she has to choose between. And, I am hoping there is a sequel, as this was announced as a two book deal and there are a lot of open ends at the conclusion of Remake. Would I recommend it? Yes. But moms and dads, please pre read before passing it on. Adults, this is thought provoking and extremely timely. Well done Ilima. You've asked and introduced some very important questions....more
All of us have heard of The Christmas Carol, but very few of us may have heard the true story behind the author. What motivated Charles Dickens to wriAll of us have heard of The Christmas Carol, but very few of us may have heard the true story behind the author. What motivated Charles Dickens to write about Scrooge and Tiny Tim, how did his story impact his own life?
With beautiful illustrations, God Bless Us, Every One is the picture book script of the Mormon Tabernacle Christmas program brought to life, read and written by John Rhys- Davies. It is the tale of a well-known writer who found himself in dire straits financially one year and wandered the streets of London depressed of spirit. He saw the penniless, the orphans, who became his characters. And, assisted by a ghost, he sees things from a whole new perspective.
We watched the enclosed DVD as a companion to the book and my children loved the flying! This is one way to get your family ready for the season of giving in a multi- media way. Reading, seeing, experiencing Brandon Dorman’s wonderful pictures. We truly enjoyed having the choir and book come to life....more
Carla Kelly is amazing with pulling her readers right into the time and place she is writing about. In Softly Falling, it is 1800's Wyoming- harsh winCarla Kelly is amazing with pulling her readers right into the time and place she is writing about. In Softly Falling, it is 1800's Wyoming- harsh winters, ranchers trying to survive and gambling readily accessible. Lily is the daughter of a drunk who gambles away his money and reputation. She's sent tot he middle of Wyoming Territory to live with him as a lady of London where she's been living a quite privileged (but lonely) life. She's determined to help those around her by teaching school at the run down, abandoned school house.
With many bi-racial and multi-cultural characters there is a reoccurring theme of tolerance and acceptance. The details are rich and side actors grew to be my favorite. The only drawback for me was the pacing of the book. It was quite slow, and it took me to chapter 18 before I felt things picked up. If one weren't a fan of historical elements in fiction, there isn't much action to keep the interest level up. Since I love history, I kept reading and eventually grew into the story. I love all I learn when I read one of Carl's book about time and place.
Overall, a clean historic romance with roots int he Caribbean, Wyoming and London. Some mention of child abuse, prostitution and drinking....more
This is one of the most gorgeous covers and layouts I have ever seen for a middle grade book! All of your favorite fairy tale characters: RumplestiltsThis is one of the most gorgeous covers and layouts I have ever seen for a middle grade book! All of your favorite fairy tale characters: Rumplestiltskin, Cinderella's Wicked Stepmother, a giant and a Fairy Queen have joined together to form "the Clandestines"." Their secret mission is to kidnap Santa Claus and create an ending of their own. The elves are overworked and need to unionize and Christmas may be in trouble! With black and white illustrations, fun text variations and plenty of action, this is a short, fun middle grade read. Santa and Rudolph meet their match in a mash up of villains and good guys. Perfect for an afternoon by the fire.
I love that part of the proceeds from the book, soundtrack and musical "go toward the costs of getting toys into the hands of kids." And, I am anxiously awaiting the Copper Mine Club and Dinner Theatre's songs which will be uploaded to www.Fairy Tale ChristmasMusical.com...more
First of all you should all know I am a wuss when it comes to horror. I stay far, far away from anything scary. However, I requested Shutter for a fewFirst of all you should all know I am a wuss when it comes to horror. I stay far, far away from anything scary. However, I requested Shutter for a few reasons
1) It's about a ghost hunter who uses photography to trap ghosts and has a vintage camera collection
2) I know the author as a local publicist and librarian in a library that really needs to be exorcised because of its creepy history. (For real, I know the story behind the beautiful historic Provo Library and... wowza)
3) It was Halloween when I first opened Shutter, and who doesn't read something creepy on that holiday?
Courtney did not disappoint. The writing is poetic and atmospheric, down right creepy and at times gross. It reminded me of Ghostbusters meets kick- a female heroine with an attitude and a bit of a past. This is not a book for the faint of heart. After the gory opening scene, prepare yourself for more :)
I loved main MC's relationship with Australian Ryder and the character development she goes through to heal from wounds of her childhood. There is mention of Van Helsing's Dracula and lots of action as well as likable sidekick ghost hunter teens. My only apprehension was a tad bit of political agenda in regards to women holding the priesthood which was slipped in. (The author contacted me and said it is not intended as personal belief or agenda, just that it fits the character)
Overall, loved this debut. It was unique and sticks with you long after you're finished. Thanks MacMillan for the sneak peek!
Content: moderate swearing, mention of sex, moderate violence, domestic and child abuse....more
The Bloodbound by Erin Lindsey starts off right in the thick of the battlefield. There's no slow buildup, it's head first into a battle between brotheThe Bloodbound by Erin Lindsey starts off right in the thick of the battlefield. There's no slow buildup, it's head first into a battle between brothers where Alix Black becomes a surprise heroine. She's of noble birth but has taken up her sword as a part of the guard. She's red haired, fiery and headstrong. And, she wins the hearts of two men. Yes, there is a love triangle which is resolved at the end of the book. I loved Erin Lindsey's writing which combines magic, treason, action and romance. The characters are skillfully crafted--many of them won my heart and made an impression. There is a bold protagonist and bonds of both family & loyalty. Some of the battle and romance scenes were a bit too much for me personally. But the overall impression of the book was that I liked the authors style and prose. Well written with a swoon worthy king Erik who is endearingly human yet strong.
Content: Adult. There is sex, some swearing including the "f" word and war related violence....more
Sophia Spencer is a small town doctor's daughter, raised far from the influence of the ton and high London society. So, when a solicitor shows up at hSophia Spencer is a small town doctor's daughter, raised far from the influence of the ton and high London society. So, when a solicitor shows up at her door with an inheritance to bestow, life takes quite the unexpected twist. She is sent to town for her "season", a whirlwind schedule of teas and concerts under the care of her aunt, whom she'd never met. The pace is dizzying and society's rules so confusing. Sophia lays down for a nap at the ball and wakes up in quite an uncomfortable, but innocent situation that could ruin her reputation and the honor of the man involved. She finds herself engaged to be married to Adam Huntley, a sour grumpy (yet handsome) fellow--but can she follow through?
A light, clean introduction to Regency era romance, Sophia is told in dual perspective. There is a villain afoot and a slow romance fighting against the odds. Overall, I genuinely enjoyed this one, but wished for more detail and fleshing out of the characters and story line. It's a fast, simple read. I grew fond of the characters and was thirsting for more sights, sounds and feels. Paula has some wonderful material in person and place to work with for future novels and I hope to see more from her on shelves in the future!
LOVE! Picked it up because of the gorgeous shimmery cover. It reminds me of The Winner’s Curse. I am like a moth to the flame with covers ofThe Cover
LOVE! Picked it up because of the gorgeous shimmery cover. It reminds me of The Winner’s Curse. I am like a moth to the flame with covers of girls in beautiful ball gowns.
The ending. Surprise twist and lots of suspense. This is a cliffhanger, so you will have to pick up book two.
The complex characters. These dutchesses, their sons, servants and companions have a lot going on.
Jewel moves along at a fast pace, it is easy to read in one sitting. You are revulsed but drawn to the story at the same time.
The idea of another human being both a surrogate mother and servant at the same time is creepy. Complete misuse of women’s bodies and souls. There is a dark dystopian edge to all that is shiny and glitters in Jewel.
Lots of drama. Jewel’s society and royalty are glitsy, glamour and corrupt taken to the extreme.
Couldn’t figure out the augeries–genetic mutations that involve the owner’s ability to make magic.
sex, moderate violence, blurred gender, servitude and use of women....more
I picked up Christopher Columbus : A Man Among the Gentiles by Clark B . Hinckley on Columbius Day in an effort to learn more about the man behind theI picked up Christopher Columbus : A Man Among the Gentiles by Clark B . Hinckley on Columbius Day in an effort to learn more about the man behind the holiday. The author has done meticulous research with sourced materials to paint a very different picture of the explorer from the one that is being pushed in today's progressive history lessons. I wanted toe separate myth and legend from documented fact. Including new texts like Columbus' "Libro de Las Profecias," we learn that Columbus was a man led by God to unlock the path the to the new world navigating upon the ocean. Columbus himself wrote "with a hand that could be felt, the Lord opened my mind to the fact that it would be possible to sail and he opened my will to desire to accomplish the project… This was the fire that burned within me… Who can doubt that this fire was not merely mine, but also of the Holy Ghost… Urging me to press forward?
Born in Genoa Christopher Columbus was named after St. Christopher. His name literally means Christ – bearer. pgs 18-20 He was a man rejected time and time again until after much persistence, his request to sail in search of the East was finally granted. Packed with history, this offers an integrated view that Columbus was in fact a visionary man who truly felt led and guided. He was well-read and amazingly accurate in his method of navigation. As a history minor, I LOVED this book. I passed the lessons on to my children and we talked about the book in family home evening. Well written, interesting and thoughtfully researched....more