I LOVED this book. Sarah Elton's philosophy on food is pretty simple and straightforward - if it can be grown and produced here in Canada, don't spend...moreI LOVED this book. Sarah Elton's philosophy on food is pretty simple and straightforward - if it can be grown and produced here in Canada, don't spend your hard-earned grocery dollars buying it from some place else. Invest in your community, the environment and your health by making mindful choices of what you eat and paying attention to where it came from.
In Locavore, Elton travels from province to province collecting the stories of farmers, chefs, environmentalists and cheesemongers who are all committed to the local food movement in one way or another. Through these stories and anecdotes, she shows readers where our food actually comes from (sadly, most of it is flown in from other countries) and what a tragic impact that has on Canada's farmers and on the planet as a whole. She also discusses the steps Canadians are making to fix this issue, ending with an optimistic illustration of what the food culture in Canada *could* be if each of us were just a little more mindful of our purchases.
As someone with no previous knowledge of Canada's food industry, I appreciated the way Elton simplified the system. This book is about more than food; it's about people. It's easy to ignore slogans telling us to "eat local" ... not so easy to ignore that idea when you read about farmers who are losing everything and grocery stores who are choosing to stock apples from Fiji instead of apples grown down the street because the Fiji apples are cheaper.
Overall, an inspiring read that's challenged me to re-think how and where I shop for groceries.(less)
This book was a quick read, but very helpful. The author writes and explains things in ways that are easy to understand, even if you (like me) have li...moreThis book was a quick read, but very helpful. The author writes and explains things in ways that are easy to understand, even if you (like me) have little knowledge of nutrition and physiology. I'm looking forward to trying many of her suggestions. Sadly, the recipes at the back of the book weren't really ideal as many of them include crazy ingredients that I've never heard of and have no idea where to buy. But 3 stars for the rest of the content! I'd definitely recommend this read to anyone interested in understanding holistic nutrition.(less)
Julie & Julia was one of those books I meant to read when everyone else was reading it a few years back but never got around to it. Then new books...moreJulie & Julia was one of those books I meant to read when everyone else was reading it a few years back but never got around to it. Then new books came along and I got distracted and forgot all about it. So this is me, reviewing a best-seller about 6 years late.
I was really disappointed with this book. I found the chapters were disjointed, there was a lot of rambling and whining about things that had nothing to do with food and the infamous "F" word is used in every paragraph. Bummer. :((less)
I really enjoyed this book. It's a unique blend of genres ... part memoir, part cookbook, part non-fiction ... but despite the hodge-podge of styles I...moreI really enjoyed this book. It's a unique blend of genres ... part memoir, part cookbook, part non-fiction ... but despite the hodge-podge of styles I found the book flowed well from chapter to chapter. The story of how the author gave up eating in restaurants was really interesting - in fact, it challenged me to reconsider my own dining habits and has inspired me to cook at home more. Win!
The book introduces readers to a whole new world of dining options - urban foraging, freeganism, exclusive supper clubs, cook-offs, etc. If you're looking for ways to creatively indulge in good food without spending tons of money at restaurants, then this book is an absolute must-read.
My main disappointment with the book, and the reason it gets 4 stars instead of 5 stars, is that the title is a little bit misleading. There's actually not much information in the book about cooking and eating at home. The author spends a lot of time discussing the alternatives to restaurant dining mentioned above, but doesn't provide much practical information for those of us who just want to cook a basic meal at home for our small immediate family. How does she get the most bang for her buck while grocery shopping? What's her backup plan when the meal she's spent the last hour preparing turns out to be an epic fail? Those kind of questions go unanswered. In one chapter, she mentions briefly that she & her boyfriend have different tastes but she never expands on that. The focus is definitely on the "anti-restaurant" foodie scene and not so much the art of staying in, at home, for dinner with your family.
Cathy Erway isn't the world's best author and her editor should be fired for letting her use the word "shrugged" as often as she did. That said, I read this book more for culinary inspiration than for literary genius so I'm willing to overlook the mediocre writing and give it 4 stars for content. Even though I would have preferred more info on simply cooking at home and perhaps less info on elaborate cook-off competitions, the stories and anecdotes were interesting and inspiring! (less)
This book was excellent ... chick lit with substance! I loved the characters, the writing, the plot, everything. It was easy to get lost in the story...moreThis book was excellent ... chick lit with substance! I loved the characters, the writing, the plot, everything. It was easy to get lost in the story and the ending was truly beautiful. A great read! (less)
When God Was a Rabbit is divided in two parts - the first half is about the protagonist's childhood and early teen years, the second half is about her...moreWhen God Was a Rabbit is divided in two parts - the first half is about the protagonist's childhood and early teen years, the second half is about her life as an adult. If I were rating this book based on the first half only, I would easily award it 3.5 stars .. maybe even 4 stars. Unfortunately, I have to rate the book as a whole and that means it only gets 2 stars because the second half (more specifically, the last 60 pages or so) was absolute crap.
Needless to say, I really disliked the ending but, before I get to that, let me share what I did like. I loved the characters. Each and every one of them was dysfunctional but they were also believable. The family dynamics felt real to me, I found each character to be well developed and each one contributed something special to the story. I was excited to find out how their lives would unfold and what would become of them, which is probably why I was so frustrated and disappointed with the ending. For characters who felt so real and honest all the way through the story, the ending was totally unrealistic and didn't seem to fit the rest of the narrative at all. (view spoiler)[It was almost as if the author was desperate to give the book a happy ending. Why couldn't Joe have died in the towers on 9/11? Why did he live - why did she string us along thinking he had been killed only to have him reappear, alive, chapters later? Why did he regain his memory? Why didn't the coconut kill Arthur? Why was his vision suddenly restored? I think the book would have been more realistic and more meaningful if the author had ended with Joe dying on 9/11. No need to throw in a bunch of "surprise" twists at the end, especially since they made no sense. (hide spoiler)] The things the author randomly threw into the second half of the book (again, specifically in those last few pages) were unnecessary and really ruined the story for me. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I really don't know how to rate this book ... I enjoyed it, but I was also super disappointed with it.
Haunting Jasmine was a light, quick read and th...moreI really don't know how to rate this book ... I enjoyed it, but I was also super disappointed with it.
Haunting Jasmine was a light, quick read and the characters (especially Jasmine and Auntie Ruma) were well developed and interesting. They felt "real" to me, which is obviously a sign of great writing. The descriptions of Seattle and the whole West Coast was really spot-on. The plot concept of an enchanted bookstore where the ghosts of famous authors guide a wounded young divorcée was definitely unique and full of potential. Unfortunately, the way the story unfolded did nothing for me. It was almost as if the author couldn't decide what direction she wanted to take so she just threw a bunch of ideas together without properly developing them. The last few chapters seemed incredibly rushed, I wanted more information on what happened to certain characters and the final chapter left me completely confused. Ay Ganash! :)
So, 2 stars from me. An interesting summer "chick-lit" kind of read, but not the creative masterpiece I was hoping for.
Sophie Kinsella's novels always make me laugh out loud, and her latest (I've Got Your Number) was no exception. Were the characters, plot an...more3.5 stars
Sophie Kinsella's novels always make me laugh out loud, and her latest (I've Got Your Number) was no exception. Were the characters, plot and writing style similar to everything else Kinsella has written? Yes. Did I find it as entertaining as her Shopaholic books? No. Was it an enjoyable, light read that I'd recommend to my girlfriends? Absolutely.
The plot was fairly predictable and the whole footnotes thing kind of got on my nerves (I didn't even bother reading half of them) but the story was amusing and the characters were likeable and fun. I breezed through 400+ pages in 2 days and enjoyed every minute of Poppy's pre-wedding phone-borrowing escapades.(less)