I really enjoyed this book. I was expecting it to be strictly a personal memoir - a "this is what happened to me" kinda deal - and was pleasantly surpI really enjoyed this book. I was expecting it to be strictly a personal memoir - a "this is what happened to me" kinda deal - and was pleasantly surprised by all the research the author did and the interesting facts and statistics she provided. An easy read, it was both entertaining and informative. It made me value the bond I share with my "lifers" and inspired me to be more open to new friendships too. ...more
This book is more about moral dilemmas, ethical issues and identity than it is about true historical events. I thought the author did a good2.5 stars
This book is more about moral dilemmas, ethical issues and identity than it is about true historical events. I thought the author did a good job of showing readers why each character made the choices he/she made, but I was disappointed with the book's slow pace and the fact that all the "action" happens in the last 25 pages or so. Overall, an interesting and enjoyable read - just not what I was expecting....more
The End of Your Life Book Club is beautifully written and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Its title led me to believe that it was going to be about the booksThe End of Your Life Book Club is beautifully written and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Its title led me to believe that it was going to be about the books that had most impacted the lives of Will Schwalbe and his mother Mary-Anne. I expected a tribute to their favorite books, a thoughtfully assembled list of "you must read these before you die". Turns out, the book is so much more than that. It's the memoir of an incredible philanthropist and human rights advocate; the story of a woman who lived a full life in every sense of the word. It's the story of a wealthy New York family ... a family struggling to come to terms with a dying matriarch and trying their best to hang on to a sense of normalcy. And, last but certainly not least, it's the story of reading and literature and the ability books have to mold us, shape us, educate and inspire us. What we read becomes a part of us, for better or worse.
"We're all in the end-of-your-life book club whether we acknowledge it or not; each book we read may well be the last, each conversation the final one."...more
I feel kind of bad giving this book only two stars because the writing was great, the story flowed well and the plot was creative and unique ... but tI feel kind of bad giving this book only two stars because the writing was great, the story flowed well and the plot was creative and unique ... but the characters, oh the characters. They were pathetic!
There were over a dozen characters in the story and I disliked ALL of them. I couldn't relate to any of them, I didn't find myself rooting for anyone, I didn't really care what became of them. I've never felt this way about any other book, but the characters in The Casual Vacancy really got on my nerves. I would've enjoyed this book so much more if Rowling had included at least one character who was somewhat normal and happy and nice. Instead, readers got a dozen or so irritating whiners. So, two stars. ...more
I was excited to read The 100-Mile Diet because there's so much hype surrounding it. My husband and I are trying to maintain a diet of local, seasonalI was excited to read The 100-Mile Diet because there's so much hype surrounding it. My husband and I are trying to maintain a diet of local, seasonal food and have read a handful of books on this subject ... every single one mentions The 100-Mile Diet so I assumed this book was where the "eat local" philosophy originated. (Turns out, the concept of eating local seasonal food was very much alive and well long before Alisa Smith and her boyfriend JB MacKinnon started documenting their experience on a blog and then, later, in this book.)
I started reading with extremely high hopes, fueled by my assumption that this book was SO good it had kick-started a movement, and was quickly disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I liked the book ... it just wasn't at all what I was expecting.
The chapters are basically independent essays on various topics related to local food. I felt the authors' attempt to connect events was poorly done, leaving the book choppy and disjointed. There's lots of great information in here, but there isn't really a cohesive story and at times it just gets kind of boring. ...more
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 spendI 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....more
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 booksJulie & 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. :(...more
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 II 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! ...more
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 storyThis 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! ...more
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 herWhen 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"]>...more