The stories may have ended, but for many of us, the books and characters are still very much alive, leaving fans craving more. The struggles of Katnis...moreThe stories may have ended, but for many of us, the books and characters are still very much alive, leaving fans craving more. The struggles of Katniss and the people ruled by the Capitol have spilled into the Unofficial Recipes of the Hunger Games. Well, what better way to satisfy that craving than by preparing some dishes from the book?
To feel like we’re in the world of Katniss, the cook book follows the chronological order of the Hunger Games series, keeping the dishes as realistic as possible. The people of District 12 have recipes that use ingredients reminiscent of pioneer days – grains, goat milk and cheese, rustic breads, fresh herbs and nuts – while those from the Capitol enjoy rich desserts and flavorful meats.
While some recipes seem less likely to create, like the suckling pig, which is called for in the Gamemaker’s Suckling Pig recipe, they are still enjoyable to read about. And, other recipes, like the Thick and Creamy Carrot Soup, are so simple and succulent you’d describe the work as a “piece of cake.”
A fun read and fun food make this book good enough to eat the pages.(less)
I never realized how informative a summary could be until I read this compact version of Charles Duhigg's full-length novel. Good things come in small...moreI never realized how informative a summary could be until I read this compact version of Charles Duhigg's full-length novel. Good things come in small packages, after all. In simple language and patterns that were explained in laymen's terms, I learned how the patterns I've developed in life actually control my decision-making.
This knowledge was both scary and comforting. Knowledge is power, and understanding ourselves, as well as the patterns used against our own weakness, is exactly how we can regain that control. Whoever has the knowledge of our habits has the power over us. For example, we are shown how businesses grab out attentions with their products by understanding our spending habits. It's disconcerting to find that strangers may know us better than we know ourselves. But, by understanding these tricks of the trade, and ourselves, consumers can avoid being swindled.
Instead of feeling like slaves to our habits, we are shown that there are ways to alter our reactions. We can't change what we don't understand, but after this book, I feel like I understand myself better. That is an empowering thought, which is provided in this book’s summary. (less)
The Mediterranean diet is not your average sacrificial, self-loathing, torturing diet. In The Mediterranean Diet: Unlocking the Secrets to Health and...moreThe Mediterranean diet is not your average sacrificial, self-loathing, torturing diet. In The Mediterranean Diet: Unlocking the Secrets to Health and Weight, we’re shown that we don’t have to deprive ourselves in order to eat healthier, we simply need to change our outlook on food in order to enjoy eating the healthy way. With simple tips on adjustment, delicious recipes, and a food chain to take to heart – and literally for your heart – it’s hard to argue with the points in this book.
Simplicity is the key to the Mediterranean diet. Enjoying food in its simplest forms, learning to savor portions, and selecting the freshest ingredients is not only healthier, but also more enjoyable. It’s not nearly as hard as I would have thought, considering there’s more to the diet than just eating fruits and vegetables. Stressing the need of freshness opens the door to a whole new world of enjoyable foods.
What’s great about the diet is that there’s no counting calories if I don’t want to; and, since numbers are not my personal friend, I enjoy knowing that I don’t need a calculator to know how well my diet is going. The rules are common knowledge, but expanded in a way that let us know what we CAN eat, instead of what we CAN’T.
I’ve never been one for diets, but the Mediterranean diet sounds appealing just for the sake of eating good food. (less)
The foundation of any new business requires an innovative idea, determination to succeed, and a well-measured plan of attack (i.e. business plan). In...moreThe foundation of any new business requires an innovative idea, determination to succeed, and a well-measured plan of attack (i.e. business plan). In Eric Ries full-length novel, he gives detailed accounts of the best practices and habits of a successful start-up. But, who has time to read a lengthy book, particularly when they have their hands full starting a new business? The Lean Startup… in 30 Minutes is a thorough and informative summary that’s much easier to swallow.
Having learned through his own experience, as well as the ups and downs of fellow companies, Ries provides insight on the important points that require focus in a start-up, and this summary shrink wraps those key points in a neat little package. Product retuning, product testing, consumer testing, and consumer retuning are all part of the startup process. And, of course, the job of testing and retesting is never done.
With quotes from the book and through run-throughs of each chapter, this summary makes starting a business look easier than eating a piece of cake. (less)
If ever there was a realistic plot for the world to end, this is the plot I’d put my money on. No zombies, no killer virus. Just an all too realistic...moreIf ever there was a realistic plot for the world to end, this is the plot I’d put my money on. No zombies, no killer virus. Just an all too realistic scenario. Some people might describe “Yield” as an end-of-the-world book. I prefer to think of it as the potential end-of-humanity story.
When people panic, they can become animals who throw civility out the window, along with anyone else in their way. The scarier part is how panic creates more panic and hatred begets more hatred. Spreading like a disease, “Yield” shows how people succumb to the darker side inside themselves when they are full of fear or anger. Johnson depicted this ugly side of human nature horrifically well. The characters don’t have to be zombies to scare me out of my skin.
Admittedly, despite all of the hatred and selfishness people can exhibit , seeing the kinder side of human nature is as refreshing as a spring of water found in a desert. Even during the turmoil, not all people are selfish, which is exactly what breaks down stereotypes in this book. And through all of the hysteria shown in “Yield,” we still find characters who represent the good people on earth – the ones who keep mankind from destroying itself.
I love the depth of human nature exhibited in this book. There are so many different characters dispersed throughout the story, either adding or leaving their own story. Whether it’s trekking across the wasteland of the U.S. to find survivors, or struggling to survive in a home that’s becoming more uninhabitable by the day, my emotions were wrung out like a washcloth. One chapter, my skin crawls from the ferocity and fear depicted. The next chapter, I’m fighting tears at the loss of a character or the finding of another.
The scariest and most intriguing aspect of “Yield” is how believable an end-of-the-world story can be. With the advancement of technology and enough hatred, mankind could destroy itself. There is a fine line between stories that broaden our minds, and stories that provide preachy opinions. Luckily, “Yield” did not cross that line or even use it as a balance beam. (less)
Prepare for high-school flashbacks with this one. That's right, get out your year books and start flagging those former BFF's. How many of them do you...morePrepare for high-school flashbacks with this one. That's right, get out your year books and start flagging those former BFF's. How many of them do you recognize anymore? Although Mina, Elissa, and Scarlet have stuck to each other like glue all through high-school, they soon find that leaving high school often means leaving old habits and even old friends.
Each character in this story had a different appeal for me, but Mina is easiest to relate to with her secret high school crushes and denial with her insecurities. She's just a typical teenager trying to understand herself and those around her. I particularly enjoy her banters with her nemesis/crush, Diego. Come on, who can resist a smart-mouth boy with a gorgeous smile? Not only is the boy funny and cute, but he's got the brains to go with the bod.
Watching Elissa and Scarlet in college together is particularly heartbreaking to me. Two friends who were once closer than kernels on a cob can't seem to enjoy their friendship now that they're sharing a dorm room. Close proximity doesn't always make close friends, I guess.
Change isn't always a bad thing, though. Despite friendships being put to the test, there's enough humor and romance to lift a reader's spirits like a soaring kite... and then plummet like Charlie Brown's.
I love a book that gives all of my emotions a workout. And after "Their Friend Scarlet," each of mine needs to towel-down. (less)
Susie Speider may talk and act like your typical teenager, but there's something humorous, albeit disturbing, about this out-spoken, non-conforming, i...moreSusie Speider may talk and act like your typical teenager, but there's something humorous, albeit disturbing, about this out-spoken, non-conforming, imaginative girl. If mourning her father, getting hassled by her teacher, taking strong prescription drugs, and dealing with a new weirdo neighbor weren't enough to have her in a sticky situation, turning into a spider may be the highlight of Susie's issues. Despite the numerous legs, web-spinning, and shrunken body, Susie's arachnid transformation is more enjoyable than it seems.
For readers who are not accustomed to the teenage mindset, Susie Speider is a large pill to swallow. Seeing the world from her point of view forced me to put back on my young adult shoes to understand this girl. Most of us can remember feeling as jumbled as a box of unsolved puzzle pieces during our teenage years. Readers experience Susie's thoughts thrown together in rants against her mother, as well as in her diary. For a girl who describes herself as "the empress of geeks," she certainly is judgmental of her poor new neighbor, who just wants a relatable friend.
As both human and a spider, Susie is dealing with boy issues. There's the boy across the street, who obviously likes her, but falls short of Susie's expectations in a crush. And then there's the boy spider, who is oddly cute and charming, in his spidery ways. The parallelism of the two love interests in Susie's different forms act as a great window into what this confused teenage girl really feels, and what she's scared of.
When life becomes hard to bear, who wouldn't want to transform into someone or something else? For Susie Speider, being a spider at night isn't such a bad escape. (less)
Oh Sullivan series, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: 1) the magnetic attraction between each romantic couple (2) the humorous angst as the c...moreOh Sullivan series, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: 1) the magnetic attraction between each romantic couple (2) the humorous angst as the couple fights their passions (3) the steamy scenes of sweaty sheets (4) the heartfelt tenderness (5) the proof of love that's meant to be... Need I go on? There are sooo many reasons to fall in-love with this book, as well as the others in the series.
Having a soft spot for furry four-legged friends, I was particularly enamored with this Sullivan novel when Zach Sullivan is interested in his dog trainer, Heather Linsey. Though Heather and Zach have an animalistic attraction, they don't want to accept their deeper for feelings for each other.
The parallelism of watching Heather's giant Great Dane fall in-love with Zach's 3-pound puppy is both sweet and hilarious. Humans may be smarter than dogs, but at least the canines know NOT to ignore their hearts. Which begs the question, who's smarter now? The people, or the dogs?
Aside from the sweltering attraction between Zach and Heather, there is also a sweetness in the growing relationship that Bella Andre never fails to provide. What good is hot melting chocolate if it's not sweet, right? I love watching the couple get to know each other, understanding each others' weaknesses and strengths, and learning to care for each other BECAUSE of them, not in-spite of.
It's a good thing there's more Sullivan stories to come. Gobbling them up like my last meal, I just can't seem to satisfy my hunger for them.
If the setting and tension between the two wives wasn’t heated enough, then there’s the conspiracy behind the mayor and contractors who want Bobby’s D...moreIf the setting and tension between the two wives wasn’t heated enough, then there’s the conspiracy behind the mayor and contractors who want Bobby’s Diner for the land. The plot sounds reminiscent of an old southern tale about battling for land, but fighting for property is as far as that similarity goes. Aside from the danger that inevitably follows the greed from the contractors, most of the story leaves a reader’s heart aching for the ladies, rather than going pitter patter from fear. (less)