This was so much fun to read as a buddy read with my Goodreads friend, Laura. She kindly waited for my library copy to arrive and then was very patien...more This was so much fun to read as a buddy read with my Goodreads friend, Laura. She kindly waited for my library copy to arrive and then was very patient with my reading pace; we stayed practically in sync the entire way through the book, and that made the experience really fun.
I love J.K. Rowling, as a writer and a storyteller, and as a person, and I’ll most likely read any book she writes.
I do prefer cozy and/or humorous mysteries. This one had too much gore for me, though thankfully the violence was off the page. There was way too much sexual perversion for me too, most notably in the pages of a fictional book within the book, a book I found repulsive. Though the reader is supposed to feel this way, I still didn’t enjoy reading excerpts. I have to say that Rowling knows her mythology though, just as she showed in the Harry Potter books.
I do love the character Robin and I hope she appears more and more frequently with each new book in the series. My favorite parts these books are when Robin is present. I also really enjoy Robin’s mother and would like to see much more of her. It’s Robin that has me in love with this series, even though I am loving Strike more and more.
In this book I had great interest in many of the characters. I enjoyed trying to solve the mystery. The resolution is so much fun and is incredibly brilliant. If it weren’t for the above mentioned gore and perversion, and if I tended to reread mysteries, I’d be tempted to reread this to see how she did it all. The reveal was one of the possibilities I’d considered but I’d missed the most important clues. There were many red herrings and some things that couldn’t be guessed, but Rowling played fair and it wasn’t impossible to guess the identity of the main culprit. (I’m sure she wouldn’t be happy about it but I do think of this series as by Rowling vs. Galbraith.)
I really enjoyed the British words and phrases used. I also enjoyed the London and other British settings. I felt as though I got in a bit of armchair travel. The words and phrases, some of the cultural things, well they seem so exotic to me, so English. It has me wondering whether American vs. British (vs. other nationalities of) readers have different experiences reading these books. I also wondered that with the Harry Potter books.
So, this book is hard for me to rate. All along it could have been as low as a three and as high as a five. I think it ended up as a 4.5 for me. I guess I have to round down even though Robin is one of my favorite fictional characters and I thought the mystery was very well done. The book is a little too hard core for my tastes. My favorite mysteries are cozy mysteries, humorous cozy mysteries.
4 ½ stars
ETA: I should have taken notes. There is a long, spoiler ridden buddy read conversation at my Goodreads' review page.
So, I did want to include that I enjoyed reading about the writers, editors, and publishers that that world, a world that Rowling obviously knows. Though highly fictionalized, I certainly hope. I think there was truth there, and I think Rowling probably had a blast writing this book!(less)
Thank you to Da Capo Press for giving me the opportunity to read and honestly review this book, and for getting it to me a bit in advance of publicati...moreThank you to Da Capo Press for giving me the opportunity to read and honestly review this book, and for getting it to me a bit in advance of publication. I’m always excited by new vegan cookbooks, and good vegan cheeses are kind of the last food to be veganized in an appealing way. Copies were provided to me and my co-moderator at the Vegan Cooking & Cookbooks group at Goodreads, plus a copy was provided to us to offer a giveaway to our group members.
It’s a great book: it has a good layout, gorgeous photos of the food & recipes, and there is not as much accompanying text as in some books, but what’s there in entertaining and informative, and enjoyable to read. There is not an overload of information but there are many helpful extras included.
I LOVE the book’s dedication: “To all the animals – so you know that you have not passed this way unloved.”
The recipes actually start in the Cheesy Vegan Pantry section, not typical of most vegan cookbooks.
As someone who doesn’t typically like too much fuss in the kitchen, I really appreciate how at the recipes, the recipe for that cheese and a store bought version are both mentioned as acceptable to use. (I do like a couple vegan cheeses I can buy in grocery stores/eat in restaurant meals.)
Anybody who knows me and has shared meals with me can attest that I’m a picky eater. So I have to state upfront that most cookbook readers and most eaters are likely to enjoy the recipes more than I would. Many of the ingredients often included in the recipes I don’t like. If you like any of the following you’re likely to rate this book higher than I did: mustard, pimentos, alcoholic beverages used in cooking/alcoholic beverages, vegan sour cream, vegan cream cheese, cheesecakes, vegan mayo, vinegar, sweetness in savory dishes, capers, coconut oil, oh, and I know there are more, including vegan cheeses/cheeses in general. A part of me still loves the book. Some of the recipe names are so fun and creative, and how can’t I adore a book that has an entire chapter dedicated to mac ‘n’ cheese?! Though I do have to say many of the recipes in all sections tend toward the sophisticated more than the family, although I know plenty of kids will love them too.
Metric Conversions Store-Bought Vegan Cheese Resource Guide Resource Guide for Cheese Tools Acknowledgments Index
The parmesan cheese recipe looks excellent to me, but most of the others I’d probably opt for the already prepared store bought versions, or other versions.
The recipes that looked best for my taste are, not in any order of preference: Parmesan Cheese, and maybe the Nooch cheese and American cheese, Cheesy Broccoli & Potato Soup, Powwow Mushroom Soup, the Parmesan Croutons, Thyme of Your Life Baked Broccoli, Spaghetti Squash with Browned Buttery Nutmeg Sauce, You Say POtato I say PoTAto Gratin, the Twice-Baked Ricotta Potato Skins, the Black Bean & Jalapeño Tacos, Build Your Own Quesadilla, Pita Pizza in a Pocket, the Avocado Corn & Black Bean Dip, Cheddar Chips, the Dynamic Jalapeño Popper Duo, My Friend Alfredo, Baked Cauliflower Parmesan Penne (I’d make it with vegetable multi-colored whole wheat fusilli!), Lemony Parmesan Linguini, Tomato Gratin with Cheddar Crumbs & Basil Chiffonade, Triple Your Pleasure Fondue, All You Can Eat Pizza Buffet, and there are also a few other possibilities.
Sadly, this is probably the last book I’ll take as a copy to review. Given all that’s been happening on Goodreads the last 6 months, starting with the Amazon buyout announcement, and now the new policies posted on September 19th, I’m not sure what I’m doing about posting any future book reviews. I’ll probably post blurbs for now, but I don’t want to be obligated to review books at Goodreads, so I won’t be accepting any more books in exchange for writing a review. I’m truly sad about this. I’ve accepted books from Da Capo Press before this one, and they’re a quality publisher. I will keep reading their books. A huge thank you to Da Capo Press and Lindsey Triebel for giving me the opportunity to read this book. I will lend it out to others who will appreciate it, and perhaps also review it at various sites. I like supporting authors too. In fact, I know several authors as true friends and unless/until things deteriorate further, I might keep reviewing their books; I’ll definitely keep buying/reading them. My lifelong love for all sorts of books will continue.
Any local friends who’d like to borrow this cookbook? Please let me know and we’ll make arrangements for me to get it to you.
I’m on (mostly) online hiatus, for another couple of weeks, but I came in to review this book.(less)