I found veganism through punk rock, so this little photocopied anarchist cookbook with the silly drawings and crust/anarcho music recommendations willI found veganism through punk rock, so this little photocopied anarchist cookbook with the silly drawings and crust/anarcho music recommendations will always be near and dear to my heart. It's been 10 years since I first picked this up at a show and it's probably been 8+ years since I actually cracked it open (and the pages are probably stuck together by now with pancake batter or something), but it used to get a lot of rotation in my early vegan years. An accessible vegan cooking primer for young, bright-eyed, broke punks, and maybe even still a recipe or two for an "old fart" in her late-20's like me....more
I love this cookbook!!! Isa reigns supreme yet again with her appealing, easy-to-follow recipes for what is typically the most non-vegan meal of the dI love this cookbook!!! Isa reigns supreme yet again with her appealing, easy-to-follow recipes for what is typically the most non-vegan meal of the day. As long as you and your friends & family are willing to make it all on a lazy late-morning Sunday, you will never miss out again on omelets, french toast, quiche, pancakes, tasty sides, pastries, etc etc. Add some OJ, coffee, conversation, and good tunes, and you are in brunchy heaven from construction to consumption, my friend.
The recipe for the Chelsea Waffles alone is worth its weight in gold (slathered in maple syrup). They are now my weekend ritual, and when my in-laws stayed with us, they loved the waffles so much that my mother-in-law now owns the book. Mind you, these are meat-loving folks from Maine, and this is now their first vegan cookbook. I LOVE when non-vegans enjoy vegan food enough to realize that it is not all bland hippie tree bark, and that it can be incorporated into anyone's diet, even just in small amounts. Three cheers for Vegan Brunch!...more
I enjoyed the first two and was looking forward to reading this ARC, but I wasn't that impressed. This book brings the characters from the first two bI enjoyed the first two and was looking forward to reading this ARC, but I wasn't that impressed. This book brings the characters from the first two books together, but stays in Miranda's POV. I wasn't a big fan of Miranda's character in the first book, so I would've rather seen it through Alex's eyes. I found him and his disaster situation in a metropolitan area in Book 2 more interesting than the small town in Book 1, so I found myself wanting to know more of the untold backstory about how he ended up in Miranda's town. Things seem unresolved at the end and poised for a 4th book, I'm assuming. I'll read it because I'm always fascinated by this type of post-apocalyptic sci-fi, but the characters are increasingly missing the mark for me. ...more
This book offers some pretty good tips and advice for the new or nervous public speaker. I've never taken a course or done much personal research on tThis book offers some pretty good tips and advice for the new or nervous public speaker. I've never taken a course or done much personal research on the topic, and as I increasingly find myself in professional situations where I must speak in front of a group, I wanted a simple primer with some good pointers. I browsed through the selection at my library, and this one was on the less corny end of the spectrum. The three straightforward "keys" to public speaking are preparation, performance, and evaluation, and the author offers some good tried-and-true examples and applications of various techniques. ...more
Well, "Fat Kid Rules the World" still remains my favorite K.L. Going book thus far, but this one was pretty good. Liam wasn't particularly likable toWell, "Fat Kid Rules the World" still remains my favorite K.L. Going book thus far, but this one was pretty good. Liam wasn't particularly likable to me, but the premise of his character is pretty amusing: a guy who screws everything up because he's too "perfect." Well, in the social context of high school, at least. He's the heartbreaker, the athlete, the fashionista, the rich boy, the teenage Adonis... Mr. Popularity. But he screws up one time too many for his CEO father and is shipped off to live in a dingy trailer with Aunt Pete, his outcast gay glam-rock DJ uncle. The fact that Liam has to try to be unpopular and studious in his new school (and screws that up miserably, too) in order to please his disappointed father is so laughably ridiculous. He tries wearing crappy clothes, making friends with the nerds, joining AV, etc, and yet the cheerleaders are still fawning over him and the jocks are still saving a space for him at the lunch table. With a supermodel for a mother, you start thinking that maybe this poor guy is genetically predisposed for this grueling chore of hot babes, friends, parties, etc etc. Oh, the humanity. But surprise! Liam is a decent guy inside who just once wants to do something right in the eyes of his father. He also has a profound love/talent for fashion and style, leading one to believe that there is more in store for him (and not what you'd expect for a straight popular guy) after the glories of high school. Aunt Pete and his motley band of friends are there along the way to help Liam realize that he is not defined by how others define him. I read a lot of YA fiction, and while I often delight in deserved comeuppance against the Normies and Jocks as a former (present?) nerd, it gets old. And Liam doesn't necessarily deserve it. He's naturally handsome and has great social skills, so he's popular. No mystery there. But we get to see beyond the stereotypes, and we get to see him take the messy, unconventional steps of putting together the pieces of who he really wants to be. ...more
**spoiler alert** Somehow I ended up reading this at the same time as Laurie Halse Anderson's Wintergirls. Yikes. Both happen to have female protagoni**spoiler alert** Somehow I ended up reading this at the same time as Laurie Halse Anderson's Wintergirls. Yikes. Both happen to have female protagonists with EDs, but what a world of difference between the two. This "issue novel", while still delving into serious subject matter, is not nearly as maddening and intense.
Janie Ryman is an overachieving teen who just wants to keep it together. She always feels second-rate to her family, she pines after popular Matt Lewis, and she works hard to keep her grades up and score the lead in the school play. Unfortunately, she falls into the clutches of bulimia in an attempt to maintain control. After two years of secret binging and purging, Janie's dirty secret is finally revealed to all in a disastrous scene at her sister's wedding.
At the start of the novel, Janie has been shipped off to Golden Slopes, where she must face her disorder and begin the road to recovery. Along the way, we gather clues and vignettes through Janie's journal as she comes to terms with what led to that catastrophic day. We also meet the "Barfers" and "Starvers" at Golden Slopes, including two very different male characters suffering from different EDs, which sheds a bit of light on this often unmentioned demographic.
Unfortunately, while the focus is solely on Janie and her recovery, the novel noticeably lacks in character development of these other teens at the treatment center. I found myself wishing for more information and background on many of them. However, I did appreciate Janie's recovery process. Teen novels are often too quick to either wholeheartedly embrace or completely dismiss therapy...Janie is realistically weary and skeptical of the whole idea, including the corny art activities and the group therapy discussions, yet she gradually begins to open up and pull out the pieces that work for her. It's an interesting peek into the inpatient therapy process.
While this novel wraps up neatly and quickly in a somewhat unrealistic bow at the end, I would hope that it would at least be more inspiring and helpful for those suffering from EDs and body issues than Anderson's morbidly dark "Wintergirls". ...more
It's another one of those bittersweet coming-of-age books for tweens/early-teens that makes your heart ache. Addie is a smart and extremely optimisticIt's another one of those bittersweet coming-of-age books for tweens/early-teens that makes your heart ache. Addie is a smart and extremely optimistic 12-year-old girl, but she's stuck in an awful situation, and she's not yet old enough to direct her feelings of abandonment and frustration towards her grossly-neglectful (and clearly bipolar) mother. Addie's such a sweet and positive protagonist, making friends wherever she goes and always making the best of her situation, whether it's being left at home for days with no food, struggling in school due to her dyslexia, or handling her mother's mood swings. She just goes on practicing her flute, playing with her hamster, or visiting her friends (the clerks at the corner mini-mart), and your heart just breaks for her. This book definitely teeters the line between children's and YA fiction, but works for both. The subject matter is serious and could easily be spun into more "mature" YA material, like Nancy Werlin's "The Rules of Survival", but since Addie is so young and her outlook on life seems so innocent and free of adolescent angst, the tone is much lighter than you'd think. ...more
So very Neil Gaiman, but fun for the middle-grade kids. "Cemetary Gates" by the Smiths would be the perfect soundtrack...Poppy and sweet, with macabreSo very Neil Gaiman, but fun for the middle-grade kids. "Cemetary Gates" by the Smiths would be the perfect soundtrack...Poppy and sweet, with macabre and Victorian undertones. Nobody (Bod) Owens has been raised by loving ghosts in a crumbling graveyard. As he grows, he begins to piece together the mystery of his past. However, this is where the book is sorely lacking. The characters and setting are rich and fun, but the underlying story and motives are totally undeveloped. Upon finishing, I had many unanswered questions, but I enjoyed the ride, so I guess I can't complain too much. I'm sure kids (even those pesky boys) would have fun with it, and it has much more mainstream appeal than some of the other recent Newbery Award winners that kids often find boring. Oh well...After being impressed with the visual magic of "Coraline", I think that this could potentially be an awesome movie, at the very least, and hopefully inspire some of those young reluctant readers to pick up a darn book. ...more
A surreal and maddening book. I read this book while home sick one day, and the next day I was telling a friend about how weird and unsettled I felt uA surreal and maddening book. I read this book while home sick one day, and the next day I was telling a friend about how weird and unsettled I felt upon reading it, how I felt transported into a skewed view of reality. "So maybe it was a good book, then?", she suggested. Yes and no. The author really does draw you into Aslaug's unconventional world view, filled with Nordic and pagan mythology and theology, native Maine herbology and wildlife, and the scars of psychological abuse and isolation. But the story is way out there, joining together an improbable chain of events that transpire between an isolated family, interspersed with court transcriptions as we piece together why Aslaug is being put on trial for murder.
I stuck with it due to the various starred reviews and ALA & YALSA recognition, but I really didn't feel pulled in until about 1/3 of the way through, after which I felt compelled to finish it despite my feelings of uneasiness while reading. It's one of those books that I think teens would either love or hate, and unfortunately, I would expect the latter in most cases....more
Eh. I read this book in little pieces, so as others have mentioned, the connection between the dual stories and all of the characters was a bit confusEh. I read this book in little pieces, so as others have mentioned, the connection between the dual stories and all of the characters was a bit confusing in the beginning, and I really had trouble getting into it. For the sake of the Printz Award, I pushed through. The ending was OK and sufficiently wrapped up the story. It just didn't really knock my socks off....more
Meh. I was excited about the concept: A road trip coming-of-age teen boy novel, but on bikes! However, the story fell pretty flat (and there was hardlMeh. I was excited about the concept: A road trip coming-of-age teen boy novel, but on bikes! However, the story fell pretty flat (and there was hardly a patch kit on hand, har har). This book has been billed as a mystery among other things, but that component of the novel was pretty weak and predictable. I think that was the problem...Too many components competing at once, with none really rising to the top. If the author had just focused primarily on the ups and downs of the road trip adventure, or the male coming-of-age friends-drifting-apart aspect, I probably would've enjoyed it more. ...more
Poetic and intense, using two troubled female characters to draw the reader down, down, down into that dark place within the teenage psyche where nothPoetic and intense, using two troubled female characters to draw the reader down, down, down into that dark place within the teenage psyche where nothing feels right and nothing works and no one cares. And nothing is wrapped up neatly in a bow, but we get to float in and then float back out as the characters find some sense of understanding and growth. I will certainly keep an eye out for more by this author....more
A silly little holiday story about the trials and tribulations of a lump of coal who aspires to make avante-garde art, told in standard Lemony SnicketA silly little holiday story about the trials and tribulations of a lump of coal who aspires to make avante-garde art, told in standard Lemony Snicket style; intellectually dry, absurdist, with a dash of morality. This is a short little picture book, so even more so than his other works, the intended audience is ambiguous. Is it really for the kindergarten set? Well, I'm sure many kids would love Helquist's beautiful and narrative illustrations (as usual), but Snicket's verbose, rambling humor easily zings over the young head. However, the underlying story is simple and short. A cute, quirky, unusual holiday story that would make a good stocking stuffer for the highbrow humorist in your family, ages 5+....more
Really awesome illustrations. A lot of the story is communicated effectively just in Larson's artwork. Unfortunately, the story moves so quickly thatReally awesome illustrations. A lot of the story is communicated effectively just in Larson's artwork. Unfortunately, the story moves so quickly that it's over before you know it, (but I suppose the same could be said for an adolescent summer at camp). There's not much time though for character development, so it doesn't really leave a lasting impression at the end. Still a pretty cool read. I hope to continue seeing more realistic graphic novels in the YA Lit genre. ...more
A fun read. 5 teens on the fringes of high school society come together to form Lemonade Mouth, a genre-bending band that speaks for the masses of awkA fun read. 5 teens on the fringes of high school society come together to form Lemonade Mouth, a genre-bending band that speaks for the masses of awkward teens. There are, of course, many (predictable) obstacles in their way: angry principals, bullies, unrequited love, family troubles, etc., but somehow Lemonade Mouth makes it through. The story is primarily told from the perspective of the 5 band members, with occasional tidbits from other characters. ...more
So awesome!!! I read this in one day...Before work, during my lunch hour, at the gym, and then under the covers. I couldn't put it down. This is a griSo awesome!!! I read this in one day...Before work, during my lunch hour, at the gym, and then under the covers. I couldn't put it down. This is a grim, sci-fi "Battle Royale"-esque tale of teens battling it out to the death in a televised reality show, all in a gristly display of a corrupt government's power. Katniss is a smart, capable girl living in impoverished District 12 of Panem, a post-American country where the Capitol reigns supreme and the residents of the 12 districts must toil to provide the commodities for the Capitol's endless consumption. After her little sister's name gets pulled in the "reaping", Katniss steps up and volunteers in her place. She must now compete in the annual Hunger Games, which pits 24 teens (two from each district) against one another in a race for survival until one emerges triumphantly, all while the residents of Panem watch every detail. Can Katniss beat the game and stay alive? Read and find out! The story is so compelling and action-packed. I luckily avoided reading much hype about this book beforehand, so I was overjoyed to see "End of Book One" at the exciting conclusion of the book. Can't wait for BOOK 2!!! ...more