Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Vegan Pressure Cooking, Revise & Expanded by JL Fields

*Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

About the book-

Conquer your pressure cooking fears and make meals in minutes!
 
Say goodbye to long cooking and preparation times. With an Instant Pot® or other pressure cooker, you can cook filling, nutritious meals in under an hour and with little mess or cleanup. It's the dinner (and breakfast, and lunch) solution you've always dreamed of. 
 
In this revised edition of the classic Vegan Pressure Cooking, you'll find:
--More than 30 pages of new content, including new recipes (over 120 recipes total) and new photos
--Information about using any type of pressure cooker or multicooker, including an Instant Pot, and how to choose which is best for you
--Cooking charts for beans, grains, vegetables, and more, so there’s no guesswork—or mushy vegetables—involved
--Recipes that span all meals and tastes, from easy breakfasts like Savory Oatmeal and Stewed Apricots to healthy dinners like Kale, Lentil, and Squash Chili and Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Perfect for novice cooks and experts alike, there's something for everyone with Vegan Pressure Cooking



My thoughts-

I think this is an excellent book for someone who is vegan or wanting to explore veganism. I am not vegan, but I love my Instant Pot and was hoping for some good veggie heavy recipes. What I found were carb heavy recipes, which makes sense because vegans need to get their protein from grains. I think there were some excellent recipes in the book, just not many that would work for my grain free lifestyle. There were a few though that I will definitely be giving a try. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who follows a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle or who just want more varied recipes for their Instant Pot.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable

*Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

My thoughts-


The Summer I Met Jack] offers an alternate Kennedy family history that will leave readers wondering whether America knew the real JFK at all." --Kirkus Reviews

New York Times bestselling author imagines the affair between John F. Kennedy and Alicia Corning Clark - and the child they may have had.
Based on a real story - in 1950, a young, beautiful Polish refugee arrives in Hyannisport, Massachusetts to work as a maid for one of the wealthiest families in America. Alicia is at once dazzled by the large and charismatic family, in particular the oldest son, a rising politician named Jack.
Alicia and Jack are soon engaged, but his domineering father forbids the marriage. And so, Alicia trades Hyannisport for Hollywood, and eventually Rome. She dates famous actors and athletes and royalty, including Gary Cooper, Kirk Douglas, and Katharine Hepburn, all the while staying close with Jack. A decade after they meet, on the eve of Jack’s inauguration as the thirty-fifth President of the United States, the two must confront what they mean to each other. 

The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable is based on the fascinating real life of Alicia Corning Clark, a woman who J. Edgar Hoover insisted was paid by the Kennedys to keep quiet, not only about her romance with Jack Kennedy, but also a baby they may have had together.



About the book-

There are so many things I love about this book. It is set (at least partially) in one of my favorite places- Cape Cod, it is based on historical people that actually existed, and it has an intriguing protagonist in Alicia Darr. I had never heard of Alicia Darr before reading The Summer I Met Jack, but the book has set off an interest that needs to be explored. I will definitely be looking for more books about her and her fascinating life. I appreciate the extensive research that the author conducting to be able to write this book and I also plan to read several of the books she cited at the end. I would love to see another book from Michelle Gable from Jack Kennedy's point of view of this time in his life. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or who has an interest in the Kennedy family. 

People of Peace by Sandrine Mirza

*Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

About the book-

Dreamers, leaders, fighters for our rights... meet 40 amazing activists for peace! From Martin Luther King’s dream to Gandhi’s protest to Nelson Mandela’s struggle, discover how each of these people dedicated their lives to making the world a better place in their own unique, and peaceful, way. Learn how these heroes from history changed the world in this inspiring book packed with hundreds of incredible facts. Who will you choose as your hero?

My thoughts-

I really like the premise of this book. Kids definitely need people to look up to and to aspire to be like and there are 40 tremendous choices within these pages. People of Peace is an inspiring book about 40 different people, from different walks of life, who each made it their mission to contribute to a world of peace. I love that there are both men and women from old times and current times for kids to learn about. They will learn not only about these people's missions, but a little about world history as well which I think is super cool. I even learned about a few world changers myself! I think this book should be something all older elementary school aged children should read!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Super Fun Travel Activities to Baffle Your Brain

*Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own.

My kids are pretty well traveled and are used to travelling in cars and planes and love seeing new place- but like any young kids- I have two 8 year old boys and a 10 year old girl- the get bored after sitting still for too long. I absolutely LOVE Super Fun Travel Activities to Baffle Your Brain. I am going to buy each kid a copy for our flight to Las Vegas this summer. This book is full of all of the standard busy book favorites- crosswords, word searches, Sudoku, and travel related games galore. I am pretty sure that my kids would love working in this activity book at home when they need something to do as well. I absolutely recommend this book for elementary aged kids for those long road trips or flights!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert

*Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

About the book-


My thoughts-

I really think books like No One Ever Asked are so important. There are some things we can never understand unless we we are able to see the point of view of others. I think this book did a great job of conveying that point. There were several different characters who cross paths but who all have different walks of life and different struggles and I thought Ganshert did a great job with their character development. I have read every book Katie Ganshert has written, and I have loved them all, but this one I think may be the most important. This is book club material. This is a book that needs to be discussed and open further dialogue about racism. I love that there are discussions questions conveniently included. I recommended No One Ever Asked to fans of Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give or to fans of Katie Ganshert.  



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth

*Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own.

About the book-

Small, perfect towns often hold the deepest secrets.
From the outside, Essie’s life looks idyllic: a loving husband, a beautiful house in a good neighborhood, and a nearby mother who dotes on her grandchildren. But few of Essie’s friends know her secret shame: that in a moment of maternal despair, she once walked away from her newborn, asleep in her carriage in a park. Disaster was avoided and Essie got better, but she still fears what lurks inside her, even as her daughter gets older and she has a second baby.
When a new woman named Isabelle moves in next door to Essie, she is an immediate object of curiosity in the neighborhood. Why single, when everyone else is married with children? Why renting, when everyone else owns? What mysterious job does she have? And why is she so fascinated with Essie? As the two women grow closer and Essie’s friends voice their disapproval, it starts to become clear that Isabelle’s choice of neighborhood was no accident. And that her presence threatens to bring shocking secrets to light. 

The Family Next Door is Sally Hepworth at her very best: at once a deeply moving portrait of family drama and a compelling suburban mystery that will keep you hooked until the very last page.
 
My thoughts-
 
The Family Next Door is not at all what I thought it was going to be. I definitely knew there would be secrets exposed about the women in the town, but I didn't see the twist coming that inevitably came- and that is the way I like it. If a book can keep me guessing or be good enough to shock me, I count that as a great book. I thought Sally Hepworth did a great job developing these characters. Even though there were several different storylines going on, I felt as if I knew each of them fairly well and sympathized with the drama each woman was dealing with in her life. I recommend this book to fans of literary fiction, and fans of books by authors like Liane Moriarity.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton

*Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

About the book-

Cliff Hubbard is a huge loser. Literally. His nickname at Happy Valley High School is Neanderthal because he's so enormous-6'6" and 250 pounds to be exact. He has nobody at school, and life in his trailer-park home has gone from bad to worse ever since his older brother's suicide. 
There's no one Cliff hates more than the nauseatingly cool quarterback, Aaron Zimmerman. Then Aaron returns to school after a near-death experience with a bizarre claim: while he was unconscious he saw God, who gave him a list of things to do to make Happy Valley High suck less. And God said there's only one person who can help: Neanderthal. 
To his own surprise, Cliff says he's in. As he and Aaron make their way through the List, which involves a vindictive English teacher, a mysterious computer hacker, a decidedly unchristian cult of Jesus Teens, the local drug dealers, and the meanest bully at HVHS, Cliff feels like he's part of something for the first time since losing his brother. But fixing a broken school isn't as simple as it seems, and just when Cliff thinks they've completed the List, he realizes their mission hits closer to home than he ever imagined. 
Razor sharp, moving, and outrageously funny, Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe is an unforgettable story of finding your place in an imperfect world. 

My thoughts-


I find myself reaching for YA more often than not when I want a book to read that I know I will truly enjoy. I think it is important to read what you enjoy, not just what everyone else says you should like. So I found myself reaching again for YA adult novel when I picked up Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect because of the subject matter dealing with God and death, but I will say that in the end I thought the message was good. I thought that Neanderthal was a breath of fresh air in the YA genre. I liked that the main character was someone who isn't the traditional swoon worthy protagonist that you might expect in the novel, and I loved seeing the new relationship's Cliff makes throughout the book unfold. Many relevant subjects of today's high school culture are touched upon here. This is an important book about diversity, acceptance, and hope. And a great debut novel from Preston Norton. I hope to see more great work from him in the future.