Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Book Review: A Literary Tea Party by Alison Walsh

Here is's description of the book-

Tea and books: the perfect pairing. There's nothing quite like sitting down to a good book on a lovely afternoon with a steaming cup of tea beside you, as you fall down the rabbit hole into the imaginative worlds of Alice in Wonderland, The Hobbit, and Sherlock Holmes . . . 

Fire up your literary fancies and nibble your way through delicate sweets and savories with A Literary Tea Party, which brings food from classic books to life with a teatime twist. Featuring fifty-five perfectly portioned recipes for an afternoon getaway, including custom homemade tea blends and beverages, you will have everything you need to plan an elaborate tea party. Cook up and enjoy:

  • Turkish Delight while sipping on the White Witch’s Hot Chocolate from The Chronicles of Narnia

  • Drink Me Tea with the Queen of Hearts’s Painted Rose Cupcakes from Alice in Wonderland

  • Eeyore’s “Hipy Bthuthday” Cake with Hundred Acre Hot Chocolate from Winnie the Pooh

  • Hannah’s Sweet Potato Bacon Pastries and Jo’s Gingerbread from Little Women

  • Tom Sawyer’s Whitewashed Jelly Doughnuts from Tom Sawyer

  • And more!

  • Accompanied with photographs and book quotes, these recipes, inspired by the great works of literature, will complement any good book for teatime reading and eating.

    My Review-

    This is a cookbook that has the name of a classic book then a quote from the book with a recipe for a food that was mentioned in the book. 

    I liked the concept of the book and was excited to get  copy from Netgalley for my honest review.  There is a few recipes I would like to prepare.  I really want to try the Turkish Delight, it looked delicious!

    Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers of this book for my free copy for my honest review.


    Saturday, April 7, 2018

    Book Review: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh description of the book:

    The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life. And when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.
    My review:

    This book is about a girl named Victoria who is shuffled through the foster care system and proves to herself that she is stronger than she thought. Through learning the Victorian language of flowers she is able to turn her life around.

    I enjoyed the story and also how the author included a dictionary of the language of flowers in the back of the book.  This is the first novel written by Vanessa Diffenbaugh and I can see why it became a New York Times best selling book.  I look forward to reading more of her books.


    Tuesday, April 3, 2018

    Book Review-- The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White

    Here is the description of the book on

    Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.
    But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?
    To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibility of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.

    My Review:

    This book is a realistic look into how it is to live with OCD and not be diagnosed.  It is also a terrifying look into an estranged  mother's desperate attempt to help her daughter with the beginning signs of OCD. 
    I was familiar with OCD before reading this book but I only had a limited amount of  knowledge of how OCD can control your whole life.

    Barbara Clayton Poole told the story of a woman's struggle and also of how her daughter, ex-husband and ex brother- in- law are trying to figure out how to deal with a mental illness they are not prepared for.

    I give this book 5 stars and highly recommend it for a book club or just for yourself.  I love a book that has a very interesting storyline and also teaches me or helps me to better understand.  

    Thank you to Netgalley and also to the publishers of this book.  I look forward to following Barbara Claypole White on Facebook and reading her other novels.


    Monday, April 2, 2018

    The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh -----What I reading Now

    Tonight I am starting to read the book, The Language of Flowers.  I have had this book on my bookshelf for a few months now.  I bought it at Goodwill which is a great place to find books. One of these days I'll take a picture of my 3 bookshelves to show you all of my
     to -be- read books.  I also have sooo many books on my Kindle.  Can you really have too many books?  I don't think so.

    Even though I have soo many books I can not go into ANY store that has books or magazines and not look at them and most of the time buy one or two or more.

    I have heard good things about this book but hopefully I will not be up all night reading.


    Ina Garten Foolproof Cookbook and Lidia's Family Table Cookbook

    I recently went to my local library and checked out Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Foolproof cookbook and Lidia's Family Table cookbook.  I love to cook AND I also love to read books.

    I have been looking for a good homemade Marinara sauce recipe and Lidia's Family Table did not disappoint.  There was also a complete step by step recipe for making pasta that really made making pasta look easy.

    I love all of the cookbooks by Ina Garten that I have but I did not have the Foolproof cookbook.  I really admire Ina Garten because she practices and practices making her recipes until they are perfect.  Ina's cookbooks also have tons of tips throughout her book .

    After reading through the books I decided I definitely want to buy Ina Garten's Foolproof cookbook. There was soo many recipes that I want to make. I found the recipes I was searching for in Lidia's cookbook.  I cook more of an American version of Italian food so most of the recipes in Lidia's cookbook just wouldn't work for me right now.

    Using the Library was a good way for me to be able to read the books and decide which one I wanted to add to MY library.

    I hope you get to read both of these cookbooks and maybe add one or both of them to your collection.


    Wednesday, March 28, 2018

    Book Review: Every Note Played by Lisa Genova

    My review:

    This is the second book I have read of Lisa Genova's. The first was Still Alice, which I read twice and watched the movie.  Both of these books share a first hand experience of living with a devastating disease. 
        In the book Every Note Played, Richard a concert pianist is diagnosed with ALS.  The book shows how Richard has to live with the fast progressing disease and also how it effects his ex-wife Karina and his family. Every note played is not just about ALS it is also a story of a broken family struggling to get past the hurt and help each other through a very difficult time. When I started reading Every Note Played I thought I knew about ALS. But, thanks to Lisa Genova this book has taught me there is so much more to learn.
       This book would make a great Book club selection and I hope to see it in a movie soon.  I look forward to reading the other books by this author.
        Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book for my honest review. summary of the book:

    From neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice comes a powerful exploration of regret, forgiveness, freedom, and what it means to be alive.

    An accomplished concert pianist, Richard received standing ovations from audiences all over the world in awe of his rare combination of emotional resonance and flawless technique. Every finger of his hands was a finely calibrated instrument, dancing across the keys and striking each note with exacting precision. That was eight months ago.

    Richard now has ALS, and his entire right arm is paralyzed. His fingers are impotent, still, devoid of possibility. The loss of his hand feels like a death, a loss of true love, a divorce—his divorce.

    He knows his left arm will go next.

    Three years ago, Karina removed their framed wedding picture from the living room wall and hung a mirror there instead. But she still hasn’t moved on. Karina is paralyzed by excuses and fear, stuck in an unfulfilling life as a piano teacher, afraid to pursue the path she abandoned as a young woman, blaming Richard and their failed marriage for all of it.

    When Richard becomes increasingly paralyzed and is no longer able to live on his own, Karina becomes his reluctant caretaker. As Richard’s muscles, voice, and breath fade, both he and Karina try to reconcile their past before it’s too late.

    Poignant and powerful, Every Note Played is a masterful exploration of redemption and what it means to find peace inside of forgiveness.


    Saturday, January 20, 2018

    Book Review: I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon

    My review:  

    This book is not going to be released until March 27th 2018, but I was lucky enough to receive a copy from Netgalley for my honest review.  First off, this book would make an excellent book club choice!  I have been interested in the legend of Anastasia Romanov for a long time and as soon as I saw the description of this book I knew I wanted to read it.  I found myself drawn into Anna's story and did not want to put the book down until I finished. I would definitely rate this book 5 stars!!  Thank you to the publishers and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book for my honest review.

    Amazons description of the book:

    In an enthralling new feat of historical suspense, Ariel Lawhon unravels the extraordinary twists and turns in Anna Anderson's 50-year battle to be recognized as Anastasia Romanov. Is she the Russian Grand Duchess, a beloved daughter and revered icon, or is she an imposter, the thief of another woman's legacy?
                 Countless others have rendered their verdict. Now it is your turn.
    Russia, July 17, 1918: Under direct orders from Vladimir Lenin, Bolshevik secret police force Anastasia Romanov, along with the entire imperial family, into a damp basement in Siberia where they face a merciless firing squad. None survive. At least that is what the executioners have always claimed. 

    Germany, February 17, 1920
    : A young woman bearing an uncanny resemblance to Anastasia Romanov is pulled shivering and senseless from a canal in Berlin. Refusing to explain her presence in the freezing water, she is taken to the hospital where an examination reveals that her body is riddled with countless, horrific scars. When she finally does speak, this frightened, mysterious woman claims to be the Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia. 
    Her detractors, convinced that the young woman is only after the immense Romanov fortune, insist on calling her by a different name: Anna Anderson. 
         As rumors begin to circulate through European society that the youngest Romanov daughter has survived the massacre, old enemies and new threats are awakened. With a brilliantly crafted dual narrative structure, Lawhon wades into the most psychologically complex and emotionally compelling territory yet: the nature of identity itself.
         The question of who Anna Anderson is and what actually happened to Anastasia Romanov creates a saga that spans fifty years and touches three continents. This thrilling story is every bit as moving and momentous as it is harrowing and twisted.