Thursday, December 31, 2015

Book Review: Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock

I wanted to share a book I have just read.  It is called "Promises to keep" by Ann Tatlock. 

In Promises to Keep we meet Roz an 11 year-old girl in the 60's. Even though Roz' mother takes her family and leaves Roz' father, an alcoholic and abusive husband, Roz wants to believe that her daddy can change and they can be a happy family again.
This book is full of delightful characters including Tillie and Mara. Tillie we meet at the very beginning. Tillie is determined to end her days in the house she lived in and loved, even though it has been sold to Roz' family. Mara, Roz' new friend, is also keeping secrets and wishing to be reunited with her daddy.

I have never read a novel by Ann Tatlock before but after reading "Promises to keep" I will definitely read more.  This is one of those books I could not put down.  I loved that it was written in 11 year old Roz' point of few.

I highly recommend it to others.
I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Book Review: Hearing God by Mark & Patti Virkler

Here is a review for the latest book I have read.

Here is how Amazon describes the book.

What does it sound like to hear from Heaven?

In this interactive journal, Dr. Mark Virkler takes you on a life-changing journey that reveals three powerful ways you can hear God’s voice and recognize how He is speaking in your life everyday.

You will:
  • Hear… Discover the four keys to hearing God’s voice and start listening to the Holy Spirit with supernatural clarity
  • Meditate… Practice the seven steps to meditating on what God is saying and watch His Word come alive to you in a fresh new way
  • Dream… Learn how God is uniquely speaking to you through your dreams
As you hear God’s voice and respond to what He is saying, you will receive direction, experience healing, and unlock creativity in your life like never before!

Here is my review of the book.
I enjoyed this book.  It is written in a way to help you look at your life and dreams through questions and keeping a log/journal.  The authors give a short example by story then offer the reader a chance to look deeper to see how they can get closer to God.

There is three sections to the book.  Section 1 - Four Keys To Hearing God's Voice
                                                     Section 2 -Meditate On God's Voice
                                                     Section 3- Hearing God Through Your Dreams 

I received this book free for my honest review from Book Club Network.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Book Review: The Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak

Here is the description of the book on ---

A design-forward cookbook for sweet and savory baked goods from London's popular Violet Bakery that focuses on quality ingredients, seasonality, and taste (as opposed to science) as the keys to creating satisfying, delightful homemade pastries, tarts, sweets, and more. 

Violet is a jewel box of a cake shop and café in Hackney, east London. The baking is done with simple ingredients including whole grain flours, less refined sugars, and the natural sweetness and nuanced hues of seasonal fruits. Everything is made in an open kitchen for people to see. Famed for its exquisite baked goods, Violet has become a destination.

Owner Claire Ptak uses her Californian sensibility to create recipes that are both nourishing and indulgent. With a careful eye to taste and using the purest ingredients, she has created the most flavorful iterations of classic cakes, as well as new treats for modern palates. Over 100 recipes include nourishing breakfasts, midday snacks, desserts to share, fruit preserves, and stylish celebration cakes.

This book is about making baking worth it: simple to cook and satisfying to eat.

My review--  WOW, all I can say is every one of these recipes sound soo delicious!!!  I want to make every single one!!  But my real dream would go to the Violet Bakery and experience the delicious food first hand.  This cookbook would make a great addition to any ones kitchen.

Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book for my honest opinion.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Book Review: Maggie's Turn by Donna Lynn Sletten

Here is the description of the book Netgalley has posted: 
 Maggie has always put her family’s needs in front of her own, until one day—without forethought—she drives away, leaving behind her indifferent husband and two sulking teenagers.
As she begins a quest of self-exploration, she meets new people, enjoys new adventures, and rediscovers long-neglected passions. For the first time in years, Maggie contemplates what she wants from life and soon realizes that her deteriorating marriage can no longer continue as it is. Can she and Andrew repair their broken relationship, or is their marriage over?
Left to his own devices, Andrew is forced to take over the household responsibilities and bridge the growing divide between himself and his children. Slowly, he begins to understand what drove Maggie away—and how he can’t bear to live without her. But is it too late? Will Andrew lose Maggie forever?
Here  is my review: 
 I really enjoyed reading this book.  I found myself cheering for Maggie and hoping that she and her husband would get a second chance. This book was very easy to read and I didn't want to put it down.
Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this book for my honest review.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Book Review: The World on a Plate by Mina Holland

This is so much more than a cookbook!  As it says on the first page, it contains 40 Cuisines, 100 recipes, and the stories behind them.  This is a book that will tell you some information about the country that the recipe comes from then offers a few recipes from that region.
  This is a book you will want to hang on to and get lost in reading.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Book review: The Autism Parents Guide To Reclaiming Your Life by Deanna Picon

I really needed to read this at this time in my life.  I have a son that has Down Syndrome and Autism we are transitioning from High School to whatever comes next.  This book literally made me tear up,  I have been feeling a lot of the things the Author mentions. I could relate to the feelings she was saying that parents go through in their life with their child with a special need.  I needed to hear someone give me permission to live my life and not feel guilty. And also telling me that doing my best is all I can do.
     I will definitely read this over and over again.  I wish I had this book years ago.
Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book for my honest opinion.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Book Review: The Good Gut by Justin Sonnenburg and Erica Sonnenburg, PhDs.

This was a very informative book on the value of eating healthy and getting your gut to a healthy level for anyone concerned about living their best life.

Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book for my honest review.

Here is how describes the book:

The groundbreaking science behind the surprising source of good health

Stanford University’s Justin and Erica Sonnenburg are pioneers in the most exciting and potentially transformative field in the entire realm of human health and wellness, the study of the relationship between our bodies and the trillions of organisms representing thousands of species to which our bodies play host, the microbes that we collectively call the microbiota. The microbiota interacts with our bodies in a number of powerful ways; the Sonnenburgs argue that it determines in no small part whether we’re sick or healthy, fit or obese, sunny or moody. The microbiota has always been with us, and in fact has coevolved with humans, entwining its functions with ours so deeply, the Sonnenburgs show us, humans are really composite organisms having both microbial and human parts. But now, they argue, because of changes to diet, antibiotic over-use, and over-sterilization, our gut microbiota is facing a “mass extinction event,” which is causing our bodies to go haywire, and may be behind the mysterious spike in some of our most troubling modern afflictions, from food allergies to autism, cancer to depression. It doesn’t have to be this way.

The Good Gut
 offers a new plan for health that focuses on how to nourish your microbiota, including recipes and a menu plan. In this groundbreaking work, the Sonnenburgs show how we can keep our microbiota off the endangered species list and how we can strengthen the community that inhabits our gut and thereby improve our own health. The answer is unique for each of us, and it changes as you age. 

In this important and timely investigation, the Sonnenburgs look at safe alternatives to antibiotics; dietary and lifestyle choices to encourage microbial health; the management of the aging microbiota; and the nourishment of your own individual microbiome.

Caring for our gut microbes may be the most important health choice we can make.

Book Review: The Truth According To Us by Annie Barrows

I give this book 5 Stars.  This book is a delightful read that proves people are not what they seem on the outside and incapable of change. I really liked that I had NO IDEA how the book was going to end.

Here is a book description as provided by Amazon--

From the co-author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society comes a wise, witty, and exuberant novel, perfect for fans of Lee Smith, that illuminates the power of loyalty and forgiveness, memory and truth, and the courage it takes to do what’s right.  

Annie Barrows once again evokes the charm and eccentricity of a small town filled with extraordinary characters. Her new novel, The Truth According to Us, brings to life an inquisitive young girl, her beloved aunt, and the alluring visitor who changes the course of their destiny forever.

In the summer of 1938, Layla Beck’s father, a United States senator, cuts off her allowance and demands that she find employment on the Federal Writers’ Project, a New Deal jobs program. Within days, Layla finds herself far from her accustomed social whirl, assigned to cover the history of the remote mill town of Macedonia, West Virginia, and destined, in her opinion, to go completely mad with boredom. But once she secures a room in the home of the unconventional Romeyn family, she is drawn into their complex world and soon discovers that the truth of the town is entangled in the thorny past of the Romeyn dynasty.

At the Romeyn house, twelve-year-old Willa is desperate to learn everything in her quest to acquire her favorite virtues of ferocity and devotion—a search that leads her into a thicket of mysteries, including the questionable business that occupies her charismatic father and the reason her adored aunt Jottie remains unmarried. Layla’s arrival strikes a match to the family veneer, bringing to light buried secrets that will tell a new tale about the Romeyns. As Willa peels back the layers of her family’s past, and Layla delves deeper into town legend, everyone involved is transformed—and their personal histories completely rewritten.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing this book for my honest review.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Book Review: Pastel Orphans by Gemma Liviero

I really enjoyed the book Pastel Orphans.  So you get to know a little about the book here is Amazon's description of the book

.In 1930s Berlin, young Henrik, the son of a Jewish father and Aryan mother, watches the world around him crumbling: people are rioting in the streets, a strange yellow star begins appearing in shop windows, and friends are forced to move—or they simply disappear.
After his father becomes gravely ill, Henrik and his little sister, Greta, are taken by their mother to Poland for safety. However, not even the pastoral surroundings of their new home can protect them from the terrors of war. When the Nazis invade and Greta is kidnapped, Henrik must shed his youthful innocence and search for his lost sister, a quest that will further reveal a harrowing landscape of violence and struggle―but also unexpected connections.
Uniquely told from the perspective of youth plunged into adult chaos, Pastel Orphans is a coming-of-age story that explores profound lessons in self-belief, kindness, and human endurance.
My review:  I did not want to put this book down.  I really liked how the author Gemma Liviero wrote in Henrik's point of view and tells what he saw in that time from a young boy to mans eyes.
The plot kept me guessing and wanting to know what was going to happen next.  This is a story I will not forget and will recommend to everyone.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing this book for my honest review.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Book Review: The Doctor's Diet by Travis Stork, M.D.

I could not wait to try this cookbook. After seeing some of the recipes on the television show the Doctor's I knew it had to be a winner.  Not only is there good recipes but there is a lot of nutritional information.  I have tried four of the recipes so far and look forward to trying more.

I think it is a book that you can return to again and again as your diet or nutritional needs change.

Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to review the book with my honest opinion.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Book Review: Unhealthy Anonymous by Dr. Pete Sulack

This book came at the exact right time in my life.  My son has skin infections and signs of Autism.  We recently took him to get his food allergies tested and vitamin levels tested.  The tests showed he is Very low on Vitamin D and has a low tolerance for dairy and gluten.  After taking the advice of one doctor, I was excited to read the opinion of another doctor on the subject.

Dr. Pete Sulack's book " Unhealthy Anonymous" has examples of past patients that have been helped by changing their diet and vitamin intake. This book gives an overview of how your lifestyle and stress levels can affect daily living.  I especially  liked the example of fixing a car temporarily with duct tape instead of finding out the cause.

There is a website that has recipes and a 21 day plan that is mentioned in the book.  Thank you to Bookfun and Dr. Pete Sulack for providing this book for my honest review.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Book Review: A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge

Book review: A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge

I just finished reading "A table by the Window" by Hillary Manton Lodge.  This book combined three of my most favorite things to look for in a book, mystery,cooking and a good love story.  

Not only was there a good storyline right from the start but the recipes,  ooh the recipes, and all of the talk about the food they were cooking and eating made me want to crawl right into the story!  I loved the details of the foods that they were all eating and the secrets of cooking properly.

Now don't think that this book is only about cooking.  For those of you looking for a little mystery you can find it here.  In fact, the author was very sneaky at the end of the book to keep you wanting more and continuing it with her next book that is coming out in the series.  

We can not forget the love story.  Juliette is the main character, she is in a family of chefs and is starting a restaurant with her brother.  She does not have the time to find a romance outside of her restaurant business and finds one on a dating website.  But her romance is not easy, the man that she falls for lives in another state.  
I really enjoyed this book and can not wait to read the sequeal when it comes out.  In the meantime I will try some of these delicious recipes.

I want to thank Waterbrook Press for a free copy of this book to give my honest review.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Book review: Inside The O'Brians by Lisa Genova

The book description from - 

"From the New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice Lisa Genova comes a powerful and transcendent new novel about a family struggling with the impact of Huntington’s disease.

Joe O’Brien is a forty-four-year-old police officer from the Irish Catholic neighborhood of Charlestown, Massachusetts. A devoted husband, proud father of four children in their twenties, and respected officer, Joe begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, uncharacteristic temper outbursts, and strange, involuntary movements. He initially attributes these episodes to the stress of his job, but as these symptoms worsen, he agrees to see a neurologist and is handed a diagnosis that will change his and his family’s lives forever: Huntington’s Disease.

Huntington’s is a lethal neurodegenerative disease with no treatment and no cure. Each of Joe’s four children has a 50 percent chance of inheriting their father’s disease, and a simple blood test can reveal their genetic fate. While watching her potential future in her father’s escalating symptoms, twenty-one-year-old daughter Katie struggles with the questions this test imposes on her young adult life. Does she want to know? What if she’s gene positive? Can she live with the constant anxiety of not knowing?

As Joe’s symptoms worsen and he’s eventually stripped of his badge and more, Joe struggles to maintain hope and a sense of purpose, while Katie and her siblings must find the courage to either live a life “at risk” or learn their fate."

My Review - 

I would rate this book over 5 stars if I could.  This book tells the heartbreaking and heartwarming tale of a family dealing with Huntington's Disease.  This is a very good book and I highly recommend it for book clubs and everyone wanting to read a book they will not forget.

Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to review this book for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Book Review: Gorgeous For Good- by Sophie Uliano

I loved this book.  Sophie Uliano gives us a 30-day program of  beauty, nutrition, movement and self-care exercises that is very easy to do and will make you feel your best.  There is tips for beauty products, recipes for beauty products and very tasty looking recipes for you to enjoy.
I recieved this book in Kindle version but I highly recommend to get this book in Hardback so you can refer to it often.

Thank you to Netgalley and Sophie Uliano for allowing me to review this book for my honest review.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Book Review: Goddesses Never Age by Christiane Northrup

This is a book you will want to refer to again and again. Dr. Christiane Northrup offers so much information and advice to live the best life you can at any age.  I highly recommend this book to any woman of any age.

Thank you to The Book Club Network for my honest review of this book.


Book Review: One Season of Hope by Jim Stovall

Here is one book that I highly recommend!  It is the newest book by Author Jim Stovall.  Jim Stovall tells the story of "Coach" as he is ready to retire and remembering one of the seasons that that he had extraordinary players on his football team.  Coach is a football coach that is at Harry S. Truman High School.  Coach speaks and asks advice from a statue of Harry S. Truman.  Along with learning tidbits about President Truman we also learn the story of a boy that changes so many lives in his last year as a football player.

Thank you to The Book Club Network and Mr. Stovall for this opportunity to review this book for my honest opinion.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Book Review: The Body Tourist by Dana Lise Shavin

Here is the book description as written on Amazon: In this moving and funny memoir that spans the six years following the author's purported recovery from anorexia, Dana Lise Shavin offers a candid and ultimately optimistic window into the mindset and machinations of a mental illness whose tentacles reached deep into her life, long after she was considered "cured." In 1981, Shavin graduated from college with a BA in Psychology. It had been a difficult venture that included an expulsion, a four-month institutionalization, and a multitude of transfers. By the time it was over, she was convinced she was cured, and that it was time to start curing others. "I’m ready," she told her parents, her therapist, and friends—all of whom shook their heads in horror at her 95-pound, 5’9” frame. Undaunted, she landed a job as a counselor in a halfway house for drug and alcohol addicts.

 If anyone knew what it took to become a happy, functioning adult, Shavin was convinced she was the one. As anyone would suspect, the burden of self-contempt, faulty logic, and interpersonal turmoil that are the character traits of depressive disorders and addictions do not miraculously disappear once medication and therapy have taken effect. Where, then, do these dangerous obsessions, such as the wish for obliteration (which often co-exists with the wish for immortality), go once a person sets foot on the road to recovery? For Shavin, they lived beneath the radar of her supposed new-found health, disguising themselves in the falling-down houses she happily moved into and the dangerous neighborhoods she somehow didn't fear. They announced themselves in the deeply flawed men she professed to adore, the food rituals she thought were normal, the ordinary sex she could not have, and, most profoundly, her inability to acknowledge her father’s illness and encroaching death.

 While many writers have written candidly and eloquently about their struggles with depression, addictions, and eating disorders, those stories usually conclude once there is progress toward recovery. Beyond recovery—whether from addiction, illness, the death of a loved one, or divorce—there is another story, one that is about how we re-join the world, and, in the living years that follow the darkness, pursue a life that is creative, engaged, and deeply felt in one's body.

 My review: This book was beautifully written allowing the reader insight to the thoughts and feelings of Dana Shavin dealing with her Anorexia and her fight to overcome her mental illness. Through the Body Tourist book Dana Lisa Shavin shows that Anorexia is a lot more than just controlling what you eat. I loved the honesty of the memoir. Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this book and write my honest opinion.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Book Review: How to get Dressed by Alison Freer

I absolutely loved this book!!  So many insider secrets and tips to making your clothing work for you! I received this book in Kindle version but I will definitely buy it in paperback so I can highlight it and flip through it as often as I want.  It would make a great present for any woman or man that you know.

Also, I could not wait to look up a few of the inexpensive products that she mentions in the book so I can have them at all times.

Thank you to Netgalley, Alison Freer and Ten Speed Press for this ARC copy and allowing me to give my honest opinion of this book.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Book Review: The Authentic Amish Cookbook by Norman and Marlena Miller, compliers

The book summary: Now you can enjoy genuine Amish recipes from the Amish themselves. From the members of the Evart, Michigan, Amish community comes this collection of 450 family favorites, including… salads and dressings (24-Hour Potato Salad, Italian Macaroni Salad)meats and main dishes (Honey-Mustard Baked Chicken, No-Fuss Lasagna, Taco Quiche)desserts (Apple Cream Cheese Pie, Rhubarb Torte, Raspberry Swirl) Several miscellaneous recipes (jerky, play dough, finger paint…) and large-quantity recipes (for wedding receptions and other large events) are followed by many healthy recipes for folks who are watching their diet. A generous collection of tips and hints provides extra help in making your duties in the kitchen and throughout your home flow smoothly. With popular Amish hymns and inspirational thoughts sprinkled throughout, The Authentic Amish Cookbook provides everything you need to enjoy your meal preparation and to bless your family and friends with table times they’ll never forget.

I love cookbooks with recipes from home cooks.  This cookbook has over 450 wonderful recipes, Roasted Potato Salad, Kolaches, Wet Bottom Shoo-fly Pie, Cream Cheese Sheet Cake are examples of the many recipes I want to try.

I loved the addition of inspirations, poems and quotes.

I highly recommend this cookbook as an addition to your cookbook collection.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Harvest House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for an honest review. And I would like to thank the many ladies that contributed to the cookbook.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Book Review: Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

I recieved this book for my honest review from Netgalley(Random House LLC).  This is the author's debut novel.

Hausfrau is not what I expected, it is a dark, very thought-provoking book and would make a great book club book because it would generate a lot of discussion.

The main character Anna Benz is a thirty something housewife that moves to Switzerland with her Swiss husband and two sons.  The saying "a bored woman is a dangerous woman" is very true in this story. Anna is a bored housewife.

I enjoyed the writing of this book by Jill Essbaum but I did not like Anna.  Anna is living in a perfect family a beautiful country with a loving husband and yet cannot be happy.  She is her own worst enemy and has no self-control.

I wanted to continue reading Hausfrau because I was hoping Anna would get her act together.  The ending of the book was very depressing and some of the language was a little too strong for me and the sex scenes left nothing to be imagined.

I would recommend this book to book clubs.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Review: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I am very interested in books written about WWII but the books I usually read are written in the perspective of a Jewish person.  This book is written from the point of view of Werner Pfenning a young German Private and Marie-Laurie LeBlanc a young blind French girl.  I loved hearing about the war from their perspectives and felt like I was there with them.  I am a romantic so I would have liked a different ending, but I thoroughly enjoyed the book.
  The one negative thing I have to say is, I read the book on Kindle and it was a little confusing for me where one part is August 1944 then the next August 1942 and the next August 1944 again.  Sometimes I had to go back pages to see what was the previous chapters year.  
After reading the book, I would love to see before and after pictures of Berlin, France and the places mentioned in the book.  Also, I had a great desire to listen to the song "Claire de Lune" again.

Thank you to Netgalley for a free copy of this book for my honest review.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Book review Golden State by Stephanie Kegan

I am a Big Fan of Jodi Picoult and after reading Golden State, I am now a Big fan of Stephanie Kegan.  This book was a long book, 50 chapters, but I can say I did not want it to end.  Please Stephanie Kegan write a follow-up book!  I want to know what happens with Everyone of the characters!  

This book had me questioning myself as to how I would handle the situations asking myself what would I do.  I think this book would make a great Book Club reader and offers lots of discussion points.

I you like a book that keeps you engrossed in the story, questioning your morals, cheering for every character and always guessing how the book will end, this book is for you!

Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to review this book for my honest review.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Finding Inexpensive Books

I am a true lover of books.  I have books everywhere in my house.  But as we all know books can be very expensive, especially if you have a big colection.  One of the places that I have found to get GREAT books is Goodwill.  As you can see from the pictures above our Goodwill has a huge selection and it changes all the time.

For just 99 cents for a Paperback and $1.99 for a Hardback book you can find a brand- new- to- you book in great condition.  I have found countless barely used books.

I hope you will visit your Goodwill and see what treasures you can find.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings--Book Review

I just had the pleasure of reading Regina Jennings new book titled "A Most Inconvenient Marriage".  Historical Romance is one of my favorite Genres, when I was given the chance to review this book I jumped at the chance.

On the back of the book it is described as "Abigal Stuart thought she was Jeremiah Calhoun's widow.  But Jeremiah Calhoun is very handsome, very alive, and very perplexed,  Most inconvenient indeed."

First off I have to say I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.  It had everything you could want in a book, romance, danger, comedy, and adventure.  The book is written in Post Civil War Era.  Abigal Stuart is a Yankee nurse working in a Civil War prisoner's hospital.  Believing she doesn't have very many choices after the war ends, she agrees to marry a dying Civil War prisoner and move out to his farm in the Ozarks and take care of his sick sister, in exchange she will inherit his farm.

Needless to say, you will not want to put this book down.  There was some definite laugh out loud moments-- The piecrust,  the horse in the house, Betsy's kitten, and the pranks of the neighbors children the Huckabee kids.

Regina Jennings has a way with words.  My favorite lines from her book were-
1 .Abigal clasped her hands before her, looking like some kind of Swedish Martyr.
2. Laurel didn't act the way he wanted And then finally acted the way she ought.  She fainted dead away.

I highly recommend this book.  And I want to say a big Thank You to Bethany House for this free book for my honest review.  One last thing I want to say to the author is, I  was brought to tears when Jeremiah said that he believed Abigal did not steal Varina's horse.  I looked forward to her next book.