The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living

by Louise Miller

Rating:   3-teacups.5 Teacups

 

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I love cookbooks, cooking shows and consider myself a foodie. So to read a fiction book based on a pastry chef I knew I would enjoy this one. I mean how neat of a job working as a pastry chef, I always said if I was going to be a chef it would be pastry and other kinds of baking. The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living was a good book and one I would recommend to women’s fiction readers. Livvy the main character at times got on my nerves with some of her choices but it was great to see her grow and fall in love with life more than when she was at the top of her game in a fancy high-priced restaurant. Livvy’s life takes a big turn when she loses her job, moves to Vermont and starts working at a cute little BB. This is not where Livvy saw her life going but sometimes the unexpected is just what we need to find our true calling and passion. Livvy gets everything she has been looking for but didn’t know it the love and acceptance of “family” and friends. I could have done with a few less hooking up scenes and more baking kitchen scenes but I’m sure that is just me and not the usual reader. Overall this was a fun book and I enjoyed it. I do want to say thank you so very much to Blogging for Books this was an audio book but I didn’t notice this till after I requested it. I don’t like audio books my mind tends to wonder and I don’t listen like I should and miss most of the story, maybe it’s just that I haven’t found a great “reader” to listen to. They very kindly sent me a book copy instead and I am so thankful that was above and beyond and this is just another reason I love being a reader – blogger for their books!

summary: When Olivia Rawlings—pastry chef extraordinaire for an exclusive Boston dinner club—sets not just her flambéed dessert but the entire building alight, she escapes to the most comforting place she can think of—the idyllic town of Guthrie, Vermont, home of Bag Balm, the country’s longest-running contra dance, and her best friend Hannah. But the getaway turns into something more lasting when Margaret Hurley, the cantankerous, sweater-set-wearing owner of the Sugar Maple Inn, offers Livvy a job. Broke and knowing that her days at the club are numbered, Livvy accepts.


Livvy moves with her larger-than-life, uberenthusiastic dog, Salty, into a sugarhouse on the inn’s property and begins creating her mouthwatering desserts for the residents of Guthrie. She soon uncovers the real reason she has been hired—to help Margaret reclaim the inn’s blue ribbon status at the annual county fair apple pie contest.

With the joys of a fragrant kitchen, the sound of banjos and fiddles being tuned in a barn, and the crisp scent of the orchard just outside the front door, Livvy soon finds herself immersed in small town life. And when she meets Martin McCracken, the Guthrie native who has returned from Seattle to tend his ailing father, Livvy comes to understand that she may not be as alone in this world as she once thought.

But then another new arrival takes the community by surprise, and Livvy must decide whether to do what she does best and flee—or stay and finally discover what it means to belong. Olivia Rawlings may finally find out that the life you want may not be the one you expected—it could be even better.

thank you blogging for books, Pamela Dorman Books and Louise Miller for allowing me to read The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Dear Mr. M A Novel

by Herman Koch

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Dear Mr M was a first book for me from author Herman Koch. I’ve heard so many great things about  The Dinner and Summer House with Swimming Pool. I thought this book sounded really interesting. However for me it just was so-so. I enjoyed it but didn’t feel it was action packed and full of suspense like I thought it would be. Dear Mr M is a slower moving book that does unfold just got to hang in there. I will go back and give Summer House with Swimming Pool and The Dinner a try since I’ve heard so many great things about them. Over all I did recommend it and share it with my neighbor. The story was very complex and well written I rated a solid 3.5 stars. I liked the writing style and the complexity to the story.

Once a celebrated writer, M’s greatest success came with a suspense novel based on a real-life disappearance. The book was called The Reckoning, and it told the story of Jan Landzaat, a history teacher who went missing one winter after his brief affair with Laura, his stunning pupil. Jan was last seen at the holiday cottage where Laura was staying with her new boyfriend. Upon publication, M.’s novel was a bestseller, one that marked his international breakthrough.

That was years ago, and now M.’s career is almost over as he fades increasingly into obscurity. But not when it comes to his bizarre, seemingly timid neighbor who keeps a close eye on him. Why?

thank you blogging for books, Hogarth and Random House for allowing me to read and review Dr Mr M. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

June

by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore





June is a slow going start that just takes a tad bit longer than I’m use to the story rolling. I’m glad I didn’t let that stop me and continued reading. Once June got started it was such a good book. In the slower start you get to know each of the main characters that June revolves around and get to visualize the world in which June takes place in. This is a story about family and the secrets that sometimes the people we love try to keep hidden. Some secrets and answers are easy to discover and some have you questioning everything you thought you knew about that person. The story goes back and forth between present day and 1955. Sometimes when a story jumps back and forth it gets a bit confusing or the story line doesn’t seem connected. In the book June that is not the case the stories flow together seamlessly and is very easy to read. This book was full of some my twist and turns and just when you think the last secret is out low and behold here comes another one. While this isn’t a typical mystery book I would say it has mystery elements in it, as well as some historical information. I enjoyed her first book Bittersweet but I have to say June is my favorite. I just liked everything about the whole story. 

summary: Cassie Danvers is holed up in her family’s crumbling mansion in rural St. Jude, Ohio, mourning the loss of the woman who raised her, her grandmother, June. When Cassie discovers that she has been named the sole heir to legendary matinee idol Jack Montgomery’s vast fortune she is stunned. Could Jack Montgomery have crossed paths with her grandmother all those years ago? When his daughters arrive, determined to reclaim the inheritance, they uncover a history of murder, blackmail, and betrayal.

thank you blogging for books and crown publishing for allowing me to read and review June. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book. 

 


Love That Boy

What Two Presidents, Eight Road Trips, and My Son Taught Me About a Parent’s Expectations

by Ron Fournier


Love That Boy isn’t just about a father’s loving his boy but about every parent loving their child unconditionally and with all their heart. It’s about putting your kids first when they need you and being there for them no  matter what. Tyler has Asperger’s which is a form of Autism and their are different levels of functioning. Most of the kids I’ve been around have had highly functioning Asperger’s. So I was interesting in reading a father’s story about his boy. This book is not at all what I was expecting when I read he was a political journalist and White House Reporter.  I guess I was expecting something more bland non fiction, well I was in for a wonderful surprise. Love That Boy is a beautiful book that is full of a father’s love for his boy. I loved reading their life story and this book was so heartwarming. This book was full of a families love and all about being their for each other. This book is all about putting family first, Ron Fournier was a career driven person and decided to quit and take a road trip with his son. You will also get a great behind the scene’s look of Bill Clinton and George W Bush when they meet and hung out with Ron and Tyler. This is one of the few non fiction books that I really enjoyed and so happy to have on my bookshelf and book I read for 2016.


summary: Tyler and I inch toward the Green Room, in line with blow-dried TV anchors and stuffy columnists. He’s practicing his handshake and hello: “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. President. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. President. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. President.” When the couple in front of us steps forward for their picture, my teenager with sky-blue eyes and a soft heart looks up at me and says, “I hope I don’t let you down, Dad.” 

What kind of father raises a son to worry about embarrassing his dad? I want to tell Tyler not to worry, that he’d never let me down. That there’s nothing wrong with being different. That I actually am proud of what makes him special. But we are next in line to meet the president of the United States in a room filled with fellow strivers, and all I can think about is the real possibility that Tyler might embarrass himself. Or, God forbid, me.


thank you blogging for books, and Ron Fournier for allowing me to read Love That Boy. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book. 

Cravings

by Chrissy Teigen

I love cookbooks, and I really like Chrissy Teigen’s blog so I jumped at the chance to have this little book on my shelf and in my kitchen. I’m always on the lookout for recipes that we will eat, not just ones that look great but cost an arm and a leg to buy all the ingredients. Not to mention having to go to umpteen millions stores to find that 1 ingredient that is impossible to find. Cravings is not about fancy foods with hard to find ingredients, that cost lots of money. Cravings is about good down home flavorful foods that families will like. I have so many post it’s coming out of this book it looks like a rainbow is stuck with in the pages. I have made many of the foods and even did a week of Cravings meal. Guess what my grocery bill was not really any different price range wise. It was a  few dollars more but nothing that would make me say wow these recipes are too expensive for me. 

Chrissy is a tell it like it is gal and her charm and wit come across in the recipe descriptions. I laughed so hard while reading through this book, and that is a first with a cookbook. I just love Chrissy and John and so happy for all the happiness they have going on right now, first her book baby and her baby girl. Gift Cravings to any one wanting to learn some yummy simple recipes,or someone who loves to cook. This book makes a great gift for a bridal shower or birthday. Cravings would also make a wonderful new mom gift – make a meal from the book and gift the meal and book and you’ve just giving a wonderful gift to new parents.
Some of my favorite meals we’ve eaten so far from the book:
  • Spicy Tomato Skillet Eggs
  • Pull Apart Buttermilk Biscuits with sausage gravy
  • Pot Pie Soup with crust crackers (genius idea and so yummy)
  • Vegetable Tortilla Stew (so yummy! Even my have to have meat with every meal guy liked this one)
  • Cobb Salad with Honey Mustard Ranch Dressing
  • Chicken Lettuce Wraps
  • Spicy Italian Sausage Meatloaf
  • Spicy Cajun Sausage Peppers and Cabbage
  • John’s Tuscan Brick Chicken with Charred Lemons
  • and so many more….

    thank you Clarkson Potter, Chrissy Teigen and Bloggins for Books for sending me a copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

Modern Printmaking

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A Guide to Traditional and Digital Techniques
by Sylvia Covey

First off I most say this book is beautiful, it is very well made and printed on thick glossy paper. Modern Prinkmaking would be a wonderful “coffee table” type book yo have on display not shelved. This is one that every one can flip through and admire and enjoy. I got this book because I have a love of art and wanted to learn more about Printmaking. This book is divided into the chapters based on the type of printmaking technique that is being introduced. Each chapter gives a brief history and introduction as well is what materials and equipment are needed and how to prepare for that type of printmaking. Sylvia Covey also introduces the reader to so many great artist that use printmaking for their form of art. I love reading about and discovering new artist.  There are so many types, many I had not heard of. While most are ones you can’t just do in your home unless you have the money and studio this book is still amazing and I enjoyed every minute of it. There are some techniques that you can do at home and are not as hard or as expensive to get the supplies. I think this summer I might try my hand at a few, that way I have the time to slowly gather my supplies that I do not have. While she does explain everything and this is an instructional book I’m not really it is for the beginning or average home artist, it is geared for the art student who is working on learning all these techniques. I loved this beautiful book and I know I will continue to flip through it from time to time. This book gets 5 out 5 stars and I’d give it more than that if I could it is just so beautifully made.
summary: A fully illustrated instructional printmaking book presenting step-by-step examples alongside representative works from thirty top contemporary printmaking artists.
Printmaking is flourishing in the modern era, appealing to both traditional artists as well as those interested in graphic design and digital techniques. This all-in-one guide is both technical and inspirational, examining the history and contemporary processes of relief, intaglio, lithography, serigraphy, mixed media, digital transfers, and post-digital graphics. Featuring step-by-step examples alongside representative works and profiles of top printmaking artists, this colorful resource provides a truly fresh look at printmaking today, in all its forms.
thank you so very much blogging for books, Sylvia Covey, Waston Guptill and Crown Publishing for allowing me to read and start my printmaking adventures. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

Doodletopia Cartoons

Draw, Design, and Color Your Own Super-Fun Cartoon Creations

by Christopher Hart
Doodletopia Cartoons

Do you have or are you a doodler? Do you or someone you know love to draw? We have many artist in the house and Doodletopia Cartoons is a great book and one that would make a wonderful gift this holiday season. Add Doodletopia Cartoons, with some sketch pencils, kneaded eraser, some colored pencils and you have the gift that fosters creativity and one that can be enjoyed for a long time.
Doodletopia Cartoons teaches so much from how to draw full bodies or faces, to lettering. This book also has blank pages so you can sketch even if you don’t have a sketch pad on hand. Granted doing the sketches in a sketch pad makes the book last longer. You can still sketch in the book and in a sketch pad. Doodling helps you get better with your drawing skills and I would recommend this for all ages, and for all different levels of artistic talent.
summary: An interactive doodle book from a best-selling art instruction author and cartoon master that pairs illustrating insights with drawing, designing, and coloring activities for aspiring artists.
Welcome to Doodletopia! Your first stop in this paradise of creativity? The world of cartoons. Your tour guide Christopher Hart is ready to introduce you to the interactive, artistic possibilities of creating your own exciting, hilarious, off-the-wall cartoon characters, gags, and more.
Unlike other doodle books that leave you stranded, with no help at all, Doodletopia: Cartoons pairs fun doodle-based activities with the sort of insightful (and laugh-out-loud funny) advice and tips that countless readers have come to expect from cartooning master Christopher Hart. For the first time ever, you can pick up your pencils, pens, markers, or crayons, and draw, doodle, or color right on the same page as the author.
From finishing cartoon faces to selecting costumes to completing wacky cartoon scenes,  the opportunities for creative expression are endless. So what are you waiting for? Open up and start doodling!
thank you blogging for books and Waston Guptill for allowing us to review this great resource. We have learned so much and our drawing is improving. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.