Friday, July 31, 2009
Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Amish Friends Cookbook Volume 2 collection is a treasure trove of recipes and interesting facts from the heart of Amish country. With recipes divided into sections including breads and rolls, desserts, main dishes, salads and sides, jams and jellies—and more!—you’ll find only the best of home cooking between the pages of this delightful book.
Wanda E. Brunstetter's Amish Friends Cookbook Volume 2 is a big book of home cooking recipe favorites. Each recipe has the name of the contributor and their location, similar to the church cookbooks in which everyone submits their favorite recipes. The pictures are beautiful and there is a brief description of the different Amish populations before each category.
There are some unique recipes, such as the Rhubarb Drink and some laundry and home health recipes. You will not find gourmet cooking here, but good everyday hearty food. There are a large variety of pies, cakes, and desserts, but also a fair amount of main dishes. This is the “What’s for dinner tonight?” book.
Amazon.com Link The Crossing Places: A Ruth Galloway Mystery
When a child’s bones are found near an ancient henge in the wild saltmarshes of Norfolk’s north coast, Ruth Galloway, a university lecturer in forensic archaeology, is asked to date them by DCI Harry Nelson. He thinks they may be the bones of a child called Lucy who has been missing for ten years. It’s a cold case he has never been able to forget, in part because he’s been getting creepy letters about Lucy ever since her disappearance from someone who quotes the Bible and Shakespeare and includes references to ritual and sacrifice. When Ruth proves that the bones are those of an Iron Age girl who died over two thousand years ago, she supposes that this is the end of the story. She’s wrong: it’s just the beginning of a nightmare.
The Crossing Place is an interesting and satisfying mystery thriller. The author took great care in creating a brooding and mysterious location, and described the salt marsh area so that the reader is dropped right in the middle of it.
Ruth Galloway, an archeologist, and resident of the salt marsh area is drawn into the unexplained disappearance of two children by Detective Chief Inspector Henry Nelson when the bones of a child are found. The characters in this book are wonderfully quirky and each unique. The main characters of Ruth and Det. Nelson are likeable, and their stories are woven together well.
The story had many twists and had me guessing until the end. The end, by the way, has more than one surprise. I enjoyed the book very much, and I hope the next Ruth Galloway Mystery is in the works.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The book actually has good reviews on Amazon, and the publisher deserves a review, so I am going to pass this book on. This is not going to be your ordinary give-away. You don't have to post here or follow me (although I would love both of those). You don't have to jump up and down three times and spin in a circle to get the book. As of August 1, the book will be listed in librarything.com Member's Giveaway. If you are not familiar with librarything, you should check it out. It is a pretty extensive website, and it is free to join. You can find the member giveaways through the groups section or the direct link is here: Member Giveaway
There is also an Early Reviewer list of books, but your "chances" of receiving one is slim.
Anyway, if you would like this book, you will find it at librarything after Aug 1.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Just a few from my bookmooch pile are:
Prayers for the Assasin by Robert Ferrigno
Damage Control by Robert Dugoni
Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child
Isolation Ward by Joshua Spanogle
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Do No Harm by Don Donaldson
The Terror by Dan Simmons
If you are on Bookmooch and would like to check my inventory, my ID is brknhrt.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
On the back of the book it states: Priut Almus is a model of what may be possible for the United States in the realm of education and child care.
In 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a children’s shelter, Priut Almus, was founded in St. Petersburg. The city was plagued by poverty. Families were suffering, and children were sent - or chose to live - in this shelter and others.
The author spent time at the shelter and interviewed the children, shelter workers, and the founder/director of the shelter. Most of the children had alcoholic parents and were abused or watched abuse in their home. Others were there temporarily for parental illness or other family issues.
The children were not allowed to stay more than one year at the shelter, but rarely stayed even that long. After a year, the children were expected to go home, to a foster home, or be adopted. The children seemed to come and go by their own choice, without much structure in their lives.
The problem of abused or throw-away children is certainly a complicated one, and this book would be profitable to those in the social service field.
I heard about this book and decided to order it from inter-library loan system. This is one scary book. If you do not know what an EMP is, check out the website of the book at http://onesecondafter.com/ or Google it. One Second After is what occurs in the aftermath of an EMP. It is both scary and depressing, but is a very important read for anyone who does not know that EMP is a REAL possibility.
While I don't know if post EMP scenario is complete accurate, I do know that it is not something I ever want to experience. Imagine hurricane Katrina survivors with no contact with, or help from anyone outside of the disaster site for one year.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
The Carnivore is a story of love, marriage, and infidelity that begins at the time of the devastating hurricane and subsequent floods that stormed through Toronto in 1954. Ray Townes, a police officer, is in the eyes of the public a hero. Mary Townes, a nurse, takes care of the dying and wounded at St. Joseph’s Hospital in the chaotic aftermath of the storm. The depiction of the storm, and especially the chaos in the Emergency Room was very realistic.
The book is also a profound look back over the marriage of Ray and Mary, a loving couple whose lives are changed by the events surrounding the storm and Ray’s infidelity. Mary knows that something is not right with her husband, and she does not rest until she knows the truth. The story is told from both of their perspectives.
There are so many surprises to the story that just when I thought I knew what was coming next, the story twisted to another direction. The story has an emotional draw as you watch the couple, the mistakes they make, and the secrets that they keep. The Carnivore is an interesting, thoughtful and exciting story written with a historic event angle.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Amazon.com link :A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization: Strategies, Tactics, and Tools for Succeeding in the Social Web
I wanted to read this book because I am a social media dummy. Really! I was never interested in Facebook or MySpace. Although I was signed up for Twitter, before I sat down with this book I had no idea why. (If I don’t care what I am doing right now, why would anyone else?)
As I started reading the Survival Guide to Social Media, I grabbed a notebook and started taking notes. Yes, it is that interesting and informative. The author helped me plan how the social media can be beneficial to me and then walked me through every step with photographs and written explanations. I’m just a simple blogger, but there is also information for more extensive use of the social media avenue for professionals. The book has information on blogs (detailed WordPress information), a variety of established social media sites, video and podcasting, custom widgets, news releases, and an interesting look into the future of social media.
Even the accompanying CD is impressively detailed with forms, charts, and additional resources. I also have to say I was very impressed with the permissions that had to be acquired for the screen shots and graphics used in the book. That could not have been an easy task.
A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization is written textbook style - only better -because it never gets boring!!! On my own I have found many tools and figured out how to use many of them, but this book introduced me to many new sites and experiences that I would have not even thought of trying. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the internet.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Amazon Link: Inside Awake
Inside Awake is a smorgasbord of alt-science ideas and several storylines that come together to deliver plenty of adventure and suspense. There are UFOs, time travelers, native wise men, and an undersea expedition. The book starts out at Lake Eyasi in Tanzania where a strange light is seen and massive deaths occur.
There is good character development with the main characters of the book, David Woodall and Dr. Sharon (Geri) Geraldo, both battered and bruised by their upbringing. There is cautious affection between them, and when Geri leads a team to investigate the deaths, the entire team disappears. Dr. Woodall must overcome his fears to try to find them.
This is a good book with many twists and locations. The time-travel aspect of the story is especially descriptive with the detailed portrayal of the flora and fauna of the time. How did they get there – and will they be able to get back?
I am always drawn to the characters that are a bit psychologically broken and are just barely able to overcome their adversity. I would like to see these two main characters show up in another book by this author.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Rick & Bubba’s Guide to the Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage by Rick Burgess and Bill “Bubba” Bussey *****
Amazon.com Link Rick and Bubba's Guide to the Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage
Can comedy and sound advice be found in the same book, and can that advice come from two “good-ole-boys?” Yep, Rick and Bubba make it work. If you have never heard of Rick and Bubba, you may want to stop by http://www.rickandbubba.com/ to check out the website for their morning radio show. Rick and Bubba, both of strong Christian faith, believe in the institution of marriage and through humor divulge some marital wisdom.
Some of the topics touched on are money, annoying habits, looks, helpmates, blame, children, illnesses, and respect. While the book is discussed in a light-hearted manner, there is also good insight into relationship problems that can arise. For me, the best subject was “Forsaking All Others” which was both funny and very serious.
Not everything in the book is light hearted. There is a touching chapter on Rick and Sherri’s marriage and recovery following the loss of a child.
The book is easy to read and is filled with special text boxes that will make at least you smile, if not laugh out loud. My top favorites were: The Top Ten Worst Ways to Say I’m Sorry and Rick and Bubba’s Anniversary Gift Chart. This book is funny, fresh, faithful, and full of great marriage tips. There is an audio CD that comes with the book that has excerpts the book from their radio shows.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Thank you to One Eyed Stuffed Bunny for the Heartfelt Award
Do you reach for a cup of cocoa or tea when you’re relaxing, seeking comfort, sharing a plate of cookies with family & friends? You know that feeling you get when you drink a yummy cup of cocoa, tea ~ or a hot toddy? That is what the Heartfelt award is all about feeling warm inside.
1) Put the logo on your blog/post.
2) Nominate up to 9 blogs which make you feel comfy or warm inside.
3) Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4) Let them know that they have been nominated by commenting on their blog.
5) Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award.
I would like to pass this award on to the following blogs:
1 So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
Rescuing Seneca Crane (A Kari and Lucas Mystery) Amazon Link
When Kari and Lucas first see Seneca Crane up on stage, playing the piano in front of hundreds of people, they are in awe. She is beautiful. She is amazingly talented. And she is only thirteen! But then they get to know her at the Edinburgh Arts Festival and realize that she envies them. Soon the three are becoming friends . . .until Seneca disappears. There’s no stopping Kari and Lucas from jumping on the trail and tracking her down. Even when it leads to the heart of the Scottish highlands!
From the same author of The Mystery of the Third Lucretia, Rescuing Seneca Crane is another GREAT Kari and Lucas mystery. Again she has created an interesting and intelligent story for these two junior detectives. The characters display a friendship that is both touching and true-to-life. I enjoy the way the two girls complement each other and defer to each other’s strengths when necessary. Boys enter the picture in this book, and Kari and Lucas are typical girly girls, but smart enough to know that some boys are too old for them.
This time their adventure takes them to Scotland, and I enjoyed reading the descriptive narration. The excitement never stops as the girls try to find out what happened to their new friend, Seneca. I can’t wait for Ms. Runholt to come out with book #3, and I hope to see the character of Seneca again in a future book. Yes, this is a children’s book – about ages 9-15, but I enjoyed it just as much as my grown-up mysteries.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Turnings is the autobiography of Donald R. Fletcher with stories and poems of his birth country of Korea and his life with his wife, Martha, in South America and the Unites States. It is also a spiritual journey from an evangelical upbringing to an ecumenical pastorate where he was able to create a “commitment ceremony” for his homosexual son and partner.
Turnings is also a book filled with beautiful poetry. The book begins with a poem to the fossilized bones of a three year old described by National Geographic as half human and half ape. There are also poems written for the people in his life and places that he traveled as he expresses this joys and sorrows throughout the years. The back of the book has some lovely family pictures.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
With four short stories the author tells about a young man’s relationship with his Uncle Chestnut, an interesting and entertaining character. The stories and interaction between them are both funny and touching. Along with the stories is a chapter on the real Chesterton and some of his quotations. There is also a “Words to Know” section to assist young readers with some words they may not understand.
I enjoyed the book very much. This is a great book for a family member, a gift, and certainly should be in every middle school age classroom.
As she outlines the different characteristics of each style, you will immediately recognize yourself and others. This is a good book for employers for building teamwork or for individuals who need to understand why others act the way they do. At the end of each chapter is a guide for practical use of the information.
As a traditional woman of faith, however, I was disappointed with the author’s description of a “Traditional”. Quote: “Traditional, value-driven people believe that a given set of rules exists and that they – and others – must abide by those rules without question.” Really? According to the author we may be, “Bible thumping individuals” or “spend their weekends and down-time at retreats with other members of their faith”. I think some personal prejudice from the author came through in a bad way.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
From the back of the book:
This book is a collection of uplifting images that delve into the reflections of the human condition. These stories will cause you to think, laugh, and even cry at the beauty of emotional memories. You will smile at the thought of love lost and found again in “Paper Doll.” You will think about your life’s choices in “10:18.” You will cry tears of joy while reading about the hidden gift in “Winter Rose.” This is a must-have collection of thought-provoking reflections perfect for your bedside or the beach.
The Light, The Dark, & Ember Between is beautifully written, and is an uplifting, thoughtful, intelligent, and heartfelt collection of short stories. Fifteen stories in all, each is so very different and from different points of view. All of the stories bring the message of hope to the reader. This is a book that lives up to what it promises – the message of hope as the “Ember Between.”
I have to say that this book came to me at just the right time. I needed to read it because it reminded me that hope doesn’t just happen. We have to keep our eyes open and watch for it. This is a lovely book that I recommend for personal reading or as a wonderful gift.
I receive many requests for reviews by e-mail with short descriptions of the book. I only reply to those I think I might like. I also review most of the books I read even if not requested by the author. I don’t have to enjoy the book to give it a good rating (although it helps). Are the characters well developed? Is it written so that I can “lose myself” in the story? Does it deliver what it promises? Will its topics please another audience? These are some things I consider when reviewing.
I am not a writer and do not want to become one. I started this blog as an extension of my surveys and travel reviews, and I hoped that it would help me express myself better with words. As you can see, I am still working on that!
Monday, July 13, 2009
From the book:
Sam Ellington set goals to rescue children from refugee camps in Africa and return them to countries of their origins as teachers with a message of peace. The agenda of a new generation of religious fanatics, who use suicide as the ultimate weapon, and those who are forced to defend against it interfere.
The Mediterranean was off limits to an armed, mega yacht with classified nuclear capabilities. However, when George and Kathryn team with Sam Ellington and Greg Simeon, an Israeli arms dealer, to build a campus in Ashdod, Israel, the Diversion is the preferred method of transportation.
One yacht works for a hijacking, two make it a conspiracy, and America's Mediterranean fleet is drawn into the confrontation.
The America administration's opportunity to contain Iran's nuclear agenda conflicts with the rescue of George and Kathryn's daughter, Melissa. History's faint memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are replaced with a reality of a world in which a nuclear agenda predicts a final confrontation between Islam and all other convictions.
While the rest of the world focused on the aftermath, Islam continues to march across Africa. The Foundation for Peace restructures its curriculum, Sam relinquishes the reigns and two lives, separated by protocol and reunited by tragedy, take new direction. Nicholas and Melissa find they share a common goal and The Foundation for Peace becomes the sword to fulfill Sam's dream.
The Terrorist Legacy is one of the best books I have read in a long time. With its unique locations and situations with which I am not familiar, it was not an easy read, but it was informative, engaging and compelling. I guess I could call this a fact-filled fiction book. Mr. Pat has a unique background that gives him the knowledge and experience to write a book like this.
This book is a tense, high tech thriller. The well developed characters are each important to the story and unite several story paths together. The book begins with a description of the corrupt charitable organizations and brutal conditions within the refugee camps which makes sure the money continues to flow in from the UN. These are, of course, real life stories that have been rumored over the years, but his explanation makes clear how it has been done.
Sam, Kathryn, and George use their wealth to fight poverty and AIDS in Africa, but all of their attempts at good works culminate into an international incident when their specially designed yacht, Diversion, is hijacked by Islamic terrorists. It becomes clear why fighting the terrorist war with current rules of war is futile.
I highly recommend this book. The book’s serious true-to-life situations make it an interesting read that will surprise and shock you. All of the main characters made me care about what happened to them, and the tense whirlpool of events held my attention throughout.
This book gets my first “Linda’s Fave” award.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Excerpt from the book: "We did take a drive down to Gay Head…walked around Moshup Beach…found a very nice leather satchel washed up on shore. Couldn’t tell what was really inside… looked like a bunch of wet papers,” Jim said, still looking out at the ocean... but then he looked up and noticed Eddy was staring right at him, almost with a glare… and it spooked Jim for a second. Then Eddy looked down and said, “Yeah? That’s somethin’… Never know what’ll wash up on the beach…”
Jim and Natalie wanted a relaxing vacation on Martha’s Vineyard with good food, sunshine and walks on the beach… What they weren’t expecting was being involved in a murder investigation linked to the Mafia, the stock market crash and massive securities fraud…and meeting Eddy, who could just as easily kill you as shake your hand…
The author, Gene Pisasale, describes the book as a walk through Martha’s Vineyard and that is a perfect description. The reader is an eavesdropper following along with the main characters, Jim and Natalie, as they tour the Martha’s Vineyard area. The reader partakes in the sights, sounds and flavors of the area as the author describes and discusses the food, wine, restaurants, lighthouses, beaches, and trails. Travel along with them as they are entertained by bicycle rides, watching sandpipers, shell collecting and discussions with the locals. There is an interesting discussion of the famous Chappaquiddick incident and even some recent political issues.
There is even a murder mystery woven into the story. While not a hard-hitting, gritty mystery, it does reflect current true-life events concerning investment fraud.
The author’s knowledge about gourmet food, wines, and the Vineyard area is evident in his book.
Vineyard Days is a light read with a travelogue feel - a perfect read for the beach or on your way to Martha’s Vineyard! The author has a website http://www.foodwinetravelhistory.com/, with information and reviews about Martha’s Vineyard and other travel and food related places.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
by Jesse Stretch
From the book: Jeff Andrews didn't just scam people; he ripped them off for everything they were worth. He took their homes, cars, planes, boats, even their girlfriends, and spent the money on booze, guns, coke, and limousines.
Jeff Andrews was a bad guy, a crook, drug addict, thief, womanizer, and all around jerk. He stole from anyone and everyone and didn’t care. He was so self-focused that he only cared about his own needs and wants. He spent time in 25 jails and correctional facilities. Desperate Highway tells the story of a young man who makes one bad decision after another until his is a full-blown habitual crook.
The book chronicles the years he spent stealing and losing whole fortunes at a time. His life of criminal behavior left him on the run and always fearing detection. He was a hopeless waste of life – until he met the one person who could change his heart and make him someone of worth. While in prison he opened a Gideon Bible, and finally heard the truth about what was important in life, and gave him the one thing he didn’t have - love. Desperate Highway clearly explains that even the worst of the worst have value in God’s eyes, and redemption is always in their reach.
This is an excellent book with an important message. I appreciated the appendixes in the back of the book with information on Jeff Andrews’ ministries. I would have liked to know more about his transition into the ministries, but that does not take away from the importance of the book and the message. Jeff’s life begins where the book ends. According to the book and his website, he is involved with prison ministries and mentoring those just out of prison. Mr. Stretch had done a nice job in capturing the important messages in this book.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Amazon link here: The Mystery of the Third Lucretia
From the back of the book: Kari and Lucas first noticed a man copying a famous Rembrandt in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Thanks to Lucas’s photographic memory, they recognize him copying another Rembrandt in the National Gallery during their trip to London. Then when a never-before-seen Rembrandt shows up in Amsterdam, the girls start to think that something unusual – and quite possibly illegal – is going on. The only problem is who’s going to listen to a couple of teenagers?
What happens when 14 year old girlfriends, Kari and Lucas, show a little too much curiosity around a mysterious artist in a Minneapolis art museum? What happens is an international mystery and intrigue happening around them. Kari and Lucas are delightful characters who are fun, smart, talented and curious. Their adventures take them overseas when Kari’s mother takes a job that allows them to travel with her.
The dialog is spot-on for the age of the characters, and I could almost hear their voices while I was reading. Also, their friendship was true to life, including a few spats. I thought I would be able to say this is a great mystery book for young people, but I enjoyed it so much that I would have no problem recommending the book for parents to read too. (ages 10 - ?) I think it would allow some interesting dialog between parents and young teens.
It would also make a good classroom book. The author has a website with more information on the characters and books. http://www.susanrunholt.com/ Thankfully, this book is a part of a series and I look forward to reading more.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
The Amazon Link for How To Train A Rock
How to train a Rock is a collection of the author’s writings from his newspaper column, “A Stone’s Throw”. With titles such as: Listen to The Wind, Perhaps Love, If You’ve Been Wrongfully Murdered, What Happens to Snow That Never Falls, Dear Lord, Can I have a Raise, and many more - you will read stories that make you laugh, wonder, scratch your head and say “Huh?”, and maybe even shed a tear. It is an enjoyable collection of stories that are well written, insightful, and sometimes philosophical.
My favorite quote from the book was when I first opened it and read:
“BUY THIS BOOK AND SAVE HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS!
You may not save hundreds of dollars, but you will have a wonderful and enjoyable book to read.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
The Death of a Pope">Amazon.com Link
Short synopsis: The Death of a Pope by the highly acclaimed British writer Read is a novel of intrigue, church espionage, and an attempt to destroy the longest continuous government in the world-the Papacy.
A priest who seems to be the model of compassion for the poor is accused of terrorist activities. His worldwide charitable outreach is suspected of being a front for radicals. A young woman, a reporter and a lapsed Catholic, tries to undercover the truth but in the process she finds herself attracted to the priest and falls in love with him.
My review: This was an interesting book to read, but just did not satisfy. It is difficult to discuss without giving away major story lines, but the story contains intrigue, terrorists, journalism, suffering, and religion. I was never sure where the author was going with his characters who wondered if pedophilia really hurt anyone, or that the Catholic Church is to blame for AIDS and the other suffering in Africa because of their stand on condoms. I also never really cared about any of the characters in the book. Kate, a journalist, was a stupid and weak woman who decided she would commit an international crime just to impress her new boyfriend. Even worse was the situation for her character at the end of the book.
It is not a bad book, but it disappointed me.