Friday, April 27, 2012

Simple Shortcut Recipes by Gooseberry Patch

I love my Gooseberry Patch recipe books because they are of sturdy construction with attractive pages and easy to follow country-style recipes.  They are also packed with special hints and tips about foods, recipes, and d├ęcor.  I always feel like I am getting a little something extra with the Gooseberry Patch cookbooks.

Simple Shortcut Recipes is a welcome addition to my collection with more than 225 recipes that uses shortcuts to make easy dinners for busy cooks.  The first recipe I tried in this book was Busy-Day Beef with three ingredients and a Crock-pot©.  It was delicious!  I was actually very surprised at just how good it was, and it will be a new regular meal in this house. 

The categories are:
Beat-the-Clock Breakfasts
Simple Soups, Salads, & Sandwiches
Fast-Fix Sides & Breads
Dinner Express
Oh-So-Easy Entertaining
Piece-of-Cake Desserts

These are practical, easy recipes that taste good.  Some are updated versions of old favorites, and all of them have ingredients that you can find in your local food stores. That is important for those of us who live in small towns or rural areas.

I received a review copy of Simple Shortcut Recipes in return for my honest opinion of the book.  I receive no compensation for any book purchased through my link. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Called to Controversy by Ruth Rosen

The emotional introduction to this book was so shocking that I gasped when I read it.  I recently read a fiction book that made clear the Jewish author’s hatred of the Jews for Jesus, so I was intrigued and wanted to read this book all the more.

I had heard of the Jews for Jesus group over the years, but really didn’t know much about them.  It was not at all what I expected.  Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s they were an unconventional ministry that was very much like the “Jesus Movement” at the time. 
This biography of Moishe Rosen by his daughter is direct, informative, and a good overview of this unusual man.  I didn’t really find Moishe a very likeable man, but very blunt and direct.  His daughter’s honest portrait of her father is what I liked most about this biography. The change that came after he became a follower of Jesus was painful, gradual, but effective.  One instance described in the book is when he spoke out in a hurtful manner. It took a while, but he did apologize and asked for forgiveness.  I think the personality of Moishe must have made this very difficult. 

Moishe’s testimony of salvation is interesting and his story of the break with his family is heartbreaking.  The book shows how God used Moishe’s daughter’s illness to overcome prejudice. 

Called to Controversy is a beautiful testimony to a courageous man’s life. The book ends with a letter Moishe wrote to be published when he died.

I received a copy of this book from the Booksneeze program with the understanding only that I would give my honest opinion.  I receive no compensation for any book sold through my links.

Healthy Hair Rehab Now by Jacqueline Tarrant

If you have ever had a question about hair health, growth, breakage, thining, or need an answer to a hair problem, Healthy Hair Rehab Now by “Hair-ologist” Jacqueline Tarrant is just what you need.  I am not sure what I expected, but I found this book so interesting that I couldn’t put it down! 

I think I expected more product information, but I was pleasantly surprised that instead the author explains how environment, health, and food cause changes in our hair.  There is information on all types of hair types and all age groups. 

I don’t think I have ever read so much detail and helpful information about hair.  I have thigh-length hair so I have experienced many of the problem situations in this book. Jacqueline goes over all of the problems that can cause problems with hair.  Diet, medications, general health, and a variety of other factors can cause hair breakage, loss and problems. 

I thought I already knew a lot about hair, but I was wrong.  I learned so much from Healthy Hair Rehab Now! 

I received a review copy of Healthy Hair Rehab Now with the understanding that I would give my honest opinion of the book.  I received no compensation for books purchased through my link.  

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Art of Garden Photography by Ian Adams

Link to purchase from Timber Press
This book is a little older published in 2005, but is still very current. After conducting a series of garden photography workshops, Ian Adams realized that a book specific to garden photography that included digital camera information was needed.  There is information about both film and digital equipment along with the author’s personal experience of his transition from film to digital.  The photographs in the book are beautiful and printed on glossy paper, but most were taken with film and not digital.  I would have liked a more balanced variety.

I enjoy seeing “experiments” that the photographer/author provided when he tried different exposures or filters for interesting outcomes.  There are detailed sections on composure, how to choose a viewpoint, and the common mistakes made by inexperience photographers with close-ups. I think the most valuable information for me was how and what to include in my pictures that was illustrated in his photographs.

I have always wanted to capture some of the beauty in my own garden and this is just what I need to get started.   Not just for the summer bounty, all four seasons are covered with beautiful photos of each. The Art of Garden Photography has earned a space on my permanent bookshelf.

Thank you to Timber Press for the review copy of this book.  I receive no compensation for the book's purchase from my link. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Redemption Day by Steve O'Brien

Home-grown terrorists are a real and constant threat in the United States. Redemption Day by Steve O’Brien brings to life the story of the kidnapping of a Supreme Court justice.  Nick James is a Federal terrorism analyst who finds himself out of work and being drawn into the crime - possibly drawn in too far.  Nick has to solve the kidnapping while at the same time he is being framed for murder.  Top on his list of suspects is the Posse Comitatus, a militia-style organization who believe that the government has gone too far.

After the initial tense kidnapping scene, the story hits the skids while the author has to backtrack with information on all of the characters involved.  Possibly there was too much information, and the story becomes rather choppy. However, as the story picks up again so does the suspense.  There is a good balance between dialog and narration, and the characters were OK, but I didn’t feel any real connection to them. I also didn’t find the story believable, but sometimes you just have to get lost in the story and not worry about whether it is logical or not. There is plenty of action, adventure, torture scenes, and surprises that kept me guessing.   Link to purchase Redemption Day 

I received a copy of Redemption Day only with the understanding that I would give my honest opinion. I receive no compensation if the book is purchased through my link.
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