Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Books read aug 2014

Nothing More Beautiful by Lorelai LaBelle
I had read and posted my review for the first 20% of the book prior to this review-now that I have the full version.
This is a story about 2 women who live in the same apartment. One is lesbian and she's best friends with a straight woman-Maci.
After her breakups with some guys they get down to the problem and that she needs to experiment and between her and the co owner of the bakery she runs she sets up an online profile for a Portland, OR dating site.
The woman help her pick out clothes and give her other tips and they are quite taken aback when she returns and tells them of the dates. They can't believe it, but can as they push her onward to the next candidate.
Lots of adult situations but nothing offensive (to me).
Love Hood to Coast race and the events that lead up to the event.
Easy to keep track of the main characters. Very descriptive details, makes me feel like I am right there.
Full book review:  Now that I'm into 1/2 of the book things have heightened up in pace and the hunt for Mr. Right. Even after many nights dating those sight unseen Maci does meet the man who her and her roommates car had collided with and have hit it off.
What I especially liked about this section is the openness and how they are able to discuss the most intimate of details and come to mutual conclusions in their drive to satisfy each other.  Interesting what things they write down on their list as I find a few of my own listed.
Sex described is erotic and so very detailed. Some of it made me feel uncomfortable.
Surprises came with the abduction and the travel, snorkeling, nature and what money can buy...
So many unexpected twists also puts this book into the mystery/action categories. well rounded read.
I received this book from Library Thing via the author in exchange for my honest review.

Summer Days by 4 authors: Elizabeth Bass, Mary Carter, Holly Chaberlin and Lisa Jackson
Knew this would be a good read because of the 4 authors who contribute a short 100 page story. All seem to be based on the same theme.
Man and woman break up to only find later in life their paths meet again and they reunite after hashing over the days gone by.
Love the places each of the stories takes us to: Peru, Maine, NH Beach, and
and the different careers each has that we can learn from.
Last book His Bride to Be is when Hale who runs a company has a position open and he wants to hire a woman to be his bride to be on a cruise up the western coast. The man he's trying to impress wants his daughter married and Hale wants no part of that...
Money goes a long way when you have none....Lot of misunderstandings and you wonder if the wrongs can be righted....
I received this book from The Kennsington Books in exchange for my honest review

The Photographer's Apprentice by Dan Eitraim
Started out reading this book out loud to my spouse as he used the elliptical machine at home. He is into photography but I'm learning so much more by the books I'm reading about them, out loud.
This one starts out in the 1860's and Jake and his father have been released from the prison and travel homeward to Ohio but the ship wrecks and catches on fire. Seth is lost or dead and Jake is saved by a photographer.
Veronica, a widow, takes care of him and brings him back to life and offers him a job as her apprentice. He picks up the routine as he's only a young man and is fascinated by what takes place when she travels to a new town, sets up a place to take others portraits and makes a living.
Love learning all the technical things about how the pictures are taken, back in the 1800's.
They must go into hiding. The story then follows many groups of people during the same time as events occur. Some are in hiding, some are hiding others, some are hunting...
Love extras at the end of the book.

Does This Taste Funny? A Half-Baked Look at Food and Foodies
Funny, at times hilarious look at a guy and how he cooks, improvising the tools and ingredients.
Starts out when he first cooked at college and went from there.
Lot of disasters along the way but edible food was the outcome in most cases. Few pictures of the calamities and new inventions.
My favorite story is when he uses the girlfriends chocolate to make a pie!

Conspirators of the Lost Sock Army and the Loose Change Collection Agency: An Illustrated Children's Picture Book for Ages 2-10
Robert wakes up and finds he's lost the remote control for the TV. In his haste to reach for it, he knocks over the lamp and it breaks. He gets down to find the control and discovers a magical creature there that will take him to another place and time.
Drawings of the scenes as they occur and kinda on the scary side for a child. Adults will find the story funny as it's about missing coins and missing socks...

Tommy Goes Trick-or-Treating (Bird Brain Books Book 4)
Children's colorful story about Tommy who is a bird and how he observes the humans in the neighborhood as they go out for trick or treating on Halloween.
He is able to talk to other animals and finds out it is a special night. from the humans just being ordinary girls and boys.
They find out the codeword to get candy and then realize they have to wear a costume.
They have a plan and get tons of candy then eat it. all of it.....
Bonuses at the end of the book and the author's other works are highlighted.

Hawks' Rest a season in the remote heart of Yellowstone by Gary Fergerson
Love hearing of the collection of tips when hiking in the park. Also the timeline of how the wolves were introduced back into the parks and why some are against, and some are for this action.
Love discussions of salting and other practices. Indian legends are a favorite also.
Beautiful nature descriptions.

Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
Rick has woken up from his injury on the football field and has no recollection as to why he was even in the game. He had been in many football teams and didn't even register the latest one.
Only 28 and he's told to retire....he is about to be served for paternity suit, his investments are failing and he's made bad choices...
He runs away to Italy where they play mostly for the love of the game and the pizza after the game as the big prize...
Love hearing of everything that happens, being an American on foreign soil. So much detail in the descriptions.

Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James
Wanted to read this book when a book I loved written by DJ Wilson was compared to the female counterpart of this author.
Starts out with Anatashia and she has to step in for the editor and get an interview with Grey who runs a huge company.
Christian Grey is under 30 and has fascinated her. She knows nothing of him but has the interview questions to ask him.
He runs a teleco company and is in charge of many people and loves the power. Chapters alternate between the two of them.
The agreement has many rules and she must obey them. I found this to be a bit over the top, it's just not normal to me, being whipped, tied up etc.
Grey has an erotic taste and a dark background full of demons. Hard to follow at times as I'm listening to a book on tape. not sure when it's a thought or if it was spoken out loud.
Like the back story more as it's about her working in the publishing field.  Surprised at the ending as it goes into the next book.

.Fifty Shades Darker by EL James
This picks up where the first book in the series ends. They have broken up and he still wants her and she needs to think more about it.
She has started a new job...and they get together to travel to her friends art show in Oregon. She has a fear of being punished and he has a fear of not being loved.
We learn more of their darker hidden secrets over time. Erotic sex scenes and most of them are not my cup of tea. Just don't get the beatings, whippings and hitting.
Lot of mysteries that also come to light, stalkers, etc. Sex scenes are quite intense and 99.9% are nothing I'd even want to do-just not into torture and pain. Their pasts are coming to the forefront as we learn more about them.

Fifty Shades Freed by EL James
Love the travel and other surprises as they leave on their honeymoon.
Lots more exotic sex scenes.  Turmoil and stalkers as they arrive back in the states...
She learns more things when she tries to help out...and so many that want them dead, or is it just him they want gone, or just her....
More stalkings and medical family tragedies among other drama....lots of fast paced action scenes.


Love Letters by Debbie Macomber
I have read all the other books in this series and enjoy them. Each book brings you up to date so they can also be a stand alone book.
This one continues at the Harbor Rose Inn where Jo Marie runs the B&B and Mark is the handyman. This book is also not only about them and others in town but the guests that have come to stay.
One is to meet a man she met online but her mother is pestering her to be careful. Alternating chapters are also about a couple that need time to mend their marriage.
Each one brings new things to the book, underground tour, Pikes Place Market, sailing, farmer's market and so much more.
Love hearing of the relationships each has and what they must overcome. So many surprises along the way for them all. Letters from the past...
I received this book from early reviewers from Library Thing in exchange for my honest review

The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Had read this in high school and trying to get my husband into reading and he had read White Fang so thought he'd enjoy this one.
Figured we could read along with one another, out loud. Well ok we each read it at our own pace.
Story is about Buck, a dog that is sold and ends up getting beaten and transported to Alaska, the time frame of the Klondike gold rush.
He learns fast when he gets hurt-how to go along with things that are happening so he can heal. When he meets up with the other dogs in the harnesses
he learns again how to survive in the snow-which is new to him. and how to dig a hole to stay warm overnight. Love the tip about sleeping on the leeward side of the wind.
Good instincts as he is thrown into the pack and new territory for them all. Especially liked the travel and was able to follow along as it gave city names and other landmarks.
Lessons learned, the hard way usually for not only the dogs but Buck and his owners, over time.  Loved the scenes where Mercades and her crew lost all their belongings all over the main street.
Laughed so hard and they just didn't get it. Loved also the part where a human comes to the dogs rescue by not letting him get beaten to death.
Lots of action and adventure and travel. Buck gets so lost and battered he falls into a state of mind where he no longer feels the pain. He still has the urge to go with his fellow dogs when he hears them but he wants to stay with the human that saved his life.
Loved the northern lights. Interesting that my husband read his version of this at the same time and we are able to discuss different aspects of what is happening. Will have to find more of this type to read, together.

 The Under Cover Gardening Guide
Love others strategies when it comes to growing your own crops. We just have a small size garden and it produces many things during the summer and fall months for us.
So many solutions that would work to protect from harsh rains, to too much sun to other nature disasters.
Greenhouses are described in detail, all the many types. There are lists of materials you can use and after answering a few questions you will know which will work for you.
So many tips along the way. Very resourceful book. Other works by the author are highlighted at the end.
Pizza Pie in the Sky: A Complete Guide to Pizza
Like this book because it has pictures and tells you about the history of how pizza was created and how to make it yourself, healthy and
then all the other things that you can make to put on top.
Also describes in detail the different styles of pizza and how to make them, step by step, kneading, etc.
Pizza sticks would be my favorite, fast and easy to make.
Bonus recipes at the end even a dessert one! Other cookbooks are highlighted at the end.

 Kindle Publishing To Make $14K+ Per Month & Build Your Own Kindle Empire Without Having To Write One SINGLE Word by Muhammad N. Sikandar
Starts out telling us why Kindle ebooks are doing so well, vs paperback ones. Then it goes into the categories that sell well: romance and cookbooks.
The pictures included (screenshots) are very light, hard to read but with the text you are given the idea of what the author is trying to get across to you.
Keywords are important and there are examples of how to pick the right ones. You can buy everything from the cover, content to having someone format it for kindle at very low prices.
Quite a few tips on just how Amazon has the place but with their tools you are still in control of the price and content.
Long lists of links where you can ask others to review your book, amazon reviewers, facebook groups, etc
Resources quoted are ones that I do frequent being a reviewer and blogger. Don't agree with all the different strategies but I'm not an author earning a living.
Love the idea for $5 to let others list your book for you at the media sites to promote it. So very time consuming.
I received this book from Library Thing via the author in exchange for my honest review.
Down Home Cooking: Recipes from the Southern Heart
Easy very detailed description of southern cooking starting with very basic items. Tips along the way but there are no pictures nor any nutritional information.
Each recipe also includes other ingredients that you can add to enhance the flavors.
Cornbread is one we will be trying as we love it among a few others.
Love the story of boiled peanuts, have heard about them, never tasted them or knew how to do them.
Highlights of the authors other works are included at the end.

Autumn Getaway by Jennifer Gracen
Received this book as an early reader via Library Thing. Subject matter interested me, to begin with.
Love that she can get away for not only the wedding of her friend but some downtime as she's finally divorced and her child is with his father for the 3 days. She's at a resort and enjoys a massage with her friend, walk and reading. This sounds like a dream to me as this is what we need after many months of stress, medical problems and life.
This story follows Lydia and her friend Melanie is the one getting married.
Also the book follows Sam Forrester, an artist, web designer and he loves to read. They do meet up several times during this weekend and get to know each other more personally.
Book is written as days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and each day is filled with what each of the two main characters do during the time. Some of the family wants him not to get together with her...
Found the book to be pretty predictable but still a good read. Easy to keep the characters straight.
Such detailed descriptions of not only the fall foliage but all the surroundings that you can picture yourself there, from the massage to the rooms and magnificent New England climate.
Other planned books in this series are highlighted at the end.
I received this book from Library Thing via the author in exchange for my honest review.

A Monster Stole My Shoe (Book One)(A Funny and Beautifully Illustrated Children's Bedtime Rhyming Picture Book For Ages 2-8) (A Monster Stole My Shoe Series 1)
Thought this book sounded so silly, something my grandson would love at bedtime.
Noticed other books by the same author and they looked entertaining as well.
Illustrated very colorful children's book about monsters, under the bed

Nothing More Beautiful by Lorelai LaBelle
Sounded like an interesting book and glad I won a reviewer copy.
Love that it's based in Portland, OR as I like the area. Excited to hear about the Hood to Coast event.
My review copy was only 6 chapters long but what I read was good. Love that the girls help one another out with
dates, clothing and just talking to one another-encouragement to continue on when things are bad.
Loved hearing of the baker's industry. Easy to keep track of the characters and those coming and going.
Would read more from this author in the future. Very detailed descriptions made me feel like I was there. Just one major sex scene and it wasn't over the top to consider it to be erotic.
I received this book from Library Thing via the author in exchange for my honest review.

 Easy Weeknight Dinners: Healthy & Delicious (Guilt Free Gourmet) (Guilt Free Gourmet)
Love checking out cookbooks and this one will be a keeper. It lists all the nutritional information we need for our meals, no second guessing.
The meals are healthy but might take some time to prepare.
Lots of herbs, spices, and fresh ingredients. Includes prep time also.
Many categories of main dishes, and LOTS of stir fry.

 Baby Animals and Mommies
I have read many of the author's other works and enjoyed the read and find them very educational.
This is a colorful, illustrated children's book about animals and their mothers.
Words of encouragement and hope are given to the young ones as the adult shows them things.
Many other works are highlighted at the end.

Take the Dog Out
Illustrated colorful children's book about a dog and how others in the family are busy and can't take them out.
Shows how busy they all are but they plan to take him out after a while. Mishaps occur-there must be someone who can take them out...
A solution happens at the end that makes everyone happy.

Adventures of Jack: The Agent With a Bone to Pick (Adventure Childrens Books) Short Stories Collections and bedtime story books for kids by ... (Jack Russell Adventure Series (Volume 1))
Illustrated colorful children's book about Jack, a Jack Russel dog and he's left in charge of the house. To guard it while Mummy goes to the store to get a few things.
He is very bored and starts checking out some things to occupy his time. He ends up in mischief, nothing good can happen...
Other stories of Jack and his adventures are good stories as well. One is how he saves the day by following clues til the mystery is solved.

Landscaping Design: How to Create the Most Beautiful Garden For Your Space, For The Least Amount Of Money And Maintenance
Starts out discussing harmful and poisonous plants that you might want to avoid planting.
Container gardening, right soil, and lots of suggestions depending on the type of yard you have.
Many references for further help.

The Food Allergy Mama's Baking Book: Great Dairy-, Egg-, and Nut-Free Treats for the Whole Family
Starts out why the author created this book and all the groups available for further help with raising children with allergies.
Lists of ingredients the author has on hand and why particular brands, then onto utensils and equipment.
Next is a listing of substitutions that can be used. Tips to use for putting together parties.
Colorful photos with the recipes. so many categories to choose from. Many substitutions from a regular recipe that can be used for most food allergies.
No nutritional information but from the list of ingredients you can tell the food is very healthy.
Ends with listings of resources available.

Wiggle, Wiggle, Bloop, Bloop
Illustrated very colorful silly rhyming book about animals and some of their features.
Some show doing silly physical things while rhyming with another animal on the next page.
My favorite is the sheep because of my yarn addiction.

Maya & Filippo Visit a Glacier by Alinka Rutkowska
Have read one of the author's other books and thoroughly enjoyed it as an educational adventure and knew this one, which I do not know much about would prove to be more of the same.
I have seen pictures of glaciers on shows and in movies but they don't go into the why and how questions. Young children would eat this up for sure.
Explained in detail with very colorful pictures and words that are easy to understand makes this another enjoyable trip for the whole family-without leaving your house.
Glaciers are not around here in the northeast and I love learning about new things.
This trip we find the whole family along and the children are given a tour of the glacier and things are explained to them.
Love how they are able to tell the season by the fireweed flower. So much useful information about bears and salmon also.
Many other books to explore along with Maya & Filippo. Other educational information is at the end of the book along with a quiz so pay attention.
Others works by the author are highlighted at the end of the book.
I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review via a contest I entered.

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