Saturday, March 21, 2015

Moosewood Cookbook 40th edition by Mollie Katzen

The Moosewood Cookbook has inspired generations to cook simple, healthy, and seasonal food. A classic listed as one of the top ten best-selling cookbooks of all time by the NeYork Times, this 40th anniversary edition of Mollie Katzen's seminal book will be a treasured addition to the cookbook libraries of fans young and old.

In 1974, Mollie Katzen hand-wrote, illustrated, and locally published a spiral-bound notebook of recipes for vegetarian dishes inspired by those she and fellow cooks served at their small restaurant co-op in Ithaca, NY. Several iterations and millions of copies later, the Moosewood Cookbook has become one of the most influential and beloved cookbooks of all time—listed by the New York Times as one of the best-selling cookbooks in history, inducted into the James Beard Award Cookbook Hall of Fame, and coined a Cookbook Classic by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Mollie’s Moosewood Cookbook has inspired generations to fall in love with plant-based home cooking, and, on the fortieth anniversary of that initial booklet, continues to be a seminal, timely, and wholly personal work. With a new introduction by Mollie, this commemorative edition will be a cornerstone for any cookbook collection that long-time fans and those just discovering Moosewood will treasure.

This is a fantastic cookbook that is both beautifully illustrated and contains excellent recipes of all types that I am anxious to continue to explore. My mother has one of the original cookbooks, and I was happy to share this 40th edition version with her. There a good number of additional recipes that are included in this edition, and the recipes themselves are simplified and reorganized to make for easier reading and for following the directions. We made brownies from this cookbook that were absolutely to die for, as well as some other delicious breads, cakes, and salads. I look forward to trying more recipes from this cookbook in the near future. Would highly recommend this cookbook to vegetarians and meat lovers alike as there are some truly delicious recipes of all types to try in this book!

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. 

Old Fashioned Girl by Rene Gutteridge

Former frat boy Clay Walsh has given up his reckless lifestyle and settled down to run an antique shop in a small Midwestern college town. Determined to put his partying ways behind him, Clay has become notorious for his lofty and outdated theories on love and romance. But when Amber Hewson, a free-spirited woman with a gypsy soul, rents the apartment above his shop, Clay can’t help being attracted to her spontaneous and passionate embrace of life.

New to the area, Amber finds herself surprisingly drawn to Clay and his noble ideas, but her own fears and deep wounds are difficult to overcome. Can they move beyond their differences and their pasts to attempt an “old-fashioned” courtship?

Old Fashioned Girl by Rene Gutteridge was an interesting novel, but I had trouble connecting to both the characters and the storyline. I could tell it was based on a screenplay because there was little character development and the storyline progressed so quickly that it seemed unrealistic and the romance seemed impossible. The courtship process was way too short to be considered a courtship and seemed more like awkward dating than anything else. Then they had issues in their very short relationship and when they reconciled, things went even faster. I do not know how the movie would be, probably better than this book, but this novel was very disconnected with little character development and unrealistic story timeline.

I received this novel from Tyndale House in exchange for an honest review.

Price of Privilege by Jessica Dotta

Having finally discovered the truth of her birthright, Julia Elliston is determined to outwit Chance Macy at his own game. Holding a secret he’d kill to keep, however, is proving more difficult than she imagined.

Just when Julia thinks she’s managed to untangle herself from Macy’s clutches, he changes tactics with a risky ploy. As the scandal of the century breaks loose, drawing rooms all over London whisper what so far newspapers have not dared to print: Macy’s lost bride is none other than Lord Pierson’s daughter—and one of the most controversial cases of marital law ever seen comes before Victorian courts.

Though Julia knows Macy’s version of events is another masterful manipulation, public opinion is swaying in his favor. Caught in a web of deceit and lies, armed only with a fledgling faith, Julia must face her fiercest trial yet.

Price of Privilege is the third novel in Jessica Dotta's Price of Privilege Trilogy, and it is one of the most heart wrenching novels I have read in awhile. I have found this entire trilogy absolutely fascinating (you must read these books in order) and spell binding, and it certainly a series that will leave you holding onto the end of your seat, especially with the cliffhangers found in the first two books. This last book starts right where the second novel, Mark of Distinction, ends, but I cannot tell you more than that without ruining the second novel. The plot in Price of Privilege is filled with unexpected twists, betrayal, sacrifice, and the overwhelming power of love. I loved how Julia learned further how much God loved her as her Heavenly Father and how she can show that love to others. The end of this novel is utterly shocking and left me in a daze for a couple of hours. I would highly recommend this series, but be is a mix of Bronte and Austen and Dotta's own flair that altogether leaves you highly invested with the storyline and emotionally attached to the characters and their dilemmas.

I received from this Tyndale House in exchange for an honest review.

Lethal Beauty by Lis Wiehl

Mia Quinn discovers that a series of seemingly unrelated murders are linked. How far up are the strings being pulled-and what happens when one of her own is at risk?

The murder Mia is prosecuting seems like an open and shut case-until the accused claims he was the real victim and that the dead girl attacked him first. The tabloids dub her a "lethal beauty." Still, a conviction seems imminent. Then a key witness goes missing. Just when it looks like the killer could walk free, the dead woman's mother takes matters into her own hands.

Meanwhile, Charlie Carlson, a Seattle homicide detective, is investigating the murder of a man whose body washed up on the beach of Puget Sound, but he's got little to go on. He has no dental work, fingerprints aren't on file, and he doesn't match any missing person reports. Then a church pianist is senselessly gunned down before horrified parishioners.

All three cases seem unrelated-but are they? Together, Mia and Charlie race to find the answer before another crime hits too close to home.

Lethal Beauty is the third Mia Quinn mystery by Lis Wiehl, and it does not disappoint. The novel is filled with danger, mystery, murder, and secrets. It starts with the court case for the killing of a prostitute, and the book slowly builds from there to the real culprits behind the murder and the organization responsible for seemingly unlinked circumstances. I found Lethal Beauty to be a little slow and hard to get engaged in initially because there was a lot of hopping from one perspective to another as the background to the story was being built. However, once more events began to unfold, the story became intensely more interesting. There was less court action in this novel than in the previous Mia Quinn mysteries, which was disappointing but appropriate for the storyline. There was also less focus on the Eli-Mia-Charlie interactions as Eli was only in the first few chapters of the book, which was something I missed.

The characters in this novel were decently well developed. I learned more about Gabe, Mia's son, as well as her late husband. I thought both Mia and Charlie could have had more development in this novel as this was the third novel, and yet I still do not feel like I know them any better. There is also still a missing link between Mia's husband and everything else that has been happening in the books, and I am very intrigued to discover what that is in future books.

Overall, I enjoyed Lethal Beauty. I found the mystery plot to be exciting and eventually very engaging, but I did wish there was more character development since this is a series. However, I also really appreciated the careful research and message that the author portrayed about the horrors of illegal immigrant smuggling, forced prostitution/sex trafficking, and the forced labor many immigrants face when they reach the United States through the 'good graces' of labor/trafficking rings. I thought it was a great reminder that not everything is as it seems and that many people are still suffering in slavery even today.

I received this novel from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.