Friday, May 12, 2017

Koreatown: A Cookbook by Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard

This is not your average soft-focus "journey to Asia" kind of cookbook. Koreatown is a spicy, funky, flavor-packed love affair with the grit and charm of Korean cooking in America. Koreatowns around the country are synonymous with mealtime feasts and late-night chef hangouts, and Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard show us why with stories, interviews, and over 100 delicious, super-approachable recipes.

It's spicy, it's fermenty, it's sweet and savory and loaded with umami: Korean cuisine is poised to break out in the U.S., but until now, Korean cookbooks have been focused on taking readers to an idealized Korean fantasyland. Koreatown, though, is all about what's real and happening right here: the foods of Korean American communities all over our country, from L.A. to New York City, from Atlanta to Chicago.

Koreatown is an elegant and well crafted book that includes not only over a 100 recipes but also tells the story of the different people cooking Korean food all across the United States. The pictures that accompany both the stories and the recipes are beautifully taken and really emphasize the nature of each dish and the communities that are serving it. I love all types of food, and I was really intrigued by many of the Korean recipes in this book. I tried a couple so far, and they have been delicious. The cookbook first starts off with the basics ingredients and equipment and then moves into the essentials, such as making Kimchi and Banchan. From there it is divided into rice/dumplings, barbecue, drinks, soups, guest recipes, and desserts. Overall I found this book to be not only a beautiful coffeetable centerpiece, but also a wonderful book to turn to when I want to make something with a little Oriental spice.

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

Thursday, May 11, 2017

True to You by Becky Wade

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. However, when John, an adoptee, is diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his ancestry.

John enlists Nora's help to uncover the identity of his birth mother, and as they work side by side, this pair of opposites begins to suspect that they just might be a perfect match. But can their hope for a future survive their wounds from the past?

True to You marks the first book in Becky Wade's new series The Bradford Sisters' Romance, and it starts it off with a bang. The storyline is interesting and well written, and I found myself glued to the pages to find out what happens next to Nora. I liked how many of the chapters began or ended with texts, Facebook messages, or emails between different characters, particularly the ones between the Bradford sisters. Many of the messages were amusing, and they gave a little background information to what was occurring behind the scenes and into the feelings of some of the minor characters. The dialogue between the characters was well written and helped me to really identify with their emotions and to understand the relationships between them. I also thought that the characters were realistic and well developed. I loved Nora's quirkiness and her sisters' attempts to 'pruce her up a bit.' I could relate to her bookishness and desire for her own "Mr. Darcy." I liked watching Nora and John grow more as individuals and slowly learn more about each other as they searched for John's mother. I thought their interactions were amusing and also realistic. I enjoyed seeing Nora's interactions with her sisters and her extended family, and I am glad that there will be more books so that I learn more about her other sisters! Overally, I highly enjoyed this novel, and I cannot wait to see what is in store in the following books!
I received this novel from Liftuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.  

Read more reviews on this book here:

 Meet the Author

Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and now lives in Dallas. A favorite among readers of Christian contemporary romance, Becky has won a Carol Award, an Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and an INSPY Award. 

Learn more at

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller

The Chapel Car Bride was an interesting and well written novel that introduced an intriguing idea to me...a chapel car ministry. I liked how their ministry was to be attached to the back of a train and stop off in different towns without preachers to teach and to preach the Word. Then, if a town asked, they would spend a couple weeks-months in that area preaching before moving on with the train again. I enjoyed the storyline of this novel and its mixture of romance, suspense, and mystery. I liked the main characters, and I enjoyed seeing them grow as they experienced different trials and circumstances. I did think that Luke and Hope were somewhat lost in the overarching storyline towards the middle of the story and I almost lost interest in them, but I think the author did a good job pulling their story back into the centre of the novel towards the end. Overall, I found this novel to be interesting and a good summer read!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Brave is the New Beautiful by Lee Wolfe Blum

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Our culture bombards women with "thinspiration" messages and pressure to "do it all" while wearing the mask of perfection. 

Women are left feeling alone and overwhelmed. How can they stop comparing themselves to others? How can they live out who they really are?

Lee Wolfe Blum offers stories from everyday women who have answered these questions with their lives-and found true beauty in the process. In Brave Is the New Beautiful, Blum weaves reflections from her own journey with inspirational stories from everyday women who chose to take off their masks and live authentically. Through call-to-action questions and ideas, she encourages readers to be brave enough to be who they really are and the beloved that God knows they are.
 Brave is the New Beautiful is a thought provoking read that challenges the beliefs and assumptions that our culture holds and that many of us unconsciously (or consciously) hold onto. Lee Wolfe Blum does an excellent job weaving her own experiences and those of women she has worked with to demonstrate the dangers and hurt caused by holding to these incorrect views of beauty and where we should find our beauty instead. I like how she uses Scripture to back up her points and how she shows the importance of mentorship and getting help instead of trying to figure out things on your own. Each chapter is easy to read and fairly short, with discussion questions/questions for deeper contemplation at the end of each chapter. I found this book to be convicting and thought provoking, and a reminder that even those who serve in women's ministry and help others have to deal with the same feelings of inadequacy and/or 'ugliness' as the rest of us. I would highly recommend this book, especially for a women's book club this summer. 

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review. See more review at:

Lee Wolfe Blum is an energetic and passionate speaker who loves to help women find hope in healing from perfectionism and addictions. She works as a mental health practitioner in the field of Eating Disorders and Chemical Dependency. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and three boys.

Find out more about Lee Wolfe at