Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Many Sparrows





Book Summary:

Clare Inglesby is widowed while crossing the mountains to a new settlement in the late 1700s. She wakes to find herself in labor and shortly after to discover her five year old son missing. It appears that he has been captured by Shawnees. She is determined to do anything she can to find him. She joins with frontiersman Jeremiah Ring to go deep into the wilderness to find him. Clare discovers that her son has already been adopted by Jeremiah's Shawnee sister who does not want to give him up.

My Thoughts:

I am a fan of early American historical fiction so I was ready to settle in and read this book. I found this to be an easy read. To me, the most attractive qualities of the story and characters were when they learned to view another person's perspective on a personal and cultural level. I think balancing a story set in this time period can be difficult. The author did try to put in perspectives from both cultures as she navigated this difficult line.

While I thought there could have been a little more depth to the story, it was an easy read that showed how the main character Clare was willing to challenge her own views over time to meet her goal of getting her son back. I think because the book was not very long, is why it felt rushed to me. A lot happened in the story in what felt like a short amount of time.

I would note for readers that this is a Christian Historical Fiction book, so there are mentions of personal belief from the characters, and that is a focus at times in the story. I only mention this as some readers care more than others if that is present.

If you are looking for a quick historical fiction read set in early American history, this one might interest you.

**I received a free copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.**

*Receiving a free copy of this book does not change my review. It simply provides me with a copy of a book I would not have gotten to as soon or heard about otherwise.
 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness





Book Summary:

Paula Poundstone starts with the question: is there a secret to happiness? She begins a quest trying different things that are suppose to bring a person happiness in life. She offers up her experiences and results for us to peruse. Filled with humor as she honestly tells what happened to her, the results, and if she intends to continue pursuing that activity. She also tells us the reactions of her children, friends, and people around her in a way that will have you laughing.

My Thoughts:

I've been a fan of Paula Poundstone's for a while. I've listened to NPR for a long time, and always enjoy when she comes one Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. She has a great sense of humor and I was very excited to find out how she is in written form. I was not disappointed. She is not afraid to laugh at herself when her experiments go awry, and it makes her search for happiness seem very relatable. It also provides encouragement to try new things and just discover where events will take you.

While some parts of the book could seem repetitive as she had multiple experiments in the book, I think overall there was still humor to be found in each section. Some of the experiments were more hilarious than others. And some were more relatable which made them more interesting to me, but I still think despite a few spots where it lagged for me it was a fun book.

If you are looking for a completely serious approach to a search for happiness this book is not for you. If you like honestly with a lot of humor, than give this book a try.

*I received a free copy of this book from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.

*Receiving a free copy of this book does not change my review. It simply provides me with a copy of a book sooner than I would have gotten to it or one I might not have heard about otherwise.
 

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Book Of Greens




Book Summary:

This is an encyclopedia of greens combined with over 150 recipes to use the greens described in the book. Great for the experienced cook and the beginner, the recipes range in difficulty. This book is meant to inspire you to eat more greens in a variety of ways.

The book is organized alphabetically by the type of green and gives a little bit of information about the green such as: seasonality, nutrition, what it pares well with, prep, and storage. After the information follows a couple of recipes for that type of green.

 My Thoughts:

I was absolutely delighted with this cookbook. The information is presented in an easy to find manner. It is presented in a very clear manner and I loved how there was some information about the type of green before each group of recipes. I think it is very helpful when buying, storing, and cooking to have some knowledge of the ingredients you are using to make the dish taste wonderful.

The book is filled with beautiful pictures that will make you want to try all the recipes in the book. Whether you are a big greens eater or new to a lot of these plants you will find inspiration in this cookbook.

I tried several recipes from this book and found them all to be very tasty. While I normally like greens and try to eat a lot of them, this is a very high recommendation because I while trying these recipes I was having difficulties eating greens due to morning sickness. I found the flavors worked well for me and I was able to eat some of the recipes in this book. I still did not eat large quantities, but I was able to enjoy some greens despite my issues.

This is a cookbook that I will continue to use. I enjoyed the information presented and the variety of recipes. I am particularly looking forward to using greens I have never used before. I found The Book Of Greens to be an inspiration in my everyday cooking. I am also pleased that it is a beautiful addition to my cookbook library.

If you like greens or are looking for recipes to try I highly recommend using this cookbook.

**I received a free copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.**

*Receiving a free copy of this book does not change my review. It simply provides me with a book I would not have gotten to as soon or heard about otherwise.

Wolf On A String





Book Summary:

Christen Stern is an ambitious young scholar and alchemist. He travels to Prague in 1599 during a cold winter hoping to make his fortune in the Emperor's court. His first night in the city he stumbles upon the body of a young woman who appears to be from high society.

Christen follows his fortunes despite the obvious dangers and wins the trust of the Emperor. The Emperor decides to task him with discovering who killed the young woman--who happens to be the Emperor's mistress. Christen soon finds himself involved in a power struggle that goes deeper than he could have imagined. There are attempts to take over the throne and Christen finds that his own life is in danger. Will Christen discover the pertinent details in time to save himself and the Emperor?

My Thoughts:

This was my first experience reading a novel by Benjamin Black. I had heard good things about him, and I was very excited to read this book. It takes place in a time period I am very interested in and combine it with a murder it seemed very promising. I liked the descriptions of the setting and characters.

I ended up feeling disappointed in this book. I found that the plot moved forward at an extremely slow pace. I found myself skimming some parts later in the book simply because it was a chore to read this book. I found the summary of the book to be more interesting than the book actually was. I think the author could have made this book more interesting but focused too much on situations that did not help enough with the plot. I understand wanting to make readers connect with the characters, but it was too much description with little action for me.

I also thought that the plot seemed a little rushed at times when we were actually reading something that moved it forward because so much time had been spent on the minor details. It not only made the important parts seem rushed but it made the plot seem unrealistic. Our main character was suddenly figuring things out with hardly any time spent on his investigations. I think if there had been a little bit of balance between the descriptions and the plot the book would have been much more enjoyable.

If you like historical mysteries you could give this book a try, but it would not be my first recommendation.

*I received a free copy of this book from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.

*Receiving a free copy of this book does not change my review. It simply provides me with a copy of a book that I would not have gotten to as soon or heard about otherwise.
 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Barrowfields





Book Summary:

Just before Henry Astor is born, his father who has literary ambitions, and his pregnant wife reluctantly return to the small Appalachian town where Henry grew up. Henry grew up watching his brilliant father begin to unravel after a tragedy. Henry flees his family and small town, and as his father before him, does not return until forced to.

My Thoughts:

I was surprised how much this story drew me in. I think the descriptions of place and character are what initially grab the reader's attention. After that you want to know what is going to happen to these characters who are faced with a reality more mundane than they planned for themselves. I think the despair and desire for more resonate with many and is also part of the greatness of this book.

I also like the gothic feel of the story when it describes the house the family lives in and how it almost seems to influence the family and their lives. It appeals to part of me that loves gothic stories. There are parts of the book that do not have this feeling, so I do not want to mislead, but I like the way the author is able to draw on different elements to create feelings in the reader.

I think this book will appeal to many who enjoy literary fiction and something that is different from the typical story. I think you have to like this sort of book to really get into, but if you allow yourself to just go with the flow of the story you will be surprised by how you feel while reading it.

**I received a free copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.**

*Receiving a free copy of this book does not change my review. It simply provides me with a copy of a book I would not have gotten to as soon or heard about otherwise.