Saturday, November 12, 2016

Nourishing Meals

Book Summary:

This is a cookbook from two popular bloggers that have gathered healthy recipes for families. They are whole foods recipes, and every recipe is free of common allergens of gluten, soy, eggs, dairy as well as refined sugar. There are tips on how to transition into eating this way wether you are needing to switch to an allergen free diet or just want to eat a little healthier, this cookbook will help you do it.

My Thoughts:

Many people in my family are allergic to different foods, so I was very interested in trying out these recipes. It is always nice to have some delicious meals that you know everyone will be okay eating. I was impressed by the sheer number of recipes in this book. There is great variety and some truly delicious sounding dishes.

This is a picture of the finished meal. I decided to make the Orange Pepper Salmon, the Fresh Cauliflower Salad, and the Yam Fries. This was a colourful meal. It had good flavours. I will say we were not blown away by the dishes, but they were good. I liked the idea of the Cauliflower Salad the most. It was a new way of using cauliflower which was a great find.

The Cauliflower Salad had a nice crunch to it. I also liked the flavours in this dish. It was really easy to make, and I will probably make it again.

The Orange Pepper Salmon was easy to make. I liked it fine, but it did not really stand out to me. I did like the simple ingredients used.

The Yam Fries were good. I am partial to sweet potatoes. Again really easy to make. This recipe only called for a few ingredients. The fries did take a little more prep time but they tasted good.

Overall I would say if you are looking for a cookbook that has a lot of recipes that are allergen free this would be a great cookbook. Even if you were looking for more healthy recipes this would be a great place to start. I will say the one thing that I could see being problematic is many of the recipes require items that the average person might not keep on their shelves. Tapioca Flour, Chia Seeds, Coconut Flour, Rye Flour, Mung Bean Sprouts, Figs, etc. If you are trying to eat this way though, it will help you switch over which is extremely helpful. If you are not looking to completely change your diet this might not be the cookbook for you.

**I received a free copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for and 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 that I would have gotten to it or heard about otherwise.

Women Heroes Of World War II: The Pacific Theater

Book Summary:

This book contains fifteen stories of resistance, rescue, sabotage, and survival of women in the pacific during World War II. They were nurses, war correspondents, singers, and every day people who decided to act to help their countries during the war. They refused to sit on the side lines while events unfolded around them.

My Thoughts:

This book has been on my to read list for a while. I was happy to get the chance to finally read it. This is a collection of fifteen incredible stories of women taking action. There are many more of these stories from World War II, but this collection is a wonderful place to start.

I think what impressed me the most was the variety of experiences these women had. Although there are some similarities in a few of the stories, there really is an uniqueness to each woman's story. I think this is a wonderful tribute to the brave actions they took. I liked how many of the women found themselves in this situation, and rose to the occasion. They chose to act when they could have tried to wait out the war. I found the stories inspiring, and appreciate the service of these women.

I will say that some of the women experienced truly horrific events, which can be difficult to read. I note this simply because if younger readers are to read it they should be prepared. I do think we owe it to them to not forget what happened. I think it makes my appreciation for them even higher when I and other readers understand that these are not just women that did a few things that helped the war. They made tremendous sacrifices that continued to affect them their whole lives.

I think this book is an excellent way to start learning about history. It is divided into sections by area.  So it is really easy to find stories of women in China or Okinawa. I also like that after each woman's story, there is a Learn More section. It provides sources to read more in depth about a woman if you found her story particularly interesting.

I  previously read Women Heroes of the American Revolution and also really enjoyed it. I have found this series to be excellent, and I cannot wait to read more book in the Women in Action series. I love that this series is bringing attention to the roles women have had in history, and will continue to read their books. The series is also at a level that younger readers could read about these incredible women and enjoy the books.

*I received a free copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads Program in exchange for and 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.

Gathering Blue

Book Summary:

In a society run by savagery and deceit Kira is left an orphan. In her society the weak are discarded and since she is physically flawed she must face those that would remove her from their group. Fortunately, she has an almost magic like talent that people high in the society want her to use for their benefit. As she works, Kira tries to discover the truth about her world, and will not stop no matter the consequences. If she finds the truth, it will alter her world forever.

My Thoughts:

I have always enjoyed The Giver, So I was happy that the Bookworms wanted to read the second book in the series. I think some people find it a little confusing that this book does not immediately follow the events that took place at the end of The Giver. Instead, it shows how other people are living outside Jonas' community. Here is the link to the Bookworms review of The Giver.

I think this and the other books in the series are great for young readers. They bring up a lot of talking points about society, what we value, and what our own responsibilities are. I also like that the main character in this book is a girl. So the series provides different viewpoints so more readers can identify easier with the story.

The Bookworms Thoughts:

This was the twenty-second book the Bookworms read together. This was Alejandro's pick for us. He, and the rest of us really enjoyed The Giver, and wanted to read it again. He decided that maybe we should read the second book instead of rereading The Giver. We had a good time comparing The Giver and Gathering Blue, how we view people, and how important our actions are. Here are some of the Bookworms thoughts on the story. Warning! There may be some spoilers.

Q&A With The Bookworms Book Club

How many stars out of 5 would you give this book?
Alejandro 3
Paige 3 1/2

Just as a comparison, Alejandro rated The Giver at 5 stars and Paige gave it 4 1/2.

Why do you think this story is called Gathering Blue?
Paige I didn't really think about it.
Alejandro Because they went to find what makes blue and found it. But they also found other things.

What did you think of a girl being the main character when a boy was in the first book?
Paige It was a different twist, but I didn't like her story as much. It was boring.
Alejandro Yes, her story was not as exciting.
Both Jonas' story was much more exciting.

Which community would you rather live in, Jonas' or Kira's?
Both Jonas'
Alejandro Jonas' has real jobs. Kira's has no jobs or they seem like really strange jobs.
Paige Both seem like they are sometimes fun but weird.
Alejandro I do think Jonas' community was more controlling but things weren't as whacky.

Which community is more like your community?
Alejandro I think mine is more like Kira's because it is more free.
PaigeYes. Kira's. Because I can do a lot of things.

What did you think about the rule that girls cannot read?
Alejandro I thought it was cool that one boy helped Kira learn.  It was clever to get around the rule.
Paige I think it was a stupid rule. Girls can read and it is a good experience to read.
Alejandro I didn't like the rule. I think everyone should get to read. Reading makes life funner.

Since you did not enjoy this book as much, would read the last two books in the series?
Paige I think I would read it after I finish other books I am reading.
Alejandro I will probably read the last ones.

Alejandro's Questions:

Did you like this book better than The Giver?
Alejandro It was not as good as The Giver.
Paige Yeah the first book was better.
Whitney I like the first book the best of the series.

Who do you think the boy at the end of the book was?
All Jonas!

Thank you Bookworms for reading and reviewing this book with me. It was a lot of fun and I look forward to our next book.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Moon Chosen

Book Summary:

Mari is an Earth Walker with incredible healing abilities. Her life changes when she is chosen by a canine to be companions. An attack from her clan's enemies alters her course even further when people she love die and are captured. Mari must adapt to her new circumstances to survive. She embarks on a mission to save her people. One that forces her to ally with her enemy. She must choose wisely if she is to save herself and her people.

My Thoughts:

Moon Chosen was the first book I read by this author. The description caught my attention. I am always looking for new worlds in the books I read, and this one seemed as if it had promise. I thought the world building was intense. There was a lot of information from the characters to the plants they used for healing and eating. I thought it was interesting how developed this world was. I do wish the author had streamlined the information a little more. Sometimes I felt the plot was lost in the details. Perhaps a little more balance in the next book with what details are shared and when would make the story flow more. It would help readers really become absorbed in this world.

I admit I struggled with the first portion of the book. Part of it was because of the amount of details and how they were presented as mentioned above. Also, many of the details were repeated when it was unnecessary to do so. When there are so many details already, repeating them does not help the reader stay with the story.

I think the other reason I had trouble was the main character Mari. Despite her age, her speech, thoughts, and actions seemed very juvenile. Her character did develop more as the story went on, which helped. But I really did not care for her. It took a good portion of the 600 page book to really feel some depth to the characters. I frequently felt my attention wander while reading. I think if it had been edited a little the plot would have been a little quicker, and might have been more engaging.

I am not certain if I will continue with this series. I do appreciate good world building, and perhaps now that many of those details have been given the next book will be more captivating. I did think there were some intriguing new story ideas.

I have heard good things about this author, so maybe this just was not the book to start with. I might try some of her other series to discover if it was just this series that did not appeal to me. If you are looking for a new world with lots of details you might be interested in this book.

*I received a free copy of this book from Goodreads First Read Program.

*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.