Posted on Friday, October 28, 2011 - 10:08am
Don't let the bulk of this book intimidate you; 660 Curries is an excellent introduction to Indian cooking! Raghavan Iyer's book gives plenty of advice on using and finding foreign ingredients and provides a simple approach to meal prep. If you're looking for great, one-dish meals, this is a book to try. Try the Yogurt-Tart Chickpeas on page 335 or the One-Pot Potatoes with Red Lentils on page 552.
Posted on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 4:20pm
The latest cookbook from the popular vegetarian restaurant in Ithaca, NY, Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health, is by far my favorite. Whether you’re a committed vegetarian or just looking for ways to eat more vegetables and whole grains, this book has something for everyone. Try out the Greek Lentil Burgers on page 155 – they cook beautifully, have a fantastic flavor, and aren’t mushy like so many other veggie/lentil burgers. Other must-trys include the Italian stew on page 247, the spicy chipotle chili on page 222, and the fresh mushroom soup on page 120.
Posted on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 4:09pm
This book has lots of practical advice for someone looking for ideas on how to decorate and furnish a home. Unlike many other decorating books, this one does not have glossy photos of finished rooms, instead sketches are used to demonstrate a decorating principle. This may seem like a drawback but actually it works well because one is not distracted by colorful photos of rooms of furniture one does not own. The spare drawings allow the reader to focus attention on the point being made. Most topics are covered in short, easy to read paragraphs. The book covers everything from decorating mistakes, furniture arrangement, floors, windows, and more.
Posted on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 4:07pm
This novel is a fictionalized account of the scandalous affair between Mamah Borthwick Cheney and Frank Lloyd Wright. Mamah is an educated and independent woman who feels trapped in her marriage and constrained by social restrictions until she meets and falls in love with the vibrant and flamboyant Frank Lloyd Wright. Mamah struggles with making the choice to be true to herself and her maternal responsibility. I thought the author did a good job creating a compelling story about a famous historical figure while making Frank Lloyd Wright the secondary character and his mistress the center of the story. I also enjoyed reading about the personality of Frank Lloyd Wright and his creative genius which was part of his confident and self absorbed ego. The tragic ending to the novel confirms that truth is stranger than fiction.
Posted on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 4:03pm
Louis (Louie) Zamperini’s life reads like the most fantastical drama you’ve ever known and yet every word of this amazing life story is true and well documented in history. Louie went from being a troublemaking California youngster to an Olympic runner in the 1936 Olympics in Germany. Then WWII came along and sent him to the Pacific as an Army Air Corpsman only to end up with his plane crashed and clinging to a tiny raft with two other men floating for weeks fighting starvation, sharks, weather and attacks by Japanese bombers. Sounds like a challenge? That’s only the beginning of this incredible biography. Louis Zamperini is still alive today and reading this book inspired me to research further this man who seemed to have an almost limitless determination to survive whatever life could throw his way. One of the best biographies I have ever read – highly recommended.
Posted on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 4:01pm
The title immediately grabbed my attention, having coming of age at the same time as the author and having been a big Duran Duran fan. Although published after Love is a Mix Tape, the book could serve as a prequel as it chronicles the author’s life and coming of age experiences during the 80s. The book is not about Duran Duran, but they do serve as the ultimate example of the music of the times and what those songs, bands and videos meant as we came of age. Extremely humorous, and I loved how the author cleverly wove lines of popular 80s songs into his prose in such a subtle manner that it would be very easy to miss for those who don’t know their 80s music. A wonderful trip down memory lane, I was sorry when it ended!
If you liked Talking to Girls About Duran Duran you will also enjoy the 80s nostalgia in But Enough About Me and Don’t You Forget About Me by Jancee Dunn, who like Sheffield is a former contributor to Rolling Stone.
Posted on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 3:57pm
Tin was born on a Thursday, and so was fated to wandering. His older sister, seven-year-old Harper, can hardly blame him for wanting to escape: the family is mired in poverty, their land is barren, the new baby cries all the time. Tin burrows into the earth to get away from it all, digging elaborate subterranean tunnels, his eccentricity tolerated—even overshadowed—by his family’s larger problems. In lyrical, heartbreaking prose, Harper weaves her family’s struggle and Tin’s surreal underground existence together into a dark and dreamy tale.
Posted on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 3:51pm
After a car crash leaves successful, overachieving Sarah Nickerson with a traumatic brain injury and an obscure neurological syndrome called Left Neglect, she faces a long and uncertain recovery. This story personalizes the struggles and insights of a rare and unusual brain condition and the redemptive power of family love and support. Author and neuroscientist, Lisa Genova, once again delves into the world of disabling brain disease and creates a book of moving fiction. Her first novel, Still Alice, dealt with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Posted on Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 5:53pm
When Cameron is admitted to the hospital following his diagnosis of Mad Cow Disease, things start to get really weird for him. With the help of his roommate, Gonzo (a neurotic, asthmatic dwarf), they escape for Cameron’s final road trip. The comedy becomes more absurd as the miles click by, with the pair picking up an ancient Norse god (cursed to appear as a lawn gnome), staying with a smoothie-loving cult at the Church of Everlasting Satisfaction and Snack ‘N’ Bowl, and falling in love with an angel on the way to Disney World. Going Bovine won the 2010 Printz medal for excellence in teen literature.
Posted on Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 5:51pm
Emily Maxwell, is an 80 year old widow who is dealing with the emotional and physical issues of growing old and, “being alone.” Although the story consists primarily of Emily’s daily routine, the story is much more than that. As Emily reflects about her life with her husband, children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors and even her beloved aging dog Rufus, the reader is reminded how regrets, setbacks and hopes of an ordinary life are a part of everyone’s life. There are moments of humor and sadness throughout the book. The story begins with Emily and her sister-in-law Arlene driving to the Eat ‘n Park’s two-for-one breakfast buffet, a weekly tradition. After Arlene suffers a stroke at the buffet, Emily begins to become more independent but at the same time realizes that she needs to rely on others more and more. Emily, with her quirks and habits, may be someone you will recognize, a friend, an aunt, neighbor or even yourself. If you like books that are plot driven, this is not the book for you. If you liked books that are character-driven, I think you would enjoy this book. I give it five stars.
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