Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

College Cooking

September 26, 2012 Uncategorized 4

Title: College Cooking
Author: Megan & Jill Carle
Source: starting college gift
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: This cookbook has nice easy to follow directions, some tasty dinners, and my go-to, easy to make, dessert. Read more »

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Bitty Bookends

September 23, 2012 Uncategorized 0

Sometimes, all that needs to be said about a book can be summed up by a brief comparison to earlier books in the series. These are that sort of review.

Title: Rebel Angels
Author: Libba Bray
Sequel To: A Great and Terrible Beauty
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆

As in the first book, I loved the strong heroine. She’s reserved but strong-willed and the exciting but not over-the-top narration is perfect for her character. The beginning of the book dragged a little more than the first one, although I’m not sure if it was really slower or if I was just impatient to get to the awesome I knew was ahead.  I liked that more of the world (both supernatural and real) was revealed as the book progressed. However, the author’s habit of having people speak cryptically when clearer speech would have given them time to explain everything up became frustrating. This book also fell a little more into the typical YA plot device of characters causing their own problems through stupid decisions. That said, it was still a fun read with a supernatural realm nicely complementing the Victorian era setting. Read more »

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Wings in the 629’s

September 20, 2012 Uncategorized 1

Title: Wings: A History of Aviation from Kites to the Space Age
Author: Tom Crouch
Source: library
Fun Fact: Early planes were catapulted into the air because they couldn’t achieve the speed necessary to leave the ground under their own power.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Review Summary: Lots of fun facts and interesting material, but the presentation was rarely fun or interesting. Not really narrative non-fiction, although advertised as such.

If you ever had a question about the history of flight, this book has the answer. Spanning the entire twentieth century and then some, Wings also crosses the globe, covering major advancements made by all nations without being too US-centric. Black and white pictures and quotes by early observers capture the awe inspiring first years of flight. When I finished, I had an excessive list of fun facts I wanted to share with you. I picked the one I did because I simply can’t imagine being launched into the air in the flimsy, uncontrollable, open-cock pits of the first planes! Read more »

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Bookends About Glitch

September 16, 2012 Uncategorized 1

Title: Glitch
Author: Heather Anastasiu
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: Very cool idea for a world, but the plot is a little too YA cliche for me to really love it.

In this dystopian novel, humanity has given up the ability to feel emotion or think for themselves. Instead, they are all connected to a network which regulates their activities and decides when they should be deactivated. However, many young adults are beginning to “glitch”, suddenly experiencing emotion and also displaying strange new mental powers. As Zoe struggles to hide her glitches and control her erratic telekinetic powers, she also has to deal with feeling emotion for her family and for boys for the first time. Read more »

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Upcoming Book Blog Events

September 15, 2012 Uncategorized 2

Bloggiesta – Sept 28th-30th

The first exciting event coming up is this year’s Bloggiesta, which is basically a blog improvement party. Lots of bloggers write mini-challenges and articles with tips and tricks for other bloggers. If you’re interested in meeting new people and doing some work on your blog, you can sign up here.
Read more »

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Just Add Water

September 15, 2012 Uncategorized 0

Title: Just Add Water
Author: Lauren Chattman
Source: library
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Review Summary: Nothing special about the book and the recipe I tried was proof that sometimes just adding water isn’t enough.

Like the slow cooker cook book, this was a book I picked up because it contains a lot of quick recipes requiring few ingredients. It also made the claim that any one who can boil water could make these recipes and let me tell you – I boil a mean pot of water.

Read more »

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A Group Read – The Virtues of War

September 13, 2012 Uncategorized 0

Title: The Virtues of War: A Novel of Alexander the Great
Author: Steven Pressfield
Read for: Ancient and Medieval Historical Fiction
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: Immersive story which will draw you into Alexander’s era and into some very cool speculation on his personality, based on historical accounts.

The Virtues of War is the perfect mix of fact and fiction to make a good book. The author clearly did his research and uses accurate details to form a fascinating picture of life around 320BC.  However, as he states in the introduction, he’s also able to take liberties with the facts and put battles and speeches in the order which makes the best narrative. Best of all, the book is told as though Alexander is speaking to a nephew, leading to what I think are some of the major strengths of this book. Read more »

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Slow Cooker Recipes Review

September 7, 2012 Uncategorized 4

Title: Sensational Slow Cooker Gourmet
Author: Judith Finlayson
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: Very focused on convenience and does a good job of spelling everything out – plus it finally got me to use my crock pot.

This book of slow cooker recipes was a great fit for my busy schedule and most recipes don’t look like they’d be too pricey for my poor college student budget either 🙂 In fact, the recipe I made cost me less than $20 for ingredients and will probably make at least 6 meals. But before we get into the recipe, lets start with the book…

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September is Cooking Month

September 5, 2012 Uncategorized 2

Hello all! This month I’ll be focusing more on non-fiction and less on group reads. In particular, I’ll be doing several reviews of cook books and maybe even some picture-illustrated articles about my experience trying to cook from them. I’m most excited about a slow cooker recipe book I’ve found at the library, which seems geared toward letting you cook when you want to cook. Hopefully it will be good 🙂

Thanks to nahhan on stock exchange for the beautiful photo.

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Genetic Engineering Ethics in the 575’s

August 28, 2012 Uncategorized 0

Title: The Engineer in the Garden
Author: Colin Tudge
Source: library
Fun Fact: Some plants, including clover, naturally produce hemoglobin, the protein which transports oxygen through our blood.
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: A great introduction to the philosophical questions raised by genetic engineering, which includes complex language and ideas but which does a great job explaining the biology.

Genetic engineering is an incredible technology with many controversial applications. This book as a very approachable primer on those possible applications and the ethical issues they raise. While the science is handled very well and the author didn’t spend enough time on the basics to bore me, I do think the science is written simply enough that someone with no background could understand this book with a little effort. The author does an incredible job starting with the basics. Every biology term is defined. And this allows him to use biology terms and build up to more complicated concepts. For instance, instead of answering the question “what is genetic engineering” in a watered down way, he first explains basic molecular genetics and then the specific methods that people use to alter genomes.  Unfortunately, the illustrations were bad enough to be basically useless, but the explanations were good enough that I don’t think the illustrations were needed any way.
Read more »

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