Thursday, April 28, 2016

Lumberjanes Vol. 3

Another cute installment in the Lumberjanes series. This latest collection features scary stories around the campfire, portals to the Jurassic era, the quest to earn easy badges, the bear woman, and more. The characters are ever cute and keep you on your toes with their crazy antics and shenanigans. Intended more for middle schoolers, but I guess I'm just young at heart. I can't wait for the next installment!

Eat Pray Love

I believe I enjoyed this book as much the second time around as I did when I first read it five years ago. Eat Pray Love is a yearlong memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert, a recently divorced, emotionally scarred woman in her thirties. She decides she'll spend four months in Rome to learn the language and enjoy the food,  four months in India to meditate and pray, and four months in Indonesia to learn to balance her life. Along the way she discovers more about herself, meets unforgettable people, and constantly challenges herself to live life the fullest. It's a very inspiring memoir and I dare you to read this and not start a saving up to go traveling yourself. I have yet to see the movie but I hope it's at least a decent tribute to this awesome book.

The Inheritance

Book one of the Secrets of the Shetlands deals with the turmoil that Whales Reef finds itself in. After the death of their laird, David (the chief) finds that the money has gone dry. Will the tiny island be able to support itself? How will the wool factory workers get paid? David discovers that there will be no income until the estate is resolved and it seems like that may be a while since they aren't sure who the true heir should be. Is it David, the chief, or Hardy, his mean foolish cousin? Life on the Scottish island tries to go on as normal, but everyone is worried. What will happen to their traditions and their heritage? Meanwhile, Loni, a 33 year old American is trying to come to terms with her life as an assistant in Washington. Should she focus on her career, her faith, her boyfriend, her past? She doesn't know, but she soon has some surprises coming her way. An inspirational read that will charm fans of Scottish small town living.

I received this book for free from Litfuse Publicity in return for my honest, unbiased review.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Canticle for Leibowitz

Definitely not something I would have ordinarily ever picked up. I was a little skeptical when I first got into it, but it developed into this wonderful apocalyptic book that I can't stop thinking about it. I've never been much for speculative fiction by Walter M. Miller Jr.'s classic, award winning science fiction book has me singing another tune. In a hellishly destroyed world, thrown back into the dark ages, a naive young monk discovers some artifacts that had belonged to the beloved Saint Leibowitz centuries prior. The monks are dedicated to preserving memorabilia and remnants of the old world and the story spans many centuries and revolves around their saint and their order. A wonderful read once you get into. I may even have to pick up the rest of the trilogy to see how this saga can possibly continue.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Southern Spirits

Hands down the most educational and readable book on alcohol I've ever read. Fascinating and filled with history this book reads like fiction and makes you desperate to start mixing some cocktails yourself! I've never thirsted for a mint julep so bad! Robert F. Moss does a great job outlining the history of drinking in the south and how it affected slavery, the prohibition, distilleries and more. It was a treasure trove of information. Each of the 20 chapters contained one or two drink recipes that corresponded to that decade or two worth of alcohol history. Also contained were images that help the reader get a sense of what is going on. Personally, I never realized how influential the south was on our drinking habits. From the creation of bourbon, moonshine, to my beloved mint juleps and gin fizzes, the south has had a HUGE influence on the drinking culture of America. A must read for any lover of booze and American history.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

At the Edge of the Orchard

Chevalier, Tracy. At the Edge of the Orchard. 7 CDs. unabridged. 9 hrs. Books on Tape. ISBN 9781101924983.
Chevalier (Girl with a Pearl Earring) pulls no punches with this hard hit tale of a pioneer family that can't ever seem to get ahead. In 1838 the Goodenough family settles into the Black Swamp of northern Ohio and try to have a go at planting apple trees aided by the traveling salesman known as Johnny Appleseed. James cares for his apple trees better than he does his ten children (half of which have died), savoring the sweet apples they can make. His wife Sadie however, only likes the trees when the apples produced are bitter, making them ideal for alcohol and giving her an escape from the life she detests. Told from alternating viewpoints and letters, this tale of rough rugged living sucks listeners in with four distinct voice talents, all of whom embody and enliven the tale with their rough accents. Every drawl and whistle, and song bring the Black Swamp to life for listeners. Meticulously researched, heartbreakingly beautiful, deceptively simple, and superbly narrated. Another must read from the queen of historical fiction. - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN

Aleutian Sparrow

A quick and heartbreaking look into an event that most Americans have never heard of. Before the US entered World War II, Japanese soldiers had invaded a few of the Aleutian Islands and as a result, the American government forced all the Aleutian natives were forced into internment camps for their own "safety" even though the Japanese quickly lost their tiny little foot-hole and the islands became safe. While the Aleutians were crowded into tiny camps with little amenities, bored US soldiers looted the islands destroying the native's homes. This story is told in verse from the perspective of a young girl, and is cheerful and heartbreaking in its tone. There is a dictionary and testimony from a real native girl that lived through the whole ordeal. The US government didn't formally apologize until 1988.