Monday, October 20, 2014

Slices of Life is taken from the author's newspaper columns. Some cover life with her husband or her kids, or stories from her own childhood. Each is accompanied by a recipe. This is a good book to pick up occassionally and read a passage or two and then move on. I couoldn't get in to reading it cover-to-cover because the columns didn't seem to be arranged in a cohesive way. However, many of the recipes looked good, and the columns can be entertaining--it's just better as a book you read while you're waiting in line, reading a column or two at a time, rather than a real page-turner.

I was provided an advanced e-copy of this title though NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher. Receiving a copy did not affect my review. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bookish Review: Biting through the Skin

I really enjoyed Biting Through the Skin. I, for one, have a hard time imagining what it would have been like to be a blond-haired, blue-eyed American growing up in India--nor could I imagine growing up in America's heartland as an Indian girl from Bengal, but now that I have read Biting Through the Skin, I have a better idea of what that must have been like. Nina Mukergee was a girl caught between two cultures, longing to better understand her Indian roots. She paints lovely pictures with words and makes you yearn for the exotic smells and spices of her kitchen, while at the same time really feeling for her as she describes how she often felt out of place in both worlds--American and Indian. Her prose is lovely, and I always find reading about a different culture to be exciting and interesting, even when plopped within my own American context. This book is mostly memoir, but a little beit cookbook, too, and can take you on a journey to a new place. Recommended.

I was provided an advanced e-copy of this title though NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher. Receiving a copy did not affect my review. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Bookish Review: Phoenix Island

Phoenix Island was a good read--I think pre-teen boys would probably find it to be a page-turner. Carl, a fighter and down-on-his-luck kid with noble intentions, gets sent to a sort of isolated juvie. He plans to keep his head down til he gets out but notices more and more strange things happening, possible medical experiments on the inmates, and sadistic drill-sargeant-like leaders. Carl is respected for his fighting skills and gets selected for an elite group within the camp, but when he figures out what's really going on, he must find a way to escape--and to save the friends he's made along the way.

This one seems ripe for a sequel, so keep an eye out!

I was provided an advanced e-copy of this title though NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher. Receiving a copy did not affect my review. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cook Bookish Review: My Paris Kitchen

I was very excited to read this book because I am a big fan of David Lebovitz's blog, and I downloaded his Paris Pastry app when I was heading to Europe for my honeymoon (I recommend it if you are a chocolate and pastry freak like I am and you are heading to Paris--it was great!) I read this book before heading off on that trip, to prepare me, and it was great inspiration (and also lead me to visit Bernachon in Lyon, which I am dying to go back to). I imagine that over the years I will turn back to this book to remind me of our honeymoon trip. I already whipped it out for advice on re-creating the delicious crepes you find all over Paris. This one is a great cookbook to read as well as to cook from. If you've ever dreamed of visiting France, I think you'll really enjoy it.

I was provided an advanced e-copy of this title though NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher. Receiving a copy did not affect my review. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cookish: What's for breakfast?

English Muffin Bread!

This bread really does have the bubbled texture of an English muffin and toasts up deliciously without your having to try to shape individual English muffins at home. The rise is not terribly long, so it really is possible to make the same day for breakfast (if you're like me, anyway, and have a husband who sleeps in much later than you do on the weekends!)

Recipe from Cook's Country (episodes of the Cook's Country TV show are now available on Amazon Prime!)

2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/4 tsps yeast
1/2 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups milk, heated to 120 degrees.

Whisk all dry ingredients together, then stir in the milk. Cover the bowl with oiled plastic wrap. Let it rise 30 minutes. Stir the dough and put it in a pan that has been greased and coated with cornmeal. Cover it again with greased plastic and let rise for another 30 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, rotating halfway.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Bookish Review: Unbroken

My book club selected this book, and I am so glad they dad. Louis Zamperini, the protagonist of this amazing true story, just passed away yesterday at the age of 97, and as it is July 4th, I think sharing the story of an American hero is very appropriate. Unbroken is Zamperini's life story, including his misspent youth, his rise as a track star, and his service in the Pacific theater during WWII. Most of my knowledge of WWII is focused on what happened in Europe, plus Pearl Harbor, and the atomic bombings, of course. I really didn't know that much about the Pacific theater otherwise, so beyond Zamperini's incredible story of survival, I found the book very interesting for the history lesson alone. Frankly, what happened to Zamperini and others in the war reads like fiction--how could these men have survived? It's very inspirational, and Zamperini's struggles after the war give some insight into PTSD for soldiers. The book is long and meticulously researched, but it's definitely a page turner. Read it before the movie comes out!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bookish Review: Mistakes I Made at Work

As a professor of Organizational Behavior at a university, I thought this book was a fantastic collection of true stories from women's careers. My undergraduate students (particularly the women, but probably the men as well) could really learn a few things from this book. I feel like most young people have to figure things out for themselves and have no idea of the workplace dynamics that they are getting themselves into. This book could constitute a "realistic career preview" to let young women (and men) that they will make some mistakes but can still be very successful. They'll also read stories about not letting others stand in their way or make career choices for them. I think this could be beneficial for older readers as well as these lessons are not easy to learn and these inspirational stories can help encourage people in their career dreams.

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through the First to Read program, which did not affect the content of this review