Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Affordable Feasts Collection by Canadian Living

The Affordable Feasts Collection
by Canadian Living
Transcontinental Books
ISBN: 978-0-9877474-3-3
Buy from Indigo

Description: When there's no room in your budget for luxuries, you can still eat like royalty at home. All it takes is a Tested-Till-Perfect Canadian Living recipe to turn an inexpensive supermarket staple into a feast.

The Affordable Feasts Collection brings together a selection of the best budget-friendly recipes created by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen. Each chapter focuses on a specific type of ingredient that's always reasonably priced -- ground meat, chicken thighs, beans, pasta, root veggies and more. The Test Kitchen dresses up these ingredients with inexpensive, flavourful pantry and freezer staples and affordable fresh ingredients, creating mouthwatering meals that taste like you spent a fortune.

Packed with helpful tips from Canada's most trusted food experts, The Affordable Feasts Collection helps home cooks stretch their grocery budget -- without sacrificing flavour or quality. Recipes are family-focused, with options for both day-to-day dinners and special occasion meals. That means you can sit back, relax and enjoy dinner, knowing that it's going to be delicious without breaking the bank.

The Good Stuff
  • Simple, easy to follow instructions
  • Ingredients are easily available at most chain grocery stores
  • Great variety of recipes
  • Useful information about making cheaper cuts of meat taste divine 
  • Will never eat another hamburger again - the pork burgers are fantabulous and NO breadcrumbs needed (which is perfect for my cutting out wheat in my diet)
  • The photographs (cough cough should be way more of them) are simple yet show off the recipe perfectly and are extremely appetizing looking
  • It's Canadian - never been very good at math so American cookbooks are frustrating as I always have to convert the measurements (thank god for online conversion sites -- shhh don't tell my son I cheated)
  • Love the nutritional value information
  • All the recipes we tried, and by the  way, my boys both helped me make them all  & they turned out perfectly

The Not So Good Stuff
  •  Not enough pictures
  • No desserts
  • Not a lot of low fat type meals
Favorite Recipes
  • Tomato Chili Flank Steak w/ Grilled Cauliflower - Pg 54
  • Chicken Paprikash - Pg 72
  • Pork Burgers - Pg 80
  • Maple Buttermilk Grilled Chicken - Pg 93
  • Jalepeno Bean Cakes w/ Lime Mayo - Pg 118
  • Slow Cooker Pumpkin Coconut Soup - Pg 224 (I substituted with butternut squash like was suggested if we couldn't find pumpkin)

Who Should/Shouldn't Use
  • Perfect for the beginner cook 
  • An ideal cookbook for families, especially those on a budget
  • Advanced cook may be a little bored by the meals
4.25 Dewey's

We received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review

Pictures (More to come)


Wylde on Health by Bryce Wylde & CONTEST

Wylde on Health
by Bryce Wylde
Random House
ISBN: 978-0-307-35587-4
Buy from Indigo

Description:The value of living healthily is indisputable, but what exactly can we do in our daily lives to be our healthiest self? In his new book, Bryce Wylde sets out to answer that question. He sorts out the confusing terminology used to describe natural medicine and leads us through a process of discovery about our own real state of health by showing how state-of-the-art self-testing now permits us to properly assess where we're vulnerable and where we're not. Whether you are worried about a vitamin deficiency or wonder if you're lacking the "feel good" brain hormone serotonin or even if you just want to ensure you're not wasting your money on supplements you'll learn what simple steps to take to test yourself. Wylde surveys and individually rates an array of present-day natural remedies from a no-nonsense, evidence-based perspective. He takes us on a guided tour of today's hottest health trends, highlighting what is good and steering us away from what is dubious (or outright snake oil). Underlying Wylde's ratings is the very latest research and he makes it clear that in the face of the astronomical rise in disease and the ubiquity of nutrient-devoid foods, we have no choice but to supplement our diets with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants if we want to live to our fullest potential.
Finally, Wylde on Health explores how we will increasingly use the strategic supplementation he recommends to redress genetic predispositions the future of preventative health care.

The Good Stuff
  •  I'm originally from Toronto and have been watching Wylde for years on CP24 & have always found him to be honest and believable so I had to get a copy of this.  And also damn I miss CP24, nothing as good here in Calgary & don't even get me started on the differences between BT Toronto & BT Calgary - miss you Frankie & Frankish
  • Honest & trustworthy
  • Extremely readable without too much medical jargon at the same time no dumbing down of information
  • Subscribes to my type of medical care - integrated. In other words utilizing both main stream medicine and natural remedies
  • Does all the research for me
  • Learned so much & its all quite practical
  • Stresses the importance of preventative health care, which really can make a huge change in your quality of life
  • Extremely well researched & well organized
  • Geeked out with all the QR Barcode links to video clips - truly unique and wonderful use of technology
  • In-depth appendices (I know, I know I'm a library nerd)

The Not So Good Stuff
  • Can't seem to think of anything other than a little more humour would have been nice & he mentions himself quite a bit which is a little irritating at times
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"We share the conviction that the future of health care must and will be a thoughtful integration of evidence-based Western medicine with CAM practices, which are also increasingly evidence-based, and are very often founded on thousands of years of human use.  We also concur that health is best achieved when patients' care is personalized and they are active participants in it."

"My primary motive is to empower consumers to make appropriate educated choices in the realm of natural and complementary alternative choices that are often found over the counter at your local pharmacy or health food store."

"The standard medical model, as widely practiced, rarely takes into account the unique genetic makeup of each individual, exposures to environmental toxins and the aspects of today's lifestyle that have a direct influence on how healthy we are. In other words, the current health care model fails to confront any semblance of cause and solutions when it comes to chronic disease."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Good for pretty much everyone, especially those wanting to take charge of their health and quality of life
  • Those who take alternative health practices without any research
4.5 Dewey's

I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review

Canada Only
Ends February 5, 2013
Prize: Copy of Wylde on Health
TO Enter: In comments section just tell me why you want the book

Friday, January 18, 2013

Moranthology by Caitlin Moran

by Caitlin Moran
ISBN: 978-0-06-225853-3
Buy from Indigo 

Description: The very best of Caitlin Moran in the first ever collection of her writing.

In How To Be a Woman, I was limited to a single topic: women. Their hair, their shoes and their crushes on Aslan from The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (which I KNOW to be universal).

However! In my new book Moranthology as the title suggests I am set free to tackle THE REST OF THE WORLD: Ghostbusters, Twitter, caffeine, panic attacks, Michael Jacksons memorial service, being a middle-class marijuana addict, Doctor Who, binge-drinking, Downton Abbey, pandas, my own tragically early death, and my repeated failure to get anyone to adopt the nickname I have chosen for myself: Puffin.

I go to a sex-club with Lady Gaga, cry on Paul McCartneys guitar, get drunk with Kylie, appear on Richard & Judy as a gnome, climb into the TARDIS, sniff Sherlock Holmess pillows at 221b Baker Street, write Amy Winehouses obituary, turn up late to Downing Street for Gordon Brown, and am rudely snubbed at a garden party by David Cameron although thats probably because I called him A C3PO made of ham. Fair enough.

And, in my spare time between hangovers I rant about the welfare state, library closures and poverty; like a shit Dickens or Orwell, but with tits.

The Good Stuff
  • Call me Caitlin we would sooo get along - even better I say we do a Girls Night Out with Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey, Jenny Lawson, you and me. It would be - to quotes m 4 yr old - EPIC!
  • Laugh out loud funny yet touching and honest
  • Vicki told me I would love it and she was right -- thanks for the chat about this author that night at Lemony Snickett
  • The night time conversations between Caitlin and her hubby are hilarious
  • The MTV Hoes piece is right on - nicely written Caitlin
  • The girl is real people - she says it like it is
  • The women has mad love for Libraries - that is all you need to know - anyone who loves libraries this much has to be truly awesome
  • That's it I have to watch Doctor Who and Sherlock
  • Self deprecating - you know I love that in a person
The Not So Good Stuff
  • Do you know how hard it was to choose only 3 quotes
  • It ended
  • Dammit I have enough books to read, now I have to buy "How to be a Woman"
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"However many terrible, rankling, peeve-inducing things may occur, there are always libraries."

"But one of the things I most love about this country is that we do not, will not, stare at each other. The British  will not spend all day gawking at each other in the drizzle, however odd we may look. The entire cast of Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert could roll into Starbucks, with candy-colored cockatiels flying out of their hair, and -after a brief glance upwards- everyone would studiously go back to reading their papers, as if the door had merely been blown open by the wind. In a cramped, crowded nation, we know the essence of politeness is ignoring pretty much everyone around us."

"A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency  exit, a life raft and a festival.  They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination. On a cold, rainy island, they are the only sheltered public spaces where you are not a consumer, but a citizen instead. A human with a brain and a heart and a desire to be uplifted, rather than a consumer with a credit card and an inchoate "need" for "stuff""

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • If you don't like this I don't think we could be friends
  • It's on my staff picks people - you know you have to read it

4.5 Dewey's

I received from HarperCollins Canada in exchange for an honest review - thanks Shannon!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Book Adicts Haul

Sorry guys this stay at home mom gig has put me seriously behind again. Have tons of post to type up and never the time or energy to do them.  Hopefully this will be the beginning of a fresh new start

Book Addicts Haul

For Review
Thanks Penguin UK

Thanks Amber Polo, Simon and Schuster, W.M. Norton and Random House

Thanks Random House

Thanks HarperCollins Canada

Thanks Indigo
Thanks Random House

From Chapters Shawnessy

Xmas Presents for the boys from Me & Angela Pressland

Xmas Presents for Jeff

Boxing Day Purchases

From Chapters Shawnessy & Capt Underpants from Sim!

Thanks Jenn & Terri

Won from Mommy Moment Twitter Party