Girl Power

For my next book review I wanted to spend some time with superhero’s so I choose ‘Batgirl at Super Hero High (DC Super Hero Girls); by Lisa Yee.   So let me start by saying I had no idea this was a book on tape. I thought it was going to be a book, I prefer books but hey you get what you are given. The written word might have made a few more things in this book stick more, but that’s just my opinion.

Anyway the tape runs about 4 1/2 hours on 4 tapes (CD’s) and it is read by Mae Whitman who does a good job.

So the main story is about batgirl wanting to join super hero high. I found the book to be pretty funny at times.  Nice girl power and good friendship.

The story has a lot of DC super hero’s and villains at the school all working together which is a nice twist. Plus a ‘birds of prey’ shout out. (Barbara Gordon is Oracle in that comics/tv show)

At times it felt the book ran  a little too long. Such as all the talks with her father.

And you wonder why the book talks about a tech contest and then all the training at school and then the little bat that is saved but the stories all link up and it kind of works out in the end.

Lots of talk about food will make you hungry that’s for sure.

And the story ends on a ‘To be continued…’ All in all I enjoyed it but I would have liked to have read it instead AND now I have to get the other books because I want to know how it all ends.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Classic German Baking

A German cook book. Now your talking. But first let me start off with my biggest complaint about ‘Classic German Baking: The Very Best Recipes for Traditional Favorites, from Pfeffernüsse to Streuselkuchen’ – by Luisa Weiss, there are not enough pictures of the recipes themselves. When reading a recipe it always helps to see the finished product and decide ‘that looks great I might give that a try’. I mean we have pictures of Berlin which is nice but this is a cook book not a travel book.

Some recipes are a little to complex such as the quark… but other recipes are wonderful. The recipe for Brötchen made my day. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find this kind of bread in the USA? So thank you for that one.

There are also a number of other good recipes that easily take you back to Germany.  (side note: There is a german word misspelled that should have been caught)

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Escape into the Tunnels

You look at the Berlin Wall and think why. ‘The Tunnels Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill’  by Greg Mitchell is an amazing piece of history with a lot of historical background. Some facts I knew others I did not.

I mainly wanted to read this book because not only had I see the Berlin wall (also have a small part of it) but I had family that were stuck in east germany. Very eye opening book.

When one sees the innovation what people did to try and make it past the wall…not just by tunnels but car, balloon, bus just to name a few. And you think about how long it stayed up and how many made it and yet how many people did not…

Its also fascinating to see what went into building a tunnel and how quickly all those weeks of hard work could come to an end when the wrong people would find out about the operation.  Just as shocking was to see how the JFK white house tried to axe the documentary.  But it shows you how the cold war really interlinked the world.

The major escape was captivating. I do like that some photo’s are included and the epilogue was added as well.

My only issue with the book are this:

1) there are a lot of names and at times I would mix them up.

2) It was mention that NBC had uploaded the Tunnel documentary but I would like to have know if/where one can still see the movie.

3) Minor issue but I felt the paper used for printing was a little thin and since this is a book I found myself flipping back and forth in I worried I might rip a page.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

The Snow Queen who is Not Elsa

You know I have never really been a fan of Hans Christian Andersen’s writings. I always find his stores a little too depressing for my taste. I knew the basic story for ‘The Snow Queen A Tale in Seven Stories’  by Hans Christian Andersen and Illustrated by Sanna Annukka.

Yes its the story of the snow queen (no not Elsa from Frozen). The story seems to be a shortened version of the tale. The story is so/so… there’s nothing I can really add to it.

However the drawings for this book are fantastic. So much detail and so well done. I almost wish there had been more drawings then text.

So if your really into fairytales, or into Hans Christian Andersen’s writings or just want to read the non Frozen  story then give it a try…but your eyes are very easily drawn away from the story and to the amazing drawings.

In the end it comes down like this. The snow queen story I would give a low rating because I’ve never been/or will be a fan of it but the drawings are what drew me to the book.  Story no, drawings yes.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

I Saw it in the Window and Just Had to Have it…

I saw it in the window and just had to have it…thank goodness UPS is fast and the book ‘In Such Good Company’ by Carol Burnett, came asap. And yes I really enjoyed getting ‘into the sandbox’ with Carol and the gang I must admit.

Remembering some of the great moments like ‘the family’ that led to the wonderful tv show mama’s family.

Some stories I knew about, other’s I didn’t such as the night she fired Harvey.

The great mama’s family blooper and of course the most iconic skit of them all the dentist.

‘In Such Good Company’ has some wonderful stories such as a trip to Rome, Australia, how hard it is/was being the women in charge and about the Q&A and well just go read it…go on. Bump up the lights and read this book.

But Mrs. Burnett now you’ve got me guessing who the one actor was who wasn’t so great….let the guessing games begin.

It was a good overview of the show, behind the scene’s, the skits they enjoyed doing (like the charwoman), the actors they had fun with, why the show ended or even started in the first place ec. One thing is very clear they all got along very well.

So after reading this book I really wanted to watch some segments so I popped over to youtube for a good laugh. Yes this included the skit with ‘the dress’.

I loved that the book had pictures and at times I wish there had been a few more. But wow this was television where you could sit back, laugh and have a good…make that a great time.

Thank you for such an amazing show that will stand the test of time and for a wonderful book as well.

In closing I will include a Tarzan yell and mention “I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Jump Onto This Adventure

Time to grab some more color pencils another amazing coloring book by Daria Song called  ‘The Night Voyage A Magical Adventure and Coloring Book’ has arrived.

Could you spend hours coloring the little details, yes you could. But I myself find that coloring this book is a waste. The pictures are so lovely and beautifully in black and white I feel coloring them would ruin the magic, But that’s what they are there for. To color them or not I leave up to you.

Each page holds such wonderful little details such as seeing the entire room from above, the little origami birds holding hearts. I loved the little quote on one of the pages about sending a letter which leads you to the last page where you can cut out a card to color and send. Now that one I would color!.

A keen eye will see once or twice there is a package for Daria in some of the pictures.  Don’t forget to check under the cover, a hidden picture is always to be found there.

Oh and the expressions oh Phoebe the cat throughout the book priceless.

I hope Daria Song has a 4th book planned because I want to magic to continue.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

A Not So Glorious book

You ever get a book that you hope you will like but you just know your not going to enjoy it and yet you try anyway?!?!

For me  ‘The Glorious Heresies: A Novel’ by Lisa McInerney is that book. Sure it won awards, and people are singing its praises and calling it funny, dark and complex but I must have gotten a different book because the book I read was none of those things.

I was expecting a story like ‘the girl with the dragon tattoo by Stieg Larsson’ mixed with ‘the 100 year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared by Jonas Jonasson’ instead my attention kept drifting to other house hold chores I still had to do. I also got a neck ache because I kept falling asleep.

I liked the idea of a number of stories coming together but I could care less about any of these characters and really had to keep flipping to the cover of the book to keep them all apart until I lost interest.

The cover did nothing for me either and really what sold me on even trying this book was the very funny description that I must say was better then the book.

In other words this was not the book for me.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Olivia de Havilland’s Book is Timeless

‘Every Frenchman Has One’ By Olivia de Havilland.

Yes that Olivia de Havilland. Let me start by saying that 5 stars is not enough for this book, it needs more. Better yet just buy the book.

Olivia de Havilland has such a wonderful writing style. She talks about her living experiences in France. The humorous stories such as dealing with french doctors, french painters,  french drivers…the list goes on and on.

Her humor flies off the pages.

‘Every Frenchman Has One’ is so laugh out loud funny… I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. Sure I might have gotten strange looks from other people in the room but I didn’t care.

This book will leave you with a smile on your face the entire time your reading it. Short and sweet.

It doesn’t matter if ‘Every Frenchman Has One’  was originally published in 1961 this book is timeless. On a funny note this is a very tiny book, think smaller then an iPad mini.

I do wish that the additional interview by Olivia de Havilland at the end had been a little longer but better to have had something then nothing at all.

Oh and happy 100th Birthday Olivia de Havilland and thank you for writing such a wonderful book.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Run Wolf Run

I always try and say something nice so I will start by saying I liked the dedication at the start of the book….

I had just finished watching the The Shannara Chronicles on MTV so I was looking forward to reading a book about another post-apocalyptic futuristic world. So that is how ‘The Wolf Road: A Novel’ by Beth Lewis ended up in my hands.

I had a number of issues with this book. I never got the full sense of how much the world had changed I must admit. I would like to have had a better guess as to where the story plays out. I believe its British Columbia and the Yukon but I never got this full sense of the world they are now living in.

One already knows how the book will turn out in the first chapter with Elka’s confrontation with Trapper. Kind of predictable what will happen with the young boy so the shocking ending is not so shocking.

A very big issue with this book is that it is very, very slow. Way to much detail and thinking from elka that really does not move the story forward.

About half way into the book the story finally starts to pick up a little. This is about the time the wolf pops up as well as Penelope.

Elka and  Penelope are an interesting pair. But I wish the wolf had been used more.

Another issue is that this book is violent, very violent. Think hannibal lecter but that does not come out until the very end. I mean there is a big difference in hinting to the reader that the meat might NOT be deer or pig but to openly say it well…that’s something else. There is a fine line.

Also at times the accents drove me nuts but then other times it did not.

I wasn’t a fan of the ending either. You’d think  Magistrate Lyons would have forgiven and let Elka be but no.

I expected better. I wanted a faster pace, characters that popped more, more feeling of being in this world and less people eating…and no I’m not kidding about the last part.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Everything you ever wanted to know about Broth and Stock

If you cook you know you need Broth and Stock’s for certain meals. Sure most of us buy them in little dry cubes or even in cans but this book ‘Broth and Stock from the Nourished Kitchen: Wholesome Master Recipes for Bone, Vegetable, and Seafood Broths and Meals to Make with Them’ by: Jennifer McGruther will show you how to make your own.

This cook book gives a wonderful overview of the differences between broth and stock and even talks about bone broth/stock.

There are a number of good tips about what vegetables add a nice base to flavor and what ones can acaully harm/make your broth/stock taste off.

But wait there are also fish, greens and mushroom stock which was an interesting addition to the book. I had never really thought about mushroom stock I must admit.

The kitchen scrap broth yes that one I know that one very well.

I liked some of the recipes, such as the easy miso soup. But it also pointed out beef tea or morning broth, I’m not sure I’d make it but its an interesting fact to know.

All in all a good book to have. But one thing is clear a good cook book makes you want to cook and this one sure does.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”