Saturday, May 2, 2015

I Can Cook Smarter.

Imagine this.

You have a secret potion that you can consume, over time. It will make you smarter, happier, and healthier -- all while tasting great and looking beautiful.
Too good to be true?

Maybe not, according to Katz and Edelson, the brains behind The Healthy Mind Cookbook.

While many cookbooks focus heavily on foods and recipes that make you thinner or more beautiful, Katz and Edelson take a different focus in The Healthy Mind Cookbook -- one that looks at mood, memory, and mental functioning.

Beginning with several chapters that outline the role of nutrition on stress, anxiety, cognition, learning, and mood, The Healthy Mind does an excellent job detailing the benefits of every day foods, with a strong focus on mental health and general well-being. Chapter 2 in particular, titled "The Culinary Pharmacy," serves as a handy reference tool for the mental perks ranging from "Allspice" to "Yogurt," which leads to a chapter on the basics of taste and flavor in healthy foods.

And then the real fun begins, with chapters of beautifully illustrated recipes, focused on soups, vegetables, meats, "anytime foods," beverages, and even desserts. While I wish that each recipe contained its own gorgeous photograph, the ones that were included were fresh and vibrant enough to lure me into the kitchen.


The Healthy Mind Cookbook is a beautiful cookbook that will surely inspire readers to cook more intelligently and happily than ever before, using fresh, mostly organic ingredients that are sure to do a body good --- and hopefully the brain as well. Regardless, it will look amazing on my book shelf, and will hopefully encourage me to add more vegetables and nuts to my next meal.

I received an advanced reader's copy of this cookbook from the 'Blogging for Books' program. All thoughts are my own and are not influenced by the manner in which the work was received.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I Can't Pretend

The Secrets We Keep

Hardcover304 pages
Expected publication: April 28th 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Imagine this.

You have an identical twin -- a soul that you love almost more than your own, but one that seems so distant and so opposite while looking so much like your own.

Imagine that you have a devastating disagreement... and then you are driving, on a dark and stormy night, with your twin in the passenger seat. She is the one everyone adores... the one everyone wants to be.

And she is the one who dies in the tragic car accident that night.

You know that everyone wishes it were her still here... and you know, of course, that you were identical twins. So, what would it hurt to appease them? To just be her?

Then what if you learned a secret... a lie... about the sister that has now become you.  What if it's too late to back out now?

One thing I loved.

The story line as a whole was just intriguing, compelling, and heartfelt. I loved seeing the growth and development of Ella as she worked through the internal struggles of wanting to find love for herself and wanting to appease her family by becoming the sister she always thought they loved more.

One thing I didn't.

The whole secret that Maddy was hiding was a little anticlimactic for me, I think. I was just expecting more somehow...


This was a beautiful and haunting story of a teenage girl's intense love for her sister and family and the struggles she faced with trying to reconcile her own journey to self discovery with the expectations of those around her. I would highly recommend this novel for avid fans of contemporary YA fiction -- especially those who prefer something a little more heartfelt.

*I did receive an advanced reader's copy of this book for the purposes of providing an honest review. My opinions and thoughts are not influenced by the manner in which the novel was received. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

I Can't Wait!!!

Coming soon!

Almost here!

April 7, 2015

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I Wasn't Raptured

Vivian Apple at the End of the World (Vivian Apple #1)

Hardcover262 pages
Published January 6th 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers 

Imagine this.

You wake up one morning, all alone. There is nothing around you, except for two large holes in the roof ... right above the bed where your parents sleep.

This must be the RAPTURE -- the hottest topic of conversation since the birth of the Church of America. Your parents had recently converted to this Church, obsessed with the new prophet -- who had promised the end of the world, soon. Only the Chosen would escape the wrath and destruction of the Apocalypse.

It's almost the end of the world, and you are Vivian Apple -- a sheltered teenage girl who has no idea what to believe any more. But you know that everything is not as it seems, and you will stop at nothing to uncover the TRUTH -- whatever that may be....

One thing I loved.

...the setting of a pre-apocalyptic world in a state of craziness and disarray against the backdrop of a newly prominent religion with the power to fully alter the course of life for all of its players.

I also enjoyed the character of Wambaugh, a smart and spunky teacher who encouraged her students to think for themselves while being open-minded and respectful of the world around them.

One thing I didn't.

I wasn't really crazy about the truth behind the rapture and the Church of America. I think I went into this story expecting something more dystopian than what I received. This is really, more or less, the story of a teenage girl finding herself and her strength in a world that's seemingly gone a little crazy.

Overall. entertaining coming-of-age story against a backdrop of religious fanaticism gone wrong. This will most likely appeal to fans of YA fiction with a contemporary feel and a hint of apocalyptic madness.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I am Green!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, dear readers!

I'm sharing the best GREEN cover from the TBR stack right beside my bed....

I can't wait to read this one... since I'm such a fan of Beth Revis, in general.

Everyone -- share a GREEN cover, in the comments, from *your* TBR stack.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

I saw Dark Funnels

For the FEATURED new release of the week (March 10, 2015)

Patti Parker watched the dark funnel grow until it filled the whole windshield, blackening the sky. Its two-hundred-mile-per-hour winds were furious enough to blast the bark off trees, suck the nails out of a two-by-four, and peel a road right off the earth, and it was charging at sixty miles per hour toward everything she loved most in the world— her children, her husband, their home. She was racing behind the massive storm, down the seven-mile stretch of rural highway between her and the life she knew...

Cross, Kim (2015-03-10). What Stands in a Storm: Three Days in the Worst Superstorm to Hit the South's Tornado Alley (Kindle Locations 157-160). Atria Books. Kindle Edition.

This is definitely NOT one to miss.