Thursday, January 15, 2015

Like a Flower in Bloom - A Book Review

Charlotte Withersby has been assisting her botanist father her entire life.  She loves plants and flowers and has little desire for anything else.  She is twenty-two years old and her uncle, The Admiral, decides that she must marry to fulfill her proper roll as a woman - to be a wife and a mother.

Charlotte's father depends on her for everything so Charlotte is certain that he will disregard her uncle's advice and keep things as they are, but when Edward Trimble shows up and is hired by Charlotte's father to replace her as his assistant, Charlotte knows she is going to have to come up with a plan and quick.  She decides that she will pretend to have an interest in marriage and in turn her father will be worried of her marrying the wrong man and change his mind and put an end to the ridiculous plan.  Charlotte soon finds that she is in over her head.  She soon has more suitors than she knows what to do with and the one man that recognizes her intelligence as a botanist is Edward.

I really struggled with this book and was so glad to finally get to the end.  One problem I had is that I really am not fond of books written in the first person narrative.  It's my personal preference, but I just don't like stories written from that point of view.  On top of that I felt the story lacked luster.  In fact it just about bored me to tears.  I love flower and plants, but the details of plants in this book were too much for me.  I also felt like the author's attempt at being funny came across as corny.  

The cover is absolutely beautiful and I really wanted to like this book.  I tried to get past my dislike of the first person narrative, but by chapter nine I new for certain that the book was not going to turn around for me.  I plunged forward and was never more happy to see the end of a book.

***This book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

The Beekeeper's Son - A Book Review

It has been two years since Abigail Lantz's  husband died and she decides it is time to move on.  She moves her family to Bee County, Texas to live with her brother and to be near a childhood beau in hopes of a new beginning.  Her daughter Deborah is less than thrilled.  She misses their home in Tennessee, her friends and her beau.  As soon as her mother and younger siblings are settled she is determined to head back home, all she is waiting on is a letter from Aaron.  She soon discovers that the plans she thought she had in Tennessee have fallen through and now she is stuck in Texas and is trying to discover what God's plan is for her life.

Phineas King is a man covered in scars from a horrific accident that also killed his mother when he was eight years old.  He has grown accustomed to the looks of shock and pity from everyone he meets.  He chooses to keep to himself whenever possible and focuses his time on the bees that his family raises.  He is bitter and doesn't think that anyone will ever love him or even want to look at him.  When Deborah meets Phineas her first reaction is shock, but she looks past his scars and sees the man inside.  She tries her best to try to get to know him, but Phineas is intent on pushing her away.  Can they both put aside their disappointments and past hurts to find the joy that God has in store for their future?

I really loved this book!  The author Kelly Irvin has a great writing style that pulled me right into the story!  My heart broke for Phineas at the pain he has felt in his lifetime.  I enjoyed Deborah's boldness and spirited personality.  The story of Phineas and Deborah was great, but I also enjoyed the other character's and their stories.  I would love to read more about Abigail and the new life she is beginning and I hope the author decides to write another book and expand more on her!

***This book was provided to me through the booklook bloggers program in exchange for my review.

The Pizza Bible - A Book Review

I am a lover of pizza.  So, besides pizza, what does a pizza lover need?  Well, a Pizza Bible of course.  Well at least that's what I thought I needed.  Turns out I was wrong.  Although I enjoyed reading The Pizza Bible, it really hasn't enhanced my life much.

I'm just an average girl who likes pizza on Friday nights.  For an average person like me, this book is way over rated.  It is better suited for the dedicated cook or someone who is super serious about making pizza's.  The author Tony Gemignana is an 11-time World Pizza Champ and he takes pizza making VERY serious.  He has a motto "respect the craft" and in The Pizza Bible he shares his secrets of "the craft".  The thing for me is that it is just too complicated.  Out of all the recipes in the book, there were none that I had everything on hand for.  For the pizza crust he uses specialty flours that you have to order online, yeah not that all-purpose flour that we all use, and it actually takes three days to make.  Yikes!  There are a lot of times that I don't know I want pizza three days in advance!  On top of that there is a Gearing Up section that lists the things you need before starting and there were several items that I don't own.  I'm not looking to spend a lot of money just so I can make great pizzas.  According to my family, my homemade pizza's are pretty great anyway.

Another thing that disappointed me was the quality of the book.  At first glance it looks like a nice sturdy book, but after looking through it a couple times the spine is already tearing away from the hardcover.   According to other reviews I have read this is a common problem with the book.  Also, there is an insert in the beginning of the book of corrections.  Apparently there are several mistakes within the book and their way to correct this is by including an insert that I overlooked at first.

What I did enjoy about the book was the style.  Tony has a great way with words that made the reading sections of the book very entertaining to me.  He included some pizza facts and history that I though was very interesting and in true Bible form he included The Ten Commandments of Pizza.  The pictures were great and look delicious!  I would love to try one of the pizza's in the cookbook, but not enough to go out and spend a bunch of money, time and energy!

***This book was provided to me through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, January 5, 2015

The New American Herbal - A Book Review

I have always been fascinated by herbs.  I love to grow them, I use them both for cooking and medicinal purposes and I have a lot of books on the subject.  Although I have been studying herbs for several years I know I still have so much to learn on the subject.  I was so excited to receive The New American Herbal book.  This book is so jammed pack with information!  The pictures inside are absolutely gorgeous!  I seriously, just spent some time flipping through the book and enjoying the beautiful pictures.  

The book covers everything from herb basics, herbal preparations, garden projects, kitchen projects, specialty herbs and so much more.  There is an Herbs A to Z section that fills the majority of the book.  This section is a comprehensive guide that covers each herb beginning with Agrimony and ending with Yarrow.  The pages are indexed on the side which makes it easy to flip through and find the letter and herb you are looking for which comes in handy for quick references.  Each herb is described with plenty of information and pictures to give you apt knowledge on the individual herbs.

This book is going on my shelf of favorites and I know it is something that I will be referring to for years to come.  I can't wait to try some of the recipes that I found inside!  If you are a beginning herbalist or have been at it for years this book will be a beneficial addition to your library!  

***This book was provided to me by blogging for books in exchange for my honest review.