Thursday, May 14, 2015

Infuse by Eric Prum & Josh Williams

Infuse, by Eric Prum and John Williams is a pretty book about infusing different flavors into olive oil, alcohol, and water. Now, before I write my review, let me say that I am not someone who drinks alcohol, so at least 1/3 of this book could not be appreciated fully by me. So -- that being said, infusions are a very fun way to expand your regular repertoire. Infused olive oil gives new life to old recipes, spices things up a bit. Infused waters seem all the rage right now, encouraging people to drink their water by increasing the flavor.

If you are new to infusing "stuff" maybe you'll be interested in this book. For me, it seemed like not very many recipes, mostly pictures. Now, they are gorgeous pictures!! but not enough for me to pay $25 for a book. This would make a good coffee-table type book, with all the pretty photos. I guess I was just looking for more in this book than there was. I wish that there were even more recipes. The ones that are in the book do sound interesting!

I really liked the dispenser top for the mason jars that the authors invented. Looks helpful!

All in all, maybe this would be a good gift-ish book, for someone who you are not sure what to buy for, or a good hostess gift. The price is steep, but the pictures are really gorgeous. I know I keep saying that, but to me the pictures are maybe the most appreciated part.

I received this book for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Chance of Loving You (collection of 3 stories. . .by Terri Blackstock, Candace Calvert, and Susan May Warren)

This book, Chance of Loving You, is a "romance collection." Three stories, each by well-known authors, all combined into one book. Sounded interesting!

Honestly, I did not like this book or these stories. They were kind of romance for the sake of romance, and that is not the genre of book I love. I thought that since I like the authors, I might like their romance stories as well, but not really. The stories were kind of fluffy and unrealistic. . .just romance without much other story line. There was a LITTLE bit of story line, but not much.

The first story, by Terri Blackstock, revolved around a man who gets a lottery ticket, splits it with a waitress he just met, and they fall in love.

The second story, by Candace Calvert, is about a nutritionist who is entering a cooking contest, works at a nursing home, helps one of the residents, and falls in love.

The third, by Susan May Warren, is about a smart girl who lost her love and wishes she had him back. And she gets him back.

If you like romance books, and if you are looking for short stories, this may be for you! Not my style, not for me. The positive thing I would say is that they are clean stories, not objectionable.

I wouldn't really recommend this book.

I received this book for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

The authors who wrote stories in this book were Terri Blackstock (her bio is here), Candace Calvert (her bio is here), and Susan May Warren (bio here.)

Until the Harvest by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Until the Harvest by Sarah Loudin Thomas is a fiction book that is a follow-up to another book I reviewed last year (see that review here). The story is that of a young woman (Margaret), a young man (Henry), Henry's mom and grandma, Margaret's sister, and a few other characters. Henry loses his father unexpectedly and is left kind of at odds in life. Margaret's parents don't want her or her sister. Henry's Grandma and Mother are widows.

Added into this mix are running moonshine (and illegal drugs), a miracle-working young girl, an unplanned pregnancy, a pair of 90-something year old lovebirds, and much more. Much, much more. Possibly too much more. To me the story seemed a bit boring on one hand, and too disjointed, running in many different directions in the other. There are many characters which are developed, their situations followed and explained. It is kind of hard for me to pick out what the main line of the story is.

Readers may enjoy the references to life on the farm and supportive women.

As with her previous book there is a "magic-y" component to this one as well. The younger sister, Mayfair, seems to have the ability to heal people of physical ailments. Not my favorite part of the book.

All in all, it's a fine story. Not a book to keep me up reading at night. Not one that I was eager to get back to. Just an okay, entertaining, clean read. Not a favorite of mine.

I received this book for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Acing the ACT by Elizabeth King

Excellent test prep book!!

Are you looking forward to taking standardized tests? Of course you want yourself (or your student) to give the very best representation via the tool of standardized tests. Of course, there are the inherent issues such as do standardized tests accurately reflect/predict a student's potential. . .but that is not at question here. These tests are used by college admissions, so you need to do your best at them!

This book, Acing the ACT, is small, short, right to the point book to give tips about how to do your very best on the ACT. The author gives ideas of how to answer certain types of questions, how to zip through the questions, how to look at each question, and more. She includes a full section of memorization -- things to memorize to have at the top of your head (formulas for areas, perimeters, etc).

The author gives a summary and helpful information about each of the sections of the test: English, math, reading, science, and the essay. AND -- she accomplishes this all in 131 pages! Small pages! Easy-to-read pages!

My daughter has a year and a half or so before she starts taking tests like this, but I will definitely have her read this to get her ready for the test. I think it is written in a way that it is easy and not intimidating for high-schoolers to read. The author did a great job and accomplished the goal which the book sets out to complete.

Thank you to the author for sharing such great, easy to understand tips.

I highly recommend this book.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.