Roundup of Reviews

Between vacation, getting Sunnymeade ready for spring and some health issues, I haven't been blogging a lot, but I've been reading (of course!)!

Here's the latest I've popped a bookmark into...

The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister

This is just a sweet little follow up to Bauermeister's novel The School of Essential Ingredients, which I loved. Though I had forgotten the characters, I had no problem delving back into their lives and how Lillian's cooking school pulls everyone together. Cozy and relaxing, this is a great read on a sleepy Sunday morning with a cuppa coffee nearby...

The China Study by T. Colin Campbell

My sister recommended this book to me as I begin my new healthier lifestyle, and it advocates a plant-based diet for health, based on studies done in China and their longevity and diet. Though it gets a bit heavy handed on its attack on the dairy industry, and a bit dense with statistics (I would start blurring after a while!), it really makes point after point about how important this type of diet can be to healing everything from cancer to heart attacks. Eye opening.

Bared to You and Reflected in You by Sylvia Day

This erotica trilogy has been held up as better-written Fifty Shades novel, and my, how much BETTER it is than Fifty Shades! Though it doesn't have the major BDSM aspects, this is erotica written for women, with a strong alpha male and a female that (finally!) isn't such a damn shrinking violet. They are both damaged and lost, and the two books (and I'm sure the third) explore whether two victims of abuse can have a healthy relationship. It's a big heavy on the controlling aspect of the alpha male, and there are so many sex scenes they can become formulaic, but overall, I was really interested and intrigued by these characters - I finished the first book and immediately began the second, something I rarely do with a trilogy! Need something other than Fifty Shades? Check out this much better written, *much* more interesting trilogy!

The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Leganski

My only regret with reading this magical, bayou-based novel was that I was reading it really disjointedly, a few pages here and there, while I was on vacation. This is a book that deserves long stretches of reading so you can really hear the characters, and really see all the clues that lead to the ending. Bonaventure doesn't speak, but boy, can he hear...he hears everything from flowers budding to a comet in the night sky. His mother is raising him alone, his father murdered in the opening pages, and another lady with a touch of magic comes into his life a bit later. So many interesting characters, so many little ties and twists that bind them together - what an engaging, lyrical novel! I loved it! Highly recommended!

The Colour of Milk by Nell Leyshon

this is a difficult novel to get into because its written in a stream of consciousness way as though it were a diary with very little punctuation and no distinction of when its a conversation and when its the narrators thoughts, so you really have to concentrate while you read it since you dont have grammatical clues. short and to the point, this novel is about mary who is sent to the vicar's house to serve as a maid, and becomes entwined in the lives of those who reside there because of her spunk and attitude. a pretty surprising ending, and once i got the hang of it, it was a fast read, but im not sure its something i recommend.

A Royal Pain by Megan Mulry

I read this several weeks ago, and honestly I can't remember any of the characters or details, which is a sign that a book had very little impact on me. All I can remember is the feeling that I had somehow accidentally skipped chapters because the story had such disjointed parts, and didn't seem to flow well. Not much to report here, folks...

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I loved the premise of this non-fiction book...Rubin vowed to try and improve one part of her life - her happiness project - each month for a year. Her projects ranged from doing things for her home to her marriage to her self fulfillment. She wrote honestly and had some great ideas, and some stumbles, that made her all the more human. A very inspiring read to all make ourselves HAPPY!

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

This was a wonderful book, as recommended by my friend Nat. Set on an island off the coast of Australia, the marriage of Tom and Isabel is solid - but for their intense desire for a baby. When one washes ashore in a dinghy - along with a dead body - the choices they make have ripples throughout many lives throughout the rest of the novel. Set in the early part of the 20th century, I loved the isolation of the island, and how vividly the author described it; I loved the details of each character, and how much we got to know them; and I even loved the period setting of the novel. What a transportive read - I flew through this in a day! Recommended!

Midnight Promises by Cheryl Woods

I listened to this novel, a part of the "Sweet Magnolias" series. A bit too earnest, cloying, sickly sweet and slow for me, but I'm sure others who enjoy a cozy read would enjoy it...

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