Book Review: The Here and Now

Why I picked it: I've read a few books written by the author, I enjoyed My Name is Memory (time travel with historical content) and my book club read one of the traveling pants books (summer fluff selection).  Just good fun.

Synopsis: Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

Meet seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth. But everything changes when she falls for Ethan Jarves.

Quick Take:  I'm not sure what to say about this book, it's YA and a quick read. It's much lighter than the Divergent series, but good. The adult version would have delved more into the impact of everything on the future, global warming, disease, etc.  

If you are looking for an entertaining, quick YA selection this is a good choice. I'm curious to see if reader's will love this one... I really enjoyed My Name is Memory, click here to read my thoughts/review.  

Click here to read Ti's review (Book Chatter) 

Rating: 3 stars
Source: Review Copy (NetGalley)

Book Review: To a Mountain in Tibet

Why I picked it: Mountains, Tibet.. the title says it all right?

Synopsis: In the wake of his mother's death, Thubron sets off to Mount Kailas in Tibet, a peak sacred to one-fifth of the world's population and the source of four of India's great rivers. Kailas has never been climbed: the slopes are important to Tibetan Buddhists.

It is the poignant evocations of his mother and sister (who died at 21), interwoven with his profound respect for the Tibetan culture and landscape that make Thubron's memoir an utterly moving read.

Quick Take: I listened to Thubron's journey while walking my dogs last month.  This book is not for everyone... but I loved it, mostly for the cultural bits.

The author shares a few stories with us, from family legacy, loss and how this impacts the author; the physical journey in the mountains; and a cultural / spiritual aspect. Did you know the folklore suggests Tibetan Mountains fly and that Buddha nailed them down. There's a reason we turn clockwise, Hindus say shooting stars are sky gods descent to bathe in water, and Tibet has a holy month?

I have been working on the idea of a visit to Nepal/Tibet/India - I would love to hike Annapurna and/or base camp of Everest.  This book only adds to my passion for getting there!

If a book on Tibet is too much for you, here's an article about the book published on The Guardian that you might enjoy.

Rating: 4 stars
Source: Personal Copy

Book Review: Tempting Fate

Why I Picked it: This topic interests me, even knowing it's fiction it still provides insight to 'risking everything'.  I have mentioned in previous posts that I know/have heard stories of women dealing with their version of this story. It's also the stage of life I'm in, mid-forties with children no longer the primary focus and most of us have time to observe, think, wonder.  As the author says, 'the afternoon of life'.   

Synopsis: When Gabby first met Elliott she knew he was the man for her. In twenty years of marriage she has never doubted her love for him - even when he refused to give her the one thing she still wants most of all. But now their two daughters are growing up Gabby feels that time and her youth are slipping away. For the first time in her life she is restless. And then she meets Matt . . .

Intoxicated by the way this young, handsome and successful man makes her feel, Gabby is momentarily blind to what she stands to lose on this dangerous path. And in one reckless moment she destroys all that she holds dear.

Consumed by regret, Gabby does everything she can to repair the home she has broken. But are some betrayals too great to forgive.

Quick Take: I chose to listen to the audio vs. reading this novel, it was like listening to a friend tell me the story of another friend over a glass of wine.  Understanding the feelings the main character was dealing with and why she felt the way she did at times was interesting. 

If women are honest and read/listen to this book, we are familiar with the emotions and work/life balance struggles Gabby encounters.  It's the choices and actions that predict the outcome. 

I especially liked reading the post betrayal depression, coming to terms with what happened, the impact on her family, and their future.  The husbands reaction felt real.  The last book I read covering this topic with a compelling story was Jane Porter's novel, The Good Woman.

This isn't a happy, life is wonderful book but well worth the reading experience.
Have you read it?  Did you enjoy it?

Rating: 4 stars
Source: Personal Copy (Audio)

Book Reviews... in a flash!

Sharing a memoir and two cookbooks with you today. While I enjoyed reading each, I struggled to 'rate/review' two of the three. 

Glitter and Glue When Kelly Corrigan was in high school, her mother neatly summarized the family dynamic as “Your father’s the glitter but I’m the glue.”

After college, armed with a backpack, her personal mission statement, and a wad of traveler’s checks, she took off for Australia to see things and do things and Become Interesting.

This is a book about the difference between travel and life experience, stepping out and stepping up, fathers and mothers. But mostly it’s about who you admire and why, and how that changes over time.

Quick Take: I often struggle with mother/daughter/family stories, and this was the case with Glitter and Glue.  While I did not love this book, I did appreciate the story, and like I often say 'who am I to rate someone's life story'.

I read several reviews on goodreads hoping to have an ah-ha moment before writing my review.  For me the story has a good message, yet reads bland at times. My favorite part was probably the last page, when she looks for the family online.

Source: Review Copy (netgalley)

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My Paris Kitchen (Pub Date, April 8): A collection of stories and 100 sweet and savory French-inspired recipes from popular food blogger David Lebovitz, reflecting the way modern Parisians eat today and featuring lush photography taken around Paris and in David's Parisian kitchen.

In My Paris Kitchen, David remasters the classics, introduces lesser-known fare, and presents 100 sweet and savory recipes that reflect the way modern Parisians eat today. You’ll find Soupe à l’oignon, Cassoulet, Coq au vin, and Croque-monsieur, as well as Smoky barbecue-style pork, Lamb shank tagine, Dukkah-roasted cauliflower, Salt cod fritters with tartar sauce, and Wheat berry salad with radicchio, root vegetables, and pomegranate. And of course, there’s dessert: Warm chocolate cake with salted butter caramel sauce, Duck fat cookies, Bay leaf poundcake with orange glaze, French cheesecake...and the list goes on. David also shares stories told with his trademark wit and humor, and lush photography taken on location around Paris and in David’s kitchen reveals the quirks, trials, beauty, and joys of life in the culinary capital of the world.

Quick Take:  I enjoy reading cookbooks for the stories, ingredients, and understanding how a dish is made more than the actual process of cooking! This book is filled with stories and having spent time on the streets of Paris I was able to imagine the places, kitchens, moments. 

The photography is wonderful, the recipes are well planned and easy to follow.  This book contains everything you could ever want; it's a good must have cookbook for any kitchen.

Source: Review Copy (netgalley)

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Simple Thai Food (pub date, May 13): Thai takeout meets authentic, regional flavors in this collection of 100 recipes for easy, economical, and accessible Thai classics—from the rising star behind the blog She Simmers.

All of Leela’s recipes have been tested and tweaked to ensure that even the busiest cook can prepare them at home. With chapters on key ingredients and tools, base recipes, one-plate meals, classic rice accompaniments, and even Thai sweets, Simple Thai Food is a complete primer for anyone who wants to give Thai cooking a try. By the end of the book, you’ll be whipping up tom yam soup and duck red curry that will put your local takeout joint to shame. But perhaps more importantly, you’ll discover an exciting new world of Thai flavors and dishes—including Stir-Fried Chicken with Chile Jam, Leaf-Wrapped Salad Bites, and Crispy Wings with Three-Flavored Sauce—that will open your eyes to all the wonderful possibilities that real Thai cooking has to offer.

Quick Take: This cookbook was a challenge for my family since I'm a vegetarian and my husband doesn't like chives or onions. {ha}.  It has sparked an interest to go to the local Asian market for spices, which I view as a step in the right direction.

Have you tried cooking traditional Thai? Do you have any favorites?

Source: review copy (netgalley)

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