Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Coloring Book Review: Wonderland

Wonderland: A Coloring Book Inspired by Alice's AdventuresWonderland: A Coloring Book Inspired by Alice's Adventures by Amily Shen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication date: April 2016
Source: Review copy from Blogging for Books

It's hard to review coloring books, because they really are quite subjective. Everyone has different styles that they like. I guess in that way it's similar to fictional books, but I think even more so. Wonderland is a high quality book. The pages were really thick and double-sided. I don't know if marker would bleed through; maybe super fine ones wouldn't, but I think the best bet with double-sided coloring pages is colored pencils.

I liked the pictures, for the most part. There were some that looked really fun to color, and then others that I feel like I wouldn't even know where to begin. The story really felt secondary, and almost unnecessary. I could have done without it entirely. There was only a paragraph every few pages.

There were a few spots where you were supposed to draw in your own things, like owls or butterflies. I know some people like that kind of thing, but I don't. Not in my coloring books anyways. There was also one page that had a maze, and a page with questions/riddles, such as finding hidden clues throughout the book.

Overall I think it was a really nice book, although I'm not sure if I will keep it and color in it, or gift it.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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    Monday, May 9, 2016

    Cookbook Review: Tasting Rome

    Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient CityTasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City by Katie Parla
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars
    Publication date: March 2016
    Source: Review copy from Blogging for Books

    This is a beautiful book, but for me it fails slightly in the useful cookbook department.

    The cover and photographs inside are quite lovely. I like the descriptions and history of Rome. There is a lot of information here. So I guess that's good in a way.

    What it was missing was pictures of a lot of the recipes. Some recipes had no picture, and some included a picture of scenery instead of the food. Is day about half had a picture of the recipe.

    Then there were a lot of ingredients that I wouldn't be able to find in my little Utah suburb. But I was really interested in the pizza and bread section, and suspect that I'll try at least a few of those recipes.

    So overall not my favorite cookbook, but still enjoyable to look at and read.

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    Saturday, April 23, 2016

    Book Review: Winter

    Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4) Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana. Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

    Winter by Marissa Meyer
    My rating: 2 of 5 stars

    This would have been a lot better at about half the length. The same things kept happening over and over, except with different characters. And constant descriptions about what everyone was wearing and how they looked. And having four different romantic couples was a bit much. And the bad guys were hilariously incompetent.

    If you loved the series to begin with, you'll probably love the ending. But if, like me, you're just reading to see how it all ends, you'll probably be annoyed and a bit bored.

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    Wednesday, April 6, 2016

    Book Review: Only in Naples

    In the tradition of M. F. K. Fisher and Peter Mayle, this enchantingly warm and witty memoir follows American-born Katherine Wilson on her adventures abroad, where a three-month rite of passage in Naples turns into a permanent embrace of this boisterous city on the Mediterranean. It is all thanks to a surprising romance, a new passion for food, and a spirited woman who will become her mother-in-law—and teach her to laugh, to seize joy, and to love.

      Only in Naples: Lessons in Food and Famiglia from My Italian Mother-in-LawOnly in Naples: Lessons in Food and Famiglia from My Italian Mother-in-Law by Katherine Wilson
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars
    Publication date: April 19, 2016
    Source: Netgalley

    I don't know what it was about this book that made me like it so much. On the surface, it's really not my style of book, but I requested it from Netgalley cause I was interested in reading more travel memoirs.

    The writing style really drew me in, and I quite liked Katherine. I found her story really fun to read, even though nothing very exciting ever happened.

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    Sunday, March 6, 2016

    Cookbook Review: Near & Far

    Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and TravelNear & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel by Heidi Swanson
    My rating: 2 of 5 stars
    Publication date: September 2015
    Source: Blogging for Books

    Known for combining natural foods recipes with evocative, artful photography, New York Times bestselling author Heidi Swanson circled the globe to create this mouthwatering assortment of 120 vegetarian dishes. In this deeply personal collection drawn from her well-worn recipe journals, Heidi describes the fragrance of flatbreads hot off a Marrakech griddle, soba noodles and feather-light tempura in Tokyo, and the taste of wild-picked greens from the Puglian coast. Recipes such as Fennel Stew, Carrot & Sake Salad, Watermelon Radish Soup, Brown Butter Tortelli, and Saffron Tagine use healthy, whole foods ingredients and approachable techniques, and photographs taken in Morocco, Japan, Italy, France, and India, as well as back home in Heidi’s kitchen, reveal the places both 
    near and far that inspire her warm, nourishing cooking.

    This is definitely not one of my favorite cookbooks. The cover is quite lovely, so if the only purpose were to sit on my shelf with my other collection of cookbooks, this would be top notch. But once I open it up, I'm not very impressed.

    The recipes are not ones I'm interested in trying, for the most part. But even worse than that, for me, is the photos. Half of the recipes don't have an accompanying picture. Instead, it is some travel photo, and even those are not to my taste. They just don't translate well for a cookbook. This is not one I'd recommend.

    I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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    Tuesday, February 23, 2016

    Book Review: Phenomenal

    Phenomenal: A Hesitant Adventurer's Search for Wonder in the Natural WorldPhenomenal: A Hesitant Adventurer's Search for Wonder in the Natural World by Leigh Ann Henion
    My rating: 2 of 5 stars
    Source: Netgalley review copy

    I really liked the idea for this book; traveling around the world seeing different phenomena that most people have never even heard of. The problem is that I found the author to be so boring. It's like she focused on all the wrong things. That's the only way I can think to describe it.

    Her writing should have made me want to travel and see all these places for myself, but it just left me cold. I wasn't excited by any of it.

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    Monday, February 1, 2016

    Book Review: Dream a Little Dream

    Dream a Little Dream (The Silver Trilogy, #1)Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars
    Publication date: April 2015 (English translation)
    Source: Netgalley review copy

    This was a decent book to read for entertainment value. I was never really bored except for maybe the first couple of chapters were slow going. The characters were interesting enough.

    I guess the biggest problem I had with the book was that it felt like there was no plot. It never really got going, and then all of a sudden the story was over. I don't know if I'll read the next in the series.

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