Saturday, August 2, 2014

Review: The Harm in Asking by Sara Barron

Welcome to the perverse and hilarious mind of Sara Barron. In The Harm in Asking, she boldly addresses the bizarre indignities of everyday life: from invisible pets to mobster roommates, from a hatred of mayonnaise to an unrequited love of k.d. lang, from the ruinous side effect of broccoli to the sheer delight of a male catalogue model. In a voice that is incisive and entirely her own, Barron proves herself the master of the awkward, and she achieves something wonderful and rare: a book that makes you laugh out loud. Simply put: if you read it, you will never be the same.* 

*That's not true. You'll probably stay the same. But you'll have laughed a lot. And you'll have learned a fun fact about Jessica Simpson's home spray. See? You didn't even know she had a home spray! The learning has already begun.

Received for review.

This truly was one of the funniest books I have read in quite some time.  Every single page had me cringing or laughing, sometimes at the same time!

The author's stories from smoking pot at a Paula Cole concert and her pot related antics at said concert which caused her to be thrown out of the concert, to her dating stories were just too funny.  It felt like I was listening to a friend tell me all her crazy stories and she described it so well that I could picture every scene.

The author is someone that I'd actually like to be friends with in real life.  She is just so cool and crazy and fun.  It would be so entertaining to meet her for lunch once a week and listen to her tell me all her bizarre stories.

If you're looking for the perfect fun and funny summer read this is it.  I definitely recommend it - along with a box of tissues which you'll need when you start tearing up from laughing so hard.  I cannot wait to read future releases from this very talented author!  

★★★★ = Really Liked It

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Readalong: The Baby-Sitter's Club Books in August

Becca from Lost in Books came up with the brilliant idea of rereading our favorite books from The Baby-Sitter's Club so she set up a readalong which is taking place all August long!

You can read more about it and sign up here.  I hope you'll join us!  I can't wait!

Review: The Soda Fountain by Gia Giasullo and Peter Freeman

A collection of 70 recipes celebrating the history and stories of the classic American soda fountain from one of the most-celebrated revival soda fountains in the country, Brooklyn Farmacy.

A century ago, soda fountains on almost every Main Street in America served as the heart of the community, where folks shared sundaes, sodas, ice cream floats, and the news of the day. A quintessentially American institution, the soda fountain still speaks of a bygone era of innocence and ease. When Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain opened its doors in 2010, it launched a revival of this great American original, capturing the hearts of a new generation.

Featuring abundant full-color photography and vintage illustrations and advertisements, The Soda Fountain explores a rich history—from the origins of seltzer in the nineteenth century, through the transformation of soda during Prohibition and the Depression years, right up to today’s fountain renaissance. Featured recipes range from classics like the Purple Cow and Cherry Lime Rickey to contemporary innovations that have made Brooklyn Farmacy famous, like The Sundae of Broken Dreams (topped with caramel sauce and broken pretzel bits) and Makin’ Whoopie! Sundae (with hot fudge and mini chocolate whoopie cakes). 

Recreating beloved treats like egg creams and milkshakes with local, seasonal, and artisanal ingredients, Gia Giasullo and Peter Freeman, the sibling cofounders of Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain, teach you how to resurrect the proud American soda fountain tradition at your own kitchen counter. With its fascinating anecdotes, mouth-watering pictures and easy-to-follow steps,this nostalgic cookbook proves that the soda fountain is a culinary and cultural institution that continues to delight.

Received for review.

I just love cookbooks and was thrilled to discover this gorgeous book!

It was really fun to read the initial chapters about the history of soda fountains and their place in our culture.  The chapter on the effects of the Jazz Age and Prohibition on the soda fountain were especially interesting and informative.

Then there were the recipes!  I loved that they thoroughly detailed just how to make each flavor of syrup you need.  Who knew you could make ginger, hibiscus, or coffee syrups at home?

With such fabulous names as The Pink Poodle, The Purple Cow, The Wake-Up Call, and Gosh Nog It! it's hard not to love the float recipes at first sight!  Then there were the lovely sundae recipes, which also have lovely names such as The Elvis and Hog On a Hot Tin Roof.  The milkshakes were also amazing with names like Seven-Layer Apple Parfait and Cherry Blossom.  The toppings were also amazing with the Hot Mama Crumble and Candied Bacon Bits.  I also can't wait to try the recipes for Spice Bundt Cake and Chocolate Wafers.

This is an amazing collection of delicious recipes and you will most certainly find at least a few that you'll enjoy.  I definitely highly recommend this!

★★★★★ = Loved It

Featured Book: The Personal Management Handbook by Dr. Carl M. Powe, Jr.

About the book:

This Book is for You if You: 

- Are burning the candle at both ends and still not accomplishing your goals. 
- Want to improve your probability of career success. 
- Need to improve your everyday living skills. Systems Approach. 
- The systems approach was used to analyze the skills needed for personal success. 
- These skills are not normally taught in school. 

Book Structure:

- Current research with 232 references. 
- Real life examples. 
- Dr. Powe's 60 years of experience in learning and applying these skills to everyday living

About the author:

Throughout his life, Dr. Powe has endeavored to develop skills not normally taught in school to improve his work performance as well as his personal life. His first book, "Career Development and Planning-In Reverse" is the result of more than fifty years of study and experiences in the field of career development and planning. "The Personal Management Handbook" is a companion book that describes the methods Dr. Powe has used to manage his personal life over a period of more than sixty years. Carl M. Powe, Jr. was born in Hartsville, South Carolina October 31, 1934. His workinglife began as a Junior Chemist at Sonoco Products Company in Hartsville, SC. After seven months, he entered the Army as an Ordnance officer to fulfill a two-year Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) obligation. During the first assignment as Commanding Officer of a unit providing radar and artillery integrated logistics support to an antiaircraft artillery group, he applied for and won a competitive selection as a Regular Army Ordnance Officer. His career areas of concentration were guided missiles, nuclear weapons, and conventional munitions. During the career of more than twenty years, he had four command and three second in command assignments. During his employment and education experiences, Dr. Powe had extensive interpersonal working relations with German, Danish, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and U.S. personnel. His military awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Award with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm. Following retirement from the Army, Dr. Powe's civilian experience began with United Space Boosters Incorporated (USBI), United Technologies Corporation where he began as a Logistics Specialist and held increasingly responsible positions as Product and Program Manager, and Chief Industrial Engineer. After thirteen years service, he accepted an incentive retirement offer in December, 1991. As President and owner of Simulation Training, Inc. since 1974, he consulted in the areas of systems analysis, management training utilizing the simulation mode of computer assisted instruction, and logistics. Clients included United Technologies Corporation, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, The USA Aviation and Missile Command, The USA Armaments and Munitions Command, Contraves, Inc., Mississippi State University, and Kaiser International. In 2000, he was hired by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to develop an automated multimedia training program for a US Air Force Global Positioning Satellite Navigation Set. Education: BS Chemistry, Master of Business Administration, Doctor of Management, USA Army Command and General Staff College, "The Economics of National Security," The Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Army technology courses on the integrated logistics support of guided missiles, nuclear weapons, conventional munitions, and explosive ordnance disposal including low observables technologies, Military Intelligence (graduate - completed National Intelligence Estimate on Israel from open sources). He was certified as a Nuclear Weapons Employment Target Analyst. Dr. Powe also served as an Adjunct Instructor (University of Alabama in Huntsville, Faulkner University, Florida Institute of Technology (substitute instructor) and Beeson Divinity School, Samford University). At the university level, he taught Dynamics of Technology Transfer (utilized Simulation Training, Inc. developed proprietary simulation), Quantitative Methods in Business, Operations Analysis, Introduction to Statistics, Quantitative Methods, Management Information Systems, Computer Applications, Career Assessment and Planning, Human Resource Management, Logistics Management (graduate), A Leadership Model for Management in the Modern Church (graduate) (developed and utilized a simulation model of the operation of a church), and Organizational Behavior. His reliability was demonstrated by holding confidential, secret, and top secret security clearances, and clearance into secure compartmented information programs (SCI) for the Department of Defense as well as the "Q" Clearance for the Department of Energy. He resides in Huntsville, Alabama with his wife of fifty-six years.

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Giveaway: Best Supporting Role by Sue Margolis

When her gambling addict husband died, Sarah Green was left penniless—and with two children to raise. Since then, she’s been desperate to keep her professional and personal lives on firm financial footing. And what could be safer than dating an accountant and working at a non-emergency crime help line?

But then Sarah’s aunt dies, leaving Sarah her once famous—now flailing—lingerie shop. With her fashion background, Sarah reluctantly decides to make a go of it, even if that means breaking up with her too-prudent boyfriend over the risk.

Suddenly Sarah finds herself falling for Hugh, the handsome struggling actor she hired to renovate her new boutique, and entering a prestigious lingerie competition. Taking chances has never been her forte, but the built-in support of family and friends could give her the boost she’s been looking for....

Thanks to the publisher I have one copy to give away!

Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

US only, no PO Boxes

a Rafflecopter giveaway