A Book and A Review #2

Reviews dedicated to a "just the facts, ma'am!" mentality...with my opinion thrown in!

Holy Cow Batman...A cookbook that includes my two favorite culinary influences!

New Orleans con Sabor Latino: The History and Passion of Latino Cooking - Zella Palmer Cuadra, Natalie Root, Adolfo Garcia

Read my full review: http://bit.ly/1fZv0uq or http://bit.ly/19jcwQ1


My opinion: Holy cow, Batman! A cookbook that combines my two favorites, Cajun influences with Latin cooking.

In the beginning of the book, in my humble opinion, there was too much story vs. recipes. Would have liked to have seen more recipes, particularly by the chefs who really put out some beautiful dishes.  Each participant had only 1 or 2 recipes featured. This led to my 4 star review. However, then book went into separation by categories such as appetizers, one pot meals, etc. These were by one chef who is the author of the book. 

A chunk of the recipes, particularly those supplied by Executive Chefs,  were quite detailed and these would need to focus on more experience cooks. However, the book did have a nice selection of easier recipes to make for the novice chef.

Recipes include such morsels as:

Corn Maque Choux with Sauteed Shrimp and Chorizo with grit cake
Cajun Cuban Sandwich (Coming to the Pub and Grub Forum)
New Orleans Style Tamales
Ropa Vieja con Quimbombo (coming to the Pub and Grub)
Honduran Red Beans and Rice (coming to the Pub and Grub Forum)
Southern Fried Chicken with Mojo Gravy
Rum Pralines
Holy Water (alcoholic drink to be feat. on the Pub and Grub Forum)

Another cookbook for my Amazon cart..I really need to stop reviewing these things!

A must read for whiskey lovers or those wanting to be!

Let Me Tell You About Whisky: Taste, Try & Enjoy Whisky from Around the World - Gavin Smith

Read my full review: http://bit.ly/1b7r7O0


My opinion: This book is a must have book for the mixologist, home bar owner and whiskey novice or aficionado. This book was so beautiful that it is definitely a book that I could see simply being used as a "table" book in a home bar.

I found this book to be incredibly detail oriented and concise with topics ranging from varieties of whiskeys and differences in the "varietals", tastings, how to serve, etc. Not being a huge whiskey drinker, but having the desire to be conversant in the topic, I have read several books on this subject and would say that this one is the best.

On an end note, the pictures were GORGEOUS.

Chocolate Dreams

Seriously Bitter Sweet: The Ultimate Dessert Maker's Guide to Chocolate - Alice Medrich, Deborah Jones

Read my full review: http://bit.ly/1fWU855 or http://bit.ly/1bECAc5


Synopsis: The author presents over 150 tested recipes with varying percentages of chocolates. Recipes included confectioneries, pies tarts and cakes. 
My rating: 3.5 Stars
My opinion: Although I truly enjoyed this book, I felt there was definitely aspects of the book missing. Among these was a definite need for additional pictures of the "process". These recipes had levels of difficulty to them, which, in my humble opinion, would have benefited from additional pictures. I did feel that the pictures of the completed desserts that were given were GORGEOUS, but more fitting for a table book versus a recipe book, especially when the baker doesn't have specific images of how the dessert should look at critical times of baking process to ensure that he/she is on target.

On that note, these recipes were most definitely for a more advanced baker, but were identified as being easy enough for a novice baker. I say no way to that. I am experienced in my baking and there were recipes that I would have had to have taken my time with and/or seriously thought out the process. 

On a side note, I must admit that I found the author's personal stories entertaining. In the past, I have ripped cookbooks apart for that, but it worked in this one, particularly because there were moments that increased my knowledge.

Wrapped up with a nice blood red ribbon!

Cradle Lake - Ronald Malfi

Synopsis: Alan Hammerstun is desperate for help when his wife Heather, who has survived multiple miscarriages, becomes suicidal. When he inherits his uncle's home in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains in North Carolina, he packs her up for some serious healing thinking it is just the thing they need. 

This town has some big secrets, though, and the number one secret is the lake which the town surrounds. When Alan discovers that the lake has some healing powers, he decides that it might be the best thing that Heather needs. When Heather becomes pregnant again, Alan finds out the true secrets of that lake's healing powers.

As the cover says, some gifts are cursed.
My rating: 4.5 Stars
My opinion: I love me some Ronald Malfi writing. This man can go creepy, creepy, creepy! When he ties things up with a nice red ribbon...that ribbon is blood red. Cradle Lake was no different. The second I saw this book even being advertised, I knew I had to have it. Lucky for me, my library gets RM books.

As to be expected, his writing was excellent in this book and the release of the story was slow and methodically that kept me guessing. Character development was rockin' with watching the slow unwinding of characters into even deeper madness. In the beginning of the story, I felt that I would have compared it to Stephen King's Pet Cemetery, but then he took it in a twist and it moved away from there. 

Source: Library

Would I recommend? : Already have and always do, but I also recommend that if you have not read his book Floating Staircase, which still has a 4.5 rating on Amazon even after 130+ ratings, have that be your first. 
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone

Source: http://abookandareview.blogspot.com/2013/10/cradle-lake-by-ronald-malfi.html

Oh, Otis. (Reblogged from tamabam/misfit)

Reblogged from misfitandmom:

“We love having authors on Goodreads. But, we are a site that's focused on readers.  If there is a choice between what is best for readers and what is best for authors, we will always err on the side of readers.” 


"I've watched us deal with many author flame wars over the years, and they all started with an author commenting on a negative review of their own book first." 

    "I agree that it's a shame some books have to suffer ratings that clearly are invalid. However I can't think of a way to prevent it, and I didn't see any ideas in the thread either (I did skim though). I hope you'll appreciate that if we just start deleting ratings whenever we feel like it, that we've gone down a censorship road that doesn't take us to a good place.” 


All quotes deleted from Goodreads, October 2013.




Source: http://tamabam.booklikes.com/post/562585/oh-otis-

Reblogged from misfitandmom:

Please hop on over to the GR quote and vote vote vote!


Covet - Tracey Garvis Graves

Read my full review: http://bit.ly/GD5kEr


My opinion: Gotta say that I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this story. This story took off on page one and didn't stop until the final page. It is rare that I hate to see a book end, but this was one of them. I am not a huge fan of women's lit so that makes this 5 star review even a bigger thing. I thought this story is very apropros for today's society and economic times. I definitely could see the reality of daily life behind this book.

This was a book I could see being made into something like a Lifetime movie because of the storyline and the characters. They were SO real.

Good storyline; Amateurish writing

The Widows of Braxton County: A Novel - Jess McConkey

Read my full review: http://bit.ly/19ZqraQ


My opinion: While I found myself enjoying the story in general, I couldn't help but feel that the writing was amateurish in style. This shocked me because this is an established writer, but it simply had a simplistic feeling to it and the flow of the story had me scratching my head periodically for how she had the story progress and word choice.

Great information wrapped up in an awful infomercial

The Webinar Manifesto - Matt Murdoch, Treion Muller

Read my full review: http://bit.ly/1bwIGLE


My opinion: Although the authors had some very important advice and points on webinar construction, I felt that the book was rather juvenile in its presentation. This made it very difficult to get past what the authors were trying to educate the readers in regards to. For example, language choices used through out the book such as the word "webbeny", the glaring red graphics, typeset and layout  in the book reminded me of an infomercial where the product is good, but the "announcer" is annoying.  

Frankly, if this book was targeted towards the general audience I would be fine with its presentation. Given that it is a professional book targeted towards marketing professionals, with my 13 years in the field, it isn't a book I would take seriously given its format. 

Wonderful Alternative History!

Margot: A Novel - Jillian Cantor

Read my full review: http://bit.ly/14Y6y5G


My opinion: OMG...I loved this book! 


Normally, I am not a fan of fictional revisionist history. The majority of them I have read, there was NO WAY that the story EVER could have happened and I found myself constantly rolling my eyes, but this one worked. One could see this happening. There was nothing over the top about the story that the author portrays. I wholeheartedly disagree with a couple of Goodreads reviewers who call this book light and chicklit"ish". There was nothing about that in regards to this book.  In my opinion, it was really focused with a woman who was "comfortable" hiding in the shadows of who she really was and suddenly has to change this and come to terms when things she though true were found to be untrue.

I had some questions throughout the reading that the author wrapped up beautifully in the epilogue. So be sure to read the epilogue.

To boot, this book has some great writing. The book sucked me in immediately and I had to force myself to put it aside for the most part. I enjoyed this book so much that I approached the author to join Sisterhood of the Traveling Book as an author member and was thrilled when she accepted. I can see why this book is on so many lists.

Meh, maybe it is creepy in some universe!

Asylum - Madeleine Roux

My opinion: I have to say that given the cover, which is gorgeous, I expected a creepier read. This book just seemed to be much more of a romance and the romance dance. I thought it also had WAY to much drama for my liking that was used more to prop up the story. This led to the book lacking any creepiness.  One other thing that stood out to me was that the pictures included in the book, which were photos from history, seemed to be simply thrown in there. There was no rhyme or reason for how they fit into the storyline.

 Appropriate for older younger adult genre to new adult genre.

You might be a dealer????
You might be a dealer????
Yes, I am an addict!!
Yes, I am an addict!!
Never judge a book by its movie!
Never judge a book by its movie!
The Social Employee: How Great Companies Make Social Media Work - Cheryl Burgess, Mark Burgess Review in progress.

Currently reading

Good As Gone
Douglas Corleone
The Bookstore
Deborah Meyler
The Shadow Tracer
Meg Gardiner
APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. How to Publish a Book
Shawn Welch, Guy Kawasaki
The Longings of Wayward Girls
Karen Brown
Weekends with Daisy
Sharron Kahn Luttrell
Really Dead: A Ria Butler Mystery
J.E. Forman
Deadly Devotion
Sandra Orchard
The Social Employee: How Great Companies Make Social Media Work
Cheryl Burgess, Mark Burgess
The Small Hand and Dolly
Susan Hill