A Book and A Review #2

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

Eva's Eye: An Inspector Sejer Mystery - Karin Fossum Blog Review in Progress.Initial Thoughts:+ Started off a bit more slower to me than other Karin Fossum books.+ Could definitely tell that this was first in the series compared to her other more polished books.+ Although not my favorite in the series, it definitely had the twists that Ms. Fossum is known for.+ Publishers waited too long to publish this book in the American market and really should be smacked upside their heads for doing so.
The Seance Society: A Mystery - Michael Nethercott Blog review in progress.Initial thoughts:+This book was BLAND! There was a bit of sophomoric feeling to the writing that just didn't suck me into the book. +I couldn't warm up to ANY of the characters, AT ALL! + It simply felt as though the story was simply there. It wasn't so bad that I couldn't finish the book. It just took a very long time to get there from a short, less than 250 page book which I should have been able to wrap up in one evening.
Little Island - Katharine Britton Blog review in progressInitial thoughts:+ Unlike author's first book, [b:Her Sister's Shadow|10169751|Her Sister's Shadow|Katharine Britton|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1347609802s/10169751.jpg|15068532], this book didn't grab me right away. It took me definitely about 100 pages to warm up to the story. Once I got past those 100 pages, the story took off and I found it a bit more difficult to put down. + Story from 2 different POV AND 2 different periods of time which didn't help with the "grasping".+ Really couldn't find one character to latch onto that I liked. However, with the storyline, I am not shocked by this. I can't go deeper; otherwise, we would be heading into spoilerland.
Small Town Girl - Ann H. Gabhart Blog review in progressInitial thoughts:+Although an inspirational romance and religious reference was present throughout, I barely recognized it because the story was SO good.+ Could EASILY see this as a Hallmark movie series such as Janette Oke's [b:Love Comes Softly|65497|Love Comes Softly (Love Comes Softly, #1)|Janette Oke|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1273177650s/65497.jpg|63547]+ This is a continuation of the story [b:Angel Sister|8162603|Angel Sister|Ann H. Gabhart|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348059228s/8162603.jpg|13005491], but this book could easily stand on its own.

Margot: A Novel

Margot: A Novel - Jillian Cantor Blog review in progress.OMG...I loved this book!+Not a fan of fictional revisionist history, but this one worked. One could see this happening. +Had questions throughout the reading that the author wrapped up beautifully in the epilogue.+ Great writing, book sucked me in immediately and I had to force myself to put it aside for the most part.
Southern Italian Desserts: The Great Undiscovered Recipes of Sicily, Campania, Puglia, and Beyond - Rosetta Costantino Laden with beautiful pictures and tasty recipes, this was a beautiful cookbook. Although the recipes come from the south of Italy, I didn't see any ingredients that would be difficult to find in the US. One criticism that I would say, Although the pictures were gorgeous and step by step instructions were given, I would have liked to have seen pictures of the preparation since the recipes were definitely more advanced.
New Orleans con Sabor Latino: The History and Passion of Latino Cooking - Zella Palmer Cuadra, Natalie Root, Adolfo Garcia Holy cow, Batman! A cookbook that combines my two favorites, Cajun influences with Latin cooking.Initial impressions:+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. However, then book went into separation by categories such as appetizers, one pot meals, etc. These were by one chef. + Recipes were quite detailed. Focus on more experience cooks. + Recipes include such morsels as: Corn Maque Choux with Sauteed Shrimp and Chorizo with grit cakeCajun Cuban Sandwich (Coming to the Pub and Grub Forum)New Orleans Style TamalesRopa 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 GravyRum PralinesHoly 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!
Let Me Tell You About Whisky: Taste, Try & Enjoy Whisky from Around the World - Gavin Smith Review in progressInitial thoughts:+A must have book for the mixologist, home bar owner and whiskey novice or aficionado. This is def. a book that I could see as a "table" book in a home bar.+ Incredibly detail oriented and concise with topics ranging from varieties of whiskeys and differences in the "varietals", tastings, how to serve, etc.+ The pictures were GORGEOUS.
The Respect Effect: How to Use the Science of Neuroleadership to Inspire a More Loyal and Productive Workplace - Paul Meshanko Read my full review: http://bit.ly/1flAQkm1.5/5 StarsThis book, which had so many important issues to bring to the forefront of the corporate world, fell very short to me and I must admit that I was thoroughly disappointed. Unfortunately, the author chose to go off on both political and social rants (biased in presentation) that were totally inappropriate to the business world. He clearly has a grasp on the dangers of disrespect to a work environment. I am not sure why he chose to go off on tangents related to Fox News (of course), Congress (Republicans only), a diversity director's PERSONAL racist event (outside the corporate setting). Could he not find enough examples inside the corporate world because I am sure people would be lining up to tell him their stories? There were other examples, but I am sure any reader of this review will get the gist. It came off as very unprofessional for a business book. I can't reiterate enough times, how disappointed I am in this book. This book, outside those incidents, would easily have been a 5 star review from me had he chosen not to divert to examples outside the corporate world OR chosen to write how societal disrespect carries over to the workplace.
Behind Boardroom Doors: Lessons from a Corporate Director - Betsy Atkins Read my full review: http://bit.ly/18norISI had to get into the flow of this book before I really started to appreciate it. It is a collection of articles versus a manual feat. one of the top board directors in areas such as crisis management, the hiring/terminating of CEOs, planning for CEO succession and other topics critical to the effective management of a board of directors.Although the information was critical and concisely written, I would have preferred to see Ms. Atkins write a manual format of a book vs. the collection of articles. This would have allowed her to expound on some topics that I felt were brushed over. This book came off as very superficial as one would see in journal/magazine articles. Had she chosen the other route, I think she could have gone deeper than what a journal article allows for. The book was only 160 pages (including all sections and "housecleaning" items, if that helps, the reader of this review as to understanding the depth of the book.
Hand of Fate - Lis Wiehl, April Henry, Pam Turlow This series continues to be just mediocre to me-neither awesome or horrible, but just there. I found the narration in this book to be a bit more annoying than I did with the first in the series and that it was a bit more "dramatic" and over-acted. With this one though, I am going to stop with the series.

The Widows of Braxton County: A Novel

The Widows of Braxton County: A Novel - Jess McConkey Full review in progress.+Great storyline with a feeling of really amateurish writing. + There were aspects of the story that I think were too easy or simple.
Fall from Grace - Clyde Phillips OK...either I am reading WAY too many mysteries or this book was highly predictable. I found it to be overly dramatic and didn't like the portrayal of the female protagonist as someone who was an overly emotional/easily manipulated and therefore, an unprofessional police detective controlled by her sexual desire. What made it worse...I guessed the ending from a mile away making this a very long read. I need to review the 4th book in the series, but feel I have enough grasp on the characters and such that I can do so without reading the other two books prior to it. If I wasn't reviewing book #4, I would stop reading this series.
The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men - Christina Hoff Sommers Read my full review: http://bit.ly/187i9OwMy opinion: I couldn't believe how well documented with short and long term statistics from multiple sources, including the Brookings Institute and DOE this was. It was very clear that they author had done her homework on the topic. On that note, it was a very concise and slower read to ingest the details and statistics. It took me a good week to read a just over 200 page book d/t absorbing and cross referencing data. While the author calls it so, I wouldn't call it misguided feminism, but an attack on our young men by feminist groups with their own agenda. Misguided infers that it was done mistakenly or with no ill intent. Author gives many direct quotes from organizations, such as the AAUW, where this is the direct intent of an unapologetic organization to sabotage the educational opportunities for males, including the demasculinization of the education of our young men or how they learn best. We continue to see examples of this EVERY DAY in media reports with no apologies by our public school systems for a zero tolerance crime policy (targeted towards males), such as the flippant use and abuse of school suspension for chewing a pop tart into a gun or the state of Florida. Really? I would hate to get shot with that thing. I may not survive!I have read other reviews of this book that states the author doesn't take into account a "myriad" of reasons on why boys fall behind. One notes that girls participate in higher numbers or even the selection of a book for required reading. Any excuse can be given, but numbers don't lie. Furthermore, isn't this a teacher and/or school system's job? A job that given numbers isn't taken too seriously. This book is a must read for any parent of a son. I would expect a huge number of "masked" 1 and 2 star reviews with little meat to reviews by "feminists" who are being called to the carpet on their not so subtle agenda.
Seriously Bitter Sweet: The Ultimate Dessert Maker's Guide to Chocolate - Alice Medrich, Deborah Jones 3.5/5 StarsFull review in progress.+book needed more pictures, particularly due to the "process" step by step instructions. +more advanced recipes, but were identified for novice bakers (no way!).+ gorgeous pictures of completed desserts. + Liked the personal aspects to the recipes.
After Her - Joyce Maynard Read my full review: http://bit.ly/15h1zNPMy opinion: I have to say that I was incredibly conflicted in my review of this book. I LOVE Joyce Maynard's writing and have read a good chunk of her books. The writing in this story was somewhat "cheesy" and that drove me absolutely nuts. On that note, it is set in the 1970's, which was a really "cheesy" time.I also didn't feel that the characters nor the storyline were as developed in the other books that I have written by this author. In my humble opinion, this book definitely started off stronger than how it wrapped up.

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