Thursday, August 28, 2014

How to Survive a Sharknado by Andrew Shaffer

"How to Survive A Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters" by Andrew Shaffer (with contributions by Fin Shepard and April Wexler) is a hilarious survival book on the most insane off-the-wall natural (or unnatural) disasters known to man. In this book, you'll read the encounters of Fin Shepard and his attempt to help others survive unnatural disasters such as an Arachnoquake, Firenado, Bigfoot, Dinoshark and even a Redneck Gator!

Throughout each chapter, you'll learn excellent skills and some tasty recipes! Like "How to Escape from a Spiderweb", "Electronics to Avoid during a Polar Storm", "How to treat Manticore Poisoning" and recipes such as "Fried Gatoroid".

If you're looking for a fun, hilarious read, this book is perfect for you! Each chapter is relatively short, ranging from 4-6 pages. It's the perfect length to be able to just read a quick chapter here and there and not have to devote an immense amount of time to reading.

I love that any excerpt from Fin Shepard is written as a real life encounter! It just makes the book that much more funny! I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion. I rate this book as 4 stars.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Home to Chicory Lane by Deborah Raney

In "Home to Chicory Lane", Audrey Whitman is living her dream. Her five kids are grown and have moved out, and Audrey and Grant are busy creating a bed and breakfast out of their family home. All of the kids have come home for the grand opening...all of them except for Landyn and her new husband Chase. So imagine Audrey's surprise when Landyn pulls in the driveway with a big Uhaul trailer, and no Chase in tow.

Unbeknownst to Landyn's parents and siblings, Landyn is home to stay awhile. Only home is not what she remembered and there is no "home" to return to. Only a bed and breakfast with no room for her. Eventually Landyn has to reveal the problems between her and Chase and she comes to the realization that she really does want her marriage to work. She just doesn't know how to forgive her husband.

Can Landyn and Chase look past each other's mistakes and make their marriage work?

I loved this book from the very beginning! It is actually the first book I have read by Deborah Raney but I just couldn't put it down! The book was fast paced and kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next! I'm so excited that it's part of a series, because that means I will get to read more of the Chicory Inn stories!

I received this book for free from Litfuse in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion. I rate this book as 5 stars!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fried and True by Lee Brian Schrager with Adeena Sussman

In "Fried and True: More than 50 Recipes for America's Best Fried Chicken and Sides" by Lee Brian Schrager with Adeena Sussman there's a little something for everyone!

Really, who doesn't love fried chicken? This mouthwatering book is sure to appeal to cooks of all ages and expertise levels. The book begins with a chapter entitled "Fried Chicken 101" which is basically an introduction to cooking fried chicken. This is wonderful for someone like me, who has never made homemade chicken in her life! It explains the definitions of Brining, Deep Frying, Skillet Frying, and Seasonings as well as many other important necessities to get started with. It explains what tools you need at home to begin your deep frying experience! What I also thought was unique to this book, was an introduction on how to cut up your own chicken.

The chicken recipes are put into one of three categories in the book: "Southern Inspiration", "American Originals", and "Pacific Rim Flavors". Each chapter focuses on that specific food foundation, unique with their own native spices and seasonings. The last chapter focuses on "Sandwiches, Wings, Li'l Bits, and Special Diets" including a gluten free fried chicken. 

This book really does include every kind of fried chicken you could ever want: Hattie B's Hot Chicken, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Coconut Fried Chicken, and General Tso's Chicken just to name a few. "Fried and True" also offers many side dish recipes that fried chicken lovers are sure to enjoy! Velvety Mashed Potatoes, Hash Brown Casserole, New Orleans-Style Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice, Tomato Pie, and Classic Buttermilk Biscuits! Doesn't that sound amazing? Maybe I just love a good southern dish!

Either way, readers will not be disappointed in this cook book! The author has really done a terrific job of putting these recipes together and sharing little stories about how they came to be. I can't wait to try some of these out! I rate this book as 5 stars!

I received this book for free from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Get to Know Mary by Nancy I. Sanders

Some of my favorite books to review are children's books, so you can bet I was pretty excited to read this book! I had previously read "Get to Know Jesus" by Nancy I. Sanders so I had a good idea of what to expect from this second book.

"Get to Know Mary" by Nancy I. Sanders is a full-color biography made just for kids! There is nothing boring or plain about this book! It has fun graphics, full color pictures, maps of where Mary lived and raised Jesus, and pictures of items that were native to that time period. We also get to read about what it might have been like to have Jesus for a son, and how Mary and Joseph also had other children after Jesus was born. The back of the book includes a glossary of terms used and also a timeline of the life of Mary.

I think this is a great book to show children that Mary and Joseph were just an ordinary family that God chose. The writing is perfect for a 2nd to 6th grader. I plan to use this book this year to go along with my homeschool curriculum for my third grader.

I rate this book as 5 stars. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Vegan Ice Cream by Jeff Rogers

Don't let the title intimidate you! "Vegan Ice Cream: Over 90 Sinfully Delicious Dairy-Free Delights" by Jeff Rogers is not just for vegans! Personally, I was drawn to this title because for my entire life I have been allergic to dairy in all forms. Ice cream, milk, cheese, etc. I can tolerate tiny amounts of each, but I have never been able to fully enjoy ice cream! I've always had to settle for a tofu or rice substitute, and let's be honest here...most just don't measure up!

Jeff Rogers has created a recipe book with over 90 amazingly delicious dairy-free "ice cream" recipes! I was super excited about this book and eagerly thumbed through it's pages! Some of the recipes looked a bit daunting to me. For example, some of the recipes call for Vanilla Beans split and scraped, but if you read the "Basic" section at the beginning of the book, the author explains that you can just as easily use natural vanilla flavoring. I thought it was interesting to note that he suggests using extracts that do not contain alcohol as alcohol can had an adverse effect on the ice cream. I also think it's interesting that a lot of the bases for the ice creams are ground up nuts and cashews. That is something I never would have thought of adding to ice cream!

The ice cream flavors in this book look absolutely amazing! Some of my personal favorites included in this book are Apple Strudel, Banana Blueberry, Raw Black Forest and Blueberry Peach.

I rate this book as 5 stars! I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Surviving Henry by Erin Taylor Young

Surviving Henry: Adventures in Loving a Canine Catastrophe by Erin Taylor Young is the story of one family's adventures with their crazy yet lovable pooch!

Erin Taylor Young thought life would be perfect with a new addition to their family. After all, Henry was the same kind of calm, lovable dog she grew up with....or so she thought. Instead of playing fetch or taking a nap like a normal canine, you'll find Henry destroying the house or failing doggy obedience school. 

This book is filled with hilarious stories of Henry's escapades. Erin has a writing style that is easy to read, and makes you want to keep reading until the end. Despite Henry's many flaws that keep his owners on their toes, you can't help but want to cuddle him! I'd love to meet this dog. He definitely adds spice to their lives. :) 

When I first began reading this book, I was worried it might be a little too reminiscent of "Marley and Me" by John Grogan, but instead "Surviving Henry" exceeded my expectations. It was hilarious, and I found the author to be quite witty with her stories. I would definitely recommend this book to all dog-lovers everywhere, as I think everyone would get a chuckle or two out of Henry. I rate this book as 5 stars.

I received a copy of this book for free from Revell in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.