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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Spotlight, Excerpt, & Giveaway: The Right Kind of Reckless by Heather Van Fleet!



Title: The Right Kind of Reckless

Series: Reckless Hearts #2

Author: Heather Van Fleet

Publication date: November 7, 2017

ISBN: 9781492658511

Genre: Contemporary Romance



About the Book:


Maxwell Martinez

I’m in love with a woman I can’t have, and there’s absolutely nothing I can do to stop myself from falling. The problem? Her brother’s my best friend.

I shouldn’t want her this much. Not when it goes against the bro code. Not when I’ve never been able to commit to a woman for longer than a night.

But one look into her eyes and I’m a mess for her. She’s my everything. And I have to walk away with nothing.

Get It Here:


Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | iBooks | Kobo





Excerpt:


Addie and I watched the guys play round after round of Skee-Ball, while Chloe jumped and cheered and stole the occasional ball from each of their rows. No matter what my state in life was, I was happy the three of them had found one another. ͞Here, let’s get our picture drawn.͟ Knocking me out of my woolgathering, Addie guided me toward one of the caricature sketchers who sat just outside the carnival gates. The man had a unibrow the size of Lake Michigan’s shoreline, and his mustache was curled at the end, handlebar style. But his work was amazing. Charcoal sketches with colored eyes, balloon- shaped heads with movie-s tar hair. ͞How much for both of us?͟ Addie asked, fishing through her purse. We sat on the stools, as directed,our shoulders touching. ͞Thirty- five,͟ the guy said, his fake French accent too thick to be believable. I groaned and looked at my friend. ͞Seriously? That’s too much.͟͞Seriously. We have to do this.͟ Addie mocked me. ͞Look at how cute those are.͟ She pointed to a couple with a heart surrounding their heads. Little doves swooped in the air around them, carrying heart balloons in their beaks. Had to hand it to the guy. He was talented. ͞I’ve got this, ladies.͟ I looked up at the sound of Max’s deep voice, finding him searching through his wallet. He pulled out the money, handed it to the artist, then lifted his gaze to meet mine. A soft smile covered his bow-shaped lips, and everything inside me stirred to life at the view. Addie faked a cough, then pressed a hand over her stomach. ͞Oh...oh no. I don’t feel very good, guys.͟I faced her and narrowed my eyes as she stood. Don’t, I mouthed, already knowing her game. Ignoring me, she looked at Max and said, ͞You’ll take my place, won’t you, Max?͟ She batted those brown eyes and twirled a lock of her dark hair. No doubt her way of getting anyone and everyone to say yes to her. ͞Lia here was dying to get her picture drawn.͟Oh, the little liar...Max nodded, immediately taking her empty seat to my right. With an extra hop in her step, Addie walked away, her ponytail swinging back and forth more the closer she got to Collin and Gavin and Chloe. I wanted to pull it out of her head. ͞All right, look this way.͟ I blinked at the sound of the artist’s voice, my body far too aware of Max’s heady scent. God, why did he have to smell so good? Fit so perfectly against me? ͞You’re much too stiff.͟ The artist tsked from behind his easel. ͞Here, wrap your arm around zee pretty lady’s waist, like so.͟

I sucked in a breath as Max’s hand was guided along my back, ending at my side with his fingers tucked just under the edge of my T- shirt. I swallowed, shifting in my seat and instantly remembering our kiss—the way he’d moved his mouth over mine. Warmth pooled low in my stomach, drifting in between my thighs. His touch was like adrenaline, kick- starting my orgasm-starved body to life. ͞Chin on her shoulder, lips close to her ear...͟ I shuddered as Max followed the artist’s directions to a T, the stubble on his chin igniting a stormy thunder inside me. Max seemed unaffected, his chest rising and falling at an even rate, while mine was suddenly in asthmatic mode. ͞Relax,͟ Max whispered in my ear, his warm breath grazing my neck. ͞I’m not gonna bite ya.͟I shut my eyes and shifted once again, the ache between my thighs becoming unbearable. ͞I didn’t want to do this,͟ I finally murmured, refocusing on the artist. Max laughed softly, his chest vibrating against my back and shoulder. ͞I know you didn’t.͟My eyebrows pushed together in annoyance. ͞Then why did you agree to sit here?͟͞Because Addie wouldn’t give up until I did.͟ He sighed, far too relaxed compared to me. I was jumping, itching, crawling with...something, yet he was unaffected. Which only further emphasized that he didn’t want me the way I did him. ͞Plus, she folds my underwear, remember? Gotta make sure she doesn’t stick ants in them or something.͟͞Yeah, like Addie would ever stoop to your level.͟ I couldn’t help but grin, my nerves easing slightly. He squeezed my ribs. ͞You would.͟I turned to face him, our noses inches apart. ͞Damn right I would.͟A slow nod later, he moved even closer, our bodies in sync...My smile fell away. ͞Maxwell,͟ I whispered, so lost in his dark eyes that I couldn’t concentrate. The apology was there on my tongue like earlier, but the need weighing me down was even heavier. How could I ever be just friends with a guy who was likely to break my heart, no matter what we were to each other? ͞Tell me why you kissed me that night.͟ He looked at my lips, a serious glint in his eyes. Blood rushed to my face at his out-o f- the- blue question. My composure slipped as confusion took its place. Why was he asking me this? ͞Because I...͟ I gulped. ͞I owed you, remember? For bailing me out and for keeping me safe from those guys.͟Something shifted in his eyes. Disappointment? I squeezed my eyes shut at the thought. When I looked back at him, I knew I was imagining things, because flirty, fun Max was back, winking at me. ͞Well then.͟He cleared his throat. ͞That’s good to know.͟

What’s good to know?͟ I frowned.

"That you still owe me."





About the Author:


Contemporary romance author Heather Van Fleet is a stay-at-home-mom turned book boyfriend connoisseur. She’s a wife to her high school sweetheart, a mom to three little girls, and in her spare time you can find her with her head buried in her Kindle, guzzling down copious amounts of coffee. Heather was born and raised in Moline, Illinois, where she lives with her wonderful family.

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook


Giveaway:


Enter for a chance to win a copy of Reckless Hearts, the first in Heather Van Fleet’s Reckless Hearts series

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

HOLIDAY COUNTDOWN Review: Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook by Theo Stephan & Christina Xenos



Title: Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook: Modern Mediterranean Recipes for Living the Good Life
Authors: Theo Stephan & Christina Xenos
Format: Paperback: 262 pages
Pub. Date: November 7th 2017
Source: Callisto Media Inc


Book Description:



Discover how rich a healthy lifestyle can taste with Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook

When you don’t have a Mediterranean breeze behind you, finding local ingredients for complex recipes can make it difficult to integrate Greek food into your lifestyle. With Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook you can spare yourself the odyssey of traveling just to eat fresh and flavorful food. Featuring easy-to-find ingredients for simple recipes, plus a regional overview of Greek food, Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook leads you on a culinary journey towards an appetizing and healthy lifestyle.

Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook contains:

90 Recipes for popular Greek dishes made with easy-to-find ingredients Greek Kitchen Tips including how to stock your pantry and kitchen with the right ingredients and equipment, plus cooking techniques A Regional Overview explaining Greek food from ancient times to modern day
Recipes in this Greek cookbook include: Kalamata Olive Spread, Greek Potato Salad, Spinach Rice, Vegetable Moussaka, Shrimp Santorini, Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts, Greek Yogurt Brandy Cake, and much more!

Join Greek chefs Theodora Stephan and Christina Xenos as they share their favorite recipes for you to feast on with Mediterranean flare in Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook.






Review:


★★★★

Greek food is right up there in my list of favorite cuisines, perhaps only rivaled by Japanese food. Because of that, I'm always open to learning new recipes. I don't have any charming little old grandmothers to inherit Greek recipes from on account of being Polish- I count on cookbooks like this one! Overall, this book has a lot of really tasty things for a lot of different diets.

The book is divided by course type, including the sections: Understanding Greek Cuisine, In the Greek Kitchen, Mezzethes, Salads & Soups, Beans Rice & Pasta, Vegetable Mains, Seafood Mains, Meat Mains, Desserts, and a few finishing sections like a glossary and a menu planner for events and holidays. This is an easy way to find anything you need in the ook.

"Understanding Greek Cuisine" is a section that's a nice little 101 section on Greece and their food. It covers some basic culture information and history, information about the various regions and islands of Greece, common flavor schemes, and some of the natural health benefits. It's a good pocket of information to have if you've never had to cook Greek food before. It's written in a charming tone filled with stories from the two authors, so it's full of a lot of facts, but it's easy to get through.

The "In the Greek Kitchen" gives a nice little run down of common ingredients (and what they are), equipment used, and brief definitions of different cooking techniques. This section makes it clear that this book is approachable to even the beginner cook.

And then of course, are the recipes themselves. I found them to be incredibly well written. Each recipe gives the name of the dish in Greek, as well as in English, which I think is a nice touch. There's a little paragraph that tells a little about the recipe or a little anecdote about why it's included. Some were sweet, some were funny, and some were just plain interesting. In addition, each recipe has vital diet information; it's labeled as being vegetarian, nut-free, gluten-free, etc. This is super nice for people with diet restrictions, because you know just by looking at it if you can have it. There's also caloric/nutrition information, storage tips, and good advice on how you can substitute ingredients throughout.

The steps are numbered and short and sweet, making them easy to follow.

I also appreciated that the recipes might call for something a bit harder to find, like say kefalotiri cheese. Instead of just assuming that everyone has access to that, it suggests other, more common cheeses that will work, like Romano cheese in this instance. As someone who doesn't have a wide variety of grocer options, it's appreciated.

When a more complicated technique is used (like for wrapping grape leaves), there's little step by step drawn illustrations to help you out.

What disappointed me about this book is the lack of photos. There are some, yes, and the ones that are included look delicious. However, I've never made 90% of these dishes before. It'd be nice to have a reference to see if what I'm doing actually looks like what it's supposed to. I'm way more of a visual person than a literary one, so in that regard I think this book is lacking.

Anyway, back to the positives. There are so many amazing sounding dishes in this cookbook that it's hard to pare it down to just a few to highlight here, but I'll try my best. Some of the dishes I most look forward to include: Savory Baklava Rolls, Octopus with Figs and Peaches, Feta Crab Cakes, and Olive Oil Ice Cream with Feta, Cinnamon, and Basil.

All in all, I'm really happy with this book. If you've got food allergies, or are vegan or vegetarian, there are quite a few recipes in here for you, and more than are pretty easily adaptable. It's approachable with realistic ingredients, and full of plenty of recipes for those looking to lighten up their diet or simply try more Greek recipes.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Review: The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill



Title: The Tea Dragon Society
Author: Katie O'Neill
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: October 18th 2017
Source: Oni Press


Book Description:



From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.






Review:


★★★★★

This is the best graphic novel that I've read in 2017. I absolutely loved it.

For me, the most important part is of course the artwork. The aesthetic is adorable. It's a lot of kawaii, pastel type illustrations. It catches the eye and is well done. The tea dragons- there are different types of tea dragons, to match different types of tea of course- are the absolute cutest. They are reminiscent of Pokemon almost. I want stuffed animal versions of them, to be completely honest with you.

In addition to the artwork being visually appealing, the drawings are well paired with the text, so when blended together, it goes nicely.

Which brings us to the text, naturally. It's a heartwarming, feel good sort of book. I was very much more upset than I expected when I ran out of story and pages. The tone is very sweet, and very cozy. It feels almost like a bed time story, it's playful but has a focused plot, and has characters that you want to know more about as the night wears on.

So many different types of characters are represented in this book, without making a fuss. It's simply "these folks are all together" and that's sort of beautiful in a way. There's LGBT representation, disability representation, different skin tones and even different species all harmonious in the same place.

This is a great book for those who love either dragon or teas, as well as kawaii style artwork. And of course, children who enkIt's a quick read but it has lovely characters and a charming plot.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Review: Dark Goddess Craft by Stephanie Woodfield



Title: Dark Goddess Craft: A Journey Through the Heart of Transformation
Author: Stephanie Woodfield
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: November 8th 2017
Source: Llewellyn Publications


Book Description:



Discover how to use the many faces of the dark goddess to navigate the process of deep and rewarding change. This practical guide looks at the misconceptions surrounding dark deities and encourages you to draw on the power of the dark goddesses to work through aspects of yourself or your life that you wish to change.

Organized into three sections--the descent, challenge, and rebirth--Dark Goddess Craft guides you into your own darkness and helps you emerge renewed. Stephanie Woodfield presents the goddesses you will meet along your path of transformation and explains each one's role in helping you. This book will light your way through the shadows and show you how to become the best version of yourself.






Review:


★★★★★

This book is fascinating from cover to cover. It's interesting and soothing, enlightening and thought provoking. This is a Llewellyn Publication that I would happily place on my spirituality/pagan shelf, and it is a book that I will almost certainly read again.

The book is divided into four sections, not counting the expansive bibliography and index at the end of the book. These sections are: Who is the Dark Goddess?, The Descent, Challenge, and Rebirth.

Part one of this book covers a sort of background information chapter. There's information about the concept of what it means to be "dark" and how goddesses are looked at both in the past and the present. There's a lot of clearing up of misconceptions that arise when the phrase "dark goddess" is heard, such as the lack of evil intentions or the devil, things like that. In short, it's like a nice little intro course. Dark Goddesses 101. It's what you need to know about the subject, and the deities, before you continue onward down the path of this book. If you're pretty well versed in the subject, it serves as a nice refresher course.

Part two, The Descent, covers goddesses that are associated with the afterlife. Or more specifically, as you might have gathered from the title (of both the book and the chapter), goddesses that are associated with the underworld.

Part three, Challenge, covers more of the goddesses. But this time around, it is the ones that are associated with overcoming obstacles and getting ahead in life.

The final part, Rebirth, covers more goddesses still. Though in this part, they are the ones who are most commonly associated with the ideas of both transformation and independence.

This book contains so much information and celebration. There are rituals and prayers, there are devotionals. There are stories/myths for each and every goddess that is mentioned throughout the course of the book. I was very pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of goddesses that are in here. Generally speaking, most books I pick up deal mainly with the Roman and Greek pantheons. Especially when it comes to the underworld. I was expecting a ton of Persephone with maybe a bit of Hecate thrown in (sigh, my poor underrated Hecate). But these are global representations. Admittedly, I hadn't even heard of some of them before.

The cited works section alone is worth a look at, it's clear that the author did her research and feels strongly about the topic.

This is part history book, part religious book, part motivational book, and wholly full of engagement and interest. If you are of this spiritual/religious/pagan path, and especially if you walk the nocturnal path, this is a book I think that you'll enjoy.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

HOLIDAY COUNTDOWN Review: Sally's Cookie Addiction by Sally McKenney



Title: Sally's Cookie Addiction: Irresistible Cookies, Cookie Bars, Shortbread, and More from the Creator of Sally's Baking Addiction
Author: Sally McKenney
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: September 19th 2017
Source: Race Point Publishing


Book Description:



Bake exquisite cookies, bars, and doughs perfectly every time with Sally's Cookie Addiction. A world of baking wonder awaits you and all the lucky people you’ll share them with.

Are you ready to sink your teeth into Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies? How about Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Cookies or Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies? Featuring a mouthwatering selection of cookies, cookie bars, cookie dough dips, slice-and-bakes, no-bakes, and more, Sally's Cookie Addiction features dozens of exciting flavors, including chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, sugar, coconut, lemon, s’more, and oatmeal, oh my!

The best part? Sally's Cookie Addiction, Sally will tell you how to make each and every cookie in the book ahead of time. So, if you want to start preparing for the holidays, or if you just like keeping cookie dough in your freezer for those critical cookie emergencies!

Complete with tips on how to bake the perfect cookie and gorgeous photography, Sally's Cookie Addiction is the only cookie book you need on your shelf. Get ready for your kitchen to be the most popular room in the house while the smells of Warm Chocolate Chunk Skillet Cookies, Lemon Crème Sandwich Cookies, and Soft-Baked Sugar Cookie Bars emanate from the oven!






Review:


★★★★

I love baking. And, I especially love baking cookies. They're my ace in the hole, my first go-to. I'm constantly on the lookout for new recipes to add into my repertoire. Plus, the holidays are coming up, when my need to bake goes into overdrive. All in all, this is a solid book that's chock full of cookies.

The book is divided into chapters that are mostly flavor or ingredient based including: introduction/tips, Family Favorites, All About Oats, Happy Holidays, Shortbread and Slice and Bakes Galore, The Sprinkle Chapter, Nuts About Nuts, Serious Chocolate Cravings, and Find Your Flavor.

Ultimately, this is a bit of a clunky, unorganized way to sort cookie recipes. "Find Your Flavor", "Happy Holidays" and "Family Favorites" are all pretty vague, wide categories. The rest of them make sense, but those listed are a bit disjointed from the rest.

The tone also gets a little condescending at times. There's a big push about how substitutions are usually why people's cookies don't turn out, and recipes are there for a reason. Pretty opposing to most cookbooks, which encourage creativity and adapting. There's also the use of the phrase "it's a no no". This is a cookbook that isn't specifically geared towards kids- really? No no?

After these discouraging bits, the book goes along a lot more smoothly.

There's a lot of helpful hints as you go. There's advice on how to make your cookies softer, and how to decorate better, and things like that. It's much appreciated and helpful for sure, especially for beginner or seasonal bakers.

There are a lot of recipes in this book, and also a LOT of photos. I love when a cookbook has a photo of every recipe, and this book does just that.

The recipes are written in an approachable style, with simple language and short, easy to follow steps.

There's a really wide variety of cookies here, from the super sweet, to the spicy, to even cookies that your dog will enjoy.

Some of the cookies that sound the best to me include Autumn Spice Oatmeal Cookies, Chai Tea Spice Shortbread, and Cherry Almond Coconut Macaroons.

This is a great book for cookie lovers and for the holidays. Once you get past a few speed bumps, it's easy to follow and full of new recipes to try.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Review: Meet Your Matcha by Joanna Farrow




Title: Meet Your Matcha
Author: Joanna Farrow
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: September 19th 2017
Source: Nourish


Book Description:



Matcha teas and lattes have become a staple of every coffee shop and health food store. A beloved ingredient in Japan for generations, it is a powdered green tea that is rich in nutrients and antioxidants, and gives a slow-release caffeine boost through the day. Praised by everyone from Ella Woodward to the Hemsleys, one glass of matcha is the equivalent of 10 glasses of green tea in terms of nutritional value and antioxidant content. But there is so much more you can do with this miracle ingredient.

Packed with over 50 recipes for smoothies, soups, main meals and more, Meet Your Matcha will allow you to unlock the potential of this brilliant green ingredient. From a Matcha Sushi Salad and Matcha Chicken and Ginger Dumplings to Breakfast Smoothie Bowls or a Dark Chocolate and Matcha Layer Cake, these delicious dishes will let you make the most of your matcha.






Review:


★★★

Matcha is one of my favorite ingredients, though it is not something that is in my usual repertoire of handy dandy everyday ingredients. But, I was excited to give this cookbook ago because it has so many recipes. Overall, it delivered.

The book is divided into course types, including: smoothies and breakfast, main meals, sides and salads, desserts and cakes, sweet treats, and teas, juices, and cocktails. This makes it pretty easy to navigate.

I was happy that there were so many types of recipes. So many matcha books are either strictly tea, or they only include desserts. I appreciate that this one has main courses and salads and cocktails included in it. I wouldn't think to add matcha to a main dish, but here we are, and I'm definitely wanting to try it.

The steps are easy to follow. They're short, blunt, and to the point. They're also numbered. In my opinion, this makes it a great book for a beginner to get started in cooking with tea. The author gives a lot of suggestions for dairy free and meat free options, so if you have allergies, or are vegan/vegetarian, there's still items in this book that you can enjoy too.

Some of the ingredients could be a little vague, like "soft cheese", with no suggestions. I appreciate the rope you're giving me to explore, but even a personal recommendation tip would have been appreciated. It's also a bit hard to read all the ingredients because it's very busy. Listed it has cups, ounces, and grams all listed in one row. Also, there were times ingredients were listed twice with different verbiage, like caster/granulated sugar or groundnut/peanut. Counting on a conversion chart or a glossary list would have cleaned it up better.

With that out of the way, some of these recipes sound absolutely delicious. Some of the ones I'm most excited to try include Thai Prawn Cakes with Matchilli Sauce, Halloumi and Wild Rice Matcha-Spiked Pilaf, and Blueberry Matcheesecake.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

HOLIDAY COUNTDOWN Review: The Artful Baker by Cenk Sonmezsoy



Title: The Artful Baker: Extraordinary Desserts From an Obsessive Home Baker
Author: Cenk Sonmezsoy
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: October 17th 2017
Source: Harry N. Abrams


Book Description:



A collection of more than 100 extraordinary desserts—all with photos and meticulous instructions—by Cenk Sönmezsoy, creator of the internationally acclaimed blog Cafe Fernando.

Written, styled, photographed, and designed by Cenk Sönmezsoy, The Artful Baker shares the inspiring story of a passionate home baker, beginning with his years after graduate school in San Francisco and showcasing the fruits of a baking obsession he cultivated after returning home to Istanbul. Sönmezsoy’s stories and uniquely styled images, together with his original creations and fresh take on traditional recipes, offer a thoughtful and emotional window into the life of this luminary artist.

The Artful Baker is comprised of almost entirely new content, with a few updated versions of readers’ favorites from his blog, such as Brownie Wears Lace, his signature brownies topped with blond chocolate ganache and bittersweet chocolate lace (originally commissioned by Dolce & Gabbana and awarded “Best Original Baking and Desserts Recipe” by Saveur magazine); Raspberry Jewel Pluot Galette, a recipe inspired by Chez Panisse’s 40th year anniversary celebrations; and Devil Wears Chocolate, his magnificent devil’s food cake that graces the cover of the book.

Each chapter highlights a variety of indulgences, from cookies to cakes and tarts to ice creams, including recipes like Pistachio and Matcha Sablés; Tahini and Leblebi (double-roasted chickpeas) Swirl Brownies; Sakura Madeleines; Sourdough Simit, the beloved ring-shaped Turkish bread beaded with sesame seeds; Isabella Grape and Kefir Ice Cream; Pomegranate Jam; and Blanche, a berry tart named after the Golden Girl Blanche Devereaux.

Every recipe in The Artful Baker has gone through a meticulous development phase, tested by an army of home bakers having varying levels of skill, equipment, and access to ingredients, and revised to ensure that they will work flawlessly in any kitchen. Measurements of ingredients are provided in both volume and weight (grams). Where a volume measurement isn’t useful, weight measurements are provided in both ounces and grams.






Review:


★★★★★

This is one of the most beautiful cookbooks that I have read in 2017. The photographs are stunning, the recipes are delicious, and it really is like looking through an art book.

The book is divided into types of dish, including: Cookies, Brownies, Cakes Muffins Cheesecakes and Meringues, Tarts Galettes Pie Quiche Cobbler and Crumble, Bread and Pastries, Ice Cream Frozen Yogurt and Sorbets, Confections and Drinks, Jams and Jellies, Base Recipes, and Ingredients, Equipment and Conversions.

There's a lot of personal stories and name dropping in this book, making it clear that the author has a level of not just passion, but pride in what they do. You learn why they included the recipes and ingredients they did, and what makes them the best.

In addition to the recipes, there's also a TON of extra tips and techniques in this book. There are step by step photos of how to deal with vanilla beans, there's a whole section on perfecting macarons, there's a guide to tempering chocolate. It's clear the author wants to help you succeed with their recipes! There's also a lot of storage advice, which is appreciated.

As I mentioned, the photos are beautiful. A lot of the things look too beautiful to eat (I mean, not that that'd really stop me, but you know what I mean). There's an abundance of photos too, at least one per recipe though there's often more.

One of the downsides is that some of the ingredients are relatively hard to find, like sakura flavored white tea leaves. You'd need to plan well in advance for some of these recipes, they don't all lend themselves to spur of the moment baking.

Some of the recipes that sound the best to me include Sour Cherry and White Chocolate Macarons, Sakura Madeleines, and Isabella Grape and Kefir Ice Cream.

This book is fantastic, and any home bakers looking to up their game or to more finely hone their baking techniques would find something to benefit from in this book.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Personal Update: I Got Engaged!





Hey y'all.

I'm just writing a small little life update.

I don't write any of these much, because, well, I don't have that interesting of a life most of the time.

Well, that's changed mildly.

I got engaged on Halloween!

My fiancee (sounds so weird, by the way) proposed to me at the Field Museum in downtown Chicago. Specifically, in the Egypt exhibit, in the temple of Bastet. Complete with a natural gem ring, and a coffin shaped box.

We are the weirdos, mister.

After our day at the museum we went to go see a concert, the always talented American Murder Song. We told the artists about the engagement, and they were kind enough to sign our ring box.

It was a fantastic day. My partner- sorry, fiancee- even bought me a little glass jar of candy from Dylan's that said "#1 Wife's Candy" on it. And a Halloween cat Build-a-Bear to go with the theme.

Ring tax is included down below. <3 Love, Jillyn




Mini Review: Kombucha, Kefir, and Beyond by Alex Lewin



Title: Kombucha, Kefir, and Beyond: A Fun and Flavorful Guide to Fermenting Your Own Probiotic Beverages at Home
Author: Alex Lewin
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: February 15th 2017
Source: Fair Winds Press


Book Description:



Saying "Cheers!" Never Felt Better

Fermented foods have taken the world by storm, largely due to their health and real food benefits. They help improve digestion, enable us to better assimilate vitamins and minerals, and strengthen the immune system.

Of all fermented foods, drinks are some of the most versatile--and tasty! Think kombucha, kefir, and real ginger ale. Many of these items you can buy in the store, but making them at home is simple, economical, and even better for you. With just a few ingredients and materials, you can start brewing your own delicious beverages for your family. Ferment Your Drinks is packed with innovative drink recipes, from healthy homemade sodas to traditional kvass and cider, that you can make in your home kitchen and enjoy all year long!

Inside, you'll learn:
--Why to ferment your drinks
--The history of fermentation and the value of traditional foods
--The benefits of fermented drinks to your health
--All the basics: the process, the tools, and how to get started
--Five-minute recipes for lassis, fermented lemonade, and more
--How to use starters to make kombucha, kefir, root beer, wine, and others again and again
--Age-old recipes for kvass, switchel, vinegar, and mead
--Everything you need to know about why the recipes work, why they are safe, what to do if they go wrong, and how to modify them to suit your taste

Raise a glass to good health with Ferment Your Drinks!






Review:


★★

Oh dear. I do so very much hate giving bad reviews. Let's get this over with quick, okay?

There's a long history about fermented drinks and some soapbox-y type stuff about health benefits and American obesity and how these drinks are the answer. There's long, complicated, boring sections on this as well as in chemistry and beverage science. I'm not going to say I don't care, because I understand the importance of food science and knowing how your actions produce the food/drink you're making. But this was the majority of the book, which is not what I expected (or wanted).

The title has "flavorful" right in the name. But unfortunately, the few recipes that were included were either very basic, or not appetizing to me personally in the least. I wasn't inspired by any new tastes. There's also some that have pretty hard to find (at least, if you're not using the internet) ingredients, like worm salt.

The "resource" guide included Craigslist and Reddit.

Maybe you'll have better luck with this book than I did. For me, I didn't take anything away from this. The second star is because I appreciated the effort of the science and history parts, even if it's not what I wanted from this book.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

HOLIDAY COUNTDOWN Review: Soulful Baker by Julie Jones



Title: Soulful Baker: From highly creative fruit tarts and pies to chocolate, desserts and weekend brunch
Author: Julie Jones
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: September 21st 2017
Source: Netgalley


Book Description:



Julie bakes with love. It's her secret ingredient." Pierre Koffmann

From apple rose and plum and frangipane tarts, to lemon madeleines and muddle cake, trampoline bread and grissini to chocolate ganache, delizia di limone to banana, pecan, and chocolate muffins and fluffy pancakes, this incredible bake book has all the recipes you need to create something beautiful, imaginative and impressive. Whether you're making pies or cakes, bread or brunch, this stunning book is full of recipes that bakes that feeds your soul as well as your stomach.
Baking became a form of therapy for Julie Jones when her mother, who taught her to bake, was diagnosed with dementia. They began baking together again, and Julie started her Instagram account as a way to document this precious time and now her delicious recipes are available for the first time as a sumptuous cookbook that would make an inspired addition to any kitchen bookshelf!
Learn to cook crafted, beautifully styled pies, tarts, cakes and bakes, but be sure to cook with Julie's secret ingredient – love.

Across the 175+, heavily illustrated pages, you’ll find chapters on:

Fruit Tarts and Pies, containing recipes like apple rose tart and plum and frangipane tart, plus pastry decoration techniques
Cakes, Bakes and Treats, with dipped lemon madeleines and muddle cake, as well as tips for getting cream fillings right every time
Bread and Yeasted Dough, with trampoline bread and grissini
Chocolate, including a stunning triple chocolate celebration cake and chocolate ganache
Desserts, with delizia di limone and a meringue sharing nest wreath
Weekend Breakfast and Brunch, with banana, pecan, and chocolate muffins and fluffy pancakes






Review:


★★★

I was drawn into this book immediately. Between the gorgeous cover and the delicious sounding recipes that are included in the blurb, plus the fact that the holidays are rapidly approaching, I was happy to jump into it. Overall it was worth flipping through, but not a must-have book for me.

The book is divided into sections by the type of baking, including: fruit tarts and pies, cakes bakes and treats, bread and yeasted dough, chocolate, desserts, and weekend breakfast and brunch. This is a pretty standard and efficient way to collect recipes, and makes it easy to find what you're looking for.

I'll start off with what I liked best about this book. The photography is fantastic. There are a LOT of photos in this book, which I love. I'm a big fan of cookbooks that have photos with every recipe, and in this regard Soulful Baker delivers. And the photos that are included are very beautifully done, it's like looking at works of art. Delicious, chocolaty works of art. The decorations that the author does are stunning. While there are a lot of base recipes and recipes for things such as frostings, there are also decoration techniques in here such as crystallized flowers. These things are absolutely lovely to look at.

There are also a lot of really warm, touching stories included about her family, namely her mother and her children. It's clear that the author has a connection to baking, and takes great care in making the desserts she makes as stunning as she does.

But there were some not so nice parts too. As I mentioned, there's a lot of decoration techniques in here. The variety is great, but so is the complication level. Personally, most of these things are not things I would make on any given day. They are things I would toil over in order to impress my fiance's family or a special guest. This is definitely not a beginner's book on baking.

When not talking about her family or mother, the tone gets a little less warm, and a bit more snobby. I know that's a weird thing to say about a cookbook, but there's a lot of things that, because of the tone, come off as humble-braggy. "When I cooked for X or Y chef" or "When I got married in Italy..." Neither of these things alone is a bad thing- Italy is beautiful and it's awesome that she got to work with such great chefs, genuinely! But it just doesn't read quite right.

The formatting isn't great either, when it comes to the recipes. The ingredient lists and steps become very clunky, very quickly. Apparently this book is British. Instead of sticking with one set of terms or another, both are included. What I mean is that it will say "clingfilm (plastic wrap)", "baking tin (pan)" and biscuit (cookie). I know I'm an American but... I could have figured this out. And if it needs to be included, put a glossary or something in the back just in case. Adding multiple terms for the same thing made everything bulkier and longer.

Anywho, with that out of the way, complex or not there are a ton of recipes in this book that sound absolutely mouthwatering. Some of the things that I most look forward to making attempting include the Strawberry Firework Tart with Candied Pistachios and Chocolate Flowers, Grape & Thyme Focaccia, and White Chocolate Crème Brûlée Tart.

All in all this book is beautiful, but not for the casual baker. It's a great gift for those who are dedicated to baking, or for those who just love to look at beautiful food.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

The Start of Holiday Countdown



Hey there guys and dolls.

In an effort to get myself back into the habit of blogging again, I'll be celebrating the months of November and December by counting down to the holidays, namely Thanksgiving and Christmas.

How will I be doing that? By reading and reviewing holiday season themed books!

What exactly does that mean? Well... That's a bit loose and open. I have a very lazy definition of what "holiday themed" means. Some books will be set in the fall or winter time. Some books will explicitly be about a specific holiday, like Christmas or New Years. There will also be a lot of cookbook recipes because, well, I cook like crazy during the November-January rush, and I know I can't be the only one. So I hope they help you out this season!

So pull a chair up by the fire, pour yourself a cup of chai or cocoa, and let's fall into winter together.

Love, Jillyn

Saturday, November 11, 2017

HOLIDAY COUNTDOWN Review: Venison by Jonathon Wipfli



Title: Venison: The Slay to Gourmet Field to Kitchen Cookbook
Author: Jonathon Wipfli
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: October 1st 2017
Source: Netgalley


Book Description:



Written and photographed by the team behind Slay to Gourmet, a Minneapolis-based catering service specializing in wild game, Venison takes readers through author, chef, and outdoorsman Jonathon Wipfli's technique for quickly and efficiently processing a deer, as well as a raft of contemporary recipes for venison dishes and accompanying sides.

Wipfli describes and illustrates the breakdown of a deer, focusing on the fronts, middles, and rears before proceeding to more specific cuts like sirloins, shanks, ribs, loins, roasts, sausage scraps, and more. Whether the reader has been hunting for two years or for thirty, there’s a good chance they’ve never approached processing by muscle groups. Wipfli demystifies them and in the process shows the value of individual cuts and how to maximize one's quarry.

More than 50 recipes for venison and accompanying accoutrements and sides are beutifully photographed and presented. The result is a venison book like no other, sure to appeal to those new hunters as well as veteran outdoorspeople.






Review:


★★★★

When I saw this book, I knew I had to read it. My fiance absolutely LOVES venison. It's her favorite thing ever and is super nostalgic for her, because her grandfather used to hunt & prepare it when she was a kid. And, I try to adapt my recipes to include the things she loves; but I've never prepared venison before. Wipfli's Venison is a very approachable first look at all things deer to the heart.

The book is divided into three sections. The first part is the hunt, and it goes into how one catches a deer and narrations about hunting. It was interesting, since I'm not even outdoorsy, let alone a huntress.

The second part is the butchery. As you probably guessed, it's about how to butcher a deer. Like, all of it. I honestly wasn't really prepared for the graphic photos of a whole deer, but, that's what venison is so I don't know why I was caught off guard. But this portion of the book is very well written. It includes photos of each and every step, as well as descriptions on what to do. It goes pretty far in depth, but it is written in really basic terms so it's easy to understand even if you're not chunking out meat as part of your regular daily routine.

The third part of this book is the recipes: shareables and entrees. Though this section is the last, it is certainly not the least. By far, this is the largest section of the three- you're getting more recipes than any other content included in the book. The recipes have short, easy to follow steps. When it came to some harder techniques, the book again included step by step photos to help you through the process. I really appreciate this as someone who just isn't that familiar with the meat.

A few of the recipes that sound the best include venison meatballs with cherry BBQ sauce and venison and pineapple chili.

All in all, I think this is a really good cookbook, especially for those who are either intimidated or inexperienced with cooking venison. I'd for sure buy a copy of this for my fiance. I also think it'd make a good gift for a hunter or a midwesterner (I don't know about other places in the US but I know here in the Midwest we love us some venison). It sort of goes without saying, but if you're squeamish about meat or animals, this might not be the book for you.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Stacking the Shelves [105]



Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we get to show off the books we've won, bought, or otherwise received in the past week. If a book catches your eye, *click* the picture to go to the Goodreads page of that book.

Is it freezing by you too? Ugh. I love winter but it's only November!

In My Inbox




Would You Rather?: Growing Up, Coming Out, and (Occasionally) Getting It Right by Katie Heaney [Thanks Ballatine!]
Doctor Who: Myths and Legends by Richard Dinnick [Thanks BBC!]

In My Mailbox



Adima Rising (The Adima Chronicles #1) by Steve Schatz
Adima Returning (The Adima Chronicles #2) by Steve Schatz [Thanks Word Spelunking!]
Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook: Modern Mediterranean Recipes for Living the Good Life by Theo Stephan, Christina Xenos [Thanks Callisto Media!]

Friday, November 10, 2017

Spotlight, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Highland Dragon Rebel by Isabel Cooper!



Title: Highland Dragon Rebel

Series: Dawn of the Highland Dragon #2

Author: Isabel Cooper

Publication date: November 7th 2017

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca



About the Book:


By wing, by claw
By fire, by death
So long as dragons rule the skies, Scotland will forever be free.

After a long and bloody war, Scotland has finally won its independence. But Highland dragon Moiread MacAlasdair knows peace balances on the edge of a blade, and she will do anything to keep her homeland from falling to English control.

Even if that means escorting a powerful new ally into the otherworld itself…and defending him with her life.

Madoc of Avandos is on a critical mission to cement alliances against the British. Powerful men would kill to see him fail—but as he and his fiercely beautiful warrior fight their way through hostile lands, Madoc is faced with a difficult choice: sacrifice everything for the cause…or let himself burn for the love of a dragon.

Excerpt


“You’ll only have to do this the first time,” Moiread said. She sat tailor-fashion on a flattish stone. The
brook at her side rushed loudly, swollen with the spring rains. “After, it’ll just be a matter of saying the
words. It’s a compact you’re making, like most spells, though I’ve not heard of anything coming in
person to agree. Too minor.”
“It’s rare that they do,” Madoc agreed, “or at least rare that they show themselves for it.”
Magic, or most magic, was a matter of talking directly to the forces of the world: the spirits of those
forces in the oldest tales, the demons or angels governing their spheres in more modern lore. All spells
invoked, most indirectly. Madoc had never been present for an actual summoning. When he was
thinking sensibly, he was glad of that. Everything he’d learned said that even the holy ones would
frighten the bravest man.
“Good,” said Moiread, evidently sharing his thoughts. “Here.”
She held out a twig of yew, dark needles and bright-red berries attached. In the last village they’d
passed through, Moiread had taken them by a churchyard and stopped long enough to break the twig
off the tree, which, as in many villages, grew by the gate.
“Now,” she went on, when Madoc had taken the twig, “hold it up and repeat after me.”
Slowly Moiread began, in Latin as good as any priest’s. “In the names of Gabriel, Amariel, Nargeron, and
Almighty God, I call upon you, O powers of the worlds. I invoke you, and by invoking, I command you to
grant me sight of the union of the spheres. Part the veil that blinds mortal eyes and give me to see the
subtle workings of the world, now and whensoever I should invoke it again.”
As Madoc followed her lead, he felt power gathering. It wasn’t much—as Moiread had said, this was a
minor spell—but the earth and the air both shifted, as if he could feel them being drawn slightly toward
the yew twig. The twig itself began to feel both heavier and less present. Madoc was half worried that
his fingers would go through it. In the sun at midday, it was hard to see, but he also thought it glowed.
Moiread nodded. “Now crush the berries. Close your eyes, and smear them on your lids.”
The sliminess Madoc had expected lasted barely a moment. Then it turned to a cool tingling across his
closed eyelids and, in another heartbeat, vanished. His skin felt untouched.
“And open.”
Madoc did, and caught his breath. He was no stranger to magic, but never had he been able to see the
whole world through such entirely different eyes.
A faint haze hung above the grass and trees, a paler shadow of their natural green. The rocks and road
looked normal, though their colors were deeper than they had been a moment ago. Madoc looked to
the horses, peacefully cropping new grass a few feet away, and saw that each of them glowed a shade
of brown: the steady darkness of wheat bread for Moiread’s horse and a slightly lighter color for
Rhuddem.
Madoc raised a hand in front of his face. His fingers shone red, shot through with streaks of silver. He
flexed them, and the colors shifted accordingly.
“By God,” he said. “This is truly a lovely art you’ve shown me.”

“Useful, at times. But aye,” Moiread said admittedly, “rather beautiful too, in its way.”
She was beautiful. The spell stripped her of her illusion. Her hair lengthened slightly, her figure swelled
and narrowed, and her face became a shade more delicate, so that a young-looking woman in men’s
clothing sat facing him. In the world of the spell, a pattern of dancing lights played across her body, like
diamonds set onto the crisp blue that washed over her skin.
In this world, her shadow was nothing remotely human. Two vast wings stretched out behind her, the
brook running through their shade. When she tilted her head to watch him, the shape of an immense
head, on a serpentine neck, separated itself from the larger shadow and turned toward Madoc. The
same pattern of lights glittered in the shadow.
Mayhap it would have been sensible for Madoc to fear her then, but he wished only that he had more
time to sit and watch her.
“A bit revealing, aye?” Moiread asked, clearly aware of where he was looking. To his relief, she sounded
amused. “That is why we don’t generally teach the spell. We didn’t come up with it, but we’ve enough
luck that not many know it.”
“Do you care so greatly for concealment?”
She shrugged a shoulder. “It’s no great peril, in my view of things, to be found out. There are already
those who know what we are and speak of it with varying degrees of truth. Once more knew, or we
were more willing to admit it, or both.”
“What happened?”
“To us? Time and duty. The world gets fuller. A clan turns from hunting to farming, and it’s no’ such
great use for its laird to spend his days flying in dragon shape. Less use still in court, and we must go
there to be part of the greater world, to lead a clan rather than a tribe in a cave. Our sires have other
duties, and we as well. Our foes have magic of their own. Dragon shape is no sure victory.”
“I have heard that,” said Madoc, “and seen a little too. Only ran into one sorcerer myself.”
“We’ve not fought them often, no’ directly. The English magic turns more toward enchanted
weapons”—she rubbed her calf, wincing in memory—“ or strengthening castles. Crafty spells.”
“Like the one I’m doing?” Madoc asked, speaking the words that courtesy would have Moiread avoid.
“No shame in taking a weapon from your foe,” said Moiread. “We may have fought the people we
learned this from”—she gestured around her, indicating the world revealed—“ or we may fight them in
the years to come. I’m still glad to have it.”
“So am I.”




Giveaway:


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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Spotlight & Giveaway: Offsetting Penalties by Ally Mathews!





Title: Offsetting Penalties

Author: Ally Mathews

Publication date: November 6, 2017

Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush



About the Book:


Isabelle Oster has dreamed of being a prima ballerina her entire life, so when the only male dancer backs out of the fall production, she’s devastated. Without a partner, she has no hope of earning a spot with the prestigious Ballet Americana company. Until hot jock Garret practicing stretches in one of the studios gives Izzy an idea, and she whips out her phone. But does she really want this badly enough to resort to blackmail?

All-state tight end Garret Mitchell will do anything to get a college football scholarship. Even taking ballet, which surprisingly isn’t so bad, because it means he gets to be up close and personal with the gorgeous Goth girl Izzy while learning moves to increase his flexibility. But Izzy needs him to perform with her for the Ballet Americana spot, and he draws the line at getting on stage. Especially wearing tights.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a bit of blackmail, a lot of sarcasm, and an ending guaranteed to melt your heart.

Get It Here:


Amazon | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

Follow the tour:


Click here!


About the Author:


Ally lives in Texas with three kids, four dogs, two cats, a rabbit, assorted reptiles, and her husband. When she’s not
writing, you can find her reading, binge watching Psych, Scream, Younger, and superhero movies, and letting dogs in and
out of the house. She loves to cook but hates to clean up afterwards, and strongly believes that Disney World is truly
magical. You can find Ally on her website, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, though she makes no claims of using any of
them properly.

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest


Giveaway:


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Release Week Blitz & Giveaway: The November Girl by Lydia Kang!

 

Hello Readers! Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for

The November Girl by Lydia Kang

presented by Entangled Teen!

Grab your copy!

 

Congratulations Lydia!

 

 

I am Anda, and the lake is my mother. I am the November storms that terrify sailors and sink ships. With their deaths, I keep my little island on Lake Superior alive.

Hector has come here to hide from his family until he turns eighteen. Isle Royale is shut down for the winter, and there's no one here but me. And now him.

Hector is running from the violence in his life, but violence runs through my veins. I should send him away, to keep him safe. But I'm half human, too, and Hector makes me want to listen to my foolish, half-human heart. And if I do, I can't protect him from the storms coming for us.

The November Girl by Lydia Kang
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Amazon | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

 

 

Lydia Kang is an author of young adult fiction, poetry, and narrative non-fiction. She graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine, completing her residency and chief residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She is a practicing physician who has gained a reputation for helping fellow writers achieve medical accuracy in fiction. Her poetry and non-fiction have been published in JAMA, The Annals of Internal Medicine, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Journal of General Internal Medicine, and Great Weather for Media. She believes in science and knocking on wood, and currently lives in Omaha with her husband and three children.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Release Week Blitz & Giveaway: Haven by Mary Lindsey!

 

Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for

Haven by Mary Lindsey

presented by Entangled Teen!

Grab your copy today!

 

Congratulations Mary!

 

 

"We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed."

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s use to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running rom trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

Ancient magic and modern society collide in a sexy, spellbinding romance perfect for fans of C. C. Hunter and Maggie Stiefvater that proves sometimes beauty is the beast…

Haven by Mary Lindsey
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen

 

Amazon | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

 

 

Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband. Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 "pet" Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the "pet" roaches found a home... somewhere else.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

 

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Mini Review: Comics for a Strange World by Reza Farazmand



Title: Comics for a Strange World: A Book of Poorly Drawn Lines
Author: Reza Farazmand
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: October 24th 2017
Source: Plume Books


Book Description:



Absurd comics for our absurd times, from the artist behind the wildly popular webcomic Poorly Drawn Lines.

In his follow up to the New York Times bestselling Poorly Drawn Lines, beloved webcomic artist Reza Farazmand returns with a new collection of comics that hilariously skewers our modern age. Comics for a Strange World takes readers through time, space, and alternate realities, reuniting fans with favorite characters and presenting them with even more bizarre scenarios. A child is arrested for plagiarism. A squirrel adapts to human society by purchasing a cell phone--and a gun. And an old man shares memories of the Internet with his granddaughter ("A vast network of millions of idiots. Together, the idiots created endless shitty ideas. It was a true renaissance of shit."). In the world of Poorly Drawn Lines, nothing is too weird or too outlandish for parody.

Featuring 50% brand new content alongside some of the most popular comics of the past year, Comics for a Strange World is the perfect antidote to life's absurdities.






Review:


★★★

It's hard not to know about Poorly Drawn Lines. These comics show up everywhere: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr. You name it. And most of the time, I get a little chuckle at them. So I was happy to get a copy of this collection of comics. It's an okay book.

The comics were hit and miss for me. Some were really relatable and made me snicker. Some I didn't find funny at all. It was kind of a mixed bag all around. I will say that in order to fully appreciate these comics, you have to have sort of a dry, cynical sense of humor. And be a little bit weird.

The comics are divided into themes: The Human Experience, Social Creatures, Changes, A Strange World, and Thoughts on Things.

If you're already familiar with the comics, you'd probably appreciate this book. If you're new, it might be a weird thing to read and get used to. In my opinion, if you have it it's worth reading, but it's not something I'd rush out and grab right away.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.