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Showing posts from November, 2013

"Giada's Feel Good Food" by Giada De Laurentiis

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In her new cookbook Giada’s Feel Good Food, celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis answers the question she is so often asked - how does she cook and eat all that delicious food on television and still look so fabulous?
To do this she is sharing 120 of her favourite healthy recipes as well as all of her beauty and health secrets.  This is a fantastic, comprehensive book for both experienced cooks and those who are new to the kitchen.  It covers meal, drinks, snacks, and desserts, and there is something in for everyone - including vegetarians, vegans, and those who are dairy or gluten-free.
As someone who is not very skilled in the kitchen, I love cookbooks for new ideas but am often thrown off by how difficult or time-consuming a lot of the recipes can be.  But this book does not have any of that intimidation factor for me.  There are tons of simple recipes like Oatmeal with Cinnamon Sugar; Citrus Parfaits; Cinnamon Kettle Corn; Chewy Granola Bars; California Turkey Chilli; Sole with Lem…

"An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth" by Chris Hadfield

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On December 19, 2012, Canadian Chris Hadfield set off in a Soyuz capsule heading toward the International Space Station where he would serve as Commander, the final act of a lifelong dream that started when he was just nine years old.  It was at that age that he watched the Apollo moon landing from the small town of Stag Island, Ontario and decided that one day he would be an astronaut.  He wasn’t going to let the fact that at the time it was impossible for Canadians stand in his way.
Chris devoted his life to fulfilling that goal.  Even though it wasn’t possible to become an astronaut, he dedicated himself to training as a test pilot with both the Canadian and American militaries while waiting for it to become possible.  When the Canadian Space Agency began selecting astronauts he was ready and able.  And while serving many different roles with the CSA and NASA, he achieved his dream, logging almost 4000 hours in space.
In An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space T…

"A Cinderella Christmas" by Holly Kingston

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Lucy Tilley dreams of being a famous actress and she knows that everyone has to start somewhere.  But this isn’t what she thought she’d have to do.  
Lucy finally has a part in this years Cinderella pantomime, the hottest show in town.  And to add to that, she’s starring alongside famous TV actor Ryan Aspall, one of the sexiest soap stars around.  The only problem is her part.  She’s not Cinderella, she’s not even one of the stepsisters, no she’s playing the back end of the comedy cow.  
Lucy may not have the best part and she may never be noticed by Ryan but at least she has the support of reality starlet and total diva, Charmaine, who happens to be playing Cinderella.  Sure, her part of the friendship involves running Charmaine’s errands and baby-sitting her dog, but at least she’s rubbing elbows with the (little bit) rich and (semi) famous right?
Only Charmaine isn’t all she seems and before the panto even hits the stage, the drama unfolds backstage.  Will Lucy finally achieve her…

"There's More to Life Than Cupcakes" by Poppy Dolan

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Ellie Redford has a wonderful life with a lovely husband, job, and home.  Everything is perfect for her but to everyone else she is missing one thing - a baby.  The pressure is coming from everywhere, especially her husband Pete.  And it’s not that she doesn’t want a baby….one day.  
With increased responsibilities at work and a best friend who is firmly set against babies, Ellie isn’t sure if having a baby is a good idea right now.  While she tries to figure things out, through the help of an anonymous blog and field research, she signs up for a baking class.  But she’s not prepared for what comes her way in the form of fellow student, the young, hot Joe.  And when a weekly baking class turns into the opportunity to be on a reality cooking show, her personal life becomes even more muddled than before.  
There’s More to Life Than Cupcakes is a funny, smart, and delicious novel from Poppy Dolan.  It is full of fantastic characters, lots of humours, and should come with a warning that a…

"It's Monday! What Are You Reading?"

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.
The last few months I haven't been reading as much as I usually do, even with the excitement of literary awards and best books of the year lists.  But this past week, I got back into a rhythm and I chalk that all up to the fact that I was reading one of my favourite genres - British chick lit!
What I Read Last Week I finally managed to finish Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy.  It's not that it was hard to get to but I kept putting it down and reading another book.  I liked it, but think maybe I built it up too much in mind before I read it. There's More to Life Than Cupcakes by Poppy Dolan and A Cinderella Christmas by Holly Kingston are two brand new books from a brand new imprint called Novelicious Books.  If you're familiar with the Novelicious website you'll be happy to know they are now publishing books!  I loved both of these books, look for reviews this week.
What I Am Cur…

"Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy" by Helen Fielding

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Chick lit’s favourite heroine is back!  It’s been 15 years since we first fell in love with Bridget Jones and life is very different for her now.  A widow, she is raising two children, working on a screenplay, trying to figure out all this new technology, and jumping back into the dating pool.  But somethings never change - her fabulous friends are still by her side, she’s still struggling with her weight, and still keeping a diary.  
In Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Helen Fielding introduces us to a 51-year-old Bridget who obsesses over the number of Twitter followers she has, embarrasses herself in front of the teachers and other mothers at school, and in the biggest surprise of all, is dating a 29-year-old name Roxster.  We’ve waited a long time for her return, the question is, is she still the same Bridget we all fell in love with?
First things first, the spoiler heard round the world that had everyone up in arms - Bridget is widowed, Mark Darcy having died a few years earlie…

"The Imperfect Environmentalist" by Sara Gilbert

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Let me start by saying I don’t generally like to read eco-friendly books written by celebrities.  Maybe it’s just me but I wonder how much of it is about their commitment to the earth and how much of it is just about one more thing to add to their resumé.  In other words, I wonder just how much I’ll learn.  But I saw this book by Sara Gilbert and thought, okay, she’s vegan, I’ve seen her on her talk show and heard what she has to say and she sounds really committed, so I decided to give her book a chance.
The Imperfect Environmentalist: A Practical Guide to Clearing Your Body, Detoxing Your Home, and Saving the Earth (Without Losing Your Mind) defies what I think about celebrity books.  Sara writes with knowledge, humour, and authority.  She isn’t condescending (don’t worry, she won’t berate you for not being vegan) but she isn’t light about these things either.  You can tell she is committed to being an environmentalist but respectful of where others stand on the issue.  This book is…

"About A Girl" by Lindsey Kelk

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Tess Brookes has always lived life according to plan but one day it all falls to pieces.  And then her whole life changes from one “what was I thinking” moment.
When Tess accidentally answers her flatmate Vanessa’s phone, she sees a way out the mess her life has currently become.  Realizing that the person on the other end of the phone thinks she is Vanessa, she jumps right in and accepts the photography assignment being offered.  A week in Hawaii is just what she needs and since she used to be an amateur photographer, no one will find out that she isn’t Vanessa.  What could go wrong? 
How about everything.  From the moment she arrives in Hawaii, the journalist on shoot with her is trying to get into her pants, she has been assigned the diva of all models, and the subject of the shoot is nowhere to be found.  On top of this, Vanessa doesn’t exactly have the best reputation in the journalism world.  Will Tess be able to keep up her charade for the whole week or will she give in, ‘fess…

"The Midwife of Venice" by Roberta Rich

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Hannah Levi is a midwife known throughout sixteenth-century Venice for her skill and bedside manner.  In the Jewish ghetto where she lives, women turn to her for the births, especially for her “birthing spoons” which she developed to help difficult births.  
One night, a Christian count appears at her door with the Rabbi.  The Conte's wife is in labour and near death and he believes that Hannah is the only one who can help her.  It is illegal for Jews to give medical treatment to Christians but the Conte is offering Hannah a lot of money, enough money to pay the ransom for her husband Isaac who has been auctioned as a slave in Malta.
Hannah attends the birth but in doing so she brings upon herself the wrath of the Conte’s treacherous brother.  As she seeks shelter with her sister Jessica who has been shunned from the Jewish community, she tries desperately to save not only the life of her husband but her own.
The Midwife of Venice is the first in a historical fiction series by Rob…