Holiday Cookies

Holiday Cookies is a fabulous cookbook for the holiday season.   When the cookbook arrived, my wife and thumbed through the pages to see if there was anything new we would like to try this year.  We soon found that the list of delicious, desirable convictions was going to be too long for just one holiday season.  Once our children found the book, our list may as well have been the entire table of contents.  A cookbook with plenty of pictures, lots of fresh takes on old favorites and some new cookies that we have never tried … this book is perfect for anyone looking for a recipe book for holiday sweets.


The Massacre of Mankind

The Massacre of Mankind, by Stephen Baxter, is, quite simply, a brilliant, authorized sequel to H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds.  The sequel begins several years after the Martians were vanquished.  The narrator, Julie Elphinstone, is the ex sister-in-law of Walter Jenkins, the narrator in the original story.  She is called into duty by Jenkins after he sees signs that the Martians will be renewing their attack.  Set in the early 1900’s, Baxter does an excellent job tying the original story to the original — so much so it is hard to believe the stories were written decades apart.  A great read for lovers of science-fiction — both traditional and contemporary.

* I received this book free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

The New American Heart Association Cookbook

An excellent, do-all, cookbook.  The New American Heart Association Cookbook (9th Edition) provides more then 800 recipes for all diets and appetites.  As the inside flap states, it is the “ultimate resource for anyone who’s looking to improve his or her heart health, including lowering blood pressure, reducing blood cholesterol and losing weight.”

The introduction describes “healthy eating, healthy heart” tips, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, oily fish, skinless poultry, lean cuts of meat, etc.

The recipes are broken into twelve different sections: appetizers, snacks and beverages; soups; salads and salad dressings; slow-cooker recipes; seafood; poultry; meats; vegetarian entrees; vegetables and side dishes; sauces and gravies; breads and breakfast dishes; and desserts.

For anyone looking for new takes on dishes for any time of the day, this cookbook is for you.

The Physics of Everyday Things

The Physics of Everyday Things, by James Kakalios, is an interesting and enlightening book that describes how science influences our everyday lives.  Kakalios approaches different aspects of the day (morning wake up, commute, doctor visits, travel and business presentations) and explains how science makes things work.  The book was different than what I expected, but I found myself entertained and enlightened as I learned about toasters, cameras, laser pointers and other objects that I might on a nearly daily basis.

The Book of Greens


The Book of Greens, by Jenn Louis, is a unique cookbook.  At least on my shelf.  The book is dedicated to greens … forty different kinds and almost 200 recipes.  You will find common greens, like arugula, cabbage, kale, spinach, etc., as well as lesser known greens (mizuna, gai lan, red orach and others).  With each green, Ms. Louis provides details about when they are ripe, how to choose, clean, store and refresh them as well as cooking methods and a few recipes.  If you are looking to add more greens to your diet, you will find this book to be a treasure.

Ice Cream & Friends

Another awesome cookbook from Food52!  The cookbook collection is rapidly becoming one of my favorites.  Ice Cream & Friends takes the cook through a series of different ice cream flavors and accompanying drinks and toppings.  The sections of the cookbook include: chocolate, vanilla & company; nutty; fruity; herbs & spices; drink riffs and savory.

My favorite recipes include S’mores Ice Cream, Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Concord Grace Sauce, Homemade Sprinkles, Mango Lassicles, Mint-Basil Chip Ice Cream and Burnt Toast Ice Cream.

Anybody who likes homemade ice cream will enjoy this cookbook!

Blood Rose Rebellion

Blood Rose Rebellion, by Rosalyn Eves, is a fun story about world ruled by magic.  Ms. Eves does a very good job developing her magical world, introducing interesting characters who are worth caring about, rooting for and rooting against.  It tells the story of Anna, a young woman who seems to have no hope of participating in the elite society and her struggles to find success and her placed in the world.  A good read for anyone who enjoys fantasy, magic, new worlds and strong characters.

When God Made You

This was a fun book for me to read with my kids (ages 5 and 7).  When God Made You, by Matthew Paul Turner, is a engaging story about how meaningful each child (each one of us) is to God.  Obviously a spiritual tale, the story helps children know that the really are children of God and that he knows them individually, just as our earthly parents know us.  For anyone seeking to find a story to help their young one’s understand their place in the universe, this is a good read.

A Shadow Bright and Burning

A Shadow Bright and Burning tells the story of a young woman with special magical talents – Henrietta Howell.  The story begins with her wallowing away her time at a home for girls, facing the abuse of the head master.  She is soon rescued by a sorcerer who believes that she is the answer to a particular prophecy … that she will lead the sorcerers in their battle to defeat evil demons and demigods.  The story takes Henrietta on an adventure studying with sorcerers and magicians, learning to control her powers and ultimately battling the demons in her life.  A very good start to a new series.


The Tunnels:  Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill, by Greg Mitchell, is a very interesting story about tunnels built under the Berlin Wall.  The story takes place shortly after the Berlin Wall was constructed, in 1962, and detailed the stories of those who actually dug the tunnels, the network media professionals looking for the big story to share with the American people and the people who were able to escape East Germany and live in the west.  Mitchell also describes those who failed in their escape attempts and their consequences, which often included death.  The book includes photographs of the tunnels and the personalities and is a great read for anyone interested in the Cold War.