I use both a Nook and Kindle so if you see a book you wish to borrow just let me know and let's be

November 21, 2015

Book 35 of 2015

The Dog-Gone Good Cookbook: 100 Easy, Healthy Recipes for Dogs and HumansThe Dog-Gone Good Cookbook: 100 Easy, Healthy Recipes for Dogs and Humans by Gayle Pruitt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am taking in account that no matter where I find a recipe, there may be tweaking needed for it to look and taste appetizing to me and my family's tastes so I am not taking any stars away for this.

I have three small dogs that you can see in the video portion of this review. I am not happy with all the chemicals and other things in the commercial dog food, even one of the best dog foods (and very expensive) had a recall not to long ago. My dogs are starting to experience health problems, some of which I believe is because of their diet so I thought about feeding them real food so I can control what and how much they get. Although human food has recalls, I just feel better knowing what is in their food and I feel it would be healthier for them besides, I love to cook. I came across this book and thought I'd give it a try.

The book starts off covering some information on how to use the book, staples to have in your house for cooking with as well as to keep on hand for use in recipes. It goes over the dogs digestive system and oral care. There are lists toxic foods, and safe foods. Of course these lists don't cover every food there is but the basic things that most people have in their house or use and eat often. The only thing out of these sections is the spices listed were very basic and I wish the list of them was expanded upon a bit more.

There is a sections of basic techniques followed by recipes, some for humans and canines and the other is canines only which takes up the majority of the book. I am so thankful for this basic techniques section because the first recipe in there is for 'Brined Chicken' and start off by saying, "If you have never eaten chicken that has been brined, then you are in for a treat." I never had a chicken that was brined and never brined one. I followed the directions and brined a chicken then turned the page to the 'Best Roast Chicken' and followed that recipe. This is where the tweaking comes in because I normally cook chicken on 350°F or even 375°F but the book calls for 325°F. By the time the chicken should have been done (hour and half to two hours for this size chicken) the temperature in the thigh was not even 160° never mind the 165° that is considered safe. Even when taking the temperature on the breast it wasn't high enough, also, the skin looked so white and undone so it wasn't even pleasing to the eye. This chicken was not done at all and I failed to see how the skin would 'crisp' using this temperature. So, I turned it up higher than normal (475°) for about 15 minutes which turned the skin a bit black in spots but at least it looked cooked and the internal temperature reached 165°. (Next time I make it, I will just cook it on 375°F.) Anyways, the true test was tasting it. In the video you can see what the dogs thought of it but both me and my husband agree that the author named it correctly, it was the 'Best Roast Chicken' we ever had.

I also made the 'Boney Beef Broth' and used it to make the 'Beef Stew' which was another hit! Again, next time I will tweak it by separating human portion from canine portion and add the onion and garlic and a few other things to it (toxic to dogs) but other than it being bland (but good) to us, the dogs loved it.

I feel this book covers basic things that those like me who are just starting out cooking for their pets need to know (including supplements). I also appreciate the links that are provided and the suggested websites and blogs. The recipes are easy (if you can find the ingredients) but like every cook book I've come across may need tweaking to suit taste or substitutions. (An example of a substitution is I wanted to make the 'Red Rice and Lentil Soup' but I just can't find red rice here at any stores in this area and I am not fond of buying my food on-line so I will substitute another rice in its place.) However, after saying that I want to be sure to say that it isn't like there are a whole lot of 'weird' or 'special' ingredients in it, so far the red rice is the only thing I am unable to find.

I recommend this book to anyone who is thinking of or just starting out to cook for their dogs. You'll be surprised to find the food is so yummy!

View all my reviews

November 18, 2015

A Great Children's Story called "Three Noisy Chickens to the Rescue"

Three Noisy Chickens to the RescueThree Noisy Chickens to the Rescue by Diane pike
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a cute children's story! If you think the cover is cute, wait until you see the illustrations on every page which is sure to keep even a young child interested. The story itself is only a few lines long on each page with the illustration relating to what is being said so it keeps the child's attention and turning the page.

It is a cute story that involves Grandma, Alice (granddaughter), Max (dog), and Heidi, Hetty, and Hilda (the three chickens). These characters are easy for a child to understand since it is only two people and the rest animals. The wording is simple and easy to follow with events that even a young child could relate to: dogs go for walk, chickens lay eggs, etc. Furthermore, the characters are simple with no history to confuse the child reading this. For example, it is never explained why Alice is at Grandma's house or even if there is a Grandpa in the house, it is just excepted that Alice is there.

The story is a feel good story where the three chickens come to the rescue after a snow storm so it will not leave a child sad or bothered that animals are missing or that someone in the story is sad. It is upbeat and actually can be used as a lesson for the importance of following directions, paying attention, and keeping yourself safe while outside.

I thought the book was very appropriate not only for young readers just starting out, but also as a bedtime story for those who don't read yet.

View all my reviews

November 15, 2015

Book 34 of 2015

Hysteria (The Namesaken Book 2)Hysteria by Michaela Wright
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hysteria by Michaela Wright has it all: mystery, supernatural, love, sex, suspense, and more. From the beginning it draws my attention to the point I don't want to put it down. The author already wrote a nice description of the story so I won't recap it but I will say that although it has a bit more sex than I usually care for, it was done very well and crucial to the story.

The setting of Edinburgh is so fitting since the medical school is there and the streets and buildings are perfect for this story to have that believability to it. The characters had accents which were fantastic and really helped to draw me into the time and place in the story. Although, I don't know or at least don't remember the exact year this story takes place, there are several hints that it was long ago. One hint is the cover of the book and the way she is dressed, another is the subject matter the doctors are studying which would have been long ago, but I do know it is not prior to 1813 simply because the book 'Pride and Prejudice' which one of the characters had was first published then.

The main character is Deliverance (Liv) Baird and she was brought to life through the pages. She is a complex person with a 'hard' past and hopeful future. She is multidimensional in character, yet at times she is naive. At first I thought she seems to have some sort of mental disorder such as a split personality which was probably caused by her tragic past years of abuse. Then I thought it is just because she is sensitive to those things most people consider 'unnatural' and that is what made her seem that way. Even now I am not exactly sure and maybe it is both but it really doesn't matter, she is likable and it is so easy to have a connection with her plus feel what she is going through in the story.

Dr. Findlay Lennox is also developed but a bit more mysterious. He is into his work researching and perfecting his technique to cure women from their troubles in a most unusual way. Truth be told, he leads a lonely life. He has that 'all work and no play' quality about him at the beginning of the story and comes off as a man who is psychologically untouchable. With each new chapter, these walls begin to tumble and he becomes more real and believable as a person with wants, secrets, fears, and moral battles.

There are other characters in the story which are all developed to varying degrees. What is needed to be known about them to make sense of what they are doing or what their place is, is known. They help bring some humor and are critical for the direction in the story. Each one is different with their own personality and place.

The plot seemed to be simple at first but it is really multi-leveled leading to a final climax at the end. Although a bit of it was predictable, not all of it was by any means. With all the different elements put into this story it really was easy to follow, quite surprising, and well done.

I did notice a few typos and/or the wrong words being used despite the accents.

*I received an ARC free for my unbiased review.

View all my reviews

November 2, 2015

Book 33 of 2015

Love's Rubber ArmorLove's Rubber Armor by Thais Hardison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Love's Rubber Armor is a collection of sonnets covering the subjects of love, loss, naughty, and one called 'of Cabbages and Kings' which I enjoyed the most. I never thought a sonnet that used wonder bread can have such meaning. Not just wonder bread but whole, white, bran, and whole wheat which naturally isn't about bread but used as metaphors that are so ingenious. Included are a few small sketches which are meaningful to that section of the book and I should clarify that the 'loss' speaks of a love lost, not of loss due to death.

The cover of the book is perfect with the drop of water bouncing up and the ripples forming, to me it is what the book is all about. A feeling or event (the drop) fell into the water (the person) and this caused the rippling effect of emotions. Even reading it, each section invokes the desired emotion. The author stated not to reproduce any portion of the book so I will not quote any but the use of words is outstanding. The symbolism and metaphors are very effective.

Although it is a short book, it is packed with well written sonnets that contained no errors that I found. I recommend it to every adult (due to the 'naughty') who enjoys poetry.

View all my reviews