Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Book Review: My New Roots: Inspired Plant-Based Recipes for Every Season, by Sarah Britton

My New Roots is blogger Sarah Britton's first book, based on the eponymous blog.  Both the blog and the book offer recipes for healthy, vegetarian, whole foods.  Many of the recipes are either straightforwardly vegan or offer vegan alternatives.  The recipes and the photographs are gorgeous.  The book (in both styling and types of recipes) are very reminiscent of Heidi Swanson's 101 Cookbooks blog and her own cookbooks.  That is certainly not to say it's derivative (although Heidi Swanson did blurb this book, so I assume they have the same editor or something); it's merely to say that this is an excellent book for fans of Swanson's work.  As with Swanson's recipes, the food here is healthy and whole, but that certainly doesn't mean it's diet food or about cutting things out of your diet.  The food is beautiful, decadent, and yummy-looking.  All of the recent whole foods cookbooks emphasize "bowl food," which I love, and Britton includes a super tasty-sounding recipe for Tempeh Mushroom Breakfast Bowls.  I'm also looking forward to trying out here Freekeh Pancakes with Wilted Swiss Chard and Poached Eggs. She has a lot of innovative recipes for delicious snacks and baked goods, like Dark Chocolate Cherry Overnight Oats, Sunflower Sesame Seed Brittle, Fully Loaded Breakfast Bars (they look like big nutty cookies!), and Raw Blondies.  In fact, her baked and raw items are the stars of this cookbook.  If you are looking to eat healthier but do not want to sacrifice taste, this is the book for you.

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

Olympia Le-Tan James Bond Book Clutches

Friday, June 19, 2015

Book Review: The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

Nina George's novel The Little Paris Bookshop is a charming and gentle story.  In fact, if you read the description of the plot (barge, bookstore, French, healing people with literature, quirky characters, redemption), it sounds like it was calculated to charm.  This is for fans of Gabrielle Zevin's The Storied Life of AJ Fikry, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, The Guernsey Literary and Sweet Potato Peel Pie Society, or Major Pettigrew's Last Stand.  It is, perhaps, not quite on the level of those books, but it is certainly aimed at the audience for that type of book.  Essentially, the main character, named Monsieur Perdu, "prescribes" books for people's problems.  This aspect of the book reminded me of Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin's The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness. 752 Books to Cure What Ails You, one of my favorite books.  But while that book is non-fiction and offers actual recommendations for actual problems in the format of a encyclopedia, and is also somewhat wry in tone, George's book takes itself a bit more seriously.  I enjoyed it, and I think those who are looking for more reads like the books mentioned above will be quite pleased with these title.  
(I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Review: Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

In Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, Gretchen Rubin's latest book, the author explores habits and how we can create good ones and change bad ones.  This book was written somewhat in the spirit of her earlier book, The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun.  Like that book, Better Than Before combines Rubin's personal experiences and attempts to self-help, and inspiration and ideas for the reader.  Better Than Before veers a bit more in the direction of self-help than The Happiness Project, which was more memoir-centered.  Rubin's book is readable and unlike a lot of self-help, it's not overly touchy-feely.  Rubin starts the book by arguing that habit forming/changing is most effective if we tailor it to our personality types.  Another thing that sets this book apart from other self-help books is that, as in The Happiness Project, Rubin does not present herself as an expert on the topic, and instead tries out methods herself.   
(I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.)