Tag Archives: review

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch (Gentlemen Bastards #2)

Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard, #2)Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

First of all, I have never enjoyed an audio book as much as this one. At least half a star is for that alone. The story was quite the exciting romp through the world of the Gentleman Bastards. I don’t know how to say much without spoiling the book for people, but suffice it to say that if you enjoyed The Lies of Locke Lamora you will most likely enjoy Red Seas Under Red Skies. Jean & Locke are definitely up to no good and it doesn’t always work out for them. Still, to paraphrase one of Jean’s more memorable lines, they’re the biggest, baddest motherfuckers in the room.

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Death Comes to Pemberley by JP.D. James

Death Comes to PemberleyDeath Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
My rating: 1.5 of 5 stars

P.D. James, I loved The Children of Men. I even bought a copy of it to write a paper comparing it to another book for no other reason than that I found it that fascinating and intriguing. I’ve enjoyed the other books of yours I read. You are, or sadly were, an author for whom I have great respect. I just want to know, what happened with Death Comes to Pemberley?

I think I could have liked this book. I found the premise interesting and I have a long-running adoration of Pride and Prejudice. This though? This was tawdry. It went for sensationalism in a way Austen would find anathema. The characters were shadows, the plot was both weak and made me sad, and the book left me feeling irritable for days. Months later the primary thought I have about this is, “Damn authors, get off my lawn!” I even created a shelf with that name.

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Friday Favorites: Pesto Focaccia Pizza from BudgetBytes


Pesto Focaccia Pizza

Like the author of this post, I love pizza. I also love the no knead focaccia recipe on which this particular pizza is based. I think my next variation will be red sauce with mozzarella, prosciutto, and basil. Mmm!

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett (Discworld #13: Standalone)

Small Gods (Discworld, #13)Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
I don’t even know how to express just how much I loved Small Gods. I really, really, really enjoyed reading this. Sure, that may have been because my boyfriend’s great love of turtles has rubbed off on me. It may have been a devious glee at the thought of a petulant little god who never considered that he should do anything for his believers. The great library and the hilarious stereotype of the philosophers in Ephebe certainly didn’t hurt. Nor did the penguin. Or the history monk. Vorbis was creepy as hell, which added a slight touch of reality. Seriously, go read this. Now. Go!

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Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

I have had pretty good luck with the recipes I have tried from Vegetarian Times. This, however, was a dud. My poor boyfriend had the worst of it, since he fixed them. It was a time consuming process, in addition to the hour and a half bake time. The results weren’t worth it. They were remarkably bland. There was no cohesion within the peppers. As for what it was like when I reheated it the next day? Not a pleasant experience. I will not be making this again.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling (Harry Potter #7)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was better than Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Coming from me, that pretty much falls into the “damning with faint praise” category. There were some parts of this book I really enjoyed, especially some of the character development with the Weasley kids. Overall though…well, if you don’t mind obscenities or spoilers, my complete thoughts are in the rant below.
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Review: Pear-Pecan Muffins

Pear-Walnut Muffins

Pear-Walnut Muffins

As you can see from the discre pancy in the post and recipe titles, I substituted pecans for the walnuts and was lazy so they weren’t toasted. I don’t know how much difference that made, but I can assure you these muffins were absolutely wonderful. They stayed moist and light, even the one that was left the next day. My only regret is that I didn’t make a double recipe. I’ll definitely be doing that next time.

Review: Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels #3)

Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3)Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews
Magic Strikes is my favorite of the Kate Daniels novels to date. I chalk this up to really liking Derek’s and Dali’s characters. Derek in particular gained more dimension in this installment. Dali was really funny, while also plucky. At risk of spoilers, all I am going to say is that there are gladiator games and Kate & Curran end up on opposing sides of an issue in a much more concrete way than they have before. Simon also receives an interesting treatment. Overall, I enjoyed this read quite a bit.

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Favorites Friday: The White Hotel

The White HotelThe White Hotel by D.M. Thomas

Surreal and beautiful. A fantastic book that combines prose and poetry in an intoxicating mixture. Set in a resort style hotel we see people going about a wealthy holiday with seemingly no awareness that the world is changing around them. As the book builds and swirls, however, the enormity of the times and realization that something is wrong becomes inescapable. I am forever indebted to the friend who first gave this to me. Reading it was a thoroughly inspiring and enjoyable experience.

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Lists: Best Books Read in 2011 – # 1

Best Books Read in 2011

1. Room by Emma Donoghue

Not many authors can write well from a child’s point of view, especially when writing for an adult audience. In Room, Emma Donoghue does precisely that. She conveys a haunting tale with beauty and wonder and terror. I was skeptical when I picked up this book. After putting it down seven months ago, I still think of it regularly. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Original Review

2. The Christ-Haunted Landscape by Susan Ketchin
3. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
4. The Forever War by Dexter Filkins
5. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
6. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
7. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
8. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
9. A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
10. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett