Friday, April 23, 2010

Review Breaking Dawn by: Stephenie Meyer

Title: Breaking Dawn
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Pages: 756
Series: Twilight #4
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchase


To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to a werewolf Jacob Black, she has endured a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife to reach the ultimate turning point. her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fate of two tribes hangs.

Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating and unfathomable consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella's life - first discovered in Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse - seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed...forever?

The astonishing, breathlessly anticipated conclusion to the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn illuminates the secrets and mysteries of this spellbinding romantic epic that has entranced millions.

My Thoughts: 
So I finished up Breaking Dawn today, wow can we say alot of pages :) I really think it was a good story. I think some people have trouble identifying with it, if you haven't been married, or gotten pregnant or even had a baby. I think if you have done any of those then you know that you will protect those you love more than anything else in the world. I was glad to see that Jacob was finally able to move on after Bella. And that Bella found the strength she never knew she had. I was a tad concerned with Alice's disappearance but glad it was explained in such a way we can understand it. And very very very glad Bella was able to have her forever with Edward! Overall a 5 star book in my opinion.

I am going to pre-order The 2nd Life of Bree Tanner. And I will be reviewing it here.
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Review Eclipse by: Stephenie Meyer

Title: Eclipse
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Pages: 629
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchase


As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob - knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?

Readers captivated by Twilight and New Moon will eagerly devour Eclipse, the much-anticipated third book in Stephenie Meyer's riveting vampire love saga.

My Thoughts: 

I thought this book was very good as we open the story we find ourselves still dealing with the Jacob-Edward love triangle. Centering around Bella and who she will choose. Meanwhile the Cullens and La Push are dealing with a string of murders in Seattle. It becomes evident that there is an army brewing.

There is alot more action in this book, along with some tough decisions on Bella's part. I enjoyed this as I have enjoyed the whole Twilight series. The conflict Bella goes through with dealing with who she loves more. You also learn that Edward through Jacob can see the pain he caused Bella in New Moon. I will definitely keep this set of books around cause they are ones I could reread. On to Breaking Dawn...
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Twilight Saga

I've been spending my day reading. So today I finished Twilight, read New Moon and have now moved on to Eclipse. I liked Twilight alot as it set up alot. New Moon not the Jacob aspect as much, would've been nice if he was a good friend of hers, and not a werewolf, I am so far liking Eclipse. So it shall be interesting how these last two books play out.

After these are read I will be finishing some books I started on goodreads, so be sure to check out my reading list.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Cat Who Books

I have loved this series since my aunt first handed me one of them for me to read.  They are great little reas about Qwilleran and his companions Coco, and Yumyum.  They are really cute fun books with a touch of mystery.  The author Lilian Jackson Braun was born in 1913 and wrote these later in life.  No one knows what has happened to her.  But you can always pick up a Cat Who Book and feel the love she put into the characters.  They will definitely sit in my collection for years to come.  I am hoping someday to introduce my young girls to the cat who when they are older.  Has anyone read these?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Review Witch and Wizard by: James Patterson

Title: Witch and Wizard
Author: James Patterson
Series: Witch and Wizard #1
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Pages: 314
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchase


Imagine you wake up and the world around you-life as you know it-has changed in an instant. That's what has happened to Whit Allgood and his sister, Whisty. They went to sleep as normal teenagers, and woke up as wanted criminals. Accused of holding incredible powers they'd never dreamed possible. And now, just how different they are-special, even-if just beginning to be revealed in a strange new world.


My Review:

OMG Can we say an awesome read? I thoroughly enjoyed this book with all the action and parts of the story changing. Great book wouldn't even think of it as a young adult but as I have been seeing the young adults love this book. James Patterson has really hit on something with this book. Take the time to check out through Amazon sites. Lots of action and adventure. Definitely a 5 cup book!
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring Is Here

Quick, Healthy, Springtime Dishes -- Featuring Herbs!
By Lidia Matticchio Bastianich,
Author of Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes

The use of fresh herbs has exploded in the American kitchen today. I recall that as a young apprentice in Italy -- at my great-aunt's apron strings -- for every herb we had in the garden, there seemed to be a pot on the stove to match.

Some herbs were better to cook with while others were better added at the end to a finished dish. For example, rosemary, bay leaves and thyme are mostly used for long cooking where their oils are extracted slowly out of their leaves. Sage, oregano and marjoram need very little cooking time, and herbs such as basil, parsley and mint are great to toss in raw at the end -- just enough to release their refreshing aromas.

If you have small children a wonderful way to introduce them to the enticing aromas of herbs is to gently crush the herbs in your hands and let them smell. I did this with my grandchildren when they were very small and it's a great way to get them excited about the world of herbs and food at an early age.

In fact, once you get your small children excited about herbs, introduce them to your own dishes. Here I'm sharing some of the quickest, and most child-friendly. Enjoy!

Makes 1 ½ cups

* 1 cup packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
* ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves
* ½ cup packed mixed fresh sage, thyme, and marjoram leaves
* 4 garlic cloves, peeled
* 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
* Salt

Wash the herb leaves in cool water and dry them thoroughly, preferably in a salad spinner. Combine the herbs and garlic in a blender and blend on low speed, slowly adding the oil while the machine is running, until the pesto is smooth and all the oil is incorporated. Add salt to taste.

Keep in a sealed jar in the refrigerator and use as needed. Pesto will keep refrigerated for up to 4 weeks or it may be frozen for up to 3 months. Make sure there is a thin film of oil over the pesto to keep its flavor and color bright.

Serves 2 as an appetizer, 1 as a lunch dish
From "Lidia's Family Table" (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004)

* 2 large eggs
* 2 tablespoons milk
* ¼ teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
* 1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
* 1 teaspoon butter
* 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Whisk the eggs, milk, salt, and fresh herbs until just blended together.

Heat the butter and oil in the small frying pan until it just starts to sizzle, then pour in the eggs and turn the heat down very low. Cook gently for 3 to 4 minutes. The eggs will start to puff up and sizzle at the edges. Lift a corner of the frittata with a spatula, and check to see if the bottom has browned in splotches. When it has, flip the frittata over by giving the pan a firm, quick shake up and over toward you so that the egg mass dislodges and flips over in one piece. Or, if that unnerves you, turn the frittata over with a spatula. Cook the second side for 1 ½ to 2 minutes, again checking to see if the bottom has browned to your liking. Serve right away, or let cool to room temperature and cut the frittata in wedges.

Serves 6

Landlocked Umbria does not have a seafood cuisine. But its mountain lakes, rivers, and streams abound in freshwater fish, like the tasty tench. This simple preparation is one I found in Umbria, and it is excellent for fillets of our sweet-water varieties, such as carp or whitefish, or even light ocean-fish fillets like sole.

* 2 pounds whitefish fillets
* ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
* 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* Juice of a large lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
* ½ cup white wine
* 6 plump garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
* ½ cup fine dry bread crumbs
* Zest of a large lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
* ½ teaspoon dried oregano
* ¼ teaspoon peperoncino flakes, or to taste, chopped fine
* Fresh lemon slices, for serving

Recommended equipment: A 4-quart shallow rectangular baking dish; a heavy-bottomed skillet or saute pan, 12-inch diameter or larger, with a cover.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly salt the fish on both sides, using about ¼ teaspoon salt in all. Pour 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the lemon juice, white wine, and another ¼ teaspoon salt into the baking dish, and whisk together well. Drop in the garlic cloves, and stir with the dressing. Lay the fillets in the dish, turn and swish them in the dressing so both sides are thoroughly moistened, and arrange them, skin side down, in one layer.

Toss the bread crumbs in a bowl with the lemon zest, parsley, oregano, chopped peperoncino, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, and toss the crumbs well until evenly moistened with oil.

Spoon the seasoned bread crumbs on top of the fillets in a light, even layer. Bake, uncovered, until the crumbs are crisp and golden and the fish is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Lift the fish out with a spatula, and set on a warm platter to serve family-style, or on individual plates. Spoon over it the juices left in the baking dish, and serve right away, with lemon slices on the side.

© 2010 Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, authors of Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes
Author Bio:
Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, coauthor of Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipe, is the author of five previous books, four of them accompanied by nationally syndicated public television series. She is the owner of the New York City restaurant Felidia (among others), and she lectures on and demonstrates Italian cooking throughout the country. She lives on Long Island, and can be reached at her Web site,

The Third Rail

The Third Rail
By Michael Harvey
Published by Knopf
April 2010; $24.95US/$29.95CAN; 978-0-307-27250-8

A woman is shot as she waits for her train to work. An hour later, a second woman is gunned down as she rides an elevated train through the Loop. Two hours after that, a church becomes the target of a chemical weapons attack. The city of Chicago is under siege, and Michael Kelly, cynical cop turned private investigator, just happens to be on the scene when all hell breaks loose.

Kelly is initially drawn into the case by the killers themselves, then tasked by Chicago's mayor and the FBI to hunt down the bad guys and, all things being equal, put a bullet in them. Kelly, of course, has other ideas. As he gets closer to the truth, his instincts lead him to a retired cop, a shady train company, and an unnerving link to his own past. Meanwhile, Kelly's girlfriend, Rachel Swenson, becomes a pawn in a much larger game, while a weapon that could kill millions ticks away quietly in the very belly of the city.

The Third Rail is stylish, sophisticated, edge-of-your-seat suspense from a new modern master.

Author Bio
Michael Harvey is the author of two other Michael Kelly books, The Chicago Way and The Fifth Floor, as well as a journalist and documentary producer. His work has won numerous national and international awards, including multiple Emmy Awards and an Academy Award nomination. Mr. Harvey earned a law degree from Duke University, a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and a bachelor's degree in classical languages from Holy Cross College. Additional information can be found at .

Become a fan of Michael Harvey on Facebook and follow him on Twitter: @thechicagoway .
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