Book Review – June 2014

30 Jun

“You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page

and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.”

Paul Sweeney


Can I admit to being completely wiped out from this past month? Granted, a good part of that is because of my ever-frustrating health. But, my OH graduated a few weeks ago, we had a party for him that same night and then the next day he left for Portland for his new job (that i’ve already told you about!)  and I think I’ve found a doctor that might be able to help get my health back on track. My mini-garden is ready to transplant, which I’m hoping to do this week  and I’m loving driving my classic 1968 VW Bug again. That sums up my month in a very tiny nutshell. 

And now, on to the books!

I got hooked on a series so the other books I’ve been reading suffered because I just couldn’t put the book down! But, now that I have to wait for the third book in the series at the end of the year, I can get back to those I’ve been postponing. As I had hoped last month, I made it to all of the books on my list – so let’s get to it! 



Take Hold – by Ariel and D’vorah Berkowitz – Yes, i started this last month but I am thoroughly enjoying the (albeit slow) read! This book teaches about the unity and equality between Jewish believers and non- Jewish believers through Messiah;  the inheritance of non -Jewish believers through the covenants of Israel. As the back cover states “What is your relationship to the Land, the People and the Scriptures of Israel?” It is published through First Fruits of Zion, where we also get our Torah Club (messianic commentary on the weekly portions)

The Twelve Dancing Princesses – selected and introduced by Alfred David and Mary Elizabeth Meek – my mom got me this(!) it was printed in 1974 and I got so excited about it because of the re-write of the dancing princesses story, Wildwood Dancing by  Juliet Marillier. This book is a compilation of fairy tales from Germany, Russia, France, Scandinavia, England and America. Some are familiar and some I’ve never heard of before. All though, are different from the fairy tales that we know. Darker. Sadder. More detailed and in depth than what they have turned into. I am loving grabbing this when I only have a few minutes to read. 



A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander –   Book 1 of the Belmont Mansion Series . a Great Historical novel! It already went back to the library, so if you try to search for it in the photos, you won’t find it =) Set one year after the War Between the States ended. Claire Laurent has a dream of becoming a well-acclaimed painter, but her father insists she is only a copyist. She has to flee New Orleans to Nashville and meets Sutton Monroe. When he doesn’t turn her in to authorities, she thinks he is a godsend. But as events unfold, she wonders if she misjudged him. Sutton Monroe wants to set the wrongs done against him and his family, right and to reclaim what is due him. But at what cost to him – and the woman he loves?  yes, it really is that good. I had the hardest time putting this down! 

A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander – Book 2 of the Belmont Mansion Series – set in late 1868 on. Eleanor Braddock is plain and practical. She wants her life to have meaning, even though she knows she will never marry. She arrives at her aunt’s house, Belmont Mansion, poor and struggling to take care of her ailing father. Her Aunt Adelicia is one of the most demanding women, and her goal is to see Elanor wed. But Eleanor finds herself helping the widows and fatherless children from the Civil War, knowing that her aunt will not approve. Hiding his royal identity, Archduke Marcus Gottifried hopes to live life as he wants, combining his love of beauty in nature and architecture with the building of the widows and children’s home with Eleanor. As the work brings them closer, a love blooms. But the one person that knows Marcus’ secret is about to reveal it. ACK! i love this novel. I just finished it last night and I almost feel like I could just pick it up again. You must read this series. I love the twists and turns that these books bring. 

Finding Betty Crocker- by Susan Marks – who doesn’t love Betty Crocker? I have a new habit of wandering the cookbook section at the library, not only searching for cookbooks but also memoirs. This one I was excited about and while I am only about halfway through it is an interesting read. It goes through the history of Betty Crocker – ‘born’ in 1921 and how she was welcomed into kitchens and hearts. She became an icon- having her own radio show, answering fan mail and cooking classes around the country. Along with a wonderfully written biography on Crocker, history through the war years is given also. There are even recipes tossed in before the chapters! If you grew up with Betty Crocker, this is for sure a book you’ll want to read.

A Tiger in the Kitchen by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan – a memoir of food and family – yes, another food memoir. I am not very far along in this book either but so far it’s proving a good read. Cheryl grew up in Singapore, in the most food-obsessed city in the world. At eighteen, she left for America and became a fashion writer. In her thirties, though, the call to learn to cook the dishes her family made became undeniable and she braved the kitchen to try and recreate them. But was it too late? While cooking with her aunts, she learns not only the recipes but also family stories. 

Your Older Dog by Jean Callahan – this book indicates that I realized Lady is old. See, I’ve always thought of her as my puppy. The fact that she turns 9 this summer means nothing —until I started thinking about how slow she gets up in the morning, how much more she sleeps than she used to and she seems to be a little more attached to me and the OH. It makes me sad to realize it. But I grabbed this book since I want to get her out walking/jogging with me each week and don’t want to cause her pain. This book covers aging, first aid and preventive care, natural remedies, guide to most age-related problems and end stage issues. I of course flipped to the section of ‘exercise to keep your dog agile’. It has good content and am thinking it might be a good one to own.

DIY Dog Grooming by Jorge Bendersky – I admit, the cover is off-putting but I went through it the other day before I groomed Lady and learned a lot.  It first has you identify what hair type your dog has , tells you what tools to use and then step by step through the dog on brushing, trimmming, cleaning etc… Also includes solutions to common problems, picture tips and grooming solutions from your pantry (there’s even a page on essential oils and dogs).  Well done book. This is another one that I would like to own, but I would probably have to put a book cover on it… if you want to know what I’m talking about, just google it.

The Belly OFF Diet by Jeff Csatari – I wrote about this one last month and while I didn’t read too much more in it – majority of it left is the exercises they recommend, I did go through them and contemplate doing the work outs…. That’s as far as it went sadly. But I do love some of the recipes in here! They are going to stay in my ‘repetoire’. That taco salad is amazing. For a more thorough review on it, click here –



Fast, Fresh and Green by Susie Middleton – an amazing vegetable cookbook. It covers – quick-roasting, quick-braising, hands on sauteing, two-stepping, no cooking, stir frying,grilling and baking gratins. Yes, it’s that cool. I have fallen in love with a new cauliflower dish. YUM. I originally got this from the library, showed it to my mom who scored getting a few from amazon at a great price. Thanks mom!! The pictures are fantastic. The recipes are delicious. If you are looking to get vegetables in your diet more, this book is the way to do it. 

And that’s it my friends! What have you been reading this month? 

49 Responses to “Book Review – June 2014”

  1. Darlene (mom) June 30, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    I just read “the covenant child” It’s about twin girls who lose their parents (who were very wealthy) and are raised by very poor grandparents. They learn to deal with abuse and neglect and pretty much raise themselves. In their late teens, they are reconnected with their step-mom and learn the “real story” of their past and have to decide what to do with their future.
    And then I read “Sutter’s Cross” by W. Dale Cramer. When Harley shows up in a small town of people comfortable in their faith and lives, his way of dealing with life and troubles gives them pause for thought and forces them to rethink their faith.


  2. estherjulee June 30, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

    i just finished i am malala. i have so much reading i planned on doing, but i’ve been giving myself a little break. you’ve gotten through so much!


    • booksnbakery June 30, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

      i’ve never heard of it, i’ll have to check it out! I couldn’t believe how much i’d read after i wrote out the list, of course about 5 of those are transferring over to july’s list too.


  3. ashleyzieglerr June 30, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

    I love reading!


    • booksnbakery June 30, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

      me too! I’m trying to make sure my time spent reading is at least close to my time spent on this laptop!


  4. Taneja's Bride June 30, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    Sound like interesting reads! Thanks for sharing! ❤


  5. Logan June 30, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

    The Twelve Dancing Princesses sounds interesting. I’m a sucker for fairytales.


    • booksnbakery June 30, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

      It’s a great story! and the best stories are fairytales =)


  6. Bekkie - Lipstick & Lullabies June 30, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

    Wow that’s a lot of books in a month! I really need to get back in to reading, I’ve been bad for being on my phone in bed where I used to curl up with a book and relax. The Betty Crocker memoir sounds very interesting!


    • booksnbakery June 30, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

      That’s what I realized i was doing – dumb smart phones! hehe (i seriously love mine though) of course, i’m now planning on picking it up to play a game instead of grabbing a book. sigh.


  7. Jess June 30, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

    I haven’t made the time to read for pleasure, what a great list, I might have to check some out so I can get back into the fun of reading!


  8. Annette Silvestre June 30, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

    Reading is a great de-stresser, I definitely should get back into it, this list looks really interesting!


  9. L June 30, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

    I love thay quote because I feel like that every time I finish and a book and have to wait for new one or find a replacement. Hope the new doc helps with your health x


    • booksnbakery June 30, 2014 at 10:31 pm #

      yes, i love that quote as well! And my hubby laughs at me for feeling that way. thanks, i am hoping so too!


  10. Carly Anderson (@lipglosscrayons) June 30, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

    I’m on a search for new books, have to check these out!


  11. Mandy@ a sorta fairytale June 30, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

    Fabulous list!!


  12. Hima Rajana June 30, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

    I love reading food memoirs, and the Belmont Mansion series sounds so great!

    xo, Hima
    Hima Hearts


    • booksnbakery June 30, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

      food memoirs is a new genre for me and so far i’m loving it!


  13. kristinethefoleyfamblog June 30, 2014 at 11:01 pm #

    Awesome! I haven’t made time to read a book since my daughter’s were born! My eldest is turning FOUR this month!


    • booksnbakery June 30, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

      Well I’m sure you’ve read kids books! That counts!


  14. TwoLittlePigsDownUnder July 1, 2014 at 1:57 am #

    my kindle is full of new and exciting things to read but i just find it so hard to make time! I must though! Thanks for sharing all of your reads, definitely makes me determined to get back in to the books 🙂


    • booksnbakery July 1, 2014 at 9:29 am #

      that’s what the waiting time at doctors’ offices and while your hubby is running into the parts store is for.. hehe. that’s what i do anyway. I’m glad you enjoyed it!


  15. Ashley July 1, 2014 at 4:19 am #

    Definitely checking out the vegetable cookbook – great for summer!


  16. Brooke @ You're In Brookelynn July 1, 2014 at 6:28 am #

    Great list! I love reading peoples book reviews 🙂


  17. Jordan July 1, 2014 at 8:40 am #

    Yay for fairytales! Love it!


  18. amber.m July 1, 2014 at 9:13 am #

    Thanks for this, adding it to my to-read list


  19. Alicia July 1, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    I’m like you, I always have like ten books I read at a time.


  20. Lauren July 1, 2014 at 9:49 am #

    I love reading!! Thanks for sharing your review!


  21. leannaalways July 1, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    I so need to start reading again!


  22. Betsy Gettis July 1, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

    color me impressed! i love to read, but i just can’t find the time to read one book a month, let alone this many! go girl go!


  23. Ashley Nicholas July 1, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    Can’t wait to add some of these to my reading list!


  24. morleyar July 1, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

    I feel so inadequate this month! I haven’t read anything except articles for work this month! 😦


    • booksnbakery July 1, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

      if i was working outside the home, i certainly wouldn’t have read near as much! But there is almost always a book in my purse, a few minutes at a time makes me happy


  25. Starr July 1, 2014 at 10:13 pm #

    Such a great quote! I just finished ‘stronger’ by jeff bauman. Inspiring to say the least.


    • booksnbakery July 2, 2014 at 9:39 am #

      that does look like a good and inspiring book! I think it’s going on my reading list! thanks!


  26. Annabel Krantz July 2, 2014 at 5:29 am #

    I haven’t read any of these. Thanks for piquing my interest!


  27. Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes July 2, 2014 at 7:09 am #

    I love to read. I’ve been reading a lot of pregnancy books lately, but cannot wait to find more time for fictional books again.


  28. thelaurawayblog July 5, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

    Oh my gosh, you got a lot of reading done, I’m jealous!



  1. Book Review July 2014 | thestartofagoodlife - July 24, 2014

    […] A Tiger in the Kitchen by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan – This was a ‘food memoir’ that i found at the library. it was very well written and interesting. She is Singaporean, so the food that she learns to cook is very different from what I grew up eating. I did a more thorough review in last month’s book review – book-review-june-2014 […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

A Musing Maverick

Ilse Davison

Elaine Howlin

lost in the pages of books

See Jayne Run

Navigating with Chronic Illness in a Self Absorbed World

1 Write Way

Places where you can find my writing, knitting, photographs, and cat collection.

%d bloggers like this: