Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Blog Tour: Mating Rituals of the North American WASP by Lauren Lipton

Title: Mating Rituals of the North American WASP
Author: Lauren Lipton
Publisher: 5 Spot
Publication Date: May 29, 2009
Format: Paperback, 368 pages
Age Group: Adult

Summary: After arguing with her live-in boyfriend about his inability to commit, Peggy Adams flies to a friend's bachelorette party in Las Vegas, and wakes up next to a man she can't remember. Hung-over and miserable, she sneaks out of the sleeping man's hotel room and returns home to New York, where her boyfriend apologizes for the fight and gives her a Tiffany box containing a pre-engagement ring. Not what she expected, but close enough! The next day she receives a phone call from the Las Vegas one-night stand, Luke, claiming she's already married to him¬-and he faxes her the license for proof! Both are ready for an annulment, until Peggy arrives in quaint New Nineveh, CT, where Luke cares for his Great Aunt, and the old woman makes Peggy an offer she can't refuse.

My Thoughts: Mating Rituals of the North American WASP is a comedy of errors. The two main characters, Peggy and Luke, are unable to communicate their true feelings for each other which leads to frustrating and confusing interactions. Hiding their true relationship from almost everyone else that they know adds an additional complication to their lives. Both Peggy and Luke are flawed characters which makes them easy to identify with. Neither has a true sense of direction or purpose. I loved the character of Miss Abigail, Luke's great aunt. She guides Luke and Peggy, often without them realizing it, and certainly seems to know more than she lets on.

Overall, Mating Rituals of the North American WASP was an entertaining, quick, and enjoyable book

Find a full list of the blog tour stops at Drey's Library. Thank you to Miriam at Hachette Book Group for sending me Mating Rituals of the North American Wasp.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The GL Cookbook and Diet Plan by Nigel Denby

Title: The GL Cookbook and Diet Plan
Authors: Nigel Denby, Tina Michelucci, & Deborah Pyner
Publisher: Ulysses Press
Publication Date: June 4, 2007
Format: Paperback, 280 pages
Age Group: Adult, non-fiction

The GL Cookbook and Diet Plan offers practical advice for substituting foods with lower glycemic index scores for those with higher scores. Recipes were also created looking at the total glycemic load which differs based on food combinations and portion sizes.

The authors provide sample meal plans and easy to read charts with food substitutions and methods for reaching the daily recommended servings for food groups. They also add interesting facts about various foods to keep things interesting. While stressing good choices in eating, the authors also understand that a severely restricted diet will lead to failure and so provide a great deal of flexibility.

The recipes are nicely organized and labeled by how much time they take to prepare. Vegetarian recipes are also clearly labeled. Some of the recipes do use some less familiar ingredients but others are simply new combinations of familiar foods. The recipes in this book are a jumping off point for creating your own low GL recipes for your favorite dishes by using some simple substitutions.

I think it is important to note that this book was originally published in the UK and uses some terminology that may not resonate with a North American audience. Also the website mentioned frequently in the book ( as a resource for locating vendors is a UK based website with most information only available to paying members.

Thank you to Mini Book Expo for Bloggers for providing me a copy of The GL Cookbook and Diet Plan.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Too Tall Alice by Barbara Worton

Title: Too Tall Alice
Author: Barbara Worton
Illustrator: Dom Rodi
Publisher: Great Little Books
Publication Date: March 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
Age Group: Children ages 7-11

Eight year old Alice is four inches taller than any of the other girls in her class at Cherry Tree School.

Barbara Worton writes with a keen understanding of how it feels to be different. Alice begins the story with self-doubt and an intense discomfort with her height. Through a dream, Alice learns to accept herself just as she is and decides that she can do and be anything she wants. Too Tall Alice offers children who are struggling with self image a wonderful lesson of acceptance without forcing it on them.

Dom Rodi enhances the story with a variety of illustrations, large and small. The page layouts are varied with the text interspersed with the illustrations in a fashion that keeps the eyes moving. The emotions described in the text play clearly across Alice's face. Even the text itself seems to offer a personality as the font mimics handwriting and some of the words vary in size.

Too Tall Alice is an engaging story with a great message.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

Title: The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
Author: Katherine Howe
Publisher: Voice
Publication Date: June 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Age Group: Adult

I received this advance reading copy from the Barnes and Noble First Look Book Club.

Connie Goodwin should be doing research for her doctoral dissertation. However, her mother insists that she help prepare her grandmother's abandoned home for sale. Spending the summer near Salem in her grandmother's house, Connie uncovers family secrets that could forever change the way the Salem witch trials are viewed. What if witchcraft were real and actually practiced by some of the women accused of being witches?

Katherine Howe has taken a simply asked question, "What if witchcraft was truly practiced at the time of the Salem witch trials?," and created an entire novel around it. In The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane the modern world is artfully alternated with the history of Connie's family. Connie pushes herself to uncover primary source material for her dissertation while also attempting to understand what is happening to her within her grandmother's house. She is experiencing things that are out of the ordinary and doesn't know where to turn for understanding. Although Connie does not understand some of the things that she is uncovering, Howe has given her strength to continue searching for answers, especially when the situation seems so far out of her control.

I found The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane to be an engaging novel. I was interested to see how the present would eventually tie in with Connie's discoveries of the past. The chapters and interludes were clearly labeled which establishes a definite timeline for all of the action. The relationships between the characters were believable and realistic. Howe uses variations on spelling appropriate to both the time period and the accent of the person who is speaking. While at times this made reading some of the conversations difficult, it did serve a specific purpose in the book.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed reading The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. It is a strong novel, touching on the Salem witch trials in a new light. 

Buy The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane at Amazon*

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Blog Award: Zombie Chicken Award

Thank you to Dani at Reading is like must be done for honoring me with the Zombie Chicken Award.

"The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all..."

I would now like to pass along the Zombie Chicken Award to the following five blogs:
  1. Bellas Novella
  2. Books, Books, the Magical Fruit
  3. nomadreader
  4. Peeking Between the Pages
  5. Unmainstream Mom Reads
I hope that you will enjoy these fantastic blogs as much as I do!