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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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6 03, 2017

Review: Gizelle’s Bucket List by Lauren Fern Watt

By | March 6th, 2017|Categories: Animals, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Travel|Tags: , , |4 Comments


gizelle's bucket list book coverReviewed by Sarah Dalton

Gizelle’s Bucket List was a fun, fast read. I laughed, a lot. OK, right up until I needed tissues and a couple days away from the book for my mental health. The story centers on Lauren (Fernie) and Gizelle, her 160 pound Mastiff. Woven around this central pillar are ribbons of side story about family dynamics, friendships, adventure, boyfriends, love (or at least like), loss, self-discovery, and slobber. Lots and lots of slobber. Actually, there is really only one story about slobber. It’s not bad.

We get to be with Fernie when, at the behest of her Mother, she finds, falls in love with, and brings home Gizelle. Leave to get doughnuts, come home with a giant breed puppy.

22 02, 2017

Review: Groovin’ by Rich Israel

By | February 22nd, 2017|Categories: Memoirs, Nonfiction, Travel|Tags: , |2 Comments


groovin' book coverReviewed by Lauren Cannavino

Rich Israel’s playful, bright and fantastical memoir of the 1960’s experience is a fun, well-written read for fans of counterculture and coming-of-age tales. Groovin’: Horses, Hopes, and Slippery Slopes is raucous, trippy and expressive, full of adventure, hijinks and personal discoveries. From hitchhiking, to a month long horseback riding adventure out west, Rich takes the reader through a time that many can only read about and others will remember fondly.

The book reminded me of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, full of crazy characters, road trips, adventures and drugs, but peppered with self- reflection, excellent insight and the running political commentary in the background.

10 10, 2016

Review: The Boiling River by Andres Ruzo

By | October 10th, 2016|Categories: Memoirs, Nonfiction, Travel|Tags: , |4 Comments


the boiling river book coverReviewed by Caleb Shadis

The Boiling River is a book based on a TED talk by Andres Ruzo. I’ve heard of TED talks and have since watched quite a few of them online. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. They cover a very wide range of topics and typically focus on interesting new discoveries and understanding about the world around us.

The Boiling River is about a river that is close to boiling, bubbling away in the Amazon. The river is particularly special because no one knew about this amazing place and people living in the area denied its existence. And even more impressive was the sheer volume of water that was flowing at this temperature.

16 06, 2016

Review: Confessions of a Paris Party Girl by Vicki Lesage

By | June 16th, 2016|Categories: Memoirs, Nonfiction, Travel|Tags: , |1 Comment


paris party girl book coverReviewed by Lauren Cannavino

This feel good memoir by Vicki Lesage is not the typical “American Girl in Paris” read. Instead, Lesage presents her vulnerabilities, her hopes and all of her successes in a conversational fashion, while also including details on her favorite haunts to catch a drink and her frequent mishaps with having too much to drink. Confessions of a Paris Party Girl does not read as a story of a drunken party girl as the title would leave a casual reader to believe and instead is a very real tale of a woman trying to find her footing abroad, while also trying to discover important facts about herself.

17 05, 2016

Review: The Hundred-Year Walk by Dawn Anahid MacKeen

By | May 17th, 2016|Categories: Historical, Nonfiction, Politics & Government, Travel|Tags: , , , , , |2 Comments


hundred-year walk book coverReviewed by Vera Pereskokova

Every year, on April 24th, Armenians around the world commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide. Between 1915 and 1917, the government of the Ottoman Empire (present day Turkey) ordered the systematic deportation and extermination of hundreds of thousands of its Armenian residents, as well as other Christian ethnic groups. Although Turkey still denies that the events of those years constitute genocide, estimates suggest that as many as 1.5 million people perished as a result of death marches or outright massacres.

I am half-Armenian from my mother’s side and while I’ve always been aware of the Armenian Genocide, I knew little of the facts. So when an email describing The Hundred-Year Walk by Dawn Anahid MacKeen popped up in my inbox, I jumped at the chance to read it.

The Hundred-Year Walk is a true account

24 02, 2016

Review: Motions and Moments by Michael Pronko

By | February 24th, 2016|Categories: Entertainment, Humor, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Travel|Tags: , , , |4 Comments


motions and moments book coverReviewed by Lauren Cannavino

In his third book of essays about living in Tokyo, Japan author Michael Pronko provides an insider’s view of the city, with the perspective/respect of a one-time outsider. As an American writing and teaching at the University level and living in Tokyo for over eighteen years, Pronko has learned how to navigate the city, the customs and all of the quirks, while still being open to adventure and new discoveries. Always ready to explore and discover something new, Pronko is proud of his residence in Tokyo, proud of the citizens, his students and the hustle and bustle. This hustle and bustle is explored in a deeply intimate and well thought out manner and Pronko’s perspective, often reflected through observations made at the train station or on the train, show that there is much

14 08, 2015

Review: Doubling Back by Linda Cracknell

By | August 14th, 2015|Categories: Memoirs, Nonfiction, Travel|Tags: , |2 Comments


doubling back book coverReviewed by Nina Longfield

Doubling Back by Linda Cracknell is a series of stories following Cracknell’s travels through the British Isle, points in Europe, and Kenya. Cracknell’s stories slip easily through time. In her opening essay, Saunters, the reader accompanies Cracknell in the contemporary setting of Switzerland ambling through flowering gardens or the wooded slopes of the Aubonne valley then, at the next moment, we are stumbling along on Cracknell’s first solitary outing as a four-year old child exploring her new backyard in a Surrey suburb. The present and past are intrinsically linked together through a weaving of activity (walking) and place. There is always an air of discovery in Cracknell’s treks whether the walk is familiar or new to her.

Doubling Back is reflective and vibrant. Linda Cracknell has a keen ability of painting landscapes with her words.

25 06, 2015

Review: Picnic in Provence by Elizabeth Bard

By | June 25th, 2015|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Travel|Tags: , , , |3 Comments


picnic in provence book coverReviewed by Alysia George

Picnic in Provence: A Memoir with Recipes is the lovely follow-up to Elizabeth Bard’s best-selling memoir, Lunch in Paris. Bard continues to chronicle her life as an American living in France as she moves from being a newlywed in Paris to becoming a new mother and starting a brand new business venture in Provence. Everything is tied together cohesively with the common topic of food, each chapter ending with a few recipes that have been referenced or alluded to throughout that chapter.

As a reader who is not particularly enthused about cooking, I did little more than skim over the recipes. With that admission, these recipes are not as intimidating as I assumed at first glance. In fact, they are fairly simple and easy to follow, with most ingredients being readily available, even in an American

25 03, 2015

Review: Emaho Tibet! by Simhananda

By | March 25th, 2015|Categories: Nonfiction, Photography, Travel|Tags: , |0 Comments


emaho tibet book coverReviewed by Holly Madison

Emaho Tibet!: Blessings from the Land of the Snows initially caught my eye because I love the Buddhist philosophy, and I have always wanted to see Tibet. More or less, it is a book of photography, with photos from different places that the author journeyed to in his travels through the Land of the Snows.

My favorite photo in the book features a landscape, showing the valley surrounded by all of the mountains. I never pictured Tibet this way, and it gave me a whole new perspective on the land. It was haunting–something out of a dream. So much more than high mountainous desert…. a land that holds memories of beauty and deep spirituality. It was very fitting for what I think the author was trying to achieve in his book.

Each turn of the page shows a

17 02, 2015

Review: Dirty Chick by Antonia Murphy

By | February 17th, 2015|Categories: Animals, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Travel|Tags: , , |3 Comments


dirty chick book coverReviewed by Sarah McCubbin

In her humorous book, Dirty Chick: Adventures of an Unlikely Farmer, Antonia Murphy invites readers to take an inside peak into life as an amateur lifestyle farmer. Her story starts with her babysitting some chickens for her father and step-mother. At the time, their farming experiment was of little interest to Antonia, and when one chicken ended up dead, she was rather traumatized by the experience. Living near San Francisco, she did appreciate the work of artisan farmers for all the delicious options they made available to consumers, but that was as far as her interest in agriculture extended.

Years later, Antonia and her husband moved with their two children to New Zealand. With its more remote population, the foodie in her realized that if she wanted to experience the culinary options she had at