All posts filed under: Book review.

Portrait Revolution, Book Review

Portrait Revolution, by Julia L. Kay Inspiration from Around the World For Creating Art in Multiple Mediums and Styles About the Book: Based on the popular international collaborative art project, this guide to creating portraiture in multiple mediums and styles teams hundreds of portraits with tips and insights on the artistic process. The human face is one of the most important subjects for artists, no matter their chosen medium. Pulling from 50,000 works of portraiture created by the artists of the international online collaborative project Julia Kay’s Portrait Party, Portrait Revolution presents a new look at this topic—one that doesn’t limit itself to one medium, one style, one technique, or one artist. By presenting portraits in pencil, pen, charcoal, oils, watercolors, acrylics, pastels, mixed media, digital media, collage, and more, Julia Kay and co. demonstrate the limitless possibilities available to aspiring artists or even to professional artists who are looking to expand creatively. Along with works in almost every conceivable medium, Portrait Revolution shines a spotlight on different portrait-making techniques and styles (featuring everything from realism to …

Vibrant India Cookbook, Review

Vibrant India Cookbook By Chitra Agrawal Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn About the Book: Lifelong vegetarian and chef Chitra Agrawal takes you on an epicurean journey to her mother’s hometown of Bangalore and back to Brooklyn, where she adapts her family’s South Indian recipes for home cooks. This particular style of Indian home cooking, often called the “yoga diet,” is light and fresh, yet satisfying and rich in bold and complex flavors. Grains, legumes, fresh produce, coconut, and yogurt—along with herbs, citrus, chiles, and spices—form the cornerstone of this delectable cuisine, rooted in vegetarian customs and honed over centuries for optimum taste and nutrition. From the classic savory crepe dosa, filled with lemony turmeric potatoes and cilantro coconut chutney, to new creations like coconut polenta topped with spring vegetables ‘upma” and homemade yogurt, the recipes in Vibrant India are simple to prepare and a true celebration of color and flavor on a plate. Chitra weaves together the historical context behind the region’s cuisine and how she brought some of these age-old traditions to life …

The Gatekeepers, Book Review

The Gatekeepers by Chris Whipple How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency About the Book: The first in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the White House Chiefs of Staff, whose actions—and inactions—have defined the course of our country. What do Dick Cheney and Rahm Emanuel have in common? Aside from polarizing personalities, both served as chief of staff to the president of the United States—as did Donald Rumsfeld, Leon Panetta, and a relative handful of others. The chiefs of staff, often referred to as “the gatekeepers,” wield tremendous power in Washington and beyond; they decide who is allowed to see the president, negotiate with Congress to push POTUS’s agenda, and—most crucially—enjoy unparalleled access to the leader of the free world. Each chief can make or break an administration, and each president reveals himself by the chief he picks. Through extensive, intimate interviews with all seventeen living chiefs and two former presidents, award-winning journalist and producer Chris Whipple pulls back the curtain on this unique fraternity. In doing so, he revises our understanding of presidential history, showing …

Upon a Spring Breeze, Book Review

Upon a Spring Breeze, by Kelly Irvin About the Book: Bess Weaver, twenty and expecting her first child, is in the kitchen making stew for her beloved mann, Caleb, one minute, and the next she’s burying him after a tragic accident. Facing life as a young widow, Bess finds comfort only in tending the garden at an Englisch-owned bed and breakfast—even as she doubts that new growth could ever come after such a long winter. Aidan tries to repress his guilt over his best friend Caleb’s death and his long-standing feelings for Bess by working harder than ever. But as he spends time with the young son his friend left behind, he seems to be growing closer to the boy’s beautiful mother as well. When a close-knit group of widows in her Amish community step in to help Bess find her way back to hope, she begins to wonder if Gott has a future for her after all. Will she ever believe that life can still hold joy and the possibility of love? My Thoughts: I LOVE …

Alabaster, Book Review

Alabaster by Chris Aslan What is Most Precious is also Most Fragile About the Book: “I still hear the voice of my mother telling me what all women in our village tell their daughters: ‘Mariam, a woman’s honour is as fragile and as beautiful as a butterfly’s wings. What is a butterfly without wings, except a worm?’ It’s probably a good thing that my mother didn’t live to see me now.” A beautifully crafted novel about two sisters who face the stigma of shame, the sorrow of loss, and the startling hope one can find when someone shows you a different way of seeing the world. About the Author: Chris Aslan was born in Turkey and grew up in Beirut and wrote A Carpet Ride to Khiva: Seven Years on the Silk Road–part memoir, part travelogue about life in Uzbekistan. He is currently lecturing on textiles, tour-guiding around Central Asia, and studying in Oxford for Anglican ordination. My Thoughts: This book is short, at 207 pages but shouldn’t be looked at as a short story. …

Bible Promises, Book Review

Bible Promises by Amy E. Mason For parents of children with Special Needs About the Book: As the parent of a child with special needs, does your heart ache with questions, confusion, or discouragement? Do you ever feel that you have no margin in your emotional reserves or sense a gaping need for encouragement, rest, and refreshment? Caring for someone with autism, Down syndrome, ADHD, emotional or behavioral disorders, or physical disabilities can be all-consuming. Bible Promises for Parents of Children with Special Needs can help you claim God’s promises for your everyday life. You’ll become more aware of God’s passion for you and your child through this handy guide that speaks directly to the unique journey of special needs parenting. These promises are for your comfort. Claim them as your own. Pray them over your family and over your children. Let them guide you into the presence of Jesus and the security that only he can provide. My Thoughts: I originally requested this book for review from the publisher because I had someone specific in …

The Ebb Tide, Book Review

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis About the Book: When a well-to-do family asks Sallie Riehl to be their daughter’s nanny for the summer at their Cape May, New Jersey, vacation home, she jumps at the chance to broaden her horizons beyond the Lancaster County Amish community where she grew up. Sallie has long dreamed of seeing more of the world, but her parents are reluctant for her to put off baptism yet another summer, and the timing is unfortunate for Perry Zook, who has renewed interest in courting her. Though she loves nannying, Sallie has free time on the weekends to enjoy the shore. It is there that she meets Kevin Kreider, a marine biology student who talks freely about all he’s learning and asks about her interests, unlike most of the guys she grew up with. Time with Kevin is invigorating, and Sallie realizes she’s never felt quite this alive around Perry. Then again, Kevin is Mennonite, not Amish. My Thoughts: Whenever I’m given the chance to read a Beverly Lewis book I’m …

Welcome To College, Book Review

Welcome to College by Jonathan Morrow A Christ-Follower’s Guide for the Journey About the Book: In this engaging guide, Jonathan Morrow encourages students to consider and engage the issues they will face in the dorm, on campus, and in the college classroom. A great gift idea for all high school graduates! This book includes things like how to avoid peer pressure and alcohol as well as dating. How to manage time and study well as well as have fun.  Then deeper ones like how to grow spiritually and follow Jesus on campus. My Thoughts: Going to college can be hard. I was lucky to go to a more conservative college where the temptations weren’t quite as high but they were still there. However this book isn’t just about “being good’ but more about the spiritual journey. This book is really relevant for a college student, and was written very well for people going to school. The subjects are diverse and well separated. For someone going to college this would make a great gift.

Beyond Justice, Book Review

Beyond Justice by Cara Putman About the Book: Hayden McCarthy knows firsthand the pain when justice is not served. It’s why she became an attorney and why she’s so driven in her career. When she’s assigned a wrongful death case against the government, she isn’t sure if it’s the lucky break she needs to secure a partnership—or an attempt to make sure she never gets there. Further complicating matters is Andrew, her roommate’s distractingly attractive cousin. But Andrew’s father is a Congressman, and Hayden’s currently taking on the government. Could the timing be any worse? The longer she keeps the case active, the higher the stakes become. Unknown enemies seem determined to kill the case—or her. Logic and self-preservation would indicate she should close the case. But how can she, when justice is still just beyond her reach? My Thoughts: I’m so happy I was given Beyond Justice to review. Normally I go for the typical historical romance, and this is completely different but I loved it. It’s full of suspense, action and mystery which …

My Life to Live, Book Review

My Life to Live, By Agnes Nixon How I became the Queen of Soaps when Men Ruled the Airwaves About the Book: Before there was Erica Kane, Adam Chandler, or Victoria Lord, there was Agnes Nixon, a young girl who dreamed up stories for paper dolls. Those tales she imagined–ones filled with ambitions, rivalries, and romances–would soon parallel her own path to success. In a memoir filled with as much drama as the soaps she penned, Nixon shares her journey from Nashville to New York City, as she overcomes the loss of her fiancé in World War II, a father intent on crushing her writing dreams, and the jealousy of her male colleagues on her way to becoming one of the most successful names in television. But My Life to Live is also a portrait of a pioneer. Driven to use her ratings power for good, Nixon fought and broke network taboos by wrestling with controversial social issues ranging from women’s health, interracial relationships, and the Vietnam War to drug addiction, LGBT rights, and AIDS. By infusing …