Tuesday, June 30, 2015

this one's a winner.

How sad was everyone when Stieg Larsson died? I mean seriously WHAT A WASTE. Bah. On a brighter note, Sweden's Crime Queen, Camilla Lackberg is truly fantastic and has definitely helped Larsson fan's get over their grief. Her latest, The Drowning transports readers to the small shipping town of Fjallbacka where Christian Thydell's first novel is being released with excellent reviews. He realizes that maybe he revealed too much truth in his work of fiction when he starts getting threatening messages, and when a body is discovered in ice, Christian realizes that his past has come back to haunt him.


In walk detective Patrick Hedstrom and his partner Erica Falk (who is also a writer) to solve the case. Lots of mystery, lots of intrigue, and lots of tension ensue.

use every crayon in your box, or colored pencil, or gel pen.

I don't know what to tell you, I am just totally into these adult coloring books. I have recently started doing those painting classes where you drink a lot of wine and all paint the same basic thing, I find those to be very relaxing, and they get my creative juices flowing. Coloring Flower Mandalas: 30 Hand-Drawn Designs for Mindful Relation by Wendy Piersall is much cheaper and the chances of drinking an entire bottle of merlot by yourself is slim (or maybe not?)

Anyways, Piersall is a fabulous artist and has created gorgeous flower outlines with lots of different levels of detail to color, her goal being to help readers relax, focus and reach a higher state of mindfulness. Take 30 uninterrupted minutes out of your day, play some music, and color, it's supposed to be soothing and meditative. See how it makes YOU feel.

Friday, June 26, 2015

women and relationships.

Going from reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed to The Canterbury Sisters by Kim Wright was kind of ironic. Both about women who recently lost their mothers, ended their relationships and walked a lot of miles. I am glad Kim Wright's latest showed up when it did.

Che Milan (noted wine blogger) has just been dumped, and her mother has died of cancer recently, but not the promise Che made to bring her ashes to Canterbury. Wanting to get away from her horrible life anyways, she decides to hire a tour guide and take the pilgrimage on foot - sixty miles outside of London to fulfill her mother's wishes (even though she didn't even like her that much). Eight other very different woman join her for their various reasons, and the whole thing turns into a giant journey of self discovery. Great read.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

for cooks young and old.

A comic ITALIAN cookbook? Dreams really do come true in The Silver Spoon Kitchen's, Chop Sizzle Wow: The Silver Spoon Comic Cookbook which includes 50 classic Italian recipes that are easy enough for the little ones to help make. Every recipe is impressively illustrated step-by-step in comic book style, which makes everything extra fun. The Silver Spoon Kitchen leaves nothing out, sharing recipes like bruschetta, pizza margherita, and tiramisu. My favorite? The gnocchi hands down.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

history is written through the eyes of the author.

Philosopher Roman Krznaric believes that the future of the art of living can be found by gazing into the past in his book (now in paperback) titled How Should We Live: Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life, and I don't disagree.

Krznaric takes readers back in time and covers twelve major issues of life to help us live better. To St. Valentine to teach us the art of loving. To St. Frances to teach the art of family. He's not really asking us to live like these Saints, or the Greeks, or the Aztecs or any of  the other historical figures mentioned throughout the chapters, not really. He's asking us to empathize with each other, and to consider doing things slower and more simply.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

get something out of coloring.

Adults can now color their stress away with new adult coloring books from Running Press. Color Therapy and Creative Therapy are both therapeutic coloring books that use coloring as a way to help you focus and generate creativity, calm your nerves or relax.

Color Therapy by Hannah Davies, Richard Merritt, and Jo Taylor is separated into different sections of color pallets, each with a different purpose. Some pages are already fully colored in (which was a con in my opinion), but there is still plenty of room for you to color when you need to get our of your own head for a while. Very relaxing.

Creative Therapy by Cindy Wilde, Laura-Kate Chapman, and Richard Merritt is a coloring and doodling book that is becoming extremely popular with those who struggle to unwind. Designed to help unleash creativity, most of the pages are partially completed so that you don't get overwhelmed with a blank page.

Monday, June 22, 2015

intelligent. funny. mildly innapropriate. all of my favorite things.

Modern Romance by stand-up comedian/fricken hilarious, Aziz Ansari was more fun than any "self-help" book should be. Being married, it mostly made me laugh out loud and be grateful that I am not longer in the dating scene. But I appreciated his take on finding romance in this tech-heavy world we live in. And seeing how there are SO many different ways to communicate and meet people these days, how ironically difficult it is to find love. I have a girlfriend who lives in DC dealing with this. Between online dating, going out in bars, Tindr, Facebook, she has countless ways to meet men, seemingly makes connections with them, and it then leads to a big black whole of nothing. WHAT IS GOING ON? Well Aziz teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg to give you some insight on why finding your perfect match is so hard.

Friday, June 19, 2015

sierra nevada flora guide.

Wildflowers of the High Sierra and John Muir Trail by plant ecologist Elizabeth Wenk was written for flower enthusiasts and the serious amateur botanists alike. Made to compliment her hiking guides, Elizabeth walks readers through 340 of the flowers and shrubs found at high elevation, highlighting the popular ones while also including those typically looked over in guides such as this. This guide is easy to read, includes a glossary and detailed pictures, charts, to help anyone who wants to, identify specific flower and shrub species.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

donkey blessings.

Maybe some of you already know Flash the donkey from Facebook where he has made quite the presence for himself. He showed up randomly one night at the home of the Ridge family, all pathetic and ragged, and just never left. The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me about Life, Faith, and Second Chances by Rachel Anne Ridge is Flash's story along eleven lessons to be learned filled with a surprising amount of heart and hilarity. Animals can bring so much joy into our lives and Flash brings such a unique perspective on life. Showing us how to be service animals ourselves, live authentically, and follow our purpose. You'll be amazed by what this donkey can teach you about life.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

i love Fo V.C. Andrews

The fo V. C. Andrews is BACK with another fantastic Dollanganger spin off titled Secret Brother which is set at the same time the Doll children are trapped up in the Foxworth mansion attic. The narrator of this novel is sixteen-year-old Clara Sue Sanders who lives in a mansion of her own in  the small and upper-crest town of Prescott, Virginia with her grandfather and little brother, Willie. After losing her parents, she had to grow up much faster than any other girl her age, caring for her younger brother once they moved in with their grandparents. Tragedy struck again when her grandmother passed a few years later. And when a tragic accident takes young Willie's life at the beginning of this novel, Clara Sue is shaken so heavily by her grief she becomes almost unrecognizable. Especially when her grandfather discovers that a little boy about Willie's age was dropped off at the very same hospital, almost dead due to malnourishment and arsenic poisoning (SOUND FAMILIAR????) and her grandfather takes special interest in the boy and his care. When her grandfather suggests that the boy recuperate at their home, in Willie's old room, Clara Sue loses it. And I can't really blame her. As the novel moves forward, Clara Sue fights back her own interest in this beautiful blonde boy, but in the end, she knows that her Willie wouldn't want her grief over the loss of him to overpower her will to help such an innocent doll.

Disclaimer: I read this in roughly 24 hours.

Monday, June 15, 2015

okay maybe i won't write my first novel.

Bah. Stephen King is so creepy, I love it. Until I don't. I definitely picked the wrong week to quit biting my nails because Finders Keepers (his sequel to Mr. Mercedes) is uncomfortably believable, and terrifying, and then there's my blood pressure to think about. But enough about me.

Faithful reader, Morris Bellamy is furious that popular author, John Rothstein has stopped writing books, and also because he doesn't like who his favorite character, Jimmy Gold has become. So Morris murders Rothstein, steals his cash and writing notebooks. Hiding them away before he is locked away for another crime. When he is released thirty-five years later, he is after the high school boy who found his loot. Ex-policeman Bill Hodges, Jerome Robinson and Holly Gibney are working together again to protect the boy and his family because Morris is a raging lunatic. Let's just say I was terrified the whole time. And if readers actually retaliated in real life, Nicholas Sparks would be in big trouble.

Friday, June 12, 2015

kick ass giveaway!

Win a FREE copy of One to Go!
All you have to do is email your name, address, and this book title to: jenileerose@yahoo.com to enter!
Giveaway ends on 6/17 at midnight!
Good luck :)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

well this was quite the ride.

In Mike Pace's deeply thrilling paranormal-ish novel, One to Go Tom Booker finds himself with an impossible choice to make. While texting and driving, he loses control of his vehicle, hitting a minivan that was carrying his daughter, her friends, driven by his sister-in-law. Before the minivan flipped over the bridge though, time stood still. And Tom was given a choice. Either he could let his little girl die, along with her friends, OR he could kill someone every two weeks to make up for the loss of those souls. Thinking he was having some sort of crazy hallucination, Tom chooses his daughter. Not thinking much of it until two weeks later when his sister-in-law (the driver) is found brutally murdered. So if he doesn't kill someone, anyone, in two weeks, his daughter and her friends are in serious danger, and so on. Pace has quite the imagination, and I enjoyed every bit of it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

middle children of the world unite.

Being the most middle of the middle children in her family, this is exactly how Sunday Foweler feels on a daily basis. She's almost twelve and she's invisible. In Lindsay Eland's very charming A Summer of Sundays, Sunday is taking a stand. She is going to make a name for herself. She will never be forgotten at the gas station again. After discovering an old manuscript in a library her father has been hired to renovate, Sunday just knows it was written by deceased author Lee Wren, she just needs to prove it. With the help of a new friend, Sunday uncovers the mystery and realizes that maybe being a hero isn't what you DO, but what you DON'T do.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

everyone is fighting a battle.

After experiencing a horrific school shooting, Linnea is sent to live with her estranged father in California in Jean Thompson's The Humanity Project. But her story is just a small part of the novel as a whole. There are seven main characters. All spread out from California to Ohio, all extremely different from the outside, but they share one thing in common. Sadness. This is a somber novel. Most of the characters are extremely troubled, and not all are saved by the end. But this author definitely left me thinking, and that is exactly what I want in a novel.

Monday, June 8, 2015

peppa pig's sunny holiday.

Peppa Pig and family are EVERYTHING. You may recognize this famous British-accented pig bunch from their series on Nick Jr., and if read with an English accent, the books are just as good. In this installment by Candlewick Press, Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig, Peppa, and George are vacationing on the seaside, leaving Goldie at home to be taken care of by Granny and Grandpa Pig. Although leaving pets at home can be hard, the Pigs have a blast on their holiday (that's what the British call it), doing many of the popular vacation activities like going to the beach. Peppa Pig and the Great Vacation will definitely thrill fans and newbies alike.

Friday, June 5, 2015

kick ass giveaway!

Win a FREE copy of Big Gay Ice Cream Truck!
All you have to do is email your name, address, and this book title to: jenileerose@yahoo.com to enter!
Giveaway ends on 6/10 at midnight!
Good luck :)

Thursday, June 4, 2015


Tourist Trains Guidebook has come out with a fifth edition (adding to their previous collections) that includes 500 depots, historic sights, excursions, dinner trains, and museums that you must see and do (if you like that sort of thing) with your family, with your lover, with yourself, all over America and Canada so you are bound to find one near you. Magazine Editors of Trains have included full-page reviews of the must-visit hot spots, when to go, what's good to know, what you don't want to miss, and how to get there.

Sign me up for any and all wine trains, please. Yes, they do exist.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

from the mouths of tweens.

Newly formed cousins, Lana and Cassie are forced to get to know each other in pretty close quarters as they road trip from California to Maine with their just as newly wedded grandparents in this very cute middle school novel titled Drive Me Crazy by Terra Elan McVoy. Middle school is one of the most difficult ages to get kids into reading for fun, and Lana and Cassie's differences help a lot. These girls are extremely relatable and alternate narrating each chapter from start to finish.

Unlike Lana, who is pretty excited about this adventure and getting to know her cousin who she has only met one other time (at the wedding), Cassie struggles to remain positive as she's missing out on a lot at home social wise. Trying to stay in the queen bee Kendra's good graces is pretty impossible when you're on a road trip with your grandma and her new husband. Although Lana is trying to have fun, she has her own set of issues as she has a sick feeling her parents are keeping the seriousness of her mother's recent illness from her.

My favorite parts of the story are when the girls can forget their worries for a short while and enjoy themselves at tourist attractions along the way. There is lots of humor and heart in Drive Me Crazy, and I know your moody girl will get something out of it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

middle eastern cuisine.

I WISH I would have known of Honey & Co. the restaurant when I traveled to London back in 2012 when the restaurant opened. I love Middle Eastern food, it's just entirely out of my element to cook it myself. After reading Honey & Co.: The Cookbook by Israel-born couple Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer, I still think that cooking Middle Eastern food is out of my league, but these two (I'm assuming mostly Sarit as she's the organized one) have definitely given me the courage to try some of the spreads and salads. And since summer is here, it's the perfect time to throw together their Watermelon & Feta Salad. Light, easy, and perfect!

I haven't heard a lot of buzz about this cookbook which came out last month, but I assure you, if Middle Eastern spices are your thing, you will get A LOT out of these recipes, especially the meatballs.

Monday, June 1, 2015

okay, so i loved this.

If you love the gays, entrepreneurship, and ice cream then Big Gay Ice Cream: Saucy Stories & Frozen Treats: Going All the Way with Ice Cream by partners and partners Bryan Petroff and Douglass Quint is definitely your next kick ass read. These two reinvented the ice cream truck when they decided to rent their own and do their own thing, which included a pretty standout name, fun toppings and unique sundaes spicing up the streets of New York City. I loved reading their story, almost as much as I loved the frozen treat recipes they shared. I'll take one salty pimp, please. And WHY HAVE I NEVER THOUGHT OF LINING MY CONE WITH PEANUT BUTTER! Fricken genius boys.