This giveaway is now over! Congratulations to Denise, who won all three of her wished for books!!
Hello my lovely readers!
As a part of getting ready for moving in with my partner (which is official as of August 1st, but we’ve already carried all the boxes), I wound up sorting through my piles and piles of books. I posted everything to ebay, where some sold, and then I was going to flat-out donate the rest, but then I thought of my lovely followers. How awesome would it be to give you guys a chance at these books first?
So. I decided to give away 3 books to you all and then donate the rest.
Here’s how it’s gonna work. Comment leaving a list of what books you want, in order of most wanted (with the first one listed being the most wanted). List up to 3. If only 3 people comment, you each get 1. If 2 comment, the first person to comment gets 2, and the second gets 1. If more than 3 people comment, I’ll use a random number generator to randomly select 3 people to each get 1 book. Make sense?
Here are the rules:
- You must be a follower of my blog! This is a follower appreciation giveaway, please respect this rule. I’m not running this to get more followers. I just want to give a thank you hug to everyone who deems my ramblings worthwhile.
- US only. Sorry, guys. I am not rich enough to ship worldwide.
- Giveaway is open through Friday, August 2 at 5pm EST, at which time I will select the winners. A post announcing the winners will go live on Saturday, August 3rd.
- Leave a comment listing the books you want (up to 3).
- Also state that you follow me and how/where (Twitter? Email subscription? Facebook? Feedly? etc….)
- You must leave your email in some way so I can contact you to get your mailing address if/when you win.
The available books, in alphabetical order by title:
- Across the Table / Dancing on Sunday Afternoons by Linda Cardillo
- Adventures in Microwave Cooking by Montgomery Ward
hardcover, 1983, the binding is loose but all the pages are there
- The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
- Bookhunter by Shiga
graphic novel, paperback, 207
- Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin
- Dagon by Fred Chappell
paperback, 1968, the cover has creasing and shelfwear and there is a stain on some of the pages, but it’s a copy of a Lovecraftverse story, and it’s awesome with that double cover thing where the one cover has a peephole through to the internal cover and you open it and bam there’s a craaaazy picture on the inside, so I’m really hoping it will find a loving home somewhere with another Lovecraft geek
- Death Island by Joan Conning Afman
- The Empathic Civilization by Jeremy Rifkin
- Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health by Marion Nestle
- The Gin Closet by Leslie Jamison
- Hack the Planet by Eli Kintisch
- The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames
- A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
- The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter
- Nova by Samuel R. Delaney
- The Plains of Passage by Jean M. Auel
paperback, 1991, this cover has quite a bit of shelfwear and some creasing in it
- Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution by Ji-Li Jiang
- A Room With a View by E.M. Forster
- Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chogyam Trungpa
- Sleeping Arrangements by Madeline Wickham
- Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
- Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Caroline Stevermer and Patricia C. Wrede
- The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
paperback, 1997, the cover has a plastic sheen on it that is peeling off a bit
- The New Stir-Fry Cookbook (Step-by-Step brand)paperback
- Trust Us, We’re Experts! by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber
- Unfinished Desires by Gail Godwin
hardcover, ex libris
- The Valley of Horses by Jean M. Auel
- Vegetables: Simple and Delicious Easy to Make Recipes
- The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike
hardcover, 1984, does not have the slipcover hardcovers come with, but is a very pretty purple with silver lettering
- Yellow-Yellow by Kaine Agary
- Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O’Brien
With 31 books to choose from, I hope everyone can find something to hope for in the comments!
And thanks once again to all my lovely followers. Good luck!
Ty lives with his pioneer family subsea but he can’t convince his crush Gemma to leave Topside. Why is she so afraid of subsea? This was his biggest problem until his parents get kidnapped by surfs when they attempt to do a trade. Plus, Gemma wants to convince her fugitive brother to let her tag along with him. And townships keep disappearing, only to turn up later, chained up and anchored subsea with everyone dead inside. It’s a giant web of mysteries but do they intertwine at all?
I absolutely loved the first entry in this scifi series, which is unusual for me, since it’s YA. Not generally my genre. So I was excited to see the sequel available on Audible. It’s still an exciting adventure and interesting world but not quite as tightly and expertly constructed as last time.
Whereas Ty’s voice worked perfectly in the first book, in this one he reads a bit young. He went through a lot in the first entry, he should have presumably matured a bit more than he has. Similarly, Gemma hasn’t developed much since the first book either. I think these characters should have been given more space to grow more. Particularly in a YA series, it’s important to let the characters develop and mature at a more rapid rate. That’s the reality for teenagers after all.
Plot-wise, I honestly felt that there was a bit of a deus ex machina at work that also didn’t fully play into the rules of the world as originally set up. Still, though, the mystery is well-plotted and difficult to predict. It includes real danger without being too violent. It’s the perfect level of thriller for a YA reader who’s not so into the gore. On the other hand, I also found it frustrating that Ty’s parents aren’t around for most of the book. One of the things refreshing about the first one was that his parents were actually present and helpful without being too pushy or overshadowing. This time around, Falls went the more popular YA adventure route and just flat-out got rid of them for most of the book.
But the world Falls has built is still rich and unique, and she expanded upon it. We now get to see more of what the surf life is like, in addition to more of the shady side of things, such as the boxing/fighting rings. We also see some more of the government and law enforcement and have a better understanding of the world as a whole. It’s all richly imagined and drawn, right down to what styles of clothes different groups wear to what they eat. One detail I particularly enjoyed was that the surfs, a poor outcast lot, eat a lot of fish and blubber because it’s easy to catch, whereas Ty’s family eats a lot of vegetables because they grow them. Details like that really make a world.
The audiobook narrator, Keith Nobbs, read the whole thing a bit flat for my taste. He didn’t have as much enthusiasm and inflection as I thought was appropriate for a book about a subsea adventure starring two young teenagers! The production quality was high, he was easy to understand, but he didn’t really bring Ty to life. I’d recommend reading the print book over the audio, honestly.
Overall, then, the characters are a bit slow in their development and the plot feels a bit lazier than last time, but the characters are still well-rounded and the plot maintains an appropriate level of mystery. Toss in the richly imagined and describe post-apocalyptic and very wet world, and it’s well worth the read.
4 out of 5 stars
Cookbook Review: Green Smoothie Magic – 132+ Delicious Green Smoothie Recipes That Trim and Slim by Gabrielle Raiz
Lots of leafy greens are important to incorporate into your diet for health reasons (vitamins! fiber!) but it can be difficult to work them in. Enter the green smoothie. Blend up the greens with other ingredients to give yourself a delicious sweet or savory drinkable treat and get 1 to 2 cups of leafy greens into your belly in the time it takes to drink a drink! Raiz walks you through all the steps to incorporating green smoothies into your life from the basics of what greens to use and how to what makes a good blender to recipes to how to tweak and personalize the recipes.
I picked up this cookbook when I spotted the kindle version on sale for 99 cents because I wanted exactly what it promised. A way to work in more leafy greens into my life in a delicious way.
The cookbook is organized into sections entitled: introduction, the magic of the green stuff, not all green smoothies are green, don’t get stuck with the same green, greens, how green should my first smoothies be?, green smoothie magic basics, the pragmatic approach to health nutrition and everything!, freezing fruit, green smoothie rescue — what to do if a recipe doesn’t work out!, about blenders and blending, about drinking and storing your smoothie, green smoothie magic 101: instructions at a glance for blending any smoothie, and green smoothie magic recipes. If that sounds like a lot of sections, it’s because it is. Raiz has a lot of information to give the reader. She clearly knows what she’s talking about, and I found a lot of what she had to say very useful! Particularly how to pick the right blender, the different flavors of greens and how to pick which ones to use, how to store greens, how to save a smoothie that doesn’t taste quite right, and the basic elements of a smoothie. Also, the recipes of course! But how this valuable information is organized is a bit haphazard and can sometimes be repetitive. I’m glad I took the time to read it all and glean out the important bits, but I’m not sure everyone would stick it out through such a disorganized and long introduction. A more concise introduction to the hows and whys of green smoothies is needed.
The recipes themselves are creative without going too far off the deep-end in exotic ingredients. For instance, even though Raiz recommends making your own nut milks, she provides substitutions for those of us who would rather not do that. The recipes are easy to read, fully utilizing bullet-points and simplicity. I really appreciated that. There are also full-color illustrations throughout the cookbook , although they are primarily of the ingredients and not the smoothies themselves. I get it that green smoothies tend to be, well, green colored, but a few more smoothie pictures would be nice.
So I read through the whole book and was ready to try a recipe. I knew from reading the book that my low-powered food processor wasn’t ideal for blending but would work with a recipe with less tough ingredients (for instance, the beet smoothie might be a bit too much for my food processor). I also followed Raiz’s newbie caution and went with a recipe with a more traditional smoothie taste to ease myself into it. Below is the recipe I tried out with a picture of the result.
“Cinnamango Smoothie (location 1558)
1 cup water with 1/4 cup almonds (soaked overnight) OR 1 cup nut milk OR 1 cup coconut water
1 cup mango (frozen)
cinnamon, salt, and vanilla
2 cups spinach leaves (or any combination of mild greens)
1 T chopped mint leaves
Ice and extra water to get your desired temperature and consistency.”
You can see how simple the instructions are. It is a smoothie after all. I left off the introductory paragraph, which is primarily featured in the earlier recipes and talks more about the ingredients, and skipped right to the actual recipe. The ingredients introduction is nice and makes it more conversational, but it is a smoothie after all. You just put in the general ingredients to fit your tastes and away you go, and most of the recipes utilize this simpler style I chose here.
I used coconut water for the base of my smoothie, and my mango had kind of defrosted by the time I got home from the grocery store. I also didn’t have spinach, but I did have swiss chard from my CSA, which was listed as a mild green in the cookbook, so I subbed those in. When I took the first taste, it felt too strong and not smoothie-like enough to me. So I read over the section on how to fix your smoothie and noticed that Raiz states that the temperature of the smoothie affects the taste. Perhaps my mango being defrosted mattered? So I added in ice, blended again, and voila! An incredibly delicious green smoothie! It was, admittedly, a bit less well-blended than I would have preferred, but I was well aware that was the fault of my food processor, not the recipe.
So what’s the verdict? Well, I got so excited about green smoothies after this cookbook that my partner got me a blender for my birthday (using the recommendations in Raiz’s book to help him choose which one). So I’d call it a success! The recipes are easy, adaptable, and Raiz arms you with troubleshooting techniques to help you learn to get it right. The beginning of the book needs more focus, organization, and clarity to help Raiz’s true expertise and talent shine through but if you want to start incorporating green smoothies into your life, this book is a great place to start. It both explains greens and green smoothies and blenders AND gives you a bunch of adaptable, easy recipes to get going.
4 out of 5 stars
Hello my lovely readers!
Well, July just snuck right up on me. I even accidentally tried to use my old monthly pass on the T. June was so busy, it just flew right by!
The most exciting thing I got to do this month was I got to take an extra long weekend and go see my boyfriend race in the 90th annual Loudon Classic at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway! Of course, I got to see all the other races too, but the best part was finally getting to see him race and be his umbrella girl and pit crew. 🙂 The racers generally camp at the track, and when we got there, they let me in as family of a racer, which made all of my insides squee, since that was the first time we were called family. I helped him set up the camp and met his racer friends. It’s incredible. Everyone is so competitive on the track but the direct opposite in the camp. Our neighbors gave us coffee every morning, and we shot the shit around the campfire every night. When our neighbor had a crash (very common in motorcycle racing), my bf immediately gave him tools and various other things to help fix it, and I knew that everyone would do the same for him.
So what did I do as pit crew? Mostly I helped him put the tire warmers on the motorcycle and helped him get the bike on and off the stand. Also I was the pep talk and cheerleader, obviously. Tire warmers are these blanket like things that you put on the wheels of the motorcycle to keep the rubber warm. Warmer rubber makes for better traction. You have to pull them off right before going to the pit to grid up. (Frankly, I thought they looked like wheel condoms. Yeah, I said it). Also, track bikes don’t have kickstands, so you have to put the bike on this lever-like stand separate from it (see one here), and it’s much easier for the racer to be on the bike already and have someone else release it from the stand. Someone else would have helped him if I wasn’t there, but it was fun to get to do it for him. I also got to fulfill one of his lifelong dreams and be his umbrella girl. When the bikes are waiting in the pit to enter the track, it can be really hot, since they are in full gear in direct sun. So some racers have “umbrella girls” (who can be either gender, actually) to hold an umbrella over them to keep them cool until it’s time to enter the track. So I got to meet up with him in the pit grid and do that, and it was really fun to be that close to the actual track and talk to him right before his race.
Since this was the 90th annual Loudon Classic, there were a couple of special events. There were sidecar racers, mini cars that ran on motorcycle engines, and a motard race. The sidecar race is incredible. In order to go at track speeds with a sidecar, the person in the sidecar, called a monkey, has to throw their body weight around from left to right to help with the corners. It is incredibly difficult to explain, so just watch this video if you want to understand why it’s so badass. Motards are dirt bikes outfitted with street tires. The motard racers got to go off the track onto the grass, through the trees, and use a jump. You can see one of the racers burning out in the photo above. A lot of racers will do tricks during the cool-down lap at the portions of the track where there are spectators.
I learned so much by going to the track. I learned that crashes on the track are usually not that big of a deal because the racers are wearing full gear. Our neighbor was in two crashes, one was a 5-bike pile-up, and all he had wrong with him was a cut on his pinky and a pulled shoulder. I also learned that racing isn’t the crazy, testosterone-filled sport it’s thought to be. It’s a fun, low-key, supportive environment. Although, that doesn’t take away from its sexiness. If anything the camaraderie of the racers makes the whole thing sexier. It’s all the sexiness of motorcycles mixed with some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Kind of the direct opposite of your typical Harley crew.
Oh, I also learned that partners of racers are called “racer chasers,” and I am deeply amused by the fact that you can now call me that. Amanda. Writer. Blogger. Racer Chaser.
Also, I’ve officially told my bf that I want to learn to sidecar race, and we’re planning on building a mock practice sidecar to practice on this winter in the garage. So hopefully one day you can add sidecar monkey to that list. 😛