Friday, September 27, 2013

The Master's Quilt (Giants in the Earth) - Michael Webb

I 'picked up' this book because it was free on kindle and it looked interested. I'd never heard of the author, Michael Webb, before, but will certainly be reading more of his books.   This is a great book!

Book Description on Amazon:

The life of Deucalion Quinctus, Commander of the Garrison under Pontius Pilate, is changed forever by the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, by his sudden love for the beautiful outcast, Esther, and by a bundle of parchments given to him by a mysterious stranger.

Events surrounding the Christos trigger an avalanche which threatens empires”"the relentless guilt of Pilate, the frightening ambition of Herod, the uncertain future of Caiaphas, the violent madness of Saul of Tarsus, and the guiding hand of the Watcher, Uriel. Yet, over it all the tenacious love of God weaves a remarkable tale of spiritual power and inspiration.

This compelling historical novel brilliantly pictures dramatic spiritual conflicts in first-century Israel; webs of religious and political intrigue that have world powers wavering on cliff’s edge.

First book in the Giants in the Earth trilogy, exciting spiritual thrillers spanning two thousand years.
So, if you like historical fiction, christian fiction, or just a good story, pick up this book! It's still free on right now, so hurry!

I really enjoyed this book!  It tell the story of what happened just after the crucifixion.  It follows the characters around and really makes you think about what living back then, during such a momental time in history was like.  But don't get scared, it's not like ready a boring account of history.  It is a great story, which is well told.  The characters come alive on the pages.  I read this book over three days (along with working and taking care of my family).  I can't wait to pick up the second book!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Plate to Pixel - Helene Dujardin

Facts about the author:
Hélène Dujardin
a pastry chef for five years
professional food photographer
blogger - Tartelette

Book description:
Food photography is on the rise, with the millions of food bloggers around the word as well as foodies who document their meals or small business owners who are interested in cutting costs by styling and photographing their own menu items, and this book should serve as your first course in food photography. Discover how the food stylist exercises unique techniques to make the food look attractive in the finished product. You’ll get a taste of the visual know-how that is required to translate the perceptions of taste, aroma, and appeal into a stunning, lavish finished photograph.

This is a really informative book for food bloggers, photographers, and people who love food and/or photography. I picked it up to read for The Kitchen Reader reading group.  It also fit nicely into my Foodie Readers Book Challenge 2013.  Double score!

It's not too technical to read (which I feared a little).  And she has a way with words that make you excited to learn more.  This line for example - "A picture is worth a thousand words, yes; let the first one be Wow!" The pictures are gorgorgeous.  The tips and instructions are so helpful.

She spends a good deal of time talking about light.  There is an entire chapter devoted to natural light and one on artificial light.  My favorite chapters were the ones on composition and food styling.  I learned a lot of great tips from these sections that I've already been able to put to use.

For me, this isn't a book you read once and then leave forgotten on a shelf.  It is one that you refer back to when shopping for cameras, photography equipment, troubleshooting photography issues, tips on composing a good shot, creative ideas for shots.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Foodie Read Reading Challenge 2013

Since I'm starting so late in the year and I have a lot on my 'to read' shelf,  I'm going to do Short Order Cook 1-4 books.  I know, I know, I'm aiming low and will probably regret it.

I'll post the review here as soon as I finish a food read.  So excited!

Plate to Pixel review
Cooked review

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Becoming Odyssa- Jennifer Davis

This is such a great book!  It's the story of "Odyssa" (her trail name) and her hike along the Apalachian Trail.  She tells the story aof her immense accomplishment and of all the trials and tribulations, joys and sucesses.  Along the journey, she meets several interesting characters and finds herself in some exciting/unusual situations.  She starts the journey just after completing her four year degree and before she has to enter the 'real world.  She learns so much about herself and what she wants out of life.  I think every college grad should do this!  What an excellent way to transition from school to the workforce.

She is an excellent storyteller too.  It feels like you are hearing about these great adventures from a good friend, fresh off the trail.  It is a quick read and such a joy to read.

Some of my favorite lines from the book

Thoughts on why so many college grads on trail - "We've spend our entire lives under the influence of family, school, and religion, and we need to test out our doctrines. The trail provides a place to sort through the fact and fiction of our childhoods.

Thoughtts on God - "...the mountains were singing the praises of God beautifully and without shame.  I wish I could be more like a mountain."

I could probably list one from each page of the book but  I don't have that kind of time.  Just pick it up and read it for yourself.  You won't be disappointed.

This book is fantastic!  I definitely want to hike the Appalachian Trail once my husband retires!  It was always something he wanted to do but I was always like 'yeah, ok sure' and change the subject.  Now, I am completely on board with the idea.  Jennifer doesn't glamorize the hike it but just tells you about it - the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Page by page I became more set on the idea of doing it.  Now, I just have to wait it out.  

This is one of the best books I've read this year.  

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Want to read - Praying in Rome

So, here's a book I'd like to get hold of to read - Praying in Rome by Cardinal Dolan.   It's about his time in the Conclave in Rome in 2013 (electing Pope Francis).  Here are a couple clips from him on the Colbert show talking about the book -

Sounds pretty interesting, right?  Anyone read it?

The Professor and The Madman- Simon Winchester

A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary

Very interesting story about two key figures involved in the making of the Oxford English Dictionary.  The book reads like a work of fiction.  It is not exactly what I thought it would be like when I selected it but I really enjoyed it.  It was filled with moments of surprise, sadness, and just good story-telling.  It is amazing to think what a formidable task writing the first comprehensive dictionary really was and how interesting it was to read about the time, effort, and energy expended to make it happen.  There are some great characters in the book and their lives will keep you just as interested as a good work of fiction.

I don't know why it took me so long to start reading this book but it certainly didn't take very long to finish!

Short review but really good read!