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7.5/10
Sweet

In his stunning new baking and desserts cookbook Yotam Ottolenghi and his long-time collaborator Helen Goh bring the Ottolenghi hallmarks of fresh, evocative ingredients, exotic spices and complex flavourings – including fig, rose petal, saffron, aniseed, orange blossom, pistachio and cardamom – to indulgent cakes, biscuits, tarts, puddings, cheesecakes and ice cream. Sweet includes over 110 innovative recipes, from Blackberry and Star Anise Friands, Middle Eastern Millionaire’s Shortbread, Tahini and Halva Brownies, Orange and Honey Madeleines to Flourless Chocolate Layer Cake with Coffee, Persian Love Cakes and Saffron, Walnut and Rosewater and Cinnamon Pavlova with Praline Cream and Fresh Figs. There is something here to delight everyone – from simple mini-cakes and cookies that parents can make with their children to showstopping layer cakes and roulades that will reignite the imaginations of accomplished bakers.    Support this site by buying the book through the links below. Thank you very much!    Buy now on eBay    Buy now on Amazon

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8.7/10
The Cost of Hope: A Memoir (Amanda Bennett)

Not that most can’t see the foibles in the healthcare system, and not that there weren’t many who saw stories like this coming in `those early days’ when automation was first being touted, but this incredible memoir provides an up close personal look at what’s happening in an inexplicable decentralized health system. This is what I really enjoyed about Amanda’s memoir; her style of storytelling… short clipped sentences, and the way she allows readers to ask and then answer their own questions about our healthcare system. Almost, but never really does she seem to want to blame anyone. Instead, through careful research she struggles to make sense of what happened by detailing the many disjointed facets that went into treating her husband’s illness. There is just so much to comment on. I was just as much swayed by Amanda (and Terence’s) quite enchanting and (often) peevish courtship and romance. Gosh, I just loved how they met. Hilarious! After finishing the book I even did a little research of my own and found a beautiful portrait of the family. I needed to see that picture. It very much supported what I read; Amanda’s durable perseverance, and Terence’s great big personality, and…

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7/10
The Good Samaritan (John Marrs)

Contemplating ending your life? Call “The End of the Line” hotline. They are there to listen, to be supportive, to be understanding, to be nonjudgmental. They have sympathetic volunteers whose jobs are not to talk you out of suicide, but to listen, to let you know you have options. But what happens when the kind, sympathetic, caring person on the other end has ulterior motives? Laura loves the work she does at “The end of the line”. This is where she shines. She is made for this. Oh, how she loves what she does! She doesn’t feel fulfilled at home but at work she has found her purpose, her calling if you will. Ryan is devastated. His pregnant wife has committed suicide with a stranger. Who was this man? Did his wife know him? Was she having an affair? He will do anything to get the answers he so desperately wants. He wants to know the truth but at what cost? We get both Laura and Ryan’s narratives in this book. Both have their own agendas, and both are little devious. This book had a couple of twists and turns along the way which kept things interesting. This is a…

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7.9/10
Then She Was Gone (Lisa Jewell)

She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone. Ten years on, Laurel has never given up hope of finding Ellie. And then she meets a charming and charismatic stranger who sweeps her off her feet. But what really takes her breath away is when she meets his nine-year-old daughter. Because his daughter is the image of Ellie. Now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back. What really happened to Ellie? And who still has secrets to hide?    Support this site by buying the book through the links below. Thank you very much!    Buy now on eBay    Buy now on Amazon

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9/10
Waiting and Dating (Myles Munroe)

I think Myles Munroe did a great job explaining why it’s so important to wait before we date. I REALLY like it a lot, I’m much more satisfied about being single & utilizing my time to focus on God as well as his kingdom work after reading his book. Time is very valuable, because we will want to please our husband/wife in addition to God after we are married. It’s harder not to have an “undivided heart” when you’re not single anymore. (I love that song!!) However, I don’t like how he tries to appeal to the mass audience by saying that he thinks “adolescents mature at different rates, and girls usually mature faster and earlier than boys do. (That is so true!) Some children may be ready to date at the age of 13, while others may be 18 before they are ready. A person’s readiness to date is largely a matter of maturity and environment.” I docked 1 star simply cause I don’t agree on children dating that early. Also cause he title one chapter “Friendship-Building: The Purpose of Dating.” Uh, men and women can become friends and not be dating. I have male acquaintances and casual friends…

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8.6/10
Smoke in the Sun (Renee Ahdieh)

Who invented duologies? No, but really, since when is it okay for a series with such unique content and loveable characters to end so soon? Yes, I am in mourning. I should be celebrating, because that ending is priceless, the author wrapped things up very nicely, but instead I am suffering from Flame in the Mist withdrawal. Just when you start caring for the protagonists so much… they are stolen away from you. Hatred for duologies aside, I have to admit I admire Renée Ahdieh for knowing when to stop. It’s better she stops then goes on to develop her series some more, only to go in the wrong direction and ruin everything, like previous authors have done. Maybe Divergent should have been a duology after all. Whereas the first book took me no less than ten full hours to read, Smoke in the Sun read particularly and unexpectedly well. Don’t get me wrong, Flame in the Mist mesmerized me, but boy did I have to push through at times. The story is incredibly interesting nonetheless, but even my imaginary turtle moves faster than that. It’s like the author heard my prayers because I was able to finish this in…

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5.4/10
Fire and Fury (Michael Wolff)

With extraordinary access to the Trump White House, Michael Wolff tells the inside story of the most controversial presidency of our time. The first nine months of Donald Trump’s term were stormy, outrageous – and absolutely mesmerising. Now, thanks to his deep access to the West Wing, bestselling author Michael Wolff tells the riveting story of how Trump launched a tenure as volatile and fiery as the man himself. In this explosive book, Wolff provides a wealth of new details about the chaos in the Oval Office. Among the revelations: – What President Trump’s staff really thinks of him – What inspired Trump to claim he was wire-tapped by President Obama – Why FBI director James Comey was really fired – Why chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner couldn’t be in the same room – Who is really directing the Trump administration’s strategy in the wake of Bannon’s firing – What the secret to communicating with Trump is – What the Trump administration has in common with the movie The Producers Never before has a presidency so divided the American people. Brilliantly reported and astoundingly fresh, Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury shows us how and why Donald…

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8.8/10
The History of Jane Doe (Michael Belanger)

WOW! Humor is the pathway to depth, and Belanger’s whit and relatable characters guide us to plunge the authentic feelings of high school anxiety, love and self worth with frequent laughs between the tears. Read this book. As a high school teacher and father I feel compelled to read YA lit, and in general often gag at the tired tropes and long for an intelligent yet fun book to recommend to my students and children. I have found one. As an adult my tastes run toward Pinker, Barzun, and Foster Wallace but its no exaggeration that this new author has taken that level of scholarship, craftsmanship and depth of thought to generate a work that transcends the genre. Not since reading Infinite Jest have I felt like a character has made me understand the blackness of depression like Jane Doe. The late great historian and wordsmith Jaques Barzun often discussed the “Working of the Mind and Heart” and by weaving in historical anecdotes and allusions Belanger somhowe is able to achieve this a true synthesis of heart and mind.    Support this site by buying the book through the links below. Thank you very much!    Buy now on eBay…

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8.9/10
“This Business Has Legs”: How I Used Infomercial Marketing to Create the $100,000,000 Thighmaster Craze: An Entrepreneurial Adventure Story (Peter Bieler)

In this book Peter Bieler explains everything you need to know to succeed in direct response television while regaling you with stories of some of the most astonishing characters to be found in a business narrative. One billion dollars worth of goods will be sold through infomercials next year. When reading this book the following questions will be answered: Do you need to have a background in advertising or video production to be successful in business? Why should corporate executives advocate using direct response in their marketing mix? How much does it cost to hire a star spokesperson? Where do you find good products to sell? And how do you choose correctly? This book is packed with resources and behind-the-scenes tips and tricks. “Some brilliant and witty endorsement from the guy responsible for marketing the pet rock.” –Tim Rice, creator and marketer of the Pet Rock.    Support this site by buying the book through the links below. Thank you very much!    Buy now on eBay    Buy now on Amazon

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7.8/10
No One But You (Alexandra Silva)

They say bad things happen in threes. I made a mistake. I kissed the right boy, but married the wrong man. They were friends. Best friends. Until my life fell apart. Everything changed. Something was stolen and then something was given in its place. I had so much in my grasp, maybe it was too much because everything started slipping. My son. My husband. My sanity. Only one thing remained the same. My first crush. My first kiss. My first love. JAMIE They say you can’t miss what you’ve never had. But I swear I had her. At least for one kiss. I left the right girl and tried to replace her with the wrong woman. It didn’t work because I still missed her. I promised my best friend I’d always look after his little sister. And our other best friend promised to never break her heart. He lied. I didn’t. We have circled each other all our lives but our time never came. We’ve never had our moment until now. ———————————————————————– No One But You was really refreshing because of its characters and their current situations. They were real and relatable. Quincy and Jamie are both divorced, single parents…