5 Books I’m Recommending Right Now

I have been ever so slowly making my way through my NetGalley shelf.  While I am absolutely thrilled with the generosity of the publishers in granting my requests, I may overestimate my reading capacity when they all seem to be approved at once.  

These are titles that I’m received as Advanced Readers Copies that I am recommending for various readings.  I’m including a few different genres and a note that they are not all new releases because I am that far behind.

Also, they weren’t all books that I’d necessarily “rave about” or read again, but are titles I belive have inherent entertainment or educational value – so perhaps not 5 star reads, but books I enjoyed for one reason or another and wouldn’t have regretted if I had purchased.

5 Books I’m Recommending Right Now:

The Beach House by Jenny Hale is a heartwarming summer romance.  This was a quick read, but would be perfect for tucking into your beach bag.  Bonus points for a beautiful cover. From Bookouture – June 9, 2021.

Silence In The Library by Katherine Schellman is an engaging historical romance (and in exciting news, there is more Lily Adler to come!) This is the second book in the series and I have truly enjoyed both books. The writing works for me and I like the characters. From Crooked Lane Books – July 13, 2021.

No Days Off by Max Domi – I didn’t love the hockey references and in fact, my eyes may have glazed over at times (but I am admittedly not a sports girl!) – so I obviously didn’t read it from the fandom perspective. I did appreciate Domi’s transparency in sharing his journey to the NHL while attempting to balance Type 1 and celiac disease without giving up on his dreams.  I couldn’t relate to all of the “perks” he has had in learning to manage his diagnosis, but I could relate to much of his experience and feelings. (Side note, I apologize for the things I’ve said when high or low!) I recommend as inspiring non-fiction that encourages you to keep on going or for anyone interested in an accurately descriptive glimpse of what living with Type 1 can be like. As an extra bonus, a portion of proceeds of the sales has been donated to the JDRF.  From Simon & Schuster Canada – October 29, 2019

Trisha’s Kitchen by Trisha Yearwood – this cookbook is rife with some good ol’ comfort food recipes. I want to order a copy for my collection but don’t think I could cook from it every day without gaining a zillion pounds.  They are “accessible” recipes for the most part containing nothing too exotic and a lot of pantry basics, presented with a down home twist and glimpses into the Yearwood/Brooks home.  From Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – September 28, 2021

In The Mirror, A Peacock Danced by Justine Bothwick was a descriptive dual-timeline historical novel about a woman’s journey to find herself, set amidst lush backgrounds of early 20th-century India and the slightly greyer background of mid 20th-century England. it was a slow paced but enthralling read. From Agora Books – June 24, 2021

My thanks to each of the publishers for the complimentary reads.  I’ve listed the release dates and publishers.  As you can see, some are readily available, some may need a pre-order, or even re-order.  If you’ve read any of these titles, let me know which ones in the comments! And as always, share your thoughts.

Book Review: Hope Blooms

I shared a link to this organization on my Facebook page a few weeks ago after briefly exploring the digital copy of the book I was provided. I actually requested the title on a whim – and I’m so glad I did! I enjoyed the preview of the digital Hope Blooms copy so much that I ordered a physical, actual book to hold in my hands the same day. (You may recognize some faces and names from their pitch on Dragon’s Den – just a small step in their story.)

While tackling many of the same issues of yesterday’s book review – social inequity, poverty, diversity, etc. – this non-fiction work chronicles the hope that’s been found in North End Halifax through gardening. The Hope Blooms organization’s history and impact are chronicled in a beautifully written portrayal of community, mentorship, and team-work providing ways to overcome food insecurity, health issues, and socio-economic imbalance.

This was a book that moved me to tears – it’s not a difficult read and it’s not a long read. It’s replete with photographs of the youth involved in the venture and filled to the brim with stories of hope, promise, and foundations laid for a better future. It is a tale of education, social enterprise, equipping, growth, victory, and success. It’s a story of a group of someones seeing the potential, the dream, and doing what is needed to not only better their own lives but the lives of those around them. It’s a success story of inclusion, equality, empowerment, and social enterprise. It is a reminder that from a small seed comes a big harvest. A definite must-read – especially for Canadians and those who want to impact their youth and their community. (Bonus, the recipes included look delightful. We’ll try the jerk fish tacos one day!)

Now to plan a visit Halifax to get my hands on some of those dressings… (that’s a long way to go for some salad dressing!)

I was provided with a complimentary copy of this title via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

Published by: Nimbus Publishing
Publication date: October 31, 2018

Book Review: The Sugar Smart Cookbook for Kids

I have to curb my impulse to purchase cookbooks and magazines featuring delicious looking recipes. I don’t have the space in our small home to properly store the hordes of food-related gadgets and books that I could easily adopt. Gratefully, I didn’t feel guilty about this one as it was complimentary via NetGalley… and I was provided with a digital copy.

The quick and straightforward dishes from The Sugar Smart Cookbook for Kids by Georgia Varozza will have you plating familiar food in no time – with no strange ingredients and less added sugar. Our big win? Pear and Cheddar Crisp.

Written in a neighbourly way with well-categorized listings, this cookbook is not overwhelming, but it also may not wow you. I’m a very visual person when it comes to cooking – some photos may have jazzed things up. It’s a good basic resource for standard kid-friendly meals with a healthier twist and a strong encouragement to switch out highly processed foods for whole grains and made from scratch meals.

The one disqualifier that I will post here that was not included in my Goodreads review is that I find healthy and nutritious very subjective. Overall, these are fairly healthy recipes… if you’re okay with higher fat, you’re not vegetarian, you aren’t avoiding gluten or dairy, etc. You may have to make some swaps to make it work for your family, but it’s a start and if you don’t know where to start and rely heavily on convenience foods, this may be a good one for you. I didn’t find it overwhelmingly different than many of the recipes we’re already using.

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley courtesy of the publisher and/or author. All opinions expressed are my own.

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Publication Date: March 5, 2019