Friday, March 15, 2013

This Book Room

A charming novel about a 40-year-old Brooklyn mother, recently divorced, who starts writing copy for a bakery, discovers a knack for food-related literary puns, and becomes entangled in a love triangle.

Molly Hagan is overwhelmed.

Her husband left her for a younger, blonder woman, her six year-old son is questioning her authority, and now, so is she. In order to pay her Brooklyn rent and keep her son supplied with Pokemon and Legos-not to mention food and clothing-she has to get a job. Fast.

So when an old friend offers Molly a copywriting position at a new bakery, finding romance is just about the last thing on her mind. But the sexy British pastry chef who's heading up the bakery has other thoughts. And so does Molly when she meets the chef's intimidating business partner-who also happens to have a secret that might prevent Molly from getting her own Happily Ever After.


My thoughts: I would have enjoyed this book more if Molly hadn't annoyed me so much at times. But, with that said, I really enjoyed this book. The cover art is delightful. The story was quick to read and fun. It seems like fun books don't come around all that often, but when they do, it's such a joy. I would definitely give this one a go. I will be looking for more of Megan's books in the future.

When Amy Clark and her husband found themselves in unexpected financial trouble right before the birth of their first child, they quickly learned the importance of smart budgeting and making a little money go a long way. In this book, Amy offers up a clever lifestyle plan that is long on creativity and short on cost to help you achieve a peaceful, thrifty home and a loving, happy family:
- Set a reasonable budget and stick to it
- Save half price or more on nearly everything
- Cook delicious, frugal meals for any size family, and save money by making your own easy salad dressing, barbecue sauce, and homemade mixes
- Manage an organized, clean house without spending valuable time and money
- Create traditions and family occasions kids will remember forever--without breaking the bank
You'll be inspired by a wealth of smart and creative ideas for families living on a budget and a guide for everyone who finds themselves challenged to juggle all the roles that come with parenting. Amy gives you the tools, the guidance, and the inspiration you need to run your own household with wisdom, wit, love, and style.


My thoughts: If you have just started on a journey toward cooking at home and living frugally, you'll want to read this book. If you've been on your journey and already read a lot of books, this book might not be as helpful. I found that this book wasn't so helpful for me. I didn't learn anything new. About a third of the book is recipes for dinners, snacks and homemade mixes. If you're in need of something like that and don't use Pinterest, you could check out this book for that, but I find most of that is available on the internet.

Six women. More problems. New secrets. The Potluck Club is back with a yummy casserole of characters, hilarity, and adventure in Summit View, Colorado! Club leader Evie continues to find newcomer Lisa Leann too tough to swallow, especially since the former Texan's new advice column causes rumors to rise faster than her famous instant-yeast cinnamon rolls. When one member stirs things up with a new 'do and a new outlook on life, the girls find themselves in a pickle as gossip takes over the group, a long-awaited romance doesn't go as planned, and the past comes back to haunt the club's youngest member. 

Additional notes: This is the second book in the Potluck Club series. There are three books in this series and following this series is the Potluck Catering Club which also has three books. All books have been released. You can read my review of the first book in the Potluck Club series here

My thoughts: There is just one thing after another in this book, and it made for a really quick, fun read. The characters are really entertaining. One thing I've thought of, though, is that unless you're a little bit of an older soul, you might not enjoy this series as much. The majority of the ladies in it are older with grown children. I consider myself an old soul, so I enjoy the series, but if you're in the throes of early mommyhood or a young wife and you want to read books with situations similar to your own, you might want to skip this series.

Three years after the events of Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are back in Sweet Valley and inseparable once more. Things are looking up for both twins: Elizabeth is a star reporter at the LA Tribune, and Jessica's PR career is on the fast-track. But while the professional lives of the Wakefield sisters are secure, their personal lives may be in jeopardy. Jessica, now a mother, finds that managing parenthood, marriage, and a job is harder than she expected, while Elizabeth and Bruce must face a scandal that could strengthen their bond...or tear them apart forever.

Meanwhile, life goes on in Sweet Valley. Families are made, hearts are broken, and . . . Lila Fowler is a reality TV star? Some things never change.

My thoughts: In case you've been living under a rock (or maybe your age is really young or really old), the Sweet Valley twins have been featured in multiple series, starting with the Sweet Valley Twins all the way to this series. I've read many of the Sweet Valley books, and this volume of stories was fun to read, particularly if you've grown up with the twins. It's really funny to think of how innocent they all were in the first series. Then, to read this book, the stories are scandalous. The twins are definitely no longer innocent! If you're a Sweet Valley fan, you'll definitely want to read this book. I enjoyed this one much more than Sweet Valley Confidential. I hope Francine keeps releasing these stories!

The people of Appleseed Creek in the heart of Ohio's Amish Country are under attack. Soon after the dust has settled on a buggy accident that turned out to be murder, an unknown assailant begins cutting off the long hair of Amish women and the beards of Amish men. New to the area, computer specialist Chloe Humphrey may not share their customs, but she is certainly alarmed over these crimes against the Amish and worries how such events will impact her growing number of friends who are more connected to that way of life. In this small community, when Chloe discovers the body of an Amish businessman who was stabbed in the back and whose beard was cut off, she knows that finding the murderer and restoring peace to Appleseed Creek is as much her responsibility as anyone else's.

Additional notes: This is the second and latest book in the Appleseed Creek series. You can read my review of the first book here. So far as I know, this series is ongoing. 

My thoughts: I so thoroughly enjoy this series. Regular Amish fiction tends to be all boy-meets-girl blah blah blah, but the fact that this book's main character isn't Amish at all really makes this series unique. From the summary, you can tell the author took events that happened in real life (cutting the hair of Amish people) and spun the story into fiction. I enjoyed that as I often wonder about real-life events and what was going on in the people's minds at the time - this book is in no way non-fiction, but it's fun to read how this author spun part of what happened in real life and how her characters reacted to it, both inwardly and outwardly. You definitely don't have to be a fan of Amish or Christian fiction to enjoy this series. In fact, if you haven't read Amish fiction because it's too romantic or too Christian (I personally don't think anything can be too Christian, but that's just me), you should give this series a go. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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