Monday, May 22, 2017

Review: Jefferson's America

Jefferson's America: The President, the Purchase, and the Explorers Who Transformed a Nation
Jefferson's America
Julie M. Fenster

Jefferson's America, follows the path of expansion into the American west. Its full of tales and adventures undertaken by well know explorers, such as Lewis and Clark as well as others that were unfamiliar to me. It also covers Jefferson's desire to stake a claim to territory west of the Mississippi river and his need to gain control over New Orleans, as a gateway to trade. While this is a well written book, that goes into a lot of detail, it did at times seem a bit dry. I would have appreciated more maps and charts in order to follow along the routes more closely. I also think this book would have been strengthened with more coverage and details about the Spanish and French officials, who were a large part of this story.

Overall, I think history buffs and anyone interested in the exploration and expansion into the Western territories and the prominent role played by Thomas Jefferson and his band of explorers will find this work of interest.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review: Death Need Not Be Fatal

Death Need Not Be Fatal

Death Need Not Be Fatal
Malachy McCourt

To say that Mr. McCourt has seen a few things in his eighty plus years is an understatement. Growing up in poverty in Limerick, Ireland he escaped back to New York, where he had been born, to find work as a young man as well as create a new life for himself. Over the course of his long life, he has managed some things that many only dream of doing, such as owning a popular bar, appearing on television in a soap opera for many years as well as writing a best seller or two. In this latest book he recounts events of his life, giving the reader a glimpse into a world full of family, friends and a passion for living. His story is told with great wit and humor, with numerous tragedies that befell his family conveyed with grace and deep emotion that show a great strength of character. Once I got started in his story I couldn't put it down.

Thanks to Shelf-Awareness Giveaway for allowing me to read this book.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Review: Shadow Man

Shadow Man

Shadow Man
Alan Drew

A serial killer is on the loose in Southern California and he or she has everyone in on edge. Ben Wade is the policeman responsible for finding and stopping this killer. Before he can get a handle on the case the body of a young boy is found in a strawberry field. The young Mexican immigrant doesn't fit the killers normal pattern and Wade begins to wonder if the boy hasn't committed suicide. If not, a second murderer may be lurking close to home.

In this novel, which is tense and chilling, Alan Drew combines the murder mystery and hunt for a serial killer with a family drama that contains a painful past that Ben Wade will have difficulty sharing. It all makes for a complex but thrilling tale. Frankly, I didn't expect to like as much as I did but by the end I could hardly put it down. Not only was this a well written piece of fiction, it had an electrical current pulsing though it which really got under my skin.

Thanks to Shelf-Awareness and Random House for providing the giveaway that allowed me to read and review this book.


Monday, May 8, 2017

Review: Rain Shadow DVD

Rain Shadow: Series One

Rain Shadow
DVD

Rain Shadow is an engaging story of two veterinarians determined to help the community of Paringa near Adelaide in South Australia. Rachel Ward and Victoria Thaine play the two leading roles. Kate, played by Ward is a tough, introverted women who has been in Paringa for years. She has coped with numerous young assistants, and she expects the new one, played by Thaine to be the same as the others. But she may be in for a surprise. It takes some time before they can work together, but there comes the point where it becomes necessary to overcome some of their personal difficulties and pull together for the sake of the community. And the community of Paringa couldn't need their help more. The area has been suffering from a long drought, that shows no sign of ending.

Superb characters, good acting, a story of struggle and hardship as well as a stark but beautiful landscape make this a film worth watching.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Review: Magpie Murders

Magpie Murders

Magpie Murders
Anthony Horowitz

Clever and unique is how I would describe this new book by Anthony Horowitz. It is a book within a book and a mystery within a mystery. If you are a fan of the Agatha Christie style whodunit, then you will no doubt find this an enthralling read.

Without giving too much away, the story starts with a London editor, Susan Ryeland, who gets a manuscript from the well-known author Alan Conway. When she gets to the end of the mystery, to her disappointment, the final chapter is missing. She sets out to find it. Getting a lot more than she bargained for, Susan is determined to get to the bottom of the puzzle. To do that, she will have to become a detective herself.

This book contains the best of both worlds, vintage, atmospheric Christie style prose and settings as well as modern, fun, smart, engaging characters. I can't image anyone being disappointed with this one.

Thanks to Shelf Awareness and HarperCollins for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.   

Monday, May 1, 2017

Review: The Acid Watcher Diet


The Acid Watcher Diet: A 28-Day Reflux Prevention and Healing Program
The Acid Watcher Diet
Jonathan Aviv, MD, FACS

This is the perfect book for those who suffer from acid reflux. It is also great for those who have silent symptoms of acid reflux, such as coughing, post nasal drip, sore throat, hoarseness or the feeling of a lump in the throat. This book will give you the knowledge to recognized the problem and the tools to start a 28 day diet plan that gets you on the right path to healing body and getting rid of acid reflux.

It is not only well written but, easy to follow. The diet is aimed to reduce your intake of caffeine found in coffee, tea and chocolate, alcohol, tobacco, citrus fruits and carbonated sodas. It also encourages the reduction of processed foods in the diet. I personally found it more helpful to look at what I could eat, rather than what I should avoid. I also found it more difficult to give up coffee, tomatoes and citrus fruits than I had anticipated. If, like me, you find that you just can't dispense with all your favorite foods at once, you can try, as I have, to lessen you intake of these and anything that might be your “trigger foods”.

The book also contains other useful tips like not eating three hours before going to bed and getting a good nights sleep as well as what types of exercise are good for eliminating acid reflux. All in all this book provides a good plan that isn't too difficult to follow and there are lots of recipes included which aim to make it easier to prepare the right food for healing.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Review: DVD Agatha Raisin

Agatha Raisin, Series 1

Agatha Raisin
DVD
This DVD is based on the books of M.C. Beaton and her beloved character Agatha Raisin. Agatha has always dreamed of living in the English countryside and as a result she's left her successful PR Firm in London to make a go of country life, in the small and picturesque village of Carsley in the Cotswolds.

It doesn't take long for her to get involved in the community, and at the opening of this series, it's the local pie contest she's joined. But when a murder occurs she feels compelled to try and solve it, albeit with the help of a few new friends, giving her the much deserved reputation of an amateur sleuth. The series contains nine episodes that will keep you coming back for more. It's become one of my favorites, and how could it not be with the wonderful, fun, endearing characters and a slice of mystery on the side. I'm so hoping there will be a season two.