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review 2017-03-10 08:20
The Hidden Half of Nature by David R. Montgomery & Anne Bikle
The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health - David R. Montgomery,Anne Biklé

I first read this book in December 2015.  I like it so much that I purchased my own copy. 

 

This is a beautifully written book that blends clearly described, scientific discoveries with the compelling personal insight of a husband and wife author/biologist/geologist team.  The book explores the importance of microbes in the soil and in people.  The authors discuss both the history of various scientific discoveries and the functioning of these microbes, as well as how these microbes relate to gardening/farming, plant growth, the immune system, the gut, auto-immune diseases,  and general health of both humans and the environment.  I found this book to be both fascinating and educational, without being condescending or oversimplified.

 

Other Recommended Books:

 

~March of the Microbes:  Sighting the Unseen by John L. Ingraham

~The Wild Life of Our Bodies by Rob Dunn

~Why We Get Sick:  The New Science of Darwinian Medicine by Randolph M Nesse & George C. Williams

~Parasite Rex by Carl Zimmer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-02-28 17:56
Shake & Bake - Abigail Roux

This was wonderful & funny, I miss Ty & Zane wish she wrote more of them.

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review 2017-02-18 20:24
City of the Lost - A Review

Casey Duncan has three things in her life she cares about: being a detective, her best friend Diana and her no-strings-attached sometimes lover.  She also has one big secret.  When it seems like her past is catching up to her and Diana’s present is getting dangerous she realizes that they both have to disappear.  No place better than Rockton …

 
THE CITY OF THE LOST by Kelley Armstrong.
 
Rockton is a unique place.  It’s in the middle of nowhere and you will not find it on a map anywhere.  Somewhere in the Yukon, Rockton is filled with people who found it necessary to disappear from their lives … some for their own protection and some to evade the law.  Each must go through a vetting process and possess a significant amount of money to be accepted but only the Sheriff knows who is there and for what reason, yet even that information may not be trustworthy.  As each person arrives they are given tasks according to their particular skill set so Casey quickly becomes a deputy … just in time to help solve a gruesome murder.
 
In this, the first book of her new series, Ms. Armstrong once again does what she does so well – build a fictional world that is believable and unique.  Whether it’s her “Otherworld” or Rockton she takes us just far enough out of reality to make it ring possible.  An isolated town, a murder mystery and a little romance thrown in make “City of the Lost” an excellent read.  Originally published as six mini novellas I’m sure the reader was kept in suspense from one installment to the next.  I waited until all six parts came out in book form and am glad I did so.  Although, let’s face it, it’s a great marketing ploy but I would have found it frustrating to read it in bits and pieces.  Can’t wait for the next book in the series.
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from her website)
 
I’ve been telling stories since before I could write. My earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, mine would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to my teachers’ dismay. All efforts to make me produce “normal” stories failed. Today, I continue to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in my basement writing dungeon.
 
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review 2016-12-13 11:41
Review: Heartless
Heartless - Marissa Meyer

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

I adored the Lunar Chronicles so naturally have been very excited for another Marissa Meyer novel. I had already pre ordered before I was lucky enough to get a Netgalley copy of Heartless. Though more than a week after finishing I’m still not sure what to make of it. I generally like fairy tale retellings. Though admittedly, my knowledge of Alice in Wonderland is limited to the first Disney movie. I never read the original.

 

The biggest issue I had with this one, is it’s the origin story of the Queen of Hearts, so no matter what, you know something is going to go hideously hideously wrong. Catherine Pinkerton is actually a fairly nice girl when the novel starts, with dreams of opening her own bakery with her best friend, her maid Mary Anne. Catherine is a fabulous baker full of delightful ideas, and Mary Anne is the more practical minded one of the two, good with money and logical thinking. Though Catherine knows her parents would never approve. Her mother is overbearing and bossy though puts it all in a “mother knows best” context and wants to see Catherine settled down with a rich husband.

 

Catherine isn’t interested in a husband, and becomes distressed by the fact that the King of Hearts clearly has a huge crush on her. He’s a big fan of her baking, her parents are thrilled, Cath, not so much. The King of Hearts is much older, nice, but as dumb as a bucket of rocks. Cath knows that if she marries, she’ll never get her bakery. She’s quite an interesting character, clearly with brains and a bit of a sassy attitude at times. And also stubborn, she can be very stubborn.

 

Wonderland has a fantastic cast of colourful characters, though the talking animals are a little weird to get used to, mixed with human characters. The setting is delightfully done, it’s very whimsical, very creative, though because of the fanciful nature, I did find it rather hard to picture.

 

As Catherine schemes to find ways to open her bakery and convince her parents that’s what she wants, as well as ducking the attention of the King, dealing with dances and parties and high society life, she finds herself drawn to the charms of Jest, the Court Joker. They hit it off immediately.

 

Which of course sends warning bells, at least to me, because as I said early, it’s obvious that something is going to go wrong. And on top of Cath falling more and more for Jest, who introduces her to the Mad Hatter and the March Hare, and other Wonderland characters, there’s a beast attacking the land of Hearts, the Jabberwock, which seems to attack at large gatherings, and the King of Hearts doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it.

 

It did feel a little long winded and kind of repetitive. A circle of Cath trying to deal with her feelings for Jest as well as dealing with her mother pushing her towards the king, and trying to find ways to open this bakery when the parents just are not budging. With a Jabberwock thrown in for a few good battle scenes. Though it was nearly 75% in before it got to a have to know what happens next. It did get quite dark and somewhat twisted just before the end. Beautifully written, but something was missing for me.

 

I didn’t love it, I liked it. A little predictable in parts, but still left an - ah, so that’s how it happened.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for approving my request to view the title.

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review 2016-10-25 22:53
A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J. Maas

First off I just want to say that I personally believe that this book was far more enjoyable than 'A Court of Thorns and Roses', the first book in this series.

 

I understand that the first one had to be written in order to introduce the series as well as the characters and allow the readers to get immersed in and understand the world. However, I personally found that this one had more character depth and more relatable themes than that of the first. We learn more about who the characters are and what their past's hold and get a more in-depth look in general as to the mental states of the characters than we did with the first one.

 

Without giving away too much I would like to state that I even found the main characters of this book to be more interesting, more funny, and overall better characters to get to know than some of the ones that appeared in the first book. I'm not at all trying to say that the first book was terrible and should not be read or anything like that, but, if you are one of the people (like me) who has a habit of judging a series after reading the first book in a series and found that you yourself did not like it, then I suggest you at least give this one a go.

 

This book had an un-put-downable feeling that I personally believe that the first one lacked to an extent, and it was easier to lose track of time while immersed in the story than it previously had been.

 

I personally recommend this series to people that are a fan of twists that can only occur from loose fairy tale retellings, as well as those that are fans of fantasy novels with relatively large world's to explore and love.

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