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review 2017-10-18 04:51
The American Plate
The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites - Libby H. O'connell

A collection of "bites" about significant foods in American history, sometimes including recipes. I enjoyed this book at first and read half of it right away and then it took me a year and a half to read the second half. :(


What I liked: the historical trivia, the recipes that included the author's suggestions for contemporary or portion variations, and the broad selection of foods discussed. (Although honestly, I would not have minded not knowing about Kraft cheese. My childhood is ruined.)


What I didn't like: the soapbox politics that took up page space that could have been used to tell me more about the food. It seemed to get worse in the second half as the "bites" approached 20th century food culture.


As the title states, this book is also American-centric. YMMV on that bit.

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review 2017-10-11 14:37
Good if you need a brush up or don't know much about it.
Table Manners: How to Behave in the Modern World and Why Bother - Libby VanderPloeg,Jeremiah Tower

Can't remember why I wanted to read this but I needed a "light" book after reading a rather heavy one. It's what it says on the tin: table manners in the modern world. Covering everything how to eat certain items to how to handle different types of gatherings to when it's okay to use your devices, etc., this can be a handy guide.


That said, how helpful this is to you will probably vary on what you already know, where you are eating, etc. If you're someone who has probably navigated similar gatherings I'm not sure you'd get much out of this. But if you're say a graduate (high school, college) who has to navigate the non-school world of parties, gatherings, etc., someone who is new to the US (the author lives in Mexico and while I'm not very familiar with non-US dining customs there is a section on tipping, doggie bags, etc. that I don't think are very common outside of the US) and so forth. 


That's about it. It's a relatively short book so it'd probably make a really good graduation/going away gift. Would recommend the library otherwise, unless you need a brush up.

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review 2017-07-14 21:16
Pantsuit Nation
Pantsuit Nation - Libby Chamberlain

I didn't know about this (and I believe myself to be well-informed) until I saw this at my library while browsing. Pantsuit Nation, a group on Facebook, started last year to safely talk and support those that supported Hillary Clinton. I loved the format- individuals that posted to the group had their stories told in this book. Some are a picture, others a sentence, and others a few pages. I also liked the timeline- the beginning is before November 8th 2016 and ending on Jan 21st 2017. It helps to know you are not alone. 
See also: http://www.pantsuitnation.org/

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review 2017-03-19 16:26
"War, Spies. and Bobby Sox", by Libby Fischer Hellmann
War, Spies & Bobby Sox - Libby Fischer Hellmann

Stories About World War Two at Home

This novel contains three fast-reading tales that depicts the tumultuous effect of war on the home front. Chicago is the backdrop and where the action takes place.


The Incidental Spy (a novella) was originally published in 2015.
“The Day Miriam Hirsch Disappeared” was published in 2005.
P.O.W. (a novella) will be published for the first time in 2017.

Taken at large from real events, the author has used her wild imagination to give us a glimpse on what may have happened to people caught up during this tumultuous time. The stories are short and sweet, written with passion and very engaging. “The Incidental Spy” is clever story that brush on the Manhattan Project and the spies who wanted its secrets. “POW” is a love story involving a young farm girl and a Nazi prisoner of war. Finally, “The Day Mariam Hirsch Disappeared” recounts the disappearance of a beautiful Jewish actress and a possible espionage ring days before Pearl Harbor.

I loved these stories I was drawn in from the get-go and stayed immersed into their plots till the very end. Even being novellas the stories are complete with suspense and progresses at a good pace, have excellent plot lines and well-rounded characters. A bit of romance didn’t hurt as well making the lives of the people involved all too real.

I received this ARC from the author for an honest and unbiased review

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review 2016-12-19 00:00
Puppy Steps: Practical Training for Your New Best Friend
Puppy Steps: Practical Training for Your... Puppy Steps: Practical Training for Your New Best Friend - Libby Rockaway This was a practical, informative book, especially for first time novice dog owners who recently introduced a new puppy into their family. My own "puppies", my two Chihuahuas named Kobe and Lilly, are one and a half and three years old so a lot of the teachings suggested in this book have already been implemented into their daily lives such as sit, lay, speak, roll over and basic manners and going to the bathroom outside, however, there is always room for improvement so I read this book in order to find tips on how to improve their overall well being, manners (especially around new dogs) and to focus on a few basic commands that they don't know or need to improve.

In general I found this book to be very informative and helpful and I agree wholeheartedly with the positive reinforcement approach which encourages teaching your dog by focusing on, and rewarding, positive behaviors while ignoring the negative. There's nothing I find more upsetting or disagreeable than to be at the dog park and see someone yelling at, or physically reprimanding, their dog. I know my little Chihuahuas are the sweetest little things and they would do anything to please me so if they aren't understanding a command then the fault is in my delivery and the last thing I would ever do is raise my voice and get angry or upset with them and I was happy to read that the author shared that view, as would any professional who works with k9's. This book referred to it as "positive-only training, opposed to negative training which can create a dog with lower confidence. All of the basic commands and desired behaviors were covered in this book, anything I could think of that would apply to my dog and they were organized by chapters and paragraphs that included clear, detailed, step by step instructions and real life examples and scenarios of when and how to implement the teachings. It also includes a lot of cartoon illustrations which I wasn't really a big fan of. It was nice to have a picture to reference but I wish they had been actual photographs of real dogs.
As a whole this little book contained A LOT of information and I've only begun working on a few basic things with my dogs, specifically my younger dog who really needs improvement with "stay", "heel" and "come" and with the help of this book I've noticed he's progressing nicely. This is a book that I will keep and reference throughout my dogs lives and although the title is specific to puppies I think it's a handy tool for the owner of dogs of all ages to have.

I received a copy of this publication from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
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