Down the TBR Hole #25

Time for more Down the TBR Hole inspired by Lost in a Love Story.

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Here are this week’s selections:

Rereadings: Seventeen writers revisit books they love

Rereadings by Anne Fadiman
Nonfiction; Writing
Added March 18, 2012

Is a book the same book—or a reader the same reader—the second time around? The seventeen authors in this witty and poignant collection of essays all agree on the answer: Never.

The editor of Rereadings is Anne Fadiman, and readers of her bestselling book Ex Libris will find this volume especially satisfying. Her chosen authors include Sven Birkerts, Allegra Goodman, Vivian Gornick, Patricia Hampl, Phillip Lopate, and Luc Sante; the objects of their literary affections range from Pride and Prejudice to Sue Barton, Student Nurse.

These essays are not conventional literary criticism; they are about relationships. Rereadings reveals at least as much about the reader as about the book: each is a miniature memoir that focuses on that most interesting of topics, the protean nature of love. And as every bibliophile knows, no love is more life-changing than the love of a book.

Verdict: Remove

The Book on the Bookshelf

The Book on the Bookshelf by Henry Petroski
Nonfiction; Writing
Added March 18, 2012

Henry Petroski, “the poet laureate of technology” and author of the highly acclaimed The Pencil and The Evolution of Useful Things now sets his sights on perhaps the greatest technological advances of the last two thousand years: the making and storing of books–from papyrus scrolls to precious medieval codices to the book as we know it, from the great library at Alexandria to monastic cells to the Library of Congress.

As writing advanced, and with it broader literacy, the development of the book was seemingly inevitable. And as books became more common, the question of where and how to store them became more pertinent. But how did we come from continuous sheets rolled on spools to the ubiquitous portable item you are holding in your hand? And how did books come to be restored and displayed vertically and spine out on shelves? Henry Petroski answers these and virtually every other question we might have about books as he contemplates the history of the book on bookshelf with his inimitable subtle analysis and intriguing detail.

Verdict: Remove

Food and Healing: How What You Eat Determines Your Health, Your Well-Being, and the Quality of Your Life

Food and Healing by Annemarie Colbin
Nonfiction; Health; Nutrition
Added March 18, 2012

Ten years ago, Colbin’s Food and Healing stood at the forefront of the food revolution, exploring the link between diet and health. In this anniversary edition, she provides updates on recent dietary systems, including low-fat, food combining, and alternative medicine.

Verdict: Remove

Buddhism without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening

Buddhism Without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor
Nonfiction; Spirituality
Added March 18, 2012

In this simple but important volume, Stephen Batchelor reminds us that the Buddha was not a mystic who claimed privileged, esoteric knowledge of the universe, but a man who challenged us to understand the nature of anguish, let go of its origins, and bring into being a way of life that is available to us all. The concepts and practices of Buddhism, says Batchelor, are not something to believe in but something to do—and as he explains clearly and compellingly, it is a practice that we can engage in, regardless of our background or beliefs, as we live every day on the path to spiritual enlightenment.

Verdict: Remove

Harry, a History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon

Harry, A History by Melissa Anelli
Nonfiction; Writing; Books
Added March 18, 2012

During the brief span of just one decade, hundreds of millions of perfectly ordinary people made history: they became the only ones who would remember what it was like when the Harry Potter saga was still unfinished. What is was like to seek out friends, families, online forums, fan fiction, and podcasts to get a fix between novels. When the potential death of a character was a hotter bet than the World Series. When the unfolding story of a boy wizard changed the way books are read for all time.

And a webmistress of the Leaky Cauldron, one of the most popular Harry Potter sites on the Internet, Melissa Anelli had a front row seat to it all. Whether it was helping Scholastic stop leaks and track down counterfeiters, hosting live PotterCasts at bookstores across the country, touring with the wizard rock band Harry and the Potters, or traveling to Edinburgh to interview J.K. Rowling personally, Melissa was at the center of the Harry Potter tornado, and nothing about her life would ever be the same.

The Harry Potter books are a triumph of the imagination that did far more than break sales records for all time. They restored the world’s sense of wonder and took on a magical life of their own. Now the series has ended, but the story is not over. With remembrances from J.K. Rowling’s editors, agents, publicists, fans and Rowling herself, Melissa Anelli takes us on a personal journey through every aspect of the Harry Potter phenomenon–from his very first spell to his lasting impact on the way we live the dream.

Verdict: Remove

This week I removed 5/5, 85/125 overall.

**All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Posted in TBR

Down the TBR Hole #24

Time for more Down the TBR Hole inspired by Lost in a Love Story.

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Here are this week’s selections:

Write That Book Already!: The Tough Love You Need to Get Published Now

Write That Book Already! by Sam Barry and Kathi Kamen Goldmark
Nonfiction; Writing; Reference
Added March 11, 2012

“How do I get my book published?”

Good question. Lucky for you, publishing insiders Sam Barry and Kathi Kamen Goldmark have laid out the blueprint for what you want–your book. From transforming an idea into a manuscript to finding an agent to working with an editor to marketing your book, BookPage’s Author Enablers are here to assist you every step of the way. And they’ve brought some backup with original insight from literary superstars like Stephen King, Amy Tan, Rita Mae Brown, and more.

It’s everything you would ever want–and need–to know about the industry from the inside out.

Verdict: Remove

The Road to Somewhere: An American Memoir

The Road to Somewhere by James A Reeves
Nonfiction; Travel; Photography
Added March 11, 2012

One day James A. Reeves realized that he no longer understood his country or what he should be doing in it. There was a time when the road to manhood was clear—go to war, find a job with a big company, wear a tie, and start a family —but then the wars got strange and companies changed. He decided to go for a drive to clear his head. What resulted is a scattershot journey spanning five years, forty thousand miles, twelve speeding tickets, and several moments of unexpected kindness through the neon corridors and dark corners of America.

Reeves drove along the back roads taking pictures and looking for answers, kept company by the nervous chatter of talk radio and the ambient drone of twenty-four-hour diners, as he drifted toward a slow reckoning with his own compulsions and unexpected loss.

Verdict: Remove

The Man Who Ate Everything

The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten
Nonfiction; Memoir; Food
Added March 18, 2012

When Jeffrey Steingarten was appointed food critic for Vogue, he systematically set out to overcome his distaste for such things as kimchi, lard, Greek cuisine, and blue food. He succeeded at all but the last: Steingarten is “fairly sure that God meant the color blue mainly for food that has gone bad.” In this impassioned, mouth-watering, and outrageously funny book, Steingarten devotes the same Zen-like discipline and gluttonous curiosity to practically everything that anyone anywhere has ever called “dinner.”

Follow Steingarten as he jets off to sample choucroute in Alsace, hand-massaged beef in Japan, and the mother of all ice creams in Sicily. Sweat with him as he tries to re-create the perfect sourdough, bottle his own mineral water, and drop excess poundage at a luxury spa. Join him as he mounts a heroic–and hilarious–defense of salt, sugar, and fat (though he has some nice things to say about Olestra).

Verdict: Keep

A Pound of Paper: Confessions of a Book Addict

A Pound of Paper by John Baxter
Nonfiction; Memoir; Books
Added March 18, 2012

In the rural Australia of the fifties where John Baxter grew up, reading books was disregarded with suspicion, owning and collecting them with utter incomprehension. Despite this, by the age of eleven Baxter had ‘collected’ his first book – The Poems of Rupert Brooke. He’d read the volume often, but now he had to own it. This was the beginning of what would become a major collection and a lifelong obsession.

His book-hunting would take him all over the world, but his first real find was in London in 1978, when he spotted a rare copy of a Graham Greene children’s book while browsing on a stall in Swiss Cottage. It was going for 5 pence. This would also, fortuitously, be the day when he first encountered one of the legends of the book-selling world: Martin Stone. At various times pothead, international fugitive from justice, and professional rock musician, he would become John’s mentor and friend.

In this brilliantly readable and funny book, John Baxter brings us into contact with such literary greats as Graham Greene, Kingsley Amis, J.G. Ballard and Ray Bradbury. But he also shows us how he penetrated the secret fraternity of ‘runners’ or book scouts – sleuths who use bluff and guile to hunt down their quarry – and joined them in scouring junk shops, markets, auction rooms and private homes for rarities.

Verdict: Keep

Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter

Service Included by Pheobe Damrosch
Nonfiction; Memoir; Food
Added March 18, 2012

While Phoebe Damrosch was figuring out what to do with her life, she supported herself by working as a waiter. Before long she was a captain at the New York City four-star restaurant Per Se, the culinary creation of master chef Thomas Keller.

Service Included is the story of her experiences there: her obsession with food, her love affair with a sommelier, and her observations of the highly competitive and frenetic world of fine dining.

Verdict: Remove

So this week I removed 3/5, making my total 80/120.

**All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Posted in TBR

Down the TBR Hole #23

Time for more Down the TBR Hole inspired by Lost in a Love Story.

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Here are this week’s selections:

Between the Covers: The Book Babes' Guide to a Woman's Reading Pleasures

Between the Covers by Margo Hammond and Ellen Heltzel
Nonfiction; Writing; Reference
Added March 11, 2012

With wit and wisdom, the bibliophile’s Ebert & Roeper recommend more than 600 books based on what women care about most. Between the Covers is organized around their wide-ranging curiosity—about themselves, friends and family, the larger world—and their concerns, from health to sex to managing their finances. With such sections as “Babes We Love” (Role Models Real and Imagined), “The Babe Inside” (Focusing on Body and Soul), and “Love, Sex & Second Chances,” this unique collection of fiction and nonfiction reflects how women really read.

Verdict: Remove

Letting Go of the Person You Used to Be: Lessons on Change, Loss, and Spiritual Transformation

Letting Go of the Person You Used to be by Lama Surya Das
Nonfiction; Spirituality; Buddhism
Added: March 11, 2012

The beloved American Lama, a spiritual leader whose inimitable light and lively universal teaching style has awakened the spirituality of thousands, now shares an enlightened approach to change and loss, dealing with difficult emotions such as fear, grief, and anger, and the role of crisis in uncovering our authentic selves. For many people, recent years have been characterized by profound change, whether it relates to financial upheaval, political shifts, or even massive losses of life to disease and violence. Even on the personal level each person must confront the curves life throws his or her way. Buddhism has a great deal to say about change and impermanence and how to meaningfully deal with it. Change–whether on a large or small scale–provides our most important opportunity for learning about ourselves and the nature of reality. From this essential insight Lama Surya Das has crafted a fulfilling and important path to understanding and healing ourselves and finding peace. Full of personal stories, anecdotes, practical exercises, guided meditations and reflections, and pithy original aphorisms, Letting Go of the Person You Used to Be addresses life’s most universal difficulties in a way that is accessible to all. By using memorable concepts such as The Virtues of Adversity, The Pearl Principle (“No inner irritation, no pearl”), and Gaining through Loss, Surya reminds readers that hiding from change and loss is futile. Learning to consciously accept and embrace change leads to a better understanding of ourselves and our own innate divine light.

Verdict: Remove

Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally

Life is a Verb by Patti Digh
Nonfiction; Memoir
Added March 11, 2012

In October 2003, Patti Digh’s stepfather was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died 37 days later. The timeframe made an impression on her. What emerged was a commitment to ask herself every morning: What would I be doing today if I had only 37 days left to live? The answers changed her life and led to this new kind of book. Part meditation, part how-to guide, part memoir, Life is a Verb is all heart.

Within these pages, Digh identifies six core practices to jump-start a meaningful life: Say Yes, Trust Yourself, Slow Down, Be Generous, Speak Up, and Love More. Within this framework she supplies 37 edgy, funny, and literary life stories, each followed by a ‘do it now’ 10-minute exercise as well as a practice to try for 37 days – and perhaps the rest of your life.

Verdict: Remove

Signs of Life: A Memoir

Signs of Life by Natalie Taylor
Nonfiction; Memoir
Added March 11, 2012

Twenty-four-year-old Natalie Taylor was leading a charmed life. At the age of twenty four, she had a fulfilling job as a high school English teacher, a wonderful husband, a new house and a baby on the way.  Then, while visiting her sister, she gets the news that Josh has died in a freak accident.  Four months before the birth of her son, Natalie is leveled by loss.

What follows is an incredibly powerful emotional journey, as Natalie calls upon resources she didn’t even know she had in order to re-imagine and re-build a life for her and her son. In vivid and immediate detail, Natalie documents her life from the day of Josh’s death through the birth their son, Kai, as she struggles in her role as a new mother where everyone is watching her for signs of impending collapse.  With honesty, raw pain, and most surprising, a wicked sense of humor, Natalie recounts the agonies and unexpected joys of her new life.  There is the frustration of holidays, navigating the relationship with her in-laws, the comfort she finds and unlikely friendship she forges in support groups and the utterly breathtaking, but often overwhelming new motherhood.   When she returns to the classroom, she finds that little is more healing than the honesty and egocentricity of teenagers. 

Verdict: Keep

The Breakaway (The Breakaway, #1)

The Breakaway by Michelle D Argyle
Fiction; Contemporary; Young Adult
Added March 11, 2012

When Naomi Jensen is kidnapped, it takes her parents two days to realize she’s missing. Escape isn’t high on her list of priorities when all she has to return to is an abusive boyfriend and parents who never paid much attention to her. For the first time in her life she’s part of a family-even if it is a family of criminals. But she’s still a captive. In a desperate attempt to regain some control in her life, Naomi embarks on a dangerous plan to make one of her kidnappers think she’s falling in love with him. The plan works too well, and when faced with the chance to escape, Naomi isn’t sure she wants to take it.

Verdict: Keep

So 3/5 this week and we’re up to 77/115 removed.

**All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

 

Posted in TBR

Down the TBR Hole #22

Time for more Down the TBR Hole from Lost in a Love Story.

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Here are this week’s selections:

Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey

Harry Potter Page to Screen by Bob McCabe
Nonfiction
Added February 25, 2012

“Harry Potter: Page to Screen” opens the doors to Hogwarts castle and the wizarding world of Harry Potter to reveal the complete behind-the-scenes secrets, techniques, and over-the-top artistry that brought J.K. Rowling’s acclaimed novels to cinematic life. Developed in collaboration with the creative team behind the celebrated movie series, this deluxe, 500-plus page compendium features exclusive stories from the cast and crew, hundreds of never-before-seen photographs and concept illustrations sourced from the closed film sets, and rare memorabilia. As the definitive look at the magic that made cinematic history, “Page to Screen” is the ultimate collectible, perfect for Muggles everywhere.

Verdict: Remove

The Complete Tales

The Complete Tales by Beatrix Potter
Fiction; Childrens; Classics
Added February 25, 2012

This complete and unabridged collection contains all 23 of Beatrix Potter’s Tales in one deluxe volume with all their original illustrations. The stories are arranged in the order in which they were first published so they may be read in their proper sequence. A special section at the end of this volume contains four additional works by Beatrix Potter that were not published during her lifetime.

Verdict: Keep

Educating Alice: Adventures of a Curious Woman

Educating Alice by Alice Steinbach
Nonfiction; Travel; Memoir
Added March 11, 2012

This funny and tender book combines three of Alice Steinbach’s greatest passions: learning, traveling, and writing. After chronicling her European journey of self-discovery in Without Reservations, this Pulitzer Prize—winning columnist for the Baltimore Sun quit her job and left home again. This time she roamed the world, taking lessons and courses in such things as French cooking in Paris, Border collie training in Scotland, traditional Japanese arts in Kyoto, and architecture and art in Havana. With warmth and wit, Steinbach guides us through the pleasures and perils of discovering how to be a student again. She also learns the true value of this second chance at educating herself: the opportunity to connect with and learn from the people she meets along the way.

Verdict: Keep

Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition

Healing With Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford
Nonfiction; Food; Health
Added March 11, 2012

A comprehensive reference of both Asian medicine and Western research on health and nutrition to create a healthy diet. It includes: *Current guidelines on nutrition basics, such as the protein/vitamin B12 group, fats and oils, sugars and sweeteners, water, salt, seaweeds, “green foods” (micro-algae and cereal grasses), calcium, oxygen, and other nutritional concerns. *Discussions of the Chinese healing arts applied to physical and emotional conditions, including the Eight Priniciples (Six Divisions of Yin and Yang), Five Elements, and syndromes of the internal organs. *Information on making a gentle transition from a diet based on animal products to one centered on whole grains and fresh vegetables. Over 300 hearty, purely vegetarian (vegan) recipes, as well as the healing properties of plant and animal foods. *Sections on weight loss, heart and vascular renewal, female health, digestive problems, candida yeast infections, root canals, food combining, fasting, children, pregnancy, and aging. Includes insights from Ayurvedic medicine of India. *Detailed “Regeneration Diets” and herbal treatments for cancer, arthritis, mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, AIDS, and other degenerative conditions. Also features a “Parasite Purge Program” tailored to specific body types.

Verdict: Remove

500 Great Books By Women

500 Great Books by Women by Erica Bauermeister, Holly Smith & Jesse Larsen
Nonfiction; Writing; Reference
Added March 11, 2012

Here is an articulate guide to more than 500 books written by women, a unique resource that allows readers the joy of discovering new authors as well as revisiting familiar favorites. Organized by such themes as Art, Choices, Families, Growing Old, Growing Up, Places and Homes, Power, and Work, this reference book presents classic and contemporary works, from Lady Nijo’s thirteenth-century diaries to books by authors including Toni Morrison, Alice Hoffman, Nadine Gordimer, and Isabel Allende. With annotated entries that capture the flavor of each book and seven cross-referenced indexes, 500 Great Books by Women is a one-of-a-kind guide for all readers and book lovers that celebrates and recommends some of the very best writing by women.

Verdict: Remove

This week’s results are 3/5 removed, bringing us to a whopping total of 74/110 removed overall.

**All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Posted in TBR

Down the TBR Hole #21

Time for more Down the TBR Hole from Lost in a Love Story.

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Here are this week’s selections:

Get Some Headspace: How Mindfulness Can Change Your Life in Ten Minutes a Day

Get Some Headspace by Andy Puddicombe
Nonfiction; Psychology; Self Help
Added February 25, 2012

As a former Buddhist monk with over 10 years of teaching experience, Andy Puddicombe has been acknowledged as the UK’s foremost mindfulness meditation expert. Like his readers and students, he began his own meditation practice as a normal, busy person with everyday concerns, and he has since designed a program of mindfulness and guided meditation that fits neatly into a jam-packed daily routine-proving that just 10 minutes a day can make a world of difference. Simple exercises, stories and techniques culled from Andy’s years of experience will help anyone calm the chatter in their minds. The result? More headspace, less stress.

Get Some Headspace also brings us the extraordinary science behind this seemingly simple cure-all. This book and practice will help readers positively impact every area of their physical and mental health through mindfulness, from productivity and focus, to stress and anxiety relief, sleep, weight-loss, personal relationships…and the list goes on and on.

Verdict: Keep

1001 Books for Every Mood

1001 Books for Every Mood by Hallie Ephron, PhD
Nonfiction; Reference; Writing
Added February 25, 2012

However you feel (or want to feel), let 1001 Books for Every Mood be your guide. Acclaimed critic and novelist Hallie Ephron serves up a literary feast, sure to satisfy your emotional appetite. Whether you want to cry or laugh, remember or forget, behave or misbehave-it’s all here.

It’s your must-have guide to hours and hours of reading pleasure, now and forever-no matter what your mood!

Verdict: Remove

1001 Escapes to Experience Before You Die

1001 Escapes to Experience Before You Die by Helen Arnold
Nonfiction; Travel
Added February 25, 2012

Every experience described in this book represents a genuine respite from the drudgery of daily life and guarantees a boost to your general well-being. Contemplate the sunset from a minimalist mountain retreat, cruise the Nile on a nineteenth-century cabin cruiser, hire a fort with its own private beach, chill out in an ice hotel, or wallow in a mud bath. The choice is yours. This book is quite simply a compilation of some of the most amazing escapes from the everyday that you can experience in the world – however much time you have to spare and whatever your budget.

Within these pages you will find classic escapes that offer away-from-it-all tranquility, such as a sun-drenched private Caribbean island, complete with butler; a converted monastery in Peru, at such high altitude that oxygen has to be pumped into the bedrooms; a lighthouse in Newfoundland; and, that most classic of great train journeys, the Trans-Siberian railway.

Verdict: Remove

At Home with Books: How Booklovers Live with and Care for Their Libraries

At Home with Books by Estelle Ellis
Nonfiction; Writing; Photography
Added February 25, 2012

From an elegant, curved modern library with sunny picture windows to a bedroom library with dark wood paneling; from a simple apartment with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves to the grand Rothschild library, At Home with Books shows how book lovers live with their books in every room of the house.

Includes professional advice on editing and categorizing your library; caring for your books; preserving, restoring, and storing rare books; finding out-of-print books; and choosing furniture, lighting, and shelving.

Verdict: Keep

Dear Mr. Potter: Letters of Love, Loss, and Magic

Dear Mr. Potter by Lily Zalon
Nonfiction
Added February 25, 2012

ear Mr. Potter: Letters of Love, Loss, and Magic features hundreds of letters and pictures from Harry Potter fans. Individually, these letters and pictures tell stories of how fans have been impacted and inspired by Harry Potter. Together they serve as proof of what all Potter fans know so well: the Harry Potter series changes lives.

Along with fans from around the world, Dear Mr. Potter also features letters from Harry Potter actress Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), New York Times-bestselling author John Green, Leaky Cauldron webmistress and author of New York Times-bestseller Harry, A History Melissa Anelli, Andrew Slack of the Harry Potter Alliance, Paul DeGeorge of Harry and the Potters, Andrew Sims and Eric Scull of MuggleNet, and Esther Earl’s mom, Lori.

Verdict: Remove

Removed 3/5 this week, bringing us to 71/105 total so far… only about 3000 left to go!

**All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Posted in TBR

Down the TBR Hole #20

Time for more Down the TBR Hole from Lost in a Love Story.

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Here are this week’s selections:

Under the Table: Saucy Tales from Culinary School

Under the Table by Katherine Darling
Nonfiction; Food; Memoir
Added February 20, 2012

As she goes from clueless amateur to certified chef, Katherine and her quirky fellow students learn the secrets behind the art of French cooking and frequently find themselves the objects of scorn and ridicule as their teachers wage psychological warfare over steaming pots of bisque. The kitchen, they soon discover, is no place for soft-hearted romantics. It’s a cutthroat world, and no one ever made a soufflé without breaking a few eggs — or cracking a few heads together. From the basics to the final exam, Darling reveals everything that goes into the making of a chef.

Verdict: Keep

The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken: A Search for Food and Family

The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken by Laura Schenone
Nonfiction; Food; Memoir
Added February 20, 2012

James Beard Award-winning author Laura Schenone undertakes a quest to retrieve her great grandmother’s ravioli recipe, reuniting with relatives as she goes. In lyrical prose and delicious recipes, Schenone takes the reader on an unforgettable journey from the grit of New Jersey’s industrial wastelands and the fast-paced disposable culture of its suburbs to the dramatically beautiful coast of Liguria—the family’s homeland—with its pesto, smoked chestnuts, torte, and, most beloved of all, ravioli, the food of celebration and happiness. Schenone discovers the persistent importance of place, while offering a perceptive voice on immigration and ethnicity in its twilight. Along the way, she gives us the comedies and foibles of family life, a story of love and loss, a deeper understanding of the bonds between parents and children, and the mysteries of pasta, rolled into a perfect circle of gossamer dough.

Verdict: Remove

It's Never Too Late to Be What You Might Have Been

It’s Never Too Late to Be What You Might Have Been by BJ Gallagher
Nonfiction; Self Help
Added February 25, 2012

Dreams deferred are dreams that die — a process that can take the dreamer along with them. Gallagher believes it’s never too late to revisit, and relive, one’s deepest desires. Writing in her trademark warm and witty style, Gallagher argues that rather than spend endless time trying to find oneself, one should start creating oneself by returning to basic life wishes. It’s Never Too Late to Be What You Might Have Been, based on the famous George Eliot quote, combines sage advice, step-by-step guidelines, and inspirational push. Individual chapters include “Attitude is Everything,” “Mind Over Matter, Matters,” “Remembering Your Forgotten Dreams and Realizing Them,” and “It’s Never Too Late to Have a New Career.” Written for those who struggle with discovering their purpose in life — whether a nervous college graduate facing the future, a 40-something mom seeking renewal, or those who have been recently laid off — this book explains how to listen to and honor one’s inner voice.

Verdict: Remove

Dirrty

Dirrty by Celia Juliano
Fiction; Romance; Contemporary
Added February 25, 2012

Chiara believed she’d buried her dirty girl self under her role as a proper wife and mother. But when she gives into a naughty impulse to flirt with a hot construction worker, the persona her soon-to-be-ex husband and traditional Italian American family expect breaks down. Can she build a new life, or will everything crumble around her?

Rocco thought he knew what he wanted from Chiara—the same thing he always wanted from a hot woman. Something is different about Chiara, though, and Rocco soon decides he’s willing to play dirty to get her in his bed—and his life. When his troubled past resurfaces, Rocco’s determination falters, especially when he slams into the biggest obstacle of all—Chiara’s mistrust of him, and their love. But he knows Chiara’s walls can come down—and he’s good with a sledgehammer.

Verdict: Remove

Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days

Be Fearless by Jonathan Alpert
Nonfiction; Self Help
Added February 25, 2012

Most people have something that gnaws at them at night, a mess or unrealized dream somewhere in their lives that causes them to feel stuck, out of control, overwhelmed, incomplete, and dissatisfied. They want to run away, back away, and ignore what they fear–whether it’s a demanding boss, unsatisfying sex life, or distant love interest, but they can’t. The fear finds them anyway. It’s always there, and it’s the source of all of their unhappiness. It’s what lies behind every problem, and it’s what stands between them and the lives they were meant to live.

Psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert wants readers to know one thing: you can face your fear and create your ultimate life-and you can do it quickly. You can find your dream job. You can end that dead end relationship and get the love you want and deserve. You can overcome perfectionism, procrastination, panic, worry, rejection, failure, excuses and even the people in your life who keep telling you that you can’t. You can turn your dreams into reality. You can find happiness, success and love. And you don’t need years of therapy or even medications to do it.

Verdict: Remove

Removed 4/5 this week for 68/100. So far I’ve removed almost 70% of the books I’ve revisited. I’d say that’s pretty good… of course I’ve only touched 100 of 3100 books on my list, but we’ll get there!

**All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Posted in TBR

Down the TBR Hole #19

Time for more Down the TBR Hole from Lost in a Love Story.

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Here are this week’s selections:

Have a Nice Weekend

Have a Nice Weekend by Ian Ellis
Fiction; Romance; Chick Lit
Added February 20, 2012

Whatever the requests Will agreed to comply with and then didn’t, he is miserable now.

Abi was his first girlfriend. When she said she loved him, he was taken by surprise but kind of agreed. They got married, but she made all the arrangements for the wedding.

When she became pregnant, it was because she decided it was time and stopped taking precautions, but Will thought Sophie was the most beautiful baby in the world when she was born.

However time, stress and misunderstandings took their toll, and now they live apart.

Verdict: Remove

Every Day a Friday Journal: How to Be Happier 7 Days a Week

Every Day a Friday Journal by Joel Osteen
Nonfiction; Self Help; Religion
Added February 20, 2012

This journal offers relevant Scriptures, inspirational quotations, selected stories, prayers, and points for reflection. All are provided to engage you in a process to build your faith and encourage your outlook on life.
The daily journal is structured on seven weeks of material based on Every Day a Friday:

Week One: Don’t Give Away Your Power
Week Two: Know What to Ignore
Week Three: Live Without Crutches
Week Four: Travel Light
Week Five: Laugh Often
Week Six: Be a Dream Releaser
Week Seven: Celebrate Yourself

Verdict: Remove

Fat Kid Got Fit: And So Can You!

Fat Kid Got Fit by Bill Baroni
Nonfiction; Fitness; Memoir
Added February 20, 2012

When Bill Baroni was just twenty years old, he was convinced he was dying. He thought he was having a heart attack because it felt like he had an elephant sitting on his chest. It turned out to be only indigestion, but more than that, it was the wake up call he needed to save his life. Bill weighed 320 pounds and was hooked on junk food. He set about to change his life forever, and now in Fat Kid Gets Fit, he wants to help you do the same.

Verdict: Remove

A Little Princess

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Fiction; Middle Grade; Classic
Added February 20, 2012

Sara Crewe, an exceptionally intelligent and imaginative student at Miss Minchin’s Select Seminary for Young Ladies, is devastated when her adored, indulgent father dies. Now penniless and banished to a room in the attic, Sara is demeaned, abused, and forced to work as a servant. How this resourceful girl’s fortunes change again is at the center of A Little Princess, one of the best-loved stories in all of children’s literature.

Verdict: Keep

Four Kitchens: My Life Behind the Burner in New York, Hanoi, Tel Aviv, and Paris

Four Kitchens by Lauren Shockey
Nonfiction; Food; Memoir
Added February 20, 2012

At the French Culinary Institute, Lauren Shockey learned to salt food properly, cook fearlessly over high heat, and knock back beers like a pro. But she also discovered that her real culinary education wouldn’t begin until she actually worked in a restaurant. After a somewhat disappointing apprenticeship in the French provinces, Shockey hatched a plan for her dream year: to apprentice in four high-end restaurants around the world. She started in her hometown of New York City under the famed chef Wylie Dufresne at the molecular gastronomy hotspot wd-50, then traveled to Vietnam, Israel, and back to France. From the ribald kitchen humor to fiery-tempered workers to tasks ranging from the mundane (mincing cases of shallots) to the extraordinary (cooking seafood on the line), Shockey shows us what really happens behind the scenes in haute cuisine, and includes original recipes integrating the techniques and flavors she learned along the way. With the dramatic backdrop of restaurant life, readers will be delighted by the adventures of a bright and restless young woman looking for her place in the world.

Verdict: Keep

This week I removed 3/5, which is still great! I’m now at 64/95.

**All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Posted in TBR

Down the TBR Hole #18

Time for more Down the TBR Hole from Lost in a Love Story.

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Here are this week’s selections:

Someone Else's Life

Someone Else’s Life by Katie Dale
Fiction; Young Adult; Contemporary
Added February 4, 2012

When seventeen-year-old Rosie’s mother, Trudie, dies from Huntington’s Disease, her pain is intensified by the knowledge that she has a fifty-per-cent chance of inheriting the crippling disease herself. Only when she tells her mum’s best friend, ‘Aunt Sarah’ that she is going to test for the disease does Sarah, a midwife, reveal that Trudie was not her biological mother after all…

Devastated, Rosie decides to trace her real mother, hitching along on her ex-boyfriend’s GAP year to follow her to Los Angeles. But all does not go to plan, and as Rosie discovers yet more of her family’s deeply-buried secrets and lies, she is left with an agonising decision of her own – one which will be the most heart-breaking and far-reaching of all…

Verdict: Keep

Diary of a Mad Fat Girl

Diary of a Mad Fat Girl by Stephanie McAfee
Fiction; Humor; Chick Lit
Added February 4, 2012

Graciela “Ace” Jones is mad-mad at her best friend Lilly who cancels their annual trip to Panama City for mysterious reasons; at her boss Catherine for “riding her ass like a fat lady on a Rascal scooter;” at her friend Chloe’s abusive husband; and especially at Mason McKenzie, the love of her life, who has shown up with a marriage proposal one year too late. Ace is never mad, though, at her near-constant companion, an adorable chiweenie dog named Buster Loo.Ace’s anger begins to dissipate as she takes matters into her own hands to take down Chloe’s philandering husband-and to get to the bottom of a multitude of other scandals plaguing Bugtussle, Mississippi. Then, she starts to realize that maybe Mason deserves a second chance after all.

Verdict: Remove

Falling into Easy: Help for Those Who Can't Meditate

Falling Into Easy by Dee Willock
Nonfiction; Self Help
Added February 4, 2012

This text offers a way for both novice and seasoned meditators to land right smack in the middle of the present moment – with very little effort or travel required. Through a discussion of the simple mechanics of meditation, coupled with instructive metaphors, readers will learn to meditate with ease and a sense of familiarity.

Verdict: Remove

Poetry Books Don't Sell!

Poetry Books Don’t Sell by Harry E Gilleland Jr
Poetry
Added February 5, 2012

The poetry in “Poetry Books Don’t Sell!” addresses a wide variety of subjects. It is written in various formats or styles, including forty-three rhyming storoems (story-poems), six acrostic poems, five political poems, and twenty-nine free-verse poems. Seven older poems (prize-winners and author’s favorites) are included as lagniappe. These ninety storoems and poems offer the reader hours upon hours of reading pleasure.

Verdict: Remove

Single Girl Abroad

Single Girl Abroad by Kelly Hunter
Fiction; Contemporary; Romance
Added February 20, 2012

Madeline Delacourte is having the time of her life in Singapore. Young, free and absolutely single. Rich-as-rich-can-be she wants for nothing, especially not an annoyingly complicated relationship… but doesn’t all work and no play make for a very dull girl?

Fresh off the plane, Jianne Xang-Bennett wants a man, preferably a tall, dark stranger, to help her get out of an awkward fix! Or should Jianne be careful what she wishes for?

Over Singapore Slings these two single girls are tempted to throw caution to the wind. Should someone remind them that holiday romances never last…or would that spoil all the fun?

Verdict: Remove

I seem to be on a 4/5 roll right now! 61/90 overall!

**All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Posted in TBR

Down the TBR Hole #17

Time for more Down the TBR Hole from Lost in a Love Story.

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Here are this week’s selections:

A Trip to the Beach: Living on Island Time in the Caribbean

A Trip to the Beach by Melinda Blanchard and Robert Blanchard
Nonfiction; Travel; Memoir
Added February 4, 2012

This is the true story of a trip to the beach that never ends. It’s about a husband and wife who escape civilization to build a small restaurant on an island paradise — and discover that even paradise has its pitfalls. It’s a story filled with calamities and comedy, culinary disasters and triumphs, and indelible portraits of people who live and work on a sliver of beauty set in the Caribbean Sea. It’s about the maddening, exhausting, outlandish complications of trying to live the simple life — and the joy that comes when you somehow pull it off.

Verdict: Remove

Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen

Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin
Nonfiction; Food; Memoir
Added February 4, 2012

Share the unsurpassed pleasures of discovering, cooking, and eating good, simple food with this beloved book. Equal parts cookbook and memoir, Laurie Colwin’s “Home Cooking” combines her insightful, good-humored writing style with her lifelong passion for wonderful cuisine in essays such as “Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant,” “Repulsive Dinners: A Memoir,” and “Stuffed Breast of Veal: A Bad Idea.” “Home Cooking” is truly a feast for body and soul.

Verdict: Remove

The 7 Minute Solution: Creating a Life with Meaning 7 Minutes at a Time

The 7 Minute Solution by Allyson Lewis
Nonfiction; Self Help
Added February 4, 2012

With The 7 Minute Solution, you can be a different person tomorrow from the person you are today—more energetic, more resilient, and more positive. A straightforward, inspirational process for getting from where you are to where you want to be, The 7 Minute Solution will help you in your relationships, personal life, career, and health. Allyson Lewis is a renowned time-management expert, productivity speaker, and financial adviser who has spent the last twenty-seven years developing and teaching concrete, actionable business ideas to executives all over the country. Now, in The 7 Minute Solution, she shares these winning techniques and explains how you can apply them to all aspects of life. Lewis offers simple, effective strategies to help you prioritize, organize, and simplify your life for greater meaning and productivity. By breaking down big-picture goals into tiny, manageable, daily actions, you will find that you are able to achieve more than you ever have before. First, you will learn your “7 vital signs of living with meaning”—conscious awareness, motivation, growing and learning, engaging, persevering, living in flow, and living with faith. Then, you will bring each one into clear focus and balance with practical tools and techniques such as “5 before 11” (accomplishing five high-value tasks before 11:00 a.m. every day) and “7 Big-Life Questions,” which shows how to evaluate what’s most significant in the long term.

Verdict: Remove

The Accidental Bride (A Big Sky Romance, #2)

The Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter
Fiction; Romance; Christian
Added February 4, 2012

When a wedding reenactment turns real, Shay finds she’s an accidental bride.

Shay Brandenberger is raising her daughter in Moose Creek, Montana, on her childhood ranch, nestled against the Yellowstone River. Despite the hard work, she can’t seem to keep her head above water–and now the bank is threatening to foreclose. She prays for a miracle, but the answer she receives is anything but expected.

Having agreed to play the bride in the Founders’ Day wedding reenactment, Shay is mortified to be greeted at the end of the aisle by none other than Travis McCoy, her high-school sweetheart–the man who left her high and dry for fame and fortune on the Texas rodeo circuit.

Then the unthinkable happens. Thanks to a well-meaning busybody and an absentminded preacher, the make-believe vows result in a legal marriage. But before Shay can say annulment, Travis comes up with a crazy proposal. If she refuses his offer, she may lose her home. If she accepts, she may lose her heart.

Shay isn’t sure if the recent events are God’s will or just a preacher’s blunder. Will trusting her heart to the man who once shattered it be the worst mistake of her life? Or could their marriage be the best accident that ever happened?

Verdict: Remove

Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (and Live to Tell about It)

Write-a-Thon by Rochelle Melander
Nonfiction; Writing
Added February 4, 2012

Everyone has dreamed of writing a book, but so many start writing only to stall out due to writer’s block, mental fatigue, and other challenges. Write-A-Thon helps you overcome those stumbling blocks and complete your book once and for all. And you don’t have to type away for years on end. Here’s a plan that’ll help you write your book–in twenty-six days!

Write-A-Thon gives you the tools, advice, and inspiration you need to succeed before, during, and after your writing race. Solid instruction, positive psychology, and inspiration from marathon runners will give you the momentum to take each step from here to the finish line.

Verdict: Keep

Another 4/5 week this week. Clearing a lot of books from the TBR shelf! 57/85 so far!

**All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Posted in TBR

Down the TBR Hole #16

I fell in love with Down the TBR Hole by Lost in a Love Story and had to add it too my schedule!  I found this meme featured on Bursting with Books and had never seen anything like it, but I loved the concept. Essentially you go through your Goodreads TBR shelf and take another look at the books that have been hanging out there for a while. You then determine whether you want to keep the book on your TBR or remove it.

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Here are this week’s selections:

An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude

An Embarrassment of Mangoes by Ann Vanderhoot
Nonfiction; Travel; Memoir
Added January 30, 2012

Who hasn’t fantasized about chucking the job, saying goodbye to the rat race, and escaping to some exotic destination in search of sun, sand, and a different way of life? Canadians Ann Vanderhoof and her husband, Steve did just that.

In the mid 1990s, they were driven, forty-something professionals who were desperate for a break from their deadline-dominated, career-defined lives. So they quit their jobs, rented out their house, moved onto a 42-foot sailboat called Receta (“recipe,” in Spanish), and set sail for the Caribbean on a two-year voyage of culinary and cultural discovery.

In lavish detail that will have you packing your swimsuit and dashing for the airport, Vanderhoof describes the sun-drenched landscapes, enchanting characters and mouthwatering tastes that season their new lifestyle. Come along for the ride and be seduced by Caribbean rhythms as she and Steve sip rum with their island neighbors, hike lush rain forests, pull their supper out of the sea, and adapt to life on “island time.”

Verdict: Remove

The Tao of Travel: Enlightenments from Lives on the Road

The Tao of Travel by Paul Theroux
Nonfiction; Travel; Memoir
Added January 30, 2012

The wish to travel seems to me characteristically human: the desire to move, to satisfy your curiosity or ease your fears, to change the circumstances of your life, to be a stranger, to make a friend, to experience an exotic landscape, to risk the unknown.

Verdict: Remove

The Kitchen Daughter

The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry
Fiction; Food; Chick Lit
Added January 30, 2012

After the unexpected death of her parents, painfully shy and sheltered 26-year-old Ginny Selvaggio seeks comfort in cooking from family recipes. But the rich, peppery scent of her Nonna’s soup draws an unexpected visitor into the kitchen: the ghost of Nonna herself, dead for twenty years, who appears with a cryptic warning (“do no let her…”) before vanishing like steam from a cooling dish.

A haunted kitchen isn’t Ginny’s only challenge. Her domineering sister, Amanda, (aka “Demanda”) insists on selling their parents’ house, the only home Ginny has ever known. As she packs up her parents’ belongings, Ginny finds evidence of family secrets she isn’t sure how to unravel. She knows how to turn milk into cheese and cream into butter, but she doesn’t know why her mother hid a letter in the bedroom chimney, or the identity of the woman in her father’s photographs. The more she learns, the more she realizes the keys to these riddles lie with the dead, and there’s only one way to get answers: cook from dead people’s recipes, raise their ghosts, and ask them.

Verdict: Remove

How to Eat a Cupcake

How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue
Fiction; Food; Chick Lit
Added January 30, 2012

Funny, free-spirited Annie Quintana and sophisticated, ambitious Julia St. Clair come from two different worlds. Yet, as the daughter of the St. Clair’s housekeeper, Annie grew up in Julia’s San Francisco mansion and they forged a bond that only two little girls who know nothing of class differences and scholarships could—until a life-altering betrayal destroyed their friendship.

A decade later, Annie is now a talented, if underpaid, pastry chef who bakes to fill the void left in her heart by her mother’s death. Julia, a successful businesswoman, is tormented by a painful secret that could jeopardize her engagement to the man she loves. When a chance reunion prompts the unlikely duo to open a cupcakery, they must overcome past hurts and a mysterious saboteur or risk losing their fledgling business and any chance of healing their fractured friendship.

Verdict: Keep

The Book of Awesome

The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha
Nonfiction; Humor
Added February 4, 2012

Sometimes it’s easy to forget the things that make us smile. With a 24/7 news cycle reporting that the polar ice caps are melting, hurricanes are swirling in the seas, wars are heating up around the world, and the job market is in a deep freeze, it’s tempting to feel that the world is falling apart. But awesome things are all around us-sometimes we just need someone to point them out.

The Book of Awesome reminds us that the best things in life are free (yes, your grandma was right). With laugh-out-loud observations from award- winning comedy writer Neil Pasricha, The Book of Awesome is filled with smile-inducing moments on every page that make you feel like a kid looking at the world for the first time. Read it and you’ll remember all the things there are to feel good about.

Verdict: Remove

Another good removal week with 4/5. We are now up to 53/80.

**All Covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Posted in TBR