Kimberly D. (Punkin) - Reviews

1 to 15 of 15
The Best 50 Marinades (Best 50 Recipe)
The Best 50 Marinades (Best 50 Recipe)
Author: Dona Z. Meilach
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 3/7/2008
Helpful Score: 2


Really informative little book. The recipes are short, easy to follow and are a nice jumping off point - they give me ideas for combinations of sauces and flavorings that I never thought to together with great results! The beginning has a few pages on "marinade basics" including tips for combining ingredients and how to store marinades, and a handy chart with suggested substitutes for various ingredients should you run into one that you didn't have on hand.


The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank
The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank
Author: Ellen Feldman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 1/28/2008
Helpful Score: 4


I enjoyed this book, but don't expect it to be AS informative as other "historical fiction", though you do find out some interesting tidbits about the frank family themselves. It focuses very closely on the narrarator's (Peter VanDamme in the Anne Frank Diary) acceptance of what had happened to him and his personal history from his now mid-life perspective.

The book is a very quick read. I give it an average rating, having found neither the writing nor the story to be anything extra ordinary. I expected it to be a retelling of the Anne Frank annex story from the perspective of Peter, which it is NOT - again it is much more a tale of someone who suffers from all the classic symptoms of Post traumatic Stress syndrome - very similar to the type of psychological drama you would read in post-war narratives.


Breathing Underwater
Breathing Underwater
Author: Marie Darrieussecq
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 5/26/2008
Helpful Score: 1


"Without tlling her husband, a young woman drives off to the coast. She takes only her young daughter and ten thousand francs. They spend the first night camping on the beach, and then rent an apartment in a small seaside town near the Spanish border. She is careful to leave no clues. But a detective is already looking for them, and he knows it will only be a matter of time before she makes a mistake...." [back cover description]

Very lyric and fluid writing style. Dream-like imagery and perceptions. A quick read because the style and language wash over the reader like waves in the ocean, which I believe is part of the author's intention as it creates a true reading experience. Reminiscent of authors like Dionne Brand who wrote 'At the Full and Change of the Moon" or the work of Virginia Woolf.


The Cat on My Shoulder
The Cat on My Shoulder
Author: Lisa Angowski Rogak
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 4/27/2008
Helpful Score: 2


Writers and their cats. Essays from writers about and on their cats. Wonderful for cat lovers and book-lovers alike. Unique insights into the lives and joys of writers and the unique personalities of their feline friends. Such writers as: Lillian Jackson Braun, Sue Grafton, Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Adams, Charles Simic, Nancy Willard, etc. Light and enjoyable read, nice full page photographs of authors included.


The Devil's Cup : A History of the World According to Coffee
The Devil's Cup : A History of the World According to Coffee
Author: Stewart Lee Allen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 9/12/2008
Helpful Score: 1


Follows the author on his quest to discover the roots and influences of coffee on civilization. Found the author's often dangerous travails into communities wrought with civil war and dangerous occupations all on a quest for a single cup of coffee to continue his "research" to be, not exciting, as I'm sure he feels it is-- but simply cocky and needlessly reckless. The author, after all, comes across not as a writer utterly devoted to the exploration of his subject, but a hapless thrill-seeker who flaunts his repeated attempts to endanger himself. The writing is mediocre, at best, and the history of "coffee" as he presents is not truly organized in a logical or linear fashion and is based instead around the authors timetable and travels. Consequently, the "history" must be weeded out from the self-serving auto-biographical horn-tooting he is doing through most of it. If you are looking for a good historically documented work in this book, I'd look elsewhere.


Five Little Kittens
Five Little Kittens
Author: Nancy Jewell
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 1/30/2008
Helpful Score: 2


A lovely story about a cat family that spends their days together and cares for one another. Beautiful art work.


Make Now, Serve Later Recipes
Make Now, Serve Later Recipes
Author: Better Homes and Gardens
Book Type: Unknown Binding
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/8/2008
Helpful Score: 3


Great Cookbook, expecially for bulk or "weekend" cooking. Includes recipes for both refrigeration and freezing, also includes a general "freezing" guide to food, 4 sections of "double duty" recipes, where 4 basic mixtures make 3 dishes each. Great menus and entertaining ideas. The only drawback to the book is that each recipe does not have its own picture which I appreciate in cookbooks, however the directions are clearly written and easy to follow and each recipe has a guide for reheating or repreparing the meal if it has been refrigerated or frozen.


Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours
Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours
Author: Kevin Leman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 51
Review Date: 1/28/2008
Helpful Score: 9


I have read several parenting books and this is one of my favorites. The author focuses on what he calls "reality discipline" which, in my understanding, demonstrates that everybody, children included, make choices - the 'reality' of this understanding is that one must live with the consequences of our choices, whether good or bad. Thefore, Leman's approach is very simple - the child has a choice to behave or not to behave - if he behaves he reeps the rewards from you in the form of encouragement and incentives and if the decision is wrong, he reaps the punishments from you and/or the negative consequences of his choice. For example, the child who refuses to eat his meal will find that is his choice, but his dinner is then removed and thrown away and the parent will refuse any further food that evening to replace the missed dinner. The child finds that hunger is the reality of his choice.

The techniques DO work as long as the parent has the wherewithall to stick with the program, i.e. - not 'giving in' when the child is discovering that he/she does not like the choice they made!

Very good. highly recommended for all age groups of children, works as well for preschoolers as for teenagers. Truly teaches children the real-world implications of their behavior, which I believe is essential.


The Mermaids Singing
The Mermaids Singing
Author: Lisa Carey
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 35
Review Date: 1/30/2008
Helpful Score: 8


Overall, an enjoyable book. However, with the back of the book stating that it was about "relationships between mothers and daughters," I expected a book that was much more wholesome then this book was. The dynamics of the relationships between these women was fractured and flawed, and the book is about the struggles that exist and harm within those relationships. There is also alot of sexual innuendo in this book that was very unexpected and a bit overdone in the frequency of it, and I hesitate to say it was done tastefully - it often made me feel as if I was reading a romance novel. On a positive note, the writing is very good and the author does incorporate several motifs and metaphors that provide a nice allegorical undercurrent to the text, which I appreciate. Overall, I would recommend this book to individuals who perhaps enjoy a stary that focuses on a tragic story, and one who enjoys romances as well as literature! I give it a mediocre recommendation becuase the book is very well-written though the stock discription is misleading in terms of the books content and the sexual innuendo is too overdone.


My Cats Nick And Nora
My Cats Nick And Nora
Author: Isabelle Harper
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 1/30/2008
Helpful Score: 1


Large paperback with full-color illustrations and a sweet story about a child's love for her cats. Wonderful for cat-lovers. Great for learning to read as the story coordinates with the pictures well - good for transitioning from picture books to story books.


My Mommy and Me : A Lift-the-flap Story (Lift-the-Flap Story)
My Mommy and Me : A Lift-the-flap Story (Lift-the-Flap Story)
Author: Laura Trayser
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 1/30/2008
Helpful Score: 2


a sweet book about a mother and daughter mouse - great for working mothers that want to reinforce their love and commitment to their children as the mouse in this book is a 'working mouse' that still spends lots of time and energy on her children. Large flaps easy for little hands to open and made of a resilient cardstock rather than thick cardboard to make the flaps easier to open and peek under.


Perfect Chicken Dishes
Perfect Chicken Dishes
Author: Anne Willan
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 4/16/2008
Helpful Score: 2


Mouthwatering, full-color photograph and step-by-step pictorial AND text instructions show cooks how to prepare numerous chicken dishes Anne Willan, director of La Varenne, the prestigious cooking school in Burgundy, shows how to make dishes such as Pinwheel Chicken with Herbs and Goat Cheese, Chicken Pot Pie with Herb Crust, Yorkshire Chicken with Stuffed Prunes, and dozens of other delightful entrees.


Run
Run
Author: Ann Patchett
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 115
Review Date: 5/26/2008
Helpful Score: 9


After the lyrical engaging prose and intriguing character development of Bel Canto, I was really looking forward to another Patchett read. However, I found this to be somewhat of a dissapointment, atleast in terms of my expectations. Though I have PLENTY to say about Bel Canto's stand-out characteristics, the only thing about this book stood out as extraordinary was the characterization of Sullivan, who I found to be a strong and unique portrait of a man whose future is 'sullied' by an unexamined painful past he can neither confront nor truly forget. The rest of the book was full of half-hearted characterizations, relationships and ties that were intriguing yet not complete in their examinations, and a narrative that relied ENTIRELY too heavily on a running allegorical theme of racial and family politics that was over-done and under-effective. Patchett does have an easy writing style that makes her work enjoyable to read, but that style combined with the project she made of her racially significant allusions and allegories made a lot of the moments meant to be highly intense emotionally come across as hoaky and overdone.

I remain a Patchett fan, but this one will not be a "keeper" on my shelf.


The Shadow of the Wind
The Shadow of the Wind
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Lucia Graves (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 786
Review Date: 5/26/2008
Helpful Score: 26


A wonderful book for any of those true bibliophiles out there who have a true love for books themselves. Beautiful, flowing language and a story that keeps you turning pages. This book has a bit of everything: murder, romance, intrigue, and a glimpse into the world of book collecting. There is a magical quality in this book reminiscent of other books with fantasy elements written for adults, though not with the pop-fiction appeal of Alice Hoffman, but more like the work of Gabrial Garcia Marquez, or "The Neverending Story" by Michael Ende. This book is on my Top 10 Favorite All-time books - I highly recommend it. I just wish they would get more of Zafon's books translated, as he write in Spanish!


The Three Ingredient Cookbook
The Three Ingredient Cookbook
Author: Jenny White
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 1/30/2008
Helpful Score: 2


Wonderful book for the minimalist cook. The front section includes a great index of common ingredients and spices. Nice full-color illustrations and a variety of dishes, from appetizers, main courses, to desserts. Great for someone wanting to create fabulous meals in a small amount of time and without the hassle of lots of ingredients. Also great recipes to "add to" or tweak with your own ingredients and twists.


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