Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels... A Love Story

Oooooooooh-Kay Ree... could you pick a longer title for your next book?! LMAO!

So this might just go down as my favourite read of all time for two reasons...

1) I love ChickLit when it's well written... and this is a really well written book. Not dry, not drawn out... just perfect

2) I love non-fiction... that's right, it's a true story.

So, I should tell you a little about this story. Way back when I started university and moved away, I found myself wondering what to make for dinner (which we call supper... and so does Ree!). I found a lovely little blog that had some recipes on it... it was called the Pioneer Woman Cooks and at the time it was a separate blog from her main blog that told about her life.

She's a city girl. Grew up on a golf-course... daughter of a doctor... went to college... became a vegetarian... you got the picture... right? Well, she met a cowboy... a cattle ranger that loved beef. She moved to a secluded farm, married the farmer, eats beef, and raises their four children on the farm... all the while cooking gourmet meals, homeschooling, and photographing her surroundings. She's like a super-human, super-mom and that's the way she loves it! But... she's oddly down to earth and you can tell from her blog, the way she writes and everything.

The book is about how she met, fell in love and married her husband... who she simply calles Marlboro Man. I read elsewhere that his name is Ladd Drummond but never once does she ever call him Ladd.

I'd suggest visiting her blog. For the food, for the pictures, for the family and for the great reading. P.S. she has a load of giveaway's too :)

Oh yeah, she also has another website called Tasty Kitchen... it's full of submitted recipes... like a giant cookbook for everyone. Seriously has everything... it's called a cooking community. Seriously, check it out too!

Anyway, pick up this book today for great summer reading. Also check out her websites as they are just awesome :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Reading Hiatus --> OVER :)

It seems it has been months since I've posted.

It's been months since I read for pleasure. Well a novel anyway. I've read probably 30 quilting books and at least 10 recipe books but I don't review those. Maybe I should... at least I'd have something noteworthy on this blog.

I haven't been living on my own since September and I've been finding it difficult to find quality alone and quiet reading time. It took me a while to realize that's why I haven't been reading. I use to typically read after supper (usually before and after the dishes) sometimes before bed and always as a study break. A chapter in a book is a great break from studying.

I'm not a student anymore... no more study breaks. I don't own my own place anymore (SO and I are staying with family while we're establishing ourselves in a new community, away from University) and there's a toddler in our home. She requires lots of attention from everyone in our home!

But, I'm happy to report I'll be back soon with a reading update! I've finished my first book for 2011 and I actually think it's my favourite book of all time. Truly an awesome read... it married my two favourite genres... non-fiction and chick-lit. I'll tell ya'll about it soon :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

A great Summer read...

that literally took all summer.

Not because it was boring or long... in fact it was quite the opposite! With the finishing of degrees and packing, moving and un-packing (which continues to this day) reading and sewing have gone to the back burners.

Emily Giffin wrote another beautiful book. I have only one of hers left to read and she has quickly become my favourite author.

Her stories are always believable... like it could be happening in the house next door. In contrast to another favourite author of mine, Sophie Kinsella who has fanatical characters and plots that women dream about, Giffin's plots are not so out of the realm of usual to believe. They're fun, heart wrenching and entertaining all at the same time.

If can picture Dr. Russo, his wife, the other woman and their children. I bet that last sentence told you everything and nothing about this book! I recommend it as a great read. It still isn't my favourite by her but it's still a beautifully written story and I always love it when a book leaves you to wonder what happens next.

I particularly liked how the tense changed from chapter to chapter... it is written from the 1st person and 3rd person perspective depending on which character is in focus at the time. The chapters oscillate from the woman's perspectives and it is a great read. Although it took me a few chapters to get use to the style... it was a great choice in the end IMO.

Up next is Charlie St. Cloud... I'll let you know how it turns out... so far I'm 100 pages in and underwhelmed by the whole thing... very Nick Sparks in flavour... which isn't so much my flavour!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wtching some Movies

Because I haven't had much time to pleasure read lately, I've been watching movies when I get the chance...

I watched Precious which was a great movie! I can't say it was better than the book but it's worth seeing.

I watched Dear John... I liked it BETTER than the book... but I'm not a huge Sparks fan so the movie was wonderful. You really should watch it!

I also saw My Sister's Keeper. It was only ok.... I'm going to read the book because I think the book will be better.

Oh and... I FINALLY SAW ECLIPSE IN THE THEATRE! Freeking awesome... if you haven't seen it yet, you have to! Really, I mean it! It was my favourite movie in the series and I can't believe I have to wait a year and a half to see the next one... and two years to see the last one. Yikes!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Update Time... even if it's not about books :)

I've been really bogged down with school work and moving and having family visit. I'm reading just not a lot right now... or not stuff that I'd call pleasure reading (ie text books!). So, I have been playing around with the Blogger Platform a little

I now have an RSS feed... which I didn't know how it worked or anything about it until today! I hope if you're using a reader you'll find this helpful for visiting me :) Next I'm going to figure out how to implement the subscribe to have the most recent post emailed to you option... but I'm still learning and just happy to have learned this much :) Just click the button on the side!

I have added a link to my Facebook account. I recently set-up a new Facebook account for only my blogging friends. I will post all my quilting pictures and keep in touch there. I like it much better than Twitter... I tried Twitter before and it's just not for me! So If you and I aren't friends on Facebook yet... click on the button to the left!Photobucket

I created a BlogFrog community for That's Sew Mandy readers.... I'm not sure I'll keep this one up but I figered I'd give it a shot and see how it all works... we'll see what happens! Check it out and let me know what you think

I added LinkedWithin to my blog so new readers might be enticed to jump around and stay a while. It's free and I kinda like it! I've seen several other bloggers use it and I figured why not give it a try too?!

I've also created an about Mandy page at the top and streamlined the look of the blog a little by deleting my profile badge.

Hope you enjoy the new features! I'll be back with a book review soon I hope :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mitch Albom... the love hate relationship...

Well I just finished 'have a little faith' by Mitch Albom. It was confusing and dry until you hit the middle... then it flowed beautifully. I usually love true stories and I thought this wouldn't be an exception... I give it a 3.5/5. It wasn't my most favourite read but I'd definitely recommend you read it.... just for the insight.

It is inspiring and touching. It's also short, choppy and a little disconnected. I would have liked to know more about I Am My Brother's Keeper Ministries and more about the Reb.

One thing I will say is 10% of proceeds from the book go to a charity "A Hole in the Roof Foundation" Even if you don't buy the book (if your able) you can donate directly on the link above.

This book left me with mixed feelings just like 'five people you meet in heaven'. It was an ok read too.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Push: Sapphire

Push... such a short and phenomenal book!

Incest, rape, neglect, abuse, illiteracy, child-abuse, teen-pregnancy, African-American culture, NYC, welfare, ABE, HIV, AIDS...

these words are all profoundly represented in this novel. I cannot say how much I enjoyed and was disturbed by what was written in those pages. I cannot say I connected with the main character, Precious Jones as none of what happened to her ever happened to me. However, I can empathize with her character from a teacher's POV.

I would recommend this book for everyone who wants a short but meaningful read. It's only 150 pages (or so) but it's really a great read.
I usually read frilly-girly-feelgood stuff. But this was different. I really enjoyed reading this book. I know that it's been made into a movie too. I may watch it at some point. We'll see... but I'll hold this book near and dear as a favourite for some time to come.
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