Reading is Love

A blog about the love of reading and books.

Archive for the category “Reviews”

Mythology

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Title: Mythology by Edith Hamilton

Category: Nonfiction, Mythology, Greek Mythology, Roman Mythology, Norse Mythology

Review: Although this book was written back in the early 1940s or 50s it still has a lot of credibility today and I found it was extremely hard to put down. The author did a lot of great research for the different mythologies she covered. Especially the Greek and Roman ones. Greek and Roman are some of my favorite aside from Egyptian and I learned a lot more from this book than I expected. Most of the book is dedicated to the Greek and Roman gods and heroes. It tells the stories of the fall of Troy and other stories perhaps you have never heard about. I wasn’t as interested in the Norse mythology, but I read it anyway. She did great research and anyone who wants to read a well-researched and a book that will keep you interested needs to purchase this one.

Rating: *****

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Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art

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Title: Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art by Shizuo Tsuji

Category: Nonfiction, Cookbooks, Japanese Cuisine

Review: I got this book from Amazon and it definitely did not disappoint. The author divides the book into three sections. One is a very informative section on the ingredients, knives, things like simmering and boiling, sushi, tea, etc… It is such a well written account of all the different things that go into Japanese cuisine. Part two is the recipes. Although there are recipes in the first section, these are given to use the basic recipes in the first part. Like the author teaches you how to make dashi. So in the second section, you can make dashi with whatever recipe you want to make. The third section is an appendix with comparable weights and fish types with calories. I love this book. I recommend you get it if you love Japanese cuisine.

Rating: *****

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

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Title: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

Category: Fiction, Science Fiction, Classic

Review: Jules Verne wrote some really great books, however, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea happens to be one of his most famous books. I bought this since I thought I had read it, but I couldn’t remember. This book is narrated in one person by Pierre Arronax. He is a scientist of the ocean. How he comes upon the Nautilus is that there had been accidents involving what people think a huge whale or some kind of creature in the sea. He goes with his servant on the Abraham Lincoln and meets a Canadian harpooner. When the ship finds the Nautilus the three end up together in the ocean and getting rescued by the Nautilus. For the first day they are locked up, but are treated well. Then Captain Nemo comes out and gives them a room. Their adventures then sort of begin after Captain Nemo explains the workings of the ship. They travel to a submarine forest, find Atlantis, get trapped in an iceberg, battle with gigantic squids, and more. All the while, the Canadian wants to escape the Nautilus and after several attempts they finally do. They never truly find out about their captor or why he hates the land so much. However, he drives the Nautilus into a maelstrom (or whirlpool) and they never hear from him again. What became of him is unknown. This is one of those classics that should be read. It’s first person, like I mentioned, and there is lots of talk about the different species of underwater creatures, which may put you off. However, try it. You’ll find that it is a great book to read.

Rating: *****

Wheel of the Year

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Title: Wheel of the Year by Pauline Campanelli and Dan Campanelli

Category: Nonfiction, New Age, Paganism, Wicca

Review: This is another great book by the author who wrote Ancient Ways. This book is divided by months. So I read this book and it took me a year to read because I wanted to follow it by the months. This book does feature the Sabbats, however, it also features different types of magick as well. It talks about different moons of different months. It talks about fairy magick and working with the fairies. It also talks about working with herbs and dutch Pennsylvania magick. There are a variety of topics that are talked about in each month that is featured. I was very happy that I bought the book. It is another book that a witch, beginning or old-timer, needs to have.

Rating: *****

Ancient Ways

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Title: Ancient Ways by Pauline Campanelli and Dan Campanelli

Categories: Nonfiction, New Age, Paganism, Wicca

Review: Ancient Ways is one of the best books you can by if you are a Wiccan or Pagan. If you are a beginner or an old-timer. The author has done a well researched book and I have enjoyed reading this book and the information in it. This book is divided by the eight Sabbats. This makes it really nice because you can go to a particular Sabbat if one has passed by and learn about it. The Sabbat the book starts with is Imbolc, which is basically the beginning of the new year. The author covers different subjects in each section and gives spells and teaches you how to make things on your own. I enjoyed it because she shares her experiences as well. It is a book for everyone and I recommend that you get it for your collection.

Rating: *****

Branding Yourself

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Title: Branding Yourself by Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy

Category: Nonfiction, Social Media, Job Hunting

Review: I loved reading this book. I was actually searching for books that help you find books and I got good reviews on this one. So I went ahead and bought it. I wasn’t disappointed. This book is all about putting yourself out there on social media and in the real world as well. They discuss how to use blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn as some of the key social media forms to help you get a job. This is not a typical social media book. They’re not going to tell you how to do something then leave you off. They have case examples and also tell you the do’s and dont’s of something. I think all people, jobless or not, need to read this book so they can use social media to their advantage. I know I will.

Rating: *****

From a Buick 8

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Title: From a Buick 8 by Stephen King

Category: Fiction, Horror, Science Fiction

Review: From a Buick 8 did not exactly impress me as much as Stephen King’s other books. I got it thinking that it would somewhat be like a mix between Christine and aliens, but it was not that. It is about a boy named Ned, whose father was a Pennsylvania State Trooper, and was killed by a drunk driver. He starts to hang out with his father’s pals doing chores for them and eventually becoming part of the family. He ends up finding out about the Buick and everyone has to explain what their experiences have been with the Buick over the years. Though there are experiences with alien creatures and plants, it was not enough for me. It’s like Stephen King was keeping me waiting and waiting for when he was going to reveal where the Buick was from. It was a little of a disappointment to me.

Rating: **

Ravensbruck

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Title: Ravensbruck by Sarah Helm

Category: Nonfiction, History, World War II, Concentration Camps

Review: I had been wanting to read this for a long time when I purchased this. I saw it at a Barnes and Noble shop and jumped on it. Ravensbruck did not disappoint me in any way. It is a very well written book. The author did a lot of digging and interviews of a lot of women to make this book possible. We know a lot about the main camps, such as Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Birkenau, etc… However, Ravensbruck is one that has been lost to us. This book tells the story of the women of Ravensbruck and what they were put through. Originally Ravensbruck was supposed to be a prisoner of war camp, but as the war carried on things changed. Experiments were carried out on the women. Women were made to work for companies and didn’t get any compensation at all. The camp was designed for a certain size, but was overloaded. The book tells a tale of how the women of several nationalities were treated in Ravensbruck. How some survived and how some even were able to help the cause by getting messages to the allies. However, it is a tale of sadness and horror and degradation because the women were treated no better than animals. It is an amazing read and an amazing story that should be read by everyone.

Rating: *****

Joyland

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Title: Joyland by Stephen King

Category: Fiction, Mystery

Review: I really loved reading Joyland. I don’t think it’s as heard of because it is more of a mystery novel, but I loved reading it and I think anyone who calls themselves a Stephen King fan needs to. The book is narrated by a man who is recalling his year at Joyland, an amusement park that he worked at when he was a college kid. He tells of his heart break, the way his girlfriend broke up with him. How he became a favorite in the park by dressing as a dog. He also tells about the murder at the park which had happened and he learned of when he applied for the job. There is so much that keeps you hooked in the book that you just can’t put it down. The book centers around the murder and he is the one who ends up solving it. You would never have thought that the man who did it was the killer. Stephen King is just a great writer. He really should do more mystery books. Try reading this one. I’m a fan of Stephen King’s scary stories, but he is a great mystery writer too.

Rating: *****

Carrie

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Title: Carrie by Stephen King

Category: Fiction, Horror, Thriller

Review: I have been on a tangent for Stephen King novels lately. I had never read Carrie or seen the movie. Now I have done both. Carrie is a book about a very isolated and lonely girl. Her mother is a very devout and religious woman who shames Carrie. The whole thing starts when Carrie gets her first period. She is in the locker room with other girls who have picked on her for all her life and she thinks she is dying. She is never taught by her mother about menstruation or womanhood. This is what brought on her telekinesis most likely. In return for the girls making fun of her, they have a week’s detention by the gym teacher. One of the girls walks out and basically comes up with a revenge scheme for Carrie. While one of the other girls genuinely tries to make up by sending her boyfriend to go with Carrie to the prom. Fast forward, Carrie goes to the prom with a very popular boy and is having a wonderful time. They are voted king and queen and get up on stage. Pig’s blood then is poured over both of them and this sets off the destruction of not only the school, but the town as well. Carrie takes her revenge, but it kills her in the end. It is very sad book, but you cannot stop reading it. I loved it from the beginning. Definitely read it before you watch the movie if you haven’t seen the movie. It’s definitely worth adding to your book collection.

Rating: *****

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