Also from Robert Rose Publishers is The Ice Cream Bible by Marilyn Linton and Tanya Linton. I have an electric ice-cream maker, but I’m tired of the same old flavors. This book has plenty of delicious recipes for traditional ice cream flavors, but it also has ices, sorbets, and granita recipes, and ice creams as varied as lemon dill, Instant Rice Pudding, and even Apple Brown Better ice cream. This book also has color photographs information about ice cream making and equipment, troubleshooting, and drinks and sauces to accompany your ice cream concoctions. The amount of servings is included (not the calories, thank heavens!) and also serving suggestions (that’s a nice touch). If you’ve been thinking about getting an ice cream maker, or yours is sitting neglected on a shelf, get this book, and delight friends and family with truly home-made (and delicious) frozen treats.
Dementia, and especially Alzheimer Disease is at near epidemic proportions. Over 5 million Americans live with this incurable, disabling and ultimately fatal, disease. These numbers are growing, perhaps to over 16 million by 2050, according to the press literature for the book by John Zeisel, PhD entitled: I’m Still Here: A Breakthrough Approach To Understanding Someone Living With Alzheimer’s (avery, January 2010). Dr, Ziesel believes that people with Alzheimers can benefit from holistic therapy that stimulates the brain, not just drug therapy. The Hearthstone Institute, of which he is President, employs these practices with it’s patients with, the Dr. claims, very positive results. While the book really is more about how the Hearthstone Institute improves caregiving, the author does give plenty of advice and suggestions about how you as a caregiver can improve your communication and relationships with those who have Alzheimers, using the arts, music, and other creative, mind-stimulating activities. As someone who has experienced the difficulties of dealing with a demented individual, I agree that if you are a smart person, Alzeheimers doesn’t take that away–at least not completely. While drug therapy is essential, Dr. Zeisel suggests finding the creative parts of the person, and stimulating those areas to keep the mind working. I think the approach is helpful and provides not an alternative to drug therapy, but an additional boost. But it also takes a lot of time and patience and to a certain extent, skill, on the part of the caregiver. That person is probably already stretched to the limit of time and patience. Still, the positive approach gives some hope to caregivers who are seeking new ways to re-connect with those who have dementia and enhance life for all involved.
I was really excited to check out Drive I-95: Exit by Exit Info, Maps, History and Trivia [Spiral-bound] by Stan Posner and Sandra Phillips-Posner (5th addition, Travelsmart) . The spiral-bound book supposedly has everything you might want to know about every single exit of the Interstate I-95. I-95 is the longest North-South road in the US, and the main highway on the East Coast of the United States, paralleling the Atlantic Ocean from Maine to Florida. This book has exit by exit information including maps, history & trivia, radio stations and more to help make your trip easier and more interesting. Alas, these types of books require constant updating, so the 5th edition may be more current than the 4th, but the information is already becoming dated as I type this. Furthermore, the suggestions are limited and definitely reflect the author’s interests and tastes. A restaurant suggestion in Virginia, for example, states: “come for the liver and cauliflower…” and the focus is outlets, thrift shops and downscale attractions. Still, if you travel I-95 as a snowbird, or frequently, this handy guide with good maps that clearly show gas and food at every exit, could really help make your travel smoother and more pleasant. It’s fun for the armchair traveler, too.
I was indoctrinated to save my money, and only then, when I really could afford something, would I spend some of that hard-earned dough on houses, cars, baubles or even perhaps later on, babies. But today’s generation wants everything now, and they have the credit cards that make it happen –plus the debt to deal with, later on. Young graduate and writer Nancy Trejos certainly knows what can happen when you don’t stick to a budget and get whatever you want on the spur of the moment. Trejos is the author of Hot (broke) Messes: How to Have Your Latte and Drink It, too (Business Plus, 2010). The author went to interview a woman addicted to shopping (with the bills to prove it) and went home to discover her own, cold, reality: she had a huge pile of unpaid bills, she was broke, and seriously in debt. The author’s mother bailed her out, temporarily, but the experience, and the lessons she learned, are the stuff of a good book. You will find out how Trejos eventually got a handle on her spending and her debt. There is plenty of advice about what not to do when you’re young and only semi-solvent, and a lot of practical suggestions for living on a budget. The book is well written and well organized, personal, and entertaining. I think young people will definitely relate to her, and her choices. At the risk of sounding negative when the book is basically good, I do have to say that her “diary” of frugality at the end of the book seemed to rely heavily on the kindness of others (free meals, free drinks, etc) and less on her ability to say “no thanks” to one more $16.00 martini. I also found it amusing that her average lunch bill with friends seemed to hover around $25.00. For many hard working women I know, that would be a modestly expensive dinner! Since the advice comes from the mouth of a young woman and not an older person (e.g. a parent), it might just make you think more carefully about spending “whatever, wherever.” For that reason, It’s a good book to pack off with your child as s/he leaves home.
“If I was in Paris…if I was in Paris….I would say ooohlala la la la la …” sings Grace Potter (of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals). So too, might Jan Dolphin, a designer who has lots of interests and clearly loves Paris. As a designer, she states it her her “my dream, albeit not possible, to replace all the ugliness in the world with beauty and tranquility! ” As a writer, she has created a set of six mini-books featuring walking tours of one of the most romantic cities in the world: Paris, France. Paris from the Heart Ultimate Walking Tours to Fun, Fashion & Freedom *Beaver’s Pond Press 2011) is a fun way to start thinking about how you want to maximize your time if you are visiting Paris. Each mini book is separated into a specific area of the City (nice, because you can simply pull the slim volume out of it’s slip case and take just that one with you). Each offers detailed explanations about the suggested sites, a bit of history, a simplified map, journal space, and some cute graphics and photos The author obviously knows, and loves, the City, and the information (as of 2011) is current. It’s fun to read, really! If I have any real issues with the books, it is that the walking tours are extensive (the author is always suggesting that you are going to get very tired). Although she also suggests places to stop along the way and rest or get something to eat or drink, they might not be great for anyone who can’t walk a lot, who is older, or who just can’t focus on “the sites” all day long. Some people feel that the very best way to experience a City like Paris is just to find a cafe, and watch what happens all around you! While the explanations were interesting, they were also quite “wordy” with non essential information that got tiring to read. In all fairness, these mini books are not traditional guidebooks that you consult for the first time when you’ve already landed in Paris. They are better suited to armchair travelers and adventurers who like to read, and plan in advance of a trip. These little books will amuse and excite you. The 480 pages include: • Volume I: Introduction • Volume II: Part 1: “My Cup Runneth Over: Major Tourist Hotspots” Part 2: “The Islands and Then Some!” • Volume III: Part 1: “Rive Gauche and the Land of Plenty” Part 2: “Art, Sculpture, and La Grande Madame” • Volume IV: Part 1: “Diamond Studded Whirlwind Tours on Rive Droite” Part 2: “Walk a Mile in My Shoes: the World of Aristocratic Paris” • Volume V: Part 1: “Who Knew You’d Be Mountain Climbing in Paris?” Part 2: “Diamonds in the Rough: Fab Flea Markets” • Volume VI: “Daytrippers: Short Trips Here and There.
I am not a fan of books with fantasy or religious themes, but Angelology, a Novel by Danielle Trussoni (Penguin Books, February 2011) is more a mystery thriller, than anything else. If you believe in angels (as apparently, former President George Bush does), you’ll never consider them quite the same way, again. While I found the winged creature hunt (and the quest for a special, golden Lyre), silly, the author does a great job of building up intrigue and tension, as “Sister Evengeline” finds that she is part of a secret that goes back a thousand years: a conflict between the “Society of Angelologists: and the supposed descendants of angels and humans, called “The Nephilim.” There are letters, a connection to genuine person (Abagail Rockefeller), Nazi references, and much more. Abby Rockefeller was a prominent socialite, art collector, and philanthropist, noteworthy for being the driving force behind the establishment of the Museum of Modern Art, on 53rd Street in New York, in November, 1929. While the letters appear to be pure fiction, and whether you believe in the other fantasy elements of the story ofr not, you’ll keep wanting to turn the pages to learn what happens next. The story will keep you on the edge of your seat ….and there is sure to be a sequel.
I thought I’d already reviewed Amy Tan’s The Hundred Secret Senses (Penguin 2010) but apparently, I didn’t. It arrived on bookshelves at the end of December, so it is still “new.” Set in San Francisco and in a small village in Southwestern China, the book tells about the relationship between Urban and modern-thinking Olivia, and the half-sister Kwan. The former treats her older sister Kwan with indifference bordering on contempt. Kwan from China, on the other hand, loves her younger sister unconditionally. Kwan sees “ghosts with her “yin eyes.” As the story unfolds, Kwan’s stories come to life for her sister, as they travel to China and Kwan tries to save Olivia’s marriage from failing. The writing is impeccable, the story, improbable but charming and the book? Well worth your money and your time.
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