The Pollan Family Table Review & Giveaway

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Update: This giveaway has ended. The winner of the cookbook is Jancee! Thank you all for signing up. I hope you find access to this amazing book and get something out of it like I did.

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Title: The Pollan Family Table
Authors:
Corky, Lori, Dana, and Tracy Pollan
Genre:
Nonfiction/Cookbook
Published Date: 2014

Note: I received this book from the publisher for review and giveaway. Thoughts are my own and not altered by receiving the book.

Overview (Barnes & Noble):

A gorgeous, fully illustrated collection of recipes, cooking techniques, and pantry wisdom for delicious, healthy, and harmonious family meals from the incredible Pollan family—with a foreword from Michael Pollan.

In The Pollan Family Table, Corky, Lori, Dana, and Tracy Pollan invite you into their warm, inspiring kitchens, sharing more than 100 of their family’s best recipes. For generations, the Pollans have used fresh, local ingredients to cook healthy, irresistible meals. Michael Pollan, whose bestselling books have changed our culture and the way we think about food, writes in his foreword about how the family meals he ate growing up shaped his worldview. This stunning and practical cookbook gives readers the tools they need to implement the Pollan food philosophy in their everyday lives and to make great, nourishing, delectable meals that bring families back to the table.

Get ready to set up the largest dinner table you’ve even seen because the Pollan family is here! Okay, not literally, but nevertheless I’m excited to write about The Pollan Family Table cookbook. A lot of people know about Michael Pollan, author of books like The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food, but there’s more to Pollan family than Michael’s perspective, and this cookbook proves it. Mother Corky and sisters Lori, Dana, and Tracy bring to life the founding principles behind this healthy, insightful and humorous family.

My favorite part about this cookbook is the family emphasis on health. Their grandfather’s legacy of picking fresh fruit from the garden because “it just tasted better” provided a foundation that the family carries on to this day. The Pollan philosophy is “to try and pick the healthiest options [their] budget will allow,” and they opt for organic, grass-fed, and free-range products whenever possible. I understand the importance of healthy food and learning about food after working for a healthy food and supplement company for the past seven years. From my understanding, the Pollan family is doing food right.

Another key point of the cookbook is the discussion on “the communal meal.” The family deems it necessary for everyone, meaning all 21 members of the family, to come together regularly for a meal and family time. This involved building a larger table, and eventually a larger room. There are no kid’s tables in this family, and I think that’s genius. Even better, they focus on making meals that both adults and kids will enjoy. In short, they make food fun.

Aside from the important family dynamic outlined in the book, it also offers a “Market” and “Pantry” shopping list for each recipe to help shoppers figure out where to get their ingredients. This is especially helpful for those who are new to the concept of dinner around the table rather than out of a box or in a restaurant. They also include lists of pantry staples and necessary utensils to help keep your kitchen stocked with everything you’ll need on hand.

I am by no means a food photographer (my Instagram proves that) so I didn’t include any pictures, but I will say that this is the best cookbook to use when looking for a variety of recipes with easy-to-use guides. The book includes recipes for both meat lovers and vegetarians, and you’ll also fall in love with the dessert section. I mean, Orange Cake and S’mores Cookies are kind of essential to life. Even the healthiest eaters deserve a treat every so often.

I didn’t get a chance to try most of these recipes before starting my Whole30 challenge in January, but I’m excited to make the rest of the recipes now that I’m back to a more open-minded meal plan. This is the only cookbook I’ve come across apart from the Harry Potter Cookbook that I’ve wanted to make everything out of. If that doesn’t tell you everything, I don’t know what will.

In short, I’m ready to be invited to the Pollan’s house for dinner. I wouldn’t mind being adopted as their twenty-second family member. I’ll even bring my own chair, and more dessert.

Favorite Quotes

Corporations don’t cook as well as humans do.

The family meal is the nursery of democracy.

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Discussion Questions:
What’s your dinner table like?

How would you like to improve dinnertime in your home?


GIVEAWAY TIME!

The publisher has generously donated an additional copy of The Pollan Family Table for giveaway. This is definitely a cookbook you’ll want in your home.

TO ENTER:
Comment on this post with your email address and something relating to The Pollan Family Cookbook. You can answer one of my discussion questions or come up with something of your own. Earn a bonus point by following me on Twitter.

The giveaway will end on Sunday, February 8th at 11:59pm Eastern. I will contact the winner the following day.

The Mime Order Review & Giveaway

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Update: This giveaway has ended. The winner is Ashley of City Girl Scapes! Thank you all for signing up!

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Welcome to the Lost Generation Blog Tour stop for The Mime Order! I’m happy to be back on the tour to review the second book in one of my favorite series. There have been some fantastic reviews already and I anticipate more, so check out the other blogs listed in the image above. You can visit this site for more information, and click here for my review of The Bone Season.

The marvelous team at Bloomsbury decided to do something extra fun this time around. Each reviewer had the option of getting a special image made with their aura surrounding them based on your type of Clairvoyance. A brief description of the seven orders are as follows:

I. Soothsayers – Purple – Require ritual objects called numa to connect with the æther
II. Augurs – Blue – Use organic matter, or elements, to connect with the æther
III. Mediums – Green – Connect with the æther through spiritual possession
IV. Sensors – Yellow – Privy to the æther on a sensory and linguistic level
V.  Guardians – Orange – Have a higher degree of control over spirits
VI.  Furies – Orange-red – Subject to internal change when connecting with the aether

VII. Jumpers – Red – Able to affect the aether outside their own physical limits

You can read more about auras here. Personally, I’m a Medium with a green aura. I think it suits me well.

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Now, time for a little review and giveaway…


The Mime Order

Title: The Mime Order
Author:
Samantha Shannon
Publisher:
Bloomsbury
Genre:
Fantasy, Dystopian, Paranormal
Source: ARC from Publisher
Published Date: 2015
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Overview (Amazon):

Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal penal colony of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the fugitives are still missing and she is the most wanted person in London.

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on Paige, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take center stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner.

Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided. Will Paige know who to trust? The hunt for the dreamwalker is on.

Upon my reread of The Bone Season before starting this book, I asked myself at one point, “How is this going to make it through seven books?” Well, I shut up quickly after reading The Mime Order. That’s not to say anything about Samantha Shannon’s imagination, because it’s been made clear by just one book that she has a vivid and extensive one, but I didn’t realize how deep this story could go.

That being said, I’m in love… again. The characters, the setting, the plot twists, I’m hooked. Protagonist/heroine/lady-badass-voyant Paige Mahoney proves once again that she doesn’t need a man to be strong. Sure, she has support, and help occurs, but her stubborn edge and determination for a better world drive her to push forward and make her own rules. Not even Jaxon Hall is able to hold her back for long, and for good reason.

When Jaxon refuses to help Paige bring Scion down and fight for what’s right she decides to take matters into her own hands. This helps shape the other characters, especially the other members of the Seven Seals. It shows them all in a more human light rather than puppets to the same master. They help Paige out of respect for and faith in her rather than living in fear of Jaxon. True friendship in a world of terror and deceit is beyond valuable.

One of the main plots in book two of this sensational series revolves around protecting voyants from humans, Rephaim, and Emim as humans find more ways to detect voyants and the Rephaim/Emim begin to appear in Scion. They also are in search of a new Underlord/Underqueen due to spoilery circumstances. I don’t want to give away the biggest plots in detail and get too far down the voyant hole, but I will say that the progression of these main plots floored me. Especially that ending. Do you hear me, Samantha? YOU. FLOORED. ME. WHAT. THE. EFF. WAS. THAT.

Moving on to another matter: Warden. Where is he? What’s going on? Well, he shows up, make no mistake of that. I appreciated Paige having her own time to shine before the reintroduction of Warden. He wasn’t gone as long as I thought he would be, but I appreciated the way in which he returned. It speaks volumes to have a character duo helping each other out rather than one being weak and the other taking care of everything. It’s an intensely human quality that I find lacking in many other series out there. Then again, Shannon is clever and *ahem* realistic, so of course she’d get this one right. What am I saying? She got it all right.

In conclusion, this book presents an in-depth look of the inner workings of Scion as well as how corruption and deception exists within every cohort, every species. Alas, no light without a dark. The Mime Order ends with even more darkness, but the light has not completely gone out. There is hope for Scion, and it lies with one little dreamer having a huge reason to push forward.

Favorite Character
This might come as a surprise considering my praise of Paige and others, but Jaxon is actually my favorite character. I love a well written villain, and his manipulation mixed with how he always has another plan to move forward with if something doesn’t go his way works for him. I won’t be surprised if he’s taken down eventually, but for now he’s fighting to keep things his way. And I admire his ability to stir up trouble. Just when you think you know what he’s about, you’re wrong. I’ve learned not to assume his motives or allegiances too quickly after getting through this book.


GIVEAWAY TIME!

THE RULES:
1. You must be 13 years or older to participate.
2. You do not need a blog to participate.
3. The book must be shipped to a United States address.
4. Winner will be picked using random.org.

TO ENTER:
Comment on this post with your email address and something relating to The Bone Season series. You can talk about who you would cast for certain characters, what you think about this type of world Shannon built, or even simply state that you’re interested in the series and want to read the books. Anything you want! Bonus point for making it fun. Another bonus point for following me on Twitter.

The giveaway will end on Tuesday, January 20th at 11:59pm Eastern. I will contact the winner on Wednesday.

Bout of Books Scavenger Hunt

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Stefani of Caught Read Handed hosting a scavenger hunt as part of Bout of Books. Full rules are at her blog, but the gist is to find seven books based on her qualifications. There was quite the hunt for a couple of these, but I’m fond of my choices. My responses are as follows…

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1-4: Back row, left to right / 5-7: Front row, left to right

1. Find an author with the same initials as you
At Home In The World by Joyce Maynard

2. Find a book with the color yellow on it
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

3. Find an author’s name with the letter “S” in it
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

4. Find a book with a female protagonist
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

5. Find the longest book you own
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (1157 pages)

6. Find a book with a map in it or on it
The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
Note: This book isn’t published yet and I don’t feel comfortable spoiling anything with a map, but I promise there is a map (perhaps more than one) inside this glorious book.

7. Find a book with a face on it (photograph or illustrated)
The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

Bonus: Find something on your shelf that isn’t a book.
Dickens and Dalek get together on the shelves from time to time for a battle of sass and wit.
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Feel free to share your responses in the comments or link up your own posts.

Bout of Books Readathon Goals

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I’m a little late to the game today. Work, dinner, and chores have kept me busy, but I’m excited to be here with all of you fabulous bloggers! I’m much more active over the weekends due to my work schedule, but I’ll do what I can for these first few days as well. I’ve included my readathon goals and book list below. I changed the list from my initial post due to not thinking about the fact that I’m participating in Jazz Age January this month.

My Bout of Books Goals
1. Read at least 5 books.
2. Follow 10+ new bloggers on social media.
3. Comment on 10+ blogger pages during the event.
4. Participate in 3+ challenges and/or Twitter chats.

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My Reading List
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Winterspell by Claire Legrand
Quicksand by Nella Larsen
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Bout of Books participants: What are some of your goals, and what books are you looking forward to reading?

Jazz Age January Reading Event

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Welcome to Jazz Age January! This reading event is being hosted once again by the fabulous Leah of Books Speak Volumes. It centers around all things Jazz Age, from novels written by Jazz Age writers to non-fiction about the 20s and contemporary fiction set in the 20s. Books must be read and reviewed during the month of January. More information can be found at Leah’s post here.

While I participated in this event last year by reading a few books, I didn’t get around to reviewing any of them. I hope to change that this time around. I’m also hoping to get through more titles. I have seven on my list for this month including a collection of fiction and nonfiction. My favorites (Hemingway & Fitzgerald) are present as well as a few authors I haven’t read yet.

My List:
True At First Light by Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway: The Paris Years by Michael Reynolds
A Short Autobiography by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Zelda by Nancy Mitford
Quicksand by Nella Larsen
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
The Wasteland & Other Poems by T.S. Eliot

I’ll post more as the event goes on. Hope everyone participating has a nifty time!

Participants: What are you most looking forward to reading?

Bout of Books Readathon

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Welcome to my “sign up” post for the Bout of Books Readathon! This is the 12th round of Bout of Books and my 3rd time participating. For more information about this reading event…

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 5thth and runs through Sunday, January 11th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

My Reading List:
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Quiet by Susan Cain
Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Winterspell by Claire Legrand

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Can’t wait to get started! See you all on January 5th!

Bout of Books participants: What’s are you most looking forward to reading?
(Feel free to leave a link to your post as well.)

Thankfully Reading Weekend

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Thankfully Reading Weekend has arrived! This event is hosted by Jenn’s Bookshelves and is perfect for those spending the holiday weekend at home. There are no rules or reading hours required for this event. The point is to simply relax and enjoy however many books you choose to get through from November 27-30.

I have a fabulous collection on deck for this weekend. I planned on reading The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer and **** (The Anatomy of Melancholy) by Matthew Selwyn as my reward for “winning” National Novel Writing Month (aka writing 50,000 words in November). I’ll either finish that goal before bed tonight or tomorrow morning before reading, but either way those books came at the perfect time since I have very little plans this weekend.

I’m also going to read All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon. I’ve heard so many positive reviews of Doerr’s novel, and I got pretty obsessed with Shannon’s series when reading The Bone Season (see my review here) for the book tour. If you haven’t started reading this series yet then you really need to get on board.

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Happy reading weekend to all!

What are YOU reading this weekend?

2015 TBR Pile Challenge

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The 2015 TBR Pile Challenge is hosted yearly by Adam (Roof Beam Reader). This event is perfect for bloggers who have an overwhelming list of To Be Read (TBR) books. For people like me (and most of you), this means overflowing bookshelves and books stacks on the floor, couches, desks, tables, or really anywhere they can fit.

This challenge offers a solution! It involves reading 12 books throughout the year that have experienced too much shelf time without being dusted off and enjoyed. If you want to join in the fun, stop by Adam’s blog and sign up.

I’ll admit that I’ve been rather awful with this challenge in the past. You see, I’m a book blogger who rarely reviews the books I’m reading. Pretty tragic, right? I managed to read most of the books from the 2014 TBR Pile Challenge, but I didn’t get around to reviewing any of them. I’ve decided to take the four unread books from my 2014 list and add them to my 2015 list. The other eight books are new to this challenge as well as the alternatives.

One of my goals for 2015 is to actually review the books I read, so here’s to hoping that this event is more successful for me this time around.

My 2015 TBR Pile Challenge List:
1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
2. On Writing by Stephen King
3. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
4. A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
5. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
6. The Song Of Achilles by Madeline Miller
7. Quiet by Susan Cain
8. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
9. Enduring Love by Ian McEwan
10. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
11. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
12. Astray by Emma Donoghue

Alternatives:
1. Love In The Time Of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
2. Murder On The Orient Express by Agatha Christie

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What book are you most excited to read?
What book do I need to read first?

#24in48 Readathon

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Welcome to the #24in48 Readathon! This event is hosted by Rachel (previously at A Home Between Pages). How this event works is participants read for 24 hours within a 48-hour time frame. The readathon begins at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 15 and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, November 16. Read more about this event here.

I never know what to expect with a readathon, and I’m in the same position this time around. I’ll be attending one or two NaNoWriMo write-ins this weekend as well along with writing at home, so it’s going to be a packed weekend between reading words and writing them. Last year I aimed to read more than the 24-hour goal, but this time around I’m being realistic with getting to 24 hours.

My Readathon List:
1. Astray by Emma Donoghue
2. A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride
3. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
4. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
5. How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran
6. The Love Affairs Of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman

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I’ll mostly be updating on Twitter (@lostgenreader), but I’ll try to post on here at least once during the event.

Happy reading to all participants!

What are YOU reading this weekend?

The Classics Club Spin #8

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Update: The spinner has spun once again. The winner is…

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

I will be back by January 5th with my thoughts. I hope everyone got a read they were looking forward to, but how could you not look forward to reading a classic!?

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One of my favorite reading challenges is back! The Classics Club is hosting The Classics Spin #8. This event is designed to encourage Classics Club members to read a chosen book within a certain amount of time. The catch? You don’t know what you’re going to get! Okay, you have some idea considering you’re picking the classics, but the result is in the hands of the magical spinner. We are to each list twenty books, and on Monday, November 10th the moderators will randomly select a number. Whatever book coincides with that number is the book we have to read by January 5th.

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My List:
1. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
2. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
3. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
4. The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde
5. Middlemarch by George Eliot
6. Villette by Charlotte Bronte
7. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway (Reread)
8. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
9. The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe
10. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
11. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
12. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
13. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte = WINNER!
14. The Iliad by Homer
15. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
16. Dubliners by James Joyce
17. Three Lives by Gertrude Stein
18. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
19. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (Reread)
20. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

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Happy reading to all participants!

What book do you most want to read from your list?

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