Observations of a bear.

“Prey” is about Angie Powell, a mountain guide, who is hired by Chad Krugman to take him and his boss on a bear hunting trip. When Chad turns out to have an alternative purpose for going on the hunting trip, Angie finds herself being chased down the mountain by a psychotic killer and a bear in a violent storm. Luckily for her, Angie’s business competitor and fellow mountain guide, Dare Callahan, is also camping on the mountain nearby and comes to her rescue. Angie soon finds herself falling for him despite the fact that his business is the one who will soon put her out of business.

I borrowed this book from the library because I was in the mood for romantic suspense. This is the first Linda Howard book I’ve read in years; and judging by its quality, I will think twice about picking up another one of hers. There was page after page of endless, mindless detail about every thought that went through every character’s mind. She even had the observations of the bear. Yes, you read that right..the bear. The chapter’s felt long and drawn out. It also takes nearly 1/2 the book to get to the point.

If you are a fan of Linda Howard’s and looking to waste time you can read this book. If not, find something else.

Under the Dome

I bought Stephen King’s novel “Under the Dome” when it first came out, but it has been gathering dust on my bedroom side table. The book is over 1,000 pages long and I just couldn’t bring myself to make such a commitment to start it (even thought I did buy it so it was a bit of a commitment there). Once I heard that the novel was coming to a television near me I knew I had to dig my heals in a read it.

“Under the Dome” is a story of a small town in Maine called Chester Mills that one day is suddenly cut off from the rest of the world with an enormous transparent dome. No one can come in, no one can get out. Is this some kind of government experiment? Aliens? A natural disaster?

The development of the Dome environment, the physical and mental mechanics of isolation from the world, is compelling. Sanity and resources gradually begin to shrink and we see the destructive nature of the community within. The novel boasts a large cast of characters that are sometimes hard to keep track of. King does his best to show the situation from as many characters as possible.

Stephen King never fails to entertain me. Now that I have finally finished the book I am looking forward to watching the show (which I have been DVRing) to see just how the characters appear in real life.

From her kitchen to ours.

I was finally able to spend some time cooking in the kitchen. With all that has been going on Mr. Sweet & I have been eating out a lot. It is a shame!

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier” is Ree Drummond’s second cookbook. I have been a fan of Drummond’s blog “Pioneer Women” for quite some time now. Instead of giving you her background, you should take a look over at her blog. It is well worth it.

Food from My Frontier” is great for beginners and people who like step by step photos. Cooks can compare their dishes with the book and make sure they are on the right track. Another great feature was that many of the entries had a section called “Variations”. In them, Ree mentions possible ingredient substitutions, dishes that could be paired with the recipe and enchantments. There are recipes ranging from breakfast, appetizers, soups, supper, sides, canning and desserts.

Something you should know about this book: Some of the recipes are already on her blog and can be printed out for free. If I like the author enough I tend to spend the money so I can have the book, with all the recipes in one place, to enjoy at my convenience.

Note: This cookbook is not for everyone. Her food is very decadent with a lot of butter, oil & red meat – not for people who are on special diets or restrictions. This cookbook is not for vegetarians, vegans or others with allergies and or a gluten-intolerance. Unless you’re burning tons of calories working on a farm every day, these recipes are too high in calories for every day meals. Do enjoy them though on occasion and share with friends!

First World Problems.



First World Problems: 101 Reasons Why the Terrorists Hate Us” is a collection of short essays, rants, and personal accounts of what it’s like to live in the First World from Ben Nesvig.

I picked this up as a freebie on Amazon and finally got around to reading it while waiting at the hair salon the other day.

Several moments made me chuckle and was alarmed how true this book is to what middle class Americans see as problems. It puts certain things in perspective. Our problems are nowhere near the problems the Third World faces on a daily basis. This is what the author highlights.

This book can be read in short sittings or quickly read in a few hours. The concept was interesting and different; definitely not something to be taken too seriously.  I could have done without the “bathroom humor” part of the book, but all in all I enjoyed the concept.

America’s sweetheart loves a Bad Boy.

In “What I did for Love” we follow a Hollywood love triangle which is taken straight from the tabloids. The story involves two TV actors, Georgie York and Bram Shepard who starred together for eight years in a wildly successful sitcom Skip and Scooter. Georgie is America’s sweetheart while Bram is the complete opposite who redefines Bad Boy.

Eight years later we find Bram with no career and Georgie coping with a very difficult and scandalized divorce. Bram follows Georgie to Vegas, they are drugged and find themselves together in bed with a wedding certificate. Not being able to face another scandal, Georgie convinces Bram to stay married for a year to help with both their reputations. Georgie aims to undo the damage the divorce has done to her heart and her public image, while Bram is wants a second chance at life and stardom.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips was going for the “hate-each-other-yet-made-for-each-other couple” but came up short. I felt more of the hate instead of the love. The plot moves in a predictable, yet slightly annoying trajectory. The conflict between the couple went on too long and was wrapped-up too quickly.  Misunderstandings fly, misunderstandings are cleared up and a happy ending ensues in just a couple of pages. The bickering in this novel was way over the top and by the end I was hoping that Georgie & Bram didn’t end up together. Unfortunately, they did.

Born Standing Up.

I have been on a reading rampage lately!  My latest read was “Born Standing Up” by Steve Martin.  I grew up admiring Steve and always appreciated his self deprecating humor. He has a skill of captivating an audience beyond his stand-up routines and movies.  He is an extraordinary good writer and I have been looking forward to reading yet another of his books.  I adored both “Shopgirl” and “An Object of Beauty”.

Born Standing Up” is primarily about Martin’s evolution as a stand-up comic over 18 years.  I felt like I had a privileged look into his comedic genius rise to fame. The book is filled with fascinating details and great insights into his family life, his struggles to gain fame, and then his ultimate struggle to handle the fame he had always wanted.

I loved this book. As with all Martin’s writing, the style of this book is crisp, the pace quick, and you should be done with it a few hours if not days.

Not “of age” yet?

I borrowed “I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman” by Nora Ephron from my local library. I knew Nora’s name from movies such as “When Harry Met Sally” and “Sleepless in Seattle” – movies I have watched many, many, many times. I love her movies, so I thought I would see some the same humor and wit in this book – but I didn’t.

This book contains short vignettes about Nora’s thoughts on various topics, from exercise or lack thereof; renting vs. buying in New York; the curse of designer handbags; and parenthood. Most of the book is dedicated to growing older gracefully. She makes interesting observations but nothing particularly funny or fresh.

I had a somewhat difficult time getting into it initially. I felt the humor was a bit forced and didn’t seem completely natural. There were sections where I smiled, but there were no laugh-out-loud moments.

I feel I might not be “of age” yet to read this book. Being in my mid-thirties, I have yet to experience some of the topics she discussed. I believe that if pick this book up 5 to 10 years from now I might feel differently.