RBRC: Brought in Dead by Jack Higgins

Brought in Dead by Jack Higgins is my Recycled book reading challenge book, even though I quite much discontinued the RBRC, apparently I am still reading the books. This is the 2nd book of the Nick Miller series.

Set in London in the 60’s, this suspenseful book provides a real look into police procedure of the era. The detective (Nick Miller) comes across a young suicide victim, who is not a suicide at all but is actually a murder victim. And the story continues in the search of Justice.  It is difficult to discuss this book in depth without giving away the entire story. I very much dislike it when someone tells me all the suspenseful bits and then there is really not so much left for me to discover myself by reading. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it as a good read for you also. I would say that it is a medium level suspense read. Not so difficult as to easily fall of the wagon and get lost in the characters plots, but complicated enough to keep the readers interest.

As with any series, it is always best to start reading from the beginning and forward in the correct order. This is one of the points that frustrates me with this challenge. If I find a book in english that I can read for this challenge, I only purchase the one – as most times it is all you will find in a used items shop – and I never purchase books that say on the cover that they are part of a series. Then I find myself reading book 5 out of 12 and I never really know the backstory or the in depth characterisation. So I am always missing that important information.

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae
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Recycled Book Reading Challenge: Maeve Binchy’s ‘Nights of Rain And Stars’

Greetings all 🙂

Good wishes for a lovely week’s end! I promised I would relaunch the RBRC and share my 1st book post on the 15th. As today is 15th day, I am here, as promised.

This month, my challenge book was ‘Nights of rain and stars’ by Maeve Binchy. As you can see by the image, this book has had some use before I found it for sale on the old books shelf.

This was a good book. The author clearly put much effort into characterisation. The characters, their personalities, trivialities were carefully considered. As this book is based on the characters interactions with each other, starting in a time of crisis, the personality clashes and reactions seemed very realistic. This personification is what kept me reading.

Readability:

With seventeen chapters, this book was readable within the month. Somedays I was able to read a few chapters, other days I read none.  In my mind, this book would be a good read while on holiday. Maybe not if one is planning to embark on a tour by boat, though. It is not something I would save to read more than once, but the one time, it is good. This is a book for reading and sharing.

Would you like to join the Recycled Book Reading Challenge, or RBRC? The guidelines are simple, you can find those here!

I would like to thank Dr Tanya at Salted Caramel for getting the RBRC party started!

How was your RBRC book?

-Mliae


RBRC: The Rainmaker by John Grisham

Happy May Day to you!

My April read for the Recycled Book Reading Challenge is ‘The Rainmaker‘ by John Grisham. Grisham is a well-known writer and his books always carry a sense of intrigue with them. I like reading John Grisham novels. They carry with them a sense of suspense, but it is not so overdone as some authors, which allows the reader some sense of security that all is well with characters and the suspense is somewhat more about what the characters will do to achieve their goals.

This particular book was also made into a film version with Matt Damon acting the character Rudy. I have not seen this movie, so I am unable to say if the movie was better or the film.

I liked this book. Grisham has a way of pulling his readers into the story within the first chapters. The writing is good, understandable. I am not so familiar with legal sayings, but he somehow always finds a way of explaining them, or at least making the context clear.

I would recommend this book. I think it would be best for adult readers, only because the storyline might be a bit dry at times for a youth audience.

What are you reading this month?

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Abe Books UK.

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March RBRC: Signal-Close Action by Alexander Kent

This month’s RBRC post is a bit late. Apologies. On the 1st of this month, I was quite focused on not looking at the web, news, emails or texts as to not fall for any more April 1 pranks. I did not realise it was that day until after I saw a tweet from the tourism Norway site that was sharing ‘breaking news’ that Sweden, Norway and Denmark would be forming their own alliance in 2020 – thus combining resources.  (‘Does anyone have a suggested name for this new alliance?’ – BTW, that name would be SWEDEN. SWE (Sweden) -DE (Denmark)-N (Norway)) After my brain stopped shorting, I realised that ah-ha, it’s international jokester day!  After that, I made an effort to remain unavailable for the remainder of the day. And then, after that, the days just rolled by. I somehow forgot about the 1st and the Recycled Book Reading Challenge post that I had not posted. YIKES!

So here I am, with a very late, RBRC post.

My March read was Signal-Close Action! Written by Alexander Kent. I do not remember how I came to have this book in my possession, but I am thinking that it was from a holiday book exchange.

Alexander Kent is an author from the U.K. and it is not a surprise that his nautical tales are composed from a historical British perspective.

Based in the early 18th century, this book captures an intriguing image of naval warfare in that age. I will admit that many of the tactics were difficult for me to imagine, as the extent of my naval warfare knowledge comes from Pirates of the Caribbean. This is a good book and I quite enjoyed it. The characterisation was clear and defined and for the most part, there was no guesswork required. (With the exception of my admitted ignorance of the subject matter)

This book is part of a series, so there are some backstory that I am clearly unfamiliar with. The series is the Richard Bolitho series and I think that this is either #12 or #14 in this series. So, I have missed quite a bit. Apparently, Bolitho has been working his way through the ranks and is a commander in this volume. He does have some challenges, especially with some of the other men and other captains and this book does share some insight into the challenges of holding this new post for Bolitho.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of naval history and naval fiction. It’s preferable if the series is read in good order, though.

That’s all for my Recycled Book Reading Challenge for this month. If you would like to enjoy our challenge, please do! I post about 1 book each month and I will link to your RBRC posts as well!

This month, Colette shared here RBRC post which I am linking to below:

I am linking to Collette’s RBRC post for this month. Thank you, Collette and welcome back!

If you are reading this series, you can find this book by clicking here.

Thank you for reading!

-Mliae


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February RBRC: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell is my RBRC book for February. Well, actually January and February. I cannot accurately remember how I came to have this book in my possession. I would never purchase a book this size for myself, so I am assuming that this was a ‘read it & pass it on’ gift.

This book is actually also a movie, but I did not see the movie so this review is only about the book. This is a rather thick book to read, so it did take me 2 months time to get through it.

This was a good book. It did take a large amount of time to get involved in – more than the 1st 100 pages. But once I managed to get myself tangled in the characters plot, I was hooked.

Some people have said that they are not big fans of the book because the author is seemingly ‘spoon-feeding the plot to his readers’, but this is actually something that I appreciated. In a read this size, it is easy to get lost in the plot. Especially when it seems to fluctuate between the history of a problem and the present time set in the story.

I would recommend this book – especially to those who do not require a dictionary to read it. I would like to watch the movie now that I have read this. I do think I would probably be a bigger fan of the movie, than of the book.

If you would like to join my Recycled Book Reading Challenge, please do! I have been running this challenge for 2 years. I will link to your RBRC post on my upcoming post on the 1st of each month!

Thank you for reading!

-Mliae

RBRC: The Shape of Snakes by Minette Walters

My book for the November Recycled Book Reading Challenge is The Shape of Snakes by Minette Walters.

I found this to be a great novel. Well written and the attention to detail as far as reports, articles, letters, and such added a necessary level to the mystery.  The plot is outstanding and the topic tackled mental illness and racism very well.

There are many novels and movies which try to draw an adequate picture of racism, but they somehow manage to be quite redundant at times. Predictable, if you will. The Shape of Snakes is not such a story. You will be drawn into this story. This is one of those reads that I found it difficult to put down.

This book was actually given to me last Christmas. I can only assume that it was found in perfect condition in a flea market, because english language books are quite expensive in the bookstores. Not to mention, there are not so many available. So, I thought it fitting that I could use it as a good book for this months RBRC.

If you are interested in this book, you can find it by clicking here.

If you would like to join the Recycled Book Reading Challenge, you can find the general guidelines by clicking the aforementioned link.

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

RBRC: Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs

*NO SPOILERS!*

‘Cross Bones’  by Kathy Reichs was my October read for the Recycled Book Reading Challenge. I am actually late with this post because I got caught up in Halloween and Saints Day celebrations and wasn’t quite able to complete the book in good time.

I really enjoy reading Kathy Reichs because, well, Bones. Lets be honest here – the show is fun and reading the books it is based on is intriguing.

I’m not so certain which book # of the series this is. The plot takes one back several thousand years. When you find yourself following around with the around about tale, the killer is a bit of a surprise. It is a bit reminiscent of ‘The DaVinci Code’, but as I found this book at a market stall, I can’t actually say which of them might have been written first.

I enjoy Kathy Reichs way of writing. Its like being inside someones brain who is kind of going through checklists, but sometimes don’t need to complete the thought to get the point. That may seem somewhat neurotic to some, but I like it. It’s different yet still comprehendible.

Do you like the Bones series?

-Mliae

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: American Beauty by Zoey Dean

This is my RBRC book for the month of September.

I have to start by saying that this was not my kind of book. I think this book is aimed more towards the teen crowd. Apparently this is one book out of a large series.

This was more of a Beverly Hills high graduation story, rife with teen angst and first world problems. I was unable to get through the entire book.

If you would like to join the Recycled Book Reading Challenge, we would love to have you! You can find the complete challenge layout by clicking here. I usually post on the 1st day of every new month. I will add the link to your post from that month on my upcoming posts.

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

 

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: The Testament by John Grisham

Hi there 🙂

Last month, I didn’t post a RBRC post because we were traveling. I’m continuing the challenge though and so picking back up with this month’s post.

The Testament is a well known book. I have read it before (hence the reason its been collecting dust for a few years), but it was nice to give it another read before I pass it on for someone else to enjoy for awhile.

An inheritance of an unbelievable sum is not going the way the family would like it to. The family is horrendous. The beneficiary is an unknown. You know how this plays out….

I really like the way Grisham has developed the characters in this book. He not only covers the emotional spectrum, but human weakness as well. I believe that the weaknesses are what make his characters so much more human.

This is a good book. Of course, its a best seller.  If you haven’t already read this book, I would recommend it as a good read for a rainy day.

If you would like to join the Recycled Book Reading Challenge, please do! The more, the merrier 🙂 Each month I will be linking back to the posts of those who have joined the challenge.

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

 

August 2018 RBRC

Greetings!

I’m sharing Colette’s Recycled Book Reading Challenge for this month, as we were traveling and I was unable to do my regular post. (Which by the way, the RBRC will be continuing as of the 1st of this month!) Colette is awesome and I hope you will visit her blog.

All the best!

-Mliae

via August 2018 RBRC

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young

This was a fun book. For a long time, animal lovers have managed to see through the communication barrier and connect certain attributes and personalities to the animals they love. In a nutshell, this is what this book is about.

I think this is an excellent learning tool. I had no idea that, for example, cows families are as they were written; that grandma cow is usually there for the birth and time following to help-out.

This book was written in a imaginative style which manages to keep even the most uninterested reader (i have no desire to learn about cows), interested in the story. Rosamund Young has really done her job well!

This book is actually a borrow, from a friends old book collection on the shelves. Super cute and I would highly recommend it!

If you would like to join the Recycled Book Reading Challenge, please do! All you need to do is dust off 1 book from your shelf per month, read it and write a post at the beginning of the month. Anyone who pings back to my RBRC post will be linked to on my upcoming RBRC post.

Thank you for reading!

-Mliae

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: The Medici Secret by Michael White

The Medici Secret by Michael White was my RBRC book for the month of May. I have to say that I really enjoyed this one! (So much so, that I’m actually linking to the author’s page).

At first glance, one might easily assume that this book is quite much like the Davinci code series. It actually isn’t. There is a mystery, and ancient clues – so that much is similar, yes. However, the situation is very different and thoroughly explained. The flashbacks to historical events in the story, is actually what sucked me into this book the most. I hate to say it, but it seems that most anything written with a historical Point of View (POV) now is in the romance category. And that’s not my thing…at all. So, this was really refreshing.

This is a work of fiction, but I really loved that the author included an entire section in the back dedicated to the facts behind the fiction. In this section, he also explains where he parted from the facts on certain occasions, and what the actual event was that took place.

If you like historical, adventure, mystery reads – then I’d say this book is for you!

If you would like to join the Recycled Book Reading Challenge, please click on the link to read all about it! Every month, I will link to your posts.

This month, you can check out Colette’s RBRC post by clicking here.

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts

Hi there 🙂 Happy May Day!

This was a good one. I got a bit sucked into reading this book. It took awhile to get into it, but once I did, it was a pretty easy read.

I have no idea how this book came to be in my possession. For some reason, I think it might have been a ‘pass it along’ find.

I liked the storyline of the book. Basically, an old home is being renovated into a glam historical hotel and all of the characters this involves. There’s also a parallel storyline, one which involves a ghost – Lizzie. This was by far what intrigued me the most. She’s waiting for ‘Billy’ and although the people who have been used to having her around for awhile value her and aren’t so afraid, they find themselves on a mission to find out her story and who Billy is.

The only thing I don’t like about this situation is that this is the 2nd book of a 3 book series. I can fill in the gaps from the 1st book, so that’s not any kind of problem. However, I really want to know what happens in book 3! I’m not a big romance person, so I could kind of care less what happens with fictional personal relationships. However, there is a ghost mystery intertwined in this story and THAT is what I want to get to the heart of! Has anyone here read the 3rd book? If so, please let me know what happened with Eliza!

If you would like to join the Recycled Book Reading Challenge, just click the link and check it out! Its quite straightforward – dust off 1 book from your bookshelf and give it a read every month. Write a post about it and either wingback to the challenge or drop the link to your post in the comments section! I will link to every post from the month before I published. This is from Colette at Colette B.

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: Destination Unknown by Agatha Christie

Loved, Loved, LOVED this book!

Agatha Christie is known for her excellent writing and descriptive mysteries. This book, was no different. One of the things I really like about Agatha Christie’s books is the language. English has so many variations. It seems the the older books are written in a clear and easy to decipher English, which many modern books seem to lack. You really do not need a 2 page rambling description. Nor is an author required to use the most obsolete and difficult words one can muster up.  Authors of older books knew this. It was to the point. 1 sentence, maybe 2 at most – as descriptions and in concise language. After all, is the point not to appeal to a broad audience? This, is one very big reason why I am a Christie fan. Not only are her stories intriguing, but I don’t have to guess at what is being told, nor do I require a dictionary at my side to do so.

I’m not sure exactly where I managed to pick up this book. I have had it in my possession for quite awhile. Once I began reading, I really could not put the book down. I read through the entire weekend day, and then some.

I don’t want to spoil it for you, but in summary: Lots of scientists from France, UK, USA, Netherlands – have gone mysteriously missing. This book is the hunt, the story, the schemes and a good few surprises thrown in.

I love the way the scenes are laid out. Even some of the character surprises (1 big one with the main bad guy) and the way it is so artfully done, it kind of makes the reader mad that they didn’t notice the signs earlier. All which were carefully laid out in plain site. OK, I say no more on the plot.

If you see this book, I say – GET IT! It’s a great read 🙂

If you would like to join the Recycled Book Reading Challenge, please click here for the details. Nothing to it, really. Dust off an old book once a month, post about it, get me the link and I will link to it on my upcoming post.

Here are some posts from this month:

Colette, who is awesome and hilarious – wrote about her To-Read list for the challenge which can be read by clicking here.

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

Hi there 🙂

Elegance of the Hedgehog was my February read for the Recycled Book Reading Challenge.

I really liked this book. It isn’t written in the usual manner. I expected with a setting like wealthy lodging in France, that it would be from the perspective of the well-to-do. However, it is not. Which is refreshing. There are 2 POV’s from which the story is told. That of Renee (the concierge) and Paloma (a pre-teen). Both are highly intelligent and quite bored of the world they live in. Renee conceals her intelligence and culturality by playing to the stereotype of concierge. Paloma, has set her mind to committing suicide on her 13th birthday.

The book is quite ‘wordy’ and it is occasionally difficult to tell who is narrating. The chapters seem to switch on and off, and it was easy for me to lose track at times, as there was no rhyme or reason to who was speaking in the chapters. You just have to read through until you have a ‘Ahaa’ moment and then follow along accordingly.

However, I really enjoyed the writing, the perspectives, and even the characters’ boredom with the mundane and predictable. I was actually quite surprised to see how popular this book seems to be when I checked online. I would recommend this if you see it somewhere.

I think I picked this book up while on holiday (You know the hotel book swaps) and I’m very glad I did! A time investment well-spent!

If you would like to join this monthly challenge, you can read all about it by clicking here. Anyone is welcome to join, and I will be linking to your posts on my monthly post.

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: Rising Sun by Michael Crichton

This 1992 novel by Michael Crichton was a pretty good read. I’m not sure where I managed to pick up this book. As I don’t normally purchase books that have been made into movies, I’m thinking this was something that was passed along to me by a friend.

I like detective novels, in small doses. I have seen this movie – probably several times – so there wasn’t so much thrill and surprise to the book in general. This is precisely why I don’t normally read books that have been made into movies – unless I haven’t seen the movie yet.

The book was ok. Surely much better had I not already had a clear idea of how the events would unfold. However, at this point in the game, I’m happy to have dusted it off and now I can pass it along. Already have, as a matter of fact. I have discovered a few places that will gladly accept books in any language, as they have on occasion, many different nationalities which need to pass the time.

If you have a bookshelf full of old books that need to be dusted off and read, please join my Recycled Book Reading Challenge! All that’s asked of you is to a read a book that it’s your possession once a month and write a post about it on the 1st of the month. You are welcome to leave a link to your post under any of the Recycled Book Reading Challenge posts here and I will link to you on my upcoming post. The more the merrier!

What are you reading today?

-Mliae

 

Book Review: Three Million’s a Crowd by Leenna Naidoo!

Hi there!

I am really excited about today’s post 🙂 I am reviewing the book ‘Three Million’s a Crowd’ by our own Leenna Naidoo! Leenna is the blogger behind In betweener and she is a well accomplished author! It is a privilege to have the opportunity to review her work.

I had the pleasure of making Leenna’s acquaintance about 2 years ago. Leenna Naidoo herself is one of the nicest people I have ever met. You know when you meet someone and you immediately feel so comfortable, it’s like you’ve known them for years? Well, that’s her. She is über creative and I have been waiting a very long time to see if her writing reflects that big personality of hers. Well guess what – It DOES!

Her writing is so personable that I can picture (and hear) every single scene in my imagination. I love it when an author paints a picture so clear that you can quite literally watch the movie in your own head.

Three Million’s A Crowd is a collection of flash fiction and short stories. The following are the stories contained within:

  • Spiked (Flash Fiction)
  • Slipped Up (A smile-worthy short story based on a pair of glass slippers!)
  • Ride The Wave. Kiss The God (A short story lesson about going with the flow.)
  • Not That Kind Of Guy (Short Story – a heartwarming tale of a lady who’s given up on love.)
  • Three Million’s A Crowd (The Novella – a great modern day love situation!)

I really enjoyed reading this book in it’s entirety. Those of you who know me well, know that I enjoy collections of short stories. I have the attention span of a fruitfly, so long – drawn out – slow reads just do my head in. Short stories are great! I can read them in one sitting, and don’t lose an entire day doing so. I really liked the novella – Three Million’s A Crowd. I read the whole thing in one sitting. I was sucked in by page 3 and didn’t move until I had read the entire thing. Now that’s saying something!

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, or check out her list of other great books!

If you are interested in finding out more about this work, you can find her release post by clicking the link here.

There are 3 varying download links, depending on which one you are most familiar with. These links will take you directly to the Three Million’s A Crowd page:

Barnes and Noble

iTunes

Smashwords

I highly recommend this book. I hope that you will read it and I know that you will enjoy it!

Have you read any of Leenna Naidoo’s works?

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

 

The Recycled Book Reading Challenge: Terror’s Cradle by Duncan Kyle

The 1970’s seems to have been a great period for the adventure & suspense novel. This book serves as a prime example. I purchased this book at a used book store for about .10 cents. I love finding books in English around places like these because they don’t sell so well, only the rare customer enjoys the challenge of reading novels in other languages, so I always find a very good deal on them.

This book serves as a fine example of what good suspense novels used to be. They aren’t filled with sickening love scenes. It’s and adventure. The character has a goal – in this case, find Alsa, his missing cohort – and return home victorious. The suspense is in the adventure and that’s the way it should be!

I really enjoyed this book. The print was of normal size, so it made for a quick read. The story was just that – the story. No sex, no fruitcakes, no cottony clouds. If you like adventure and happen to find this book, I’d highly recommend it! Enjoy!

If you would like to join the Recycled Book Reading Challenge, you can find the original post by clicking here. Every month on my posting, I will be including links to your challenge posts as well. I seem to have lost most of the people that were formerly doing this challenge (as I have surpassed the 1 year mark), so if you would like to join, please do so!

Here are some challenge posts:

The Tenth Garfield Treasury

Second Shot

Easter Island

Recycled Reads Review

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

 

 

 

 

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve

Greetings my fellow earthlings 🙂

Today, finally – I’m on time!

I’m not sure where I found this book. Honestly, I’ve been dragging it around with me for the past decade and I never cracked the spine. Now I have, it feels good & I can pass this book along to someone else who might enjoy the read.

I begrudgingly admit, that I am not a huge fan of this book. It’s a shame, really, since I have devoted so much of my time and space to keeping this book for so long. But alas, all things must come to an end.

I like the actual story line. Written about a newlywed couple who set off for an adventure in Kenya. The problem is, for me, that the characters weren’t so relatable and the overall telling of the story seemed to have some gaps. (Now, I’m not one to criticize as my story telling skills are basically nonexistent.) But I guess what I’m trying to say is that parts just didn’t seem realistic; plausible – that there was somehow an extra explanation missing that would’ve tied it all together. You know what I’m trying to say? And, the ending was weird. It felt more like the author just stopped writing and turned it in, instead of wrapping it up for us with a pretty gold bow.

There was this one part that stuck in my mind, and I would like to ask any of you who might know if this is actually true. There was a break-in, and our main lady states that the only reason their documents weren’t taken is because she stashed them in her under things drawer. That an African man would never go trifling through a woman’s under garments. In the story, that was the only space that wasn’t disturbed. Is this a real thing? Would be great to know if it really is that way or not.

If you would like to join the Recycled Book Reading Challenge, we would love to have you! You can find the guidelines here. I will share your posts that month on my Challenge write-up post.

Unfortunately, this month, no-one has yet shared their posts, so I will link to some previous challenge posts if you’re interested.

State Fair Recipes

Bartending for Dummies pocket edition

Walt Whitman selected poems 

Let’s dust off those old books and finally give them a read!

Have you been doing the Recycled Book Reading Challenge? If so, drop your post link below!

-Mliae

 

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: America’s Best State Fair Recipes by Catherine Hanley

Hi there 🙂

My sincerest apologies for being late this month! I really wanted to try some of these recipes first, and since I had the flu, it took a bit longer than expected.

I really love the recipes in this book. They look so delicious! The only problem I’m having, is that I don’t know what the equivalent of some of the ingredients are. Like ‘shortening’. I assume that ‘shortening’ is also referred to as ‘lard’, but we don’t have anything like that here. What could I use instead of that? Butter, perhaps? Or……

Other than the issue of trying to find some of the ingredients (or something similar) in my area of the world, there really isn’t a problem. I am really excited about trying some of the picketing recipes in this book as well!

I found the Blueberry Pie recipe and it had me drooling. We don’t have blueberries in ample amounts here, but we do have currants! So, I made a currant pie with the blueberry pie recipe and it turned out pretty good!

IMG_7154

This is before cooking. The crust looks terrible, I know. It was my first go with actual dough instead of a ready to bake shell, and I found that I didn’t have enough for my pan so I got creative and the crust got paper thin in parts. Regardless of its lack of beauty, the pie was awesome and it was gobbled up just as soon as it came out of the oven! (Hence the reason I don’t have the ‘after’ photo.) ALSO, making this pie with red currants would be super fun for Halloween! It was all gooey and runny and kind of looked like blood pie. Which was perfect because we were binge watching vampire flicks.

There is also a Rhubarb sour-cream (creme fráiche) pie recipe that is ideal for our frozen rhubarb!

If you see this cookbook somewhere on the super cheap, I say grab it up! The recipes are simple and the food looks great!

If you would like to join my Recycled Book Reading Challenge, you can find the guidelines by clicking here. The more, the merrier! Dust off those old books and give them a read!

Also, please check out Teleporting Weena’s RBRC ‘Ghost Girl’ for this month by clicking here!

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Book Review: ‘Eyes Like Lighthouses When the Boats Come Home’ by Dane Cobain @danecobain

Hello again, all 🙂

I am happy to be reviewing another great read by Dane Cobain today!

I did not see this book coming. After reading ‘Former.ly‘ by Dane Cobain, I was thrilled to have the chance to review several of his books. After all, he is an incredibly talented author and I admire his works very much! I was not expecting poetry. I do like poetry, but I am not a person who has poetry collections in my library…for the most part. That being said, had I realized that there was more poetry like this in the world, I probably would have a shelf entirely devoted to it. One grows tired of the love poems and the loss poems. But being gifted with something…entirely different; makes it all worthwhile!

I really loved the fact that his poetry reflects our modern day lives. Our trials and tribulations, the feelings which are provoked when looking at photographs and our spontaneous distaste for money and politics. There are love poems also, but written in away that makes the reader feel like we’re having a laugh with an old college pal. I love the grit in his poetry.

I did some looking into things, and it seems that the poetry in this book was actually written to be performed live. Going back to look at it after discovering this; I can picture the poems being read outloud at a show, reading or coffee joint.

A few of my faves:

  • Groupthink
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors
  • Who?
  • Shit at XBox
  • Increase the Suicide Rate by a Fraction of a Percent by Cutting Funding to the Arts

If you would like to see more about this book or some of the other great titles by this author, please click here to visit the Dane Cobain official website.

I remain, and forever will be – a Dane Cobain fan. He captures our chaos perfectly.

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this e-book in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. I like it, and will continue to look for the next books from this author 🙂

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: Bartending For Dummies, mini edition! #challenge

Hello all 🙂

It’s that time again, time for the Recycled Book Reading Challenge! This was a good one and a very fast read, especially since it fits in the palm of my hand. I will be keeping this one in the kitchen for reference when entertaining! 😉

This is my first ‘For Dummies’ book and I was surprised at how they are able to take it back to the most basics of the basics. Like…what is a wine opener. Surprisingly informative, it actually explains the process. Interesting…

The pocket sized book covers everything from tools and basics to a few frequently requested drink recipes like Rusty Nail, Irish Coffee, John Collins and even the famous James Bond Martini! (Verrryyyyyy coooolll!)

I picked up this little guy years ago for about 0.05 and I’ve never even looked at it. Now that I have, I’ll be flipping through it on a more regular basis.

If you would like to join the Recycled Book Reading Challenge, click on the link and start dusting off those old books! When you link your post back to me, I will link to it in my following challenge post. Thanks for reading!

What are you reading?

-Mliae

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: Walt Whitman, Selected Poems

I was really excited to find this book! Walt Whitman is hailed as an American superhero of nineteenth century poetry & essays. His book, Leaves of Grass, left a lasting impression on students worldwide…especially this one.

What can I say about this book? If you like poetry, symbolism, American history….you’ll love this book. Much of the writing reflects a different era. Not only historically, but politically as well. Having grown up in an age where the United States of America was a newly formed government, his poetry reflects those times.

It is obvious to any reader of Whitman that he is in love with language itself. Words are not merely a tool used to express ones thoughts, but a much deeper love affair with the rhythmic, spasmodic capitulations of speech and the layers upon layers of meanings lying within.

Love it! Recommend it! Enjoy it!

If you would like to join the Recycled Book Reading Challenge, you can find the few guidelines for the challenge by clicking here. Anyone who would like to join this challenge, please link your post to my latest challenge post and I will link to you in the upcoming challenge post on the 1st of the next month. The more, the merrier!

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: Raven Black by Ann Cleeves

Hello!

Welcome to my Recycled Book Reading Challenge post for my April read! I did  and did not like this one. I must admit, this is the first Ann Cleeves book that I have read. Allow me to explain.

The story starts out with Magnus Taint, an older gentleman with a mental disability who is blamed for the killing of  a teenage girl nearby. Of course. He was also investigated for a former death of a girl. This seems to be a common cliché now. It is difficult though to explore his weaknesses and vulnerabilities. The inability to understand fully the depth of accusations against ones person immediately musters a general empathetic anxiety for the character.

The story plot made me uncomfortable. I do not personally enjoy tales of harm to children or pedophelia. These themes really made me want to just put the book down. However, what kept me reading was not the disturbedness of it, but the unique point of view of the child. A rawly emotional and powerful point of view which really made this reader wonder if the research was that good or if the author herself had experienced these thoughts and emotions at some point herself. (Which puts a completely different spin on things).

The ending is a total surprise, or was for me anyway. I won’t spoil it here.

Ann Cleeves has been highly complimented on her accurate writing about Shetland, in her Shetland series. I have never been there, so cannot account for it personally, but it nice to feel as though the places being described are so accurate that you can kind of picture yourself there.

This is a heavy read. I recommend it if you have the stomach for it. For sensitive readers, I would steer clear of this one. I would like to find another Ann Cleeves book to give a read and see if it was just the book that sat heavily on my brain, or the writer herself.

If you would like to join this challenge, please click here for the challenge instructions. The more the merrier!

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: Cover Her Face by P.D. James #RBRC

I love P.D. James. I’ve read quite a few P.D. James books and I get sucked in within the first 30 pages. As it should be 🙂 When I went to my bookshelf of dusty old books and I saw this beauty, I just new it would be perfect to be waiting for me upon my return from the hospital. This is my sick-bed reading for the month of March. Which is probably why I’m actually on time with my challenge reading for the first time in months.

This was a light read, with each chapter separated into subsections. (Which made it awesome for someone who’s falling asleep every half-hour). I got really lucky when I realized that this is actually the 1st of the Dalgliesh detective series. As I have never read any from this particular series before. It is a bit like Agatha Christie or Poirot. Which is cool. I’ve enjoyed those since I was a child.

The victim, a miss Sally Juup. A new, young maid servant who was brought in by the family due to her ‘unfortunate circumstance’. AKA – a little one in tow with no husband in sight. Much is made of her circumstances, in hushed private gossip, of course.

There is a lot going on the day she dies; A church social on the grounds, a proposal from the highly sought after son of the family, Richard. And she finds the ill fathers stash of pills in his bed and runs off to cause a scene.

When Martha, the family’s only full-time servant, and a lifer at that, discovers that Sally has abducted Mr. Maxie’s pill stash, she finally unleashes on the young girl. Who dares stand up to her in return.

But the real clincher is when Sally announces to the matriarch of Martingale that her son proposed to her that day, things get really tense. That night, she is found dead in her bed with her child crying beside her.

I can’t really go into the investigation without giving things away, but if you like Poirot or Agatha Christie stories, you will enjoy this book.

If you would like to join my Recycled Book Reading Challenge, you can find all the details by clicking here.

Also, as stated last month, I will begin including the links of bloggers posts who are doing the Recycled Book Reading Challenge. So, feel free to link your challenges in the comment section here and I will include them in next months post.

You can find Colette’s RBRC post here.

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: Dante’s Inferno

A classic piece, I was so excited when I saw this book…and for all of 10 pennies!

I think most of us are familiar with Dante’s 9 rings of hell. In the 1300’s, Dante gets lost in the woods. When Virgil, a ghost, offers to help him find his way back. Virgil can lead Dante to safety, but the shortcut is the most gruesome of all. Through hell.

Dante actually runs into some of his friends on his way through and quite a few famous persons from throughout history. The rings of hell in which these people reside, screams volumes about their perceived involvement (or lack thereof) in the trials and tribulations of the period.

Dante wrote Divine comedy works while in exile. The ‘comedy’ depicts a surreal vision of the church vs state politics during the 1300’s in Florence. Ironically speaking, the timing couldn’t be better.

I particularly like this version by Steve Ellis. Translations can be quite hit or miss at times, and thus far (I have read several varying translations of Dante’s Inferno) this is the best translation I have read. It is not as dry and awkward as some of the classical translations are, and although the exact word may not be a direct translation, the meaning of the word is a direct translation. And that just makes so much more sense. After all, so many direct translations make absolutely no sense. Its all about context.

If you would like to join the Recycled Book Reading Challenge, you can find it here. For those of you posting your reading challenges, from now on, please link to the corresponding month’s challenge post here. I have decided that I would like to start linking to your posts on my upcoming recycled book reading challenge posts!

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Former.ly: The rise and fall of a social network by Dane Cobain @danecobain #formerly

I have been reading Dane Cobain’s books for awhile now. Former.ly is the newest that I’ve gotten my hands on, and as always with this author, I got hooked into this book almost immediately. Dane Cobain is a young UK author with 5 published books under his belt. I really enjoy this author, partly because his relative youth allows for him to write works of fiction which appeal to our modern-day, technology driven world.

This book is a good read. It is suspenseful and gives the reader an unusual first-person perspective into the world of social media. This book presents readers with a realm of social media possibilities that we rarely consider in this I.T. based world of ours. A well written, great read!

Dan Roberts is your main character. Like most of us, he just wants to find a job and pay his bills. Being a bit on the naive side, he has no idea what he’s in for when he gets a job at Former.ly. You see, Former.ly the company, is much like Facebook…only with a bit of a sinister twist. It’s a social media platform for the dearly departed. This is how it works: The users, write in it almost like a private journal. They are encouraged to share their most private thoughts. These thoughts are kept private. Safe and sound on the secret server. This is an easy false comfort to fall into – journaling, as most of us bloggers know. However, the kicker comes when the user dies. Once the user has passed on, these secret writings are no longer kept hidden. Au contraire – they are posted for the entire world to see! Now imagine this, for just a moment. Let it sink in. Can you IMAGINE the kinds of chaos that ensues once those posts are made public?! Hate mail, confessions of an extraordinary kind, conspiracies, etc… Shit hits the fan!

I, personally, really like the way it is written in first person. Some people do, some people don’t. I think its refreshing to have a limited perspective about the goings on of the story. It relays to us how narrow our own views really are, and reminds us that one person cannot possibly know all of the aspects. This, to me, brings the book a bit more into my personal realm of understanding. Life teaches us that the omniscient perspective of some books is not at all realistic. The first person perspective however, keeps us arm chair detectives a bit more involved. As, we as people, can only make judgement calls on the limited information available to us in the real world.

I would highly recommend this book to adult readers.

If you would like to see more about this book or some of the other great titles by this author, please click here to visit the Dane Cobain official website.

Have you read any of Dane Cobain’s books?

-Mliae

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this e-book in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. I like it, and will continue to look for the next books from this author 🙂

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: Wicked by Paul Jennings & Morris Gleitzma

Hi guys 🙂

Again, I am late on this. My apologies, I did last months so late that my brain just skipped right over the 1st of this month!

So, this is my Recycled Book Reading Challenge book for this month: Wicked by Paul Jennings & Morris Gleitzma.

Even though this is primarily a children’s book, its still a lot of fun. Not to mention being an easy read. This particular edition has all 6 books inside. Since you kind of have to read all the books in the series to really ‘get it’ I was happy that this is what I found myself with after a trip to the second hand store.

The store does get pretty ‘trippy’, but what do you expect from a fun and serious book made for kids? The bottom line is: Step-families suck.

This is a cute book and I would recommend it for young readers. Especially those who find themselves in blended families.

Would you like to join the recycled book reading challenge? If so, please do! We would love to have you. The challenge can be found here.

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Recycled Book Reading Challenge! Hitman: Enemy Within

I am sooooo late posting this, this month. My apologies! The holidays carried me away and I just could not complete the book in time. My apologies!

My read for the month of December (and part of January) is Hitman: Enemy Within by William Dietz. I am not sure how I found myself with this little treasure to begin with, but I dusted it off from the hidden depths of my bookshelf and decided to give it a read.

Here’s a quick summary:

A competitor in the assassin game decides to take out the ICA (International Contract Agency) and their top assassin, Agent 47. Agent 47 was trained from birth and is not playing around. Agent 47 is a loner (of course) and takes the task to hand to find the persons in charge of sharing information with the ICA’s competitors. He travels far and wide to get what he needs, and an interesting side not of all of this is his glaringly obvious fascination with food & culture. Which is kind of fun, I must admit. I will leave you to figure out the rest.

This is a good, suspenseful, hitman adventure story. Although this is not my typical favourite sit, read & relax type of book…I really liked it! I’m unsure if there is a move based on it. But if there isn’t, there very easily could be.

If you would like to join my Recycled Book Reading Challenge, you can click here for the challenge rules. Love to have you with us and everyone is welcome!

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: Sandstorm by Michael Asher

This book was passed along to me by a friend of mine after he finished reading it. It’s been sitting on my bookshelf for awhile, so I thought it would be a great pick for November’s Recycled Book Reading Challenge.

This book is set in the Sahara, during the 50’s. It is a bit cliché – the whole honor, nomadic wanderer, loyalty, betrayal in the desert thing. But it is a good book…so far…for a few days of chilling out.

However, I must be honest. I was unable to complete this book before todays challenge deadline. So it is difficult for me to share an accurate assessment. I’m not exactly sure why…maybe the tiredness. But I just couldn’t get into it as an adventure book, which I generally get so involved in, I can’t put them down. But by the time I got about 100 pages in, it started to seem a bit…easy to guess where it was going. I did try to finish it, but it just didn’t hold my attention. I’ll be passing this one along. I guess now I understand why it was given to me 😉

I’m loving reading your challenge posts!

-Mliae

Book Review: Futuring the Future by Michael F. Kaufmann #FuturingtheFuture


Firstly, I must admit that this book was a bit difficult to follow. So please understand that this may influence my review a bit, as I was unable to completely grasp some things.

Written in a simple style, this book is both fiction and non-fiction, woven together in an intricate tale which blurs the lines of reality in order to create an out-of-the-box picture of our interactions with other planetary lifeforms.

Although written to be simply understood, this book is very complex as far as critical thinking  and story plot is concerned. I would recommend this for a more intellectual sci-fi reader.

The actual formatting of the book is more along the lines of a script. A bit choppy, difficult to follow at times and occasionally one is sent to read and re-read the same passages. I understand why this is, I think, so that like re-watching a movie, the reader picks up on things the second or third time around, that one would have missed the first time. Especially when it is included in a different context.

This is an intriguing read, and very interesting…especially when one is not sure which facts are facts, and which are fiction. It does, encourage one to think deep thoughts, much more than the usual sci-fi novel.

Even though I had a difficult time following at times, I really love the fact that this is written in a completely different form. It’s like it forces your brain to take breaks and reconsider what’s happening. Different is good! This book is not your average futuristic read…for sure!

The author is cited to have written more than 10 books. He is a Physicist and has a core interest in General Relativity. These facts are useful to keep in mind as one reads Futuring the Future.

I would recommend this book, but only for those who are really looking for a thought inspiring, scientific read. Something different. This is not one of those relaxing weekend books.

If you are interested in this intriguing future-based book, it can be found by clicking here.

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review

Book Review: Hi-tech Hijack by Dov Nardimon #HiTechHijack


This is one of those adventure books that I did not want to stop reading. It sucked me into the story from the very beginning. Which, I love 😉

Eddie, an Israeli career scientist who is on the never ending quest to cure cancer with the Ebola virus, finds himself and his partner in a precarious situation when they are kidnapped en-route to their destination. Through the drugging and reminiscing, a large portion of this book is a flash back which explains how the pair found themselves in their current predicament. It explains how Eddie was so desperate that he gave himself Ebola and is still recuperating from his recovery.

Eddie and Reuben find themselves held hostage in an almost luxury hotel-like situation, by a nasty couple out to discover the secret to keeping Ebola alive and airborne. Eddie, having had military training in hostage situations, maintains his calm demeanor throughout the drama. Reuben, on the other hand, is not a cool fellow and suffers panic attack after panic attack – thus placing himself at the top of the interrogation list.

We eventually discover that Reuben, is a total dirtbag. His quest for money blinds him totally. Eddie, our protagonist, remains logical and opportunist at every turn. I don’t want to give away too much, but there’s a lot of excitement and a lot of drama!

The author has obviously done copious amounts of ebola research and some serious checking into how scientific research is performed and funded. The facts contained in the book are mind boggling on their own.

If you like thrillers, you will love this book! It’s a really good book and I could not make myself stop reading it. The manipulation, and adventure keeps its readers wanting to know what happens next, after every page turn! Highly recommended!

If you would like to purchase this book, it can be found here on the official amazon US page.

For international orders, here is the amazon UK link: Hi-Tech Hijack

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this e-book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. I actually liked it quite a lot 🙂

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren

Welcome to my November 1st post for the Recycled Book Reading Challenge! If you would like to join, please check out the original post here for the ‘rules’ and start reading! For those awesome ones of you who are already doing the monthly challenge, I wanted to let you know that I’ve decided to extend it beyond 12 months (for myself, at least). It’s been such a fun challenge to do and I’ve enjoyed reading your posts so much that I would like to make this a permanent monthly series here on Lifexperiment Blog! 🙂

I used to love this book when I was child. I know that it has been translated into many different languages in the past 40 years, so when I saw this last month in a second hand store for .50 cents, and in English, I had to buy it!

This is a children’s book, although nowadays it might be considered a bit heavy for children reading since most versions include the realities of death, disease, tyranny and betrayal. (Like most of the classics)

When Karl is hit with a difficult disease, his older brother Jonatan soothes him with tales of Nangijala, a city in the afterlife. Shortly after that, the home catches fire and in order to save his brothers life, Jonatan leaps out of a window carrying Karl on his back. Karl is devastated by the death of his older brother, but not long after, on one very sleepy night, Karl finds himself and his brother in the city of Nangijala.

Nangijala is a peaceful city, but alas, it is only one city…there are others. And in the next town, there is an evil tyrant named Tengil and his dragon Katla which are reading havoc.

The Brothers Lejon (Lion), Karl and Jonatan, lead the battle against the tyrannical Tengil and his dragon…and it all revolves around a magical trumpet.

In the end, well I don’t want to give too much away – Let’s just say that there are even better cities, which are more peaceful and happier places for the deceased, beyond, in another level. It seems like a never ending cycle, dying, living, dying and re-birth again.

I loved reading this book as much as I loved having it read to me as a child.

Have you read The Brothers Lionheart?

Here are two links to the publishers online sales if you love this book:

USA – The Brothers Lionheart
UK – The Brothers Lionheart

What are your reads for Octobers recycled book reading challenge?

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Window to Another Dimension: The Art of Orna Ben-Shoshan #AWindowtoAnotherDimensionTheartofOrnaBenShoshan


A very cool and original book about the art of Orna Ben-Shoshan and the artist herself.

Her art is somewhat surreal and somewhat not. She is an artists in the 2000’s, yet her oil paintings contain almost cartoonesque medieval figures and colours. The appeal, for me anyway, is that in each painting there is something a bit off about it. Upside down sitters, spun hair and surrealistic wavy checkerboard floors all add to the appeal of her quirky, admirable artwork.

The artist is said to have had a life-long interest in metaphysics and mysticism which is clearly reflected in her artwork. Her works are fascinating, exhibiting a slightly twisted yet healthy sense of humor combined with a sense of fantasy and mysticism.

Most of her art is in oil. She does do digital art as well, which is pretty cool. My favourite is ‘The Jeweler, 2006’ and it doesn’t look like digital art at all.

Another super cool surprise with this book, is that when you open your kindle reader (if you get the e-book), there is a link where the artist has offered a complimentary copy of one of her works as a Thank-You for purchasing the book. We are putting ours up on our wall 😉

I would recommend this book for surreal art fans. It’s pretty cool! The hardback would make a great coffee table book. If you would like to check out Orna Ben-Shoshan’s artwork, you can find it here.

Thank you for reading!

-Mliae

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this e-book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

A Simple Life by Giora Amir #ASimpleLife


This book, an autobiographical memoir told in first person narrative form gives us, the reader a vivid glimpse into the lives and thoughts of  a boy coming into manhood during the infantile stages of the holocaust and throughout. This book tugged at my heart strings like no other in a very long time. A must-read!

The author, born in Slovakia in 1928, walks us through his eye witness testimony of how the holocaust sneakily came to be, from the eyes of a boy. He discusses watching Jewish businesses ‘Aryanised’ and how no-one really thought it would last long. That surely, someone will take this madman out of powerful position – it’s just a matter of time. I can easily see myself, naively assuming that relocation would be only temporary and that the whole of Europe could not possibly hate one culture so much as to see them utterly destroyed. Denial is a powerful thing, and it something one must take into account when reading this book!

Based in Slovakia, in the town of Presnov is where the beginning of this family’s story of degradation in the holocaust begins. The author, reminisces about the good times, his life milestones with which those he loves will not be able to repeat with any others. He writes about watching his sister and other dear relatives, leaving for Palestine to escape persecution. He also writes about relatives from Poland escaping to Slovakia to work in ‘Aryanised’ businesses – not knowing that the same grisly events were slowly unfolding in their own city of reprieve.

Amir explains to us the desperation of his father to become an ‘economically viable jew’ or Hospodarsky Zid in order to gain exemption status or the vynimka label so as not to be sent to the Poland ghettos – or worse. An economic jew being explained as one who had knowledge or a level of expertise that would be of economic benefit to the government. Even this label did not help much during the ’round-ups’ of 1942. Only hiding helped, and not with much success as many examples from the period have shown.

Giora Amir speaks with great relief and trepidation about the days leading up to May 8, 1945. The day Germany surrounded. Having been taken in by the Czechs during a surprising run-in, only some days before, Giora and his small group of refugees were finally the lucky ones – albeit in a world that still held a great amount of distain and few opportunities for the remaining Jewish populace.

The author, Giora Amir, takes great care to lay out a mapping of familial history, culture and business dealings in the beginning of this book. This serves well to bring a sense of humanness to the reader. Whereas it is normally easy to disassociate oneself from the characters in a book, it is not the case in this book. In this book, the reader feels closer to the characters and therefore experiences a larger sense of fear and empathy with the characters.

I very much appreciate the fact that this book is not just a first person eyewitness account of the the author. The author has taken great care to include letters and writings that he knew would never see the light of day otherwise – to give us, the reader, a clear vision of what life, death, sadness and suffering was like for all involved. These included testimonies also shed a dim light on the happenings, hidings, round-ups and battles from other areas and from different perspectives.

If you like The Diary of Anne Frank, you will love this book! I highly recommend this book for all ages! Keep a tissue handy though. This book can be found at amazon by clicking here. There are both Kindle and paperback editions.

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. This book tugged at my heart strings like no other in a very long time. A must-read!