if you’re using a Kindle or other E-reader. The six books in this Advice Sisters Spring Book Review Roundup are “keepers!”
Diamond District Intrigue:
Who knew there was such intrigue brewing behind the glittering displays? A Murder Is Forever (The Diamond District Mystery Series) by Rob Bates (Camel Press October 2020) is a fast-paced novel about Max Rosen and his divorced and unemployed daughter who longs to be an investigative journalist.
“Mimi” gets her chance when she reluctantly goes to work for her father to earn some money. Then, her cousin Yosef suddenly proposes to her friend. Unfortunately, before nightfall, he’s disappeared and then found murdered. Mini is determined to find the killer with her “journalist” skills.
While unraveling the mystery, Mimi gets herself in plenty of trouble. But will she find the killer? And what about the $4million pink diamond he supposedly owned? There are lots of references to religious Jewish life, but you’ll get the explanations. Is everything resolved in the end? Read it and find out. Buy This Book on amazon.com
5-Ingredient Recipes for Multi-Pots:
I Love My Instant Pot 5-Ingredient Recipe Book by Michelle Fagone (Adams Media March 2021) caught my attention right away. These multi-pot appliances saved us during lockdown as I could make lots of recipes faster and with less effort. I love the idea of easy recipes and just a few ingredients. The recipes are nicely illustrated and great for beginners.
If there is a downside, it’s that some categories of food (e.g. steamed clams or fish) are not worth the trouble to cook in an InstantPot/MultiPot. They are easier and faster to cook in a more traditional way. However, if you’re set on using your Instant-multi-cooker for everything you’ll find lots to keep you cooking. But some things really are easier and better in an Instant Pot/MultPot.
The ingredients don’t rely heavily on exotic spices and most are readily available on your grocer’s shelf. There are also some enticing recipes for vegetarians. The pages of tips and hints for using an Instant Pot really can help you understand the process. By This Book on Amazon.com
Search Yourself- Are You A Starseed?
I was amused by The Beginners Guide to Starseeds: Understanding Star People and Finding Your Own Origins In the Stars by Whitney Jefferson Evans (Adams Media January 2021) At first I thought it was just silly, but as I continued to read I started looking a bit closer. Could some of us (maybe even you or me) be a person from another planet sent here for a purpose? Could we have forgotten what that purpose is? Do we have a special connection to the night sky? This book suggests “yes.”
Back here on Earth, I do believe that there are ways to spread love, help others, and by doing good things help to shift the overall energy of the planet. No matter which “Starseed” you identify with, if any, the book is fun. It also reminds us to be kind, purposeful and has other positive messages. For this book review roundup, I’m giving it a thumbs up. By This Book On Amazon.com
The Beatles Before The Big Time:
The Boys Next Door by Dan Greenberger (Appian Way Press, 2020) tells the story of a Columbia University Student Alan Levy, and the semester he spent abroad in 1960 in Hamburg Germany. But his neighbors turn out to be Paul, John, Ringo. Also (early Beatles) Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe.
The book is very well-written (in the first person). It’s an engaging read. However, is this historical fiction. Some of the dialogue and events in this book might actually have happened since they were culled from other sources.
There is one photo taken by “Astrid” who really did hang around the Beatles. But the real focus is Alan’s obsession with Astrid. Moreover, it’s also about love and longing and trying to find your place in the world. However, you’ll get a taste of how “the boys” might have behaved back in the day before the Beatles were famous. If you’re a Beatles fan or like historical fiction, you’ll love it. Buy This Book on Amazon.com
Healing With Herbs & Spices:
The Healing Powers of Herbs & Spices: A Complete Guide to Nature’s Timeless Treasures by Cal Orey (Kensington Books January 2021) is a treasure-trove of herbal lore, information, and recipes. But my issue is that it’s really difficult to know just how much of an herb or spice you really need to have a (healing) effect on your body. I wonder when I see statements such as ” dill and fennel are excellent mood enhancers? or “tarragon can aid in weight loss.” So how much dill, fennel, and tarragon would I need to eat?
However, there are lots of recipes. You have many of these ingredients in your spice cabinet or maybe even in your backyard! And, the book is large and entertaining. You’ll learn so much about the spices you use that you never really give more than a thought about.
Try Pumpkin Spice French Toast, Clove Stuffed Baked Apples, start an adventure for your taste buds. Snicker if you will at the authors’ name (Cal Orey–calorie) but you’ll have more respect for “Nature Treasures” after reading this book. Buy This Book on Amazon.com
Amazing Energy Balls:
I suppressed a snicker with the title: Energy Balls by Christal Sczebel (Chronicle Books 2017). Energy balls conjure up all sorts of funny images, but the energy ball recipes in this book are vegan. no-bake, and gluten-free powerhouses that are easy to make and (almost) guilt-free.
These little goodies are organized by Breakfast, Lunch, Brain-boosting, Performance-enhancing, and Bedtime. Moreover, most of the ingredients are pretty basic including almond milk,. nut butter, nuts, oats, dates, and chocolate. Some are a bit sticky and need to be put in the fridge or freezer before eating them. There are more than 100 ideas to try. You’ll be tempted to try before they are ready. Buy This Book on Amazon