Friday, July 31, 2015

Book Giveaway A World Elsewhere by Sigrid MacRae

a Rafflecopter giveaway


US only...sorry..enter by August 8, 2015


100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip Glaze in Cabernet Review and Swatches


Gorgeous red.  Doesn't wear as well as less natural products but it's so pretty.  No staining but it bleeds a little.



Dr Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water Review


A great quick way to clean your face.  This cleansing water also has galactomyces and other fermented products to increase absorption and perfect skin.  A must have.  On www.essentiellebeauty.com

Asian and Natural Skin Care Secrets Vegetables for Flawless Skin


Vegetables for flawless skin...

Book Review: Nagasaki Life After Nuclear War by Susan Southard



Nagasaki Life After Nuclear War by Susan Southard is a riveting, horrific and graphic book.  The author goes to Japan and interviews survivors of the US nuclear bombing mission against Nagasaki and the results are hard to read.  But the individual narratives are very well written

The message is important and the personal stories are gripping.  Reading about the horrors of having flesh burned off, the destruction, the pain while healing and the complete devastation can be overwhelming though important.

The book is not dispassionate and objective, and gripping thought it is, that lack of distance is its one flaw.  While we can all agree that nuclear war is a horrible thing we need also to put actions into a context, one in which Japan absolutely refused to surrender.

But these issues aside, this book is a valuable one.  Did I enjoy it?  I'm not sure.  It's very well written but also very painful.  Given the likely nuclear acceleration about to speed up in our world today, it's a book very worth reading.  If more people read books like this perhaps we wouldn't need to worry about the increasingly more likely next nuclear bomb.

Book Review: Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal



Eva has quite an interesting life.  Orphaned and then raised by her uncle and his wife (not realizing initially that they aren't her real parents) she never feels fully at home growing up.  Her parents are good people but not excited by food, as is Eva and as was her father.

Eva grows into a lovely and talented woman and chef.  She becomes renowned for her amazing dishes and instinctive grasp of food.  Characters come and go, sometimes not gracefully, but the narrative reads like your best friend telling you a story.

There are recipes, but for the most part they're simple ones.

What I love about this book is that it created a world and characters and they work.  I found myself lost in them.  I don't know much about the mid-west and reading this book I felt like I was learning more.  And that is what a good book and author are supposed to do.

I recommend this book!

Book Review: The Ambassador's Wife by Jennifer Steil



Jennifer Steil is an ambassador's wife.  In the book, she writes about one in a fictional country that closely mirrors Yemen, where she lived with her ambassador husband.  They're now in Bolivia.

Miranda, an American artist in Mazrooz, falls in love with the British ambassador (newly posted) after she and her lesbian lover part ways.  They quickly marry and have a daughter.  Miranda teaches local girls art, including subversive art, while acting our her marital duties as well.

Miranda is kidnapped by an extremist terrorist group when out hiking with friends.  She is then put in charge of suckling a very important girl baby, having left her own nursing child behind.  Predictably, she is rescued but then her and her husband need to deal with the aftermath of the kidnapping.

This book is vivid and has a real grasp of a time and place - that of an ambassador's wife in a Muslim, Arab country.  That part of it is lovely.  I enjoyed the story but must admit that the viewpoint at times did turn entitled and judgmental.  Steil seems conflicted by both her own place, and Miranda's, in this world.

This book can be lovely.  It won't be loved by all.