Sweet Revenge by Heather Kim


Thanks to NetGalley and Capstone, Switch Press for the opportunity to read and review Sweet Revenge by Heather Kim. The subtitle “Passive-Aggressive Desserts for your Exes and Enemies” says it all! Cleverly named recipes for all the different reasons you could possibly have a need to rid yourself of relationship frustrations. Creatively named sections classify each recipe and the author states “revenge is best served warm” and “ kindness is rare” so the goodness will come back around. The concept of taking your frustrations, hurt and anger out while creating yummy goodness is refreshing and therapeutic. Imaginative and laced with humor and fun visuals will make even the most down-day humorous. Two Thumbs up and 5 stars for a sumptuous, creative book full of yumminess!


Lalylala’s Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies by Lydia Tresselt


Thanks to NetGalley and F+W Media for the opportunity to read and review Lalylala’s Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies by Lydia Tresselt. Instructional book for crocheting amigurumi along with a story of transformation which uses the completed projects to illustrate, plus patterns to make outfits for your amigurumi creations. Tutorials and different stitch instructions and photos are included to help crocheters make the cutest little insects. Purely adorable and helpful too, 5 stars!


Votes for Women! by Winifred Conkling


Thanks to NetGalley and Algonquin Young Readers for the opportunity to read and review Votes for Women! by Winifred Conkling which tells the story of events that took place between the beginning of the women’s rights movement in 1848 and when women were given the right to vote in 1920. The appendix includes a list of the primary sources used for this book’s research and there’s also a timeline included. The preface describes how women from both sides of the suffrage movement approached a political candidate for his support in 1920. I’m shocked that some women were actually against having the right to vote! The story opens with an eleven year old Elizabeth Cady (eventually Elizabeth Cady Stanton) mourning the loss of her twenty year old brother Eleazar, the last male heir in the family. Her father is inconsolable and she makes it a mission to be everything her brother was and this became the beginning of Elizabeth’s goal towards learning and courage. The support for women’s rights is impressive and includes Frederick Douglass (an escaped slave and civil rights leader), Sojourner Truth (an escaped slave and strong speaker) and Susan B. Anthony (abolitionist) and many more supporters. A march for the suffrage movement in 1913 became so powerful that a mob forced the marchers into a single file. The marchers suffered from police brutality and this brutality was helpful to the movement because women gained public sympathy and attention. Picketers in 1917 took their stand in front of the White House and were arrested for “obstructing traffic”. These protesters were released eventually because the government was worried that the women would become martyrs. Later in this same year, picketers were sent to workhouses with unsanitary conditions and mistreatment. Alice Paul, the suffrage leader during this time, was severely mistreated and began a hunger strike which many other protesters joined. By 1920, the Senate approved ratification of the 19th Amendment. This is a definitive account of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s and Susan B. Anthony’s and many others’ actions towards women’s rights that will be a perfect source for research. 5 stars!

Underneath It All by Amber J. Keyser


Thanks to NetGalley and Lerner Publishing Group for the opportunity to read and review Underneath It All by Amber J. Keyser. The target audience is ages 13-18, grades 9-12. The introduction, Beyond Frippery and Lace, shares a quick history of women’s undergarments and a picture of Madonna in her infamous cone bra. A touching personal story from Jae West about self-acceptance is also shared bolstering self-esteem. Underwear isn’t just a covering, it also speaks of “gender, sexuality, politics and body image. An organization helping girls and women in poor countries makes and donates free reusable sanitary kits. The website is DaysForGirls.org and anyone can get involved, just check their website for information. Thinx, a new product is also explained. I’d never heard of this, but it’s innovative and impressive. Thinx is period-proof underwear! What a concept. The book continues on through the history of undergarments and highlights new and innovative underwear companies like Naja and Yellowberry. Underneath It All is interesting, informative and eye-opening and I learned a great deal more than I thought I would! 5 stars for this humorous, historical and educational look at the history of undergarments!

The Unofficial Guide to the Collectibles of Our Favorite Wizard: Harry Potter by Eric Bradley


Thanks to NetGalley and F+W Media for the opportunity to read and review The Unofficial Guide to the Collectibles of Our Favorite Wizard: Harry Potter by Eric Bradley. Tips on where to find all things Potter and tidbits on some of the interesting examples of valuable Potter collectibles are spotlighted in this unofficial collector’s guide. Wonderful quotes are scattered throughout the book. Such as, “No story lives unless someone wants to listen. The stories we love best do live in us forever. So whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”
-J. K. Rowling. Interesting compilation of artifacts and their worth to the collectors of our favorite wizarding world. 5 stars!

Coloring with Thread by Tula Pink


Thanks to NetGalley and F+W Media for the opportunity to read and review Coloring With Thread by Tula Pink, which makes embroidery look like painting with thread! Beautiful finished projects are photographed and shown as examples for the included detailed instructions. A stitching guide clearly illustrates and describes various stitches and explains the purpose of each. Helpful and artistically inspiring craft book, 5 stars!

Awakening Your Ikigai by Ken Mogi


Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Awakening Your Ikigai by Ken Mogi. A descriptive and instructional book of the Five Pillars of Ikigai. These five pillars involve starting small, releasing yourself, harmony and sustainability, the joy of small things and being in the here and now and can lead anyone into a more enjoyable, fulfilling life. The five pillars or principles of Ikigai remind us to begin at the beginning and don’t expect perfection immediately but continue to strive for perfection in all that we do. The principles also help us keep our focus on the joy of living in each and every day. Balance or harmony is also important and living each moment fully instead of rushing through our lives is a key to Ikigai. Peaceful and inspiring, Awakening Your Ikigai is easy to understand and follow to bring true and pure happiness into our lives. 4 stars.

Dare to Sketch by Felix Scheinberger


Thanks to NetGalley and Ten Speed Press for the opportunity to read and review Dare to Sketch by Felix Scheinberger. The descriptive Table of Contents built my interest in reading this book. Advice and instructions on sketch pads and their uses, drawing tools, different perspectives in drawing and the subjects of drawings are included. I especially like the page entitled, “Drawing is a Global Language”, which advises artists to observe respectfully. The art reminds me of Roald Dahl’s style. 4 stars for a helpful art book with personality!

Gardening in Miniature by Janit Calvo


Thanks to NetGalley and Timber Press for the opportunity to read and review Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World by Janit Calvo! New, imaginative and creative ideas for fairy and tiny gardens. This book covers supplies needed for a miniature garden workshop and basic materials and tools required for most projects. The projects cover holidays, special occasions, world travel, storybook ideas and more! For the beginning miniature gardening and for the novice, the detailed instructions and photographs will inspire and get the creative juices flowing. 5 stars for a completely fun craft book!

Quackery by Lydia Kang


Thanks to NetGalley and Workman Publishing Company for the opportunity to read and review Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia Kang. The book has sections for elements, plants and soil, tools, animals and mysterious powers. The first section begins with the medicinal use of mercury. Interesting and intriguing in its awfulness, especially the part about using it for babies who are teething; whoa! Then I learned about the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty who was desperate for immortality and was given mercury medicines by his alchemists because they thought that was the answer. He died at forty-nine and his mausoleum rivals Egyptian pharaohs and is said to be flowing with rivers of mercury! Tidbits of mercury use include historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon and Edgar Allan Poe. Reading about Opium use was eye-opening and jaw-dropping, especially the part about giving it to quiet crying babies and children! The No More Pain with Cocaine part all the way to cannibalism and corpse medicine kept me morbidly fascinated. 5 stars for a must-read of a sketchy piece of history!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary consideration.