Blog, Review, Reviews

Book Review| A Taste of Persia by Naomi Duguid


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A Taste of Persia
by Naomi Duguid

Published October 13th, 2016 by Artisan (first published September 20th, 2016)
400 pages
Non-Fiction, Cultures, Cookbook, Food

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Following up on Burma, her stunningly well-received exploration of another fascinating cultural crossroads, Duguid introduces us to the next place we want to visit with recipes for food we can’t wait to make, and with tales that are memorable and moving. In the way that the Mediterranean has a common palate, so too do these nations: one centered on a love for the fresh and the green (beginning with the piles of fresh herbs that accompany every dish with abandon) and also the tart, as revealed in the ingenious use of sour plums, sour cherries, pomegranates, and limes. There are the delectable filled dumplings, flatbreads, and stuffed vegetables; plus gorgeous Persian rice dishes, grilled meats, and skewered kebabs. There are fresh cheeses, sparkly salads, spice blends, and spectacular sauces based on walnuts ground to a paste.

Taste of Persia is an adventure of discovery—not only of a fascinating region, rich with history and variety, but of a wealth of culinary traditions and innovations as well.

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Book Review| Monet – The Early Years by George T. M. Shackelford


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Monet – The Early Years
by George T. M. Shackelford

Art, Non-Fiction, History, Biography
320 pages
ARC, NetGalley

Published January 6th, 2017 by Yale University Press (first published November 2016)
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The first comprehensive examination of the painter’s formative years, tracing the evolution of Monet’s early style and personal ambitions that drove the rest of his career.

This elegant volume is the first to be devoted to the young genius of Claude Monet (1840–1926). Bringing together the greatest paintings from his early career—including his first Salon-exhibited work, the Kimbell Art Museum’s La Pointe de la Hève at Low Tide; Déjeuner sur l’Herbe (Luncheon on the Grass) and The Magpie from the Musée d’Orsay; and The Green Wave and La Grenouillère from the Metropolitan Museum of Art—it features essays by distinguished scholars, focusing on the evolution of Monet’s own distinctive mode of painting. Through the 1860s, the young painter absorbed and transformed a variety of influences, from the lessons of the Barbizon school and his mentor Boudin to the challenges posed by his friends Manet, Pissarro, Renoir, and Sisley. Artistic innovation and personal ambition shaped the work of the celebrated impressionist painter from the very start of his long and illustrious career.

George T. M. Shackelford is deputy director of the Kimbell Art Museum. Richard Shiff is Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in Art at the University of Texas at Austin. Richard Thomson is Watson Gordon Professor of Fine Art, University of Edinburgh. Anthea Callen is professor emeritus of the Australian National University and professor emeritus of visual culture, University of Nottingham. Mary Dailey Desmarais is associate curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal.

 

This book is a great source of information for everyone who wants to know more about Monet and his life. Plus, you also get to see a lot of Monet’s paintings, since the book is filled with great pictures of Monet’s works.

It was a different experience for me to read this book. I mostly read fiction, and it’s different when you read a novel than when you read a history book about a real person – it took me longer than usual to finish this book. Nevertheless, it was a pleasure to read it, and I enjoyed it tremendously.

To be honest, I did not know much about Monet before I read this book. I’ve heard of him, of course, but did not know much about his life. This book, Monet- The Early Years by George T. M. Shackelford, sparked my interest in art history; therefore, this semester I took an Art History course as a gen. ed. in college. Moreover, for my big essay, I chose to write about Monet and Impressionism, because I became fascinated by this great artist that gave the name to a new art movement, thanks to his painting named Impressions: Sunrise.

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I am very grateful for the opportunity to read this book. It opened the door for a new interest.

I recommend Monet – Early Years by George T. M. Shackelford to everyone who loves art and Monet. Even if you don’t know much about art, I still think you should give this book a chance. Who knows, maybe you’ll develop a new passion. 🙂

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Blog, book tours, Review, Reviews

Book Review & Tour||Blade and Soul by C. M. Estopare


Blade and Soul
C.M. Estopare
Publication date: June 30th, 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

★★★☆☆ (3.5)

To defy gods, she will sacrifice all.After the death of its duchess, Safrana is in turmoil. Two equally powerful families vie for power, quickly turning the beautiful citadels of Safrana into a hellish warscape. While, on the outside, there is a desperate search for the one true heir to the throne. The one man who could stop an encroaching civil war and force the citadels into peace.

But he is nowhere to be found. Presumed dead. While a threatening war looms over Safrana, promising to tear it apart.

Thrust into a political world which only buys and sells in blood money, with an impending civil war at hand, Marceline Brandy is called to take charge of a peace effort in a foreign city. But nothing is certain in this world rife with political strife. Everything must be questioned, even a push for peace.

Desperate to complete her mission, Marceline soon finds herself tangled up in the strange political affairs of an arrogant woman with dangerous ties to the long lost heir of the Safranian throne. But there is another, more powerful presence that lurks on the borders of Safrana’s imploding government. A presence that would stop at nothing to see Marceline and her allies fail.

Seized by a foreign city she is sworn to save, she has few to turn to for help. The list of allies she could count on is cut short by corrupt patriotists hungry for war and livid at the mere notion of foreign driven peace. Months pass as Marceline heads this peace effort, but the fiercer she works the more dire the situation becomes and time is running out.

A war looms, one that promises to destroy Safrana, as mythological creatures rise from ancient graves. The fiends intent on absolute destruction.

Is this an all-out test of Marceline’s strength and will?

Or, are the gods themselves against her?

Goodreads / Amazon

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Blog Tour & Review||Rise of the Sea Witch by Stacey Rourke


Rise of the Sea Witch
Stacey Rourke
Publication date: June 19th, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
⭐⭐⭐⭐

Details of the sea witch’s banishment have been exaggerated. The body count that preempted it was not. Once an illustrious princess, her hands and tentacles were stained with the blood of thousands. No one could comprehend how the hooks of madness dragged her down from her life of privilege.

Born Princess Vanessa of Atlantica, the ambitious young royal was one of two children born to the great King Poseidon. She and her brother, Triton, were groomed from birth to rule. Yet only one would ascend that coveted throne. While carefree Triton flits through his training with a cavalier demeanor and beguiling charm, Vanessa’s hunger for her father’s acceptance drives her to push herself to the limits of magic, and combat to become a leader worthy of her people.

When war against the humans ravages their once regal kingdom, political sides are chosen. Factions from the seven seas challenge the existing leadership, pitting Vanessa against her brother in a vicious battle for the crown. Traitors are exposed, dark family secrets revealed, and a once strong sibling bond is strained to its breaking point.

Only when the ink black waters from the ultimate betrayal rescind, will the truth be known of how the villainous sea witch rose with one name on her vengeful lips–Triton.

Goodreads / Amazon

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Book Review|| Becoming Human by Eliza Green


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Becoming Human
Exilon 5 Series #1
Eliza Green

★★★★/★★★★★

Science Fiction, Dystopia, Adult Fiction
358 pages
Published December 30th, 2012 by CreateSpace


A VENDETTA. A DESIRE FOR FREEDOM. A SECRET THAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING.

In 2163, a polluted and overcrowded Earth forces humans to search for a new home. But the exoplanet they target, Exilon 5, is occupied.

Having already begun a massive relocation programme, the World Government on Earth sends Bill Taggart to monitor the threat level of the Indigenes, the alien race that lives on Exilon 5. Bill is a man on the edge. He believes the Indigenes killed his wife, but he doesn’t know why. Until now.

Stephen has every reason to despise the humans and their attempts to colonise his planet. To protect his species from further harm, he must go against his very nature and become human.

Laura O’Halloran is losing her daily battle with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Her only chance at recovery is leaving the dark Earth for the sunnier climate of Exilon 5. She hopes her credentials as a World Government employee will secure her a one-way trip, but with the ever increasing relocation demand that is not a guarantee.

Her discovery of a deadly secret threatens her life and that of Bill and Stephen. A secret so great it could rip apart both worlds.

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Rise of the Branded by Scott Keen


Rise of the Branded
Scott Keen
(Scar of the Downers, #2)
Publication date: November 22nd 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Rating: 5/5

Pursued into the wild by the soldiers of Ungstah, former slave Crik and the other freed Downers encounter the magical and terrifying nature of their world. They face spectral Shepherds, man-eating Rukmush, and the ancient giants of the earth. When two of their group are captured, Crik is distraught and powerless.Meanwhile back in the city, Durgan, former Captain of the King’s Guard who allowed Crik and his friends to escape from Ungstah, is now a Downer, one of the Branded. Amid the murmurings of an uprising among the Branded, Durgan just wants to be left alone to search for his missing son. But in the process, he discovers how dark the powers of Sulfus the king truly are. Durgan must take a stand in the coming war between the Branded and the powerful armies of Sulfus.

To kill any hope of escape for the city’s Branded, the army comes after Crik and his friends to make an example of them. The answers for Durgan, Crik and freedom for all Downers lie hidden in the dark recesses of the Northern Reaches, in the treacherous places Crik and his companions are about to enter.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Sequel To:

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You can read my review here.

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Book Review || Scar of the Downers (#1) by Scott Keen


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Scar of the Downers
The Scar of the Downers Series
Scott Keen
Publication date: February 27th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
WiDo Publishing
274 pages

Rating 4.5/5

Branded on the slaves in the Northern Reaches beyond Ungstah, the scar marks each one as a Downer. It is who they are. There is no escaping this world. Still, strange things are stirring.Two foreigners ride through the Northern Reaches on a secret mission. An unknown cloaked figure wanders the streets of the dark city of Ungstah. What they want no one can be sure, but it all centers around a Downer named Crik.

Crik, too scared to seek freedom, spends his days working in his master’s store, avoiding the spirit-eating Ash Kings, and scavenging food for himself and his best friend, Jak. Until he steals from the wrong person. When Jak is sold to satisfy the debt, Crik burns down his master’s house and is sentenced to death.

To survive, Crik and his friends must leave behind their life of slavery to do what no other Downer has ever done before – escape from the city of Ungstah.

 

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