Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux

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Book Description: Have you ever wanted to rewrite your past?
Three best friends, all with the same birthday, are about to turn forty. Celebrating at a summerhouse in Maine, Leslie Headrick, Madison Appleby, and Ellie Abbott are taking stock of their lives and loves, their wishes and choices. But none of them expect the gift that awaits them at the summerhouse: the chance for each of them to turn their "what-might-have-beens" into reality...
Leslie, a suburban wife and mother, follows the career of a boy who pursued her in college wonders: what if she had chosen differently? Madison dropped a modeling career to help her high school boyfriend recover from an accident, even though he'd jilted her. But what if she had said "no" when her old boyfriend had called? Ellie became a famous novelist, but a bitter divorce wiped out her earnings -- and shattered her belief in herself. Why had the "justice" system failed her? And could she prevent its happening the second time around?
Now, a mysterious "Madame Zoya," offers each of them a chance to relive any three weeks from the past. Will the road not taken prove a better path? Each woman will have to decide for herself as she follows the dream that got away...and each must choose the life that will truly satisfy the heart's deepest longings.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Girl Who Played with Fire

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Book Description: Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government.

But he has no idea just how explosive the story will be until, on the eve of publication, the two investigating reporters are murdered. And even more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander—the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker who came to his aid in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and who now becomes the focus and fierce heart of The Girl Who Played with Fire.

As Blomkvist, alone in his belief in Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation of the slayings, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revisit her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West

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Book Description: In the summer of 1846, the Army of the West marched through Santa Fe, en route to invade and occupy the Western territories claimed by Mexico. Fueled by the new ideology of “Manifest Destiny,” this land grab would lead to a decades-long battle between the United States and the Navajos, the fiercely resistant rulers of a huge swath of mountainous desert wilderness.In Blood and Thunder, Hampton Sides gives us a magnificent history of the American conquest of the West. At the center of this sweeping tale is Kit Carson, the trapper, scout, and soldier whose adventures made him a legend. Sides shows us how this illiterate mountain man understood and respected the Western tribes better than any other American, yet willingly followed orders that would ultimately devastate the Navajo nation. Rich in detail and spanning more than three decades, this is an essential addition to our understanding of how the West was really won.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Andrew Carnegie

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Book Description: In this magnificent biography, celebrated historian David Nasaw brings to life the fascinating rags- to-riches story of one of our most iconic business legends—Andrew Carnegie, America’s first modern titan. From his first job as a bobbin boy at age thirteen to his status as the richest man in the world upon retirement, Carnegie was the embodiment of the American dream and the prototype of today’s billionaire. Drawing on a trove of new material, Nasaw brilliantly plumbs the core of this fascinating and complex man, at last fixing him in his rightful place as one of the most compelling, elusive, and multifaceted personalities of the twentieth century.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Triangle: The Fire That Changed America

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Book Description: On a beautiful spring day, March 25, 1911, workers were preparing to leave the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York's Greenwich Village when a fire started. Within minutes it consumed the building's upper three stories. Firemen who arrived at the scene were unable to rescue those trapped inside. The final toll was 146—123 of them women. It was the worst disaster in New York City history until September 11, 2001. Harrowing yet compulsively readable, Triangle is both a chronicle of the fire and a vibrant portrait of an entire age. Waves of Jewish and Italian immigrants inundated New York in the early years of the century, filling its slums and supplying its garment factories with cheap, mostly female labor. Protesting their Dickensian work conditions, forty thousand women bravely participated in a massive shirtwaist workers' strike that brought together an unlikely coalition of socialists, socialites, and suffragettes. Von Drehle orchestrates these events into a drama rich in suspense and filled with memorable characters. Most powerfully, he puts a human face on the men and women who died, and shows how the fire dramatically transformed politics and gave rise to urban liberalism.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

101 Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes: Single-Serving Snacks in Less Than 10 Minutes

Am very disappointed with this book for the price I paid for it. The so-called 101 recipes are actually 90% of the same thing with only one ingredient different, eg. instead of 2 tablespoons carrot juice in one recipe, another recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of apple juice. The cooking instructions for all the 101 recipes are all exactly the same!! This book is very lame and very cheap in terms of content and printing quality. For a few more dollars, one can get a great big cookbook like "Gourmet Today". As far as the cakes go, they don't have the "moist and soft" textures that oven-baked cakes have. I tried many of the recipes in this book, all of them taste like a dry, chewy sponge. There is no way to wait for the cakes to cool down to frost or decorate, cause the cakes turn into a very dry and tough spongy texture if only you let them stand for a few minutes, literally a stone after several hours. The cakes got to be eaten immediately right out of the microwave, but still, they don't taste nearly as good as a traditional cake baked in an oven. I suspect that may be one egg for one serving of a cake is too much egg. Each of the 101 recipes uses 1 egg. Anyway, I have no idea why this book has such a high sales rank on It sells well but it's a very cheaply produced book with tough dry cakes that don't taste good at all!! I feel so cheated.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Atticus By Ron Hansen

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Book Description: Colorado rancher Atticus Cody receives word that his wayward younger son, Scott, has committed suicide in Resurrection, Mexico. When Atticus travels south to recover Scott's body, he is puzzled by what he finds there and begins to suspect murder. Illuminating those often obscure chambers of the human heart, Atticus is the story of a father's steadfast and almost unfathomable love for his son, a mystery that Ron Hansen's fiction explores with a passion and intensity no reader will be able to resist.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

In the Name of God

Am still reading this book and learning what exactly happened once the Jews were transported to the death camp in Sorbibor. Am at the part where the author found in the death camp Jewish musicians, dancers and artists, who were trapped and sealed in the same fate like himself. It just broke my heart to see how many people, and most of them self-proclaimed Christians were very involved in the persecution of Jews during the Holocausts. The sad part of the Holocausts was a lot of people who were bright, talented and were making great contributions to the world were killed. It was a loss to the whole mankind in terms of talents and intellectuals, in terms of good genes that were bright, hardworking and non-aggressive. I can't help but wonder what was in those Christian people's mind at that time. When I re-watched this movie - "The Hunchback of Nortre Dame" last night, I was thinking about how many lives were killed under the name of God. I was thinking how many people thought they were all so good and righteous and godly when actually they were only praying for God to forgive their sins and to fulfill their vanity. I wonder how many people actually pray for others, how many actually pray to ask what they can do to help others. I also don't understand why would people follow any religion that promotes persecution of non-believers, that promotes blood shed? Anyway, this song is very meaningful and I hope that everyone of us can live everyday to see clearly what is right and what is wrong. I hope we will stop using God's name to right all the wrongs that we do. I just want anyone to open their eyes and see that, only the God who promotes compassion, peace, tolerance and generosity is the one true God that we should believe.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Gourmet Today: More than 1000 All-New Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen

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Book Description: In no other period of our country's history has the food scene changed so rapidly. Exciting new ingredients are available everywhere, expanding our culinary horizons. Even casual meals have globe-trotting flavors. We want memorable dishes, and we want them to be healthy for our families and our planet. And with our busy schedules, we want them on the table faster than ever. A new culinary world calls for a new cookbook. Gourmet Today responds to our changing foodscape with more vegetarian recipes, more recipes for popular dishes from every corner of the world, more recipes for stunning meals ready in 30 minutes or less, more simple ways to prepare all the vegetables in the farmers' market, advice on choosing sustainable fish, chicken, and beef, tips on throwing an easy cocktail party, more recipes for flavorful techniques like grilling, and more recipes for the new ingredients flooding our market.
Each of the over 1,000 recipes was selected by editor in chief Ruth Reichl, a best-selling author in her own right, who wrote the introductions to each chapter. Every recipe has been tested and cross-tested in the Gourmet test kitchen so every cook, whether a first-timer or a veteran, gets impeccable results. With menus for holidays and other seasonal occasions, an authoritative glossary of ingredients (plus mail-order sources), and hundreds of sidebars on ingredients and handy techniques from the test kitchen, Gourmet Today is the indispensable book for today's cook.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay

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Book Description: De Rosnay's U.S. debut fictionalizes the 1942 Paris roundups and deportations, in which thousands of Jewish families were arrested, held at the Vélodrome d'Hiver outside the city, then transported to Auschwitz. Forty-five-year-old Julia Jarmond, American by birth, moved to Paris when she was 20 and is married to the arrogant, unfaithful Bertrand Tézac, with whom she has an 11-year-old daughter. Julia writes for an American magazine and her editor assigns her to cover the 60th anniversary of the Vél' d'Hiv' roundups. Julia soon learns that the apartment she and Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand's family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants: Wladyslaw and Rywka Starzynski, parents of 10-year-old Sarah and four-year-old Michel. The more Julia discovers—especially about Sarah, the only member of the Starzynski family to survive—the more she uncovers about Bertrand's family, about France and, finally, herself. Already translated into 15 languages, the novel is De Rosnay's 10th (but her first written in English, her first language). It beautifully conveys Julia's conflicting loyalties, and makes Sarah's trials so riveting, her innocence so absorbing, that the book is hard to put down.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Food Journeys Of A Lifetime

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Book Description: For pure pleasure, few experiences are as satisfying as a chance to explore the world’s great culinary traditions and landmarks—and here, in the latest title of our popular series of illustrated travel gift books, you’ll find a fabulous itinerary of foods, dishes, markets, and restaurants worth traveling far and wide to savor.On the menu is the best of the best from all over the globe: Tokyo’s freshest sushi; the spiciest Creole favorites in New Orleans; the finest vintages of the great French wineries; the juiciest cuts of beef in Argentina; and much, much more. You’ll sample the sophisticated dishes of fabled chefs and five-star restaurants, of course, but you’ll also discover the simpler pleasures of the side-street cafés that cater to local people and the classic specialties that give each region a distinctive flavor.Every cuisine tells a unique story about its countryside, climate, and culture, and in these pages you’ll meet the men and women who transform nature’s bounty into a thousand gustatory delights. Hundreds of appetizing full-color illustrations evoke an extraordinary range of tastes and cooking techniques; a wide selection of recipes invites you to create as well as consume; sidebars give a wealth of entertaining information about additional sites to visit as well as the cultural importance of the featured food; while lively top ten lists cover topics from chocolate factories to champagne bars, from historic food markets to wedding feasts, harvest celebrations, and festive occasions of every kind. In addition, detailed practical travel information provides all the ingredients you’ll need to cook up a truly delicious experience for even the most demanding of traveling gourmets.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

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Book Description: In this profoundly affecting memoir from the internationally renowned author of The Caged Virgin, Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells her astonishing life story, from her traditional Muslim childhood in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya, to her intellectual awakening and activism in the Netherlands, and her current life under armed guard in the West.
One of today's most admired and controversial political figures, Ayaan Hirsi Ali burst into international headlines following an Islamist's murder of her colleague, Theo van Gogh, with whom she made the movie Submission.

Infidel is the eagerly awaited story of the coming of age of this elegant, distinguished -- and sometimes reviled -- political superstar and champion of free speech. With a gimlet eye and measured, often ironic, voice, Hirsi Ali recounts the evolution of her beliefs, her ironclad will, and her extraordinary resolve to fight injustice done in the name of religion. Raised in a strict Muslim family and extended clan, Hirsi Ali survived civil war, female mutilation, brutal beatings, adolescence as a devout believer during the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, and life in four troubled, unstable countries largely ruled by despots. In her early twenties, she escaped from a forced marriage and sought asylum in the Netherlands, where she earned a college degree in political science, tried to help her tragically depressed sister adjust to the West, and fought for the rights of Muslim immigrant women and the reform of Islam as a member of Parliament. Even though she is under constant threat -- demonized by reactionary Islamists and politicians, disowned by her father, and expelled from her family and clan -- she refuses to be silenced.

Ultimately a celebration of triumph over adversity, Hirsi Ali's story tells how a bright little girl evolved out of dutiful obedience to become an outspoken, pioneering freedom fighter. As Western governments struggle to balance democratic ideals with religious pressures, no story could be timelier or more significant.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Night Gardener By George Pelecanos

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Book Description: Gus Ramone is "good police," a former Internal Affairs investigator now working homicide for the city's Violent Crime branch. His new case involves the death of a local teenager named Asa whose body has been found in a local community garden. The murder unearths intense memories of a case Ramone worked as a patrol cop twenty years earlier, when he and his partner, Dan "Doc" Holiday, assisted a legendary detective named T. C. Cook. The series of murders, all involving local teenage victims, was never solved. In the years since, Holiday has left the force under a cloud of morals charges, and now finds work as a bodyguard and driver. Cook has retired, but he has never stopped agonizing about the "Night Gardener" killings. The new case draws the three men together on a grim mission to finish the work that has haunted them for years. All the love, regret, and anger that once burned between them comes rushing back, and old ghosts walk once more as the men try to lay to rest the monster who has stalked their dreams. Bigger and even more unstoppable than his previous thrillers, George Pelecanos achieves in THE NIGHT GARDENER what his brilliant career has been building toward: a novel that is a perfect union of suspense, character, and unstoppable fate.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Racism Is Indeed Color Blind

For as long as I've been in America, I've come to learn that "racism" is a big cultural and political issue in this country. It's a big big deal in the media coverage, in political campaigns, in the way businesses are conducted, and also in the way legislation is structured and how the American government should be run. I've always heard about how colored people are discriminated, how colored people are treated unfairly. It seems the war to fight against racism is still going on as strong as ever. As a person of color myself, I never understand why so many people're complaining about how unfairly colored people are being treated. I never felt I was ever treated unfairly just because I'm not white. Whenever I say that, I am told I am not that shade of color so I am not discriminated. Really?? So I am not discriminated because I got the right shade of color? From this book I'm reading now, I have to disagree that color is the basis of racism. I firmly believe that racism is in fact color blind.

This book really opens up my eyes to see that humans have a history of persecuting others who are perceived to be different. I think that it's the perception and prejudice that create racism, not the color. When humans lose compassion and decency, they can do the most evil things to others by just making up any reason to justify their evil acts. Throughout history, people of color aren't the only ones who were discriminated against and persecuted. Millions and millions of people across all cultures and civilizations were at one time slaved, discriminated against and persecuted. While Slavery is the darkest history in America, the Holocaust is the darkest history in the world. It was a time when the world turned mad, when lots of ordinary people became so evil that they would go out of their way to hunt down the Jews for the Nazi, with the unified goal of sending them to death camps. I just want us to remember the darkest days in history, so that we will never lose our decency and compassion ever again.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Life and Death in Shanghai

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Book Description: Here is the haunting, inspirational account of Nien Cheng's six-and-a-half years as a political prisoner during Communist China's Cultural Revolution. "A moving affirmation of the capacity for human endurance."--Los Angeles Times.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Jazzy Jars

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Book Description: Handmade gifts take a lot more thoughtful preparation than just fashioning the actual gift. After all, packaging, too, indicates a high level of care and special attention lavished on the present--which is the entire focus of Canadian crafter Browning's latest book. First, the basics are introduced, including types of jars to use (old and new) and cleaning tips as well as instructions for different techniques, from painting and decoupage to polymer clay and resin coating. Then, more than 45 one-page patterns, complete with color photographs and directions, follow; most are fairly easy to complete. Of inordinate help, even more so than the jars, are the ideas for filling the packaged jar--like ingredients for a cake, along with the recipe, or a sewing kit sandwiched inside a decorated jar. A good source for those needing inspiration.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Love Walked In

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Book Description: When Martin Grace enters the hip Philadelphia coffee shop Cornelia Brown manages, her life changes forever. But little does she know that her newfound love is only the harbinger of greater changes to come. Meanwhile, across town, Clare Hobbs—eleven years old and abandoned by her erratic mother—goes looking for her lost father. She crosses paths with Cornelia while meeting with him at the café, and the two women form an improbable friendship that carries them through the unpredictable currents of love and life.
Love Walked In, the first novel by award-winning poet Marisa de los Santos, is bursting with keen insight and beautifully rendered prose. Invoking classic movies to illuminate the mystery and wonder of love in all its permutations, Love Walked In is an uplifting debut that marks the entrance of an enchanting literary voice.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Discovering Izbica, Poland

One reason I love reading is because books show me places in the world that I had never heard of, or places that only existed at a time long before I came to existence. Through this book I am currently reading, I am coming to learn about this very little town in Poland, Izbica. Today, this little town has a population of 1,933. Once upon a time, it had a population of 6000, mostly Jews. The original Jewish inhabitants were all wiped out during the Holocaust. There aren't many pictures about Izbica that one can find on the internet because this is not a popular tourist spot. Izbica is just a quiet tiny town in Poland that has not much excitement going on. It's a town that seems to have nothing worth for people to talk about. Look at the following picture though, it made me wonder how much Jewish blood flew into this peaceful river decades ago.

Izbica nowadays is almost forgotten by the world because my generation, which grew up in the era of abundance, peace and economic prosperity have come to pay more attention to Hollywood gossip than history. We, as a new generation of this world's keepers and inhibitants, have chosen to ignore the past. But through this book I tumbled upon, (I'm glad I did) I will always remember Izbica, and the many innocent lives which were exterminated in the most chilling atrocity in human history, the millions of muders which had been ignored and forgotten by most of the world. Before I ever get angry with my family or friends again, I will always remember Izbica, where families and friends were torn apart by the brutality of wars and organized massacres. I will always remember how lucky I am when I remember Izbica.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The God of Small Things: A Novel

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Book Description: Compared favorably to the works of Faulkner and Dickens, Arundhati Roy’s debut novel is a modern classic that has been read and loved worldwide. Equal parts powerful family saga, forbidden love story, and piercing political drama, it is the story of an affluent Indian family forever changed by one fateful day in 1969. The seven-year-old twins Estha and Rahel see their world shaken irrevokably by the arrival of their beautiful young cousin, Sophie. It is an event that will lead to an illicit liaison and tragedies accidental and intentional, exposing “big things [that] lurk unsaid” in a country drifting dangerously toward unrest. Lush, lyrical, and unnerving, The God of Small Things is an award-winning landmark that started for its author an esteemed career of fiction and political commentary that continues unabated.

Monday, December 7, 2009

This Book Is So Good, Am Enjoying It With Lots of Tears!!

After reading a silly, no-brainer chick lit, I 'm swtiching gear to reading the above book on real life and real history. I have only read 47 pages and I can't put the book down! It's such a good story and I really think everybody in this world should read it, particularly the young people, who have not much knowlege about what "Nazi" is, and think it's a movie about a cute dog (one of my cousins thinks this way). In addition to reading some cheesy vampires books, we should read this one, cause we need to prevent history from repeating itself. This book is so educational.

At age 15, the author was thinking while escaping alone and his family torn apart by war, " The crimes I had committed were enormous under Nazi law. I had false documents ---- the penalty: death. I left the ghetto without German permission --- the penalty: death. I was travelling on a train ----- death. I didn't wear the Star of David ----- death. And above all, I was a Jew ---- death." I so very much wish I could help these poor Jewish people. Am still reading and am learning so much.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

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Book Description: This beautifully written, heartfelt memoir touched a nerve among both readers and reviewers. Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success (marriage, house in the country, career) and find, instead, what she truly wanted from life. Setting out for a year to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures, Gilbert explored the art of pleasure in Italy and the art of devotion in India, and then a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali. By turns rapturous and rueful, this wise and funny author (whom Booklist calls "Anne Lamott’s hip, yoga- practicing, footloose younger sister") is poised to garner yet more adoring fans.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Snow by Orhan Pamuk

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Book Description: Dread, yearning, identity, intrigue, the lethal chemistry between secular doubt and Islamic fanaticism–these are the elements that Orhan Pamuk anneals in this masterful, disquieting novel. An exiled poet named Ka returns to Turkey and travels to the forlorn city of Kars. His ostensible purpose is to report on a wave of suicides among religious girls forbidden to wear their head-scarves. But Ka is also drawn by his memories of the radiant Ipek, now recently divorced. Amid blanketing snowfall and universal suspicion, Ka finds himself pursued by figures ranging from Ipek’s ex-husband to a charismatic terrorist. A lost gift returns with ecstatic suddenness. A theatrical evening climaxes in a massacre. And finding god may be the prelude to losing everything else. Touching, slyly comic, and humming with cerebral suspense, Snow is of immense relevance to our present moment.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century

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Book Description: Winner of the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award for CriticismA New York Times Book Review Top Ten Book of the YearTime magazine Top Ten Nonfiction Book of 2007. Newsweek Favorite Books of 2007A Washington Post Book World Best Book of 2007In this sweeping and dramatic narrative, Alex Ross, music critic for The New Yorker, weaves together the histories of the twentieth century and its music, from Vienna before the First World War to Paris in the twenties; from Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia to downtown New York in the sixties and seventies up to the present. Taking readers into the labyrinth of modern style, Ross draws revelatory connections between the century's most influential composers and the wider culture. The Rest Is Noise is an astonishing history of the twentieth century as told through its music.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Liars' Club: A Memoir

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  1. Sandy Nawrot

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Book Description: When it was published in 1995, Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club took the world by storm and raised the art of the memoir to an entirely new level, as well as bringing about a dramatic revival of the form. Karr’s comic childhood in an east Texas oil town brings us characters as darkly hilarious as any of J. D. Salinger’s—a hard-drinking daddy, a sister who can talk down the sheriff at twelve, and an oft-married mother whose accumulated secrets threaten to destroy them all. Now with a new introduction that discusses her memoir’s impact on her family, this unsentimental and profoundly moving account of an apocalyptic childhood is as "funny, lively, and un-put-downable" (USA Today) today as it ever was.

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Girl's Best Friend By Kristin Billerbeck

This book is like "Sex In The City" without the sex. It's about 3 best friends living in San Francisco, looking for love and dealing with all kinds of problems along the way. This book is focusing on Morgan who is the heiress to a wealthy jeweller. This is a fiction that's meant for Christian women in their 20s and early 30s.

For those of you who don't believe in God and don't have an open mind towards others' faith, you will find this book annoying. I have no problem reading the heorine quoting from the Bible and talking about God a lot. I find the book rather funny cause the characters all have good sense of humor, just like the girls in "Sex in the City". It's good to see that there are still fictions out there that promote good traditional values in love, family and relationships. It's good to see that there are still fictions out there that entertain with healthy humor and not casual or twisted sexual conquests.

This book can be a lot better if the author doesn't try too hard to make Morgan look like a complete dumb blonde. (cause it's very unconvincing for someone who supposedly got a degree from Standford University Business School to be this naive, not even someone who is attending a tier-4 community college can be this naive) Also, the heorine sounds like such a fake heiress who seems to really make-up her wealthy life out of imagination rather than having grown up from one.....When a chararter's background and life experience are so unconvincing, it really hurts the story. According to the Author, having a latte everyday, going to spas regularly and carrying a Coach bag is considered to be wealthy in San Fancisco. Hmmm. I do exactly just that but I am not rich, not even remotely. I think the author needs to know more about famous designers, and more exotic places where the rich really hang , so she can make this story more logical.

Besides the mis-match of the heorine's background and the way she lives, I found the book a fast, easy and entertaining read.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet: Creative Cuisine Made Fast and Fresh

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Book Description: The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet features great dishes from the best cuisines around the world that can be prepared in 15 minutes using fresh ingredients.
Whether cooking for family or for a dinner party, anyone can use fresh, flavorful ingredients and the 15-minute game plan to achieve remarkable and beautiful results with minimum effort. Designed for efficiency, these creative recipes are healthy and flavorful and include poultry, seafood, beef, pork, and vegetarian dishes. In addition to old favorites such as Modern Mom's Chicken Noodle Soup, you'll find a variety of easy-to-prepare international recipes such as Soba Noodle and Steak Salad, Greek Snapper with Feta Cheese, and Ravioli with Hazelnut and Sage Pesto. There's also a chapter on 15-minute desserts, where you'll find exquisite treats such as Chocolate-Glazed Strawberries, Limoncello Ice Cream, and Tiramisu Pronto.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Illustrated Quick Cook: Easy Entertaining, After-Work Recipes, Cheap Eats

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Book Description: Never has fast home cooking with fresh ingredients been more important than it is now. The pressure on the home cook is ever increasing: how can I prepare a balanced meal from scratch when I have only 30 minutes to spare, and 4 hungry mouths to feed? I want to make something from scratch for one, but will it be simple enough? Every minute counts-I've got unexpected guests tonight, what can I whip up quick, that won't disappoint? Family food is not just about fussy eaters and getting the quantities right. It's also about flexible eating-how often does everyone sit around the table together? Once a week if you're lucky! So, food that can be prepared in advance, and simple straightforward dishes, are an essential part of the equation. We've taken all of this into consideration and come up with recipes that cover every need, with speed, so you will never have to resort to the ready meals aisle in the supermarket. The Illustrated Quick Cook is not trying to change the way you eat, introduce you to obscure ingredients, or take you off the beaten track. It's there to make your life easier, from planning, through cooking, to serving. More than just recipes, The Illustrated Quick Cook offers fantastic value for the price. Extra features include: handy menu planners, recipe chooser galleries, Cheat tips, Cook's Notes, recipe variations, and practical information to introduce you to every time-saving chapter theme. With far more recipes than any of its competitors, and a picture of every finished dish, The Illustrated Quick Cook delivers fast food for every occasion.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Rose's Heavenly Cakes

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Book Description: This extraordinary collection of heavenly cake recipes from "Diva of Desserts" Rose Levy Beranbaum, the award-winning author of The Cake Bible, is an essential kitchen companion for anyone who loves to bake. Illustrated throughout with stunning full-color photography, the book's meticulously tested, easy-to-follow recipes are all you need to create spectacularly beautiful cakes in your home kitchen.
In her signature crystal-clear style, Rose takes you step-by-step through the instructions for making every type of cake imaginable—more than 100 expertly tested (and re-tested) recipes in all—while full-color photographs of every finished cake and step-by-step processes offer inspiration and clear instruction. Exceptionally delicious butter and oil cakes, sponge cakes, flourless cakes, and cheesecakes, such as Heavenly Coconut Seduction Cake, Golden Lemon Almond Cake, and Devil's Food Cake with Midnight Ganache, are perfect for birthday celebrations, coffee breaks, or everyday weeknight desserts. And Rose also includes a range of charming baby cakes such as Mud Turtle Cupcakes and divine creations like the Deep Chocolate Passion Wedding Cake that will make any special occasion more festive.
With each and every recipe step thoroughly explained in Rose¿s usual approachable style, baking with Rose's Heavenly Cakes is like having a master baker right alongside you in the kitchen. In her "Ten Golden Rules of Cake Baking," Rose provides advice on the right kind of flour to select to give your cake the perfect structure, how to fill a cake pan so that your cakes bake evenly every time, the best way to unmold a cake for a perfect finished appearance, the ideal ways to store every type of cake, and much more. The baking tips and trade secrets that she shares throughout the book will show you how to transform a simple cake batter into delicious art, with perfect results every time.
From Barcelona Brownie Bars for a simple weeknight treat to White Gold Passion Genoise for a gala event, Rose's Heavenly Cakes is the cookbook that translates the chemistry of baking into the incredible, extraordinary, and unequaled joy of cake baking.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving 101: Celebrate America's Favorite Holiday with America's Thanksgiving Expert

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Book Description: Every fourth Thursday of November, Americans open their homes to friends and families. But when was the last time most of us made dinner for such a big crowd? With Thanksgiving 101 by your side, preparing for the holiday will be a pleasure. With step-by-step instructions for classic Thanksgiving dishes, as well as new twists on old favorites, this book will become gravy-stained in its first outing. Whether you're looking for new ways to cook turkey; traditional trimmings, chutneys, or chowders; a vegetarian entrée; or fresh ideas for regional classics, including Cajun-or Italian-inspired tastes, Thanksgiving 101 serves up a delicious education for novice and experienced cooks alike. And cooks will turn to these dishes all year long whenever they are throwing a big party.
With foolproof recipes, detailed menu timetables, and down-to-earth advice, Thanksgiving 101 is the holiday cook's best friend.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Your Money and Your Brain: How the New Science of Neuroeconomics Can Help Make You Rich

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Book Description: What happens inside our brains when we think about money? Quite a lot, actually, and some of it isn't good for our financial health. In Your Money and Your Brain, Jason Zweig explains why smart people make stupid financial decisions -- and what they can do to avoid these mistakes. Zweig, a veteran financial journalist, draws on the latest research in neuroeconomics, a fascinating new discipline that combines psychology, neuroscience, and economics to better understand financial decision making. He shows why we often misunderstand risk and why we tend to be overconfident about our investment decisions. Your Money and Your Brain offers some radical new insights into investing and shows investors how to take control of the battlefield between reason and emotion.
Your Money and Your Brain is as entertaining as it is enlightening. In the course of his research, Zweig visited leading neuroscience laboratories and subjected himself to numerous experiments. He blends anecdotes from these experiences with stories about investing mistakes, including confessions of stupidity from some highly successful people. Then he draws lessons and offers original practical steps that investors can take to make wiser decisions.
Anyone who has ever looked back on a financial decision and said, "How could I have been so stupid?" will benefit from reading this book.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Pleasures of Cooking for One

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Book Description: From the legendary editor of some of the world’s greatest cooks—including Julia Child and James Beard—a passionate and practical book about the joys of cooking for one.

Here, in convincing fashion, Judith Jones demonstrates that cooking for yourself presents unparalleled possibilities for both pleasure and experimentation: you can utilize whatever ingredients appeal, using farmers’ markets and specialty shops to enrich your palate and improve your health; you can feel free to fail, since a meal for one doesn’t have to be perfect; and you can use leftovers to innovate—in the course of a week, the remains of beef bourguignon might be reimagined as a ragù, pork tenderloin may become a stir-fry, a cup or two of wild rice produces both a refreshing pilaf and a rich pancake, and red snapper can be reinvented as a summery salad. It’s a fulfilling and immensely economical process, one perfectly suited for our times—although, as Jones points out, cooking for one also means we can occasionally indulge ourselves in a favorite treat.

Throughout, Jones is both our instructor and our mentor, suggesting basic recipes—such as tomato sauce, preserved lemons, pesto, and homemade stock—that all cooks should have on hand; teaching us how to improvise using an ingenious strategy of building meals through the week; and supplying us with a lifetime’s worth of tips and shortcuts. From Child’s advice for buying fresh meat to Beard’s challenge to beginning crêpe-makers and Lidia Bastianich’s tips for cooking perfectly sauced pasta, Jones’s book presents a wealth of acquired knowledge from our finest cooks.

The Pleasures of Cooking for One is a vibrant, wise celebration of food and enjoying our own company from one of our most treasured cooking experts.

Monday, November 23, 2009

So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week

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Book Description: A New York Times' bestselling author's guide to quick and healthy everyday meals
As weekly host of the Food Network's Healthy Appetite, Ellie Krieger is known for creating light and healthy dishes that taste great and are easy enough for the busiest people to prepare. Now, Ellie has put together a collection of meal solutions for those of us who love food and want to eat well but struggle to make it happen given life's hectic pace. With 150 delicious, easy-to-prepare, fortifying recipes, Ellie provides dishes that tackle every possible mealtime situation. Illustrated with 50 full-color photos, there are recipes for:
Grab-and-go breakfasts for hectic days, as well as easy breakfast options for more leisurely mornings
Lunches to go, each road-tested in a cooler pack, along with at-home lunches for when you have the luxury of eating in
A month's worth of different rush-hour dinners-fabulous meals you can whip up in less than thirty minutes-as well as dinners for days when you have a little more time to marinate or roast, but still want it all to be effortless
Decadent desserts, some ready in minutes, others truly worth waiting for-all easily pulled together
As a mom with a full-time job, Ellie knows how busy life is when you're juggling your family's needs. Now, you can stop stressing over whether to eat healthily or to eat fast. The recipes here-from Cheddar Apple Quesadilla, Pork Piccata with Spinach and Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Marinated Flank Steak with Blue Cheese Sauce to Chocolate-Cream Cheese Panini Bites and Fig and Ginger Truffles-are ideal, regardless of the time, or experience, you have in the kitchen.
When so much in life is complicated, isn't it nice to know that eating doesn't have to be? After making and enjoying the meals in this book, you will say along with the title, "That was SO EASY!"

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cherries in Winter: My Family's Recipe for Hope in Hard Times

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Book Description: What is the secret to finding hope in hard times?When Suzan Colón was laid off from her dream job at a magazine during the economic downturn of 2008, she needed to cut her budget way, way back, and that meant home cooking. Her mother suggested, “Why don’t you look in Nana’s recipe folder?” In the basement, Suzan found the tattered treasure, full of handwritten and meticulously typed recipes, peppered with her grandmother Matilda’s commentary in the margins. Reading it, Suzan realized she had found something more than a collection of recipes—she had found the key to her family’s survival through hard times.Suzan began re-creating Matilda’s “sturdy food” recipes for baked pork chops and beef stew, and Aunt Nettie’s clam chowder made with clams dug up by Suzan’s grandfather Charlie in Long Island Sound. And she began uncovering the stories of her resilient family’s past. Taking inspiration from stylish, indomitable Matilda, who was the sole support of her family as a teenager during the Great Depression (and who always answered “How are you?” with “Fabulous, never better!”), and from dashing, twice-widowed Charlie, Suzan starts to approach her own crisis with a sense of wonder and gratitude. It turns out that the gift to survive and thrive through hard times had been bred in her bones all along.Cherries in Winter is an irresistible gem of a book. It makes you want to cook, it makes you want to know your own family’s stories, and, above all, it makes you feel rich no matter what.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Monopoly: The World's Most Famous Game--And How It Got That Way

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Book Description: Philip Orbanes, master of all things Monopoliana, traces the remarkable story of the world's most famous board game, from its origins as a collegiate teaching tool in the early twentieth century through Monopoly's explosive growth in the postwar decades, to the game's current status as a fixture in homes across the globe. Along the way, Orbanes includes memorable Monopoly personality portraits, surprising Monopoly legends and lore, and an extraordinary tour of the ingenious advertising that contributed to the game's rise in popularity. This is the first and only book to cover comprehensively the origin, growth, and global reach of the game that has become a universal and everyday cultural icon.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Arlington Park: A Novel

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Book Description: Set in a moderately posh suburb of London, acclaimed British novelist Rachel Cusk's Arlington Park is a captivating exploration of how the simple act of living can become an excruciating exercise in self-deprivation, hypocrisy, and desperation. Set over the course of a single day, the novel follows a group of young mothers who feel both anger at the husbands who seemingly imprisoned them in a world of minivans and coffee klatches, and resignation about the fates they seem destined to fulfill.
While Arlington Park may deal in toddlers and tater tots, it is certainly not another generic Mommy Lit clone. Cusk is a skilled writer, and in her hands, a dreary lunch at the mall food court is transformed into "lost property, but for people." As the day progresses, we watch as Juliet chops her hair off in a small, if meaningless act of rebellion, Amanda stifles a burning desire to scream at a neighbor's kid for ruining her white sofa, Maisie blames her parents for not loving her enough while throwing her daughter's lunchbox at the kitchen wall, and Christine stuffs chicken breasts while silently cursing her husband for spending too much time getting ready for a dinner party. In each scene, the oppressiveness is almost unbearable, prompting readers to practically beg these women to flee as far and as fast as is humanely possible.

Of course, in driving her readers to the edge of frustration and outrage, Cusk succeeds in creating a novel that penetrates deeper than most. Still, after turning the last page, you might find yourself reaching for a little Mommy Lit candy to take the edge off.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

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Book Description:
Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool?
What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?
How much do parents really matter?
These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to parenting and sports—and reaches conclusions that turn conventional wisdom on its head. Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They set out to explore the inner workings of a crack gang, the truth about real estate agents, the secrets of the Ku Klux Klan, and much more. Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, they show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate

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Book Description: The first cookbook from America’s premier chocolate makers, filled with recipes, kitchen tips, and dazzling photographs
As Americans have become fascinated by chocolate, and especially high-quality chocolate, one name has risen above the rest: Scharffen Berger. Founded in 1996 by Robert Steinberg, a physician and amateur chef, and John Scharffenberger, an award-winning vintner, the company’s confections have won a following among food professionals and home cooks alike. Now, in their first cookbook, the duo shares their passion with the world.
The Essence of Chocolate features more than one hundred spectacular -- and often simple -- recipes drawn from the Scharffen Berger files and from two dozen top pastry chefs. It is divided into three sections: "Intensely Chocolate," which includes such decadent treats as That Chocolate Cake, in which the sumptuous flavor of chocolate is the star; "Essentially Chocolate," with lighter chocolate desserts like White Velvet Cake with Milk Chocolate Ganache or Brown Butter Blondies; and "A Hint of Chocolate," with recipes that use chocolate’s spicier qualities to their best effect, like Vegetarian Chili and John’s Cocoa Rub. And all will work magnificently with any high-quality chocolate. Filled with helpful tips, sumptuous photographs, and the story of how chocolate is really made, here is a book that is every bit as seductive as its subject.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes By Duff Goldman

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Book Description: When Duff Goldman, Food Network's "Ace of Cakes," envisioned Charm City Cakes in Baltimore nearly a decade ago, his goal was to make wonderful cakes for friends and family. As word spread about his fabulous creations, his dream grew into a nationally renowned business staffed by a team of talented professionals, including musicians, artists, and creative souls with experience in architectural modeling, graphic design, deejaying, coffee making, performance art, dog walking, sculpture, painting and more.
Aces of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes is a celebration of the bakery that started it all. This colorful scrapbook is loaded with stories about Duff's early days as a graffiti artist turned young chef, his successes and hilarious disasters, and the amazing team he built step-by-step. Through candid interviews and profiles and hundreds of photographs, illustrations, and collages, the book shows how energy, inspiration, collaboration, and a bit of luck can conspire to help anyone achieve their creative vision.
Of course, at the center of this stunning book are Charm City's Cakes. From the simple to the breathtakingly complex, Duff shows off some of the bakery's more unusual techniques and tools that shape their famous creations. He also offers a behind-the-scenes look at his Food Network show, shares his most incredible customer stories and requests, and reveals some of the bakery's favorite cake facts and tips--along with a comprehensive episode guide and a monster cake montage featuring seven years' worth of the bakery's astonishing cake creations.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

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Book Description: From two of our most fiercely moral voices, a passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world.With Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn as our guides, we undertake an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there, among them a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries in childbirth. Drawing on the breadth of their combined reporting experience, Kristof and WuDunn depict our world with anger, sadness, clarity, and, ultimately, hope.They show how a little help can transform the lives of women and girls abroad. That Cambodian girl eventually escaped from her brothel and, with assistance from an aid group, built a thriving retail business that supports her family. The Ethiopian woman had her injuries repaired and in time became a surgeon. A Zimbabwean mother of five, counseled to return to school, earned her doctorate and became an expert on AIDS.Through these stories, Kristof and WuDunn help us see that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women’s potential. They make clear how so many people have helped to do just that, and how we can each do our part. Throughout much of the world, the greatest unexploited economic resource is the female half of the population. Countries such as China have prospered precisely because they emancipated women and brought them into the formal economy. Unleashing that process globally is not only the right thing to do; it’s also the best strategy for fighting poverty.Deeply felt, pragmatic, and inspirational, Half the Sky is essential reading for every global citizen.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Under the Dome: A Novel by Stephen King

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Book Description: On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when -- or if -- it will go away.
Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens -- town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician's assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing -- even murder -- to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn't just short. It's running out.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Death In The Family - By James Agee

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Book Description: Published in 1957, two years after its author's death at the age of forty-five, A Death in the Family remains a near-perfect work of art, an autobiographical novel that contains one of the most evocative depictions of loss and grief ever written. As Jay Follet hurries back to his home in Knoxville, Tennessee, he is killed in a car accident-a tragedy that destroys not only a life, but also the domestic happiness and contentment of a young family. A novel of great courage, lyric force, and powerful emotion, A Death in the Family is a masterpiece of American literature.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wonder Boys: A Novel By Michael Chabon

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Book Description: A modern classic, now in a welcome new edition, Wonder Boys firmly established Michael Chabon as a force to be reckoned with in American fiction. At once a deft parody of the American fame factory and a piercing portrait of young and old desire, this novel introduces two unforgettable characters: Grady Tripp, a former publishing prodigy now lost in a fog of pot and passion and stalled in the midst of his endless second book, and Grady’s student, James Leer, a budding writer obsessed with Hollywood self-destruction and struggling with his own searching heart. All those who love Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union and his Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay will find the same elegant imagination, bold humor, and undeniable warmth at work in Wonder Boys.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

This Prayer Powers Up My Day

(I had taken so many things for granted... but today I realize I am so blessed to be able to walk here and see this every weekend, Redondo Beach, CA)

I came across this prayer from the book Illuminata: A Return to Prayer. I think this prayer pretty much gives us a guideline on how everyone of us should live our life in this world. We have only one life to live, whether we believe in God or not, we can be inspired to live each day to serve our great purpose, to make this world a better place:

Dear God,
I give this day to You.
May my mind stay centered on the things of spirit.
May I not be tempted to stray from love.
As I begin this day, I open to receive You.
Please enter where You already abide.
May my mind and heart be pure and true, and may I not deviate from the things of goodness.
May I see the love and innocence in all mankind, behind the masks we all wear and the illusions of this worldly plane.
I surrender to You my doings this day.
I ask only that they serve You and the healing of the world.
May I bring Your love and goodness with me, to give unto others wherever I go.
Make me the person You would have me be.
Direct my footsteps, and show me what You would have me do.
Make the world a safer, more beautiful place.
Bless all Your creatures.
Heal us all, and use me, dear Lord, that I might know the joy of being used by You.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter

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Book Description: Born in 1937 in a port city a thousand miles north of Shanghai, Adeline Yen Mah was the youngest child of an affluent Chinese family who enjoyed rare privileges during a time of political and cultural upheaval. But wealth and position could not shield Adeline from a childhood of appalling emotional abuse at the hands of a cruel and manipulative Eurasian stepmother. Determined to survive through her enduring faith in family unity, Adeline struggled for independence as she moved from Hong Kong to England and eventually to the United States to become a physician and writer.
A compelling, painful, and ultimately triumphant story of a girl's journey into adulthood, Adeline's story is a testament to the most basic of human needs: acceptance, love, and understanding. With a powerful voice that speaks of the harsh realities of growing up female in a family and society that kept girls in emotional chains, Falling Leaves is a work of heartfelt intimacy and a rare authentic portrait of twentieth-century China.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Terror by Dan Simmons

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Book Description: The men on board HMS Terror have every expectation of finding the Northwest Passage. When the expedition's leader, Sir John Franklin, meets a terrible death, Captain Francis Crozier takes command and leads his surviving crewmen on a last, desperate attempt to flee south across the ice. But as another winter approaches, as scurvy and starvation grow more terrible, and as the Terror on the ice stalks them southward, Crozier and his men begin to fear there is no escape. A haunting, gripping story based on actual historical events, The Terror is a novel that will chill you to your core.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Uncommon Reader: A Novella by Alan Bennett

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Book Description: From one of England's most celebrated writers, the author of the award-winning The History Boys, a funny and superbly observed novella about the Queen of England and the subversive power of readingWhen her corgis stray into a mobile library parked near Buckingham Palace, the Queen feels duty-bound to borrow a book. Discovering the joy of reading widely (from J. R. Ackerley, Jean Genet, and Ivy Compton-Burnett to the classics) and intelligently, she finds that her view of the world changes dramatically. Abetted in her newfound obsession by Norman, a young man from the royal kitchens, the Queen comes to question the prescribed order of the world and loses patience with the routines of her role as monarch. Her new passion for reading initially alarms the palace staff and soon leads to surprising and very funny consequences for the country at large.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cooking Light Way to Cook: The Complete Visual Guide to Everyday Cooking

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Book Description: All foods have a place in a healthful diet We've never declared certain foods off-limits, but years ago, we avoided highfat ingredients, articularly those high in saturated fat like butter, cream, and bacon.We've since changed our methods based on scientific studies that found small amounts of higher-fat foods can be included in a nutritious diet. The keys are moderation and balance. As long as your overall diet is healthful, what you eat at one meal isn't as important as the balance of what you eat over a few days or a week. This means all foods-beef, butter, cheese, and even salt-have a place in your diet. We strive to show you how to enjoy them judiciously.Cook from a global pantry Thanks to broader availability of ingredients, the flavors of the world's cuisines are now available to home cooks, and you can learn to use them in your everyday meals. These concentrated sauces and robust herbs and spices offer ways to add flavor with minimal effort and little or no fat.Embellish convenience products We're always mindful that our readers are busier than ever, so we now include well-chosen convenience products to help speed preparation. But there are limitations for some of these products, so we'll often add fresh herbs or a sprinkling of freshly grated cheese to enhance them. That way, you reap the benefits of time-saving ingredients as well as the spark of the fresh ones. These healthy cooking principles and so many more are set to a visual backdrop of over 850 photos and hundreds of cooking tips and recipes in this insider's peek into our way to cook great food.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Seeing Francisco In This Book

While I don't usually judge a book by its cover, I do always find myself buying a book based on its cover. I'm a big sucker for books which have covers in bright color, fun, cheerful and modern chic illustration... Without even contemplating whether the book is good or bad, its cover already sent me fishing out my wallet at the check-out counter paying for it....By the way, the heroine in this book is supposed to live in Russian Hills in San Francisco (where I had just been there 2 weekends ago and I thought I would share the fantastic view with you...)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Colors For Your Every Mood - Discover Your True Decorating Colors

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Book Description: America's leading color expert shows how to choose the right color combinations for all your rooms based on Color Moods from your own personality, nature, and travel. Most decorating books start out telling readers how to achieve someone else's notion of how a room should look. This book is different. It helps you determine how you want yourself, your family, and your friends to feel when entering each room in your home. It combines psychology with a practical how-to and reveals which colors and color combinations will achieve the feeling and personal style you want to project in each room.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

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Book Description: Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in.Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Burton Holmes Travelogues: The Greatest Traveler of His Time, 1892-1952

Book Description: In a time before air travel or radio, on the brink of a revolution in photography and filmmaking, Burton Holmes (1870-1958) set upon a lifelong journey to bring the world home. From the grand boulevards of Paris to China’s Great Wall, from the first modern Olympics in Athens to the 1906 eruption of Mount Vesuvius, Holmes delighted in finding "the beautiful way around the world" and made a career of sharing his stories, photographs, and films with audiences across America.
As a young man, Holmes was mentored by John L. Stoddard, a pioneer of the U.S. travel lecture circuit, who passed on his well-established mantle when he retired. Holmes roamed the globe throughout the summer and traversed the United States all winter, transforming the staid lecture tradition into an entertaining show. He coined the term "Travelogue" in 1904 to advertise his unique performance and thrilled audiences with two-hour sets of stories timed to projections of hand-painted glass-lantern slides and some of the first "moving pictures." Paris, Peking, Dehli, Dubrovnick, Moscow, Manila, Jakarta, Jerusalem: Burton Holmes was there. He visited every continent and nearly every country on the planet, shooting over 30,000 photographs and nearly 500,000 feet of film.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Royal Duty: Updated With New Material

Book Description: This is the untold story behind one of the most sensational chapters in the history of the House of Windsor. Paul Burrell fought to clear his own name. Now he reveals new truths about Princess Diana - and presents for the first time as faithful an account of her thoughts as we can ever hope to read. He was the favourite footman who formed a unique relationship with the Queen. He was the butler who the Princess of Wales called 'my rock' and 'the only man I can trust'. He was accused of theft, then acquitted following the historic intervention of the monarch. He was the Princess' most intimate confidante - and is the only person able to separate the myth from the truth of the Diana years. Now at last Paul Burrell cuts through the gossip and the lies and takes us closer to the complex heart of the Royal Family then ever before.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less

This article was published by the New York Times on July 18, 2007 featuring simple recipes that we can prepare quickly without spending too much time in the kitchen during a hot summer. Even though the article was meant for summer cooking, I find the 101 simple recipes featured here very handy in churning out good meals in my year round busy schedules. I love these recipes so much I just got to share this article with you. Hope you will enjoy these time saving good meals as much as I do.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Lost: A Search For Six of Six Millions

Book Description: In this rich and riveting narrative, a writer's search for the truth behind his family's tragic past in World War II becomes a remarkably original epic—part memoir, part reportage, part mystery, and part scholarly detective work—that brilliantly explores the nature of time and memory, family and history.