Another entry in a good series: Maria Montessori My First Maria Montessori by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

This is a title in the board book collection of Little People, Big Dreams series.  Each tells the story of a well known person in an easy to understand text.  These biographies show children a wide range of dreams and accomplishments with the hope that the child you read to will dream big too!

This entry is about the little girl who grew up to be the well-known educator.  Children will learnt that Maria  was the first girl to study medicine in Italy; she was often alone as the other students did not work with her.  Listeners will find out what Maria did after becoming a doctor and the great influence that she had on ways to teach children. They will learn that there are still Montessori schools today.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publiseher for this title in exchange for an honest review.

#MariaMontessori #NetGalley

For kids who want to have fun while traveling: On the Train Activity Book by Steve Martin

Sometimes it can be nice for kids to do something that is not screen related when traveling.  This book reminds me of the kinds of amusements that were available before ipads; there is a place for this kind of book that I think will keep kids entertained while at home or on the go. This fun looking book is filled with activities and puzzles.  There are spot the difference puzzles, matching games, mazes, dot to dots, coloring, quizzes and more.  The activities are packed into a brightly illustrated book sure to provide hours of fun.  Think about this book for a child you know who is in early to mid elementary school.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.

#OntheTrainActivityBook #NetGalley

Low-Calorie Meal Prep Cookbook 75 Recipes to Simplify Your Meals by Nicole Hallissey, RD, MS, CDN

If you are looking for a cookbook with interesting recipes and some attention paid to calories, this title is worth a look.  As is generally the case, there are recipes for the three meals of the day along with a section on snacks and dips.  For breakfast there are sweet potato hash egg cups, peaches and cream overnight oats and chocolate banana buckwheat cupcakes, to name a few.  For lunch we have Greek Salad with Chickpeas and Quinoa, Cobb Salad in a Jar and Veggie Wontons Over Crunchy Slaw, among others.  Dinner includes General Tso’s Tofu and Vegetable SheetPan Bake, and Garlicky Pasta with Ground Turkey and White Beans along with quite a few others.  The directions are easy to follow and the recipes look tasty.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.

#LowCalorieMealPrepCookbook #NetGalley

low calorie cookbook, meal prep, healthy cookbook, healthy eating cookbook, healthy eatingSample Recipe: Mango Chia Pudding

Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus 1 hour to chill | Serves 5 | Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Vegan

Chia is a modern-day superfood. One ounce of chia seeds (approximately 2 tablespoons) contains 4 grams of protein, as well as omega-3 fats, fiber, antioxidants, iron, and calcium. Considering those facts, it makes sense that chia is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.”


1. In a bowl, add the chia seeds, coconut milk, water, honey, vanilla, and salt. Stir to combine, then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove the bowl from the refrigerator, stir again, and set aside.

2. In each of 5 meal prep containers, layer 1/2 cup mango and 1/3 cup chia pudding. Top with 1 tablespoon of coconut flakes.


STORAGE: Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

SUBSTITUTION: If you don’t like canned coconut milk, any other liquid, including water, regular milk, or other nondairy milks, will work well; just use 2 cups of liquid for every 1/2 cup of chia seeds.

PER SERVING: Calories: 265; Fat: 16g; Protein: 5g; Carbohydrates: 29g; Fiber: 10g; Sugar: 16g; Sodium: 34mg


  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can reduced fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch coarsely ground sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cups mango chunks, fresh or frozen
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes

Let’s read and drink coffee: Of Literature and Lattes by Katherine Reay

In May 2019, Katherine Reay’s novel The Printed Letter Bookshop was published.  The new book, Of Literature and Lattes can be read on its own but will be enjoyed most by those who have read The Printed Letter.  The setting in Of Literature and Latte is the same town as in the prior book and readers catch up with the lives of some of the characters from that book as well.  However, the novel also has its own plot and some new characters.

In this book Alyssa has left a job with a company that seems to be based on Theranos and that similarly explodes for Alyssa.  With nowhere to go and under investigation, she returns to the town where her parents (characters in The Printed Letter) live.  Alyssa has to figure out what to do with her life and with her unhappiness.

Jeremy has come to Winsome to run the kind of coffee shop that many of us dream of, one that values community and great beans that make great drinks.  However, the shop is struggling as is Jeremy.  One ray of brightness is his daughter but his daughter’s mother is threatening to leave town.

Janet, from the prior novel. is trying to have a life in which she has stronger relationships with Alyssa and Seth, the man she first married, and is again seeing.  It is complicated.

The stories of these characters come to life and I think that readers will care about them.  I did not find Of Literature and Latte to be as strong a novel as The Printed Letter but I am pretty confident that this author’s many fans will be eager to engage with this title.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this read in exchange for an honest review.  By the way, I love the cover.

#OfLiteratureandLattes #NetGalley

Below is my review of The Printed Letter

I have read several books by Katherine Reay and will rank this one among my favorites. It is the story of three women who run a bookshop following the death of one of the protagonist’s relatives. The main characters are Madeline, who inherits the shop; Clare who feels unseen by her family and struggles with her teenage daughter; and Janet who made one mistake that led to the end of her marriage and another that led to a major crisis for the store. The stories of these characters overlap and form the basis for the novel.

The novel takes place in a small town outside of Chicago. The location feels idyllic as does the bookshop.

If you have ever had a dream about owning a bookstore that enhances a community, you will enjoy this novel. There are definitely struggles for the store but the author makes owning a bookshop feel so worthwhile.

I enjoyed this novel very much. There are friendship, romance and books, books, books within these pages. An added bonus was the number of books that are named in the novel and the complete list of those titles at the end. This list is a great resource for future reads.

So…if you like a light story with a great setting, think about this one. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this book about books.

Emotional Detox for Anxiety 7 Steps to Release Anxiety and Energize Joy by Sherianna Boyle

Most people feel anxious at times.  Some are able to manage anxiety without becoming chronically overwhelmed, while for others it is most debilitating. If you are anxious much of the time and would like that to shift, you might want to read this book.

The author presents and elaborates on 7 steps that help in reducing anxiety.  They come under the acronym CLEANSE.  These are clear reactivity, look inward, emit, activate joy, nourish, surrender and ease.  Each of these concepts is clearly described in the book.

The author explains what anxiety is, where it come from and how to understand it and thrive.  This title is geared toward the layman but mental health professionals may also want to take a look.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.

#EmotionalDetoxForAnxiety #NetGalley