Attention bakers: A New Take on Cake by Anne Byrn

#ANewTakeonCake #NetGalley Pub Date 16 Nov 2021

Do you bake or know someone for whom cake making is a passion? If so, be sure to put this title on your or their holiday gift list. I think that it will be adored by those who enter its pages. To begin, readers will salivate as they look at the photos. Next, find recipes for Mint Chocolate Cookies and Cream Cake; Chocolate Pistachio Ice Cream Cake; Hummingbird Cake with Roasted Bananas and many, many more-175 in all.

Readers and bakers who have seen books by Ms. Byrn know that she does not think that “cake mix” is a dirty term. I found that to be quite refreshing. I also note that, before getting to the recipes, much information is shared. As an added bonus, the recipes are easy to follow.

I highly recommend this compendium. Bakers, set your oven timers!

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Now out:


My First Leaders

by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara; Lisbeth Kaiser

#Leaders #NetGalley

This is a lovely book for the youngest children. With engaging illustrations, it briefly talks about some leaders and the quality within each of them that led to the designation. The book encourages young ones to imagine themselves as leaders one day.

Just a few of those mentioned in these pages are Martin Luther King, Greta Thunberg, Rosa Parks and Gahndi.

This is a book that gently makes known the need for leaders. It encourages everyone to think big, to notice their world, and to believe in change.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.

From the Publisher

This all-new board book primer—from the multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series—introduces the youngest dreamers to the world’s best-loved leaders.

an open book with the words Hello little leader! and birds on the spreads.Leaders: My First LeadersAn open book showing people around Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Hello little leader! Let’s learn about braveness, and boldness, and kindness. There’s plenty of leaders who were once young like you.”Leaders is the perfect first empowerment primer for babies and toddlers.With all-new lyrical text that is fun to read out loud to baby, this inspiring board book includes colorful, captivating illustrations.

Escapist fiction: The Bed and Breakfast at the Beach by Kat French

For those who are looking to escape reality and immerse themselves in an easy read, here is a perfect choice. Three friends abandon their lives to move to Greece. They will have adventure and romance…and gin. Readers will enjoy spending time in the gorgeous setting and with the likeable main characters.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Imagine: Yoko Ono by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

#YokoOno #NetGalley Pub Date 09 Nov 2021

This new entry in a favorite series tells the story of Yoko Ono. Young readers will learn about her life in Japan, her move to New York and her connection to THAT musician. They will discover that her family life and circumstances were difficult and that Yoko felt that she needed to rely upon herself for many years. Children will read about Imagine and the way in which Yoko has honored John. They will also see the importance of living life according to one’s own vision. As always, the story is well told and illustrated with additional information at the end of the story.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this excellent entry in an excellent series. All opinions are my own.

Now out:

Tales from the Cafe

A Novel

by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

#TalesfromtheCafe #NetGalley

This title follows upon the highly regarded, Before the coffee gets cold. Once again, the author spins a world that comes vividly to life. There is a bit of sci fi or magical realism within, call it what you will.

The tales take place in a very special cafe. A customer can go back in time so long as they are ready to return to their world before the coffee gets cold. This title follows four such patrons of the cafe. Each of these customers will come back changed.

This book is a treat. Those who enjoyed The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World are most likely to enjoy this title as well. It is a short book at 145 pages but also one to savor.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.

On The Collector’s Daughter by Gill Paul

Many of the historical novels that I have read recently have employed a dual timeline with two protagonists as a structure for the narrative. In this novel, both timelines are told through the eyes of Evelyn Herbert, daughter of the Earl of Carnarvon and wife of Borogard Beauchamp.

Eve’s father helped to underwrite the work of Howard Carter in Egypt. As many know, Carter “discovered” the tomb of Tutankhamun with its many riches and historical artifacts. Eve was there when this significant event took place.

The story moves back and forth in time. In the present, it is the 1970s and Eve has suffered a number of strokes. Full credit to Ms. Paul for her sensitivity and ability to make readers feel the difficult impact that these had on Eve.

In the past, Eve grows up, is a debutante, meets Borograve and follows her interest in archaeology and lives her life. She has friends, children and a world around her.

The two narratives converge when Ana wants to interview Eve. She is tasked with understanding the events at the time that the tomb was found. Eve knows something important and will have to decide whether to reveal this.

I very much enjoyed this novel. It is leisurely paced, has well developed characters and lets readers witness a significant discovery. Readers will feel the heat of the sun and visualize the landscape of Egypt.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this absorbing historical novel. All opinions are my own.