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The Whistling Season and Pork Stroganoff

adult book review blog recipe pork fiction novel

The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig

and Pork Stroganoff

My Review:  Oliver Milliron is a widower of three sons who hires a housekeeper from a newspaper ad. She brings along her brother, Morris Morgan, whom happens to be the most delightful character as he takes over the teaching duties in the one-room schoolhouse. There isn’t a lot of drama in this book–the story is mostly focused on the intertwining relationships and the hardships of living on a farm in the Midwest in the early 1900s and the trials of  running a one-room schoolhouse. I enjoyed Ivan Doig’s style of writing and I even laughed out loud in some parts (receiving funny looks from my husband) but the book is slow at times. Overall a charming realistic fiction read.

4 out of 5 star read

Quote from The Whistling Season:  Father dug into his meal with vigor. “…this is excellent Pork Stroganoff, by the way.” …for once we were eating civilized food.

Pork Stroganoff Recipe

  • 5 pork chops cubed
  • 2 Tbls oils
  • 8 oz container muchrooms sliced
  • 1/2 onion sliced
  • 1/2 c water
  • 3/4 C Sour cream
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon
  • parsley
  • pepper
  • paprika
  • rice or noodles

Brown pork chops in oil and remove from pan. Add mushrooms and onion and simmer for a few minutes. return pork chops, add water and spices. Cover and simmer for 15 min. Add sour cream and heat until warm. Sprinkles with parsley and serve over rice or noodles.

Book Review: The Anatomy of Peace by The Arbinger Institute

self help relationship book

Genre: Self-help/Relationships

Amazon Description:

What if conflicts at home, conflicts at work, and conflicts in the world stem from the same root cause? And what if individually and collectively we systematically misunderstand that cause, and unwittingly perpetuate the very problems we think we are trying to solve?
Through an intriguing story of parents struggling with their troubled children and with their own personal problems, “The Anatomy of Peace” shows how to get past the preconceived ideas and self-justifying reactions that keep us from seeing the world clearly and dealing with it effectively. Yusuf al-Falah, an Arab, and Avi Rozen, a Jew, each lost his father at the hands of the other’s ethnic cousins. As the story unfolds, we discover how they came together, how they help warring parents and children to come together, and how we too can find our way out of the struggles that weigh us down. The choice between peace and war lies within us. As one of the characters says, “A solution to the inner war solves the outer war as well.” This book offers more than hope — it shows how we can prevent the conflicts that cause so much pain in our lives and in the world.

My Review:

I’m glad I read this book because the concepts are a good standard to live by. I like the idea of helping things go right instead of focusing on correction. I especially liked the idea that once you start making justifications for not helping someone, even though helping might have been your first inclination, then you are at war with yourself.

While I would still recommend this to anyone that is wanting to improve relationships with family members or coworkers, I can only give this 3 stars because the writing style was painful to read. It was incredibly cheesy and I believe that the simple principles could have been delivered without all the fluff and unnecessary dialogue.

3 out of 5 stars


Book Review: Good Pictures, Bad Pictures: Porn Proofing Today’s Young Kids.

good-pictures-bad-picturesGood Pictures, Bad Pictures by Kristen A. Jenson M.A. and Dr. Gayle A. Poyner

My review:

This is definitely a good book to read with your kids to prepare them before they are exposed to pornography (because they will be) and a great book to read with your kids after they have been exposed to pornography.

It explains that there are good pictures (think family pictures in a family photo album) and bad pictures (pornography). It explains that we have 2 different types of brains. Our thinking brains and our feeling brains. I love the explanation between the thinking and feeling brains and I even learned some things myself about how brains work and how we can better control our feeling brain with our thinking brain.

I also like that it opens up a conversation with our children about pornography so that when they are exposed, there is less shame and they (hopefully) feel more comfortable coming and talking to their parents about it.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book to everyone that has kids and wants to protect them from pornography and wants to help their kids after they are exposed to pornography.

Book Review: The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski

edge of never new adult book review blogAmazon Description:

Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett thought she knew exactly where her life was going. But after a wild night at the hottest club in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, she shocks everyone-including herself-when she decides to leave the only life she’s ever known and set out on her own. Grabbing her purse and her cell phone, Camryn boards a Greyhound bus ready to find herself. Instead, she finds Andrew Parrish.

Sexy and exciting, Andrew lives life like there is no tomorrow. He persuades Camryn to do things she never thought she would and shows her how to give in to her deepest, most forbidden desires. Soon he becomes the center of her daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But there is more to Andrew than Camryn realizes. Will his secret push them inseparably together-or destroy them forever?

My Review:

I really had high hopes for this new adult novel because of the rave reviews but it was a huge disappointment.

The alternating points of view were annoying–especially when they rehashed the same events, the same conversations.

I though Camryn would be a strong female character but she was too whiny and weak-brained.

Andrew made me cringe. I can handle curse words in a book if done appropriately but Andrew cursed non-stop and it made him sound uneducated. He was also extremely aggressive–always wanting to beat the crap out of someone for looking at Camryn for too long. He was supposed to be tall and sexy but his personality was extremely unattractive.

The writing was terrible. I couldn’t bring myself to finish this book.

1 out of 5 stars

one out of 5 stars.jpg



My Favorite Authors

Do you have a favorite author?

The following authors are those whom I anticipate the release of their next book.  You can bet that I will purchase their book as soon as it comes out and rarely am I disappointed. Please comment below and share your favorite author or authors!


Emily Giffin brought us Something Borrowed and I’ve read every single one of her books!

I would describe Giffin’s novels as smart chick-lit. Her books are down-to-earth and relatable, and you can’t help but get swept away in her character’s lives and the complications they face in their most intimate relationships.


paullina-simonsPaullina Simonsthe-bronze-horseman

The Bronze Horseman swept me away like no other book has. Simons’ other books don’t quite measure up to the magic that is the Bronze Horseman but I still read all of her books because they are wonderful and engaging.


megan-mccaffertysloppy firsts ya contemporary novel bookMegan McCaffery Wrote the Jessica Darling series, Bumped, and Thumped. I am super giddy when McCafferty comes out with a new book because her edgy writing is extremely fun and witty.



laura-hillenbrand-w-credit unbroken nonfiction historical wwii war book

Laura Hillendbrand has only written 2 books that I know of: Unbroken and Seabiscuit. These 2 nonfiction books were so brilliantly  written that I can not wait to see what Hillenbrand brings us next.


I would love to hear who your favorite authors are. Comment below!

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The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon


Book Review: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

christian lit novel romance women's fiction

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Description from Amazon:

California’s gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep.

Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child, she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside.

Then she meets Michael Hosea, a man who seeks his Father’s heart in everything. Michael obeys God’s call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel’s every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw.

But with her unexpected softening comes overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband’s pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does…the One who will never let her go.

My Review:

Redeeming love was a bit shocking for a Christian romance but I thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn’t put it down. I would expect a Christian romance to be preachy–with a side of cheese–but this book was edgy and dealt with a very serious subject matter.

I loved the hero, Michael, and his commitment to Angel even though she had a difficult time staying away from the prostitution lifestyle.  The ultimate message of this book was beautiful and could be related to anyone struggling with a personal weakness.

I highly recommend this book to: lovers of Christian Romance.

Favorite Quotes:

“Love is the way back into Eden. It is the way back to life.”


“As gentle a man as he was, as tender as was his heart, there was nothing weak about Michael Hosea.”

“If you love me as you claim to, then you love her as well. She’s part of me. Do you understand? She’s part of my flesh and my life. When you say things against her, you say them against me. When you cut her, you cut me. Do you understand?”

4 out of 5 stars

4 out of 5 stars