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Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook by Del Sroufe

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Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook by Del Sroufe contains a wide variety of plant-based recipes that prove eating a plant-based diet can be satisfying. I've made many of the recipes in Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook and have enjoyed the vast majority of them.  Sroufe demonstrates techniques to make plant-based cooking accessible to anyone while keeping the recipes interesting. The vast diversity of these recipes provides something to tease just about any taste bud. The simplicity of the recipes makes Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook great for those with little to no cooking experience while still containing recipes that will appeal to experienced cooks. I'd highly recommend Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook for anyone interested in trying a plant-based diet or even those who just enjoy trying out different methods of cooking.

No Justice: One White Police Officer, One Black Family, and How One Bullet Ripped Us Apart by Robbie Tolan and Lawrence Ross

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No Justice: One White Police Officer, One Black Family, and How One Bullet Ripped Us Apart by Robbie Tolan and Lawrence Ross gripped my attention from the first page. It's the true story of Tolan surviving being shot by the police, his healing journey, and his attempts to find justice. Tolan and Ross tell the story like they're sitting in the room with the reader. They speak directly to the reader in Tolan's voice explaining his experience, his reactions, his perspective. He's honest about his anger, depression, and hope. He doesn't hold back about where his family had privileges poorer families might not have due to his father's baseball career as well as his own. He also explains how those privileges didn't protect him when he faced the police who accused him of stealing his own car in front of his own house. No Justice demonstrates how the court system, criminal and civil, works and doesn't work for those who are forced to participate in it. Tolan…

Creative Knowing: 50 Self-Reflection Questions for Women by Christina Katz

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I finally decided to work through Creative Knowing: 50 Self-Reflection Questions for Women by Christina Katz recently. I thought it would make for a nice daily writing exercise, since I'm editing a book right now. I didn't think of it much in terms of "self-reflection" when I started. As I worked through the questions, I had a variety of reactions. You can read about my reaction to the initial set of questions in my blog post, Favorites... Shmavorites. Some questions were easy to answer, others provoked an emotional reaction, still others made me think. Some of the questions made me smile. Others irritated me. Still others inspired me. And then there were those that felt mundane. I felt a resistance rise from time to time as I pondered answering a question. Sometimes that resistance came from my own reluctance to explore the topic. Other times it was because I found the question presumptive when I didn't see how it applied to me. Initially, I was reluctant to eve…

The Green Gourmet Perfect Cup of Tea Book by Lori Jane Stewart

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The Green Gourmet Perfect Cup of Tea Book by Lori Jane Stewart is a nice appetizer for tea time. Stewart whets the appetite for a delightful cup of tea any time of the day. She explains some of the history of tea, tea's influence around the world, and how make a cup of tea. It was a quick and interesting read that left me wanting to know more about the tea I drink several cups of a day.




Four O'Clock Sizzle: A Rebecca Mayfield Mystery by Joanne Pence

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I read Four O'Clock Sizzle: A Rebecca Mayfield Mystery by Joanne Pence while travelling. It's an easy, light, fun read. Pence likes to blur the lines between procedural and cozy mystery in this series in a way that makes Rebecca Mayfield sometimes do things it's hard to imagine a police officer doing yet Pence gives her believable if flawed reasons for making the decisions she makes. The chemistry between Rebecca and Richie Amalfi has the reader both cheering for them and wondering what each of them is thinking at different times throughout the book. And, then there's the police investigation where Rebecca is torn between her feelings for Richie and her concerns that the rumors about Richie might hold more truth than she wants to believe. She struggles to reconcile the Richie she spends time with and the Richie of his reputation. As her investigation continues, Rebecca finds she needs Richie to solve the crime and she needs to protect him from danger for her own person…

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

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The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood made me squirm because Atwood creates a world that feels like it would be all too easy to slip into without truly noticing until it was too late. Atwood's ability to create characters who feel real made me identify with the characters even when I didn't want to. I felt the pain, the fears, and the hidden desires and joys of the characters as they traversed a world that would be a nightmare for most of us. In fact, The Handmaid's Tale stayed with me as I went about my day and popped into my dreams on a few occasions. Atwood deftly brings together elements of society and belief systems that continue to divide us by exploring a potential outcome that I don't think anyone wants. The Handmaid's Tale pushed me to think about my place in the world and my role in protecting the rights that matter to me. I couldn't help but think about what I would do if I faced a world like the one Atwood creates in The Handmaid's Tale.

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

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When I bought White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg, I thought I knew what the book would contain. I thought I understood the class history of America. Isenberg presents a history that makes so much more sense that the romanticized version of history I was taught in high school. She argues effectively for the idea that we've always had a class system in America and that we all buy into that class system even while proclaiming we are a classless society. Isenberg presents factual elements and references historical documents to support her supposition that America has always been a country with a class system. Her expansive discussion of indentured servitude and other poor people shipped to America in our early history is enlightening. She discusses how our class system affects everything from the economy to politics. I felt uncomfortable at times because I really wanted to resist parts of the book that didn't resonate with what I wanted …