Book Review: Summer House With Swimming Pool

9780804138819Disclosure: This book was provided free of charge by Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Summer House With Swimming Pool by Herman Koch is a fiction novel about a doctor being investigated for negligence in the death of one of his patients–a famous actor.

On Tuesday at 9AM, Dr. Marc Schlosser is due before the medical board to discuss the death of one his patients, Ralph Meier. Ralph Meier is a famous actor, and the events surrounding his death appear to be more suspicious than accidental.

Dr. Marc Schlosser has a successful private practice. His office stays busy with patients, and has a waiting list of those trying to get in to see him. He clearly defines his patients as seeing him as the best because he spends more “time” with them. In other words, he diagnosis them within three minutes and spends the rest chatting them up as if he is really being attentive, but could honestly care less.

It is not until a famous actor, Ralph Meier, visits Marc’s office because he got word that Marc is a doctor who likes to freely write prescriptions. Afterwards, Ralph begins inviting Marc to various events in hopes of developing a relationship with his newfound doctor.

After attending a backyard barbecue hosted by Ralph, Marc and his family are invited to Ralph’s family summer vacation home. Caroline, Marc’s wife, is hesitant and does not want to go because she thinks Ralph is scum, which is the same vibe Marc received from Ralph at a previous event they were invited to. Despite this knowledge, Marc is drawn to going because of his infatuation with Judith, Ralph’s wife.

On his own family vacation, Marc decides on a camping spot not far from Ralph’s summer house, and Caroline is furious once she discovers this fact. Caroline wants absolutely nothing to do with Ralph, but gives in because of her daughters and don’t want to come across as rude.

Eventually Marc and his family are invited to actually stay at the summer house with Ralph and his family, which is when the story really begins to unfold and the events leading to Ralph’s death are revealed.

In the beginning I was highly turned off by the main character, Marc, because of his nonchalant and smug attitude–the way he talked about his treatment of his patients made you think he was tying his shoes. However, as the book progressed I came to like him a little and understand his situation. You have to have an open mind about Marc, and be open to his point-of-view to really understand the story.


Book Review: Sleepy Hollow Children of the Revolution

9780553419009Disclosure: This book was provided free of charge by Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution is a fictional novel based off the hit television series “Sleepy Hollow.”

The New Year is approaching and things seem to be peaceful in Sleepy Hollow, until Ichabod Crane has a vision from his dead wife Katrina, who is trapped in purgatory. Katrina shows Ichabod various memories from his previous life, and instructs him to retrieve his congressional cross he was awarded.

Once awakened from his daydream, Ichabod immediately reaches out to Detective Abbie Mills, as she is his closet confidant and one of three people who understands the supernatural world he has found himself displaced in.

Ichabod informs Abbie about his vision and about retrieving a congressional cross he was awarded, but unfortunately never received due to his untimely demise on the battlefield with the headless horseman. Because of Ichabod’s unforeseen death, his cross was supposed to be given to his family, but because he had no documented family, it ended up being adrift through the centuries.

Ichabod informs Abbie that George Washington commissioned a French smithsman to create ten congressional crosses that would be later awarded to ten brave soliders, including Ichabod himself. As Abbie and Ichabod search for his missing congressional cross, they discover other congressional crosses have been turning up missing and leaving a trail of dead bodies in the process.

No longer thinking the missing congressional crosses are just coincidences, Abbie and Ichabod enlist the help of her sister Jenny, who has a history of dealing with the supernatural as well as being recently released from a psychatric hospital; as well as Abbie’s Captain, Frank Irving, who is relatively new to all things supernatural. Together, they discover there are more sinister things at hand, and one in which involves an evil witch trying to be resurrected–again.

I’m such a colossal fan of the television series “Sleepy Hollow.” Therefore, when I saw a book based off the series was available, I jumped at the chance to get my own personal copy. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, it’s about a man named Ichabod Crane who was a solider, and worked along side General George Washington to stop evil. During a battle, Ichabod kills the headless horseman after receiving a fatal blow himself. Ichabod is resurrected in the future as is the headless horseman as a result of their blood mixing and connecting them. He crosses paths with Abbie Mills who becomes a loyal ally against the supernatural forces that wants to destroy to them both as well as the evil who holds Ichabod’s wife in purgatory.

The book is completely identical to the series as far as characters and plot are concerned. Reading this book was like watching the series which goes to show how much time and research the author put into writing this book. The point-of-view jumps from present to past a few times, giving the reader more background knowledge of the congressional crosses and the important role they have in the story. I found myself speed reading quite a few times because I was dying to know who was behind the theft, and was shocked to find out the perpetrator was closer than I thought. This is a good read for both mystery lovers and fans of “Sleepy Hollow.” This book does not disappoint.





Hump Day Book Haul

“The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind.”

–Elizabeth Hardwick

When was the last time you browsed the aisles of your local library or bookstore?

It seems like forever for me since lately my time has been consumed with back-to-school responsibilities, PTA, blogging, and working on my clothing line–despite the fact I was just at the library last weekend.

Today, I was able to surrender to the silence only attainable by the lack of library patrons and kids. I slow danced down the aisles discovering new authors and books as if I were on a first date.

My book haul was pretty small considering my account is almost at 50 items. I think there was a recent limit on checkouts, but I rarely adhere to it.

I’m curious to know what you’re reading. Favorite authors? Genres? Suggestions?

Listed below are books I’m currently reading:

A Bride In Store by Melissa Jagears

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Will Write For Food by Dianne Jacob

When We Met by Susan Mallery

Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer by Fred Kaplan

Peter Pan Must Die by John Verdon

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

Book Review: Sweet by the Editors of Food Network Magazine

9780804137683Disclosure: This book was provided free of charge by Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Anyone who bakes as a hobby or professionally knows that baking is an exact science. No ifs, ands, or buts. If you add too little, too much, or subtract ingredients here and there, the outcome of your recipe will be completely different.

As a way to ease the fears of those new to baking and desserts, the editors of Food Network Magazine and the chefs of the Food Network Kitchens came together to create a cookbook which brings simplicity to baking. Visually appealing desserts, uncomplicated techniques, and simple ingredients are the building blocks of Secret: Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy and More.

If you’re an addict of amazing food photography, then you will be completely smitten by the pictures the way I am. I wanted to make everything I saw because it appealed to every reason why I love making desserts.

Not only are the desserts simple to make, they are also desserts you can make throughout the week. The best thing about this book is there is a chapter for every baker which are accompanied with picture tutorials. I like baking any and everything so I utilized every chapter.

For the past week I have had a strong desire to make a pineapple upside-down cake–both from scratch and a box mix. As I was flipping through Sweet trying to find my first recipe to make, I came across a recipe called Grilled Pineapple Upside-Down cake. It was the best shortcut, no fuss recipe I have made thus far. All I needed was pound cake from my local grocery store, brown sugar, butter, maraschino cherries, pineapple rings, and aluminum foil. Grill for 12 minutes. The recipe also works well in an oven.

If you’re a Food Network Magazine reader, you will be equally pleased, if not more, with Sweet: Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy and More. If you’ve never picked up a copy of their magazine but enjoy the network, you will be just as pleased.