Saturday, March 31, 2012

Deliciously G-Free

Food so flavorful they'll never believe it's gluten-free

by Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Includes a wide variety of recipes: breads, cakes, cookies, main dishes, etc. Most of them use rice flour as a wheat substitute. This cookbook is fine if gluten is the only thing you're trying to avoid, but if, like me, you're trying to cut out sugar or dairy as well, it's not a big help.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Lost Prince

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Marco's father has trained him well to be a patriot for the (fictional) country of Samavia. At last, Marco and his friend, the Rat, carry the sign of Samavia's liberation throughout Europe and the identity of the lost prince is revealed.

I read this book to my children, ages 9-10 and 13. They loved the story and thought Marco's character was grand and noble, which my daughter contrasted with characters in most modern children's books. I found the plot moved rather slowly, even for an older book (1915), but liked the story well enough.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

We Bought a Zoo

The Amazing True Story of a Young Family, a Broken Down Zoo, and the 200 Wild Animals That Change Their Lives Forever
by Benjamin Mee

A newspaper columnist and his family attempt to buy a zoo that has fallen on hard times. At the same time, his wife is fighting brain cancer. After many difficulties, they buy the zoo and it eventually became a success. You can visit the zoo website at Dartmoor Zoological Park. A documentary and a movie were also made of the same story, but I haven't seen them.

It was an interesting, sometimes sad and sometimes funny story.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Door in the Wall

by Marguerite de Angeli

A boy called Robin falls ill while his knight father is away at the wars and his mother has gone to be one of the queen's ladies-in-waiting. He is taken in by monks and taught many things and later brought to a castle which Robin saves when it is beseiged.

This is a lovely children's book that teaches a bit of what medieval life was like in a very entertaining way. Great book for children perhaps 7 to 11 years old or so. Although I'm sure my almost-14-year-old will like it.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Duggars: 20 and Counting!

Raising One of America's Largest Families -- How They Do It

by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar

The Duggars recount their family history including their childhoods and romance. They also explain some of the methods they use in raising their (now 19) children, organization tips, some recipes and answers to common questions. Visit their website, The Duggar Family.

I enjoyed reading this book. It was obvious that the Duggars are Christians who aren't afraid to live what they believe. The story is interesting and contains many amusing anecdotes.

Monday, March 19, 2012

..About Me

by Dewey Comeau

This is the autobiography of a Yarmouth, NS resident who has cerebral palsy. The book has some photographs and a number of spelling and grammatical mistakes, but was okay reading.

Simplicity Parenting

Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids

by Kim John Payne

The author explains how simplifying toys, books, food, clothes and schedules and adding rhythms to your children's lives makes families calmer and happier. He also tells you how to do it.

I think this is a very worthwhile book and most families would greatly benefit from following these recommendations. I borrowed it from the library, but if I owned a copy, I think I would go through it slowly and implement the advised changes.

You can visit the author's website at Simplicity Parenting.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook

breakfasts, entrees, and more

by Elana Amsterdam

I made the Coconut Berry Crisp and Chocolate Coconut Macaroons and they were delicious. This is a lovely book with nice photos every third page or so. The sweets use agave syrup but I think maple syrup or honey would also work. They use a lot of eggs too.

Visit the author's website, Elana's Pantry.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread

More than 200 wheat-free recipes

by Bette Hagman

The recipes use bean flours, starches, rice flour and others. All (that I looked at) used xanthan gum. The author suggests several acceptable substitutions for those with allergies. The muffin recipes I tried were delicious but the bread I tried was a failure--I think it would have needed a longer baking time. A nice book.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Vegan, (Mostly) Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York's Most Talked-About Bakery

by Erin McKenna

The recipes use several different kinds of flour and mostly agave syrup for a sweetener. The pictures look really delicious but the recipes look a bit complicated. I think the only one I actually tried was a frosting and it wasn't very good, but I had made substitutions so that didn't mean the recipe wasn't good.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wheat Belly

Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health 

by William Davis, M.D.

The history of modern wheat (how it has been cross-bred and genetically changed), problems and diseases caused by wheat, and how to live without it. While not exactly fascinating, this is an enlightening book and the author's style is interesting.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Rules of Civility

by Amor Towles

The fictional story of a working-class woman's rise in New York society during the late 1930s. The story and setting are interesting, but there is quite a lot of coarse language.