Friday, April 28, 2017

The PlantPure Nation Cookbook by Kim Campbell

book cover
The PlantPure Nation Cookbook
by Kim Campbell


ISBN-13: 9781940363684
Paperback: 319 pages
Publisher: BenBella Books
Released: March 24, 2015

Source: Bought through Amazon.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
The PlantPure Nation Cookbook brings the powerful, science-based approach to nutrition from the movie to your kitchen with some of the same mouthwatering recipes that kick-started the revolution, promoting the health benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet.

Author Kim Campbell is the wife of PlantPure Nation Executive Producer and Director Nelson Campbell and daughter-in-law of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, coauthor of The China Study and father of the modern plant-based nutrition movement. She is also a culinary contributor, recipe developer, and cooking instructor at Campbell Wellness, a health and wellness business. In PlantPure Nation Cookbook, she shares more than 150 extensively tested, 100% plant-based recipes that she has created and cultivated over 25 years of vegan cooking.

With a foreword by Dr. Campbell, The PlantPure Nation Cookbook is also filled with tips, tricks, and grocery lists for people interested in a whole food, plant-based diet.


My Review:
I've now tried about 15 of the recipes from the The PlantPure Kitchen by Kim Campbell. All of them turned out well and were so tasty that I didn't miss the meat, dairy, eggs, or added fat. My dad, who enjoys meat, agreed to go vegan for 10 days to lower his cholesterol. He discovered that he enjoyed these recipes so much that he's willing to eat them whenever we make them. So we decided to buy the author's other cookbook.

The PlantPure Nation Cookbook is a whole food, plant-based (vegan) cookbook containing 150 recipes. Again, this would be a good cookbook for someone new to cooking vegan meals from scratch. The author provided cooking tips and most of the recipes were pretty simple to do. She does use gluten-containing grains and tree nuts in some recipes.

The author described plant-based substitutes so you can convert regular recipes. There were also short educational articles (usually relating to the movie) at the end of most sections.

There were pictures of the finished product for each recipe, and they looked very tasty (which I can't always say about vegan foods). I've made several of these recipes now, and they're as tasty as the recipes I've tried from her other cookbook. They're full of flavor and have nice textures. There are times I think "that combination of foods doesn't sound yummy" yet it always turns out well. Overall, I'd recommend this cookbook to those interested in adding more whole-food, plant-based meals to their diet.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

What Regency Women Did For Us by Rachel Knowles

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What Regency Women Did For Us
by Rachel Knowles


ISBN-13: 9781473882249
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books
Released: April 30, 2017

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Regency women inhabited a very different world from the one in which we live today. Considered intellectually inferior to men, they received little education and had very few rights. This book tells the inspirational stories of twelve women, from very different backgrounds, who overcame often huge obstacles to achieve success. These women were pioneers, philanthropists and entrepreneurs, authors, scientists and actresses women who made an impact on their world and ours. In her debut non-fiction work, popular history blogger Rachel Knowles tells how each of these remarkable ladies helped change the world they lived in and whose legacy is still evident today.


My Review:
What Regency Women Did For Us provides short biographies for 12 women who were remarkable in their time and who lived during the Regency period. They included business women, scientists, authors, an inventor, and women who used their money to help others.

For each woman, we learned a bit about their childhood, their adult life and career, their later life, how others described them, and their legacy. Some still have a wide, lasting impact (like Jane Austen), but others don't. Eleanor Coade, for example, ran a successful artificial stone business and some pieces made from this stone still exist. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting read to fans of short biographies.

Eleanor Coade (1733-1821) - business woman
Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) - astronomer
Sarah Siddons (1755-1831) - actress
Marie Tussaud (1761-1850) - business woman
Mary Parminter (1767-1849) - traveler, mountaineer, philanthropist
Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849) - author
Jane Marcet (1769-1858) - author
Sarah Guppy (1770-1852) - inventor
Jane Austen (1775-1817) - author
Harriot Mellon (1777-1837) actress, business woman
Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845) - reformer, nursing
Mary Anning (1799-1847) - fossilist


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Monday, April 17, 2017

The Truth About Vaccines Docu-series

Maybe you've heard some about parents who are delaying or refusing to vaccinate their children. When in the news, they're generally portrayed as anti-science, anti-reason, and endangering not only their children's health but everyone else as well. It's a "don't listen to them; only stupid people would" tactic that I'm seeing more and more often, which now makes me want to listen to the people dismissed that way. I mean, we all want what's best for our children; they must have reasons that seem very compelling to them. It makes sense to really listen to those concerns and see if they're good ones.

So I've been watching this well-made docu-series, The Truth about Vaccines. It's for people wanting to understand the concerns about vaccines. The host did a good job of arranging the material and clarifying the concerns so the viewer can follow and understand them. And, frankly, I'm finding it heart-breaking to watch.

Parents should be told about these things before their children are vaccinated, but we're simply told that vaccines are safe and have saved the world from deadly diseases. Well, they're clearly not safe. The question is if they're worth doing anyway. Some of the doctors interviewed believe that some of the vaccines are worth doing, but not on the CDC schedule. Even they question vaccines like the HPV, which sound good but end up doing more harm than good.

I really should have told people about this series sooner. I suspect they'll still have a day where you can access missed episodes, and the first two episodes give a great overview of the arguments. But I'd highly recommend watching what you can, even if you only can access the later episodes. Here's the link to sign up for a free, limited-time viewing: https://go.thetruthaboutvaccines.com/?a_aid=1619624&a_bid=988aa9d6

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Law and War by Jonathan Swan

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Law and War
by Jonathan Swan


ISBN-13: 9781473853379
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Pen & Sword
Released: March 30, 2017

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from NetGalley:
Within days of the outbreak of hostilities of the Great War, the English government introduced the Defence of the Realm Act. With several amendments over the years, this all-encompassing legislation resulted in the creation of hundreds of subsidiary regulations, many of which affected the lives of ordinary people in a way they had never expected.

Many, including the magistrates themselves, fell foul of the myriad orders, covering billeting, licensing, lighting and rationing, which were enforced by the new special constables. At the same time, the conscription of the criminal classes saw a huge fall in the normal workload of the courts and the closure of many prisons.

The magistrates responded as best they could. Some magistrates went to war; some lost their lives. Others served in the many voluntary organisations and committees that appeared across the country, such as the Military Service Tribunals or the Volunteer Corps.

The end of the war saw a further change to the old order when the first women magistrates were appointed, marking the birth of modern magistracy.


My Review:
Law and War looked at the many challenges faced by England's magistrates during the Great War as many new laws--often poorly worded or not well thought out--were put into affect. The author explained how things worked before the war and then during the war. He included a detailed overview of how the legal system worked prior to the war, which I found especially useful since I'm not from England.

The author quoted the laws (in part or in full) and described some court cases showing how people accidentally or deliberately broke those laws. He talked about military law and martial law, the Defense of the Realm Act, laws about billeting, enemy aliens, drunkenness and alcohol, lights showing at night, enlistment and exemptions, desertion and absent without leave, food prices and rationing, and laws specifically affecting women and children. He also briefly talked about fraud, special constables, and a few other issues.

I thought the book was going to be more about how the role of magistrate changed because of the war, and he did cover this. However, most of the book looked at the laws that were passed and how they affected people. The information was interesting, so I'd recommend this book to people interested in this aspect of WWI.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Another World by Patricia Mainardi

book cover
Another World
by Patricia Mainardi


ISBN-13: 9780300219067
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Yale University Press
Released: March 14, 2017

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Taking its title from the 1844 visionary graphic novel by J. J. Grandville, this groundbreaking book explores the invention of print media—including comics, caricature, the illustrated press, illustrated books, and popular prints—tracing their development as well as the aesthetic, political, technological, and cultural issues that shaped them.

The explosion of imagery from the late 18th century to the beginning of the 20th exceeded the print production from all previous centuries combined, spurred the growth of the international art market, and encouraged the cross-fertilization of media, subjects, and styles. Patricia Mainardi examines scores of imaginative and innovative prints, focusing on highly experimental moments of discovery, when artists and publishers tested the limits of each new medium, creating visual languages that extend to the comics and graphic novels of today.

Another World unearths a wealth of visual material, revealing a history of how our image-saturated world came into being, and situating the study of print culture firmly within the context of art history


My Review:
Another World looked at developments in printing technology in the 1800s (like lithography) and how this promoted the development and popularity of caricature, illustrated magazines, comics, illustrated books, and popular prints. The author mostly talked about developments in France and England.

The author looked at the early experiments in these forms, like how the format and graphic language of comics developed as various authors/illustrators tried new things. He also talked about the first people to make illustrated magazines, comics, etc., and the challenges they faced. He talked about who bought these prints, magazines, etc., and what people thought about them at the time.

There were many pictures of these early caricatures and prints and of pages from the illustrated magazines, books, and comics. The author interpreted these pictures, which was nice since the political statements or cultural context would often have been lost on me. I found the information to be very interesting and easy to understand (though it's academic in tone). I'd highly recommend this book to those interested in illustrated prints and printing in the 1800s.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

City of Light, City of Poison by Holly Tucker

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City of Light, City of Poison
by Holly Tucker


ISBN-13: 9780393239782
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Released: March 21, 2017

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Appointed to conquer the “crime capital of the world,” the first police chief of Paris faces an epidemic of murder in the late 1600s. Assigned by Louis XIV, Nicolas de La Reynie begins by clearing the streets of filth and installing lanterns throughout Paris, turning it into the City of Light.

La Reynie unearths a tightly knit cabal of poisoners, witches, and renegade priests. As he exposes their unholy work, he soon learns that no one is safe from black magic—not even the Sun King. Nobles settle scores by employing witches to craft poisons and by hiring priests to perform dark rituals in Paris’s most illustrious churches and cathedrals.

From secret courtrooms to torture chambers, City of Light, City of Poison is a gripping true-crime tale of deception and murder based on thousands of pages of court transcripts and La Reynie’s compulsive note-taking, as well as on letters and diaries.


My Review:
City of Light, City of Poison is a true crime book about a rash of poisonings that occurred in Paris in the 1670s. The book started by describing how violent Paris could be and how the first police chief of Paris cleaned up and lighted the city along with other efforts to reduce crime. Then a good bit of the book was about the king's various mistresses and the political maneuvering of certain people who played a role in the later trials.

The author used information in the interrogation transcripts to also describe the activities of various main players in the poisoning scandals--the women supplying the poisons and the high-class women who bought their poisons, love potions, or spells. She described the questioning of these people in detail, including grisly details about their torture. Finally, even the king's mistresses were being accused of using the spells. The king didn't want these accusations getting out, so all records of the affair were destroyed--or so he thought. We're told how these records survived so that the book could even be written.

I had thought the book would be more about how the early police conducted investigations, but apparently that involved arresting suspects, putting them in unpleasant prison cells, and eventually questioning them. They did have some crude tests to identify any potential poisons that were found, but autopsy was pretty limited in its usefulness in terms of identifying death by poison. I could have lived without learning the graphic details about the torture involved. Other than that, though, it was written in an interesting way and I'd recommend the book.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Container Gardens by Southern Living Magazine

book cover
Container Gardens
by The Editors of Southern Living Magazine


ISBN-13: 978-0848745813
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Oxmoor House
Released: March 7, 2017

Source: Review copy from the publisher through Amazon Vine.

Book Description from Cover:
Over 200 Fresh Ideas for Indoor and Outdoor Inspired Plantings. Lack of space? Lack of time? No gardening experience? Need inspiration? Is it the doldrums of winter? No matter the issue, Southern Living magazine has the answer to make sure everyone has a beautiful garden year-round with the brand's newest book on container gardening. Container Gardening is a smart and sensible guide that covers the basics for the beginner as well as inspirational ideas for the experienced gardener. There are step-by-step techniques and tips on planting and care for indoor and outdoor container gardens.


My Review:
Container Gardens discussed indoor and outdoor container gardening, though the focus was mainly on outdoors. It's written for people in the South, zones 6-10, though much of the advice would be relevant anywhere. The book covered how to select containers, using potting soil, and choosing and arranging the plants. There were many pictures showing various arrangements along with the information about which plants were used. This would be a great book if you want advice or ideas on how to arrange the plants and the containers to best effect.

For outdoors, they talked about hanging pots, window boxes, on porches and such, on pedestals, on walls, and using a trellis. They talked about annual and perennial plants (including bulbs), small woody plants, and (briefly) succulents. For indoors, they mainly told you what plants might do well indoors and how to arrange these plants to look pretty. They very briefly talked about terrariums, air plants, and topiaries. Indoor ideas took up 32 pages, edible plants took up 42 pages (mainly listing information you'd find on a seed package), and outdoor plants took up 107 pages.

The book made container gardening sound like a breeze, but I already know it isn't that easy. I was disappointed that I didn't glean much to help with the problems I've had with growing perennial herbs in containers. Part of the problem is that I'm aiming for the long-term and this book focused on arrangements intended only for a season (like Fall) or, at most, Spring to Fall.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

The History of Newgate Prison by Caroline Jowett

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The History of Newgate Prison
by Caroline Jowett


ISBN-13: 9781473876408
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Pen & Sword
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description, Modified from NetGalley:
As the place where prisoners, male and female, awaited trial, execution or transportation, Newgate was Britains most feared gaol for over 700 years. It probably best known today from the novels of Charles Dickens including Barnaby Rudge and Great Expectations.

But there is much is more to Newgate than nineteenth-century notoriety. In the seventeenth century it saw the exploits of legendary escaper and thief Jack Sheppard. Author Daniel Defoe who was imprisoned there for seditious libel, playwright Ben Jonson for murder, the Captain Kidd for piracy were among its most famous inmates.

This book takes you from the gaols twelfth-century beginnings to its final closure in 1904 and looks at daily life, developments in the treatment of prisoners from the use of torture to penal reform as well as major events in its history.


My Review:
The History of Newgate Prison covers the history of Newgate from its initial building to its closure. The author broke the history down into chunks of time: 1188-1499, 1500-1699, 1700-1769, 1770-1779, and 1800-1902.

She described how Newgate was run (administrative structure, fees for provisions and such, etc.), what life was like for the inmates, what crimes would result in a stay at Newgate, the punishments for those crimes, and how all of these things changed over the years. She described the attempted and accepted reforms to the system (including some changes to the legal system) as well as some famous or typical cases from each period.

I found the book to be a very interesting and informative without getting dry or academic in tone. Overall, I'd recommend this book to those interested in learning more about the goal/prison system in England during this time period.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Reconstructing Ancient Linen Body Armor by Gregory S. Aldrete

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Reconstructing Ancient Linen Body Armor
by Gregory S. Aldrete


ISBN-13: 9781421408194
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Released: March 1, 2013

Source: Review copy from the publisher through Amazon Vine.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Alexander the Great led one of the most successful armies in history and conquered nearly the entirety of the known world while wearing armor made of cloth.

An extensive multiyear project in experimental archaeology, this pioneering study presents a thorough investigation of the linothorax, linen armor worn by the Greeks, Macedonians, and other ancient Mediterranean warriors. Because the linothorax was made of cloth, no examples of it have survived. As a result, even though there are dozens of references to the linothorax in ancient literature and nearly a thousand images of it in ancient art, this linen armor remains relatively ignored and misunderstood by scholars.

Combining traditional textual and archaeological analysis with hands-on reconstruction and experimentation, the authors unravel the mysteries surrounding the linothorax. They have collected and examined all of the literary, visual, historical, and archaeological evidence for the armor and detail their efforts to replicate the armor using materials and techniques that are as close as possible to those employed in antiquity. By reconstructing actual examples using authentic materials, the authors were able to scientifically assess the true qualities of linen armor for the first time in 1,500 years. The tests reveal that the linothorax provided surprisingly effective protection for ancient warriors, that it had several advantages over bronze armor, and that it even shared qualities with modern-day Kevlar.


My Review:
Reconstructing Ancient Linen Body Armor is a detailed study the authors did on linen corselets using ancient written and visual sources, and what they learned from their reconstructive archaeology efforts. The writing style was formal, yet the information was not difficult to understand or process. The authors realized that their audience was not solely academics, so they wrote in a manner accessible to everyone. They stated that they realized not all of the chapters in the book would equally interest all of their readers since this book would likely have a varied audience: academics, history buffs, reenactors, and others. I was initially interested in the reconstructive archaeology chapters, so I was surprised by how interesting I found the initial chapters.

There were a number of black and white photos and 6 color photos, mainly of ancient art showing this type of armor and of their experiments. The photos did an excellent job of showing what the text was describing. The main text was 168 pages long and used a somewhat denser, smaller-font text than "popular history" books. The next 38 pages were text description of the hundreds of images of linen body armor in ancient art that were used as the basis for this study so others who wish to can find them. The next 44 pages contained the "footnote" information. The biography and index each took 12 pages.

Chapter 1 discussed the mentions of linen armor in ancient texts and the images of Type IV/linen body armor in ancient art. It also described how flax was grown and processed in the ancient world. Chapter 2 discussed common elements seen in the visual sources and the different variations seen--things like how the shoulder straps were secured down, decorative elements, etc. Chapter 3 talked about what type of material was used to make this Type IV armor--only linen, only leather, a combination, metal inserts or scales? And if it was only linen, was it many layers of linen sewn together or many layers of linen glued together or stuffed and quilted linen?

Chapter 4 talked about their reconstructive archaeology efforts to make both sewn and laminated (glued layers of) linen armor. There was enough detail that I felt like I could do the process myself if I wished to. Chapter 5 talked about how they tested the armor, and chapter 6 gave the results (including both charts of numbers and a summary of the data in the text). They mainly tested with ancient arrows, but they also tried other weapons (swords, mace, spear, etc.). They also compared the linen results to tests on the effectiveness of bronze armor. Chapter 7 talked about the practical usability of the armor--mobility, ease of construction and repair, effectiveness of the repair, ability to withstand rain and river crossings, if it got hot when worn in full sun, the weight compared to bronze armor, etc. Chapter 8 talked about who might have made the linen for the armor and the cost in labor or money to produce a linen corselet.

It was interesting to learn how effective and usable linen body armor turned out to be. I felt that the authors gave a fair/balanced analysis of linen body armor and of the possibilities about its manufacture and use. I'd recommend this book to those who think it sounds interesting.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Disobeying Hitler by Randall Hansen

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Disobeying Hitler
by Randall Hansen


ISBN-13: 9780385664639
Hardback: 480 pages
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Released: May 20, 2014

Source: Review copy from the publisher through Amazon Vine.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Anyone with even a passing interest in the Second World War knows about the plot to assassinate Hitler in 1944. But the story of the great wave of resistance that arose in the year that followed--with far-reaching consequences--has never been told before.

Drawing on newly opened archives, acclaimed historian Randall Hansen shows that many high-ranking Nazis, and average German citizens in far greater numbers than previously recognized, reacted defiantly to the Fuhrer's by then manifest insanity. Together they spared cities from being razed, and prevented the needless obliteration of industry and infrastructure. Disobeying Hitler presents new evidence on three direct violations of orders made personally by Adolf Hitler: The refusal by the commander of Paris to destroy the city; Albert Speer's refusal to implement a scorched earth policy in Germany; and the failure to defend Hamburg against invading British forces.

Disobeying Hitler shows how the brave resistance of soldiers and civilians, under constant threat of death, was crucial for the outcome of the war. Their bravery saved countless lives and helped lay the foundations for European economic recovery--and continued peace


My Review:
Disobeying Hitler covered the fate of civilians and German troops in German-occupied territory from July 20, 1944 to May 9, 1945. From the title and description, I was expecting a focus on "human interest" stories...individual's stories and what made them disobey. Instead, much of the book was a series of "this person did this action at this place and this time" overviews of various military battles and related actions. If you're familiar with the battles of the war, this listing of military actions might help tie the other events together in your mind. However, I'm not a WWII buff. I'd have found the book more interesting if the battle movements were even more briefly summarized as they usually added little to the "disobeying Hitler" aspects of the story.

The tone of the writing was scholarly and attempted to set the record straight--based on actual evidence--on some claims of heroic disobedience by German leaders. The author pointed out what they did and didn't do, and what others (civilians) contributed to the outcome.

The first 72 (of 332) pages covered a brief summary of WWII events that lead up to Valkyrie and a description of the events of the July 20, 1944 assassination and coup attempt against Hitler. After that, we're told stories--connected by battle reports--of various cities being saved. Hitler had commanded that the cities would be essentially left in rubble as the German army died in heroic last stands. Not everyone thought this was a good idea (especially the civilians living in these cities). They risked their lives to save the civilian populations and the city itself, and this often also involved the surrender of German troops. We're also told of cities that were destroyed. The stories were often described as an overview of the action rather than going in-depth into the details, personalities, and motives. Perhaps these details do not exist in many of the cases.

I thought that the more civilian-focused view of the defeat of Germany was interesting, but the viewpoint was more distant and action-focused than I expected. It was interesting, but not as interesting as I expected it to be.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Monday, January 30, 2017

A History of Courtship by Tania ODonnell

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A History of Courtship
by Tania ODonnell


ISBN-13: 9781781593486
ebook: 176 pages
Publisher: Pen and Sword History
Released: Jan. 27, 2017

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Tania O’Donnell takes the reader on a journey from medieval Courtly Love, through to the sexual license of the Restoration, and Victorian propriety. Learn about courting, writing romantic love letters and poems, appropriate gifts, proposing, and more. In the 14th century young men tried to impress the ladies with their footwear, donning shoes with pointed toes so long that they had to be secured with whalebone—presumably because size mattered! The author also recounts tales of classic romantic mistakes and scandals.


My Review:
A History of Courtship is a survey of courtship practices--mainly from the 1300s to the 1800s in England. The author described how couples met, beauty and clothing fads, acceptable gifts, improper behavior, the role of chaperons, love poems and letters, and areas of conflict after marriage. She also looked at the differences in practices between the rich and the poor. She described some scandals and other unusual stories to illustrate various behaviors. The material came from sources like diaries, guides on things like etiquette or letter writing, and preserved love poems and letters.

Keep in mind that this book isn't meant to be an exhaustive source on courtship, and the subtitle is a bit misleading. It's not about seduction techniques, and she didn't really cover 800 years. Most of the information was from the 1500s to late 1800s. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting and entertaining book.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The PlantPure Kitchen by Kim Campbell

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The PlantPure Kitchen
by Kim Campbell


ISBN-13: 9781944648343
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: BenBella Books
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from NetGalley:
The film PlantPure Nation has helped foster a growing community of whole food, plant-based eaters. Key to its success has been the PlantPure Director of Culinary Education Kim Campbell’s inspiring and delicious recipes like those she shared in her 2015 cookbook, The PlantPure Nation Cookbook. Now Campbell is back with even more inventive recipes bursting with flavor.

Campbell shares tons of new recipes that will turn any plant-based eater into a chef with ease. With compassion for the challenges of following a plant-pure diet, Campbell lends advice about the best natural sweeteners, the most useful kitchen tools for plant-based cooking, vegan-friendly substitutions for making recipes egg-free, dairy-free, meat-free, and even gluten-free, and whole a lot more.

From dips and spreads, like Crockpot Apple Butter, to classic dinners, like Welsh Rarebit, The PlantPure Kitchen’s recipes will inspire you to lead a more plant-pure life.


My Review:
The PlantPure Kitchen is a whole food, plant-based (vegan) cookbook containing 130 recipes. This would be a good cookbook for someone new to cooking vegan meals from scratch. The author provided cooking tips, suggested only a relatively small number of tools, and most of the recipes were pretty simple to do. While she used gluten-containing grains and tree nuts in some recipes, she suggested easy modifications for people with those concerns.

The author started by describing some commonly used foods in vegan cooking and how to use them. She also described plant-based substitutes so you can convert regular recipes. She gave shopping tips and tips on food storage and food prep. There were also a few, short educational articles at the start of each section.

Each recipe had a picture of the finished product, and they looked very tasty (which I can't always say about vegan foods). The recipes included some vegan versions of holiday or popular foods. There were 10 breakfast recipes, 7 bread and muffin recipes, 10 burger, sandwich, and wrap recipes, 15 dressing and sauce recipes, 14 salad recipes, 11 appetizer, dip, and spread recipes, 10 soup and stew recipes, 27 entrees, 11 sides, and 14 deserts. Overall, I'd recommend this cookbook to those interested in adding more whole-food, plant-based meals to their diet.

Update: I've tried several of these recipes now. They've all turned out to taste very good, and they weren't difficult to make. In fact, the "I won't give up meat" eater in our family tried each of the dishes because they looked so good and didn't look that different from his food. He agreed he'd eat those dishes when we had them.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Teaming with Fungi by Jeff Lowenfels

book cover
Teaming with Fungi
by Jeff Lowenfels


ISBN-13: 9781604697292
Hardback: 172 pages
Publisher: Timber Press
Released: Jan. 11, 2017

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Teaming with Fungi is an important guide to mycorrhizae and the role they play in agriculture, horticulture, and hydroponics. Almost every plant in a garden forms a relationship with fungi, and many plants would not exist without their fungal partners. By better understanding the relationship, gardeners can take advantage of the benefits of fungi, which include an increased uptake in nutrients, resistance to drought, earlier fruiting, and more. Learn how the fungi interact with plants, how to grow their own, and how best to employ them in the home garden.


My Review:
Teaming with Fungi is about using beneficial fungi in crop agriculture, gardening, nurseries, forests, lawns, and hydroponics. The author described the benefits to using mycorrhizae when growing many types of plants and what practices can support or disrupt their growth.

He named specific fungi known to work well with certain plants and described how to best apply them to your plants. He even described how to collect and grow your own if you don't want to buy them, though it looked like a lot of work to me. He also included a technical section on the biology of beneficial fungi and a detailed explanation about how they interact with plants.

Last year, I tried to use mycorrhizae in my organic gardening but felt like I hadn't applied them correctly to some perennial plants. Reading this book did enlighten me as to what to do to get the most out of beneficial fungi, and I'll feel more confident using them in the future.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Eat Wheat by John Douillard

book cover
Eat Wheat
by John Douillard


ISBN-13: 9781683500117
Hardback: 325 pages
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from NetGalley:
Has gluten been found guilty without a fair trial? Eat Wheat presents the science on the other side of the gluten-free aisle. For example, ancient wheat has been shown to have twice the gluten content of modern wheat yet decreased inflammation two-fold and lowered cholesterol and blood sugar. So how could the more glutinous grain actually be healthier?

Dr. Douillard has seen more than 100,000 patients in his natural health practice, helping to improve their digestive systems and begin to eat wheat again. He explains how a breakdown in digestion has damaged the intestinal wall and leaked undigested foods and environmental toxins into the body’s lymphatic system, causing “grain brain” symptoms and food allergies. Although eliminating wheat and dairy from your diet may help your symptoms, it’s a temporary solution.

The book addresses the root cause: the inability to digest well and break down harmful pollutants and toxins that can lead to more serious health concerns. Backed by more than 600 scientific studies, Eat Wheat is a revolutionary guidebook to regaining your digestive strength and safely bringing wheat and dairy back into your diet.

It will also reveal the benefits of wheat and dairy; help you navigate around food toxins in modern wheat and dairy; detail how to flush congested lymphatics linked to food intolerance symptoms; teach you to follow natural digestive circadian cycles; help bring your blood sugar back into balance, and teach you proven exercise and detox techniques to reboot strong digestion and achieve optimal health and vitality.


My Review:
I've heard about gluten being linked to increased intestinal permeability in many people. Yet whole grains (including gluten-containing grains) are a part of the healthy Mediterranean diet. So who's right?

Eat Wheat looked briefly at the scientific studies that indicate benefit or harm from gluten or dairy. And it's clearly not as simple as "gluten is bad." The author explained the "leaky gut" link that gluten-free advocates are talking about but then pointed to a deeper, root cause of food sensitivities and digestive troubles--in the lymphatic system.

He explained how the lymphatic system works, why it might not be working well, and what you can do to heal your lymphatic system and leaky gut. He included some Ayurvedic principles, like eating more seasonally, but cited scientific studies to back up many of his recommendations. He sometimes recommend Indian foods and herbs, but you can find many of these in a good health food store. I felt like a person could more easily (and more cheaply) follow his healing program than some of the "heal your leaky gut" programs I've read about.

I felt that the author had many convincing arguments, and I intend to read through the book again. My brother's girlfriend has repeatedly done "elimination diets" and removed foods (including removing gluten) to the point that she can hardly eat anything. This book should help her heal so that she can tolerate many of those foods again. I'd also recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand leaky gut or the current gluten-free trend.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Oxygen Cure by William S. Maxfield

book cover
The Oxygen Cure
by Dr. William S. Maxfield


ISBN-13: 9781630060510
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Humanix Books
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from NetGalley & Amazon:
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment which enhances the body's natural healing process by inhalation of 100% oxygen in a total body chamber, where atmospheric pressure is increased and controlled. In the United States, the FDA currently recognizes hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) for 14 conditions, including decompression sickness, embolism, crush injury, bone infection, burns, wound healing, severe anemia, and several others.

Now, in The Oxygen Cure, hyperbaric expert William S. Max eld, M.D., will convince you that HBOT is a vastly underused modality that deserves to take its place among frontline medical treatments. As a holistic treatment, HBOT targets the underlying disease or condition, not just the symptoms. The Oxygen Cure reveals how hundreds of studies on HBOT conducted around the world prove it works at the cellular level to help or heal many more conditions.

Full of hope-inspiring case histories and expert findings, The Oxygen Cure shows how HBOT not only benefits the sick and injured (including our wounded veterans), but may also reduce our country’s staggeringly high medical costs. HBOT often provides a safe alternative to drug therapy and dangerous invasive procedures.

Dr. Maxwell provides his recommendations for how HBOT can help treat conditions as varied as burn care, emphysema, arthritis, fibromyalgia, wound healing, stroke, congestive heart failure, autism, cancer, diabetes, and more. He offers strategies about exactly how HBOT should be administered and recommendations on where to seek the best treatments.


My Review:
The Oxygen Cure describes how hyperbaric oxygen therapy works, what it's used to treat in the USA, and additional conditions that it can be used for based on studies from around the world. The author looked at each type of injury or disease (like traumatic brain injury or burns) and described how HBOT has been successfully used. He included case studies describing the person's condition, their treatment, and the improvement seen when using HBOT.

While doctors could use this to become educated about how HBOT can be used, the main audience seemed to be the average person who is looking for help with some of these conditions. He described some clinics where they're informed about and willing to treat FDA approved and non-FDA approved problems, about what it'd cost, and even some ideas on how to potentially get your insurance to help pay for the treatments.

The author is trying to increase awareness so that more people can benefit from HBOT and hopefully prompt the FDA to recognize that HBOT can be safely and effectively used to treat many more conditions. It's very sad that our wounded veterans aren't getting more access to HBOT. Overall, I'd recommend this book to those interested in learning about HBOT and what it can do.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.