Babs Book Bistro

Fun reading and eating

Archive for November 2010

>Review of Case Closed by Susan Hughes

with 2 comments

>Case Closed.…………PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Egypt’s first female pharaoh disappears around 1457 BCE — was she murdered? Find out how DNA closes the case. The ancient Arabian Peninsula city of Ubar vanishes, seemingly without trace. Find out how old maps and modern space shuttles help solve the mystery. Sir John Franklin’s 1845 expedition to find the Northwest Passage is never heard from again. Find out how spectroscopy points to some probable explanations. Case Closed? examines these and six other mysteries from ancient and modern times. Accompanied by photos, maps, diagrams and illustrations, this book reveals how modern science sheds new light on people, vessels and entire civilizations throughout history that simply vanished. In some cases, the mystery has been solved. In other cases, readers can examine the latest evidence and decide for themselves.

  • Reading level: Ages 9-12
  • Hardcover: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press (August 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554533627
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554533626

My 2 cents:

I have to say I was really impressed with this book.  I hate to admit I was not expecting the book to be so good.  I knew it was wonderful when my 7 year old started asking questions about each story and wanting to know if we can research more on the “web”.  There are 9 great stories in this book that are backed up with science investigation.

The nine ‘mysteries’ explored are searching for the Egyptian female pharaoh Hatshepsut, the strange disappearance of the Chinese mariner Hsu Fu, the lost city of Ubar in Arabia, the Anasazi tribes who once inhabited the ‘four corners’ of the west (where Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah join), the disappearance of explorer Sir John Franklin while searching for the Northwest Passage in 1845 and the similar disappearance of Mt. Everest climber George Mallory in 1924, the  well known mystery of the Russian Romanov Princess Anastasia, the lost flight of the Star Dust aircraft in 1974, and finally the lost Israeli submarine INS Dakar in 1968. 

I have 2 favorites of the 9 which are the Egyptian female pharaoh Hatshepsut and Princes Anastasia.  I was pleased to find that story in the book.

I know this book is meant for children, but I think the adults are going to like it just as much.  This book was well written for anyone to like.

Written by Babs

November 28, 2010 at 11:56 am

>Review of The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman

with 3 comments


The Girl in the Green Raincoat…….PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

In the third trimester of her pregnancy, Baltimore private investigator Tess Monaghan is under doctor’s orders to remain immobile. Bored and restless, reduced to watching the world go by outside her window, she takes small comfort in the mundane events she observes . . . like the young woman in a green raincoat who walks her dog at the same time every day. Then one day the dog is running free and its owner is nowhere to be seen. Certain that something is terribly wrong, and incapable of leaving well enough alone, Tess is determined to get to the bottom of the dog walker’s abrupt disappearance, even if she must do so from her own bedroom. But her inquisitiveness is about to fling open a dangerous Pandora’s box of past crimes and troubling deaths . . . and she’s not only putting her own life in jeopardy but also her unborn child’s.
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Avon A; Original edition (January 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006193836X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061938368

  • My 2 Cents:

If you have seen Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock you are going to love this book.  Tess is funny in ways with the way her superstitions are about her baby to her friend Whitney.  I love how Whitney goes on with Tess and sets her straight with no holding back.  With her good friend Whitney and her protective boyfriend they all help Tess figure out the case.  With so many twists you will be trying to figure out what happened till the very end. 

Written by Babs

November 27, 2010 at 6:08 pm

>Review of Emmy Budd The Real Dog is Harry by Jean Blasiar

with 2 comments


Emmy Budd The Real Dog is Harry………..PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

In volume 3 of the Tween series, Emmy Budd and T.J. are joined by a scruffy dog who appears at strange times and places. The dog, whom T.J. names ‘Harry’ leads the kids to a nefarious plot, and together, the three detectives struggle to thwart a greedy developer from taking over their town.

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Charles River Press (December 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936185156
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936185153
  • Age Group: 8 and up

My 2 cents:

I love this series even at my age.  My boys like it as well. They always want to see what kind of trouble Emmy and TJ can get into, then see how they solve the situations.  When Emmy hears about the hand she gets all queasy and TJ has to laugh at her.  Then the real story begins, who does the hand belong to?  Between figuring that idea out, helping their friend Hank, who owns the Land the developer wants to build on, working at the dinner for TJ’s mom, they end up finding the dog they call Harry or I should say he ends up finding them.  There are some funny parts along the way and the story grabs you for the beginning and you do not want to put the book down.  This is a great gift idea of the holidays.  
Emmy is a charming girl that any of the girl readers will enjoy reading about and the boys will like TJ and his playfull ways. 
This is a series but you can read as a stand-alone story.

Written by Babs

November 27, 2010 at 5:21 pm

>Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday

with 9 comments

>Book Blogger Hop

“What is your favorite book cover?”

This is one of my favorite covers.  I was in a book store a few years ago looking for a new series to start.  I grabbed this one as it looked pretty interesting.  Which it was.  

If you are a new follower please leave a link to your blog and I will follow back.  Be sure to look below for the giveaway!

Glad you are here and stopped by.  I have a giveaway going on until Tuesday.  Cleo Coyle is giving away a signed copy of one of her books.  Be sure to take a look.

Cleo Coyle’s Book Giveaway

Written by Babs

November 26, 2010 at 10:20 am

Posted in Blog Hop, Follow Friday

>Guest author Cleo Coyle & Giveaway

with 8 comments


I am extremely happy to have Cleo on today.  Thank you so much for stopping by and hosting the giveaway.  

Brewing up murder for the holidays from national bestselling author Cleo Coyle…
There’s nothing cozier than a winter evening in Greenwich Village. Streetlights shimmer through icy flakes. Cafés glow with welcoming warmth, and a layer of snow dusts historic townhouses like powdered sugar on holiday confections. Murder has no place in such a pretty picture, until now… 
Although HOLIDAY GRIND is the eighth entry in my Coffeehouse Mystery series, any newcomer can read the book as a stand-alone story. As a special gift to my readers, I even made the recipe section an extra large one with bonus recipes for tasty holiday cookies and candies, tips on making espressos and lattes without an expensive machine, a glossary of coffeehouse terms, and instructions on creating your own coffeehouse syrups at home. I hope you enjoy them all.
Happy Holidays, Everyone!
~ Cleo  
Visit my virtual coffeehouse where you can see more of my recipes, learn about my books, and sign up to win free coffee. 

Cleo Coyle’s White Chocolate
Snowflake Latte

This heavenly treat tastes like a rich, warm
coffee-infused milkshake—perfect with a plate
of cookies on a snowy winter night.
May you drink it with joy!
~ Cleo

½ cup milk
¼ cup white chocolate, chopped; or white chocolate chips
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1–2 shots (3 – 6 tablespoons) hot espresso or double-strength coffee (*see note)
Whipped cream (optional)
Step 1—Combine milk and white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan about one-third full of boiling water. (The water level should be under the bowl and not touching it.) Stir constantly until chocolate is melted.
Step 2—Whip in the vanilla using a whisk, hand blender, or electric mixer. Continue to whip about a minute until the warm mixture is loosely frothy.
Step 3—Pour the espresso into a large mug. Add the steamed white chocolate milk and stir to blend the flavors. You can top with whipped cream, but it’s just as delicious without. 
*NOTE: To make double-strength coffee in an automatic drip coffee maker, French press, or pour-over cone, simply double the amount of ground coffee that you would normally use. For example, instead of 2 tablespoons of ground coffee per 6 ounces of water, use 4 tablespoons.


Win a signed copy of Holiday Grind!
Warm up a chilly winter evening with Cleo Coyle’s new culinary mystery, Holiday Grind, now a top-4 national mystery bestseller in paperback. Last year, the book was a national bestseller in hardcover, and Cleo’s giving away an autographed hardback edition of the book. Read it with a mug of her White Chocolate Snowflake Latte. Get the recipe below – it’s one of the many recipes Cleo includes in her appendix of Holiday Grind!

Written by Babs

November 24, 2010 at 9:15 am

>Review of Pilot Mountain by Robert Wall

with 2 comments

>Pilot Mountain……..PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Pilot Mountain is a work of fiction based on the life of Louis H. Wall as seen through the eyes of his great-grandson, Dr. Robert R. Wall. This work takes us from Louis’s induction into the Army of Northern Virginia. It follows Louis through his exploits during several of the most horrific battles of that war. Finally, to his return home from that war, family strife and to the ultimate decision that would change his life forever. It is a story of family life in the old south and the war that changed the south forever. However it does not dwell on that horrific war. It instead tells stories of friends and the men and woman whose lives were changed by that terrible war. Dr. Wall has studied the genealogy of his Great-Grandfather and the history of his Great-Grandfather’s regiment during the Civil War. From this he has extrapolated this work of fiction from his own mind as it could have taken place.

This is a work of fiction and has no basis in fact, other than the regimental history and the areas in which his Great-Grandfather lived and fought for survival. No knowledge of what actually took place between family members is known or implied.

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press (September 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432763423
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432763428

My 2 cents:

This was an interesting read as I love reading about the Civil War.  It has been a long time so I was happy when I was asked to review this copy.  It takes you through some of the battles and the return home which will lead to a big change.  Life in the south is brought out in this book and how the war changed so many lives not just the soldiers.  This is a must read.

Written by Babs

November 22, 2010 at 8:20 pm

>Review for Ask Me About Mary Kay by Jackie Brown

with 2 comments

>Ask Me About Mary Kay………PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

In December of 1963, grief over the recent assassination of President Kennedy gave rise to a heightened sense of urgency to “grab the brass ring now.” So it was that on a snowy day in Dallas, a legal secretary looking for a brighter future for herself and her family answered an ad placed by a new company, Mary Kay Cosmetics. In Jackie Brown’s brief interview with Mary Kay, she became convinced not only of the company’s quality products and the founder’s values, but also of the potential in the marketing plan. Here was a company that would reward her hard work and dedication with an executive paycheck! Jackie rose through the ranks of Mary Kay Cosmetics as no one else did. Jackie’s successes in selling and recruiting laid the foundation for a cosmetics empire and she herself became the gold standard for new recruits. But as the company’s achievements spiraled ever higher, Jackie began to see flaws from within. And these were only the first warnings of a breach of trust so great it would start a battle between the two women. This is the story the public has never heard. The real story that fills in the gaps left by other published reports. It is a story of loyalty and betrayal, joy and heartbreak, recognition and disappointment, heady success and depressing failure. Ultimately, it is also a story of tragedy, and Jackie Brown is the only one who can tell it. Author Jackie Brown spent over forty years in the cosmetic business and was president of two cosmetic companies. Now retired, she lives in a small town in Arkansas.

  • Paperback: 394 pages
  • Publisher: Strategic Book Publishing (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609761650
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609761653

My 2 cents:

Mary Kay and Jackie Brown are good role models for anyone running a business or wanting to.  Both woman overcame so many obstacles through out their career and made it big.  This book might make some people upset thinking Jackie should have left some things alone or out of the book.  I am glad she didn’t.  It really makes you see the faith and how hard they both worked at their goals and businesses.  I was shocked I guess I was expecting it to be no holds bared let everything out some of it was, but not like what a person might think.  This was a great read for me and recommend it highly.

Written by Babs

November 22, 2010 at 8:06 pm