Book Review: The Bread Baker’s Apprentice

So, some people may not consider cookbooks to be “real” books. I don’t know why, but maybe cause it’s filled with recipes and not stories. But hey, who are we to judge. I love cooking and books. So, cookbooks satiates both my loves. That is why i’ll be reviewing cookbooks too!

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Now, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice is a book for those who love breads. It really helps you understand bread making. You actually feel like you are a Bread Baker’s Apprentice. There is the basics of bread making and how the entire bread making process works. I used to bake breads before but this books has explored in depth the process and has a detailed techniques. Even though the general process for all breads are the same, there are differences especially in the yeast used. This books explained each of the process and how one can know when each step is done. It explains how we can know when the dough has been kneaded properly and so on. There is also a lot of stories on the authors travels in search of bread. It was fun to read about the different bread makers and how the made bread. I don’t get many kinds of breads here because we have rice as staple diet. So we just usually get the basic sandwich breads and some other varieties. But this books showed me how, in countries like France and US how much importance each bread maker gives to the process of bread making and how much the people care about bread. It was an eye opener in the sense that I understood how important bread was in those cultures. I absolutely loved the writing style and how the book was presented. I tried out a few recipes and they turned out great. A bit of a problem I encountered with it was that I couldn’t change the recipes according to my country’s climate. Like, in the sourdough breads they require a cool climate but I felt that the author could explain the temperature influence in the bread a bit better. Like what we should do in the case of a tropical climate. So that was a bit of a downer. But otherwise I really enjoyed the book and how it presented the bread making process in great detail.

Rating: 4.5/5

Amazon Link: The Bread Maker’s Apprentice: 15th Anniversary Edition.

Harry Potter and the time I decided to talk about it!

Now, Harry Potter doesn’t need a review, or an introduction. Every kid knows about the boy wizard. A good chunk of people (including me) know are obsessed with it. Then why am I doing a review of it? The answer’s simple, because I can. What? Do I need a reason to read Harry Potter? So, yeah, I thought I’d talk of it, since I’m reading anyway.

So I decided to start with the first book (obviously).

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

You know, the thing I like most about the first book is that it starts out like it’s written for children. With little Harry worrying about whether he’s really a wizard and all. You know, how he’s all scared that he’d be sent back from Hogwarts any moment or the sorting hat will say it’s all a mistake. I think it’s rather cute, because he’s a powerful wizard and he doesn’t know it. It makes me want to say to him “You’re fine, kiddo. Give it a few years and you’ll be running all over the place doing awesome spells.”. In a way, it says how people are prone to doubt themselves despite being talented. It’s kind of an inspiration to how you should stop doubting yourself and give yourself a chance. If Harry had run away from Hogwarts doubtful of being a wizard would he have known how powerful a wizard he was? No. So, don’t give up on yourself.

Ok, let me come back to the post before you runaway from this article. With Harry starting out as a wizard the book tells us about the wizarding world. It’s like we’re with him entering this magical place. The thing I liked about Harry Potter’s wizarding world is how well she organised it. I haven’t seen such well organised fantasy world in any other book. The stores, Gringotts, the different things in each shop, the magical things, all make up wish had we had been there. Then, there’s Hogwarts. The first books the one that makes me so excited about Hogwarts. I mean the other books are nice, but the first one still gives a fascination for Hogwarts. Like it’s still being explored.

There’s no need for me to go into the story because everyone knows it. And if you don’t, then, what on earth have you been doing this whole time? Go read the book and get the magical adventure for yourself. Oh, and watch the Starkid’s version too! I’ll be back with another Harry Potter themed post!

Merin

 

The battle with reading slump.

So, I thought I’d bore you today with a poem I wrote. I was writing my post on reading slumps and it somehow turned into a poem. Yeah, i’m weird like that. It a bit long, but I hope you like it. It’s about how we can win the reading slump monster cause we’ve won over it before. Hope it inspires you to battle your slump monster.

Battling the Slump Monster

 

Reading Slump,

every reader’s nightmare.

The monster,

keeping us from our imaginary book world,

imprisoned in reality.

 

You try and try

with every trick up your sleeve.

You read

hoping it would go away.

But you cannot,

as the monster distracts you.

 

You keep away from books,

hoping the monster would go,

once fed.

But it stays,

with it’s battle won.

 

You wait and wait,

hoping it would go away,

tired from pestering.

But alas,

it still stays,

getting stronger with every win.

 

As the monster gets stronger,

your TBR gets longer.

And everytime you glance at it,

your frown grows deeper.

 

You wait for some miracle,

like a princess waiting to be rescued.

But deep inside you always knew,

this battle was yours from the start.

 

This time with all tricks failed,

and no prince anywhere near,

you take the sword,

and climb the tower,

and fight the slump monster.

 

This time was unlike any other,

The battle of minds ensued,

and like the true warrior you are,

you win the slump battle.

 

 

You know the monster may return,

Next time, trying to stop you,

but next time, you’re no ordinary reader,

you’re a warrior with a battle that’s won.

 

You have your sword,

and know the fight,

next time the battle’s yours,

just remember the warrior you are.

– Merin

That awkward moment when you miss your blog anniversary…twice.

 

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Here I was randomly going through my blog posts cause I had nothing better to do, and suddenly I realized I had started my blog two years back!  Wait, two years? TWO YEARS? It barely felt like six months to me! Where did all the time fly? Did I get kidnapped by space wizards for a year and have an erased memory? I seriously find this hard to believe! Here I was, thinking it might be time for a first blog anniversary and I had already missed it twice…Great going Merin…Great going…Despite being (seriously( behind on this might I wish my blog a (really) belated two year anniversary!!! *throws confetti and glitter*.

Well, to be fair I had been absent from posting for half a year cause I was busy with studies. So, I guess that must have distorted my view on time. Either way, These two years have been fun! I really enjoy talking about books, but not many people I know personally do so. So, blogging was my way releasing my inner bookish monster for a walk. And you guys have been really supportive. I mean, when I started this, I barely thought five people would read this. But nevertheless, I started it cause even if it’s not going to be read, some things need to be said. And blogging gave me this opportunity for that. Now, i have 60 followers? 60! Can you believe it? I mean, it may not seem much in the blogging world cause a lot of bloggers have like 1 million followers or so. But to me, who thought I was just going to be talking to empty space on the internet, having 60 followers is a huge deal! Thank you so much for taking your time to read these posts! *gives virtual hugs and cookies*And to all those wonderful authors who send your books to me for review, Thank you so much for deciding to give me your books for review.

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Just kidding! 🙂 Really, Thank you!!!

Aside from just my blog, I like to say how much I enjoyed reading all the other blogs. The whole reader portion in wordpress is amazing cause I get to see a lot of amazing blogs about books!  Love you guys and your amazing posts!

Hope to write to you soon!

Merin

Book Review: Buried and Forgotten by C J Carmichael

Buried

Buried by C J Carmichael: Buried, Forgotten and Exposed is a book series by C J Carmichael. Buried is the first book in the series. I have a love for reading mysteries. This one was unlike the many mysteries that I have read. I haven’t read a mystery story in series.  This one was really worth the read. The story seemed to have a general slightly dark theme to it. But it made it even more exciting. A slight problem I had with it was that the ending was a bit predictable. Well, the story doesn’t end in this book actually, so, I guess you can say it was a semi-ending. But still the book made me want to read the next book fast and requested for it.

Forgotten by C J Carmichael: This is s the 2nd book in the Forgottenseries. It continues the story of crime-writer Dougal, who once again ends up with a new mystery to solve while the previous one was not completely solved. This one was great, just like the first book! I totally like the premise of the book and the setting. The characters were really great! All in all, I loved the series a lot and would recommend it to anyone with a love for mysteries!

Goodreads:

Buried: Click Here!

Forgotten: Click Here!

(Disclaimer: I got a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.)

Book Haul!

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Yes, that’s right, I went out and bought some books! (Actually, I didn’t do the going out part, as it was ordered online, but they’re still books I bought…) I had been trying to get hold of these for long. Yes! Now I have even more books to lie around cause I exceeded shelf space. Anyway, let me move on to the haul.

Crumbs! : This is a bread recipe book. You might be wondering why i’m hauling a recipe book as most people don’t consider them “books”. But this is not just a recipe book, it’s a collection of bread stories AND bread recipes. Isn’t that wonderful? I’ve always wanted to make bread. I mean making bread is considered like the ultimate thing in cooking where I live. Like when I say I made bread, everyone goes like “Bread? You made your OWN bread?” and looks at me like I said I just completed all of Hercules’ tasks. But bread making is actually not that tough. It’s rather fun and easy, and this book helps one realize that. The recipes all have stories behind them and this makes it even more beautiful.

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf: I believe this is a speech by her. I read a part of this in my class and I found her writing and her thoughts to extremely interesting and when I saw this just bought it. It’s really beautiful to read.

The Rest of us just live here by Patrick Ness: So, this is book I bought cause it was talked about a lot in many blogs. I found the synopsis interesting and bought it. But I read a few of the pages and found that its not as interesting as it seemed. I found the story hard to follow and understand. Maybe I’ll try it again.

Freakonomics: This book is not my usual type. But I read somewhere that this book was what got someone interested in economics so I bought it.I must say this book has a lot of insights into things I hardly would have thought about. Its so interesting!

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale: I already posted review for this one. I hope you enjoy it. It’s a beautiful book!

Fangirl: Another book that had such a great reviews on blogs. But  I can’t say I liked it much. I’ll be reviewing this in detail.

Persuasion and Emma by Jane Austen: These books I bought cause I wanted to have a collection of Jane Austen novels. I already have Pride and Prejudice so, I’m adding them up. I’ve already read these as I love her writing so much.

Hope you enjoyed this book haul!!!

Book Review – Princess Academy

51SRyepzukL._AC_UL320_SR210,320_.jpgOk, i’m a lot behind on my review, I know. I’m slowly getting the pile down, my friends! Sp today, let review Princess Academy.

If you grew up with the tv shows I did, you probably would have come across an awesome kid’s cartoon, Heidi. A carton version of the book by Joanna Spyri, Heidi was one of my favourite cartoons growing up as a kid. I used to love the views from Swiss Alps, the free running little Heidi in her petticoat, her best friend Peter the goatherd, her grandpa who was a carpenter but was also one of the kindest people, practically everything about it. I used to even dream of eating goat milk cheese with brown bread like what they ate in the show. To an extent I think my love for going to the Swiss Alps was because of the view it had in Heidi. When I read Princess Academy, it reminded me in many ways of the show. Miri, the story’s main character, lived in the mountains like Heidi, and had a best friend Peder. But the similarity ends there. I mean, there still was a lot of running along the mountains and general description of the simple life among the people there, but Princess Academy had a lot more to it. When Miri and her friends are chosen to attend a Princess Academy as the astrologers foretold that the next princess is to be from the mountains, they are not happy about it. Most of the girls work in mines and when the families have to send their daughters to the academy, it means they have less people to work there. It means less income for them. So they protest. But not heeding their protests, they are send to the academy for training. The book is about the  adventures they have while in the academy. One thing I loved about it was the ending, which i’m not giving away cause it’ll be a spoiler. But I assure you, it’s worth the read.

Princess Academy may seem a children’s book, which it is, but still I feel adults can enjoy as much as kids do. It’s a fun, beautiful read for anyone who loves to live in the mountains for a while, and would like to read beautiful stories!