Friday, August 26, 2011

Insanewiches, by Adrian Fiorino (nonfiction) - super sandwiches, creative cooking fun

Fun Friday and ready to make your lunchbox the envy of everyone at the table with Insanewiches, an amazing album of edible art that you can make at home.

Wildly inventive sandwich artist Fiorino brings us clear instructions on how to design and construct A+ sandwiches from teeny Cutecumber 'Wich to gigantic Quadruple Down. Grab your edible ink markers and amaze your lunch buddies with your own Insanewich.

Equipment and tools needed? Cataloged.
Best breadstuffs for intricate cut-out shapes? Listed.
Hunger-inducing color photos for each Insanewich? Absolutely!

If anyone can make a better sandwich than the Cordless Mousewich with USB Cheesestick or popular Rubik's Cubewich, it'll be Fiorino!
Be sure to check the Insanewiches blog for new recipes, contests, and other funny stuff.

Book info: Insanewiches / Adrian Fiorino. St. Martins Griffin, 2011 [author's website] [publisher website] [book trailer]

Recommendation: If the sandwiches in your life are boring, square, or blah, you need Insanewiches! No ho-hum PBJs in this collection of yummy toteables created for breakfast, party time, dessert, and even lunchboxes.

Try breakfast on a stick with Pancake Popwiches or open wide, wide, wider for the amazingly tall morning stack-up entitled The Breakfast Club (sandwich artist Fiorino advises that you eat no more than these per day – it’s that big!).

Take a “Don’t Eat Like a Bird” sandwich featuring a two-tone bread birdhouse shape in your lunchbox or assemble a sad, sad Flatbread Fred with delectable vegetable eyes and nose for a quick lunch at home.

Get adventurous with an East Meets Westdog (sushi + hotdog!) or the Cold Cut Cage Match (complete with wrestling arena on top!). King Me with the ham and cheese checkerboard, try to lift the Sumo Sandwich, or go all out with a Crazy Canuck Sandwich - dinner will never be the same again... Satisfy your sweet tooth with a dessert-worthy Banana Splitwich, a clever Coffee 'n' Cakewich, or The Curious Carrot Cake Sandwich.

With 101 ideas for amazing, crazy Insanewiches to choose from, you'll always have the tastiest plate in town, plus well-explained food-assembly techniques for making your own sandwich dreams a reality. [Review copy and cover image courtesy of publisher]

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Now is the Time for Running, by Michael Williams (fiction) - soccer, escape, survival

World Wednesday, and time to see what's happening right now, the reality that doesn't always make news headlines.

School, soccer, and time with friends - that's what Deo's life in Zimbabwe should be like. But as in too many places in the world, powerful forces take away his teenage dreams, take away his family, take away his future.

It's up to Deo to help his older brother survive, as they avoid soldiers, wild animals, brutal prejudice, and the gangs of the big city. South African author Michael Williams shows us how hope tries to survive in the face of dire adversity - you won't want to miss this book!

Book info: Now is the Time for Running / Michael Williams. Little Brown, 2011. [publisher site]

Recommendation: The soldiers didn’t care that the homemade soccer ball was Deo’s prized possession. They didn’t care that Deo’s village was hungry. They didn’t plan to leave anyone alive to complain…

Suddenly Deo and his older brother Innocent are on the run through the scrublands of Zimbabwe, fleeing the President’s soldiers – the President who fought for liberation from foreign rulers, like Grandfather did. It’s up to Deo to keep mentally disabled Innocent safe as they seek help from friends in Bikita, then trek onward toward the border, trying to find their father who was away when the soldiers came.

The dangers of crossing the river into South Africa, crossing the wild lands of the lions and hyenas, finding a place to hide in the city that wants no more refugees – how much can one teenager do?

Will Deo ever be able to just play soccer again? Or return to school? Or find a way out of the grim shanties and shadows to a place with soap and water so that Innocent can wash up and be happy again? Can he escape gangs and drugs and hatred all around him?

A compelling story based on the real lives of too many refugees in Africa, Now is the Time for Running starts in a faraway place and takes our hearts and minds even further. (One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Beyond our ken - paranormal favorites

Mysterious, metaphysical Monday! Let's look back at our summer reading shelf filled with outstanding paranormal fiction.

Being a psychic is more than just a summer job for Clarity - it's her life. Murder and a sneaky big brother complicate things a bit...

Does Lena dare gaze into The Mermaid's Mirror? Ever-drawn to the ocean despite her father's warnings, she longs to surf and master the waves as he once did.

The City of Lights is no match for Kate's depression, but mysterious strangers shake up her mourning as she witnesses unbelievable rescues in Paris - who would allow someone else to Die for Me?

Superheroes and robo-zombies leap out of Jack's tattered comic book collection and into his dreary life at the orphanage. Suddenly, it's up to The Accidental Hero to make things right in the ImagineNation and in the real world.

In an older time, another orphan makes a perilous bargain, bartering her shadow for the wish of her heart. As her shadow dwindles and evil stalks the river people, Plain Kate worries that her agreement may doom her land.

The River of Time series begins with Waterfall, as Gabi & Lia accidentally journey into the past, right into a 14th century battle and the chance for romance. Will they return to Castle Forelli in Cascade? And what new mysteries will we uncover in Torrent? The third book will be published on Sept. 1st = watch this space for an early review!!

An all-too-realistic future is Kyra's home, where drought reigns and water-access is power. Can her newly-found talent release all these Dry Souls?

Hide your guinea pigs, then visit The Reformed Vampire Support Group in Australia. Yeah, everyone needs a support group to stay on the straight and narrow - or to help solve a murder.

And don't miss Garth's wild ride into Ghostopolis, where the living are forbidden to go (no matter how close to death they are) - a graphic novel with humor, darkness, and Skinny.

Lots more mysterious, metaphysical, paranormal books ahead on BooksYALove, as we uncover wonderful titles that you'd miss if you let the bestseller lists tell you what to read!
(and isn't Venice lovely as the sun sets?)