Tag Archives: 4 stars

Review: Crispy Quinoa Cakes Recipe

Crispy Quinoa Cakes Recipe

Crispy Quinoa Cakes Recipe

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I made this recipe a few weeks ago and it got rave reviews from all. Even the people who are suspicious of anything vegetarian loved it. The combination of the cakes and the Red Pepper Sauce was excellent. I highly recommend!

I did make a few small changes. Due to the tastes of some of the people around here I used an Irish potato instead of a sweet potato. In the future, I will most likely use more quinoa.


Review: Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain

Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the BrainMusicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I cannot remember a time in my life when I have not loved music and loved to sing. I was raised in an environment where singing, and singing in front of others was pervasive. That being said, other than voice lessons, I have very little formal knowledge of what music is. I do not play an instrument or read music easily, and I most certainly have never been taught how music impacts the brain. Fortunately for me, in Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain Oliver Sacks addresses the latter, and does so in his beautiful flowing style. Somethings I’ve suspected were confirmed. Other pipe dreams, like that I could someday acquire perfect pitch, were dashed, but that is fine because of how fascinating the book was. I highly recommend this for anyone interested in any facet of music or the workings of the human brain.

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Review: The Name of the Wind

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I spent some time debating whether to give The Name of the Wind 3 stars or 4. I finally settled on 4, in large part because of Patrick Rothfuss‘s incredible language and the phenomenal job Nick Podehl did as narrator. That being said, the book had several pacing issues, a female love interest I find impressively boring and off-putting, and a protagonist I hated for the first third of the book. Despite this rocky going, however, when I finished the book my impression was largely positive. I think this is an excellent book to illustrate the concept that sometimes the whole is greater than the parts. I am definitely looking forward to listening to The Wise Man’s Fear, but will most likely give my ears a week or so sans headphones before doing so.

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Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire proved to be an excellent choice for a non-horror Halloween read. In it, J.K. Rowling sharply continues her addition of darkness to the series. We see Harry, Hermione, Ron and the rest of the gang returning to Hogwart’s for yet another year. As usual, there are also dark deeds going on, but the focus this year is on the Triwizard Tournament. Despite rules requiring contestants to be 17, Harry naturally ends up in the mix. Adventures ensue. Naturally, there is a giant spider. Why is there always a giant bloody spider? *grumbles* In spite of that, the book is excellent. Also, there is a merciful lack of Quidditch game play by plays.

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Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1)The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Locke Lamora is what Oliver Twist could have been, had he not been so impossibly perfectly naive to the point of stupidity and dull innocent. Actually, I suppose one would have to say Locke has more in common with The Artful Dodger. An orphan who becomes a skilled thief, but with far more intelligence and skill. And burning down of large inns. In The Lies of Locke Lamora Scott Lynch creates a cast of characters who you’ll love and who will make you laugh. An equisite work of fantasy that overlaps heavily with the action genre, I highly recommend this work to anyone who likes their characters to be badass and have questionable motives.

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Review: When the Library Lights Go Out

When the Library Lights Go Out
When the Library Lights Go Out by Megan McDonald
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Watchmen by Alan Moore

WatchmenWatchmen by Alan Moore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pretty much brilliant.

That was the first review I wrote of Watchmen when I read it a few years back. I still feel that way, for all it is not my favorite of Alan Moore‘s works. A postmodern view of the 1980s that still feels relevant, this graphic novel is truly a literary work. Based on the concept of washed up superheroes, the book builds a sense of dread and questions the very concept of life and its worth. The discovery of a megalomonomaniacal figure pulling the strings of the world leaves a fair amount of uncertainty as to whether he is a hero or a villain. Ultimately, the question of whether or not the ending is good or bad remains. I have my own opinion. What is yours?

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Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkhaban by JK Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is more of the same delightful fun with which J.K. Rowling filled the first two books of the series, but with a darker bent and twice the pages. In it we again see Harry, Ron, and Hermione embarking on a new school year. The have yet another new Defense of the Dark Arts teacher. They learn why having Hagrid as a Care of Magical Creatures teacher is not an entirely good idea. Malfoy continues being a jerk. The main difference is the combined subtlety and darkness of the villains. The danger felt more real and the suspense was artfully built. I’m looking forward to the next one!

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Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex by Judith Levine

We live in a society where fear and ideology are the basis for many of the decisions made regarding children and sexuality, from the ever present panic about sexual abuse to the prevalence of abstinence only education despite the predominance of evidence that it does not work. This is underlying message Judith Levine describes in Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex, a thought-provoking and intense work chronicling how we got to the place we are today and how these attitudes are dangerous and can damage our children. She discusses how both left-wing feminism and right-wing religious ideology created this environment and have helped it flourish. Thoroughly researched with extensive documentation, this is a work well worth reading attentively and carefully. Continue reading


Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex by Judith Levine

Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from SexHarmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex by Judith Levine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We live in a society where fear and ideology are the basis for many of the decisions made regarding children and sexuality, from the ever present panic about sexual abuse to the prevalence of abstinence only education despite the predominance of evidence that it does not work. This is underlying message Judith Levine describes in Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex, a thought-provoking and intense work chronicling how we got to the place we are today and how these attitudes are dangerous and can damage our children. She discusses how both left-wing feminism and right-wing religious ideology created this environment and have helped it flourish. Thoroughly researched with extensive documentation, this is a work well worth reading attentively and carefully.

You can read a more comprehensive review on my blog.

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