Friday, May 25, 2018

An Incomplete History of World War II

An Incomplete History of World War II
by Edwin Kiester Jr.

Publisher:Barnes & Noble
Publication date:09/09/2007
Product dimensions:6.25(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.83(d)


Rather than a dense, chronological overview, this original collection of twenty-four stories takes readers on an eccentric and exciting journey through some of the key moments in World War II. Elegantly written in a narrative voice that brings the stories and era to life, An Incomplete History of World War II is sure to satisfy seasoned history buffs and novices alike.

My Thoughts

Awhile back I picked up this copy of An Incomplete History of World War II by Edwin Kiester Jr. Earlier, this week I started reading these 24 short stories. The narration reads like a reflection for those who took part in this war that was a global conflict. 

I found much of this read to be extremely interesting. It does include many images I had not seen before.

The details in the section that speaks about radio detection methods and ranging (radar) I found intriguing.  

This read provides some descriptions and details on the sneak attacks as well as well as rescues and surviving sieges. It also speaks to some of the hoaxes that came out during the war and additionally provides information on the death marches.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Heirloom Vegetable Gardening A Master Gardener's Guide to Planting, Seed Saving, and Cultural History

Heirloom Vegetable Gardening
A Master Gardener's Guide to Planting, Seed Saving, and Cultural History
by William Woys Weaver
Quarto Publishing Group - Cool Springs Press
Voyageur Press
Home & Garden
Pub Date 20 Mar 2018   


"This book is sure to be a modern classic and is one of the most important books on gardening in the current century."
—Jere Gettle, founder, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Heirloom Vegetable Gardening has always been a book for gardeners and cooks interested in unique flavors, colors, and history in their produce. This updated edition has been improved throughout with growing zones, advice, and new plant entries. Line art has been replaced with lush, full-color photography. Yet at the core, this book delivers on the same promise it made two decades ago: It’s a comprehensive guide based on meticulous first-person research to these 300+ plants, making it a book to come back to season after season.

My Thoughts

I love gardening!  And homegrown produce is a passion of mine. 

My parents and grandparents were great edible gardeners!  As a child,  I remember hours spent working in their large vegetable beds. My job was to follow instructions and help with any tasks. At harvest time, our whole family was involved in picking and what didn't go to the table would be frozen, canned or shared with neighbors.

So, I was pleased to receive a copy of this book from Quarto Publishing Group. Yes! Heirloom Vegetable Gardening  A Master Gardener's Guide to Planting, Seed Saving, and Cultural History by William Woys Weaver is full of history and I love that it includes the different growing zones and popular Heirloom vegetables. 

We recently stopped at an Amish market. In addition to a variety of tomatoes and peppers, we bought some Bush Green Bean JAKE seeds. But, until I read this book I had no idea of all the different varieties of these vegetables.

This book also included leafy vegetables we love like beets, chard, kale,  collards, cabbage, and lettuces. We love growing loose leaf lettuce and have a raised bed devoted to it. I also plant lettuce seeds in clay pots.

And for those that love unusual root vegetables, this book offers a great deal of information on the different varieties. I feel the details and new plant entries combined with the colorful photos will make readers want to expand their gardens and plant more.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Book Loft Audience 5/20

This week, top 10 audience is United States, Germany, Singapore, Poland, United Kingdom, France, Australia, Algeria, Spain, and the Netherlands.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The New Outdoor Kitchen: Cooking Up a Kitchen for the Way You Live and Play

The New Outdoor Kitchen: Cooking Up a Kitchen for the Way You Live and Play 
by Deborah Krasner  (Author)
Hardcover: 232 pages
Publisher: Taunton Press 
(February 1, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1561588040
ISBN-13: 978-1561588046
Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.9 x 11.1 inches


As indoor kitchen design books do, The New Outdoor Kitchen covers initial design and planning and, in subsequent chapters, covers "stove" options (grills, smokers, wood-fired ovens); the rest of the kitchen (outdoor refrigerators, sinks, cabinets, and countertops); the entertaining and eating areas (including a discussion of outdoor heaters, social fire-fireplaces, firepits, and chimineas--and bug control to increase your season of enjoyment); and, finally, the grace notes of the outdoor kitchen--lighting and sound systems, plantings, and water features. Ten portfolio kitchens will be laced between the chapters, and the book will conclude with an extensive source list. The kitchens pictured in the book will run the size, price, ambition, and creativity gamut, from kitchens sited on decks and patios to a small urban backyard set up to elaborate built-in, freestanding outdoor environments.

My Thoughts

In the spring, I like to dig out some of my old books and leaf through those that contain attractive outdoor images. And, the book The New Outdoor Kitchen: Cooking Up a Kitchen for the Way You Live and Play by Deborah Krasner is full of photographs and useful information.

I enjoy many things about this book. Among them are that it provides details on how to recognize a great location, how to measure and draw a sitemap and more importantly budget testing. 

The book makes you think, how do you want to spend your hard earned money? What is most important to you? 

Take for example grills. There is an interesting section on the different type of grills, gas, charcoal, pellet, infrared, propane, electric, and fire-side. Either flat top, portable freestanding or perhaps you are more geared to something built-in with or without warming drawers. 

Another section talks about a variety of outdoor appliances and we see there are many different types of flooring and walls too.

I personally enjoy the section that offers up images of entertaining outside as it goes over outdoor furniture selection, fabrics, and finishes as well as the section that discusses lighting, sound systems, planting and water features.

While this book shows many photographs of elaborate outdoor kitchens, it also provided images an details for those on a budget.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018


Copyright Ruth O'Neill (Standard Copyright License)
Edition First Edition
Publisher Lulu Publishing
Published February 5, 2018
Language English
Binding Perfect-bound 
Paperback Interior 
Ink Black & white
ISBN 9780244666552


Gemma Peacock’s life was perfect – or at least, she thought it was. She had a home she loved, a job she enjoyed, and a husband she adored. The only cloud on the horizon was the continuing tension between Gemma and her mother-in-law, but that’s the same for everyone, right?
After the death of her beloved husband, Ritchie, everything begins to fall apart.

Indiana Manors’ life, on the other hand, is far from perfect – but she knows just what she has to do to fix it. Befriend Gemma Peacock, and destroy her.

My Thoughts 

Befriended begins at a Gemma Peacock’s husband, Ritchie's, funeral. 

After the funeral, I was surprised how easily Gemma strayed from her friend Maria to spending much of her time with Indiana Manors, whom she knew very little about. 

This was a quick read and I really enjoyed the way the plot traveled. We started off in the present tense and then slowly moved back and forth so readers got a good sense of the characters past to combine with the present day. 

It was one of those reads where I did not care for many of the characters individual personalities but felt much empathy for a few, and all characters were well written and drew my curiosity. 

I wasn't quite prepared for the volume of scheming and manipulation involved. And it wasn't just one or two people being manipulated but it seemed there was someone falling prey to manipulation at every turn.

My questioning, what is going to happen next, definitely kept me turning the pages, making it a read I could not put down.

I received this contemporary thriller from the author for an honest review.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Vegetables Love Flowers Companion Planting for Beauty and Bounty

Vegetables Love Flowers
Companion Planting for Beauty and Bounty
by Lisa Mason Ziegler
Quarto Publishing Group - Cool Springs Press
Home & Garden
Pub Date 27 Mar 2018
EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9780760357583
PRICE $21.99 (USD)
FTC Reviewed for Quarto Publishing Group - Cool Springs Press and Net Galley


Fight garden pests and increase your yields the natural way with this tried and true technique!
Planting vegetables and flowers together is one of the oldest ways to create a healthy, bountiful garden, but there's more to the method than you might think. Vegetables Love Flowers will walk you through the ins and outs of companion planting, from how it works to which plants go together and how to grow the best garden for your climate. 
With the right information and some careful planning, you can help your plants thrive--and beautify your garden in the process.

My Thoughts

Author Lisa Mason Ziegler with The Gardners Workshop is a home gardener and cut flower farmer. She starts this book off by introducing readers to the idea of growing flowers in your vegetable garden to attract beneficial insects and increase yields.

Timely planting is discussed. Unfortunately, everything here is going in the ground late this year due to the cold temperatures that affected planting times.

My husband and I have started seed indoors but have never tried the soil blocking that the author uses. We use to start your plants in a small greenhouse, but it got destroyed in a storm, so we've been planting out from packs we purchased from a nearby nursery. We plant our vegetables in rows and stagger our annuals as they need room to spread out. 

Yesterday, we spent time moving some of our raised vegetable beds closer to our perennial beds. We planted loose leaf lettuce and will plant the packs of tomatoes later this week.

There is an excellent section on mulching and weed prevention in general. It also goes on to talk about fertilizing and the use of compost and what it contains. 

The benefits of having beneficial creatures in the garden are discussed in detail in this book. Ladybug larva will eat the harmful insects, like aphids. Spiders and wasp also feed on harmful insects, while other flying insects aid in pollinating blooms. Bird feeders and bushes will attract birds that are good at preying on harmful insects too.

We use protective coverings when there is a danger of frost and we've already planted. But this read also goes into detail about row covers and the use of hoop houses.

We have beds of hosta and last year the slugs were strong invaders, so, one thing I might try this year is the authors trap for slugs and snails.

New to me was the section on creating habitats for many reptiles. We have frogs around here that hang out in our small garden pond. But it has been years since we've seen any snakes in the garden.

Overall, I felt this book was a quick and easy read. The thing I most enjoyed was the depth of detail about companion planting and the vivid images that went along with it. You can read more about Lisa's making of this book here.

This week Lori's Book Loft top 10 audience is
United States, Russia, Germany, Canada, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Poland, Spain, Guam, and Italy.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Luck of the Bride

The Luck of the Bride
The Cavensham Heiresses
by Janna MacGregor
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Paperbacks
ISBN 9781250116161
PRICE $7.99 (USD)
FTC: Reviewed ARC for Net Galley


Can a woman who’s down on her luck find love with a dashing Duke-to-be? Find out in The Luck of the Bride, the next Regency romance in the Cavensham Heiresses series from Janna MacGregor. 
She’s leaving nothing up to chance. Not even love…

March Lawson is an orphan who, for the past eight years, has struggled to raise her siblings on a meager allowance. Most women March’s age would be picking out ball gowns for the upcoming season. But March’s focus is not on finding a husband. First, she must devote her energies to just one man: the coldhearted skinflint who refuses to release her inheritance.

Michael Cavensham, the Marquess of McCalpin, is not a heartless man. When he learns that Miss Lawson has been forging his name to procure funds, he can’t bring himself to have her arrested—not when the bold-faced embezzler is so enchantingly beautiful. Instead, McCalpin agrees to visit her home to assess the situation more closely. March has no choice but to accept. But how can she manage the handsome trustee who controls her purse strings—when he tugs at her heart strings as well?

My Thoughts

The Luck of the Bride is the third book in Janna MacGregor’s Cavensham Heiresses series. I have enjoyed the writing. And, in this story, I could envision this time period perfectly. The characters just felt right.

March is attempting to keep her siblings safe and the family together after their parents died from influenza. The guardians in charge of the family and estate seem not to notice or care that they have been struggling. 

After eight long years, March begins forging Michael, Marquess of McCalpin, signature to secure funds from her trust to aid her family. 

You see, she is good with numbers and he is not.  

When Michael, the heir of the Duke of Langham, learned of her forgery, instead of turning her away, he makes other arrangements.

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