2019 Book #29 – Next Girl to Die by Dea Poirier

41OqgV4QuzL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Next Girl to Die
Author: Dea Poirier
Date finished: 5/18/19
Genre: Thriller/suspense, mystery
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: May 1, 2019
Pages in book: 320
Stand alone or series: #1 in The Calderwood Cases series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Solving the case will avenge her sister—unless the killer finds her first.

It’s been fifteen years since Claire Calderwood’s sister, Rachel, was brutally murdered in their small hometown in Maine. Claire has finally carved out a life for herself as a homicide detective in Detroit, but the past comes calling when the local police back home ask for her help with a murder eerily similar to Rachel’s.

Still haunted by Rachel’s cold case, Claire returns home, hoping to solve the crime and finally put her grief to rest. As she starts investigating, the last thing she needs is tenacious journalist Noah Washington asking questions she’s not ready to answer. But like her, Noah won’t give up until he finds the truth—and Claire reluctantly finds herself relying on him more and more when disturbing new details about Rachel’s death come to light.

When the killer strikes once again, Claire knows he’s not done. Now he’s set his sights on Claire, who will have to find the courage she needs to survive a deadly confrontation years in the making.

My rating: 3.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I think I ended up requesting this book mostly based on the cover (which looks great). I don’t usually love novels about a cop who is working to solve a crime, particularly one that is looking to set up for a series all about that same cop. So I did like this book and enjoyed it, but it wasn’t quite right for me – I’m just not interested in this particular style of novel. Claire as a character wasn’t my favorite either, she was a bit too gloomy for me. There were definitely some good parts to the novel and also there were a few very good plot twists. The ending felt pretty underwhelming for me, there weren’t any great twists at the end or anything too exciting. I still liked the book though and thought it was a good read, I think that the genre it’s in just isn’t for me. If you liked series like Rizzoli & Isles or other series about a cop who solves crimes, I’d check this one out!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2018 Book #24 – Hatshepsut by in60Learning

414PLQBXWqL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Hatshepsut: The Pharaoh-Queen of Egypt
Author: in60Learning
Date finished: 3/30/18
Genre: Non-fiction
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: February 4, 2018
Pages in book: 52
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Author/Publisher
NOTE: I received this book for free from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Smarter in sixty minutes.
Get smarter in just 60 minutes with in60Learning. Concise and elegantly written non-fiction books and audiobooks help you learn the core subject matter in 20% of the time that it takes to read a typical book. Life is short, so explore a multitude of fascinating historical, biographical, scientific, political, and financial topics in only an hour each.
When Pharaoh Thutmose II died, he left an heir far too young to rule Egypt. His widow Hatshepsut stepped up to take his place. For at least the next 20 years, Hatshepsut ruled as Pharaoh King of Egypt in an era of prosperous growth and peace. When she died, her nephew Thutmose III attempted to smear her good name and wipe her memory from history. However, despite his efforts, his aunt Hatshepsut holds the title of most famous native Egyptian woman to ever rule as pharaoh; she also retains a legacy as one of the most successful female leaders in early history.

My rating:  3.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

When I was contacted with the opportunity to review this book I was really intrigued. I have always found history somewhat interesting but whenever I really start trying to get through any kind of text on history I can’t stay focused long enough to get through the information. So the concept of a short but sweet historical text sounded like just what I needed to get in a little learning! And this book definitely delivered, it was only about an hour to an hour and a half of reading (I get interrupted a lot) and presented the facts in a format that was really straight forward and easy to understand. The text was really approachable and the chapters were brief, which made it easier to get through the reading. While non-fiction still isn’t necessarily my favorite thing to read, this book was really a great in between for me where I was able to learn a little about historical events. I would really recommend trying these books for a little brief learning adventure.

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Link to author website

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Wine and Cocktails – New Releases!

So I have some wine and cocktail books that I was approved to review through NetGalley recently. I don’t really count these as “books read” since when I read a collections of information like this, I don’t necessarily read every single page. But I thought I would still share these books with you guys in case something snags your interest!

The Periodic Table of Cocktails by Emma Stokes – 4.75 stars

41VZ4n1CyBL._SY346_I really enjoyed this book a lot, I actually added it to my Amazon wishlist to purchase in the near future! This was a really creative way to present groups of cocktails with similar characteristics. There was a great chapter on martinis that I learned a lot from. There’s too much information in this book to really retain everything long-term but this would make a great reference book for cocktails, both classic and modern recipes. I loved too that there was so much information included on the background/history of the cocktail and how it originated. This book gave me some great ideas on new cocktails to make and I can’t wait to try them!

The Periodic Table of Wine by Sarah Rowlands – 4.0 stars

41Cpv3xCVALThis was a good book about a lot of different kinds of wine, and it includes a great general description of flavor characteristics and different wine-making styles of grapes and regions. Again, this isn’t something that you can retain all the information but it is a great reference text for types of wines. I also really liked that the grapes were grouped into similar categories and each wine gave recommendations for other wines to try if you liked that wine, making it easy to find a new wine that you might like!

Rose All Day by Katherine Cole – 3.5 stars

414mPAa8SRL._SY346_This book had a great amount of history included as to how Rose as a wine came about and also how it became popular, there was much more history there than I ever realized. I also didn’t realize there was quite so many variations of Rose from the different regions of the world. This is, again, not something that you can retain all the information from but is a great reference text for a Rose lover.

2016 Book #34 – Dead Distillers by Colin Spoelman and David Haskell

51AjX++6X+L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Dead Distillers
Author: Colin Spoelman & David Haskell
Date finished: 4/14/16
Genre: Non-fiction
Publisher: Abrams Image
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Pages in book: 224
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE:I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Founders and award-winning distillers of Kings County Distillery Colin Spoelman and David Haskell follow up their successful Guide to Urban Moonshining with an extensive history of the figures who distilled American spirits.
The book presents 50 fascinating—and sometimes morbid—biographies from this historic trade’s bygone days, including farmers, scientists, oligarchs, criminals, and the occasional US president. Readers may be surprised to find the names George Washington, Henry Frick, or Andrew Mellon alongside the usual suspects long associated with booze—Jasper “Jack” Daniel, Jim Beam, and Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle. From the Whiskey Rebellion to Prohibition to the recent revival of craft spirits, the history of whiskey, moonshine, and other spirits remains an important part of Americana. Featuring historical photos, infographics, walking-tour maps, and noteworthy vintage newspaper clippings, it’s a rich visual and textual reference to a key piece of American history.
Dead Distillers is a spirited portrait of the unusual and storied origins of forgotten drunkenness.

My rating:  4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. The men in my family are all bourbon drinkers and I have recently discovered a great love for gin so when I saw this book available on NetGalley I was very interested. And I’m really glad that I requested it. This book was chock full of history and maps and charts and all the stuff that turns into a great story about distilleries. This book is mostly a compilation of a good number of short biographies of famous (and sometimes not so famous) American distillers. This book was compiled and written by two owners of the Kings County Distillery in Brooklyn, NY. There was a lot of great historical information included in this book, as well as a few maps of cemeteries and other locations discussed in the book. There were also a lot of great pictures on the subject matter discussed, including a few awesome pictures of distillery fires.
Overall I really liked this book a lot. I normally don’t like reading historical non-fiction but the individual sections in this book were brief enough that they kept even my interest, and all the passages were packed full of information. I think this would make a great coffee table book and a great conversation piece. I personally am going to be using this as a birthday gift for a few people I know with upcoming birthdays! Anyone who drinks liquor should check this out.

The bottom line: I really liked this book a lot! There were a lot of interesting, almost scandalous stories included which hold the readers interest throughout the book. The book also included a lot of nifty maps for anyone interested in checking out the tourist locations which I loved. I would definitely recommend this one! Great addition for the home library.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page