Crystal161981's Blog

These are the keyholes into my life

The Crow Special Edition Review

This special edition of The Crow is a breathtaking addition to any fans collection. I’m so excited that I received this to review from the author through Goodreads giveaways. The illustrations are mezmerizing and the storyline captivating. I think what I appreciate the most is the Introduction from O’Barr, letting us in on his original concepts that weren’t included and why. An amazing and tragic creation and beautiful tribute to Brandon Lee.

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Coulrophobia & Fata Morgana Review

Coulrophobia & Fata Morgana is a diverse and at times dark toned collection of stories that I won through the Goodreads giveaways. The style of writing very effectively brings to life the characters and captivates you through each story line. I read this on college break and enjoyed the out-of-the-box, unpredictable, and at times disturbing topics. What I liked the most is that the short nature of the stories allowed for me to put it down several times without feeling unsatisfied or unfinished. I look forward to reading more of Mr. Appel’s work.

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12 Major World Religions Review

Although raised Baptist Christian, I consider myself a spiritual person rather than religious. With that said I am very intrigued with the diversity in culture and religion and have been looking for a book like 12 Major World Religions. Giving an open-minded and neutral approach, it clearly lays out the history, beliefs and traditions of our most popular world religions. I found it very fascinating to compare the similarities and differences as well as better understanding concepts such as jihad and how it’s evolved. One of my favorite sections is part one which covers ancient Egyptian Greek and Nordic beliefs now considered mythology and I thought it a nice prequel to the 12. I also enjoyed the explanations of symbols and timelines the wonderfully illustrate each faith. Overall a great reference.

I received this to gladly review.

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The Easy Cannabis Cookbook Review

I have many cookbooks in my collection, but The Easy Cannabis Cookbook is probably the most interesting of them. Out of the norm for my reading, I’m glad I was able to review this book for free. I’ve learned so much about the stigmas attached to and medicinal aspects of Cannabis. Deemed the “Martha Stewart of Weed”, Cheri Sicard does a nice job of teaching the ancient history and uses as well as providing specifically detailed recipes for everything from Cheesy Fettuccine to classic Brownies. Even if you’re not a Cannabis consumer, this book provides and insightful and knowledgeable view into the world of edibles.

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Sex Positions for Every Body Review

Sex Positions for Every Body is only the second of this type of book I’ve read and was happy to review it for the publisher for free. Dr. Jill McDevitt gives a fresh and real take on the subject while providing a very informative guide on everything from foreplay to positions and beyond. Not just a Kama Sutra book, she discusses past sex manuals and the past misconceptions, bring a modern air to her writing. If you’re shy or uncomfortable about these topics, this book will put you at ease and entertain.

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The Switch Review

I won The Switch by Sandra Brown through the Goodreads giveaways. This is my first time reading her work and I enjoyed it so much that I found myself thinking about the story line and characters in between reading. The writing was eloquent and easy to follow and the story line is cleverly unfolded. I appreciated the whitty smooth but intense feel as well, and already have the next of her books on the to read shelf.

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Wicca Practical Magic Review

I’ve read several books on meditation, spells, crystals, oils and other practices but this is the first I’ve read on Wiccan culture and the incorporation of these. In reading, I thought Wicca Practical Magic to be a great starter book on the subject. It does a wonderful job of explaining what it is, what it’s not, the history as well as what magic really means today. I also found it a great resource to have handy as there are sections on stones, herbs and oils, and spells to reference throughout your journey. 
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

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The Southern Cast Iron Cookbook Review


I have a few different cast iron cookbooks but The Southern Cast Iron Cookbook is one of my favorites. Coming from the author’s home state of North Carolina, I definitely relate to this style and culture of cooking. Although I have basic knowledge of cast iron and care of it, I was able to learn a few new things, like the fact that I was not aware that they add iron to your meal which is nice for people who suffer from anemia like myself. I also enjoyed the section on vintage which discusses logos, markings, and what they mean. The recipes are diverse spanning from lemon-rosemary chicken to Peanut Butter Brownie and truely showcase the beauty of southern comfort food.
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

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The Camp Dutch Oven Cookbook Review

I have a few books in my collection on the subject of dutch ovens but none geared to outdoor simplistic cooking like The Camp Dutch Oven Cookbook. I grew up camping regularly all over the state and found a lot of useful information to make camp cuisine more enjoyable and manageable. The first chapter gives the history and benefits of using dutch ovens which is also a nice refresher for those with experience. The second chapter is one of my favorites, giving step by step on how to properly season and care for your oven. I particularly like the section on coal cooking wether anything from baking to broiling including the conversion chart for temp to number of coals and placement. I can’t wait to test out these delicious recipes and incorporate them and all the wonderful camp cooking tips to bring a bit of home to the outdoors.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

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Vietnamese Cookbook Review

We cook regularly in our home, so to break up the normal meal routine I enjoy keeping specialty cookbooks around for inspiration. Lemongrass, Ginger and Mint Vietnamese Cookbook by Linh Nguyen has been a nice addition to add variety to our meals. In the first chapter you get an overview of the style of cooking, philosophies, and breakdown of foods by region, which I found to be one of my favorite parts. It also discusses common stocked herbs and spices, tools and overviews techniques such as blanching and stir-frying. The rest of the chapters are broken down into categories like rolls, salads, and rice..each section including recipes as well as history and even how to eat them. I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

The verb ăn, which means “to eat,” is present in many action verbs. For example, to dress is to “eat dress” (ăn măc), to speak is to “eat speak” (ăn nói), to live is to “eat live” (ăn o), to steal is to “eat steal” (ăn trôm). The list goes on.

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