In accordance to the FTC guidelines, I must state that I make no monetary gains from my reviews or endorsements here on Confessions of a Literary Persuasion. All books I review are either borrowed, purchased by me, given as a gift, won, or received in exchange for my honest review of the book in question.

30 January, 2007

Contest Plug

I’ve been meaning to post this for the last week, but illness has kept me offline and in the mindframe to halfheartedly play videogames while combating fever and coughing madness. My friend Susan over at the West of Mars blog has come up with a fantastic contest idea. Below is the blurb for it, and you can read the entire contest info over here (and tell 'em nimrodiel sent you)

The book industry faces many challenges. People seem to have less time to read and it's tough to compete with the television and Internet. Any new or aspiring author knows how hard it is to make his or her voice heard amongst the chorus of "publish me!" "Notice me!" "Buy my books!"

In many cultures around the world, Valentine's Day has converted the month of February into the month of love. This February, two aspiring authors are taking their love of reading and their admiration for debut authors and combining them into the "Debut a debut!" contest.

Take a first-time author for a spin on your "To Read in 2007" list and give yourself the chance to win great prizes! Gift certificates to Borders and more!

During the week of 12 Feb through 17 Feb, read a book written by a debut author and post your review by 17 February. Send Susan or Erica the permalink to your review and you will be entered in a drawing for some great prizes.

21 January, 2007

Book Review: Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up by Mollie Katzen and Ann Henderson

Read and Reviewed for Armchair Interviews

Mollie Katzen is well known in the food world for her involvement with the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York. She has been creating recipes and writing vegetarian cookbooks for adults for many years. However, until she witnessed her son’s preschool class making applesauce one day, she didn’t think her three year old would have an interest in preparing food.

When she talked to his teacher, Ann Henderson, she discovered that cooking was a weekly occurrence for the class. Something clicked during this conversation and she remembered her “play cooking” as a child with her mother’s old bowls in the backyard. Several years later, Mollie and Ann teamed up to write a cookbook for parents and their preschoolers to use to experience the fun of early cooking at home.

Because this unique cookbook is designed for both adults and preschoolers it does not follow traditional cookbook layout. First, the recipe is written traditionally for the adults to go through. Next, the recipe is written in a pictorial version for the kids to use. The authors also give tips to make these more fun and safe for the children. Ideas such as colored tape on the handle of the butter (or plastic) knife to teach them which end to hold, and creating a cooking station at the kitchen table where it is safer for the kids to reach using an electric skillet. Each recipe is presented in a colorful way, with ideas on how to introduce young and picky eaters to try new foods.

Recipes such as popovers, green spaghetti, bagel faces and pretend soup are simple enough to not confuse young cooks, but complex enough to inspire their imaginations and leave them with good healthy fun food to eat. Each of these recipes has been made and taste tested by Ann’s preschoolers and the book is peppered with quotes from the kids on what they thought of the foods that they made. I’m looking forward to spending some time with the preschoolers in my life and trying out some of the fun food recipes found inside this fun little cookbook.

16 January, 2007

So, I've been indulging in a nice re-reading of The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. It's been awhile, and I usually end up reading the series once every year or two.

I noticed this though. This book (especially the first portion of it) always makes me hungry. I've noticed that I usually end up doing my reading around lunch/supper time or specifically make something to nibble on while reading.

Usually this involved mushrooms of some sort. It just seems right to visit Hobbitton and eat mushrooms dishes.

Today, it was soup heavy on the mushrooms with some potato, carrot, garlic and spinach thrown in as well as lentils and a bit of last night's leftover rice. Yesterday it was sauteed onions, mushrooms and smoked sausage. I'm thinking of making a mushroom and spinach quiche with the remaining mushrooms (if there are enough eggs. I should check on that).

I'm wondering if this is just me, or do some books just make people hungry?

I wonder, what titles have you read that lead to raiding the kitchen?

mini-series alert

I had the fun of reading this morning that the Sci-Fi channel will be making and airing a miniseries of Neil Stephenson's The Diamond Age Hopefully it will be better than their mini attempts at Dune by Frank Herbert and Earthsea by Ursala K. LeGuin.

Yes, I was not a fan of their Dune mini (though I seem to be in the minority it seems at times). It felt at times like they both followed the book and were trying to one up David Lynch's movie version. Plus, the Children of Dune mini totally mis-interpreted a few of the charecters, Aliah is the biggest one.

I just saw the Earthsea mini finally (it was announced to be airing right when we stopped getting cable), and while it wasn't bad per say, it felt really rushed and I disliked how they combined/changed the first two books in the series. I had high hopes for it, and was let down.

Hopefully with the author involved in the process of creating it. This newly announced mini-series will be much better.

Or am I expecting too much?

13 January, 2007


Just a note to those reading through the archieves. My reviews are sorted and tagged by the site they are reviewed for (i.e or Armchair reviews are linked to the review through the blog title, and Frontstreet reviews are linked to the main page through the title.

enjoy, and let me know if you have any problems.

12 January, 2007

Book Lust part II

I walked through the bookstore into the science fiction fantasy section, and all my planned out title possibilities fled. There were so many new good looking titles, and books I had forgotten I had wanted to get(like the Kushiel series).

I promptly saw two titles, and had to sit and decide on, as I had enough gift card money for one, as both were hardbacks, and both are planned to go in the pc.

Hunters of Dune by Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert


Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman

It was a hard choice to make, especially as there were other books I could buy in paperback format and get more bang for my buck. I'm glad I got Fragile Things however. I just Finished it and am amazed by the stories inside its covers.

08 January, 2007

Book Review: The Venus Fix by M.J. Rose

Read and Reviewed for Frontstreet Reviews

Dr. Morgan Snow, sex therapist at the well known Butterfield Institute in New York City, has a new patient. He is an extremely influential and powerful man that she only knows as “Bob.” His problem is an extremely strong addiction to watching internet porn of the web-cam variety. He is not the only patient that Dr. Snow has. She is also running a group session for a small group of teenagers, at a prestigious high school, who are all obsessed with the same type of internet fed sexual fantasies.

Then the women creating these fantasies start to die while performing. Suddenly, The N.Y.P.D. is fielding hundreds of phone calls from across the country. Phone calls made by the men who were watching as these women became sick and died. Dr. Snow’s work becomes entangled with detective Noah Jordain’s investigation as he tries to unravel the riddle behind the murders. All the victims are purveyors of the web cam porn industry. Also, all the victims are employed by the same company. What other connections tie the victims together?

The clues point towards Dr Snow’s new patient. However, new evidence comes from an unexpected source and changes the focus of the hunt. Can they find the real killer in time, or will more women die?

The Venus Fix is M.J. Roses third book in the Butterfield Institute series. As a newcomer to this series, I found it easy to fall into Dr. Snow's world and sensibilities. M.J. Rose has crafted a story that pulls its elements from seedier aspects of society and combines them with well crafted events to make a quick, enjoyable, thrill-filled story. Being fairly new to the mystery/thriller world, I was unaware of M.J. Rose’s reputation for writing that is a bit sexual, raw and underground. In fact I stumbled across her due to a self promotional contest online for this title. M.J. Rose is one of those authors that you hear a lot about. She self published her first novel, due to increased frustration with having her book turned down by several publishing houses, and put all her effort into using the internet to market her writing. As a result, her books have been picked up by the mainstream publishing industry. She still keeps a web blog called Buzz, Balls & Hype which she uses as an outlet to help publishers and authors reach a larger audience about their books. I’ve never been much of a reader of thrillers, however I found The Venus Fix a fantastic introduction to the genre and am looking forwards to reading more works by the author.

Author's web site:
Author's Blog: :

ISBN: 077832317X
ISBN-13: 9780778323174
Publisher: Mira
Publication Date: July 2006
Binding: Mass Market Paperback

07 January, 2007

book lust part I

So, over the holidays I was gifted with a couple of gift cards for Borders books by my aunt. And do you know what? I'm a bit at a loss as to what I should buy with them.

I know that I want to pick up a copy of Children of Men by P.D. James . We just saw the film adaptation last week (which is probably the best film I've seen in 2006), and as I love stories in that style, I'm interested in checking out the book.

I'm also eyeing the Bartimaeus Trillogy books by Jonathan Stroud.

The Amulet of Samarkand
The Golem's Eye
Ptolamy's Gate

Or maybe something by Garth Nix, or Charles DeLint to finish series collections...

hmmm, maybe I do have an idea for what to get.