In Memory of Bread
By Paul Graham
Published by Clarkson Potter
272 Pages HB

BACK COVER: When Paul Graham was suddenly diagnosed with a serious wheat allergy at the age of thirty-six, he was forced to say goodbye to traditional pasta, pizza, sandwiches, and more. Gone, too, were some of his favorite hobbies, including brewing beer with a buddy and gorging on his wife’s homemade breads. Struggling to understand why he and so many others had become allergic to wheat, barley, rye, oats, and other dietary staples, Graham researched the production of modern wheat and learned that not only has the grain been altered from ancestral varieties but it’s also commonly added to thousands of processed foods. 

In writing that is effortless and engaging, Paul explores why incidence of the disease is on the rise while also grappling with an identity crisis—given that all his favorite pastimes involved wheat in some form. His honest, unflinching, and at times humorous journey towards health and acceptance makes an inspiring read.

REVIEW: I enjoyed reading about how this author navigated the GF trail. I learned a thing or two (about some restaurants that are GF with a bakery) having issues with GF changes everything. The author says, “Overnight, I ceased to be someone who could enjoy bread, Pizza, beat, and many other foods of cultural and personal importance – at least in the ways I had always experienced the.”… “You can have fellowship over any meal, but sharing bread seems to deliver an especially high emotional return for a simple food. Bread always inspired such excitement, even reverence, in those who have so much as stood near a fresh loaf.”

I agree with him on what he feels about bread. I had no idea how much it affected our lives.
He continues, “Mixing my own flour blend also reminded me that I still resented being a different type of eater, one who had traded a recipe of four ingredients for a recipe of 10 or more…I had to weigh out each of the flours, combine them, and then mix (sift, preferably) them for uniformity.” All this was expensive too. He says, “Our fridge looked like the GF section of the health food store…some of flours need to be kept cool.”

“After 18 months of trial and error they hit the jackpot ATK cookbook…( I felt the same why when I made recipes from the American Test Kitchen Cookbook. Pure gold) By using baking science and a weird assembly of ingredients that nobody would consider dropping into a bread dough recipe 20 years ago, we had bread…we felt wealthy.”
Bishop Editor ATK, “I think there’s something about baked goods that people just have a need for in a deep and emotional way, “

The author notes, “I lacked key substitutions and additions yes, but more important than that, my ways of cooking, the practices that made me a good cook, were on auto pilot and fooling me. The old rules didn’t apply anymore.”

I enjoyed reading about his discoveries, trials and errors. As he searched to capture the foods he enjoyed before he had to eat GF. He realized he needs a new view of everything in life! It was interesting to read about he and his wife’s struggle in finding a good bread substitute. I liked reading about how the American’s Test Kitchen Gluten free cook book came about and why they choose the recipes for the book. I enjoyed this book because the recipes worked and tasted great. My whole family loved them.

Like Paul and his wife I went though many recipes and struggled to discover that most of the recipes I tried for cookie and/or bread didn’t work (until – like the author- I tried American Test Kitchen’s book) Or in some cases they looked great but tasted horrible.

It was fun to read he ran into the same snags I did. The good thing is there are so many more options to choose from now. I agree with the author when he says that making your own goodies that taste good for you and others to enjoy is a gift. He says, “To share three hours at a table with the one person you chose from many – there is no loaf, no noodle, no ale as good as that.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network blog
Book Fun Magazine


Clean Soups
By Rebecca Katz with Mat Ederson
Photo: Eva Kolenko
Published by 10 Speed Press
ISBN# 978-03995782050
160 pages HB

From bestselling author Rebecca Katz comes this collection of 60 recipes for pure, cleansing soups intended to renew and restore.

Soup has a unique ability to nourish and heal the body. In Clean Soups, author Rebecca Katz shows you how to use wholesome stocks and soups to naturally detox and stay energized year-round. She also explains the building blocks for creating deliciously balanced soups, such as Moroccan carrot soup, kale soup with coconut and lime, and simplest chicken pho. With foundational broths, blended soups, and traditional healing soups, as well as a two-day cleanse, Clean Soups shows how one simple bowl can make a huge difference in how you feel.

REVIEW: Growing up Rebecca intently watched in wonder as her Grandmother and mother prepared and made soup. She says, “The soups they made were magic. I always felt better after having a cup or bowl, and I knew instinctively that the soup had the power to heal.

Rebecca continues,.…”throughout my 20 years culinary consulting and cooking corner in the food-as-medicine movement. I’ve been, first and foremost, a soup-maker.” (Her soup mentor was Chef Rich LaMarita of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary arts)

I liked what she said about soup, “Eating soup is a way to hit the body’s reset button, to allow internal organs devoted to detoxification the rest and nutrients necessary to successfully do their job. …:”Soup, after all, is life distilled into a bowl. Unlike juicing, nothing is lost in the stockpot; indeed, just the opposite takes place. The heat of the pot slowly breaks down nutrients to a more digestible state, simultaneously releasing outrageous flavors that create heady aromas that magnetically draw us to the broth.”

“After the introduction the author starts out with the soup tool kit. She says, “What you need for soup success is a plan that minimizes stress and maximizes your pleasure in the kitchen …She goes on to say, “That’s where this chapter comes in. I start with the basics, including a complete list of the equipment you’ll need. I’ll also show you how to stock your pantry, which is a huge time-saver.”

The author continues, ”I’ll show you how all of the soups in this book follow a template – the dance steps; if you will, that each soup tangos to as it winds its way from water to wonderment. Once you pick up the moves – and believe me, they’re easier than you think – you’ll be on your way to being a master soup-maker in no time.”

I felt there was hope for me to make amazing soups after reading these words by the author. She also has a foolproof way of course-correcting any soup using just 4 basic pantry staples. It’s called FASS – fat, acid, salt and sweet – and she says, “I absolutely guarantee that it will maximize the flavor of any soup you make.” – I’m excited about this too!

This book is beautifully illustrated with colorful pictures of the many recipes that I want to try. Some of them are: Magic mineral broth, Chicken Magic Mineral broth
Immune broth, Roasted curry sweet potato soup, Summer zucchini soup with basil
Spiced butternut squash soup with cardamom and ginger, Spring time asparagus and leek soup, Silk road pumpkin soup, Caramelized fennel and chickpea soup with saffron
Caramelized onion soup with Pastured beef bone broth, Cuban Black Bean Soup
Nana’s chicken soup with Zucchini noodles, Mini meatballs in broth. Parsnip chips.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Netgalley sight. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!  
The Book Club Network blog 
Book Fun Magazine 


I Love you Just Because
By Donna Keith
Illustrated by Alison Edgson
Published by Thomas Nelson
ISBN# 978-0718088538
20 pages Boardbook

Book Blurb: The third book in this adorable series, I Love You Just Because is the perfect way to show kids that their parents love them just because.

With sales of nearly 75,000 copies for the first two I Love You . . . books, this third addition uses sweet, playful art to depict family dynamics that are grounded in unconditional love.

Through adorable, cuddly art and fun rhyming text, I Love You Just Because will help little ones understand their parents' love for them and that it doesn't have to be earned. With playful artwork and the same friendly bear family you already know and love from Donna Keith's first two books—I Love You All the Same and I Love You Even When—the sweet story of this book will touch you and your family and will remind you that family members love each other...just because.

Parents will gravitate toward the felt need and fun messaging of this book as it seeks to help them explain to their little ones that they are truly loved just because.

REVIEW: This is a precious book you’ll enjoy reading with your kids and/or grandkids over and over again. The pictures are adorable, colorful and fun. The book starts out with the mother bear waking up her cub. It ends with Mother and Father Bear putting them to sleep. The middle illustrates daily activities. The message of unconditional love shines through its beautifully illustrated pages. Each page has a scripture reference to ponder.

The author has several different colored bears throughout the story. Showing no matter who you are or what you look like you are loved. I like how it ends “At bedtime, Panda, Brown and Polar bear hear their Papa say a prayer of thanks to God for all the blessings of the day. He thanks God for the joy each cub brings to this family. And just how special God has made each of their cubs to be.” Scripture for that page is  “Children are a gift from the Lord. “ Psalm 127:3

This is a visually beautiful story brought to life with pictures, an encouraging message and uplifting scripture references. It’s a win win for everyone!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the BookLook for bloggers sight. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network blog

Book Fun Magazine


Broth and Stock
By Jennifer McGruther
Published by 10 Speed Press
183 Pages

Back Cover: Broths and stocks have always had a central place in kitchens around the world owing to their ability to comfort, nourish, and heal. In Broth and Stock from the Nourished Kitchen, Jennifer McGruther, author of The Nourished Kitchen and an authority in the traditional foods movement, illustrates why a good broth or stock is the foundation of amazing and wholesome cooking. Included are over a dozen master recipes for base stocks and then 40 recipes using these stocks in complete meals. These accessible recipes are appropriate for vegetarians, pescatarians, and meat eaters alike and showcase the nutrient-dense, real food that nourishes the body and soul. The Whole Chicken Broth is the perfect base for Springtime Risotto with Asparagus, Green Garlic, and Chive Blossoms, while the recipe for Fish Stock will bring new life to a classic dish like New England Clam Chowder. People are catching on to this century’s old appreciation of bone and vegetable based broths, and Jennifer McGruther shows how these can be made quickly and cost-effectively at home.

REVIEWThere is a wealth of helpful information inside this book with all the beautiful color photos that make me want to try all the recipes. There are lots of bonuses in making your own broth. The author says “Making broth is an experience of delayed gratification…Broth is not the stuff of quick and easy thirty minute meals, so plan accordingly…good food takes good time.”

She continues, “With few exceptions, making broths and stocks is wonderfully simple. If you can boil water, you can make a good broth.” (Hooray there is hope for me.) She goes on to say, “It’s inexpensive to make, broths, and stocks are powerfully nutritious cost – effective food. You can purchase bones straight from ranches, farmers, and butchers at a fraction of the cost of prime cuts of meat, while the spent frames of roasted chickens and turkeys coupled with vegetable scraps make a broth that costs little to cook at home.” It’s a win, win situation! I love that.

The author starts the book out by giving the history behind making broth that I found very interesting. Some of the other things she touches on in the book are the differences between broth, stock and bone broth. I like how she explains this. It was very helpful.

She tells readers where to find bones for stocks and bone broth. The equipment you’ll need to make the broths and the different methods you can use in making broths and stocks. She goes through freezing and pressure canning the soup you’ve made. Then there are the yummy recipes she has that use the broths and stocks you’ve just made.

Some of the recipes that I want to try are Dashi – a traditional base for soups in Japan, Sea vegetable broth, Chicken scrap broth, Schmaltz mashed potatoes with gravy with black pepper and fresh thyme, Chicken Soup with parmesan, Rice peas and lemon white bean and bacon soup, Pink Shrimp Chowder, Salmon, Celery and potato chowder with Dulse, New England Clam Chowder, and Irish Vegetable soup, Potato Onion Gratin and an interesting section on Why chose Alaskan Wild-caught Salmon for your soup.

The recipes have easy to find ingredients. The author talks about the soup the reader might make before she starts giving direction. She includes the serving size for each recipe. This book is helpful in giving readers knowledge on the health benefits of broth and how it can be used in so many dishes. I can’t wait to dig into making the recipes inside.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Blogging for books sight. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! 
The Book Club Network blog 
Book Fun Magazine 


By Jolina Petersheim
Published by Tyndale
365 Pages

BACK COVER: When Leora Ebersole sees the small plane crash in her Old Order Mennonite community, she has no idea it's a foreshadowing of things to come. Soon after the young pilot, Moses Hughes, regains consciousness, they realize his instruments were destroyed by the same power outage that killed the electricity at the community store, where Englischers are stranded with dead cell phones and cars that won't start.

Moses offers a sobering theory, but no one can know how drastically life is about to change. With the only self-sustaining food supply in the region, the Pacifist community is forced to forge an alliance with the handful of stranded Englischers in an effort to protect not only the food but their very lives.

In the weeks that follow, Leora, Moses, and the community will be tested as never before, requiring them to make decisions they never thought possible. Whom will they help and whom will they turn away? When the community receives news of a new threat, everyone must decide how far they're willing to go to protect their beliefs and way of life.

REVIEW: I was hooked from page one when Leora desperately seeks help from her community to save a man trapped in a small plane as it burst into flames. It was fascinating and scary to read how this situation might play out inside the Amish/Mennonite community and out. I appreciated how this author had readers see everyone’s faith be tested and how the outside community might react. I was surprised there was a mystery to solve in the middle of the suspense and drama as the end of “life” as everyone knew it was over.

This is a sobering look at an all too real crisis situation. One thing the other books I’ve read about on this topic had in common was the fact they mention the Amish community and how it would not be affected by an EMP- Electronic Magnetic Pulse. The pulse would wipe out all technology which they don’t use. This is a unique look at the disaster from within the Amish/Mennonite community.

A plane drops out of the sky and lands in an Amish community’s empty field. Leora and others help the pilot; an Englisher survive. No one knows what’s going on and why Englishers’ cars have stopped running.

Moses (the Englisher) knows exactly what’s up. When he’s physically able he speaks to the Mennonite council. He tells them, “Life as we knew it might be extinct. Honestly this is way beyond all of us…what I see is this: the cities will get hit hardest first. Food will run out in the grocery stores in a day or two, and there’ll be looting and crime almost instantly. Most Americans are so reliant on fast food or stopping at the Supermarket after work…when food runs out… then the exodus out of the city will begin…”

The council says to Moses, “We will not fight these – locusts, as you call them…fighting back is not our way and is certainly not Gott’s way. Our people have been practicing nonresistance since the 1600’s…If these strangers come as you say they will… we will be like Christ, we will love one another…””If that is a problem, anyone is free to leave at any time.”

There’s the rub Moses has been in combat, has seen the locusts up-close and personal. Matters can get pretty ugly and deadly real quick. He knew the danger. He wasn’t going to sit by and watch this community be demolished. They had no idea what was instore! He continues, “If I’m right, it’s a huge benefit that everyone will be prepared when things really get tough…if, I’m wrong – and I doubt that I am, but if I am wrong – what’s the problem with running people through a drill of worst-case scenarios?”

I enjoyed how this author unfolds the situation. I also liked that it was written from the POV of an Englisher – Moses – x-military, suffered from PSTD and someone who walked away from his faith and through the POV of a young nineteen year old Mennonite girl named Leora. Leora has cared for her siblings since their father disappeared and her mother died. She is an independent woman with a strong faith that is tested to the max.

Unexpected complications arise for this young lady as her feelings for the Englisher grow strong and Jabil a young Mennonite boy who’s had feelings for her for years; notices that attraction. He’s wanted to court Leora and is sad she doesn’t feel for him what he’s noticed she feels for this outsider. She told him they were friends, good friends, he was a safe man, not someone she’d love that way. Was Leora wrong to hold out for true love? Both Leora and Moses and Jabil agree this is not a time for romance. Leora is passionate about her view on love. She says, …”I’d rather die knowing there is a possibility of love than live in safety without it.”

I liked how these characters evolved as they faced new challenges, tough issues and choices that had to be made. This is a scenario everyone needs to learn about so they can be prepared. Many in our country are making plans to survive an EMP even now. .

The author ended the novel on a hopeful note and in such a way that left it open for a sequel. This would make a great read and/or book club pick. There are twelve discussion questions to help ignite a lively discussion for your book club meeting. This is the first novel I’ve read by this author it won’t be the last. Add it to your summer reading list. This is a must read!

ABOUT AUTHOR: JOLINA PETERSHEIM is the bestselling author of The Midwife and The Outcast, which Library Journal called "outstanding . . . fresh and inspirational" in a starred review and named one of the best books of 2013. Her writing has been featured in venues as varied as radio programs, nonfiction books, and numerous online and print publications such as Reader's Digest, Writer's Digest, and Today's Christian Woman. Jolina and her husband share the same unique Amish and Mennonite heritage that originated in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but now live on a solar-powered farm in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin with their young daughters. Follow Jolina and her blog at 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Book Club Network; Tyndale publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! 
The Book Club Network blog 
Book Fun Magazine 


Anchor Bay Entertainment
DVD Release June 7th

Based on a novel by the same name written by Irene Brand

REVIEW: The setting of this movie is Valentine, Nebraska. Most of the movie is shot on a huge ranch. The cinematography was amazing. The Main character Kennedy Blaine inherits a working ranch after her father passes. The only stipulation in the will was that Kennedy had to go to the ranch before she sold it. Kennedy had heard her parents talk fondly of the ranch they referred to as home.

Kennedy puts her plans to take the bar exam on hold and heads to Valentine the place her parents ran away from in order to get married. They never returned. Kennedy is very surprised at what she finds and understands why her parents called this place home. Being in Valentine makes her more determined to reconnect with family. First on her list to see is her grandfather, Gabriel Morgan. She wanted to know why he never reached out to her or her family. There were no calls, letters! Nothing! Why?

Sparks fly; not in a good way when Kennedy and Derek Sterling meet. He thinks she is trespassing and doesn’t feel any better about her when she tells him that she was thinking of selling the place. Derek loved the ranch he didn’t understand why she’d want to sell it. She says it’s because it’s losing money. He shows her evidence that will prove him right! Kennedy is getting conflicting information about the profits and loss for the past four years. She’s going to investigate this.

While she does that Derek’s past catches up with him and threatens to destroy everything he’s worked hard for and holds dear to his heart! Will Kennedy get the answers she’s searching for? Will she find peace, love and family in Valentine? This is a story of forgiveness and new beginnings!

This is a beautiful, engaging film that’s well shot and acted. It was an added bonus to see Lindsay Wagner (“Bionic Woman”) and Ed Asner (Up, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”). It’s a family the whole family can watch!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network blog
Book Fun Magazine


Kill Devil
By Mike Dellosso
Published by Tyndale
376 Pages

BACK COVER: Jed Patrick is convinced he’s doing all it takes to keep his family safe—new names, new location, and new identity. But just when he thinks he finally has his life back, trained men claiming to be CIA agents break in and threaten his wife and daughter, proving once and for all his family will never truly be safe until he eliminates the agency dead set on hunting him down.

Not knowing if Karen and Lilly are better off by his side or in hiding, Jed is determined to protect them while finding a way to use the classified information that he possesses to dismantle the Centralia Project. But he soon learns that eliminating Centralia may require compromising his own values. As danger escalates, Jed isn’t sure whether there’s anyone or anything he can trust—including his own senses.

REVIEW: I was instantly caught up into this fast paced mind-bending story. With the lead character I felt was similar to Jason Bourne except for the fact that this trained sniper, Jed Patrick has a wife Karen and an eight year old daughter named Lilly!

This is book two in the series. The first book was titled Centralia. I didn’t feel lost having only read book two. I liked how the faith element was naturally woven into this fast paced psychological thriller. The story unfolds as Jed goes into a convenient store he’s visited before and feels something odd. The clerk strikes up small talk and Jed notices a man reading the back of a cereal box.

Strange; the clerk has never talked to him before. A bearded man starts to stare at Jed. “He leaves the store with a bad feeling in his gut. Was he being paranoid or was something sinister going on? Had they been found? He went through the event, what was out of the ordinary? “A bearded forty something checking the label of a box of cereal at a convenient store was out of the ordinary…Something was wrong. Prickles danced on the back of Jed’s neck. His heart rate quickened. He drew in a deep breath. It could be nothing.” He hurried home. The door to their cabin was open. He pulled out his gun and slowly entered”

I cared for Jed and his family. Jed was a clever, capable, God fearing intelligent man who was a trained sniper, special ops guy willing to do what it takes to keep his family safe and gain control of his mind. Jed tries to sort out a never ending web of lies he’s been told. What was true? “He couldn’t trust his head – the implant had him hearing voices and hallucinations bombarding him.”

I liked how this author naturally wove a faith message into the action! Lilly is an eight year old mature little girl; she tells Jed, “have faith daddy.”

He tells his wife Karen, “Faith isn’t about your feelings or even your senses; it’s about the actions you take in light of what you know to be true. Putting one foot in front of the other, moving forward.” I’ve seen Lilly model this for me.”

What made the story fun and more dramatic for me was the character Tiffany Stockton who’s a single gal grieving the loss of her dad. She was going through her father’s things and discovered a thumb drive that is encrypted. She embarks on a mission to break the code. What she uncovers is unimaginable dangers material.

“Tiffany had to do something…she couldn’t just sit on this information and be yet another government Ostrich. Her dad used to tell her all the time that evil flourished when good men - and woman, he would add - did nothing. And he was a good man. He did something.” “She confides in Jack her dads close friend. He can’t believe what she found. He tells her they can trust no one.”

 Tiffany and Jack’s lives are turned upside down as they try to make sense of this deadly information that’s fallen into their laps and what their next step will be.

This was a fast paced, crazy, fun read I couldn’t put down. I think this would make a great book for a book club discussion and a great escape for summer reading. I look forward to reading the third book in the series.

ABOUT AUTHOR: MIKE DELLOSSO was born in Baltimore, Maryland, Mike now lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Jen, and their three daughters. He is a regular columnist for, was a newspaper correspondent/columnist for over three years, has published several articles for The Candle of Prayer inspirational booklets, and has edited and contributed to numerous Christian-themed websites and e-newsletters. Mike is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers association, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, the Relief Writer's Network, and FaithWriters, and plans to join International Thriller Writers. He received his BA degree in sports exercise and medicine from Messiah College and his MBS degree in theology from Master's Graduate School of Divinity.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Book Club Network site and Tyndale Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! 
The Book Club Network blog 

Book Fun Magazine