So everyone remembers the reviews I did on a few of my favorite coloring books (I have acquired a few more that would definitely make the list).

I say we give one away!

I love blogging! The whole experience, surprise books in the mail, relationships you make with fellow book lovers, bloggers and publicists – obviously the reading the book part is a lot of fun and blogging allows me to share all of that with all of you!

I have become addicted to coloring books and coffee table books (you guys have seen my posts) and so I want to give away something fun like that.

So what do you guys say? Are you in?

Oh you want to know which coloring book. Because if it’s say Looney Tunes Adventures from 1980 and half the pages are missing or used – who really wants that?

But it’s not Looney Tunes Adventures from 1980 with half the pages missing or used.

It’s this one!

619KL10HLrL._SX496_BO1,204,203,200_The Time Garden by Daria Song and it’s brand new!

I love this coloring book – though I don’t recommend markers as the pages are double-sided and it will bleed through.

The pages are adorable and unique and I think anyone would love it as much as I do!

So here’s the Rafflecopter, this giveaway is from me to you guys!

🌟🌟🌟a Rafflecopter giveaway🌟🌟🌟

If you want to get your copy now and can’t wait – here’s the link to get it on Amazon for a great price > The Time Garden: A Magical Journey and Coloring Book

Quicksand by Steve Toltz Book Review 4.5/5🌟

Quicksand by Steve Toltz


20150918_124821-1From Amazon: “A daring, brilliant new novel from Man Booker Prize finalist Steve Toltz, for fans of Dave Eggers, Martin Amis, and David Foster Wallace: a fearlessly funny, outrageously inventive dark comedy about two lifelong friends.

Liam is a struggling writer and a failing cop. Aldo, his best friend and muse, is a haplessly criminal entrepreneur with an uncanny knack for disaster. As Aldo’s luck worsens, Liam is inspired to base his next book on his best friend’s exponential misfortunes and hopeless quest to win back his one great love: his ex-wife, Stella. What begins as an attempt to make sense of Aldo’s mishaps spirals into a profound story of faith and friendship. Continue reading “Quicksand by Steve Toltz Book Review 4.5/5🌟”

Classic Human Anatomy in Motion by Valerie L. Winslow Book Review 5/5🌟

Classic Human Anatomy in Motion by Valerie L. Winslow


20150911_122100-1From Amazon: “This highly illustrated reference book provides artists and art students with an understanding of human anatomy and different types of motion, inspiring more realistic and energetic figurative art.
     Fine-art instruction books do not usually focus on anatomy as it relates to movement, despite its great artistic significance. Written by a long-time expert on drawing and painting human anatomy, Classic Human Anatomy in Motion offers artists everything they need to realistically draw the human figure as it is affected by movement. Written in a friendly style, the book is illustrated with hundreds of life drawing studies (both quick poses and long studies), along with charts and diagrams showing the various anatomical and structural components. This comprehensive manual features five distinct sections, each focusing on a different aspect of the human figure: bones and joint movement, muscle groups, surface form and soft tissue characteristics, structure, and movement. Each chapter builds an artistic understanding of how motion transforms the human figure and can create a sense of expressive vibrancy in one’s art.” Continue reading “Classic Human Anatomy in Motion by Valerie L. Winslow Book Review 5/5🌟”

Michael Symon’s 5 in 5 for Every Season Book Review 5/5☆

Michael Symon’s 5 in 5 for Every Season by Michael Symon


 IMG_20150910_113741From Amazon: “5 fresh ingredients + 5 minutes of heat = 165 recipes
Ridiculously easy from-scratch recipes to get you in and out of the kitchen in a flash every day of the week—now with sides and holiday dishes, too

The follow-up to the bestselling Michael Symon’s 5 in 5, this new book delivers 165 quick, easy, fresh recipes organized by season with an entire section devoted to making the holidays simpler than ever. Each chapter features inspired main courses as well as recipes for sides and 5 fun ways to celebrate the season, including no-bake summer fruit desserts and spiked drinks to warm up with in winter.”

To the point: I have a lot of substitutions I would have to make because of strict dietary restrictions but the basics of the book are nutritious, delicious and easy.

20150911_122659-1Review: The recipes are gorgeous in this book! I think they are pretty easy for anyone to make (if you don’t have any dietary restrictions). Eggs, wheat/gluten, soy, dairy and/or meat are used in most – if not all – the recipes. The concept is fabulous, quick and easy and preserving the value of vegetable! Heat breaks down the nutritious building blocks and lessen how much we actually get out them so keeping the heat time to 5 minutes is genius. I love the idea of using what is in season to cut costs – and change-up habits of eating the same old foods in our comfort zones (my WORST habit).

20150911_122718-1Some of the substitutions are fairly easy. Unfortunately, a lot of these recipes would not be quick and easy for me (especially those calling for eggs, I have not mastered egg substitutions). I think I’m going to keep this book though as it has a lot of great ideas and easy referencing for seasonal foods. The beginning has a pantry list of items to stock year round and I think most of it can be useful (as my pantry is typically empty).

20150911_122736-1This is not my perfect cookbook and I have yet to find one! My kids an I typically eat raw fruits and vegetables most of the day with some grains and poultry thrown in and cooked vegetables. I like to cook but find myself exhausted and overwhelmed with a large to do list by the end of the day and need a quick healthy cookbook with great recipes to change up my dinner routine.

I do recommend this book to busy people who want to eat a healthy home-cooked dinner that tastes like it takes hours and only takes a fraction of the time.

Michael Symon’s 5 in 5 for Every Season by Michael Symons. Clarkson Potter (September 22, 2015). 256 pages. Cookbooks, Quick & Easy. I received this copy from the Blogging For Books program in exchange for an honest review.

Get your copy here!! >>

Michael Symon’s 5 in 5 for Every Season: 165 Quick Dinners, Sides, Holiday Dishes, and More

My Bookish Life

Hi book friends!

I know I keep my reviews as far from personal as can be so you guys might not know much about me! Good news is I have a great book I’ll show you guys later by Steve Toltz and a bunch of drafts I can publish. I’ve gone AWOL from book reviewing and have really been trying to savor the moments each day with my kids and family.

I got stuck in a book slump and reviewing became a job for me. I got addicted to reviewing because it gave me something to accomplish everyday that I felt like might matter. I sometimes feel that I’m wasting my potential because of my physical limitations and that leaves me with an empty space. Our culture is very much based on what job you have and how much money you make relating to your value as a person. Although I am very much against social restraints it is difficult to ward off the negative feelings when you are not what society deems as valuable. I used reviewing as a way to contribute and give to the community and feel like I mean something.

Recently with everything that has happened with my health, I realized I just want to be happy with my kids. I want to experience nature and be outside and watch their curiosity with the world around them. And it has made me extremely happy.

Happy enough to love reading the way I did before I needed a reason to do it besides just enjoying it. I have a passion for learning and exploring from the depths of my mind to the expanse of the world. It’s such a shame that was dimmed for a little while with the overwhelming reminders of my mortality.

I promise I have some great reviews for those of you who stuck around! Meanwhile here are some photos of the days I’ve been spending with my family. Don’t forget to check out my bookstagram @amandanicole.books if you miss me too much! I keep it updated with photos of the books in my life.

Happy Reading!


A group of deer at Eagle Rock Reservation
Hiking Trails
The 9/11 Memorial Site
Deer in the woods
A belly dancer in front of a Lebanese restaurant in Nutley, NJ
A belly dancer in front of a Lebanese restaurant in Nutley, NJ

Season of Salt and Honey by Hannah Tunnicliffe 5/5 🌟

Season of Salt and Honey by Hannah Tunnicliffe


20150820_152116-1From Amazon: “From the author of the “sweet, airy novel” (Publishers Weekly) The Color of Tea comes a resonant new book about a woman starting over following the tragic loss of her fiancé.

Frankie is a runaway bride. Or rather, she is running away from her fiancé’s funeral, the unthinkable event that has thrown her entire life into crisis. Frankie and Alex were high school sweethearts and each other’s first loves. They should have been together forever. But Alex died in a surfing accident, and now Frankie is walking away from her family, driving north and east, letting her body do the thinking, all the way into the Cascade Mountain range.

At Alex’s family cabin, Frankie can give in to her grief and think about nothing. There are no aunts trying feed her just a few polpette or just a taste of affogato, despite her lack of appetite; none of Alex’s family around to look questioningly at her left ring finger, no one there to perform for. Except for Jack, the cabin’s caretaker, who has been tasked with forcing Frankie out of the property that isn’t rightfully hers. And except for Bella, Frankie’s wild-child younger sister who deserted the family years ago only to reappear at Frankie’s lowest moment to dredge up painful memories from the past. Continue reading “Season of Salt and Honey by Hannah Tunnicliffe 5/5 🌟”

Not by Sight by Kate Breslin Book Review 4/5 🌟

Not by Sight by Kate Breslin


20150820_151952-1From Amazon: “With Britain caught up in WWI, Jack Benningham, heir to the Earl of Stonebrooke, has declared himself a conscientious objector. Instead, he secretly works for the Crown by tracking down German spies on British soil, his wild reputation and society status serving as a foolproof cover.

Blinded by patriotism and concern for her brother on the front lines, wealthy suffragette Grace Mabry will do whatever it takes to assist her country’s cause. When she sneaks into a posh London masquerade ball to hand out white feathers of cowardice, she never imagines the chain of events she’ll set off when she hands a feather to Jack.

And neither of them could anticipate the extent of the danger and betrayal that follows them–or the faith they’ll need to maintain hope.” Continue reading “Not by Sight by Kate Breslin Book Review 4/5 🌟”