Book Reviews – May 2020

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Well good morning everyone. Last month I didn’t put up any monthly reviews so today covers some of the books I have read over both March and April. I am definitely reading more in lockdown, how about you? It is especially helpful at night in bed. I have been struggling to sleep at tines, but rather than switching to social media or a game, I have carried on reading and it is definitely helping me stay relaxed and lower my anxiety.

Dale Pinnock Fakeaways

Healthy, budget-friendly takeaways for everyday homecooking

by Dale Pinnock

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The Blurb

**The Sunday Times Bestselling Author**

How often do you find yourself reaching for the local takeaway menu or scrolling aimlessly through deliveroo? How many homecooked meals do you genuinely prepare per week? If your pots and pans are looking grossly underused – then this is the book for you.

Everyone loves a takeaway, but we have never been more aware of the impact they can have on our health and our wallets. In Fakeaways award-winning chef and qualified nutritionist Dale Pinnock shows you how to create healthy alternatives to your favourite takeaways at home. From Top Marks Tikka Masala to Vegetable Chow Mein, Aubergine Parmigiana, Chicken Yakitori and Beginners Sushi to all-time classics such as Fish and Chips and “Kould-Be” Fried Chicken – a night in has never sounded so delicious.

Fakeaways brings together 80 of your favourite meals from around the world with nutritional information and creative-twists to help you save time and money.

What I Thought

I really liked the look of this book and it started with a great introduction explaining the nutritional and financial benefits of cooking your own favourite takeaway food at home.

The book covers a range of different cuisines from Indian to Thai to Middle Eastern. Ste has been looking for a tikka masala recipe for a while and he was really impressed with this one!

The recipes are easy to follow with different tips and the photos are mouth-wateringly good! At the end there is a ‘feast’ section, where it gives you an idea of which recipes and foods to put together to host a family meal for each cuisine.

As an ostomate I can sometimes struggle with takeaway food as it can contain some ingredients I cannot have. With this book I am able to switch those items with something else or just leave them out all together while still enjoying them!

Where To Buy

Dale Pinnock Fakeaways: Healthy, budget-friendly takeaways for everyday homecooking at Amazon (Kindle £3.99 and Paperback £8.82)

Mum’s Big Break

by Louise Emma Clarke

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The Blurb

Life in the spotlight was never going to be easy…

Jess’s life was turned upside down when her blog went viral. Now, with hundreds of thousands of followers, Jess is now navigating the trials and tribulations of a world online.

Being a mummy blogger was originally an escape, but now it seems to be turning into a career. And after one wrong post on her social media channels, Jess discovers that life in the spotlight isn’t always peachy.

With a new baby on the way, the possibility of starring in a reality TV show and a husband who’s struggling with his wife’s new-found fame, Jess has a lot going on.

Jess needs to decide whether this is everything she wanted it to be or whether this is all a bit too much for her? Can Jess persevere against the haters, rise up above the pettiness and find the perfect balance of life in the real world and life online?

Perfect for fans of Suzy K Quinn, Fiona Gibson and Gill Simms.

What I Thought

I read the first book about Jess and loved it – my only complaint was that it didn’t show the really hard work that many bloggers have to put in before reaching those levels of success!

This second book did not disappoint! I really love the characters in this book and I found it SO relatable as a blogger myself – from trolls to cliques to navigating a life alongside blogging, as well as as a mum who is pregnant with her second child.

The book was a really ‘easy’ read and I would definitely recommend it to other women – mums and bloggers alike! I do think that you would need to read the first book before this one as it gives you a much better understanding of Jess and the other characters. The blurb doesn’t mention this and I think reading this without having read the first would do it an injustice.

Where To Buy

Mum’s Big Break on Amazon (Kindle £2.48 / FREE on Kindle Unlimited)

Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner

50 Winning Ways to Cook It Up!

by Stacie Billis

The Blurb

With this cookbook on their kitchen counters, home cooks can prepare delicious chicken suppers with confidence and ease. The spirit of this cookbook lies in author Stacie Billis’ light, funny, and instructional tone, which takes the intimidation factor out of working with chicken, whether breaking down a bird or roasting it whole. Each chapter is chock-full of tips and tricks that use a wide range of techniques, from braising and roasting to grilling, slow cooking, and sheet-pan cooking, and all fifty recipes focus on tender meat infused with flavor. Keep roasted chicken classic, or give it pizzazz with the addition of a savory compound butter. Get perfectly crispy tenders without frying or give fajitas with lime crema the sheetpan treatment for easy prep (and cleanup). Other favorite recipes include Chicken Thighs with Maple–Cider Vinegar Glaze and Fennel-Apple Slaw, Sheet Pan Shawarma, Chicken Parmesan Meatballs, Green and White Chicken Chili, Peachy Sriracha Sticky Wings, and Pineapple Chicken Salad with Green Beans and Toasted Coconut. With colorful photographs of every recipe, readers will master the classics and discover new favorites for every occasion, from a casual dinner party to a backyard cookout. 

What I Thought

This book is perfect for anyone who wants to start cooking from scratch more. There are instructions on everything from preparing a chicken, hygiene advice, butchering a whole chicken and how to make stocks.

I loved the colourful pages and the photos were vibrant and made my mouth water! The recipes were varied but did not need lots of unusual and difficult to find ingredients, which I always look for in a recipe book.

Perfect for beginner cooks or someone who would like to further their cooking knowledge, with some amazing and tasty recipes – a winner for me!

Where To Buy

Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner: 50 Winning Ways to Cook It Up! on Amazon (Kindle £13.02/ Paperback £13.64)

Serial Killers: The World’s Most Evil

by Nigel Blundell

The Blurb

On an internationally acknowledged Scale of Evil, these are the worlds worst serial killers. The qualifications for entry to this list of the vilest criminals of all time are a propensity for sadism, torture and murder without a shred of remorse.

Using expert evidence, this book looks behind the shocking headlines and delves into the minds of monsters. What drove them to crime? What turned seemingly ordinary members of society into sick slayers. How did they self-justify their heinous deeds? And, quite simply, how did they get away with murder?

Included in this catalogue of the worlds most evil killers are men who committed crimes so monstrous that they almost defy belief yet to their neighbours and work colleagues seemed quite normal.

Dennis Rader was a respected pillar of society yet set out on nightly killing sprees. David Parker Ray was just an average working guy but had a torture chamber in his backyard. Fred and Rose West raised a large extended family yet violently abused and murdered their own children.

These are examples of the killers who sank to the darkest depths of depravity. Find out what made them such monsters in Serial Killers: The Worlds Most Evil.

What I Thought

Well if you have followed me for a while you will know I enjoy true crime – be it book, podcast or TV show. I actually read one of Nigel Blundell’s previous books in this series and you can read the review in my March 2020 Book Reviews.

Again, this is not one for the faint at heart. Using the axis of evil, Nigel has picked out some of the most abhorrent murderers. As a student of psychology, my interest is always in what drives a person, which I think is why I like to read these books. Quite a few of these monsters I had previously heard about but there were some I hadn’t.

This book isn’t for everyone but if you are interested in the genre, I would definitely recommend a read. I think Nigel does a great job putting these together and this is the second book of his I have enjoyed reading.

Where To Buy

Trigger warning – murder, rape, child abuse, neglect, torture

Serial Killers: The World’s Most Evil on Amazon (Kindle £17.99/ Hardcover £19.99/ Paperback Pre-order £11.43)

Given in Evidence

A Collection of Crime & Thriller Short Stories

by A. A. Chaudhuri, D. J. Harrison, Euan B. Pollock, Leo McNeir, Roger A. Price, Charlie Cochrane, E. R. Fallon, J. M. Hewitt, Rob Parker, Thomas Laird

The Blurb

10 ingenious and exhilarating short stories in one collection:

A murderous feud in a seemingly quiet country village…

A haunted hotel with one particularly difficult guest…

A hostage situation gone horribly wrong…

Featuring stories from acclaimed and bestselling authors such as J. M. Hewitt and Rob Parker, Given in Evidence is an anthology that showcases the best in contemporary crime and thriller writing.

What I Thought

Another genre I enjoy which isn’t for everyone is short stories and this was a great little collection.

The book is worth reading just for A.A. Chaudhuri’s offering – The Encounter – alone, it was fantastic!

I wasn’t sure about the way each story seemed to be a taster for the author’s other work’s which was talked about at the end of each story. Rather than a book of stand alone short stories, this made it feel a bit more like a press release or an advert. However, I did enjoy the stories and it was a quick, easy read.

Where To Buy

Trigger warning – murder, rape

Given in Evidence: A Collection of Crime and Thriller Short Stories on Amazon (Kindle £2.99 / FREE on Kindle Unlimited)

I hope you have enjoyed this little round up from me. Are you reading more during lockdown? Have you read something you would recommend? Let us know in the comments below! Happy reading and stay safe,

One Comment on “Book Reviews – May 2020

  1. Pingback: Book Reviews – May 2020 — The Spoonie Mummy – Site Title

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