Looking for reviews on some of the latest books about home, gardens, cooking, and more? Here are my reviews on some books that arrived in my mailbox during the month of November.
November Book Reviews
If you are looking for something new to read, here are my quick reviews of some new release books related to home, gardening, cooking, simplifying, or anything else that I found interesting! Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the post to enter to win a giveaway for some of these titles!
Hold on to your buns, the burger revolution has begun! The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet takes the popular veggie burger to the next level of flavor and fun with more than 100 daringly delicious, internationally inspired vegan burgers—burgers that stack up to any patty around (meat-full or meat-free) and will wow not only your vegetarian and vegan friends, but all the skeptics, too.
In this revised edition of the original, you’ll find more than 30 new recipes featuring healthier options, fewer processed ingredients, and more whole-food, plant-strong ingredients like jackfruit and aquafaba (plus icons for no added oil/salt/sugar, and even more gluten-free recipes!). You’ll also find budget-friendly tips and tricks, a “fast-food favorites” section that recreates iconic favorites from popular chains, updated techniques, and alternative cooking methods to include the slow cooker and air fryer.
Merissa’s Thoughts – We love to have a good burger night so the recipes in this book intrigued me. I don’t think we will change being meat-eaters anytime soon but I do appreciate having a good meatless meal once in a while to save money on groceries. If you are excited about planted based foods, you will definitely want to check out this book. I really appreciated the variety of unique recipes in here and it also included recipes for sides (fries!) and sauces as well so I felt like it was a pretty well-rounded book.
Featuring over 100 delicious recipes, The Complete Hummus Cookbook is the perfect primer for anyone looking for easy to prepare, healthy food choices. Protein-rich and vegan-friendly, hummus is one of the healthiest and most nutritious dishes. Is there anything hummus can’t do? Complement any dish, enhance the flavors of other foods, work as a sauce, or just be enjoyed all on its own—hummus does it all!
The Complete Hummus Cookbook is the all-in-one guide to the many, many ways that hummus can improve your diet and enrich one’s life. With recipes for everything from appetizers to meals, to side dishes and desserts, this cookbook will have everyone falling in love with the delicious, nutritious, and oh-so-versatile dish that is hummus.
Merissa’s Thoughts- It seems like our family has been getting into hummus lately so I was excited to check out this book and I don’t feel like it disappointed. There are so many different recipes for hummus that I don’t think we will ever be bored, plus there are lots of recipes that use hummus in them which I thought was really neat too since oftentimes when we have hummus it doesn’t all get used up right away. The dessert hummus section in the back was my favorite part. I think those will be the recipes I start with!
The Artist’s Garden: How Gardens Inspired Our Greatest Painters will feature up to 20 gardens that have inspired and been home to some of the greatest painters of history. These gardens not only supplied the inspiration for creative works but also illuminate the professional motivation and private life of the artists themselves – from Cezanne’s house in the south of France to Childe Hassam at Celia Thaxter’s garden off the coast of Maine.
This book is about the real homes and gardens that inspired these great artists – gardens that can still be visited today. The relationship between artist and garden is a complex one. A few artists, including Pierre Bonnard and his neighbor Monet, were keen gardeners, as much in love with their plants as their work, while for others like Sorolla in Madrid, his courtyard home was both a sanctuary and a source of ideas.
Merissa’s Thoughts – This is a really big book that would be well suited for a coffee table. I enjoyed looking through this book and although I don’t have a coffee table to set it out on, I felt like it would actually be really great for homeschooling when we are doing some studies on famous artwork and artists. The gardens in the book are so beautiful that I’m not surprised that the artists were so inspired by them!
These beautiful pages invite you to pick up your brush and grow. The Art for Joy’s Sake Journal’s joy-focused approach to watercolor art has won the hearts of fans worldwide, and with this journal, Rice offers ways for all levels of painters to make “art for joy’s sake” and simultaneously paint a personal keepsake or add beauty to your inspiration wall.
Includes 9 illustrations ready to be watercolored on thick, textured paper, alongside full-color frameable reproductions of the same works painted by Kristy herself, demonstrating palette choices and brushwork. Enrich your art with “prompt” ideas to inspire your painting’s growth; pages with no-stress exercises for techniques; inspirational artwork and quotations; and even a few recipes for nourishing your body along with your spirit! Each item in the Artisan series is designed to offer a specially crafted watercolor discovery glowing with Kristy Rice’s creative touch.
Merissa’s Thoughts – My initial thought was, this book is so pretty! My husband does watercolor paintings so I had him take a look at it and he thought it was neat that the book not only had space for your own watercolors but it also had watercolor “coloring pages” as well. In other words, plenty of space for journaling if you love to journal using watercolor paints! The rest of the book had tips, inspiration, examples, and even recipes to get inspired!
Extraordinary: Stories of Adopting Children With Down Syndrome will introduce you to thirteen families who, with God’s help, said “YES!” to the most rewarding journey of their lives. Inside these pages, you will catch a glimpse of the struggles, the successes, and the unspeakable joy they experienced as they welcomed a child with Down syndrome into their forever family.
Extraordinary: Stories of Adopting Children With Down Syndrome also includes a statement of “We Believe…” listing the many reasons that children with Down syndrome are more alike than different from a typical child. A Resource Guide will help you find general information such as “How to Adopt” and “Financial Assistance Organizations.” If you’re not able to adopt but would like to help, there are resources in “Orphan Care” to guide you to what best suits your situation.
Merissa’s Thoughts – I recently had the chance to meet the family that published this book. They have adopted 4 children, 3 of them having down syndrome and they are such an inspiration to the adoption community. They published this book to raise money to help fund grants so others can adopt children with down syndrome since adoption and legal fees can get so expensive. This book is so inspirational and is a wonderful read if you have ever considered adopting a child with special needs or if you just have a special place in your heart for them. This book would also make a wonderful encouraging gift for a family that has adopted children with down syndrome or other special needs.
Attention singles! You can take charge of your finances! Tired of the same old financial advice that blames your lackluster finances on your indulgence of avocado toast? Or reading books that make you feel guilty for going out to dinner with friends instead of staying home alone watching Netflix to save a few bucks? Money-saving expert and single girl Laura M. Oliver, AKA A Frugal Chick, understands, and she is here to walk you through her experience becoming financially stable and building a solid plan for the future by sharing her simple strategies to decrease spending, increase savings, and live debt-free while still having a social life.
Money doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming. Laura shows you how simple it is to take control of your finances. You just have to be willing to take some active steps based on your current financial situation to build a better life for your future. Singles: Take Control of Your Own Financial Journey will walk you through whichever of those steps you choose. Don’t have any debt? Skip those chapters. Happy with your budgeting strategy? Choose a different path. Married but still want to read the book? Cutting expenses is the same for everyone!
Merissa’s Thoughts – I recently had the chance to interview Laura about her heart behind this book and you should definitely listen to that interview. You can find it here. If you are single or you know a college kid or younger single that needs help putting together a budget and a plan for their finances, this is the book you need to get! Laura has been sharing money-saving tips and budgeting ideas on her blog for a long time so you know this book had plenty of expertise go into it. One thing that I really love about this book is that it’s not just a sitting and reading kind of book. At the end of each chapter, Laura explains the action steps that you can take to really put the ideas into practice in your own life.
Want to win these books? I’m giving away a copy of
- The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet
- The Complete Hummus Cookbook
- The Artist’s Garden
- The Art for Joy’s Sake Journal
to one winner! ($130 prize value!) Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below to be entered to win all of these books to add to your personal collection. Good luck!
**Please note: I will email the giveaway winner as soon as the giveaway has ended. The winner has 72 hours to respond to the email and claim the prize. If there is no response, all books will be donated to my local library. Please add [email protected] to your email contacts to help ensure email delivery.** Book prizes for this month will not ship until the second week in December.
Have you read any of these books? Which one do you think interests you?
Are you an author or publishing house that wants me to review your book? Send an email with the information to [email protected]