30-Minute Rings Jewelry Book by Marthe Le Van

Marthe Le Van has gathered 60 different ring jewelry projects from 49 different designers, which can all be constructed in a half an hour. If you have 30 minutes to spare, then you can create a ring or so the author Marthe Le Van suggests in 30-Minute Rings. For most projects, basic tools like a hammer, jewelry saw, and pliers are all that is needed, but for other projects, a soldering kit and a complete bench tools set are required.

The Art of Good Cookies Plain and Fancy by Annette Laslett Ross and Jean Adams Disney

Old-School Cookie Book From the '60s: The Art of Making Good Cookies. My latest find at the library's 'Friends of the Library' store - a three dollar book, an older cookie recipe collection from the sixties. The Art of Good Cookies Plain and Fancy (Annette Laslett Ross and Jean Adams Disney, Doubleday, 1963) is a hardback covered recipe book with many different cookies, or cookies for special events like party cookies.

The full review for this book is on my Old School Pastry blog.

The Art of Making Good Cookies can also be found on Amazon.

For Cod and Country: Simple Delicious Sustainable Cooking

Barton Seaver in his book, For Cod and Country, cooks up delicious, sustainable food by promoting smaller fish portions and healthy amounts of vegetables.

Barton Seaver practices what he talks about with fish sustainability and cooking: he's a National Geographic fellow increasing awareness to ocean issues and is a practicing chef. His dedication to both industries has made For Cod and Country more than a cookbook. It provides tips for sustainability through portion size, using fish that are seasonally caught, and encourages the use of fresh produce.

Seaver uses the term 'eat low on the food chain.' Smaller fish are lest costly to purchase and are able to replenish themselves at a faster rate than larger predatory species. If there is a fish species you especially enjoy that is on a seafood watch list, he gives several seafood substitutions. For example, instead of Chilean sea bass, try sablefish, Pacific halibut, a farm-raised sturgeon instead. Another reason to steer away from larger fish is the levels of mercury and other toxins are considerably higher in larger fish. As the food chain travels up, so does the amount of toxins that are absorbed in the fish.

Descriptions of many sustainable fish and seafood species are listed. Seaver gives information on where they are found, why they are good choices, and tips for cooking them. There are numerous color pictures throughout the book. Techniques are sprinkled through the different sections such as cutting raw fish, shucking oysters, and shopping for fish.

For Cod and Country Cookbook Chapters and Overview

The recipes are separated by season: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, and A Separate Season. Each chapter features fish caught in those seasons, and the fifth season incorporates farm-raised fish and seafood. The Techniques section has useful information on different cooking methods and brining fish. For those interested in smoking fish, Seaver goes in depth on both methods: cold and hot smoking. There are three fish brining recipes for hot smoking as well as three rub recipes for cold smoking.

Recommended For People Interested In Basic Fish Cookery and Sustainability

If there is one topic that is highlighted throughout For Cod and Country, that is to choose fish lower on the food chain and eat it in smaller portions. Categorizing the recipes by seasons helps to illustrate that fisheries also have seasons. All recipes are either photographed in the finished stage or show you how to do it. Seaver's descriptions of the different catch methods is valuable to those who are interested in responsible fishing, and teaches which methods are best at reducing bycatch, anything not targeted by fishermen.

Recipe: Mahi Mahi with Grilled Peaches and Buttermilk-Mint Dressing

Serves 4
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Leaves from 8 sprigs fresh mint, chopped
  • Salt
  • Four 5-ounce portions mahi mahi fillet
  • 4 ripe peaches, cut in half and pitted
  • 1 pound arugula leaves
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  1. For the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, mustard, sugar, buttermilk, lemon juice, and mint. Season to taste with salt and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes and up to two hours so that the flavors combine.
  2. For the mahi mahi, preheat a grill using charcoal or gas heat. Place the fillets on the coolest part of the grill and the peach halves over the hot part of the fire. Cover the grill and cook about 15-20 minutes for fillets 1 1/2 inches thick. The fish should be cooked through but only just beginning to flake when gentle pressure is applied. At that point, the peaches will be slightly charred and beginning to soften.
  3. To serve, mix the arugula and onion, toss with two-thirds of the dressing, and season with salt. Divide the salad among 4 plates. Place 2 grilled peach halves next to the salad. Place a piece of mahi mahi on top of the salad and spoon the remaining dressing over it. Serve immediately.

Book Information

  • For Cod and Country: Simple Delicious Sustainable Cooking; by Barton Seaver
  • Sterling Epicure, 2011
  • ISBN13: 9781402777752
  • Hardcover with Jacket, 304 pages
  • Full Color - over 200 photos
Recipe adapted and reprinted with permission from Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck

For those who enjoy light historical romances, The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck (Kathleen Y'Barbo, Walterbrook Press, 2009, ISBN13: 9780307729644) would please. While it can be read as a stand-alone novel, it is the third in a series by the Y'Barbo: the other two are The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper, and Anna Finch and the Hired Gun.

The story is set in the late 1880s, from London to the Old West. Charlotte Beck is an American who wants to have an education. Alex Hambly is a nobleman who needs help refilling his family's coffers. A suggested arrangement of marriage seems equitable to them both, but after they are married, they realize it's not that inconvenient to be married to each other, and what they first wanted when they agreed to marry each other, doesn't seem so important now. The back story is the mystery of her mother and father. Light read with an obvious end, but entertaining throughout.

Book Information:
  • The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck; by Charlotte Y'Barbo
  • WalterBrook Multnomah, an Imprint of The Crown Publishing Group (Random House)
  • ISBN13: 9780307729644
  • Paperback & eBook versions
This edition was loaned to me by the publisher; any opinions are my own.

The One Page Business Plan: Start With a Vision, Build a Company

Jim Horan's book, "The One Page Business Plan," helps to dispel myths regarding business plans, and helps put a plan together quickly and concisely.

Business plans are important to any business because they help layout where a company is headed in many ways. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, business plans show current financial projections and help with future estimated ones. It can help strategize personnel and sales goals, and can also help with funding if you need to expand.

The introduction of The One Page Business Plan lays out what business plans are and what they aren't, and lists common myths. For example, they don't need to be long in length or take a great amount of time to compile for one to be useful for the business. And just what can you do with a business plan with only one page? Horan suggests it can be used for presentations to test ideas, to help with career motivation, and also summarize ideas.

How to Assemble a One Page Business Plan

The One Page Business Plan has many fillable fields to help make the process easy. The worksheets with boxes, circles, and fill-in fields make it easy to brainstorm and categorize ideas. Exercises are in each chapter where you are presented with a topic, like What's Working in Your Company? and What Targets Will You Aim For? The answers are used to help craft together the main parts of the business plan.

The Five Main Parts to the Business Plan

The goal of The One Page Business Plan is to put together in paragraph form these five parts: Vision; Mission; Objectives; Strategies; and Plans. While both the Vision and Mission statements may be the shortest in length, they are two of the most important. With them you can see what your company stands for and why it is there.

The Objectives and Strategies are more in depth and focus on actual results. They are the 'goals' part of the business plan and through the exercises you identify ways to achieve them. Using all four of the previous parts, the last element, Plans, can be implemented for the projections. Horan gives tips on how to put the business plan in action, and has several finished business plans to be uses for examples.

Recommended for Those Needing to Put Together Ideas

If you need a business plan with in-depth financial projections or long summaries, then this book isn't for you. It is useful for those who have many ideas and don't know where to go with them, or who need a little focus in business. The One Page Business Plan helps to quickly identify problem areas in the business and helps to develop strategies by putting ideas together in a useful way.

Book Information:

  • The One Page Business Plan: Start With a Vision, Build a Company!; by Jim Horan
  • The One Page Business Plan Company, 2003
  • ISBN: 1891315072
  • Softcover, 97 pages

Green Market Baking Book by Laura C. Martin

Laura C. Martin has created a well-illustrated sweet and savory baking book with recipes made from sustainable whole foods that are naturally sweetened.

2011 Writer's Market: 90th Anniversary Edition


The 2011 Writer's Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer, contains listings for where to get published, strategies for writing, and tips for freelancing.

The latest Writer's Market contains not only updated listings for publishing houses for which to write for, but also new information in their "Query Letter Clinic" chapter. For those unfamiliar with the book series, the Writer's Market is a yearly book publication with writing and publishing information useful to all sorts of writers: poets, magazine writers, non-fiction technical writers, novelists, children's book authors, magazine writers, and more. The book will not get you published, per se, but provide the necessary tools to help you get published.

2011 Writer's Market Sections and Overview

The 2011 Writer's Market is broken down into these basic sections: the basics of writing & publishing, beyond the basics, and the actual markets themselves. The basic elements of writing and publishing include the query and cover letters, proposals, and the synopsis. Besides the basics, other topics are covered such as writer's rights and contracts, freelance business writing start-ups, and social media. Since social media is so important, the chapter "Build a Platform" gives great ideas on authors reaching the masses and building and keeping an audience.

The actual markets and agent information are broken down into these categories:
  • Publishing houses & their imprints (listing of the major publishing houses and all their imprints)
  • Literary agents & agencies (who they represent and how to contact them)
  • Book Publishers (what books they publish, their imprints, and how they pay)
  • International book publishers (book publishers from Canada and other countries)
  • Small presses (publishing houses the publish less than 10 books a year)
  • Consumer magazines (the bulk of the book, they are all listed by category or interest)
  • Trade journals (publications that specialize in one industry)
  • Newspapers (dailies/weeklies printed regionally)
  • Screenwriting (writing for television or movies)
  • Playwriting (live theatre)
  • Greeting cards (cards with quick verses - poems, statements, greetings, etc.)
  • Contests & awards (non-fiction, fiction, and fellowship opportunities)
  • Professional organizations (groups that focus on a writing specialty)
The glossary at the back of the book includes all the terms a new writer or seasoned writer needs to know, as well as terms used in the book. The chapter "How Much Should I Charge?" is a report compiled from surveys by members of different writer's and editor's organizations that list what the High/Low/Average pay is either PerHour/PerProject/Other for different freelance or editing work. The personal views section lists three different articles from different writers with advice to other writers.

Tools for Getting Published

The 2011 Writer's Market contains valuable information for any writer embarking on different writing genres, such as magazine writing, novels, and non-fiction trade journal work. The contact information that accompanies the many different publications includes vital information like fax numbers, websites and emails if available, phone numbers, and what their response time is. The preferred method for receiving manuscripts or queries is listed, as well as any tips for getting published with that market. The dollar signs in front of some listings indicate how much that market pays.

Book Information
  • 2011 Writer's Market; edited by Robert Lee Brewer
  • Writer's Digest Books, F + W Media
  • ISBN13: 9781582979489
  • Softcover paperback, 1024 pages
Disclosure: This book was purchased by the author, and any opinions are the author's own.