The Alchemist – 82/100 Paulo Coelho

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Overview: A friend Sarah (Critiquing Chemist) sent me a list of 200 books everyone should read (Book List), so on my current work trip I decided to knock a couple out.  I had seen The Alchemist in airport book stores which I frequent on most of my trips to see what’s out and get ideas on what to read next.  I had it in the back of my mind as a book I wanted to read, but I had forgotten about it.  I’m glad I picked it up because it was a really good book.  It’s one of those books that I think everyone should read at least once a year.  On the surface it’s a story of a boy looking for a treasure, but there’s so much more to the book and it has so many layers of meaning.  The book kind of reminded me of The Pilgrim’s Progress in the aspect as at the front it’s a book of an adventure, but it’s wrapped in so many other layers. Continue reading

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Crooked Kingdom 88/100 Leigh Bardugo

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Overview: Crooked Kingdom picks up shortly after Six of Crows.  We follow back up with Kaz, Inej, Matthias, Nina, Jesper, Wylan, and now Kuwei.  In Six of Crows, we get glimpses of the main characters, but we don’t really get a good idea of who they are.  In Crooked Kingdom we get all their back story and so much more.  There’s something to be said of writing characters when they’re not in action.  Just writing the downtime between events where the characters are relaxed and showing their true selves.  It’s refreshing and it really makes you feel like you are getting to know these characters.

This book really goes through all the paces for Kaz to take back Ketterdam.  It has so many great twists and turns as well as some really great writing to accompany the killer story. Continue reading

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Smoked Prime Rib


Hey guys, I made smoked prime rib over the weekend and it turned out great.  This is a really easy recipe and it tastes really good. Continue reading

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The Obelisk Gate 85/100 – N. K. Jemisin

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Overview: The Obelisk Gate picks right up where The Fifth Season left us and we finally find out what Nassun has been up to.  I’ve been really busy lately so I haven’t been able to post, but I just got back from a business trip in Florida so I had some time on the planes and knocked this book out.  The Obelisk Gate has a really interesting narrative throughout the book which I loved.  We get to read what Essun says or how she immediately interprets what’s happening, but also get a hindsight view of what’s really happening.  It’s a really cool way to give a more in-depth view on what’s happening.  I was so excited to read more about Hoa and the other stone eaters, but replaying what happened to both Coru and Uche was hard.  I don’t know if it’s just me since I have a 7 month old baby at home, but I was glad when those sections were over.  The Obelisk Gate answered a lot of questions I’ve had since The Fifth Season but also left enough unanswered to keep me wanting more.  August can’t come soon enough to find out how this all ends. Continue reading

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Homemade Burnt Ends

This recipe isn’t quick, but it is pretty easy if you have a smoker and the results are phenomenal. Continue reading

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Spinach, Bacon, Blue Cheese, Granny Smith Apple Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast with Balsamic Reduced Brussel Sprouts

Hey guys, sorry it’s been a while since my last post.  Who knew having a baby was so much work?  Last night the wife had to work late, so I had some creative freedom and extra time in the kitchen.  I decided to see just how many things I could stuff a chicken breast with, and it turns out it’s a lot.  Continue reading

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A Conjuring of Light 90/100 – V.E. Schwab

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Overview:

In the final installment of the Shades series, we pick right up where we left off from the cliffhanger from A Gathering of Shadows.  The entire book revolves around how Red London is going to deal with the God/Demon Osaron.  We get a lot of fulfilling back story from the characters and a lot of our questions are answered, but Schwab decided not to answer a few which irked me.   The book had pretty good pacing, but it seemed to just go on and on without actually getting anywhere in places.  It seemed that although things were happening, not a lot actually got accomplished, and it just took a while to get through it.  That being said, it is a very well written book with a lot of great humor.  It’s sad to say goodbye to Kell and company, but I guess Anoshe. Continue reading

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