Saturday, February 28, 2009

Review:The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister

The School of Essential Ingredients captures the moments of connection between food and life in the lives of the eight students that take part in an 8 month cooking class. The class is taught by Lillian, the owner of the restaurant where the class is held. The lessons that they learn release sensations and feelings that allow the students to connect to their inner selves. They learn about love and life and how food connects to the various meanings of love. Each chapter focuses on a student and their life and process of learning through the cooking classes.

This is a book that touches the depth of your heart and soul, if you let it. Just as the students in Lillian's cooking class must learn and grow and allow the lessons to seep through, so do we as readers. It is easy to open your heart and mind while reading this story that sparks the senses so easily that you can envision in your mind the smell of lavender, the taste of dark chocolate melting on your tongue or the feel of the knife slicing an heirloom tomato.

Erica Bauermeister has a gift of writing beautiful prose that is lyrical and sensual. She is able to use words in a manner to describe the simple beauty of food, life and relationships. She captures the essence of life and connects it so perfectly to food. Through the story, Lillian leads the students to connect to what is essential and to the importance of showing your love for others through choosing and preparing the food you serve them. It has made me want to connect more to the food that nourishes us and apply some of the lessons that Lillian has taught through her cooking classes.

Reading The School of Essential Ingredients is like finding the perfect recipe to escape the mundane day to day fast food pace of life and cooking that many of us subscribe to. It will allow you to vicariously savor the varied ingredients in the dishes that the class create and it may even inspire you to create some of your own.

The School of Essential Ingredients is definitely going to be on the list of my most favorite books that I've read this year. It is the kind of book that I can imagine reading over again. I didn't want the book to end. I loved reading every morsel. I enjoy cooking, but this book took cooking to a different level and has challenged me to expand my own skills. I want to find a cooking class like Lillians. This is the first novel written by Erica Bauermeister and I look forward to her next work. I can envision a sequel to The School of Essential Ingredients and certainly hope that the author is considering this.

For more information, check out the the author Erica Bauermeister's Website. There is an Excerpt, Discussion guide, Author Q& A and more.

Thank you to Matthew from Penguin Books.

Book Giveaway Carnival March 2-8

Tracy at Bookroom Reviews is hosting a Book Giveaway Carnival which runs March 2nd through the 8th. There will be giveaways for books and/or book related items. I've decided to join in the fun so check out my giveaway next week . For more information about the Book Giveaway Carnival, go HERE.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Some Blog Changes

Thanks to Blogger Guide for assisting me in finding a way to widen my blog. With the Scribe design on Blogger it's a narrow blog and I haven't figured out how to change to a 3 column blog and keep this Template style. I am going to have to figure out how to widen my header picture. I hope that I can as it doesn't fit as well now that the blog is wider. What do you think?
I just wish that Blogger would fix this spacing problem. It won't add spaces where I need them and then adds spaces where I don't need them!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. I had a lighter week, and received only 2 books both from Bookmooch.

The Spice Box by Lou Jane Temple
(I heard about this from Janel at Janel's Jumble)

The Song Reader-Lisa Tucker

What books came into your house last week?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Review: Charity Girl by Michael Lowenthal

Description from the Publisher: Charity Girl examines a dark period in our history, when fear and patriotic fervor led to devastating consequences. During World War I, the U.S. government waged a moral and medical campaign, incarcerating and quarantining 15,000 young women who were found to have venereal disease.

Frieda Mintz is a Jewish seventeen-year-old bundle wrapper at Jordan Marsh in Boston; she's struck out on her own in the wake of her mother's determination to marry her off to a wealthy man twice her age. Then, she spends one impulsive night with "a mensch, a U.S. Army private, ready to brave the trenches Over There." Unfortunately, Felix Morse leaves Frieda not just with vivid memories but with an unspeakable disease. Soon after, she is tracked down and sent to a makeshift detention center, where she suffers invasive physical exams, the discipline of an overbearing matron, and a painful erosion of self-worth. She's buoyed, though, by the strong women around her—her fellow patients and a sympathetic social worker—who, in depending on one another, seek to forge a new independence.

In smart, unusually determined Frieda Mintz, Michael Lowenthal has deftly created a most winning heroine through which to tell this troubling tale. Charity Girl lays bare an ugly part of our past, when the government exercised a questionable level of authority at the expense of some of its most vulnerable citizens; it also casts long shadows, exploring timely questions of desire, identity, and the balance between the public good and individual freedom.

Charity Girl is set during World War I, and tells the story of Frieda Mintz, a young Jewish teenage girl who struggles with a cold and distant mother but has a wonderful and loving father. Unfortunately, things change within the family and Frieda is left alone to be raised by her mother who Frieda feels little connection to. Her mother is left to find a way to support them and takes in sewing jobs but this is not enough to cover their debts. She is approached by an older man who wants to marry Frieda and who is twice her age. Frieda is repulsed by this man and seeks to find a way to get out of this arrangement her mother has agreed to. She is able to find a job and develops a close relationship with Lou a girl she works with, who teaches Frieda how to manage her money and survive. Lou also shows Frieda how to have some fun and takes her to dances where they learn just what some men are looking for. Frieda meets a man named Felix, a private in the army and they have one evening of passion and meaningful memories. Unfortunately, Felix passed on a terrible disease that will change the course of both of their lives. Frieda is young and naive and makes choices that put her in a situation that allows her to be easily tracked down and sent away to one of the detention centers. There she befriends many of the other patients and a social worker who takes interest in her case. She learns powerful lessons about love, loss, forgiveness, independence and strength of spirit.

In all honesty, I did not know about this historical time in our country where thousands of women were held in reformatories and detention homes, behind barbed wire, for months at a time. It is reported that the U. S. Government detained close to 30,000 women. There were no charges of a crime, no trial, and they were forced to endure medical treatment for venereal diseases. Many of the women were prostitutes, but a significant number of the women were not. They were called "charity girls". Hence the title of the book, the author describes "charity girls" as " those who "picked up" men for the sheer fun of it and for the attendant perks of nights on the town—and who by our contemporary standards, were doing nothing illicit or even unusual. " Frieda was considered a "charity girl". These events are truly shocking and mind boggling to realize that they actually occurred. Also, it has been reported that these actions did not cause a decline in the military's infection rate.

I was angry that the men were not held accountable for their own actions in spreading venereal disease in the story and during the real events of World War I. The women were blamed for "infecting" the men when often it was the other way around, especially for the "charity girls". Due to the men being needed to serve in the war, they were not detained in detention centers or reformatories while they were being treated.

I found this novel, engrossing and it grabbed my attention from the start. I read it in 2 days as I couldn't put it down. In reading the story, I could envision this historical time period with the wonderful details and descriptions that the author shared through his writing. I wanted to know what happened to Frieda. I was hoping for more in the end but in a sense the choices that Frieda makes are relative of that time period. Frieda may not have had many options after her experiences in the detention camp. I was hoping for Frieda to find that "true love" and passion that she deserved. I guess that I wanted Frieda to have a happily ever after story but that is not reality. I did like how in the end Frieda found her strength and intelligence as a women. I was very impressed that Michael Lowenthal, a male author, could capture so accurately the female characters perspectives and feelings.

(This is a World War 1 Era Health Poster)

From Michael Lowenthal's Website he shares that "The American Social Hygiene Association archive at the University of Minnesota library has made available eleven anti-vice campaign posters from the First World War. The images can be viewed online. (In the "search" box, type "Army Educational Commission.") "

Please make sure to check out Michael Lowenthal's website for much more information about the writing and research of Charity Girl.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Review: When Wanderers Cease to Roam by Vivian Swift

Description: A charming, illustrated celebration of puttering, doodling, daydreaming, and settling down after years on the road. Following a lifetime of trekking across the globe, Vivian Swift racked up twenty-three temporary addresses in twenty years, finally dropped her well-worn futon mattress and rucksack in a small town on the edge of the Long Island Sound. She spent the next decade quietly taking stock of her life, her immediate surroundings, and, finally, what it means to call a place a home.

The result is When Wanderers Cease to Roam. Filled with watercolors of beautiful local landscapes, seasonal activities, and small, overlooked pleasures of easy living, each chapter chronicles, month by month, the beautifully mundane perks of remaining at home—from curious notices in the local paper to the variations of autumnal clouds. At once gorgeously rendered and wholly original, this delightful and masterfully observed year of staying put shows us how the details of travel and the details of our lives remain with us—how they can nurture and sustain us, and how the past and the present become, in the end, intertwined.

This was a charming and quirky book to read. It's part journal, part memoir and diary. It's very unique in style, filled with beautiful watercolor drawings created by the author. It's formatted by months of the year with stories and experiences and drawings that correlate to each of the 12 months of the year. Ms. Swift spent years traveling the world from the age of 19 to 39 and then she discovered the Long Island Sound and set roots there for 10 years living in a small village. I enjoyed the town newsletter clippings that shared small town events and news and the items that Ms. Swift found around the village. One one page is a set of all of the colored children's mittens she found. On another is a mish-mosh of various items including foreign coins. She shares favorite clothes ,old and new, and where she has worn them and her stories behind them. There are even a few recipes included along the way. There are beautiful sketches and drawings related to the seasons and for the winter there is a set of drawings of a snowman's activities. She intertwines stories and experiences related to her travels and life experiences along the way. You can read it month by month or just browse through the pictures or read the whole book as I did.
You can browse through some of the actual drawings from the book at Vivian Swift's website.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. I received 4 books this past week all from Paperbackswap and Bookmooch. I'm amazed at the great benefits to swapping books. I've received some wonderful books and then in turn I'm able to pass on my own books to others.

A Curious Earth by Gerard Woodward

Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Disorder of Longing by Natasha Bauman

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Review: Manifest Your Magnificance

"Manifest Your Magnificence is a unique set of 64 affirmation cards and an audio CD designed specifically to nurture a child's self-esteem. Beautifully illustrated, written and spoken, each affirmation carries a powerful message that connects children to their magnificence. This unique set of cards and CD encourages positive interactions between adults and children, creates communication about feelings, promotes values such as honesty, responsibility, and compassion, and imprints positive attitudes and beliefs in the subconscious through use of "I AM" statements."

I am a firm believer in the importance of building a childs self esteem. Children have so many challenges as they grow and develop and many need guidance to remind them that they are special and unique. Susan T Howson, the creator of Manifest Your Magnificence has described it perfectly when she states "sometimes things are said or done to us that make us forget about who we truly are and our self esteem suffers." Manifest Your Magnificence products and services are tools that can help remind children of their Magnificence.

When the Manifest Your Magnificance affirmation cards were offered to review through Family Review Network, I jumped at the chance to review them after I checked their website and read about these products. I have a 10 yeard old son who is at the age where he is dealing with challenges with friends. He's had some struggles and he was starting to feel badly about himself. We have used these colorful and bold cards with such positive affirmations to remind him that he is a very special boy.

We had the chance to sit down and open the box when it arrived. We were both impressed at the packaging as the affirmation cards are all housed in their very own box that is bright and colorful. You can keep them all together and then choose a card a day to focus on , discuss or even carry one with you as a visual reminder. The cards appear very durable and the drawings and sayings are just wonderful, very upbeat and positive. Children can use the cards to journal and write about, or they can even use them in a dramatic way through singing, dancing and acting. There are many options to use the cards.

Some of the cards look like this:

(Front of the card) .........................................(Back of the Card)

(Front of the card) ...........................................(Back of the Card)

There is also a CD version that you can listen to the same positive affirmations that are on the cards. You can listen to a sample tracks at the Magnificant Creations website HERE.

You can find more information about Manifest Your Magnificance cards and the CD at Magnificant Creations website.

Adriana Trigiani: Very Valentine Video Message and Walking Tour of Greenwich Village

Check out these videos with Adriana Trigiani that include details and information about her new book Very Valentine, just released February 3rd 2009.

Read my review of Very Valentine HERE.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Review: Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani

Description: Meet the Roncalli and Angelini families, a vibrant cast of colorful characters who navigate tricky family dynamics with hilarity and brio, from magical Manhattan to the picturesque hills of bella Italia. Very Valentine is the first novel in a trilogy and is sure to be the new favorite of Trigiani’s millions of fans around the world.

In this luscious, contemporary family saga, the Angelini Shoe Company, makers of exquisite wedding shoes since 1903, is one of the last family-owned businesses in Greenwich Village. The company is on the verge of financial collapse. It falls to thirty-three-year old Valentine Roncalli, the talented and determined apprentice to her grandmother, the master artisan Teodora Angelini, to bring the family’s old-world craftsmanship into the twenty-first century and save the company from ruin.

While juggling a budding romance with dashing chef Roman Falconi, her duty to her family, and a design challenge presented by a prestigious department store, Valentine returns to Italy with her grandmother to learn new techniques and seek one-of-a-kind materials for building a pair of glorious shoes to beat their rivals. There, in Tuscany, Naples, and on the Isle of Capri, a family secret is revealed as Valentine discovers her artistic voice and much more, turning her life and the family business upside down in ways she never expected. Very Valentine is a sumptuous treat, a journey of dreams fulfilled, a celebration of love and loss filled with Trigiani’s trademark heart and humor.

I have to start by saying that I am a huge fan of Adriana Trigiani's books. I adore the Big Stone Gap series and was thrilled to find out about Very Valentine coming out this month. This is the first book in a trilogy so I can look forward to two more books in this wonderful series. I actually heard about this book from Bermuda Onion in a Mailbox Monday post and then contacted Ms. Trigiani by email and (begged and pleaded) kindly asked if she had an advanced reader copy available. She actually emailed me back herself along with her wonderful assistant. They sent out a personally inscribed copy of the book which made it that much more special!

What can I say, I loved this book. I enjoy hunkering down and being swept away by a contemporary family saga and this book met that criteria. Especially when there are wonderful characters with rich ethnic backgrounds as I believe that this gives a story a depth and richness. Valentine is the main character and we learn about her quirky Italian family that I would love to sit down an enjoy an Italian meal with. The drama alone would make great entertainment. Valentine works as an apprentice under her grandmother Teodora in their family custom shoe business in Greenwich Village in New York. I enjoyed reading about how custom shoes are made and the artistry and skill that goes into the process of what is considered an old world craft. Reading about this process has made me wonder what a custom handmade shoe would feel like, it has to be an amazing experience. This book makes you think about the art of family business and what they must do to survive against the big box companies that mass merchandise our goods. It made me think about the importance of supporting these family run businesses in our own communities. Valentine balances a new relationship with a new beau Roman who is a chef and just opened his own restaurant. I feel like I gained a few pounds while reading this book which includes scrumptious details of all of the wonderful meals the family eats...homemade ravioli, homemade bread dipped in golden olive oil, rich wine, lattes, cobblers and much more. There were a lot of vivid details of color and texture that related to the food and leather and fabrics in the shoes that were made. Reading this book was definitely a sensory experience in itself rich with details that allows the reader to imagine the experience. Along the way, Valentine discovers her artistic side, where her passion lies and she continues to learn and grow in her relationships with her family and with men. Valentine travels to Italy which is a wonderful place for her to grow and experience the culture and connect to her Italian roots. I appreciated Valentine's close relationship with her grandmother Teodora. Teodora was a strong female character who had worked side by side with her husband to carry on their family business. Her family was extremely important to her and she was a pillar of strength and wisdom to them all. She has a very special relationship with Valentine, they have a connection that is unique and strong. My own grandmother is 91 and she has been the pillar of strength in our family and her positive outlook and attitude made a great impact on me as a child. I could relate to this special bond that a grandmother and granddaughter have. I can't wait to find out what happens next in Valentine's life and family in the next book. I highly recommend Very Valentine to fans of Adriana's books or to anyone who has never read her books. Treat yourself, you must read her books!

Go to the Adriana Trigiani Website for more information about her books, book tour, recipes and more.

To read the first chapter of Very Valentine go HERE.

Readers Guide for Very Valentine go HERE.

Make sure to watch this video interview with Adriana Trigiani:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Review: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

Description: In the opening pages of Jamie Ford’s stunning debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.

This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry’s world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While “scholarshipping” at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship–and innocent love–that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.

Forty years later, Henry Lee is certain that the parasol belonged to Keiko. In the hotel’s dark dusty basement he begins looking for signs of the Okabe family’s belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot begin to measure. Now a widower, Henry is still trying to find his voice–words that might explain the actions of his nationalistic father; words that might bridge the gap between him and his modern, Chinese American son; words that might help him confront the choices he made many years ago.

This is a story that is deeply touching and moving, it is about young love as well as about love and honor between children and their parents. I was entranced from the start when Henry a Chinese-American man, learns that Seattle's Panama Hotel has discovered unclaimed belongings of Japanese Americans. This is based on the real discovery of these items that were stored in the basement when Japanese families were sent to internment camps in the 1940's. The story is told from two different time periods, the 1940's starting when Henry was 12 years old and from the 1980's when Henry is in an older man and recently widowed. When Henry was 12 he was sent to a private white school and his parents make him wear a button that says "I am Chinese" so he is not mistaken for being Japanese. There not only does he have to deal with racism and bullying but on the bright side he develops a friendship with Keiko, a Japanese-American girl his age. Keiko and her family are later sent away to internment camps with hundreds of other Japanese families from Seattle. The story weaves back and forth from the past to the present and we learn much about the effect the internment and this painful time had on the Japanese and those who cared for these families. There is much focus on sharing parts of Seattle's history of culture, architecture and Jazz. This is woven throughout the novel and much is based on real history and experience. We learn what happens as Henry moves forward in life and the relationships that he develops and how he growns into manhood and the effect his childhood experiences have on him as an husband, father and friend.

The dialogue and characters are rich and vibrant. The story touched me on a deep level and the characters jumped off the page and felt real. This is a coming of age story that allows you as the reader to truly experience the bitter and the sweet that one can experience in life. I look forward to more books written by Jamie Ford, this is his first novel and I expect many more wonderful books ahead.

You can read more about Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and author Jamie Ford at the author's website HERE.

*Thanks to LibraryThing Early Reviewers for sending me an ARC copy of this book.

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. I had two books that arrived in my Mailbox last week, they are:

The Wilderness by Samantha Harvey (Random House-To be released February 17th)

Ask again Later by Jill Davis (Bookmooch)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Review: Journal Buddies

Journal Buddies: A Boy's Journal for Discovering and Sharing Excellence by Jill Schoenberg

Description:Journal Buddies is a Mom's Choice Awards® Silver Recipient and is a fun, interactive journal intended to help adults (parents, teachers, mentors...) build and strengthen a boy's self-esteem.

This meaningful and creative journal is appropriate for kids ages 7 - 14 and may be used peer-to-peer, child-to-parent, student-to-adult or any combination thereof.

These powerful but simple journals are truly a fresh and invigorating take on journal keeping.

I was thrilled to review this journal when it was offered through Family Review Network . I have a son who is 10 years old and this is a great time to work through emotions and feelings and ways to build self esteem and confidence. This is the perfect type of journal to appeal to boys who aren't often encouraged to share "feelings" and "emotions"as it may not be considered "cool". This journal is unique as it is designed to be interactive and promotes creative journaling and it is fun. It's designed so that:

"...a boy and his Mom (or Dad or grandparent or mentor or teacher or friend...) are encouraged to work together as a team AND to write, draw, cut, paste, and create in their own unique journaling styles".

I like the buddy concept and that the child's buddy can be a friend or parent or anyone that they choose. Their buddy can be someone different every day if they would like. It's also a fun way to communicate with your child and promote their positive traits. I know that I can often catch myself focusing a bit more on the negative at times..."pick up this, you need to do that, don't forget to do this... etc". This journal focuses on finding and celebrating the positive, there is even a rule that criticisms and put-downs are not allowed.

There is a journal entry for each day(30 days in all) and each journal entry has four parts to it:

1. A thought for the day — things like words of advice and helpful

2. Qualities, traits and talents — where a child and their buddies
write down things that you like about each other.

3. A focus word for the day — an idea to explore or simply a word
to think about. They can talk about it, write about it, draw a picture
about it... or they can choose to do nothing about it. It’s up to them!

4. Blank pages — some are lined and some are not. These pages
are for thoughts and feelings, or drawings, art, poetry
or any other creative journaling ideas that they might want to try.

My son and I have started the journal and in his words, he "loves it"! He has said that it is a lot of fun. I like sitting down with him as his chosen buddy and talking about positive traits and qualities and see his eyes light up as he figures out what he wants to journal and create on his pages. There are no restrictions ,which he absolutely loves! He will definitely treasure this journal and it will be a wonderful keepsake to look back upon as well.

*There is also a girls journal called Journal Buddies: A Girl's Journal for Sharing and Celebrating Magnificence. This has been awarded the Dove Family-Approved Seal. "The Dove Foundation has established itself as a valuable resource for consumers seeking quality entertainment and programming that's suitable for their entire household,"says Jeff Yordy, VP of Marketing, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Journal Buddies interactive journaling systems for boys and for girls are both winners of the 2008 Mom's Choice Awards, an award that represents quality and ingenuity. Like other symbols of quality that consumers have come to rely on, the Mom's Choice Award on a product, service or media production alerts consumers its appropriateness for children. The Award is a symbol of family-friendliness that parents, educators, librarians, social service professionals and others rely on to help guide their purchasing decisions.

*I would highly recommend these journals for any child. I do think it would be especially helpful for a child who may be dealing with issues of self esteem, bullying or typical friendship angst that all kids work through. It encourages communication and in a spirit of fun promotes creativity and freedom of expression. These would make wonderful gifts for all boys and girls. I would have loved a journal like this when I was a young girl!

Make sure to check out the Journal Buddies Website for more information.

You can purchase Journal Buddies directly from the Journal Buddies Website and when you purchase the journal you'll receive an author signed copy, over $83 in bonus gifts, a 45 day money-back guarantee and a free pack of journaling supplies, a nice package for $16.95. You can also purchase an unsigned copy from Amazon.

Thanks to Family Review Network and Jill Schoenberg, author of Journal Buddies .

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. I didn't post a Mailbox last Monday as I didn't receive any books. It was a much needed break actually as my TBR shelves are overflowing with books to be read.
This week was different and I received some wonderful books.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Review: Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual

Description: This is the book that Bobbi Brown's fans have been waiting for: her 25-plus years of makeup styling experience distilled into one complete, gorgeous book. Bobbi looks at everything from skincare basics to every aspect of facial makeup--from how to find the right color and type of foundation for any skin tone to how to apply every detail of eye makeup (Brows, Eye Liner, Eye Shadow, and Eye Lashes) no matter your eye color and shape. Of course there are never-before-seen tips on blush, bronzer, lip liners, lipstick, etc. And Bobbi looks beyond the face with informative chapters on "Hands and Feet" and "Body Skin Care." Each chapter has thorough step-by-step basic directions for makeup application and easy-to-follow photographs and line drawings, along with Bobbi's expert, yet assuring, advice. Plus, there's a groundbreaking section of the book that will be of special interest to women who've wanted to know how makeup stylists do what they do: the top beauty secrets only these artists know, essential equipment to keep on hand, how to break into the business, and how to work with photographers and celebrities.

Breathtaking photos of the finished faces-from everyday looks to exotic runway style-along with advice on putting it all together for every woman, make this a book like no other.

BOBBI BROWN'S MAKEUP MANUAL will be the only book any woman will need to look absolutely fabulous.

This was a fun Makeup Manual to look through and get ideas for makeup applications. I especially liked the step-by-step directions complete with photographs to follow along. I learned a few things about eye concealer as I have under-eye darkness and learned that choosing the right corrector color is based upon tone.

I liked that Bobbi Brown focused on how lifestyle and nutrition are vital components to beautiful skin. There are many suggestions that are practical and useful reminders that what we eat and drink does effect our skin.

There is a recommended Ten-Step guide to perfect makeup that should only take five to ten minutes. I haven't tried it as I don't put on full makeup daily. This does seem like a simple routine if you are looking for a quick and effective makeup routine.
The Makeup Manual also gives suggestions for diversity in skin types as well as for bridal makeup, special occasion makeup, teen makeup, makeup during pregnancy and even for "bad-day" beauty ideas. There is a whole section of the book geared toward professional makeup artists which would be an asset for someone in that business.
One thing that I haven't found in this book or the other book that I read recently on Makeup were any references to Mineral Makeup. This is becoming more popular as a natural style of makeup as well as a greener, less toxic product. I would have liked to hear Bobbi Brown's opinion on mineral makeup.
A Special Thanks to Hachette Books.