Great Reads

Macbeth —ARC Review Out April 10, 2018







Macbeth by Jo Nesbø
Publish Date : 4/10/2018
Started: 3/17/18
Finished: 3/21/18
Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received an advanced copy of Macbeth from Netgalley and Crown Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Summary from Amazon:

Set in the 1970s in a run-down, rainy industrial town, Jo Nesbo’s Macbeth centers around a police force struggling to shed an incessant drug problem. Duncan, chief of police, is idealistic and visionary, a dream to the townspeople but a nightmare for criminals. The drug trade is ruled by two drug lords, one of whom—a master of manipulation named Hecate—has connections with the highest in power, and plans to use them to get his way.

Hecate’s plot hinges on steadily, insidiously manipulating Inspector Macbeth: the head of SWAT and a man already susceptible to violent and paranoid tendencies. What follows is an unputdownable story of love and guilt, political ambition, and greed for more, exploring the darkest corners of human nature, and the aspirations of the criminal mind.

Continue reading “Macbeth —ARC Review Out April 10, 2018”

Great Restaurants

Fortune Cookie -Medford, NJ

Who doesn’t love Chinese food? Takeout is obviously amazingly convenient but sometimes you just want to sit down and be served. There aren’t a ton of great Chinese restaurants for this purpose.

I found Fortune Cookie after going to its neighbor “Cucina Illiano”. That’s a whole different review 😋😋

My boyfriend had gone and said that he used to get takeout here once in a while. We met my parents there and it’s been love ever since.

They put crunchy noodles on every table either duck sauce and homemade mustard which is spicy and delicious! I also love that they put a bowl of chinese cabbage on the table. It’s so good. I’ve tried to replicate it but mine always comes out too wet with not the exact flavor.

I’ve had their walnut chicken, generals chicken, and recently their pan fried noodles with pork. The dish was so big. I was definitely happy with this choice and I’ll be getting it again for sure.

Walnut Chicken

Now, I know I said this is a Chinese restaurant, but they serve sushi and some Japanese dishes. Their Sushi prices average about $.50 – $1.00 more. Get it anyway! It’s some of the freshest tasting sushi that I’ve had AND is the fullest roll I’ve ever had. There is so much filling by in these and they’re huge! So delicious. I usually get a roll as an appetizer and then a Chinese dish. It’s the best of both worlds.

I absolutely adore this spicy tuna roll.

You can find them at:
200 Tuckerton Road
Medford, NJ 08055
( it is the old Murphy’s shopping center)

Sorry for the darker pictures. They were from before I got my cool flash device for my iPhone during a different visit!

Now what are you waiting for? Go get some bombdotcom Chinese food!

Great Reads

Walls of Silence

walls of silence

Walls of Silence by Ruth Wade
Publish Date : 3/11/2018
Started: 3/13/18
Finished: 3/17/18
Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

I received an advanced copy of Walls of Silence from Netgalley and Bloodhound Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Summary from Goodreads:

The patient has a story that isn’t told and which no one knows of. It is the secret, the rock against which he is shattered. Carl Jung

The Great War is over but for Edith Potter an equally devastating conflict is about to begin.

She is unhinged by a secret so terrible her conscious mind doesn’t acknowledge it.

It is 1927 and Dr Stephen Maynard is using the new science of psychoanalysis to restore her sanity.

From his first meeting with her in the lunatic asylum, Dr Stephen Maynard is determined to bring her back to reality. During the long challenge, her disturbed behavior forces him to confront his limitations – already severely stretched by the presence of someone prepared to use whatever weapons they can to ensure she maintains her silence. Continue reading “Walls of Silence”

Great Reads

Not That I Could Tell – Out March 27

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser
Publish Date : 3/27/2018
Started: 3/10/18
Finished: 3/13/18
Rating : ⭐️⭐️

I received an advanced copy of Not That I Could Tell from Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Summary from Goodreads:

When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It’s a rare kid-free night, and they’re giddy with it. They drink too much, and the conversation turns personal.

By Monday morning, one of them is gone.

Everyone knows something about everyone else in the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs, but no one can make sense of the disappearance. Kristin was a sociable twin mom, college administrator, and doctor’s wife who didn’t seem all that bothered by her impending divorce—and the investigation turns up more questions than answers, with her husband, Paul, at the center. For her closest neighbor, Clara, the incident triggers memories she thought she’d put behind her—and when she’s unable to extract herself from the widening circle of scrutiny, her own suspicions quickly grow. But the neighborhood’s newest addition, Izzy, is determined not to jump to any conclusions—especially since she’s dealing with a crisis of her own.

As the police investigation goes from a media circus to a cold case, the neighbors are forced to reexamine what’s going on behind their own closed doors—and to ask how well anyone really knows anyone else.

Continue reading “Not That I Could Tell – Out March 27”

Great Restaurants

Engimono Sushi – Philadelphia

Hey Philly natives, some good news! Fairmount finally has its very own sushi spot. I was very lucky to have been invited to try some of their best for a review last night. Thanks to Chef Cherryl for the invite! I’ll post her Instagram below for you to check out some of her awesome posts and eats! Also a HUGE thanks to Albert, Angeline, and Annie for hosting us.

If you are a friend of mine reading this, you know that my last meal on this earth would be a spicy tuna roll and a kani salad. Sushi should be my middle name. Quite honestly, my parents and boyfriend need to tell me “anything but sushi” when they ask me where I want to go. If it was up to me, it’d be sushi all day every day. So when the invite came, I knew even if I had to move my schedule around, I would do it. And I’m glad that I did just that even if I’ll be working hard to finish some Of my masters papers and grading this week! What can I say? I’m addicted to sushi. There are way worse things obviously to be addicted to.

First things first, it’s new so it’s very clean. All restaurants obviously should be clean but I won’t lie, I’ve had some of my best meals in places that may look sketchy at first. Not here. It’s bright and clean and decorated nicely. It’s modern looking with sleek white counters at the sushi bar with little glass windows to peek at the fish. Super cute! There are color changing lights in the ceiling. The shiny backsplash is awesome. I’m biased though because I have the same in my kitchen! Lol.

THE FOOD WAS SO GOOD! I got to taste sooooo much. Good thing I was told to eat very little throughout my day. Either way, I would have eaten it all and worried about the tummy ache later. No seriously, that’s what I do.

We tried soooo much so I’ll highlight my favorites, appetizers first. I’ll start with the sushi pizza. A tortilla with spicy tuna, avocado, and masago drizzled with spicy mayo and eel sauce. I could have eaten three of these alone. The tortilla never got soggy waiting for us to start and the flavors were awesome.

Saweed salad, you either love it or hate it. I’m an in betweener since I really need to be in the mood. I had a few bites and it was good. It was served over julienned cucumbers which made it a step above the rest for me. Next time I make this for lunch, it’s going over cucumbers.

The sushi dumplings were a favorite of mine. There are only two to a plate but they’re STUFFED! We butchered them up into pieces so the six of us could try and each bite still had a lot of filling. The dumplings were filled with spicy crab, avocado, and crunch all wrapped in tuna. I’ve had these at my favorite sushi restaurant in Jersey, Kabuki, and a little birdie may have told me that Kabuki and Engimono are closely related 😉.

Now for the dinner. We had a variety of specialty rolls and sashimi. The sashimi was very fresh. I loved the white tuna. My favorite specialty roll was the Osaka roll. We aren’t doing our due diligence because we couldn’t find it on the menu so we thought maybe it was the Yazuka roll but we aren’t sure. Either way, it was awesome and I’ll point out which one it is below:

It’s the roll pictured on the left. The roll on the right was the Godzilla Roll (also yummy). Not pictured in this photo was the Romantic Roll and A 76ers Roll (Philly loves our sports).

Last but not least is the chirashi bowl we had. The fish was all fresh and the presentation was gorgeous. Some other foodies there pictured it better than I got but so good nonetheless. Engimono really puts pride in their presentation and it shows!

I can’t recommend Engimono Sushi enough. They can be found at:
1811 Fairmount Ave
Philadelphia PA 19130

Make sure you follow myself and the other foodies who tried out this place and check out their thoughts!:

@littleteacherbigappetite (me)

And of course, start following @engimonosushi

Great Reads


Educated by Tara Westover
Publish Date : 2/20/2018
Started: 3/8/18
Finished: 3/9/18
Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of Educated from Netgalley and Random House in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Summary from Goodreads:

Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag.” In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard.

Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent.

Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.

Continue reading “Educated”

Great Recipes

Keilbasa Stew

I love to cook things that are fast. This keilbasa stew is just that! I honestly use canned ingredients so that it’s done within 10 minutes BUT you could definitely use fresh and I am sure it would come out even more amazing! I’ll post pictures of the canned brand ingredients I use to make this delicious stew. The ingredients below are pretty standard but I’ll also throw in green pepper or whatever else I have in the fridge that I’m getting rid of. Additions obviously enhance the flavor. I recently had a tiny bit of small shrimp to cook up from a previous recipe that I had made. I added them this time with some olive oil and garlic before adding everything else and it was delicious!

Continue reading “Keilbasa Stew”

Great Reads

The Water Cure – Out May 24th

word press pica

The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh
Publish Date : 5/24/2018
Started: 3/6/18
Finished: 3/7/18
Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of The Water Cure from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. After looking back at this story, I can’t help to think of this more as a love-hate relationship.

Summary from Goodreads:

Imagine a world very close to our own: where women are not safe in their bodies, where desperate measures are required to raise a daughter. This is the story of Grace, Lia and Sky, kept apart from the world for their own good and taught the terrible things that every woman must learn about love. And it is the story of the men who come to find them – three strangers washed up by the sea, their gazes hungry and insistent, trailing desire and destruction in their wake.

Hypnotic and compulsive, The Water Cure is a fever dream, a blazing vision of suffering, sisterhood and transformation.
Continue reading “The Water Cure – Out May 24th”

Great Reads

The Broken Girls – In Stores March 20

word press pic

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
Published : 3/20/2018
Started: 3/2/18
Finished: 3/5/18
Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I try to read my Books of the Month the month I get them. They will usually take precedent over my TBR pile so I feel like my money isn’t being wasted. February was a little slower of a month for me but I got to at the beginning of this month and I am glad I did. You will be able to purchase this in about two weeks and I suggest that you do.

Summary from Goodreads:

The “clever and wonderfully chilling” (Fiona Barton) suspense novel from the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare…

Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced.

Continue reading “The Broken Girls – In Stores March 20”

Great Reads

Memoirs of a Life Well Lived


I contemplated writing this post because it’s not a book I can recommend to you to read. It’s not available to purchase unless through myself or my family. With that being said though, I just refinished my grandfather’s memoir. He grew up in Germany and surrounding countries he bounced around to to escape the horrors of WWII in his home of Hamburg, Germany. The accounts he describes are heart wrenching. After coming to America, was immediately drafted to The Korean War after escaping war in Germany. His accounts of Korea are just as impressive. From here, he lives a relatively calm life but never without hardship with work. Raising four kids, he finally finishes his high school and college schooling while working different jobs as a baker, mason, and carpenter until becoming a teacher to retirement. His dedication to life never ceased to amaze me and his memoir is a book of perseverance and love. It’s a great read amazing and I’ll always love rereading it.