Great Reads

The Water Cure – Out May 24th

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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

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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.

Great Restaurants

Famous Dave’s – Am I Really Writing This?

Ok, so let’s get things straight, I hate, no, I abhor chain restaurants. Ask anyone and you’ll know I’ll fake sick just to not go to one. But, tonight I told my boyfriend we could go anywhere he wanted. And he wanted Famous Dave’s never being there. I wasn’t thrilled but I grinned and bared it thinking, “ok, I’ll order a burger. That should be okay.” And here we go, this is about to be a good review for the only chain restaurant I’ll ever write about. I might as well make this the first post because hopefully in a year’s time, no one will go back far enough to know what I’m about to say.

IT WAS GOOD.

Okay, I said it. I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed every bit of my meal.

We were told we were going to wait for 35 minutes. In my head I was thinking, “great. A wait for a place that is going to be so disappointing.” We we’re actually sat in ten so okay 👌🏽 no big deal.

We ordered a shrimp basket for the appetizer. It was pretty good. Not the best I’ve ever had but by far not the worst.

For dinner, we both got the two meat combo. I was so involved with mine when it came out, I can’t even recall what his was. I ordered the rib tips and traditional style wings in pineapple sauce.

First things first, way more rib meat than I would have gotten ordering a whole rack I feel. I’ll post my picture, there’s a ton of ribs hidden underneath the ribs you can see in it. Maybe more like a half but it was all meat. Not just a bone rib that has a bite of meat. And about 8 decent sized wings. All of it tastes awesome. I ate one wing, one rib, and two bites of each side (coleslaw, and mashed potatoes). I didn’t even get to touch my corn muffin. STUFFED. I’ll have leftovers for days lol. The coleslaw was great and I liked the mash with real pieces of red potato skins. I don’t think they were boxed.

There was obviously no room for dessert.

So there you have it, I enjoyed a chain and I won’t be obliged to go back and get the same exact thing.

And you will never hear me say a good thing about a major chain restaurant ever again.

The end.

Great Recipes

Orange Chicken Salad

I had a hard time deciding what my first recipe was going to be. I thought about things that I’ve cooked recently but then it hit me right in the face! I make a chicken salad that is different from anything I’ve had before. Not only is it different, it’s requested and loved by anyone who has tried it. It may be one of my favorite things in the world. I modeled it after a chicken salad that I had about 17 years ago at Norway in Disney’s Epcot Pavillion. Yes, 17 years ago and this salad has stuck with me all that time. I really can’t tell you how authentic this is to Norway since I’ve never been and really don’t know anyone to confirm with. Either way, this is where it was served to me first! When I started cooking for myself, it was a recipe I searched for and could not find. Luckily, the flavors are not hard to miss and I’ve been making it ever since.

norway Continue reading “Orange Chicken Salad”

Book Review Policies

Review Policy

Hello readers, authors or publishers. I love to read and review books! Before sending me an email at shahnabanana@hotmail.com to request a review, please read the following:

I read many different genres! I am also open to checking out new genres. I am pretty open minded when it comes to books. I will always read Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Paranormal, Thrillers, Horror, Mystery, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Memoirs, Auto/Biographies,

I don’t have a genre that is necessarily my favorite. I just love to read anything good! If you request something that is completely out of my comfort zone, I’ll respectfully let you know!

I will provide you a detailed review with positive and negative (if I find any) comments. I’ll inform readers what I liked the most and maybe what I did not. All within two weeks of starting the read which I will indeed inform you of. I usually start an ARC or review book immediately so you get what you expect! I will post my reviews here, on GoodReads, Amazon, or anywhere else you request the review to be posted. The review will be honest and respectful no matter what I have to say. I will never bash anything! What’s not for me of course could be for thousands of others.

Thank you for for taking the time to consider me a reviewer and read my guidlines. I look forward to reviewing some great reads for you!

Great Reads

The Outsiders – Better Late than Never, Right?

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
Published : 4/24/1967
Started: 2/28/18
Finished: 3/1/18
Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Every morning my students see me reading a book. “What are you reading today?” they ask. Most of the time they’re books I wouldn’t recommend to them due to difficulty or subject topic. When I do recommend something, I have kids borrowing books and reading like they never have. If you know my students, high schoolers with disabilities that lead them to perform several levels behind their actual grade level, you know this is a feat in itself. This week however, my students gave me a book they recommended!

I have quite a few classics on my TBR shelf. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton was the book everyone was asking to reread and talk about. I picked up the book to read out of curiosity. Why did my inner city kids who usually abhor reading want me to read this book? I now know why.

Summary from Goodreads: According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for “social”) has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he’s always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers–until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy’s skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser.

Continue reading “The Outsiders – Better Late than Never, Right?”

About Me

About Me

My name is Shahna. I live and grew up in Southern New Jersey. I’m a teacher in an urban school for students with emotional behavioral disorders. My job has really defined who I am in the last four years. It’s made me a more caring person as I grew up as an only child and can be a little selfish (hey, we all have flaws).

I am currently getting my master’s degree in Special Education in order to become a special education director. I love to travel, even if it’s a close weekend gettaway. Although this blog will be dedicated to books and food, I must also share that I am a lover of ALL things Disney. I also am obsessed with music, all genres. Make fun of me if you want but I love love love Dave Matthews Band (some of us don’t grow out of our high school years) The Dirty Heads, and any “chill” reggae style music. In my very little free time, I read, cook every night, and go to restaurants and explore on the weekends.

I started this blog journey soley because I love to share my thoughts and food. As mentioned before, I grew up as an only child and sharing was not my strongsuit. However, sharing experiences has never been an issue for me. I love my life, what I do, and what I experience and I love to share those aspects with my students and hopefully others coming to this page!

I look forward to adding posts about some of my favorite things in order to share with my viewers!

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