a bit of reading: bees, slow-cookers and circuses (review & giveaway)

Reading is a favorite pastime of mine. The operative word there being “past”. I spend my time reading the bills, the occasional blog from my reader and creatively illustrated children’s books each night at bedtime. I used to be a voracious bibliofile before children. I could literally clear the shelves at the library and tested the weight limit of my nightstand with the always present tower-of-books. A few months ago, I was contacted about reviewing a book on beekeeping. I have also found two slow-cooker cookbooks that I rely on for dinnertime meals that start in the morn before the girls wake up. And, then there is the novel that captured my heart enough to move it from the “borrowed” to “for keeps” status.

So, here’s what I am reading… enjoy!

By the way – while we are on the subject of books. What’s the deal with the Hunger Games?! I haven’t read the books or seen the movie, but the buzz and excitement were nothing short of pure hysteria. It was the Harry Potter phenomenon all over again. Are the books good? I am not usually a big fan of books turned to movies, so I’d love to hear about the book series.

Confessions of a Bad Beekeeper: What Not to Do When Keeping Bees (with Apologies to My Own) by Bill Turnbull

I am sucker for anything related to honeybees. I particularly love stories about honeybees – whether it’s a commercial apiarist, a backyard novice or an expert in natural beekeeping. The humor and honesty of Bill Turnbull’s beekeeping adventures captures you from the first page. It’s no wonder that he is a celebrity in England with his infectious personality and brutal humility. He tackles the subject of beekeeping with a “what not to do” approach, but expertly mixes it with fascinating honeybee facts. You will find yourself enjoying some side-splitting humor and getting hooked by the amazing life and love of the honeybee. It’s truly a wonderful read.

Many months ago I made the expensive error of picking up a slow-cooker magazine cookbook special off the grocery store shelf. It was from a reputable company and full of what appeared to be tasty recipes. Upon opening it though I was so disappointed to find that it was full of recipes using canned ingredients, pre-packaged big brand products and had relatively few options for recipes made from scratch. So, I had to find something else that worked. I rely on the slow-cooker to make dinner for us while we go about our daily business and am always checking out new recipes.


The first book is The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlays­on. It’s a wonderful compilation of over 150 recipes that are made from scratch and use as few as two ingredients. The recipes reflect the average family’s pantry selections and our desire to save money on food costs. I like that there are kid-friendly suggestions and most of the recipes are accompanied by a full-color photo. It’s an affordable addition to your cookbook shelf or worth the checkout from the library to snag a few recipes.

My second favorite slow-cooker cookbook is a great story and the result of an extreme blog project. Make It Fast, Cook It Slow: The Big Book of Everyday Slow Cooking by Stephanie O’Dea is the story of one mom tackling the slow-cooker and making every.single.dinner out of this handy appliance for an entire year. The recipes in the book are fool-proof, but if you are like and enjoy eating with your eyes, you might find yourself a bit apathetic when it comes to trying new things with no picture to tempt your senses.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Did you know that Dr. Seuss was turned down over twenty-seven (!!) times before he found a single publisher interested in his first book? I love hearing about authors who just kept knocking on the doors until they got the answer they wanted and deserved. Erin Morgenstern is one of these success stories. The Nigh Circus is her debut novel and it’s just a beautiful story. The plot is impeccably woven, the characters are flawless and it grabs you with a vice grip that doesn’t let go. I was hooked enough that I wracked up some high late fees from the library before finally returning the book and ordering myself a used copy to finish. Every knock Morgenstern made was worth bringing this book to light!

Are you reading anything good? And, do you have scoop on the Hunger Games? Is there a cookbook you lean for most of your recipes? Let me know!

Oh, and there is also a giveaway!

Two lucky Sacred Bee Blog readers will win one of the following:

  • Confessions of a Bad Beekeeper: What Not to Do When Keeping Bees (with Apologies to My Own) by Bill Turnbull
  • Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving: 400 Delicious and Creative Recipes for Today by Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine

Interested in entering the giveaway?  Comment on this post and tell me:  What is one of your most beloved books?

Want additional entries? You must follow these directions and tell me about them via a comment on this post. Each of these options is available for one single entry per giveaway, not per day.

  • Subscribe via email
  • Subscribe via a reader
  • Become a fan of the Sacred Bee’s Blog on Facebook
  • Follow @sacredbee on Twitter and retweet this giveaway. Notify me of the retweet using a comment on this post. Only one entry per single retweet each day.
  • Link the Sacred Bee’s Blog to your website and/or Facebook page (one entry for each – you must send me the link or a screen shot via a comment on this post)
  • Grab the Sacred Bee’s Button and add it to your blogroll or website.

Giveaway will be closed to entries on Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 at 8:00pm PST.

This entry was posted in book nook, busy beekeeping, ready to read, supper & sustenance. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to a bit of reading: bees, slow-cookers and circuses (review & giveaway)

  1. ilibrarianblog says:

    That’s the hardest question you’ve asked yet! Phantom Tollbooth comes to mind as does Wrinkle in Time. Now you’ve made me want to read them both again! 🙂

  2. Marykate says:

    One of my all time favorites is The Little Prince. I did not discover it until adulthood and am so excited to have it be a part of my daughter’s life once she’s here. A few years back, I read that the translation both my husband and I loved was not going to be published anymore. We found ourselves buying used copies where ever we found them and haven’t stopped (even though it seems as if there is no shortage of Little Princes floating around). Right now, between pregnancy books, I am reading Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie – so good!
    I am so glad to see these slow-cooker books. A friend recently gave me her old crock pot and I have been in love with it! Like you, I have had such a hard time finding cookbooks that don’t use canned and prepared ingredients. I will definitely be searching my library for your suggestions! I’m also very excited about the preserving book you’re giving away. It will be another one on my library list if I don’t win! My go-to baking cookbook is Dorie Greenspan’s Baking. It’s the best!

  3. wendy fanello says:

    The Hunger Games. Hmmm…considering they’re huge in my daughter’s 5th grade class, I wouldn’t exactly consider that a ringing endorsement for us big people. I did read the first book, however, and it was decent. Suffice it to say that I haven’t read the remaining two.
    The slow cooker cookbook looks terrific! I only have two recipes that I prepare in mine because I can never think of any others!
    I miss seeing you out at the bank, Kate. I’m not there any more either!!!

  4. katherine says:

    does a cookbook count? seems like that’s all i’ve been reading lately trying to come up with new ideas! 🙂

  5. katherine says:

    i subscribe via google reader.

  6. Lily Kwan says:

    One of my favorite books is Watership Down.

  7. Lily Kwan says:

    I subscribed by email.

  8. Lily Kwan says:

    I follow you on Facebook under the username likwan.

  9. Lily Kwan says:

    I follow you on Twitter and tweeted about this giveaway at https://twitter.com/#!/likwan/status/194294951218126848.

  10. Lily Kwan says:

    I shared this giveaway on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/likwan/posts/253730464724774.

  11. Pingback: giveaway winner – redraws – updates | The Sacred Bee's Blog

  12. Bruce Kosanovic says:

    one of my “favorite” books? gardening favorite? children’s book favorite? science fiction favorite? just stop me!

    here is a very short list of favorites.
    The Man Who Planted Trees – Jean Giono (the best nature/gardening book ever; one man’s quest to change his small corner of the world)
    The Return of the Prodigal Son – Henri Nouwen (i love anything by Henri Nouwen; he speaks with a humble, loving and wise heart)
    Art and Max – David Wiesner (my new favorite children’s book illustrator; this one is on the cutting edge of art exploration)
    “anything” written by Jo Nesbo (Norwegian crime mystery writer with an edge, sometimes a gruesome edge; you have been warned)

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