Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Monuments Men - preserving art treasures in Italy and Europe during WWII

Just a few days ago I finished reading the book Shadowed by Grace by Cara C. Putman. (Read my review here.) While the plot itself was somewhat mediocre, it did stir my curiosity about the Monuments Men. The story is set in Italy, with a woman photographer assigned to take photos at the front lines, and a lieutenant who is part of the Monument Men, trying to preserve the art treasure and architecture of a country bombed by the Germans.

For some reason I had never heard of the Monument Men before this book, and I was happy to have discovered this group of men who risked their lives because of their love for the beautiful painting, statues and relics that are still with us today because of their efforts and those who worked with them.

After reading this book, I did some research and was thrilled to learn about the movie The Monuments Men, just released last week. The movie is based on Robert M. Edsel's non-fiction book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, which sparked Putman's idea for Shadowed by Grace. Edsel also wrote Rescuing Da Vinci and Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation's Treasures from the Nazis.

The movie stars some of my favorite actors and promises to be good. Last summer, I was in Rome and Venice with my family. My eyes feasted on the works of art and I couldn't get enough, even under the scorching July sun. I have always loved architecture, and a stroll in the old city enjoying gelato al cioccolato e nocciola is absolutely divine. Have any of you read these books or seen the movie. If you did, what did you think?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

I bought this one at Costco. I've begun to cook with coconut oil and I'm truly liking it.

Coconut 24/7: Easy Ways to Look and Feel Better by Pat Crocker

Sales of coconut water doubled between 2011 and 2012 and they’re still climbing as athletes and celebrities tout the benefits of coconut water. Coconut flour is becoming more widely available and being embraced by the paleo, gluten-free and wheat-free communities. Coconut sugar, now too, is being seen as beneficial for people trying to control their diabetes. And sales of coconut oil are skyrocketing. Coconut is the newest and hottest “superfood.” It’s also a trend outside of the world of food, as cosmetic and beauty companies are trumpeting the anti-aging and health benefits of coconut oil and incorporating it into their products.

Coconut 24/7 features over 100 recipes from morning to night so you can easily reap the benefits of coconut every day. We’ll include recipes that use coconut water (smoothies, juices, soups etc.), main dishes with coconut oil, baked goods with coconut flour and a raft of other easy, delicious recipes. And with Pat’s expertise as a herbalist, there will also be tips on making your own moisturizers, balms and creams with coconut.

Anything good in your mailbox?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

What I've been up to for the past year....

So I basically abandoned this blog for awhile...unintentionally, of course. So what have I been up to? Book blogging galore on Library of Clean Reads, trying to catch up as my kids are growing up and become world savvy faster than I can keep up, and getting ready to start a new venture. For the past two months I've been putting ideas together and working behind the scenes to bring my love of book blogging one step higher.

I've teamed up with Penny C. Sansevieri of Author Marketing Experts, the recognized leaders in book marketing and publicity and started iRead Book Tours, a professional virtual book tour company! I can't tell you how exciting this is for me. If any of you love to blog about books, please visit our tour host page. We are currently looking for bloggers who want to host book tours, author interviews and book spotlights. See who is on board with us already.

During my research I came across many blogs and it made me realize that I missed this blog, my little corner of Italy; my personal blog that I had meticulously put together to explore a passion of mine...and then abandoned. Well, I've been inspired to revive it, so you'll be seeing more of me here. It's great to be back!