Notice for Review Requests

I receive review requests weekly. However, my personal schedule is hectic and I no longer review actively. (I also manage another blog called The Toronto Cafe and Food Blog). I do read every request sent but I apologize in advance that I do not reply to them all.

If I do take on a request, I will forewarn that it may take some time before I can review it. I am now looking to review adult fiction and self-help books instead of young adult fiction because I have grown out of it. If you are to request a review for either adult fiction or self-help, I will more likely to give it a shot.

In the meantime, Stop, Drop, and Read! serves as an archive book review blog. When I have the time, I may post a review. Thank you for understanding.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Have Some Dim Sum by Evelyn Chau

Title: Have Some Dim Sum
Author: Evelyn Chau
# of Pages: 128
Age Group: Everyone
My Rating: 3/5
Review Copy?: Yes

Have Some Dim Sum is a guide book for people wanting to learn more about this particular Chinese cuisine. Unlike a typical cookbook, this teaches readers the different types of dim sum. Containing 20 recipes for you to try, this book is for anyone who wishes to learn more about the history of dim sum and what delicacies are offered.

I never review cookbooks because I don't cook. I prefer to go out and discover what Toronto restaurants have to offer, hence this blog. I was asked to review Have Some Dim Sum and was told that it wouldn't just be recipes. So I decided to give it a shot. [Note: I will not be giving my opinion on the recipe aspect because as I mentioned prior, I do not cook.]

This is a comprehensive guide covering all of the dim sum you could possibly encounter. Chau describes how each item is made and variations if there are any.

However, I was disappointed that not every single dim sum listed had an accompanying photo. For any that did, the photos were grouped together a few pages in. I wished that each dim sum had its own photo on the same page. That way when using it as a guide, the reader would remember which dim sum is which. Flipping back and forth from the information to the photo isn't as helpful.

I would recommend checking out this book if you have a keen interest in dim sum or is totally new to this Chinese delicacy and would like to try some eventually.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Supernatural: Heart of the Dragon by Keith R.A. Decandido

Title: Supernatural: Heart of the Dragon
Author: Keith R.A. DeCandido
# of Pages: 310
Age Group: Teens +
My Rating: 3/5
Review Copy?: No

[Summary from Amazon] When renegade angel Castiel alerts Sam and Dean to a series of particularly brutal killings in San Francisco's Chinatown, they realise the Heart of the Dragon, an ancient evil of unspeakable power, is back! John Winchester faced the terrifying spirit 20 years ago, and the Campbell family fought it 20 years before that - can the boys succeed where their parents and grandparents failed?

I had this book sitting on my shelf way before I became a Supernatural fan. Then I did not read it until three years after I was no longer a fan. Alas, I now have a review for it. 

This story evolves around Albert Chao who was born half Chinese and half Japanese. Since he wasn't full Chinese, he got ridiculed and dismissed growing up in Chinatown. Angry at the people in his life for mistreating him, he summoned a samurai ancestor to get rid of them. The story flips between the past and present where you get to learn more about Sam and Dean's parents and grandparents.

Overall this was a simple read. I put it down for a period of time but since the plot wasn't complex, I didn't forget what happened when I continued reading. This isn't the most exciting read nor is it complete bore. The book was written well enough for you to finish, but you'd probably forget about it soon after. I'd only recommend this if you are a die-hard Supernatural fan and would like to keep track of the story outside of the show.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Pick Me Up by Adam J. Kurtz

Title: Pick Me Up
Author: Adam J. Kurtz
# of Pages: 256
Age Group: Everyone
My Rating: 4/5
Review Copy?: Yes

[Summary from Amazon] A quirky, creative companion that offers a pick-me-up on every page. 

On the heels of his internationally successful first book, 1 Page at a Time, graphic designer and illustrator Adam J. Kurtz delivers another intimate and engaging journal for anyone who loves to explore ideas, record thoughts and feelings, and capture those fleeting but amazing moments of everyday life. 

Unlike a linear journal, this book can be opened up to any page, encouraging and engaging readers time and time again through continued use. Rather than simply complete tasks and turn pages, users are encouraged to leave their mark, and if they land on the same page days or weeks later, they can review, reflect, and revise their previous response. 

Feeling lonely? Pensive? Peeved? Questioning? This deceptively simple book offers perspective, hope, and a twist of existential metaphor - and is perfect to pick up again and again.

After reviewing Start Where You Are back in spring, I was quite open to reviewing Pick Me Up when I was offered the opportunity. I have had a lot of self-reflection happening for these past couple of years. Due to a lot of personal matters, I started writing in a hard copy journal last year rather than on my personal blog. There's something about putting your pen on paper to express the thoughts and emotions you have at the time rather than typing it out. It's a different feeling, so for those who have done both probably understand what I am talking about.

Pick Me Up is an interactive journal that you can pick up at anytime and flip to a random page to write on. This is made for you to see your personal progress over time by writing down your feelings, achievements, goals, etc. and coming back later on to add or reflect. There are also some inspirational quotes scattered throughout to remind you that it's not all that bad. You can doodle in it and leave a mark whenever you feel like it.

This is a fun book, though I don't find myself filling out every page I land on. Either because in the moment I don't have anything to write down for that specific page or it requires some creativity that's non-existent for me. Either way, this would be a fun holiday gift to give someone who you know like to journal or is thinking of using a new medium for self help. You can buy it on Amazon by clicking here.