Two Non-Fiction Reviews: The Messy Baker & The Big Bucket List Book

the messy bakerBook: The Messy Baker by Charmian Christie
Published: August 26th, 2014 by Rodale Books
Genre: Non-Fiction, Cookbook
Rating: 4/5 stars

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I received this book from the publisher -THANK YOU- via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.

Description: Since when did every cookie on the plate have to be just like the next? Or each layer of cake exactly the same height? Each pie crust an impeccable work of art and encircled by stunningly perfect pastry leaves? To the uninitiated, all that fastidious, spotless baking is intimidating, not to mention exhausting. The Messy Baker celebrates baking as it happens in the real world – sweet, messy, fun, not always gorgeous, but a way to show love. Which doesn’t make it any less delicious; to the contrary, Charmian Christie’s flavor combinations rise far above the ordinary.


When I first looked through this cookbook, there were quite a few recipes where I thought “OH, I want to make that”. And while that sounds only normal, in many cookbooks I’m only interested in a few recipes. So that was the first positive sign for The Messy Baker. 

Now, I felt like I couldn’t actually review a cookbook for you guys without trying a recipe. How else would I know whether the recipes were easy to follow and whether they turned out well? So I did! Yesterday, I made the roasted cauliflower recipe. You roast your cauliflower with some delicious spices and add some lime. It was recommended to eat with a dip sauce, but I just served it with dinner. You have to know that I am now in vacation. University doesn’t start again until the end of September, so I’m usually home all day. My parents and brother however have to go to work. So I cooked for them yesterday evening. Both to try out the recipe, and so they don’t have to. This way, I could also have several opinions on the cauliflower recipe!

It turned out really well. The directions were clear and easy to follow and there are even tips on every recipe to make it even easier for you. Roasting veggies is a great idea, as they lose less of their nutrients than when you’d boil them. I thought the cauliflower turned out amazing. It was so delicious! The spices added a nice flavor to it, but didn’t overwhelm you. To assure you that I’m not biased as the cook, both my parents and my brother thought it was delicious too. 

Great job, Charmian Christie! You’ve made some amazing recipes, I’ll definitely try out more of them, which are not only easy to follow but delicious as well.


big bucket list book

Book: The Big Bucket List Book: 133 experiences of a lifetime by Gin Sander
Release date: January 1st 2016 by Sourcebooks
Genre: Non-Fiction
Rating: 3/5 stars

I received this book from the publisher -THANK YOU- via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.

Description: Everyone has an extensive, daunting bucket list of things to complete “before you die.” But it’s time to stop listing and start living. The Big Bucket List Book will change the way you look at the world and empower you to reach for all of the big and little things you want to achieve. Gin Sander offers 133 fresh ideas for infusing your life with a bit of glamour, adventure and style—whatever your budget. Learn to make your next chapter the most enriching and personally fulfilling of them all…and maybe change the world while you’re at it!


This is a fun and quick read. It’s one of those books you just flip through to look at the ideas presented. Like I said, this book was fun. It was interesting to see what the author came up with for the 133 experiences of a lifetime!

While I definitely got some tips for my own bucket list out of it, a lot of the suggestions were kind of unrealistic for me. A lot of the suggestions are for events and places in the US so unless I want to pay for the event and add €800 for a plane ticket, that won’t be happening for me. But I have to say that I learned quite some things from this book. I learned about new places, events and so on. Another part of this book I really enjoyed is that the author does offer explanations for every bucket list item. And not just information about the item itself, but often even tips on how you can achieve it on a budget! That I highly enjoyed, because most often people forget to talk about the enormous price ticket their bucket list item can have. Plus, the author added resources for every item. Websites where you can either look for more information, or you can take a class for free, or a volunteering website. That way, if you’re interested in a certain bucket list item, you can easily research it!

Overall, this book was nice to flip through. As I said, although most of the experiences are a bit unrealistic for me personally, I did pick up some new ideas. And I don’t have to do my own research on them, as the author provides both information and websites to look further into the subject. 


Two Non-Fiction Reviews: The Messy Baker & The Big Bucket List Book

4 thoughts on “Two Non-Fiction Reviews: The Messy Baker & The Big Bucket List Book

  1. Inge says:

    I’ve got The Big Bucket List Book to read as well! I imagine it will be a bit unrealistic for you and I as we live in Belgium, but I am reassured by the fact that you were able to pull some ideas from it anyway, and that she gives you budget ideas!


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