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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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13 12, 2016

Blog Tour: Killing It by Sheryl O’Loughlin

By | December 13th, 2016|Categories: Business & Investing, Entrepreneurship, Gift Ideas, Health, Mind, & Body, Non Fiction, Nonfiction, Self-Help|Tags: , , |4 Comments

Rating:

killing it book coverPlease join Sheryl O’Loughlin, author of Killing It, as she tours the blogosphere with TLC Book Tours!

Reviewed by Holly Madison

In order to properly review this book, I should probably start with a tiny bit about myself. I am a self-made entrepreneur, and I started my business almost four years ago.

Back then, my husband and I were at an all time low. He had just been laid off, and we had exactly $220 in our bank account. One day, out of pure luck, I stumbled across a fantastic business opportunity and a chance to buy a bunch of left over fiber from a nearby farm. After a lot of convincing, I finally talked my husband into spending $200 to buy the entire stash of alpaca…convinced that I could prep it myself and sell it on Etsy to make money. That left us with $20 to live off of.

12 12, 2016

Review: Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

By | December 12th, 2016|Categories: Biographical, For Fans of Historical Fiction, Genre Fiction, Gift Ideas, Historical, Literature & Fiction|Tags: , |2 Comments

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victoria by daisy goodwin book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

The constant struggle for a novelist is to ’show, don’t tell’. On the other hand, for film, it is almost the opposite, for putting the words with directions on the paper, the actors have a better grasp of the person they are conveying to the rest of the world.

What, then, could be better than a writer who primarily works in film to follow up her acclaimed film Victoria with the novel about that same subject? Makes perfect sense to me! I found Victoria, the book, to be entirely engrossing to the point of not wanting to put it down for any length of time–and I already knew how it would end! Yikes.

12 12, 2016

Blog Tour: Hound of the Sea by Garrett McNamara

By | December 12th, 2016|Categories: For Men, Gift Ideas, Health, Mind, & Body, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Self-Help, Sports & Outdoors|Tags: , , |3 Comments

Rating:

hound of the sea book coverPlease join Garrett McNamara, author of Hound of the Sea, as he tours the blogosphere with TLC Book Tours!

Reviewed by Nina Longfield

Hound of the Sea by Garrett McNamara is a memoir that delves into the hypnotic draw of big wave surfing. This book, however, is also a look back to an unconventional childhood. McNamara was born at the tail end of the flower power era with parents who embraced the concepts of peace, love, sex, drugs, and communal experimentation. Throughout his memoir, McNamara dips into his past sharing vignettes of memories. Using his own recollections as well as stories he heard from others, McNamara creates a picture of a boy with an unconventional childhood growing into a man with an exceptional occupation.

7 03, 2016

Review: The Chef Next Door by Amanda Freitag

By | March 7th, 2016|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, Entertainment, For the Cook, Gift Ideas, Nonfiction|Tags: |7 Comments

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the chef next door book coverReviewed by Holly Madison

It is never easy to review cookbooks since they are so different from normal books. I decided that I had to read The Chef Next Door because I have been a fan of Amanda Freitag for several years, since I first saw her on the Food Network. She has always had such a kind and knowledgeable demeanor, and I knew that her expertise would translate into a fantastic books. I was not wrong.

I should start by saying that I am not the typical reader for a cookbook like this. I am a vegetarian, and even the thought of fish or anything seafood makes me squeamish. But I do have people in my life who enjoy meat, and I figured that I might be able to learn something from this book. I am

5 02, 2016

Review: Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano

By | February 5th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Family, For Teens, Gift Ideas, Mysteries, New Experiences, Paranormal, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , , |4 Comments

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diary of a haunting book coverReviewed by Nina Longfield

Young Paige Blanton, a junior in high school, seems to have the perfect life. She is popular, well liked, and has a decent family life. Until reality hits. Her father leaves them for a younger woman. Her parents fight through a bitter high profile Los Angeles divorce. If that wasn’t enough, Paige’s mother uproots Paige and her younger brother and relocates to a small college town in western Idaho.

Suddenly, Paige is living a broken life. Diary of a Haunting is Paige’s record of her life in the aftermath of her parent’s divorce. Despite the drafty old house, no furniture (the moving van is delayed), cold weather, and new school, Paige is trying to make the best of her situation. Or is she? Her mother is willingly going back to college

30 01, 2016

Review: Smithsonian Young Explorers: 50 States

By | January 30th, 2016|Categories: Ages 12 and Under, Children's Books, For Kids, Gift Ideas|Tags: , |5 Comments

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smithsonian 50 states book coverReviewed by Sarah McCubbin

When you think of geography, what are the words that come to mind? When I was in elementary school, I remember it as being boring, meaningless and tedious. As a child, it didn’t connect to my small world. Other than family vacations to other states, I had no real concept that the geography of a country could vary so widely. Why could we pick apples in our backyard but not oranges? Why did the water in our lakes taste so different than the salty ocean? Don’t get me wrong, we learned the answers to these questions, but the maps filled with words were so far removed from the concrete realm of childhood that they just didn’t mean much.

So, when I saw the Smithsonian Young Explorers: 50 States, I knew I was

28 01, 2016

Review: Welcome to the Symphony by Carolyn Sloan

By | January 28th, 2016|Categories: Ages 12 and Under, Children's Books, For Kids, Gift Ideas|Tags: , |1 Comment

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welcome to the symphony book coverReviewed by Amanda Schafer

One of the best ways to get kids interested in classical music is to just expose them to it on a regular basis. Have it playing from the time they are little. But what can you do to help explain to a child who hasn’t been exposed to classical music and symphonies exactly what they are? In Welcome to the Symphony, Carolyn Sloan takes on this project by combining a love of music and a love of books and creating something that is fun, engaging, and educational.

Throughout the book there are three mice who are watching as an orchestra comes together to play a symphony. They learn about what a symphony is, how an orchestra is directed, and what instruments make up the orchestra. What makes this book even more unique

15 01, 2016

Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

By | January 15th, 2016|Categories: Adventures & Thrillers, Children's Books, For Teens, Gift Ideas, Love & Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Series, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , |3 Comments

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passenger book coverReviewed by Amanda Farmer

I will admit to wanting to review Passenger simply because of its cover–it’s gorgeous. But then, I read the description and fell in love with it. After all, who doesn’t love a book with time travel in it? Passenger by Alexandra Bracken has it all: love, adventure, time travel, mystery, murder, history, danger lurking around every corner, and betrayal all thrown into one. This book will not disappoint the reader. I could not put it down and I am anxiously awaiting for the sequel. I have to find out what happens!

Passenger is the story of Etta and Nicholas and how they are thrown together by the Ironwoods family. Etta finds out that she has inherited a legacy she had no idea about and must find a certain object before the Ironwoods. She has lost everything she loves and knows

2 01, 2016

Review: Shakespeare Basics for Grown-Ups by E. Foley & B. Coates

By | January 2nd, 2016|Categories: Biographies, Gift Ideas, Non Fiction, Nonfiction, Reference|Tags: , , |2 Comments

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shakespeare basics for grown ups book coverReviewed by Nina Longfield

I read an article somewhere recently about some institution that is translating the works of Shakespeare into contemporary English. I say contemporary because Shakespeare’s English is modern. Although, perhaps Shakespeare is a bit dated for the contemporary casual reader (or theatergoer). It could be this idea that led to the writing of Shakespeare Basics for Grown-Ups: Everything You Need to Know About the Bard. After all, Foley and Coates sum up all of The Bard’s plays with a single sentence synopsis each.

Shakespeare Basics for Grown-Ups is so much more than a simple summary of the man’s plays.  Foley and Coates present exactly what they claim: “everything you need to know about The Bard.” Shakespeare Basics For Grown-Ups is not a dry, pedagogical, pedantic tome of heavy explanation into the meanings

24 12, 2015

Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

By | December 24th, 2015|Categories: Children's Books, Depression & Mental Illness, Emotions & Feelings, For Teens, Friendships, Gift Ideas, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , |3 Comments

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every last word book coverReviewed by Nina Longfield

What does it mean to be normal? At what point can we stop hiding our true selves to allow others to know our idiosyncrasies? Can we keep our friends once they know we are not perfect? Tamara Ireland Stone addresses these and many more teen angst (or ‘life angst’) questions in her lovely novel Every Last Word.

Samantha (Sam) McCallister is your standard sixteen year old, on the surface. To the casual observer in the school hallway or cafeteria, Samantha is popular, pulled together, appropriately funny, a member of the elite Crazy-8s, and is someone to envy. Sam knows different. The Samantha she presents to the world is like a costume worn throughout the school year. In the summertime, away from the Crazy-8s, Sam is relaxed, in control, and self-assured. Amongst her