Gift ideas for everyone in your life!
Self-made entrepreneur Jesse Itzler lives a comfortable lifestyle with his wife, Sara. Between the two of them, they run two successful businesses: Marquis Jet and Spanx. Jesse also has an interest in fitness and has competed in marathons. After deciding on the next marathon he wanted to run, he dragged his wife out to the race with him. One of the competitors, a solidly built African-American male, caught Jesse’s eye. He tracked down the man’s name and called him up, inviting him to live with his family and train Jesse for an entire month.
The man, known only as SEAL in Jesse’s memoir, Living with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet, promptly moved in and began a rigorous training with Jesse, pushing his body and mind as
As The Last September opens, readers are introduced to Brett, who has stumbled upon the unthinkable. Her husband Charlie has been murdered in their seaside Cape Cod home, with his mentally ill brother Eli present at the scene. Eli disappears, and Brett and the readers are left to wonder: did Eli murder his brother? And what led him to it?
Author Nina de Gramont begins Brett’s story in the middle, and takes readers back and forth through time. Brett and Eli were best friends in college, but on the night she met his free-spirited brother Charlie, their relationship changed forever. Months later, Brett watched in horror as Eli experienced a mental breakdown.
At the time of her husband’s murder, Brett and Charlie have a young daughter. Charlie is unemployed and their marriage is under great strain.
Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s newest young adult offering takes experiencing a novel to a whole new level. Illuminae is not simply a book you just read, but one you experience right alongside the characters.
Illuminae tells the story of Ezra Mason and Kady Grant. On the day of their break-up, their planet is invaded and destroyed. Somehow they make it off the planet and are separated in two of the three rescue ships. With the enemy hot on their trail and a mysterious virus turning its victims into high functioning zombies who run around brutally murdering everyone in their path, Ezra and Kady have to call a truce with each other and form an alliance with the least expected ally in order to survive. It is a love story. Oh, and the entire thing is told through
As a homeschooling mom of seven children under the age of 13, I am constantly on the look out for books that will inspire a love of learning and appeal to a wide range of ages. The Smithsonian has come out with two great new books that fulfill both of those needs for our family.
Smithsonian Sticker Creations: Under the Sea by Emily Rose Oachs is as beautiful as it is informative. My children absolutely love the aquarium section of our local zoo and are attracted to any kind of Under the Sea type of programs that they can find – they have learned a lot! This fact made me wonder if they would find much interest in Sticker Creations: Under the Sea, or if they would be bored by the same general information in
To be honest, I have a literal bookshelf packed with board books for little hands. There are touch and feel books, lift-the-flap books, fiction, non-fiction and so on. I have come to the point where I need to be picky and weed out a few in order to make room for those that are truly worth keeping, such as Ping Ping Panda’s Bamboo Journey by Maurice Pledger.
Ping Ping is not simply another cute board book with a fuzzy panda on the cover. It is also not just another over simplified, lift-the-flap book. Pledger has done an excellent job of mixing a cute fictional story of an irresistible panda bear with a bit of information concerning different animals and their habits and diets.
As Ping-Ping Panda searches for more bamboo to eat, she runs into quite a few
My Messy Body, part of the Body Works Series, by Liza Fromer and Francine Gerstein MD is a great picture book that plays off of a child’s sense of humor while explaining various bodily functions and the messes they can make. While the illustrations by Joe Weissman are playful and comical, the information given by Fromer and Dr. Gerstein does not talk down to children in the least.
Fromer and Gerstein do a great job of explaining the way our bodies work and the various messes that result in a way that kids will be able to grasp without too much difficulty, while still working in great vocabulary and medical terms and descriptions. They have also included a glossary that further explains more difficult terms, and many interesting facts (some I never knew I
I’ll admit that I am not a member of the target audience for Dan Churchill’s DudeFood: A Guy’s Guide to Cooking Kick-Ass Food. Being a creature of habit, I tend to make the same thing over and over (and over) again; I just never feel I have the time to find something new, do the shopping, then actually cook it. I picked up DudeFood because the recipes looked appetizing, the ingredients were common (I didn’t have to find a specialty store for something I’ve never heard of), most of the recipes come with a beautiful full color picture of what the final dish should look like, and very impressively, Churchill has selected ingredients that place a variety of color onto the plate.
Churchill’s rhetoric is humorous. Most recipe books break down the food by main dish,
Bittersweet revolves around the lives and loves of the four Latimer sisters, two sets of twin half-sisters who are as close as sisters can be while also having very different personalities: Edda, the oldest, is the absolutely brilliant protector of the group that longs to become a doctor, something not many women are able to accomplish in Australia in the 1920s and 1930s when the novel takes place; Grace, Edda’s twin, longs for marriage and a life of comfort being taken care of by a husband; Tufts, the most down to earth and practical twin, is determined to make her own career and never lose herself to marriage; and Tuft’s twin, Kitty, the sharp-tongued, strikingly beautiful sister, wants nothing more than to be loved and appreciated for something other than her looks. All four sisters grow up