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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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6 05, 2012

Review: Lessons in Letting Go by Corinne Grant

By | May 6th, 2012|Categories: Health, Mind, & Body, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Personal Health, Self-Help|Tags: , , |2 Comments


Reviewed by Nina Longfield

Corinne Grant, Australian comedian and television presenter, offers a candid account about the year she decided to clean up. Lessons in Letting Go is a memoir on letting go of the things (tangible and intangible) that were holding her down. As she combs through her belongings, Grant comes to realize that each thing, be it an item, a box or a pile, seems to have an emotional leash leading back to herself. The book progresses through the clutter with stories reflecting back to Grant’s childhood in rural Australia, her estranged relationships, and her internal emotional battles. Lessons in Letting Go is not so much a book about cleaning house as much as it is a metaphorical release of emotional baggage.

Corinne Grant’s writing is readable, entertaining, often funny, and sometime poignant. Although I never got the sense that

3 03, 2012

Review: After the Diagnosis by Julian Seifter, MD with Betsy Seifter, PhD

By | March 3rd, 2012|Categories: Disorders & Diseases, Health, Mind, & Body, Personal Health, Psychology & Counseling|Tags: , , |2 Comments


Reviewed by Krista Castner

My mother has been struggling with a chronic illness, and I thought that this book might provide some tips or tools to help her focus on something other than her diagnosis. Dr. Julian Seifter writes from experience since he has had diabetes for years, and works with patients struggling with renal disease. I thought that After the Diagnosis gave some practical insights for moving beyond the diagnosis of a chronic illness and back into the mainstream of life. It’s not about ignoring the diagnosis, or becoming excessively focused on it; the key is to acknowledge where you are and move forward with the things that are in your power to change or affect.

Dr. Seifter observes, “In the course of my long career, I’ve seen many people battle their illnesses, and I’ve come to see that each person

23 02, 2012

Review: The Smarter Science of Slim by Jonathan Bailor

By | February 23rd, 2012|Categories: Diet & Weight Loss, Exercise & Fitness, Health, Mind, & Body, Personal Health, Self-Help|Tags: , , |2 Comments


Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

The Smarter Science of Slim by Jonathan Bailor provides an explanation for anyone wondering why they gain weight or why they can’t lose it quickly. The book covers different foods and why they are good or bad for us, such as the inSANE foods (processed foods and sugars) that should be avoided and the SANE foods that include any foods that can be hunted or gathered (meat and certain veggies). Bailor also includes interesting facts that were news to me, such as the fact that long term weight loss comes from unclogging our fat metabolic system.

I though I had read everything there was in the area of exercise. However, The Smarter Science of Slim has surprisingly interesting suggestions for exercising. For example, the book offers diagrams for floor and weight exercise routines and gives instructions for maximizing

28 01, 2012

Review: Breakthrough by Shea Vaughn

By | January 28th, 2012|Categories: Health, Mind, & Body, Personal Health, Psychology & Counseling|Tags: , , |3 Comments


Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

Breakthrough by Shea Vaughn (yes, she is actor Vince Vaughn’s mother) is fittingly dedicated to the breakthroughs that allow us to find the most relevant and important aspects of our lives. These breakthroughs include living each day in the present (leaving the past behind) and finding self-fulfillment in each day.

Vaughn focuses on a mind and body connection, and incorporates meditation and lessons on becoming more aware of self to live a happier life. The first half of the book offers advice on how to slow down and become more sensitive to movement and thought that we experience every day. The middle part of the book discusses the five principles of well-being (commitment, perseverance, self-control, integrity and love). The last sections offer photos of the author performing several exercise routines, discuss aging and show ways to apply these

26 01, 2012

Review: Living with Depression by Deborah Serani

By | January 26th, 2012|Categories: Health, Mind, & Body, Personal Health, Psychology & Counseling|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments


Reviewed by Sara Drake

Living with Depression should be read by anyone with depression or anyone who cares about someone with depression. I wanted to say that up front as that thought kept going through my head as I read through this great synopsis of a common mental illness. I have long looked for a resource that so clearly lays out the basics and offers good advice.

Deborah Serani begins with a touching description of her own battles with depression. I found myself holding my breath as I read about her plans for suicide, waiting to see what happens next. Yes, I knew that she clearly lived through it to write the book but I could not help getting sucked into the story! Her personal view throughout the book keeps it from reading like an academic text book. Instead, reading it feels

10 12, 2011

Review: Dignity by Donna Hicks Ph.D

By | December 10th, 2011|Categories: Health, Mind, & Body, Nonfiction, Personal Health, Psychology, Psychology & Counseling, Relationships, Social Sciences|Tags: , , , , , , , |4 Comments


Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

Donna Hicks, Ph.D. is an expert on relationships and managing professional conflicts. She develops conflict resolution workshops around the world to show participants how to improve their relationships with each other by becoming more sensitive to the dignity of others.

In her book, Dignity, Hicks describes the essential elements of dignity, which show the readers how to honor it in themselves and in others. She then discusses the ways we inadvertently or intentionally violate the dignity of others. The last section of the book shows how to utilize the power of dignity to manage and improve relationships.

Hicks does an exemplary job of explaining how the concept of preserving dignity in ourselves and others shapes our lives. It is true that we will remember when someone else causes us to feel our dignity has been assaulted. At those times,

9 12, 2011

Review: The Nonrunner’s Marathon Guide for Women by Dawn Dais

By | December 9th, 2011|Categories: Exercise & Fitness, Health, Mind, & Body, Personal Health|Tags: , , , , , |5 Comments


Reviewed by Christen Krumm

The Nonrunner’s Marathon Guide for Women is a book on running. No, seriously. I know what you are thinking. How interesting could a book on running really be? Especially one geared towards non-runners (non-runners running is somewhat of an oxymoron)? I am here to report that this book was exceptionally good. I honestly could not put it down!

I have wanted to run a 5K (yes, only a 5K) for quite a while now. I figured it could not hurt to read this book (after all running is running, right?) Reading this book has almost inspired me to run a full marathon – almost (not sure if I am that crazy just yet). Dawn Dais’ book tells of her real life marathon training experience going from a self proclaimed couch potato to an all out full marathon runner.

25 10, 2011

Review: Seeing Ezra by Kerry Cohen

By | October 25th, 2011|Categories: Health, Mind, & Body, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Parenting & Family, Personal Health|Tags: , , , , , |6 Comments


Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

Seeing Ezra by Kerry Cohen is a mother’s heartfelt story of getting to know her autistic son and advocating on his behalf. When a baby sitter tells Cohen that she suspects that her son is autistic, the family’s worst fears are realized. Cohen understands that her world and that of her entire family will change now that her son will be considered “different,” “delayed,” or “special” by others. However, she lives her life finding ways to connect genuinely with her son and is successful on many levels.

As Cohen enters the new world of having to raise a child with special needs, she realizes that her son will still develop, but simply at his own rate. He will enjoy and experience his own types of success and hopefully manage to one day make his own way in a world

27 09, 2011

Review: Baby Medbasics by Luke & Tara Hermann

By | September 27th, 2011|Categories: Children's Books, For New Mothers, Gift Ideas, Health, Mind, & Body, Nonfiction, Parenting & Family, Personal Health, Reference|Tags: , , , , , |4 Comments


Reviewed by Alyssa Katanic

Baby Medbasics, by Luke Hermann, M.D. and Tara Summers Hermann, R.N., B.S.N., is a compact reference book that gives “Emergency Action Steps” in an easy to use format. It is 5”x6.5”, spiral bound, with a hardcover, making it portable (i.e. diaper bag worthy) and easy to handle. The subject tabs, great color and graphic design makes it easy to navigate quickly, and it gives clear instruction on what to do and when in cases of an emergency – including when to seek medical attention. Not only do the Hermanns give steps to handle emergencies, but they also list preventatives steps, as well, in such areas as allergies, bites & stings, fever, rash, and so on.

Baby Medbasics would make a great baby shower gift, as well as a great guide for babysitters and other caregivers. There is

11 09, 2011

Review: The Passionate Mind Revisited by Joel Kramer & Diana Alstad

By | September 11th, 2011|Categories: Health, Mind, & Body, Nonfiction, Personal Health, Philosophy, Psychology & Counseling, Self-Help|Tags: , , , , , |2 Comments


Reviewed by Lauren Cannavino

The Passionate Mind Revisited is an interesting and fresh way for one to look at what drives each and every one of us. The interesting part about the book lies in the fact that most of the messages speak of heightening not only a new personal awareness, but also strengthening an awareness that encompasses a much larger social scale. In a world where importance often lies on only helping ourselves, The Passionate Mind Revisited is a vital read for anyone who is interested in branching out a bit.

The basic message that Kramer and Alstad are trying to relay to the reader is essentially summarized in one brief passage near the beginning of the book: “What we believe determines much of what we think and do: the way we move, the way we respond to people, how we