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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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9 08, 2012

Review: Microstyle by Christopher Johnson

By | August 9th, 2012|Categories: Computers & Technology, Education, Nonfiction, Reference|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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Reviewed by Marcus Hammond

Christopher Johnson’s knowledge as a linguist and expert verbal branding consultant is put to use in Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little. The guide sets out to help ordinary people understand how to write effectively in a world of Facebook status updates, Twitter feeds, and blogs.

Microstyle is organized into four main categories of language convention: Meaning, Sound, Structure, and Social Context. Each section contains a brief introduction into the category to familiarize the reader and then breaks into smaller chapters that describe finer details within the category like “Tap into Metaphor” and “Use Grammar Expressively.” Johnson’s writing style throughout these sections and chapters is conversational, well supported, and realistic. These characteristics help make this guide transcend the inherent problem with most style guides—they are boring and hard to follow.

With most style guides I’ve used as an

1 07, 2012

Review: Visit Sunny Chernobyl by Andrew Blackwell

By | July 1st, 2012|Categories: Education, Nonfiction, Reference, Travel|Tags: , , |7 Comments

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Reviewed by Jill Franclemont

I love weird, random, quirky destination-stories. Actually, I pretty much love weird, random, quirky stories of any kind. But when they’re to unusual places (real or imaginary), I’m doubly-curious. It takes a certain kind of skill to make places that are so far out of the ordinary, so beyond the experience of everyday life, into something the reader can really feel a part of and experience. To keep this journey from feeling flat or second-hand is, to me, what the craft of writing really entails. If you can transport your readers into your world – be it the world of oil sands fields in Alberta, Canada, or of the polluted Ganges, or of the Pacific Ocean’s Garbage Patch – and make him/her see, smell, and feel your experience, well, I think you’ve mastered your craft.

Andrew Blackwell paints

4 04, 2012

Review: Developing Your Presentation Skills by Theo Theobald

By | April 4th, 2012|Categories: Business & Investing, Education, Nonfiction, Reference|Tags: , , |1 Comment

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Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

Everyone will need to make a presentation at some time in their lives. Whether it is a formal business speech or an informal toast at a friend’s wedding, knowing how to make a speech is a valuable skill to have in any situation.

Develop Your Presentation Skills by Theo Theobald is part of the Creating Success series. The chapters cover the development of topics, the use of humor and tools like PowerPoint, as well as offering templates and content for a speech, and tips for managing your nervousness and the audience (including question and answer sessions, and when those question should be allowed to be asked). There are helpful activities for the reader to try, and summaries of what to do for each stage of developing a presentation. These tips apply to most formal professional presentations made in the

29 10, 2011

Review: Does a Bear Sh*t in the Woods by Caroline Taggart

By | October 29th, 2011|Categories: Education, Humor, Nonfiction|Tags: , , |11 Comments

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Reviewed by Jill Elizabeth

Today’s book review is a cute little trip through the garden of rhetoric.

The book for today is Does a Bear Sh*t in the Woods? by Caroline Taggart. Well, does it? Who knows really – probably hunters, loggers, and zoologists. Oh yeah, and apparently Taggart, the author of this goofy little book about the answers to rhetorical questions.

Rhetorical questions, for those of you who are out of the intellectual loop, are questions that are asked – usually for dramatic oratorical effect or emphasis – for which no answer is expected. (This is my definition, not anyone else’s, hence the lack of attribution.) I love rhetorical questions – I rather love words, as I’ve pointed out before, and I think rhetoric is a fabulous way to play with language.

The book is an aggregation of a series of rhetorical questions

18 10, 2011

Blog Tour & Giveaway: You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney

By | October 18th, 2011|Categories: Education, Entertainment, Health, Mind, & Body, Nonfiction, Psychology & Counseling|Tags: , , , , , , , |93 Comments

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Please join David McRaney, author of You Are Not So Smart, as he tours the blogosphere with TLC Book Tours!

Reviewed by Shannon Hopkins

Do you remember that time, a few years ago, when you were at that place with a bunch of people and you did that awesome thing that everybody thought was the coolest thing ever? Of course you do; that’s why you tell the story every time you get the chance. Except during one telling, your best friend reminds you that she was the one who did the awesome thing, she was the one everybody thought was cool, and you actually weren’t there at all…

You’re so pleased at the day’s social networking: you officially have 1,000 Facebook friends! Clearly you are blessed with a widespread and far-flung network of close compatriots…except you only meaningfully