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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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2 11, 2016

Review: My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg

By | November 2nd, 2016|Categories: Biographies, Law, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , , |3 Comments

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my own words book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

As a woman of a certain age (or even beyond) I have the greatest admiration and respect for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. From the get-go, she had the wherewithal to do more than just dream–she did!!! And didn’t she just?

Justice Ginsburg has been writing all of her life, with one of her first published pieces happening while in the eighth grade, which is included in this book, as is one of her most recent writings for the Supreme Court, the highlights of the 2015-2016 Term, which just ended about four months ago! In case you’re curious, that covers a span of some seventy years, and she’s not about to run out of words anytime soon, considering the content of that recent piece.

30 10, 2016

Review: All At Sea by Decca Aitkenhead

By | October 30th, 2016|Categories: Death & Grief, Health, Mind, & Body, Love & Romance, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Parenting & Family, Self-Help|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

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all at sea book coverReviewed by Kate Schefer

Decca Aitkenhead’s second book is the account of her partner Tony Wilkinson’s death, and its illuminating aftermath. While the impetus for All At Sea was his death (and her loss), Aitkenhead delves into every aspect of her life that was affected by her tragedy, and allows herself to explore the scope of it. Nothing about the book was overly dramatic or emotional, but she still allowed herself to explore her grief, in a self-aware way. The prologue also helped set the tone by explaining what it’s like to be a victim of random tragedy, and how sudden loss and freak accidents “happen to other people,” until they happen to you. I think the two main things that elevated this story from the expected “woe is me” tale were her unique love story with Tony, and the fact that Aitkenhead’s own mother died of cancer when she was a child. Her unconventional approach to the situation subconsciously shaped Aitkenhead’s own understanding of death, loss, and grief.

27 10, 2016

Review: Magical Jungle by Johanna Basford

By | October 27th, 2016|Categories: Arts & Literature, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

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magical jungle book coverReviewed by Holly Madison

As an artist, I have always been drawn to coloring books, especially those geared more towards adults than children. Magical Jungle is exactly that type of book. It has drawings simple enough for a child, but some more complex which would appeal more to adults. It is the perfect type of book to give as a gift to anyone who is creative or wants to just find something to do to fill their day. Adult, teenager, child… it doesn’t matter. Everyone will love this book.

The author has little extras hidden inside the book, such as specific animals that you have to find which I thought was really charming.

14 10, 2016

Review: Raising Human Beings by Ross Greene

By | October 14th, 2016|Categories: Nonfiction, Parenting & Family, Psychology|Tags: , |3 Comments

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raising human beings book coverReviewed by Jenna Arthur

In Raising Human Beings, child psychologist Ross Greene shows how parenting has evolved and how working with your child, rather than dictating to your child, can foster a better parent-child relationship.

Gone are the days of “parent knows best”. Instead, Greene helps parents realize how each individual child may respond, as well as need, differently. Greene ventures that children need someone to help them shine as individuals and come to ascertain who they are as people, what they want from their lives, and to build a stronger family dynamic through a way of parenting that is congruent to each child.

10 10, 2016

Review: The Boiling River by Andres Ruzo

By | October 10th, 2016|Categories: Memoirs, Nonfiction, Travel|Tags: , |3 Comments

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the boiling river book coverReviewed by Caleb Shadis

The Boiling River is a book based on a TED talk by Andres Ruzo. I’ve heard of TED talks and have since watched quite a few of them online. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. They cover a very wide range of topics and typically focus on interesting new discoveries and understanding about the world around us.

The Boiling River is about a river that is close to boiling, bubbling away in the Amazon. The river is particularly special because no one knew about this amazing place and people living in the area denied its existence. And even more impressive was the sheer volume of water that was flowing at this temperature.

10 10, 2016

Review: Pound for Pound by Shannon Kopp

By | October 10th, 2016|Categories: Animals, Disorders & Diseases, Health, Mind, & Body, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Self-Help|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

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pound for pound book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

Body image problems are not new. I’m sure that bulimia and anorexia existed when I was a teenager, but in those years, any kind of addiction was never brought out into the sunlight for a closer examination and possible treatment. I’ve lived with body image difficulties all my life, having inherited my height from my very tall father, and thus towering over my petite mother, who always seemed confused by my size. I’ve finally adjusted to being who I am, but in the years since I was a girl, these two horrendous diseases have become insidious and ever-present social nemesis.

Because our society allows for such a pressure-filled ‘demand’ to be made of those who may have a weak area, it is all too easy to be tweaked into a seriously addictive life-style. Shannon Kopp presents her struggles with bulimia in an open and forthright manner, making this book an invaluable resource for every young person anywhere.

3 10, 2016

Review: Wonder Women by Sam Maggs

By | October 3rd, 2016|Categories: Biographies, Historical, Nonfiction|Tags: , |3 Comments

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wonder women book coverReviewed by Christen Krumm

This is a super fun book. Sam Maggs’ Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History covers women from all times and all ages who did something to change history (the catch? You have probably, maybe, only heard about one or two of these fabulous women). Maggs has divided Wonder Women into five main chapters or categories: women of science, women of medicine, women of espionage, women of innovation, and women of adventure. Even though the book highlights only twenty-five women, each chapter ends with cliff notes on seven more rock awesome chicks and an interview with a current day rock awesome woman in that particular field.

30 09, 2016

Review: The Human Superorganism by Rodney Dietert

By | September 30th, 2016|Categories: Biological Sciences, Disorders & Diseases, Health, Mind, & Body, Nonfiction, Personal Health, Science & Math|Tags: , , |1 Comment

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human superorganism book coverReviewed by Poppy Johnson

Rodney Dietert, author of The Human Superorganism, focuses on explaining significant developments around chronic diseases, also called non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as allergies, cancer, heart disease, and obesity, as well as psychological disorders like depression. He is right–these diseases rule how we live and die, determine the quality of our lives and our limits, and measure our challenges. The author feels these NCDs are an epidemic in our modern society. He’s right again, but what can we do?

In The Human Superorganism, we get the long answer to this question. The book is broken down into three main sections: Part I – A shift in how we think about biology and understanding the mighty microbe; Part II – A revolution in medicine; and, Part III – Caring for yourself. Within those sections, Dietert discusses the new regard for biology, the importance of human superorganisms and genes, immune system malfunctions, the nature of epidemics, making over superorganisms and finally, understanding microbes.

25 09, 2016

Review: Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker

By | September 25th, 2016|Categories: Entertainment, Essays & Correspondence, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , , |2 Comments

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dear mr. you book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

It is a truth universal that one cannot judge a book by its cover. Or should not, in any case. Sometimes, even if you do take the time to read samples and other reviews you really still cannot predict a wonderful book. You’re as likely to pick one that says absolutely nothing to you.

I did mostly feel that way about Dear Mr. You, except for one sentence on page 60. “Time should weep for having spent me without you.” I cannot get it out of my head–it just runs around in there like a hamster on a spinning wheel.

23 09, 2016

Review: Moscow Nights by Nigel Cliff

By | September 23rd, 2016|Categories: Arts & Literature, Biographies, Historical, Nonfiction, Politics & Government|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

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moscow nights book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

Let’s mash-up Once Upon a Time from the fairy tales of yore, and the iconic TV show of the mid-50s You are There hosted by the avuncular Walter Cronkite, and see what happens. One answer, and possibly the best one would be Moscow Nights by the excellent and elegant writer, Nigel Cliff. He tells the story of Van Cliburn, who was for a while, quite easily the most recognized face in the world! But not just the surface view – no, he really digs deep for a terrific and very comprehensive look at one of the wonders of the 20th Century!

Cliburn was born in July, 1934, and was inspired as a youngster by a photograph of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow – as who wouldn’t be, especially if said child had already been exposed to the music of Russian’s many famous Romantic-era composers? An only child, Van – real name: Harvey Lavan –  was always simply known as Van, thanks to his mother Rildia Bee O’Bryan Cliburn. As a piano teacher in Shreveport, Louisiana, she had once been part of the welcoming committee for an appearance there of the Russian master – Sergei Rachmaninoff.