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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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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

22 03, 2012

Review: Social Q’s by Philip Galanes

By | March 22nd, 2012|Categories: Entertainment, Nonfiction, Reference, Social Sciences|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

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Reviewed by Sara Drake

Social Q’s: How to Survive the Quirks, Quandaries and Quagmires of Today offers insight into polite ways of dealing with difficult situations. Philip Galanes writes an advice column for the New York Times, “Social Qs,” as well as appearing regularly on the Today Show. This book grew out of his advice columns, based on the most common questions his readers sent him.

He addresses social etiquette questions that arise from our modern world. Have you ever wondered if you should tell someone about their really bad BO? Have you ever wanted ideas on how to handle a difficult boss? Do you spend the holiday season confused by how to handle the social obligations? This book has the answers and much more. Galanes offers his advice with a mixture of humor and pragmatism, making this book an enjoyable read.

As

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

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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

7 08, 2011

Review: The Literary Ladies Guide to the Writing Life by Nava Atlas

By | August 7th, 2011|Categories: Nonfiction, Reference, Women's Studies|Tags: , |10 Comments

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Reviewed by Alyssa Katanic

Do you, or someone you know, love to write, but find yourself discouraged and overwhelmed by the busyness of daily life and frustrated by not knowing how to start or which step to take next? Would you be comforted to know that Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and many others faced many of the same obstacles that you do? Would you like to know how such female literary giants dealt with obstacles to their writing life?

The Literary Ladies’ Guide to the Writing Life by Nava Atlas brings together twelve such giants and pulls from their journals, letters, and articles pieces that showcase how they handled writing challenges and what advice they had for other young or aspiring writers in the areas of “Becoming a Writer”, “Developing a Voice”, “Conquering Inner Demons”, “The Writing Mother”, “Rejection

22 07, 2011

Review: Romanticism and Postromanticism by Claudia Moscovici

By | July 22nd, 2011|Categories: Historical, Nonfiction, Reference|Tags: , , , , , |5 Comments

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Reviewed by Nina Longfield

In her book, Romanticism and Postromanticism, Claudia Moscovici brings new insights into the history of the Romantic-era, comparing artists and writers from across the spectrum of Romanticism. This is an enlightening and complex read for anyone interested in the Romanticism-era, late eighteenth and early nineteenth century history, or artistic and philosophic movements in general.

Moscovici attempts to define Romanticism by delving into the philosophical interpretations of the era. The ever-present theme throughout Romanticism and Postromanticism seems to be an investigation of “emotion and its role in artistic creation” as a means to understand what it is to be human. Although Moscovici’s focus is primarily on the French Romantics (Rousseau, Stael and Baudelaire), her investigation encompasses the Romantic movements of Germany (Goethe) and England (Wordsworth) as well. Moscovici brings together the thoughts of varying artists to develop a

10 06, 2011

Review: How To Make Real Money Selling Books by Brian Jud

By | June 10th, 2011|Categories: Business & Investing, Nonfiction, Reference|Tags: , , , , , , , |4 Comments

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Reviewed by Leigh Adamkiewicz

I met one of my favorite English teachers during my freshman year. He was a dashing young man, with a delightfully twisted sense of humor – and an absolute disinterest in keeping the noise down in his classroom. Only one thing kept the class from becoming a free-for-all. Our textbook. Each entry level English class had to study from the same painfully comprehensive textbook. To ignore it meant you would fail the class. But to read a couple chapters in a row would leave you a drooling wreck. The subject matter was so incredably dense I heard of students dropping classes because they didn’t want to have to deal with it.

But my teacher had a solution. Trashy reality TV. No, really. He recommended watching our favorite trashy, brainless reality TV show and reading as much of

13 04, 2011

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Pun Also Rises by John Pollack

By | April 13th, 2011|Categories: Gift Ideas, Non Fiction, Nonfiction, Reference|Tags: , , , , , , , |98 Comments

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Please join John Pollack, author of The Pun Also Rises, as he tours the blogosphere with TLC Book Tours!

Reviewed by Shannon Hopkins

(P)uns help us find such meaning in a chaotic world.”

John Pollack’s The Pun Also Rises features a title nearly as long as the book itself, a seemingly presumptious title suggesting that, at least in his mind, the “humble pun” is anything but. What follows is a concise (224 page) survey of the pun in which Pollack aptly makes his case to the reader.

The pun is a form of wordplay in which the punster employs a word or phrase that holds a double meaning in context. It is such a ubiquitous part of language and communication that we often make puns without intending to do so (like the time I spouted “aww, shucks” when

10 04, 2011

Review: It Writes Itself by Susannah Raulino

By | April 10th, 2011|Categories: Nonfiction, Reference|Tags: , , , , |6 Comments

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Reviewed by Alisha Churbe

In It Writes Itself, Raulino presents 21 writing exercises focusing on getting your pen moving. Raulino provides a wide range of motivational exercises concerning the act of writing: from “Reasons to Write,” “Conversation with a Character,” “Good Things People get from Fiction,” and “Inspiration” to more specific writing topics such as “Histories and Culture,” “Actions and Plots’” and “Point of View.” The exercises can be performed in random order and each can take only five minutes, but if you find your groove, some will send you digging deeper and create inspiration to get your stories written. In the Appendix, Raulino also included ideas to prepare yourself for the act of writing and get you centered in a place of creativity.

Raulino is a screen and play writer. Many of her exercises are presented with a visual element, “hosting

6 03, 2011

Review: The Skinny on Time Management by Jim Randel

By | March 6th, 2011|Categories: Business & Investing, Nonfiction, Reference|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |4 Comments

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Reviewed by Poppy J.

The Skinny on Time Management covers effective time management techniques in a small concise little package. The book is written with still frames, using a stick figure to represent the author as he provides tips on the best ways to manage time.

The book is a quick read and offers advice on determining whether or not you are making an effective use of your time. The book also provides guidance for changing your ways and becoming more conscious about how your time is spent.

If the readers make the suggested charts (as I did), they will be shocked at how the time in a day, week, month or year is really spent!

The Skinny on Time Management uses wit and humor to bring readers a new awareness about how their time is spent. The book provides simple tips

14 01, 2011

Review: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Speed Reading by Abby Marks Beale

By | January 14th, 2011|Categories: Gift Ideas, Non Fiction, Nonfiction, Reference|Tags: , , , , |5 Comments

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Reviewed by Alisha C.

We have heard of people who can speed read through novels in mere minutes, but you are probably like me in that you worry about comprehension. Beale’s guide addresses this concern with an extra set of exercises to ensure you don’t “speed look” through a book/magazine, but actually retain the information. She provides ways to read important words, utilize the “organizational pattern” of the work to your best benefit and tricks to find the “golden nuggets” in the text. Beale also provides tactics such as skimming, scanning and skipping in order to glean comprehension without reading every single word.

Beale explains ways to speed read while using pacers, how to skim and scan certain types of writing, ways to tackle large amounts of reading material and how to pare it down, along with exercises to stay alert and