Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The New American Herbal by Stephen Orr

I have always wanted to grow and learn to  use herbs. I have checked out books and tried to get into it but never really got anything going until this book. ( I received a copy of this book through "Blogging for Books" program for my honest review.) This book is fabulous!!!!!!

This is the most beautiful, well organized, informative book on Herbs I have ever encountered!!!! The author obviously loves growing and working with herbs and sharing his knowledge with others. I feel totally confident in my ability to use this book to grow my own herbs. Even if I had no interest in growing my own herbs, this book is a beautiful book about herbs. The photography is exquisite. ( Great even as a coffee table book!) 
The author covers planting , growing, drying, extracting, and making essential oils, tinctures from herbs.
The book is easy to follow and extremely informative.  There are outlines for what to grow in a kitchen garden. How to make  herb vinegar, herb beverages, and spice blends to use in the kitchen. There are wonderful recipes throughout the book show casing certain herbs.
This is a book to sit and savor, You can to learn from this book  and use the knowledge to become an accomplished herb user as well as herb grower. I am thoroughly enthralled with this book and have already started cultivating my kitchen herb garden!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bend your Brain

Bend Your Brain : 151 Puzzles,Tips, and Tricks to Blow [and grow] Your Mind
from The Minds Behind Marbles : the Brain Store

A fabulously entertaining and insightful book full of puzzles and tips to grow your brain. 
 This book is primarily fun, exasperating, intriguing and most likely very good for you!  Many are concerned with the growing level of dementia in our older adults and how to prevent it or at least put it off. The book is a collection selected by the minds behind  marbles the brain store. They begin by explaining what your brain is, who they are and what this book is. The book continues with five chapters of puzzles, and brainteasers to improve certain brain skills : visual perception, word skills,critical thinking,coordination and memory. There is an answer key at the end of the book. There is a short biographical paragraph for the people who created the puzzles. There is also a list of other products that are offered by marbles the brain store
This was a delightful fun book, great for working through or leaving on the coffee table or any other spot where you could pick it up and do a puzzle or two. 
This is a wonderful book I feel smarter already!!!!

Friday, August 22, 2014

I've been reading a lot of science fiction lately...

Crater Trueblood and the Lunar Rescue Company
by Homer Hickam
This is the third and a delightful completion to the helium-3 series. Written for ages 10-18, these are delightful reads for all ages. Homer Hickam creates a believable "world" on the moon using a mix of fiction and a lot of science fact. The characters are fully developed and you feel like they are your friends that you are cheering for. These are adventure stories and are wonderful for even reluctant readers. The books help spark imaginations about the challenges of living in a moon colony. In this book Maria, the love of Crater's life, has been abducted (again) and he must rescue her (again). To do this he must rally his brother, Petro and his Crowhopper friend,Cresent to devise a way to get them into space to rescue Maria from a space station. They must dodge asteroids and fight against time to save the day. Oh , did I mention the giant asteroid that is headed straight for earth bent on it's destruction that they must somehow stop? Non-stop action and rollicking good (if nail-biting)fun are to be enjoyed in this book.
I have read this series and other books by Mr. Hickman and always find him to be a knowledgeable writer with wonderful characters.

by Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin
Wow! I picked this up because I recognized Gillian Anderson's name from her days starring on the X-Files. I was blown away by this book it is fantastic. :This was a fabulous thrill ride that leaves you wanting more!!!! A fascinating tale that leaves you guessing at every turn. At first it is a novel about an artifact stolen from a geologist on a ship in the Falklands. Next it is about an Ambassador in peace talks between India and Pakistan who lives through an assassination attempt only to have his daughter stricken with a mysterious ailment.. Then it centers on a psychiatrist who specializes in traumatized teens . Then begins a roller-coaster of some of the freshest topics and most inventive writing I have ever seen. This book will keep you up late at night and you will not guess where it is taking you. It is a fabulously entertaining read. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book!!!! I will definitely be looking forward to any further books they write!

Monday, June 30, 2014

I review a lot for NetGalley as well as Library Journal and School Library Journal, professionally.I also pick up the occasional book on Book Bub and Book Shout.  The shocker is I also read a lot of hard cover books from the library.(I actually work at the public library as my day job. These compilation posts are just some of my reading that I have written reviews on. They are on varied topics and varied genres and some non-fiction tossed in for fun. All these books can be found on the regular book sites such as Amazon, B&N etc. if I tickle your fancy and you want to find out more.

Air Plants: The Curious World of Tillandsias
Zenaida Sengo

This is a beautiful book! The author covers all aspects of these beautiful plants from what they are to how to grow them, to how to care for them and how to arrange them artfully. The photography is spectacular! The artful arranging and display of the plants is marvelous. I knew nothing about these types of plants and now I want a house full of them. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in these plants. The book is obviously created by people who love these plants.
The book is enchanting even if you never grow any of these exquisite plants.

The City by Dean Koontz
I loved the first few Odd Thomas books and then they got dark, too supernatural in a bad way.I tried to read "Innocence" , one of his latest,  but it felt like a bad script edit of Beauty and the Beast, the TV show. I thought I might try this one but the subject matter didn't really grab me and that would be totally my fault - not Mr. Koontz. This is a human story told as if oral history about the life of a young piano prodigy that is changed by the city he lives in. Pearl ,the supernatural personification of the city cares for her people but ... this was a little odd.The book includes haiku and the background of the music in his world is mesmerizing. I just couldn't get into the story. Sorry.

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Few June Titles

Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn
Lyrical and beautifully written, this is a charming fantasy. The heroine is a strong character and holds her own as choices are presented to her as she comes of age. The story is similar  in writing to a beautiful fairy tale in the telling. The action is slowly evolved in beautifully descriptive prose that draws the reader along.There is a mesmerizing story of Marni the strange young woman who lives with her grandfather, the king who wants her dead and a mysterious forest that grows closer around them each night. There are magical creatures in the forest and girls from the nearby village seem to disappear into the forest and never return. The story is wonderful and will appeal to teens and adults as well. I truly enjoyed this beautiful book.

The Judgement Stone  by Robert Liparulo
This is the 2nd installment in this series. (The 13th Tribe was the first.) This is wonderful thought-provoking Christian fiction. The books are exciting thrillers. In the first book you meet the Tribe , a group of people who were among the group of Israelites that were worshiping the golden calf when Moses brought down the Ten Commandments and were punished with immortality. Their goal in life is to punish sinners in hopes of gaining forgiveness from God. In The Judgement Stone we meet a more ruthless and cruel group of immortals, known as the Clan, who are angry with God and want to do any action that will hurt God. The main characters are a reformed immortal, Jagger , who follow neither group but tries to live a normal life with his wife and child. Jagger is a security chief on an archaeological site  where a stone is found. The stone , believed to be a fragment of the original Ten Commandments tablet has special powers. When  holding the stone the holder is able to visually see the spiritual world - he can see angels and demons and peoples connections to God through their prayers. The Clan attacks the monastery at the archaeological dig and steals the stone. With the stone in their possession they will be able to find those closest to God and destroy them. Jagger and Owen pursue them in an effort to retrieve the stone. While they are gone, the Tribe attack the monastery to kidnap Jagger's wife in hopes that she can lead them to redemption.
This is a fast paced book with a lot of action. I truly enjoyed both books and highly recommend them to teens and adults alike. I hope he will continue this series as the characters are engaging and the plots excellent.

How to Knit  by Leslie Ann Bestor

 This book is a wealth of knitting information with clear instructions and wonderfully clear illustrations. Any adult who can follow instructions should be able to learn to knit.  The author describes each step of the process thoroughly. There are some very basic patterns included in the last chapters. I was disappointed that there are no photographs of projects or of needles , yarn or equipment. The drawings are excellent and cover the necessary subject matter.
 I was taught to knit when I was 12 and still remember the basics. I was hoping to be inspired to try to learn again. This book does include detailed instructions that I believe will help me or a brand new knitter learn the basics of the craft.

More titles to come....

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

"The Turning" by Davis Bunn My Review

This book is amazing!
Five people from different walks of life come together through a calling on their life from God. They hear that still small voice and respond with obedience. At first they feel called to forgiveness of others in their own lives; but after they have acted on that they feel they are being called to do more. By God's design these five strangers meet one another at a crucial moment in time. They are all present at a hotel cafe in Times Square in time to witness a young executive’s media extravaganza proposing to set a trend with the theme "Hope Is Dead". Times Square is full of people dressed up like zombies and vampires with banners proclaiming that "Hope is Dead!". Our five strangers are galvanized by the sight and by God's calling on their lives. The group band together in action to do whatever God calls them to do to fight against this flagrant media assault. They will be purely supporting one another and following God's lead.
This makes for an intriguing situation and a great read. Davis Bunn has created characters that are true to life. They could be you or your neighbor. They fight real battles with doubts and prayers and support from fellow Christians. The antagonist character is brilliant because Bunn sets you up to like him (or at least pull for him) up until you read what he is about; then you are appalled!
The book makes you consider your own situation and how you respond to God's calling. Would you be willing to step up to the fight regardless of what other people think of you and regardless of the consequences of your actions. Would you be willing to trust and obey God?
 This is a new type of devotional fiction. It is a great story in and of itself and it is supported by a wonderful media campaign including a 40-day downloadable devotion booklet and online videos. The addition of the website and supporting materials are very helpful for those who want to take the ideas he has presented in the book and go further with them. It is a powerful read and will draw you to want more. Is God calling you? Are you listening?

I received a complimentary copy of “The Turning” from River North Fiction in Exchange for my honest review.

Friday, March 28, 2014

"The Turning" a spectacular new book from Davis Bunn

ISBN (Trade Paperback): 978-0802411686
304 pages
April 1, 2014 from River North, a division of Moody Publishers

Read chapters 1-3 of “The Turning” by Davis Bunn for free: http://statictab.com/fvrrsxz

Check out the video trailer for the book and the video of Davis Bunn talking about the book:

Video trailer for THE TURNING, by best-selling author, Davis Bunn.
Davis Bunn talks about his upcoming novel, THE TURNING.

Plot Synopsis:
The message was unexpected but instantly recognizable. 
A voice resonated from a distance and somehow from within.  Against all earthly logic, it carried a divine command.  And five very different people knew they were summoned to obey.
Their actions were demanding, but not particularly grand.  Only later would they see a pattern emerge - one that links their tasks together and comes to challenge the cultural direction of the nation.  They realize that one small personal response unveiled a new realm of moral responsibility.  And this affirmation of everyday hope captures the attention of millions.
But power and money are at stake.  Malicious elements soon align themselves to counter the trend.  To succeed they must also undermine its source.  Can we really believe that God speaks to people today?  Surely this must be dismissed as superstition or delusion.  These well-intentioned but misguided individuals should not be allowed to cast our society back into the Dark Ages.
The public debate and media frenzy place an unprecedented spotlight on knowing and doing God's will.  The five encounter threats, but try to remain steadfast in their faith.  Had God indeed imparted wisdom on selected individuals?  Is this sweep of events part of his divine purpose? 
The movement may herald a profound renewal - one that some are calling The Turning...

Davis Bunn is a four-time Christy Award-winning, best-selling author now serving as writer-in-residence at Regent's Park College, Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
Defined by readers and reviewers as a "wise teacher," "gentleman adventurer," "consummate writer," and "Renaissance man," his work in business took him to over 40 countries around the world, and his books have sold more than seven million copies in sixteen languages.
Twitter: @davisbunn

I received a complimentary copy of The Turning from River North Fiction in exchange for my honest review.
My review will follow in the next post!!!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Thrive- a call to action

Thrive by Mark Hall
Thrive is a vibrant living call to action by Christian band leader, Mark Hall of Casting Crowns. Mark believes we should all be deeply rooted in God’s word. The first half of the book is dedicated to equipping the reader to be able to read, absorb, and act on God’s word. Through great stories, illustrations and solid doctrine, he encourages readers to actively pursue their own spiritual growth. He expects the benefits of a deeper relationship with God to help you reach out to others. The second half of the book is about reaching out and sharing God’s love with others. Mark’s background as a Youth Pastor makes the book particularly appealing to teens and young Christians, but all ages can all learn from this book. I enjoyed and highly recommend this book.