Monday, November 24, 2014

Bushcraft 101

Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival by Dave Canterbury consists of 10 chapters covering the basics of Bushcraft. If you have been following Canterbury on his YouTube channel you will see that the information provided in this book is consistent with his videos. Bushcraft is a skill intensive activity that requires practice. There is a lot of information in this book that can take one literally years of constant practice to master. Therefore, this book is a starting point for skill development and not an ending point that makes you better just because you read the information. Keep in mind that the title is "Bushcraft 101" so not every single aspect or advanced technique related to bushcraft is presented. The information in this book are the rudimentary skills that are necessary for survival.

Maine to Greenland: Exploring the Maritime Far Northeast

The photographer in this book made everywhere he went look so amazing.  The pictures in this book make me want to go to all these places.  The author really brings you into the pictures and the beautiful scenes he takes pictures of.  I want to read more books and look at more pictures down by these wonderful people . 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Leanings 3: On the Road and in the Garage with Cycle World's Peter Egan

This book was awesome, I love motorcycles and this book made me fall in more love with them.  I love how the author describes everything and how in depth his details are.  This book is great and makes a person who doesn't even like motorcycles fall in love with them.  I am now even more interested in them because of this book. 

The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus Book Five) by Rick Riordan

The story is told through the perspectives of Reyna, Nico, Leo, Jason, and Piper — my first reaction, of course, was “Oh no!!” After all of the terrible omens, bad juju, the million oaths they all keep making (while I keep tally to see which one of them is going to break it), and overall sick feeling of “the Fates are awful sadists” — not to mention the many times I was tempted to stick my book in the freezer — I decided to trust Rick Riordan to simply tell the story… whether I ended up suffering through it or not. A hero’s journey is difficult, painful, and full of sacrifices. Reyna’s first sacrifice is her constant companion, Scipio… Nico’s shadow travel west is slowly killing him… even Coach Hedge must endure being away from his wife, Millie, at a most inopportune time. There are casualties among the Hunters of Artemis and the Amazons… (while I’m still mourning Bob and Damaesen!) And most importantly, we know that Gaea’s minions not only need the Blood of Olympus to wake her, but one of the Argo II crew members is destined to die. To say this story is nerve-wrecking is an understatement.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Street Photographer's Manual

This book is an excellent book on how to use all different types of mediums and how to create the best kind of photos.  The author is great at describing on how to create artwork and understand the different things you can do to make the best out of a photo and the equipment.  I already started implementing some of techniques the author talks about in this book.  I loved this book!

The Energies of Love: Using Energy Medicine to Keep Your Relationship Thriving

This book is going to change your life and the lives of many. Energy Medicine already does. There is nothing more important than LOVE and relationships. Wouldn't you like to have the best and better relationships. Besides Donna and David are way cool people. They are changing (and I mean improving) people's lives one person at a matter how long it takes. Support their cause by buying this book now. Support your life, your loving and your relationships and buy this book now. It will change and improve your life for the better.

The Present Heart

This is an amazing tale about love and what love really means.  This book is everything that is supposed to be a tale about love trust friendship heartache and destiny.  I love how much the author goes into details about everything in this book.  It makes you really think what love is and what it really means to love. 

The Missing Place

This book is an amazing tale about two mothers who search for their missing sons and create a friendship and bond beyond words.  The story has so many twists and turns its hard to keep up.  This book keeps you on the edge of your seat from Page 1 to the end.  The people in this book are so interesting and the author does an excellent job of keeping the reader interested in this book.  I will let some of my friends read this book and ask them their opinions of it as well. 


I was absolutely blown away by Above by Isla Morley. Sixteen-year-old Blythe Hallowell is abducted from the side of the road and taken to an underground missile silo. Her captor believes that the world is about to end and that Blythe is a vital key to his plans for the future. For years, she struggles to survive in her new underground world, confident that someday she'll make it back to her loved ones and the surface. It never crosses her mind that the stories that Dobbs tells her about the devastated world above might be true...

The publisher compares this book to Room (which I loved) and The Lovely Bones (which I just brought home from the library this week.) I'd add The Road to that list.

Cat & Dog

This is such a cute book for kids, the pictures in this book are colorful and bright.  My 8 year old son loved this book and he has down syndrome and this book really helped him understand what was going on in the story.  The animals in this book are so cute and cuddly and he really enjoyed when the Cat and dog got along in the story it made him feel like he was a part of the story and I loved seeing him smile.  I will let other people in his class read this book as well.

The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances [

I can relate to many of the points illustrated in this book, and they are expressed in a much funnier way that I would. Why I run is complicated, and although not 100% the same reasons as the author, it's still quite accurate and a read I would suggest to both experience runners and people who are looking at getting into running, but not sure about it yet. As he said, just get out and run, you'll figure out the details as you do that every day!  This book is great and I will definitely read more books written by this author.

The Running Revolution: How to Run Faster, Farther, and Injury-Free--for Life

This book was an excellent read I am a runner and I learned so many things about running and the proper way to run because of this book.  It is one of the better running books that I have read the author does an excellent job of describing the proper ways to do things and how to not injure yourself.  There is a lot of research in this book and it's pretty obvious that the author knows what he is talking about. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Get Up!: Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It

I work for in an office and this book was one of the most helpful books I have ever read.  I read this book from front to back page and the ideas in here are the best.  I let a lot of people in my office read this as well, they all thought the author had wonderful ideas and didn't realize how bad constantly sitting is for you.  I need to go see my doctor and see what damage sitting for this many years has done to me. 

The Children Act

I am a big fan of Ian McEwan! I am particularly fond of the style of his writing (his prose), and the way he gets under his character's skin. Many of the previous reviews have already described the plot, and I'm not one to reiterate. What I found most interesting about The Children Act were the descriptions of a long lasting marriage, where what was once a consuming love affair, has become an old book covered in a layer of dust. Can the marriage be dusted off and saved? That is the underlying theme of the book.

The legal angle of the book was a bonus. There is never a clear cut answer, is there? Sometimes, the best intentions cause the greatest harm.

In tackling the big questions, McEwan scores again!

The Good Lord Bird

I found this to be an extraordinarily well told account of the days of slavery and of the legendary John Brown through the youthful eyes of "Onion". The story is so engrossing that I was oblivious to the 400+ length of the book. It certainly doesn't seem that long. The author doesn't hold back any punches and includes liberal use of language using racial terms we thankfully find offensive in today's world. This of course builds up the feeling of authenticity throughout the novel.

This is an exciting read and one that should be great for high schoolers studying history as well as for adults who enjoy historical fiction, especially that dealing with times building up to the civil war. The depiction of the raid on Harper's Ferry is truly vivid. I can't recommend this book enough.

Getting a Life with Asperger's: Lessons Learned on the Bumpy Road to Adulthood

This is a awesome book about how to grow up with Asperger's.  I have a cousin who has Asperger's and I let him borrower this book.  He really loved this book and he learned so much from it.  He couldn't stop talking about all the things he learned in this book.  He wants to read more books from this author and is looking forward to becoming an adult.

Chasers of the Light: Poems from the Typewriter Series

Chasers of the Light is a collection of romantic poetry that instantly lifted my heart. The words that Gregson has written down are beyond hopeful and swoon worthy. Everything is type-written on what looks like scraps of paper, ticket stubs, old photographs and the like. It’s very vintage and as a teenage girl who likes to use this terminology—it all felt very hipster.

Gregson’s poetry can evoke emotions in ways I didn’t know that poetry could. One moment I would be reading a poetry that made me want to cuddle up with someone and then the next I felt yearning and longing for somebody that I don’t even have. This is the kind of poetry that a hopeless romantic like myself desires. I could go back to so many of the words written in this collection and re-read them for hours.  This book is full of great ideas and awesome writings, the author is excellent at what he does.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


This book lured me in slowly, weaving its spider webs around me until I realized I was completely caught up. There's this lovely balance of delicacy and subtlety and harshness and--for all of its ghostly elegance--a certain humanity in Oliver's prose, which meant that even the least likable characters felt closely studied and authentic. The true mastery of her writing, though, is how the story's deeper implications slyly creep up on you and then consume you. I love that through the many narrative threads, there's also this layer of the book-within-the-book woven through--The Raven Heliotrope--insisting on its own place and power within the characters', and reader's, minds. I wouldn't call this book "tragic" or even "sad," and yet it does painstakingly examine loneliness of many different kinds, and had me in tears throughout the second half. Highly recommended!

A Year on the Farm

This is an excellent kids book and it has lots of great pictures and is very informative.  My 8 year old loved this book and all his friends enjoyed it as well.  The author seems to really to be able to relate to kids when he writes, I like that a lot.  It is very interesting I learned a little as well!

If you would like a giveaway copy of this book please email us at

Thrive Energy Cookbook

A few years ago I found myself in the very unhealthy and uncomfortable situation of being overweight.  I had tried numerous diets none to which I stuck and none of which I can now say provided the nutrition my body needed. It became a journey for knowledge which led to changing not only the way I ate, but the way I viewed food, and an overall lifestyle transformation. In this quest I learned about something I had never heard about- super food-foods that are nutrient-dense and aid in the prevention and healing of many illnesses and diseases. This book comes packed with information starting with a pantry list and their properties that make them healthy choices. Good-bye coffeehouse Chai tea lattes and frozen pre-made black bean patties! Having a sweet-tooth the Cashew Berry French Toast (page 49) was a must have. Ingredients to this and every recipe are meticulously listed as well as clear instruction as to the preparation of the food item. I was astonished at how relatively simple the preparation to such a delicious meal was. It was not excessively sweet as most French toast breakfasts tend to be, the combination of spices with the natural sweetness of the almond milk and strawberries used in the topping were symphonic. Crunchy outside; soft warm inside, and the silky creaminess added by the coconut crème made the maple syrup an option, but definitely not a necessity. Moving on to lunch, I made the Avocado, Black Bean & Chiptole Burger (page 98). This book is awesome in that it provides the recipe to make the basic staple such as the patti and then continues on to use it in a number of diverse and palatable recipes. I guarantee that animal protein will not be missed.  My absolutely favorite recipe is a simple one, but I cannot get enough of it- the Vanilla-Almond Chai Tea Latte. I now keep the Latte Spice Mix as a staple in my pantry and do not feel guilty when enjoying this treat as I’m not spending $5.00 nor consuming a vast number of empty calories. Bursting with valuable information and infused with flavor, this book is a must-have for anyone, in any stage of life.

Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs

This book has so many interesting ideas and complete thoughts in it I couldn't believe how much I learned from this book.  The author does a perfect job of writing this book and explaining everything that is going on in his mind and his thoughts on the topic of the book.

Shenk's big idea is that creative pairs are the most effective. He gives Lennon and McCartney as an example that runs through the book. Unfortunately, he dilutes his arguments by conflating genius and creativity, and then compounds the confusion by using examples such as Warren Buffett and Magic Johnson, who are certainly wildly successful, but not what we normally think of as creative. Then he throws in some business partners, making it seem that Powers of Two can be used as a How-to guide to increasing your creativity at work.

Best of The Best Family Favorites Cookbook

The compilation of recipes enclosed within this book is very nicely put together. I was very pleased that it included some creative breakfast options and a nice selection of vegetable and side recipes which I always seem to be in need of. Being that the case, I began with Green Beans with Honey-Roasted Pecans. When I saw “honey-roasted pecans” I almost instantly began thinking of substitutes because as we all know, when purchased as such, the already steep nut, only becomes more costly and is not a common household staple. How surprised I was when the recipe included instructions on how to prepare at home with only 2 ingredients! Cooking the green beans in the broth gave them just the right seasoning. The honey-roasted pecans complimented the tang of the bell pepper and the brackish nature of the stock creating a well balanced, pleasing side dish without overpowering the main dish. 

Best of the Best Presents Favorite Slow-Cooker Recipes

What have I not made from this book is the question? I moved to western New York, December of last year. Having been born and raised in San Diego, California, I experienced my first real winter. I came with a repertoire of fresh and cold served recipes which although delicious, was not appetizing in negative degree weather.  In addition to being in desperate need of comforting and delicious recipes, I had also never really used a slower cooker other than to keep food warm at parties. This book has revolutionized my kitchen! These recipes are hearty, flavorful, easy, and my favorite- time saving. I began with Ham with Apple Mustard Sauce (page 149). I made this recipe for a small dinner gathering. The presentation of the dish itself was pleasing (my guests had no idea just how easy this was) and the aroma only made it that much more alluring. The ham was juicy and infused with flavor. Next I took on the New England Clam Chowder (page 43). Who doesn't love clam chowder? I made clam chowder once using fresh clams and was discouraged as it was pricey and my overall dish lacked body, texture, and more clams. When I looked over this recipe I was skeptical, where’s the heavy whipping cream and canned baby clams? I made it anyway and it was AMAZING! I will never order clam chowder at a restaurant again. I loved this recipe for many reasons. The ingredients were simple, yet with the cooking time, it came together perfectly. There was flavor (not fishy), texture, and the body of the chowder could not be better.  The Split Pea and Canadian Bacon Soup (page 54) was very palatable as well. This came to much surprise to my hubby and son, both commented on how delicious this soup was and quite appropriate for our current crisp Autumn weather. I can go on and on, I will finish making mention of the Slow- Roasted Potatoes (page 163)- never did I think to make roasted potatoes in a slow cooker- the consistency of the potatoes was ideal- not overcooked, and a perfect accompaniment to just about any protein based entrée. Looking forward to making Apricot Chicken (page 122) and Sweet and Sour Ribs (page 156).

Big Meals For Little Hands: Easy French Cuisine for Kids

This book is great for little kids and adults to work together to cook food.  My 8 year old son loved cooking with me and the author made it so easy to cook and to read the instructions.  He wants to cook with me everyday now because of this book.  I will read many more books by this author and let my child work with me in the kitchen.  I recommended this book to my friends and family.

If you would like a giveaway copy of this book please email us at

Best of the Best from Louisiana III (Best of the Best State Cookbook

This book has so many great recipes it was hard to choose just one to talk about, the one recipe that stood out for me was  Sautéed Shrimp & Peppers over Cheese Grits this dish was so delicious and the author does an excellent job of walking you through how to make it.  I love Creole and other types of spicy food from down in that area and this book has all of it .  I will be purchasing more titles from this author in the future and I love their style.  If you would like a giveaway copy of this book please email us at