Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Madness of Cthulhu Anthology (Volume Two)

I loved this book it is so interesting and entertaining.  The author does such an amazing job of bringing the readers into the story.  I couldn't put this book down at all from start to finish.  I cant wait for the next one to come out.

Vegan Bowls: Perfect Flavor Harmony in Cozy One-Bowl Meals

I made 6 recipes from this book so far. Every one was a winner. I just made the mushroom carbonara, and I knew I had to rate this book. That recipe was so amazing. It is one of the best things I've had and I make a lot of good food. I will say that I haven't really been able to make most of the recipes in 30 minutes, I don't know if I'm just slow but I think they're a little more involved then being able to do in 30 minutes but they're well worth the effort.

Cook the Pantry: Vegan Pantry-to-Plate Recipes in 20 Minutes (or Less!

I had the pleasure of testing the recipes for this book, and each new recipe came together quickly with little fuss, and always tasted delicious. Robin includes a wide variety of recipes that you can make with basic staples in a well-stocked kitchen, and even provides the resources on how to build a well-stocked pantry, if you don't have one already.Some of my favorites include the Tortilla Soup, the Creamy Peanut Soup, the White Bean Nicoise Salad, the Homestyle Hash Burgers, the Jerk Tempeh with Coconut Quinoa, the Bananas Foster Dessert Nachos, and last but not least, the Chocolate-Coated Walnut-Stuffed Dates in Pastry. Robin gives tips on how to simplify the recipes even further, and variations for people that have very little time to cook dinner. And best of all, every single recipe is vegan! This is a great book to have on hand in your own cookbook library, and would be a great Christmas gift this holiday season!

Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery

This is an amazing tale with lots different characters and people that make the book great and interesting.  I love how intense this book is and how the author lets you get to know the people in the book.  I will be reading a lot more books by this author.

The Muralist: A Novel

The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro, author of the bestselling The Art Forger, is an enthralling and gripping historical suspense mystery thriller with life, art and politics of pre-World War II New York City serving as the backdrop, with the story shifting back and forth from the past to the present, and the author bringing to life historical characters from the past and imaginatively mingling them with an array of fictional characters. Written in a style only B.A. Shapiro can, with a subject close to her heart as the pivotal theme of the novel, what you have is a mix of factual and fictional events vying for centre-stage as the story unfolds.

The story begins in the present-day with Danielle Abrams, who is the great-niece of Alizee Benoit, trying to solve the mysterious disappearance of her great-aunt over seventy years before. Her family has been clueless, and disinterested, about the whole affair drawing her curiosity. The stoic silence of Danielle’s Holocaust-surviving grandparents shrouded what little might have been known until something happened, lifted the veil and takes her further into the mystery.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

And West Is West

This excellent, fast-paced novel, which won the Barbara Kingsolver Pen Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, tells its larger story of government and financial corruption through engaging, unique characters. In this twisty tale, the reader experiences how easy it is for a moral individual to become a cog in a corrupt organization's schemes. And how quickly that same individual can become a victim the Powerful want to destroy.

The main characters are Ethan, a "quant" who writes software to make billions for his Wall Street firm without adding any value to society, and Jessica, a US Army sergeant who remotely pilots war drones that drop bombs on Somalia. The book moves back and forth between their stories, all the while maintaining your fascination with both. Wall Street and the US Army drone program would be interesting enough settings on their own, but the plots expand to include the international art world, the US prison system, the Nevada desert, a dysfunctional wealthy family, an aging hippy couple, and more. The author navigates these diverse worlds with ease. Each character, place and situation is believable, interesting, and memorable.

I highly recommend this superbly written book. At little more than 300 pages, it's a swift, engrossing read that leaves you thinking about the real issue that faces us all: if an individual can't change a corrupt system, how do they live a moral life?

The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives

I absolutely loved this book. Theresa Brown is a gifted writer. Not only is she a nurse, but she has a PhD in English and is a former university English professor. By the time I finished the book, I felt I not only knew her intimately, but also her patients.I am a retired nurse and a former nursing professor, so when I read the details of her 12 hour shift, I could relate to all that she did. However, I don't think you would need a medical background to feel like you were right there with her with every decision she made and every task she performed. The book is entertaining in that it gives a real feel for what decisions nurses must make on a typical day in the hospital.It not only covers routine tasks she performed, but the emotional toll that nursing requires and the responsibility nurses have for being an advocate for a patient. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Skylanders SuperChargers Official Strategy Guide

One of the best versions of game guides that I've seen in a while for game strategy! It gives the stats for the vehicles and the characters as well as strategy recommendations for using them in gameplay. It has the traditional well colored pages that I have come to expect with this games book. The maps appear to be a little vague but are still very helpful. There are some key differences to expect with this version of Skylanders that are new to this version and this guide is helpful in explaining those.

Madden NFL 16 Official Strategy Guide: Standard Edition (Prima Official Guide)

I would recommend this to this to anyone. It covers the new draft champions mode in Madden 16. It will also give you a breakdown of what attributes do as well as which positions you want to value each attribute which will help those new to Madden as well as those who are not.

This book also has many plays to give your offense and defense a head start , these plays are very effective on both sides of the ball and you will an edge on your competition with these as well. Memorize or refer back to these plays and make your own adjustments to fit a scheme that you create around them as well , this has helped out a lot. You will love some of the newer plays in madden 16 as well.

If you play MUT ( Madden Ultimate Team) it will also give you some help there as well. A well rounded book that covers fantasy , draft champions, attributes, top plays in madden 16 , MUT and more! This book is one that I trust and have gained a lot from.

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships (Nonviolent Communication Guides)

Initially I thought this book wouldn't be relevant to me since I didn't consider myself a "violent" communicator. A few pages into the book however, it became evident to me that despite my easy-going nature, I had much to learn about communication. Dr. Rosenberg identifies learned communication that disconnects us from each other and is at the very root of violence. He then offers a simple yet powerful 4 step model that leads to respectful and compassionate communication. One catch - while the model is simple, it can be challenging to apply, especially when we're upset. That's because most of us have learned to blame others when we're upset and it's hard to unlearn this behavior. However, use of the model deepens our awareness and it becomes very clear how destructive our habitual knee-jerk reactions are to both ourselves and others. The Nonviolent Communication model helps us to become conscious and choose to respond differently - that is in ways that are more likely to lead to positive and satisfying outcomes for everyone. If you'd like to transform your relationships, for example: learn how to really listen to others while not taking anything you hear personally (what a gift!), learn how to give and receive in ways that are deeply gratifying, and much more, this is a must read. Also, this model is applicable in all relationship types - perfect for couples, parents, teachers, managers, executives, counselors and anyone else interested in relationship building.
On a personal note, this book has been life-changing for me. I have witnessed truly amazing results in all my relationships including one relationship which had been a great struggle for me for many years.


NICHIREN provides a clear, dramatic, and easily accessible history of this "radical" Buddhist priest as he advocated for humanism in 13th century Japan. The artwork is wonderful! The story's tension between the rich and the politically powerful, and the average citizen is analogous to our current society. The government's attempts to subvert Nichiren's efforts, even to the point of plotting his murder, are tempered with the values of loyalty, friendship, and perseverance. The message to embrace one's beliefs throughout hardships and to speak up for justice until victory is achieved, is one many people may find inspiring today. I am looking forward to the sequel from the Sado years on!

Chilled: How Refrigeration Changed the World and Might Do So Again

Chilled is one of my favorite types of books. It deals with a subject that, until I opened the book, I didn’t even know I was interested in. Few things in the house seem more boring than the lowly refrigerator, it just sort of hums along, keeping things cold, and holding up the household messages. And yet, as Tom Jackson shows, it can trace its lineage back further than even the most dedicated genealogist. Finally, modern civilization is only possible with inexpensive and ubiquitous refrigeration.

Professor Povey's Perplexing Problems: Pre-university Physics and Maths Puzzles with Solutions

Here we have 14 chapters listed as topics that one would expect in any introductory physics textbook with problems/puzzles related to the physics topic. In total there are 104 problems, e.g. there are 17 under Geometry, 12 under Mathematics and Gravity, and anywhere from 3 to 9 under Statics, Dynamics and collisions, Circular motion, Simple harmonic motion, Kinematics, Electricity, Optics, Heat, and Buoyancy & hydrostatics. Then there are chapters on Mad inventions & perpetual motion and Estimation (This chapter is too short so I recommend that you add Guesstimation 2.0 by Lawrence Weinstein to fill in when you get stuck and need a break). Each problem is labelled with from one to four stars (*) indicating the level of difficulty (Not too difficult to exceptionally hard). I found the stars to be well-chosen. Jump to “The Deadly Game of Puzzle Points” at the end of the book to learn how to build up your score perhaps to reach the level of Expert Puzzlist.

My advice: because you are going to have to get through all of them eventually, start with the single stars. Many of them you will be already familiar with and you will begin to feel good with your successes. The author, however, has a “mean streak” in that he has some single starred puzzles followed by multiple starred extension

The Last September

THE LAST SEPTEMBER is the story of marriage --- one not of romance or intimacy but of doubt, insecurity and, ultimately, trauma. Emotionally raw and terribly realistic, the novel tells the story of a young wife who, never fully secure or content in her marriage, must face the loss of her husband and the unresolved feelings that entails. Yet author Nina de Gramont balances the sorrow found here with some interesting themes such as forgiveness, grief, love and the power of poetry.

Charlie and Brett met at a college party hosted by Charlie's brother, Eli, years ago. They shared a magical night together and then went their separate ways. After just that one night, Brett developed a deep affection for Charlie. But Eli warned her that his brother was a womanizer, so she did her best to move on. And, in fact, Brett ended up engaged to Ladd, a childhood friend of Charlie and Eli's. Just before Brett and Ladd were to be married, Charlie comes back into her life. She walks away from her engagement and enters into a whirlwind yet ultimately unsatisfying relationship with Charlie.

Pope Francis and the New Vatican

This is another excellent publication done with all the expertise of National Geographic. One learns about Pope Francis, reads his words from his faith and his life, and one gets to visit through the Vatican through the marvelous pictures. Here is a person who knows Christ and has such a lively and simple faith from that acquaintance. The pictures of Papa Francisco show that bulldog determination at times and also at most others the joy from walking with Christ. " gaudius magnus, Habemus Papa."

MAGNIFICENT book. Incredible pictures, brief, meaningful commentary, and of a fine quality.
Photographer spent six months, and captured Francis as I have never seen him. Displays or brings out a full range of emotions. Joyous, touching, amazing.... It will be here on my coffee table for the foreseeable future.
And will make Christmas shopping easy this year.

The Simple Art of Salt Block Cooking: Grill, Cure, Bake and Serve with Himalayan Salt Blocks

I started reading "The Simple Art of Salt Block Cooking" because it interested me. I'm always interested in different styles of cooking and what they bring to the table, so to speak. My first introduction to salt block cooking was in other cookbook about grilling. I was a little taken aback though. Cooking with salt I get but on a salt block? Would that over-season? After reading, I learned it does not, if you're doing right. Salt block cooking does take some effort. At least in the preparation and that's where it kinda loses me. When cooking with a salt block, temperature is key and good meal hinges on the time spent in getting the block up to proper temp.

Don't me wrong, everything made with it looks insanely delicious. One can even chill salt blocks and use them for food display. Just about any food imaginable can be heightened by using a salt block. There are desserts featured like salted pecan turtles and cherry marshmallow chocolate “kisses". I just don't like the idea I could possibly scrap a meal because it was over salted or that I spent good time in preparation and it might be under seasoned
. Then again, I'm not that great of a cook and someone else could take these recipes and excel. I will say Jessica Harlan and Kelley Sparwasser put together a good cookbook with great recipes and beautiful pictures. If you're a cook who is not afraid to explore with culinary techniques, salt block cooking is a good road to take.

Exclusively Kamado: 50 Innovative Recipes for your Ceramic Smoker and Grill

I'm always interested in reading new cooking techniques and Exclusively

A Kamado is a ceramic grill that can apparently do just about everything based on the pictures and recipes included in the book. There is braising, broiling, baking, deep-frying, grilling, pan-frying, poaching, roasting, sautéing, searing, stir-frying, and toasting. Amazing that one piece of equipment (of course with the appropriate accouterments) can do so much. Once a saw the recipes, it all made sense.

I've always been indifferent about grilling because I associate it with bbq, but Sidioriak changed my mind. Almost every recipe in his book I can really get behind to enjoy myself or make for a friend/family member. My favorites recipes are the Zesty No Fry Buffalo Chicken Croquettes, Duck Confit Egg Rolls, Grilled Caprese Salad Bites and the Turkey Ball Dinner. There are so many more recipes that Sidoriak offers for any type of pallette. From steaks, pizza, vegetables to puff pastry baked brie, the kamado can give the cook exactly what they want. There is a little bit of effort, but no more than stove preparation, but with the added benefit of more flavor and shorter cooking times because of the kamado's design.
Kamado by Paul Sidoriak drew my attention. Sidoriak opens his narration talking about how he started cooking and leads us to his current cooking of today, which is primarily centered around the kamado.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trai

This is much more than a travelogue of two neophyte hikers on the Appalachian Trail, and readers looking for a blow by blow account of the travails of Bill Bryson and his companion, Stephen Katz, will be disappointed. Hiking provides only a backdrop to a heartfelt discourse on the social condition of America, local history, the environment, and the complexities of friendship. The pretext for the book was Bryson's return to the United States after twenty years in Britain, and his interest in "rediscovering America" after such a lengthy absence.

The Witches' Ointment: The Secret History of Psychedelic Magic

This book was a very interesting book and it was extremely interesting.  The formulas and recipes were so interesting and fun to read about.  I can't believe how many different recipes were in this book.  I had so much fun trying to create them and see how well I could make them.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Clean Green Eats

Being raised in California I've always eaten healthy and after years my family is finally coming over to my side now but couldn't think of recipes where I'd have to cook healthy things to please more than just me. This wonderful book delivers with it's recipes and selections. Also the author encourages readers to add their own twists and adjustments to the recipes according to what the reader likes and does not pigeon hole you by making a strict outline of the recipe so you can also use these recipes as an outline to come up with your own favorites. Don't think it's just about Kale, there's meat recipes in there too. It's about eating healthy, not going Vegan.
If you read an ingredient that's foreign to you just Google it and you can see what others say about that ingredient to decide if you want to use it or not and substitute.

The Girl from the Garden

This was an amazing book about Jewish life and how much it different is around the world.  I love how in depth the author goes and how great the characters are and how interesting they are.  I would love to read so many more books written by her.  I love how much the author goes into details about everything going in this great book.

The Death House

This is a wonderfully creepy and realistic tale about a group of young people who have been isolated on account of being, “defective.” Each of the residents of the ‘Death House’ were randomly tested at school for an unnamed illness, which can strike the population up to the age of eighteen. The main character of this novel, Toby, was not concerned when he took the test at school – indeed most of his classmates were simply relieved to be missing various class tests. However, on returning home, Toby finds that he is being taken away from his family and isolated with the other ‘defectives’ in a large house, on an unknown island. Contact with the outside is prohibited and, within a short time, the youngsters have almost given up on any hope of visits or letters from home. Instead, life becomes a morning of lessons, given by desultory teachers, who do not seem to see the point of teaching the children, any more than they do of learning; plus a rota of various household tasks and a lot of filling in time.

Koko The Mighty

This is the second book in a series, and I need to read the first one right now. This is how the book starts. “Once upon a time in the year 2516, retired corporate mercenary Koko Martstellar believed she had quite the life. Running a bar and brothel operation on The Sixty Islands, the world’s most violently decadent South Pacific resort; honestly, who wouldn’t believe they had it good? Of course, when Koko’s piously phony boss tried to have her killed for an unspeakable crime she no longer recalled, the easy life for Koko deep-sixed pretty fast.”

That’s how the book STARTS, like a gravelly narrator on a 1970s TV series. From there, it just goes bonkers. It roars through action scene after action scene.

There’s so much to like here; for one, keep an eye out for the footnotes.

One more quote that I love: Koko is being interrogated and the bad guy asks her where she’s from.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

What Keeps You Up at Night?: How to Find Peace While Chasing Your Dreams

Life is stressful, especially if you're trying to figure out exactly what you're supposed to be doing with your life. Many people are overcome with doubt and uncertainty, and they wonder if there is any way to make living by faith easier.

Pete Wilson's new book What Keeps You Up at Night? tackles these problems head on from the perspective of one who lives by faith and finds comfort in relationship with Jesus. Wilson's book acknowledges uncertainty as a reality all people have to face, even people of faith. In fact, we often don't see clearly ahead of us. It isn't until after an event or series of events that we see where God was working. In the midst of uncertainty, we're challenged to trust in God. That's what Jesus did and that's what we're called to do. Our situations may change, but God doesn't, and chasing after the dreams God has placed inside us requires a great deal of faith in God's provision, promises, and power.

What keeps you up at night? While uncertainty may be a staple of your journey, it doesn't have to be debillitating. We can find strength and courage as we pursue the heart of Jesus. Pete Wilson's writing is warm and refreshing, and his message is important for those who struggle with stress in their pursuit of living.

The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road

If you also left the theater in amazement after watching Mad Max: Fury Road then I'd definitely recommend getting this! The quality of the pages is great and it is filled with information. It's amazing to read about all that went into making the movie, the story line, the dedication, and all those awesome raw action scenes! The pages are thick and good quality and aren't easily smudgeable. The photography in it is also great and seeing the storyboards from years back when the movie was just an idea is awesome. All in all a great book to have if you're not only a fan of the movie but also enjoy all the behind the scenes stuff.  The movie was amazing and the book is even more amazing.

Clean Green Eats: 100+ Clean-Eating Recipes to Improve Your Whole Life

Candice spends the first part of the book explaining benefits of the key ingredients she uses in her recipes, as well as how to properly store them for maximum shelf life. A lot of the ingredients are new to me and aren't cheap since they come from specialty organic markets, so this book paid for itself with the first recipe when I finally started properly storing nuts, grains, seeds, etc. She has many great tips on making smoothies properly and choosing good produce as well. For a former junk food junkie like me who is now trying to get healthy as a result of an auto immune disorder, this book is a wealth of knowledge because I don't know a lot about the ingredients and what you don't know can hurt you if you try to cook with expensive, foreign ingredients that you've never used. I'm ashamed to say that I don't have much experience with Brussel sprouts, fennel, and quinoa, but no worries! Candice explains it all before diving into her well organized recipes! Another reason why I like this book is that she repeats ingredients.  So many great recipes in this book, I used so many of them for my family and friends.

Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 20th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health

I take my hat off to the author for creating and updating something packed with information, and yet infused with such humor and humanness as to make it all so relatable and digestible. To be sure, there is plenty of medical information, handy charts and graphics to explain issues. But i also love the cartoons, quotes, Fertile Myrtles and the page layout – a breeze to find what you want and to dive in and out.  Any woman (or her partner) diving in would feel not only equipped with vital tips and insights, but just as importantly, with a compassionate coach in her (their) corner. While any author seeks to inform/entertain, precious few can lay claim to actually helping to boost and create lives as this does.  I am sharing this book with a few of my friends who are trying to get pregnant and I know this book has all the info needed to help them start their family!

The Fall of Princes

The Fall of Princes is a dark, intoxicating morality tale of a bygone generation, a world of excess and decadence and the price paid by some--but by no means all--of those who partook in the bacchanal. Robert Goolrick deftly peels back the layers of the high life of high finance and, with his impeccable prose, focuses his unflinching eye on the grittiness beneath the sleek facade of nightclubs, fashion, and monied Manhattan extravagance.  I couldn't have read a better book, the author is one of the best authors I have ever read and I will recommend this book to everyone I know.

Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food

This was a great book about food and figuring out what is healthy and unprocessed and what is just not good for you.  The author went on so many adventures and trips to figure this out.  The book was written very well and it was very detailed and I couldn't believe how much information someone could pack into one book.  I am looking forward to reading other books written by this author.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Empress Game: The Empress Game Trilogy Book 1

The Empress Game grabbed me from the opening scene. I gave up other books I was reading (I tend to read more than one at a time) to dive into this one. Kayla, aka Shadow Panthe, was a great character. Her internal dialogue wasn't too whiny but she did delve into her own emotions. Her connection with her remaining family member was well written. Mason didn't make her younger brother a one-note character. He reacted like a child of his age might (with some unusual abilities.)

The male lead, Malkor, was not as deep for me but I still enjoyed him. His internal conflict was fueled by the knowledge that he caused Kayla's pain.

I did think that the way the two characters came together was a bit rushed. I was torn on 4 or 5 stars because of that. It's just that the first kiss scene seemed out of place to me. Still, I couldn't put this book down.

It does end on a cliffhanger. A pretty steep, very intense cliffhanger really. Often I am left irritated by those but in this case, I saw where it had to be there. Without that ending, the book would have been less satisfying. I will be putting this author on my watch list. I can't wait to see where she takes Kayla and Malkor next.

Virtues Of War

A friend suggested I try Virtues. I didnt think I would like it as I dont read scifi - but was I ever wrong. if you like a character driven plot then you will love this book too. Strong characters and a great female lead. A plot line I couldnt put down. It's great on so many levels. As I read it I could see a movie of it playing as the visual images are so well described. Not usually my genre but this story had me gripped. No weird aliens. All the characters are human. Colonists have formed a separate federation and have revolted and and are taking over the old world and building their own space travel gates. Fantastic space war action, mixed with seemingly current day thoughts, desires. jealousies etc. It really did feel as if this ex-naval officer took what he knew of the navy and war today and projected it two millennia

The King of Swords: The Eternal Champion

This is an excellent book in a great series.  The author does an excellent job of keeping the reader enthralled in the book and enjoying the people in it.  I love how in depth this story has gotten and I can't wait for the next book to come out.  I am very impressed with the writing of this book.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Policy Driven Data Center with ACI: Architecture, Concepts, and Methodology (Networking Technology)

I really enjoyed this book. I had heard about ACI, which included watched a couple of youtube videos and read a couple of articles. After doing all this research, I felt like there were a lot of unanswered questions and this book was excellent in not only filling in the gaps in understanding for ACI, but datacenter networking in general. Thanks to this book, I feel much more knowledgeable in how datacenter networks were built in the past, how they are being built now, and how ACI will take advantage of these improvements. The authors expertly towed the line between exposure and over-exposure by introducing XML, JSON, and python without going into levels of depth that are just well beyond my comprehension. I also particularly enjoyed the last chapter on the switching architectures. I did not expect to learn so much and the authors should feel really good about creating a book that does such a good job advancing not only ACI, but datacenter concepts in general.

CCNP Routing and Switching v2.0 Official Cert Guide Library

This library is huge 2000+ pages all-in-one bundle to cover the new CCNP V2 exams. You are getting all the 3 books for your exam preparations. I think, at this point in time no other books are available to cover the exact CCNP V2 syllabus.
Topics are almost same as previous version of CCNP with few exceptions. I feel the authors have done a wonderful job of creating a material with different style and approach in explaining the technology and concepts that are well suited for today’s network infrastructure. I never felt boring while going through topics.

Some of the differences between old and new are Route: IPv6 - dual stack, IOS 15.0, EIGRP IPv6, OSPF IPv6, RIPng, VPN Concepts (DMVPN, EVN), IPv6 NAT etc. SWITCH: SDM configurations, VTP v1-V3, SPAN, RSPAN, Switch hardware etc, TSHOOT: Troubleshooting of IPv6 related topics. I feel that the approaches to explaining things are much better and the scenarios depicted in the book are all based on current deployment trend in the industry. BGP is covered to the level where one can deploy networks with internet connectivity to multiple ISPs. Under Remote Site connectivity topic, author has covered today’s WAN technology like MPLS and various VPN technologies. In Switch, MLS, DHCP, SNMP, 802.1x, IP SLA, SPAN/RSPAN, Stack wise, VSS, HSRP, VRRP, GLBP, VACL, L2 security etc are covered.
Book organization and Parts and chapter: Book organization and style are similar to other cisco press books. Some of the key features are: Starting Quiz, Key Topic flag that represents the topics importance in the exam, “Note” section for caveats, topic’s scope, and important points.
I see lots of diagrams in these books to explain each topic with absolute clarity.

CCIE Routing and Switching v5.0 Official Cert Guide Library

I noticed that the books focus mainly in the blueprint from the CCIE R&S. By reading this book you will not become a CCIE or even get close to be able to pass the test. this book is meant to be a guide to CCIE candidates. the book offers exactly what is expected and it accomplish that particular task with an A++.  My friend really enjoyed reading this and he is trying to work in this field. 

Apple Pro Training Series: Pages, Numbers, and Keynote

Logical, straightforward, easy to follow. Excellent teaching tool for either review or first time users.  This book was excellent and very easy for people who have never used the program before to understand what was going on.  I really enjoyed how the author taught the reader in this excellent book. 

Apple Pro Training Series: OS X Support Essentials 10.10: Supporting and Troubleshooting OS X Yosemite

Clear and understandable guide to the Yosemite 10.10 Apple Operating System. This is a guide requiring some technical competence as it is intended for training technical support personnel (and for preparing for a certification exam), but it is surprisingly "readable" with strong adherence to topics, providing relevant information without swamping the reader with confusing tangents (as is all too common in technical books). Even for those who just want a more detailed understanding of the OS without plans for certification, etc., it is a useful book that helps to provide behind-the-scenes context for much that users take for granted on an Apple computer. The book is never boring and contains many "tips" and shortcuts that are useful even for those who skip the most technical parts. Excellent book.

Hacking the Digital Print: Alternative image capture and printmaking processes with a special section on 3D printing

I have been waiting months for this book to come out, because I am a huge fan of Bonny Lhotka’s artwork and the art materials she has come up with, and how she is continually exploring new ideas and finding new inspirations. She is a renowned artist and this book is more like detailed techniques and ideas for people who are already involved in this process, or for those who are determined to delve into it. There are a number of inspiring examples of her artwork included in the book, but do not get this book if you are looking for some quick tips or fun ideas for a Saturday craft.
But for photographers who want to create unique images and go beyond a photo printed on photo paper and learn to create unique works of art on glass, wood, metal, etc, or artists who want to incorporate digital images, this is a great resource. There are thousands of books on photography, books on art, and books on craft ideas, but there are very few books that address this combination of art and photography.

Nutrition Therapy and Pathophysiology

This is the best Nutrition Therapy book that I have read.  I am so excited about how much I am going to learn so much information by time I finish this book.  The author of this book does an excellent job of teaching the student all sorts of things in this book.  I couldn't believe how much knowledge I was retaining from this book.  I am going to let the teacher and school I am attending know just how excellent this book is. 

Clodagh's Irish Kitchen: A Fresh Take on Traditional Flavors

This is the best Irish Cookbook out there.  The recipes are amazing and everything that I have made so far tastes so delicious.  My favorite recipe was the Guinness Cake it was so moist and delicious.  I have made so many things from this cookbook.  My family and friends love when I make things too. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

The The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

If you're looking for a motivational book when it comes to your finances, this is the one! It's fun and informative and actually has follow up books if you wish to read more. However, this book in particular is the most informative in my opinion. You learn about Dave Ramseys methods to saving money and you can read other peoples stories. It definitely gets you pumped up, but you have to be willing to work for it if you actually want the life change. As for the book, it does its job. I would and have recommended

Financial Peace University Membership Kit

This is the best tool you could ever ask for when trying to get out of debt.  Dave Ramsey is a genius and he deserves all the praise he gets for all the great ideas he has.  He has so much wisdom and knowledge that it is unreal how much information he knows and shares with everyone.  I love his books and will always read them.

Church of Marvels: A Novel

What made this book amazing for me were definitely the descriptions and the characters. The writing is beautiful but at the same time dark and gritty and the way the author painted the images, I could clearly see them in my head. The setting in New York near the end of 19th century was fantastic, with amazing details that made me feel as if I really went back in time and solved riddles with the characters. And speaking of them, Leslie Parry created a truly wide range of diverse characters, each of them unique and interesting. Even though I couldn’t sympathize
with all of them, still none of the characters were boring, whether main or secondary, and all of them played a part in the story. The plot had a lot of twists and turns but the best thing was that even when you manage to guess or predict a few of them, they still turn out a bit different and you’re still surprised. Sometimes I had a feeling that the story got a bit too dark for my taste, but I guess that’s what made the whole atmosphere.

The Proposal at Siesta Key: Amish Brides of Pinecraft, Book Two

This book is so good! I loved the unique story about Michael Knoxx who is world famous for sharing his life threatening testimony and extremely shy Penny Troyer who wants to live a life outside of her protective parents' home. The Pinecraft town in lovely Florida is vivid enough in detail that I wanted to go there, now! I found myself glued to this budding romance and did not put it down unless I absolutely had to! Shelley Shepard Gray has an amazing story telling gift and this book is wonderful. Now to wait for the next one, book #3...

Corum - The Knight of Swords: The Eternal Champion

This book is a excellent read and the author does a great job of keeping you interested in the book all the way to the end.  The way the stories intertwine make this book one of the better books I have read this year.  I would tell my friends and family about this book.

American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity

I can't recommend this book highly enough. I knew most of what Appy writes about, and lived some of it, but he brings it all back and with a clarity and coherence that connected everything and that re-awakened my frustration and outrage, not only about the terrible damage that has been the result of our wars and the policies that created them, but also at the obscene revision of history that enables us to continue on the same path. After years of witnessing all the successful efforts that have shoved the reality of the Vietnam war and its true victims into comfortable, enabling myths, I often find myself retreating into a protective and cynical numbness. American Reckoning cracked that shell, and for that I thank Appy.

Basic Black: 26 Edgy Essentials for the Modern Wardrobe

 I'm very impressed with it.  There are at least four patterns that I'd like to sew.  I have been sewing a long time and it's refreshing to see some patterns with interesting details, e.g., the tucks in the tiered dress, embroidered running stitches, shirred sleeves, etc.  A lot of the patterns have a tailored and refined look that I like. The fabrics used are also interesting, dobby, jacquard, corduroy. The patterns I've  seen in other Japanese sewing books have seemed more basic and frankly similar to what the Big 4 and some indie patterns offer, i.e., lots of girlish tops and dresses with gathers and ruffles. There are so many books out there for beginning sewers and this isn't one of them (thankfully for us more experienced sewers who would like to sew something more challenging).   The pattern instructions look detailed enough for me. I find schematics easier to use than written instructions.  This is my first Japanese sewing book and I can't wait to dive in!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Other College Guide

This book is excellent and is very useful when it comes to find a college to attend.  This book was one of the best college books I have ever read.  The author does an excellent job of telling the reader how to apply for colleges and the ranking colleges. 

The Age of Sustainable Development

Dr. Jeffrey D. Sachs is famous professor of economics at Columbia University with many credentials, including adviser at the United Nations. Sachs emphasizes the relationship between the three legs of sustainability: economy, ecology, and society. Forget your politics for the moment; Sachs will give you the whole picture hoping people make smart decisions, well balanced decisions, thought based rather than emotion based.

Population, carbon, economic growth, and warming all are inter-related in complex and sometimes surprising ways. Sachs shows how we all might be able e to make a positive difference.

Well written, graceful, excellent research, clear charts and graphs -- and an absolute pleasure.

Eternal Ephemera: Adaptation and the Origin of Species from the Nineteenth Century Through Punctuated Equilibria and Beyond

I enjoyed this book.   It's not just about evolution, it’s about how the theory of evolution was developed and the battle between continual modification and punctuated equilibria. The book also discusses the interplay between evolutionary biologists, paleontologists and molecular biologists. Author Niles Eldredge included his personal journey in the book as well, particularly when he figuratively and literally followed in Darwin’s footsteps. I recommend this book for anyone interested in evolution. It makes an interesting counterpoint to Richard Dawkins's The Selfish Gene. Eternal Ephemera is more technical, but covers more ground, than Darwin’s Ghosts by Rebecca Stott, although I will say that Stott’s book was more fun to read.