Book Review: Habit Stacking by S.J. Scott

Book Review: Habit Stacking

Title: Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take Five Minutes or Less
Author: S.J. Scott
Release Date: May, 2, 2014
Rating: 4/5 Stars
While this book is based on a simplicity that will not shake up your life to the core, it will give you an idea, how easy it is to make time for small changes that stack up to a more profound change. S.J.Scott calls this process “Habit Stacking”, and packages it in easy to follow along advice that can be implemented by everyone. Habit Stacking is a cool book that despite its simplicity in activities should be taken seriously, and can add, if you follow through, a meaningful change in your life.
And if you are already doing many of this habits, you can always congratulate yourself on being on the right path!

Book Review: Chakra Wisdom Oracle Toolkit by Tori Hartman

Book Review: Chakra Oracle Toolkit

Title: Chakra Wisdom Oracle Toolkit
Author: Tori Hartman
Publisher: Watkins Publishing Limited
Publishing Date: September 18th 2014
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

This is not a book that is to be read, but a book to be worked with. If you are willing to put in the time, commit to exercises (which are plenty and enjoyable), to make a change in your life, then this book is a worthwhile purchase. Beautifully illustrated and well written, the Chakra Wisdom Oracle Kit is not only for those who have some experience in the subject matter, but is easy enough to use, that it will be a worthwhile workbooks for those who are new to Chakras and Oracles.
As I stated in the beginning this book is one of action, not a book of leisurable reading, and it asks the reader to commit to the entire year journey. Self-discovery is not a fast process, especially when one wants to make a lasting impact on one’s life. As a companion on your journey, this book is a valuable addition in self-improvement.

Have you every worked with Chakra’s of an Oracle Kit before? What is your favorite and why?

Here are some other self-help books I recommend:

Manifest Moment to Moment

A Smart Girl’s Guide To Getting What You Want

Happy Lemons

 

 

Book Review: Parker’s Passion by Sabrina York

Book Review: Parker's Passion by Sabrina York

Title: Parker’s Passion
Author: Sabrina York
Publisher: Sabrina York
Publishing Date: May 4th 2014
Rating: 4/5 Stars

Finally an erotic romance that is not trying to imitate the 50 Shades of Grey. An enjoyable, steamy read, this book is an easy to devour novel for those who are looking for romance, but don’t mind the physical. Falling into one of the better books in the genre, this books only downfall is that it seemed a little rushed, but the characters are charming, the story line has not just action that contains itself in the bedroom, and it is sweet, with the happy ending every reader will be rooting for.
A hot book for a hot day.

Abandoned – America’s Vanishing Landscape – A Review

Book Review: Abandoned

Title: Abandoned – America’s Vanishing Landscape
Author: Eric Holubow
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing
Publishing Date: Sept. 28th 2014
Rating: 5/5 Stars

“For a relatively young country, America is rich in decaying ruins that cover its landscape. Through his striking photography, Eric Holubow provides a glimpse inside these perilous structures to reveal the slow but unforgiving wear and tear that has befallen many of the country’s forgotten sites. What transpires is a surprising, yet undeniable beauty beneath the rubble and decrepitude. Centered in the Rust Belt, but spanning from coast to coast, north to south, and big cities to small towns, breathtaking images of nearly a hundred sites, including factories, churches, theaters, prisons, and power plants, signify the comprehensive erosion of important parts of our history. Holubow’s compelling work forces us to pay attention to formerly grand, significant landmarks and institutions that have long been ignored, and reminds us of the tragic fate that they and everything we know eventually share.”

A compelling look at the ruins that are scattered around a country, offering a glimpse of broken dreams, history, in a society that loves the largeness of design, but is willing to abandon it with a totality that is surprising. What struck me the most are the images that showed the sign of abruptness, such as the leaving behind of work boots in the ruins of a factory, or the school books still placed in perfect order on the shelves of an abandoned school. Inviting us to imagine the stories of these places, Holubow captures the rawness of these buildings in his striking images with an impressive clarity. If you are a fan of photography, check out this volume.

Book Review: Dark Child by Adina West

Dark Child - A Book Review

Title: Dark Child
Author: Adina West
Publisher: Pac Macmilan
Publication Date: June 1st 2013
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

“Lately things have been getting weird for pathology technician Kat Chanter. She’s been craving raw meat, and having dreams so realistic they’re scary. When she accepts a job offer from the prestigious Hema Castus Research Institute, she hopes she’ll have the chance to discover what’s wrong with her, but instead, her move to New York thrusts her headlong into a treacherous hidden world, where the wrong move could be fatal . . .”

Promised to fans of The Mortal Instrument Series, as a book worthy in comparison, Dark Child begins to deliver that promise at first, placing its main character Kat Chanter into a intriguing story of self-discovery, and realization that nothing she believed to be true indeed is.
Introducing us to a series with major potential, the pacing of the story begins as it should, not too fast, and not too slow, making the reader fall in love with the character, and her story. But after a little more than a third of the book, it begins to feel rushed, and while the story is good, solid and interesting, it does not take its time as much as it in my opinion should.
I am a fan of fast paced books, but there is such a thing as trying to squeeze much into a small space. Right at the end, it regains its rhythm and allows the reader to enjoy the story once more to its potential.
Overall a good book, that could have with some minor changes been a very good book. I am looking forward to reading more from Adina West, sensing that once she finds her pace and strategy, even better novels from her will come our way soon.

Book Review: Manifest Moment to Moment

Manifest Moment To Moment: Book Review

Title: Manifest Moment to Moment
Author: Tejpal, Carrol Mclaughlin
Publisher: Hay House
Publishing Date: June 5th 2014
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
A transcending, spiritual Self-help book, that leaves the reader with a sense of wonder, they might have lost.
Manifest Moment to Moment is of course on of many books about the subject of Manifestation. The tricky part of this path of manifestation is to find the book that resonates with your inner voice, and therefore unlocks something within you, that allows you finally to hear, what is essentially the same message, in the package just for you.
After having read and listened to many speakers and writers on the subject, that has become my conclusion. While the core message is the same, the wording and delivery is what will bring forth in the individual what is needed to finally “get it”.
For those who are spiritually (but not religiously – meaning not bound by dogma) minded, this book is the resonating factor. With the feel of listening to a highly evolved person of the process, it speaks to those who seek the inner enlightenment, while still wanting to manifest abundance, but not only abundance. While I am an action oriented person, a more inward focused individual will feel the truth in these words, as I have felt some of the same draw, even if not as strong as others might.
Laced with exercises, explanations and practical showing of how these principles bring forth the opening needed to manifest, this book is a pleasant and comforting read.
If you are looking for a kick in the rear, you won’t find it, but if you are interested in genuine, gentle guidance, this book is exactly what you are looking for.

Book Review: The Low-Sugar Cookbook by Nicola Graimes

Book Review: The Low-Sugar Cookbook

Title: The Low-Sugar Cookbook
Author: Nicola Graimes
Publisher: Watkins Publishing Limited
Publishing Date: August 21, 2014
Rating 4.5/5 Stars

If you are buying this book for the recipes, you are in for a treat. Everything from sweet to savory is covered in this volume, bringing you healthy additions to your table, that are easy to prepare, and to not need ingredients most of us do not usually have in our pantry.

If you are expecting the revelation on how to live with less sugar, you are not going to find anything new. While the information given in the beginning of the book, on the health implications of too much sugar, are true, they are not more than the common person already knows. But this is mainly a cookbook, and in that regard, it has much to offer. From Muesli to Smoothies, light meals to full dinners ( I like the Ribollita, but that is because I love Italian food! – So comforting!) There are vegetarian meal ideas, and those for carnivores, some that take a little more skill, and others that anyone could master.

I am impressed by the variety of recipes, and would highly recommend this cookbook to anyone who wants to eat healthy, but not always the standard fair.

You May Also Like:

Viva Labs Organic Raw Cacao Nibs – Vegan, Natural, And Organic, my favorite nibs to use when creating treats for my hyper-allergic family members.

 

 

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review. The above post contained affiliate links to Amazon, see Disclosure page for full details

 

 

Book Review: The New Dream Dictionary by Tony Crisp

Book Review: The New Dream Dictionary

Book Review: The New Dream Dictionary – A Handbook of Dream Meanings And Sleep Experience
Author: Tony Crisp
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Release Date: Nov. 28th, 2009

The New Dream Dictionary is a comprehensive, detailed listing of the meaning of the clues your dreams entail. While this is not a book on understanding the process of dream interpretation, nor a book that will tell you how to work in greater detail with your dream, it is a handy reference to many impressions that are common in dreaming.

Writing informatively and with care to stay authentic to the traditional interpretations, Tony Crisp has managed to compile a thorough list of the symbols, without making the volume sound like just another one of the many reference books of this type on the market.
If you are already familiar with dream interpretation, this is a good reference guide to keep. If you are new to the art of Dream Interpretation, check out books such as Dream Interpretation for Dummies or How to Interpret Dreams And Visions by Perry Stone.
This post is a part of the daily prompt blogging prompt by WordPress.
If you are looking for a more proffessional interpretation of your dreams, you can contact me via claudiablanton@live.com or via Fiverr. I am a Certified Dream Interpreter with 9 years of professional reading experience.

Following A Trend vs. Finding Your Own Voice

50 Shades of Gray was undeniably a hit. You do not have to like it, to realize the impact it has made in the publishing world. Twilight did the same thing, creating a massive following who was hungry for more of the same. Harry Potter rocked the children’s book world.

But unlike Twilight and Harry Potter, 50 Shades of Gray is written in “first person present tense”. A difficult task to pull off on a a good day, and despite the subject matter, and all of the little details one could argue about and get in discussions over, the Author did it, made it readable, in a filthy sort of way.

I can understand how one would like to copy this success. Who would not want to achieve what the Author of that series achieved? Fame, notoriety and one hell of a paycheck are hard to overlook and not want to have for oneself. At the same time, romance writers need to remember that it takes a special skill to make that voice work for themselves. What sounded authentic, sounds like a wanna-be copy cat in the many other books that came across my desk written in first person present tense. Either you can pull it off, or you should stick with the conventional 3rd person writing style. Most can’t.

Take the following book for example:

Breathless For Him

A promising premise, sex, tension, erotic, and romance, all that is promised to us in this short blurb:

As a gifted opera singer, Allegra Orsini’s only obsession is music-until she meets him. A strikingly handsome and powerful man with a life splashed across the tabloids, Davison Cabot Berkeley isn’t what she expected. He’s unlike the other wealthy patrons who dine at Le Bistro. Davison sees more than just a coat-check girl working her way through grad school. And from the moment he looks at her, those deep green eyes ignite a fire inside Allegra she’s never felt before.

She craves Davison’s touch-his possession-endlessly. Even though every fiber of her being is telling her to stay away, that it’s best for both of them, she can’t. As his passion consumes her, Allegra can no longer deny Davison’s hold on her. He’ll never let her go. But as much as she wants him, Allegra can’t surrender to his love-not until she faces a painful secret from her past that could destroy them both

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? What turned me off, was that it was written as if to copy the above mentioned 50 Shades of Gray. It does not have it’s own voice, making the main character sound like an annoying person, in who’s head I really do not want to spend time in. It takes skill, a skill I admire, to take us  readers on a journey through an experience, it takes an extra skill to do this in a first person present tense narrative. What could have been an enjoyable read, was lost because of the need of wanting to jump on the bandwagon of a popular and if well done, enjoyable ride. But not very many Authors are good at this – E. L. James is. Sofia Tate is not.

Fearless Girls, Wise Women and Beloved Sisters – A Book Review

Book Review: Fearless Girls

Title: Fearless Girls, Wise Women, & Beloved Sisters

Author: Katherine Ragan

Publisher: Norton

Rating: 5/5 Stars

This collection of short folktales with a strong female lead, creates a charming and necessary addition to the traditional tales, we have been exposed to, and read as children. The lack of female leads in these stories was the reason behind the creation of this Anthology, trying to find stories to tell to her daughter, who showcased the strength, wit and resolve of women and which in turn exposed the lack of these types of stories to her.

As a result she created the book she wanted to read to her daughter. But this book is more then that. It is beyond a children’s book (which it is not written in the style of illustrated children’s editions we are so used to), but rather a reflection of the stories of our ancestors, those stories often forgotten, and suppressed, because it showed the strength, and honor women were given at one point in some societies. If you are interested in Women’s studies, feminism or plainly just want to read something empowering to your daughter, then choose this collection.

Stories contained in this volume are divided by continent, and have in addition many times a small explanation, or elaboration as a side note, which explains the background, adding to the anthropological value of the book.

________________________

Today’s Daily Prompt asked which family member (distant) I would choose to celebrate. I would choose to celebrate the women in my family – not just mothers, all women, our strength, our contribution, our sacrifices, our triumphs.The above book reflects this celebration.