Saturday, March 18, 2017

How to Pack by Hitha Palepu

I used to travel more than I do now, but have always been challenged by the "right way" to pack.  So, never being a "professional" traveler, packing has always been an anxiety-ridden affair sure to include forgotten items and wrinkle-free clothing that somehow ends up a wrinkled mess anyway.  So when I had the opportunity to review this book, I was really looking forward to learning some tips and tricks to make the arduous task of packing more successful and less stressful.

First of all, this little book is really cute as it looks like a small suitcase with the title on a luggage tag.  Looks aside, it is an easy read filled with tips on how to pack effectively and efficiently.  I love how the author dispelled the mystery of how many items to take (like underwear) for the number days you are gone, and the packing checklists that are included in the book are a helpful guideline. She even discusses the appropriate items to pack depending on if you are traveling for business, pleasure, or both, as well as cute illustrations that include how-to's for folding items (like a suit jacket!).  Although I don't think I will ever do an "inflight spa" or have a "packing station" in my home, I already have my eye on some packing cubes that I think will be my new best traveling buddy.

I realize that a lot of what is included might be considered common sense, but it is obvious that the practical tips shared are borne from experience.  That's what makes this book not just a book.  It makes this book a tool.

"How to Pack" would make a thoughtful gift for a graduate or retiree, someone going on a vacation, or a person who has gotten a job or promotion that would include traveling, or for the person that dreams of going to exotic places... some day.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

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"When God Made You" by Paul Turner is a touching little children's hard cover book that helps reinforce the truth that God knows them, loves them, and is there for them.  Filled with fun, bright and colorful illustrations by David Catrow, this makes for a great reading experience for little listeners.

I would highly recommend this book.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest opinion.

Friday, March 3, 2017

"The Polygamist's Daughter" by Anna LeBaron

"The Polygamist's Daughter" is Anna LeBaron's memoir of her experiences growing up in a fundamentalist Mormon cult that practiced polygamy in the late 20th century.  Anna endured many hardships like having to live apart from her mother for much of her life, being on the run from authorities, and having to live in squalor all because they were doing "the Lord's work", going door-to-door trying to sell things to make money to help support the wives and other children, and so much more that a young person should never have to be subjected to.  Despite all that she experienced, including the deaths of her surrogate parents, her story is truly a witness to the healing that took place through her real father, God the Father.

Anna's story was well written and hard to put down.  My heart ached for her during her young years knowing that she was being groomed to be a teenage "sister wife" to one of her father's followers, and cheered with her as she broke free and ran away from that existence and had the courage to face her past and begin the hard work of healing.

Anna, thank you for sharing your story and I pray that you are blessed for it.

I received this book from the publisher for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Tunnels by Greg Mitchell

I love history, especially when the stories of the people affected are told.  With that said, I had a terrible time getting in to"The Tunnels" by Greg Mitchell.  Although I learned so much from the people portrayed, it was not a "can't put it down kind of book" for me.  I am glad their stories are told, though.

I was given a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest opinion.

"A Patch on the Peak of Ararat" by Gary Bower

"A Patch on the Peak of Ararat" by Gary Bower is a fun, catchy, little book.  Written in a style like "The House that Jack Built", kids are sure to love this "quippy" story that invites reciting some of the earlier lines with the reader that are repeated several times throughout.  The illustrations, by Barbara Chotiner, are big and bold and easy for little listeners to see.  An absolutely darling book!   
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest opinion.

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Clancys of Queens by Tara Clancy

In "The Clancys of Queens", author Tara Clancy recounts her formative years in Queens, NY during the 1980's and 1990's.  In the author's life, it did "take a village" to raise her, yet she definitely grew up on her own terms.  This rough-around-the-edges girl reminds me very much of what Rizzo from "Grease" might have grown up like (except for sexual orientation), and was a curious story from an alternate universe to suburbia or rural America.

In all honesty, I found this book to be both fascinating and cringe-worthy at times.  I'm having a hard time deciding if I enjoyed this book or not.

I was given a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest opinion.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

All is Bright - Christmas Coloring Devotional

This lovely Christmas devotional is a wonderful break from the traditional ones.  Though each daily reading is relatively short, they are thought provoking and insightful.  Each coloring page is beautifully designed and offers the reader more time for contemplation while coloring the daily designs.  Starting December 1 and going through the 31st allows for meditation not only for the Christmas season but the coming year as well.

A beautiful and unique way to prepare for the Christmas season.

I was given this book by the publisher for my honest opinion.