Cookbook Review: The 30-Minute Ayurvedic Cookbook

The 30-Minute Ayurvedic Cookbook by Danielle Martin
The 30-Minute Ayurvedic Cookbook: Healing Recipes for Total Wellness
by Danielle Martin,  Annie Martin (Photographer)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

“With the proper diet, medicine is of no need; with an improper diet, medicine is of no use.”

This book explains the theories behind Ayurvedic medicine, and gives advice on eating for your body type or “dosha”. The first section gives a little history about the origins of Ayurveda and how this system can stimulate the body to heal itself. Then the three “doshas” are introduced with a quiz to help you determine your type. Kaphas are sluggish and compassionate. Pittas are energetic and ambitious. And Vatas are restless and imaginative. They each also have physical characteristics and common health problems that result from their body type and personality type.

The next chapter gives advice for eating according to your “dosha” and how certain foods can worsen common ailments for your type or can heal those problems. Eating a healthy diet at regular meal times can balance the “digestive fire” and help your body respond well to food, embracing nourishment for every area of your health. Continue reading

Non-Fiction Book: My Preschool Workbook

My Preschool Workbook by Brittany Lynch
My Preschool Workbook: 101 Games & Activities that Prepare Your Child for School
by Brittany Lynch

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This workbook has games, coloring pages, and activities to help little ones learn their colors, numbers, alphabet, and basic shapes. Including simple puzzles and challenges, this book teaches children that learning is fun, and coordinates with basic lessons they will be learning in preschool and kindergarten.

There are tracing pages to help little fingers learn how to draw letters and numbers. There are connect-the-dot games and matching games to get them thinking with logic, and to improve their memory. Moving from identifying basic colors into finally reading small words, there are even sections about rhyming words, and counting the syllables in a word. The pages gradually teach the reader their colors, shapes, numbers, alphabet, and simple spelling as they grow throughout the school year. Continue reading

Classic Book Review: Agnes Grey

Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë
Agnes Grey
by Anne Brontë

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Agnes goes to work as a governess for a rich family, and finds her young students difficult to manage. They throw tantrums, fight amongst themselves, torture their pets, and lie to their parents. Agnes is miserable and lonely, but strives to do her duty and influence her students to study and behave themselves. She meets a serious young preacher who inspires her and the two strike up a friendship. They help the poor and visit the sick, finding solace in doing good deeds for their neighbors.

I loved this book! The writing is elegant and delightful. The characters are vivid and lively. The plot is subtle and delicate, using small conversations and little coincidences to paint a larger picture. Every bit of dialogue holds waves of emotion and meaning that gently push the story forward. The writing is absolutely brilliant! Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: Diana, Princess of the Amazons

Diana, Princess Of The Amazons by Shannon Hale
Diana, Princess Of The Amazons
by Shannon Hale Dean Hale,(Authors) Victoria Ying  (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Diana is too young to join in the activities of the other Amazons, and she has no companions her own age. She tries to fashion a friend for herself out of clay and sand, attempting to perform magic to breathe life into the figure, but her longing for a friend may plunge the entire island into chaos.

I loved this graphic novel! The artwork is colorful and vibrant, showing the clear action and the emotional responses of the characters. It really brings the story to life and creates an energetic mood.

The plot is excellent, with many moving parts that propel the story forward. Each scene is interesting and full of excitement and mystery.

I loved Diana’s young character! You can really feel the struggle she is working through as she tries to figure out who she is and what her place is among the Amazons. She has such a strong personality, and her courage begins to blossom even while she is fighting for her own self-worth. Her emotional reactions as she interacts with other characters are powerful and pull the reader into her shoes. Continue reading

Book Review: Juniper Berry

Juniper Berry by M.P. Kozlowsky
Juniper Berry
by M.P. Kozlowsky (Author)Erwin Madrid (Illustrator)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Juniper Berry is the daughter of famous movie stars. As their fame grows, they become more and more distant from their daughter until she begins to suspect that something else is going on. Juniper befriends a scrawny neighbor boy whose parents are also acting strange. They follow their parents deep into the woods where they meet with a mystic creature who promises to make dreams a reality.

I loved this book! The plot is creepy without being too scary for me. I didn’t have nightmares after reading it, but I was deliciously chilled and freaked out while reading it. It has just the right amount of scary as Juniper uncovers the dark secret of her parents’ success. I especially enjoyed the mystic magic that the villain uses and the imaginative world-building. Continue reading

Book Review: Fearless

Fearless by Elvira Woodruff
Fearless
by Elvira Woodruff

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


In 1695, the Eddystone Reef off the coast of Cornwall is called the “Widow Maker” with more than 50 ships wrecking on the rocks each year. When Digory’s father is presumed lost at sea, Digory travels to Plymouth to inquire about any possible survivors from his ship, hoping to find his father alive. He becomes an apprentice to an eccentric inventor named Henry Winstanley, who is the architect of the new Eddystone Lighthouse.

I didn’t even realize that this is historical fiction until the end, when I read the blurb about history at the end of the book. I was pleasantly surprised and it gave the story so much more depth and meaning. Henry Winstanley really did design and build the first offshore lighthouse on Eddystone Reef, saving thousands of sailors’ lives each year.

I loved the writing style, the plot, the characters, and the wonderful themes of courage and family. The writing really draws the reader into this historic time and makes the setting feel immediate and real. The characters are colorful and interesting, and I really enjoyed the smart dialogue. Continue reading

Book Review: Eighteen and On Her Own

Eighteen and on Her Own by Arleta Richardson
Eighteen and on Her Own
by Arleta Richardson

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Mabel is done with high school and ready to teach her first year of school at a little country one-room schoolhouse. Her boyfriend, Russ, is pressuring her to make plans for their future wedding, but Mabel isn’t ready to commit to a formal engagement. Meanwhile, Mabel has trouble with her country students when there is a scarlet fever scare, a break-in at the schoolhouse, and a blizzard runs through the area. Another young man seems to have feelings for Mabel and she has to decide between a new love or the steady old relationship with Russ.

I just love how spunky and energetic Mabel is! She is always getting into the most ridiculous situations with her best friend, Sarah Jane. Just because she is grown-up now, doesn’t mean she isn’t still mischievous and playful, but her problems are bigger and require a deep solution now that she can’t rely on her parents and teachers to bail her out of scrapes. Continue reading

Book Review: Explorer Academy The Double Helix

Explorer Academy by Trudi Trueit
Explorer Academy: The Double Helix (Explorer Academy #3)
by Trudi Trueit 

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Cruz and his friends on board the Orion are heading to the Mediterranean, searching for clues left behind by Cruz’s mother before she died. The evil Nebula operatives are never far behind, spying on Cruz and threatening his family. In the middle of his secret quest for his mother’s clues, Cruz still has to attend Explorer Academy classes, compete with his team in class competitions, and try to have a little fun at a student Halloween party. His thirteenth birthday is quickly approaching, and Cruz is in more danger than ever as he navigates the intricacies of the toughest adventure yet!

I loved this plot! There is plenty of action and suspense. I never knew what was going to happen next! There are several plot-lines intersecting as Cruz juggles his school responsibilities, his personal relationships, dodging the nefarious Nebula, and keeping contact with Lani, his best friend back home in Hawaii. Continue reading

Book Review: Explorer Academy Codebreaking Activity Adventure

Explorer Academy Codebreaking Activity Adventure by National Geographic Kids
Explorer Academy Codebreaking Activity Adventure
by National Geographic Kids

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Enter the Explorer Academy as a recruit and crack the codes to find clues that will lead you through the mysterious halls of the Academy. Starting with easy codes and moving into more and more complex puzzles and encryptions, this book teaches the readers how to create and decode various types of ciphers, including semaphore and Morse code.

I loved the way the puzzles and codes are presented as part of an adventure, leading the reader through doorways to various parts of the Academy. Each code that you break gives you a clue to another place in the Academy that you need to go to find the next clue, and there are detours and hazards along the way. Continue reading