Non Fiction Review: Organic Aromatherapy & Essential Oils

Organic Aromatherapy & Essential Oils by Amber Robinson
Organic Aromatherapy & Essential Oils: The Modern Guide to All-Natural Health and Wellness
by Amber Robinson

5 out of 5 stars


This book has chapters for using aromatherapy and essential oils for common health ailments, emotional and mental well-being, cosmetics and personal care, and to use around the home or outdoors. The book begins with general information about how aromatherapy works, and how various essential oils can be used and blended together. There are individual pages for each essential oil detailing its properties, uses, and benefits.

The remedies include things like allergy relief, congestion, nausea, toothache,and sunburn relief. The blends for emotional well-being include soothing relief for anger,frustration, anxiety, loneliness, and ways to boost your focus, find patience, learn to forgive, encourage a hopeful outlook, and find inspiration. Some of the recipes are designed for inhalation or for topical use. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: 5-Minute Stress Relief

5-Minute Stress Relief by Elena Welsh
5-Minute Stress Relief: 75 Exercises to Quiet Your Mind and Calm Your Body
by Elena Welsh

5 out of 5 stars

The first chapter in this book discusses what causes stress and how it affects our bodies and minds. It goes through common emotional and physical symptoms of stress, and how we can change our behavior and reactions to better handle stress.

The second chapter begins the exercises for stress relief with simple things like focusing on the breath, being mindful of your surroundings, and activities like reading for pleasure, talking to someone about how you feel, quieting your mind, listening to music, and laughing more. Each of these come with detailed instructions that list the benefits of the activity. With guided meditations, positive affirmations, and instructions for using essential oils, this chapter has a lot of wonderful ideas for relieving stress. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: In Tune

In Tune by Richard Wolf
In Tune: Music as the Bridge to Mindfulness
by Richard Wolf

2 out of 5 stars


This book teaches the reader how to meditate by focusing on the breath using techniques of listening and creativity that musicians also use.

As a professional pianist, I didn’t quite find what I expected in this book. I thought it would be a book about USING music as a way to meditate, but this is mostly about how music practice and meditation practice share the same techniques and characteristics. I guess I was looking for advice about meditating WHILE playing an instrument or listening to music, but the author advises meditating in complete silence.

The writing is clear and interesting, but verbose and repetitive. The writing style is beautifully lyrical, but quickly becomes tedious as each paragraph is overloaded with words.

Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Essential Chakra Yoga

Essential Chakra Yoga by Christina D'Arrigo
Essential Chakra Yoga: Poses to Balance, Heal, and Energize the Body and Mind
by Christina D’Arrigo

5 out of 5 stars


This book guides the reader through an incredible journey using yoga to balance the energy in the body known as chakras. The first chapters give an overview of the seven main chakras, and how they affect your physical, mental, and emotional health. Each chakra overview includes positive affirmations about the area of life that corresponds to that chakra, such as emotions for the heart chakra, or expressing yourself with the throat chakra.
Then there are yoga poses, illustrated with simple drawings, that activate and clear each chakra for a smooth flow of energy throughout the body. Continue reading

Cookbook Review: Whole Food Vegan Baking

Whole Food Vegan Baking by Annie Markowitz
Whole Food Vegan Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Healthy, Natural Ingredients
by Annie Markowitz

4 out of 5 stars

This vegan cookbook includes recipes for Breads, Biscuits, Muffins, Scones, Cookies, Brownies, Bars, Cakes, Cupcakes, Pies, and Tarts. The introduction begins with some information about how to bake without eggs, butter, or milk, using vegetable substitutes like applesauce, nut butters, almond milk, or pumpkin puree to function as the oils and fats that bind a dough together. There are sections about types of flour and natural sweeteners as well.

Each recipe has information about whether or not the food is soy-free, gluten-free, or nut-free. There are excellent tips for storing your baked goods, as well as variations on the recipe to try out. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Beginner’s Guide to Weight Lifting

Beginner's Guide to Weight Lifting by Kyle Hunt
Beginner’s Guide to Weight Lifting: Simple Exercises and Workouts to Get Strong
by Kyle Hunt

4 out of 5 stars

“The best way to change your life is to improve your health and fitness.” This book gives advice on using weight lifting to get a healthier heart, stronger bones, better mental health, increased metabolism, and better flexibility and balance. Beginning with goal setting and information about muscle groups, this book has everything a beginner needs to begin training.

I really like that this book includes a glossary for weight lifting terms that not everyone would know. There is really good advice about warming up, cooling down, muscle groups, recovery, and nutrition.
There are tips for how to find a good gym or set up a gym at home, as well as gym etiquette rules and how to choose the right weights.
There is an entire chapter just about warming up, and then there are sections for basic exercises, as well as routines for designing your workouts for 4 weeks. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Aromatherapy for Self-Care

Aromatherapy for Self-Care by Sarah Swanberg
Aromatherapy for Self-Care
by Sarah Swanberg

4 out of 5 stars

This book begins with general advice about self-care, and the role that aromatherapy can play in your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. There is a chapter about the types of essential oils and carrier oils, as well as lists of recommended materials and tools. I especially appreciated the section on how and where on the body to apply oils using acupressure points.

There is a list of Top Ten Essential Oils and their uses, substitutes, and how best to blend them with other oils. There is also a lengthy chart with many other essential oils and their healing properties.

The following chapters have recipes for essential oil blends to be inhaled or applied topically to the body.

Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils

The Beginner's Guide to Essential Oils by Christina Anthis
The Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started
by Christina Anthis

4 out of 5 stars

This book begins with an explanation of what essential oils are, how they are manufactured, and safety precautions for their use. There are lists of basic equipment, types of applications, blends and dilutions that can be used.

The next sections detail types of carrier oils and essential oils with all their properties, uses, and precautions. There are even suggested substitutes for each oil in case you don’t have it.

The last section is divided into recipes and blends for physical and mental health, for the home and family, and for personal care. The recipes include soaps, salves, compresses, throat gargle, deodorant, lip balm, facial cleanser, moisturizer.
Their uses include relief from pain, stress, cough, congestion, nausea, eczema, headache, insomnia, and dozens more. Continue reading

Cookbook Review: Truly Healthy Vegan Cookbook

The Truly Healthy Vegan Cookbook by Dianne Wenz
The Truly Healthy Vegan Cookbook: 90 Whole Food Recipes with Deliciously Simple Ingredients
by Dianne Wenz

4 out of 5 stars


This book begins with advice on being vegan and common mistakes that can put your health at risk.
There are very good instructions about including vitamins and supplements in your vegetable diet, as well as an entire section about getting enough protein.

The recipes include sections for Basics, Breakfast, Salad, Soups and Stews, Burgers, Wraps, and Sandwiches, Sides, Dinner Mains, Pasta and Rice, and Sweets. Each recipe includes labels for Nut-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Low-Carb, and Oil-Free options.
The recipes have wonderful tips for substituting ingredients, as well at nutrition labels. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Too Pregnant to Move Journal

Too Pregnant to Move by Conz Preti
Too Pregnant to Move: A Pregnancy Journal
by Conz Preti

2 out of 5 stars


I was shocked and unhappy to see the F-word and the S-word within the first pages. There are five quotes throughout the book that include profanity, and I think it’s very out of place in this type of book.

This journal has mostly blank-lined pages with funny quotes about parenting. There are quotes from famous people about being pregnant, and journaling prompts that ask questions like who was the first person you told that you were pregnant, and what weird food cravings you are having.
There is a place to paste in your sonogram, write in questions you want to ask your doctor, and of course chronicle your thoughts and feelings. Continue reading