Classic NonFiction Review: The Life of Charlotte Bronte

The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell

The Life of Charlotte Bronte
by Elizabeth GaskellAlan Shelston
5 out of 5 stars

Charlotte Bronte was truly an extraordinary individual. This biography written by her friend Elizabeth Gaskell is a powerful history of the tragic life the Bronte sisters led. Their strong personalities and steady faith drew them closer together, and provided the genius for their incredible writing.

I loved reading about the eccentric Bronte family, and the close relationships between the siblings. Their isolated home among the moors of Yorkshire inspired similar vigorous settings for many of their books. It was interesting to see how their personal experiences led to fictional creations like the terrible Lowood School in ‘Jane Eyre’ or the awful governess situation in ‘Agnes Grey’. There are many parallels from their real lives to their writing.

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Non Fiction Book Review: Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

The Autobiography and Other Writings by Benjamin Franklin
The Autobiography and Other Writings
by Benjamin Franklin

3 out of 5 stars

This is an interesting look at Benjamin Franklin’s life. The first part is his autobiography, which he never finished. It tells mostly of his early life and his beginnings in the printing business. Then there are collections of his letters, scientific writings, and political writing. These are divided by topic, with short explanations from the editor giving general information surrounding those letters or publications. It shows his work as a scientist and inventor, his gradual assent into public life as a statesman and politician, and his personal life as a husband and father and his personal relationships.

I found it very interesting and readable, and I loved seeing how meticulous and sensible Franklin was in ordering and organizing his life. He had some excellent ideas and some crazy ideas. He was a person always searching and wondering and puzzling through the mysteries of life. He must have had a terrific amount of energy, since he often writes about diligence and industry. He was a rare personality.

I enjoyed this close look into American history!

Activity Book Review: Paint by Sticker

Paint by Sticker by Workman Publishing
Paint by Sticker: Create 12 Masterpieces One Sticker at a Time!
by Workman Publishing

5 out of 5 stars

This activity book has 12 beautiful designs, and hundreds of stickers in little mosaic shapes! It’s so easy to put the stickers into place, and the finished product looks wonderful. It’s very relaxing and helped me to get creative. You really feel a sense of accomplishment when you finish!

The stickers are sturdy and easy to remove from the sticker sheet. The colors are vibrant and it’s simple to follow the instructions to find the right placement for each sticker. I really loved that the pages are perforated, so that you can tear out the sticker sheet or the design or both. That way you don’t have to keep flipping back and forth in the book.

I love the clever designs and beautiful colors! This is perfect for anytime you have some anxiety and need a calm activity.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

Non Fiction Review: The Sleep Workbook

The Sleep Workbook by Renata Alexandre
The Sleep Workbook: Easy Strategies to Break the Anxiety-Insomnia Cycle
by Renata Alexandre

5 out of 5 stars

This book begins with an analysis of why people might have trouble falling asleep, and explains different sleep disorders. Then the author uses cognitive behavioral therapy to gently guide the reader into a better sleep pattern that will leave you feeling refreshed and energetic.

There are several sleep assessment quizzes you can take to determine some of the causes and details of your sleep issues. This really helps to pinpoint personal habits you might have that are hindering your sleep, or specific anxieties that are keeping you awake at night.

At the end of each section there are some journal prompts and room to write your thoughts about your sleep journey. There is also a sleep log that you can fill out to keep track of your sleep patterns. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Daily Meditation Book of Healing

The Daily Meditation Book of Healing by Worthy Stokes
The Daily Meditation Book of Healing: 365 Reflections for Positivity, Peace, and Prosperity
by Worthy Stokes

2 out of 5 stars


This book has a short paragraph to read each day with positive affirmations, tools for navigating difficult emotions, and ways to cultivate an attitude of healing and kindness towards yourself.

I’m not sure how I like this book. Some of the ideas are really good, about forgiving yourself, allowing yourself to be imperfect, letting go of bitterness or doubt, and embracing wonderful affirmations and positive thoughts.
But then some weird stuff about “mystical awareness” will creep in. The author seems to think that we will magically gain wisdom from within ourselves if we just listen to our subconscious mind and heart. It’s an odd philosophy, and doesn’t seem realistic. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Mindful Games for Kids

Mindful Games For Kids by Kristina Sargent
Mindful Games For Kids: 50 Fun Activities to Stay Present, Improve Concentration, and Understand Emotions
by Kristina Sargent

5 out of 5 stars


This book has easy and fun games and meditations for children that helps them to navigate tough emotions, calm their impatience, and learn to listen. The activities are grouped in categories for focusing on the breath, the senses, the body, and on gentle thoughts and calm emotions.

Each game has a cute illustration that demonstrates the imaginary things we are thinking of during the meditation. One meditation says to imagine that you are a mountain, standing tall as you raise your arms above your head, while you feel connected to the ground. And there is an illustration of children standing tall and strong like mountains. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Essential Pranayama

Essential Pranayama by Jerry Givens
Essential Pranayama: Breathing Techniques for Balance, Healing, and Peace
by Jerry Givens

4 out of 5 stars


This book goes in-depth about the energy centers of the body and how the breath can move and create energy, soothing and refreshing the body. There are instructions for different types of breathing rhythms, and different postures for sitting or lying down as you meditate and breathe. I love how many details and explanations there are about different aspects of the breathe and lungs.

There are breathing exercises to try, with clear instructions and a list of benefits. There are exercises for an energizing breath, or for a calming breath. Some of my favorites are included like Alternate Nostril Breathing, Buzzing Bee Breath, and Ocean (Ujayi) Breath. There are breathing techniques for mental clarity, stress relief, and for better sleep through calming and cooling breathing. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Cultivating Calm: An Anxiety Journal

Cultivating Calm by Brandi Matz MSW LCSW (Author)
Cultivating Calm: An Anxiety Journal
by Brandi Matz 

3 out of 5 stars


This book is divided into two sections: one with journal prompts and space to write, and one with meditations to try. Each page begins with an inspirational quote, and a short paragraph describing a situation or theme for you to journal or meditate about.

The themes include things like financial stress, being alone, being late, getting rid of clutter, taking an exam, family relationships, crowded spaces, conflict with others, housework, social media stress, fear of driving, fear of dying, and fear of public speaking, among many others.
Each of these are addressed, acknowledged, and then the reader is guided into a more productive and calm attitude, along with tips for dealing with each situation and handling anxiety in a healthy way. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: 60 Days of Faith for Women

60 Days of Faith for Women by Cameron Trimble
60 Days of Faith for Women: A Devotional to Deepen Gratitude, Praise, and Prayer
by Cameron Trimble 

1 out of 5 stars


I’m very disappointed in this book. It’s extremely self-centered and full of the worst kind of heresy. Every devotional and journal prompt is completely focused on the self, instead of being focused on God. This book asks, “What do I think?” instead of “What God does say?”

There are Bible verses taken out of context, and lesson applications that don’t even match the topic of the Bible verse. The author doesn’t seem knowledgeable about theology or Scripture interpretation. (I graduated from a Bible college, so I know stupid when I see it.) Continue reading

Non Fiction Book: First-Time Mom’s Baby Memory Book

First-Time Mom's Baby Memory Book by Emily Ramirez
First-Time Mom’s Baby Memory Book: Record Precious Moments and Memories
by Emily Ramirez

5 out of 5 stars

This baby book has quotes about motherhood, journal prompts about what baby is doing, and places to attach photos of baby and mom. I love how creative the writing prompts can be! This goes way beyond baby’s first smile or first steps.

The writing prompts include things like:
“The first time I really listened to my mama gut was…”
“Something you’ve done to show me how strong you are is…”
“The biggest mess you’ve made so far has been…”
“Something I hope for your future is…”
“A family tradition I’m excited to share with you is…”
“Some words you hilariously mispronounce are…”

Every page is covered in beautiful pastel designs with polka dots and colorful borders. The quote pages are especially cute with a whole page of color and a simple little drawing of a baby bottle, bib, rattle, cupcake, balloons, or something sweet. Continue reading