Classics Review: The Odd Women

The Odd Women by George Gissing
The Odd Women
by George Gissing

4 out of 5 stars

The Madden sisters are growing older, poor and unmarried, and ignored by society. Their younger sister, Monica, is still young and pretty, and they hope that she will marry well. She meets a Mr. Widdowson and contemplates marriage with him as a way to escape the horrors of being a spinster like her sisters.
Rhoda Nunn is another single lady who finds herself in the middle of a flirtation with an intellectual man, all while passionately avowing the most extreme feminist ideals and criticizing the institution of marriage.

I loved so many things about this book! The writing is incredible, and really pulls you into the story. The plot kept me wondering, and every emotional scene was glorious. It’s all about deception, ambition, betrayal, addiction, love, manipulation, jealousy, and pride. It’s not a happy book, but a very interesting and engaging read. Continue reading

Book Review: Meditations on Christ

Meditations on Christ by Benjamin W. Decker
Meditations on Christ: A 5-Minute Guided Journal for Christians
by Benjamin W. Decker 

2 out of 5 stars

This book has written prayers, meditations, and journal prompts for Christians with a Scripture verse at the beginning of each section.

Although the title is “Meditations on Christ”, every section is all about the fruit of the spirit listed in Galatians. Christ is certainly mentioned in each prayer and meditation, but the title is misleading, since the meditations do not focus primarily on the person of Christ. A better title would be “Meditations on the Fruits of the Spirit.”

This book does have a few weird ideas though, such as making an altar with some candles and “an image of Christ”. That sounds like idolatry.

There are many references to the “children of God” and how “we are all family in the Kingdom of God.” Except we aren’t.

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Book Review: The Toughest Sudoku Puzzle Book

Toughest Sudoku Puzzle Book by Cristina Smith
Toughest Sudoku Puzzle Book: 200+ Puzzles to Sharpen Your Brain
by Cristina Smith, Rick Smith

5 out of 5 stars

This book begins with advice on various strategies for completing sudoku puzzles, and gives some advanced techniques to try out. The puzzles are separated into sections for Tough, Tougher, Tear-Your-Hair-Out, and Extra Credit.

There are also some variations of sudoku puzzles that are explored, like diagonal sudoku, consecutive, jigsaw sudoku, killer sudoku, chain, skyscraper, and butterfly sudoku. Most of the puzzles in this book are the normal style of puzzle, but there is an extra credit section with some of the variations of sudoku puzzles

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Book Review: Self-Care Check-In

Self-Care Check-In by GG Renee Hill
Self-Care Check-In: A Guided Journal to Build Healthy Habits and Devote Time to You
by GG Renee Hill

5 out of 5 stars

This book gives you some journal prompts and activities to do that help to promote self-care and happiness. I really love how the prompts guide you through difficult questions, to find what will bring you the most balanced life and a sense of well-being. How to set self-care boundaries, how to say no to others, how to be confident with spending your money, how to trust your own instincts, and many more issues are explored in a calm and caring way.

This book encourages self-acceptance, slowing down to reflect, making positive changes with baby steps, and designing a life that is full of wellness and joy!
Each page has three sections: Reflect, Focus, and Do. There are one or two sentences about an issue you can Reflect on, then a prompt to Focus on what you really need and what would make that issue better, and finally an activity to Do that will help you to realize your self-care goals. Continue reading

Cookbook Review: The 21-Day Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Plan

21-Day Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Plan by Andy DeSantis RD MPH
21-Day Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Plan: Recipes, Meal Plans, and Exercises for a Healthier You
by Andy DeSantis RD MPH, Michelle Anderson

4 out of 5 stars

The book begins with an introduction section with general advice and information on fasting, its health benefits, and how to plan fasting for your body type and nutrition needs. There are some physical exercises you can do to lose weight with illustrations that show how to do the exercise.

This book provides meal plans for 21 days, and 75 recipes to help readers lose weight and easily cook delicious meals. There is a list of pantry essentials to help you put together your grocery shopping list. One chapter has tips for creating a long-term routine, what to do about snacks, how to establish dietary patterns so that your body knows when to be hungry. Continue reading

Book Review: Phonics and Sight Words Storybooks

Learn to Read by Laurin Brainard

Learn to Read by Kimberly Ann Kiedrowski

by Kimberly Ann Kiedrowski

5 out of 5 stars

 

The Sight Words Storybook has short stories for beginning readers that focus on two sight words for each story. One story has the sight words “a” and “little”, so the story uses those words again and again. “A little shirt, a little sock, a little shoe, a little hat…”

 

The Phonics Storybook includes short stories that focus on word families, such as words that end with -et or words that end with -ig. So the first two stories have a lot of words like “vet, pet, wet” and “pig, jig, dig, wig.”
At the end of each story there is an activity page where the child can trace words, complete a maze, do a word search, or circle the words from that word family.
Each story has bright illustrations with cute characters. I like how simple and fun the stories are as the characters go to the beach, take their dog to the park, ride in an airplane, and follow a treasure map. Some of the characters are human, and some are animals, but every story is adorable!
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Activity Book Review: Mermaids!

Mermaids! by Courtney Carbone
Mermaids!: A Coloring and Activity Book for Kids
by Courtney Carbone

5 out of 5 stars

This book has word searches, coloring pages, mazes, spot-the-difference puzzles, and dot-to-dot activities all with a mermaid theme. Dozens of different mermaids and ocean creatures are everywhere! There are little stories about mermaids and how they love to sing, comb their hair, and have tea parties underwater.

The mermaids help a turtle to get out of a net. They explore old shipwrecks looking for treasure, and discover new animal friends. They practice their swimming skills and their music. There are so many cool mermaid things in this book! Continue reading

Cookbook Review: Healthy Vegan, Happy Body

Healthy Vegan, Happy Body by Tess Challis
Healthy Vegan, Happy Body: The Complete Plant-Based Cookbook for a Well-Nourished Life
by Tess Challis

4 out of 5 stars


This book begins with advice on being vegan and the benefits for your health.
There are some good instructions about including vitamins and supplements in your vegetable diet, as well as answering questions about getting enough protein.

There is a chapter with advice on how to prep, items to stock in your pantry, and equipment that is needed in the kitchen. The recipes are divided by Smoothies, Juices, and Shakes; Breakfast, Snacks and Sides, Salads, Soups and Stews, Handhelds, Noodles and Rice, Special Occasion Showstoppers, Desserts, and Staples. Continue reading