Blogging for review of many books....!!

Excuses Begone!: How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits (Hardcover)


by Wayne W. Dyer (Author)

Product Description

Within the pages of this transformational book, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer reveals how to change the self-defeating thinking patterns that have prevented you from living at the highest levels of success, happiness, and health. Even though you may know what to think, actually changing those thinking habits that have been with you since childhood might be somewhat challenging.

If I changed, it would create family dramas . . . I’m too old or too young . . . I’m far too busy and tired . . . I can’t afford the things I truly want . . . It would be very difficult for me to do things differently . . . and I’ve always been this way . . . may all seem to be true, but they’re in fact just excuses. So the business of modifying habituated thinking patterns really comes down to tossing out the same tired old excuses and examining your beliefs in a new and truthful light.

In this groundbreaking work, Wayne presents a compendium of conscious and subconscious crutches employed by virtually everyone, along with ways to cast them aside once and for all. You’ll learn to apply specific questions to any excuse, and then proceed through the steps of a new paradigm. The old, habituated ways of thinking will melt away as you experience the absurdity of hanging on to them.

You’ll ultimately realize that there are no excuses worth defending, ever, even if they’ve always been part of your life—and the joy of releasing them will resonate throughout your very being. When you eliminate the need to explain your shortcomings or failures, you’ll awaken to the life of your dreams.



Excuses . . . Begone!




About the Author

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development. He is the author of more than 30 books, has created numerous audio programs and videos, and has appeared on thousands of television and radio shows. Wayne holds a doctorate in educational counseling from Wayne State University and was an associate professor at St. John’s University in New York.

No more excuses: this will blow your "habitual mind", May 26, 2009
By Susan Schenck "Author of The Live Food Factor... (San Diego, CA)


I have read most of Wayne's books, and this was one of the better ones. I used a highlighter on many areas of the book: I love Wayne's style of intertwining great philosophical quotes, anecdotes and personal stories to illustrate his points.

The book starts out citing compelling science and studies, including Bruce Lipton's research proving that genes are far from destiny, and that our beliefs influence even our genes. This is truly the foundation for a "no excuses" paradigm. Wayne delves into the concept of memes, or mind viruses and explains how these are passed on to people like cold viruses.

Next, 18 typical excuses are presented (many of these solicited from his readers). It will be difficult, risky, take too long, create family drama; I don't deserve it; it's against my nature; I can't afford it (surely a popular one today!); no one will help me; it's not happened before; I'm not strong/smart enough; I'm too old/too young; the rules/laws won't let me; it's too big; I don't have the energy/time; it's in my family history; I'm afraid. I was disappointed that my favorite excuse "I'll do it later" wasn't listed, although it was addressed indirectly in various parts of the book, especially in the "commitment to overcoming the inertia" part.

The second section seven contains principles for overcoming excuses: awareness, alignment, now, contemplation (with a very powerful quote from Aristotle--"Contemplation is the highest form of activity"), willingness, passion and compassion.

The third section promotes a new way of viewing excuses, creating a paradigm shift. This includes asking yourself six questions, starting out with "Is it true?" Where did the excuse come from? What is the payoff?" These are very reminiscent of Bryon Katie except that instead of undoing beliefs, you are undoing excuses and eradicating them from your subconscious mind (which Wayne argues need not be beneath your consciousness, and in fact renames as the "habitual mind").

I see people all the time using these excuses to avoid eating a better diet of more raw foods: It will create family drama; I don't have the time to fix good food; I don't have the money to buy fresh produce." My father's excuse was, "I am too old." Unfortunately, he died of cancer two years after using that excuse!

I am confident that this book will inspire people to take a new look at their habitual mind patterns, breaking free to move on to their highest potential!

Wicked Prey (Hardcover)


by John Sandford (Author)

Product Description

Danger stalks Lucas Davenport at work and all too close to home, in the superlative new thriller by the #1 New York Times–bestselling author.

For twenty years, John Sandford’s novels have been beloved for their “ingenious plots, vivid characters, crisp dialogue and endless surprises” (The Washington Post), and nowhere are those more in evidence than in the sudden twists and shocks of Wicked Prey.

The Republicans are coming to St. Paul for their convention. Throwing a big party is supposed to be fun, but crashing the party are a few hard cases the police would rather stayed away. Chief among them is a crew of professional stickup men who’ve spotted several lucrative opportunities, ranging from political moneymen with briefcases full of cash to that armored-car warehouse with the weakness in its security system. All that’s headache enough for Lucas Davenport—but what’s about to hit him is even worse.

A while back, a stray bullet put a pimp and petty thief named Randy Whitcomb in a wheelchair, and, ever since, the man has been nursing his grudge into a full head of psychotic steam. He blames Davenport for the bullet, but it’s no fun just shooting him. That wouldn’t be painful enough. Not when Davenport has a pretty fourteen-year-old adopted daughter that Whitcomb can target instead. . . .

And then there’s the young man with the .50 caliber sniper rifle and the right- wing-crazy background, roaming through a city filled with the most powerful politicians on earth. . . . Rich with his brilliant trademark suspense and some of the best characters in suspense fiction, Wicked Prey is further proof that “Sandford is one of the most consistently entertaining crime writers working today” (Booklist).

About the Author
John Sandford is the author of nineteen Prey novels and eight other books, most recently Heat Lightning.

Police Thriller, May 12, 2009
By L. Lendelle


Wicked Prey by author John Sandford, brings back Lucas Davenport with another entertaining mystery/thriller. The story begins in Minnesota during the republicans presidential convention in 2008. These conventions threaten to bring along with them the unwanted attention by the media and the criminal element alike.

The great Lucas Davenport and his team - along with the local police - are blanketing the area in hopes of curbing the criminal element that promises to bring chaos to an orderly St. Paul. But one criminal mastermind manages to make his way past the otherwise unblinking eye of Lucas Davenport. Randy Whitlock, a thief stricken to a wheelchair after getting shot, seeks retribution against the person responsible for what was first considered an accident.

His plan is to exact revenge on Lucas Davenport's teen age daughter, and condemn her to the fate that befell him. If he is successful, she will be permanently confined to a wheelchair. Brutus Cohn and Rosie Cruz, along with their team of co-ops descend upon the small town with death being their modus operandi.

Wicked Prey adds a level of realism by using the real live republican party featured in the novel. John Sandford always have incredibly evil and unique villains - and Wicked Prey follows that formula. By allowing the reader into the mind of the villains and telling the story from their points of view. The reader is also allowed to follow Lucas Davenport as he investigates crimes.

Simply put, Davenport-featured novels are some of the best police thrillers on the market, and if you haven't read any of the previous Davenport novels, I would recommend that you start at the beginning. If you did read the previous books I would like to recommend Ashes Divide by Clarence Cage Ashes Divide another action-packed novel you don't want to miss.

Back on Track, May 26, 2009
By Robert I. Katz (Port Jefferson, New York USA)


In this book, we have two sets of adversaries and one red herring. The red herring is a would be urban terrorist who has been planted as a diversion by a gang of thieves. They plan on siccing the cops on him in at the crucial time in order to cover their escape with the loot.

Then there is Randy Whitcomb, paralyzed in a shooting that he blames on Lucas Davenport. Whitcomb plans to take revenge by kidnapping, raping and maiming Letty, Lucas' adopted daughter. I never like it when an author has a main character act like an idiot, just to advance the plot. Letty discovers Whitcomb's plan but instead of alerting Lucas, or at least the other cops, she decides to take him on herself. Almost a guarantee that some phony suspense is in the offing. But not this time. Letty really is as good as she thinks she is.

The bad guys are professionals and the main thief is a cold blooded killer. They're worthy adversaries and the book moves briskly along.

Highly recommended!

Gone Tomorrow (Jack Reacher, No. 13) (Hardcover)


by Lee Child (Author)

Book Description

New York City. Two in the morning. A subway car heading uptown. Jack Reacher, plus five other passengers. Four are okay. The fifth isn’t.

In the next few tense seconds Reacher will make a choice--and trigger an electrifying chain of events in this gritty, gripping masterwork of suspense by #1 New York Times bestseller Lee Child.

Susan Mark was the fifth passenger. She had a lonely heart, an estranged son, and a big secret. Reacher, working with a woman cop and a host of shadowy feds, wants to know just how big a hole Susan Mark was in, how many lives had already been twisted before hers, and what danger is looming around him now.

Because a race has begun through the streets of Manhattan in a maze crowded with violent, skilled soldiers on all sides of a shadow war. Susan Mark’s plain little life was critical to dozens of others in Washington, California, Afghanistan . . . from a former Delta Force operator now running for the U.S. Senate, to a beautiful young woman with a fantastic story to tell–and to a host of others who have just one thing in common: They’re all lying to Reacher. A little. A lot. Or maybe just enough to get him killed.

In a novel that slams through one hairpin surprise after another, Lee Child unleashes a thriller that spans three decades and gnaws at the heart of America . . . and for Jack Reacher, a man who trusts no one and likes it that way, it’s a mystery with only one answer–the kind that comes when you finally get face-to-face and look your worst enemy in the eye.

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. All good thriller writers know how to build suspense and keep the pages turning, but only better ones deliver tight plots as well, and only the best allow the reader to match wits with both the hero and the author. Bestseller Child does all of that in spades in his 13th Jack Reacher adventure (after Nothing to Lose). Early one morning on a nearly empty Manhattan subway car, the former army MP notices a woman passenger he suspects is a suicide bomber. The deadly result of his confronting her puts him on a trail leading back to the Soviet war in Afghanistan in the 1980s and forward to the war on terrorism. Reacher finds a bit of help among the authorities demanding answers from him, like the NYPD and the FBI, as well as threats and intimidation. And then there are the real bad guys that the old pro must track down and eliminate. Child sets things up subtly and ingeniously, then lets Reacher use both strength and guile to find his way to the exciting climax. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

The magic is back!!, May 19, 2009
By Red (Liverpool)


I was dismayed at the poor reviews that `Nothing to Lose` attracted from Lee Child`s readership, and I had my fingers crossed that the faithful would read on through the series. `Gone Tomorrow` is Lee Child at his very best. It is on a par with `The Killing Floor` and `One Shot`. All good thriller writers know how to build suspense and keep the pages turning, but there are good thriller writers, and then there is `Lee Child`. His early books inspired me to read any series of thrillers that I could get my hands on, but the rest of us them only live in his substantial shadow!! He is truly in a league of his own. No one can deliver tight plots as well as he does, and only the best allow the reader to match wits with both the hero and the very believable baddies. Bestseller Child does all of that and more in his 13th Jack Reacher adventure.
Early one morning on a nearly empty Manhattan subway car, the former army MP notices a woman passenger displaying what he knows to be the twelve behaviours of a suicide bomber. The twelve signs were documented by the Israeli Counter Terrorist Units, and are still used by Terrorist Task Forces across the globe. The deadly result of his confronting her puts him on a trail leading back to the Soviet war in Afghanistan in the 1980s and forward to the war on terrorism. Reacher finds a bit of help among the authorities demanding answers from him, like the NYPD and the FBI, as well as threats and intimidation. And then there are the real bad guys that the old pro must track down and eliminate. Child sets things up subtly and ingeniously, then he uses the second half of the book to allow Reacher to use both strength and guile to find his way to the exciting climax. The suicide bomber theme is an exciting one for all the wrong reasons nowadays, but if your into that type of thing try The 18th Brigade (Soft Target Series) If anyone had any doubts about `Lee Child` after nothing to lose then fear not because the master is back with a bang.

Mind Programming: From Persuasion and Brainwashing, to Self-Help and Practical Metaphysics (Hardcover)


by Eldon Taylor (Author)

Review

Brainwashing and marketing are big business; and your precious mind is a coveted commodity. In this book Eldon Taylor exposes all and tells you how to take your power back and be free to become your own best self. Eldon is really a master!

Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., Author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind and Your Soul's Compass


In reading Eldon Taylor’s book Mind Programming: From Persuasion and Brainwashing to Self-Help and Practical Metaphysics, I embarked upon a journey beginning at Psych 101 and ending deep into postgraduate Metaphysics; a reading experience that delivers a near-visceral adventure that begins with imagination and ends in near-manifestation. Eldon reveals the extraordinary reality of a virtually unrecognized dimension where each of us live every day but are completely unaware--the subliminal realm. I recently produced a motion picture featuring 23 Living Luminaries, each of whom shares pearls of wisdom and enlightened insights as to how we can all achieve true happiness and our purpose in life. Although it was an extraordinary cast, in retrospect I wish there had been 24. Eldon Taylor brings an invaluable teaching to seekers of wisdom and understanding. The world of higher learning has a new Œhigh bar¹ with his work.

Michael J Lasky, producer and founder, Gotham Metro Studios, Inc.

*From the new film Living Luminaries (on the Serious Business of Happiness) featuring 23 luminaries such as Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, Don Miguel Ruiz, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Geronimo JiJaga (Pratt), Dr. Obadiah Harris, and many extraordinary masters of conscious disciplines


Dr. Eldon Taylor's new book is a must read! If you've ever questioned your purpose in life or felt bound by a culture that's driven by mass media, you now have at your fingertips the knowledge and tools to break the chains of this cycle. Eldon goes in-depth to illustrate and expose how we've been programmed from birth by social constraints; and he methodically reveals the psychological techniques that advertisers, politicians, corporations, and the media use to control us. He then provides strategies and solutions to free your mind from these tactics and rise to a new level of consciousness.

As you read this book, you'll feel the blinders being removed and will truly see the world in an entirely new light.

Jeff Warrick, documentary film-maker, Programming the Nation?


I've known Eldon Taylor for 20 years and have been fascinated with his research regarding subliminal communication. Mind programming can be used to control your mind for good or bad. Mind Programming presents tools to give you the power to program your own mind to empower you to realize your goals and desires. Book One deals with the dark side of persuasion methods, while Book Two gives you tools to train your own mind in the ways you want it to be trained. I especially appreciate his emphasis on forgiveness in healing and his serenity affirmations.

Paul G. Durbin, Ph.D., retired Brigadier General, U.S. Army chaplain


There's no doubt that we're seduced and programmed daily by the media, advertising, and world events. It's a yeoman's work to protect ourselves against these outside influences. Eldon Taylor's groundbreaking book shows us how.

Caroline Sutherland, the author of The Body Knows How to Stay Young


A brilliant expose of how we've become unconsciously enslaved to that which we haven't understood! Eldon Taylor exposes and explodes the old worldview of fear and lack that has generated direct and indirect manipulation of our minds without our awareness or permission. With Well-earned insight, he offers proven pathways of self-empowerment that entrain our consciousness toward the model of unity and abundance that negates the survival paradigm.

In a period when fear has reached a frenzied pitch, Taylor shines a brilliant spotlight to dispel the darkness!

Angelina Heart, the author of The Teaching of Little Crow


Who is the gatekeeper of your mind? If you aren't consciously vigilant in managing your thoughts and deliberately manifesting a life of high Self-esteem, abundance, rich and loving relationships, happiness, and fulfillment, you¹re allowing others to pollute your mind and diminish the quality of your life in all areas. Dr. Eldon Taylor's brilliant book Mind Programming will educate you on the dangers of having your mind manipulated by others and show you all the ways to champion your mind and your life.

Read this book to take control of your mind and all aspects of your life, and to create your compelling future on purpose.

Dr. Joe Rubino, founder, CenterForPersonalReinvention.com; creator, SelfEsteemSystem.com


Mind Programming is at once shocking and hopeful, but brilliant in its presentation. Dr. Taylor's masterpiece helps us wake up and take back the incredible power of our minds--a power we may have unknowingly handed over to those who actively work to control our minds.

Terri Marie, author of Be the Hero of Your Own Game; CEO of White Wing Productions


Product Description

*Includes a FREE mind-training InnerTalk CD, which retails for $27.95*

It is the 21st century and we have experienced a technology explosion that has granted us a cornucopia of luxuries and opportunities. At this point, virtually anything seems possible. However, along with the positive developments are ominous collaborations designed to deprive us of an inherent birthright—the power of a free mind.

Mind Programming is a riveting expose on the plethora of research that has been carried out simply to discover ways to control your every thought and desire. What you will learn will both shock and horrify you. Tweaking your psyche has become big business. Never again will you be able to ignore the truth—your very thoughts are not your own.

Mind Programming provides the tools to take back control and reprogram your own mind. Eldon Taylor provides the insight, information, and easy-to-use methods that will empower you to realize the life of your dreams. You were not meant to be the product of another’s manipulation, whether in attitude and mood or in ambition and consumption.
This book has black and white illustrations.

Unfinished Business: What the Dead Can Teach Us About Life (Hardcover)


by James Van Praagh (Author)

Review

"He helps a lot of people. He really is a healer. I think he's basically on this earth right now at this time and place to heal. He is the real thing. I can't tell you how many times he's been right with me." (Shirley MacLaine )

"It has such a hopeful message. Even though he's telling stories of the dead, it's really about living your life better and inspiring people to not have unfinished business." (Jennifer Love Hewitt )

"This book is a manual for life, read it now, so later you won't have to stand in line and tell Aunt Dumb Dumb you're sorry." (Chelsea Handler, Host of Chelsea Lately and author of Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea )

Product Description

Based on over twenty-five years of spirit communication and thousands of professional readings, world-famous medium James Van Praagh shares with readers the personal regrets, misgivings, remorse, and, most important, the advice of the dead who have chosen him as a medium. These spirits have a great deal to say about what they have learned and discovered on the other side and how we, the living, can benefit from their experiences.

Unfinished Business is filled with shocking and emotional stories of Van Praagh's communication with loved ones who cross over the barrier between the living and the dead to send messages to those whom they have left behind. Through these pro-found true stories, Van Praagh guides us on an adventure into the spirit world. The lessons for the living that he has learned from these experiences range from the dangers of emotional baggage caused by guilt, fear, and regret to the importance of karma, forgiveness, and taking responsibility for our actions. Van Praagh shares with us now the wisdom that, without him, we would only gain after death.

Van Praagh writes:

"When people shed their physical bodies at death, their spiritual selves see life from a whole new perspective. It's as if they had Lasik surgery. They can finally take off their glasses and see everything more clearly.

"Spirits understand why certain situations had to happen. They are able to recognize the value of others, even their enemies, and what they had to learn from them. They also realize how they could have skipped certain mistakes by not letting their egos get in the way. After crossing into the light, spirits are ever eager to share their newfound knowledge with the living, and I am fortunate to be a beneficiary of spirits' wisdom and guidance, and I am happy to share their insights with you."

A book of love between heaven and earth, one to touch your heart !, May 13, 2009
By Marion McGarry (Stamford, CT)


This book is written in the language of you and I.

One can tell that James was definitely guided by Spirit
to write these words.

The book bridges the gap between worlds,
between what we call life and the illusion of death.
It puts us in touch with our loved ones who have passed and those here, and leads to a greater understanding of just how close we all are.

Spirit and those who have passed wished to touch our hearts and our minds, through James inspired words they do and once read not one of us will never to be the same.

It is a wonderful book, James personal style has made this an easy read, yet it is full of profound and awesome new information from the other side.

This is a book that you will not want to put down and will most probably keep to reread again and again.

For I believe these simple, yet extremely new and profound words will impact you over and over again.

The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide (Hardcover)


by Elisabeth Hasselbeck (Author), Peter Green (Foreword)

Product Description

For years, Elisabeth Hasselbeck couldn't figure out what was making her sick. She asked doctors and consulted nutritionists, but no one seemed to have any answers. It wasn't until spending time in the Australian Outback, living off the land on the grueling Survivor TV show, that, ironically, her symptoms vanished. Returning home, she pinpointed the food that made her sick -- gluten, the binding element in wheat. By simply eliminating it from her diet, she was able to enjoy a completely normal, healthy life. But that wasn't all. Hasselbeck discovered the myriad benefits that anyone can enjoy from a gluten-free diet: from weight loss and increased energy to even the alleviation of the conditions of autism.

In this all-inclusive book, Hasselbeck shares her hard-earned wisdom on living life without gluten and loving it. She gives you everything you need to know to start living a gluten-free life, from defining gluten - where to find it, how to read food labels - to targeting gluten-free products, creating G-Free shopping lists, sharing recipes, and managing G-Free living with family and friends.

About the Author
Hasselbeck was formerly known to television audiences as a participant on the wildly popular second edition of Survivor: The Australian Outback. Since taking her coveted seat on The View in 2003 she has been the focus of major magazine covers and articles including USA Weekend, Curious Parents, People, TV Guide, Fitness, Glamour, Us Weekly, Life, Pregnancy and ePregnancy. She has filled in on the FOX News Channel's Fox and Friends, and has been a guest on Hannity and Colmes, Larry King Live, The Martha Stewart Show, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Good Morning America.

Very good book for the gluten-free beginner or recently diagnosed celiac, April 28, 2009
By Alison St Sure (Bay Area, CA)


I must admit that I had a preconceived notion about what the book was going to be like. My skepticism had nothing to do with her, or her personality, or what she says on the View, or what people think of her, because frankly, I don't have time to watch TV at 10am or read about her comments on the internet. My preconceived notion was based simply on the title "The G-Free Diet."

The cutesy title reminded me of an article I wrote on my blog Sure Foods Living in which I pointed out that maybe the reason people couldn't embrace the gluten-free diet is that the word "gluten" just isn't cool enough for people and that we need to start calling the gluten-free diet something else. (I jokingly offered "the no g-carb diet" as a solution.) Turns out I might have been right and a celebrity has given it a new name! Elisabeth uses the term "the G-Free Diet" so many times in the book that by the end I actually find myself getting used to it. Another phrase she uses: "G-Full" -- referring to foods that are full of gluten. Not bad.

So back to the preconceived notion... the cutesy title and cutesy cover made me think that the book was going to be cutesy too. It wasn't!

What I thought...

I found this book to be practical and personal. It is practical, with understandable medical and diet information, and personal, with stories meant to illustrate points and make us feel like she is just like us with the same worries and anxiety about the diet that we have (except that she hangs out with Whoopi Goldberg and Prince Charles!). She also maintains a positive but realistic attitude throughout, which is the tone that I also try to convey on my website.

Perhaps I liked this book too because I related to her story. My celiac story is very similar to hers in terms of symptoms and the journey to diagnosis. In fact we were both diagnosed in 2002, after returning from a time away from the United States -- she 39 days in Australia for Survivor: Outback, me 25 days in India for my honeymoon. We both were on a gluten-free diet without even realizing it, our bodies repaired themselves, and when we returned to our wheat-laden American culture, our bodies struck back with a vengeance. Another similarity -- we both figured it out before doctors did. Our recoveries were similar too. She mentions jokingly that she can't believe her now-husband continued dating her despite all her health problems -- I have also joked that I can't believe my husband married me! (I was diagnosed 3 months after our wedding!)

I really liked...

The chapter called "What's Mine is Yours (Well, Sort Of!)" Elisabeth is the only one in her family that eats gluten-free, and she provides helpful information for what she calls the "modified G-free kitchen" where both gluten-free and gluten-containing foods are prepared. If you are new to the diet and haven't converted your entire family to your way of thinking yet, the information provided in the book will make the shared kitchen seem do-able. Luckily I don't have to take all of these extra precautions, as my kitchen is completely gluten-free. (My husband eventually adopted my diet because he was feeling so much better when he was gluten-free and I have decided to raise my children gluten-free.) I feel that if you can get your kitchen to be as gluten-free as possible, it makes things so much easier and makes you feel more relaxed -- at least you can feel at ease in your own home!

The chapter "Out on the Town" about dining out. There are some very good restaurant tips and the section called "Deciphering the Menu: The G-Free Detective" defines menu terms that are helpful for everyone to read. Don't expect to find recipes or many menu ideas in this book. There are a couple Italian recipes from her mother, but this is not a recipe book.

The chapter called "Throw Me a Bagel!" about living with someone who is gluten-free. Rarely have I seen tips for the person who lives with a gluten-free person ("GFG" she calls it, for Gluten-Free Gal or Guy). There is some great advice addressing such things as compassion, adaptability, preparedness, cleanliness and selflessness.

The section "Translating Ingredients" for understanding how to read cosmetics and personal care product labels. This is something that often gets overlooked by people on a gluten-free diet.

I really didn't like...

The fact that there is a chapter named "G-Free and Slim As Can Be!" which sounds like the whole chapter is promoting the use of the gluten-free diet for weight loss. The chapter is actually not about that at all and points out that once people are on a gluten-free diet and are forced to read labels, they become aware of what they are putting into their bodies and generally become healthier eaters overall. The chapter is more about nutrition and awareness of food. There are only a few sentences that refer to the fact that people might try the diet to lose weight -- it's unfortunate that the title doesn't reflect the real content of the chapter.

I'm glad she included...

The foreword by Dr. Peter Green. Also, I'm glad that in the foreword, Dr. Green talks about non-celiac gluten sensitivity and states, "Those with gluten sensitivity in the absence of celiac disease have a great difficulty getting satisfaction from the medical community. Without an abnormal biopsy, there is difficulty among many physicians accepting such a diagnosis. I, however, regard the diagnosis as valid, providing that celiac disease is excluded." This is a different take than he had in the past when he referred to the gluten-free diet as unnecessary torture without a diagnosis of celiac disease. If you are a regular reader of my blog Sure Foods Living, you know by now that I think outside the celiac box, so I was glad to see that gluten intolerance has been acknowledged in the book by both Dr. Green and Elisabeth.

And in her last chapter, Elisabeth tackles the connection between Autism and the Gluten-Free Casein-Free (GFCF) Diet. I believe that she did it well, citing studies and quoting doctors to support the idea that a diet change could be beneficial for some autistic kids. She made the connection understandable and at the end of the chapter, points out (and I wholeheartedly agree) "If eliminating gluten and casein from your child's diet can even slightly reduce the severity of his ASD, why not talk to a physician who could help you make this change?"

Some picky notes (I couldn't just let these go!)...

Blue Cheese
Elisabeth recommends staying away from blue cheese, but there are many brands that are gluten-free. See the article "Is blue cheese gluten-free?" on Sure Foods Living for a list.

Glucose Syrup
Although it can be made from wheat, studies have shown that it is gluten-free. See the article "Is glucose syrup gluten-free?" on Sure Foods Living for more information.

Sticky Rice
The book says that the sticky rice in sushi might contain added gluten. I know a lot of you enjoy sushi, so don't freak out! The sticky rice (also called glutinous rice) does not contain gluten itself, despite its misleading name, and I have never heard of gluten being added to it. Things that are added to sticky rice are sugar, salt, rice wine and rice vinegar, all of which are gluten-free. There are other foods to watch out for when eating sushi (soy sauce, imitation crab, sauces, roe, miso, tempura, tea), but the sticky rice is not one of them!

Online Stores
I wasn't impressed with the online stores resource list in this book. I understand that websites and stores change a lot, but there were some basic "oopsies" that I found. In the middle of the book (p.74) she recommended a particular online store -- well, it's just someone's Amazon store! Also, in the resources list at the end of the book, she recommends another market whose domain name is for sale. Given that few resources were even listed, it seems like they should have been checked before going to print.

Overall...

I think this is a really good guide for someone who has just been diagnosed with celiac disease or is just starting a gluten-free diet, or even for those that have been on a gluten-free diet for a while but haven't completely mastered it yet. I am surprised I liked it so much. I may even start saying I am "G-Free!" Or maybe not.

When Everything Changes, Change Everything: In a Time of Turmoil, a Pathway to Peace (Hardcover)


by Neale Donald Walsch (Author)

Product Description

A dear one has died. Or a romantic relationship has ended. Or a job that was once going to be your career has just evaporated. Or your child has left home. Or you've moved to a new town. Or you're suddenly facing a health crisis, or a financial crisis, or a crisis of faith . . .

. . . whatever the circumstance, you are sure about one thing: Nothing will ever be the same.

Deep sadness, even bitter negativity, can sometimes follow. What to do then? End the life you've been living? Yes. That's the startling answer from modern-day spiritual messenger Neale Donald Walsch in a book that will touch the lives of people around the world with the same uplifting hopefulness as his Conversations with God.

When Everything Changes, Change Everything speaks to the heart of every person who has lost their bearings in the aftermath of a major life change—and to those who would help them. A strikingly clear, imminently and immediately useful text, it offers God-inspired insights on the way to move on and a breathtaking reason to do so. Here is a practical application of the fresh perspectives of the New Spirituality, with wonderful tools for healing and living and a brand-new definition of God that could make every mystery of life clear up overnight.


About the Author
Neale Donald Walsch is a writer of internationally bestselling books on spirituality and personal development. His books have sold more than 7.5 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 37 languages. Walsch lives in Ashland, Oregon.

MAKING FRIENDS WITH CHANGE - Here's How, May 11, 2009
By N. BULLOCK "UniquesFire" (WASHINGTON, DC USA)


This book answered my question: How do I handle changes TODAY, that are overwhelming and coming way too fast for me to manage or comprehend. Compassionately, Neale Donald Walsch explains simply, the mechanics of why we feel the way we do, what we can do about it, and how to DEVELOP THE SKILL of embracing and thriving peacefully in change for the rest of our lives. Sound to good to be true? It isn't; I'm living it. The book helped me immediately welcome Change, as MY new friend.

A MUST HAVE, this book reads easily and doesn't throw "Shazam! You're healed!" rhetoric at you. (Thank God!) You will want to read it again and again, and share it with everyone you know who is struggling with change...which is all of us (at some point or another). Especially now.

Handling Your Changes, May 12, 2009
By Reverend Kenneth Griffiths "Ken Griffiths" (Redwater, AB)


Oh God, Change This Scene! Changing the Situation It is one thing to have to live through major, personal disasters, and then have no plan on how to deal with the aftermath. You may not be able to change all thats happened to you, but at least with this Book you will be able to deal with it more constructively. Ask yourself the question: 'Can I at least be at peace with myself and with others despite these changes?' When everything changes [ or has already changed] you want to handle it as best as you can. And this is what makes this Book such good reading material

Thank God It's Monday!: How to Create a Workplace You and Your Customers Love (Hardcover)


by Roxanne Emmerich (Author)

Product Description

Today's #1 Secret of Profitability and Performance "Thank God Roxanne is willing to share her special mix of motivation and proven methods to supercharge your workplace. Readers will move from 'Thank God It's Monday' to 'I Wish Every Day Could Be Monday.'" Harvey Mackay, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive "Thank God It's Monday! is a mantra all organizations should chant. This book helps you not only see the joy that work can bring but it gives you ways to bring it to life. Buy this book only if you truly want to transform your organization." John Christensen, creator of the FISH! Philosophy and coauthor of FISH! "I love this book! Roxanne Emmerich's ability to transform organizations is nothing short of miraculous. She's the real deal. Every employer should have this book for every employee, AND any person who wants to be happy at work needs to buy it for themselves." Jack Canfield, author of The Success Principles and coauthor of the Chicken Soup for the Soul(R) series "Roxanne Emmerich provides an important reminder that trust, integrity, accountability, and FUN are the cornerstones of real business results. Changing the culture of your workplace can be challenging but delivers an undeniable return. Given we spend at least a third of our adult lives at work, we should all aim to wake up after the weekend and shout, 'TGIM!'" Jeffrey Hayzlett, Chief Marketing Officer, Eastman Kodak Company "Read Thank God It's Monday! and let Roxanne Emmerich's engaging stories and inspiring ideas help you create passion in your organization. The words 'love' and 'work' can be used in the same sentence!" Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager(R) and author of Leading at a Higher Level Thank God It's Monday! is about loving what you're doing and creating massive results. Roxanne Emmerich introduces you to two CEOs: one desperately struggling to stay afloat and another who's discovered a better route to growth and profitability. As you join them both on their journey, you'll gain valuable insights for jumpstarting positive change from anywhere in the organization!replacing dysfunctional organizational behaviors with passion and creativity!overcoming setbacks!making vision and values actually work! Whether you're on the front line, in an office, or running the show, you'll see how to: / Replace dysfunctional behaviors with passion and creativity / Overcome setbacks with a "bring it on" attitude / Breathe results-generating life into vision and values / Think big and make big things happen Thank God It's Monday! presents a unique approach that makes an impact on three groups at once: / Employees discover how to win at work and love their work / Companies turn around results quickly and profoundly / Customers experience a powerful and visible commitment to their success You will shift from a "why we can't" to a "how we can" workplace...in one day! Your customers will go crazy about you. You will find yourself loving to go to work where everyone exclaims, Thank God It's Monday!

From the Back Cover

Today’s #1 Secret of Profitability and Performance



“Thank God Roxanne is willing to share her special mix of motivation and proven methods to supercharge your workplace. Readers will move from ‘Thank God It’s Monday’ to ‘I Wish Every Day Could Be Monday.’”

Harvey Mackay, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive



"Thank God It's Monday! is a mantra all organizations should chant. This book helps you not only see the joy that work can bring but it gives you ways to bring it to life. Buy this book only if you truly want to transform your organization."

John Christensen, creator of the FISH! Philosophy and coauthor of FISH!



“I love this book! Roxanne Emmerich’s ability to transform organizations is nothing short of miraculous. She’s the real deal. Every employer should have this book for every employee, AND any person who wants to be happy at work needs to buy it for themselves.”

Jack Canfield, author of The Success Principles and coauthor of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series



“Roxanne Emmerich provides an important reminder that trust, integrity, accountability, and FUN are the cornerstones of real business results. Changing the culture of your workplace can be challenging but delivers an undeniable return. Given we spend at least a third of our adult lives at work, we should all aim to wake up after the weekend and shout, ‘TGIM!’”

Jeffrey Hayzlett, Chief Marketing Officer, Eastman Kodak Company



“Read Thank God It’s Monday! and let Roxanne Emmerich’s engaging stories and inspiring ideas help you create passion in your organization. The words ‘love’ and ‘work’ can be used in the same sentence!”

Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and author of Leading at a Higher Level



Thank God It’s Monday! is about loving what you’re doing and creating massive results. Roxanne Emmerich introduces you to two CEOs: one desperately struggling to stay afloat and another who’s discovered a better route to growth and profitability. As you join them both on their journey, you’ll gain valuable insights for jumpstarting positive change from anywhere in the organization…replacing dysfunctional organizational behaviors with passion and creativity…overcoming setbacks…making vision and values actually work!



Whether you’re on the front line, in an office, or running the show, you’ll see how to:

• Replace dysfunctional behaviors with passion and creativity

• Overcome setbacks with a “bring it on” attitude

• Breathe results-generating life into vision and values

• Think big and make big things happen



Thank God It’s Monday! presents a unique approach that makes an impact on three groups at once:

• Employees discover how to win at work and love their work

• Companies turn around results quickly and profoundly

• Customers experience a powerful and visible commitment to their success



You will shift from a “why we can’t” to a “how we can” workplace...in one day! Your customers will go crazy about you. You will find yourself loving to go to work where everyone exclaims, Thank God It’s Monday!

Inspiring and helpful, May 13, 2009
By Julie Neal "The Complete Walt Disney World" (Sanibel Island, Fla.)


This book about having a more fun and motivated workplace looked a little too chirpy for my tastes. When I read that one of the chapters is called "Busting the Baditudes," I pictured Andy "The Nard Dog" Bernard from The Office saying the same thing. But once I started reading, the serious message hit home: When you love your work, you do a good job. And your customers will notice.

Thank God It's Monday tells stories as opposed to spouting statistics and lecturing to the reader. I especially liked the chapter called Vanish the Energy Vampires, about people at the workplace that "suck you dry of all your life force." The whiners, the perpetual victims, the people who only see the negative side of life; these are the ones to steer clear of and vanquish.

After every chapter is a list of ideas to help you build on what you've just learned.

Also by the author: Profit-Growth Banking.

Here's the chapter list:

Introduction

Part I: A Problem... or an Opportunity
1. "Thank God It's Monday"
2. There Really ARE Good Places to Work
3. But I've Got a Business to Run
4. Who Can Take Action -- Everyone!

Part II: Rock Your World: Initiating Change
5. Shifting a Company's Gears: The Unreasonable Premise
6. Tales from the Trenches: Front-Line Workers Who Can Think Big
7. Vision It Possible
8. Commit to Your Commitments
9. Have Yourself a Kick-Butt Kick-Off
10. Hooplas & High Fives & Cheerleading: The Everyday Celebration
11. Hooplas & High Fives & Cheerleading: The Ongoing Everyday Celebration
12. Measure Everything!

Part III: The "How To" Toolbox for Making Any Workplace Better
13. Get a Brand New Attitude
14. Enthusiasm: Light That Fire in Your Belly
15. Life Balance: Show Up Fully No Matter Where You Are
16. Values as Your True North
17. Bravely Go Beyond the Job Description
18. Giving: Ignited Spirits Through Profound Service

Part IV: Obstacles... or Minor Speed Bumps? Clear the Road Blocks and Saboteurs: Ground Rules to Keep Dark Moments in the Past from Poisoning the Glorious Future
19. What We Have Here Is a Failure to Communicate... Clearly
20. Vanish the Energy Vampires
21. Bust the Baditudes
22. Better Off Somewhere Else? Get On the Happy Bus... or Get Off the Bus
23. Gossip: The Hurt That Never Heals
24. Understanding Perspective: Always Being Right Can Be Wrong
25. Clean Up Your Messes and Mistakes: Restore Trust

Epilogue: One Last Thing

Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life (Hardcover)


by Winifred Gallagher (Author)

From The Washington Post

From The Washington Post's Book World/washingtonpost.com Reviewed by Paul Bloom Don't check your e-mail; stop Twittering, browsing, Facebooking, eating, drinking, listening to music and watching the children. Take seriously, if just for a few minutes, what Winifred Gallagher describes as the grand unifying theory of psychology: Your life is the sum of what you focus on. Then consider the main implication of this theory: The skillful management of attention is the key to happiness and fulfillment. Live the focused life. Gallagher devotes much of this engaging book to reviewing the psychology and neuroscience of attention. A journalist and the author of several books about human psychology, including "House Thinking" (2006) and "The Power of Place" (1993), Gallagher blends the science nicely with examples of people whose disciplined attention has contributed to their success: Tiger Woods is extremely focused on golf; Mozart really grooved on music; and when Bill Clinton felt our pain, he did so with all his heart. For the rest of us, the connections between attention and the good life are more complex. Happy people have the adaptive trait of focusing on the bright side of life; the depressed do not. These traits emerge early. Gallagher summarizes some elegant research from scientists at the University of Oregon showing that children differ in their capacity to control their attention: Those who are blessed with a tight grip of their mental flashlight find it easier to concentrate on the positive emotions and pull away from anger, fear and frustration. But even if your child lacks these gifts, it's not hopeless -- certain exercises can improve the focusing power of 4-, 5- and 6-year-olds, and Gallagher makes a convincing case that adults also benefit from techniques that discipline our attention, such as cognitive theory and mindfulness meditation. Such methods might be necessary to combat the pull of technological innovations, many of which sap our capacity for sustained focus. Gallagher notes that young people in America spend over six hours a day tethered to the electronic world, many of them engaged with more than one medium at a time. Spending an hour doing just one thing -- such as reading a book or practicing a musical instrument -- may soon be the equivalent of wearing spats. This would probably be a bad thing. As Gallagher puts it, if you grow up processing information at a superficial level, "when you're finally forced to confront intellectually demanding situations in high school or college, you may find that you've traded depth of knowledge for breadth and stunted your capacity for serious thought." Like many proponents of unified theories, though, Gallagher tries to do too much. Just about every aspect of human life can be described in the language of attention. Do you give money to charity? You are "attending to the pursuit of virtue." Are you religious? You are "directing your attention to a deeper reality." To conclude, as Gallagher does, that attention is at the root of all good things is to muddle cause and effect. I can focus on golf with powerfully rapt attention for every waking minute; it won't turn me into Tiger Woods. Also, your life is actually more than the sum of all that you attend to. We can be affected -- or as psychologists say, primed -- by factors that we are unaware of. A large body of psychological research shows that social and physical environments affect thoughts at an unconscious level. People are nicer, for instance, when they are outside a bakery with the smell of fresh bread in the air or after they have just found a dime in the slot of a pay phone. In addition, our happiness is affected by what we do, not just what we think. Successful therapy for depression isn't just a matter of shifting perspectives; it's getting the sufferer to change his or her behavior. Even something as superficial as coaxing a person to smile more can have real, positive effects. The attentional puritans are right that we usually do best with total focus. But often it's more efficient, and more fun, to do two or more things at 80 percent capacity than one thing at full capacity. I listen to music in the gym, check my e-mail while I'm on hold, and walk and chew gum at the same time. And what's so wrong with any of that? Nobody should doubt the power of rapt attention, but there are benefits to a wandering mind. You can check your e-mail now.
Copyright 2009, The Washington Post. All Rights Reserved.

Review
“As the 19th-century philosopher William James wisely understood, what you selectively notice and attend to is what makes up your experience. It is your life! Winifred Gallagher gets it. She has written a provocative, illuminating, and captivating book on the power and importance of attention in multiple domains of life – relationships, work, leisure, health. What makes some people happier, healthier, more fulfilled, more creative, or more engaged than others? Because of what they pay attention to.”
—Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness

"Many will benefit from this thoughtful book. Among other 21st century challenges, the increasing velocity of communication threatens to drive us into a permanent sea- storm of distraction. Thank you, Winifred Gallagher, for bringing our attention back to the essential matter of attention."
—David Shenk, author, Data Smog and The Forgetting

“This wonderful and inspiring book asks readers to remember something so simple and yet so little appreciated—what you focus upon profoundly affects your quality of life. I can’t think anyone who wouldn’t benefit from the message contained herein. It’s a powerful and much needed prescription for these tumultuous times.”
—Sarah Susanka, author of The Not So Big Life and The Not So Big House series

Skillfully Manage Your Attention For Success. Exceptional book exploring the relationship between attention, focus, and success, May 3, 2009
By Dave Lakhani "BoldApproach.com" (Boise, ID United States)


I like this book because it makes the neuroscience understandable and applicable. I enjoy books that are based on hard science backed by examples and stories that bring it home at the layman's level.

I found this book fascinating on many fronts. It takes a deep look at how what we focus on tends to be more of what we get and goes in depth on adaptive focus.

The two chapters I found most interesting were the chapters on work and productivity and Nurture: This is your brain on attention.

The author makes a strong argument about the superficial amount of focus children give due to technology overwhelm. Where hours of focused practice made for successful mastery of subjects, today's youth (and increasingly, many adults) are unable to focus long enough to complete tasks requiring intellectual rigor or deep thought. Or in the words of the author: "when you're finally forced to confront intellectually demanding situations in high school or college, you may find that you've traded depth of knowledge for breadth and stunted your capacity for serious thought."

In a time of information overwhelm, this is the one book that everyone should read, thoroughly.

Healing the Addicted Brain: The Revolutionary, Science-Based Alcoholism and Addiction Recovery Program (Paperback)


by Harold Urschel (Author)

Product Description


"New, scientifically-based approaches that recognize the biological basis of addiction have brought major advances in the treatment of addiction. Dr. Urschel is at the forefront of this treatment paradigm."

Dr. Larry Hanselka, Psychologist

The Proven Scientific Approach to Conquering Addiction and Defeating the Disease

Healing the Addicted Brain is a breakthrough work that focuses on treating drug and alcohol addiction as a biological disease—based on the Recovery Science program that has helped thousands of patients defeat their addictions over the past 10 years. It combines the best behavioral addiction treatments with the latest scientific research into brain functions, providing tools and strategies designed to overcome the biological factors that cause addictive behavior along with proven treatments and medications.

Using this scientific approach, you will learn to conquer the physical factors that keep people tied to drug and alcohol addiction. The proven fact is addiction is not a moral failing or an issue of not having enough willpower. It is a disease of the brain that can and must be treated like other chronic medical illnesses —such as diabetes, hypertension, or asthma—in order to defeat the disease.

This revolutionary program can triple the success rate of patients, from 20-30% to 90%

There Is Hope.

By understanding addiction and using 21st-century breakthroughs, for the first time drug and alcohol addiction can be, and will be, defeated.


About the Author
Dr. Harold C. Urschel, III is the CEO and Founder of the Urschel Recovery Science Institute and the Chief of Medical Strategy of EnterHealth.com, which have the goal of combining the best behavioral addiction treatments with the latest scientifically proven medications. He is a board certified physician in both addiction and general psychiatry.

Healing the Addicted Brain, April 21, 2009
By J. Wilson "helpful friend" (Dallas Texas USA)


This book Healing the Addicted Brain was an excellent help to me in understanding what addiction is and how i can get help for my best friend who is struggling with Alcoholism. Before finding this book, I just did not know what to do, but Dr Urschel explains the important issues in how to get great addiction treatment very clearly. The book is easy to understand and to read. It has a lot of great exercises to help me understand the concepts better. It is even linked to an addiction website www.enterhealth.com which provides great information on other topics. After reading it, I bought several more copies to give to some of my other friends and their families that are dealing with the same issues. Really good book. I highly recommend it. It is about time that we had some real, effective information available to help me with my friend.

This book Healing the Addicted Brain was an excellent help to me in understanding what addiction is and how i can get help for my best friend who is struggling with Alcoholism. Before finding this book, I just did not know what to do, but Dr Urschel explains the important issues in how to get great addiction treatment very clearly. The book is easy to understand and to read. It has a lot of great exercises to help me understand the concepts better. It is even linked to an addiction website www.enterhealth.com which provides great information on other topics. After reading it, I bought several more copies to give to some of my other friends and their families that are dealing with the same issues. Really good book. I highly recommend it. It is about time that we had some real, effective information available to help me with my friend.

Healing the Addicted Brain - GREAT Read, April 22, 2009
By D. Evans (Texas)


CNN did a show on Saturday, April 18th; it was hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Dr. Gupta strongly confirms what Dr. Urschel states in his book and that is "addiction is a brain disease, it is a medical disease like hypertension, diabetes, etc. and should be treated accordingly. Unfortunately, most people do not know this and people who suffer from addiction don't know where to go for help. Dr. Urschel's book was an easy read and very educational. Not only does it help the addict, it portrays how imperative the family get support as well. Addiction is also a family disease. I would strongly recommend this book - it is not your average self-help book, it is an extraordinary read.

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book 5) (Hardcover)


by Rick Riordan (Author)

Product Description

All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of victory are grim. Kronos's army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan's power only grows. While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it's up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy's sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

About the Author
Rick Riordan is the author of the first three books in the New York Times best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, and The Titan s Curse. His previous novels for adults include the hugely popular Tres Navarre series, winner of the top three awards in the mystery genre. He lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife and two sons.

A great series...a shame it had to end., May 5, 2009
By Toby Kenzington


This is the fifth and final Percy Jackson adventure and you know all your questioned will be answered. Percy is on the cusp of adulthood, but is he really the kid from the great prophecy? Who will Percy end up with? Will Luke's story finally be revealed? But before we get ahead of ourselves, Percy and Beckendorf must stop the ship, Princess Andromeda from reaching her destination. As Blackjack approaches the headquarters of the titan lord, snake women, hounds, giants, and humanoid demons all patrol the upperdecks, but like a dark comet zipping toward its destination, they managed to get past them without incident.

Soon after dropping the pair off on the lowest deck, Blackjack retreats, and Beckendorf, pulls an image of his beloved and begins to reminisce about the daughter of Aphrodite. With a glint of wariness in his eyes, Percy reassures him that they will succeed in their mission. So Beckendorf takes the lead, and with enemy voices arguing around them, they manage to reach the ship's engine room. Guarded by only one dog-headed half human, only one slice is needed for him to explode into dust. After setting several viles of Greek fire, a horde of monsters head toward our heroes.

All this, and it's only just started. What a story! What a series! The Last Olympian continues with its cutting edge, hip style of presenting Greek Mythology in a way that flows seamlessly into the first-person dialogue, and not force fed to the reader. You learn without learning, what a beautiful concept. The action is packed, and there are more than a few surprises - I won't mention them here. But I will say all the loose ends from The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3) and The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4) are sewn up in what must be one of the greatest series in literary history. Great job, Rick Riordan. A bit odd, but you sure can write. I would also like to take a moment and thank him for all he has given to help communities and children...it is rare for someone of his status to be so involved.

******spoilers below *******

The answers to the questions stated earlier: During Percy's heroic escape from the Princess Andromeda, Poseidon tells him he must return to Camp Half-Blood and fulfill his destiny. Percy and Annabeth bring the prophecy to the war council where Percy discovers that no matter which side he chooses, he will die. This key event changes the tone of the entire book and sets up on terrific final battle. Percy dreams of Rachel, and tells Annabeth which causes Percy and Annabeth to become angered at each other. Trying to clear his mind of Annabeth, Percy wanders to the edge of the forest where he finds Nico, Juniper, and Leneus, discussing Grover's health. Leneus doesn't want to help Grover, but is convinced by Percy. Nico and Percy then decide to find Luke's mother and hence, discover Luke's past.

Cook Yourself Thin: Skinny Meals You Can Make in Minutes (Paperback)


by Lifetime Television (Author)

Product Description

LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND!

Cook Yourself Thin is a healthy, delicious way to drop a dress size without all the gimmicks.

For some of us, losing weight has always been a struggle. The challenge: figuring out how to cook healthy, low-fat foods that won't leave you hungry, bored, or running for a gallon of ice cream! Cook Yourself Thin shows how to cut calories, change diets, and improve health without sacrificing the foods we love.

Cook Yourself Thin is not a fad diet. It gives skinny alternatives to your cravings. You can't live without your chocolate cake or mac 'n' cheese? You don't have to! (See Very Chocolate Cake, page 200.) There's never enough time to cook? Cook Yourself Thin keeps it simple--with easy instructions and fun recipes you'll want to make again and again.

What are you waiting for? Cook Yourself Thin!

Lose the bulge and still indulge., May 5, 2009
By Shoyu


Lifetime Television presents another hit show in the form of a wildly popular book that bears the same name. The premise of the British show was teaching you how to replace your favorite foods with healthy alternatives. By switching ingredients you'll be able to cut the calories while retaining the flavor...and you just might find the healthy version a bit more scrumdiddlyumptious. The book includes all the recipes featured on the show. These include, among others: Meals, appetizers, snacks, and deserts.

Love chocolate brownies but fear the calories? Try the winter chocolate brownies recipe: Using pumpkin, organic dark cooking chocolate, cinnamon, almonds, and honey...you get that mouth-watering taste without all those grams of fat. Use healthy alternatives...get it?

The book also features a calorie guide: this will show you which foods to avoid...and which foods to replace them with. It has a "how to" guide...this gives you practical cooking tips. There is also a food personality quiz...this will help you with goals and results. By following the guide you really can cook yourself thin. Follow the simple instructions and learn how to remove those high calorie ingredients from your favorite foods, and replace them with tasty healthy alternatives. The recipes have a step-by-step guide that shows you the differences in the foods you are substituting. Simply put...the book advises you on the ingredients, tools and tips necessary to make healthy changes to your life.

Decent "diet" cooking, BUT..., May 6, 2009
By j.s. "mr z" (Bloomington, IN United States)


there are better options out there!

"Cook Yourself Thin" is a cute attractive book based on the cute and attractive television series on Lifetime television. While the recipes are tasty and fairly easy, I have a few complaints.

Firstly, the book contains NO nutritional information beyond a simple calorie count. If you are tracking your sodium, fiber, or fat intake, this book will not help you.

Also, some of the recipes are significantly higher in calories than similar diet books. You'll intake 596 calories for two stacks of eggplant and 539 calories for a portobello mushroom tuna melt. While these numbers are lower in comparison to NON-healthful recipes, there are definitely better options.

Despite these complaints, I do like this book. The presentation is nice and the recipes are delicious. As a healthful chef, I can definitely recommend "Cook Yourself Thin." As an earnest dieter, I think the book is acceptable - but not the best. I highly recommend "The Most Decadent Diet Ever" by Devin Alexander. It has more thorough nutritional information and a better serving size/calorie ratio.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Paperback)


by Mary Ann Shaffer (Author), Annie Barrows (Author)

From Publishers Weekly

The letters comprising this small charming novel begin in 1946, when single, 30-something author Juliet Ashton (nom de plume Izzy Bickerstaff) writes to her publisher to say she is tired of covering the sunny side of war and its aftermath. When Guernsey farmer Dawsey Adams finds Juliet's name in a used book and invites articulate—and not-so-articulate—neighbors to write Juliet with their stories, the book's epistolary circle widens, putting Juliet back in the path of war stories. The occasionally contrived letters jump from incident to incident—including the formation of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society while Guernsey was under German occupation—and person to person in a manner that feels disjointed. But Juliet's quips are so clever, the Guernsey inhabitants so enchanting and the small acts of heroism so vivid and moving that one forgives the authors (Shaffer died earlier this year) for not being able to settle on a single person or plot. Juliet finds in the letters not just inspiration for her next work, but also for her life—as will readers. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Bookmarks Magazine
“Traditional without seeming stale, and romantic without being naïve” (San Francisco Chronicle), this epistolary novel, based on Mary Ann Shaffer’s painstaking, lifelong research, is a homage to booklovers and a nostalgic portrayal of an era. As her quirky, loveable characters cite the works of Shakespeare, Austen, and the Brontës, Shaffer subtly weaves those writers’ themes into her own narrative. However, it is the tragic stories of life under Nazi occupation that animate the novel and give it its urgency; furthermore, the novel explores the darker side of human nature without becoming maudlin. The Rocky Mountain News criticized the novel’s lighthearted tone and characterizations, but most critics agreed that, with its humor and optimism, Guernsey “affirms the power of books to nourish people during hard times” (Washington Post).
Copyright 2008 Bookmarks Publishing LLC --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

A page-turner!5
As an avid reader of WWII fiction, I admire books that portray the strength, resilience and determination of those who lived and persevered during those horrific world events. Writers who take the time to do their research really transport us into that era and allow us to gain a sense of what it was like for those who lived it. Shaffar and Barrows did such a marvelous job that I found it necessary to remind myself on more than one occasion that this was a work of fiction and not a collection of letters written between dear friends who actually lived in London and Guernsey!

History with Humor4
Again I was enlightened about WW II history, even though
there were some sad moments--the story teller was able
to find humorous tales to lightened the book. I enjoyed the book, and recommend it to anyone with an interest in these times of our history.

An Author's Legacy5
I finished this book this morning around 3 am. It was one of the first I purchased for my new Kindle last fall, but somehow could never get myself to jump into it. Last night I started and couldn't stop hitting "Next Page!" Using letters as the bones of the story isn't a new idea, I know. (I am a big fan of 84 Charing Cross.) However, each character's letters were so unique, it was easy and delightful to follow the plotlines. And, I have discovered a new heroine in the character of Elizabeth. What an amazing, free-spirited, passion-filled young woman!

So I sat here, bleary-eyed after little sleep, but immediately getting on the computer to find out more about Guernsey (being a farm girl I knew about the cows) and about Ms.Shaffer. I began planning a visit to The Channel Islands (at least a virtual one!) Then as I looked for information on the author, I was so saddened to find that Ms. Shaffer had passed away in 2008. Not only was this her first novel, it will be her last. She has left a legacy to be proud of.

Losing Mum and Pup: A Memoir (Hardcover)


by Christopher Buckley (Author)

Review

"One of the rarest political specimens-- the authentically comic writer." (Boston Globe )

"An accomplished comic novelist and raucously funny political satirist." (Sunday Times of London )

"The quinessential political novelist of our time." (Fortune )

"One of the funniest writers in the English language." (Tom Wolfe )

Product Description
In twelve months between 2007 and 2008, Christopher Buckley coped with the passing of his father, William F. Buckley, the father of the modern conservative movement, and his mother, Patricia Taylor Buckley, one of New York's most glamorous and colorful socialites. He was their only child and their relationship was close and complicated. Writes Buckley: "They were not - with respect to every other set of loving, wonderful parents in the world - your typical mom and dad."
As Buckley tells the story of their final year together, he takes readers on a surprisingly entertaining tour through hospitals, funeral homes, and memorial services, capturing the heartbreaking and disorienting feeling of becoming a 55-year-old orphan. Buckley maintains his sense of humor by recalling the words of Oscar Wilde: "To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose both looks like carelessness."
Just as Calvin Trillin and Joan Didion gave readers solace and insight into the experience of losing a spouse, Christopher Buckley offers consolation, wit, and warmth to those coping with the death of a parent, while telling a unique personal story of life with legends.

Outstanding Audio Book by an Outstanding Author, April 29, 2009
By George McAdams (Alabama, USA)


Most authors cannot, for any length of time, read their own books well. I do not know why they try to think they can. Maybe they've heard John Le Carre read so eloquently one of his books, and think, "That's what I'll do. I'll read the audio version of my book, and I will sound great!"

Christopher Buckley is not like most authors. He is not only a great writer, but his reading of LOSING MUM AND PUP: A MEMOIR stands as a testament to his parents, and as such is a testament of himself: they are grand people standing on the grand stage of life.

I only knew William F. Buckley through his writings, his guest appearances on the talk shows and his interview show "Firing Line." In everything he did, he tackled serious subjects with tenacity and wit, and just when it looked as if the person he was talking to or interviewing was going to get a valid point-in, Mr. Buckley would open his mouth, touch the tip of his tongue to his top lip and say something, usually very economically, that would shoot down the other's point as if it was a clay pigeon hit by both shots of a double-barreled shotgun...>BAM< Got you!

As for Patricia Taylor Buckley, she was just as remarkable. She had to be because Bill and she were married for 57 dull-free years.

With LOSING MUM AND PUP: A MEMOIR, their only son, Christopher, has given us, in this case the listener, a well spoken account of what he went through when he lost both of his parents within a year. This account, perhaps too personal for some, is nonetheless honest and forthright. It speaks of the flaws of the author as much, if not more, than the subjects of his writing, his parents. And, what I find so remarkable was how his loss was so much more expressive when the words sometime came out of his mouth somewhat reluctantly, often skating to the edge of quivering, but never doing so, at certain points, such as reading his father's letter to others after his mother's passing.

I can say this in part because I know somewhat offhand what he went through. While I did not lose both my parents within a year, after loisng my mother 9 years earlier, I lost my father, and then, two months to the day later, I lost my wife.

To get hit with a double whammy is very tough. Christopher Buckley, in detailing what he went through with his father William F., that last year, and reminiscing about previous events in his, and his father's, life, and how those related to what was happening during that last year, shares with the reader the pains, the hopes, the fears, and the realization that all is slipping away, and there's nothing much he can do about it, no matter how hard he tries.

There are some who may feel that Christopher has done a "hatchet" job on his parents, or he did a disservice to them by telling us as much as he did. I disagree with those readers. In my eyes, he has given us a glimpse into the wonderful lives of his parents, and a understanding of what a person, in this case an only son, goes through when he becomes an "orphan" within a year. How he deals with his dad is similar to what many children have had to deal with when a parent, especially a parent who pretty much got their own way before, is dying. Only, in this case, instead of ones sister or a cousin calling you to hear how ones parent is doing, you have Henry Kissinger calling to say, "I miss your reports (on your father's health)." With that message, you realize even further that William F. Buckley was no normal man with normal friends).

If you can, buy the audio version, but if you cannot, or do not have the time or facilities to listen to the audio version, buy the book. If you have enjoyed William F. Buckley in the past, you will enjoy reading about him through the eyes of his son. And, if you haven't read anything else my Christopher Buckley, this book will, like it did for me, encourage you to read this other works (I am on my second, of what I hope are many more).

Warm & Wonderful, April 29, 2009
By Darby (Dallas, Texas)


This is a wonderful little memoir written by Christopher Buckley as a means of spending a little more time with his beloved departed parents. This method of coping with grief will sound familiar to those of us who have lost parents. Relationships with parents are often complicated and Buckley's is made even more so by the extraordinary intelligence and achievements of the people involved; WFB and Pat were no mere mortals. The tidbits shared in the book about the relationship are by turns hilarious, endearing and gut wrentching. The book is as much about the famous parents as it is about Christo's dealing with the sickness and death of his ailing loved ones. It will be enjoyed not only by those who knew WFB and his larger-than-life wife, Pat, but also by those who are only vaguely familiar with these people but identify with the problem of dealing with difficult but ailing parents. Buckley's writing is excellent; I couldn't put the book down. I found myself wishing for more of these delicious little slices of WFB and Pat's life but in the end that's really not what the book is about. Thank you, Christo, for sharing this incredibly difficult time in your life with us.