Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thank you!

 After much thought, I have decided to discontinue this blog. I adore reading and blogging about it, but I found I don't blog about it enough. Though I will still update when I finish reading challenges, there won't be anymore reviews here. I will be combining this blog with my main blog, Life's Sweet Passions. For anyone who is interested, I will still be posting about my reading there, under the tag: Books and Reading.

I want to send a huge "thank you," to my followers and subscribers who have made this blog fun. 

Monday, June 8, 2009

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: If Your Kid Eats This Book, Everything Will Still be Okay

Dr. Zibners covers every part of the body and offers sound advice (for example, did you know that oil is a remedy for dissolving superglue between body parts?), all the while maintaining an hilarious tone. To the question, "What if she chokes on her vomit?" Dr. Zibners answers that a healthy child will not choke on her own vomit, unless she is "drunk or high on Grandma's sleeping pills."

Finally, no more frantic, late-night searched through the "what to buy," "how to diaper," or "what to feed him" sections found in other childcare books to find out if little Franny needs to go to the ER. This book focuses on the essential questions, like how to keep her from electrocuting herself in the first place.

Did you know that even though your kid just took a swig of bleach, she may not have to go to she emergency room?

When I first received this book for review, I expected it to be yet another version of way-too-overdone parenting book. I began reading and waited for the chapters about changing diapers, washing bottles, and how to tell if your child is really hungry vs. really tired.

This is not that book.

Everyone wishes they could have a stand-by Medical Doctor in their home. Well, this book isn't that, but it's the next best thing!

Lara Zibners, MD, tells us parents all about the Emergency Department (apparantly it's the ED, not ER) and when to take our children there. We are told that over half of the 25 million visits made by children per year, to the Emergency Department, are unnecessary. Zibners used her good sense of humor to gently educate parents on what types of injuries or illnesses really warrant an ED visit, vs. what doesn't. I especially love the way that Dr. Zibner uses her sense of humor to make the reader feel more comfortable. The entire section on vomit in Chapter 6 had me laughing out loud so many times.

"Vomiting Colors
I honestly could care less what color the vomit is until you tell me it is green. And not the yellow-green that comes up when there is nothing left to vomit. That is stomach juice. We are talking green, green, green. Green like a Christmas tree green. Green like my scrub pants green...."

I've definitely been guilty of bringing this up to my doctor before...actually, more than once. She gently ensured me that the color really doesn't matter unless it's green.

I was extremely surprised by some of the things I learned in this book and I really wish I could have read it two years ago, just before I had Monkey, as I found the newborn chapter especially helpful and full of amazing facts that I didn't know.

Great book, Dr. Zibner, I'm so glad I got to read it!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway on my blog, Life's Sweet Passions to win one of five copies of this book!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Mortal Instruments Series, by Cassandra Clare

Okay, This series by Cassandra Clare is one of my absolute favorites. And I know I say that a lot, but this time I really, really, mean it! I soooo want to spoil the books for everyone because I want to talk about them, but I won't. I'll satisfy that urge by joining online fan forums. :)

There are three books in the series, The city of Bones, The city of Ashes, and The City of Glass. I just finished reading The City of Ashes, and am now hyped up on demons, battles, and witty sarcasm... which the books have plenty of. Clare's characters are hillariously funny, and even her own descriptions in the book hold to their own sense of humor. I loved coming across descriptions that were so random and sarcastic, they made me laugh:

"The boy's wide eyes were way too bright a green, Clary noticed: the color of antifreeze, spring grass."

"He had electric blue hair that had stuck around his head like tendrils of a startled octopus."

There were some grammar errors that I noticed in the book (but don't expect me to look them up; I've long forgotten them...it would have taken me out of the great story to stop and write them down!), but other than that, I didn't have any negative feelings towards the books. I do, however, know that some people were bothered by the reasons behind the "forbidden love" in the book. I was bothered by it a little, but I did see it coming before it happened, and by the time I finished the second book I relaxed, realizing from the hints given, that things weren't as they seemed. I know that whole sentence sounds like a code, but I can't explain any further without spoiling the book.

All in all, this is a great series. I still need to read the last book, but from what I hear about it, I know I'll love it. I recommend The Mortal Instruments series to those who love the magical world, those who love sitting on the edge of their seat, those who are looking for forbidden love, and those who love mysteries and adventures with a sense of humor.

All I can say now, is: "Move over Edward, Jace has now arrived."

3 down, 2 to go for the Romance Reading Challenge.
3 down, 3 to go for the What's in a Name? Challenge.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Wings, by Aprilynne Pike

I ended up reading Wings, by Aprilynne Pike, after all. What can I say? I adore the cover.

"Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful--too beautiful for words.
 Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings."

The book follows a teen named Laurel, as she comes to find out that her average life isn't so average. When she wakes up one morning to find that she's sprouted an interesting and non-human item from her back, she begins an adventure that defies all she formerly knew to be true about her life. Add her new best friend David,who wishes he were more than just a friend, plus the mysterious and handsome Tamani, from Laurel's childhood, and you've got the perfect setup for a great book.

To be straight, I liked the book a lot. It was humorous, sweet, imaginative, and so far-stretched that it was believable. My favorite thing about the book is that when I finished reading it, I really wanted everything in it to be true. I wanted to wake up one morning with a "pimple" on my back and watch it grow into something spectacular. Aprilynne Pike's world of fairies is so very different from all others...but it works!

Although the story was great, I must say that the book is good, not amazing. There were parts where I felt as if time had skipped forward, or where it seemd as if a chunk of the book was missing. The book longed for those missing pages.

But, I would still recommend the book to those who love magical things, and anyone who wants to be taken on a different and new adventure. The story is so enchanting, even with the "time skips," that I look forward to reading the next one.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pretty Cover Award - Wings

It's been so long since I have updated! I feel like such a flake, but I haven't been reading any books lately...blasphemy, I know. I'm so behind on my challenges, and my bookshelf is starting to get a little dusty.

Never fear, I did pick up my long-forgotten copy of Beowulf, my neglected copy of Voyager (Outlander series, book 2), and my intimidating copy of Dracula, and am on my way to some (hopefully) happy endings and more reviews.

But until then, I thought I would share this book cover that I found on the net today. It was just released two days ago, and caught my attention immediately. If I were at the bookstore and looking for a book to read, I would most likely pick this one. The cover art is so gorgeous and girlie, I love it!

 Wings, by Aprilynne Pike
*I have not read this book, therefore my opinion is meant only towards the cover art, not the contents of the book.
...but, I have read some great reviews of this book and am very much looking forward to reading it!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tower of Strength

Just wanted to post about a giveaway I'm entering. Not Entirely British is giving away a copy of the book, Tower of Strength, by LDS author Annette Lyon. The story is a historical fiction, about a girl who lived during the time of the building of the Manti Temple (my favorite!).

I just heard about this book a couple days ago and have been wanting to read it, so I was so excited when I found out about this giveaway! If you'd like to enter, you can find the post HERE.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Home Review , a Giveaway, and Some Exciting News!

Before I go into my review, I just wanted to let everyone know that there have been some changes over at my main blog, Life's Sweet Passions! The first change is huge, in that the blog now has it's own domain! The address now is http://www.lifessweetpassions.com. If you currently subscribe to the feed of this other blog, there is no need to change your links (unless you feel like doing so), due to the ease of transition. Google has automatically forwarded all my current feeds.

-The look of Life's Sweet Passions will be changing soon, as well. I have found a very talented blog designer who is currently working on a new look for my blog. I also plan to change the look of this blog in the near future, so be on the look out!

-And now we come to the part you have most likely been waiting for. I was given the opportunity by the Hachette Book Group, to review the book: Mrs. Meyer's Clean Home, by Mrs. Thelma Meyer. I was a bit hesitant at first about reviewing this book, as I am not usually interested in self-help books. But I was caught by part of the description that said: "With prices going up and time seeming to dissolve with our busy lives, practical, earth-friendly, time-saving advice for cleaning seems like a good way to keep house." I decided to give the book a try, and am very happy that I did.

 You may have heard of Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day, or you may already use the products. But if you are wondering just who this Mrs. Meyer is, then wonder no more. In this book we meet Thelma Meyer, the inspiration behind the line of eco-friendly cleaning products, the mother of nine children, and a woman who really knows how to clean.

I loved the practicality of the advice given in this book. Mrs. Meyer tells you like it is, from advice such as "do it right the first time," to "put some elbow grease into it," she tells you exactly what you need to hear to get your house clean from top to bottom. Her advice at times reminded me of the advice one would hear from a trusted family member, as she tells you how to do something twice as easy as the way you've been doing it for years. She talks about reducing the things your family uses, and about not wasting anything. From watering the plants with the water you used to wash vegetables, to using products that are good for you and the environment, she gives eco-friendly advice and cleaning recipes that will help anyone striving to be green.

I loved the book's format, which was very refresing compared to other self help books. The pages are colorful and fun to read; no text-books here! The book is choc-full of everything to do with keeping house, making it the perfect book for those who are just learning household duties. My favorite parts are the weekly, monthly, and yearly chore lists. Exactly how often should I clean out the refridgerator? How often should I clean the curtains and vacuum the couches? Mrs. Meyer tells in her lists, exactly when these things should be done.

And for a quick sneak peak, here's a tip from the book:

What do you do when your house is a disaster and your friends just called and will be over in a few minutes? Mrs. Meyer's advice is not to panic, take a deep breath, and do "triage." 

1. Focus what they'll see first
2. Add shimmer and shine
3. Beautify the bathroom
4. Clean up the kitchen
5. Cope with suspicious smells
6. Dim the lights and break out the candles


I've loved reading this book, and seeing the applications it has in my home. And now, five lucky readers have the chance to get their own copy of Mrs. Meyer's Clean Home!  To enter, read the rules on the giveaway post, and leave a comment or two, following the guidelines!

Good luck, and thanks for visiting My Passion for Reading!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Outlander Challenge, 2009

Okay, okay, so I know I said that I wasn't going to join any more challenges this year...well, maybe I didn't post it on my blog, but I was definitely decided on the point in my head. That is, until I read The Chic Geek's blog, where she posted about signing up for none other than the Outlander Reading Challenge!!

If you've read my review of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander, then you'll know that it is one of my favorite books. I haven't gotten around to reading the rest of the 6 (soon-to-be 7) books in the series, so this challenge is perfect for me!

Here are the rules:
  1. Sign up!
  2. You must read each of the six current Outlander Series novels prior to the publication of An Echo in the Bone (scheduled publication September 2009).
  3. The format can be of your choosing (audio, book, Kindle, etc).
  4. You must post your thoughts/comments/inspirations/criticisms at least once on each book.
  5. Books can crossover to other reading challenges if you wish.
  6. Have fun!

Want to join this challenge with me? Visit the Challenge's blog HERE.

I plan on writing reviews for each book, but I'll also update this post after reading each one.

Outlander - My Review
Dragonfly in Amber
Drums of Autumn
The Fiery Cross
A Breath of Snow and Ashes
An Echo in the Bone (Released 9.22.09)

This challenge is hosted by:
A Reader's Respite
Passages to the Past

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Kiss of Shadows


Merry Gentry is in hiding, living in Los Angeles as a Private Investigator of supernatural crimes, she is doing pretty well. That is until one case reveals her as Princess Meredtih NicEssus, the lost Princess of the Unseelie, or Faerie court. She is brought back home, to the place where she had been running from for the past three years. The place where attempts on her life had been overlooked by the Queen, and even accepted by some of the nobles. It had been made very clear that she was wanted dead. 

Merry knows she will be assassinated when she returns home but Andais, Queen of Air and Darkness--Merry's aunt--has other plans for her.

I wanted to love this book; I really did. The imagination and thought that Laurell K. Hamilton put into this book is amazing. She created a world where humans and Faerie (or Sidhe) live and cooperate together. Her Fae are imaginative, unique, and glorious; my favorite Fae characterizations yet. I love the plot, and Laurell's writing style only adds to the story.

That having been said, I can only give this book three stars. Why? The main reason is that I felt as if the story ended in the middle of the book. There were a couple of things that happened which made it suspenseful, but the book had no real story arc. I felt cheated at the end, as if there should have been more to the story. 
I loved the characters in this book, but I feel as if I didn't get to know them well enough. Merry moved from one man to the next, then back again so fast that we only got to see the personalities of a few men. I loved the imaginative way the intimate scenes were described, but the feeling of detachment we often received afterward was offsetting. It was as if those moments meant little to Merry, so they meant little to me.This book had the potential to be one of my favorite paranormal romances, but I don't think it pulled it off. 

Though it came short of being a great book, Laurell K. Hamilton's descriptive writing and interesting world are too tempting, and I am still interested in reading the next in the series.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Old book, New Journal

Look at these book journals I've found! They're made by ex libris anonymous, who takes the covers from old books and uses them as the covers for new journals! I love, love, love the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys journals:

And take a look at this Dr. Seuss journal (I especially like the clear spiral):

What's more, the site also does custom orders. So they will make a journal out of any book you send for $10! I'm thinking a Twilight journal would be nice... :)

What a great way to be green! Now, let's see who's birthday is coming up next...