Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Owner's Manual for Driving Your Adolescent Brain by JoAnn Deak, Terrence Deak

The Owner's Manual for Driving Your Adolescent Brain by JoAnn Deak
My daughter is in 7th grade and they are currently studying the human body systems. This book is perfect for this age group! The drawings are cute and the information is written in an interesting way and is just right for the middle school/adolescent age group. I think this book should be in all middle school libraries.

Waking Up in Heaven: A True Story of Brokenness, Heaven, and Life Again by Crystal McVea

Waking Up in Heaven by Crystal McVea
This book is a memoir/testimony of a woman who tells her life story including how she was sexually abused as a child, went through a string of bad relationships resulting in two children born out of wedlock and one abortion, finally finding a good Christian husband, having premature twins and when the twins were 10 months old, her experience of dying in the hospital and coming back to life. She explains how when she was dead, she was in the presence of God and everything was good and how He told her to share her experience with others. Later, after sharing about her deathbed experience several times, she was invited to speak at a church where she felt that she should tell her entire life testimony about the abuse and how she now knows that God has always loved her. Many women who were also abused as children respond positively to her testimony. The book is well written and easy to read although I did find the first part a bit confusing because it skipped around chronologically so much going from when she was 5 years old, to when she was born, to when she was 4, then 3, then 5 again, then older.... I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Ennara and the Fallen Druid (Ennara, #1) by Angela Myron

Ennara and the Fallen Druid by Angela Myron
I received this book free to review from Netgalley. Normally I love children's books, but something about this one just was a bit off. I am not totally sure what it is really. For one thing, Ennara is only 10 years old, which is just a bit young for all that she does and says she feels. The characters did not seem very well developed and while the book is a fantasy - it is too far from reality to even be believable. I gave it a 3 star rating, but it really, for me is about two and a half stars.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Kombucha Revolution: 75 Recipes for Homemade Brews, Fixers, Elixirs, and Mixers by Stephen Lee, Ken Koopman

Kombucha Revolution by Stephen Lee
If you are interested in kombucha, this book is a very comprehensive resource for you. It explains what kombucha is and how to brew your own. The best types of equipment are given along with a wide variety of recipes. Some of the recipes are for brewing kombucha and others are for using kombucha in other foods like in salad dressings, smoothies, deserts and even in sourdough bread adn tea-brined eggs. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines by Paul Fleischman

Eyes Wide Open by Paul Fleischman
I think this book would be ok for students who are doing research. I don't think it is something that anyone would want to read all the way through though. This book claims to be a "briefing that will launch you on your own list." of things that you may want to do to save the earth. It's goal is to give students a foundation to base their decisions on. It covers a variety of environmental issues from energy types and peak oil to plastic bags, mass overconsumerism, gmos, pollution and the almighty dollar. Each page has lots of graphics - photos, charts, web links, quotes and drawings. To me, that was a bit overwhelming and distracting. I checked out some of the web links listed, and some of them work, but some do not. My husband and I found the tone of the book to be condescending and patronizing with lines like "Adolescence is dramatic and untidy; so are periods when societies change." I showed the book to several teenagers - my own children and some at the school where I teach, and they liked the look of the book with all the photos and graphics, but thought it looked too boring to read the whole thing. I received this book free to review from Netgalley in the kindle format, but I checked out the book in paper format from the library because the graphics did not work well on the kindle preview copy that I received.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Microbiome Diet: The Scientifically Proven Way to Restore Your Gut Health and Achieve Permanent Weight Loss by Raphael Kellman

The Microbiome Diet: The Scientifically Proven Way to Restore Your Gut Health and Achieve Permanent Weight Loss
This diet is expensive and impractical. The author defines the microbiome as the "miniature world made up of trillions of microscopic, nonhuman organisms that flourish within your intestinal tract." Nonhuman? Really? As opposed, I suppose, to the miniature world of trillions of microscopic human organisms flourishing in our intestines?
The author claims that a microbiome imbalance could cause a variety of problems including weight gain, digestive problems, immune system problems, depression, anxiety and foggy concentration.
His diet includes lots of supplements - a hugely expensive amount of supplements, along with a typical elimination diet at the beginning eliminating all processed foods, dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, HFCS, and other reactive foods. The recipes include a lot of expensive and/or difficult to find ingredients including Jerusalem artichoke, fennel, arugula, something called Lakanta, goat or sheep dairy, and gluten free beer among other things.
I think that this diet would be both expensive and difficult to follow due to the difficulty of finding many of the supplements and ingredients.

Blue Labyrinth (Pendergast, #14) by Douglas Preston

Blue Labyrinth by Douglas Preston

This is the 14th book in a series, and I have not read the others. I am sure that reading the other books first would fill in much needed background. Nevertheless, this is an excellent mystery/thriller and I enjoyed it without having read the others. Agent Pendergast is in for more than he expected when his son arrives at his door dead. As he is lured into the mystery, there is another murder at the Museum of Natural History. The search for answers leads Pendergast all over the world and Margot and Constance must help out as well. Action and adventure abound in this intriguing mystery. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.