Sunday, January 30, 2011

How to Shop For Free by Kathy Spencer

Product Details
Kathy is one of those women that they show on tv going through the grocery store with multiple carts, using a kabillion coupons and getting hundreds of dollars worth of groceries for free.
She has some good tips and a great website - which includes a coupon databank, which is great.
I think, however that Kathy has some better grocery stores in her area than I have here because I tried the coupon thing today at a store that doubles coupons and I used them with the store coupons.  I did buy some other non-coupon items but they were on sale.  I saved almost 50% according to their receipt, but their prices are over inflated to start with so I really don't think my savings were that good. 

Lost Boy by Brent W. Jeffs

Brent Jeffs is the nephew of Warren Jeffs, the now infamous leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Brent tells about life in the community and what it is like to grow up with three mothers, who don't get along with one another, and more than a dozen siblings. It explains the brainwashing and fear of the outside community that is taught within that group. Brent exposes the sexual abuse that he and his brothers endured from Warren Jeffs.  This was the reason for the class-action lawsuit that they filed in 2004.
I am glad that Warren Jeffs is in jail, and I am sad that the polygamist communities still exist because surely there is still abuse going on within them.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose

The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University
I was very impressed by this book.  Kevin is a smart young man and he wrote a thoughtful and thought provoking book about his experience spending a semester "undercover" at Liberty college - an evangelical fundamentalist Christian college.  I enjoyed Kevin's frankness in sharing how he realized that the students at Liberty, fundamentalist evangelicals that they were, were still very much like the liberal students at Brown.
Kevin shares his discomfort with the rampant homophobia at Liberty, and how he finds that he begins to pray and actually enjoys it. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

the chosen one by Carol Lynch Williams

The Chosen One
This is a well written book about a sad topic.  It is a story of a 13 year old girl who lives in a polygamist community.  It is recommended for 7th grade and up. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

90 Minutes In Heaven by Don Piper

90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death & Life
I am not sure why I chose to check this book out from the library and read it, but I am glad that I did.
I  am impressed with Don's story of how he died in a car wreck and was prayed back to life and his experience of heaven and his recovery.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mr. Pip by Lloyd Jones

Mister Pip
This book is set on a tropical island -Bougainville in the late 1990s and chronicles a few years of a 13 year old native girl - Matilda's life during their civil war in a time when all the white people have left except for one man, Mr. Watts, who is married to a native woman.  He becomes the childrens' teacher and uses Charles Dicken's Great Expectations to teach them about life and the world beyond their island.
I really enjoyed this book a lot - until the end. 
The graphic violence was disturbing. 
Overall, the book made me think, and that is a good thing.
Before reading this book I had never heard of Bougainville and neither, apparantly had many people.  This book brought attention to the area and some documentaries were then made about it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Magician Trilogy by Jenny Nimmo

Also known as The Snow Spider Trilogy

I like Jenny Nimmo's writing and over all, this is a good trilogy.
It begins in the first book, the Snow Spider, with Gwyn's grandmother telling him on his 9th birthday, that he is a magician.  It contains Welsh folklore and Welsh words - which may be difficult for some children to read.
The 3 books get progressively darker and cover a time period of about 4 years following Gwyn, and his family and neighbors and relatives Emlyn and Nia. 
While I did like the stories, I found a few things about them disturbing and creepy. 
I did not like the fact that Gwyn's sister left to go to some other cold planet that steals children who are not happy and that when she returned briefly she did not want to stay with her family, but preferred to go back to her cold planet even though her mother kept her bedroom the same and her parents had never really gotten over her dissappearance. 
And I found Nia's obsession with her uncle and his dalliance with her older sister creepy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Intended Audience

All books should have an intended audience - that is who they are written for.
Some are written for children, some for adults and some are written as college dissertations meant for no one but stuffy professors to read.
The book Beyond Animal Rights: food, pets and ethics  by Tony Milligan apparantly falls into the last category.
Tony Milligan: Beyond Animal Rights - Food, Pets and Ethics
It is a part of a "brand new series of stimulating and accessible books examining key contemporary social issues from a philosophical perspective" called "Think Now".
I thought the topic was interesting, but the book is written in an unreadable style including sentences like:
"Appreciation of this may add to our understanding of the incrudelity about the Marcus case, a case of deliberate commodification and, in a sense, the betrayal of a claimed human-pet bond."
Oh. My. Goodness.  Ick.  And boring. 
If you understand and enjoy reading things that are written like that, then perhaps you will enjoy this book. 
If you had no clue what that sentence means - skip this book.
I read the first chapter and am now returning this book to the library where perhaps some other patron will find it more interesting than I did.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror by Jennifer Finney Boylan

FalconQuinn revise2
Ok, at first, I saw that this book is in the same genre as Harry Potter, The Last Olympian and several others - kids who are "different" go to a school for kids who are similarly "different" - in this case, a school for kids who are monsters and I thought it would just be another copy cat book.  But, it is a really good book!  The kids don't know they are monsters until they get to the school, and Falcon, the main character, does not find out what kind of monster he is until near the end of the book.
And I think this book is Fantastic!  I was really pleased with it. 
It emphasizes being yourself and not conforming to the accepted norm.
It is well written, funny, and draws you in and engages you.
It is for the middle school aged child and up and I highly recommend it! 
I look forward to the rest of this series.

My 11 year old son just read this book in 2 days and he loved it too!

books with similar genres

I am currently reading Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror. 
It is a good book and I like it. 
It is funny and well written.
It follows the genre that J.K. Rowling established with the Harry Potter Series - that  of kids with some sort of different abilities going to a school together with kids like them.
Falcon Quinn goes to a school for kids who are monsters.
He does not know what kind of monster he is, but the other two kids who were picked up on the bus with him  are Max, who is a Sasquatch, and Megan who is a wind elemental.

Other series that follow this genre include Harry Potter- where the kids go to a school to learn magic, and Rick Riordan's Last Olympian series, where children of the Greek Gods - half-bloods also called heros go to summer camp together; and the Charlie Bone series, where the children of the Red King who have magical powers are at a boarding school together.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Books I am currently reading

I have quite a few books checked out from the library right now.
Here are some of them:

How To Dry Foods by Deanna DeLong
Food Drying with an Attitude by Mary T.Bell

I just got a food dehydrator and checked out these books to see if there was anything intersting in them. 
So far, I have dried some fruits - which we ate.  I don't think I dried them enough though because when I put the leftovers in a container they were soggy the next day.  I also sprouted and dried kamut and wheat - that worked great - and made it into flour.

Some other cookbooks I have out from the library right now are:

From Amish and Mennonite Kitchens by Phyllis Pellmand Good and Rachel Thomas Pellman
I love that it is written in calligraphy!  I think that it is all hand written - not a font - and I cannot imagine how long that took to do!  The recipes look simple and yummy! 

Healthy Meals for Less by Jonni McCoy
I am not sure if I will use many of the recipes but there is one for homemade granola bars that I am going to try.

Healthy Helpings : 800 Fast and Fabulous Recipes for the Kosher (or Not) Cook
by Norene Gilletz
It looks intersting .  I tried the homemade potato chips and figured out how to use my food processor to slice potatoes.  Now you know how little I use the food processor.
The chips were ok, but I think I over cooked them - some were very black and crispy.

Other books currently checked out include:

fearless knitting WORKBOOK by jennifer e. seiffert
Sadly, I fear this one is beyond my beginner knitting skills.  I did get a good idea from it though.  She has lots of little knit squares patterns - which are too difficult for me to do - but I thought that was a good idea to do to learn new skills and techniques so I am using my scrap yarn to knit some potholders trying some other patterns.  Perhaps I will work my skill level up and check out this book in the future.  For now, it is going back to the library.

Just In Case: How to be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens
by Kathy Harrison
So, I have learned from this book that should the unexpected happen and we are trapped in our house without electricity we are just in major trouble.  The book does have some recipes in the back though!  I love recipes even though I rarely follow them exactly.  I see recipes as good general guidelines to follow and adapt using ingredients that I like and have on hand.

By James Talmage Stevens
Yet more evidence that we would not do well with no electricity.  But again, it has recipes!  And it tells how to make homemade yogurt!  I want to try that sometime. 

By the way - I am blogging in a chair full of kittens.  Three are behind me which makes the back of my backside nice and warm, but I cannot sit back in the chair and one is in my lap purring, which she always does. 

Fire Will Fall

Apparantly this is the second book in a series by Carol Plum-Ucci about 4 teenagers who have been poisoned by bio-terrorists after 911.
I did not read the first book and I am not sure if I will.  But I did like this book.  It deals with  4 teenager's problems with their illness caused by the virus as well as their personal issues and two other teenagers who are v-spies trying to uncover the terrorists.
I think the book is well-written, but it is long and took me longer to read than most because it just is not one of those books that you can't put down.
I could and did put it down - and so it took about a week or week and a half for me to read it.

The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Twelfth Grade Kills

Twelfth Grade Kills (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, #5)

I just hate it when I read an entire series and then I don't like the ending. 
This is the last book in The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod.
I liked the series a lot.
But, this last book -Sucks.
Yes, there was Bites, Slays, Bleeds, Burns and Kills, and to me, the ending - Sucks. 
I really liked the series - it follows the life of Vladimir Tod from 8th through 12th grades and his experiences as a teenage vampire living in the normal human world knowing little about the vampire world since he was born to a human mother and a vampire father who had both died in a tragic fire when he was younger - or so he thought.
I felt the last book tried to tie all of the loose ends together and end the series without enough detail.
We are not given much detail about the lives of the other characters - Henry or Snow or Eddie or any of the others and they could have been fleshed out some more.
We never have been told how slayers have superhuman type strength although apparantly a new book is being written by the author about the slayers that will come out in the fall - perhaps the author will explain things about the slayers in that book.  It will be called "The Slayer Chronicles". 
And I just did not like the violence and killing of loved characters at the end and the character of Tomas either at the end.
I will read Heather Brewer's future books - I do like her writing and her stories - I just was not happy about the way this series ended.

How Many Books DO I Read Each Year?

I read a lot of books.  I really don't know how many. 
I am going to keep track of them here and find out just how many books I really read in a year.
I found a 52 books in 52 weeks challenge. 
I think I read more than that actually. 
I love reading!
So, here we go to find out how many books I really read in a year!