July 29, 2011

Flashback by Dan Simmons

Flashback by Dan Simmons is mixture of a political suspense novel that is about a drug called Flashback which lets the users re-experience the best moments of their life. For a drug available that is so alluring, it is hard to resist. It is about murder, drugs, and a cop going under to find clues about a case. Sounds great, right? Well… read on to find out.

Book Description
The United States is near total collapse. But 87% of the population doesn't care: they're addicted to flashback, a drug that allows its users to re-experience the best moments of their lives. After ex-detective Nick Bottom's wife died in a car accident, he went under the flash to be with her; he's lost his job, his teenage son, and his livelihood as a result.

Nick may be a lost soul but he's still a good cop, so he is hired to investigate the murder of a top governmental advisor's son. This flashback-addict becomes the one man who may be able to change the course of an entire nation turning away from the future to live in the past.

A provocative novel set in a future that seems scarily possible, FLASHBACK proves why Dan Simmons is one of our most exciting and versatile writers.” –

My Thoughts
This is a very interesting novel that has a plot that is really quite unique. I’ve never read a book about a drug like this before and it makes for a really thought-provoking concept for the book.

The main character Nick Bottom is a flashback addict, but that is okay because he actually ends up using it for the case he is working on to find clues into the murder of Nakamura’s son.

If the book was more drug-using and murder-mystery suspense I would have enjoyed it more. Sure, it has that as a big part of the storyline. However, another large part of the book that is blatently hard to ignore is the political tone to the book and the anti-Muslim comments, “Green” technology, global warming, and health care reform bashing.

Overall, it is a good read if you don’t mind all the political comments made throughout the book. If this is highly annoying to you, I’d skip it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Flashback, Little, Brown and Company, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

July 25, 2011

Trash to Treasure Papermaking by Arnold Grummer

Trash to Treasure Papermaking by Arnold Grummer will guide you on how to make your very own recycled paper. It really isn’t that hard to do and with common items you can recycle your own paper in no time!

Book Description
“Transform junk mail, newspapers, comic books, wrapping paper, labels from cans and bottles, old phone books, and more into beautiful handmade paper in just minutes! Trash-to-Treasure Papermaking shows you how to create unique sheets in a variety of shapes, colors, textures, and sizes, using just a blender and some water. The book also features dozens of fabulous projects you can make with the newly created paper—such as cards, invitations, little bound books, paper bowls, wreaths, and ornaments. This fun, easy craft is suitable for everyone in the family, even preschoolers!” – Trash to Treasure Papermaking

My Thoughts
Trash to Treasure Papermaking is all about making your own custom made recycled paper. This book teaches you which kind of paper is best to use, how to make the pulp and then turn it into paper that you can reuse.

It might seem like it would be an intimidating thing to try for yourself, but it really isn’t that hard. I do suggest using an old or very cheap blender for the pulp though because you really don’t want to use it for your food or smoothies after making paper pulp in it.

The different ideas for what you can do with the paper like using napkins for patterns and also tissue is a fun idea. I personally really liked making the paper and putting in leaves and dried flowers in it – so pretty!

Overall, I found this book to be a really fantastic guide for making paper out of “trash.” I highly recommend it for everyone who wants to try this project too.

* Thank you to the publisher of Trash to Treasure Papermaking, Storey Publishing, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

July 24, 2011

Making Herbal Dream Pillows by Jim Long

Making Herbal Dream Pillows by Jim Long is explains what these dream pillows are and how to create your very own. You will need some creativity and of course the herbs to do so. The end result is worth it though, so if this is something you’ve been interested in, this is a fabulous book to help you make your own magical dream pillows.

Book Description
“Tuck a fragrant dream pillow into your pillowcase tonight and you’ll summon long-hidden memories and inspire the dreams you’ve always wanted. In Making Herbal Dream Pillows, the healing energies of aromatic herbs and flowers are combined into 17 dream blends especially designed to: reduce stress, nurture your creative spirit, inspire romantic thoughts, and increase mental clarity and awareness.” – Making Herbal Dream Pillows

My Thoughts
Making Herbal Dream Pillows isn’t a large book, but it doesn’t need to be. It covers the origin of dream pillows, common herbs that are used in the pillows, and recipes for the pillows to have certain dreams.

The herbs may not be easily accessible at local stores, but you should be able to find most that you could purchase online or the seeds to buy and plant your own to grow. The different blends help the dreamer to have stress relaxing or peaceful sleep, romantic dreams, creative dreams, traveling dreams and more.

Overall, I found this book to be informative and really quite helpful for those who want to make their own dream pillows. I really liked the blend for “Inspiring Creativity” which can also help (at least for me) to get rid of writer’s block! I highly recommend this book for all the dreamers out there.

* Thank you to the publisher of Making Herbal Dream Pillows, Storey Publishing, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

July 22, 2011

Psychic Intelligence by Terry and Linda Jamison aka “The Psychic Twins”

Psychic Intelligence by Terry and Linda Jamison “The Psychic Twins” is a fabulous starter book for people who want to improve their psychic senses. If you want to know more about the different types of psychic senses and how to improve them, check out this book.

Book Description
“The Psychic Twins have amazed audiences all over the world with their eerie predictions that have proven to be true, including the events of 9/11, the Times Square Terrorist incident, natural disasters and more. They've also worked with countless clients who report that their predictions later came to be true. Although the Twins have an undeniable gift in this area, we all have psychic capabilities-- and in this book they show you how to strengthen your own, look into your future, and change your destiny.

In PSYCHIC INTELLIGENCE, Terry and Linda Jamison explain, step-by-step, how to dissolve the blocks that can prevent you from using and trusting your own intuition. By exploring what they call the Four Clairs: clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, and claircognizance, you will be able to tap into these feelings and in turn:

--Create strong and worthwhile relationships, including finding true love
--Attract wealth and abundance
-Know when to make a career change, and what the new path should be
--Experience vibrant health
--Discover your authentic self and life's purpose

Now, at a time of real economic and social uncertainty, when hope is needed and so many are feeling confused and fearful, PSYCHIC INTELLIGENCE will show readers that we all have the power to tap into and control our own destiny.” – Psychic Intelligence

My Thoughts
I’ve wanted to expand my knowledge and ability in psychic senses for a long time. I’ve read many books about it but never really did many of the exercises in the books or resonated with what they said. This book changed that and gave me a better understanding of which type of “Clair” I am better able to do and also how to make the others stronger. Even if you don’t think you’d be good at one, you probably would be good with at least one. The quiz or checklist given for each type will help you to see which ones you’d be best at.

Psychic Intelligence is written in a fun and easy to follow format by the twins that makes it easy to understand. There are many stories and exercises throughout the book that make it relatable and fun to try out. If this is something you’ve wanted to improve on too, be sure to get this book. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Psychic Intelligence, Grand Central, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

July 20, 2011

Chemistry isn’t as fun as Potions Class

This summer I am taking Chemistry. It is the main reason I haven’t blogged much. With that and work I’ve been really busy and haven’t had that much time to read for reviews or post anything interesting. Sorry about that! I will be out of chemistry hell in mid-August and I’m taking a semester off.

I went into the class with a positive attitude. I kept telling myself that Chemistry will be fun and I tried relating it to Harry Potter’s Potions class. Well, we have done nothing cool in the lab and the tests are quite awful. I’d relate it to drinking the polyjuice potion of someone you hate and having to look like them for a week. Not cool!

Maybe I hate it so much because I dislike math. My teacher makes the class more math oriented than actual chemistry it seems. Again, I know… verbal eyeroll right? Plus, it is an intro course and I highly doubt anyone in the class will ever take anything else in chemistry after this. Yet the teacher thinks we should understand it as well as she does.

So, it is official chemistry (at least for me) is nowhere near as cool as a potions class in the world of Harry Potter would have been. Why was I born a mere muggle? Potions class would have been much more fun!

By the way, have any of you seen the new Harry Potter movie? I plan on seeing it sometime next week. I can’t wait!

July 17, 2011

The Last Year of Your Life by Clint Arthur

The Last Year of Your Life by Clint Arthur is a yearlong process that can change the lives of people that actually put the program to use. Throughout the year you’ll be able to make changes and eventually be able to say that you lived like never before, and who wouldn’t want that?

Book Description
“Is 2011 is your year to STOP LIVING LIKE A ZOMBIE?!?!?!?!?!

If this is your year to Eliminate Procrastination, Clutter, Fear & Doubt...
To Lose Weight, Quit Smoking, Re-unite with Lost Friends or Loved Ones...
To Break Through Your Barriers, Bring Out Your Uniqueness, Passion and Gifts...
To Create Your Legacy in your Business, Career, Profession, or for your Family...
If you are ready to become the Best Parent, Spouse, Friend, and Person....
And if you are ready to have The Most Fun You’ve Ever Had in One Year...

Then It’s Time For You To Make a Commitment to Your Own Greatness...

Get into Action Now and Invest in The Last Year Of Your Life... The Official Action Guide of www.TheLastYearOfYourLife.com” – The Last Year of Your Life

My Thoughts
The Last Year of Your Life is a book that I heard about on the radio talk show Coast to Coast AM. The idea of it intrigued me. What would you do if this was the last year of your life? What changes would I make in my life to say that I lived life (for that year at least) to the fullest and did everything I could to make each day something great? What would you do? Would you be up for the challenge?

I took the challenge and even though I am only a few weeks into the program, I notice a difference in my life. I am going to try to stay on the program for the whole year and I really hope that it works for me. I don’t have a very good history with keeping with things for a whole year – my diaries usually start out good for a few weeks then fizzle off until I pick them up a few years later. This blog is honestly the only thing I’ve written in continuously for years.

This program is very interactive though and acts more like a workbook that you can even write in for the exercises. It is hard for me to actually write in books, even ones meant for you to write in – but I am with this one! I think it might make me stick with it longer, and from what I have read I believe it will work.

If you want to wake up and start enjoying your life again, this is really the book for you to get and work with.

If you have kids, you should also check out Clint Arthur’s bedtime story Daddy Loves You that is a heartwarming feel-good book that fathers can read to their children. It isn’t a large children’s book but the message that Daddy loves them comes through loud and clear. It might even inspire fathers to create their own personalized version of the book for them to share with their kids too.

* Thank you to the author of these books for providing me with a copy of the books for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

July 14, 2011

Buddha Standard Time by Lama Surya Das

Buddha Standard Time by Lama Surya Das is the book to read if you are so busy that you think you don’t have time to do things. Read this book and start to de-stress by getting back in tune with the natural time of things – not a clock.

Book Description
“We're all given the same twenty-four hours a day. We can spend our time feeling hurried and harried, overwhelmed by chores and demands, distracted and burned out . . . or we can awaken to Buddha Standard Time, the realm of timelessness where every choice, every action, and every breath can be one of renewal and infinite possibilities.

Buddha Standard Time shares one of the great realizations of Buddhism, an insight that anyone can learn to apply. The minutes and hours of our days do not simply march from future to present to past. Rather, each moment is intersected by a fourth dimension. By learning to live in this dimension—Buddha Standard Time—we reduce the amount of stress in our lives and find greater focus, fulfillment, creativity, and even wisdom.
Drawing on Tibetan Buddhism and other great wisdom traditions, as well as on neuroscience and holistic traditions, renowned teacher and national bestselling author Lama Surya Das shares real world examples, practical exercises, and essential techniques.

The pace and pressure of today's world feels relentless. That is why, now more than ever, we need the ancient wisdom contained in Buddha Standard Time. Far from being at the mercy of time's demands, we will finally realize that we have, in fact, all the time in the world. ” – Buddha Standard Time

My Thoughts
Buddha Standard Time is a book that everyone who thinks they are so busy they have no time to even stop and enjoy a sunrise or sunset should read. It includes guides to help readers start living in the present moment and to enjoy things that they really want to do. It doesn’t promise to expand your 24 hour day into 48 hours, but if you start practicing some of the steps and meditations, you may just find yourself with extra time in the day so you can start enjoying your “time” once again.

Overall, I found that the exercises are quite helpful in learning how to meditate and reconnect with nature. I highly recommend this book to everyone who needs help de-stressing and enjoying the time in a day again.

* Thank you to the publisher of Buddha Standard Time, Harper One, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

July 7, 2011

Growing Up In Heaven by James Van Praagh

Growing Up In Heaven by James Van Praagh is a book that shows another side of life after death than most would assume “heaven” is like. If you’ve lost anyone, especially a child, this is the perfect book to read to help ease the pain of their passing on.

Book Description
“In Growing Up in Heaven, New York Times bestselling author and world-famous medium James Van Praagh brings to light the amazing journey of children who have passed from earth to heaven. Growing Up in Heaven follows the path of a child’s soul—their time spent in heaven and their connection to the living.

In this, his most moving work, Van Praagh reveals the reality that love transcends the physical and material planes of this world. Growing Up in Heaven lifts our spirits with the knowledge that our departed ones will always be with us—an extraordinary gift for all of us who yearn to understand life on the other side.

Blessed with an exceptional gift, James Van Praagh has the ability to bridge the gap between this world and the next. Based on nearly thirty years of spirit communication, this renowned and beloved medium takes us on a powerful, eye-opening, and ultimately inspiring voyage. Filled with uplifting true stories and profound messages of love, this astounding look at heaven provides a remarkably detailed portrayal of the child’s soul as it moves from this world to the next. Our eyes and hearts open and we experience firsthand the unbreakable bond between parent and child, all the while glimpsing a vision of heaven.” – Growing Up In Heaven

My Thoughts
Growing Up In Heaven is written very well. It is an interesting read for someone who may not have lost a child or anyone close to them. Yet for someone who has lost someone, especially a child, this would really be an extremely comforting book to read.

James Van Praagh does an excellent job explaining why some people leave the world way before we want them to and gives hope and excellent detail to where these souls go once they leave the Earth. It isn’t a heaven with cherub angels playing the harp. It is more of another school where spirits go to learn and grow up (if they didn’t have a chance to while on Earth). The stories included from spirits he has encountered while giving readings is extremely heartfelt and touching. Warning: some will make you cry.

As explained in the book, family and friends that have passed before us often come back to Earth (as spirits) to try and contact us to let us know that they are okay. Oftentimes though, we just don’t listen to them or brush off the signs they send or perhaps don’t even notice them at all. They often come to us in dreams. I’ve had one such experience and it is truly remarkable and something I’d never forget. Just be open to it, and they will come.

This is a really remarkable read and if you have ever lost anyone or are just interested in knowing what happens after you die, this is the book to read. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Growing Up In Heaven, HarperOne, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

July 2, 2011

The Quotable Rogue: The Ideals of Sarah Palin

The Quotable Rogue by Matt Lewis is a book that gives Sarah Palin quotes. If you like her, this is a must-read. Even if you don’t like her, it is an interesting read that might make you like her more… or less.

Book Description
“Inspiring, impactful, and revealing words from political and cultural icon Sarah Palin.

Many a pundit has tried to define Sarah Palin, but this is one woman who chooses not to wear labels imposed by others but instead to define herself by her own words and actions. Today she is one of the most sought after speakers and commentators and is poised to help to frame the issues in the 2010 election and beyond. The Quotable Rogue encapsulates Palin’s thoughts on such salient issues as health care, taxes, and government spending, the right to life, climate change, what it means for a politician to serve the people, and more.

• “We need to spend more time lifting up America instead of apologizing for the greatest country on earth.”
• “How’s that hopey-changey thing workin’ out for you?”
• “My dad always says, ‘Don’t retreat, just reload.’ Don’t let anybody tell you to sit down and shut up.”

Matt Lewis is a writer, blogger and commentator based in Alexandria, VA. He currently serves as a senior contributor for The Daily Caller.” – The Quotable Rogue

My Thoughts
The Quotable Rogue is actually a good read. Regardless of your personal feelings towards Sarah Palin, the quotes in this collection of things she has said shows that she does really love America. The book is divided into categories of things that Palin has said ranging from her take on family, faith, economics, the environment, the Tea Party Movement, and much more.

The quotes show Palin as being strong, patriotic, caring, and someone who knows her stuff. This is different than we sometimes see her in the media, but we all know how the media often skews the perception of people too, don’t we?

Personally, I find her highly interesting and enjoyed reading what she has said about things and reading about what she has done. For instance, did you know that she officiated at a wedding in Wasilla at the local Wal-Mart? She did!

Overall, I quite enjoyed this book. It isn’t a boring political read at all, and is suitable for fans or haters of the former Governor of Alaska. I recommend it to anyone who likes her or just wants to know more about things she has really said.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Swami Panchadasi’s Clairvoyance and Occult Powers

Swami Panchadasi’s Clairvoyance and Occult Powers by William Walker Atkinson and edited by Clint Marsh is a reprint of the lessons that “Swami Panchadasi” wrote almost 100 years ago. It is still quite relatable though and brings wisdom into this field of metaphysics.

Book Description
“Curious about past-time clairvoyance and clairvoyance of distant scenes? Interested in developing your astral senses and gaining personal psychic influence over others? Then join Swami Panchadasi for twenty lessons in developing the outstanding powers of mentalism!

Prepare for your own adventure into worlds beyond our everyday perceptions with Swami Panchadasi’s Clairvoyance and Occult Powers.

First published in 1916, this metaphysical classic by occultism pioneer William Walker Atkinson’s guru Swami Panchadasi (who, it turns out, was actually Atkinson writing under a pseudonym) offers training for anyone to master a range of telepathic talents. From crystal gazing to clairvoyant reverie, psychic healing to astral travel, transference, and psychometry, the lessons are sure to delight student and adept alike.

The introduction by Clint Marsh, author of The Mentalist’s Handbook, takes us into the strange and multi-faceted life of William Walker Atkinson, a turn-of-the-century occultist, and a real Guru’s guru! A powerful book of knowledge, Clairvoyance and Occult Powers will confound and enchant readers today as it did nearly 100 years ago. ” – Swami Panchadasi’s Clairvoyance and Occult Powers

My Thoughts
Swami Panchadasi’s Clairvoyance and Occult Powers is essentially a reprint of the works by Swami Panchadasi. The lessons included are all an enjoyable read for anyone wanting to learn more about these fields. The lessons mainly include clairvoyance senses, psychometry, crystal gazing, psychic influence and psychic healing.

All of the chapters included in the book may not be something that everyone wants to read fully, and that is okay. You can choose to pick which topics are of interest and just read those.

For me, I enjoyed the lesson about crystal ball gazing the most. It is something I’ve always been interested in but seemed to lack the skill to actually do it. After reading the information in the book, I’ve decided to give it another try. Hopefully the tips I read will help.

Overall, I found this to be an insightful book filled with good tips and stories on each of the topics discussed. It is a great book and I recommend it to anyone who has interest in clairvoyance.

* Thank you to the publisher of Swami Panchadasi’s Clairvoyance and Occult Powers, Weiser Books, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

July 1, 2011

July is Going to be an Interesting Month

This is an e-mail that is going around about how this July is going to be really interesting. I thought it would be something cool to share with everyone, so read on to see just how rare this month will be….

This year, July has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. This happens once every 823 years.

This year we're going to experience four unusual dates:

1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, 11/11/11 and that's not all...

Take the last two digits of the year in which you were born - now add the age you will be this year. The results will be 111 for everyone in the whole world. This is the year of the Money!!!

It won’t actually be “111” for everyone in the whole world, but for most it will. Anyways, pretty cool huh?