March 30, 2014

Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love by Marcia Naomi Berger

Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love by Marcia Naomi Berger is a book to help married couples at any stage of marriage. It encourages people to have a short meeting once a week to discuss things on a positive note about one another, and how this small step helps much more than one may think.

Book Description
Couples can make love last, says psychotherapist and clinical social worker Marcia Naomi Berger. They just need to learn how. Her prescription is deceptively simple: have an interruption-free thirty-minute (or even shorter) meeting each week and follow an agenda that includes the kind of appreciation and planning for fun that foster intimacy and pave the way for collaborative conflict resolution. With this book, you’ll learn how to effectively communicate and connect with your spouse each week, and for a lifetime, with step-by-step guidelines that walk you through the four parts of a marriage meeting: expressing appreciation, coordinating chores, planning for good times, and resolving problems. Inspiring real-life stories demonstrate how transformative these brief meetings can be. The communication tips and techniques Berger has gleaned from helping hundreds of couples will guide you toward a deeper, more lasting love.” – Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love

My Thoughts
Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love is a really good book that can be applied to people in any relationship, not just marriage. I get that it is definitely for marriages, but being that I am not married, I can see how it could work in different aspects as well.

I really like how the author uses this meeting to encourage the positives. Sometimes people like to focus on the negative things that their partner is doing, but this is really not very helpful. She also encourages communication skills that again, can be used well beyond a marriage. Very instrumental techniques to learn for everyone!

I think that this is a great book that would benefit so many couples. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

March 27, 2014

The Life Organizer by Jennifer Louden

The Life Organizer by Jennifer Louden is an essential book for people of this generation to read to help organize their life, but also to get on the path to the life they want to live. Take some time out of your super busy schedule to reorganize your thoughts, and see life in a much more fulfilling way.

Book Description
We all yearn to have time for personal needs and creative dreams — after all, this is our life to make the most of. And we all know how hard it is to remember what really matters. With distractions from jobs, aging parents, and children — not to mention women's perennial fear of being labeled “selfish” — following our own desires and dreams can become ever more elusive. The Life Organizer aims to help you shift your focus, augmenting traditional goal setting with the ease that comes from steady inner listening and mindfulness. It will become your trusted companion — and maybe the most important book you'll ever own.” – The Life Organizer

My Thoughts
I really like that you can do these exercises quickly and effectively. You can do them in the morning before work, while getting ready for work (or school), etc. I also think that focusing on just being alive, and realizing that hey we are here not just a slave to our machines and screens is something that I think too many people are losing sight of. I am also a big “To Do” lister. The ways to categorize these tasks is also helpful. Not everything is a “have to do”!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and think that so many people could benefit from reading it and doing these exercises. I highly recommend it for everyone to read!

* Thank you to the publisher of The Life Organizer, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

March 24, 2014

Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson

Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson is a historical novel set during World War I. During the time where women had limitations placed on them from the time they were born, it was especially felt by the upper class women, such as with the main character in this story. Lady Elizabeth Neville-Ashford is a woman ahead of her time, and longs for independence and the simple things in life, like marrying a man for love – and not for titles or riches that her parents think is best for her.

Book Description
In the dark and dangerous days of World War I, a daring young woman will risk her life to find her destiny,

Lady Elizabeth Neville-Ashford wants to travel the world, pursue a career, and marry for love. But in 1914, the stifling restrictions of aristocratic British society and her mother’s rigid expectations forbid Lilly from following her heart. When war breaks out, the spirited young woman seizes her chance for independence. Defying her parents, she moves to London and eventually becomes an ambulance driver in the newly formed Women's Army Auxiliary Corps—an exciting and treacherous job that takes her close to the Western Front.

Assigned to a field hospital in France, Lilly is reunited with Robert Fraser, her dear brother Edward’s best friend. The handsome Scottish surgeon has always encouraged Lilly's dreams. She doesn't care that Robbie grew up in poverty—she yearns for their friendly affection to become something more. Lilly is the most beautiful—and forbidden—woman Robbie has ever known. Fearful for her life, he's determined to keep her safe, even if it means breaking her heart.

In a world divided by class and filled with uncertainty and death, can their hope for love survive...or will it become another casualty of this tragic war?” – Somewhere in France

My Thoughts
Somewhere in France is a truly beautiful novel that the author did an excellent job weaving together. As someone who enjoys historical settings and novels, I really liked this book. The main character is someone who you cheer on and as a reader, you really want her to find her place in life, and be happy. However, this is written in a setting with war and devastation surrounding her, so it may not happen as you intended.

I found myself reading this book for longer periods than I had intended because I wanted to know what happened next. It is truly a perfect mix of historical romance that not many authors could pull off. There will be moments of joy, tears, and sadness, but it all pulls together to make for an excellent read! Fans of this genre and of shows such as “Downton Abbey” will definitely like this too.

* Thank you to the publisher of Somewhere in France, William Morrow, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

March 17, 2014

Road to Reckoning by Robert Lautner

Road to Reckoning by Robert Lautner is a novel set in the early pioneer America era. It is written with such detail that you get the feeling like you are there, and seeing it play out, without overdoing it.

Book Description
Twelve -year -old Thomas Walker has never left New York City. His father, a traveling salesman hoping to earn money by selling Samuel Colt’s recent invention, the “Improved Revolving Gun,” takes young Thomas with him on the road. But even the world’s first true revolver cannot save them from danger, and what starts as an adventure soon turns into a nightmare.

Thomas soon finds himself alone, and must rely on his own wits, courage, and determination, as well as a wooden replica of the Colt revolver, to protect himself. Luckily, an encounter with a surly ex-ranger, Henry Stands, leads to an improbable partnership, and the two set out in perilous pursuit of vengeance. That is, if they can escape the thieves who lurk around each trail, river, and road—and who have already stolen so much from Thomas.

In the spirit of The Sisters Brothers and True Grit, this spare, elegant, and emotionally resonant story conveys, through a boy’s eyes, a beautiful father-son story, as well as the fascinating history of how the birth of the revolver changed the course of violence in America. Road to Reckoning offers a window into the history of the American West and the heart of a boy yearning for love.” – Road to Reckoning

My Thoughts
Road to Reckoning is a beautifully written coming of age story. Thomas Walker is the type of character that you truly want to succeed and accomplish, even if it is vengeance. This story is sad, adventurous, and compelling with every turn of the page. The characters will stay with you long after you finish, and don’t be surprised if you want to read it for longer periods of time than you originally intended.

Although I loved the story, I especially have to give the author props on his fine attention to historical detail and setting. This is my favorite part of the book, and makes me want to read more that the author has written. He shows what a great writer he truly is with his fine use of detail.

I definitely recommend this book to everyone who loves a good story.

* Thank you to the publisher of Road to Reckoning, Touchstone, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

March 10, 2014

Birthing a New Civilization by Diana Cooper

Birthing a New Civilization by Diana Cooper is a look at the current transition of humanity towards 2032. That seems like a far ways off in our futures, but it really is much closer than we think. Spiritual teacher Diana Cooper shines in this book to help get people on the right path for the next 20 years.

Book Description
In Birthing a New Civilization Diana Cooper takes stock of where humanity stands in its evolutionary development looking at the current transition towards 2032. This fascinating forecast highlights the new spiritual energies entering the planet and bringing shifts to economic, political, and climatic arenas. Further predictions are offered for individual countries and include a time frame for this massive transition, anticipated to last until the Earth moves fully into the fifth-dimensional frequency in 2032. From what to expect to how to prepare, this exciting exploration serves as guidance for the next 20 years, allowing readers to attune themselves to the spiritual forces on the horizon and prepare themselves to ascend into the 5th dimension.” – Birthing a New Civilization

My Thoughts
Birthing a New Civilization is a very interesting book that for me is more of a guide to seeing how things could be. Diana Cooper covers “The Golden Ages”, the year 2012, 33 cosmic portals, cosmic pyramids, the environment, the economy, countries around the world, and much more.

With books such as this, I don’t just believe everything the author says because she (or he) writes it for us to read. I take what I hold to be true to myself, and leave the rest. If you do this too, there many things in the book that will speak to you, while other subjects may not. For instance, I don’t think orbs in photos are spiritual beings all the time, often it is just moisture or dust, or bugs. However, some people might see it as more. I also can’t get on board thinking that Barack Obama was an Atlantis priest in a past life, as well as many other things mentioned in the text.

Although I didn’t agree with a lot of what was written, I did find this book to be a good spiritual book that I think many people will enjoy for years to come. The overall message is good, and fans of Diana Cooper will definitely love this book.

* Thank you to the publisher of Birthing a New Civilization, Findhorn Press, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

March 3, 2014

Wendell Black, MD by Gerald Imber

Wendell Black, MD by Gerald Imber is about a police surgeon that unwittingly ends up in the middle of a big international drug smuggling ring, involving people he wouldn’t have normally suspected to be capable of such activities.

Book Description
A New York City police surgeon finds himself in the middle of an international drug-smuggling ring—or is it an even more dangerous conspiracy?

After a heart-thumping drop in altitude on a flight from London to New York, NYPD police surgeon Wendell Black is called on to try to save a woman who has gone into cardiac arrest. He's just carrying out his duty, but his aid places him at the center of an international drug-smuggling investigation.

As Black, and his English girlfriend, Alice—a knockout beauty and a surgeon to boot—digs deeper into the activities of the drug ring, he begins to suspect that a number of British doctors are involved. And when one of Alice's colleagues is brutally murdered and Alice suddenly disappears, the NYPD starts looking to Black for answers. His search peels away rings of conspiracy that expose a shocking threat to the nation.” – Wendell Black, MD

My Thoughts
Wendell Black, MD is the author’s debut novel. It features Wendell Black, MD, a plastic surgeon that the NYPD uses. The author has a considerable amount of knowledge on the topic, because he is also a surgeon that the NYPD uses. I thought that this would make it a more interesting book, but it kind of… didn’t. It seemed more of a chance for the author to take his career and make a character based off of himself, and make it more thrilling.

I found this book to be good, but not exactly that captivating. It took me about two weeks to read it off and on. I usually read a book in less than a day that really interests me. The characters and plot are good, but it often went on for longer than it needed to in certain areas. I think if it was cut down a bit more, it would have been much more readable.
I can see how some people would definitely enjoy it, but for me it was just an average read. If the subject of the novel interests you, give it a try.

* Thank you to the publisher of Wendell Black, MD, Bourbon Street Books, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.