Category Archives: non fiction

The Lupus Encyclopedia by Donald E. Thomas, M.D.

Lupus Book Review

The Lupus Encyclopedia

The Lupus Encyclopedia

The Lupus Encyclopedia: A Comprehensive Guide for Patients and Families (A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book) by Donald E. Thomas, Jr., M.D., FACP, FACR, was recently released.  Within the astounding 43 chapters is an in-depth and exhaustive discussion of the many facets of lupus.  This book is for lupus patients, but is not a quick read, but between two covers holds a broad library of balanced lupus topics that are worthy of investing some time and study.

There is so much in this book, but where should you start?  Begin in the Preface, where Dr. Thomas sets forth seven specific steps a lupus patient may use right away to get the greatest benefits from his book:

  1. Go to the 3 page Lupus Secrets Checklist in Chapter 44
  2. Read the listed specific chapters Dr. Thomas recommends reading next
  3. Get a copy of your medical records, notes, labs, x-rays, etc.
  4. Skim interesting chapters to find and go back to spend more time on ones that apply most to you
  5. Consult the Patient Resources at the end of the book
  6. Visit Dr. Thomas’ Facebook page and follow him on Twitter for current lupus news
  7. Consider sending an email to Dr. Thomas with suggestions for future editions

After ferreting out reliable lupus information for more than twenty years since my diagnosis in the early 1990s, it really seemed there were few sources of fresh information about Lupus, without going to books and references written for the medical community.  This book provides an understandable reference resource appropriate for patients. Happily, there is great depth and much to learn from reading and referring to this important book!

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Check out this new Lupus book!

Dr. Thomas clearly demonstrates his broad understanding of Lupus, and this book should stand the test of time as one of the great books about this complex auto-immune disease.  The first printing of this exhaustive patient reference initially sold out in both hard and soft cover edition at a reduced price through Amazon.com but a few more copies are now available, and more are on the way.  It is also sold at BarnesandNoble.com in both cover styles and as a Nook e-book at the lowest price I have seen online so far.  If other sources are out of stock and you don’t mind paying full list price, purchase it direct from the publisher’s website at John Hopkin’s University Press.

I heartily recommend The Lupus Encyclopedia, and urge you to check it out, too.

Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

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Book Review: Sickened

Book: Sickened

Author: Julie Gregory

Recommend: Feel bad for the author and what she went through but not bad enough to recommend the book…

Someone recommended this book to me. The person who suggested it shall remain nameless because I really didn’t enjoy this one – at all. The story is an autobiography of the author’s childhood growing up in an abusive household whose mother had Munchhausen by proxy. While I feel for the author, the writing is just awful. It feels very disorganized, contradictory and conflicted. The narrator is untrustworthy by the time you are finished and it just seems to feel like more of the same. The ending also left so much to be desired, not because of the material but because of the stopping point. Leaving a reader with an unresolved major issue will annoy your reader. I definitely think this is an important topic that needs to be brought to light, I just don’t think that this book really accomplishes its goal.

Final Rating:

Get it used...

Get it used…

 

 

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Book Review: Crazy Love

Book: Crazy Love

Author: Francis Chan

Recommend: Definitely worth a read…

What does loving God really mean? What does it really look like to truly love God? These are the central questions in Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love. If you are looking for something new to read through to convict and inspire you to live a more God-centered life, this book will definitely challenge you to look at where you really are. Not comparing yourself to the Christians around you, but comparing yourself to the Biblical ideal of what loving God actually is. I definitely feel like I was challenged by this book to look again at my life and see if I am really someone who is loving God or someone who is acting out of fear and obligation.

I have a feeling I’ll be reading this one more than once.

Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

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Book Review: A Stolen Life

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Book: A Stolen Life

Author: Jaycee Dugard

Recommend: This is a tough read and is not for the faint of heart.

I have a massive list of things I want to read. Seriously massive. This one has been on the list for quite some time but I finally got around to it. It was a TOUGH read.

This is a memoir about the eighteen years Jaycee Dugard spent in captivity written in her own words. The man who took her was sick. His wife enabled the situation.

This was hard to read honestly. However, I understand why she wrote it and shared it with the world. I can’t even imagine how hard it must have been to live eighteen years in such insanity. I admire the fact that she was able to get this down on paper at all, let alone share it with the whole world.

This does have very mature content including descriptions of drug use and sexual abuse. Read with caution.

Final Rating:

Get it used…

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Book Review: The Year of Living Biblically

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Book: The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible

Author: A.J. Jacobs

Recommend: I’m on the fence about this one. It had it’s good points and it’s sad points.

I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to get when I dove into this one. All I knew was the title had definitely peaked my interest. What exactly would it be like to attempt to follow some of the more obscure Biblical rules for a year?

As a Christian, I figured this would be interesting look from another perspective on the Bible and faith in general. An outsider looking, Jacobs takes the literalistic interpretation to the extreme. As someone who understands why we don’t follow all the cultural rules in the Old Testament anymore, I found of of it very amusing in a sad sort of way. The beard and hair alone was enough to cause massive laughter. While he did point out the separation of moral laws from cultural ones, he doesn’t really seem to get the point that the law was put there to show us that we couldn’t do it all ourselves and that we needed a Savior.

However, the fact that the author doesn’t really address a mainstream, moderate approach to Christianity (or Judaism) was strange to me. He seemed determined to seek out the extremes. From the Pat Robertsons to the gay Bible study, there really didn’t seem to be a moment where he sat down with the type of moderate Christianity that prevails today. The kind that centers on the Bible but isn’t extreme in either direction. I think the author missed out on a large part of what Christianity is about. When he does hit those things they seem reluctant and begrudgingly admitted.

I think the biggest tell of this whole book was his dealing with the Creation Museum. Instead of going in with an open mind, he freely admits that there is only so far his mind will stretch. I think for him, this was about looking at the rules but not really looking at the heart of the matter. If he had, this book would have been less light-hearted and more reflective in nature.

As a Christian I did find merit in reading this book, it was good to see how someone views faith from the outside looking in. However, I left it wanting to talk to the author and try again to convince this skeptic that he was missing the point.

Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

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Short Kid’s Book Review: What Body Part is That?

Book: What Body Part is that?
Author: Andy Griffiths
Recommend: Umm.. not really.

I got this as as ARC. As a teacher I thought this would be a great addition to my classroom library. A funny book about the body. Awesome. I needed more non-fiction text in my collection anyway. After reading this book, it won’t be joining my classroom library. This book has little to no factual information. In fact, it is filled with disinformation. I really just don’t get the point of it! This one is not going to end up in my classroom library. Instead it is going directly into the “I-don’t-care-how-I-get-rid-of-it-I-just-want-it-gone” pile. Avoid this one if you can.

Final Rating:

TRASH IT!!

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Book Review: Fire in the Ashes

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Book: Fire in the Ashes

Author: Jonathan Kozol

Recommend: It was interesting…

I received this book as an ARC a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t sure exactly why I had decided that I wanted to read it, but I finally dived in a couple of days ago. While this was a short book, it took me a few days to get through. I blame Sunday’s marathon of Law and Order:SVU and my husband being sick, but I digress.

Jonathan researches and works with families in some of the poorest areas of New York City. In this book he discusses the lives of some of the most stand out people he has come across in his work and how they either persevered despite their circumstances or how they went down in flames because of them.

This book isn’t something that I would typically pick up. It was an interesting read and definitely got me thinking but honestly, I found that I would have liked the book better if there had been fewer people and more information about them. There seemed to be large gaping holes in their stories which failed to get me really bought into what I was reading. The moment I really started to connect with someone, their story was over and we were on to someone else.

Overall, I thought it was an interesting read but I think the author could have given us a lot more and it would have been more captivating, creating more of the result he seemed to be going for.

Final Rating:

Get it free

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Book Review: Weak and Loved

Book: Weak and Loved

Author: Emily Cook

Recommend: What a tough but amazing journey for this family (and the reader).

I was approached by this author who asked me to review her book. I was a bit nervous about it honestly but decided that reading something by a Christian author, even it if wasn’t that good, was never a bad plan. So I agreed. I’m so glad I did.

Confessions: This author has an amazing blog about her journey. I took a cursory glance at it but didn’t realize what it was about. The book request came in while I was sick, in quite a bit of pain, and on medication. When I got better, I really wasn’t sure what the book was about except I remember something about a health struggle with her daughter.

When I got into it and realized that it was about her daughter’s epilepsy, I was immediately pulled in because I know what living with someone with epilepsy is like. My dad is epileptic. One of my earliest memories is calling 911 because dad was in the middle of a seizure (although his are a different variety than the author’s daughter). While I haven’t personally experienced an epileptic seizure, I definitely know what it is like to feel powerless while a loved one’s brain goes haywire and causes their body to shutdown.

While the topic was immediately interesting to me, what stands out most with this book is her honest discussion about how her faith was tested, shaped and strengthened through the difficulties of the situation. She definitely made me think about how we deal with difficulties in our lives and reminded me that in tough circumstances that it is not enough to know that God won’t give you more than you can handle but to remember that the only way you can handle it is through his strength.

We all have difficult things to overcome and this author helped me remember that God has it. The strength is his – not ours.

For further reading, her blog can be found at http://www.weakandloved.com/. Hurray for three years of freedom from seizures for this little one!!

*The ebook will be available on kindle for free from July 15-19th!!

Final Rating:

Need more than one copy!!

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Filed under 2012, Christian, Healthcare, non fiction, Review, Summer book challenge

It’s Your Health: Navigating American Health Care

I am thrilled to welcome LupusAdventurer as a guest blogger on The Obsessive Bookworm. LupusAdventurer approached me with the possibility of guest blogging, especially in the area of nonfiction. She tends to read genres that typically do not appeal to me and so I am thrilled to have someone to help fill some of the gaps on here. Thank you so much for sharing!
~ Jenn (The Book Worm)

Book: It’s Your Health: Navigating American Health Care

Author: Robert D’Antonio, Ph.D.

Recommend:  For most proactive patients with a reasonable working knowledge of the health care system, this book will not add anything and is not worth the price.  For some people who might need a push to take charge of their own medical destiny, this is somewhat useful to suggest how to move from passivity to self-management of personal health care.

This is a short, somewhat useful book, written to encourage patients to become proactive advocates of their own medical care needs, and advises the reader about how to effectively deal with the medical community. Written in easy to read conversational style, is a an understandable highly opinionated discussion of some major health care quality issues for an average patient.

The author gives his perspectives as a Ph.D. with many years of undisclosed type experience in the health care field.  He includes topics about choosing and communicating with physicians, selecting among health insurance options, and navigating diagnosis, second opinions and treatment plans.  He takes a somewhat adversarial stance in his advice about how find and get the best treatment from surgeons, specialists and hospitals, and at times presents very unrealistic expectations about patient communication and access to decision-makers within the health care industry.

The first 50 pages of this 86 page book is narrative, and the remaining half has exhaustive lists of appendices including web page references, state medical licensing boards, and Medicare Part A & B coverage. The author also includes some sample forms for tracking patient prescriptions and a lengthy list of medical conditions to consider in preparing a personal health history.

Written in 2011, between the passage of the Health Care Reform Act (HCRA) of 2010 and the recent 2012 Supreme Court decision on the HCRA, it anticipates the effect of the new regulations, without addressing the role future federal and state health insurance exchanges intended by the HCRA may have in patient health insurance purchasing decisions.

All in all, a nominally useful book for a narrow audience.  I recommend picking it up at a library, borrowing it, or purchasing it from the $1 table at a used book store.  If someone gives it to you free, skim it quickly for any benefit you can derive from it.  Pass it on selectively to someone who has no clue how to get the treatment they need, or toss it, but don’t waste shelf space keeping this small print-only volume.

For further information about lupus and healthcare, please visit her blog, ‘Lupus, the Adventure between the Lines.’

Final Rating:

Get it free

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Book Review: We are Absolutely not Okay

Book: We are Absolutely Not Okay: Fourteen Stories by Teenagers who are Picking Up the Pieces

Authors: The Kids of Scriber Lake Alternative High School

Recommend: This is a tough read but worth the journey.

I just won a copy of this book from the members giveaway on librarything. I thought the concept sounded interesting. I love reading the work of teenagers. There is something so open and raw about the way that they write. These kids are no exception.

The authors

This book deals with kids who are learning and living through tough situations in their lives. Each story gives a snippet of some of the life changing events they have dealt with. While this book is a great read, there is a lot of adult material. This book includes drug use, alcoholism, abuse, cutting, suicide and a transgender student. I would caution any parent to read this with your teen and discuss it. This one is definitely a teaching tool and not for everyone.

The only major critique I have, is that a couple of the stories just don’t fit with the rest of the book. I get that it was a class project but I wouldn’t recommend a couple of the stories simply because they were not as strong as the others. In particular, Coming Out and Help Yourself are not worth the time to read. The rest of the book however is great.

Final Rating:

Get it used…

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Filed under 2012, mature themes and subject matter, non fiction, Review, Summer book challenge, Teen Book review

Audiobook Review: The Kings of Casino Park

Book: The Kings of Casino Park

Author: Thomas Aiello

Narrator: Claton Butcher

Recommend: Worth listening to! I learned a lot that I didn’t know before.

While not a fan of baseball or audiobooks in any way, shape, or form, I decided to check this out after it was recommended to me. I knew very little about baseball, even less about depression era baseball, and nothing about African-American Baseball in the South beyond the fact that segregation forced the creation of separate teams based on race.

After listening to this book, narrated by Claton Butcher, I feel like have a much better grasp on what the teams faced when trying to organize baseball leagues in a very prejudiced society. This extremely scholarly examination of one town’s baseball team and the Southern League thoroughly covered the state of baseball during the 1930s for African-American players.

While I learned a lot, this book wasn’t quite what I expected. After reading the title, I thought the author would focus more on the specific team and the people, rather than baseball as a whole. The author included a lot of interesting history surrounding this lost year of baseball history, which I found interesting to learn about. It helped set the backdrop for the events of the baseball season. The author did talk about the lives of some of the owners, but the book may have been more engaging if the author had spent time allowing the reader to get to know the players better. There is very little known about this year’s baseball season, and very little source material to go from, so the lack of player information is understandable, I just wish, as a reader, there was something a bit more tangible to connect to. However, it did make me want to research the Monroe Monarchs players further and watch for more material if it becomes available. The author did include a lot of interesting history surrounding this lost year of baseball, which I found interesting to learn about. It helped set the backdrop for the events of the baseball season in a way that created more of a connection to the material for someone who knows little about baseball.

Typically, I am not a fan of audiobooks.  I’ve tried quite a few and found that the voices selected to narrate are hard to listen to for extended periods. This narrator’s voice was very easy to listen to, adding to the narrative instead of detracting from it. I will be watching for other books narrated by Claton Butcher.

This book made me want to give audiobooks another try simply because I found there are some voices I actually enjoy listening to for hours on end.

You can find this book now on audible.com here and in the iTunes storeHere is a link to the preview available for this book.

Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

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Book Review: SURFING FOR GOD

Today’s Post was written by a guest blogger, Seeker of Light who volunteered to review this ARC from Booksneeze for my blog! Thank you so much Seeker!       ~   The Book Worm

Book: SURFING FOR GOD

Author: Michael John Cusick

Recommend: Yes, for men struggling with sexually addictive behaviors.

The Obsessive Bookworm approached me about this book, feeling less than qualified to review it because of its content.  Because of the target audience, she felt that a man who has gone through this issue would be a better person to critique this book.

Before I get started, I feel that I should preface something that is often misunderstood.   Those of us who claim to have a relationship with Jesus try to live each day trying to become more like Him.  Real Christians know that they are not perfect and that everybody messes up and does things that they shouldn’t.  While we strive to live Christ-like lives, we still struggle with sin issues and this book deals with one of them.

When I started reading this book, I knew I would have to open my heart to what God would want me to hear.  Self-help books often get a bad reputation as cheesy, but I often find God has something to share with the reader’s heart.    Within the first two chapters this book already began to affect me.  Even when I was not sitting and reading the book, I still felt God speaking to me.

With that said, if you are broken and need healing from your slavery to sexual addiction and your heart is open to what God wants you to hear, this is a book for you.  It has analogies to help you understand your brokenness, stories of changed lives (including the author’s), coming to peace with God and those closest to you, heartfelt prayers that you if you can pray them as if they were your own can help you find peace with God in regards to this issue.

I ask you with all of my love for you as brothers in Christ, to open your hearts to this book and the healing that it can bring. May God draw you ever closer to Him.

If you would like to learn more about struggles with addiction to pornography, please feel free to visit my blog BRINGINGMENOUTOFDARKNESS

Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

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Book Review:Free Resources for Elementary Teachers

Book: Free Resources for Elementary Teachers

Author: Colleen Kessler

Recommend: If you are a teacher or homeschooler..

I got this book as an advanced reader copy from library thing and finally got around to it after finishing a longer series. This book was a fast read for me but I can see people spending tons of time going through the materials included in this book.

The book covers online resources for every subject taught in the elementary school. Many of them were completely new to me. While I only checked out some of the sites, the ones I checked out were well researched and the information was accurate.

I did walk away with a couple of negatives. There were not very many pieces of information for my subject. Very few music websites were included and the ones that were included were ones that everyone I know is familiar with. Due to this fact, I think I’ll be sending it to my sister-in-law who is homeschooling. I think she might find it much more useful. The other thing was that some sites that had a more than one area were repeated. I thought it was a waste of print space.

Final Rating:

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A voice screaming to get out!

Book: Carly’s Voice

Authors: Arthur and Carly Fleischmann

Recommend: Anyone who has ever met, dealt with or will ever meet someone who is Autistic should check this book out!

I was introduced to Carly a year or so ago through a friend of mine whose son was diagnosed with Autism. I read everything I could, watched the interviews and started following Carly on twitter. I found her to be an amazing young lady who has done so many remarkable things in her short life. It is hard to believe that the person that is sharing their thoughts with you has any challenge in their life, let alone one that can interfere as much as autism can, especially to the severity that Carly has to deal with it.

I found the journey of the family refreshingly real. I love that they were willing to be bold about what they could and could not handle. Parents aren’t saints and these people were open about their experiences and the difficulties they faced, especially when Carly was younger. Knowing many kids who are autistic, I know what it is like to deal with them in my classroom and how challenging it can be (although very rewarding). I can’t imagine how hard it must be when it is your own child. Someone you want to give the world to and make their life easy and then that precious child ends up unable to speak or communicate and does things that seem completely irrational to them.

I would definitely recommend reading Carly’s chapter. It’s at the end of the book. She is funny, full of spunk and has a great way of communicating her thoughts.

The only negative I could come up with is that I would have liked to hear from Carly more. Understanding what is going on with her has been such a huge insight into what an Autistic kid experiences.I wanted to hear more form her. I guess I’ll have to keep an eye on her twitter feed 🙂

Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

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Life in a library

Book: Dispatches from a Public Librarian

Author: Scott Douglas

Recommend: Entertaining and light-hearted read…

I am a sucker for the library. I’ve been hanging out in them all my life. One of my favorite things to do growing up was to go to work with my mom. Not because her office was cool or because the ladies would dote on me incessantly but because I was allowed to spend my whole day in the library while mom worked in the next building. I would spend days during the summer holed up in the teen corner of the children’s section of the library reading as many books as I could get through in a day. I also spent a good deal of my time watching people, especially as I got old enough to venture into the adult part of the library.

Spending so much time in the library growing up, I found Scott’s book about the life of  a librarian hilarious because I had made some of the same observations growing up. Scott has an amusing way to look at the patrons and events that happen in his Orange County California library nestled right near Disneyland. Some of the things he says just crack me up completely. I am very tempted to start following his blog. It also makes me want to start writing a blog about the crazy things I see and hear at my job. I think I might be able to give Scott a run for his money.

Final Rating:

Get it used…

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The Queen insists on quiet!

Book: Quiet

Author: Susan Cain

Recommend: This is an absolute must read!

I came across a bit of fluff floating through my Facebook and pinterest accounts as friends shared it over and over again. I decided to read it and was astonished to find that it was almost a perfect description of myself. I had seen the book Quiet on the shelves at my favorite local bookstore but hadn’t given it much thought since I hadn’t really given much thought about being an introvert or an extrovert before. After reading this post, I knew that I had to find out more about this! So I sat down at my bookstore last night intent on reading through the book for free, coming back the next day if necessary to finish. I never dreamed that I would get so little of it read in the free hour that I got and that I would need to finish it so badly that I would buy it because I needed it to be part of my library.

Quiet tells the world why being an introvert in an extrovert dominated world can be difficult and how important the introvert is to our culture. The first example of an introvert that she brings to your attention is the least likely candidate at first glance and yet when the reader learns more about her, you realize that everything you had assumed about this important historical figure had been wrong. She had done exactly what she claimed to do but everything that compelled her was very different than what many of us had been raised to believe.

This book was a huge help to me. I had always claimed to be an introvert. I am the girl who sits in the corner of the room during a party, perfectly content to  be reading a book or watching the crowd. I didn’t understand why I never felt able to jump into everything that was going on around me like others could. I didn’t get why I didn’t want to be around people all the time and why I felt so guilty for not being more involved at my church. It is because I am a textbook introvert. The realization has been extremely freeing and I for the first time in my life feel like I’m not a freak but someone who is just as normal as all the outspoken people I know. I think I’ll be reading this one again and can’t wait to pick up a book mentioned in here about introverts in the church, an area where being an introvert can be a very hard place to be.

If you are an introvert, are close to an introvert or just want to understand that ‘weird’ employee in your office, this book is something you need to read! The only thing I can say that might be negative about this book is that there were about three instances where I found that it bogged down a bit and got slightly too technical. They were easy to push through but there were a couple times I definitely found my mind wandering. Other than that it is one of the fastest paced informational persuasive books I’ve read in quite some time. Definitely something to pick up.

If you’ve seen the musical the Princess and the Pea, it finally explains why Winnifred could claim to be shy even though she seemed like the most outgoing creature anyone had ever seen. Why the queen’s request to leave her alone and to have quiet through the castle backfired and why she won the shy prince after all. I wonder how many extroverts I know are actually just introverts who are amazing actors? I wonder how many are screaming at the top of their lungs that they are actually shy, quiet and reserved?

I wonder if I can get my more extroverted husband it read it?

Final Rating:

Need more than one copy!!

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Book Review: The Action Bible: New Testament

Book: The Action Bible: New Testament

Illustrator: Sergio Cariello

Editor: Doug Mauss

Recommend: For an 8 to 10 year old boy… maybe

I thought this might be an interesting selection. I have been hearing quite a bit about animated versions of the Bible lately and decided that I should take a look at one. I found the concept very interesting. There is so much action through many of the books of the Bible that would translate well to a comic book version of the Bible. I spent my whole time looking through hoping that somewhere it just might get better. I was very wrong.

While the concept is a great one, I saw a lot of problems with this book. First off, I wouldn’t exactly call it a Bible. It skips over quite a bit and mashes quite a bit together. More than I think was necessary. The pictures were very colorful but felt extremely dated. I felt like I was looking at a Bible version of an old superman comic. When I found out the illustrator had worked for DC comics, I was not surprised in the least. The book focused on the lives of Jesus, Paul and Peter to the exclusion of almost everyone else except where they related to those figures. I was hoping that Revelation would at least redeem the book but there are only a few pages and they are not very specific. In the one book where the illustrator could let his imagination run, he chose to hold back and make it look rather cheesy.

I might pass this one on to my nephews but somehow I doubt they will enjoy it very much.

Final Rating:

Get it free

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Filed under Children's book review, Christian, non fiction, Review

Book Review: Surviving the Angel of Death

Book: Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz

Author: Eva Mozes Kor and Lisa Rojany Buccieri

Recommend: Tough but good read. Definitely less intense than her biography for adults I’m sure…

I have always had a slight fascination with the events in Germany and other European countries in regards to the Jews during World War 2. I wonder how so many people could treat other human beings so badly. I wonder if I have been so sheltered living in a country with so much freedom in comparison that it not within my imagination to grasp what such a horrible existence could be like. Or how simple it could be end up back in a place like this. All it would talk would be one man to stand up and shout to the world that one group of people should be eliminated and for the world to stand by and do nothing.

Children after the liberation of Auschwitz

This book tells the story of Eva and Miriam Mozes, twin girls who were taken to the death camp at Auschwitz and were tortured by Dr. Mengele because they were twins. This book tells how they survived the long year they spent in the camps and somehow avoided being killed while so many around them were dying. While the book is straight forward, it is sensitive to the target audience and the level of detail that they can handle. I found the wording a bit simplistic but I imagine that it was the coauthors attempt to keep the book at the level of their target audience. This is the first book I have read about the recollections of someone who was experimented on but the doctors, probably because so few survived the process.

Definitely a book I would recommend if you are interested the history of World War 2 and can handle some of the violence and mistreatment that is necessary in the story telling process for this subject. A good, fast-paced memoir but not an easy subject to stomach.

Final Rating:

Get it used...

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Why do we let this happen?

Book: Why Me?

Author: Sarah Burleton

Recommend: If you can handle it

Believe it or not. Yes. It’s actually non-fiction on my blog. I have read a few books about kids who were abused through their lives. It helps me remember to be looking. I am thankful that it is not the norm, but I work with children and have had some kids who have been through horrible things in their young lives. I would never want a child to go through something like this when it was simply not being noticed for what it was.

This is a very powerful story about one woman’s journey through an abusive childhood. It highlights some of the extremes in her life and tells how she finally escaped her horrible home life. The only complaint I would really have about this very short book is that it felt like there was too much information missing. I wanted to know more about her mother’s motivation, more about her step-father and more of the background. It really felt like large chunks of the story were missing for no apparent reason.

This is one of those tough but good reads. Not one I would want to visit again but one I am glad I read.

Final Rating:

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Filed under mature themes and subject matter, non fiction, Review

Reading is fundamental and reading out loud to kids is a necessity!

Book: The Reading Promise

Author: Alice Ozma

Recommend: Definitely! Especially if you are a reader, a parent or know a librarian.

I was wandering around my local bookstore, looking for somewhere to sit. Every single seat in the place seemed to be taken. I had three book in my hands already all of which promised to be great journeys into the imaginary. I walked over to the cafe, hoping there would be a table available, since my normal spots were taken and saw this book calling my name from the biography section. I am not normally a fan of non-fiction in any shape. Occasionally I will read one that I think is important but lately I’ve found myself picking up a fair share. I’m not sure what has prompted this decision but it’s been happening with increased frequency. I had promised myself fiction and instead sat down with this book that I just couldn’t seem to walk away from. I kept the other ones in my hands and hoped that I might get through two. No such luck. This book sucked me in so much that it took me twice as long to read it as it normally would. For me, the sign of a good book is one that makes me want to slow down and this one definitely did it.

When Alice’s older sister, Kathy turned ten she abruptly told her father that she was no longer interested in having him read to her anymore. It was too childish for her. As an elementary school librarian, it was crushing to a man who knew that reading to children was very important. When Alice turned ten they decided together (although neither can agree how exactly) to read every night for 100 nights. Through everything, they managed to accomplish it. Then, they decided to keep going and began calling it the streak. A childhood growing up through reading.

I connected thoroughly with this story in a way I haven’t since I met Dahl’s brilliant little Matilda one summer in middle school (don’t ask how it took me until middle school to discover that amazing book – I still don’t know to this day what took so long). Alice and her father have a quirky, adorable relationship that thrives even though physical contact is rare and emotions are hardly ever directly expressed. I even love the fact that she made her father promise not to read the book because she seems to be concerned that it would embarrass him.

I tried and tried to come up with a negative for this one and I just can’t! I absolutely loved it and will be adding it to my collection as soon as I can scrounge up the extra money to do so. I am also going to be encouraging every teacher I know who doesn’t let our school librarian read to the kids to read this book and do the research to find out what the facts are about the importance of reading to kids and how it directly impacts their future.

As the granddaughter of a librarian, an veracious reader and a teacher, let me encourage you to read to the children you know. You will help to instill a life long love of reading in children, create more intelligent kids and show them how much they matter to you 🙂

Final Rating:

Need more than one copy!!

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Filed under non fiction, Review