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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!


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: Harmony

Book: Harmony

Author: Keith Brooke

Recommend: Definitely not worth the time or effort to get through this one.

This book had a lot of potential. An interesting idea of a world where aliens ruled and we were at their mercy. The thing that doomed this book honestly was the fact that the author simply didn’t construct his world well. With a little bit more effort and clarity this book could have been so much better than it was. Basically this author needed to read Card’s book about writing science fiction and fantasy. He had no clue how to create a world or add the right amount of details so that the reader could see it in their heads. Some things were very well defined but others were so vague that you couldn’t really get a good sense of what was going on. The storyline is good but the world underneath it isn’t established well enough for the reader to really get into it.

I would skip this one because it will only create frustration and aggravation for you.

Final Rating:



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Book Review: The Prey

Book: The Prey

Author: Andrew Rukuda

Recommend: If you’d asked me about 30 seconds after I’d finished reading it I would have said yes… after a couple of minutes… meh.

I read the first book in this trilogy quite a while ago and really enjoyed it because it was scary vamps told by one of the few humans who had managed to escape detection. The second book was following Gene and the rest of the humans from the Dome as they made their way across the desert, away from the vampires to the place where they were supposed to be safe. However when the finally find their way to the Mission, something is not quite right and they find themselves fighting for their lives again, against something far less obvious than vampires.

This author knows how to keep a reader moving through the pages of his books, I’ll give him that much. The story is fast and engaging. I had no plans to put this one down until I had finished with it. I was even able to ignore all the rip off plot points that would have ordinarily made me throw down the book in disgust because it just kept moving so fast that I couldn’t seem to stop. The ending was good and left you begging for more – at least for a few seconds.

Okay, here come the flaws and there are a lot of them. The Mission. Chalk this up to a FLDS town minus the religious stuff and add in foot binding so that the girls can’t move fast enough to get away.  Plus these strange scenarios kept happening where  the reader would be sure Sissy was going to get severely hurt by these crazies but the author chickened out and couldn’t bear to write the type of scene that made sense in the situation and attempted to awkwardly explain it away. However the author doesn’t shy away from the horror of the idea that girls barely thirteen are having kids in this community. Never mind that the reality of Civilization was so obvious it was painful. In fact, you almost don’t want to believe it because it’s just too simple. Ugh.

Overall, it’s a fun quick read with very little else going for it. Save your money on this one. I know I’m glad I did.

Final Rating:

Get it free

Get it free

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Filed under Review, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, Teen Book review, thriller/horror

Short Book Review: Dirty Little Angels

Book: Dirty Little Angels

Author: Chris Tula

Recommend: While the story was engaging, the negatives far outweighed the positives.

A short review for a rather short book. At just under 150 pages, it was a quick read. I won this book a few weeks ago from library thing as a member giveaway. This book had an engaging storyline about a girl growing up in a rough neighborhood with a difficult family situation. The idea was interesting and the writing was good however there was just too much adult material in this one for me. It was so frequent that it distracted from the story. There are also some difficult issues like rape and suicide in this one. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this one.

Final Rating:


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Filed under 2012, general fiction, mature themes and subject matter, Review, Summer book challenge

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

Book Review: Fire and Ice

Book: Fire and Ice

Author: Patty Jensen

Recommend: No way! This one is not worth anyone’s time…

I won this book for free as a giveaway off of librarything’s member giveaway. It has been sitting in my inbox for a few weeks. For some reason, ebooks weren’t appealing to me for a while and so part of trying to break my reading slump was to go back to my nook for reading.

This book tells the story of a world where magic is forbidden and those with magic are recognizable because they are imperfect. The only positive I can say about this one is that it was a fast read. I was able to breeze through it quickly.

While this book had a unique magic system, it was not well planned out and the author was frequently adding something new to it to make it work. The writing was very simplistic and the plot wasn’t easy to follow. This definitely felt like something that was self-published. While this writer definitely has potential, I don’t think they are ready for publishing yet.

This book has a high frequency of adult subject matter that does nothing for the story except to shock. That alone made the book unreadable in my opinion. I wouldn’t bother with this one.

Final Rating:


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Filed under 2012, mature themes and subject matter, Review, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, Summer book challenge

Reflection on Wilder and my grandmother

Book: Little House in the Ozarks

Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder

Recommend: I think I’m way too emotional about this one to say one way or another..

Okay, this book belonged to my grandmother and when she died, my mom brought it home for me. I had opened it up many times trying to read it but found that it was just too hard. It made me think of her and I usually ended up in tears. Right after I opened it and balanced it on the edge of the desk in front of me, I accidentally dropped it. Out of it fell a picture of my grandmother and my cousin Sarah taken only a couple of months before her death. I remember that day vividly. We were out on a boat enjoying the lake my grandfather took us to. Well, most of us were enjoying the lake. I was trying to forget the fact that there were fish in the water underneath me and was thankful that we were just going for a ride and not fishing. (At that point my fish phobia was far worse). I got distracted for a bit but eventually I made it back to the book.

The book is a collection of the writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder about the life of a farmer’s wife. I found it to be a very introspective read. Many of the things she brings up are not things that we consider in our modern society but that maybe we should. I was amused to see that they had some of the same issues then that still persist today. I was surprised to hear some of her conclusions and how relevant they were to our lives today. I was compelled to re-examine some things in my own life. It truly made me think deeply in some places. This book surprised me. She really understood the core of what was important in life and how to live with joy and be responsible.

I grew up on the stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her childhood. My Aunt Debbie originally introduced me to through the TV show and I was soon borrowing the books anywhere I could get them. Looking back at her life as an adult gives the stories that I know so well I whole new dimension and richness that I had never realized before.

While I think this would be a great read for anyone, I am not sure that it is the best book to read cover to cover. I am already planning on going through it in smaller chunks to more fully digest what she had to say. While I never will be a farmer’s wife (thank goodness!), quite a bit of what she had to say held great truth that anyone could learn from if they listened.

Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

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

The Inheritance Cycle

Books: Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr

Author: Christopher Paolini

Recommend: For a light read…

the books so far...

I have to admit that for this one I watched the movie long before I got to the book. I thought the movie was alright but that it would be so much better if it was a book and so I went searching. I quickly picked up the first two books and read through them quickly. They were a lot of fun to read and easy to get through.

The story follows a boy named Eragon, who accidentally discovers a dragon egg. The egg decides that Eragon is the one meant to ride him and so it decides to hatch, stealing a plot line from Anne MacCaffrey. Mr. Paolini continues his story in a predictable but fun manner. The only complaint I had with this book was that I could exactly where he took ideas from because they were not well disguised. There are major plot points from books/movies which include, Terry Goodkind(Wizard’s First Rule series), George Lucas (Star Wars trilogy), and Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away ). I can think of more and I’m sure there are many others that would be obvious to others. I laughed when I found them, wondering if everyone else reading them found it as obvious as I did.

That being said it is a great read and I can’t wait for the next book.


Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

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Filed under Review, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, Teen Book review