Category Archives: Book Review

The Physics of Everyday Things

The Physics of Everyday Things: The Extraordinary Science Behind an Ordinary DayTitle: The Physics of Everyday Things
Author: James Kakalios
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 978-0-7704-3773-2

“Each explanation is coupled with a story revealing the interplay of the astonishing visible forces that surround us,” James Kakalios writes in the front flap of his book, The Physics of Everyday Things: The Extraordinary Science Behind an Ordinary Day.

~ What ~
This two-hundred-and-fifty-six-page hardbound targets those who enjoy learning about science, physics, and how objects work in our world. With no photographs but a few sporadic figures, the book includes seven chapters about the science of physics in a day in the life of a common adult and ends with acknowledgments, notes, figure captions, and an index.

Covering when a person awakens at home in the morning to going to bed at night in a hotel room, the chapters float from beginning the day having coffee and checking a smartphone to driving to the city, going to the doctor and airport, taking a flight, giving a business presentation, and going to a hotel. All involve items that humans depend on and how they use physics to work.

~Why ~
It is fun to know how things are made, especially because we get caught up in using objects without understanding the why and how behind them. I like how the author discussed pendulums, piezoelectric crystals, thermodynamics, electromagnetic and millimeter waves, magnets, and semiconductors to name a few in objects such as a clock, coffee maker, phone, watch, earbuds, toaster, automobile, GPS, radio, elevator, thermometer, MRI and ATM machines, and lithium batteries. Stating why cars still do not fly is also covered.

~ Why Not ~
The main issue I had with this book is it is rather dry. Granted the author’s intention is to call attention to the reader to notice why and how things work around him or her, but the book lacked in detail and excitement as the person goes through a supposedly average day. Not being a scientific person, I did not learn anything substantial in the chapters.

~ Wish ~
I wish the details of the objects were more succinct in explaining what would happen if physics were not applied to them or made differently. After reading this book, I now understand why my son and daughter-in-law got their PhDs in chemistry instead of physics as, to me, it seems a lackluster topic.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book that may be interesting for a high school or college reader who is into physics in everyday life, this may be good for them, but I found it missed the sparks I expected.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for this complimentary book that I am reviewing freely.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Business / Money / Education

Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag

Oh Susannah: It's in the Bag (An Oh Susannah Story)Title: Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag
Author: Carole P. Roman
Illustrator: Mateya Arkova
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1-947118-19-5

“Overwhelming means sometimes we have too much of something, and we fall behind in getting things done,” Susannah’s mother explains in Carole P. Roman’s children’s book, Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag.

~ What ~
First in the Oh Susannah series, this forty-four-page paperback targets early elementary school-aged children and readers who like short chapter story books. With no profanity, scary scenes, or violence, it would best be read to beginner readers based on some complicated words. Every two to four-page chapter has a small black and white illustration at its beginning.

In this charming short tale, Susannah has a lot on her mind when she does not complete a homework assignment and shoves it in her backpack that is added to throughout the school day. When a banana causes havoc in the bag, the third-grader must learn how to organize her priorities without feeling overwhelmed. With the help of her parents, she learns that everyone feels stress in accomplishing tasks, and by taking a breath and relaxing, the many projects may not feel so daunting.

~ Why ~
With this story being told in many short chapters, the book will engage young readers who can relate to day-to-day complications at home and school when there are too many tasks to do. I like how the parents interacted with Susannah and her response to overcome her issues. Having the chapters short and to the point will keep a new reader interested.

~ Why Not ~
The book contains many multi-syllable words so it may be hard for beginner readers to comprehend. Seasoned readers may wish the chapters were longer. Since the story does not answer all of Susannah’s challenges and is first in a series, it may frustrate some that they have to wait for the next book in the series.

~ Who ~
Award-winning author, Roman has written complete series for children of books based on countries, civilizations, and pirate genre as well as non-fiction for adults. She lives in New York with her husband and close to her children and grandchildren.

~ Wish ~
I wish the story was complete, but it forces the reader to anticipate the next book in the series. If four or five books were bundled in the complete series, it would be a nice box gift set for a young reader.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a short chapter book that is bound to have sequels and offer warranted lessons of life, this would be an excellent starter, especially for young girls who love to read.

Thanks to the author for furnishing this complimentary book that I am reviewing freely.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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If You Were Me and Lived in … Cuba

If You Were Me an Lived In... Cuba: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World (If You Were Me an Lived In... Culture)Title: If You Were Me and Lived In … Cuba
Author: Carole P. Roman
Illustrator: Kelsea Wierenga
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1545100769

“If you were me and lived in Cuba (Cue-ba), you would live on an island located in the northern Caribbean (Ka-rih-bee-an) in the western hemisphere,” Carole P. Roman writes in her children’s book, If You Were Me and Lived On … Cuba – A Child’s Introduction to Culture Around the World.

~ What ~
Part of the international series, this thirty-four-page paperback targets preschool to early elementary school-aged children and readers who like learning about other countries. With no profanity, scary scenes, or violence, it would best be read to beginner readers based on some complicated words that usually include pronunciation. Typically, colorful illustrations cover one side of the page with a nicely sized font wording on the opposite side. Several pages at the end of the book reiterate how to pronounce certain words and their meanings.

Although Cuba is a small country, its capital of Havana is well-populated. This book discusses the capital’s bay location, the Castillo del Morro Spanish fort with its ceremonial show, the beaches of Cayo Coco, and the carnival at Santiago de Cuba.

Favorite foods are bocodillo, café con leche, cumpleanos, tostones with garlic and sour orange mojo, arroz con pollo, ropa vieja, Moros y Cristianos, papas rellenas, and tres leches cake. The people enjoy participating in baseball games, boxing, and exercising.

The reader learns names for mother and father. Also taught are common names for boys and girls, as well as words for money and school.

~ Why ~
Not written as a fictional story, this educational book is a simple way for a young child to learn about a foreign land, especially if he or she knows someone living there or is planning a trip to visit. I love how the author explains a country’s characteristic, famous sites, food dishes, and people in an easy to understand manner.

~ Why Not ~
The book contains many multi-syllable words, some in foreign languages that may frustrate beginner readers, but it also is a way to learn new words from another country.

~ Who ~
Award-winning author, Roman has written complete series for children of books based on countries, civilizations, and pirate genre as well as non-fiction for adults. She lives in New York with her husband and close to her children and grandchildren.

~ Wish ~
I wish there were books like this on every country so children could see and learn about the vast array of different cultures throughout the world.

~ Want ~
With so many countries in the world, one looks forward to future books in the series to learn more about a particular location.

Thanks to the author for furnishing this complimentary book that I am reviewing freely.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Roadfood

Roadfood, 10th Edition: An Eater's Guide to More Than 1,000 of the Best Local Hot Spots and Hidden Gems  Across America (Roadfood: The Coast-To-Coast Guide to the Best Barbecue Join)Title: Roadfood
Authors: Jane &  Michael Stern
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
ISBN: 978-0-451-49619-5

“The purpose of this book is to help you appreciate the glory that is American food,” Jane and Michael Stern write in the introduction of their book, Roadfood: An Eater’s Guide to More than 1000 of the Best Local Hot Spots & Hidden Gems Across America.

~ What ~
This four-hundred-and-sixty-four-page paperback on its tenth edition targets those who enjoy taking road trips and stopping to eat along the way. With no photographs but maps of eight sections of the United States, the book contains over one-thousand restaurants and eateries to visit.

After an introduction, list of one-hundred Roadfood honor roll locales, and notes using the book, it is divided into areas of New England, Mid-Atlantic, Mid-South, Deep South, Midwest, Southwest, Great Plains, and West Coast.

Covering each section of the United States beginning with maps, the name of the restaurant is listed as well as its address, website if available, phone number, meal times, and coded cost. Approximately two paragraphs for each mention the locale’s food, any specialty, ambiance, and highlights of visiting.

~Why ~
When on the road traveling, it is smart to know something about a restaurant before you go to it. With the book containing over a thousand destinations, it offers those who visit large iconic cities and the East or West Coasts many options. I like that it provides websites when possible and pricing.

~ Why Not ~
The main issue I had with this book is that it lacks so many areas that travelers tend to visit as they cross the country. We live in Oregon and four Portland places were listed with ten coast restaurants (one of the in the top one-hundred). There were no locations from Salem, Eugene, Medford, or Ashland, all towns that are near the 5 freeway that is often traveled. I found this lack of eateries on the main routes in other states as well. Also, the descriptions did not grab my interest to make me want to stop and have road food since there are no photos. I might find more pertinent information googling the area on my smartphone.

~ Wish ~
I wish there were not a limited amount of listings in many of the states that must be traveled through to get to another state; instead there are random areas that are far between. Having photographs and a possible menu shot of main dishes would be helpful.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book that mainly catalogs a selected few restaurants in every state of America, this one may help. But you may find that, like me, you are disappointed it misses the mark by skipping those on many well-traveled roads.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for this complimentary book that I am reviewing freely.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ** Think Twice - I Didn't Like It, Book Review, Home / Garden / Food

Do Baby Bears Have Mommies?

Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? (I've Got Questions)Title: Do Baby Bears Have Mommies?
Authors: Crystal Bowman & Terry McKinley
Illustrator: Ailie Busby
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
ISBN: 978-1-4964-1740-4

“God made your mind amazing. There’s so much you can know. Learning is a lot of fun. Get ready, set – let’s go!” Crystal Bowman and Terry McKinley write in their children’s book, Do Baby Bears Have Mommies.

~ What ~
This thirty-two-page hardbound targets children ages four to seven years old who are inquisitive about animals. With no scary scenes, the illustrations cover both sides of the pages with wording on the left side of the pages against a white background. There are a few references to God and His creations that include animals and insects.

Part of the I’ve Got Questions series, this fun rhyming read helps promote questioning characteristics of animals and how they act, eat, and interact with others. Beginning with bear cubs being fed berries, nuts, or bugs by their mothers, answered topics cover ladybugs, elephants, worms, eagles, monkeys, kangaroos, skunks, cows, mice, giraffes, and ducks. The ending reminds the reader that all creatures God has made are in His care.

~ Why ~
I love a book that teaches young ones, especially about nature and our interesting world. Explaining in rhyme that there are boy and girl ladybugs, monkeys eat vegetables plus bananas, skunks spray their bad scent when they sense danger, and giraffes have long necks to reach high tree leaves, it educates and stimulates observing things around us. I like that there is enough detail in the illustrations to keep a young one engaged.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not believe in God may not be interested in this book. Due to the three and four syllable wording, it may be hard for beginner readers.

~ Who ~
Author Bowman has written over eighty children’s books. She lives in Florida with her husband. Author McKinley has coauthored several books; she and her husband live in Texas. No information is provided on the illustrator.

~ Wish ~
I wish pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence, but this issue did not affect ratings as it is something I always recommend if missing.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for an educational rhyming book about animals and their features, this is a keeper.

Thanks to the Tyndale House Publishing for offering this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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The Captivating Lady Charlotte

Product DetailsTitle: The Captivating Lady Charlotte
Author: Carolyn Miller
Publisher: Kregel Publications
ISBN: 978-0-8254-4451-7

“He had to trust both God and Charlotte. Trust that God truly did have good plans as promised in the Bible, and trust Charlotte would learn to love him …,” William considers in Carolyn Miller’s novel, The Captivating Lady Charlotte.

~ What ~
Second in the Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace series, this three-hundred-and-twelve-page paperback targets those interested in a Christian romance involving a relationship between two individuals of different ages, backgrounds, and status. The book includes notes and acknowledgments at the end.

Set in 1814 in England, beautiful eighteen-year-old Charlotte Featherington expectantly begins her coming-out season to find a husband. With a dotting, over-bearing mother, she loves the attention of the opposite sex, allowing herself to be infatuated with one of them. When she meets, Duke William Hartington, she shows no interest due to the rumors and gossips about his past wife, their relationship, and her death. After being prompted into an arranged marriage, the naïve girl wants to only marry for love, while her betrothed has a fear of trusting another woman.

~ Why ~
If you enjoy romantic tales from the eighteen-hundreds in England where propriety, manners, societal norms, and appearances are of utmost importance, this short story covers the gambit of life in England between a flirtatious, naïve girl coming of age and a cautious, untrusting widow. With a few characters from the prior book in the series, it furthers a past story as its characters deal with their trials through relying on God. I like the details of the country life and living in a small town and appreciate the author adding the importance of praying to the Almighty.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have or want a personable relationship with Jesus Christ may avoid this book. Some may not like a predictable read of two main characters who are years apart in age and misunderstand each other as they figure what is important in life.

~ Wish ~
I wish both main characters’ situations and ending were not so predictable. As with the prior book, sometimes I had trouble understanding who was speaking.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a series of romances in England two hundred years ago, this second in a trilogy that involves love and trust between two opposites is a quick, stand-alone read.

Thanks to the Book Club Network, Kregel Publications, and the author for this book that I am reviewing freely.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

 

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

Mighty Salads

Food52 Mighty Salads: 60 New Ways to Turn Salad into Dinner--and Make-Ahead Lunches, TooTitle: Food52 Mighty Salads
Authors: Editors of Food52
Photographer: James Ransom
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
ISBN: 978-0-399-57804-5

“Salads are a place to play – to use up vegetables, sure, but also to have fun in the kitchen without the fear of messing up,” the editors of Food52 write in the introduction to their book, Food52 Mighty Salads: 60 New Ways to Turn Salad into Dinner.

~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-sixty-page hardbound targets those interested in making a salad that is exciting, unique, and not boring tasting. Containing sixty recipes, it also adds tips in storing, cooking, do-it-yourself food projects, alternative additives, salad dressings, and garnishes.

After a foreword, introduction, and building blocks, six chapters include recipes and full color, full page photographs of most completed dishes. It ends with acknowledgments and an index.

Covering leafy, less-leafy, grain and bean, pasta and bread, fish and seafood, and meat salads, each recipe begins with a title, followed by a simplified content overview, serving size, and creator. The ingredients are listed down one side of the page with the directions beginning in paragraph form and then numbered bullet points. Often there are tips and tricks printed at the bottom of the instruction page with the colored illustration on the opposite side.

Some of the interesting recipes include Radicchio and Cauliflower with Currant-Anchovy Vinaigrette, Charred Broccoli and Lentil Salad, Radish and Pecan Grain Salad, Peanut Noodle Salad, Fresh Corn Cakes with Crab-Tomato Salad, and Slow-Roasted Duck and Apple Salad.

~Why ~
This cookbook focuses on all types of salads, especially eclectic combinations. I like the mix of many different items. The tips and tricks on every few pages are helpful and save time. The index is sorted by ingredient, not name of the salad, so it is a quick look-up if you have a particular item you want to use in the salad.

~ Why Not ~
Some may not like salads or care for such odd combinations. There are no listings of preparation time or caloric information that some people must have due to their diet. Many of the recipes have hard to find ingredients that a regular food store may not carry.

~ Wish ~
I wish the book included calories and a breakdown of carbohydrates, salt, fat, et cetera so that I knew what I would be eating. Too many of the recipes include items I do not have or would not buy.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book dedicated to hearty salads that contain unique ingredients and different combinations, this may be a nice choice, but it did not pique my interest.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Home / Garden / Food

A Giving Heart: A Coloring Book Celebrating Motherhood

A Giving Heart: A Coloring Book Celebrating MotherhoodTitle: A Giving Heart: A Coloring Book Celebrating Motherhood
Illustrator: Stephanie Corfee
Publisher: FaithWords
ISBN: 978-1-4789-4741-7

“Enjoy moments of peaceful creativity while being reminded of your special place in the hearts of your loved ones and your wonderful God-given purpose …” the back jacket states in Stephanie Corfee’s A Giving Heart: A Coloring Book Celebrating Motherhood.

~ What ~
This ninety-six-page paperback targets mothers who enjoy down time coloring. With forty-six illustrations, the right side of the pages have black and white artistic designs to color. The left side is usually left blank so that the art medium does not bleed through the pages. While focusing on motherhood, the designs celebrate the topic with a Bible verse or saying often incorporated into the drawings. The NKJV, NLT, NIV, MSG, and NLV versions of the Holy Bible are referenced.

Including a verse from Psalms, Proverbs, Matthew, or Romans to name a few, also added are quotes from well-known individuals such as Lincoln,  Graham, Mother Teresa, and Chapin. The drawings involve lovely patterns of mothers, flowers, leaves, hearts, birds, foods, objects, and mandalas as a few examples.

~ Why ~
Moms who love to draw, doodle, or fill in coloring books will love this book that concentrates on them. I like that the written words are short and to the point, while the charming illustrations are clear, crisp, and creative.

~ Why Not ~
Those who are not mothers or do not have time on their hands may not appreciate this book. Others may not care for coloring or doodling.

~ Wish ~
I wish more coloring books were available like this that had one side blank in case the paint or markers bled through and that they could be removed and framed.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a special gift for a mother or to give to children to color, cut out, and frame as a gift to give, this would be a keeper and appreciated greatly by a mom.

Thanks to Hatchette Books for this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Arts & Crafts, Book Review, Christian

Big Look Bible Book

Big Look Bible Book: Make Believe IdeasTitle: Big Look Bible Book
By: Thomas Nelson
Illustrations: Dawn Machell
Publisher: Make Believe Ideas
ISBN: 978-0-7180-9428-7

“Bible characters pop in these stories with big art and shaped pages,” the back jacket states in Big Look Bible Book.

~ What ~
This twenty-page hardbound with a cut-out front cover, rounded corners, and shaped pages targets children four to eight years old who enjoy board books with simplistic pictures. Even though it has a picture of a teethy Goliath, Daniel in the lions’ den, and three crosses when Jesus died, the abbreviated nine stories retold from the Holy Bible are not too frightening.

As young readers view five stories from the Old Testament of the Garden of Eden, Noah, Joseph, David and Goliath, and Daniel, the four stories in the New Testament stories include Jesus’s birth, angels visiting, the three wise men, and His resurrection. Each story is told on the left side of the page in six lines while the colorful illustrations cover the open pages.

~ Why ~
I like how the short stories are written in paragraph format with brightly colored designs to view. I appreciate that the stories follow the Word of God and mention Jesus’s death for our sins and resurrection.

~ Why Not ~
Those who have no personal relationship with Christ may not want to promote Bible stories to young children. Beginner readers may struggle with some of the tw0- and three-syllable words. Some may think the drawings are too sophomoric.

~ Wish ~
Although there is no plan of eternal salvation, the book is a good start for young ones to see the Bible’s importance through several retold stories.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a rudimentary book for a child learn Bible stories, this one may delight your little one.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am evaluating by choice.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Who Told You That You Were Naked?

Who Told You That You Were Naked?: A Refreshing Reexamination of the Garden of EdenTitle: Who Told You that You Were Naked?
Author:  William E. Combs
Publisher: Carpenter’s Son Publishing
ISBN # 978-1-942587-68-2

“If we recognize the root of sin is our mental capacity to discern good and evil, then we can begin to understand we are incapable of overcoming this antagonist,” William E. Combs writes in his book, Who Told You That You Were Naked? A Refreshing Reexamination of the Garden of Eden.

~ What ~
This two-hundred-and-forty-two-page paperback targets readers looking for an updated viewpoint of the fall of humanity in the Garden of Eden. Using the English Standard Version of the Holy Bible, verses are written throughout the text and discussed in detail. After an introduction, ten chapters with discussion questions cover the topic, ending with endnotes.

Written by a retired Presbyterian minister, the book concentrates on possible scenarios of Adam and Eve in the Garden after they had eaten of the tree of good and evil, became shameful being naked, and felt guilty disobeying God. Also using examples of Cain, Moses, David, Paul, John, and Jesus in the Bible, added are the author’s personal experiences, interjections, and other interpretations of Scripture.

~ Why ~
Since we were not in the Garden of Eden when the first couple sinned, we do not know explicitly what each was feeling when partaking of the tree of good and evil. The writer’s creative vignettes force readers to think how it may have happened and why. I appreciated the mentioning of touching verses eating the fruit, exegesis versus eisegesis, and contemporary and alternative interpretations of the historical, life-changing event.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have or want a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will not be interested in this book about the inception of sin and path to eternal salvation. Some may not like a book with a pastor’s experiences or analogies such as outhouses, an earth-swallowing event, or his wife’s challenges. Others may notice the highlighted repetition of statements which are meant to stop the reader and consider its content.

~ Wish ~
Although I felt parts of the book got off topic and included personal references, I was reminded that Jesus dying on the cross for our sin reestablished God’s direct relationship with us.

~ Want ~
If you do not mind a retold version of Adam and Eve that takes ample liberties regarding our inherent knowledge of good and evil, this may bring it to the forefront of your thinking.

Thanks to the author for this complimentary book that I am reviewing freely.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

 

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