Nonfiction

Book Review: Zen and the Art of Happiness

Zen and the Art of Happiness
Author: 
Prentiss, Chris
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This non-fiction book is a great guide full of life improvement tips.
In this book, Chris Prentiss guides you through different strategies on how to be the best you, how to be the happiest you, and so on. The author teaches you different ways to be happy based on many Chinese philosophies and personal experience. What I liked about this book, was how simple it was. The methods presented by the author can be done by anybody and doesn’t require anything else, yet, he still shows how effective his methods are through telling stories about successful friends of his who listened to his advice.
Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: 
Kyle Y

Book Review: The Cozy Life

The Cozy Life
Author: 
Edberg, Pia
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

This guide provides an interesting approach to improving your life at home with a danish concept called hygge. In this book, different and interesting danish methods are presented, including how to make the most of your time with loved ones, what to avoid when participating in hygge, how to make your house a more relaxing atmosphere. Towards the end, there is a cookbook sharing many of the author’s favorite danish dishes. I found this book very helpful at giving ideas on ways to make your living space more relaxed and inviting, using things like lighting, plants, and cleanliness. In conclusion, I think this would be a nice book for anyone looking for ideas to throw a family reunion or looking to be a little more relaxed.
Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: 
Kyle Y

Book Review: Right This Very Minute

Right This Very Minute
Author: 
Detlefsen, Lisl H.
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Do you know where your food comes from? Each meal (or snack) you eat comes to you compliments of a farmer. This simple book details the stories of the varied food that children are eating. You’ll learn about the breakfast of pancakes, orange juice, and maple syrup and the trail mix snack. You’ll also learn about the lunch, dinner, and dessert and where they come from. This book doesn’t stop there. It encourages you to think like a farmer and begin to grow your own food.

Reviewer's Name: 
Carol

Book Review: Fantastic Fingerprint Art: Pets and Farm Animals

Fantastic Fingerprint Art: Pets and Farm Animals
Author: 
Bailey, Susannah and Daubney, Kate
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Using some paint, pens, and your fingers, you can make amazing fingerprint art! This title in the series concentrates on animals – both pets and farm animals. You can experiment with making lizards, fish, and birds or create a variety of bunnies and chinchillas. There are many animals to choose from. Which ones will be your favorites?

Reviewer's Name: 
Carol
Genres: 

Book Review: Weather Words and What They Mean

Weather Words and What They Mean
Author: 
Gibbons, Gail
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Gail Gibbons has another winning book with her updated Weather Words and What They Mean. She uses simple language to explain weather terminology and meteorology. You can learn about temperature, air pressure, moisture, and wind. Our weather is always changing. Learn about what causes the changes and how they might affect us. Also, learn some interesting weather facts. Remember to heed storm warnings and be careful in serious weather.

Reviewer's Name: 
Carol

Book Review: Give Bees a Chance

Give Bees a Chance
Author: 
Barton, Bethany
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Many of us don’t appreciate the amazing things that bees do for our world – we’re much too afraid of being stung! This book is for bee-phobics. In an interactive way, Give Bees a Chance tells about different kinds of bees, types of honeybees, bee anatomy, and honey. You’ll also learn why bees sting and the impact that bees have on our food chain. Please, please, please Give Bees a Chance!

Reviewer's Name: 
Carol
Genres: 

Book Review: Lincoln's Last Trial

Lincoln's Last Trial
Author: 
Abrams, Dan
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Lincoln's Last Trial was a fantastic read and I could not recommend it more. The book follows Robert Roberts Hitt, a steno man - one who records what is said during a trial. His latest job is a trial where Peachy Quinn Harrison was accused of murder. Abraham Lincoln, a well-known lawyer, is hired to defend him. This trial's victory is what ended up launching Lincoln into the presidency, and was the presidential candidate's last murder trial. Everything said in this book is true, but it is written in the style of a fictional book, making it an easy read for anyone. As the author follows Hitt in the buildup to the trial and during it, he discusses various things relating to the events occurring at the time. This makes the pace of the book fairly slow, as lots of information is given in-between events, but it is certainly worth it. Lincoln's genius as a lawyer, the advice he gave to law students, and details only his friends would know (he kept papers for cases in his hat!) are all revealed. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book, especially if law, history, and government are of interest.

Reviewer's Name: 
Rosina R.

Book Review: The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdös

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdös
Author: 
Heiligman, Deborah
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Once there was a boy who loved math. He loved math so much that he spent all of his time thinking about numbers. He spent so much time with math that he couldn’t do many things that ordinary people do. The biography tells the story of Paul Erdos, one of the greatest mathematicians, and how he found his way in the world sharing his ideas and love of math.

Reviewer's Name: 
Carol

Book Review: The Baby Owner's Manual

The Baby Owner's Manual
Author: 
Borgenicht, Louis and Joe
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

You might be shocked to learn that some men do read the instructions. There have been numerous products that I have purchased over the years which necessitated a read-through of the instructions provided. Usually, these were items of extreme complexity or of thorough interest to me to require fully understanding the items before beginning to use them. The Baby Owner’s Manual might seem like a humorous fusion of a parenting book with a repair manual for a vehicle, but somehow the fusion of these two works better than I would have ever expected.

Published by Quirk Books (who have created other genius mash-ups like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Shakespeare’s Star Wars ), The Baby Owner’s Manual takes the complicated and frightening task of keeping a newborn alive and presents the necessary information in a format that any guy can understand. In fact, aside from a few choice substitutions that make a baby seem more like a car than a human, I’d probably keep this book as a useful reference any time something I don’t know how to handle comes up. This will likely be often considering my first child is due near the end of the year.

The only qualm I might have with this book is that some studies have come out since 2003 that have changed a few suggestions the book gives these new parents. Of course, any well-prepared parents will probably be able to pick these inconsistencies out and follow the more current recommendations. In the
end, though, the direct and straightforward method this book uses to convey its information makes it far more useful than just as a gag gift (I’m looking at you, How to Traumatize Your Children).

An instruction manual every man should read, I give The Baby Owner’s Manual 4.5 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: 
Benjamin W.

Book Review: Running for My Life

 Running for My Life
Author: 
Lomong, Lopez
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Lopez Lomong is a phenomenal runner. When he runs, he feels as though he is free and it is the one thing that gives him immense amounts of joy. However, Lopez didn't always start out in the spotlight. In fact, his story begins in a South Sudanese war camp. "Running For My Life" is the incredible story of one boys journey from awful refugee camps to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This nonfiction story is told through Lopez himself making it a thrilling autobiography. I personally love this book because my brother was an Eritrean refugee and when he came to America, he got a scholarship for running. I don't know what it is about that particular sport, but it definitely changes lives as shown through Lomong's book. Even if you are not a fan or sports or running, "Running For My Life" teaches valuable lessons and helps us to empathize with others. It shows that love can be found everywhere in the world. Trust me when I say that you will not be bored with this book. Lopez constantly has a good attitude in life even if his best meal of the week is eating out of a trash heap (which actually happens in his refugee camp). Lopez goes with his friends to watch the Olympics on T.V at a rich man's house back in South Sudan. He sees a man holding the flag of America, tears streaming down his happy face. From that moment, Lopez decides that he wants to be that man. He wants to win an Olympic race and make his country proud. I mean he already has the running skills considering that the boys in the refugee camp have to run 18 miles in order to go play soccer!
Lopez has a spiritual journey throughout his life and his faith never wavers. Three older boys helped Lopez escape a war camp when he was six. When they got to safety, the boys disappeared. Lopez is convinced that the boys who helped him were angels. This story like no other will move you and inspire you to follow your dreams. Lomong proves that no matter who you are or where your from, you can do anything through Christ who gives you strength.

Reviewer's Name: 
Megan T.

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