Spider’s Revenge by Jennifer Estep

Spiders revenge.jpgSpider’s Revenge by Jennifer Estep

Hey Readers!

Happy International Literacy Day! You know I love my obscure holidays, but this one has been around for a while in 1966 the UNESCO center founded International Literacy Day to help spread the word about an international crisis, illiteracy. Thomas Jefferson said, “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” I take this quote to heart in all my efforts, whether they be here with this blog, in my community with my non-profit, or even at work and home. This year UNESCO’s theme for International Literacy Day is creating a culture of literacy. Continue reading

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Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Out-of-my-mind.jpgOut of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Hey Readers!

I have a confession. I almost always judge my books by their covers. I’ll admit it, I’m bad about my book choices. So often, I will pick a book strictly by its cover, or even just their titles. Cute cat on the cover? Sounds Lame, I won’t touch it. Kick butt female fighter, most definitely. I do the same thing with wine, and records sometimes, too. Occasionally, this works out in my favor, or at least works well enough. Others, I learn a lesson: cute doesn’t always equal quality. The same can be said for people and this week’s read speaks exactly to that message. When I first read the title, “Out of My Mind,” I thought this book was about a crazy person, or someone who feels like they’re going crazy. In my defense, I enjoy books about brains gone wrong. I find them fascinating, and they open me to very diverse experiences. I wasn’t wrong with this book.

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The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum

Poisoner's Handbook CoverThe Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum

Hey readers!

Sex, drugs and rock and roll, characterizes the 20th century, but the dangers of this crazy life was nothing compared to the boozy, fast life of the roaring twenties. Or so I learned in my most recent read by Deborah Blum, The Poisoner’s Handbook. I borrowed this book from my mother, and I’d been eyeing it for quite some time. When her and my stepfather would fight, she would casually read the book in front of him, or leave it on her bedside table. She used to joke that she was brushing up for if he didn’t fix his attitude, or whatever it was they were bickering about at any given time. I picked it up now because it fit the Popsugar reading challenge: a book about death. Deborah Blum is a non-fiction writer of some notoriety. She’s won a Pulitzer Prize and is a professor of science journalism at the University of Wisconsin. She also co-edited A Field Guide for Science Writers. When it comes to non-fiction writing, scientific writing, and writing about death, she definitely knows what she is doing. Continue reading

July Fitness Challenge

Hello Readers!

My fitness journey has taken me into all sorts of interesting places. This past month, I was approached by a personal trainer at my gym and offered a free consultation. I was neutral about the idea, because I’ve been doing this for a while and feel like I have an idea what I’m doing, but hey. I haven’t been making any progress on my own, and I can assume he has more professional experience, I can always stand to learn more, right? So, I took him up on the offer, and I stand corrected. While I do know more than the average bear about fitness, and the general rules of health, I still learned a hell of a lot in a short 45 minute session. I’m really excited to share these tips with you. Continue reading

How To Improve Your Sense of Smell

Hey Readers!

This week I want to talk a bit more about senses, in particular the sense of smell, and how we can improve ours.

We talked a few weeks ago about how our sniffers work, and how we smell things, and I mentioned that the sense of smell is the most fragile of our senses in that once it is gone, it is often impossible to reclaim. It is also one of the most impactful if we do lose it, as we often take for granted the pleasure of smelling our favorite foods, our favorite flowers, and even our favorite people. We receive so much information on a daily basis through all of our senses, it is unimaginable to be without one, but can you imagine if your senses were even stronger? That’s what I’m proposing now. Continue reading

Goddess of yesterday

Goddess of Yesterday by Caroline b. Cooney

Hey Readers!

The new year is almost here, and I felt what better than a book recommendation to help you bring in the new year. The Goddess of Yesterday by Caroline B. Cooney, is the story of an unknown Princess from a small island in the mediterranean sea who has a direct impact on the outcomes of the Trojan war. I love this story for its transformational message. The young Princess Anaxandra, taken from her home at the fragile age of 6 as treasure for a pirate, faces the murder and torture of those who would protect her, until she falls in to the kingdom of Helen of Sparta. Anaxandra must take new names, and change herself in order to survive the pirate mentality of the mediterranean, and she does so with grace and impossible strength. Continue reading

The Aviator’s Wife Review

The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin

Hey readers!

This week I’m reviewing The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin. I originally picked up this book because it fit the category: “a book with a family name in the title.” I had also wanted to read this book based on the cover and the reputation when it first came out, but as usual I didn’t do much research before I picked it up. Something that I have learned while doing this reading challenge: I enjoy being surprised by my reading instead of coming in with a bunch of expectations. I did listen to this book as an audiobook, and I found it through Overdrive, my library’s online database. Continue reading