STEAM Play & Learn by Ana Dziengel

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Creative entertainment!
Thanks to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing for the opportunity to read and review STEAM Play & Learn by Ana Dziengel. This is a wonderful book filled with twenty projects, ranging from easy to difficult and all geared towards science, technology, engineering, art and math. Fun and helpful illustrations bring this project book to life and the detailed instructions are perfect! I love the STEAM applications and notes following each project. A must-have book for anyone wanting a little creative entertainment in their lives- 5 stars!

Hypertufa Containers by Lori Chips

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Thanks to NetGalley and Timber Press for the opportunity to read and review Hypertufa Containers by Lori Chips. Hypertufa containers or troughs are made from cement, peat moss, perlite and fiber mesh and they are frost-resistant and meant to bring miniature alpine plants up close for better viewing. Photos and detailed instructions and information give everything needed to create your own hypertufa containers. The only thing missing is your imagination and supplies! A list of categorized plants is included along with a glossary and zonal information. Helpful and creative-4 stars!

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris

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Wonderfully informative and humorous guide to Meditation.
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the opportunity to read and review Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris and Jeff Warren. I chuckled at the Table of Contents and how accurate the section and chapter titles were when applied to human nature. Some of the headings are “I Don’t Have Time for This”, “If I Get Too Happy, I’ll Lose My Edge” and “People Might Think I’m Weird”. So great and opens up the path for humor in its pages. I was excited to discover the app that accompanies the instructional meditation given in this book. The commentary is full of humor and deals with thoughts that swirl through our minds as we try to relax and meditate. Short and easily doable meditations are introduced along with helpful, concise cheat sheets. I love the “RAIN”, “Walking Through Sound” and “Ten Good Breaths”! This quote captures the true essence of this practical and useful book, “Meditation is basically the end of boredom.” I was surprised and disturbed by the results of the study “Pandora’s Box” where people were left alone in a room with no stimulus, except a button that produced an electric shock. Many of the participants chose to give themselves electric shocks because of their discomfort of being quietly alone. Wonderfully informative instructional guide on meditation for anyone who wants to try but is skeptical of meditating, 5 stars!

Graceful Exit by Gustavo Ferrer, M.D.

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Thanks to NetGalley and Sounds True Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Graceful Exit by Gustavo Ferrer, M.D. This self-help guide opens with advice and explanations on getting a proxy written up for medical treatment if you or your loved one cannot speak for yourself. Full of sound advice and needed information on the process of dealing with death and how to help take care of terminally ill loved ones. Includes information on healthcare options and how to handle the stress that goes along with this difficult part of life. Recently having been a part of this with my husband’s family, this book will be helpful for all family members involved, 5 stars.

Chibi!: The Official Mark Crilley How-to-Draw Guide!

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Draw your very own Chibi!
Thanks to NetGalley and F+W Media for the opportunity to read and review Chibi!: The Official Mark Crilley How-To-Draw Guide! This instructional book is narrated by a cute, humorous character with a fun name (made by a play on Japanese culture) in a comic/manga format. The sections are “Chibi Basics”, “Characters and Poses” and “Chibi Craft Projects” and give detailed instructions for drawing any Chibi you could ever want to draw. I love this book because it’s not limiting Chibi drawing to characters inside a story but gives a variety of inspiring ideas for your very own Chibi! I’m purchasing this book for the school library! 5 stars!

The Teen’s Guide to Social Media by Jonathan McKee

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Thanks to NetGalley and Shiloh Run Press for the opportunity to read and review The Teen’s Guide to Social Media by Jonathan McKee. This helpful guide contains “21 Tips to Wise Posting in an Insecure World”. Each tip is given its own chapter and a clever name, which summarizes the advice. The book opens with a letter of relevant advice to parents and all caring adults that might be feeling overwhelmed with the technology overload and in need of possible rules and guidelines for raising children in a world with constant internet access. This guide reminds us: to keep up our social skills, to check privacy settings, that posting is permanent, of the detrimental effects of pornography, to seek out a mentor, to be accountable, don’t talk to strangers, to take less selfies, don’t become addicted to likes, to know the apps, to reevaluate online time, to find tech-free zones, to friend people you know, to rethink your media, to think before posting, to use kind words, don’t let your driving become distracted, no nude posts, to be truthful, sleep and stay aware.
Questions to ponder and something to think about sections at the close of each chapter/tip and a resource list at the end of the book give readers more to think about and research. 5 stars for this beneficial, relevant guide to online safety!

Plum Dandi Knits

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Thanks to NetGalley and Interweave for the opportunity to read and review Plum Dandi Knits by Alicia Plummer. Not for beginning knitters, but full of a wide variety of projects awaiting knitting needles and a knitter for their creation. Lists of needed supplies and knitting instructions for each project, as well as photographs, give helpful directions. From leg warmers to hats and scarves to socks and more, this book will inspire knitters, 5 stars!

Lalylala’s Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies by Lydia Tresselt

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Thanks to NetGalley and F+W Media for the opportunity to read and review Lalylala’s Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies by Lydia Tresselt. Instructional book for crocheting amigurumi along with a story of transformation which uses the completed projects to illustrate, plus patterns to make outfits for your amigurumi creations. Tutorials and different stitch instructions and photos are included to help crocheters make the cutest little insects. Purely adorable and helpful too, 5 stars!

 

Coloring with Thread by Tula Pink

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Thanks to NetGalley and F+W Media for the opportunity to read and review Coloring With Thread by Tula Pink, which makes embroidery look like painting with thread! Beautiful finished projects are photographed and shown as examples for the included detailed instructions. A stitching guide clearly illustrates and describes various stitches and explains the purpose of each. Helpful and artistically inspiring craft book, 5 stars!

Awakening Your Ikigai by Ken Mogi

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Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Awakening Your Ikigai by Ken Mogi. A descriptive and instructional book of the Five Pillars of Ikigai. These five pillars involve starting small, releasing yourself, harmony and sustainability, the joy of small things and being in the here and now and can lead anyone into a more enjoyable, fulfilling life. The five pillars or principles of Ikigai remind us to begin at the beginning and don’t expect perfection immediately but continue to strive for perfection in all that we do. The principles also help us keep our focus on the joy of living in each and every day. Balance or harmony is also important and living each moment fully instead of rushing through our lives is a key to Ikigai. Peaceful and inspiring, Awakening Your Ikigai is easy to understand and follow to bring true and pure happiness into our lives. 4 stars.