The United States of Absurdity by Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Ten Speed Press for the opportunity to read and review The United States of Absurdity: Untold Stories from American History! This book is separated into six different sections: Great American Characters, The Best of American Sports, Great American Medical Breakthroughs, Very Bad American Ideas, When Americans Go Wrong and American Tails. Also included is a conclusion and an index. Disturbingly funny and morbidly fascinating, this interesting book grossed me out, made me laugh out loud and gave me the heebie jeebies! 4 stars for this nonfiction book with an adult sense of humor and content!

Raising a Secure Child by Kent Hoffman

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Guilford Publications for the opportunity to read and review Raising a Secure Child by Kent Hoffman. This non-fiction book is all about parenting to help your child feel secure, comfortable and confident. As we all know, there’s a lot of parenting wisdom and advice for the taking and it seems like everyone is willing to share his or her opinion whether it’s wanted or not. This book describes a way to build self-esteem and the feeling of security from the time your baby is born. I like the idea of the simple act of letting your children know you are there for them and showing them, through your actions that you truly are, can build the security that we all need to succeed in life. I was interested in the sensitivity section and the checklist that helps us see our own shark music (a phrase given to how we defend ourselves unconsciously). My favorite line of the book is, “Self-esteem is built not from praise but from acceptance”. 4 stars for a helpful book that boosts self confidence and a well balanced childhood!

Crochet Stories: Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland by Pat Olski

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to Dover Publications and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Crochet Stories: Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland by Pat Olski. This book is a feast for crocheters and readers combined. The crocheted characters are introduced through excerpts from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and right after the story sections, comes the crochet projects’ details. The key of crochet abbreviations is at the beginning of the book and each pattern uses these abbreviations. The detailed instructions give information on finished measurements, materials needed and the gauge of stitches per row and number of rows when complete. The colored photos of the finished products are too cute to not crochet! My favorite photo is of Alice, the dormouse, the Mad Hatter and the tea set – all crocheted pieces. The Queen and King are comically cute. The skill levels for crocheters are easy and intermediate. There are even patterns for a croquet card arch and a flamingo mallet. Adorable and fun! 5 stars!

Salad in a Jar by Anna Helm Baxter

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Ten Speed Press for the opportunity to read and review Salad in a Jar by Anna Helm Baxter. Simple and helpful, this book contains everything needed to make portable salads, except the ingredients. Recipes for salad dressings and many types of salads with common to unique ingredients and even ideas to help you create your own recipes are included. Clean and clear photos of each beautifully layered salad and detailed recipes made me hungry and show how easy it is to make a salad in a jar – 5 stars for this healthy read!

A Daughter’s Deadly Deception by Jeremy Grimaldi

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Dundurn for the opportunity to read and review A Daughter’s Deadly Deception: The Jennifer Pan Story by Jeremy Grimaldi. Immediately gripping, the story begins with the intrusion into the Pan home and the shootings that occurred soon after. The story that unfolds shows the cunning that Jennifer had to deceive her parents about her entire life. A large portion of the book takes the reader through the investigative process and the interviews of people who might have information to the people who are suspected of being an assailant. The lives of those affected by this deception and violence are explained with diplomacy and empathy for what the family members have gone through and what they have to deal with. In the author’s note, more tragedy for the extended family is described with heartbreak. I rate this nonfiction crime book 4 stars!

Every Which Way Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Storey Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Every Which Way Crochet Borders: 139 Patterns for Customized Edgings by Edie Eckman! Detailed instructions and close up photos describe the different borders well. Definitely for intermediate and above crocheters! This helpful book even includes the different ways to crochet around fleece or other materials and the tools available – a skip blade rotary cutter to cut holes in the fabric or a sharp ended crochet hook specially designed to poke the holes before crocheting. Easy to follow instructions and a photo accompany each direction and make this book a must for creative crocheters. A huge variety of border patterns with accompanying photos and illustrations of each pattern and complete, thorough directions. The appendix has a stitch key, reading crochet symbols key and a photo index of the crochet patterns contained in this book – 5 stars for a comprehensive instructional text!

Body Kindness by Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Workman Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Body Kindness: Transform Your Health from the Inside Out – and Never Say Diet Again by Rebecca Scritchfield. This book focuses on body kindness with the following four parts: what you do, how you feel, who you are, where you belong. The journal suggestion is genius and by writing The Body Kindness Manifesto as the first entry, it gives the reader/writer empowerment. The book contains amazing and simple visual ideas to reinforce positive choices and mindset, such as draw a spiral tornado: write one body kindness that makes you feel good and write down what you do and how you usually feel. Keep adding body kindness choices until the tornado is filled, building one positive choice feeling on top of the other. Reflect as you do this! The most helpful comment – “Choose to put yourself first.” Diet, exercise, sleep, emotions, fun, resilience, values, peace, self compassion, connections, inspiration and spirituality make this an invaluable book – 5 stars for the easy to read and follow format and also extreme helpfulness!

 

Eureka!: 50 Scientists Who Shaped Human History by John Grant

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the opportunity to read and review Eureka!: 50 Scientists Who Shaped Human History! This book is full of insights into scientific pioneers both professional and personal. From B.C. to modern times, details explaining theories and interesting tidbits of each scientist fill this easy to read informational book – 4 stars!

Every Body Yoga by Jessamyn

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Workman Publishing Company for the opportunity to read and review Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear. Get On the Mat. Love Your Body. by Jessamyn Stanley! The author’s humor makes this instructional and informational book interesting to read. Includes the author’s story and background, history of yoga, the eight-limbed path (restraint, discipline, poses, breath work, external detachment, concentration, meditation and total absorption), yoga styles, supplies needed, correct placement, posture mixing, breathing techniques and illustrations with detailed instructions. A helpful, encouraging book worth 5 stars!

Manga Art by Mark Crilley

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Ten Speed Press for the opportunity to read and review Manga Art: Inspiration and Techniques from an Expert Illustrator by Mark Crilley! Mr. Crilley shares his story with his readers, encouraging artists everywhere. The beautiful artwork in this book will open up worlds for aspiring artists and I especially like the “your turn” sections that encourage artists to think outside the box and create out of their norm. I will purchase this book for the library where I work because I can see it being beneficial to many students. They will enjoy this book as much as I do- 5 stars for this nonfiction art instructional book!