Tag Archives: book review

You: Staying Young and the Owner’s Manuel by Michael F. Roizen & Mehmet C. Oz

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When I stumbled upon these two book in some rinky-dink local thrift store I couldn’t help but feeling like I was buying some sort of secret to immortality. These books were “written” by two very famous doctors and blown up all over the Oprah show. They were the hot thing a few years ago and a total must-have.

Well I must have been the only person that felt like she’s been totally cheated out of looking twenty five for the rest of my life. Honestly, had I paid more than a couple dollars for each book I would’ve returned them. That’s how disappointing I found them. Now I can see why they were left to molder on a dusty old shelf in the middle of nowhere.

I feel like any average person that’s had any form of normal middle-class high school health education has probably already learned all they need to know from this book series. If you’ve reached adulthood never having heard that exercise, eating right, and antioxidants are all good for you… well then I think you have bigger fish to fry.

Step One: Eat right. Step Two: Get off your fat ass. Step Three: Don’t fry yourself in the sun. Step Four: Put down those cigarettes, Smokey.

There, I just saved you $50 and several wasted hours. You can thank me later.

I’m gonna go eat a bag of chips now…

2 clogged arteries of 5

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The Rising by Kelley Armstrong

Ahhh, Kelley, you’ve done it again. Somehow you’ve managed to make the third book in a trilogy better than the first two while simultaneously intertwining two parallel story lines. Phew. I’m tired just saying that.

The Rising wraps up the Darkness Rising trilogy, which follows Maya, a mountain lion shapeshifter, and her band of genetically modified friends. They’re on the run from some of the most dangerous cabals in the supernatural underworld and have recently learned that the sleepy life they were accustomed to was all a lie. 11864728

Much to my delight, while on the run, they meet up with the teens from Armstrong’s Darkest Powers trilogy and kinda wrap that whole situation up too. I enjoyed this series wholeheartedly–probably for its simplicity. Everything was as it seemed for the most part and for ONCE an ending didn’t piss me off. Things were as they should be. And this love triangle ended the right way.

Reading these books was like dipping my toes in a lukewarm pool. It was pleasant, relaxing, and I didn’t have to get soaked. Some books cause me so much anxiety that I almost stop reading them out of enjoyment and read them to relieve the nervousness they cause. Like I said, these are easy reading.

Keep up the good work, Kelley!

3 birth marks of 5

Also, I highly recommend reading The Darkest Powers bonus pack one and two. They each contain two or three stories out of the DP world and they are definitely worth your time. They fill in a lot of gaps and add a lot to the overall trilogy and are super cheap for the Kindle. (I actually think KA posts them for free on her website but takes them down as new ones are written…)

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And as another, probably useless, sidenote– I also happened to download her other short story Hunting Kat. As far as I know it’s a stand alone, and hopefully it stays that way. The new vampire/genetic vampire/bitten vampire on the run thing was way too contrived. KA has some awesome work out there and this comes no where close to representing her talent. Skip it.

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Unsaid by Neil Abramson

Have you ever wondered what would happen if a first time author had a REALLY good concept for a book, but the whole first time author-thing really tripped him up?

This is what happens. 9628203

Unsaid is the story of the late Helena Colden, a veterinarian who just died of breast cancer. It’s told from her perspective, looking down on the animals and people she’s left behind. And the terrible secret she took to her grave.

I honestly thought that we’d be lucky enough to get a version of The Lovely Bones with a pinch of James Herriot and a dash of Jane Goodall.

Nope.

Helena’s husband David spends a good portion of the book fighting for Cindy, a four year old chimp. He’s a lawyer that’s taken this nearly impossible case as a tribute to his dead wife. While I liked watching David heal and come to grips with his loss, the whole courtroom scene was really cheesy. It read like an old Law and Order re-run from the early ninety’s. Yeah.

Plus, the little autistic boy (I forgot his name) had “visions” in the beginning, but that was dropped off after a while and never explained or examined more closely. Also, SPOILER ALERT! When Helena’s dog Skippy dies of his heart condition, didn’t we all expect some sort of spiritual reunion and/or joyously tearful Touched By an Angel scene?? Way to let the ball drop, Mr. Abramson! 

All in all, I think this is definitely one worth skipping.

It’s too bad, because I had high hopes for Unsaid.

2 paw prints of 5


Super Freakonomics by Steven D Levitt & Stephen J Dubner

I read the first Freakonomics two years ago under the duress of a now ex-boyfriend. It was one of the only positive things I got out of that relationship. 

I never thought I’d have an interest in “social economics” until I got my hands on Levitt & Dubner’s brainchild. I mean, with questions like: why do drug dealers still live with their moms? (in the first book) and why are mall santa clauses and prostitutes alike? (in the second)… How could you not fly through the pages? bookpic

While I absolutely LOVED the first book, I felt that the second was a little thin and lackluster in comparison. I liked the more global hypotheses, like how to combat the greenhouse effect and all that jazz, but it wasn’t as dishy as the first. Before it felt almost like a guilty pleasure. Now it’s kind of old hat. 

If you enjoyed the first, however, there’s really no reason not to continue with the next installment. Hopefully next time L&D can devote some brainpower to answering questions like: why do TVs keep getting flatter when we don’t even have a tortilla chip with a guacamole-supporting infrastructure? or why do teenagers put cases on their phones but don’t use condoms??

Alas, the world will never know!

4 Forth of July hookers of 5 


The Sex Life of Food by Bunny Crumpacker

With a name like Bunny Crumpacker… She’s unlikely to disappoint. Especially about two of our favorite subjects: FOOD and SEX. Crumpacker (teehee) details how human desires go hand in hand, with hunger and horniness being the most potent of them all. From Eve and the apple to modern cannibals, I’d say she covers a little bit of everything… 51NFYQQ01GL._SY300_

I found this book INSANELY readable. I mean, really, you had me at sex and food, but still. Her writing style is a rare blend of wit and humor and I wizzed through this book in about a day. Who doesn’t find cannibals interesting?? Could you eat human flesh if you had to do it to survive?

I don’t even like fish!

It’s interesting to note that the two things we crave most in life–the two things that are actual essential to human life–are the two things we feel the most shame about. We want too much, we don’t want enough, we starve, we stuff, we hump, we die.

A perfect bath tub book ❤

5 apple cores of 5


The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel

A long time ago, when I worked at Books a Million, I used to have a bunch of older ladies come in all the time to buy some installment of Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children series. They always raved about how good it was and how they absolutely couldn’t wait for the next one.

Sadly, I wasn’t nearly as enthralled. tumblr_m4swhv7jpB1qb75x2o1_500

Set sometime in prehistory, Ayla is a human girl that is found by a group of Neanderthals. To them her blonde hair, blue eyes, and small head are freakishly ugly, but the childless medicine woman takes pity on her and raises her as her own. She grows up alongside the Clan and learns their ways. But no matter how hard Ayla tries, she will never truly be one of them.

Blah blah growing pains blah blah outsider blah.

I felt too outside the story to really care about what happened to Ayla, and the simplistic/childish writing style put me off. I’m kind of a nosy person, so I’m half tempted to read another in the series just to see if I like it better, but eh… We evolved for a reason.

You can skip it.

2 paw prints of 5


The Honey Trail by Grace Pundyk

I happened to pick up Grace Pundyk’s little gem whilst casually strolling through unexplored sections of my local library. She succeeded in taking me on an adventure that many authors can only hope to replicate. And she was lucky enough to experience it firsthand. 9780312629816

I’ve been interested in beekeeping (and honey) for many years, but it was only in the spring of 2011 that I decided to do anything about it. My college offered a non-academic apiary class open to the public. The meetings were only once a month, so how could I say no? There I got to experience beehives and the honey making process up close and personal, even building my own hive and keeping my bees for nearly a year before they succumbed to an invasion of wax moths while I was in England.

Pundyk, like me, took an interest in bees because of their delicious golden upchuck. Honey.

This interest in the product, as well as the industry, led her on what had to be an almost year long around the world adventure. (If only we could all be so lucky to have those traveling funds!) She explored Borneo, England, Australia, New Zealand, China, America, and Russia and how the unique techniques and attitudes of the area influence the local honey–not to mention how the terrible pests and mysterious diseases that now abound are threatening supermarket shelves globally…

I found this book absolutely riveting and my only criticism is that I didn’t have the opportunity to stow away in her luggage!

A new favorite is hatched.

5 worker bees of 5