Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Book in Review: 30 Steps to Becoming a Writer

30 Steps to Becoming a Writer By: Scott Edelstein
non-fiction: writing 224 pages
Book Count: 49

This book has a lot of good advice and is useful for both people that like a structured program and those that like a more free from method. In fact a couple of the exercises is to try a couple different methods for writing to see which you like better. It also has you writing as part of reading the book. The only thing that I didn't like about the book is how they tell you to submit pieces. First, I don't see why you need a laser printer, as long as it is typed and printed on a printer that works well, would this be an issue? I understand if it was about pictures where the printer greatly effects the quality, but for written words? Also, although telling the basics of what is needed on a manuscript when send to be publisted is good, it would be better if he noted that anything that the magazine, paper, etc states in their requirements overrides this advice. But beside these two little things I over all liked the book.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Book in Review: Skinny is Overrated

Skinny is Overrated: The Real Woman's Guide to Health and Happiness at Any Size By: Danielle Milano, MD
non-fiction, diet, health 209 pages
Book Count: 48

First, given the title would you think that the main point of this book is "You are too fat you must follow this lifelong, strick diet to be better"? This book SO upset me at points that I almost stopped reading it in the first chapter. Although it has a large amount of good information, the bad really outweighs it. For example, besides lying about the main point of the book it has advice like: watch the DVD of "The Secret" to think yourself thinner, as your friends are all exactly like you you need to get new thinner friends, and the only good kitchen tools are expensive ones. And although the main points of the diet are good, healthy and based on evidence (both scientific and experience based) as it is a life long one (as they are the best for real change) it is too strict and at time counterdictering. For example, in one chapter it says that you can only drink water, and an occasional beer or wine. Then in the next chapter it says that some fruit juice is fine as long as you think about the calories in it. It also lists iced tea as a drink you can't have, but earlier when talking about groups and times of people known for a healthy diet and good health talks about a group that drinks tea as part of the healthy things they do. It also has a number of rules that no American, over weight or not can follow all of the time. These include NEVER eating anything containing the following: fast food, deep fried foods (chips, fries, etc), trans fats,and high fructose corn syrup. As well as EVERY day eating: 3 meals and 1-2 snacks, dark green leafy vegetables, and 5-10 fruits and veggies. (OK, besides eating salads or greens everyday that part isn't hard, but we all have had days where we can't eat at normal meal times for us or you're traveling and the only food is a fast food burger and fries where if you are adding a normal pop or ketchup you have broke every one of the NEVER eat rules. If the diet was simply to not normaly eat these foods, I wouldn't have a problem with the rules, but its not.)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Book in Review: The Girl in Alfred Hitchcock's Shower

The Girl in Alfred Hitchcock's Shower : A Murder That Became A Real-Life Mystery, A Mystery That Became An Obsession By: Robert Graysmith
Non-fiction, true crime, history, biography, film 289 pages
Book Count: 47

This is a book about many people. The main story is that of Marli Renfro, the uncredited body double in the Hitchcock film Psycho. It is also about the sexual revolution of the 60's, Alftred Hictcock, Francis Ford Coppola, a murderer much like the character of Norman Bates, the author of the book, the writer of Psycho, the murder the book is about, the murder of Janet Leigh's stand in, the Playboy empire, film history and the author's obsession with Marli Renfro. It mixes in all of these stories well, but one should have seen the movie before reading the book. Reading the info on all the work that went into the making of the film makes one want to see it again.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Book in Review: Turn Coat

Turn Coat By: Jim Butcher
Fiction: Fantasy, 548 pages
Book Count: 46

This is a novel in the Dresden Files series. A graphic novel of the series is reviewed here. In this one Morgan, a fellow wizard is on the run from the White Council of wizards because he is thought to have killed one of the top wizards of the council. He comes to Harry for help. Harry is sure that Morgan is Innocent, but the only way to stop the White Council from killing him is to find the person that did it, a person on the inside who did a great job of framing Morgan. If he fails he too may be killed for helping a criminal. This book has many twists and turns in it as well as tons of different magical folk: wizards, vampires, skinwalker, werewolves, fairy folk and others.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Book in Review: The Locavore's Handbook

The Locavore's Handbook The Busy Person's Guide to Eating Local on a Budget By: Leda Meredith
Non-fiction, food, environment 185 pages
Book Count: 45

First this book is badly named. It should be something like "The Locavore's Guide to New York City" as about 80% of the parts on actually eating locally are about her own experiences and resources for people living in New York or the surrounding area. There is some information for people living else where, mainly in web sites or other books, but the book is very much a NY book. For example, in all the recipes she uses honey instead of sugar, because there "is no local sugar" which is true for where she lives, but in MI just about every grocery store has sugar grown in the state. Also, like most books of this type it is very preachy. Although, it does talk about how you can save money on eating locally by growing or finding food, joining a CSA (community supported agriculture), and shopping the farmer's market at the right time most of its talk on budget eating is rants about how big business working with the government is artificially lowering the cost of bad foods. (Not saying that it isn't true, just budgeting advice shouldn't be, "You should pay more.")

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

An Audio Book in Review: Jessica's guide to dating on the dark side

Jessica's guide to dating on the dark side By:Beth Fantaskey
Fiction: YA, paranormal romance

This book is slightly different from other teen romances books about vampires as told by the girl in the relationship in that she is also a vampire. In fact she is a vampire princess. The only problem is that she was raised by hippies in Amish country and doesn't believe in vampires. Also, it turns out that the creepy guy that seams to be following her is the vampire prince that she was engaged to as a baby.

9 CD's 11 hours