Tag Archives: nonfiction

Book Review: Who Knew? Questions That Will Make You Think Again by Sarah Herman (9781684120475)

61Ykilnf9cLIf you want to be the life of the party, this is your book. You can fill your brain with as much “useless knowledge” (my affectionate moniker) as you can fit and impress people with how fast a sand dune can move, explain what watermelon snow is, and give in morbid detail why a barbershop pole is red and white.

A fun book with questions about weather and climate to film and theater. It also contains short quizzes at the end of each chapter (with answers in the back) to see how much you are retaining. My partner and I are always trying to one up each other on interesting facts and I can thankfully say this book has increased my odds of drawing and maintaining a crowd longer.  🙂

Thank you to Sarah Herman, Portable Press and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book!

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Book Review: Violated-Exposing Rape at Baylor University Amid College Football’s Sexual Assault Crisis by Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach (9781478974086)

cover117931-mediumAccording to national statistics, at least one in five college women experience some type of sexual assault. 

Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach are ESPN reporters who have done a comprehensive investigation into injustices and cover ups of a prominent Christian college, Baylor University, in Waco, Texas.

The book contains many stories of Baylor female students who reported sexual assaults by athletes to their university over a period of several years which went unanswered until the administration had to confront the realities happening on its campus.  Not only did the university ignore the victims’ cries, but the city police department was inconsistent in their investigations and withheld police reports involving students and student athletes.  One case included five victim reports involving the same male football player, a serial rapist.  Once this sexual assault case came out, other cases (old and new) started surfacing.

Under pressure from the public, the Baylor board of regents hired a Philadelphia law firm to review the school’s response to sexual assault complaints which did not fair well for the university or the football program.  It found “willful intent” of college employees to silence women who reported sexual assaults by some Baylor football players.   For the first time ever, a major Division I university ousted its president, athletic director, and head coach of one of the most prominent football program in the country.  Victims were getting justice by seeing their rapists pay for their crimes and federal Title IX lawsuits were being filed against Baylor as well as U.S. Department of Education investigations, and an NCAA inquiry.   Once this travesty came out about Baylor in the media, more and more colleges and universities started experiencing reports of inaction by administrators and athletic departments to help sexual assault victims.

As one who works in a liberal arts college, it was a very eye-opening read.   The authors did a thorough job of research for this book which can be seen in the timeline of the Baylor sexual assault scandal and a detailed bibliography with resources worth reading.  This book will bring out many emotions in the reader such as disbelief, disgust, anger and so much anguish for the victims.  I highly recommend this book!

Thank you to authors Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach, Center Street Publishing and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

 

 

 

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Book Review: Way of the Wolf: Straight Line Selling- Master the Art of Persuasion, Influence, and Success by Jordan Belfort (Kindle book)

51pSCI+uD8L._SY346_Bestselling author and “The Wolf of Wall Street”, Jordan Belfort, shares step-by-step instructions on using his very successful Straight Line System for any business, industry and even your personal life.  He notes that you do not have to be in sales to use this system.  You can use it from selling your great qualities in a job interview to selling anyone on a great idea.

He teaches one how to use the Three Tens to influence a customer.  He discusses the five core elements of the Straight Line System and notes the three things that “absolutely must come across in the first four seconds of an encounter with a customer”.  There are many other great factors to consider of which he includes examples and links to his website.

You may be thinking, “Why would I want to read this really dry subject material?  I’m not in sales.”  I admit I thought the same thing when I began, but Mr. Belfort’s writing, practical examples and great stories really move this book along, and I found myself thinking of ways to use various tips in my professional and personal life.  As one who has not watched the movie, “The Wolf of Wall Street”, I was able to form my own opinion of Mr. Belfort’s style and persona, and I can understand why he is so successful.    I wholeheartedly recommend this self-help guide to selling pretty much anything you want.

Thank you to Mr. Belfort, North Star Way, and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book!

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Book review: With or Without You by Domenica Ruta (9780679645023) E-book

15998223“I will not become my mother.”

These were famous last words from Domenica (Nikki) Ruta. It was touch and go for a while.

Nikki’s mom, Kathi, was a drug addict who wanted her daughter to have more than she did. This book is not only about Nikki’s fight to try and find a “normal” life, but it is also a story of Kathi who truly loves her daughter and will fight tooth and nail to find the money to put her daughter in a private school and then on to college.

Your emotions are all over the place with this story. One minute you are laughing, the next you are crying and then you are angry. The ups and downs of Nikki’s life are like a roller coaster and when she finally realizes she needs to change or die, you breathe a sigh of relief.  This is a remarkable memoir that you won’t want to put down.

Thank you to Ms. Ruta, Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

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Book review: Cat Sayings: Wit & Wisdom from the Whiskered Ones by Bradford G. Wheler (9780982253847)

0982253842.01._SX140_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_This book is part of BookCollaborative.com’s Wit & Wisdom series which “provides artists with a platform through which they can gain exposure and recognition”.  The book contains a majority of oil paintings, watercolor paintings and photographs of cats, both domestic and wild, along with cat and animal quotes from Winston Churchill to Charles Dickens.  Mr. Wheler adds biographies at the back of the book for all of the artists and photographers whose art is featured in the book.

The illustrations and photographs are thoughtful, colorful and fun and I give Mr. Bradford much credit for helping new artists show their work.  Very well done and I hope to check out his other books at www.BookCollaborative.com.

Thank you to Mr. Wheler for giving me the opportunity to review his book.

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Book review: Uncle John’s Fully Loaded 25th Anniversary Bathroom Reader (9781607105626) E-book

The first time I picked up an Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader was about 20 years ago when I was at a gift shop on vacation.  The book was a hoot and an eye opener and I had never learned so many fun facts in all of my life.  I thought to myself, “What fun it would be to find all those facts and make a book out of it” and they have been making them for 25 years.  Wow!

There is so much information in this 600+ page edition from great discoveries “The Origin of DNA Testing” which helped start “The Innocence Project” to crazy inventions of “High-Tech Underwear” using NASA technology.  There are stories of “Dumb Crooks” like the one in Portland, Oregon, who passed around neighborhood fliers saying “Heroin for Sale”, and then there are the things people actually do to themselves in “What Price Beauty?” to look younger or more attractive.  Really?

And don’t forget the lists containing bowling lingo, humorous epitaphs,  and, of course, toilet talk (to name a few) and the wonderful factoids at the bottom of each page such as what is the word for fear of palindromes?, which President of the United States was an orphan?, and what are half of the 6 million parts on a Boeing 747?   I could go on and on….

This book is filled with  information you didn’t know you wanted to know.  It is  great trivia for entertaining guests at  parties.

Thank you to Bathroom Reader’s Institute, Baker and Taylor Publishing and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

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Book review: Six Weeks to OMG: Get Skinnier Than All Your Friends by Venice A. Fulton (9781455528264) E-book

I have tried my share of fad diets and this one was unique, but a little too “out there”  for someone of my age.  Taking a 20 minute cold bath every morning just doesn’t work with my schedule AND my climate and I don’t drink coffee at all, let alone on an empty stomach.  I also had to laugh at the suggestion of blowing up a balloon for tighter abs.  It may work, but I don’t like creating unnecessary waste for our landfills when one can get down on the floor and do a 15 minute ab workout without having to throw anything away afterwards.

I give Fulton credit for creating groundbreaking strategies that apparently have produced results for others, however it may not be for everyone.  He is a nutrition expert and personal trainer and  although this diet may have been created for his A-list clients, I guess I’m not in their league.  Perhaps if I had a personal trainer at my disposal….

Thank you to Mr. Fulton, Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

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