Tag Archives: nonfiction

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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Book review: Full Body Burden by Kristen Iversen (9780307955647) E-book

“Rocky Flats bills itself as one of the safest government facilities in the country…,  but “signs can lie”.   Kristen Iverson grew up in Arvarda, Colorado, near the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant, operated by Dow Chemical, which made plutonium “triggers” for nuclear bombs.  She had grown up hearing about deformed animals and people dying of cancer, but as most Rocky Flats employees and nearby neighborhoods thought, “the Government would tell us if something was wrong.” Scientific study reveals that radioactive waste can remain toxic for vast lengths of time.  For example, plutonomum-239 has a half-life of 24,000 years.  Despite many attempts to expose Rocky Flats, it continued to poison people, places and things for 40+ years.  Ms. Iversen’s story details this travesty of justice along with her personal account of growing up with an alcoholic father, overally optimistic mother, siblings and pets near Rocky Flats.

This well-researched, heart-wrenching story is an eye opener and a must read for everyone who believes in democracy and who is tired of corruption with government and big corporations.  It is a coming of age story of a young girl, her family and thousands more in Colorado, kept in the dark about a death trap that is still simmering under the disguise of a public wildlife refuge for hiking and biking.

Please visit Kirsten Iversen’s web page at http://www.kristeniversen.com/ and please see the YouTube book trailer at

Thank you to Kristen Iversen, Crown Publishing Group and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this very important book.

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Book review: Lost + Found: Finding Myself By Getting Lost in an Affair by David Trotter (9781935798019)

This book is an autobiography about a pastor of a substantial California ministry who realizes while he is on a mission in India, that he is unhappy with his family life and has an affair with one of his parishioners. Then after he returns from India he faces the wrath of many while he destroys the lives of his family and of his mistress’s family.  The mistress then decides to go back to her family while he slides into a mental breakdown.  But, no, it’s not over.  He decides to go back to his wife, “Laura is an incredible woman, and I am choosing to deeply love her.”   Choosing?  Seriously?  He blew his choices.  She was choosing him.  Oh, and the kicker, when he returns to his family he goes out and buys a Mercedes after he has racked up a whopping $33,000 credit card bill in just a few months and he has no income to pay for it.

David Trotter bashes his job, his wife and his kids throughout most of this book, giving us a long drawn out description about his affair, and then not giving us anything about his wife’s side of the story.  Does the author deserve some praise for baring it all?  Does one really see much remorse from him?  Has he really changed?  Only time will tell.

From the back cover:  David Trotter is a creative communicator with over 10 years of experience leading non-profit organizations.  He now invests his time writing and speaking on the subjects of life motivation, marriage, and spirituality as well as consulting businesses and organizations on marketing communications.

One last thing:  He has a blog at http://www.davidtrotter.tv/ with a section on “Top 10 Reasons to Leave Your Wife”.  It’s everyone’s guess as to whether it is supposed to encourage someone to leave or stay.  Odd.  Very odd.

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Book review: Color is Everything: Beginners to Advanced Painters Can Learn What All Great Artists Know by Dan Bartges (9781892538369)

This books claims that you can “master the use of color in oils, acrylics or watercolors”.

As an occasional watercolor painter myself with an informal background in art, I found Mr. Bartges’ suggested use of a color wheel to be an indispensable tool to choose colors whether you are painting or even decorating your home.  Mr. Bartges’ information on the six color schemes and how to accurately reproduce colors within a specific scheme is very helpful.  The many color photos and painting exercises within the book are useful and his Glossary of Colorful Terms and bibliography of even more works on color and art will be essential to those interested in painting and other forms of artwork.

I’ve always wanted to paint with oils and with the help of this guide, I feel confident that I can begin painting with a better knowledge of how to mix my colors, and with work, how to analyze and improve a good painting.

Thank you to Mr. Bartges and Bostick Communications for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

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