Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Review: Clean, Green, & Lean by Dr. Walter Crinnion

Groundbreaking science can help you win the battle against fat for good

You've been eating less, counting calories, and exercising like crazy—shouldn't you be skinny by now? If you're not, diet and exercise may not be the weight-loss answer you need. In Clean, Green, and Lean, you'll find out how the toxins in your food and all over your house can make you fat and keep you that way. This book clearly shows you how to clean out your system and your home to lose weight and feel great in just four weeks.

Received from the publicist for review.

This one gets three stars. Despite the rather densely packed text the material was quite interesting and presented a completely new view of weight loss. While I don't agree wit all the author's assertions, the book was an informative read and a wise resource for those wishing to reduce their body's toxic load for any reason. The meal plan suggestions struck me as rather "crunchy granola" and featured such culinary gems as gluten-free pancakes, tofu, and turkey sausage. This is a rather restrictive diet, but one that may prove useful for some.

★★☆☆ = Liked It

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Review: Mad Men and Philosophy by Rod Carveth and James B. South

With its swirling cigarette smoke, martini lunches, skinny ties, and tight pencil skirts, Mad Men is unquestionably one of the most stylish, sexy, and irresistible shows on television. But the series becomes even more absorbing once you dig deeper into its portrayal of the changing social and political mores of 1960s America and explore the philosophical complexities of its key characters and themes. From Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle to John Kenneth Galbraith, Milton Friedman, and Ayn Rand, Mad Men and Philosophy brings the thinking of some of history's most powerful minds to bear on the world of Don Draper and the Sterling Cooper ad agency. You'll gain insights into a host of compelling Mad Men questions and issues, including happiness, freedom, authenticity, feminism, Don Draper's identity, and more.

Received from the publicist for review.

Mad Men is such a fun show so I was quite excited to review this book.

This one gets four stars.  Despite the rather dense language that would be at home in a college textbook, the essays were intriguing and thought provoking.  The look into our world's past compared to today was certainly enlightening.  Who knew that a TV show could impart so much existential wisdom?  This is recommended for the more intellectually minded Mad Men fans.  It would also make a lovely gift for the Mad Men fan.

★★★★ = Really Liked It

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Review: The Bloody Birthright by Ken Dalton

J. Pincus Delmont is the most successful, and ethically challenged attorney north of Las Vegas, and he's Richard Page's only hope to escape execution by lethal injection. Pinky quickly determines his client's tale of betrayal and murder leads to Southern California and demands investigative help from Bear Zarbarte who owes him a sizeable chunk of money. The Bear is as big as a tree, street wise, sort of trustworthy, and not averse to cracking the occasional head when the need arises. A grumbling Bear drives south where he discovers, and falls for Flo Sonderlund-a woman with a body to kill for, and a mouth as caustic as a bucket of lye. By hook and by crook, Pinky, the Bear, and Flo pry a solution to the murder from a string of chumps and patsies that stretches from the fertile hills of Tuscany, Italy to eastern wasteland of Nevada, the home of the Loneliest Road In America.

Received from the author for review.

This rather densely packed text was a bit heavy on the descriptions but had deliciously sleazy characters that you just loved to dislike.  The plot was interesting with a nice flow and pace.

This one gets three stars.  It was well written, if a tad bit long.  This fun romp with a slimy lawyer and the interesting mix of characters produced many amusing situations.  This was a solid start to the series and I'll certainly look forward to future installments.

★★☆☆ = Liked It

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Review: Letters from Wheatfield by Patrick Shannon

Montanans have a reputation for telling tall tales. Some cheerless individuals accuse them of downright lying. Sad to say, that is just the attitude of people who place no value on whimsy. Folks in Montana do spin imaginative yarns, but the author draws attention to an element that must be considered: the line between their fabrications and the truths that inspired them is, indeed, often a tenuous one. Sometimes, as the hilarious tales in Letters From Wheatfield reveal, the facts of small town life in Montana rival the fancy of their outlandish stories. Which parts are real, and which parts are fibs? The reader will have great fun trying to decide.

The fictitious town of Wheatfield, Montana is a tiny island in a vast sea of wheat fields and cattle ranges. Its nearest neighboring towns, similarly small, are well over the horizon. But its isolation has no effect on the spirit of its inhabitants. Theirs is a society of mirthful, blithe, spritely wags - a condition abetted by the presence of not a few eccentric individuals. In Letters From Wheatfield, two transplants from Manhattan write to a cousin back home about the remarkable community that has assimilated and transmuted them - much to their amazement and great pleasure.

The stories provide a rich buffet from which one may select repeatedly as one's taste-du-jour bids: The level of sophistication required to really meddle in other people's business; The "Dirty Bomb" incident at the Fill-Ups gas station; The 4H project that produced a mutant Brussels Sprout, and why it did not make it into the Wheatfield Book Of World Record Vegetables; The Senior Citizen outing with hell-raising bikers; The World's Greatest April Fool joke - with a touch of treachery; The scandal of Reverend Sycamore's fall from grace and his redeeming revelations; Albert Einstein's shocking plagiarism of a Montana boy's work. These are but a small sampling of the tantalizing victuals.

Received from the publisher for review.

This one gets three stars.   The idea that the story evolves in the form of letters was fun and resulted in a swift read with great flow.  You really did feel as if you knew these characters, as you knew the town characters in Gilmore Girls.  This is a lovely light summer read and is recommended for someone looking for a lighter fiction read worthy of a long, hot afternoon.

★★☆☆ = Liked It

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Review: Love and Intuition by Sherrie Dillard

Develop your intuition in one of the most spiritual aspects of life: love and relationships.

Love, by its very nature, is profoundly spiritual—it brings out the intuitive side of us all. By embracing your innate intuition and letting it expand, the love and joy you deserve will naturally flow right to you.

In this heartfelt and uplifting book, professional psychic Sherrie Dillard teaches you how to develop your natural psychic ability and intuition to attract and sustain soulful love. After discovering your personal love type—emotional, spiritual, mental, or physical—you can find out your spouse or partner's love type and practice exercises, creative visualizations, and guided meditations to strengthen your relationship, heal rifts, get a better understanding of how you relate to each other, and deepen your connection.

Woven throughout are stories from Dillard's clients that shed light on attraction, fidelity, passion, sex, intimacy, and common relationship issues. You'll learn to change unhealthy relationship patterns, receive guidance from angels and spirit guides, and even add spice to your love life.

Received from the publicist for review.

This was, obviously, about developing your intuitive skills.  As someone who failed miserably at Laura Day's Practical Intuition I found this a bit beyond my skill set, but it was interesting nonetheless.

This one gets three stars.  It was certainly an interesting premise but most people will probably not be able to put it into practice.  Those who are naturally inclined to be gifted in this area should find the material beneficial.  At the very least the information was intriguing and thought provoking.  Fans of Laura Day and Doreen Virtue should feel right at home with this material.

★★☆☆ = Liked It

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Review: Shoulder Bags and Shootings by Dorothy Howell

Fashionista and amateur sleuth Haley Randolph is in hot pursuit of the season's newest must-have handbag. But soon she's also in hot pursuit of a killer—when she discovers the corpse of none other than her designer purse party rival...

Life is beyond fabulous at the moment for Haley Randolph. She just spent two amazing weeks in Europe with her boyfriend Ty Cameron, owner of Holt's Department Store where Haley works. And now Ty's grandmother, Ada, is letting Haley drive her way-cool Mercedes. Things would be perfect if she could just get her hands on her latest fashion obsession: the new Sinful handbag.

Every store in town is out of stock, and Haley would rather die than buy a knockoff. But when she finds the body of her nemesis, Tiffany Markham, in the trunk of Ada's Mercedes, she's not so sure she wants to trade places after all...

Topping the list of suspects, Haley doesn't deny seeing red when Tiffany and her business partner not only stole her purse party idea, but also made more money. But Haley wasn't jealous enough to commit murder. Now she'll have to solve this mystery quickly—and find that Sinful bag—before she becomes a killer's next fashion fatality...

Received from the publicist for review.

My favorite quote was:

For some reason, Troy thought I moonlighted as the porn star Rhonda Rushmore.  Honestly, I haven't done much to discourage this because she was, after all, a top rated porn star.

This one gets four stars.  It had a great feel and pace reminiscent of a Janet Evanovich/MaryJanice Davidson hybrid.  It was a fun, fast read and is the perfect nice, light mystery for beach reading.  It is definitely recommended and I'll certainly be looking for the other books in the series!

★★★★ = Really Liked It

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Review: The Power of Vitamin D by Sarfraz Zaidi, MD

In “POWER OF VITAMIN D” Dr. Zaidi clearly explains:

• The link between Vitamin D deficiency and cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, osteoporosis, arthritis, lupus, M.S., asthma, thyroid diseases, dental problems and depression.

• The incredible health benefits of vitamin D.

• Why most people are low in vitamin D despite taking vitamins, going outdoors, living in sunny places and drinking milk.

• Doctors frequently miss the diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency because they often order the wrong test.

• The right test to diagnose vitamin D deficiency.

• The best way to prevent and treat vitamin D deficiency.

• Vitamin D toxicity and how to prevent it.

Received from the publisher for review.

This one gets three stars. It was a genuinely interesting look into vitamin D, the body's reaction to its deficiency, and what to do about it. The case studies scattered throughout were educational. This was well written, comprehensive, and easy to read. If you're concerned out your Vitamin D levels, or just like reading about health related topics this is a solid source.

★★☆☆ = Liked It

Friday, July 2, 2010

Review: Skinny Is Overrated by Danielle Milano, MD

Skinny Is Overrated is a guide to health and happiness for women of any size who are tired of dieting. Writing in a conversational and often humorous style, and backed by scientific research, Dr. Danielle Milano teaches us to make healthier food choices. She emphasizes the importance of exercise, assuring the reader that it isn't necessary to be a size two! With helpful, easy recipes and common sense advice, Dr. Milano's guidelines for simple lifestyle changes will help you lose weight, gain energy, and become a healthier, more confident you-as you were meant to be.

Received from the publicist for review.

My favorite quote from the book was:

All the diets in the world could never turn a bulldog into a greyhound, and it's no different for people.

I found the author's suggestions that you should get clues to what you should be eating from what your ancestors ate. I'm not entirely sure my French peasant farmer ancestors are the ones to ask. I think their diets may have been a bit skewed. It's not like they were living at Versailles.

This one gets three stars. While some of the author's suggestions are reasonable (cut out the HFCS, eat more veggies), I found the meal suggestions to be completely unsustainable for most people. I mean, who really wants just two egg whites and a single slice of white toast for breakfast? That's just unreasonable. The food quantities are just way too low. That said, almost everyone can take away at least a few helpful suggestions from the book to apply in his or her own life.

★★☆☆ = Liked It

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Review: Denial of Sunlight by Robert Troy

Seeking to reestablish herself after a professional debacle, Katherine Murkowitz joins a small, eccentric electronics firm. The firm's sale to a Chinese company begins a whirlwind of layered deceptions, international intrigue, and subtle romance, as the potentially world-saving discovery of Keith Sutter, the firm's founder, becomes the focus of two great nations. Preparing to stun the world with their coming independence from fossil fuels and subsequent economic dominance, the Chinese secretly produce Sutter's solar-electric cells in an underground facility nested in the Qinling Mountains. Their excess purchases of petroleum as a buffer against an international reaction drive up world energy prices, capturing the attention of young Jim Newberry at the CIA. The American response, a Special Forces operation to deny the Chinese this technology, ensnares unwitting people and other nations to earth shaking effect.

The revelations continue in Emergence.

Received from the publisher for review.

This one gets three stars. It was an interesting read and a thought provoking take on the issues facing the world today. One hopes that the fight over natural resources would never reach this point in real life. This was well written and should be enjoyed by suspense fans who enjoy a more technical story.

★★☆☆ = Liked It