Saturday, January 30, 2010

Kindle Give Away!

The lovely Ash.Elizabeth over at

isoffering a free giveaway. And you'll never guess for what....

Wow! You guessed it! A free Kindle!!!
While I have only briefly tried using one, I've been a dyed-in-the-wool, card-carrying, hard core, flesh-and-bone, printed book reader. But as a techno-geek, hey I'm game!!!
So, Ash.Elizabeth, I've tweeted, and now I'm blogging. Count me in your contest!!!!
I'd love to win the Kindle!

If you'd like the chance to win a free Kindle, you can hop right on over to her site and follow the instructions, too!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Currently Reading

Publisher Rafael Ferraro

Copyright ©2007 (Standard Copyright License)
Language English
Country United States
Publication Date May 11, 2007

Touted as "How about an Italian "James Bond?" Meet Paolo Cinelli, the real thing, a man of such natural elegance and charm that he promises to replace his tired British counterpart before decade's end. The handwriting is on the wall and you, the reader, will be among the first to see why.", the publisher's listing is promising me ALOT!

I am a huge Iam Fleming fan, and especially love James Bond, so let's see if Ferraro can match up to my expectations!

Be watching for my review!


By Otto Scamfer
Publisher: Custom Books Publishing; 1st edition (July 1, 2008)

Language: English
ISBN-10: 1438234910
ISBN-13: 978-1438234915

Drinkwater is a tale of medieval times. About a young man who is a drunkard. Befallen by a soundrel who attempts to take over his birthright by first murdering his father and making it appear to be him that perpetrated the deed, to the "accidental" death of his mother. It is a tale of friendship. Of love. And of a boy, turned man, who struggles to bring himself back from the brink of alcoholism. Insisting on drinking nothing stronger than water, he becomes known as "Drinkwater".

I found the writer starting off a bit naively. His writing raw and unskilled. But by the half-way point of the text, he had matured greatly, and his skill was becoming apparent!

I was highly impressed with the writer's dialogue. His written conversations among the characters were some of the most realistic I have ever encountered. And his use of detail in not only the description of medieval life, but of tasks, and especially of sword play, was remarkably well done.  [Does Scamfer harbor a talent for swordmanship? Hmmm]

By the end of the book, I was wanting more!

I would rate this book a 5-star. And I look forward to reading more from this talented author.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Smashing For Free!

Win a FREE copy of The Smashing Book!

Ozzy's New Book For Free!

I SOOOOOOO want to win a free copy of this book!!!
You can try to get your own here!

Currently Reading



Paperback: 172 pages

Publisher: Custom Books Publishing; 1st edition (July 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1438234910
ISBN-13: 978-1438234915

I just acquired a pdf version of this book from the author on Saturday. In the knick of time! I was about to have to re-read a boopk from my library, or one of the hubby's, to review! Instead, I have started this tale. Not exactly my taste thusfar [only into the 3rd chapter so I have a way to go], and will give you my full review later.
Be watching!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Kindness Handbook - a practical companion

By Sharon Salzberg
Published by Sounds True, copyright 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59179-655-8 (hardcover)

This book provokes you to look deep inside at not only how you treat others, but how you treat yourself.

In this book Sharon Selzberg explores with insight how kindness for ourselves [and others] can be the ideal by which we guide our own lives and destiny.

Thoughtful and insightful, she uses many illustrations throughout as examples. Numerous quotes from Budhha, the Dali Lama, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

If for no other reason than to gain perfect harmony and peace within yourself, everyone should read this perfect little work on kindness. I highly recommend it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Kindness Handbook

By Sharon Salzberg

Title The Kindness Handbook: A Practical Companion

Author Sharon Salzberg
Publication Sounds True, Incorporated (2008), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 208 pages
Publication date 2008
ISBN 1591796555 / 9781591796558

After having this book on my shelf for over a year, I've finally taken it out of its shipping paper, and am settling down to a read I hope I will find enlightening. Stay tuned for my review!

13 Ways To Tell Your Ancestors Stories

13 Ways To Tell Your Ancestors Stories
                       by Dr. Bill [William L.] Smith

Publication (2009), Paperback, 76 pages

Publication date 2009
ISBN 0557240646 / 9780557240647  
Primary language :English

Geared to the utterly uninformed individual, as it should be, this book entices EVERYONE, not just genealogists, to get involved in telling their family stories.

Dr. Bill states in the very beginning of the book: ' "Preservation and Interpretation" of your ancestor stories will occur most effectively if each of you use multiple approaches to telling your ancestor stories to your families and interested others. This is the purpose of this book.'

Breaking the text down into 13 "Potential Story Sharing Activities", Dr. Bill suggests:

#1 Blog

#2 Book

#3 Newsletter

#4 Website

#5 Podcasts

#6 Videos

#7 Wikis

#8 Scrapbooking

#9 Brochures

#10 Posters

#11 Art and Artifacts

#12 Oral Performace

# 13 Other

Each section covers the absolute basics, and offers online references for the beginniner in each activity.

Following each section is a wonderfully written worksheet to assist you in determining the best way to proceed in your story telling using that section's particular activity.

On the negative side, I would have liked to have seen some printed reference, as well as the online material. [Online material becomes deleted all too often. Sometimes before the referenced work even goes to print!] I would also like to have seen the URL's for these references a little more distanced from the regular text [either in a highlight - which is available even when one prints in only black and white; or in a different color ink]. As it is, the URL's tend to blend into the print. [I'd suggest using a highlighter if you purchase the printed book to make easy reference to these sites.]

I only found one statement I would find confusing to the person who is not trained in any form of genealogy; that is located on page 10. Here Dr. Bill states, "If two persons are actually related, that is, a direct blood relationship, they will have a common ancestor [an ancestor couple, actually]."

This statement isn't entirely accurate. The two individuals will still have a direct blood relationship if only ONE ancestor is in common [maternal or paternal]. Take for instance in the case of an ancestor who was married more than once due to the death of a spouse. Let's say the grandfather. A descendant of the grandfather and his first wife would still be a direct blood relationship with a descendant of the second wife - both sharing the blood of the grandfather. I understand where Dr. Bill was coming from with the statement made, but it can be misleading to the totally uniniated. [Some make take it that they are totally NOT related when in actuality they are!]

All in all, I found the book informative, and highly recommend it! I give it 5-stars for the unexperienced, and the more seasoned, individual who wants to tell their ancestor's stories!

13 Ways To Tell Your Ancestors Stories

13 Ways To Tell Your Ancestors Stories -
            by Dr. Bill [William L.] Smith

ISBN 978-0-557-24064-7

Copyright ©2009 Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith and Publisher (Standard Copyright License)
Language English

Just started reading this book. Should finish it up within an hour or so. Will keep you posted!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Come On People

Product Details

Hardcover: 265 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson, Inc. (2007)
Language: English

Well, I finally delved into this book, after reading the good, and the bad, reviews. I have to say that I am torn over how to respond!

First, let me say that I feel Cosby and Dr. Poussaint have the message correct! But it's totally mis-aimed at JUST the black community!

Come On People is misleading. If the book had been written to the American public at large, I would be parading up and down the street begging anyone and everyone who would, to read it! The message is fabulous! IF we negate that it was written to the black community!

Instead of saying, "Come On People", I wanted to yell out, "Come on Cos!"

Everything he wrote, and I do mean EVERYTHING, could have, and should have, been written to all people. And especially to the American nation!

While I am a caucasian American, I found this book harsh to the blacks! If I were black I'd beating down Cosby's door wanting an explanation as to why he decided to tear down the blacks of this country, rather than encourage and uplift them!

The book is filled with plain old GOOD commen sense, if we take out the "it's all the black man's fault" thrown in!

Cosby and Poussaint's figures are far from correct. A simple Google search proved them wrong on several statistics they quoted.

It was almost as if both Cosby and Poussaint were saying that they no longer wanted to be a part of their own race.

Usually a big fan of Cosby's common sense approach to the world at large, I cannot support this book, or it's message. I highly recommend that it is kept away from all young people. And I do mean ALL. White adoloscents will begin to think they are superior to blacks, and blacks will feel inferior in every way after reading this drivel!

Cosby, there are good and bad in every race. To denegrate your own race, well, you've just fallen off that list of respected American's I once held you on with high esteem.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Currently Reading

Product Details

Hardcover: 265 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson, Inc. (2007)
Language: English

I just began reading this book last night. I've been holding it off to pick it up and read it because of the many mixed reviews I'd read regarding it. Now I'll be able to judge first hand. Be watching for my review soon!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Selected and Introduced by Caroline Kennedy
Hyperion, 2001
ISBN 0-7868-6809-0

Thoughtful compilation of the best-loved poems of the woman who will always be remembered as America's First Lady. Setting a precedence that none have matched since, Jackie Kennedy Onassis was well-known for her love of literature and poetry.

Loving tributes by her daughter are set before seven distinct sections of poetry: America; FirstPoems; Adventure; Escape; Romance and Love; Reflection; and In Her Own Words, poems written by Jackie O. herself.

This a truly a work of art that you will read, re-read, and read yet again. Destined to become a book well-worn.

Monday, January 18, 2010

700 Sundays - by Billy Crystal

700 Sundays - By Billy Crystal
Grand Central Publishing (2006), Paperback, 192 pages

This is a wonderful tale from comedian Billy Crystal of his own growing up years of the '50's and '60's.

Losing his father at the early age of 15, Billy paints a picture of the saddened, boulder-burdened young man that he was. He tells of the loving, and always humourous, family that supported his desire to be whatever he wanted to be. Of his mother's sacrifice to keep the family together after the death of her husband. There's a brief glimpse of the celebrities that Billy grew up around; names that you will recognize and admire. Then there's the blow when his mother's time to depart came. And he was once more forced to bear the boulder's weight.

You'll laugh until cry. And then you'll laugh and cry, yet again.

I've always admired Billy Crystal's comedic talent, but his talent on paper is no less laughable and funny-bone-tickling! You can almost hear his unique voice with the Long Island accent pullng those punch lines! He's a rare talent indeed. Like some of the other reviewer's, the one fault I found in the book, ... it just wasn't long enough! I wanted to read more! ( )

Darwin's Radio - Greg Bear

Ballantine Books (2000), Edition: 7th THUS, Mass Market Paperback, 544 pages
ISBN: 0345435249

Darwin's Radio is a superb case of a writer doing thorough research to write a technologically advanced novel. Probably the best I've ever seen for fiction! However, the average individual, with only high school chemistry and biology would be lost within the first few pages of advanced bio-genetics and molecular biology! A more simplified truth may have captured an audience earlier rather than later, which is what this book does. The average individual will find themselves bored through the first half, but by the middle of the book the story is beginning to take shape. Unfortunately, the shape is easily recognized. An almost cookie-cutter-like storyline that one can easily predict the outcome of.

I praise Bear for his research, however, the story-telling was a bit lackluster for my personal taste. The premise, however, of another evolution in the future, makes for a great group discussion for book clubs!