Saturday, April 26, 2008

Under The Stone Paw

By Theresa Crater

Myth, magic, prophecy, metaphysics, adventure, romance and majestic vistas described with poetic accuracy, barely begin to describe what you find within these pages. From the first page until the last, I was captivated by the story, the history and the drama.

From Anne Le Clair, the first member of the renowned clan we meet, up through ancestry of her line, we meet strong, gifted and powerful women and men who willingly serve the family legacy. They serve all of their lives and by giving their lives if that is what they are called to do. They, along with five other families hold, literally within their hands, the keys to universal mysteries and life as we know it.

Each character introduced is part of an intricate design centuries in the making. We journey with them to Egypt, and walk the paths of the ancients, and find magic beyond our wildest dreams. As the story unfolds, we find treachery, betrayal and murder, but also, love and hope. There is as much history here as there is fiction. This is a book for the seekers among us, and also for those who just like a well told story with compelling characters and an ending that brings the many lines of the story together. It also leaves the reader wanting more of the same.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

No One Heard Her Scream

This was a wonderful read. Suspense, and romance is possible in one story, and you will get it here. The characters are not only believable but compelling. Becca, a homicide detective has a sister who has gone missing. This tragedy in has affected her career and every aspect of her life.

When an opportunity arises for her to investigate a case regarding remains found in her own hometown, she puts every effort into resolving another family’s tragic loss. In doing so, she begins to find her own strength and is able to confront and accept her own vulnerability.

A book is only as good as its ending, in my opinion. This book has an amazing ending. All of the loose ends are tied up. All situations are resolved. This is a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and involved in every chapter. The ending is an even bigger payoff.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Journey To Pain Relief

by Phyllis Berger

Anyone who has ever endured pain for a length of time will understands how important it is to find relief.All too often, stretches ,heat, icing, and medications fall short. Many have learned to search farther afield for help and relief.
This book presents case studies, explanations of the reason for the pain, and a wonderful variety of treatments. The depth of understanding by this author is incredible. She offers options for treatment of everything from skin hunger, ( a very real condition resulting from the absence of touch) to neuralgia. Treatments are suggested relevant to the conditions discussed. .
Since many of us are using alternative treatments more and more often, this book is an invaluable resource . Treatments we have heard about but may not be familiar with, such as laser treatments, acupuncture, TENS machines and more are explained in simple easy to understand. The mind body connection is addressed and the importance of emotional well being for good health is presented with suggestions on how to achieve this physical harmony. Laughter, meditation and prayer should not be discounted, as they can be very helpful in conquering pain and achieving the relief and ability to cope with pain that many of us seek.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Off the Deep End

by W. Hodding Carter

This is a story of a man who somehow never managed to grow into his own life.

As a youth he had a dream of swimming in the Olympics, but his father did not support the idea.
Giving up his pursuit of Olympic fame and joining the Peace Corps did not give him the satisfaction or the notoriety that he craved.

Year followed excruciating year, college, marriage and children. Still he swam, but never seemed to derive any pleasure from the activity. At the age of forty one, his dream revived and he once again began to train to be an Olympic swimmer.

Maybe it helps if the reader is a middle aged man. As I turned page after page searching for a reason to continue reading, I became more angry with this man. He had a somewhat stable and successful career, but could have achieved so much more if he could focus on reality and be a man with a family who loves to swim. Even a man who enjoys competing.

To me, he comes off as a selfish, self centered individual who ignores the responsibility he took on when he became a husband and father. He leaves his wife with an unfair share of responsibility for finances and family, while he jumps into various bodies of water and paddles his way to nowhere. A soggy Peter Pan, no more.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Dinner Diaries

by Betsy Block

A real family, a real dilemma. How to eat in a healthy way, and still enjoy food. And what is healthy eating anyway? Who to listen to?

Betsy Block's enchanting family and endlessly witty presentation made every page an adventure!

Not only does she tell the story of her family's journey to good health, but she honestly admits to her own foibles and stumbles along the way. Every chapter made me laugh. Confounded by the picky eaters, and her family's, and secretly her own, love of fried foods she struggles to find the perfect groove for her family.

But, besides entertaining you, this book will educate you. You will learn about additives that go into our food supply and how what we eat makes its precarious way to our tables. Sometimes you will feel it is way too much information, but it is information we all need.

I not only recommend this book, but it will become one of the books I give to friends with families.. and those without.

Playing With the Grown-ups: A Novel

By Sophie Dahl

This was really an interesting read. The children, Sam, Violet and Kitty are innocent and filled with joy during the days they live in Hay with Bestmama and Bestpapa, their grandparents. The household also includes two aunts, a nanny, and their mother, Marina.

Sadly their innocence comes to a sad and abrupt end When their mother makes some poor choices. It is clear from the beginning that Marina is not blessed with an iota of common sense, and her love for her children seems more an act than a fact. It is Nora, the nanny who provides them with stability and nurturing.

After becoming involved with a cult, Marina chooses to live her life according to Swami-ji, and to do exactly as he says is right for herself and her daughters. This begins with uprooting them from the loving family and haven like home they have always known and taking them far away.

This is really Kitty's story, but of course a child's story is always built on the family she is born to. We see Kitty going from innocent child, to harsh and confused adolescent, and finally to an adult, living her own life.

The story is good, enchanting and funny in places. Sad and dark in places, as well. It seemed to be a bit disjointed. There was a lack of flow between the chapters showing the past and those showing the present. And to me, its the ending that tells the tale. A good story, which this is, deserves a good ending.
I feel this was not the case here, that the ending was rather abrupt and did not live up to the rest of the story.

I would certainly recommend this to others, but as a good book, not an excellent one.