THE PHYSICALLY FIT MESSIAH By Cal Samra #Bookreview #TuesdayBookBlog

The Physically Fit Messiah: Wellness Wisdom Past and Present by Cal Samra
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Physically Fit Messiah is non-fiction and highlights the current unhealthy state which much of western society, particularly America finds themselves in. Since the last World War there has been a burst of food consumption, a massive explosion of sugar intake and a huge rise in life threatening diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Facts are available to show that many Americans are literally eating themselves to an early death.

Fast food, convenience food bursting with preservatives and additives, a society encouraged to sit and watch TV or sit at computers or play computer based games, a loss of the local family network and a reduction in physical work are all adding to the list of ingredients linked to increases in health issues.

This book is written very much for an American reader but can also be appreciated by others. It looks deeply at the lessons from the bible where healthy fresh food and a healthy lifestyle were encouraged. Where the church played a role in teaching healthy lifestyles and in healing. Today many churches are suffering from diminishing congregations and the author of this book suggests that they perhaps need to re-think what they are preaching and how they are preaching. People are attracted to those who are fun and have a sunny disposition, people who share and help others.

The book continues with chapters about humour playing a huge part in healing with an example of clowns who go into hospitals to help patients heal. The book also discusses the healing power of prayer, the usefulness of fasting periods to help the body detox and it encourages readers to follow a Mediterranean style diet full of healthy fresh fruit and vegetables.

There are fun cartoons, many quotes and even jokes to make you chuckle, here is a quote from the section on gluttony;

” The best place for your bathroom scale is on front of your refrigerator” Jim Reed.

I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy this book it is heavy on the religious side, but I could see its point once I got deeper into the book and it does stick true to its themes, endlessly quoting points from a Joyful Newsletter series of publications. In places there were repetitions of people and their work / life to emphasise points which made the reading a little clumsy. However there were parts which inspired me and I shall take away to introduce them into my own life.

This review id based on a free copy of the book provided by the author via www.rdrpublishers.com

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

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GETTING BOOK REVIEWS by @RayneHall #WriterTips #SundayBlogShare

Getting Book Reviews: Easy, Ethical Strategies for Authors (Writer's Craft 14)Getting Book Reviews: Easy, Ethical Strategies for Authors by Rayne Hall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Getting Book Reviews is a book most suitable for Indie writers although there are some tips for published writers too. Rayne reminds the reader that reviews help sell books and with more people using online book shops for their purchases it is very noticeable that readers are drawn to the books with many reviews. She explains that this is a basic psychological buying factor, people are attracted to what others have and they too want to share the experience.

There then follows easy to read chapters with proven achievable strategies about how to get reviews. These include simple ideas like a polite paragraph at the end of your book asking readers to write a review, using your fans and followers, and asking your beta readers to write a review.

There are also chapters on the muddier waters of review swaps, review circles and paying for reviews. My favourite chapters were the “Approaching a book blogger”, as a book blogger I appreciate an author who is considerate and takes an interest in my blog and stays interested after my review. My other pick would be the “Ways to send a book to reviewers” I am astonished by the number of authors who approach me for a review with only a PDF or Word Document of their story.

I enjoys Rayne’s writer’s craft books because of their simple easy to use advice and common sense and I often recommend them to authors when I feel the advice they offer will be of help.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT MUD & MARRIAGE by Mandy Clark @MudandMarriage

Today’s team review is from Aurelia, she blogs at http://mcneilsreviews.com/book-reviews/

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Aurelia has been reading non-fiction book Mud & Marriage by Mandy Clark

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Book Review – Mud & Marriage (3 out of 5)
 
Mud & Marriage: A housebuilding adventure is a diary-turned-story-house-building guide. Originally written as a diary, the author, Mandy Clark, outlines key steps of buying, designing, and constructing a home. Rather than presenting a typical, linear, how-to-version, readers can glean advice from the author’s experience with setting plans and drawings, using ground source heat pumps, finding a carpenter, getting quotes, and more.  Further, the book contains overt tips for house building such as: “Use a watering can full of sand to mark out where your drainage pipes will go.” “Use your best negotiating skills to obtain a good discount from your local builders’ merchants and other suppliers” to save money. “Mark everything out exactly where you want it in case you aren’t on-site when the work is done.” — Mandy Clark
 
This information is sandwiched between the story of how the author met her husband and cute interactions with a little girl named “Pickles”.  Mandy Clark mentions specific contractors by name along with her experiences and business dealings with them. Anyone building a home in the UK will, no doubt, find Mud & Marriage to be most helpful.
Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Nagasaki; Life After Nuclear War by Susan Southard #SundayBlogShare #Bookreview #WW2

Nagasaki coverNagasaki: Life After Nuclear War by Susan Southard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nagasaki: Life after Nuclear war is a non-fiction book written by interpreter Susan Southard who was inspired to write this book after meeting 57 year old Taniguchi Sumiteru, a survivor of the 1945 bombing of Nagasaki. In 1945 he was a 16 year old, blasted off his bicycle a mile from the epicentre of the explosion, 5 months later he was still in hospital his back still raw and red from the intense heat from the bomb, he lay on his stomach for the next 4 years before his body healed itself enough for him to move.

Approximately 200 000 people died from the bomb and radiation exposure and long-term after affects. This book tells primarily of the stories of 5 survivors and the 70 year impact of the nuclear bomb on families and their community. Bomb survivors were given their own name Hibakusha which meant – atomic bomb affected people.

Most people today know about the atomic bombs, but few still know and understand the full horrors. Brave Hibakusha campaigned to tell the world and fight for peace.

First a little history about Nagasaki. Between the 1500’s and the 1800’s Nagasaki on the SW tip of Japan was a prime trading post with European, Chinese and Asian travellers. Post WW1 Japan emerged as Asia’s world leader. In 1926 Japan’s new emperor, Hirochito’s policies were military lead as they strove to become all powerful. They began to invade other countries seeking natural resources to support their power hungry leaders. Western embargo’s fuelled the anger of the leaders, the country was blanketed in a whitewash propaganda campaign against the world as leaders took on the US head on and attacked Pearl Harbour and many SE Asia colonies. The bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki being the point when most of us recall our school history lessons.

The reality of the devastation caused at 11.02 on August 9th 1945 for the people of Nagasaki was incomprehensible, the bomb blast and the heat flattened the city, fried the people, left thousands homeless, injured and without hope. The mushroom cloud plunged the area into darkness, followed by radioactive rainfall. The people didn’t know what a nuclear bomb was, no-one understood it’s effects, or how to treat the injured. Even after the Japanese surrendered, there was very little aid. A widespread communication shut-down was in force over reporters and media, everything became classified and locked away for years as the world was kept ignorant of the plight of these people. Thousands died of their injuries on the day and later radiation sickness and related illnesses.

It took at least 4 years before Nagasaki could say it turned a corner as starvation eased and systems of political, social and economic reform were set up. It wasn’t until 1951 and The Treaty of Peace with Japan that censorship was lifted. 60 books and articles were published about the bombings and the hibakusha were encouraged to talk about their experiences as a form of psychological trauma healing. They went on to campaign for the abolition of atomic weapons and to educate the new generations against forgetting about the past and always striving for peace.

This is a very powerful book, extremely sad and will stay with me for years to come. It is a piece of history which the people of the world need to read to prevent it ever happening again.

This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by the author via Souvenir Publishing.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

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D.I.Y Magic by Anthony Alvarado #Bookreview #NonFiction @anth_alvarado @SouvenirPress

D.I.Y. Magic: A Book of Mind HacksD.I.Y. Magic: A Book of Mind Hacks by Anthony Alvarado
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

D.I.Y Magic is a non-fiction read about tapping in to an inner and outer great source of wisdom. It’s about finding a place where you can relax and send feelers out into the Universe of knowledge and discover awareness and a whole new world. It’s aim is to help any creative artist find new sources of inspiration.

The book is set up in simple easy to read small chapters which cover a wide range of techniques which may take you out of the current material world we live in to a different place. There are no great depth of instructions or discussions on theories, these are quick ideas from which the reader can expand their own thoughts and experiences. A few examples of methods to reach magical discoveries are meditation, automatic writing, dreaming, memory quests, and bibliomancy.

This book tries to re-kindle an awareness that we are more than just our material objects but we are part of a larger experience which our ancestors understood and which many of us have lost but which our inner souls know. We find these moments in pockets of experience in a huge range of emotions such as peaceful connections with nature to adrenaline junkie thrills, but they are times when our brains disconnect with our day to day lives and reconnect with a much larger and inspiring feeling.

This book opens your eyes and makes you think about a whole universe of possibilities.

This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by the author via Souvenir Press

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Back To Creative Writing School by Bridget Whelan @agoodconfession #wwwblogs

Today’s team book review comes from Aurelia

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Aurelia chose to read and review Back To Creative Writing School by Bridget Whelan

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Tired of theory and want more application and practice? Back to Creative Writing School helps you to develop and use intrapersonal skills to build stories. This book pours out prompts and exercises which not only motivate you to start writing but inspire you to continue writing. A few of the exercises could use more explanation and instructions but you definitely won’t be bogged down with too much information.

True to its title, Back to Creative Writing School explains how to use music, dictionaries, nicknames, animals, and more to fuel original writing. This book even shows you how to use simple board games to write  adventure stories. You’ll learn how to take dog-eared clichés and turn them into memorable and blossoming descriptors. Rather than picking character names, you’ll learn how to invent them. Finally, there are over thirty sources for endless writing ideas not commonly found in other books on writing. Without hesitation, I highly recommend this book.

My favorite quote: “The only limit is your imagination and the more you exercise it the more it will stretch.” –Bridget Whelan

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Back To Creative Writing School By Bridget Whelan @agoodconfession #bookreview

Today’s team review comes from Alison, she blogs at http://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/

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Alison chose to read and review Back To Creative Writing School by Bridget Whelan

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Back to Creative Writing School – Bridget Whelan

The advent of self-publishing means that everyone can be a writer. Everyone can publish a book. But does that mean that everyone should? And is writing a skill that can be taught?

I don’t think it can. I think that an ability to write is a bit like an ability to paint. Or to sing. Anyone can (and probably should) have a go, but it doesn’t mean that, by following rules and conventions and going to classes, you can learn to do it well.

So if writing is a talent rather than a skill that can be learned, then is there a place for a book like this?

I think that there is. If writing is a talent, it can still be honed. And it should be honed. And the exercises in this upbeat, entertaining and easy to read book will certainly help to do that. There is so much wonderful advice here on aspects like planning, characterisation, plot, writing humour, writing horror, point of view; the list goes on. And the exercises are easy to follow and interesting and fun to do.

If you’re someone who thinks they can write and wants to have a go, then this book is a great place to start. And if you’re a writer who wants to brush up on their skills, or if you are having trouble with a particular aspect of your writing, then there are plenty of exercises in this book to help you.

There are a few things that I don’t necessarily subscribe to – for example, I’ve never felt the need or the inclination to go into my characters’ back stories , likes and dislikes etc. to the extent that is recommended here. But I know that a lot of writers find that helpful. That aside, this book is a great buy for aspiring and established writers alike.

4 out of 5 stars

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Back to Creative Writing School by Bridget Whelan @agoodconfession #bookreview

Today’s team review comes from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Terry chose to read and review Back to Creative Writing School by Bridget Whelan

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Back to Creative Writing School by Bridget Whelan

4 out of 5 stars

There are two distinct schools of thought concerning creative writing courses and ‘how to’ books: those who consider writing a skill that can be taught, and those who think that the ability to write compellingly is an innate talent that you either have or you don’t; yes, your craft can be improved upon, but if you don’t have what it takes to keep readers turning the pages, no amount of diligent study will make that much difference. I stand, arms folded, in the latter camp and, thus, approached this review choice with cynicism. I am delighted to report that I now bow to Bridget Whelan’s expertise!

Back To Creative Writing School is a charming and inspiring book that encourages the reader to discover the rhythm and beauty of words. At first I thought it was just a basic beginner’s guide for the student who has never tried to write so much as a descriptive paragraph; some of the instruction goes right back to the things you learn at school (hence the title, I’m guessing), like the difference between similies and metaphors. Many of the exercises, though, are so clever and unusual that they might help undiscovered talent to bloom—which is, I think, the book’s strength.

About half way through I found myself thinking, ‘hmm, yes, that’s a good point’ more than once, to the extent that I’d recommend any fellow ‘old hands’ to give this a read, too.   I’ll be the first to agree that writing is a constant learning process, and it’s good to remind oneself of the basics. I nodded my head in agreement at the examples of the unrealistic, information heavy dialogue often found in debut novels, the explanation about unnecessary adjectives and adverbs, the warning against the dreaded clichés and ‘telling not showing’, the use of onomatopoeia and alliteration. The only section I was not so keen on was the one about humour—I reckon that writing ‘funny’ is something for which you really do need to have an in built knack. The ability to analyse why something does or doesn’t work doesn’t necessarily provide the fine skill necessary for effective comic timing.

A few ‘thank yous’ to Ms Whelan: 1) for the excerpt of James Joyce’s ‘The Dead’—I have not read ‘The Dubliners’ since ‘A’ Level and had forgotten how much I loved it; 2) for making me laugh: I have about 200 superfluous occurrences of the word ‘just’ in all my first drafts, too!! And 3) I am one of the 3% of people who have the condition synaesthesia (a sensory mix-up in which you see letters, words and music as colours), and this was a reminder of what a gift it is to a writer.

In short: the innovative exercises in this book won’t teach you how to produce a spellbinding novel, but if you do have the talent it could well unlock the door to a new creative world.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

 

The Magic & Mystery Of Birds by Noah Strycker

Magic & Mystery Of Birds
The Magic & Mystery Of Birds is a non-fiction book which studies bird behaviour. The easy to read book compares many different birds with similar human characteristics through scientific experiments and observation.
Noah has studied birds for many years from all around the world. He has looked at Starling Murmuration or their flock dancing and how they have adapted well to life in US cities. He proves that vultures don’t hunt by smell, but by sight. I learnt that Hummingbirds are small power house fighters, taking part in aerial dog-fights and bullying at feeders.
My favourite chapter was the one on penguins, as it says in the book “It’s hard to be angry with a penguin”. Noah describes them as childlike in their innocent curiosity but they have a genuine fear of seals who will stalk penguins and are a real threat.
There is even a chapter on the common chicken and a look at the literal pecking order of the species. There were several birds types which I hadn’t heard of, the Nutcrackers sounded fun with their spatial memory usage which helped them locate stashes of seeds hoarded to help them survive the winter months.
You don’t have to be an avid bird watcher to enjoy this book, just someone curious to learn a little more about our feathered friends.
A copy of this book was given to me for review by Souvenir Press.
Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

How To Complain by Helen Dewdney

How to Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and RESULTS!How to Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and RESULTS! by Helen Dewdney

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

How to complain: The essential consumer guide to getting refunds, redress and results is a non-fiction book most suitable for UK readers. Here in Britain we are famous for complaining about the weather. But what about if you had a genuine need to complain? Helen Dewdney has put together a very comprehensive collection of advice from your consumer rights to noisy neighbours, she looks at holidays, Ebay, public transport, council parking tickets and even what to do in a small claims court.

I liked the addition of templates to use when writing to the supplier or the service provider whom you wish to make a complaint to, plus there are useful contact information for various bodies of authority.

Helen is an advocate of writing your complaint rather than making a phone call. One thing she does emphasis and that is the need to be an effective complainer, someone who knows their rights, acts politely and doesn’t get fobbed off.

This is a book to dip in and out of as issues occur and one to keep on the book-shelf for future reference.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or http://www.thecomplainingcow.co.uk/

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