Saturday, August 27, 2016

What Color is Your Parachute 2017 edition Richard Boles

Known as "the world's most popular job search book", Richard  Boles' bestseller, What Color is Your Parachute  has been updated for 2017.  In the midst of a new RN career, having just graduated Nursing school after a prolonged period of unemployment, under employment and discouragement with job prospects, this book is especially relevant. This book has been around since the 70s with yearly updates to provide job seekers and career changers guidance and encouragement while job hunting.  Who hasn't heard of this inspirational career book? This book has been updated to reflect the difficult job economy incorporating relevant new strategies to job hunting as well as encouragement for the unemployed. Part how to guide and part self helpbook this book covers the whole spectrum of being unemployed from the emotional perspective as well as the financial hardships.  The author addresses each aspect of unemployment offering encouragement, spiritual help as well as practical steps and insight into looking for a job.  This book I believe will be effective in empowering the struggling reader who is at the end of his emotional and financial resources.  In this difficult economy this is a timely book.  Personally experiencing prolonged unemployment, this book offers new perspective from interviews tips and job hunting advise which will serve to eliminate fruitless wasted hours and effort to practical hints to get one's personal life and space in order. As a blogger I received  this book published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC,  I would suggest this book to uplift the spirits and motivation for even the most discouraged unemployed job hunter or career changer.

Monday, August 22, 2016

NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible By Craig S. Keener & John H. Walton, General Editors Published by Zondervan

The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible By Craig S. Keener & John H. Walton, General Editors  Published by Zondervan is more than just a bible- it brings the culture and historical context of the bible to life.    There is some resemblance to the out of print NIV Archeological study bible, and the newly published First Century bible also by Zondervan. If you want to own one single bible that is good for study as well as beautifully designed and illustrated, the full color Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible is the only bible you will need.  This bible has every study feature you could ever ask for in a bible- including historical, theological and life application information.  This bible is full of full color photos, maps, charts, illustrations as well as the tiny footnotes- traditional study notes on the bottom of the page.  It is like a history book and bible rolled into one volume.  This bible is great for new bible readers as well experienced readers.

The font is very easy to read and not too tiny.  As far as everyday study, the font is big enough so as not to require the reader to squint.  Unlike most study bibles where the bible text is extremely tiny, I found the bible text to be readable.  It is nice to see that the publishers recognized the need for a full color bible- with an abundance of study resources and photos from the historical point of view. I do not feel any bible reader would ever need to buy another study bible.  Perhaps teachers, sociologists,  history enthusiasts and tourist travelers will be drawn to this bible as well. There is a wealth of study notes on each page as well.  

Some of the material may be redundant for those who already own the First Century Study bible.  For example, many of the diagrams, maps and illustrations photographs and charts are in both the Cultural Backgrounds Bible and First Century bible.  There is some unique content and photographs, but maybe not enough to justify owning both of these similar study bibles.

Although there appear to be quite a bit of study notes included, they are more like foot notes.  The study notes add quite a bit of historical and cultural detail but really do not clarify  spiritual concepts.  If you are looking for a bible with extensive study notes for spiritual clarification- this study bible is not the best choice.

For anyone looking for a good bible that will provide a lifetime of value and study, the NIV Cultural Backgrounds bible is among the top choices in my opinion. I think any bible reader will be impressed.  It is also easy to read with a somewhat larger and clearer font size.  Jesus' words are in red letter font as well.  As a blogger for booklook I received a copy of this bible published by Zondervan.

Have a tough time deciding what bible to choose? Please visit this guide online.
http://pjtheemt.blogspot.com/2011/06/bible-versions-communicating-gods-word.html

Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal

Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal published by Tyndale Momentum is a beautiful little book that cannot easily be placed in either category.  Although its title mentions "coloring" and "journal", this book is a hyrbid devotional first and foremost.  In align with the coloring book claims- this book contains a number of beautiful and intricate illustrations perfect for coloring with colored pencils.  In some form or another, these illustrations adorn each page.  On some pages, they span across a full page or even a two page spread like a traditional adult coloring book.  On other pages, small decorative illustrations are used either as a border or a decorative accent- which can also be colored.  Some pages feature full color graphics and art.  Most pages feature a short devotional entry based on a scripture or theme making this a devotional book.  There is also lined space for journaling as well as blank page space for free writing or free drawing and doodles.  This book allows for a great amount of creativity.  This is a beautiful keepsake for yourself or to give as a gift to a loved one.     As a blogger I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Hidden in My Heart Scripture Memory Bible NLT

Although the new Hidden in My Heart Scripture Memory Bible NLT is marketed for kids, this bible is perfect for readers of all ages- including adults.  The easy to read font, and graphic touches make this bible visually pleasing to read.  This bible contains the full text of the New Living translation.  Featured scriptures are translated in the NIV and the KJV versions as well.  Many readers, especially adults, may be familiar with the NIV or KJV of their favorite beloved scripture verses.  This bible give the option for the reader to see favorite beloved scripture in three translations- side by side.  The NLT is a great translation for reading and for study, yet the inclusion of the NIV and KJV translations for popular verses aids in memory as well,   This is a great bible that would be perfect for anyone who is new to the bible or an experienced reader of the bible.  In my opinion, this bible is more suited for older children and adults. With the wide variety of bibles out there- this nich bible is perfect for reading the great NLT, a modern translation, while comparing side by side the subtle differences in the wording with the widely popular KJV and NIV.   As a blogger for Tyndale I received a copy of this bible for the purpose of writing this review.  

Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches by Tyler Kord


A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches by Tyler Kord is a new niche cook book based on sandwiches.  This book goes beyond traditional tuna or turkey.  These sandwiches are actually meals, and some are quite eccentric and upscale. You will find the recipe for "The Battle on Pork Chop Hill", featuring eggs, a special sauce, blue cheese crumbles and hamburger buns- but no pork! There is also the "Broccoli Classic", adorned with pine nuts, fried shallots and ricotta "shredded like a m@ther F$@&%#".  If you don't have a modern day sense of humor you may not appreciate the writing style of this cookbook. I think men especially will appreciate this cookbook.  There is also a lot of educational material about sandwiches which is also good for the beginner.

 One might wonder why in this modern day anyone would purchase an expensive cook book when there are so many free recipes available on the internet.  There are still some people out there who prefer a physical cookbook that they can shelve in their kitchen rather than a collection of printed out recipes.  This book is a beautifully bound hardcover with full color photos of exotic looking sandwiches.  It is a modern pop culture work of art- This book would make a great gift for a chef or as a housewarming gift.  As far as recipes- this book is for the advanced chef who feels at home trying new meals This book is about grilling- but not about a typical barbecue or hotdogs and hamburgers. This book is for daring individuals who dare to mix fancy ingredients as  well as standard classic ingredients.   As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Potter  publishers for the purpose of writing this review.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Zacchaeus and Jesus by Dandi Daley Mackall, illustrated by Lisa Manuzak

Zacchaeus and Jesus by Dandi Daley Mackall is a one of a kind children's book that retells the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus from the bible.  What makes this a unique book is that it is actually two books in one.  In otherwords, the account of Jesus and his meeting with Zacchaeus is told from TWO different perspectives. One half of the book, titled "Zacchaeus and Jesus" retells the account from Zacchaeus' point of view.  The first person narrative is written as if from Zacchaeus himself.  If you flip the book over, you will see a different cover with the title "Jesus and Zacchaeus".  Reading this side of the story reveals the bible account as told from the first person narrative of Jesus.  Both stories create a wonderfully complete picture in which the young reader can see each unique side of this powerful story.  This is an eye opening book both for children and their parents.  It is meant to be read to children by their parents.  The book features bold, full color illustrations by Liza Manuzak, bringing this story to life. This is a Flipside Stories volume, published by Tyndale Kids.  I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast by Noah Siegel and Christian Schwarz

Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast by Noah Siegel and Christian Schwarz is a unique, comprehensive field guide, educating the reader on mushrooms.  Who knew that the mushroom represented such a varied and unique kingdom.  This book opens an entirely new, surreal yet beautiful world of fungi. This book was an unexpected treat featuring literally hundreds of full color photos of just about every mushroom known to man in the Redwood Coast of California.  Although a niche book, a hybrid of a field guide and nature documentary, this book can be enjoyed by all readers.  This thick volume gives the background information about the mushroom and its life cycle as well as details on hundreds of types of mushrooms.  Interestingly, when applicable, details about the edibility of each species is also included.  The reader is cautioned about toxic mushrooms and the look-a-likes, discouraging the novice from eating unknown mushroom varieties that could be toxic.  Overall even if you have no prior interest or knowledge of mushrooms, this book is an eyeopener to the fascinating and varied world of the mushroom.  I was impressed by the quality and coverage of this book.  It is an authoritative textbook on the subject. As a blogger I received a copy of this book by Ten Speed Press for the purpose of writing this review.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Pop Manga Coloring Book by Camilla d'Errico

Pop Manga Coloring Book by Camilla d'Errico is a beautiful new edition in the new genre of adult coloring books.  Unlike other coloring books, this features the beautiful Manga of Camillia d"Errico.   This is a beautifully detailed coloring book for made especially for teen-aged, and young adult readers who enjoy manga.  Additionally, anyone who appreciates fine modern art will enjoy this book. The beautiful scenic drawings, figures and characters and surreal scenes in of themselves are a works of art. Unlike other adult coloring books filled with impossible to color geometric patters and laborious minuscule detail, this book is actually fun to color with its beautiful and playful illustrations that are not simply overly detailed with repetitious geometric pattern with  beautiful fantasy images.

The beautiful binding features a removable jacket as well as a cover that can also be colored as well.  This makes a great gift for yourself or a friend or art  enthusiast .  The luxurious quality of this book, thick pages, and elaborate art,  is unexpected considering its affordable retail price.  Its an affordable luxury certain to brighten up anyone's day. Armed with a sharpened set of colored pencils, this book can become a personalized masterpiece to treasure and even pass down, or to fram and hang up as wall art.  The completed pages in color would make a unique personal addition to any bedroom or home decor.  I This is a coloring project that takes time, perseverance and patience. For those who persevere and complete this book- it will make a beautiful keepsake volume or even art suitable for hanging.

I could imagine many readers who appreciate art will hesitate before making the first stroke with their pencils as well.  Some of these pages can take hours to complete- maybe more than the time allowed in one sitting.  It takes patience.  Be sure to have a pencil sharpener handy when starting this book.  Don't bother with crayons or markers.   I feel as if this would also make a beautiful book if it was full color rather than a coloring book.  I almost would have preferred this to  be a traditional full color story than a  coloring book.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Watson Guptill for the purpose of writing this review.  

Saturday, July 16, 2016

If You Were Me and Lived In...... Anncient China by Carole P. Roman, illustrated by Mateya Arkova

If You Were Me and Lived In...... Anncient China by Carole P. Roman, illustrated by Mateya Arkova is a new addition to
Romans' picture series introducing readers to a variety of civilizations.  Although this is formatted as  a picture book, it is much more than a simple picture book in its content and detail.  This new hybrid book concept blends the best of a picture book and history book.  What is created is  a full sized  history book for elementary and middle school students- complete with illustrations on each and every page.

 This illustrated history book will draw in the student to the world of ancient China.  The reader will become immersed in ancient Chinese tradition and culture.  The unique second person point of view will jump out at the reader making history memorable.  Roman has captured the culture and history in painstaking detail, reflecting years of research into this time period.  As a teacher, Roman has incorporated her love of history as well as her research which delves deep into the day to day life society and culture of ancient China.  We learn about the culture, the festivals and religious beliefs such as nirvana and Taoism.  We also learn about the Chinese calendar, philosophers such as Confucius.  This book is like an introductory course in China.

Unlike some of the other books in this series which feature illustrations and mixed media backgrounds, this picture book features pastel water color styled art.  Arkova's illustrations are more free flowing- with a softer focus. The pictures feature traditional ancient Chinese architecture, villages, richly styled clothing, brightly colored festivals including the bold, and a red festival dragon against a starry, well lit night sky.  The unexpected artistic style of this book gives the Roman historical series more of a variety. I'd recommend any student who wishes to explore history to read these books.  I believe history teachers will also enjoy having this series of books in their classrooms.

 Additional books in this series include Elizabethan England, Ancient Greece, and Colonial America and are available through Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

If You Were Me and Lived In...... Middle Ages by Carole P. Roman

If You Were Me and Lived In...... Middle Ages by
Carole P. Roman, illustrated by Mateya Arkova is a new addition to
the newly created picture book series introducing readers to a variety of civilizations.  Although this is technically a picture book, at 97 pages in length, it goes beyond a picture book in its content and detail.  Although in picture book format, this book is more of a full sized  history book for elementary and middle school students complete with illustrations on each page.  The reader will become engrossed as he or she is drawn into this vivid account of the Middle Ages.  The unique second person point of view will jump out at the reader making history memorable.  Roman has captured the culture and history in painstaking detail, reflecting years of research into this time period.  As a teacher, Roman has incorporated her love of history as well as her research which delves deep into the day to day life society and culture of the Middle Ages.  We learn about doctors and clergy, slaves, peasants and serfs.  We learn about clothing and food as well as entertainment and travel. No detail is too insignificant, and Roman incorporates every aspect of Middle Ages life into this comprehensive book.

Unlike some of the other books in this series which feature illustrations and mixed media backgrounds, this picture book features pastel water color styled art.  Arkova's illustrations are more free flowing- with a softer focus.  Personally I prefer Paula Tabor's bold and true to life artwork featured in the book If You Were Me and Lived In.... The American West.  I feel Arkova's art would be well suited to accompany a fairy tale for young girls rather than a full length 97 page history book.  Nevertheless, some readers may prefer the soothing colors and casual style of Arkova's freestyle art.  The unexpected artistic style of this book gives the Roman historical series more of a variety.

 Additional books in this series include Elizabethan England, Ancient Greece, and Colonial America and are available through Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

If You Were Me and Lived In...... The American West by Carole P. Roman

If You Were Me and Lived In...... The American West by
Carole P. Roman, illustrated by Paula Taylor- is a new picture book in
 Roman's  newly created picture book series featuring a variety of  historical time periods.  This picture book features the story of the American West, chronicling the lives and culture of a typical family as they journey from the East coast to the West, along the Oregon Trail.  Roman captures the emotion and the grief experienced by families as they left everything they knew in hopes of a better life. The trials and the disappointments of the typical family is captured with empathy and realism.  The unique second person point of view draws in the reader.

Bold, detailed illustrations mixed with a touch of texture and mixed media details are used to introduce the young reader to the life and times of these travelers.  Unlike the dry accounts from a traditional history textbook, the lively cartoons and fast paced narrative make the treacherous journies and culture entertaining as well as informative.   This full color book provides an in-depth glimpse into the historical details of daily life, education, their religious beliefs, as well as farm life. The solemnity of the indigenous peoples is respectfully captured by Roman as well as through Tabor's art.

 Students of all age groups will find something to love about this book. Younger children will enjoy the bold comic book cartoon characters while older students will enjoy the rich historical content and the attention to detail. Parents as well as educators will enjoy this book too.  The author incorporates many authentic historical details in creating this pictorial account,  The end of the book features mini- biographies of well known figures such as Daniel Boone, Geronimo, and Wyatt Earp.   Also included is a thorough glossary of historical terminology that is common to the time period .  This book would make a great resource for any history curriculum.  This book would be great for any elementary school or middle school library.

Personally, I'd love to see Carole P. Roman use Paula Tabor as an illustrator in more of her books in this history series.  Tabor's beautiful and articulate illustrations are a perfect accompaniment with the mixed media backgrounds.  I would like to see this artistic presentation used in the American West volume  carried over to all the books in this historic civilization series.

Other books in this series include Elizabethan England, Renaissance Italy, and Ancient Greece.

If You Were Me and Lived In... Brazil by Carole P. Roman

If You Were Me and Lived In... Brazil,  in  the Carole P. Roman's "A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around The World"  series introduces the young student to the country and culture of Brazil. The art contained in this newest book about Brazil is the most impressive yet- without a doubt each book in this series promises the reader new surprises each time.

The mixed media cartoon art combined with beautiful
scenic photos bring Brazil to life in an entirely new way for the elementary aged reader.   As with the other books in this series- that art continues to be offer new surprises  with the  variety of textures and mixed media in producing the illustrations.

When reading about Brazil, the photograph of the modern  yet majestic city of Brasilia jumps out at the reader, against the backdrop against a clear  blue sky and mountains in the distance.  There is a beautiful areal view of the popular landmarks, statuary  and tropical scenic views.  There is a view of a racetrack from the Brazilian Grand Prix and colorful parades. The beautiful marble ground and other authentic  details and textures add appeal and beauty to the simplistic cartoon scenes. The glossy pages contain vibrant scenes featuring animated cartoon guides.

 The cartoon tour guides will certainly capture the attention of all young readers as well as parents and educators. I believe the "Carlesque" styled mixed media illustrations with the simple line cartoons in her   books are  an unexpected treat.  Mixed media illustrations are very popular and appealing for young readers as evidenced by the popularity of Eric Carle's kids' books.  By combining geography with mixed media- I believe that Roman will generate even greater interest and attention for her educational series. This sets her books apart from cartoon only illustrations.

These stories would also be a good choice for a family that is interested in their ancestry, a family vacation or even appropriate for  children as part of a social studies lesson. The consistency of these geography books makes this series perfect for the school setting. An educator can count on the fact that young children will be introduced to the basics.  The predictability of the book's format will also appeal to younger readers who are familiar with the series.  In each  addition to the series,  the  child will learn about the geography  and will be  introduced to its climate, tourist attractions local foods,  sports and other social norms. Full color, simply drawn cartoon drawings with the unique  texture accents compliment the text.   The pronunciations at the end of the book introduces the child to the language.

  It would be great to see this series used as part of a grade school geography or social studies curriculum.  It is clear that each book, though simple in design, presents a wealth of information and research.   This book as well as the other books in the series is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. As a blogger I received this books for the purpose of writing this review.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Lessons in Classical Painting: Essential Techniques from Inside the Atelier by Juliette Aristides

Although the new book, Lessons in Classical Painting: Essential Techniques from Inside the Atelier by Juliette Aristides is considered to be the  companion volume to Lessons in Classical Drawing ; this book is a complete and comprehensive guide to oil painting. The reader can learn everything starting with a solid foundation to advanced skills and techniques of painting  involved in classical styled art.  Everything needed to instruct the artist to creating a masterpiece is in this book! 

This book will equip every reader, even the most timid and humble artist with the fundamental skills and tools needed to become a master.  This book will appeal to beginner levels as well as advanced painters alike.

This is an attractive, hardcover book filled with sharp, vivid photographs of painting from every stage of the creative process.  In of itself this book is a work of art, giving any reader hours of enjoyment, looking at the featured paintings.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Watson Gupthill for te purpose of writing this review. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I've passed the NCLEX

After 75 questions in under an hour, I passed the NCLEX and I am now an official RN.  As I was taking my exam, it became apparent that I was one of those unfortunate test takers to get almost all those dreaded select all that apply questions in which the answer can be any combination of two, three or more of the available options.

Before the exam, I dreaded the possibility of having marathon length exam with 265 questions and taking six hours. The 150 question three hour nursing school exams tested my stamina.  I could not imagine sitting for a six hour test. It is common knowledge that when the exam ends at 75 questions it means you either did very well, or did very poorly.  When my exam ended at 75 questions in less than an hour I was relieved that it was over, but concerned about the possibility of failing.  After going home, I tried the "pop -up trick" in which you attempt to register for the exam by submitting your credit card information, with the idea that if the system accepts your payment, you failed, but if you get an error message, it is because you passed and cannot re-register.  Apparently I got the "good" pop up error message.  Nevertheless I was still not convinced, and I kept checking the state website for my license number.  The next afternoon, I received a text message from a classmate who also took the exam and she told me to check the website because her name and license number was posted.  I saw my licence number posted, confirmation I passed and was an RN.


The Drawing Lesson A Graphic Novel That Teaches You How to Draw by Mark Crilley

I chose this new book- The Drawing Lesson A Graphic Novel That Teaches You How to Draw  by Mark Crilley, in order to encourage my teenager to explore her artistic creativity.  Countless times I'd find a variety of doodles in notebooks or pieces of scrap-paper, or crinkled in her desk.  Crilley's new book is a hybrid between a graphic novel and art instruction book.  It is perfect for the indecisive young reader or artist who is unsure of taking the leap to create art.  This book is entertaining to read, even if you decide not to draw anything. The retro styled book features cartoon, comic like illustration in sepia tones. The Drawing Lesson also is a great springboard to encourage even the most reluctant of readers to pursue a new hobby. As a blogger I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.