Thursday, February 25, 2016

NIV, Life Connect Study Bible Growing Deeper, Growing Stronger in Your Spiritual Life By Wayne Cordeiro

NIV, Life Connect Study Bible Growing Deeper, Growing Stronger in Your Spiritual Life By Wayne Cordeiro is a new themed bible published by Zondervan.  In light of the new creativity genre filtering its way into bookstores- with journals and adult coloring books- this niche bible is created for those who wish to write in their bibles.  This bible is made to record your thoughts and your notes with thin lines on the margins of each page, as well as blank lined pages at the end of each bible book.

The book introductions are informative and give additional insight.  They are short and to the point without extraneous detail. There are relevant short articles throughout the bible to allow readers to literally connect what they read to their own lives.

The only thing about this notetaking bible is that some readers might find it too structured or too limited for their needs.  For example, the blank lines in the margins are narrow and thin- not enough room to write anything unless you are the type of individual who writes with tiny, minuscule handwriting.  Basically the one inch space that normally would be blank is filled with tiny lines.  It certainly isn't wide enough for most people to write anything of substance.  I see no advantage to the writing space over a blank unlined margin.  At the end of each book is a full page allotted for writing - this too is limited; too structured, as each page has a heading for a date, title and page.  In otherwords, this journal page is not intended for free writing but rather a structured writing assignment in which the reader simply records his or her own personal reactions using a one word response to a particular bible verse and the page number on which it can be found.  The end result if this bible is used as intended would be a long list of dates, one word thoughts and page numbers.  Nevertheless, I think many readers might choose to ignore the guided headers and use the blank pages for free journalist space.

I was looking forward to this bible, but after receiving it, it just was not what I was expecting.  I was hoping for a bible with less structured writing  space, and I found the margin writing lines to be too inadequate and mostly for show.   The font color wasn't very readable.  The cover is misleading as it suggests that there are natural green earth tones  in the interior with a leafy theme. I could not tell if the font was dark gray or cadet blue.  All I knew is that it wasn't black and it made me question my eye-sight.  I would have preferred a plain black font.  I could not determine if the spot color was simply a grey-scale or blue tint.  I am not sure of the rationale to choosing this washed out font color and spot color.  The binding is very high quality, and the textured cover will stand up to years of use.  Overall this bible is a satisfactory choice.  Of all the bibles on the market it isn't the most impressive.  Perhaps I have been spoiled by the full color study bibles adorned with full color photographs, which are also published by Zondervan and available in the NIV. As a blogger for Booklook I received a copy of this bible for the purpose of writing this review.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Eating Well Through Cancer by Holly Clegg & Gerald Miletello, M.D.

Eating Well Through Cancer: Easy Recipes & Recommendations During & After Treatment  by Holly Clegg & Gerald Miletello, M.D. is more than just a cookbook.  Not only are there recipes, but also nutrition advice as well.  There are a lot of meal recipes perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert.  There are a variety of soups, sides and main dishes- much like a traditional cook book.  There are beautiful full color photographs of selected recipes as well.  It is the extra details that sets this book apart from other cookbooks.  The authors cover issues and side effects of cancer treatments such as constipation, sore mouth, sore throat and diarrhea-  along side specially tailored recipes suited to help ease these systems.  For example, smoothie recipes may help an ulcerated mouth and throat.  Fiber rich recipes will aid with symptoms of constipation. Even sample shopping list suggestions are offered as well.  Selected "Doc's notes" offer medical tips and nutrition facts.  This book makes a great resource for anyone with cancer and their families. This book is published by Favorite Recipes Press and is available on Amazon.

I received a copy of this cook book after making a request for information about Tarceva erlontinib tablets, a new medication, a trademark of OSI Pharmaceuticals, LLC Northbrook, IL.

Tarceva (erlotinib) is a new medication approved as a first-line maintenance treatment, and a second - or -third line treatment for advanced stage- non- small cell lung cancer. In otherwords, Tarceva is a newly improved cancer treatment that works with one's immune system in the fight against cancer.  Please be sure to talk to your HCP about any questions you may have if you are undergoing cancer treatment.

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Universite-ity by Michael Samuels

Having my own useless Bachelors degree from a respected university, I attest to truth found in eye opening book, The Universe-ity and in  Michael's Samuels' poignant words, "A standard education doesn't mean you will have an abundant life". (Samuels, 2013) Samuels' words reached out to me, as we both had similar backgrounds- university degrees with no meaningful utility in achieving any goal whatsoever.  This is a book for anyone who seeks more out of life; for those who are enlightened enough to know that success does not come from only a career or a degree and that there is a supernatural or spiritual component to success and happiness.

In the context of the "universe-ity", Samuels  builds on the concepts of Rhonda  Byrne's, The Secret- a unique self help phenomena that integrates science and spirituality with the supernatural in order to help people attain their goals. He demonstrates that success and satisfaction is not lined to education or intelligence or even money.  He explains that "unsuccessful people .... have been broken in by society to live in a box.  They associate having a successful life with tremendous physical or mental exertion. " (Samuels, 2013) He goes on to share with the reader,  the "secret" behind achieving happiness.  As the reader, I had the distinct feeling that Michale Samuels was speaking to me personally.  he has a lively and charismatic writing style that makes it seem as if he is personally speaking to you one on one.  Although Samuels' book is a self help guide, it is like having a personal session with an inspirational speaker.   This is more than an introductory manual that brings the reader to the basic principles  to achieving real happiness and success.  This book is like a continuing education course in strengthening one's morals and achieving personal success in life.

The author integrates the concepts of Karma in providing a backdrop for the principles behind the inner-workings of the universe.  The idea of Karma serves as a spiritual law for Samuels.  This principal is used to explain the universal moral code.  The "Universe" is analogous to a deity in a sense and the idea of Karma becomes a theology or spiritual code.  The spiritual element of this book makes it more complex and more substantial than a traditional self help book- and serves to fulfill the human need to reach for something greater than one's self.  Using modern analogies and anecdotes to reach today's generation,  the author compare the "Universe-ity" to a large supercomputer to which all people are interconnected.  This modern idea of the supercomputer is intertwined with the ancient spiritual concept of Karma in delivering a theory of the behind the scenes mysteries on  how the world really works.

There are those readers who will have difficulty reconciling Samuels' ideas with their religious beliefs.  Michael Samuels' position is that he does not seek to discredit any religion, although some readers, nevertheless, will certainly hold fast to the belief that he contradicts established religious beliefs. For those readers who embraced "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne and the Law of Attraction, this is a great resource to expand one's learning.  For anyone unfamiliar with the Law of Attraction, this book is an eyeopener to a new thought process and a new way of seeing the world. This book is simply written and easy to digest for any reader. For some readers this book will prove to be life changing.

The Flower Workshop: Lessons in Arranging Blooms, Branches, Fruits, and Foraged Materials by Ariella Chezar

The Flower Workshop: Lessons in Arranging Blooms, Branches, Fruits, and Foraged Materials by Ariella Chezar is a beautiful new book on flower arrangement.  This boom is a work of art in itself, featuring high quality photographs of flower arrangements: bouquets, collages, garland and even flower crowns.  This book features beautiful traditional arrangements as well as unique collages of fruit and flowers.  Vibrant colorful garland and fruit are accents to these artistic arrangements.  There are summer themes collages and spring themed pieces as well- a flower centerpiece for every season and color theme.  Blue, green, yellow, pink, red or purple- every color of the rainbow is demonstrated in these arrangements.  Even the unexpected accessories are included- like antique journals and vintage books and pottery.  There is no limit to the accessories and accents chosen for these varied arrangements.  Even if you don't own a florist shop, you will find inspiration for creativity in this book.  From minimalist, simple arrangements, to luxurious exotic flowers, there is a style for everyone's taste and budget featured in this book.  Even if you want nothing to do with actually making an arrangement, this book is a work of art, certain to bring reading pleasure to anyone who simply likes to relax to beautiful images of flowers and nature.  This book is not limited to gardeners or florists- this is a great book for any discriminating reader who appreciates beauty.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book pyblished by 10 speed press for the purpose of writing this review.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Paris Street Style coloring Book by Zoe de las Cases

Paris Street Style coloring Book by  Zoe de las Cases is a new light hearted coloring book for adults.  The free flowing informal illustrations are a perfect pastime activity for stressed adults.  Unlike many adult coloring books- this choice isn't filled with monotonous or repetitive geometric patterns or shapes.  This book features actual illustrations of every day articles and items as well as sophisticated illustrations of expensive fashionable clothing, and food paired with exotic Paris site seeing.  This coloring book melds tourism with fantasy and fashion.  Although the book description calls this a coloring book "journal", other than the stretchy band closure, this coloring book is not an actual journal nor can it be used as a journal.  Nevertheless, its presentation is reminiscent of the setup of fictional artist's journal of her travels across Paris that the reader gets to view. Overall this is a new addition to the adult coloring journal that is distinct from the formal mold of formal highly detailed time consuming patterns. If you enjoy coloring and are looking for something new, this is a good coloring book to try.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Potter/ Ten Speed press for the purpose of writing this review.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Just Ask the Universe by Michael Samuels

Just Ask the Universe: A No Nonsense Guide to Manifesting Your Dreams by Michael Samuels, is the first book in a self- improvement trilogy.  The trilogy which includes: Keep Calm and Ask On and The Universe-ity, provides practical advice based on the concept of "The Law of Attraction".  Some readers  may have already been introduced to the idea of  "The Law of Attraction" through Rhonda Byrne's well known book, "The Secret".  Samuels' book, Just Ask the Universe draws upon this concept and expands upon it a a more precise, matter of fact, style of presentation.  He introduces the reader to the spiritual concept of "The Universe" and gives the reader practical advice on how to apply the "Law of Attraction" in order to find success and happiness in life and in achieving goals.  Based on a quasi- scientific explanation that rationalizes the conglomeration of ideas which incorporate the eastern philosophy of Karma, and the telepathic bond the human subconscious mind has with the Universe, Samuels provides  a plausible model in which a person's thoughts and wishes can be transformed into reality.

 To Samuels' credit, he offers clarification early in the book, explaining that the concept of "The Universe" does not represent a deity, nor does it serve as a replacement for God or religious worship.  Rather, Samuels explains that the idea of "The Universe" serves as a distinct entity or concept  that is not mutually exclusive from one's religious or spiritual faith.  In otherwords, for those readers who believe themselves to be Christian, Muslim or Jewish, the author wants to make it clear beyond a doubt, that the ideas presented in this book do not contradict religious belief.  I believe that many readers, even religious readers, will embrace Samuels' apologetic statement with open arms, wanting to justify and reconcile the ideas of the Law of Attraction with their belief systems.  It is not surprising that the author would go out of his way to provide such a statement  given the resurgence of spirituality and bible based faith.  Nevertheless, there will be readers who reject this teaching as contradictory to the spiritual message of the bible and regard it as a gnostic or apocryphal type of teaching with no biblical support. For this reason, this book is separate and distinct from the Christian self help genre- and its believe system may be more consistent with  eastern religious concepts of Karma  as well as the New Age movement.

Nevertheless, the concepts are not necessarily spiritual, but rather secular.  The concept about gratitude and acting by one's morals and conscious are commendable ideas that can only serve to help the individual as well as contribute to making the world a better place.  The idea that life is not nor should be a competition and that there are sufficient resources and gifts available to all is refreshing.  I can see how even the most apathetic and discouraged of readers might find inspiration and empowerment after reading this book.  No matter how depressed one may find himself to be, reading this book will motivate any reader to act to follow his lifelong dreams and goals. This is a unique book that points the reader to find his answers to happiness externally, rather than focusing on his own works.  If you have tried a variety of self help books in the hopes of trying to find the elusive answer that you seek- this book offers a unique solution- and a new direction to take.

I Will Follow Jesus Bible Storybook By Judah & Chelsea Smith

I Will Follow Jesus Bible Storybook

By Judah & Chelsea Smith is a beautiful new book of bible stories for young children.  The book itself is a work of art with stylized art featuring a variety of colors and textures.  The illustrations are full of rich color and detail in contrast to the bland, hasty sketches and cartoon line drawings seen in many newer children's bibles.  I believe any parent would enjoy sharing this book of bible stories with their children. The text features thoughtful narratives based on biblical accounts.  The Smith's were faithful and true to the bible accounts.  Though these stories are written for children to understand, they are accurate to the inspired word and not oversimplified to the point of changing the meaning.  This is now my favorite children's bible- one that can be read and reread to young children of all ages.  There are also bible verses included as well as references so parents and children alike can refer to the original bible story. As a blogger for booklook I received a copy of this book published by Tommy Nelson for the purpose of writing this review. 

Cats in Paris: A Magical Coloring Book by Won-Sun Jang

Cats in Paris: A Magical Coloring Book by Won-Sun Jang is a beautiful new coloring book featuring cats, the love of bookstores and travel and cats, of course. This is a beautifully detailed coloring book for made especially for older readers.  These beautiful scenic drawings in of themselves are a work 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 overly detailed, but detailed just enough.

The beautiful binding and removable jacket can also be colored as well.  This makes a great gift for yourself or a friend or cat 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.  Although it is marketed for readers of all ages, it is most suitable for teens and older adults due to the  detail. I do not feel a grade school-er would appreciate the fine detail of this book, and it would be a shame to destroy a beautiful book with scribble.  This is a coloring project that takes time, perseverance and patience.

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. The story line and theme is like a bedtime story.  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 Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony for the purpose of writing this review.