Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Whole Book of Quotes from Sarah!

The Quotable Rogue -the Ideals of Sarah Palin in Her Own Words, edited by Matt Lewis is a compilation of quotes by, who else but Sarah Palin. Despite the fact that some quotes are entertaining and some are obviously coming from an intelligent woman, I really don’t know why any of us would want to read a book of Palin quotes. She is definitely not my favorite politician but I also believe she is often misrepresented by the press. Hey, that’s the nicest thing I may say about her so take it or leave it.

Many of the funny and way out quotes we’ve all heard over and over again are in this book, but not taken out of context. But even in context these quotes don’t impress me one iota. And a whole book of them? No, I’m sorry, this is definitely not a book for me. But if you’re a Palin fan and are hoping she’ll be president one day then you may enjoy reading this book.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Song of the Silk Road - Fast, Steamy, but not my Cup of Tea

Song of the Silk Road by Mingmei Yip is a fast read. It covers some wonderful aspects of the Chinese culture and beautiful descriptions of geography along the Silk Road. That’s where my admiration ends. Lily Lin is the main character of the story. She’s a struggling writer who is involved with her married professor. She receives a mysterious offer from an aunt she never knew she had. Lily is told she must travel the Silk Road and follow specific instructions and she will be rewarded with $3 million.

Lily decides to take on the too-good-to-be-true challenge and heads for the Silk Road. Some of her adventures are interesting but most everything that she experiences is, well, slightly unbelievable. I loved the explanations of the culture and ways of the Chinese, but a good part of this book seems to be contrived to “fit” into the storyline.

There’s a great deal of romance and “just plain old sex” in the story. Lily seems a bit of a fly-by-night to me. I’m sure anyone who is into steamy sex and romances would enjoy this book. No, I’m not a prude but this story goes a bit overboard. It could have been written with lots of great descriptions of the culture and history of the Silk Road and with less of the sex scenes. But all in all, the story would still seem rather far fledged.

If you want a quick read and can look beyond the silliness of some of the storyline, you may well enjoy this book. Personally, I’m glad I read it but am rather unhappy I actually paid money for it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Live Like the Amish in Tough Economic Times

Money Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing and Saving, by Lorilee Craker is a delightful little book. Ms. Craker comes from a Mennonite heritage and decides to explore the frugal ways of the Amish when she runs into some tough economic times. She learns a great deal of how to live within her means as she teaches us some of the traditions of the Amish culture.

Saving money is the way of life for the Amish and we could all learn a lot from them. She translates some of what she learns into our own “English” culture. Living within means Amish style is a far cry from how the “Fancy” people live. Maybe we can’t live totally debt free but there can be a nice compromise. The Amish believe loans are considered “stealing” and tend to pay their debts not only on time but ahead of schedule. Needless to say, the Amish don’t have trouble getting credit – the lenders know full well that they will pay back well in advance.

Ms. Craker gives loads of hints of living frugally and many can be applied to our lifestyle as well. However, there are a few extremes. For instance, there’s no way I’d but a mixture of honey and vinegar in my eyes to avoid cataracts. Bring on the cataracts I say! Other than a few extremes, there is plenty one can take away from this book if they hope to change their spending habits. But the reader will also learn a great deal about these beautiful and happy people.

Money Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing and Saving is a quick read and quite interesting. There’s a lot of humor throughout the book and I must admit I laughed out loud reading some of the stories about both the “Plain” and the “Fancy” people. My only criticism is that I wish Ms. Craker had listed all the websites she mentioned at the end of the book for easy reference. I had to go through the book a second time to find the more interesting websites I wanted to visit. Other than that, take a chance reading this book. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed even if you’re not trying to live a more frugal lifestyle.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cute Children's Book

Lee Pritchett has done it again. He has a new book titled, Bert Tumblefluff and Friends. As his last book The Tale of Greta Gumboot and Other Stories, this is also a collection of stories set in a magical world. Many of these stories are sequels to previous stories from the first book but they are easy to pick up even having not read the first book.

Greta Gumboot, Gilbey, and Mr. Bumble return to new adventures any child will enjoy. Broken up into many separate stories, this is a book that will be hard for children to put down. Yet with each story a complete tale in itself children can finish one and have the anticipation of a new one for tomorrow.

Holly and the Epheline were my favorites in Pritchett’s first book and they continue to be my favorite in the new book. Pritchett has outdone himself with stories and illustrations. Many of these stories could have been a storybook by itself, but Pritchett has compiled them into one big fun book. I think your children will enjoy Bert Tumblefluff and Friends as much as they liked The Tale of Greta Gumboot and Other Stories.