Thursday, July 21, 2011

Four Mini Reviews

Popular Crime (nonfiction 2011)

Author: Bill James

About: The author discusses at length the books written about well known crimes and criminals - such as the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, Lizzie Borden, the Black Dahlia, the Menendez Brothers, OJ Simpson, and JonBenet Ramsey - as well as details of the crimes and his opinion of 'whodunnit,' if the case was not solved. The crimes are in chronological order, starting with the 18th century.

Rating and Thoughts:   5/5   When I saw that the book was 458 pages I thought I'll never read this whole thing, I'll get bored half-way through, and so on. Wrong! I loved it. It took me only two or three days to read the whole thing. And it wasn't boring because even though the research is incredibly thorough (it took him 20 years to write it), his writing is so conversational and informal that it kept my attention.

If you like true crime, read this.


How to Train a Wild Elephant & Other Adventures in Mindfulness: Simple Daily Mindfulness Practices for Living Life More Fully and Joyfully (nonfiction 2011)

Author:  Jan Chozen Bays, MD

About:  Each short chapter focuses on practicing mindfulness (being extra attentive) while performing specific actions in order to "live life more fully and joyfully." Chapters include: Use Your Non Dominant Hand, When Eating Just Eat, Every Time the Phone Rings, Notice Trees, Say Yes, Procrastination, Impatience, Mindful Driving, Become Aware of Your Center, and 46 others.

Rating and Thoughts:  4.5/5  Enjoyable book. My only complaint, as with every other self-help book I read, is that I never remember to practice the recommendations. The author did however include a way to remember to do each exercise, which I liked but probably won't do. If one is serious about practicing mindfulness and made a conscious effort, though, this book could be very helpful. I felt joyful and full immediately after reading it anyway.

Also by Author: Mindful Eating


Blind Hope: An Unwanted Dog and the Woman She Rescued (Biography 2010)

Author: Kim Meeder and Laurie Sacher

About: Laurie Sacher, who works at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, adopts a blind dog named Hope. She learns through the dog's blindness that having faith in God even though she can't see him is the key to having everything she needs.

Rating and Thoughts:  3.5 / 5  It was okay...a little fluffy and corny at times, but a nice story. Deep and spiritual. Someone in a "searching" frame of mind would get a lot out of it. I didn't like the conversation between the author, Kim Meeder, and Laurie Sacher throughout the book and thought it interrupted the flow of the story.


Unlikely Friendships:  47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom (nonfiction 2011)

Author:  Jennifer Holland

About:  Stories of unusual/unlikely stories of animal friendships.

Rating and Thoughts:  5/5  Darling book with stories and pictures of the cutest animals you've ever seen.  Just goes to show that animals crave love, no matter where it comes from. 

Sorry these are blurry, but I wanted to show you how cute they are.  And there are 47 of these stories...

  There's another picture of this monkey sitting down and snuggling the kitten.  So cute.

And guess what???!!!!  I'm finally reading some fiction!  Woo hoo!  lol 
I'm about half way through. So far I'm enjoying it.


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