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Friday, August 11, 2017

Hidden Warrior - Lynn Flewelling

When the magic spell keeping him in the wrong body is revealed to Tobin, he finds himself both relieved and isolated. His attraction to his friends suddenly makes sense and his lack of physical growth is no longer alarming. But in order to keep himself safe from the tyrant king who would kill him, he must keep his secret to himself.

After a particularly harrowing incident with his sponsor, Tobin is called back to the main city by orders of the king. There things get even more awkward as his friends start visiting brothels and insist he comes along. When he was sent away he was also somewhat sheltered from the events around the kingdom, now he's coming face-to-face with the reality of the failing kingdom with crops dying and disease runs rampant through the land.

If Tobin is to save the kingdom as the prophesy says, he will need to act soon.

When I started reading this second book in the trilogy, I remembered why I took such a long break between this and the first. Flewelling's writing plods along steadily, but sometimes it feels like nearly stagnant. Even so, the continued mystery and anticipation kept me going as I waited for Tobin and his companions to find the right time to reveal themselves and take back the kingdom that was wrongly taken from him. Tamir's appearance is painful and magical, breaking free from the shell she has been forced to live in her entire life.

I am excited to read the final novel in this series to find how Tamir handles her new power.

Books in the Series:
The Bone Doll's Twin
The Oracle's Queen

Friday, August 4, 2017

Chi's Sweet Home (Vol 1) - Kanata Konami

A kitten gets lost from his mother and finds himself in the gentle and loving hands of a family. Like many people who have cats, the family didn't plan on keeping Chi, as their son soon names him, but after many attempts at finding him a different home, they end up keeping him.

This comic records the every day antics of a kitten as he adjusts to his new environment and the environment adjusts to him. Anybody who has owned a cat will enjoy the humorous take on the difficult tasks of toilet training a cat and teaching him the rules of his new home. The mundane take on the daily life of a cat is the distinct charm of this series.

Books in the Series:
Chi's Sweet Home Volume 2
Chi's Sweet Home Volume 3
Chi's Sweet Home Volume 4

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

Arthur Dent was already having a terrible day when he found out his house was getting bulldozed to make room for an interchange. Little did he know his disappearing house would turn into a disappearing planet. In the nick of time, Arthur is rescued from certain destruction by his friend Ford Prefect by hitching a ride on a Vogon ship.

Hitchhiking across the galaxy should be fun with all of the new foods and technology, but there are lots of aliens and bureaucracy to deal with. Along the way he meets back up with his former crush, Tricia McMillan, the now-girlfriend of Zaphod Beeblebrox, who just happens to be the president of the galaxy. And even makes the acquaintance of the depressed android, Marvin. Their idiosyncrasies should make the journey across the galaxy interesting, especially since one of them is also on the run from the law.

With all of the absurd and unexpected situations, I always laugh when I read this book. It's not the kind of humor everyone will enjoy, but it remains one of my favorite books through the years.

More by the Author:
Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Life, the Universe, and Everything
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

Friday, July 21, 2017

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: 7 Steps to Freedom from Anxiety, Depression, and Intrusive Thoughts - Lawrence Wallace

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is currently one of the most popular methods used to address a variety of disorders, including Anxiety, Depression, and Obsessive-Compulsive disorder, among many others. In this short book Wallace gives a synopsis of the origins of this technique, how it works, and the instances in which a CBT program on its own may not be appropriate. It is then followed by a simple 7 step process the reader with examples in each step that can assist the reader in beginning his or her own program. Throughout the book the author uses religious and philosophical texts and points of view that may assist the reader in processing the information, which include Buddhism, Stoicism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Christianity. At the end the author provides resources, encourages readers to seek assistance from a trained person, and a few work sheets.

The book cover definitely caught my eye with a shadow person inserting a new cog into their head and I found it representative of the book's contents. I enjoyed the inclusion of the religious and philosophical texts and that the author chose a variety in order to help the reader integrate the process with his or her own personal beliefs. This text will assist a reader in deciding if CBT may be the solution he or she is looking for with it's readable explanations and process. Due to it's short-length, however, it is not in-depth and readers will likely need to pursue other resources or assistance from a trained counselor to proceed.

Recommended Reads:
What to Do When Your Brain Gets Stuck: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming OCD - Dawn Huebner
Overcoming Obsessive Thoughts: How to Gain Control of Your OCD - David A. Clark, Christine Purdon
Brain Lock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior - Jeffrey M. Schwartz

Friday, July 14, 2017

Into the Heart of the Feminine - Massimilla Harris, Bud Harris

Harris and Harris use their knowledge of Jungian symbolism and storytelling to encourage people to embrace the hardships in their past to build a new foundation and build a new person.

The book is written in four parts. Facing the Death Mother builds a foundation of understanding of Jungian analysis before moving on to how to do the work in A Healing Path with the myth of Medusa. By examining who Medusa is and how she came to be,
Harris presents a new understanding of Medusa that readers can use to reframe their own past experiences. Burning Clean explains how to confront shame, fear, and how mirroring the death mother within us will help us move forward. Finally, The Freedom to Come Home gives readers permission and encouragement to truly be themselves by finding their passions, speaking their truth, and making life new.

When this first arrived in the mail I was both confused and ecstatic! The package did not contain a letter and only contained a return address on the package. Once I remembered I had entered the giveaway for this book, I couldn't wait to read it.

Since I already have an understanding of Jungian analysis, I found Part I somewhat tedious, but it set an important groundwork for me to understand Harris and Harris's personal approach to the matter. Part II contains the actual work and immediately reminded me of Women Who Run with the Wolves with the way the authors reframe the story. Part III gets more specific as to what negative feelings can be approached this way and how to use it. Part IV is an invitation and map for authenticity, which provides closure to the book and encourages further work by the reader in their personal life.

I only have two gripes with the book. The amount of times Part I hints at the Medusa myth and tells readers the book will address it later is both tiresome and frustrating. It's supposed to be tantalizing, but it feels like it leaves too much unsaid. I would also liked to have seen more story examples of using negative tales for positive gain in order for the reader to get more in-depth understanding of how to use them.

I enjoyed this book and would recommend it for people who are looking to change their story. I look forward to reading more books by these authors.

More by the Author:
Like Gold Through Fire: Understanding the Transforming Power of Suffering
The Art of Love: The Craft of Relationship: A Practical Guide for Creating the Loving Relationships We Want

Author's Site:
Budharris.com

Recommended Reads:
Women Who Run with the Wolves -Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Est├ęs
Warrior Goddess Training - HeatherAsh Amara
Coming Alive!: Spirituality Activism, & Living Passionately in the Age of Global Domination - Rebecka Eggers

Friday, July 7, 2017

To Every Thing There is a Season - Diane Dillon, Leo Dillon

There are many memorable quotes from the Bible. One of the most beautiful and loved comes from the third chapter of the Book of Ecclesiastes, which speaks of the necessity of change with the natural occurrences that happen throughout the seasons.

Dillon and Dillon take this text and place it side-by-side with illustrations that reflect the art styles of many cultures, including: Celtic, Egyptian, Japanese, Mayan, Greek, Indian, Medieval European, Ethiopian, Thai, Chinese, Russian, Aboriginal, Inuit, and Arabic.

For anybody looking for representation and gentle lessons, this is a wonderful addition to the library.

More by the Authors
Mama Says: A Book of Love for Mothers and Sons

Friday, June 30, 2017

Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut

Like most of his work, Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle contains a biting satirical view of modern society that revolves around science, technology, and religion.

The narrator, John or Jonah, talks about how he once set out to write a book and it appears that perhaps what the reader holds in his hand is the result. He tells the reader of his quest to speak with the creators of the atomic bomb and later his search for the newest and most devastating weapon ice-nine.

During his search he is led to the fictional Caribbean island of San Lorenzo, where the people use a nearly unintelligible language and follow a religion called Bokononism,
a strange mix of nihilism and cynical observations of God.

While previously I had enjoyed Slaughterhouse-Five, I found this novel more difficult to navigate. There are many scenes and ideas I enjoyed listening to, but I feel like I didn't get the whole of this book my first time through. I'll have to read this again in the future.

More by the Author:
Slaughterhouse-Five
Catch-22


Recommended Reads:
A Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
Fahrenheit 451 - Rad Bradbury
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess