Saturday, November 28, 2009

Book Review: City of Souls

City of Souls (The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac) by Vicki Pettersson

Description:Olivia/Joanna Archer is the Kairos and in the last book something she had done had screwed the fight between good and evil. The Shadow’s were taking over and making every space for the good – no longer safe. Joanna must do whatever it takes to put the two sides back on even footing.

Thoughts: I have enjoyed this series and will have to pass it on to others for a recommendation. I don’t know if it is over or not with this book (it could be the end) and if so I am sad because the plot and all that goes with it has been really interesting and different.

What genre would you consider this?


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Book Feature: NutureShock – New Thinking About Children

Title: NutureShock – New Thinking About Children
Author: Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: 2009
Price: $24.99
Description: Parenthood is tough – this book sheds light on some new ideas of how you can help shape your child. You can be a great parent – but if you don’t know why some of these key things occur then you can’t fix them. This book tells you some shocking science behind why your children behave the way they do.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Book Review: What Happens In London

What Happens In London by Julia Quinn

Olivia Bevelstoke has heard that her next door neighbor Sir Harry has killed his fiancĂ©. Is that just the gossip in London making things up or is it true. For someone who is beautiful but has a brain in her head – Olivia is generally bored by what is going on in her life. So she decides to watch him and find out.

Meanwhile Harry is back from the continent and the war. But the war office still has things for him to do. So he can’t help but be suspicious when he sees the girl next door watching him. What could she be doing that for? When war activities force them to be together – Harry realizes he can’t live without Olivia.

Thoughts: Generally I don’t like books with lots of war talk. But this one has a nice combination. Yes there is a plot twist that involves Napoleon but really it takes a back door to the story of Harry and Olivia. Until I had gotten in the book I hadn’t realized that this was a second book in a series where her friend Miranda had already had her book. Olivia was the mean one in that book. I think it is good that I had forgotten all of that as that allowed me to for a new opinion of her for this one.

What genre would you consider this?
Historical Romance


Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Well-Read Commuter Reviews: Divorce Sucks

Book: Divorce Sucks: What to do when irreconcilable differences, lawyer fees, and your ex’s Hollywood wife, make you miserable!

Author: Mary Jo Eustace

What this book is about:
Even if you don’t think that you have ever heard of Mary Jo Eustace, if you have ever watched TMZ, Lifetime or read Star magazine, chances are that you have heard of her. Her husband of thirteen years, Dean McDermott, left her for Tori Spelling. This book is one part tell- all and one part guide to get readers on their feet after a bitter breakup. This hilarious read will fill you in on all the things you never wanted to know about divorce from what a phone call with a lawyer will cost, to how to handle your new replacement, to what Hollywood divorcees are actually thinking when they watch their ex walk the red carpet with a millionaire. Sometimes horrifying, sometimes gratifying, and never merciful, this book will give readers an inside look at one of today's most public divorces while reminding them - hey, it could always be worse.

Did you like this book:

I did like this book. I immediately snapped it up when I saw it and settled in for what I was sure was going to be a gossip-filled and juicy read. It was not the meaty tell-all I was hoping for, but it is a pretty cute pick-me-up for any woman who is knocked for a loop by her recent relocation to the “51 percentile” area code. Mary Jo is inviting everyone to join her on her Divorce Cruise as she takes the reader through reassembling a life and adjusting to their new “single” reality. The book covers a lot of ground with some really funny insights into the demise of Mary Jo’s marriage and just how she picked up all the pieces. The book coaches the reader on how to live for yourself, date again and even think about giving marriage another go around- skipping quickly from subject to subject. Nothing is off limits as she advises women on deleting the porn he had on the family computer, ripping off the wood paneling in the den and throwing out that Bow Flex he had to have but never used. Since her husband left her while they were on vacation with another couple, and while she was holding their soon to be adopted seven week old daughter (the adoption was not even finalized) for a married woman whom he had known for only three weeks, Mary Jo’s life and the way she rebuilt it can serve as inspiration. If you are in the midst of a soul-sucking divorce and not in the mood for inspiration, at the very least a you can look at her break-up which included being dragged through the tabloid ringer, and having to stomach her ex and his new wife ham it up on their own reality show and get a good old fashioned, “thank God it’s not that bad” out of it.

I did bristle at the advice that Mary Jo gave to divorcing mothers on talking to their ex-husbands and make sure that their ex’s were fully understanding their (the mother’s) point of view. She advises the women to use guilt as a tool of manipulation to in essence make their ex-husband’s see things there way and do what they want. This made me cringe. A guilty parent lends itself to a guilty parenting style with no rules, also called permissive parenting, which leads to really bratty, entitled kids that no one wants to be around. Kids are also smart and when they hear mom on the phone controlling dad with guilt, they will add that trick to their toolbox and use it against both parents. Overall a great read and definitely a quick pick me up for those who find themselves on their own Divorce Cruise. This book is part of Joanne’ Kimes’ best-selling “Sucks” series which includes informational books such as Pregnancy Sucks for Men, Menopause Sucks, Dating Sucks, Dieting Sucks and Potty Training Sucks. With so many things about life, well, just plain sucking I am sure the series will enjoy success for quite some time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Book Review: Under her Skin

Under her Skin by Susan Mallery

Description: Book one in the Titan sisters’ series. The Titan sisters have always had a bit of a thing with their father. He doesn’t seem to love or appreciate them. So they strive to get his attention. For Lexi Titan that meant opening up a spa on her own and making something of herself. When a mysterious loan finally comes due and almost means her losing her spa she will do anything to stop that from happening.

Cruz Rodriguez has the money but not the connections and he knows a Titan can give him those connections. When he finds out that Lexi needs something from him it is the perfect opening for a fake engagement. Their past has shown both of them that they have an attraction for one another, so this should work out great – right?

Thoughts: I have read the books out of order so I knew a little about what was going to happen in this one before it did. I can’t wait to see how they all end and they find out how good of a person their father (and the mysterious loan person) are. Right now they seem pretty darn evil.

In terms of this story in particular I enjoyed it. Cruz is a hard man. He ignores his daughter, has heart Lexi, but it is all because he just doesn’t know who to trust. And a woman that can teach him that he is worth everything in her life is important.

What genre would you consider this?


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Book Feature: Fish: Finned and Gilled Animals

Title: Fish: Finned and Gilled Animals
Author: Suzanne Slade
Illustrated by: Kristin Kest
Publisher: Capstone Publishers
Publication Date: 2010
Description: A short and fun picture book with tons of information about fish. Great to start your kids on – but with enough facts that even if you don’t know anything you aren’t just making things up. This group of books is great for teaching children – and I would recommend them for everyone!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Book Review: Not Quite a Husband

Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas

Description:Byrony Asquith is a doctor when no other women in her time are. She had fallen in love with neighbor Leo Marsden in her youth and couldn’t believe that he wanted her to. But that didn’t work out and it left her with a broken heart and a need to escape. Now Leo is back to bring her home because of an emergency. Can each of them work past their reasons for wanting to separate to get back together?

Thoughts:This book was a unique one in romance because the two main characters shared a past that you never really see. You get mini-flashbacks of a few important times in their lives and finally begin to understand what drove them apart. Mainly a lack of communication. They both really loved each other.

I don’t think I enjoyed the setting so much – but that is because I like more regency romances and this is set in the wilds of India. It is beautiful and scary (with war going on) but not something in terms of a setting that I really was all that interested in. Everyone has their favorite places.

What genre would you consider this?
Historical Romance


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Overwhelmed doesn't begin to cover it

Well you may have noticed from another review that I have posted that I am having a baby (well he is here). But I enjoy doing this. So trying to find a way to do both means that I may be trying different formats for my reviews. So please hold out. If you see something you don't like tell me. But I will be playing with things to find out what works best for me (and for him) for the time being.

Thanks again to all you loyal readers!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Book Review: Cookie

Cookie by Lisa Woomer

This little girl loves cookies so much that it is all that she eats. What happens when you eat to much of one thing? You turn into it? Can the little girl learn to eat the things that are good for her?

Thoughts: I liked the book and thought it was a good read. I would definitely read it to my child (especially if they are any sort of eater like their father who doesn't like much..)

The only concern I would have is the price of the book. For it not being a hardcover book - it seems to be just a little expensive. I appreciate the thought but would like to see it be just a little less in cost.

What genre would you consider this?


Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Well-Read Commuter reviews It’s Not Me, It’s You: Subjective Recollections from a Terminally Optimistic, Chronically Sarcastic and Occasionally In

It’s Not Me, It’s You: Subjective Recollections from a Terminally Optimistic, Chronically Sarcastic and Occasionally Inebriated Woman
By: Stefanie Wilder-Taylor

What this book is about:
Stefanie Wilder-Taylor has never been one to take the conventional route. Whether financing a move to LA with only a best friend's Bat Mitzvah windfall or accidentally freebasing cocaine, Stefanie is living proof that the unlikely can happen -- usually to her. When it does, the best response is a potent combination of pluck, luck, humor, and frequently, alcohol. In a series of candid essays, Stefanie recounts how a nice Jewish girl from Queens became a Hollywood producer, writer, and mother of three, with some surprising detours along the way. From disproving her mother's "cars aren't free" refrain by going on Hollywood Squares and winning one, to signing up for a romantic sunset cruise that turns out to be a hellish frat-fest staffed by a pushy pirate-attired crew of small people, Stefanie shares her triumphs, missteps, and the many lessons learned. She reveals why it's never a good sign when your new therapist brings out a stuffed bumblebee and a whiffle ball bat, and how to outsmart a potential stalker by channeling your inner Tori Spelling. Through the good, the bad, the poignant, and the outrageous, she displays a voice that is by turns self-skewering, hopeful, and wise. It's Not Me, It's You is personal storytelling at its funniest, bravest, and most irresistible.

Did you like this book:
This book should come with a the warning, “May cause random outbursts of uncontrollable laughter.” Consider yourself warned, if you read it on a plane then people will think you are completely crazy, but you won’t care. Wilder-Taylor’s book is a wild ride through her life that will leave you wanting more, grateful that she was lucid enough to remember these stories and searching for her other books. This is a solid book that you can count on for big laughs. You can’t go wrong here.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Book Feature: If your kid eats this book, everything will still be okay

Author: Lara Zibners, M.D.
Pages: 296
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: 2009
Price: $14.99
Description: A list of various things that can happen to a child. Written in plain English (not just for doctors) it tells you if this is something you need to worry about or if you can chalk it up to being just normal kid stuff!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Book Feature: If you were a Capital Letter

Title: If you were a Capital Letter
Author: Trisha Speed Shaskan
Illustrated by: Sara Gray
Publisher: Capstone Publishers
Publication Date: 2010
Description: Do you want to teach your children when they should be using capital letters? This book will help you do it. Lots of pictures and mini-stories along with the rules of capitalization make teaching this enjoyable for everyone. This group of books is great for teaching children – and I would recommend them for everyone!

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Well-Read Commuter reviews Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel and Act the Way We Do

Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel and Act the Way We Do
By: Wednesday Martin, Ph.D.

What this book is about:
As Wednesday Martin explains it, her marriage was meant to be. Unfortunately, it was also statistically doomed to fail. What did Martin do to statistically doom her marriage: gambling, adultery, an addiction to buying jewelry on HSN? Nope. She married a man with children. Experts estimate that more than half of all adult women in the U.S. will do the same in their lifetimes, and that up to 70% of those partnerships will fail. In addition, Martin was a childless woman marrying a man with children which put her marriage even more at risk for ending in a divorce. Martin explains that with those odds in addition to picking out a wedding dress, she might as well have picked out a divorce lawyer as well. Sadly, the greatest predictor of divorce is the presence of children from a previous marriage. In fact, divorce rates are fifty percent higher than average in remarriages with children. With blended families becoming the norm, who is going to help these families survive and beat the odds?

Did you like this book:
Stepmonster is a truly groundbreaking book that for once focuses on the stepmother herself. Take a look at the cover and you’ll know that it is going to be something different. You won’t find any ridiculous photos of a happy blended family walking on the beach or stories making you feel guilty on those days that you just want everyone to shut up and go away. You also won’t find out the secret to how Martin won over her stepchildren so no need to cue the sappy music. Instead, you will find stepmother-centered advice that deals head on with the myths and mis-information, overcompensation, depression, anger and resentment that goes hand in hand in a world where stepmothers must behave and act exceptional in order to just be considered adequate. Martin also delves into the historical and cultural context of our views on stepmothers, wicked or otherwise. What I think most stepmothers will find in this book is peace of mind and some sense that they are understood for a lot cheaper than the going rate of a therapy session. It puts other stepfamily books to shame If you are a stepmom, put yourself first and get the book today.