REVIEW: WW Tools For Living Companion

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Weight Watchers’ Tools for Living Companion is a handy, little reference book that outlines their 8 “Tools for Living“:

 

Winning Outcomes
Empowering Beliefs
Anchoring
Storyboarding
Mental Rehearsing
Motivating Strategy
Reframing
…and Positive Self-Talking

I’d read about these before, and thought them to be really helpful. I’m glad to now own this book where I can reference back to these from time-to-time, and find inspiration!

Rated: B+

REVIEW: Dream Homes: A Memoir by Joyce Zonana

dreamhomes_zonana1Joyce was born in Cairo and, shortly thereafter, emigrated with her family to America.

As she grew up –an Egyptian Jew, Joyce struggled to figure out who she really was, and where she truly belonged.

She never really settled in any once place, moving frequently for on reason or another. But I think she finally discovered her “self”, nonetheless.

An interesting book, though I could’ve done without the bits about Joyce’s “relations” with this or that person.

Rated: B-

REVIEW #1: Losing Control and Liking It by Tim Sanford

losingcontrol_likingit_sanford1For any parent who just wants their teenager to turn out “right”, I highly recommend you read this book. My kids aren’t even at the ‘teenager’ stage, yet, but I still found this book incredibly insightful and helpful, and think it will really come in handy in about 5 years! 😉

Mr. Sanford helps you, the reader, to understand, first, the difference between ‘control’ and ‘influence’. He then goes on to show why one works and the other doesn’t.

Many examples are given, and the word-pictures Mr. Sanford uses really help you to grasp the concepts presented.

There’s even an entire chapter dedicated to explaining the different levels of services available to help parents of truly out-of-control teens.

This is, by far, the best “parenting” book I’ve ever read. Highly recommended.

Rated: A-

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Edited to add: To read another (even more thorough!) review of this book, please click HERE to visit my friend, Deena’s, blog!

REVIEW: A Song In Stone by Walter H. Hunt

songinstone_huntA Song In Stone” by Walter H. Hunt
Publication Date: November 4, 2008

Book Description (from Amazon.com):
There is a mystery in a chapel, and a man who must find the answer.

A Song in Stone begins with the premise that Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland is part of an unfinished larger church – and that it contains a mystery, one clue of which is found in the intricate stonework of the chapel. It goes from there to the Middle Ages, taking Ian Graham, currently-unemployed television personality, with it, literally, as he tries to learn the chapel’s secret before it is too late to return to his own time, his own life.
Before he goes, he must find the music that the stone points to.

My Thoughts:
This book was very well written! I loved all the twists and turns, and how you sometimes had to really pay attention to get what was going on. There was lots of suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I couldn’t put the book down!

The facts and such were very interesting, too. Fans of mathematics will find this book intriguing, as there’s lots of that included. But, even those NOT a fan of such (like me) will still really enjoy this one. 😉

I look forward to more by this author!

Rated: A-
(highly recommended!)

~:: To read other reviews of this work, please see its LibraryThing.com page HERE::~

Book Review: Leave It To Chance by Sheri Sand

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Title: “Leave It to Chance
Author: Sheri Sand
Genre: Christian fiction
Pages: 353
Rated: B+ (enjoyable)
Finished: Nov.25, 2008
 
From the back of the book:
Single mom of three, Sierra Montgomery is struggling to make ends meet and facing the reality of moving back home to a mother who is full of good intentions and overbearing love. When Sierra inherits Chance, a quirky old gelding she doesn’t have a clue what to do with, she thinks her best bet may be to sell the horse to cover another month’s rent — a decision that devastates her children.
 
Enter Ross Morgan, a handsome landscaper who just happens to have an empty barn and fenced pasture…perfect for an old horse to live out his days as the pet of three wounded kids. Ross develops a soft spot for Sierra’s eldest boy, Braden…and he just might have one for Braden’s mother. But what he doesn’t have is time for distractions–he’s got a landscaping business to run and nursery plants to tend.
 
There is just one problem: Sierra is terrified of horses, and combined with the scars from her past, it may be more than budding feelings can weather. Will she remain distrustful and self-reliant, or will she seek help from God and those who love her?

 
My comments:
This was a good book. Sure, it could’ve stood a little extra editing, and Sierra’s stance on God (especially nearer the end of the book) seemed a bit contrived, but otherwise it was very well-written. I could really feel the kids’ struggle as they were pulled between two divorced parents, as I went through that myself once-upon-a-time. The author did a really good job of portraying their struggle, as well as Sierra’s frustration trying to go it alone as a single mom.
 
I enjoyed this one. 😉

Changes Coming!

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Coming in 2009, there will be a few little changes here at SHOULD BE READING

… you will find book reviews of all the books I read throughout the year, as I’ve created a new challenge for 2009, where you need to review each & every book you read between January 1st and December 31st (even if those “reviews” are only 1-2 sentences long).

… I’m thinking of posting my blog tours here, too, instead of just over at my reviews blog, as the point of doing a tour is to have people know about the book(s)!

… I may discontinue MUSING MONDAYS. Or, I may make it into a monthly event, instead of weekly. I just find that it’s draining me to come up with topics, or to respond to them, and it’s the only event of mine that feels more like a “chore” than something fun.

And, that’s all I’ve thought about, for now. Hopefully everyone will enjoy these little changes around here. 😉

Calling ALL Christian Readers!

DO YOU READ CHRISTIAN FICTION?

If so, please help me save the HeartMatters (Yahoo!) group! It’s about to be closed down due to inactivity, but there are a bunch of great Christian authors that belong to the group, and it’s a great place where readers of Christian fiction can connect and talk about the books they love!

So, won’t you join the group and get it going again? It’s led by Christian author Robin Lee Hatcher! 😉

Review of “The Shack”

For those of you wishing to read my review of William P. Young’s THE SHACK, I’ve put it up on a temporary page at my other blog…

IT CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS, so do not go through the link if you don’t want some parts ‘ruined’ for you!

If you don’t care, you can CLICK HERE to go read the review. 😉

I haven’t spoiled all of the story… and the beginning of my review seems like it, but that’s only what’s on the back of the book. There are some other parts, though, that might take away the “shock factor” for you.

I included spoilers only because I felt that sometimes, when I want to know why a book is causing so much fuss, the only way to do so is to read it myself… and sometimes I don’t want to take the time… I just want someone to tell me. 😉 So, out of that place, I’ve provided just a couple small ones.

But, the impact of the book is still intact, if you ask me. There’s SO MUCH included in it, that what I “gave away” won’t thoroughly ruin the story — I wouldn’t disrespect an author like that.

FOR EVERYONE WHO DOESN’T WANT TO READ MY BIG/FULL REVIEW:

I thought the book was written very poorly — I’ve definitely read better writing — and I don’t really understand all the “hype” surrounding the book. BUT, there was a lot of good “spiritual stuff” in there, and it provided lots of “food for thought”. So, in that respect, I gave the book a “C” rating — average. It was just ‘meh’, in my opinion. 😉

A.R.C. Reading Challenge

Challenge Dates: June 21st – September 21st, 2008

Well, I’m signing myself up for another reading challenge, but this is one I desperately need! I review for several different places, and have fallen WAY behind on most of my reviews. I have a stack of review books that has been sitting on my shelf, making me feel guilty for not getting them read. (

So, this is the perfect challenge — thank you, Teddy!

My list of books is as follows, with the person/company I’m reviewing it for in brackets ( ) after the title and author:

1. Informed Consent – Sandra Glahn (author)
2. Freefall – Kristin Heitzmann (Bethany House publishers)
3. Across the China Sea – C. Hope Flinchbaugh (Bethany House)
4. River Rising – Athol Dickson (Bethany House)
5. Mark of the Cross – Judith Pella (Bethany House)
6. Saving Alice – David Lewis (Bethany House)
7. Summer of Light – W. Dale Cramer (Bethany House)
8. Jacob’s List – Stephanie Grace Whitson (Bethany House)
9. The Secret Life of Becky Miller – Sharon Hinck (Bethany House)
10. Renovating Becky Miller – Sharon Hinck (Bethany House)
11. Letter Perfect – Cathy Marie Hake (Bethany House)
12. A Promise to Remember – Kathryn Cushman (Bethany House)
13. Making Peace with Your Mom – H. Norman Wright (Bethany House)
14. In Search of Eden – Linda Nichols (Bethany House)
15. Generation Next Parenting – Tricia Goyer (author)
16. Reclaiming Nick – Susan May Warren (author)
17. A Well-Behaved Woman’s Life – Susan McGeown (author)^
18. Merciless – Robin Parrish (Bethany House)^
19. Mozart’s Sister – Nancy Moser (Bethany House)
20. Outcasts of Skagaray – Andrew Clarke (author)^
21. Courting Trouble – Deanne Gist (Bethany House)
22. Beyond Me – Kathi Macias (blog tour)

((Scroll down to see my FINISHED BOOKS list!))

It’s embarrassing how many Bethany House books I have to review. But, see, I’d mentioned to my contact there that I can only handle about 2 books per month, as I’m not a really fast reviewer/reader. Then I got a new contact (’cause the other guy left), and then I got an influx of books because the new one didn’t know about how I can’t review that fast (or something like that). So I fell very far behind. Now I’m just reading them when I can.

With this challenge, though, hopefully I can catch up at least a little bit! D

The challenge asks that I read at least 4 books from my list of A.R.C’s, given that I have over 10 of them. And, that’s good. I’m actually hoping to read more than 4. But, I’m glad that the *minimum* I have to read for the challenge is only 4. That takes the pressure off. ;)

So, here’s to a ton of new reviews on my reviews blog soon! D

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NOTE: ^ denotes books that are coming to me in the mail (not yet in my possession)

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Since sometimes my strike-outs don’t work to show which books I’ve finished, here is what I’ve completed for this challenge, so far (with links to my reviews on my Reviews blog):
1. “A Well-Behaved Woman’s Life” by Susan McGeown
2. “Merciless” (Dominion Trilogy, book 3) by Robin Parrish
3. “Beyond Me: Living a You-First Life in a Me-First World” by Kathi Macias
4. “