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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

"My Name Is Mahtob" by Mahtob Mahmoody

It is in the early years of life that most people are shaped.  For Mahtob Mahmoody, she had the unfortunate experience of being kidnapped.  Her family was all smiles until her father became an extreme Muslim and brought the family to Iran.  Once in that foreign land, women were expected to cover and obey Sharia Law.  Sadly, Mahtob's mother was the victim of domestic abuse.  By the grace of God, Mahtob and her mother manage to escape to America.  But the story doesn't just end there.  Mahtob continues her tale by writing about her adolescence and adulthood.  The fact that this child could grow up to be so successful and optimistic is a miracle in and of itself.  This book shows how anyone can move on from their ugly past and not let the woes of yesterday affect the sunshine of tomorrow.  

"Instant Happy Journal: 365 Days of Inspiration, Gratitude, and Joy" by Karen Salmansohn

When I first got this journal, I was excited because I like writing.  However, I was a bit cautious from the title.  After all, how can a journal make somebody happy--I mean, truly happy?  But once I started to read and write, I realized this book isn't a one-all cure for those feeling down.  Rather, it is a guide to redirect one's thoughts from negativity to positivist.  Inspirational quotes and discussion prompts force the reader to change his or her frame of mind.  Those who journal in this book will learn how to look on the bright side.  There will be laughs, snickers, and some soul-searching journal entries.  Great gift for the new year.  

Sunday, December 13, 2015

"5-Minute Bedtime Treasury" by Precious Moments

This full-color hardcover book is the perfect addition for any bedside bureau.  There is a section of stories on the Old Testament, the New Testament (for Christians), and a chunk of wisdom stories mostly from the books of Psalms / Proverbs.  The language is very simple in big font, so it is good for young readers.  The illustrations are simply adorable from well-known precious moments characters.  From little children praying together to adorable animals traipsing along, each image is too cute for words.  My favorite illustrations are those of the guardian angels.  Youngsters will learn about the parting of the sea, Joseph's multicolored coat, Solomon's wisdom, Christian parables from Jesus, and more.  Popular prayers such as the Our Father and The Lord is My Shepherd are adapted for young ones.  Overall, this is a nice book, and I would argue it is for readers of all ages.  

"The Knot: Outdoor Weddings" by Carley Roney

I am not married, engaged, or otherwise "taken."  So, why did I choose to review this book?  Quite honestly, because the cover had a beautiful flower arrangement...and I love flowers.  Reading through the pages of various outdoor wedding descriptions was great.  However, what I really enjoyed was the full-covered beautiful pictures.  From dresses to flowers to outdoor seating arrangements to food and more, everything is breathtakingly beautiful.  Also interesting is the fact that the author did not just design face, less weddings.  Rather, each theme of outdoor wedding has an actual couple attached to it.  Readers will see real-world examples of what other people did.  There are weddings on the waterfront, in tropical destinations, on country club properties, and more.  In terms of diversity, there are various examples of weddings.  There are interracial couples and even gay couples features.  Religion-wise, there are Christian weddings, Jewish weddings, and a mixed Hindi wedding.  This hefty hardcover book will make a great gift for your bride-to-be.  Best of all, in the back of the book, there is a timeline of advice for what to do 12 months before the wedding, 3 months before the wedding, and all the way to the day-of.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

"He's Just Not That Into You" by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo

I got this book at a book swap, and it was a fun read.  The chapters are short and rather comical.  But, most of all, the advice it gives is spot on.  Too often, women can stress over whether or not a guy likes them or why a potential mate is acting a certain way.  This book gives the sad reality that most men are simply not interested and are too afraid to say so.  So, if a man does not make a blatant and concentrated effort to contact a woman, odds are he is "just not that into them."  This does not mean the woman is ugly or of poor character.  It just means the guy sees the woman more as a friend than a romantic interest.  I understand this.  I have a close male friend who I hear from once every few months.  This does not upset me in the least because we are just friends.  I am not attracted to him because I am not attracted to Asians; and he is not attracted to me because he likes plump women.  Neither of us are bad-looking or obnoxious--we simply only view the other as friends.  Since we are only friends, the sporadic contact is fine.  If we were romantically involved, it would be unacceptable.  And that's what this book advices.  If a guy is not going out of his way to contact a woman, he only views her as a friend.  However, if a guy has made romantic interests clear but is not going out of his way to contact the woman, the woman ought to dump him.  If I can sum up this book in a phrase, it is, "do not settle."