Category Archives: Book Reviews

How to be Irresistible (Agent Provocateur) – A Book Review

How to be Irresistible (Agent Provocateur)
the art of seduction
-by Dorcas Pelling

When I first got this book, I took it seriously. I was going to learn the art of seduction.  Maybe, somehow, in my nearly 50 years, I’d missed something vital. Maybe, just maybe, I could find some little bit of whammy to throw at my husband to get him acting all nervous and giddy again.

I started reading the book. My inner dialogue went like this:
“Ok…..ok….hmmmm…..ok….ok…..hmmm…..DO WHAT?….WHAT THE &*#@*!”

From the everyday, oh, ho-hum, to the dangerous advice like ‘Don’t just give him your number – Write your number on your thong and slip it in his pocket.’ (paraphrased)

Only then did I realize that this book is just plain funny . I laughed the rest of the way though it.  Then after I’ve finished it, I reflect- with a bit of insecurity- that maybe the joke is on me – I hope it’s a comedy. Surely it’s a comedy.  Yes, it must be.  I hope.

Well, in any event, my thong wearing days are over. My husband is more likely to respond to tonight’s menu than my phone number, which is also his for many years now. Still, I somehow don’t think writing tonight’s dinner menu on my granny panties will get any sort of reaction that I might find complimentary.

I do think this book might be a wonderful present for someone recently divorced or thrown back into the dating scene that needs a bit of cheering up. It certainly made me smile.

Disclosure: I was provided a time limited e-copy for purposes of review via the publisher. This post does contain an affiliate link, however, Amazon has helped me arrange my account so that my payout can never be reached. I like the affiliate tools for the convenience only, it is never my intention to profit from my reviews of any item.

3 stars
 

Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat, and Pork.. (Book Review)

Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat, and Pork:The Comprehensive Photographic Guide to Humane Slaughtering and Butchering
by Adam Danforth

This book is EXACTLY what you need if you have never butchered an animal before and are faced with that task. I had occasion to butcher several roosters in the past. I had been sold 5 roosters instead of the 5 hens that I had been advertised. When they grew up, it got very noisy around here! I thought about giving them away, but knew that they’d be either fought or butchered. I know that roosters ARE fought here, although I don’t think it is legal, and I didn’t want my roosters to end up in the ring. I also saw how the poultry are treated by a lot of people that eat them – I’ve seen many people pick them up by their wings, often breaking them -trying to judge their weight. I decided if my roosters were going to become food, it would be done at my own hand and humanely.

I was so lost – I read a lot of books and did a lot of research, but I didn’t find ANYTHING – book, video, or otherwise, as helpful as this book by Adam Danforth. Adam tells you everything you need to know. The book explains the composition and science of muscle, humane butchering, and processing the carcass. Well, you can find some of that elsewhere, even free, online, but what I couldn’t find was solid information on aging the meat, really practical, need to know things like how rigor mortis works, and ways to make processing more pleasant for you. (Because I found no pleasure in it at all! It was really nasty work, but if I’d had the information in this book, I could have greatly reduced that, and had more tender meat!)

The book is full of pictures and easy to understand directions, as well as more detailed and scientific rationales that will help you understand not just the HOW TO, but the WHY TO.

Well, to finish up my personal story, I just could not eat those chickens. I ended up giving them to a neighbor who traded me a quarter of a deer for them. We learned an important lesson too – we’ll never buy another chicken from anyone, even a nice retail establishment that should know better- unless they are old enough that we can visually sex ourselves.

Disclosure: Disclosure: I was provided a time limited e-copy for purposes of review via the publisher. This post does contain an affiliate link, however, Amazon has helped me arrange my account so that my payout can never be reached. I like the affiliate tools for the convenience only, it is never my intention to profit from my reviews of any item.

Fox Talk by LE Carmichael- A Review

Fox Talk

How Some Very Special Animals Helped Scientists Understand Communication

by LE Carmichael; illustrated by Jody Bronson
Ashby-BP Publishing
Pub Date: Aug 25 2013

This is such a cute book, but it doesn’t pull punches when it comes to science! I suppose that is what I liked most about it. I learned a lot, and I’m sure children will as well.

I know when my son was young, I was very frustrated by kid’s books that I felt dumbed down science. I wanted books that didn’t pull punches, but that were considerate of children’s vocabulary deficits. This book doesn’t pull punches, and it teaches strong vocabulary carefully, giving explanations along the way. I LOVE that!

The book is about foxes in general, and then leads more specifically to a discussion about an experiment in Russia to tame foxes. In just a few generations of selective breeding, wild foxes grew more and more tame, and finally were tame and playful. The book talks about what they are like naturally, and through the process. It discussed Fox communication as well. It was very interesting that the most playful foxes had the tamest offspring!

I think this is a good selection for smart children that are interested in biology and science. The book really supports evolution too, in my opinion. It shows how in just a few generations of selective breeding, the captive foxes began to have more and more domesticated offspring.

The book has a lot of scientific terms, but it explains them all well in a manner that kids will understand. It could potentially launch a ton of conversations on evolution, the scientific process, animal husbandry, genetics, Russia, and more.

I didn’t have any trouble reading the text at all, and I loved the pictures of the foxes playing. The book gave the foxes names, which children will relate to. I found it delightful and intelligent.

Disclosure: I was provided an unfinished electronic galley copy for purposes of review via the publisher. This post does contain an affiliate link, however, Amazon has helped me arrange my account so that my payout can never be reached. I like the affiliate tools for the convenience only, it is never my intention to profit from my reviews of any item.

5 out of 5 stars

Faeries, Elves, and Goblins- A Book Review



Faeries, Elves, and Goblins, The Old Stories
By Rosalind Kerven
Pub Date: Available for Pre-order now.

I was overjoyed to find this book, because recently I’ve been wanting to read a lot about faeries from the old stories. I’d found a few folklore publications in academic journals that were out of copyright due to age, but the language was so dated that it was hard to enjoy the stories. This book is well researched; I recognized a few of the stories and they stayed very true to the originals, but the language was updated and it made them all so very much more pleasurable to read.

The stories themselves are all enjoyable, and fairly short, and make very good reading, either for a short break, out in the garden, or to be read aloud to children. There are stories of helpful faeries, trickster fairies, faerie weddings, and faerie time travel. The subject of faerie abduction is covered in a few stories, where children are taken and changelings left in their place. Interspersed with the stories are bits of faerie lore, and short discussions of regional fables and legends and how these creatures differ place to place.

The stories of Old England are quite enthralling. Faerie queens and Medieval kings dance across the landscape of fae lore. The illustrations only add to the charm of the book- the stories are painted vivid and rich on their own. Some of the stories are a bit horrifying, but never told in an ungentle way, they would be appropriate for most children, but adults will enjoy them as well. The vocabulary is modern and appropriate for all age groups, though younger children will have plenty of new words to learn from.

A true treasure of fae lore, I think it has a place on the shelf of anyone that loves the stories and legends of the little people. I know I do. I had a ball reading this book. I enjoyed knowing that these are the stories that carried the faerie lore through centuries into the present time. It was really fun.

I was originally given a publication date of August 28th, 2013, on this book. If I learn more about when it’s going to be released, I’ll update this post. For now, it’s available for pre-order in both hard copy and on Kindle.
Disclosure: I received a time limited e-copy of this book. This post does contain an affiliate link, however, Amazon has helped me arrange my account so that my payout can never be reached. I like the affiliate tools for the convenience only, it is never my intention to profit from my reviews of any item.



5 out of 5 stars

Young Chicken Farmers – Tips for Kids Raising Backyard Chickens – A Book Review

Young Chicken Farmers – Tips for Kids Raising Backyard Chickens By Vickie Black

If your child or family is thinking about raising chickens, I highly recommend this particular book. Raising chickens isn’t hard, it’s quite easy to describe it as child’s play. Of course it doesn’t seem that way at first. It didn’t for us. We were actually scared when we first got chickens that we would make some disaster out of it. It seemed so foreign. It seemed like a huge commitment of a new and strange pet. Actually, now that we’ve had chickens for years, I’d say that it is SO much easier than having a pet cat or dog, with more benefits!

This book covers all of the basics, and discusses some major aspects of chicken behavior. That is something a lot of books leave out! For instance, when we first got our chickens, we worried like crazy over building a proper coop and nesting boxes. We managed a nice coop, only to freak out when we saw our chickens taking a dust bath. We thought they were dying! None of the books we’d read even breached this topic. Now we laugh about it, but at the time we were really scared. This book covers that, and even instructs you on building them a dust bath.

The vocabulary in the book is easy to understand. New words are introduced with good context so that you learn without realizing you are learning. All the basic questions are answered, as well as the basic tasks. It instructs children about their responsibilities of caring for the birds, including the very important task of protecting them from predators. That has been our biggest challenge.

It doesn’t discuss differences in breeds that much, but that’s a topic that is best explored with locals, in my opinion. For instance, I really liked the white tipped and lighter breeds, but that made the birds stand out to the great horned owls that live here. When we started keeping red and black hens, which closely blend in with the Georgia red clay landscape, we quit losing birds to owls. Also, we have carefully cultivated a good relationship with the local crows, by leaving them some cracked corn of their own, and generally making our land crow-friendly, so now the crows help chase the hawks and owls away from our free range hens.

This is a great book for families to read together. Adults new to raising chickens will get a lot out of it. In fact, I’d go as far to say that it covers the basics better than some of the ‘adult’ how-to books we bought. It’s very accurate, but entertaining, rather than dry. It’s a very good book to start with, then you can probably find any further information you need online. There’s some great forums out there that are very supportive.

I liked that this book focuses on the fun of chickens. They are a natural antidepressant. They don’t just do funny things now and then, they do them all the time! It’s rare I’ve ever watched a chicken that I didn’t find myself laughing, even when times have been really rough.


Disclosure: I was provided an unfinished electronic galley copy for purposes of review via the publisher. This post does contain an affiliate link(s), however, Amazon has helped me arrange my account so that my payout can never be reached. I like the affiliate tools for the convenience only, it is never my intention to profit from my reviews of any item.