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Book Review: Super Structures

Super Structures is all about some of the great structures in the world and their history.  Building structures can go all the way back to the pyramids.  In addition to talking a bit about the structures, there is also instructions on how to build your own using different pieces. In addition to pyramids you can also learn about and build pillars and posts, arches, domes, and my personal favorite, bridges.  It features some of my favorite bridges – Golden Gate in San Francisco and Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia.  It then goes into towers and sky scrapers, big wheels, and finally wind turbines.  I kind of wish I had the actual model kit so I could try to build some of these structures instead of just the e-book where I can only read about them.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated. This book was released October 16, 2018 from Quarto Publishing Group.

About the Book

Book Review: The Sea Book

The Sea Book helps you learn all about, what else? The sea! It shows what the bottom of the sea looks like and tells us why the sea is important and then goes into what lives in the sea. Of course there are plenty of fish in the sea – and it tells about some of the things that fish can do and some of the traits that fish in the sea have.  It also talks about other mammals and animals in the sea, and even the life cycle of a sea turtle.  The end of the book talks about some man made problems with the sea and how you can help. This book is pretty short, but is jam-packed with a TON of great information about the sea and some beautiful illustrations as well!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated. This book was published February 5th from DK Children.

About the Book

Featuring fascinating fishy facts accompanied by bright, bold, and beautiful illustrations, this book takes children on a journey through the sea and all its zones.

The Sea Book explores a wealth of incredible marine animals and their habitats, from up on the ice, down to colorful coral reefs, underwater forests, and right down to the deepest darkest depths where the weird and wonderful lurk.

Following on from The Bee Book, Charlotte Milner continues to highlight to children important ecological issues faced by our planet, this time with a focus on marine life and the damaging effects humans are having on our seas. Children will discover what they can do to help, and there are tips on how to live plastic-free. Children will even get to craft their own recycled shopping bag!

This charming celebration of the sea shows children just how extraordinary our oceans are, and is a reminder that it is up to us to keep it that way.

Book Review: Storytime: Not-So-Brave Penguin

Not-So-Brave penguin is about Percy and Posy.  Percy is brave and not scared of anything. Posy is scared of just about everything (kind of like me!) When Percy goes out to play and doesn’t come back, Posy gets worried.  Everyone assures her that he is fine and that she just worries too much (also kind of like me!) but she decides to be brave and jump into the sea and try and find Percy.  She finds Percy who is surprised that she made it to him – and Posy starts to get scared because of the dark. But Percy shows her that the sky was actually not scary, but BEAUTIFUL instead. Percy thanks Posy and tells her that she was brave!! She didn’t know she was brave!

At the end of the book is some discussion and comprehension topics based on the topics in the book and being brave and being scared. I thought this was a really cute story.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated. This book was published November 13, 2018 on Quarto Publishing.

About the Book

Posy the penguin is scared of many things – snowstorms, loud noises, the dark – but when her adventurous friend Percy is missing, Posy plucks up the courage to overcome her fears and goes on an excursion to find him. After an intrepid journey, Posy finds an injured Percy in a dark cave. She rescues him and brings him home, realising in the end just how brave she can really be. This heartwarming story about friendship, being brave and overcoming fears when it really matters is sure to become a bedtime favourite.

Book Review: The Little Book of Bad Moods

The Little Book of Bad Moods is a workbook that lets you work through your bad moods.  Some chapters include – “Blame Others”, “How to make any day a bad day” (I am excelling at this lately) and “Life Sucks Online”.  Blame Others includes activities like – “How do you spot an idiot…” in traffic, at work, online, etc.  Oh, can I have some fun with this 😉  Unlike the book I read the other day about having a gratitude journal – this book has an ingratitude journal where you list what bothered you each day of the week. (Sadly, I’d have a much easier time filling this out than the other way around.) But maybe once I go through and get all the negativity out of my system I’ll start feeling better? Or maybe I’m just destined to be in a bad mood forever… but at least I’ll have a record of who made me that way in this book.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated. This book was published February 12 from Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books.

About the Book

Book Review: Let’s Talk About Sext

When I saw the title “Let’s Talk About Sext” I figured it was going to be a book where the main characters predominately communicated via sexts.  Except, that could not have been further from the plot of this book. In fact, I think they sent about 4 texts (debatable if they were even sexts, really) to each other in the entirety of the book.  Anyway… once I got over that – I had to get over the names of the characters.  I feel like everyone has to give their characters these unique names with unique spellings and half the time it makes it a lot harder for me to really connect with the characters because I can’t pick someone else with that name to think about as that character.  While the male was Brody, which was normal enough, the female was Phebe.  I assumed it was an alternate spelling of Phoebe. I kept reading it as plebe and I wasn’t even sure what that word meant but I knew it wasn’t a name.

The book alternates from her POV to his – she is a big successful rich business woman, he dropped everything to take over his uncle’s bar and is barely making ends meet.  The two seem to have chemistry from the moment they meet and end up entering into some weird FWB set up that was just stupid from the get go.  But I guess without it the book would be pretty short.  The romance parts were great, the rest kind of fell flat.  Not the worst I’ve read but not the best either.  And would it kill them to actually add the images of the emojis into the book instead of just the text descriptions of them? lol

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated. This book is being released February 19, 2019 from Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept.

About the Book

Book Review: You Goal, Girl

You Goal, Girl is a goal setting work book to help you plan out and achieve your goals. The book explains that goals are the steps you take to make your dreams a reality. Your goals should be S.M.A.R.T – that is, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.  This is something that I struggle with – but I am trying to make things that are more measurable – that way it is easier to track your progress and know what you need to do to continue to get there and achieve it.

At the end of Chapter 1 you are encouraged to “Brain Dump”, that is write down all the goals you have whether they be specific or not – throughout the rest of the chapters in the book you prioritize sort them into categories, figure out what you need to do in order to achieve them, create a gratitude log, track your progress, create a focus for what needs to be done each month and each week of the month, re-evaluate everything when you are at the half-way point to your goals, and reflecting on the goal once you make it to the end.

I think right now my goals are in the “brain dump” portion of this book. I know what I want to do (scrapbook all the things!) but need to break them down more so that it is less overwhelming so I don’t just look at a pile of things to scrap and decide to nap instead because I don’t know where to begin.  I’ve also started making monthly to do lists with things broken down in different areas of my life and I try to get all (or most) done by the end of each month.  This has led to me budgeting my time out a bit better and actually accomplishing things rather than realizing I have some free time and then just not knowing where to begin.  I think if I use the work pages in this book along with some of the changes I have been trying to make for myself, I will find that by the end of the year I am achieving many more of my goals than I had been in the past.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated. This book was released on December 11, 2018 from Quarto Publishing Group – Rock Point.

About the Book


There’s no better feeling than when you complete a task and get to check it off your to-do list, right? This goal-setting workbook combines that feeling of productivity with the motivation you need to actually get stuff done. You Goal, Girl is a personal tool kit for making your goals a reality. With this guided workbook, you will design your own goals and break them down into small, actionable steps. Because it’s not enough to simply write down your goals and call it a day, prompts, tips, and worksheets help to determine and then track your goal’s progress every step of the way, in addition to providing plenty of space to capture doodles, notes, and brainstorms. Included in this action-oriented workbook are:

• Habit-tracking and reflection pages to measure progress
• Gratitude logs to stay positive
• Daily and weekly prompts to help you self-assess

You Goal, Girl is designed to help plan, track, and achieve your most important goals— because you absolutely deserve the life you want, you just have to put in the work!

Book Review: Dawn of the Code War

Over the summer I started a grad school class in Cyber Security so when Dawn of the Code War: America’s Battle Against Russia, China, and the Risking Global Cyber Threat came up on NetGalley for review, I knew I needed to check it out.  It was a little bit weird to be reading bout subject matter that had come up in class when I was “skipping” class to travel (I just never registered because I knew I wouldn’t be able to fully commit to keeping up with the course work) and maybe part of the reason why I read it was because I felt a little bit guilty about not being in class.

This book went into a bit more detail on some of the topics that were touched upon in my Fall semester and so it was interesting to not only read more indepth about some of the topics but learn about some other topics as well that may or may not come up in the future in class like attribution and deterrence, P2P file sharing issues, learning more about what is a hacker and how the definition of that has changed over the years.

One thing that seems to be consistent throughout all my reading on these topics is the mention of the movie War Games with Matthew Broderick.  It is from the 80s and I haven’t seen it, but my next order of business is to track down where I can watch it because this (fictional) movie seems to be the backbone for a lot of what has become cyber security laws and policies.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated. This book was published October 16, 2018from Perseus Books, Public Affairs.

About the Book

The inside story of how America’s enemies launched a cyber war against us-and how we’ve learned to fight back
With each passing year, the internet-linked attacks on America’s interests have grown in both frequency and severity. Overmatched by our military, countries like North Korea, China, Iran, and Russia have found us vulnerable in cyberspace. The “Code War” is upon us.
In this dramatic book, former Assistant Attorney General John P. Carlin takes readers to the front lines of a global but little-understood fight as the Justice Department and the FBI chases down hackers, online terrorist recruiters, and spies. Today, as our entire economy goes digital, from banking to manufacturing to transportation, the potential targets for our enemies multiply. This firsthand account is both a remarkable untold story and a warning of dangers yet to come.

Book Review: Beautiful Press-Out Flying Butterflies

This book contains 24 different butterflies that have all been turned into a one-size-fits-all flying model. All you need to do is press out the butterfly, fold it as shown in the book, put some tape and a nickel on it and try flying it like a paper airplane! Unfortunately I received only an e-copy of this book so I can’t easily press out the butterflies to try it out and see how they work.  The butterflies in this book all are truly beautiful and there is even information on some of the butterflies along with their press-out pages.

A fun activity for that nature lover in your life.  They all are so pretty and I’m sure would be a ton of fun to have flying around the house!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated. This book will be released February 13, 2019 from Dover Publications.

About the Book

They’re about three times bigger than their real-life equivalents, but these dramatic renderings of butterflies are scrupulously accurate—and they really fly! Just press out along the perforations, follow simple folding instructions, add a coin for weight, and send them soaring. All of them feature captions that include their Latin names and information about their habitats and behaviors plus pointers on where to look for them.
In addition to the fun of making and flying the beautiful insects, this book offers a great way to learn how to identify butterflies. Richard Merrill, a former aerospace design engineer, has created vivid and recognizable depictions of these majestic creatures’ wing patterns. The twenty-four models include American Copper, Australian Red Lacewing, Blue Morpho, Painted Lady, and others. Nature lovers of all ages will appreciate this opportunity to understand and get to know butterflies—as well as the chance to play with them!

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Book Review: Whimsical Cross-Stitch

When I was little I used to do a lot of cross stitch with the images printed on.  I have recently bought a counted cross stitch kit and depending on how well that goes, I may start trying some other designs.  So when I saw there was a book of more than 130 whimsical designs I knew I had to check it out to see if it sparked any ideas for me. And within 2 pages there was a dragon, so I was sold!  Each design is shown completed as well as the charting for it and recommended colors to use.  Each color corresponds to an  icon that can be found in the chart.  I was also excited to see there was one labeled “pansies” but it was not the same as the flowers I know and love so I’ll skip that one for now – but there are definitely a good number in this book that look amazing and probably way over my head to try, but I will dream about doing them anyway.  In addition to designs of animals and flowers and sayings for around the house, there’s also alphabets, borders, etc so you could really customize anything you want and make it look great by combining different items from the book.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated. This book will be released on February 13, 2019 from Dover Publications.

About the Book

A Book of the Month Club’s Crafter’s Choice!
Cross-stitch is a traditional hobby — but your designs don’t have to be! These more than 130 patterns reflect a modern sensibility, with motifs ranging from trendy to vintage to kitschy, so there’s something here for everyone. All are designed to fit into a 6-inch or smaller embroidery hoop, making them quick projects that can be finished in an evening or weekend. If you’re feeling ambitious, the small designs can be assembled to form a larger piece.
Patterns are organized according to theme: animals; designs, including flowers and snowflakes; home and hearth, consisting of more than 40 patterns that range from a patchwork heart and an antique sewing machine to teapots, a watering can, and variations on “home sweet home”; nature; and charming patterns for special occasions. A brief introductory section offers advice on getting started, tools and supplies, and stitching.

Book Review: Narwhal’s Otter Friend

This is the 4th book in the “A Narwhal and Jelly Book” series. I do not believe I have read any of the others.  It is a comic book that follows Narwhal and Jelly – a jelly fish – as they swim through the sea.  In this particular book they meet up with an explorer that is an otter.  The otter tells them about all of the adventures he has had with other animal and even a mermaid.  Narwhal is impressed, but Jelly, not so much. I guess you could say Jelly was… jelly. So Jelly goes off to try and find a new friend since Narwhal is hanging out with the Otter.  It turns out that Narwhal and Otter were looking for Jelly the whole time because it just isn’t the same without Jelly on their adventure!

A cute story about how you don’t have to have just one friend and adventures are more fun with all of your friends!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.  This book will be released February 5, 2019 from Penguin Random House Canada.

About the Book

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