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Book Review: Yells for Ourselves

Yells For Ourselves focuses on the 99/00 Mets team.  I was vaguely a Mets fan at this time – I remember them making it to the World Series but was in no way as invested with the team as I would be 5 or 6 years after this.  This book was originally a blog that got made into a book (that’s the dream, isn’t it?) and begin with Bobby V and goes through some of the team changes and highlights during this time.  I thought it was a very good retelling of the era – and really enjoyed going back to this time in Mets history!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

During the 1990s, as New York was transformed from a crumbling city into a vibrant metropolis, the New York Mets were anything but vibrant. Beginning in 1999, the team waged a battle to recapture the hearts of New York baseball fans from their crosstown rivals, and they came closer to succeeding than anyone dared dream. At the same time, mayor Rudy Giuliani—architect of this new New York and those rivals’ biggest cheerleader—was engaged in his own battles to win a Senate seat and to save his sagging legacy as savior of the city.

Yells For Ourselves chronicles the 1999 and 2000 seasons of the New York Mets, and explores how local and national politics were interwoven with the obsessions of a baseball-mad city. It paints a picture of this forgotten time in the history of baseball and New York, when new ballparks, rapid expansion, and “enhanced training methods” caused a home run explosion; when rising free agent salaries separated teams into the Haves and Have Nots; and when a politico’s answer to the question Mets or Yankees? could make global headlines. Above all, Yells For Ourselves captures what happened when an underdog struggled to find an identity in a city with no room left for lovable losers.

Book Review: The Vagina Bible

The Vagina Bible has all the details on anything and everything you’d ever want to know about your vagina. (Or any vagina, I guess.)  There are a lot of myths that are dispelled and it is written by an OBGYN so you know that the author knows her stuff! At the end of each chapter there’s a nice little recap so you can make sure you’re following all the important parts.  I actually learned a lot reading this and I always prefer to read books like this since I can be shy or embarrassed to ask questions.  (Although I will when absolutely necessary!)

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Instant New York TimesUSA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller!
Boston Globe bestseller
#1 Canadian Bestseller

OB/GYN, writer for The New York TimesUSA Today, and Self, and host of the show Jensplaining, Dr. Jen Gunter now delivers the definitive book on vaginal health, answering the questions you’ve always had but were afraid to ask—or couldn’t find the right answers to. She has been called Twitter’s resident gynecologist, the Internet’s OB/GYN, and one of the fiercest advocates for women’s health…and she’s here to give you the straight talk on the topics she knows best.
Does eating sugar cause yeast infections?
Does pubic hair have a function?

Should you have a vulvovaginal care regimen?
Will your vagina shrivel up if you go without sex?
What’s the truth about the HPV vaccine?

So many important questions, so much convincing, confusing, contradictory misinformation! In this age of click bait, pseudoscience, and celebrity-endorsed products, it’s easy to be overwhelmed—whether it’s websites, advice from well-meaning friends, uneducated partners, and even healthcare providers. So how do you separate facts from fiction? OB-GYN Jen Gunter, an expert on women’s health—and the internet’s most popular go-to doccomes to the rescue with a book that debunks the myths and educates and empowers women. From reproductive health to the impact of antibiotics and probiotics, and the latest trends, including vaginal steaming, vaginal marijuana products, and jade eggs, Gunter takes us on a factual, fun-filled journey. Discover the truth about:

• The vaginal microbiome
• Genital hygiene, lubricants, and hormone myths and fallacies
• How diet impacts vaginal health
• Stem cells and the vagina
• Cosmetic vaginal surgery
• What changes to expect during pregnancy and after childbirth
• What changes to expect through menopause
• How medicine fails women by dismissing symptoms


• Thongs vs. lace: the best underwear for vaginal health
• How to select a tampon
• The full glory of the clitoris and the myth of the G Spot

. . . And so much more. Whether you’re a twenty-six-year-old worried that her labia are “uncool” or a sixty-six-year-old dealing with painful sex, this comprehensive guide is sure to become a lifelong trusted resource.

Carrie Underwood – Find Your Path

Carrie Underwood announced that she’d be doing a book tour to go along with her new book, “Find Your Path” and one of the stops on the tour was in Connecticut!  Since I was a fanclub member after her playing Foxwoods this fall, that meant I got to get the first crack at tickets when they went on sale at 10am.  Unfortunately a coworker called a meeting and by the time we were through, the fan club allotment had sold out and I’d have to wait for the general sale at noon.  Well, I was ready and within seconds they were once again marked as sold out.  I added my name to the waiting list and figured there’d be no way I’d ever make my way off of it, but just a couple of days before the event was supposed to happen I got the email that my name came up and I could purchase a ticket.  Tickets were cheap – only about $33 – and included a signed copy of the book, a Q&A with Carrie and a photo with her!

It was pouring rain when I arrived, but I got in line and shortly after they let us inside to sit and wait as the line was quickly taking over the hallway they had us in.  Carrie came out along with her trainer and her friend and there was a nice conversation about her working out, diet, etc.  I have recently started making some changes and trying to count calories to lose some weight and I have started putting some of the things she mentioned to work in my diet.  You can’t stop eating what you love, but make substitutions to make them healthier.  I am not much of a veggie eater (Carrie went on about how she loves them and you can eat whole heaping plates of them!) so when it was photo time I asked her what she suggested as a “starter veggie”  she wasn’t sure, she loves them all, but suggested I try carrots and corn on the cob to ease myself into them.

Little did I know, this was going to be one of my last events for the foreseeable future, as COVID-19 has taken over and social distancing becomes the norm.

Book Review: Words from the White House

Words from the White House is all about words and phrases that are made popular by or were created by Presidents!  There is a section on firsts- Jefferson the first to wear long trousers and George HW Bush the first to publicly refuse Broccoli.  Madison came up with the term “squatter”, Wilson dropped the “The” before “Congress”.  There’s also an A-Z list of all the words and it is interesting to see where they began to gain popularity (or existence) and how many are still used today!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

“A compendious, entertaining look at our nation’s leaders through words and turns of phrase.” — Kirkus Reviews

From George Washington’s “New Yorker” and Thomas Jefferson’s “pedicure” to Theodore Roosevelt’s “lunatic fringe,” Richard Nixon’s “silent majority,” and Donald Trump’s “covfefe,” this entertaining and eminently readable volume compiles words and phrases that were coined or popularized by American presidents. Discover the origins of “bloviate” (Warren G. Harding), “military-industrial complex” (Dwight D. Eisenhower), “misunderestimate” (George W. Bush), “squatter” (James Madison), and other terms that have helped define American culture. The entries are listed alphabetically, featuring a definition and — in most cases — a brief discussion that places them in historical context.

“Thoroughly enjoyable.” — The Washington Post

“The author is an essayist and lexicographer who presents this entertaining look at how presidents have used and shaped our language.” — The Dispatch (Columbus)

Book Review: Music Is My Life

Music Is My Life has a lot of ways to help you cope with life through music – cry it out, get creative with it, shout about it.  Of the artists mentioned in the book, I had seen about 10 of them live, which was pretty cool.  There are song examples and facts about them and they are all split by your moods so you can choose your playlist based on how you are feeling.  There are some really cool illustrations in this book and all  genres and eras of music seem to be included so at least someone you’re interested in should be in here!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Do you remember the first time you discovered an artist you really loved? Have you listened to them over and over again at different points throughout your life?

This book harnesses that feeling, by collecting together 80 of music’s finest artists to guide young people through the good, bad and sad times. Whatever the feeling, these artists have been there and sung about it. Organised by mood, young ones can dip into the library to discover new artists from decades past to present day.

Fall in love with Mariah Carey, shout about it with Nirvana, love yourself with Lizzo, or cry it out with Adele. With 80 artists, bands, and composers from all genres (including classical) there’s something for every family member to love and recommend to the next generation.

Each entry contains biographical information on each artist, lists must-hear songs, and has accessible musical analysis from author and journalist Myles Tanzer. Every artist is captured in full-colour, rocking art by Ali Mac. With information at the front on how to soundtrack your mood, and information at the back on how to listen to and make your own music.

A pitch-perfect first introduction to music for tweens. 

Book Review: Stars Before Bedtime

Stars before bedtime is all about the different constellations in the sky.  There are icons for exercises you can do for relaxation before bedtime throughout the book.  I found the stars and constellations in this book to be so cool, that while I was in Jamaica and out on the beach watching the Hanson concerts each night, I would try to see what constellations I could find.  I was able to spot Orion’s belt on my own, but I also used the app “SkyView” to look for even more and was able to find my Zodiac constellation and many more.  If you have a child who is interested in the stars this may be a great book to use before bedtime and combined with the app may be a really cool “hands on” so to speak project for them!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.


About the Book

Create a calm bedtime ritual with this debut book in the Before Bedtime series, Stars Before Bedtime – a soothing journey through the glittering constellations of the night sky woven with tried-and-true sleep exercises from the best-selling author and clinical psychologist Dr. Jessamy Hibberd.

In this fast-paced world, relaxing and preparing for sleep can be difficult for children. This beautiful, fact-filled book helps ease bedtime struggles with mindfulnessmuscle relaxationgentle yoga posesvisualization, and other exercises proven to help kids release stress and anxietyclear their mindsget ready for bed, and fall asleep faster while also boosting happiness and improving overall health.

With gentle, calming artwork from the wonderfully talented Hannah Tolson and simple, melodic text, children explore the sky’s constellations and the mythical stories behind them as they get their minds and bodies ready for bed. Each exercise, called out by a moon symbol, is simple and easy to do. Usher in calm with these and more soothing techniques:

Stretch out on your bed like the snake-like constellation Draco the Dragon—take a deep breath in through your nose and then breathe out all the air through your mouth, making a hissing sound, just like a slithering snake!Close your eyes and picture the ship from the constellation Argo Navis in your head. Now climb on board and let’s go on an adventure. You are the captain of the ship. Maybe you’ll dream of floating through a moonlit sky on broad wings, like Aquila the Eagle. Or perhaps you’ll drift down a glittering stream with Cygnus the Swan.Hold your hands together just like Castor and Pollux, the twins of the constellation Gemini. Rest them on your chest—can you feel your breath moving in and out as your chest rises and falls?

The pages are self-contained so you can start anywhere and complete as many, or as few, exercises as you like. Join your child as they complete the exercises—you might just find something that works for you, too. Tips on mindfulness and extra resources for parents are included at the back of the book. Stargazers of all ages will love this journey through constellations.

Good sleep is essential for growing brains. Each beautifully illustrated book in the Before Bedtime series helps curious children prepare for sleep by uniting a different intriguing non-fiction topic with sleep-inducing mindfulness exercises; an effective alternative to the traditional bedtime story. Fascinating facts are paired with guided relaxation techniques inspired by the topic for a peaceful routine that not only leaves bedtime battles far behind but equips children for success in a hectic world.

Book Review: Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency, like bitcoin.  Crypto means hidden.   Bitcoin uses block chain technology to be created and if you lose it, it is gone forever.  There is a story in this book about someone who buried a hard drive with bitcoin on it – now worth $127 million and it is totally missing.  There are definitely pluses and minuses on using cryptocurrency so it will be interesting to see how things evolve.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Cryptocurrency is a new digital form of money. It can be transferred, it doesn’t involve banks, and it can be used to purchase items on the internet and in some stores. As cryptocurrency gets more popular and widespread, it will impact people’s lives in new and important ways. Includes glossary, websites, and bibliography for further reading.

Book Review: Online Search

Online Search teaches about the ways you can find things on the internet.  It starts by explaining how early computers were HUGE! and that computer programming is basically a more complex way of saying to give a computer instructions.  Searches aren’t always accurate, but it depends on what you tell it to look for as it can take things very literally.  It also talks a little bit about data privacy concerns – which is a big deal for everyone – and comes up a LOT in my cyber security grad classes!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Online searches help people find information on the internet. Search engines can help find anything from the weather forecast to an episode of a favorite TV show. With more and more devices performing searches, people can find the information they need anywhere. Includes glossary, websites, and bibliography for further reading.

Book Review: Reusable Rockets

Reusable rockets is all about rockets that are, well, reusable.  Space X has one that they are hoping to use again – it has landed safely and is now ready to be reused.  This is a really cool concept and SpaceX is doing a lot of really great things with rockets.  Maybe that means eventually we’ll be able to travel really fast and live on Mars?

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Reusable rockets are rockets that can be launched, recovered, and launched again. Reusable rockets are already in use, and they have been used to supply the International Space Station. Reusing rockets will help bring costs down and open access to space for many more people. Includes glossary, websites, and bibliography for further reading.

Book Review: Clay Play! Animal Favorites

This is a fun book with instructions on how to make all your animal favorites out of clay!  There are general animals, birds and sealife! Some of the ones I’d love to try and make are the unicorn, panda, koala, whale and dolphin!  There are even instructions on how to make accessories so your animals can sport hats and scarfs for the winter!  The book includes all the supplies and tools you will need to make your very own menagerie!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.


About the Book

Full-color illustrations and easy-to-follow directions explain basic techniques as well as every step of the crafting process for 29 clay projects — a sloth, flamingo, narwhal, llama, panda, zebra, unicorn, koala, elephant, and other cute critters. Each project includes a list of materials consisting of colored clay and ordinary household items. The step-by-step instructions feature numerals corresponding to color photos that provide helpful examples. Crafters of all ages will adore these fun-filled projects, which make charming keepsakes and unique gifts.