Oil Pulling Revolution By Michelle Coleman

I first heard about oil pulling a couple of years ago. It sounded somewhat off the wall, but the more I read about it, the more it made sense. I took the plunge and for a short time began oil pulling myself. I did see many positive results. Sadly I did not do it long enough to make a habit and discontinued it.
Wanting to start again, I researched information that might help me. While I am sure there is much to learn, these publications seemed to go into a greater detail than what I was interested in.
This book is exactly what I needed! From it I learned the history of oil pulling. Even though this is obviously not rocket science, the essentials of this centuries old practice are covered and answers to common questions that arise. Also discussed are the oral and health benefits many experience from this simple wellness routine.
The book covers the different types of oil you can use and how to choose one. I especially liked the chapter which discussed including different essential oils in your regime and their benefits. The last chapter was particularly of interest to me, “Working Oil Pulling into Your Life.” I found numerous tips and solutions to challenges you might face along the way.
If you haven’t tried this yet, you should. What do you have to lose? I highly recommend this book. It was concise and easy to read. If you want to learn about oil pulling and get started, this is the book you need! Armed with more information, I am excited and ready to start again!
I received this book from Ulysses Press in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

Spark Joy An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up By Marie Kondo

This book is like having a professional organizer and counselor to help you declutter, organize your home, and keep it that way! Through this book Ms. Kondo works beside you to face this overwhelming job. Her unique perspective in viewing possessions can result inspirational discoveries about yourself and how you view your belongings.
I am a seasoned homemaker but since the death of my mother and husband within a short time, I am lost in a sea of stuff; his, hers, and mine. The author’s step by step instruction and diagrams are helping me take the first bite of the “elephant” (and believe me it is a big one!). Being a reader and creative soul I do not know that I will able to pare down to such severe simplicity as she suggests, but I believe I will able to reach a happy medium.
I learned many new skills and ideas I know will help me get my home in order permanently. If you follow her instructions your efforts will not be frustratingly temporary as they often are, but a lasting investment for an orderly home that bring s you joy!
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I expressed are my own.

An Amish Market By Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin, and Vannetta Chapman

What a treat! In this book you get the writings of four great authors and four entertaining Amish romances. It can’t get better than that! All the writers were kind enough to add a word list with Pennsylvania Dutch words used in the story and an Amish recipe!
“Love Birds” by Amy Clipston. Ellie and Lloyd are both grieving over the loss of her brother Seth. With no male family member her mother and she are struggling to make ends meet. She must go to work at a gift shop to help support them. Lloyd, Seth’s best friend, along with others in the community regularly stops by to help. He begins to see Ellie as more than his friend’s little sister. Romance seems to be in the air until Ellie accidentally discovers an extraordinary talent Lloyd has for carving intricate wooden birds. She feels he must sell them in the gift shop where she is employed, but he refuses. Ignoring his protests she shows them to the owner. He sees her act as disloyalty and his love turns to anger and hurt. Is the relationship over?
Sweeter than Honey by Kelly Irvin. Will Glick and Isabella Shrock are two very shy, lonely people. Both are hindered in a relationship because they are having trouble moving forward with their lives. Isabella struggles to adjust to her family relocating to a new community. Will is held in the past by hurt and bitterness from the betrayal of a sweetheart. His critical judgmental spirit keeps everyone at a distance. Being a kind and sympathetic girl, she senses his pain after their first awkward meeting. She hurts for him and purposes to help him heal. He wants none of it, and then the shell around him begins to soften. Will Isabella’s compassion and efforts be enough?
The next two novellas were my favorite because the main characters were older people, not the usual young couples.
A Bid for Love by Kathleen Fuller. Ezra Yutzy is the town’s long-established bachelor. How odd that he makes weekly visits to the market to buy the butter Hannah Beiler makes. Who needs that much butter!? At the auction, Hannah puts all her money on one heirloom quilt, and loses. Ezra sees her disappointment and buys the quilt from the winner. The perfect love story, right? Not quite! This is the only beginning of miscommunication, misunderstandings, and conflict between the couple. There is a mystery here too; the quilt holds many secrets that neither of them knows about.
Love in Store by Vannetta Chapman. This story has a unique twist. A sweet Amish widower, David and cranky old maid, Stella are exact opposites, more like oil and water! With both being in their 50’s, they are not definitely spring chickens! They meet at the Amish Mill tourist attraction where both work. He is as kind as she is bad tempered. Knowing she could not have children from a young age, Stella decided no one would EVER want her for a wife. Her resentment hardened her through the years, turning to hostility and a sharp tongue. David sees past her crusty exterior and attempts become acquainted. They might never have come together except for some bizarre and dangerous occurrences at the mill. Both are concerned for the safety of others, and the possibility of the mill closing, so they make a combined effort to solve the mystery. There is a lot of suspense and surprises! Four entertaining novellas with distinctive lessons on relationships and forgiveness.
I received this book free from http://www.Booklookbloggers.com in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

But It’s Not My Fault By Julia Cook

How many times do parents and teachers hear this little phrase, “But it’s not my fault!” Once again in her accomplished way, Ms. Cook addresses solution for a common childhood problem of not wanting to take responsibility for their actions.
Noodle is at it again, being a kid and having trouble blaming everyone else for his mistakes. No matter if his blunders or large or small, they are all someone else’s fault, to the point of being ridiculous! My favorite was when he was called down for interrupting and he said, “But it’s not my fault! My mouth is addicted to talking!” The blame game may seem innocent in a child but if not corrected they grow to be adults who live their lives as victims and are never responsible for any mistakes.
Ms. Cook’s words of insight and wisdom come through Noodle’s Mom. I like the way the story hits at the heart of the problems without having an accusatory tone. This way the children have the opportunity to look at themselves without feeling the need to defend, or blame!! Another favorite point made in the book is “Blaming others is a reason but it’s not an excuse.”
I had my 10 year old granddaughter and 13 year old grandson read the book. When they finished each one had a sheepish look and said, “I do this. . . sometimes”. Both said it helped them see they need to own up for what they do. Also that it affects those around them. Someone could get in trouble for what they falsely accused them of. Plus blame causes conflict and hard feelings among friends and family. At the end are very helpful ideas to guide children in overcoming this bad habit. Engaging, vibrant illustrations, sound wisdom, and written from a child’s viewpoint. Go to http://www.juliacookonline.com to see more of Julia Cook’s amazing books!

Baditude! What to Do When Your Life Stinks! By Julia Cook

The title of this book is the perfect word to describe a bad attitude. Children and adults all experience them. As adults we are mature enough to know we have a lousy attitude, but a child is not always able to recognize it. They don’t understand why they feel the way they do and certainly have no clue how to remedy it. Their mood spirals out of control until their actions are out of control too!
The story follows “Noodle”, Norman David Edwards. Noodle feels he has had a very bad day from the time he gets up until he comes home from school. There is just one irritating, unfair incident after another. To Noodle everything “STINKS” and is unfair. His mood escalates until by the time he arrives home he mad. As he shares the day’s events with his mom she begins to point out the positive things he is overlooking gives him some very useful insights and tools to deal with his overpowering emotions and clouded thinking.
The concepts and ideas Ms. Cook shares are easy to understand and eye opening. Her communication skills and experience as a school counselor are evident. In addition to reading the book, I also had a 10 and 13 year old read it. Both children enjoyed the book said it made them very thoughtful about when they have a “baditude”. Each one said the story helped them realize that they need to focus on the positive side of their life more. One said that it helped them see that their sour disposition affects those around them and it can put others in a bad mood too.
At the back of the book are 10 tips to teach a child to change a negative attitude into a positive one. Eye catching illustrations, sound wisdom, and written from a child’s viewpoint. A great to help children (and it wouldn’t hurt adults to read it either!) I can’t wait to read more of Ms. Cook’s books! Go to http://www.juliacookonline.com to see more of them!

Courageous Footsteps By Diane Dettmann

The internment of Japanese Americans during WWII is a period of history which I was not familiar with. I had read magazine articles but they only touched the surface. Ms. Dettmann’s book is a real eye opener! I had no clue what my fellow Japanese Americans faced and the atrocities they lived through! While this book is a historical fiction novel, I had to continually remind myself of just that. The author’s extraordinary writing skills made it read like a true story. The characters and their experiences seemed so real.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese were rounded up and arrested like common criminals. They were forced in to camps against their will and remained there until the end of the war. The reader follows the painful journey the Sakomoto family through the eyes of their teenage daughter Yasu. They were law-abiding American citizens in 1941. They owned a small business in Glenville, California. Being a close knit family, they had a deep love for one another and their country. The quiet, peaceful life they had known changed quickly after the bombing. Persecution from fellow townspeople and even friends was immediate and harsh. Their lives became endangered in the very area and by the people that had been a part of their happiness.
My heart broke for young Yasu. Being a teenager is hard enough, but to face adolescence with such rejection and hostility was excruciating. Her sweet family continued to trust their country and government right up to their arrests. The gentle humble spirits of the Japanese were a great contrast as to how most Americans would have responded to this extreme discrimination.
I had no clue the camp conditions were so degrading and horrific. My first thought was about the concentration camps of the Jews. These camps were not as severe as Hitler’s, but they were shocking. There was filth, crowding, squalid living conditions, poor food, such as I would never have dreamed could take place in America. The author took me into the camp, to walk daily with the Sakamotos, living their experiences and allowing my heart of feel their emotions.
Though each era had different details, I saw a common thread running through history in the injustice toward other groups: the slavery of African Americans, the Chinese in the early 1900’s, the Jews, and the Japanese. People that had done no wrong but were victims of fear and misunderstanding.
I do disagree with this being labeled as a “young adult fiction”. This book is for teens and adults too! A must read for all! Watch for a sequel!
I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All the opinions I expressed were my own.