The 60-Minute Money Workout by Ellie Kay

The financial and home budgeting book by financial expert Ellie Kay, The 60 Minute Money Workout: An Easy, Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Finances Into Shape (Ellie Kay, 2010, WalterBrook Press, ISBN 9780307446039) is a primer on how to get your finances in order in a unique way. All the tips and steps to achieving your financial goal is done in a workout style regimen:
  • Warm Up: Prep for your money workout
  • Strength Training: Set financial goals
  • Cardio Burn: Put goals into action
  • Heart Rate: Measure financial performance
  • Cool Down: Reward yourself
For anyone needing help in getting their financial house in order, Kay does a pretty good job at touching at all the elements necessary to do so. Her tips are good too. For example, in her travel section, she suggests keeping to your budget by purchasing souvenirs at the end of the day to prevent impulse buying and the need for rental lockers when at an amusement park, and also to purchase theme park logoed gear online at discount and overstock stores, then give them to the kids when you get there. Good info in an easy-to-digest format.

Book Info:
  • The 60 Minute Money Workout: An Easy, Step-by-Step Guide to Getting your Finances into Shape, by Ellie Kay
  • WalterBrook Press; 2010
  • ISBN13: 9780307446039
  • Paperback, 212 pages

The 60-Minute Money Workout: An Easy Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Finances into Shape is available on Amazon.

Disclosure: This book was provided to the author by the publisher. Any opinions are the author's own.

The Cake Decorator's Motif Bible by Sheila Lampkin

The Cake Decorator's Motif Bible (Sheila Lampkin, Quarto, 2007, ISBN: 9781554072811) is nothing but the goods, with all the illustrations you need to complete any flat fondant project. Kuo Kan Chen is the illustrator, and without the easy-to-follow guides, the book wouldn't be as useful.

The book comes spiral bound which makes it easy to flatten the book to any page you are working on. The color photos and examples of finished alphabets at the back of the book make it also a pretty good pastry reference book.

For the full review, read it on the Pastry Sampler blog.

The Sweets of Araby by Leila Salloum Elias and Muna Solloum

The Sweets of Araby (Muna Salloum and Leila Salloum Elias, Countryman Press, 2011, ISBN: 9780881509298) is a beautifully illustrated pastry book interwoven with 25 tales of Scheherazade followed by a dessert. All the illustrations are done by Linda Dalal Sawaya, a Lebanese-American artist, and are richly colored providing the perfect backdrop for the Arabian sweet recipes.

For the full review, read it on the Pastry Sampler Blog.

The Keto Cookbook

If you are on a ketogenic diet, or have a family member on a ketogenic diet, this book has all the fundmentals and recipes for variety for family menus. A ketogenic diet is extremely high in fat and should only be followed by those under the care of medical doctors, such as a nutritionist, dietician, neurologist, or other medical doctor. This book isn't a low-carb diet book for those interested in low-carb recipes. It is specifically designed for ketogenic diets.

Having said all that, it is a thoughtfully presented and researched cookbook. The authors, Dawn Marie Martenz and Laura Cramp, have created recipes that look and taste as delicious as possible for anyone on the diet. Martenz's story is inspirational. The choice of recipes ensures that if one family member is on the diet, then they can still eat the same menu item, just one portion specifically measured and cooked separately for one person. For example, there are recipes for pigs in a blanket, tacos, cupcakes, sushi, pizza, and crackers. So if the rest of the family is having a pizza for dinner, the person on the ketogenic diet may have a specially prepared pizza made for them, and the whole family can sit down together and eat the same menu item.

This book has color pictures and precise measurements for recipes ensuring a particular number of calories and ratio fat to carbs are met on specific diets that are already calculated.

If you have been diagnosed with a medical condition, such as epilepsy, and a medical doctor has advised you to go on a ketogenic diet, this would be a great cookbook to have in the kitchen.

Book Information

The Keto Cookbook: Innovative Delicious Meals for Staying on the Ketogenic Diet; by Dawn Marie Martenz and Laura Camp, RD
Demos Health, 2012
ISBN: 9781936303036
Softcover and ebook format

The Keto Cookbook

Disclosure: This book was provided to the author by the publisher. Any opinions are the author's own.

Catching Santa by Marc Franco

Fun read for young adults! Especially during the holidays, this would make a good chapter book to give to young adults if they have an ereader available to read from. It's about a boy who discovers a secret involving Santa. Great story line. Hooks older kids, and not to difficult for younger readers who are interested in chapter books.

Book Information:

Catching Santa; by Marc Franco
Pants On Fire Press; 2011
ISBN 9780982727102
Available in hardback or ebook versions.

Catching Santa by Mark Franco is available through amazon.

Disclosure: This book was recieved by the author by the publisher. Any opinions are the author's own.

America - The Last Best Hope: Volume 3, by William Bennett

Another good compilation of history from William J. Bennett, this time from the years 1988 to 2008. America - The Last Best Hope Volume III: From the Collapse of Communism to the Rise of Radical Islam (Thomas Nelson, 2011, ISBN 9781595554284) records advances and setbacks between political parties and the uncertainties Americans faced due to turbulent economic times.

During this time, the Berlin Wall came down, terrorism became the number one threat to Americans, and the U.S. elected the first African American president. For those interested in a topographical view of the major events that happened during those two decades, this book would be a good choice.

America - The Last Best Hope Volume III Chapters & Overview

The six chapters touch on every part of what was important during those years: Enemies Abroad, Challenges at Home; Rise of the Boomer; Into the Fire; Bush and the Age of Terror; In War and Culture: A Clash of Values, A New Media, A New Election; Peril and Promise in War, Two Great American Stories, A New Direction for America.

The book is a recommended read for those who enjoy Bennett's picks of major events in America and around the world.

America - The Last Best Hope: Volume III is available through Amazon.