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Book #73 The Liberation Diet: Setting America Free from the Bondage of Health Misinformation!

4 out of 5

Product Details
Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (November 25, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439207399
ISBN-13: 978-1439207390

Product Description

Truly life-changing, The Liberation Diet by Kevin Brown and Annette Presley shatters myths to bring a commonsense approach to eating—and living. Exposing the half-truths and outright lies taught by conventional nutritional wisdom, the program reveals why modern diets fail and shows how The Liberation Diet is the answer to America’s weight problem. With a bold and candid wit, this must-read tells it like it is with a balance of knowledge and experience to teach a clear message about diet truth and error while promoting a lifestyle of real-food nutrition coupled with simple exercise. With chapter titles such as Lipid Profiling, The Stealth Additive, Milk Matters, and The Cow and the Tiger, the co-authors brilliantly script a simple plan to lose weight and keep it off for life. With thought provoking discussions on food additives, fats, carbohydrates, calories, water, salt, and more, readers will look at how they eat, why they eat, and what they eat in a whole new way.

This is the scared straight of diet books. Who knew that chemicals and additives lurk in foods that are touted as healthy? I had read many of the facts in other diet books, but this one gives the history behind the horrible things manufacturers put into the food we eat. After reading this, I am trying to cut back on the chemicals and reading labels more carefully now. So far I have lost a pound and I am not starving either! The best part? Butter! I am eating more unprocessed foods and feel better than I have in a long time. I still haven't located the raw milk yet as recommended, but now that I know what fat free milk really is, YUCK.

This book provides more of a life plan than just a diet. I did lose around 40 lbs on Weight Watchers, but I was starving constantly and felt crappy. I tried the Schwartzbein Principle, but I couldn't get past all the rules. It is easier to cut out the fake foods and eat real things instead. Stay tuned...I have four pounds I want to lose still and at least this plan lets you feel better while doing it.

Book #72 How to Eat Like a Hot Chick: Eat What You Love, Love How You Feel

4 out of 5

Product Details
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Collins Living (December 26, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0061560863

Product Description
Chocolate cake for breakfast and a pound of spinach for dinner? Looking and feeling your best has never been so easy, so guiltless or so much fun!
Let's be honest, ladies, are you tired of hearing about the eating habits of airbrushed celebrities? Do you want to feel sexy as you slide into your favorite jeans, but you're too confused by the complicated diet plans out there? Well, here is the antidote to all of that nonsense!
With saucy wit and goodwill to spare, Lipper and Vincent reveal their tricks for how you can overcome any food obstacle, from which cocktails will keep you light on your feet past midnight to how you can stay on track when you're down in the dumps (or if you just got dumped). They'll teach you how to eat the foods you love with confidence, make smarter choices, and wake up your inner Hot Chick once and for all.
It's time to end the vicious dieting cycle with this straightforward and hilarious guide to enjoying your food, embracing your body and celebrating yourself like only a true Hot Chick can.

Actually a decent diet book for twentysomethings that have never had to diet. This is humorously written in a real way (lots of four letter words) which sounds like advice your really hot (in a Paris HIlton way) best friend would tell you how to get hot as well.

Book #71 Pretty in Plaid: A Life, a Witch, and a Wardrobe, or, the Wonder Years Before the Condescending,Egoman... Self-Centered Smart Ass Phase

5 out of 5

Product Details
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: NAL Hardcover; 1 edition (May 5, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451226801
ISBN-13: 978-0451226808

Product Description

The hardcover debut from the New York Times bestselling author— the prequel to Bitter is the New Black. In Pretty in Plaid, Jen Lancaster reveals how she developed the hubris that perpetually gets her into trouble. Using fashion icons of her youth to tell her hilarious and insightful stories, readers will meet the girl she used to be. Think Jen Lancaster was always “like David Sedaris with pearls and a super-cute handbag?” (Jennifer Coburn) Think again. She was a badge-hungry Junior Girl Scout with a knack for extortion, an aspiring sorority girl who didn’t know her Coach from her Louis Vuitton, and a budding executive who found herself bewildered by her first encounter with a fax machine. In this humorous and touching memoir, Jen Lancaster looks back on her life—and wardrobe—before bitter was the new black and shows us a young woman not so very different than the rest of us.The author who showed us what it was like to wait in line at the unemployment office with a Prada bag, how living in the city can actually suck, and that losing weight can be fun with a trainer named Barbie and enough Ambien is ready to take you on a hilarious and heartwarming trip down memory lane in her shoes (and very pretty ones at that).
The softer side of Jen? I wasn't sure what to expect when I first read that Jen Lancaster was planning a prequel to her fabulously funny trilogy, but this was humorous and almost nice. I still laughed out loud and I even had a normal blood pressure check at the doctor since I couldn't stop reading enough to get worked up about the visit. This new book shows that clothes will always stand out in most girls' memories and what part they play in out lives. We also find out the true story of her "lost" college years. Now I need to know, what will Jen write next?

Book #70 Undone (Outcast Season, Book 1)

4 out of 5

Product Details
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Roc (February 3, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451462610
ISBN-13: 978-0451462619

Product Description:
A brand new series from the author of the weather warden novels, who's as “Swift, sassy, and sexy as Laurell K. Hamilton.” (Mary Jo Putney). Once she was Cassiel, a Djinn of limitless power. Now, she has been reshaped in human flesh as punishment for defying her master—and living among the Weather Wardens, whose power she must tap into regularly or she will die. And as she copes with the emotions and frailties of her human condition, a malevolent entity threatens her new existence...
I have all of the Weather Warden books, I just haven't read them yet. I was warned not to read this one until I had read the others, but I plowed right into it. I wasn't disappointed either. Now I have pulled out the Weather Warden books since this one was so captivating. The story was easy to pick up with the excellent character background and I really can't wait for the next one in the series. I hope the Weather Warden books will keep me company until I get it. Caine does a great job of creating an alternative universe that makes sense. Oh, and great dialogue!


New Giveaway....The Late Lamented Molly Marx

How to win:
Sign up to follow my blog and post a note! Open to the USA only since I am using my own funds for postage. Schatze will pick a random winner on May 8, 2009. Make sure I have a way to contact you if you win!
This is the perfect read for the beach this summer.

argghhhhh -- behind in my reviews

I have three reviews to post....

I finished:
Undone by Rachel Caine (so good, can't wait for the next one)
How to Eat Like a Hot Chick
The Liberation Diet
(I think someone is trying to tell me something -- I was sent 5 diet books in the last two weeks)

And should have this one done tonight:
Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster....OMG this is soo funny. I am breaking out the hairspray and my black rubber bracelets right now to prepare for Jen's visit to Huntington Beach on May 22!
Friday, May 22 - Barnes & Noble
7881 Edinger Ave
Huntington Beach, CA
7:00 PM

Oh and I just got a copy of Swoon by Nina Malkin today.

Sorry no linky things yet....


Book #69 Jailbait Zombie (Felix Gomez, Book 4)

5 out of 5

Product Details
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Eos (February 24, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061567140
ISBN-13: 978-0061567148

Product Description
Vampires versus Zombies, round one . . .
Vampire detective Felix Gomez has seen a lot of weird things since becoming one of the undead—nymphomaniacs, aliens, and X-rated bloodsuckers, just to name a few—but now he comes face-to-face with the worst sort of undead.
To stop a ravenous army of zombies, Gomez must team up with a precocious teen with clairvoyant powers whose cooperation comes at a price: she won't help unless Felix makes her a vampire . . . if the zombies don't get her first.

The best of the series so far and a very quick read. I really liked the evil Phaedra that debuts in this book. I hope we see more of her in the next book. I wish I could say more without giving away the plot.

Book #68 The Sweet By and By: A Novel

5 out of 5
Product Details
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (February 17, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061579521
ISBN-13: 978-0061579523
Product Description
"I want you to know something if you don't already. Life is choosing whom and what you love. Everything else follows . . ."
Among the longleaf pines and family farms of eastern North Carolina, days seem to pass without incident for Margaret Clayton and Bernice Stokes until they discover each other in a friendship that will take them on the most important journey of their lives. Margaret, droll and whip smart, has a will of iron that never fails her even when her body does, while Bernice, an avid country-music fan, is rarely lucid. Irreverent and brazen at every turn, they make a formidable pair at the home where they live, breaking all the rules and ultimately changing the lives of those around them. Lorraine, their churchgoing, God-questioning nurse, both protects and provokes them while they are under her watchful eye, as her daughter, April, bright and ambitious, determinedly makes her way through medical school. Rounding out the group of unlikely and often outrageous friends is Rhonda, the Bud-swilling beautician who does the ladies' hair on her day off and whose sassy talk hides a vulnerable heart, one that finally opens to love.
Weaving this tightly knit and compelling novel in alternating chapters, each woman gets to tell her story her own way, as all five learn to reconcile troubled pasts, find forgiveness, choose hope, and relish the joy of life. Rich with irresistible characters whose uniquely musical voices overflow the pages, The Sweet By and By is a testament to the truth that the most vibrant lives are not necessarily the most visible ones.
I loved this book! This is what "The Help" should have been. Although not as historical as "The Help", this thoroughly captivated me and had the underlining current of classism in the South. Excellent dialogue and well drawn characters kept me turning the pages.

Strange Nervous Laughter....Update

Bridget McNulty said...
I'm finding this lovely review all over the web! Thanks again :)I hope your blog readers enjoy the book as much as you did!FYI I'll be doing a reading in Central Park in NYC in June for anyone who's interested - check out for details!

Just thought if anyone was in the NYC area, you might enjoy this!

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Book #67 Confessions of a Prep School Mommy Handler: A Memoir

4 out of 5

Product Description

When Wade Rouse—a rural, public school graduate who grew up more Hee Haw than Dynasty—was hired as the director of publicity at the prestigious Tate Academy, he quickly discovered his real job was to make a few of the very pretty, very rich, very mean mommies of the elite students happy. Enter former Tate beauty queen and sports star Katherine Isabelle Ludington—Kitsy to her friends—who went to an Ivy, married an Ivy, and made a lot of money. Now, she is Wade’s VIP volunteer and a perfectly coiffed nightmare.In between designing Louis Vuitton–inspired reunion invitations, dressing as Ronald Reagan for Halloween, and surviving surprise Botox parties, Wade tries to tame Kitsy and her pink Lilly Pulitzer–clad posse while reclaiming his self-esteem. Following a year in the life of the super rich and super spoiled, Confessions of a Prep School Mommy Handler is hilarious, heartbreaking, and deliciously catty.

Quick Read -- You know there are people like these "mean mommies" or M2 as the authors describes the women with nothing else to do except to micromanage the private school staff their children attend. I am trying to figure out which school this is in the Midwest.


Book #66 The Sky Isn't Visible from Here: Scenes from a Life

4 out of 5

From the Inside Flap

Felicia Sullivan's mother disappeared on the night Sullivan graduated from college and has not been seen or heard from in the ten years since. Sullivan, who grew up on the tough streets of Brooklyn in the 1980s, now looks back on her childhood—lived among drug dealers, users, substitute fathers, and a host of unsavory characters. Ever the responsible child, Sullivan became her mother's keeper, taking her to the hospital when she overdoses, withstanding her narcissistic rages, succumbing to the abuse or indifference of so-called stepfathers, and always wondering why her mother would never reveal the truth about the father she'd never met. But then, Sullivan's volatile, beautiful, deceitful, drug-addicted mother altered the truth in many cruel ways.Ashamed of her past, Sullivan invented a persona to show the world. But keeping up a facade has its price, and before she knew it, she, too, was snorting coke in nightclubs, throwing back shots of tequila like candy, and eventually taking a leave of absence from her Ivy League graduate program. In fact, she had become her mother. A book about secrets and forgiveness, The Sky Isn't Visible from Here is also the story of a young woman unraveling—and then putting her life back together again.
This was a wonderfully written memoir that is both sad and hopeful at the same time. I only wish there was another chapter detailing what the author did with her life at the end of the book.


Book #65 Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid

3 out of 5
Product Description
A hilarious blast of scathing irreverence from the award-winning actor and comedian.“A pissed off Leary is the best Leary,” says one critic of the writer and comic. In Why We Suck, Dr. Denis Leary uses his common sense, and his biting and hilarious take on the world, to attack the politically correct, the hypocritical, the obese, the thin--basically everyone who takes themselves too seriously. He does so with the extra oomph of a doctorate bestowed upon him by his alma mater Emerson College. “Sure it’s just a celebrity type of thing--they only gave it to me because I’m famous.” Leary explains. “But it’s legal and it means I get to say I’m a doctor--just like Dr. Phil.”In Why We Suck, Leary’s famously smart style and sardonic wit have found their fullest and fiercest expression yet. Zeroing in on the ridiculous wherever he finds it, Leary unravels his Irish Catholic upbringing, the folly of celebrity, the pressures of family life, and the great hypocrisy of politics with the same bright, savage, and profane insight he brought to his critically acclaimed one-man shows No Cure for Cancer and Lock ’n Load, and his platinum-selling song, “Asshole.”Proudly Irish American, defiantly working class, with a reserve of compassion for the underdog and the overlooked, Leary delivers blistering diatribes that are penetrating social commentary with no holds barred. Leary’s book will find wide appeal among people who want to laugh out loud or find a guide who matches their view of what’s wrong in America and the world-at-large; and fans of his one-man shows, his many movies, and Rescue Me, Leary’s Golden Globe and Emmy–nominated television show. Why We Suck is the latest salvo from one of America’s most original and biting comic satirists.
Most people will find this book offensive, but I don't think anyone would say they found the whole thing unfunny. I really wish that I could have listened to this book being read by Leary himself, as his delivery is just as important as the words. Parts of it became repetitive, but overall it is quite hilarious.

Book #64 Hex Appeal

4 out of 5

Product Description

The second book in the Hex series features feisty witch Jazz and her drop-dead gorgeous vampire cop boyfriend in a new installment. On again, off again for over 300 years, Jazz and Nick are finally back together, but then Jazz thinks Nick has bitten her. Separated again, upset and angry, the two of them start having violent, recurring dreams in which each one figures in disturbing and menacing ways. They can't sleep, they can't eat, and they finally figure out they'd better get together and discover who's poisoning their dreams-and their relationship.

The second book in the Jazz series is better than the first and I enjoyed this quick read. The story is fun and has enough suspense and sex to keep the pages turning. I can't wait for the next adventure.


Book #63 Strange Nervous Laughter

4 out of 5
Product Description
You’ll not find six more remarkable characters: a cashier-turnedmotivational speaker, an undertaker with a toenail fetish, a girl wrapped in dreams, a man who communicates with whales, a garbage man with a peculiar sense of smell, and a Guinness Book of World Records representative. When a random holdup at a local grocery brings them together, their once separate lives intertwine in a humorous blend of lyricism, whimsy and wit. This is a rare book about what love does to us, how our lives are changed by being in love—and the odd ways in which we sometimes behave. Up-and-coming novelist McNulty shows herself to be a writer to watch.
This was a very strange read, with elements of the supernatural involved. I thought the characters were quite interesting and not something that you typically see in Chick Lit. It did remind me of Christopher Moore in that the characters are all a little off in someway and as they find their way to love, they become "normal". I can't wait to read the next one by this author as I was a little sad when this one ended.

Book #62 Early Spring: An Ecologist and Her Children Wake to a Warming World

4 out of 5
Product Description
An ecologist and mother brings the overwhelming problem of global warming to a personal level, with a mix of memoir and science As Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver examine food issues through their own families' meals, Amy Seidl looks at climate change through family walks in the woods, work in her garden, and seasonal community events throughout the year. She brings home the reality of global warming by considering how it has altered her life, her daughters' experiences outdoors, and the traditions of her quintessential small New England town-the iconic landscape celebrated by Robert Frost, Norman Rockwell, and many others. While it may be possible for some to ignore drowning polar bears and PowerPoint presentations, Early Spring considers the observations by our neighbors, families, and friends of the changing weather and landscape and puts them into scientific context. As an ecologist, Seidl explains how natural upheaval occurs in the microcosms of our backyards and parks: spring flowers blossom before pollinators arrive, ponds no longer freeze, and animals begin migrating at unexpected times. While the human community, including Seidl's daughters, adapts to a changing climate, plants and animals also adapt, she shows, in ways both obvious and surprising. Through beautiful literary writing grounded in the science of ecology and evolutionary biology, Seidl offers both a personal and a research-based testimonial of global warming.
This book is really about the butterfly effect and how an action miles away can wreck havoc on your environment. The author does give some great personal insights as the actions of man cause many unintended things to happen locally and on a small level that are adding up to a grim reality. I wish some people who say global warming does not exist would read this personal account of how the weather is not "normal" anymore.


Book #61 Red-Headed Stepchild (Sabina Kane)

5 out of 5
Product DescriptionIn a world where being of mixed-blood is a major liability, Sabina Kane has the only profession fit for an outcast: assassin. But, her latest mission threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races and Sabina must scramble to figure out which side she's on. She's never brought her work home with her---until now. This time, it's personal.
Excellent debut. Great dialogue and action with likable characters with the right mix of humor and sex...


Book #60 Fifty Is Not a Four-Letter Word

4 out of 5
Product DescriptionAs Hope Lyndhurst-Steele approaches her 50th birthday, although she "has it all"--top magazine job, wonderful husband, loving son, many friends--fifty still feels like a four-letter word. But she doesn't know just how low she can go. When she returns to the office after her holiday break, she's informed by senior management that the "having it all" woman is OUT--and Hope's out along with her. As she starts spending her days at home, her relationship with her usually patient husband Jack starts to become strained, and her teenage son is more interested in chasing after the local trashy single mom than spending his last year at home with his own mother. And Hope's own mother, who she never got along with, has cheerily announced that she's got six months left to live. Hope is relieved when a solo trip to Paris wakes up her long-dormant libido, but when she returns, she finds that her husband is giving her more space than she'd like--he's moved out.As Hope wonders if she'll be able to make it to fifty-one with her sanity and her family intact, she discovers some interesting truths about herself and her age--and even if 50 is not the new 30, it could be that the best is yet to come.
I really enjoyed this story about a woman who has it all and loses it right around her 50th birthday. Parts of it were right on about the health and metal issues that happen to any woman at this age. I really recommend this older "chick lit" genre for those of us who are no longer thinking of getting the guy, but more trying to keep your sanity.

Book #59 Babylon's Ark

Babylon's Ark: The Incredible Wartime Rescue of the Baghdad Zoo by Lawrence Anthony (Author), Graham Spence

3 out of 5

Product Description
THE ASTONISHING STORY OF ONE OF THE WORLD’S GREATEST ANIMAL RESCUES.When the Iraq war began, conservationist Lawrence Anthony could think of only one thing: the fate of the Baghdad Zoo, caught in the cross?re at the heart of the city. Once Anthony entered Iraq he discovered that hostilities and uncontrolled looting had devastated the zoo and its animals. Working with members of the zoo staff and a few compassionate U.S. soldiers, he defended the zoo, bartered for food on war-torn streets, and scoured bombed palaces for desperately needed supplies. Babylon’s Ark chronicles Anthony’s hair-raising efforts to save a pride of Saddam’s lions, close a deplorable black-market zoo, run ostriches through shoot-to-kill checkpoints, and rescue the dictator’s personal herd of Thoroughbred Arabian horses. A tale of the selfless courage and humanity of a few men and women living dangerously for all the right reasons, Babylon’s Ark is an inspiring and uplifting true-life adventure of individuals on both sides working together for the sake of magnificent wildlife caught in a war zone.

Although I normally enjoy books about animals, this one slightly annoyed me. I couldn't get past the fact that there are so many people that are essentially animals themselves. I have to commend the animal lovers that are trying to do the right thing.


Book #58 Revenge of the Spellmans

5 out of 5

Product Description
Private investigator Isabel Spellman is back on the case and back on the couch -- in court-ordered therapy after getting a little too close to her previous subject.
As the book opens, Izzy is on hiatus from Spellman Inc. But when her boss, Milo, simultaneously cuts her bartending hours and introduces her to a "friend" looking for a private eye, Izzy reluctantly finds herself with a new client. She assures herself that the case -- a suspicious husband who wants his wife tailed -- will be short and sweet, and will involve nothing more than the most boring of PI rituals: surveillance. But with each passing hour, Izzy finds herself with more questions than hard evidence.
Meanwhile, Spellmania continues. Izzy's brother, David, the family's most upright member, has adopted an uncharacteristically unkempt appearance and attitude toward work, life, and Izzy. And their wayward youngest sister, Rae, a historic academic underachiever, aces the PSATs and subsequently offends her study partner and object of obsession, Detective Henry Stone, to the point of excommunication. The only unsurprising behavior comes from her parents, whose visits to Milo's bar amount to thinly veiled surveillance and artful attempts (read: blackmail) at getting Izzy to return to the Spellman Inc. fold.
As the case of the wayward wife continues to vex her, Izzy's personal life -- and mental health -- seem to be disintegrating. Facing a housing crisis, she can't sleep, she can't remember where she parked her car, and, despite her shrinks' persistence, she can't seem to break through in her appointments. She certainly can't explain why she forgets dates with her lawyer's grandson, or fails to interpret the come-ons issued in an Irish brogue by Milo's new bartender. Nor can she explain exactly how she feels about Detective Henry Stone and his plans to move in with his new Assistant DA girlfriend...
Filled with the signature side-splitting Spellman antics, Revenge of the Spellmans is an ingenious, hilarious, and disarmingly tender installment in the Spellman series.

Lisa Lutz is back in better form in this book. I appreciate that Rae took a larger role in this one. Very funny.