The Ugly Duckling


It’s been a long time since I have heard or read this classic tale.  It was delightful, and Abby Elvidge is a wonderful choice to narrate this story.

“This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom


Yum-Yum Bento


Yum-Yum Bento All Year Round: Box Lunches for Every Season by Crystal Watanabe

I was first introduced to the idea of bento boxes years ago when reading Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds.  The idea stuck with me, but I never tried it.

THIS guide takes things to a whole new level, with adorable, yet somewhat complicated designs for every season.  Fortunately, there is a resource list and a glossary included in the back of the book.  Many interesting recipes are included.

I LOVED the designs, but I don’t think I’ll be spending the amount of time necessary to prepare any of these.  It’s delightful and entertaining, so I’ll pass it along to someone I think will get better use out of it.

As for me, I think I’ll keep things simple, and just enjoy pictures of elaborate bento boxes.

I received this book for free through a  Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.


32476929Mindfulness for Beginners

by Katie May , narrated by Trisha Wiggin-Fausnaugh

If you’ve heard about “mindfullness” and you’ve wondered how it works and what it can do for you, this is the place to start!

Living in the present moment has only positive effects on your life, so what have you got to lose?

I must add that Trisha is by far the most pleasant sounding and skilled narrator that I’ve had the pleasure to listen to in a very long time.

“This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.

questionsQuestions for Life Two Year Guided Daily Journal for Intentional Living by Jessica A. Walsh

Things I liked about this journal:

  • the two-year format of this journal with identical questions a year
  • spaces to record what you were grateful for and what your happiest moment was for each day

Things I didn’t like about this journal:

  • too large, yet not a lot of space to record your thoughts (if you prefer wide-ruled notebooks to college-ruled ones, the space provided won’t be an issue for you)
  • a lot of the questions weren’t all that deep (or maybe I’m just being snobbish)

I received this book for free through a  Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review

28007981The Butterfly Hours by Patty Dann

This is my new favorite book on writing.

Each chapter begins with a quote, a bit of writing advice, and then examples from the one-word-prompt writing exercises from the author’s classes.

If you’ve ever wanted to get your memories down–or if you are a writer facing the dreaded BLOCK–pick one of the prompts in this book.  It may just change your life…

I received this book for free through a  Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

31227076.jpgMy Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry

This is a psychological thriller told from the point of view of two different characters. Sometimes that can be tricky to pull off.  I’m not sure why the author chose to write Lily’s POV in first-person and Carla’s in third.I didn’t get lost switching back and forth between them in this story, but the change in tense was a bit jarring.

The beginning use of perspective from someone who seems to be dying was an interesting way to start the story, but confusing when that POV was scattered among later chapters.

Also, the timing of events/passage of time was somewhat confusing.  It was difficult to keep track of what year they were in.  Perhaps that was an unfortunate shortcoming of the alternating POV’s.  I’m not sure it was best to begin with Ed’s death notice before Part 1 beginning 15 years prior and Part 2 as twelve years later…I guess that section DID cover three years…but there had to have been a skip from 12 years to the end with some time unaccounted for…I can’t even explain this because it didn’t make sense to me.

A little bit of mystery is a good thing, but it can be annoying when a couple of situations were referred to repeatedly with an obvious hint that you don’t know the whole story. Once probably would have been enough for each, although I think the author was hoping she was peeling off the layers like an onion.  It didn’t work for me.  To minimize the risk of spoiling the story, I’ll simply refer to these as the Lily/Daniel connection and the Lily/Joe connection.

Some readers prefer characters they can relate to or “like.”  I don’t find that entirely necessary and actually enjoyed the fact that these characters were flawed.  To me that made them more realistic and well developed.  The setting was adequate and seemed to be somewhat of an afterthought.

There is an accidental foreshadow on page 79 that hopefully gets corrected before the final proof goes out, otherwise there is an entire paragraph that gives away…well if I tell you now I’d spoil that, too.  Let’s call it mistake-in-identity.

Overall, I loved the story, even with it’s flaws.  I would definitely give this author another chance.

I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy from First To Read in exchange for an honest review.

Yoga, meditation, & mandalas, oh my!!!


Yoga and meditation coloring book for adults

Inspiring and educational while also calming and relaxing.

I LOVE coloring books and I LOVE mandalas.  This one has added yoga poses throughout, with some illustrating not just the physical, but additional  tidbits like the chakras and Hindu images.

LOTS of fine detail in the majority of these images, so expert-level coloring may be required!

I received this book through a LibraryThing giveaway in exchange for an honest review.