Monday, May 23, 2016

celebrate the journey.

I've loved Cameron Diaz since I first saw her in My Best Friend's Wedding (and then fully fell in love after seeing her in The Sweetest Thing). She is so gorgeous and versatile and hilarious, there is literally nothing NOT love about her. And now, she has a book.

The Longevity Book: The Science of Aging, the Biology of Strength, and the Privilege of Time is a book about the aging female body (working as a sequel of sorts to The Body Book). I know that none of us want to think about aging, but it's happening so let's embrace it, shall we? (Says the 30-year-old). But really, Cameron is not going to tell us how to look 20 years younger in 3 weeks. She is however going to tell us what we can do now so that we can age more gracefully and mindfully, while also lessening our health risks. With research to back up her claims.

No, this is not wildly new information, BUT Cameron is the perfect voice to make my generation listen.

Friday, May 20, 2016

sure to satisfy fans.

In Benjamin Black's seventh novel in the Quirke series, Even the Dead, my favorite Irishman's recent blackouts puts him on the injured list. No work, no booze. Not that he'll abide by doctor's orders.

An automobile "accident" occurs that results in a fiery one-car crash, leaving a young man dead breaks Quirke's convalescence. Suspicions of foul play drives him back to work in an advisory role. But when his daughter Phoebe is approached by the deceased's pregnant girlfriend, Quirke discovers this murder has more to do with his own past than he ever cared to revisit. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

the civil rights movement and basketball.

Strong Inside by first-time author Andrew Maraniss tells a story that many have never heard, about a kid who integrated big-time college basketball with very little support. Growing up in the midst of The Civil Rights Movement, in the South no less, it wasn't easy for Perry Wallace to become the first African American basketball player in the Southeastern Conference, but that never stopped him.

Andrew Maraniss did an amazing job chronicling Wallace's journey from North Nashville to Vanderbilt University. While reading, it never seemed that Wallace ever meant to be a trailblazer or a pioneer, he simply wanted a good education and to play ball, and that's exactly what he got, but not without some fight. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

for your socially and emotionally disconnected kid.

I truly believe that if you were to go to the land of normal, no one would be there. But I understand the need to be able to function in society and how important that ability to function is to kids with disorders such as Asperger's syndrome, autism, ADHD, OCD, and dyslexia. We are more aware of these disorders now, but I didn't even realize that one out every six children are diagnosed with one of these conditions, and most of them are being medicated to treat them, because there weren't any other options, until now.

Disconnected Kids shares Dr. Robert Melillo's groundbreaking Brain Balance Program for children with neurological disorders, and it has gotten some excellent reviews. The idea of this program is that your child's brain can be changed, and you can train their brains to reconnect using simple steps and techniques. Psychiatric drugs only disguise the symptoms, they don't solve the problem. It may seem complicated because we are talking about the brain, but Dr. Melillo makes everything easy to understand, and I can get behind any doctor that doesn't turn to drugs for an answer.

Friday, May 13, 2016

domestic suspense.

In a world where people are going to extreme measures to be parents, Lisa Scottoline's latest novel, Most Wanted is intense, emotional, and just plain brilliant. Oh, and kind of scary.

Marcus and Christine Nilsson want a baby. Bad. Bad enough that when they discover Marcus is infertile, they decide to use a sperm donor so that Christine can get pregnant. Months pass, Christine is pregnant, all is right with the world, UNTIL...Christine sees her donor on the news being arrested for multiple murders. Violent murders. Horrendous murders. But did he really do it? And if he did, will Christine be able to get past the fact that her baby's biological father is a murderer?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

family, race, history.

What I love more than fiction is realistic fiction. I have to be in the right mood to read novels where characters have supernatural powers or with wild plotlines (Harry Potter not included, obviously). Most of the time I want to sit down and open a novel that could happen to anyone. Well, the right anyone. And that's exactly what Kaitlyn Greenidge's debut novel We Love You, Charlie Freeman was. A novel so realistic, it almost happened to her own family.

Kaitlyn got the idea for this novel from her mother who was asked, before Kaitlyn was born, to raise a chimpanzee along with her oldest daughter (who was two at the time). Her mother was fluent in sign language, and it would all be part of an experiment for some unnamed institute. Her mother declined, not able to raise a chimp as her own and then have it end. It was this story that gave Kaitlyn the premise for her novel.

The Freeman family (who are all fluent in sign language) left their home in Boston for an apartment at the Toneybee Institute to add a chimpanzee named Charlie to their family of four as part of a twisted experiment. Adding together the moving to an almost all-white community and their strange living situation, the Freeman's feel isolated and their family dynamic begins to fall apart.

Monday, May 9, 2016

now in paperback.

I totally blanked on reviewing Dry Bones by Craig Johnson, the latest in the Longmire Mystery series that is officially available to watch on Netflix (FYI), another dead guy, another hit. Kudos to Johnson for his interesting subject matter, as a girl with a wild imagination, I really enjoyed this tale.

In the 13th installment, a skeletal remains of a Tyrannosaurus rex are found, along with the body of the rancher who's land it was found on. Makes sense since the bones are worth millions. Enter Walt and Victoria to solve the case. It's fast-paced and fun, wonderful to see that Johnson isn't losing his steam.