Tuesday, April 15, 2014

get excited about strength training.

Everybody knows that if you really want to lose weight and see your body change FAST, then you need to incorporate strength training into your fitness routine. Especially the girls. I've been adding two days a week of heavier weight training myself to prepare for my special day that is less than three months away. I also consistently take classes at my gym that incorporate circuits with weights and cardio. It's hard for me to explain because I'm not all scholarly when it comes to exercise science, so I'll let Nick Tumminello take it from here.

The basis of Strength Training for Fat Loss by Nick Tumminello is metabolic strength training which he explains thoroughly in chapters 4-6 using his three C's: Strength Training Circuits, Strength Training Complexes, and Strength Training Combinations. In these three chapters, Tumminello not only clearly states what each concept means, he also includes the exercises involved using common gym equipment like dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, stability balls, resistance bands and cables. These practices are high intensity, and who doesn't like doing cardio and strength training at once? They use your entire body, so no more wasting your time working one muscle group at a time. Tumminello's circuits are a great way to spice up your routine, get you motivated, and see fat loss results FAST.

Monday, April 14, 2014

some lessons are learned the hard way.

Prison Baby is a revised and substantially expanded version of Deborah Jiang Stein's self-published memoir, Even Tough Girls Wear Tutus. Deborah was adopted as a baby by a Jewish couple, and had a pretty normal childhood despite the fact that her parents were white and she was a bit Asian. I feel like all adopted kids have a certain amount of issues with abandonment and insecurities, but Deborah's story is one I have never heard before. She came from a cocaine addict who gave birth to her in prison. Deborah actually spent the first year of her life behind bars. She discovered this on accident while snooping around her parent's things when she was twelve, and the walls came crashing down around her.

From that point on, Deborah dealt with the shame of her biological mother and her shame of being a racial mix of what she didn't actually know, in the worst possible ways. To put it politely, she became mentally unstable. She turned to drugs, and drug smuggling. Three cocaine-filled balloons stuck up her lady bits kind of smuggling. She refused to confront her problems, and she hit rock bottom before attempting to find her birth family and pull her life together.

Deborah's story is one that has and will help many women deal with mental illness and dark pasts. She currently speaks at women correctional facilities, and if this turns even just one life around, Deborah should be so proud of the woman she has become.

Friday, April 11, 2014

sister anselm is back!

J. A. Jance is back with her latest installment of the Ali Reynold's Series titled Moving Target. I have only taken the time to review one other novel from this series (Left for Dead, 2012), but that doesn't mean I don't love them all, I do. But between Jance and Evanovich, I just can't keep up.

In Moving Target, Ali decides to travel to England with her 80-something longtime family friend/employee, Leland Brook who has been estranged from his own family for decades because on account of he's gay. Ali should be back in Texas planning her wedding to her fiancĂ©, B. but seeing as that's super stressful, she'd rather be in England with Leland's crazy family. In England they are told that Leland's father's death was actually a murder, and the case is still open, and pretty fricken cold, but that doesn't stop them from diving right in to crack the case.

Back in Texas, B is following the story of Lance Tucker, a teenager super gifted computer hacker and who was literally lit on fire in the detention center where he was doing his time for hacking into his school's computer system. It was B’s testimony that put Lance in the facility, and with this attack, he feels he needs to get to the bottom of why someone would attempt to murder a kid over a computer program.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

a novel set in all of my favorite places.

London socialite by marriage, Grace Munroe just doesn't fit in her life filled with glamorous parties and a loveless marriage. So when she was sent a letter claiming that she inherited property in Paris from a complete stranger named Eva d'Orsey, Grace jumped at the chance travel to France and straighten things out.

The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro is set in 1955 with Grace's journey to find out the truth behind her strange inheritance. The author uses flashbacks to introduce us to Eva and her life in New York, Monte Carlo, Paris and London beginning in the 1920's. So we learn about Eva as Grace uncovers her secrets and figures out how an old perfume shop in Paris has the power to change her life. Beautifully writing by Tessaro, I was totally engaged throughout.

"we shouldn't judge too harshly, in the end, the sins of others."

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

street kids, romance and murder - all in a day's work for YA author.

Brown women always die by drowning, and always on a Saturday. Which is why Vivienne Brown nicknamed her daughter Friday, and why she kept them wandering around the desert outback. But even so, she couldn't escape an early grave.

Once Lillian "Friday" Brown's mother died from cancer, the seventeen year old keeps on moving, because that's what she's always known. Her mother and her have been moving from town to town since Friday can remember. Now alone, she meets a street kid name Silence who leads Friday to her little family of squatters. Kids like her, all so different from each other, with their own ways of getting by, each with their own story to tell.

Friday Never Leaving by Vikki Wakefield is a young adult coming-of-age story that is packed with emotion while still surprisingly, upbeat.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

be the change.

The word somatics comes from the Greek root soma, which means “the living body in its wholeness.” Somatic coaching is a unique coaching style that brings the body forward as an advocate in creating a place for change and transformation. Accredited somatic coach Richard Strozzi-Heckler has been teaching and inspiring leaders from all areas for decades using his methods and Zen-like qualities. Accredited author as well, Strozzi-Heckler has created a resource for the rest of us titled The Art of Somatic Coaching: Embodying Skillful Action, Wisdom, and Compassion, which is an excellent resource for teachers, parents, therapists, coaches, bosses, anyone who is in the position to help others live a more meaningful existence. He calls it a book about "waking up" in a world full of violence, disasters and poverty, and responding with skillful, wise, and compassionate action. If you'd like your mind and body to become one, I suggest you jump on the somatic bandwagon.

Monday, April 7, 2014

shattering some myths.

African Americans have always had a sort of attachment to firearms. I understand that this may sound racist to you at this specific moment, but just wait until you read the book I'm reviewing, you'll realize that my statement was super scholarly.

In his well-researched book, Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms, law professor and author Nicholas Johnson shows us the importance and cost of self defense as he takes us back in time, chronicling the use of arms by Black people throughout US history, especially in the South.

Black people and guns have been getting a bad rap for decades. Johnson documents, time after, time how enslaved Africans and fugitive Africans would fight their way to freedom with guns. How they had an underground market to buy, and or steal these guns. How these guns and their willingness to use them allowed many enslaved Africans to get to Free States. The history of the fight against slavery and the civil rights struggle has been modified and right of self-defense, political violence has been minimized. We live in a time where everyone can agree that enslaving people was completely disgusting and wrong, so did it take Professor Johnson to really open our eyes to the Black perspective in history as well as today? Johnson doesn't condone street violence in Black communities, he gives a compelling argument for the right to own arms by law abiding citizens.