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review 2019-02-16 02:30
Zoey & Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows
Dragons and Marshmallows - Asia Citro,Marion Lindsay

Audience: Grades 1-5

Format: Hardcover - Library Copy

 

 

"What is it, Sassafras?" I crouched down and ruffled my cat's fluffy fur.

- first sentence

 

 

This book is a fabulous early chapter book. Zoey and her cat Sassafras both love bugs and science and when Zoey discovers that her mom secretly takes care of magical creatures, she is eager to help. Zoey, a budding scientist, wears her thinking goggles on her head when she needs to concentrate. And when she finds a baby dragon, she uses the scientific method to determine how to help him.

 

So, not only is this book fun, but it also explains the scientific method (including a glossary at the end). It is much more meaningful than I thought it would be. With a strong female lead who happens to be African American, and all the science thrown in, it goes above and beyond what you expect from an early chapter book. The entire series is a must-have for any elementary library collection.

 

Highly recommended.

 

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review 2019-02-15 20:14
The Binding
The Binding - Bridget Collins

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

This was a little of a rollercoaster book for me, in that the blurb -is- pretty misleading when it comes to the expectations it rises—so there were quite a few chapters when my interest ebbed and flowed, as I poised between “this is not what I wantedto read” and “that’s pretty interesting” and “I expected something different in terms of world-building”, etc. Especially, there’s a romance element that is -not- in the blurb, and since I’m not a big fan of romance for the sake of romance in general, my first reaction was pretty much ‘ugh, no, not yet another romance plot, you should’ve warned me about this, since I don’t feel like reading romance these days’.

However, as everything settled, as the plot fully came together, as I got to know the characters more, this change of mood abated, and I found that I was actually liking this novel. I do regret that the art of binding wasn’t explored more in depths, with deeper explanations of how it worked, and this is something that disappointed me until the end. Still, I nevertheless felt myself rooting for several characters, getting angry at how other people treated them, didn’t accept them, at the rampant intolerance, too. It wasn’t ‘enjoyable’ (I so wanted to slap the parents), no. The main characters were often annoying in many ways, too. But it made for a good story.

I must say that I usually have several pet peeves when it comes to romance (yes, there’s some romance in it), one of the major ones being when the lovers lose sight of priorities (typical example: “who will she chose, the boy she loves, or saving the world?” --> everybody knows that 99% of the time, the world is doomed). Here, there is strong potential for turning these characters’ world(s) upside down, but I didn’t get that feeling of thwarted sense of priorities, because all in all, most characters had bleak prospects to start with, and what hinged on them was something that wouldn’t have made so many other people happy anyway: arranged marriages, bad job prospects, abuse, cannot go back to their old lives, etc.

Speaking of abuse, the world Emmett lives in is rather bleak in that regard as well. It reminded me a lot—and that was no doubt on purpose o nthe author’s part—of 19th century novels, with a strong country/town dichotomy: the countryside as a ‘pure, natural, innocent’ world where people have a chance to be happy, vs. the town as polluted, home to crime and vice, and where the wealthy treat servants and poorer people in general as dirt, as toys that can be broken and then mended at will. While the abuse is not depicted in gory ways, and usually alluded to rather than directly witness, the allusions are not veiled either. It is very clear who rapes their servants, and who gets others murdered for the sake of their own interests. Those aren’t triggers for me, but they could still be depending on the reader. All in all, that also reminded me of other literary movements of that time: there’s no shortage of showing people being sick, reduced to their ‘bodily functions’, shown as the cowards they are, and so on. If you’ve read Zola, you’ll know what I mean. This novel doesn’t sing the praises of human beings in general, for sure, and shows most people as being weak at best, and hidden monsters at worst.

I am… bizarrely satisfied with the ending. It’s fairly open, and there are still many loose ends, but it also allows the book to close on a kind of resolution that I found fitting, balancing between “it could still turn so sour so quickly” and “well, there’s hope left and the future looks kinda good”.

Conclusion: 3.5 stars

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text 2019-02-15 11:55
Ama Dios Launch
Ama Dios: 9 AoL Consciousness Books Combined - Nataša Pantović Nuit

Launch of Ama Dios: 9 AoL Consciousness Books Combined.
Pre-release price is for all the lovely reviewer that wish to have these 9 books - during the next 2 weeks for just a couple of euros that Amazon sets as a minimum price limit. After the book release the prize of 9 books combined will be only eur29 
Conscious Parenting Course included...

Applying Quantum Physics to manifestation of Consciousness researching Ancient Psychological aspects of Alchemy & Chinese, Greek, Hindu Philosophers, the compilation of 9 AoL books: 2 fiction and 7 non-fiction explore Symbols, Mysticism, Arts, Creativity, Consciousness & Beauty:
1. A-Ma by Nuit, Historical Fiction set in 17th Century China. A Mystical Journey of Portuguese, Chinese Consciousness Researchers, set in the Age of Enlightenment during the Dutch attack to Macao in 1622, the Reform of Chinese Calendar in 1630-s, with Father Adam Schall's appointment to the Chinese Board of Mathematicians during 1650-s, the witch hunt of a Shaman's African Goddess incarnated in China as Ama and her father Ottavio, a Portuguese Alchemist. Size: 244 pg, 6x9”
2. Art of 4 Elements: Exploring Alchemy through Poetry, Spiritual Four Elements Meditations, a Mystical Journey into Enlightenment through ancient mysteries and stories, by Nuit, Jason Lu, Christine Cutajar, Jeni Caruana. The 120 poems, written by Nuit, acted as an inspiration for the work of 3 artists. Size: 266 pg 8” x 10”
3. Mindful Eating with Delicious Raw Vegan Recipes, by Olivera Rosić .Designed with the best Alchemy of Love Mindful Eating Exercises and a collection of Delicious Raw Vegan Recipes. The Exercises help with over-eating, eating too often, eating too little, eating junk food, food allergies, etc. Size: 120 pg 6” x 9” 
4. Chanting Mantas with Best Chords by Nuit. With more than 50 mantras from all around the world, their spiritual meanings, lyrics and chords, it explores: Hindu Sacred Mantras; Buddhist Mantras; Sufi Chants; New-Consciousness Mantras in English. Size: 120 pg 6” x 9” 
5. Mindful Being towards Mindful Living Course is a 12 Modules Personal Growth Course full of "Green Life-Style" exercises including self improvement and spiritual questionnaires, soul’s diary, behavior pattern modification, relationship contracts, and many other daily self-growth transformation tools on Nutrition, Core Beliefs, Emotional Intelligence, Mind Power, Creative Thinking, Joy and Love. Year: 2015, Size: 187 pg 8” x 10”
6. Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents by Nuit and Ivana Milosavljević (Md Special Needs), a "Green-Lifestyle" Training designed for parents with plenty of Questionnaires and Family exercises. We explore the magic work with: Rhythm, Day-to-day Routine, Happy Family Structure, Cultivating Relationships, etc. We look into parenting goals, dreams, and creativity tools for kids. Size: 228 pg 8” x 10”
7. Tree of Life with Spiritual Poetry. A Novel by Nataša Pantović Nuitis set in Findhorn, UK as a Journey into the Field of Dreams that In various religious interpretations, within myths, and as a mystical concept represents the inter-connection of all life on our beautiful planet. The story becomes a true adoption story venturing into Africa, Ethiopia, Kenia, within the magic of four elements, four directions, four stages of Life. Size: 264 pg 6" x 9” 
8. Conscious Creativity: Mindfulness Meditations by Nuit, Developing both Left and Right Brain could be essential for Creative Thinkers of our Future. To purify mind we start with the consciousness that energy follows thoughts and we use Quantum Physics Logic within Consciousness Research of Taoism following Yin and Yang Universe Manifestations to enter Creative Flow. Year: 2017 Size: 96 pages, 6" x 9"
9. Spiritual Symbols with Their Meaning by Nuit. Our Holographic Universe resonates with the most amazing precision creating Realities of our Choice. Using the sound (Aum, Amin, Allah) resonance to mediate, today & in the past our artists use symbols to enter higher states of consciousness. From Neolithic wisdom of Ancient Temples' carvings of spirals, Pythagoras numbers, Leonardo da Vinci's paintings, ancient wisdom of magic, mysticism, occult travels to our worlds giving us conscious / subconscious gift from Greek Philosophers, Neolithic Temples Goddesses, Alchemy Size 152 pg 6" x 9"

Source: www.prlog.org/12754133-ama-dios-by-natasa-pantovic-book-launch-28th-february-2019.html
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url 2019-02-15 10:18
New Consciousness and Group Dynamics
Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Art of 4 Elements - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Mindful Eating with Delicious Raw Vegan Recipes - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Tree of Life - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Chanting Mantras with Best Chords - Nataša Pantović Nuit
A-Ma Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Mindful Being - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Conscious Creativity: Mindfulness Meditations - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Spiritual Symbols: With their Meanings (Alchemy of love mindfulness training) (Volume 8) - Nataša Pantović Nuit

New Consciousness and Group Dynamics

Learning about Subconsciousness from Ancient Mythology & Philosophers Prometheus Titans PatanjaliSpiritualityPower of MindRelationshipsMindfulnessArticlesconsciousness

 

New  & Subconsciousness of Group Dynamics

Learning from Prometheus and Titans

by Nataša Pantović

The subconscious material or  chitta has its own “body” that engulfs the . Each soul from its birth passes through various awakenings, or dissociation from the sub-consciousness.

Mind chitta is an astral vibratory response within the subconscious layers with the precise words, feelings, and thoughts formations. We all enter it unconsciously. An ancient Indian Philosopher Patanjali  recognizes these dynamics within his Yoga Sutras. The Ancient Greeks Mythology and Philosophy Mother of All Sciences resonate with exactly the same logic.

Creation of humanity by Prometheus as Athena looks on (Roman-era relief 3rd century AD) Italy

Creation of humanity by Prometheus as Athena looks on (Roman-era relief 3rd century AD) Italy

Quantum physics and Consciousness

The infinite divisibility of the atom with its rapid transformation prevents the Soul from manifesting. Two atoms react uniquely different when with each other and two Souls have uniquely different encounters. Two mothers exchange parenting knowledge, two grandpas share their illnesses; two lovers interact through a sexual contact. The circumstances dance within the Universal Flow, creating a type of Dough that subconsciously modifies our thinking principle as a Soul materialized on Earth or someone who belongs to a Group. 

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text 2019-02-14 23:53
Christie Completists: Agatha's Plays
The Mousetrap and Other Plays - Agatha Christie
Black Coffee - Agatha Christie
The Unexpected Guest: A Play In Two Acts - Agatha Christie
Spider's Web: A Stage Play - Agatha Christie
Rule of Three - Agatha Christie
Murder on the Nile - Agatha Christie
Akhnaton: A Play in Three Acts - Agatha Christie
The Lost Plays: Butter in a Lordly Dish / Murder in the Mews / Personal Call - Full Cast,Richard Williams,Ivan S. Brandt,Agatha Christie

In my quest for Christie-related reading material, I've decided to work yet another series of reads into this year's program; namely, Dame Agatha's plays -- NOT The Mousetrap, Witness for the Prosecution and other blockbusters, however, but her lesser-known and forgotten ones; both stand-alones and adaptations of her own novels.  Most of the latter are collected, together with her aforementioned blockbuster successes, in The Mousetrap and Other Plays; the others are published individually by Samuel French.

 

The Mousetrap and Other Plays includes:

 

* Ten Little Indians

* Appointment With Death

* The Hollow

* Towards Zero and

* Go Back for Murder,

 

as well as a stand-alone play named Verdict.

(Go Back for Murder is the dramatization of Five Little Pigs, aka Murder in Retrospect).

 

Three of Dame Agatha's other plays were novelized by Charles Osborne: I've seen enough of those novels NOT to ever want to go near any of them ... but I am very much interested in Christie's original works:

 

* Black Coffee

* The Unexpected Guest and

* Spider's Web.

 

Then, there is a collection of three one-act plays collectively published under the title Rule of Three:

 

* Afternoon at the Seaside

* The Rats and

* The Patient,

 

as well as two plays set in Egypt: the dramatization of Death on the Nile and one of her final works, a history play set in Ancient Egypt published in 1973 but never produced in her remaining lifetime,

 

* Murder on the Nile and

* Akhnaton.

 

Finally, there is a set of radio dramas rereleased by the BBC a few years ago:

 

* Butter in a Lordly Dish

* Murder in the Mews and

* Personal Call.

 

I'm not planning to binge on these, but I'll be sprinkling them into my reading over the course of the year.  If anybody would like to join, please let me know -- I'm always up for a buddy read.

 


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