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review 2017-10-18 22:50
Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges - Amy Cuddy



I am sucker for books about becoming or cultivating our best selves, so I had no choice but to be sucked in by this one.  After cursing at my alarm clock today, I spent two minutes with my arms up in the air, thinking, "I am going to conquer this day!"  I'm not sure I would go so far as to claim conquership, but my interactions with other people were satisfying today.  Assuming power poses--and the related strategies Cuddy describes--are simple, but I think they have merit.


I will note that I prefer the arms-up-in -the-air posture represented on the book cover.  But if you prefer the "Wonder Woman" hands on hips, go for it!

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review 2017-10-05 16:14
Help for the Haunted / John Searles
Help for the Haunted - John Searles

It begins with a call in the middle of snowy February evening. Lying in her bed, young Sylvie Mason overhears her parents on the phone across the hall. This is not the first late-night call they have received, since her mother and father have an uncommon occupation, helping "haunted souls" find peace. And yet, something in Sylvie senses that this call is different than the rest, especially when they are lured to the old church on the outskirts of town. Once there, her parents disappear, one after the other, behind the church's red door, leaving Sylvie alone in the car. Not long after, she drifts off to sleep only to wake to the sound of gunfire.

Nearly a year later, we meet Sylvie again struggling with the loss of her parents, and living in the care of her older sister, who may be to blame for what happened the previous winter.

As the story moves back and forth in time, through the years leading up to the crime and the months following, the ever inquisitive and tender-hearted Sylvie pursues the mystery, moving closer to the knowledge of what occurred that night, as she comes to terms with her family's past and uncovers secrets that have haunted them for years.


I read this book to fill the “Haunted Houses” square of my 2017 Halloween Bingo card.

As in any good ghost story, there is a lot of ambiguity in this tale of family strife and striving. Can Sylvie’s father see ghosts or not? What are her mother’s capabilities? Are they helping people or just fooling their clients and themselves?

Sylvie is a typical “good kid.” She is co-operative, obedient, studious—even when she doesn’t want to be any of those things. And her sister Rose is the typical “bad kid.” She questions everything, does what she wants to, and makes life as miserable as possible for the rest of the family. Rose and their father clash a lot—probably because they are a lot alike. That’s generally how these things work. My father & I butted heads occasionally because we were both quiet people with strong ideas and more that our share of stubbornness. Other than that, I was pretty much the stereotypical good kid, so I could relate to Sylvie quite well.

I had to wonder about what kind of person would choose a career of helping those with supernatural difficulties. Why would you put your own family into such a situation, where your own children often took a backseat to the children of others? It’s almost a truism that preacher’s kids will get in trouble, often as a way to plead for attention from their parents and that seems to hold true with any of the religious & quasi-religious professions.

In the end, it seemed that it maybe wasn’t the house that was haunted, but the family. Haunted by things left unsaid, paths left untrod, people left behind.

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review 2017-09-02 12:55
Robin and the White Rabbit by Ase Brunnstrom and Emma Lindstrom
Robin and the White Rabbit: A Story to Help Children with Autism to Talk about their Feelings and Join In - Åse Brunnström,Emma Lindström,Emma Lindström,Tony Attwood

Genre:  Autism / Animals / Disability / School / Friendship

Year Published: 2017

Year Read:  2017

Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Source: eARC (Edelweiss)



I would like to thank Edelweiss and Jessica Kingsley Publishers for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

It is rare that I find children’s books that discusses autism and how the protagonist who has autism deals with it. So, imagine my surprise and delight when I found out that Edelweiss has a copy of a children’s book that deals with autism called “Robin and the White Rabbit” by Åse Brunnström and Emma Lindström and man, was I impressed by this inspiring children’s book!

Meet Robin! 

Robin is a young girl who often has trouble expressing her true feelings as her emotions seems bottled up inside of her (or in this case, are shown as words that swirl around her) and she has problems with communicating with other children because of this. One day, when Robin goes and sits underneath a tree by herself while the other children are playing on the playground, a white rabbit suddenly comes up and offers Robin a way to communicate her feelings by showing her pictures of her favorite activities and making a chart that shows what activities she likes and what activities she does not like.

Wow! I was quite impressed with this book as it was both creative and inspiring at the same time! It is rare that I have read a book that deals with autism and Åse Brunnström and Emma Lindström have both done a wonderful job at writing this story as they show what autism is like and how you can help anyone who has autism express their feelings more clearly. I like the fact that Robin becomes friends with a white rabbit who truly helps Robin cope with her autism. I especially loved the way that the rabbit helps Robin by showing her pictures of various activities that she could play and placing them on a chart that tells the audience what activities she likes and what activities she does not like. This activity would certainly help a parent or a teacher understand about how to deal with children or other people who have autism and gain a better understanding of what having autism is like. I will admit that I was a little curious about whether or not the white rabbit is a figment of Robin’s imagination or really exists in that world, but because I loved the idea about this book exploring autism and the white rabbit helping Robin deal with her autism, I eventually did not mind where the white rabbit came from. Emma Lindström’s artwork is highly creative as the artwork has a mixture of watercolor drawn characters mixed with realistic photos which gives the story a unique atmosphere. I also loved the images of the white rabbit itself as it is drawn in a cute way and I loved seeing the little blue bag it carries as it makes me interested in seeing what the white rabbit has in its bag!

Overall, “Robin and the White Rabbit” is a truly cute and inspiring story that would be great for parents and teachers who are dealing with children and loved ones with autism and it is definitely a children’s book that is worth checking out! I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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text 2017-08-30 15:35
Ready for September and Halloween Bingo
Help for the Haunted - John Searles
The Killer Inside Me - Jim Thompson
Witches of Lychford - Paul Cornell
Misery - Stephen King
Bitten - Kelley Armstrong
A Murder Is Announced - Agatha Christie

The hardest part is waiting for September 1st!


I've got these books teed up and ready to go.  In the meanwhile, I'll pick away at the rest of my stack of library books.  I'm finishing up my Summer Lovin' reading list and other odds & ends that seem to be lingering in my reading life.


I'm ready, y'all.

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text 2017-08-29 16:43
New Member Help!
blogging friend tried to join BL but is having trouble. Has anyone encountered/fixed this kind of issue? I'd like to help her but I don't know where to begin. Thanks in advance.

Tried setting up a profile on BL but it's not working out-nothing but trouble with setting up. My blog name, theme and pic is there (sometimes) but with other peoples posts and books on it. I've spent 2 hours on this and it's driving me mad. Might just stick to GR.

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