The Quick & Easy Healthy Cookbook

Author: Carrie Forrest, MBA, MPH
Publisher: Rockridge Press
Genre: Cookbook
ISBN: 978-1-64152-963-1
Pages: 186
Price: $17.99

Author’s website
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Making the decision to switch to a whole foods diet can be difficult. Many recipes are time-consuming and complicated, making the assumption that you have access to specialized markets and exotic and super expensive ingredients. The Quick & Easy Healthy Cookbook provides simple recipes that are healthy and taste great, without requiring a huge investment in time and money.

This cookbook has 125 recipes that cover the major categories: breakfast, soups & salads, vegetarian main dishes, seafood, poultry, meat, snacks & sides, basics & extras, and desserts. Some of the yummy and super healthy ideas include Cinnamon-Raisin Breakfast Cookies, Sweet Potato & Chickpea Curry Bowls, Pineapple Turkey Burgers, and Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

Carrie Forrest runs a clean eating website that showcases even more of her healthy recipes. She has a master’s degree in public health nutrition, and knows how to prepare healthy food that isn’t a chore to create. The Quick & Easy Healthy Cookbook would be a great addition to any health conscious cook’s bookshelf.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


True Reflections

Author: Laura L. Smith
Genre: Christian devotional
Pages: 60
Price: $10.00

Author’s website
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God may have created us, but do we really know who we are? We may know our personalities, preferences, and occupations, but do we know who we are deep inside? In this 30 day devotional, Laura L. Smith guides us through an exploration of what the Bible says about who God created us to be.

Each of these thirty devotions is designed to be completed in one day. On one page, we’re given a Bible quote, followed by the author’s musings on the topic presented, and a probing question for us to ponder. The second page offers a reflection opportunity with lots of blank space for recording our thoughts. Finally, the devotion ends on a nugget of truth for us to hold onto as we go about our day.

The Bible offers so many great affirmations about our worth to God. This 30 day devotional will help us hold them close in our hearts. I highly recommend True Reflections.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


The Unknown God

Author: Mathew P. John
Publisher: David C. Cook
Genre: Christian
ISBN: 978-0-8307-8074-7
Pages: 208
Price: $17.99

The Mosaic Course
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God created humanity, and it’s no surprise to find that He’s active in all religions – not just Christianity. In The Unknown God, author Mathew P. John shares his perspective on these world religions and how they all point to Jesus as Messiah.

Having grown up in India, John has a unique perspective of witnessing several religious practices in his home country. He looks at Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Muslim, Jewish, and Christian beliefs in an attempt to show how Jesus appears in each, and how God is still using those religions to bring his people to Christ.

God sent a Gentile group of Wise Men in search of his beloved Son on the eve of his birth. These men had no Jewish upbringing, yet they knew that a Savior was to be born, as they set off to follow the star. The Unknown God provides a wonderful explanation as to how He’s still reaching the people who don’t yet know Him.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


Remember, Remember (A Sherlock Holmes & Lucy James Mystery #3)

Authors: Anna Elliott and Charles Veley
Publisher: Wilton Press
Genre: Mystery
ISBN: 978-0999119112
Pages: 350
Price: $12.99

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Lucy wakes up on the streets of London to Constable Jack Kelly’s insistent prodding. She’s right outside the museum entrance, and needs to leave as quickly as possible. All she seems to remember is being in danger, and she wanders off, feeling lost and disturbed. After a narrow escape, she finds herself back in the care of Constable Kelly, who has come to believe her story.

Finally, her memory returns, and she and her father, Sherlock Holmes, have a new problem to solve. How can they keep Jack safe, after he’s arrested for a murder he didn’t commit? An unexpected tip warns of a future calamity, and only their quick thinking can save the day for everyone involved.

Remember, Remember is a quick and fun read, drawing the reader into the story from the opening scene. Even though I read this out of sequence, I didn’t feel I missed out on anything important. This is the second book I’ve read in this Sherlock Holmes takeoff series, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable they are. Lucy James is a spunky heroine with a sharp mind of her own, and I look forward to reading the rest of this series.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


Out of a Dark Winter’s Night

Author & Illustrator: Flora McDonnell
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-500-65195-7
Pages: 40
Price: $16.95

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A child is facing a very dark period in his life. He knows something is wrong, and he sets about trying to fix it. He struggles, gets tired, rests, but continues to hope. And finally, he finds the sun again.

Out of a Dark Winter’s Night was created as a gentle expression of the author’s own experience with anxiety and depression. However, kids may need some guidance in interpreting the images they see. Without understanding the subtle message, it’s very easy to take this book literally and see only a dark night. Children facing similar dark periods in their lives will find comfort in this book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


Snowy Race

Author: April Jones Prince
Illustrator: Christine Davenier
Publisher: Margaret Ferguson Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4141-9
Pages: 40
Price: $18.99

Author’s website
Illustrator’s website
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A little girl is waiting for someone special to arrive today, but realizes it’s snowing outside. Good thing Dad drives a snowplow! The two make their way through drifts and flurries, arriving at the train station, just in time to meet her. They’ve won their snowy race!

Any child who loves the snow will enjoy this sweet rhyming story.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Christian, fitness, health

Find Your Weigh (with Bible study)

Author: Shellie Bowdoin
Publisher: Source Publishing
Genre: Weight loss / Christian
ISBN: 978-971-503-442-5 / 978-9715034456
Pages: 251 / 111
Price: $13.99 / $12.99

Author’s website
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Buy the Bible study guide at Amazon

Would you like to be free of your weight issues? Do you believe that God can help you succeed? If so, Shellie Bowdoin has given us some pointers on how to let Him, as she encourages us to let go of the diet mentality, once and for all.

We all know diets don’t usually work. We go on a diet, lose the weight we want to lose, and then go off the diet, only to regain the weight. So instead of going on yet another new diet, Shellie gives us some new principles to follow – goals that redefine our process as healthy weight management. She also encourages us to journal what we’re feeling, and even provides special blank pages and some weekly reflection questions, along with her own journal as a model. The Bible study guide is accompanied by free Youtube videos, and throughout the study, Shellie shares Bible wisdom to encourage us in our efforts.

Losing weight can be a struggle, but God wants to help us in our efforts. Find Your Weigh provides encouragement and resources in making the changes we know we need to make.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

self improvement, writing

Writing for Bliss

Author: Diana Raab, PhD
Publisher: Loving Healing Press
Genre: Writing / Self-help
ISBN: 978-1-61599-323-9
Pages: 238
Price: $21.95

Author’s website
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Writing a memoir strictly for your own eyes can be an interesting ramble down memory lane. But writing one that you plan to market and sell will involve some very different techniques. Whichever option you’re thinking of pursuing, Writing for Bliss is there to guide you.

The introduction offers the concepts of writing for healing, therapy, and transformation, as you allow yourself the blissful action of putting your thoughts on paper. The following sections lead you through the phases of preparing to write, cultivating self-awareness, speaking your truth, examining your life, finding your form, unleashing with poetry, and sharing your writing. Throughout the book, the author shares some of her experiences in writing her own story, along with several writing prompts to get you started. And once you have something on paper, she helps you decide what sensitive information to include and guides you through the process of organizing it into a format that readers expect to see.

Diana Raab has first-hand experience in writing about her own life and sharing it with the public. In this book, she’s written a wonderful guide for those of us who don’t have the faintest idea of where to start. If you’re thinking of putting the story of your life on paper, Writing for Bliss would be a great resource to use.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

adventure, fantasy, tween

Time Tracers: The Stolen Summers

Authors: Annabeth Bondor-Stone & Connor White
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: Fantasy / Middle-grade
ISBN: 978-0-06-267142-4
Pages: 256
Price: $16.99

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Taj can hardly wait for the bell to ring, signalling the end of the school year and the beginning of summer. He has a plan to make sure he and his friends have the best summer ever. So he’s in total shock when he wakes up the following morning and it’s the first day of school. How did he lose a whole summer? When he meets his friends that morning, they are in even worse shape than him, as they struggle to get a grip on what’s happened.

Soon, an unexpected encounter with a time tracer explains the problem. Their summers have all been stolen! Now it’s up to Taj, along with his team of Eon and Syd, to track down the summers and restore them before it’s to late. If they’re unsuccessful in their mission, it could mean doom for everyone he holds dear. But the evil person behind the thefts knows Taj is after them, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to stop him.

The Time Tracers is action-packed, and kids will eagerly keep turning the pages to find out what happens next. Gross bug-like creatures are splattered at every encounter, and there is chaos and destruction everywhere. This is a fun read for everyone, but boys will especially love Taj’s great adventure. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


Aromatherapy for Self-Care

Author: Sarah Swanberg MS, LAc
Publisher: Rockridge Press
Genre: Health / Aromatherapy
ISBN: 978-1-64611-221-0
Pages: 210
Price: $16.99

Author’s website
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Aromatherapy has been known to have therapeutic effects when used for various ailments. But the average person probably has no idea where to start when presented with a long list of available essential oils. How do you know what combinations would work best? Aromatherapy for Self-Care provides answers.

Before diving into the various recipes, Swanberg explains some of the methods used for aromatherapy, and what kinds of tools will be needed. She also shares some of the more reputable companies who produce essential oils, along with pros and cons of using each. Several essential oils are described in detail, and these form the basis of most of the recipes for emotional, mental, and physical well-being. These will used in many ways, including with a diffuser, inhaler, or carrier oil.

Good quality essential oils are expensive, so it would be cost prohibitive to buy all of the recommended oils right away. But it would be possible to dabble in some of these recipes to get a feel for them first, and then continue to explore what feels right to you. Aromatherapy for Self-Care is a wonderful guide to using these essential oils in your own life.

Reviewer: Alice Berger