Monthly Archives: August 2008

Back to School Reading Bonanza (Giveaway!)



Thanks to all who entered. The winner is, Jana with the following submission!

One of the books that has had the greatest impact on me is The Aladdin Factor by Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield.

The basic premise of the book is that you never know what you can make happen if you don’t bother to ask. I used to always assume the answer would be no, so I wouldn’t ask. This book caused me to be a lot bolder about asking to have things the way I want them, asking for favors, asking for free samples, etc. It’s amazing what you can get if you just ask!

For example, shortly after I read this book, my husband and I were out to dinner for our anniversary. It was a fancy restaurant, a gorgeous meal, but instead of romantic music they were playing twangy country, which we both hate. Normally, we would have just tolerated it. But with the lessons from this book fresh in my mind, I flagged down our waiter and asked if it was possible to have the music turned off or way down. And he did! There’s been no turning back for me ever since!

How would you like a chance to win all 10 of those books? Hachette Book Group has generously offered to allow me to hold a contest here on my blog and give all 10 books away to one lucky winner. The 10 books, (Hachette’s latest bestselling titles!) will be shipped to you at no cost whatsoever!

The winner will receive a copy of the following books:

1. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World By Vicky Myron , Bret Witter

2. The Book of Calamities: Five Questions About Suffering and Its Meaning By Peter Trachtenberg

3. Say You’re One of Them By Uwem Akpan

4. Bo’s Lasting Lessons: The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership By Bo Schembechler , John Bacon

5. Knowing Right from Wrong: A Christian Guide to Conscience By Fr. Thomas D. Williams

6. Titanic’s Last Secrets: The Further Adventures of Shadow Divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler By Brad Matsen

7. A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative By Roger von Oech

8. Ethics 101: What Every Leader Needs To Know By John Maxwell

9. The Self-Esteem Trap: Raising Confident and Compassionate Kids in an Age of Self-Importance By Polly Young-Eisendrath

10. Roads to Quoz: An American Mosey By William Least Heat-Moon

This is by far my biggest giveaway and I’m really excited! I hope you guys are, too. Whether you’re a regular blog reader or you’re finding yourself here for the very first time, feel free to enter! Here’s how:


1. You must be residing in either the United States or Canada. (Sorry to my international friends!)

2. Upon notification of winning you must be able to provide a shipping address (P.O. Boxes not allowed!)

3. One entry per household.

4. E-mail me HERE, and in 200 words or less tell me about a book you have read that impacted your life. Tell me how or why this book was so important to you. (Make sure that you E-mail me from an E-mail address where you can also be notified if you have won.)

5. By submitting an entry you are giving me permission to re-print it here on my blog if you are the winner.

6. Contest ends Friday, September 5th, 2008. Winner will be announced here on the blog and via E-mail on that date.



Filed under books, contest

A is for Atticus

A is for Atticus by Lorilee Craker is an absolute must have for bibliophiles and parents to be, (and if you’re both, you won’t find a better book for naming your baby.)

I wish this book had been around when I was naming my two sons. I picked two literary names for my boys anyway, but if I’d have had this book in hand, I may have had the courage to go ahead and name one of them one of the more unique names I had on the list of possibilities like Holden (Caulfield) or Langston (Hughes). Or maybe I would have even come across a name I never even considered such as Oliver (Twist) or (Tom) Sawyer.


Filed under books, opinion, writing

Every Freaking Day

Every Freaking Day with Rachell Ray by Elizabeth Hilts is a parody of America’s sweetheart and chef Rachel Ray’s magazine.

It’s a fun, casual read and great for a quick laugh. Some of the humor seemed a little mean spirited, but then again I’ve been accused of being overly sensitive. The book is filled with great photography and makes hilarious use of Rachel Ray’s (sometimes annoying) overly chipper vocabulary.

A notable mention goes to the “No-Bake Chocolate Cake” assembled out of yodels, Hostess cupcakes and ring dings… and this may gross you out but I had to talk myself out of actually trying the breakfast burger which uses donuts as the bun for a breakfast sandwich. (Sounds good to me!)


Filed under books, food, humor, opinion

Sikulu and Harambe

Today I read a book to my son, Julian, (6 years old), called Sikulu and Harambe by the Zambezi River written by Kunle Oguneye and illustrated by Bruce McCorkindale.

The author was born and raised in Nigeria but has lived in the United States for the past thirteen years. He gave up a career in technology to pursue his love of story telling.

This African folktale is one native to the country of Zambia and is similar in some ways to the story of The Good Samaritan from the Bible. Sikulu is a spider and Harambe is a hippo. An old woman who finds herself in a difficult situation, asks many of the animals for help but everyone finds an excuse not to help her. It is Sikulu and Harambe who come to her rescue.

Much like Aesop’s fables, there is a moral to the story, and not only that but the book is full of interesting information on the culture and language as well.

Julian really enjoyed the colorful friendly characters and he fully understood the moral of the story.

This evening he was looking for a lost toy and he asked all of his family members to help. His brother Nick said, “Not right now. I’m watching TV.” I said, “Hold on, honey. I’m busy.” Daddy was occupied, too. Julian put his hands on his hips and said, “Mommy, remember the book. You’re all acting like the bad animals.”

Duly chastised, I went off to help him find the toy, and I’m proud of him for reminding me of the important lesson learned in the book.


Filed under books, culture, humor, kids