Wednesday, May 3, 2017

We the People by Juan Williams

 What would the Founding Fathers think about America today? Over 200 years ago the Founders broke away from the tyranny of the British Empire to build a nation based on the principles of freedom, equal rights, and opportunity for all men. But life in the United States today is vastly different from anything the original Founders could have imagined in the late 1700s. The notion of an African-American president of the United States, or a woman such as Condoleezza Rice or Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, would have been unimaginable to the men who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, or who ratified the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

In a fascinating work of history told through a series of in depth profiles, prize-winning journalist, bestselling author, and Fox political analyst Juan Williams takes readers into the life and work of a new generation of American Founders, who honor the original Founders’ vision, even as they have quietly led revolutions in American politics, immigration, economics, sexual behavior, and reshaped the landscape of the nation.

Among the modern-day pioneers Williams writes about in this compelling new book are the passionate conservative President Reagan; the determined fighters for equal rights, Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King, Jr.; the profound imprint of Rev. Billy Graham’s evangelism on national politics; the focus on global human rights advocated by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; the leaders of the gay community who refused to back down during the Stonewall Riots and brought gay life into America’s public square; the re-imagined role of women in contemporary life as shaped by Betty Friedan.

Williams reveals how each of these modern-day founders has extended the Founding Fathers original vision and changed fundamental aspects of our country, from immigration, to the role of American labor in the economy, from modern police strategies, to the importance of religion in our political discourse.

America in the 21st Century remains rooted in the Great American experiment in democracy that began in 1776. For all the changes our economy and our cultural and demographic make-up, there remains a straight line from the first Founders’ original vision, to the principles and ideals of today’s courageous modern day pioneers.

In We the People, Juan Williams has written a kind of bi-partisan historical travelogue that is in search of America in the 21st century. He begins by discussing the changes that have taken place in the recent past that are, for many Americans, disorienting. In responding that the disorientation, including his own, he asks a fundamental question about both our national and personal identities: what defines America and Americans? His inquiries, which include government reports and public opinion polls, and the answers he finds are extremely thoughtful. This is a book is a “must read” for anyone interested in the state of affairs in American political life today, including teachers of American history and policy.

This is an excellent book. It is well written, readable and factually accurate. It might be accurately subtitled as "a 60 years current events reprise" since it covers the people Williams has selected as having great influence in shaping American policies and events since WW II..He is objective, and has selected a wide range of influential people from Thurgood Marshall to Barry Goldwater with frequently opposing ideas, but also were important to shaping America in some way. I absolutley recommend this book. Each chapter is a stand-alone depiction of the person being discussed so the book can be read in any order you choose without losing continuity. Definitely worth reading.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review from Blogging for Books. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Crazy is my superpower by AJ Mendez Brooks

 Recently retired WWE superstar AJ Mendez Brooks is a powerhouse—strong, quirky, and totally confident. But that wasn’t always the case. With humor and tremendous heart, she opens up for the first time about her harrowing struggle to understand her demons and the diagnosis that helped her gain control over her life.

I wasn't a WWE fan for long, but in the time that I was I both loved and hated AJ Lee's character. I adored her that we had a female character to watch who was short and spunky and seemed real, and then later I detested the way they had her character become the crazy girl, the butt of every joke. I expected this book would cover more of her time as a wrestler. I was pleasantly surprised to find out this wasn't the case. The book is an in depth look into her childhood and past. You get to see her use her mother's struggles to help her grow. You get a glimpse into how dark her life could have turned out. She does talk a bit about wrestling, but she treats it like you would treat any job, so it doesn't become the focus of the story. I liked her honesty and bravery when talking about her bipolar disorder, and how she doesn't act like it's something she should be ashamed of. So often mental illnesses are stigmatized, and those who suffer aren't able to be so open and honest about them. AJ's writing is engaging, she speaks passionately, and her book is a good read. I would recommend it to anyone, WWE fan or not. 

I recived this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

 YOU, you… God thinks about you.
God was thinking of you long before your debut.

From early on, children are looking to discover their place in the world and longing to understand how their personalities, traits, and talents fit in. Knowing that they are deeply loved and a unique creation in our big universe is certain to help them spread their wings and fly.

Written in playful, charming rhyme and brought to life with vivid, fantastical illustrations, young readers will be encouraged and excited to learn about their own special gifts and how they fit into God’s divine plan as they grow, explore, and begin create for themselves.

Cause when God made YOU, somehow God knew
That the world needed someone exactly like you!

This book reads like a beautiful song, explaining to children the love that went into their creation and how God has a unique purpose for them. Complimented with some stunning illustrations. I bought it for my niece, who was thrilled that the girl in the story kind of looks like her. I cannot recommend it enough for your children, grandchildren, etc.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review from Blogging For Books. All opinions are 100% my own.   

Monday, February 13, 2017

That's so 90s Pop!

 Join Britney Spears in a maze searching for the necklace she once thought the old lady dropped into the ocean. Join Mandy Moore for a Candy-fuelled adventure in her green VW bug. Color in the scorching tattoos on Nick Lachey's rippling biceps. All this and so much more to be discovered within the pages of That's so '90s Pop, a fill-in activity book featuring a bevy of beloved musical pop stars from the late '90s/ early '00s.

I absolutely love the adult coloring book craze. I find coloring to be so therapeutic and relaxing. So i love buying adult coloring books, and as someone who was a teenager in the very late 90s/early 2000s i knew i would love this one. The activities in it remind me of the activity books we used to get as kids, very simple but good for killing some time. There are lots of neat 90s trivia facts, and a lot of color pages. The color pages are where i was disappointed. Most of them look very little like who they are supposed to be. If not for the names on each page i might not have figured out who a few were supposed to be. But for the most part it was a fun book and one i'm glad i got to review. 

I received this book in exchange for my honest review from Blogging for books. All opinions are 100% my own. 


Friday, November 25, 2016

David Bowie Retrospective and Coloring Book by Mel Elliott

 Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Thin White Duke. . . . Bowie changed his style more dramatically than any other musician in history. His transformations brought about seismic cultural shifts, altering the definition of what it meant to be a popular rock star. This annotated collection of illustrations provide a remarkable overview of Bowie's nearly fifty years of evolution, featuring looks by the likes of Freddie Burretti and Kansai Yamamoto, further establishing him as the fashion king of self-invention.

I fell in love with David Bowie in the movie "Labyrinth." Jareth the Goblin King was a crush of mine for ages. As i got older i was able to delve into the music of Bowie, and see his true genius. His influence on pop culture, his stance on sexual fluidity and his challenge of gender norms...They made him a great man. His passing in the beginning of 2016 was terribly sad for me. 

Being someone who loves Bowie, and who also loves adult coloring books, i was excited to receive this one. The execution of this book left something to be desired. Each set of pages has a scene/costume of Bowie on one side, with a description on the other side. Most of the images relate to famous outfits he wore, which is fine, but i had hoped for more details on his life. There also a quite a few pages with no background images, which makes them look very plain and un-Bowie like to me. I'm glad i got to review this book, but i personally i wouldn't spend the $12 for it. 

I received this book for free to review from blogging for books. My opinions are 100% my own. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Me: A Compendium by Wee Society

Inventive, hilarious and joyously colorful, this fill-in journal was designed to help kids capture nearly everything that’s uniquely rad about them. With design-savvy, yet completely kid-friendly illustrations, they’re asked to draw or write about a bunch of interesting things — like what their hair looks like, what their band name would be, what they’d bring to outer space, and how they feel about lightning, lizards and pickles. Whether kids complete their entire compendium on a rainy day, or finish it over a year, it’ll become a treasure to look back on and smile.

First, this book is the perfect size for kids. Not so large and unwieldy to manage and not so long that one never actually completes the whole book. And not too short that you whip through it in one sitting. I was not expecting a dust jacket (always a plus for added protection). Love the bold and graphic image on the cover! What makes the dust jacket particularly fun is that it offers a place for a child to record some "secrets." The interior of the jacket is actually a very slick surface so will most likely require permanent marker to work (in which case I highly recommend adult assistance for that portion).

Each page has one thing to record. I love the simplicity of the design--very large printing and large graphic image but lots of color. I can imagine an elementary child completing this on their own or a younger child could dictate their answers to a parent to record. There are place for drawing pictures as a response. Some pages include facts like your birthdate or your current friends. Some are more imaginative such as sharing what type of dinosaur you want to be. Children can complete the pages in any order and when it's all done, they will have a marvelous keepsake. This is definitely a book you will treasure!

I can see this being a fabulous way to encourage reluctant writers. We all know that writing is infinitely more fun on bright and whimsical pages! It could also be a very helpful way to draw out a more reserved child--providing a glimpse into the depths of their heart and mind. It could even be a helpful tool for those dealing with children who have been through traumatic events. In a world with so much focus on screens and programmed activities, Me: A Compendium offers a rare treat for some good old fashioned open-ended fun. As the book says, the only things you need to complete the book are "Ideas, a way to put those ideas into this book, and someone to share it with."

I recived this book for free from Blogging for books. My review and opinions are 100% my own. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

God Bless America adult coloring book

   I really love the adult coloring book trend. As someone who suffers from chronic pain and anxiety I enjoy coloring. It's a good way to relax and de-stress from life. It's still as fun as an adult as it was as a kid to make pictures come to life with color. The God Bless America coloring book is a fun, educational coloring book that both my son and I have enjoyed. Each page has a patriotic picture, along with a quote or phrase from famous american's throughout history. The pages are nice and thick, so markers don't bleed through, and they are easy to tear out of the book when needed. You can find this coloring book on amazon.