In the Company of Others by Jan Karon

This is another beautifully crafted adventure of our beloved Father Tim Kavanagh and his wife Cynthia. Over the years, Jan Karon has allowed the reader to share in the intimate most parts of Father Tim’s life. And, in this novel, we join him and Cynthia in an adventure in Ireland where Father Tim explores his Irish roots as they celebrate Cynthia’s birthday.

I really enjoy Jan Karon’s novels. Reading them is like taking a mini vacation. I find her words delicious and irresistible. They are always full of great food, landscapes, wonderful people and beautiful relationships.

The Power of Intention, Learning to Co-create Your World Your Way by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

This book makes a fabulous training manual or workbook for those interested in understanding the concept of the Source and Intention. A person could read through this in a few days, but I would suggest that they schedule some time, possibly 1 chapter per week or month, to actually study and ponder each chapter’s material and exercises. If one is studying this concept with the idea of putting these practices into place, also consider partnering with family and close friends, a sort of study group, to help ensure that those bonds stay strong through a mutual understanding of this journey.

This particular edition of this book, the Gift Edition, is breathtakingly beautiful due to the art work (illustrations by Jui Ishida), the brilliant colors and the soft glossy texture of the paper. This makes the case for “real books” vs “e-books”. There is no way that this sort of sensuous (b : producing or characterized by gratification of the senses – © 2010 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated) experience can be reproduced in digital form. I thank Dr. Dyer and Hay House for this amazing gift, which I consider one of my treasures.

Link to info about the book: The Power of Intention
Link to info about the author: Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Link to video of the book: View some of the art work

In accordance with FTC guidelines I must disclose that I have received this book, for free, from Hay House, in exchange for writing reviews for Hay House’s new book releases.

At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon

“It’s easy to feel at home in Mitford. In these high, green hills, the air is pure, the village is charming, and the people are generally lovable. Enter the world of Mitford, and you won’t want to leave. “

In this first novel, in the Mitford Series, we are introduced to the main character, Father Tim who is at the age where he should be considering retirement, but instead Jan Karon finds unexpected adventures to send him on.  Along the way we meet the colorful and lovable town folk who have amazing relationships. Jan Karon makes gardening, enjoying food, family, friends and pets seem magical.  I read these stories when I need a warm and fuzzy fix.

Esther’s Gift, A Mitford Christmas Story by Jan Karon

With some sort of magic, Jan Karon paints amazing stories from simple everyday life events such as gardening, enjoying food, family, friends and pets. Many of the residents are amazingly talented in one or more of those areas. “Esther’s Gift” is a beautiful Christmas story about Esther who makes legendary cakes desired by everyone. In the year of this story, her accountant husband crunches the numbers to figure the cost of each cake she gifts and she decides that maybe the gift of a cake is more extravagant that she’s willing to be. That is, until she is overcome by the spirit of the season. I enjoyed this lovely, charmingly illustrated booklet. I found the story very touching, with a surprise at the end that a true Mitford fan would weep over.

The Mitford Snowmen, A Christmas Story by Jan Karon

Mitford has a snow day and one of the shop owners on main street inspires a snowman building contest and everyone on main street,  from the Pastor of the Episcopal Church to the town’s Mayor,  comes outside to play.  After the sweetness of this day, the Mayor designates it as The First Annual Mitford Snowman Jubilee and buys donuts for all of the 26 participants.

For me, Jan Karon paints such rich and colorful stories about Mitford and its residents. This is about one amazing day, that is very moving and memorable.  There are delightful illustrations, of snowmen and snowwomen, in the booklet to assist the imagination.  This is one of my treasurers.

Beat Sugar Addiction Now! by Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D.

Beat Sugar Addiction NOW!
Fair Winds Press (Released March 2010)
by Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D.

Whenever I read one of Dr. Teitelbaum’s books, I feel like I’m taking a college course. I get out my note-book and pencils, sit at my office desk in a comfortable chair, and dig in. My sense is that Dr. Teitelbaum would rather teach people to learn how to manage their health rather than simply give instructions on what to do.  This empowers one to make the best health care choices possible.  He uses this same principle in “Beat Sugar Addiction Now!”.  This is a workbook developed to help the reader learn how to identify if they have a sugar addiction, what the implications are on health and how to learn to defeat the addiction and be a better manager of health.

I cringed each time Dr. Teitelbaum used the word addiction, thinking, “Really? It’s just sugar“. But, as I continued to read, I realized that it was driving home a point for me, that even though it’s only sugar, it is a real and potentially harmful addiction.  So, ok, now I’m a believer.

The workbook is set up to identify 4 types of sugar addiction. There is a simple quiz for each of the 4 types so that the reader can use the chapters that are personally relevant.  Dr. Teitelbaum suggests that a person could have more than one type of sugar addiction. I took all 4 quizzes and it only takes a few seconds to complete the quizzes and complete the analysis. There is an overview of what each type of addict would look like and some chapters with the suggested remedies and lifestyle changes.  There are also chapters dedicated to specific sugar related health issues:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia
Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome
Heart Disease
Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Spastic Colon
Migraines and Tension Headaches

As with all of Dr. Teitelbaum’s books, this is not a one time read, this is an owner’s manual that you should keep handy to refer to often.

Experience Your Good Now! Learning to Use Affirmations By Louise L. Hay

Experience Your Good Now!
Learning to Use Affirmations. By Louise L. Hay

This is an interesting tool set (book and audio cd) for people who struggle with their internal dialogue. On the cd, that accompanies the book, Ms. Hay provides 1.25 hours of lecture on what affect our internal dialogue has on our lives, a way to distinguish positive and negative dialogue, and possible replacement dialogue, or affirmations, for different aspects of our lives.

Each chapter in the book provides a self assessment, explanations about possible causes of negative dialogue and the positive affirmations that will help transform negative dialogue into positive.

The chapters include Affirmations for:

Fearful Emotions
Critical Thinking
Money and Prosperity
Love and Intimacy

I would suggest that you first take the time to savor to the lecture, so you have a firm understanding of the purpose of this tool set. I would then do the self assessments. I was not surprised by some of the results. I’ve known that I have areas that need work. But there were a few categories that did surprise me.  And, now I know where I need the most work, and for me that is the most logical place to begin. I find that it is very helpful to learn where the negativity comes from so that I can mount a type of defense against future influences.

There were two chapters in the book that I do look forward to offer further comment on, since the purpose of Joy Quest is to offer support for those with chronic illness. One chapter is for the Affirmations for Health, the other Chapter is Affirmations for Addictions.

In accordance with FTC guidelines I must disclose that I have received this book, for free, from Hay House, in exchange for writing reviews for Hay House’s new book releases.

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

In the story Eclipse, Jasper taught the Cullens and Bella about newborn vampires. This is the story of one of the two newborn vampires that Bella met, Bree Tanner, who was created to be a part of Victoria’s vampire army which was used to wage war against the Cullens and the werewolves. Bree was the lone newborn vampire to survive the battle, but was ultimately destroyed, as we read in Eclipse, by Jane of the Volturi.

I love the author’s idea of enriching the Twilight Stories by adding more detail through additional characters. The story line and characters are the same magic as the rest of the Twilight stories.  The ending of this story made me weep.

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

The main story in the 3rd novel, in the series, is about an army of werewolves, an army of vampires and a family of angelic vampires who go to war.

After I read Midnight Sun, I am more comfortable seeing the Twilight books as romance in addition to fantasy and horror.  However, I don’t much like the change that has come over the characters of Edward and Bella. Edward is much more controlling than before and it appears that Bella now has her legs painted on, since she’s being carried everywhere by anyone interacting with her. Maybe the mystery illness will be revealed in the final book? I do love the writing, and the story line.

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

I watched New Moon the movie before I read Twilight the novel.  I was not at all comfortable with the story line, that being a teenage suicide pact. I couldn’t understand how these could possibly be promoted as romantic. The content seems to be too adult, and should not be meant for teenagers.

In this novel, Edward, the vampire, has decided that it is too dangerous for Bella, the heroine, to be a part of his life, so he breaks up with her and leaves town. The first chapters of the story deal with the depression that Bella suffers.   As someone who can easily become engaged in a story line, it was very difficult for me to read those chapters.  I thought that the author wrote that with amazing credibility. The adventure continues as Bella struggles to get back to a more normal life.  And, the final chapters of the book are about how her life is once again intertwined with a self-destructive Edward in time to rescue him.  Again, the architecture of this story makes it a pleasure to read.

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