Category Archives: Self-Help/Motivation

Psych’s Guide to Crime Fighting for the Totally Unqualified by Shawn Spencer with Burton Guster

Become a fake detective (the psychic part, fake or not, is up to you) just by reading Psych’s Guide to Crime Fighting for the Totally Unqualified by Shawn Spencer with Burton Guster (who don’t actually exist outside of a TV show). Actually, you only have to read page 1 to become a detective because Shawn says so. Topics include setting up shop, picking your sidekick (who is definitely not a partner), working with cops and coroners of all kinds, and wrapping up your case with an awesome breakdown. There are recipes by Harry Spencer (bath salts) and Mr. Yang (twice baked potatoes) and magazine articles about/by such annoyances as Declan Rand and Cameron Luntz and an illuminating interview with Chief Vick and her sister, Commander Dunlap. Sprinkled throughout are very important quizzes (you must pass to be a detective… or not since you became a detective on page 1) and thumbprint doodles from the creative brain (and thumb) of Juliet O’Hara. This book is, as one would expect, hilarious. A must read for Psychos and fans of delicious flavor.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 43
Pages Read in 2015: 11,605
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Applied to Category for Special Reading Challenge: A book based on or turned into a TV show


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Feeding Eden by Susan Weissman

Eden had problems with food practically from birth. By the time he was a toddler, he had been diagnosed with multiple food allergies. A few drops of soy milk on his skin would send his parents running for the Benadryl as Eden’s skin swelled and turned red, and he broke out in hives. Trips to the emergency room were common. Feeding Eden Susan Weissman is part mother’s memoir of the first few years of Eden’s life and part self-help and part motivational book aimed at parents of other food allergic children.

The book includes an appendix with links and book suggestions for helping live with your child’s allergies. Also included is extensive endnotes referencing all the statistics and information provided throughout the book. The only negative was the book needs a better editor. I highly recommend it for any parent with a child with food restrictions. My daughter’s only issue is gluten, but I still found Feeding Eden to be useful for me.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 8
Pages Read in 2015: 2179
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Self-Help/Motivation

Balancing It All by Candance Cameron Bure

Most people my age remember Candace Cameron Bure as DJ Tanner on Full House. Those a bit younger may remember her as Summer van Horne on ABC Family’s Make It or Break It. I was born almost exactly two years after her and got married almost exactly two years after she did. My oldest and her second child were born within days of each other. I grew up “with” her, watching her every week on TGIF. Now, I follow her on Twitter and Facebook and read her blog. I read her first book, Reshaping It All and found it to be very useful so I looked forward to the release of her new book, Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose.

Balancing It All is part memoir, part self-help/motivation, and part Bible study. Most chapters are laid out starting with a Bible verse (she uses the Holman Christian Standard Bible) that relates to the topic for that chapter. Topics include marriage, parenting, friends, service, education, and more. Most chapters give a story from her life that relates to the topic. Then she ties it all together with ideas that have worked in her life for maintaining balance when you are being pulled in a hundred different directions and feel like it’s all going to crash down on you.

There is nothing new, no earth shattering ideas in Balancing It All. What there is is a lot of support and motivation and a few reminders to do things we know we should (like pray!) but often forget. Candace Cameron Bure is extremely honest in this book. She is not perfect, her family is not perfect (it sounds like her daughter is a little harder to handle like my daughter and just knowing that is comforting to me). Sure, she’s had life experiences that are unlike most people, but she still has a lot of the same struggles as everyone else. In short, she’s human and she doesn’t try to portray herself as anything but human. She is very clear that what works for her won’t necessarily work for someone else. We are all at different points in our lives, but I suspect that every woman can take at least one thing away from Balancing It All, apply it in her life, and end up happier and more balanced for it.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Book Number: 2
Pages Read: 464
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Memoir, Religious, Self-Help/Motivation