Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thumbing Through Thoreau Book Review

Title: Thumbing Through Thoreau: A Book of Quotations By Henry David Thoreau

Authors: Kenny Luck
Illustrators: Jay Luke and Ren Adams
Publisher: Tribute Books
Published: April 19, 2010
ISBN: 978-0982256541

Summary: "On July 4, 1845, when Henry David Thoreau moved into his cabin on the shores of Walden Pond, he was probably unaware that his abode in the woods, and the impact and influence of that endeavor, would forever echo through time. Thoreau was an uncompromising idealist; an ardent maverick who criticized his fellow man. He urged that men and women ought to live more simply, and more deliberately. "The mass of men," he famously wrote, "lead lives of quite desperation." Yet the scope of Thoreau's message is much wider than social criticism. He speaks of spiritual transcendence in Nature and the unbounded potential of the individual. Thoreau is a dreamer and he speaks to dreamers. In a word, shun dogmatism and demagoguery; see beyond the immediate conventional religious explanations to reap a higher understanding. In our commodified contemporary American society, with the rise of religious intolerance and fundamentalism, materialism and mass consumerism, Thoreau's message is needed now more than ever. Author Kenny Luck has thumbed through Thoreau's voluminous journals, correspondences and other publications to make this the most comprehensive collection of Thoreau aphorisms available."

I love quotes. One of my favorite reference books is my Dictionary of Quotations. I love to find ones that match my mode or whose subject is of interest to me. I was thrilled to get the chance to review this book of quotes by Thoreau because, although he lived over 150 years ago, his quotes are timeless and many address issues still present in current society. If you have never read anything by Thoreau, I think you might be pleasantly surprised by his relevance.

Another amzing thing about this book is the illustrations. Both of the illustrators drew and painted all of the drawings included in the book. I received a review copy which was in black and white so one thing I am curious about is if the sketches are in color or black and white. Some look like they were done as pen and ink sketches but others could be anything.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes.

* "There are thousands who are in opinion opposed to slavery and the war, who yet in effect, do nothing to put an end to them."

* "I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life."

* "...not until we are lost do we begin to realize where we are..."


This is a great book and if kept as a true coffee table book, I bet would spark tons of interesting conversations. I highly recommend this book to everyone!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!! What Would Rob Do??

Forget Someone's Name? What Would Rob Do?

By Rob Sachs,
Author of What Would Rob Do?: An Irreverent Guide to Surviving Life's Daily Indignities

When nobody else has been around to help out, I've also tried getting someone to talk about her own name. I'd say something like, "I used to get made fun of all the time when I was little because people would call me names like 'Saxophone' or 'Sexy Sachs' or 'Rob my sacks of cats.'" (Okay, nobody ever used the last one.) After sharing my story, I'd ask if she ever got teased, hoping she will give me a funny story that I can use to remember her name. Or sometimes I'd inquire, "What did your family call you when you were little?" Hopefully, it won't be Princess.

If you're not so good at face-to-face reconnaissance, there are less invasive methods for procuring names. In college I used to peek in backpacks, binders, notebooks, or anything that might have a name written on it. Now you can use social Web sites like Facebook or MySpace to see if you can figure out who somebody is through your circle of friends. You can also befriend someone who is really good with names and have him act as your personal Rolodex. Another "more advanced" technique is to challenge a person to a rap battle. The trick is to begin your rhyme with the words, "My name is . . . " Mine goes something like this:

My name is Rob,
I'm on the job
And though I eat with my hands,
I ain't no slob.

Then tell her it's her turn and she needs to follow the same format. Sit back and wait for her to give up the goods.

These tricks don't always fly in a work setting (though it would be fun to rap battle with some of my coworkers). There are times when the easiest thing to do is to come clean about forgetting someone's name. Within the first thirty seconds of talking to someone, it's okay to say, "I'm an idiot and I've forgotten your name." If you're not feeling self-deprecating, a simple "Oh, remind me of your name again?" will do as well. Letting a conversation go longer than five minutes without saying that makes you not only an idiot but a jerk, since the person you're talking to thinks you've been duping him the whole conversation.

My career at NPR has taken me from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles and back to D.C. I knew there
would be a lot of people I'd recognize but whose names I'd forget. To get some new tricks for the workplace, I called memory expert Harry Lorayne. He holds memory seminars all the time and has a full line of memory-related products. He was at first reluctant to talk to me, since people usually pay a lot of money to get the information he gives. Fortunately, I got him to open up on my specific problem of forgetting names, and he gave me a few hints.

He said that most of the names we forget are ones we never heard in the first place. Many times when people tell us their names, we're not really paying attention. When you hear someone say his or her name, you have to flag it in your brain as a vital piece of information. Lorayne recommended repeating the name right away to try to commit it to memory.

Let's say you're meeting me. I'll say, "Hi, my name is Rob Sachs." You can first verify that you heard it being pronounced the right way. Say it back to me. "Rob Sachs, is that correct?" Second, you can make a quick association with the name, or start talking about it in the conversation. Ask if Sachs has any relation to Saks Fifth Avenue or Goldman Sachs. (There is none, by the way.) The more you talk about the name right away, the more likely you are to remember it.

Another possibility is to try to associate someone's name with one of his physical characteristics. For instance, if you meet someone named Ben Green and you notice he has green eyes, you can repeat that in your head. Ben Green with the green eyes. Ben who has eyes that are green. Ben's last name is Green. My trick for remembering a name like Mikhail Gorbachev would be to think of the red splotch on his head as being gory. "Gory splotch" sounds like "Gorbachev." This might be a stretch, but it can work. The idea is to have a visual cue that correlates to the name.

Lorayne said another great thing to do is to use the name as often as you can over the course of your conversation. Try to eliminate all pronouns and just say the person's name instead, while always being careful not to say the name too much, since that can be a little creepy. "So Rob, what do you think about the weather? How about those Phillies, Rob? Rob, what brings you here?" I've tried this out, and to my amazement, it works. People also appreciate hearing their own name, because it makes them feel you care about them, or are a thoughtful person.

Harry Lorayne is a pro at this. He can repeat the names of a whole roomful of people he's just met. He told me that if you practice a lot and work on it, over time you will get better at it. These techniques have already started to help me in the office, though I still have one more trick. If I didn't catch someone's name or have forgotten it, I now go to the new searchable online database of NPR employees that contains everyone's picture from their photo ID. It's my own little office facebook, and I've lost more than a few hours of productivity studying it.

The above is an adapted excerpt from the book What Would Rob Do?: An Irreverent Guide to Surviving Life's Daily Indignities by Rob Sachs. Check out my review on his book later today!!



Copyright © 2010 Rob Sachs, author of What Would Rob Do?: An Irreverent Guide to Surviving Life's Daily Indignities



Author Bio

Rob Sachs, author of What Would Rob Do?: An Irreverent Guide to Surviving Life's Daily Indignities, has spent the last ten years as a producer, reporter, and director for NPR shows, including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Tell Me More. He created the podcast What Would Rob Do? in 2006 and serves as its host.



For more information, please visit www.WhatWouldRobDo.com
Follow the author on Twitter: @robsachs
Follow the author on Facebook: facebook.com/whatwouldrobdo

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

WooHoo!!

Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaways!!  Except for the 6 romance books giveaway, if you entered you won!

The winner of the 6 romance novels is...#20 Marianna!!  She said "I follow your blog on GFC"  I emailed her and she has 48 hours to respond or random.org will choose a new winner.  Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway and Happy Reading!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Book Giveaway Week!!!

From 6/4 until 6/11 I will post a new book giveaway each day!!  I have some great titles you can enter to win!!  I might even through in a surprise or 2!!  Make sure to check back in tomorrow for the first giveaway!

Giveaway #1~ 6 Romance Books (1 Winner)
Giveaway [and Review] #2~ 101 Things I Learned in Culinary School (3 Winners)
Giveaway [and Review] #3~ Still the One (4 Winners)
Giveaway [and Review] #4~ I Has a Hotdog  (3 Winners)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Book Giveaway Week!!! Giveaway #4

Title: I Has a Hotdog
Author: Ben Huh (AKA Prof Happycat)
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Published: April 20, 2010
ISBN: 978-0446566384

Summary: "I HAS A BWAIN!!!  An you thawt we dint! Now Professor Happycat tells you what's in it and, from I HAS A HOTDOG.com and beyond, lets over 200 LOLdogs loose on the world, all barking the truth about kibble, toys, and bad kitties. This collection of favorites and never-before-seen photos will have you barking for more!  For all you hoomins, a LOLdog is a kay-nine picture with a funny, misspelled caption."

SO FUNNY!!  I had not heard of ihasahotdog.com but figured I would give this book a try.  At first I was worried it might be stupid not all that good. But I had another thing coming.  It is very funny and the pictures are so cute. 

They are snapshots of dogs from their owners.  My favorite is one of a bulldog dressed up for Halloween as a pumpkin and the caption reads "For this I kill you in your sleep!"  I was laughing out loud!!  So then the kids came over to see what I was laughing at and then I had to read the book outloud and let them see the pictures of the puppies.

This was a surprising (at least to me) cute and very funny book!  I gave it Photobucket


How To Enter

Mandatory Entry:
Follow me on one of the following: GFC, Twitter, Facebook. Leave me up to 3 comments with your email address (I will email the winner! So if you don't post it, make sure it is on your profile!!)

Extra Entries:
*Post my button on your blog for 2 entries (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about the giveaway for 3 extra entries (Leave 3 comments and the link)
*Tweet or post about the gveaway on FB for an extra entry (Leave a comment once per day)



Hurry up and enter!! Giveaway ends 6/15 at 9 pm eastern. There will be 3 winners chosen. Good Luck!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Book Giveaway Week!!! Giveaway #3


Title: Still The One
Author: Robin Wells
Publisher: Forever
Published: May 1, 2010
ISBN: 978-0446555982

Summary: "After Katie Charmaine's husband is killed in Iraq, all she has left is a closet full of his clothes, a few pictures, and fond memories. She not only lost her love, but her last chance to have the children she's always wanted. Until Zack Ferguson shows up in town . . . with the daughter Katie gave up for adoption nearly seventeen years ago.

Zack Ferguson has never forgotten Katie, or the one magical night they spent together. Seeing her again brings up a tidal wave of emotions: regret over the way he left her, anger at the secret she kept, and desire he hasn't felt in years. But he's in town for Gracie. Their daughter is sixteen, angry at the world, and-worst of all-pregnant. She needs the love of her two parents now more than ever. Can these three forgive the hurts of the past and open their hearts to each other?"
 
Aawww!!  This is a super cute romance that is very well written.  I normally don't read romance because they tend to be very sappy and fairly short (so I read them in about an hour.) but this was a very well written novel.  It has 432 pages so it lasted me more than an hour!  LOL
 
I really liked the way the characters come to life.  You meet a lot of people and you see them as if you are actually there.  Katie's daughter is in goth clothes with (badly) dyed hair and too much makeup.  You can very easily picture exactly what she looks like and even what her attitude may be like.

I also like how the characters in this book act like normal people.  They cuss, lose their temper, and make mistakes.  No one is perfect in real life and the same goes for the people in this book.
 
This is the first Robin Wells book I have read, but I will definetly be reading more!!  If you haven't already go read the Guest Post she did about a month ago.  Makes me like her even more!  I highly reccomend this book to all the romance junkies and those who don't think romance is worth their time.  This romance is!!
Rating Photobucket
 
How To Enter

Mandatory Entry: Follow me on one of the following: GFC, Twitter, Facebook. Leave me up to 3 comments with your email address (I will email the winner! So if you don't post it, make sure it is on your profile!!)

Extra Entries:
*Post my button on your blog for 2 entries (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about the giveaway for 3 extra entries (Leave 3 comments and the link)
*Tweet or post about the gveaway on FB for an extra entry (Leave a comment once per day)



Hurry up and enter!! Giveaway ends 6/15 at 9 pm eastern. There will be 3 winners chosen. Good Luck!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Book Giveaway Week Giveaway #2


Title: 101 Things I Learned in Culinary School
Authors: Louis Equaras with Matthew Frederick
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Published: May 20 2010
ISBN: 978-0446550307

Summary:  "Louis Eguaras, a renowned chef at the Le Cordon Bleu Program at the California School of Culinary Arts, provides readers with a terrific overview of what is truly involved in the preparation, cooking, and presentation of meals. He also provides invaluable insights into just what is involved in making this one's chosen profession.


The book will feature a wide range of illustrated lessons, from how to properly hold a knife... to the history of food... from food preparation and presentation... to restaurant hospitality and management, and much more.

The book will be presented in the distinctive and highly-attractive packaged style of 101 THINGS I LEARNED IN ARCHITECTURE SCHOOL, and will be the perfect gift for anyone who is thinking about entering culinary school, is already enrolled, or even just the casual chef."

This is my review/giveaway of the book 101 Things I Learned in Culinary School. This is a great book for foodies and chefs alike.  Even if you are culinarily challenged you will get tons of info out of this book.  It starts with the basics such as the different types of pans: skillet, saute, sauce pan.  It explains why you only need 5 different knifes and that 90% of the time you will probably only use one of the 5.

It goes onto the different types of sauces: white sauce, bolognese, pesto.  And they are differnent and basic ways to make them. It discusses tools that are important (meat thermometer) and those that are not necessary.  It is a very quick and easy read and you get so much information out of a little volume.
Rating:  Photobucket


How To Enter


Mandatory Entry: Follow me on one of the following: GFC, Twitter, Facebook. Leave me up to 3 comments with your email address (I will email the winner! So if you don't post it, make sure it is on your profile!!)

Extra Entries:
*Post my button on your blog for 2 entries (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about the giveaway for 3 extra entries (Leave 3 comments and the link)
*Tweet or post about the gveaway on FB for an extra entry (Leave a comment once per day)

Hurry up and enter!!  Giveaway ends 6/15 at 9 pm eastern.  There will be 3 winners chosen. Good Luck!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Book Giveaway Week!!! Giveaway#1

This is actually a set of 6!!  (yes 6 books!)  They are all in the romance genre.  They are:

Still the One ~Robin Wells (Look for my review later this week{I Loved it!!})
Montana Destiny ~R.C. Ryan
To Surrender to a Rogue ~Cara Elliott
Knight of Passion ~Margaret Mallory
Ravished by a Highlander ~Paula Quinn
Desire Me ~Robyn DeHart

How To Enter
Mandatory Entry: Follow me on one of the following: GFC, Twitter, Facebook.  Leave me up to 3 comments with your email address (I will email the winner! So if you don't post it, make sure it is on your profile!!)

Extra Entries:  *Post my button on your blog for 2 entries (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about the giveaway for 3 extra entries (Leave 3 comments and the link)
*Tweet or post about the gveaway on FB for an extra entry (Leave a comment once per day)

Hurry and enter!!  All of my Book Giveaways will end 6/15 at Midnight Eastern Time!!


***Disclaimer: I received these books free from Hachette Book Group.***