Short, sweet, and to the point, Stuff You Already Know is filled with advice tidbits that are mostly helpful. It's the stuff that your parents, grandp...moreShort, sweet, and to the point, Stuff You Already Know is filled with advice tidbits that are mostly helpful. It's the stuff that your parents, grandparents, colleagues, and others tell you trying to be helpful. Although ultimately, it's up to you to decide how to best run your life.
Stuff You Already Know has 437 tips for getting through life. Some of it you may already know, some of it you don't. Most are tips given straight from the author herself, although there are some from relatives and friends of hers as well. In addition to one sentence tips, there are others that she expands on, telling either a personal story or giving a web link or detail and explanation that needs more than just one sentence. All are to the point and not ambiguous.
I agree with most of the advice that was given in this book. From such gems as "Don't fry bacon while naked" to "Don't try to win everyone's approval," there's a lot in here that can apply to everyone. But there are some things I don't agree with. Like always respond to an invite. Because let's face it, in today's world of a million facebook invites, you'd be spending most of your day responding to them and not living your life. Or some of her advice on employment such as "stay home when you're sick." This all depends on the workplace culture. You could argue that you shouldn't be working in a place that makes you work when you're sick, but sometimes those bills just have to be paid until you can get to something better. It should also be noted that this book is Christian in nature and gives a few tips relating to that as well; it does have a tip that says you should recognize that not all share the same religion as well to counterbalance this.
It was a quick read, and cute for a recent high school or college graduate as a gift. Since it was written for the author's nephew (per the introduction) it seems like it was actually intended for that purpose. But really, anyone who needs to have life put into perspective occasionally would probably enjoy this book.
Stuff You Already Know Copyright 2013 150 pages
*This book was received as a Free Advanced Reader's Copy**
Voice of the Eagle is the second book in Shuler's Kwani series. I would say that this is definitely a series you need to read in order, as it makes re...moreVoice of the Eagle is the second book in Shuler's Kwani series. I would say that this is definitely a series you need to read in order, as it makes reference to characters and events that happen in the previous book. You'd be a little lost if you started out on this one.
Kwani has had her son and become the mate of Tolonqua, a handsome hunting chief. They return to his home where she is mostly welcomed, despite her blue eyes. But not all is well. Tolonqua is the leader of a group that wants to build a new city. One that will be better protected. But some have reason to hate him and Kwani and don't want to see that happen. And they will try everything in their power to stop it.
This book has the same problem as the first one in that the characters just aren't that likable. They all think they're pretty special and above the rules of society. Some humility would not be unwelcome. And they're a bit selfish as well. While I recognize it probably makes the book realistic, I still wanted some character I could care about and really root for. And the bad guys, well let's just say that there is always at least one that is easily taken care of and they don't have any redeeming qualities at all.
I think part of the problem with the characters is on account of the pace. This is a big book but it moves very quickly. So much so that my favorite part, the last section, was not nearly long enough even though it was the most interesting. I enjoyed hearing about Kwani's children grown up and everything that was happening and even Kwani became a more likable character. There is a lot of history and information that was provided in the book though and I think it was well researched for a work of fiction. I'm sure there are some errors, but it's clear that the author spent time learning about what she was writing. I will put in my standard warning that there is graphic mention of sex and violence in the book, but it was all keeping with the time and setting of the book.
I'll read the third book. I want to know what happens and where the story is taken from here. But once again I'll be hoping for some better characters.
This book is the third in a series. I haven't read the first two, but I don't feel that I missed out on all that much by not reading them. Just a bit...moreThis book is the third in a series. I haven't read the first two, but I don't feel that I missed out on all that much by not reading them. Just a bit of back-story.
Eleanor always seems to be where the action is. Or at least where something foul is afoot. She doesn't mean to be, it just happens. And when it does she feels compelled to do whatever she can to help. Despite local authorities not enjoying that help. So when a man is rescued from a dangerous bay, and tells of his family trapped in the nearby caves, once again, Eleanor has to find out what happens, before something terrible befalls the family.
Eleanor was not as much of a focus as I expected her to be in the book. Her niece actually plays a slightly larger role. They're both great characters. They have their own personalities and are strong and independent. I think that the men were actually a bit weaker. They all had some kind of flaw or dis-likable quality. But that also made them more real than the female characters. The bad guy I didn't find very menacing. There wasn't enough history to really understand or care about why the person was doing what they were doing.
I enjoyed the setting of the book. Taking place a few decades ago, it examined the relationships between the English and those of Indian descent and the turmoil between the races that was present at the time. It's actually what set the whole mystery in motion. That being said, despite it being charming, I found the first part of the book too slow in pace while the end was too rapid and didn't have enough explanation. It felt too quick to be real. And it lessened my enjoyment of an otherwise good mystery because of it.
I'm not sure if I'd go back and read the first two, or even more in the series. They were a nice cozy, but I think more ardent fans of Dunn would like them more.
**This book was received as a Goodreads Giveaway**
This was a cute book. And I think it hilarious that it's aimed towards boys but the majority of the...more**This book was received as a Goodreads Giveaway**
This was a cute book. And I think it hilarious that it's aimed towards boys but the majority of the readers thus far seem to be girls. Although it can apply to girls in some aspects. And the author even has a section on how this book relates to girl geeks.
Geeks have a hard time dating. Especially if they stay in their basements playing video games all day. Ok,so that's stereotyping, but really, this book advises those that may be more socially aware of NPC's than they are of real people. We start with the introduction, and then prepping for a date. Next is plotting how to meet someone and then the actual asking of someone on a date. Chapter 5 has how to get through the date and chapter six explains what you do depending on if it went well or not. Finally, we end with Chapter 7 which goes on to describe further dates or a breakup. It's all covered.
I love the way the author describes "Player 1" in this book. The person who wants to start dating that is. He captures all of the weaknesses and the strengths. And he tries to capture all of the different types of nerdiness there is, from comic books to video games, to just being tech savvy or a social media follower. And there's a handy dandy guide for determining which sort of geek you are.
As far as methods I think there is so good advice in here. Especially if you haven't really dated before. And while I didn't find out why even geeks don't hit on me, that's alright, I learned how they act when they're trying to ask someone out. I think the chapters are outlined well and go in a logical order. My only thing I didn't agree with was on the clothing part. The first part was alright when he was talking about normal clothes, but then he tried to say that certain characters (like Captain Kirk or Neo) are great characters to emulate for clothing. I'm not going to lie, some of those looks are just not going to get you a second date, just a weird couple of glances. Otherwise, there's some good stuff in this book.
I do need to comment on the pictures and layout of the book. It uses pixelized images and makes the book very videogameish. And everything is really colorful. So a pretty book with useful information, it should be a book single geeks should definitely check out!
The Geek's Guide to Dating Copyright 2013 204 pages
Nefertiti is probably one of the best known Egyptian rulers. Most people know her name at the very least. So a historical fiction about her has to be...moreNefertiti is probably one of the best known Egyptian rulers. Most people know her name at the very least. So a historical fiction about her has to be pretty interesting right? Right. It is. I don't know how accurate this book is in regards to the facts, but it is enthralling.
Nefertiti was born to become a Queen of Egypt. And she has the ambition to see that it will actually happen. After the death of the Prince, his younger brother is made co-regent of the realm and Nefertiti is chosen as his second wife, but first in ruling. At first her beauty captures him, but then it's her wits and political maneuvering that will encourage him to do rash acts and build a new Egypt. One that both he and Nefertiti hope will cause their names to be remembered for eternity.
This story is actually told through the eyes of Nefertiti's sister, Mutnodjmet (Mutny). Not as ambitious, she is content to dream about having a family some day and tend her garden. But Nefertiti wants her around, and her sister's selfishness consistently encroaches on Mutny's happiness. But she is sensible an caring and the only time I ever see unfairness from her is when she is putting her family first above others. Nefertiti is a spoiled woman. She wants what she wants and has to have it, even if it's at the expense of other's feelings and well being. I grew tired of her at times just because she was so predictable. And the rest of Mutny's family was kind of like her sister, so you really did feel sorry for her.
As I said before, I don't know how historically accurate this book is. I haven't read much about Egypt, even fiction, so it was all pretty new to me. I did find it surprising how much freedom and power women seemed to have. Regardless, if you treat it as fiction, it draws you in and makes it hard to put the book down. You want to know what will happen to Mutny. And to a lesser extent, Nefertiti. I do think that the book could have been a little less drawn-out. There are several times where the detail goes on about building something or other and gets kind of boring. But luckily those areas are far and few between and the majority of the writing is quite good. There is a sufficient amount of detail about the character and setting to make it feel well developed.
I enjoyed this book and will probably look for others from Moran. She has a way of presenting characters that make them feel real and interesting.
So I'm one of those lazy people who only got a degree in Linguistics (pg. 121). But that Linguistics 101 course just totally drew me in and the world...moreSo I'm one of those lazy people who only got a degree in Linguistics (pg. 121). But that Linguistics 101 course just totally drew me in and the world was never the same. After all, who wouldn't want a Linguistics degree? So I took my new shiny degree out into the world, and promptly discovered that in order to be marketable, potential job prospects actually have to know what your degree is. I'm now working with data. So I think that's what really made me appreciate this book, the fun "choose your own story" Choose Your Own Career In Linguistics sections of the book.
This guide to Linguistics is almost entirely satire. Taking articles referencing various fields of linguistics; Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology, Syntax, Semantics, Socio-Linguistics, Typology, Applied Linguistics, and more, there's something for everyone in here. And by everyone I mean those that enjoy language and actually want to know what the different words I just mention actually mean. Because it is satire, most of the studies are not going to be real references to the real world, but mirrors of what could be.
With all the different contributors to this book, it was actually kind of surprising that the writing style in all of the articles is mostly the same. Sure a lot of the contributors are not actually real, but there was more than one contributor. I had a few favorite articles. "An Introduction to Familial Linguistics" was spot on and since I'm a big fan of socio-linguistics, it was a stand out for me. "Rating the World's Languages" was an interesting look at the language myth that some languages are better than others. With all the interesting articles though, there were a plethora that made me feel like an idiot and the need to hand in my Linguistics card. Indeed, if you have not perused the textbooks in awhile, some of the articles on syntax, topology, and others can make your head spin. Although die-hard linguists will go crazy for it.
The format of the book was mostly good. I really did enjoy the choose your own story for a career in Linguistics and like most choose your own, it had you flipping pages back and forth to see how you'd end up. The article format was nice too because you could take the book in as big or small does as you'd like and choose what area you wanted to read about. Depending on your mood, you can immerse yourself in syntax or phonetics at will. My only real complaint about this book would be some of the pictures. There were a lot that were hand drawn and while they weren't quite bad photo-copier quality, some were hard to read unless you really zoomed in (e-book format). They just could have been a little clearer to give the full impact, especially when some had accompanied hand-written labels, which is already hard to read compared to typing. But since that's my biggest complaint, then obviously this book is doing pretty good when it comes to content.
A definite must read for Linguists or those who just like language and have some time on their hands. It made me have some fond memories of tape recorders and the numerous ways people can pronounce a vowel.
The Speculative Grammarian Copyright 2013 339 pages
**This book was received as a Free Advanced Reviewer's Copy**
I'd never heard of The Camino De Santiago before reading this book. The Appalachian Trail...more**This book was received as a Free Advanced Reviewer's Copy**
I'd never heard of The Camino De Santiago before reading this book. The Appalachian Trail, yes. The Camino, no. Maybe that's because even though it is a 800 km trek, it's more of a spiritual journey than a physical one. After all, you're supposed to receive forgiveness at the end and it's considered a pilgrimage.
Elaine Foster, a Psychologist, takes an early retirement to work on her own issues. Her husband, Joe, encourages her to walk the Camino with him. So they get ready to travel and fly over to Spain to begin their journey. Aside from the brutal physical aspect of it, it proves to be an emotional journey for them. They learn things about themselves, relationships, and other people and also meet quite a few eclectic people also traveling the Camino for their own reasons.
Elaine and Joe both take turns writing this book. It's broken up into each day (or almost each day, not every single one is here) and they both tell what they experience in that day in their own sections (labeled as who is narrating). They actually must be well suited for one another as I found their "voice" to be quite similar. They both focus on the emotional aspects of the journey and the introspection they experience. Joe tends to focus a little more on the food they encounter while Elaine focuses a tad more on the people. They're both brutally honest about their feelings and own perceived shortcomings and I think it was courageous that they could talk about their weaknesses like that. Perhaps that freedom is just one of the many things they learned on the Camino. I also liked some of the people they got to meet along the way. It was such a varied group and they all seemed like good people. I can't really recall any mean person that they encountered.
The dual writing style was a bit repetitive at first, but as the book got further in they had different things to talk about. In addition to their feelings of walking the Camino, they shared a little bit about equipment, a lot about the different places they stayed every night, and there were even a couple of recipes included in the book. In fact, the only thing that didn't have a lot of description was the trail itself. I was a bit saddened at the lack of scenery and mountain trails in the writing. There was a little, but the hostels they stayed at generally got more description than the beauty of nature. I understand that it was a spiritual journey, so emotions and people were of utmost importance to write about, but surrounded by all that beauty I just can't imagine not writing chapters upon chapters about it. It was still good writing though and it kept you engaged throughout the entire book. In fact, I'm not religious at all (and religion was a theme in this book) but there were several passages that really moved me, and one most poignantly right now "No matter how prepared we try to make ourselves for the inevitable reality of death, the work of true grief will always feel raw and painful. Accepting this truth helps to separate pain from unnecessary layers of suffering (pg.161)." I have a pet that was recently diagnosed with kidney failure. And it doesn't matter that I knew she was growing old, it still hurts to know that I'll be losing her at some point when she's been the only real constant in my life. But this sentence helped me to realize that even though it hurts, I can still enjoy what time I have. Maybe not what the author intended by this lesson, but still one that helped me.
Will I be hiking the Camino any time soon myself? No, probably not. I'm not at the point yet where I can just up and go because of responsibilities that keep me tied down. But it's always a possibility in the future and I am very grateful to this book for not only showing me the emotional path it offers, but letting me know of its existence in the first place! This is an excellent read for the traveler, self-help aficionado or lover of non-fiction journeys.
In Movement There Is Peace Copyright 2013 296 pages
**This book was received in a Goodreads Giveaway**
I have to say, this fourth and final book in the Coffee Creek Montana series certainly improved upon...more**This book was received in a Goodreads Giveaway**
I have to say, this fourth and final book in the Coffee Creek Montana series certainly improved upon the third book. The characters were written better and the plot moved along better. And because it is the fourth book, it's one of those series that would be helpful to read in order. Especially because this one relies a lot on the history from the other books.
Winnie has finally returned to Coffee Creek. In Book One, we saw her on her wedding day, about to get married to Brock Lambert, when a terrible accident killed him on his way to the church. Now, almost two years later, she returns with her son (she was pregnant with Brock's child)and finds herself trying to fit in with the Lambert family despite an overbearing almost-mother-in-law. And to make things even more complicated, she has feelings for Brock's foster brother, Jackson, who feels so much guilt over the accident that he's just not prepared to have any kind of interest in Winnie.
I was glad we got to see more of Winnie in this book. She kind of just disappears in the first book and then we only have phone conversations between characters with her in the next two. And it did seem unfair that she lost her fiance and never had another chance for love within those books. Jackson is also a well written character. But I can't say I like him. But that's probably because he just isn't my type. Regardless, he has fully developed emotions in this book and is believable. The only character I didn't really like was Olive, the matriarch of the Lambert family. She's hard to get along with anyway, but she has some unexpected changes of heart in this book that are just never fully explained.
This wasn't an exciting plot. It was more angst and emotion driven. But I thought it was well done. I really wanted to see what would happen with Jackson and Winnie. And some side plots that the author had been creating in the previous books were also resolved in this one. So that provided some closure. Maybe they weren't as dramatic as I was expecting, but they were realistic. This is a romance novel, but aside from the unsnapping of a bra, they weren't descriptive. It's a tame romance novel in that regard. So if you're looking for cowboys and love stories, this is going to be in that genre.
I'm glad the series ended on a positive note. Overall it's been pretty good and since I'm partial to cowboys and Montana, I was happy to read about Coffee Creek. I also wouldn't be adverse to this not being the final book in the series.
You would expect grown men to have a little more sense. Especially if they're trying harder to be responsible. But in this 3rd book of the Coffee Cree...moreYou would expect grown men to have a little more sense. Especially if they're trying harder to be responsible. But in this 3rd book of the Coffee Creek Montana series, common sense is hard to find. And being that it's the 3rd book, I'd highly recommend reading the series in order if you want to understand the characters, although it isn't entirely necessary.
B.J. Lambert has decided that the rodeo just doesn't hold the draw for him it used to. In fact, the sheriff from his hometown has more appeal. But then again, she always has for him. But it's a shame she doesn't trust him because of an unfortunately fire that involved him and her brother as youths. Because of that, and the new evidence found in it, he may find that Sheriff Savannah will never be willing to have feelings for him.
B.J. is infuriating. He tries to hold back things on the pretense of not hurting someone, even when they tell him the truth would make them feel better. It makes absolutely no sense and is just used to drive the plot. I quickly became disgusted with his character and would not have seen him the way that Savannah does. Savannah herself is a pretty strong woman. She has to be, to be the sheriff, so that too baffles me why she would fall for someone who's obviously not up to her standards. I was relieved to see the mother drama of the Lambert clan was toned down a bit. I don't like the woman, and that's probably the intent of the book, but it makes me want to skip over the parts that mention her.
The fact that a poor decision on keeping the truth is what drives this plot makes this one of the weaker ones in the series. Sure it moves along at a good pace and more loose ends in the Lambert family are tied up, but I've come to expect better from the series. Since they have a great setting (Montana) and cowboy characters, there's some good ingredients in the mix. It's not a bad book, but it certainly isn't one of the better ones in the series. And for the romance aspect of it, it's all pretty mild, so if you don't like graphic sex scenes, this would probably be a series right up your alley.
I'm eager to see what the fourth and final book will bring. Hopefully it will be better than this one.
I love the FoodNetwork show that this cookbook is based off of. Seriously, I practically worship it and Guy Fieri and make it a point to go to all the...moreI love the FoodNetwork show that this cookbook is based off of. Seriously, I practically worship it and Guy Fieri and make it a point to go to all the places I can that have been featured on the show. Which means, that when this book came out, it of course had to go on my shelf. But now, I've owned it a few years, and have still rarely selected it as a go-to cookbook. But I'm still obsessed with the show.
For those not familiar with Guy Fieri or Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, it's a show where chef Fieri drives around America looking for those places to eat that only the locals known about. These can be roadside stops to hole in the wall diners. But the thing they all have in common is delicious food you can't get enough of. Sometimes this food is as innovative as Captain Crunch French Toast (a recipe in this book) or as simple as a burger cooked right. This book, in addition to having some recipes either from the locations or loosely based off of some of the recipes, has small snippets about the different places the crew went, little blurbs written by Guy, and an introduction to the team that films the show.
The book itself is separated into regions (i.e. Northeast, South, etc.) but if you're looking for a specific type of food, there's a glossary in the back that separates them out with page numbers according to the meal type. Then, in the regions, we are introduced to the place without about a page of description on the location, maybe a picture, and then however many recipes are being offered for the location. Unfortunately none of the pictures are in color though. I would have paid more for this book for color photographs.
I've tried about twelve of the recipes in this book. The first of course (going in order of the book pages) was the American Chop Suey. I pasta and hamburger dish that was tasty, especially when you added cheese to it. It made a lot though, so prepare to eat leftovers! The Three Cheese Macaroni and Cheese was very filling and had a thick sauce with a rich taste. The Beef Brisket from MoGridder's was ok. I made the seasoning and sauce that went with it, but they were both pretty standard and nothing any better than what I get on a grocery store shelf. Pete's Rubbed and Almost Fried Turkey was very salty. And I have to warn, this should probably be done outside, even if it is just a breast, because most kitchen's exhaust systems won't be able to handle it. The InCrusted Dolphin Sandwich from Scully's Tavern had a nice crunch to it. And you could bake instead of fry if you want to. A local haunt near where I live, The Penguin, offered up some pimento cheese. It did not taste the same as at the restaurant and had too much mayo. Although admittedly there has been change in ownership since the show filmed so that could account for the variance of taste as well.
Probably some of the best recipes in this book were the pies. Both the Coconut Cream and the Black-Bottom were delicious and easy to make. And in case of the Black Bottom Pie, it was very impressive looking. Because I can't pass up a Mac & Cheese recipe, I also tried Smoque's version. It wasn't bad, and I did enjoy the breaded topping. Unfortunately Mom's Meatloaf wasn't near as good. It was plainer than a lot of other meatloaf recipes I've come across. I also had a lot of trouble with the Hodad's Bacon Cheeseburger. My bacon patties just wouldn't stay together. And the Squeeze burger is definitely better made on a flap top. A regular home cook just won't be able to replicate it easily. The Greek Money Meatballs were also nothing special but they were filling. The pollo guisado was way too spicy for me. I couldn't handle it. And I'm very glad that I didn't add water to the sauce, because it was watery enough without adding it.
So overall the recipes were a mix of good and bad. I think this book is more useful as a guide to the different places Guy visits rather than a cookbook. There are some decent recipes but really, they aren't the ones from the show and some make you scratch your head wondering where they came from as they were dishes not even mentioned at the various places. I'd rather cook Guy's original food (which you know is the exact recipe you're seeing on tv) than have fake copies of the ones off of DDD. And a lot of the recipes are more appropriate for a restaurant setting as they use a myriad of different ingredients and would be expensive for a standard sit down meal at home.
I think if you approach this book for the stories you'll be more content than thinking of it as a cookbook. But since it advertises itself as "with recipes" it's hard to align yourself to that sort of thinking. Maybe with some color photos and a few better recipes this could have been something amazing. But hey, there's a second book (and maybe even a third at the time of writing this review) that may be worth taking a look at! For now though, I'll consider this book merely average compared to the brilliance of the show.
This is the second book in the Coffee Creek Montana series. You could read them in order, but having read the first book, I don't think it's entirely...moreThis is the second book in the Coffee Creek Montana series. You could read them in order, but having read the first book, I don't think it's entirely necessary. There's a prologue on this one so it kind of fills in the backstory and you can muddle through without any trouble. That being said, I do think the first was a better written book.
Cassidy has just graduated and while she waits to hear about a job interview, she's moving back home. Something she's not looking forward to with her overbearing mother. And her arrival coincides with an outbreak of illness in their horses on the ranch. Which means that she's going to have to spend a lot of time with the local vet; a man whose heart she broke and he's never forgiven her for it.
Cassidy is kind of a weak character. She spends all this time being passionate about something but doesn't seem to truly know herself and has multiple changes of heart. She's flaky. The male lead is actually the better character this time around. He had a wide range of emotions and strong feelings and was very appealing. The mother; I can't decide if she's for real or not. I know there are people out there like her, but it's hard to believe no one has really called her down for her actions and gave her some consequences. It's infuriating at times. I also grew tired of the conflict with her sister. Since the author isn't willing to even let a tidbit drop about what was going on, I kind of just lost interest.
I also thought the plot was weaker this time around. It seemed very out there with the cause of the horse illness and the "strife" between Cassidy and Dan seemed forced. Especially since they are able to dash it away pretty quickly. But being that this is a romance novel I can't absolutely trash the book. It was still mostly entertaining and involved cowboys. Those are good things. I just sometimes wish that romance novel writers would spend more time developing stories and characters, especially if they have a lot of potential to begin with. And since this was a quick read, it was hard to put down. On the romance side of things there wasn't a whole lot of description, but things were insinuated.
Not the best in the series so far, but I still think this is a series worth reading. Can't wait to get on to the next
Cowboy romances, they are definitely my guilty pleasure. After all, what's better than some handsome dude on the cover in a cowboy hat? The story does...moreCowboy romances, they are definitely my guilty pleasure. After all, what's better than some handsome dude on the cover in a cowboy hat? The story doesn't even have to be good as long as I can keep flipping back to the cover. Luckily, the story in this one is decent even if the cover is tantalizing. Although I keep looking at it and forgetting what it is I'm trying to write here...
Laurel is in town for her friend's wedding. She hasn't been to Montana for awhile since moving to New York and starting a life there for herself. But the day of the wedding several members of the party are involved in a terrible accident. Including the man that Laurel slept with at the rehearsal dinner. The man that is the father of her unborn child and now doesn't have a clue who she is due to amnesia.
This is a short romance novel. None of the characters are particularly well developed. There's a lot of hints at their stories and pasts, but nothing is fully fleshed out. And a lot is left hanging (this is the 1st book in a series though, so anything could happen). We have conflict between characters that is never resolved, and that's a little irritating. Laurel is decent. She starts out knowing what she wants but then kind of has to readjust her whole way of thinking when she finds out she is pregnant. And I do think that she lets people walk on her too much. Corb didn't have much of a personality. Sure he does sweet things, but aside from the amnesia, we don't really know that much about him. It makes it hard to really go crazy for him as a character.
I'm never too tough on romance novel plots. They have to follow a formula and getting the next bestseller out of those kinds of conditions just isn't going to happen. This one was decent. Rushed, and a lot of conflict thrown in in an attempt to make it interesting. But the amnesia wasn't the usual so I found that unique at least. I also liked the family issues thrown in as they made it seem realistic. This was a regular romance novel so I was surprised to see the romantic parts glossed over. All flash and no bang. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but just surprising. So if you're looking for something descriptive in that realm, it's just not here.
I'll keep reading the series. They are entertaining and I do like my cowboys. For the first in a series, it wasn't a bad start.
I'm always looking for something to inspire me into liking running. I run, I can't say I particularly enjoy it all the time, but I always feel like I'...moreI'm always looking for something to inspire me into liking running. I run, I can't say I particularly enjoy it all the time, but I always feel like I've accomplished something after a run. So, enter all the running books I can find for helping with that inspiration. This one had an interesting title "To Be A Runner: How Racing Up Mountains, Running with the Bulls, or Just Taking on a 5-K Makes You a Better Person."
We start the book with how Dugard got into running through his parents. Then we jump ahead to some of the races he's done and his eventual entry into coaching cross-country. In fact, most of this book is about his coaching and his runners and what they do. But he intersperses it with musings, stories about when he wasn't running, stories about injuries, and a few different races (including one that sounds like the original Tough Mudder).
Dugard is very self-focused. This book is about him and I'd call it more a memoir than a running book. Sure, there was a lot of running, but it was more about Dugard running than running in general. He mentions coaching cross-country because of his kids, but we don't really hear to much about his kids in the book. And the same with his wife, she's mentioned here and there, but it's usually just her telling him to go running when he's cranky.
I found some useful tidbits in this book. Like not tracking my time while running and it might make it more relaxing. I'm going to start leaving my tracker on silent and just enjoy my run (although music will still be a must). And I learned the names of several interesting sounding races that might be a goal someday. But I also got to learn of Dugard's disdain for runners like myself. It's kind of clear from his description that I'd more be considered a non-runner rather than part of the elite. But that's ok, I'm likely to never encounter the man so I'll just keep doing my thing. He's a good writer, very eloquent and the story flows nice. It does jump around a bit in terms of topic, but I didn't think it was distracting.
A decent book about running. It has some interesting topics and some not so interesting stories. But I still think it's worth a read.