Book Review: The Illustrated History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein #BookReview #20booksforChristmas #Snowman

The Illustrated History of the Snowman

By Bob Eckstein

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My thoughts:

I don’t know what it is that’s so fascinating about snowmen, but just like scarecrows, they captured my heart as a child and I’ve loved them ever since. We draw them, decorate with them, make snowman Christmas cookies, watch them on TV, and build them outdoors the first chance we get. So when this book was staring at me at the bookstore, there was no leaving it behind. I knew my family would enjoy it, and we surely have for the past two winter seasons.

“Who made the first snowman? Who first came up with the idea of placing one snowball atop another and then sticking a carrot in the top sphere?”

The author set out on a quest to find out who made the very first snowman. Here in this book he presents all of his extensive (over seven year) research on the history of the snowman. It goes way back in time all the way to the dark ages. The book is somewhat of a snowman ‘encyclopedia’–chock-full of beautiful photos from around the world, which I’ll admit was my favorite aspect of the book. There’s so much to learn here though: world records including the largest and smallest snowman, snowmen in pop culture (my favorite: the Burl Ives snowman from the original children’s special), snowman festivals, appearances of snowmen with historical figures and even wars, how they’re celebrated in other cultures, use in art and politics, and fun little facts about snowmen that are sure to surprise you.

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We had no idea just how much historical background the snowman actually had! It was nostalgic for me in many ways, especially looking at some of the old vintage snowman ornaments and decorations from the past. We also loved the fun facts.

“Average number of calories burned, per hour, building a snowman: 238”

If you like snowmen, definitely give this book a try. My whole family has enjoyed it, including the children. My only wish is that the organization were different; it would be nice in chronological order. There are a few parts that are quite offensive too, but it’s fairly easy to skip over those. It’s good to be aware of that if you’re viewing this with young children.

This book is one to revisit over and over again.

4****

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Book Review: The Healthiest Diet on the Planet by Dr. John McDougall #Health #BookReview #Diet #Vegan #Starch

The Healthiest Diet on the Planet

by Dr. John McDougall & Mary McDougall

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My Thoughts:

This book is a perfect example of why people need to choose the foods that work for their bodies and not just go by what one person says.

In The Healthiest Diet on the Planet, Dr. McDougall warns against eating dairy, oils, eggs, meat (including fish), taking supplements, and any kind of fake meat or heavily processed food.

While I do agree with some of Dr. McDougall’s suggestions, I certainly do not believe that his recommendations will work for everyone, and that begins with me. Do I believe starchy foods are healthy? Yes, some, but I’m not a person who believes in wheat and corn because I do have sensitivities to them. Have I been diagnosed with celiac disease? No, but many people (including myself) have what’s called ‘gluten sensitivity’ which can be just as bad, causing a wide range of problems including autoimmune disease. Soy can also be an issue. I can understand where the author is coming from with going against the use of supplements, but some people (including myself) must take supplements like iron and vitamin D. There’s just no way around it unless you want to risk deficiency.

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Book Review: GOD Life After Death by Tom A. Wilson #BookReview #GodLifeAfterDeath #Spiritual #IntelligentDesign

GOD Life After Death

by Tom A. Wilson

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My thoughts:

This book came across my Twitter feed and I was instantly intrigued. You can pick the ebook up for .99 cents right now on Amazon.

It’s a quick read about God and the afterlife that really packs a punch. The author argues against disbelief in God and gives the main reasons why we should reconsider if we aren’t believers. He keeps religion completely out of it.

I found parts of the book a little repetitive at times–mainly the repeating information regarding Intelligent Design. The interesting thing is, I’ve been walking around thinking about it ever since. My children are studying the boreal forest right now and we all marveled at the crossbill–a bird with a unique beak that helps it obtain seeds from coniferous trees (cones). What also grips me is how these crossbills are evolving and adapting to the world today. Although evolutionists have their own beliefs, I personally find it hard not to think about Intelligent Design when looking at nature.

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Red Crossbill (allaboutbirds.org)
Some of the information in this book was common knowledge but really provokes you to think deeply.

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Book Review: Free Your Mind by Darryl D. Diptee #Anxiety #Depression #Selfhelp #Book Review #FreeYourMind

Free Your Mind

By Darryl Diptee

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My thoughts:

I’ve read a ton of self-help books on anxiety and controlling emotions. This one tops the list. Not only does the author explain how to get yourself out of negative mental states, but he also explains how we get ourselves there in the first place, and how to recognize the patterns. I’ve been suffering on and off with anxiety and depression for nearly 14 years. I never realized the power of one tiny thought and how it can cause so much pain.

ALL thoughts should uplift you and the current situation in a positive, supportive way, and if they don’t, then immediately reject them as toxic, poisonous, garbage! Why? Because in a life that can end in any given moment, why would you ever deliberately allow unhappy or painful thoughts to take root in your mind and manifest in your body for even a second?

Some of the book contains common advice that I find (for myself) a need for reiteration, so none of it felt repetitive to me, but others might find these parts redundant. Having a chronic illness seems to almost redirect my brain toward anxiety with each new ailment; then the need to distract my brain arises. It’s interesting how the author explains the brain and how it works in a survival pattern to remove us from pain, and how these thoughts are truly unintentional. I found these sections most helpful for myself.

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