Quick Book Reviews: Chambers Crossword Manual, 5th Edition by Don Manley

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I enjoy a good crossword puzzle, and this book takes the reader step by step through the different types of crosswords and clues that there are available. I was never the best at crosswords, and this book helped me gain a wonderful understanding to how someone might make a crossword.

The book was very informative and helped me solve a lot more crosswords to be honest! This book would be great for anyone wanting a little extra help with their crossword completing skills or those who are interested in becoming a crossword writer!

Five out of five stars! Informative, helpful and absolutely amazing!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

April Anthology Book Review: A Cup of Roses, Stories by 8 Writers by Fiona Gold Kroll

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Book Review
Book Title: A Cup of Roses, Stories by 8 Writers
Book Author: Fiona Gold Kroll, Ruth Frankel-Graner, Gerda Frieberg, Carol Green, Sam Hoffer, Raizie Jacobson, David Rapoport, Jenny Roger.

Introduction: I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. As per usual, I was having a particular type of book craving – today it was anthology, and an overall short read. A Cup of Roses filled the bill, so I decided to pick it up and got so hooked I finished it in one sitting.

Review:

This anthology holds many different types of stories – humor, religion, drama, romance, food, history, joy, poetry, tragedy and so much more. For being so little, you wouldn’t expect much of an impact, but this book really had me interested and wanting more.

The book is incredibly easy to read, and each story is not to short but also not to long. The individual stories each have their own focus, none of which really seem connected. This helped me out when I began to get bored with a few of the short stories – each one had it’s own plot it centered around and did not depend on the others. These standalone stories are all well written, and are all written in different writing styles (since there are many authors that created this anthology).

Was this book my top, all time favourite anthology? No. Did it rank high? Yes. While it doesn’t get the gold, it definitely gets second place in my books. While the book didn’t wow my socks off, it did give me an interesting perspective into many different aspects of the writers lives/imagination. I wasn’t expecting to have to think or have my opinions rattled with this book, but it does just that. And as a reader and reviewer, I love a book that makes me think and form different opinions – or just gives me insight into something I haven’t thought about before.

I don’t have any recommendations for how to make this little series of stories better. It’s perfect in it’s own little way. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone who wants to read an anthology that doesn’t have one clear focus (and doesn’t have a connection between all of them). It’s great for a rainy day, a small lunch break, a school project, or just as a different type of read.

Would I want more from these authors? Absolutely. I enjoyed each story – while not all of them had my hooked to every word, they were all beautifully written and well thought out. I didn’t want to put the book down, I had to keep going (which is rare. Often I can set a book down and forget about it for a while, but I didn’t want to leave this book behind. I had to finish it).

Overall, this was an incredible read. I enjoyed each story, I felt educated, and the book made me think.

Four out of five stars.

Book Review: THE BASIC NEEDS OF A WOMAN IN LABOUR by RUTH EHRHARDT

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Book Review
Book Title: The Basic Needs of a Woman In Labour
Book Author: Ruth Ehrhardt

Introduction: I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
Perhaps what makes this book the most interesting on all of my shelves is that it came from South Africa, but that doesn’t sound to exciting…does it? What if I told you it took seven months to make it to my home? And that I couldn’t stop wondering about the magnificent trip this little book had made across the globe?! Maybe it’s not as exciting to the readers as this excitable reviewer, but it made my heart jump a little just thinking about the adventure this book took around the world. In short, I’m super jealous of this teenie tiny book.

Review:
I have not given birth, nor have I watched someone (in live action, not as a film) give birth. So, this book seemed out of my territory of knowledge, yet I agreed with it at the same time. Ruth Ehrhardt discusses Dr. Michel Ordent’s theories regarding childbirth and she goes quite in-depth in such a little book!

One of the first pages of this book discusses women needing a calm, dimly-lit, comfortable and private area. To me, that makes sense. Childbirth is such a beautiful phenomenon and somehow it has been made into a business. When giving birth, who would want a million people yelling and directing orders, saying words you wouldn’t understand and giving you disruptive and concerning looks? Childbirth can be incredibly scary, and doctors and nurses do not always help in these situations. With the tremendous painĀ  and opportunity for something to go wrong, a comfortable environment seems best – at least in my opinion.

I also agreed with her thought that words matter. As a population, we tend to use words in the negative atmosphere. Everything is bad and we complain about anything! It’s important to remember that your choice in words can affect your overall well being – so while being pregnant, positivity counts! Life will always have it’s troubles and not everything will be beautiful an smell of roses, but we can try to make the best of every situation! Assisting and caring for pregnant women – even if it’s just with a positive thought – can make a big difference! You don’t need to work on hands and feet to care for your pregnant friend on facebook, but positive thoughts and comments will help outweigh those negative ones if we all band together! It is better to assist with a small, happy comment than cause a world full of anxiety for a mother already facing her other worries in the world.

Ruth also discusses how childbirth is like sleep – something that can often happen when it’s least expected! I loved this little simile, because it’s so obvious and true yet I’ve never related the two together! While both can be forced in some situations, they have very similar concepts. We can make both easy or hard, depending on the situation.

Another concept that blew my mind is about oxytocin and how it can relate to women’s labouring slowing down. The hormone that revolves around love can disappear when she feels uncomfortable..And somehow, all the building blocks and puzzles pieces fit in my mind – these questions regarding how women can have their labour slow down when they hit the hospital makes sense! With such a simple concept…

The book continues to discuss a general birth plan and how birth takes place (without all the gory details) and how important it is for the mother to be comfortable and for the mother and baby to bond. In a few pages, such a beautiful and obvious experience is discussed. As I have said, I have never given birth but I agree with every word in this novel. It makes so much sense (at least in my mind). While every woman is different and not everyone will totally agree with everything in this book, I feel like most people will understand or be able to see it from the perspective of someone they know.

Overall, this book was beautiful and insightful. I felt like I learned a lot even though this book is so small.

Five out of five stars! I would give it six if possible! I believe all women who gave birth, will give birth or are just interested in how the body works should read this! And some men too, that might give them a couple hints about how the process happens.