How to Select a Good Book

How to Select a Good Book

Selecting a good book can be a challenge but with these steps, you’ll be reading one in no time!

Books are like friends. You never do or make friendship with a person at first sight. Most often, the reason is you do not know much about him and much risk are involved. Likewise you never choose a book from a bookstore or library without much thought. If you do its consequences are many. So you think much before selecting a book, because you need to spend lot time with it. If it’s not worth readable it’s merely a time waste.

A poor selection of a book like the poor choice of a friend leaves you with lot of disappointment and frustration. You may later think that, oh, I would have spent that time with a good friend or a fascinating book how well it would have been.

Here are some simple tips or suggestions to help you in selecting a good book:

List Top 20 Books.

Make a list of all the books you would like to read. Then following the given suggestion select from that list the 20 books you would most want to read. Please remember do not include the Bible or any other religious books in that list if you read that daily in a systematic way.

When you finish reading one of the top 20, select another from your first list to replace the read one. Always feel free to change your mind to replace one book from the already selected top 20 list. Move down some, erase some and include whatever you like according to your choice. This can be done at any time.

How do you select the top twenty from your large reserve list is a big task. Don’t worry here are some suggestion to that.

Select Books That Will Help You.

You would never knowingly choose a friend who would let you down or cheat. So likewise, choose books that inspire you, encourage you, and lift you up.

Choose books that tell you things you want to know and give you something to think or ponder over and to adopt with.

Select books that generate a divine hunger for life that quite often secular books won’t give.

Select Only the Books You Really Want to Read Through

The books that you are forced to read may seem like an unwanted guest at home. You may invite them just because you can’t just avoid. In such cases its better to avoid such books. You only can decide what you want and what you like to read.

Select Only the Books That Have a Good Reputation.

Listen and read reviews about books what others say about it. Check up with your school, college or public librarian about the list of good books that have stood the time. Its better to avoid a “best seller” lists. Best sellers are soon forgotten and bite the dust.

Stick to Your Plan

Overcome the temptation to read books that are not in your planned list. Read a bit every day and you will notice a big difference in the days to come. Best wishes for a happy selection and a happy reading ahead.

Book Review: Devotion a Memoir by Dani Shapiro

Book Review: Devotion a Memoir by Dani Shapiro

Devotion a memoir by Dani Shapiro is a book I wanted to love. Shapiro has written a number of novels and is also the author of Slow Motion the story about her early twenties where she was a mess and then getting her life back on track after her father dies when she is twenty-three. This book also spends a lot of time focusing on the relationship or the lack of relationship she had with her father while he was alive.

Shapiro is a beautiful woman ( as demonstrated on the back page photo) who is married to a screen writer and lives on ten acres in Litchfied County Connecticut one of the richest counties in the United States. She has a wonderful career and a happy marriage and a son who suffered from a life threatening illness when he was an infant but by whatever grace is out there her son recovered and throughout the book which appears to take place over three years he is a happy, healthy, smart and delightful little boy. Ms. Shapiro does not share these traits with her son. She like so many other middle aged women feels the stress of realizing that her life is half over. That her father died to early and he was never able to see her son or her own success. Her mother was never able to love her and remained angry at the world and her fathers family up to and after her death even refusing to be buried in her husband’s family plot.

It is apparent throughout the book that Ms. Shapiro has had a fairly gifted life in terms of not ever really having to struggle for money or acceptance. She was loved and she is successful. Her existential crisis comes in her forties after living through 9/11 and the loss of a number of pregnancy. The author decides to go no a search for the truth. Her search consists of a few yoga retreats, a couple of visits to different temples to find where she and her family fit in being one of the few Jews in her part of Connecticut and reaching out to an aunt whose entire family is orthodox.

She finds some answers but they appear to be answers that are prepackaged and had to be found by her deadline. Whole sections of the book consist of definition of words that she deems important in her search.

As I stated before I really wanted to love this book but I did not it is self indulgent and mediocre. Not once during her search for meaning did she do anything that really had to involve stretching the boundaries of her life and never once did she mention that part of the answer of the search might involve finding something and becoming involved in something that was bigger then herself, her husband and her son.

Her search consisted of yoga retreats, reading, doing yoga in the bedroom of what one can only assume is a mini-mansion on her ten acres of farmland in Connecticut.

I do not know if Ms. Shapiro is really looking for the meaning of life and/or for her place in the cosmos but if she is the “answers” she finds in this book will not long sustain her because they involve nothing outside of herself. If Ms. Shapiro really wants to find meaning in life and rituals I suggest she get out of her fifth avenue, bergdoff Goodman’s privileged life and bring her yoga skills to children and women living in poverty or her writing skills not to the fancy liberal arts college but to a community college anywhere and with anyone that has to look the beast in the eye on a daily basis and still manages to get up and live.

American Idol’s Kristy Lee Cook Takes on Mariah Carey: Will She Stay "Forever"?

American Idol’s Kristy Lee Cook Takes on Mariah Carey: Will She Stay "Forever"?

Tonight, on April 15, the American Idol Top 7 performed songs by Mariah Carey. Although Kristy Lee Cook has never been one of my favorites on American Idol, I have to admit that she did well this week. She is finally coming into her own on American Idol, and is learning how to appeal to her fanbase. Kristy Lee Cook performed Mariah Carey’s “Forever.” Will this keep her around “Forever” on American Idol?

American Idol Judges’ Comments:

Mariah liked the fact that Kristy Lee Cook took on one of her lesser known songs.

Randy didn’t think it was “amazing,” but gave Kristy Lee Cook props for “stepping it up at the end.”

Paula loved the arrangement and the way Kristy Lee Cook turned it into a country hit. It was a smart move that would appeal to her demographic.

Simon thought it was a bit whiny, but also pointed out that Kristy Lee Cook probably wasn’t thrilled when she found out it was a Mariah Carey themed week.

My Critique:

Kristy Lee Cook is a ‘niche’ singer with a style that people either love or hate. Although I’m not a huge fan of Kristy Lee Cook, she’s grown on me in the past two weeks. As a country fan, I can appreciate a rendition of Martina or a country-arranged Mariah song. While I agree with Simon that her voice is a bit whiny, Kristy Lee Cook does know how to emote a country song. It will be very interesting to see what happens this week on American Idol. Audiences tend to be unforgiving. She’s had a few less than stellar performances on American Idol, and has outlasted talented singers such as Michael Johns. However, she is starting to find herself as a performer, and she knows how to cater to her American Idol demographic. If Kristy Lee Cook survives, it will be based on this week’s performances. If she leaves, it will be the result of previous performances.

Is Kristy Lee Cook a front-runner on American Idol?

Kristy Lee Cook may survive for a few more weeks on American Idol. If she improves every week, she may even be the last girl standing, but I don’t think she can win. American Idol already has so many pretty blonde country girls: Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, Jessica Sierra, and Carmen Rasmussen. The front-runners on this year’s American Idol are David Cook and David Archuleta.

Colin Bell: Reluctant Hero – Book Review

Colin Bell: Reluctant Hero – Book Review

‘In time, Colin will be among the all-time greats who have ever played in this country’ That is what Manchester Citys Assistant Manager, Malcolm Allison said of King Colin when asked. Of course we had already signed the young lad from Bury at the time of this quote. Had you asked him before Bell had signed the paperwork his answer would have been more like this “can’t head it, can’t pass it, he’s hopeless”(Both quotes taken from ‘The Worst Of Friends’ by Colin Schindler).

Of course the latter was an attempt to put off fellow clubs who were interested in signing Colin while he and Joe fought with the City board to release the funds. For 45,000 pounds Colin Bell turned out to be, and arguably still is, the best money City spent. Certainly fans who saw ‘Nijinsky’ play would confirm that all the stories of him were true. He was a shy guy who had the stamina of a middle distance runner and the skills needed to help City reach and compete with the top clubs in Europe.

He could have so easily have gone to Arsenal but fortunately for City fans their manager, Ex England star Billy Wright didn’t see in Bell what our Big Mal saw. Bell went for trials with the North London club before being rejected and told that they hoped he found a side whose standards were not as high as Arsenals. Four years later Colin was flying high in sky blue.

In his debut game, on this day in 1966, Bell scored in an away win against Derby County (even though he may not have known much about it) as Mercer, Allison and now Bell were finally moving City in the right direction, with Bells goal at Rotherham actually securing the promotion.

Colin Bell would go on to become arguably City’s key player and turned out in the sky blue of City just under 500 times, scoring 153 goals. Only two players have scored more for the club, and who knows how many more he could have scored if not for that horrific injury in a 4-0 League Cup win against United with a ‘mistimed’ tackle from Buchan. The levels of fitness that Bell had kept up meant that had the injury not occurred he could have continued for at least another five or six years longer than it did.

He did come back as a substitute against Newcastle on Boxing Day 1977, just over two years after the initial injury but he never returned to his best and would only get 17 games under his belt before eventually being forced into retirement. His comeback though did lift the club who went on a seven game winning streak and he did manage two goals. His last goal however came in Europe in a tie against FC Twente in September 1978 at Maine Road, which fittingly was also the venue for his last League game for City although this time it was a loss against Aston Villa.

Colin Bell later continued his service with City by working with the youth team, but left before returning during the 1990s as the club’s first ambassador. Then when Francis Lee took control of the club there was a falling out and Bell left. Fortunately Bell came back and now acts as a club ambassador and can be seen around the ground on matchday.

When moving to the new stadium in 2003 City fans were polled as to what to call one of the stands, Colin Bell won the poll and now while at the Etihad you will see the Colin Bell Stand. No other section has been given a players name and to date only Joe Mercer has had a similar section around the ground named after him and so on Matchday now you can walk down ‘Joe Mercer Way’ and take your seat in the ‘Colin Bell Stand’ and watch the mighty City.

Biography and Mystery

Biography and Mystery

How can one person ever know another’s heart, especially long after she’s dead? Emily Dickinson’s a mystery, and so are her poems, and because she devoted her life to them, she and her poems are almost inseparable.

When I write my book, I want to spend a few pages talking about biography. It’s all conjecture, no matter how much “evidence” we may find. How close is the “I” in the poems to ED herself? It’s bound to be a continuum, and because she definitely had a flair for the dramatic (those white dresses!), what seems to be ED herself could still be an exaggeration, especially in the more forceful poems.

And then there are the letters, which are by their nature at least partly a performance, since when we write letters to other people, we want to hold their attention. And since her letters became her primary way of talking to people, and since she was a poet, we have to expect them to be more than everyday correspondence.

Plus there’s the character of the biographer. I’m not the first to claim that all writing is in some way autobiographical, so when someone writes a biography, we have to expect to find at least as much of her in the book as the subject. No two people interpret any encounter in the exact same way, so when you’re dealing with the life of another person, you can be sure that no two biographers will interpret that in the same way, not even close.

One of the reasons I decided to write my book for kids twelve and up is because I can talk about matters that become assumptions for adults. I can discuss the difference between primary and secondary sources, the effects of literary executors and editors on the writing, and–especially–the need for us readers to keep enough of a distance to be able to form our own judgments.

Best Free Web Browsers for Your Children Online

Best Free Web Browsers for Your Children Online

As a parent we want to give our children the opportunity to play games on the internet. There are many educational games, and ones that spur the imagination. Of course our first priority is to be sure while they are having fun they are safe. Here are some web browsers that you can download for free, they can play the games and you will be able to monitor them.

Both my elementary school age daughters love to play the games on the kids web browser. It was first brought to my attention by one of her teachers. It is free and easy to download, it is also super easy for my four year old to navigate through safely on her own. It features two and a half million different internet websites, videos and games that are approved by teachers and parents alike.

It is designed for children ages 3 to 12, there are even resources available on it for your child to get help with their homework. Once you are signed up parents get a weekly email that tells you where and what your children are doing on Kidzui. It comes with a parental account where you can control even more safety settings. The site is sponsored by Comcast, another great feature is that is has no chat rooms, texting or anything similar. You will see on their website they have receive positive press from: The Today Show, CNN, USA Today, The New York Post and even The Wall Street Journal.?

This award winning browser for children is very cute and appealing for your kids, but also has all the features parents want to keep them safe while on the internet. This internet browser is 100% free to download, and also free of spy ware, ad ware, hacker safe and has a pop up blocker. It has been featured by: USA Today, C/Net, ABC News, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. New, The New York Times and CNN.

Made for children ages 4 to 14, this browser is colorful, fun, engaging and easy for them to use. It has user friendly parent controls, flash games for children to improve their learning and rewards for children to encourage their learning. Parents have options of limiting time use online, receiving parental reports and locking controls.?

Many parents remember McGruff the crime dog fro school when we were young, teaching us about all kinds of safety. With help from “The National Crime Prevention Council” and “The Children’s Educational Network” they launched “The McGruff Kid Safe Internet Browser For Kids”. This free web browser for children allows them to surf safe approved internet websites and play games. With over 10,000 websites available with just one click they will have access to all kinds of educational and cool games.

As a parent you have the freedom to create separate accounts for each child in your family, with custom age appropriate content. You are also able to choose from different themes for boys and girls. You will also be able to ban certain words, change passwords as you see needed and ban or add websites that you want your child to have access to. You will also receive a free trial to “Club Tuki – The Ultimate Kids Internet”, the first Internet Safety Education Arcade. Where children not only get to watch Tuki television, which shows clean, appropriate entertaining television. And as they play the games they have the opportunity to earn Tuki moola for their online bank account, to help them learn about finance and money responsibilities.

Print Coupons to Save Money Every Week

Print Coupons to Save Money Every Week

In this article you will learn how I save money with coupons. I will tell you the places I go to the most often to do this.

There are many websites that say they have coupons and coupon codes that you can load onto your card. I only trust a handful of them and here are my most popular ones. is my go to website for the best coupons. Most of the time, they have coupons that will save you $1.00 or more for just one item. They have over 300 coupons listed on any given day. This is my favorite website. I like it when I get a $1.00 off of a food item or even toilet paper. You can even have coupons loaded onto your smart phone with them. I myself like to download and print the coupons out. They also have coupon codes for stores such as Home Depot and Best Buy.

Another website that I like is called The Krazy Coupon Lady. They have many coupons on this website. This is a little different as theirs is a compilation of coupons from several different websites. You click on the one you want and it takes you to whatever website the coupon is on. You can join this website and create an account and they will email you with daily deals. They also have links to many popular stores, such as Dollar General and Walmart.

Smart source is another option. You can sign up with them and get coupon alerts sent to your email. You then click on the more coupons button and it takes you right to their site.

Target also has some great coupons right on their website. You can print them out and take them into the store. They always have ones for food, clothes, or other items for your house. They have a wide variety of coupons on their site.

Another option that I like is the All You magazine. It comes out once a month and it has coupons for food and other items in it every time. Usually this magazine has great coupons along with articles on how to save money on almost anything. So however you want to do it, to pay less, start clipping or printing today!

Finding the Perfect Coffee Grinder

Finding the Perfect Coffee Grinder

New-fangled electric coffee grinders are a popular toy of coffee connoisseurs. You’ll find a tremendous selection of coffee grinders on the market, and you can pay quite a bit of money for one. I have a small electric Braun that was a gift, and it does an ok job. I’ve never felt like I had much success with electric coffee grinders, because they tend to make powder when I use them. Either that, or they leave chunks of coffee beans unground. I really don’t like electric appliances much, and I guess it shows.

I have a small collection of hand crank coffee grinders. They are all box, or lap type grinders. One is not antique, and I thought I’d use it and preserve the old ones for posterity. Wouldn’t you know…the replica coffee grinder is the one that is fragile and sits unused.

My favorite coffee grinder is one of my great-grandmother’s from 1890, the year she was married. I don’t use it every day, but when it starts looking lonely on the shelf, I get it down and give it a little TLC. Half of the cast iron cover for the hopper is missing, and the wooden top is cracked under the crank handle, but the cast iron grinding assembly is perfect and it works very well. It is adjustable, so you can set the coarseness of the grind by simply turning a wing nut. The capacity is a little greater than the other coffee grinders I have, so it turns out a large amount of coffee in a short time. It takes less than two minutes to grind enough coffee by hand to make a pot.

There’s something about grinding coffee by hand that is both invigorating and calming. Part of it is the aroma. It starts out faint, and becomes more robust the longer you grind. Part of it is just using a mechanically wonderful gizmo that was so well designed there isn’t much about it that you could improve upon.

Using a hand cranked coffee grinder is fun. You just pour roasted beans into the open hopper, and start cranking. Some coffee grinders have a little drawer that the ground coffee drops into. My favorite grinder has a nifty little door that opens. The door has a little “shelf” that swings out with it, and it holds a round wood-and-tin cup that contains the ground coffee, so it’s easy to carry it to the coffeepot.

Besides the box type grinders, a number of other styles of hand coffee grinders were made. Some are wall mounted. They often have a hopper with a lid that holds a pound or two of beans, and a collection cup (glass) usually held in place by a little spring-loaded clamp. Many of the wall mounts have glass hoppers as well. Not only could you see at a glance when the coffee supply was low, but the entire hopper could be removed for a good cleaning.

There were also table mount coffee grinders that had screw clamps to hold them to the edge of a table or a countertop. These were usually smaller, since they were stored in a drawer or cupboard when not in use. They are about the size of one of those little meat grinders you can still buy. They became popular in the early 1900s, and were used regularly until after WW II when marketers began pushing ground coffee in cans.

Then there are the upright coffee grinders, the kind with a hand wheel on one or both sides that were commonplace in general stores. This design was made in several sizes, including cute little home kitchen versions. Collectors love the small versions.

Although coffee grinders have been made for centuries, most of the ones you see as antiques are from the mid-19th through the mid 20th century.

Personal experience

Pray for Our Military and Our Allies

Pray for Our Military and Our Allies

Readers, the world needs to pray
for our service men, women, allies risking their lives every day.
Many are young and just out of high school
tramping the foreign battlefields to protect me and you.

They don’t have time to get a good nights rest
or sit in the pews at their churches to feel blessed.
They sleep in their dug outs…get a wink or maybe a few
no time to enjoy a walk through the mornings dew.

They eat their meals when they can sneak a bite
never know what kind of actions they’ll have to fight.
They don’t have the luxury of a good warm bath
nor get to walk with their families down a wooded path.

Can you imagine the lonely days and nights they have
when I think about it, it makes me…hurt and feel sad?
Readers, remember to pray for our brave women and men
who stand their watch, fight, and hoping they’ll soon win.

We need to pray for God to bless, protect, each and everyone of them
while they’re fighting hard…a war that’s difficult to see an end.
Pray God keeps them safe…brings them back to their homeland
we’ll open our arms to welcome them back, give thanks to the “Great I Am.”

Great, Funny & Useful Websites for Bridesmaids

Are you a bridesmaid? Are you going to be one very soon? Being a bridesmaid is a lot of fun – but it is also a lot of responsibility. Every bride really wants their day to be perfect. And planning a wedding has lots of little details. A bride typically asks her bridesmaids and Maid of Honor for help with various things in planning her wedding. Traditionally the Maid of Honor and bridesmaids plan a bridal shower, and sometimes also a bachelorette party.

Many women have walked in your satin dyed-to-match pumps before you. Fortunately they have sage and funny advice to offer you that will help with your bridesmaid's duties. Here are some great websites that every bridesmaid should consider visiting before putting on that great dress, you know, the one that you'll be able to wear again – at least the bride said so…. hey, they always say so!

Bridesmaid Aid

This website was created by two friends, Ellen Horowitz and Joanna Dreifus who have attended nearly thirty weddings and have been bridesmaids countless times. They created the website as a resource for fellow bridesmaids with lots of tips on how to be a great bridesmaid, but also a place where you could have a good laugh.

Ugly Dress

There is truly nothing like an ugly bridesmaid dress. Many bridesmaids have endured a bridesmaids dress that wasn't their taste, and some have worn a dress that was truly horrific. This website is for the truly tacky, the totally horrible. If you are preparing to wear an ugly dress at a wedding, or you are looking at bridesmaids dresses, you will no doubt laugh out loud at this great website.

Blissweddings, Bridal Showers section

The Bridal Showers section of has lots of great games that you can plan for people to play at the bridal shower. It also has ideas for a Jack and Jill (co-ed) wedding shower. There are more than eighty bridal shower themes given. You can also find poems to use for the bridal shower at this website. Great for Maid of Honor and fellow bridesmaids planning the bridal shower.

A Bridal Shower

This website has lots of great ideas for planning a bridal shower. There is information on bridal shower games, favors, food, themes, centerpieces, invitations, gifts, party ideas, decorations, and even clip art that you can use on the invitations. This website has so many great tips that you can use to plan a bridal shower.

Bachelorette Party Tips

This website is for planning either a bachelorette or a bachelor party. You'll find lots of great party planning tips for planning a bachelorette party. The website is written using the male pronoun however, so simple substitute all of the "he's" with a "she". The tips are great, but they should have built a different website for bachelorettes.