Book Review: Making Love Potions: 64 All-Natural Recipes for Irresistible Herbal Aphrodisiacs by Stephanie L. Tourles

A sensual treat. (4 stars)

The beautiful cover of this book was what initially drew me to it but its wealth of natural ways to create sensuality made it worth picking up. I say sensuality because aphrodisiacs have always seemed a bit more strictly intended to produce sexual results and well, I don't think many do. But I digress, if you like the idea of enhancing your desirability, turning your bedroom into a boudoir, or simply having a few rituals to get in the mood this book has what you're looking for.

From teas and cordials, to linen sprays and massage oils Tourles presents a bevy of recipes that will delight the senses. Ingredients range from herbs, liqueurs, and chocolate to essential oils and flowers. Every sense will be tickled if you choose to try them and the stunning illustrations will make the tome itself a delight. 

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

Making Love Potions: 64 All-Natural Recipes for Irresistible Herbal Aphrodisiacsby Stephanie L. Tourles

Self Help, Alternative Medicine, Sex, Relationships
Print/Digital (192 pages, STOREY)
Herbs are hot! And in Making Love Potions, best-selling author Stephanie L. Tourles shows you how to bring that heat into your bedroom. Tourles playfully presents 64 easy recipes for natural body oils, balms, tonics, bath blends, and sweet treats to share with your special someone. This celebration of life and pleasure arouses the senses with such irresistible recipes as “Come Hither” Body Powder, Cocoa-Chai “Kiss ‘n’ Make Up” Lip Butter, and Vanilla Intrigue Massage Oil. Most recipes use simple, common ingredients, making them both easy and quick to prepare. With beautiful illustrations and engaging explanations of the power that herbs, flowers, and natural oils have over our physical bodies, Making Love Potions is the perfect gift for herb lovers — and all lovers — everywhere.


Book Review: The Fireside Grown-Up Guide to Mindfulness by Jason Hazeley & Joel Morris

Makes a great white elephant or gag gift! (4 stars)

If you love a good parody and mocking popular jargon, the Fireside Grown-Up Guides are sure to bring a snicker. As someone who enjoys the actual practice of mindfulness I found this one a little more lackluster than one of the other Guides I read but still amusing. 

Should you know someone who is always on about meditation and yoga or the like you might enjoy dropping this tongue-in-cheek look at Mindfulness on them.

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.

The Fireside Grown-Up Guide to Mindfulness by Jason Hazeley & Joel Morris

Humor, Parodies, Meditation
Print/Ebook (64 pages, TOUCHSTONE)
The international publishing phenomenon and ridiculously funny new parody series that helps grown-ups learn about the world around them using large clear type, simple and easy-to-grasp words, frequent repetition, and thoughtful matching of text with pictures.
Have you been having trouble with the How, Why, and Wheres? Well fear no more. The Fireside Grown-Up Guide series understands that the world is just as confusing to a forty-year-old as it is to a four-year-old. We’re here to help and break down the most pressing and complex issues of our day into easy-to-digest pieces of information paired with vivid illustrations even a child could understand.
Mindfulness: the skill of thinking you are doing something, when in fact you are doing nothing. In this Fireside Grown-Up Guide to Mindfulness, we’ll meet a blissful cast of characters who’ve learned to free themselves from unnecessary worries like work, friends, and family. When they are fired from their jobs and abandoned by their friends and family, they learn to combat their stress by practicing mindfulness, and teach us a few lessons along the way.


Review: Oh Joy Sex Toy Volume 3 by Erika Moen & Matthew Nolan

It's all positive! (5 stars)

This was my introduction to Oh Joy Sex Toy and I am totally a fan now. This isn't a fiction graphic novel, but rather, a sex-positive collection of reviews, essays, and comics. It's not porn or even intended to be titillating. Instead, it's very straight forward discussions of gender, sexual identity, inclusivity, and health. 

As someone who grew up in a very repressive home where sexuality was presented as a very negative thing I found this a refreshing way to explore ideas I hadn't before. I didn't find the reviews particularly helpful but as a fellow reviewer I really appreciated the candid nature of them. If you find yourself screaming "TMI!" when friends or family discuss sex this probably is not the book for you.

What I loved most about OJSTv.3 is the art. It's unapologetic, erotic, and extremely inclusive. Seeing couplings/groupings representing extremely diverse sexualities, races, abilities, and body types made me very happy. If you want to support comics with sex positive themes and diversity I much recommend OJST!

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.

Oh Joy Sex Toy Volume 3 by Erika Moen & Matthew Nolan
Graphic Novel, LGBTQ, Educational
Digital/Print (312 pages, ONI PRESS)
Erika & Matthew think the world of sex is pretty rad.
Using humor and research, their awesome comics are about everything that relates to sex. They review sex toys, share sex education, interview sex workers, and crack horrible, horrible puns, all in the name of promoting sex positivity.
In this third volume they visit a swingers’ house party, a queer porn set and cover all sorts of topics like HPV, foreskins and UTIs, in addition to the newest and oddest sex toys. Each volume is a unique dive into the world of sex, making this book a great standalone addition to your shelf whether you’re already read the rest of the series or this is your introduction.


Review: Crafting with Feminism by Bonnie Burton

Unapologetic & Clever (3 stars)

Though I found the overall tone of the book a fun, tongue-in-cheek presentation of flaunt-your-feminism, I just didn't find the majority of the crafts particularly interesting. Others just didn't feel really feminist (ie. the Nope Necklace, High Heels are a Pain Planters) or could have easily been sourced off of Pinterest (ie. Male Chauvinist Tears Coffee Mug, Next-Gen Feminist Onesie).

While I wouldn't buy it because I didn't find enough of the content worthy of adding it to my crafting shelf, I did like a few of the ideas a lot. The Huggable Uterus Body Pillow, Monster Week Tampon/Pad Case, and the Strong Female Character Prayer Candle crafts were all awesome ideas that I'd actually want to make.

If you're not much of a crafter and want to find some new ways to grow your skills while flaunting your feminist flag this might be a good fit for you. Experienced crafters, I'd call this a library selection if it interests you.

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

Crafting with Feminism by Bonnie Burton

Crafting, Humor, Feminism
Digital/Print (112 pages, QUIRK BOOKS)
Grab a handful of glitter and get your girl power on with 25 subversive and easy-to-make projects.
This is what a feminist crafter looks like! Crafting with Feminism features 25 irreverent and easy-to-make projects that celebrate everything that rocks about girls, gals, and badass women. Wear your ideology on your sleeve by creating fierce custom merit badges. Prove that the political is personal with DIY power panties. Get cozy with a handmade Huggable Uterus Body Pillow, or craft heroine finger puppets to honor great women like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Frida Kahlo, and bell hooks. Featuring tips on everything from beginner sewing stitches to building a kickin’ party playlist, and a totally empowering forward from “Queen of Geeks” Felicia Day, this book has everything you need for an awesome crafternoon.


Book Review: Dark Spirits: A Man Terrorized by the Supernatural by Stephen Lancaster

Lacks emotive qualities. (3 stars)

While I am most definitely a skeptic, I have always enjoyed tales of supernatural encounters. Lancaster has clearly spent much of his life in pursuit of answers to his own experiences with the paranormal. Unfortunately, I found most of Dark Spirits tediously slow and oft times quite repetitive. I'd dare even go so far as to note it as highly predictable. 

If you're interested in the group dynamics of ghost hunting groups and less in having your spine tingled this might be just your cup of tea. Those wanting a read that will leave them afraid to turn off the lights this just isn't it.

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.

Dark Spirits: A Man Terrorized by the Supernaturalby Stephen Lancaster

Supernatural, Paranormal, Ghosts
Ebook/Print (216 pages, LLEWELLYN)
Driven to the brink of insanity by some of the darkest encounters with the supernatural you can possibly imagine, paranormal investigator Stephen Lancaster has made the afterlife his life. Dark Spirits chronicles his most terrifying investigations over the last fifteen years, highlighting how those cases have affected him and the ghost-hunting field as a whole.
Explore the mysterious hotel room that drives occupants mad. Discover the abandoned plantation that made heavily armed investigators fight for their lives. Learn about the dark entity that followed Stephen home and made his life a living hell. These frightening stories and much more await you in Dark Spirits, a compilation of haunting cases no one can explain or forget.


Book Review: Baba Yaga by An Leysen

Not my favorite. (3 stars)

I've always enjoyed tales of Baba Yaga so I was eager to pick this one up and enjoy the beautiful illustrations of An Leysen. As expected Leysen's illustrations were stunning! But I found the writing rather lackluster. I'm not sure the art makes up for it either. That said, if you have a child who you would like to share the tale of Baba Yaga with I found this version fairly tame so it might be a very good option.

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

Baba Yaga by An Leysen

Children's, Folk Tales
Print (56 pages, CLAVIS)
Once upon a time, in a land far away from here, lived a girl named Olga. Olga lived with her father in a beautiful house, and they were very happy together. Until Olga’s father one day fell in love again … His new wife was cruel and mean. And her sister Baba Yaga, who lived in a dark forest, was even meaner. Baba Yaga was a real witch! There was a rumor she was fond of children … on her plate! One day Olga’s stepmother sent her to Baba Yaga. What was she supposed to do now?
Baba Yaga, the witch from Slavonic mythology is coming alive in this fairy tale. An Leysen takes you on a journey in an imaginative story about a wicked witch and a sweet and brave little girl.


Book Review: Bird Magic: Wisdom of the Ancient Goddess for Pagans & Wiccans by Sandra Kynes

The Magic of Birds (4 stars)

I've always had a strange connection to certain animals but none more so than birds. They've always played a mysterious role in my life. From rescuing baby birds and holding funerals for those found mauled by cats to unusual sightings, they just can't seem to stop passing through my life. So I picked up Bird Magic hoping to gain some insight into their presence.

I found Bird Magic to be an interesting, unexpected resource. I'm neither pagan nor Wiccan, though both speak to me spiritually, but I found it a very useful book anyway.

If you find yourself frequently visited by blackbirds, ravens, owls, and birds of prey as I am I think you'll really enjoy this book.

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

Bird Magic: Wisdom of the Ancient Goddess for Pagans & Wiccans by Sandra Kynes

New Age, Spirituality, Occult
Print/Ebook (312 pages, LLEWELLYN)
Connect to the Great Goddess through the Magic of Birds
Birds have been symbolic of the Great Goddess for millennia, representing her power and connection to the mysteries of life, death, and spirit. Bird Magic teaches you how to commune with the Goddess, incorporating her into your magical life through exercises, crafts, meditations, and more.
Working with bird magic helps awaken your intuition, tap into subtle energies around you, and strengthen your bond with the natural world. Providing an encyclopedic listing of more than sixty bird species―highlighting each one’s history, folklore, location, appearance, and magical wisdom―Bird Magic shows how they can enhance your spiritual and personal life. With in-depth information, helpful illustrations, and hands-on guidance, this book will be your go-to reference for years to come.


Book Review: Wynonna Earp Volume 1: Homecoming

A rare DNF for me. (2 stars)

While I loved the idea of this graphic novel and tried really hard to get into it I just found it wanting. There was a definite feel to it that you needed to be a watcher of the show to have enough back story and characterization to enjoy it. I don't usually complain about the art in comics but I also wasn't digging that part. After giving it through the first issue I just had to put it down.

If you're already a fan of the show I might suggest you pick it up, otherwise it's a pass.

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.

Wynonna Earp Volume 1: Homecoming by Beau Smith (Author), Lora Innes (Artist), Chris Evenhuis (Artist)

Comics, Paranormal, Horror, Law Enforcement
Print (136 pages, IDW)
The US Marshals Black Badge division has been fighting back against supernatural threats for decades. But even the toughest werewolf, most bloodthirsty vampire, or grisliest zombie knows there’s one agent to avoid at all cost: Wynonna Earp. Descended from the legendary Wyatt Earp, Wynonna is dead set on bringing the unnatural to justice! Collects issues #1–6.


Book Review: Clean Soups: Simple, Nourishing Recipes for Health and Vitality

Useful and inspiring. (4 stars)

One of my biggest challenges to clean eating has been my love of soups. Most of my soup recipes are far from clean eating friendly in spite of their deliciousness. If you've found yourself in a similar conundrum I think you will find this book very inspiring and useful. The broth recipes that make up the bases are especially handy to have if you want to get creative while eating clean. With recipes like salmon coconut chowder, ruby red beet soup, and springtime asparagus and leek soup, you're sure to find both classic comforts reworked and new favorites. 

Keep in mind these are clean eating recipes, not just vegetarian or vegan, so there are some with yogurt, chicken, and other meats. I much recommend this as a resource for clean eaters who need their warm, nourishing soups during the cold months!

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

Clean Soups: Simple, Nourishing Recipes for Health and Vitality

by Rebecca Katz & Mat Edelson
Cooking, Clean Eating, Nutrition
Ebook/Print (# pages, TEN SPEED PRESS)
Soup has a unique ability to nourish and heal the body. In Clean Soups, author Rebecca Katz shows you how to use wholesome stocks and soups to naturally detox and stay energized year-round. She also explains the building blocks for creating deliciously balanced soups, such as Moroccan carrot soup, kale soup with coconut and lime, and simplest chicken pho. With foundational broths, blended soups, and traditional healing soups, as well as a two-day cleanse, Clean Soups shows how one simple bowl can make a huge difference in how you feel.


Book Review: Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton

Things that make you go d'awwww... (5 stars)

As a parent and paraeducator I am always on the lookout for cute, clever reads that are fun while sneaking in a lesson. Narwhal is one of the best I've read recently and my 7-year-old absolutely loved it. The adventures of Narwhal and Jelly are sure to bring plenty of giggles and smiles to kids who are just becoming independent readers. The optimism and kindness of Narwhal might feel a little cloying to some adults but I found it sweet and encouraging.

I would recommend this for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade readers. It can be read alone but is also an enjoyable partner read with a parent.

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton

Comics, Friendship, Animals
Print (64 pages, TUNDRA)
Narwhal is a happy-go-lucky narwhal. Jelly is a no-nonsense jellyfish. The two might not have a lot in common, but they do they love waffles, parties and adventures. Join Narwhal and Jelly as they discover the whole wide ocean together.
A wonderfully silly early graphic novel series featuring three stories. In the first, Jelly learns that Narwhal is a really good friend. Then Narwhal and Jelly form their own pod of awesomeness with their ocean friends. And finally, Narwhal and Jelly read the best book ever -- even though it doesn't have any words...or pictures!


Attack of the 14 Nights of Halloween Giveaway!

It's that time of year again. The days are getting shorter, the air is
getting cooler and the nights are getting spookier. Yes, it's time for
tricks and treats, goblins and ghouls, chills and thrills and huge
amounts of sugary sweets. But at the Laughing Vixen Lounge blog it's also time for the 5th annual Attack of the 14 Nights of Halloween Giveaway. Join Laughing Vixen Lounge and our bewitching co-hosts The Kids Did It, The Mommy Island, Herding Cats and Burning Soup, The Hopping Bloggers, Mama Smith's Reviews and Women and Their Pretties for a spooktacular Halloween event.

Enter to win a $250 Prize Pack filled with goodies from 10 wickedly
fabulous shops. All shops are offering Gift Cards or your choice of
item(s) so there will be something for everyone. Many of the shops have items perfect for any book lover along with lots of
unique, handcrafted and custom designs to choose from.

blog daily during the giveaway for the Halloween Movie Marathon. Test
your movie knowledge with the Guess the Movie Game. Then try to solve
the Murder Mystery Scavenger Hunt, if you dare! Each event will get you
daily entries in the giveaway plus a special giveaway for the Scavenger
Hunt. Find full details for these events HERE.

You can start by entering the Rafflecopter widget below. To
experience all the games, movies, shop features, giveaway info and all
around awesome fun make sure to stop by the Laughing Vixen
Lounge blog HERE

The giveaway runs October 18th - November 1st and is open worldwide to
anyone 18+. 1 winner will win the Prize Pack and 1 winner will win the
Scavenger Hunt Prize Pack. Laughing Vixen Lounge is responsible for all
giveaway details. Click HERE for full details.


Review: The Night the Stars Went Out

A darling reminder... (5 stars)

When a hard working alien has to visit Earth to find what he needs to fix the stars he learns a very important lesson. While this is a book that kids will adore, I think the message of not taking everything so seriously, will really resonate with hard working moms and dads. I know I felt a tiny bit chastised as I read it to my 6 year old. A really good one to read at bedtime! 

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

The Night the Stars Went Out
by Suz Hughes
Release Date: October 1, 2016
Space, Friendship
Print (32 pages, CAPSTONE)
Alien was the star controller for the entire galaxy, which was a big job for a very little alien. One night something disastrous happens, and Alien faces the biggest problem of his life. Will Alien be able to fix the stars? With a focus on friendship and problem solving, this picture book is a treat for everyone. (Ages 3-7)


Review: Business Cat: Money, Power, Treats

Hilarious & Strangely Relatable (5 stars)

Imagine a blend of Archer, Workaholics, and Garfield. This hysterical collection of comics had me in stitches from start to finish. As the owner (err... minion) of 3 cats I recognized a lot of the antics Business Cat gets up to but I think every office worker who has a demanding boss is sure to find the struggles relatable too.

If you need a gut busting laugh and don't loathe cats... this book is for you.

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

Business Cat: Money, Power, Treats by Tom Fonder

Humor, Comics, Business, Cats
Print/Digital (128 pages, ANDREWS MCMEEL)
Boss. Billionaire. Business maverick. Cat.
The only big-business tycoon boasting his own private executive litter box and luxury mega cat condo, the dashing Business Cat misses meetings because he’s stuck in trees, sends emails while napping on keyboards, and demands to be let out, then in, then out again.
This debut volume of the popular online comic The Adventures of Business Cat collects all the fan favorites plus a generous bonus of all-new material, for value-added experience and high employee satisfaction.
Cat lovers and office workers of the world: meet in the break room and unite!


Which Needs Organizing: Kitchen,Office, Bathroom? Try This!

Versatility for your organizing needs!  (5 Stars)

Ugh. I hate admitting it. I'm a clutter bug. I like being organized but hate trying to find a system that works for me long-term. I am always on the lookout for useful products and items that will make the job easier though. Like this super versatile set of magnetic spice jars and their base.

I love this as a way to make your go-to spices easy to reach and easy to see. It even has openings on the sides for shaking or pouring! So awesome for someone like me who loves spices and playing with them when cooking, baking, or just making a smoothie. In an office it'd be great for rubber bands, push pins or staples. I was even thinking it would be a great place to have my husband stuff change and all the little things he dumps out of his pocket onto the dresser and nightstand. Ultimately though, I decided I wanted to put it to use in my bathroom.

My mini clear hair ties always get lost and this makes them easy to find. I always have sample vials of perfumes and perfume oils (like the amazing ones from Deep Midnight Perfumes on Etsy) and those are hard to store without them rolling around. My fave loose makeup pigments are ready to go at a moment's notice. I even took off the lid and put my favorite everyday lipglosses and lipsticks in one.

If you want a versatile storage unit for a counter or desktop this is a really nice one. I will probably wind up buying myself one for my second bathroom and one for my kitchen I've loved it so much.

Notes: I received a complimentary product for reviewing purposes.

Stainless Steel Magnetic Containers

Product Details: SAVE MORE TODAY! Add to Cart to reveal today's instant rebate discount pricing from the manufacturer for authorized Amazon resellers. READY TO BE THE ROCKSTAR OF YOUR NEXT PARTY OR HOLIDAY GATHERING? Every good host or hostess knows the real secret to an unforgettable party is delicious food! Let your inspired culinary creations run wild! This durable 6 piece set of magnetic storage tins will keep your favorite spices fresh for months on end.
ARTS AND CRAFTS JUST GOT MORE FUN AND LESS MESSY! Enjoy craft time with your friends and family without turning your home into a disaster zone. Whether you're making a beaded necklace or a dream catcher, keep all of your supplies organized with this sturdy magnetic tin storage set. Perfect for holding beads, glitter and any other must-have materials that are essential to your creative process. Adjustable tray that lays flat or tilts, this storage tin set will fit the smallest of work spaces.
SLEEK AND STYLISH DESIGN WILL LOOK GREAT IN YOUR KITCHEN! This set is designed to beautifully complement your modern stainless steel appliances. Adding a little extra shine to your kitchen never hurts. Keep your favorite spices organized by using the included storage tray, or secure individual tins to any metal surface with the magnetic bottoms. Extremely versatile, each tin is equipped with a twistable lid that pours and shakes, making them useful for a wide range of cooking applications.
ORGANIZE YOUR OFFICE FOR ULTIMATE PRODUCTIVITY! A messy desk is a productivity killer. Eliminate this problem once and for all by organizing your office supplies with this stylish magnetic tin storage set. Ideal for holding paper clips, staples, tacks and any other supplies you might need. With an adjustable rack, these storage tins are designed to fit into tight spaces, so you won't have to worry about them taking over your desk. You won't have a tin left over after filling in your supplies.
PRESERVE THE FRESHNESS AND TASTE OF YOUR FAVORITE SPICES! No one likes eating food with stale spices and you don't like cooking with them. These are food grade quality storage tins. Taste will be maximized in every meal you prepare. Use these storage tins for spices of all kinds: ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, basil, garlic, or anything else that brings your best dishes to life. Have more than 6 spices or herbs that you use on a regular basis? Add a second set of storage tins to your order.


Creative, Healthy Lunch Ideas for School & Work!

If things go well next week I'm about to go from work-at-home mom to a job that'll take me away from my comfort zone. I'm thinking optimistically and trying to pump myself up for the interview. But wait a minute... if I'm not working at home anymore... my love affair with random bowls of cereal, throwing together a fancy salad, or fresh-made grilled cheese sandwich lunches are gonna become a thing of the past.

How's a girl totally grown-up woman supposed to pack lunches that are actually yummy while also being full of nutrition? 

Image Credit: Source

I just found these great clean eats options over on Blogilates. I feel so inspired and ready to rock being part of the lunch bag bunch at my new job. Because I'm going to get it and be amazing at it—rocking the positive thinking FTW!

Check them out and let me know which one you'd like to try in the comments.


Sick of the loose tea struggle? Here's the solution.

No fuss, no muss. (5 Stars)

While I love my Fred & Friends sloth tea infuser, I don't enjoy cleaning it out after use. I also tend to like my tea strong so it can be difficult to get enough into many of the infusers on the market today. These drawstring tea filters have become the perfect solution!

They're a little bit bulky compared to your average tea bag but that can actually be a major boon to those of us who like making our tea strong. This also allows for a wider mouth making filling it a dream. I love that once the steeping is over I can just squeeze the excess liquid out and then toss the whole shebang into my compost bin. There is no taste lingering from them either. Using the drawstring to close it will take a gentle but firm hand but once you get the hand of it you'll be happy with it.

Notes: This is a review of a complimentary product.

Musings Tea Filter Bags

Product Details: Easy to Carry * Disposable * Spoon - Secure - Steep - Sip ...... Enjoy!
Chlorine Free - Biodegradable - Compostable - 100% Natural
Holds Up To 4 Teaspoons - Use For: Teacup, Mug, Travel Mug Or Pot Of Tea
No Fussing. No Staples. No Mess. No Bad Taste.

Review: The Trouble with Women by Jacky Fleming

Off to ride my bicycle... (5 stars)

Forgive me, my arms are so short I almost had to ask my genius husband to type this review for me. So I'll be brief. This tongue-in-cheek book is a bit dry but has the spot on humor women are sure to find enjoyable. It's downright painful to read what many of these educated men of science thought of the "gentler sex".

If you want to share feminism in a fresh and darkly amusing format I much recommend this.

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

The Trouble with Women
by Jacky Fleming
Comics, Feminism, Humor
Print/Digital (128 pages, ANDREWS MCMEEL)
Perfect for fans of Kate Beaton, Lena Dunham, and Caitlin Moran, The Trouble with Women is a feminist's brilliant, tongue-in-cheek, hysterical look at women's "issues," "frailties," and "failures" in our not-so-distant history.
Ever noticed that women don't feature much in history books, and wondered why? Then this is the book for you. In The Trouble with Women, feminist artist Jacky Fleming illustrates how the opinions of supposed male geniuses, such as Charles Darwin (who believed that women have smaller brains than men) and John Ruskin (who believed that women's main function was to praise men), have shaped the fate of women through history, confining them to a life of domesticity and very little else.
Get ready to laugh, wince, and rescue forgotten women from the "dustbin of history," while keeping a close eye out for tell-tale "genius hair."


The Only Book You'll Ever Need For This

The Only Yoga Book You'll Ever Need (4 stars)

Okay, so you'll probably want many more books in your yoga collection if you're serious about it. But this is one of the most full tomes on the subject I've had the pleasure of viewing. Every asana is photographed. I don't know about you, but I find that seeing yoga poses is equally as helpful as having detailed written instructions. 

I wasn't sure I'd like the way the book was divided (many books divide poses by difficulty level) but quickly found that having it set up by the type of pose was quite logical. The accompanying dual names and information were very useful, particularly modifications.

Even if you never wind up using this book to practice yoga it's quite beautiful to look through. The models make the poses look easy, almost natural. It's a very serene experience. I'd almost recommend it to art students as a reference for how muscle and bone can move in harmony.


Review: 365 Ways to Attract Good Luck by Richard Webster

Make your own luck! (5 stars)

Since I was a little girl I've had a quiet obsession with luck and specifically items that are considered lucky. I suppose it could have been fostered by my Irish-American grandfather but whatever the cause I just find luck and superstition in general to be interesting.

Richard Webster has put together a wonderful resource for my fellow luck enthusiasts. From animals and foods to folklore and stones you'll learn a lot of interesting facts and maybe pick up some good luck along the way.

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.

365 Ways to Attract Good Luck
Simple Steps to Take Control of Chance and Improve Your Future
by Richard Webster
New Age, Spirituality, Occultism
Digital/Print (240 pages, LLEWELYN)
What is good luck and how can you attract it into your life? Bestselling author Richard Webster demystifies this age-old concept and shares 365 easy ideas anyone can use to increase their good fortune in every area of life.
From acting on your hunches to using lucky charms, from carrying a badger’s tooth to random acts of kindness, the techniques presented in this entertaining and informative book are sure to tip the odds in your favor. With tried-and-true advice, unexpected tips, and everything you need to know about lucky days, numbers, months, and more, this easy-to-use guide is brimming with wise counsel for increasing your good luck.


Review: An Extra-Ordinary Girl (Ellie Ultra)

An Ultra-good read. (4 stars)

Ellie Ultra is a sweet, fun chapter book for young readers. When her super powers make her the odd kid out Ellie chooses a path of dishonesty to fit in. But when her friends need her she has to choose between what's comfortable and what's right.

If you know a child who enjoys superhero stories and secret identities this is a clever book they're sure to enjoy. It's not preachy but delivers a few valuable lessons about honesty, being true to yourself, and giving others the benefit of the doubt. I think this would be a terrific story for a parent and child to read together.

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

An Extra-Ordinary Girl (Ellie Ultra)
by Gina Bellisario (Author), Jessika von Innerebner (Illustrator) 
Release Date: September 1, 2016
School, Friendship, Humor
Print (128 pages, STONE ARCH BOOKS)
Ellie is super excited for first day at Winkopolis Elementary School. After spending her whole life being homeschooled by super-genius inventor parents, she can't wait to hang out with normal kids and learn normal things. But Ellie soon learns that her super powers make her stand out in a not-so-super way. Can she save the world and fit in with her new friends? Or is blending in the one thing this superhero can't do? (Ages: 6-8)


Book Review: Complete Alice in Wonderland

Great for a reluctant reader. (3 stars)

I've been a fan of Alice since I was quite young. Not just the Disney versions, I read the books. I love reimaginings and illustrated versions so I'm always on the lookout for something new. Sadly, this particular version was dull. I didn't feel like it brought anything fresh, which is fine but not what I was hoping for.

I do think this would be a great option for reluctant young readers who are struggling with the actual novels. Adults and long time Alice fans are likely to find it to staid.

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.

Complete Alice in Wonderlandby Lewis Carroll, Leah Moore, John Reppion
Classics, Fantasy, Graphic Novel
Print/Digital (184 pages, DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT)
Available for the first time in softcover! Join Alice on her whimsical journey down the rabbit hole. For the first time ever, Lewis Carroll's beloved masterpiece is faithfully adapted and illustrated in its entirety, including the long-lost chapter, "The Wasp in a Wig!" From her initial meeting with the White Rabbit in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, to her final dinner party with the entire (and outrageous) Through the Looking Glass cast, every moment of Alice's adventures in that astonishing landscape is captured in gorgeous detail. With old favorites like the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter joined now by a long-forgotten Carroll creation, The Wasp, in one of the book's latter chapters, children and adults alike can rediscover the complete Alice tale and fall in love with Wonderland all over again! (4 - 8 years)

Need more Alice?


Review: Batgirl Vol. 3: Mindfields

Holy memory loss, Batgirl! (4 stars)

I've been enjoying this incarnation of Batgirl so much. But it should come as no surprise that Barbara has too many irons in the fire and it's causing chaos. Nightmares. Forgetting things. Oh yeah, so not her style. Thank goodness for her fantastic friends stepping in without question to support her!

I loved that this story arc was filled with diverse characters and that Batgirl is teamed up with a group of female heroes. This'll be a really great series for teen readers.

It looks like this volume ended this particular story arc as DC moves into Rebirth with a new volume that picks up where this one leaves off. I was admittedly a little disappointed with the direction it went but I'm planning to stay for the journey.

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

Batgirl Vol. 3: Mindfields
by Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, & Babs Tarr
Graphic Novels, Comics, Superheroes
Print (200 pages, DC Comics)
She rides a cool motorcycle, swings a mean right hook, and has backup from the best crime-fighters in the biz, but Batgirl’s greatest weapon has always been her mind. As the brilliant Barbara Gordon, she’s on the verge of a tech breakthrough that could transform her beloved Burnside neighborhood, and all of Gotham City to boot—though if it falls into the wrong hands, it could just as easily devastate them.
But how can Batgirl stop a hacker who can break into her brain itself?
A sinister figure has been haunting Batgirl’s nightmares and stealing all her secrets, from her high-tech innovations to her hidden identity. And he’ll use that knowledge to destroy her forever.
Now Batgirl must assemble a band of her best friends and closest allies—including Spoiler, Black Canary, Batwing and more—to stop the most dangerous enemy she’s ever known, or Burnside and the entire Bat-family will burn…
It all comes down to this! The revolutionary creative team of Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr bring the saga of the Batgirl of Burnside to a close in BATGIRL VOL. 3: MINDFIELDS. Be there for the shocking climax to one of the greatest Batgirl stories ever told!
Collects BATGIRL #46-52.


Review: Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters

A small look at Bleak House. (5 stars)

I'm not one who considers themselves a fan of film directors. Most of the time I couldn't be bothered to notice who has directed a film. And then I began noticing that a lot of my favorite films over the past couple of decades had something in common. Guillermo del Toro was involved as a director or in some other production capacity. An admiration took hold.

Del Toro is a very fascinating man and this book dives into his famed Bleak House. Having heard of the house many a time I'd give up a kidney to spend a day exploring its many rooms filled with art, books, and memorabilia. For those of us who delight in the grotesque, the fantastical, the macabre, the monstrous... this tome provides a very small glimpse inside the man cave of one of the patron saints of modern dark fictions. Simply put, it's just not enough! I'd gladly have read more essays and scoured more photos, del Toro is a man with a childlike penchant for hording treasures, bless him for it.

Serving to entice the palette, this book will have readers ready to make their way to one of the trio of museum exhibits that are as close as any of us will come to being a guest at Bleak House. Read at your own risk!

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters: Inside His Films, Notebooks, and Collections by Guillermo del Toro, Guy Davis, Kaywin Feldman, Michael Govan, & Stephan Jost
Arts, Entertainment, Horror, Fantasy, Filmmaking
Print (152 pages, INSIGHT EDITIONS)
The perfect companion piece to an enthralling new exhibition on the visionary work and fervent imagination of director Guillermo del Toro.
In 2016, a new exhibit on the work of visionary director Guillermo del Toro will begin at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), before moving on to the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and the Minneapolis Museum of Art (MIA). This book will be the perfect accompaniment to the exhibition, which focuses on del Toro’s creative process, including the well-defined themes that he obsessively returns to in all his films, the journals in which he logs his ideas, and the vast and inspiring collection of art and pop culture ephemera that he has amassed at his private “man cave,” Bleak House. Filled with imagery from the exhibit, including favorite pieces of art that del Toro has chosen for the exhibit, and pertinent journal pages, the book will further delve further into the director’s world through exclusive in-depth interviews and commentary from notable figures in the art world. Forming a perfect companion to the exhibition, this book will deliver an engrossing look into the mind of one of the great creative visionaries of our time.

Some of my personal favorite del Toro projects:


FREE Printable :: ROSEGOAL'D :: for Happy Planner

For two years I tried to make the Passion Planner work for me. It's such a fantastic concept for goal oriented people. I never could make use of the planner as intended though. 

I struggle with not liking long-term commitment to a single goal. I'm definitely more of an 'enjoy the journey' kind of person. I also found that the time slot based structure was both a help and a hindrance for me. Passion Planner was great for helping me keep track of appointments and meetings. But difficult for having a daily checklist for items like making sure the trash is on the curb or that a library book is in a kids' backpack on a certain day. I felt like a lot of the planner was going to waste based on how I was using it. Plus, it's very sterile and plain.

Review: What Happened to Daddy's Body?

Gentle and factual (5 stars)

There are so many books about death and coping with loss but the one book I wish I'd had as a kid was one that explained the 'after' part. My great-great grandmother passed when I was old enough to understand she was gone and that it was because she was very old. But no one chose to explain to me what happened to her body. We often think children are too young for these things, so fortunately the Barber family chose to share their story with us in an educational, gentle, and not religious way.

I hope that my young daughter will never have need of the beautifully presented information here. It is a comfort, however, to know that it is there for her if and when she needs to ask these sensitive questions.

If you have a child who will be facing or has recently lost a loved one or one who is just very curious please check this book out.

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.

What Happened to Daddy's Body?: Explaining what happens after death in words very young children can understand
by Elke Barber & Alex Barber
Children, Relationships, Death & Dying, Grief
My daddy died when I was (one...two...) three years old. Today we are out in the garden. It always makes me think about my daddy because he LOVED his garden. Sometimes, I wonder what happened to my daddy's body...
This picture book aims to help children aged 3+ to understand what happens to the body after someone has died. Through telling the true story of what happened to his daddy's body, we follow Alex as he learns about cremation, burial and spreading ashes. Full of questions written in Alex's own words, and with the gentle, sensitive and honest answers of his mother, this story will reassure any young child who might be confused about death and what happens afterwards. It also reiterates the message that when you have experienced the loss of a loved one, it is okay to be sad, but it is okay to be happy, too. (3 - 12 years)

More books to help children with death, grief, and loss:


Review: Mythic Volume 1

Weird and wonderful. (5 stars)

If you're into weird but fantastic comics like Pretty Deadly, Jupiter's Circle, or The Wicked + The Divine and need something new to read, look no further! Mythic, in a way, reminded me of  Death Vigil and was marvelously both different and similar to a lot of the titles I've enjoyed recently. It's off to a great start and I can't wait for the next one!

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.

Mythic Volume 1
by Phillip Hester & John McCrea
Comics, Graphic Novel, Paranormal
Print (248 pages, IMAGE)
Science is a lie, an opiate for the masses. The truth is, magic makes the world go 'round. And when magic breaks, MYTHIC fixes it. Apache shaman Waterson, Greek immortal Cassandra, and cell phone salesman Nate Jayadarma are the crack field team assigned with keeping the gears of the supernatural world turning, and more importantly, keeping you from ever knowing about it. Join Eisner nominee PHIL HESTER (Green Arrow, The Coffin) and Eisner winner JOHN McCREA (Hitman, The Boys) on their latest expedition to the dark heart of weird comics. Collects Mythic #1-8.

You might also enjoy:
The Rhialist (Rhianna Walker) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.