Archive for May, 2011

Review: An Apple a Day – Caroline Taggart

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Readers Digest (March 3, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781606521915
ISBN-13: 978-1606521915
ASIN: 1606521918
Order book here:


Order E-book here:

Caroline Taggart who I’ve reviewed before, is the author of a new book called An apple a Day. This book is part of a series called the Blackboard series. In essence, it’s all the things you learned in school, condensed into smaller packages. A previous entry which we reviewed here was I should know that.

This book covers all the sayings we’ve heard our whole lives. An apple a day keeps the doctor a way. Out of sight, out of mind. A penny saved, is a penny earned. Ms. Taggart however goes even further and tells where they sayings originated or where they were first used in some form in literature or other writings.

Some examples:

Charity begins at home – This phrase comes from around 1338.

Beggards can’t be choosers.

She also presents the saying at times, and all the sayings similar or even the reverse for example:

All good things come to those who wait but the early bird gets the worm.

This book, I think, would be a great reference book. It’s also just plain fun to read, and to see where all these sayings come from. This is especially true I think, if you are a student of history.

Grab a copy of the book. I think you’ll like it. In the next week or two, I’ll cover two more books in this series. I used to know that: Civil War and I use to know that: Shakespeare. But in the meantime pick this one up, and see what you think.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Ruby at FSB Associates for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

News: Congratulations

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Today we are pleased to announce that author and friend, Joshua Graham, has been awared the 2011 International Book Awards prize for Mystery/Suspense for his novel Beyond Justice.

Mr. Graham will be launching on a publicity tour starting on May 19th, for his latest release.  We will have a review of this novel for you available when it’s time. In the meantime, check out Beyond Justice here and an interview with Mr. Graham here. While you’re at it, why not stop over at his website here and congratulate him.

News: Congratulations

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

I wanted to take the time to put this out there, that Joshua Graham, one of the authors I’ve reviewed in the past, announced today, that he’d signed a deal with Simon and Schuster to publish his latest novel Dark Room. We will have a review of this novel for you available when it’s time. We will also have a review of an Epic Fantasy by Mr. Graham’s alter ego sometime in the near future. In the meantime, check out Beyond Justice here and an interview with Mr. Graham here. While you’re at it, why not stop over at his website here and congratulate him.

Give a Little Help for MS.

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

The MS Project is a collection of things created to raise awareness for Multiple Sclerosis. Consisting of a book, a website, and an iPhone app these elements work together to bring more attention to the disease, teach people, and create a strong community.

World MS Day is Wednesday May 25th and The goal of the MS Project, starting May 1st – May 25th, is 2500 downloads in 25 days.

The book – released on March 14th, 2011, is a collection of stories written by people afflicted by Multiple Sclerosis, or who have loved ones afflicted. This book is meant to be informational regarding the disease as experienced by real people and to showcase the amazing strength people find when facing adversity. DOWNLOAD the e-book for .99 on Amazon or Smashwords. You can find the book here at Smashwords or Here at Amazon

The iPhone app – is a tool to create awareness for Multiple Sclerosis. Connected to The MS Project website the app will include a feed from the blog to provide access to the MS community and a wealth of knowledge. DOWNLOAD the app on iTunes for .99. You can purchase the app here.

You can also purchase items from the store here.

I’ve not heard of this group before, but they seem legitimate, so let’s help them raise their goal of 2500 downloads. Even if you can’t contribute please share this information so that others might help if they choose to.

Review: Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen

Monday, May 2nd, 2011



 Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books (April 9, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1565125606
ISBN-13: 978-1565125605
Order book here:



Order E-book here:


Jacob Jankowski – A young man, leaves Vet school and becomes a vet for a traveling circus.
August Rosenbluth – Head animal trainer for Benzini Brothers Circus
Marlena Rosenbluth – Perform in the Benzini Brothers Circus. She works with the animal acts.
Camel – An elderly disabled man, has drank too much bootleg liquor and it’s paid the toll on him.
Kinko – A dwarf clown with a penchant for pornography.
Rosie – An elephant and the biggest acquisition for the Benzini Brothers Circus.


A young man is on the verge of taking his final exams for college. His plans are interrupted and he finds himself on a circus train. He becomes the vet for the animals in the circus. All though is not fun and games under the bigtop, as he’ll discover.


Have you ever thought about running away to join the circus. I’m sure we all did as kids. What could look like more fun. Being around the animals, the clown cars. But in Sara Gruen’s novel, the circus isn’t all the magic it appears to be on the surface. If one looks below that surface, there can be a lot of dark ugliness.

The story revolves around Jacob Jankowski. The time period is during the depression in America. Recent events have found Jacob dropping out of Vet college, and wondering where his life was headed. His sense of helplessness ends up leading him to hop a train. The train happens to be owned by the Benzini Brothers Circus.

The story is told within two time periods. One is the modern time period where we set a 90 or 93 year old Jacob, then other time period is during the depression with a 20 year old Jacob. The story alternates between the two periods. The more recent time period presents a story that is sad. It’s sad because it’s very true to how we often forget the elderly in our society.

Rick: I liked the story. I really grew to care about the character of Jacob much more so in the book then I did in the movie (which my wife and I saw after reading the book). The scenes with him in the nursing home and how he struggles to maintain the life he knows is within him is very touching. The scenese flashing back to his younger days, and showing the circus in all it’s early glory really makes you want to join the circus, then seeing the darkness of it, makes you feel sad for the people involved. Given, it’s a work of fiction, but the author researched this book, a lot, and the impact of that shows in the rich contrasts she shows between the bright circus and the darkness that the people don’t see.

If you’ve ever dreamed of the Circus, or just like historical literature, then I’d say pick this up. While the movie was okay, the book I really liked. I’d recommend it over the movie, but then that’s almost always the case.

Aly: Great book is all I can say without giving it all away. I don’t have my hubby’s talent of providing just the right amount of information. No matter what, I would spill the beans.  All I can say is: Great book and I recommend it.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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