Book Review: Quackery

Quackery by Lydia Kang

Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything
by Lydia Kang (Goodreads Author), Nate Pedersen (Goodreads Author)
3 out of 5 stars

Throughout history people have tried all sorts of weird things to cure ailments. Sometimes they have even continued to use products that they knew were poisonous, hoping for lingering benefits. Conmen have promoted cure-all elixirs that promised youth and beauty and robust health, when really they were poisoning their customers with arsenic, mercury, and morphine.

I think this book is just too morbid for me. It is certainly interesting, and the writing is excellent, but it’s not quite my cup of tea. The writing is funny, putting a light mood onto a dark subject, but it’s still too yucky and disturbing for me.

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Book Review: Who Got Game? Baseball

Who Got Game? by Derrick Barnes

Who Got Game?: Baseball: Amazing but True Stories!
by Derrick BarnesJohn John Bajet (Illustrator)
5 out of 5 stars

Did you know that a girl pitcher struck out Babe Ruth? Did you know that a Japanese baseball player has more home runs than Hank Aaron? Who were really the first African Americans to play in the major leagues before Jackie Robinson? These are the lesser known heroes of baseball.

I loved this book all about the lesser-known history of baseball! With decades of history, there are some people’s stories that have been lost to time, but now you can discover the real people behind the legends.

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Cookbook Review: Bake, Make, and Learn to Cook

Bake, Make, and Learn to Cook by David Atherton

Bake, Make, and Learn to Cook: Fun and Healthy Recipes for Young Cooks
by David AthertonRachel Stubbs (Illustrations)
5 out of 5 stars

This children’s cookbook is perfect for any young bakers who want to learn the basics of cooking and get inspired in the kitchen. It’s so cool that this is written by one of the winners of the Great British Baking Show! This book includes recipes for breakfast, lunch and supper, cakes, and desserts.

These recipes are kid-friendly and give instructions to the young readers about when to ask an adult for help. There are recipes for pancakes, tacos, pizza, scones, potpie, lasagna, and a lot of yummy cakes. I really want to try the recipe for Victoria sandwich buns, which is a little cake with jelly in the middle.

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Book Review: Made by Hand Guitars

Guitars by Patricia Lakin

by Patricia Lakin
5 out of 5 stars

This book gives an overview of the history of the guitar and how it was developed over time to include different styles in different cultures, finally including the modern guitar and electric guitar. With paintings and photographs showcased in a colorful design, this book is sure to capture the attention of anyone interested in the guitar!

I like that the design has small paragraphs of text so that it is easy to read and absorb the snippets of information. As a musician, I really appreciated all the music history, the explanations about types of guitars, the nature of sounds for each instrument, and how different styles developed.

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Non Fiction Book Review: Everything You Need to Ace English Language Arts

Everything You Need to Ace English Language Arts in One Big F... by Jen Haberling

Everything You Need to Ace English Language Arts in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide
by Jen Haberling (Editor), Elizabeth Irwin (Contributor)
5 out of 5 stars

This book really does have everything you need to know about reading, writing, and understanding the English language. There are chapters about Grammar, Language, Reading Fiction and Non Fiction, and Writing. It covers the basics of sentence structure, clauses, and figurative language, and also explores plot structure, character development, textual analysis, and how to write a convincing argument and present the facts correctly.

Don’t be fooled by the “middle school” label. This is information that most college students and adults have probably forgotten and would need to review (or learn for the first time because they missed it in grade school.) This would be a very helpful resource to anyone who wants to write, or who just wants to get better at understanding what they read.

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Non Fiction Book Review: Brain Quest Pre-K

Brain Quest Workbook by Liane Onish

Brain Quest Workbook: Pre-K
by Liane Onish
5 out of 5 stars

This book has colorful activity pages for young children to review their knowledge of the alphabet, colors, shapes, numbers, and basic words. Once the book is complete, you get an award certificate. There is a cute alphabet poster included that you can put up on the wall to review throughout the school year. And there is a whole sheet of alphabet stickers too!

The sections are mostly the alphabet and numbers, colors and shapes. But some sections also have more reading comprehension, phonics, numbers, and science. There are answers in the back of the book to check your work. There is also a set of flashcards that you can cut out of the book for testing your knowledge.

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Book Review: Steal Like an Artist

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
by Austin Kleon (Goodreads Author)
5 out of 5 stars

“There is nothing new under the sun.”
The truth is that originality does not exist. Everything has been done before, and when we see something that is “new”, it’s actually just a remix of whatever came before.

This book explores how to use what came before to inspire and guide your creativity. The author gives advice on how to steal ideas from the masters of the past, and make it your own thing.

I was really inspired by this book! It doesn’t just apply to art, but also to music, writing, or any creative endeavor. I loved the advice about how to hone your ideas, and keep yourself motivated. And it’s not just about the spiritual, mental, and emotional inspiration. There are entire chapters with practical advice about how to actually get the work done and create something worthwhile.

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Book Review: So Many Feelings Stickers

So. Many. Feelings Stickers. by Pipsticks®+Workman®

So. Many. Feelings Stickers.: 2,700 Stickers for Every Mood
by Pipsticks®+Workman® (Publisher)
5 out of 5 stars

This book has 50 pages full of stickers! There are 2,700 stickers of all kinds! There are dinosaurs, flowers, embroidery, banners, planets, lions and tigers, balloons, yoga, typewriters, ice cream, pigs, bees, cups of coffee, cats, vegetables and fruit, sweaters, and birds. And a happy little avocado dude who dances.

I am just amazed at the variety of stickers in this book! And so many of them have cool sayings like, “Busy as a bee, Sly as a Fox, Fearless, A Breath of Fresh Air, Free as a Bird, Hungry as a Wolf, Deep like the Ocean, Loud as Thunder” and a whole bunch more. These stickers could apply to almost any situation. Even if your mood is…. “mood”. There’s a sticker for that.

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Book Review: Atlas of Amazing Architecture

Atlas of Amazing Architecture by Peter Allen

Atlas of Amazing Architecture: The Most Incredible Buildings You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of
by Peter Allen
4 out of 5 stars

This book explores beautiful architecture around the world. These are some lesser well-known buildings and structures that aren’t as popular as the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben, but have been influential nonetheless.

I loved this cool book! It was so interesting to learn about these buildings, the architects who designed them, and the places where they were built. I like that the book doesn’t just tell you about the building, but also about the history behind it and the culture of the country that influenced it.

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Non Fiction Reviews: What Adults Don’t Know About Art and Architecture

What Adults Don’t Know About Art by The School of Life

What Adults Don’t Know About Art: Inspiring young minds to love and enjoy art
by The School of LifeAlain de Botton (Goodreads Author) (Editor)
5 out of 5 stars

This book is geared towards children, introducing them to the world of art, and teaching them why art is so important. I love the approach here, and the simple way that the book leads the reader into a better understanding of beautiful art. It begins with a simple question, “What is art, and why is it important to each person?”

I love the philosophy in this book about how art can shape our experiences and our culture, connecting us to our past and reflecting our personal emotions. Art teaches us to focus on the things that are truly important in life; a baby’s smile, that particular shade of blue in the sky, the powerful weight of a mountain, or a delicious fruit. The little things in life are the most important and enduring.

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