Thursday, July 30, 2009

No More Meltdowns

No More Meltdowns: Positive Strategies for Dealing with and Preventing Out-Of-Control Behavior No More Meltdowns: Positive Strategies for Dealing with and Preventing Out-Of-Control Behavior by Jed Baker

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was given to me by my son's counselor. It has step-by-step instructions for cooling off a tantrum while it's happening, and then guides you through training your child to not have tantrums. It approaches almost every conceivable situation with individual methods that follow a basic formula.

I have had a few successful situations following this book. I think it has good basics as long as the parent is willing to follow through.

Pub. Date: April 2008

Synopsis: If you have a child with challenging behavior problems, this book was written for you! Many components of Dr. Bakers approachbased on years of applied researchwere initially intended for children on the autism spectrum. However, over the years, he has discovered that they are equally applicable to all children with behavior problems. In the first two chapters you will learn what a meltdown is and why children have them. In the subsequent eight chapters, you will learn what to do about them. This book offers logical, flexible strategies for dealing with out-of-control behaviors.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Flowers for Algernon

Flowers for Algernon Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was skeptical about reading this book, it was written in the late 1950's, so I wondered if this would be a dated and possibly ridiculous piece of Sci-Fi. I was wrong so wrong. This book was timeless, an emotional, intelligent journey from the very first page. The story is written from the perspective of Charlie, a mental retardate who voluntarily undergoes a revolutionary procedure previously only done on a LabRat named Algernon.

The story is very moving as Charlie gains intelligence, learns the truth behind many of his memories, the anger and frustration as he realizes people he thought were friends were cruel to him because of his stupidity. Charlie explores the new emotions of love and sexual dysfunction. And then it is cruelly ripped away as his intelligence recedes and he loses everything he has gained.

Pub. Date: June 2004

Synopsis: Charlie Gordon is about to embark upon an unprecedented journey. Born with an unusually low IQ, he has been chosen as the perfect subject for an experimental surgery that researchers hope will increase his intelligence-a procedure that has already been highly successful when tested on a lab mouse named Algernon.

As the treatment takes effect, Charlie's intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment appears to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance, until Algernon suddenly deteriorates. Will the same happen to Charlie?

Recommended Reading:
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Night by Elie Wiesel
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Contender by Robert Lipsyte

Monday, July 13, 2009

Scribner's Best of the Fiction Workshop 1998

Scribners Best of the Fiction Workshops 1998 (Scribner's Best of the Fiction Workshops) Scribners Best of the Fiction Workshops 1998 by Carol Shields (guest editor)

My review
rating: 3 of 5 stars
There was a variety of stories, most of them well-written. I skipped a handful of stories - either because they didn't interest me or were poorly written. My favorite (and by far the best) was the very first story in the book. It left me hungry and wanting to know more. I look forward to finding more by that author.

Pub. Date: February 1998
Synopsis: For many years, it seemed that young writers took the dictum "write what you know" as a license to create endless highly personalized stories of suburban malfeasance. Judging from this collection, those days are long gone.
Not every work is flawless there are awkward dialogues and oblique narratives that are more maladroit than experimental. Whatever their faults, however, most of the 22 contributors here are willing to imagine being someone else, somewhere else.
Some of the best stories are surrealistically inventive:
  • Natasha Waxman's account of a college dropout's transmogrification into a primitive state
  • Tenaya Rahel Darlington's eerie tale of Poe-like obsession
  • Christopher A. Pasetto's slyly funny story of a teenage conspiracy theorist's first love.
And even the less magical contributions dare to go beyond the merely confessional, as authors tackle characters of the opposite sex and wildly varying ages. At its strongest and weakest, the second installment in this series is heartening evidence of courage in the classroom and on the page.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Eclipse (Second Reading)

Eclipse (Twilight, #3) Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

My review
rating: 5 of 5 stars
Amazing. From the very first word I was sucked into the story, into a world where vampires, werewolves and true-love-forever exists. This book made me laugh, cry and gasp with terror, fear, excitement and love. Stephenie Meyer is amazing!

****Thoughts on my second reading: Still as good as the first time. I noticed some cheesy romance moments, but still one of my favorites.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Better Single Than Sorry

Better Single Than Sorry: A No-Regrets Guide to Loving Yourself and Never Settling Better Single Than Sorry: A No-Regrets Guide to Loving Yourself and Never Settling by Jen Schefft

My review
rating: 3 of 5 stars
I'm still not entirely sure that this book earned three stars. I read this book with a bitter/defensive tone. It sounded like the author wrote the book to publicly defend why she's still single after being on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.

The book made a few good points about dating that I hadn't considered before. One that sticks in my head is: Don't worry about if he likes you, worry about if you like him.

There were many quotes and brief stories from other dating women, a few married women, a few divorced women. After a while they became a little recycled - the same women kept showing up chapter after chapter - and some of them I'm not sure were good examples to use.

I passed the book on to The Captain to see what she thinks of it.

Pub. Date: January 2007

Synopsis: Let's be honest. No woman really wants to be alone for the rest of her life. But does being alone mean you're doomed to be miserable forever? Definitely not! And does being single have to equal lonely? No way! You can have the best time of your life when you're single, but you wouldn't know that from our relationship obsessed society, where celebrity magazines devote the majority of their content to who's dating whom and the wedding industry is a $100-billion business. Yet more than a third of marriages end in divorce, and countless other couples languish in unions that shouldn't have happened in the first place.

Don't become a statistic—love yourself and never settle!

Jen Schefft knows that better than almost anyone. In 2003, she got engaged in front of millions of people on television's The Bachelor, only to see it end nine months later when the relationship just wasn't right anymore. A year later, she turned down an engagement on The Bachelorette, and the backlash was relentless. She was labeled a "spinster" by a celebrity magazine, and a noted national talk-show host remarked that she would be "a bachelorette for the rest of her life."

This is a terrible message to send to the millions of sensational single women out there, and in Better Single Than Sorry Schefft makes it her mission to let women know that it's better to be single than to be in a relationship that doesn't make you happy. With testimonials from women of all ages—single, married, in committed relationships, with children (even single moms) and without—this book tells you how to let go of your fear of being alone and how to love yourself andnever settle for a relationship that is anything less than you deserve.

Written in a conversational style, as if talking with your best friend, Schefft helps you navigate the pressures of a culture that places an unhealthy importance on being in a relationship and shows you how to find happiness in work, home, and the simple pleasures of everyday life. Above all, she shows you how it's far, far better to be single than sorry. Being single is a time to have fun, learn new things, grow, and blossom—not a time to feel desperate or depressed, so cherish it!

Recommended Reading:
Deal Breakers : When to Work on a Relationship and When to Walk Away by Bethany Marshall
Nice Girls Don't Get Rich : 75 Avoidable Mistakes Women Make with Money by Lois P. Frankel
Welcome To Your Crisis : How to Use the Power of Crisis to Create the Life You Want by Laura Day