Archive for February, 2011

February 28th, 2011

Rock Bottom by Erin Brockovich

by Gwen

Rock Bottom

From Goodreads…..

Ten years ago, a pregnant seventeen-year-old, Angela Joy Palladino, fled her hometown, Scotia, West Virginia, as a pariah. Over time, AJ succeeded in establishing herself as an environmental activist, dubbed “The People’s Champion,” only to be forced to retreat from the spotlight in the wake of a crushing media disaster.

When AJ is offered a job with a lawyer who is crusading against mountaintop removal mining, she is torn. As a single mother of a special needs nine-year-old boy, AJ can use any work she can get. But doing so will mean returning to the West Virginia hometown she left in disgrace so long ago.

Upon arriving in Scotia, AJ learns of the sudden death of the lawyer who hired her. Soon after joining forces with his daughter, Elizabeth, threats begin to surface, bodies begin to pile up, and AJ discovers that her own secrets aren’t the only ones her mountain hometown has kept buried. Hitting rock bottom, AJ must face the betrayal of those once closest to her and confront the harrowing past she thought she had left behind.”

My thoughts- While this was enjoyable, I would consider it nice light reading. The main character, AJ, is obviously styled after Brockovich. The thing is that I had a hard time believing that any one person could undergo SOOOO many bad things thrown at her and still be standing. I mean she was pregnant at 17, was in coma for two months while carrying her child, who was then born with Cerebral Palsy, she then refused to go back to her small home town, became a quasi legal assistant, spending a huge chunk of change fighting for a cause that she ended up losing, eventually became a radio DJ, which derailed when a caller blew his head off while on the air with her….The list goes on and on and I haven’t really even started where the book starts, that is just the backstory.

I liked Rock Bottom, I just didn’t get lost reading it. Sometimes too much bad stuff happening to one character doesn’t lead to empathizing with them. It leads to disbelief and me wanting to put poor AJ out of her misery.

Rock Bottom by Erin Brockovich and C.J. Lyons

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press (March 1, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1593156251
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593156251
  • I was provided Rock Bottom by FSB Media. As you can tell, giving me the book didn’t guarantee a sparkly review.

    February 10th, 2011

    A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor by Robert G. Pielke

    by Gwen

    A New Birth of Freedom The Visitor

    A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor by Robert G. Pielke

    • Civil War – Check
    • Abraham Lincoln – Check
    • Robert E. Lee – Check
    • Dire Consequences – Check
    • Man from the Future Asking for Help- What?! – Check

    Now this is Historical Sci-Fi that I can get excited about and I usually hate anything Sci-Fi related.

    In 1849, Abraham Lincoln has a strange encounter on a train. A man, Edwin Blair, says that he needs his help. The catch is that he doesn’t need his help now; he needs it in 14 years, but he will give him the retainer now.

    Fast forward to 1863, the Civil War is raging and Edwin Blair is granted an audience by then President Lincoln. Edwin Blair isn’t selling anything, but what he has to get them to buy is hard to swallow. You see, he is a 19th century history teacher from the future, 2203 to be exact, and he needs both the armies of the North and the South to join together in order to ward off some “pests” that are going to endanger America in the future.

    Blair has to walk a razor thin line between telling them enough to believe him and do what he needs them to do or tell them too much and blow their minds to the point that they won’t take action and lock him in the booby hatch as a crazy person.

    Once he convinces Lincoln and his cabinet, his struggle isn’t over. He has to then go convince Robert E. Lee and the great army of the South to join he and the North in a united cause. It isn’t easy and the clock is ticking. The pests are coming on July 3rd and he needs everyone to be ready to defeat them.

    What I loved about A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor is that even though the sci-fi aspect is hugely important to the story, it really takes a backseat in the action. It isn’t like Edwin Blair blasts onto the scene in a funny Star Wars getup and yells, “I am from the future and aliens are coming to attack!” The aliens aren’t even called aliens, they are pests and Edwin Blair uses his knowledge and love of 19th century history to prove his point, not cool gadgets and tools from the future. Well, he does use a few of those, but he does it sparingly.

    He convinces these important men to stand together by being able to tell them things that he shouldn’t and wouldn’t know if he was just a man off of the street from 1863. By showing Lincoln a message that he had written, but at that time, hadn’t even sent yet. (He got these from the National Archives of the future just like we could)

    The Visitor’s strength also lies in the dialogue. When Lincoln talks, it sounds like what I think Lincoln would say. When Robert E. Lee interacts with Blair, it feels real, not like total poppycock. Pielke has taken a pivotal point in our American history and created another outcome that I couldn’t have imagined pulling off. Even better, he does it well.

    My one gripe- this is a trilogy so the ending is a cliffhanger. That was intentional and I understand that. The thing is, I am not really a fan of cliffhangers, especially when I can’t go and buy the next book right away. I want the next one, now!

    A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor by Robert G. Pielke

  • Paperback: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Altered Dimensions (August 15, 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 1936021234
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936021239

    I received a PDF copy of this book from Tribute Books, but that fact didn’t influence my review above.

  • February 8th, 2011

    Master Your Sleep by Tracey I. Marks, MD

    by Gwen

    Master Your Sleep by Tracey I. Marks, M.D.
    Proven Methods Simplified

    Master Your Sleep

    I sleep like a, well, nothing because I don’t sleep unless I am drugged to the gills. So when PR by the Book pitched this one to me, it was a no brainer. (note: the cool disclosure)

    Master Your Sleep totally changed the way I look at sleep and more specifically, my sleep issues. And I am not alone in my insomnia, ⅓ of my fellow Americans suffer from it. Not only that, but the cost for this lack of being able to get forty winks costs were estimated at almost $150 billion in 2006. (This includes treatments for illness related to sleep deprivation, missed work, and the decrease in productivity)

    Okay, enough facts, what I really like about Master Your Sleep is that Dr. Marks doesn’t waste any time. The book is written in a brief and easily understood way and yet still covers all the bases. From the different sleep disorders, to different treatments, to issues with children, the book covers it all in 125 pages. Manna from sleep heaven in 125 pages! (plus a few more in the Appendix for things like sleep diary pages and sleep problem solving worksheets) I now feel armed to go to the doctor and not only ask the right questions, but am able to tell him/her what my issues are in a way that is going to get me the help I need.

    If you or a loved one has sleep issues, Master Your Sleep is the place to start tackling it. It is that simple. Excuse me, I have a date with Mr. Sandman thanks to this book.


    Master Your Sleep Proven Methods Simplified by Tracey I. Marks, MD


  • Paperback: 162 pages
  • Publisher: Bascom Hill Publishing Group; 1 edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935098462
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935098461
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