Thursday, February 26, 2009

Where Does the Money Go?: Your Guided Tour to the Federal Budget Crisis

Before you read on, we would like to remind you of our Blogrolling Friendship Giveaway.

Also, Submit your review of this book and we will send you a free gift if we publish it on this blog.

Description From Federal debt will affect your savings, your retirement, your mortgage, your health care, and your children. How well do you understand the government decisions that will end up coming out of your pocket?

Here is essential information that every American citizen needs—and has the right—to know. This guide to deciphering the jargon of the country's budget problem covers everything from the country's $9 trillion and growing debt to the fact that, for thirty-one out of the last thirty-five years, the country has spent more on government programs and services than it has collected in taxes. It also explores why elected leaders on every side of the fence have so far failed to effectively address this issue and explains what you can do to protect your future.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Nineteen Minutes By Jodi Picoult

Before you read on, we would like to remind you of our Blogrolling Friendship Giveaway.

Also, Submit your review of this book and we will send you a free gift if we publish it on this blog.
Description From Best known for tackling controversial issues through richly told fictional accounts, Jodi Picoult's 14th novel, Nineteen Minutes, deals with the truth and consequences of a smalltown high-school shooting. Set in Sterling, New Hampshire, Picoult offers reads a glimpse of what would cause a 17-year-old to wake up one day, load his backpack with four guns, and kill nine students and one teacher in the span of nineteen minutes. As with any Picoult novel, the answers are never black and white, and it is her exceptional ability to blur the lines between right and wrong that make this author such a captivating storyteller.
On Peter Houghton's first day of kindergarten, he watched helplessly as an older boy ripped his lunch box out of his hands and threw it out the window. From that day on, his life was a series of humiliations, from having his pants pulled down in the cafeteria, to being called a freak at every turn. But can endless bullying justify murder? As Picoult attempts to answer this question, she shows us all sides of the equation, from the ruthless jock who loses his ability to speak after being shot in the head, to the mother who both blames and pities herself for producing what most would call a monster. Surrounding Peter's story is that of Josie Cormier, a former friend whose acceptance into the popular crowd hangs on a string that makes it impossible for her to reconcile her beliefs with her actions.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blogrolling Friendship Giveaway

Dear fellow bloggers,

We are giving away a very sparkly crystal jewelry set to one of the lucky bloggers who loves to read and who blogs about books. The jewelry set is a lot prettier in reality than the picture. This is a brand new jewelry set. We will randomly draw out the lucky blogger on March 15th, 2009 and post our winner's screen name and blog url. The winner will have to email me his/her address and we will mail the jewelry out. The following are the requirements to participate in this lucky draw:

  1. You have a blog that talks, reviews or discusses about books.
  2. You live in the U.S. with U.S. mailing address.
  3. Your blog is active and your content is original and free of annoying spammer ads like online casinos, weight loss programs, adult sites, or overseas pharmacies.
  4. You add our blog to your blogroll or blog list archive and post a comment on this post to notify us about the link.

Good luck, and we look forward to fostering a friendship with all of you so we can encourage more people to read.

Monday, February 16, 2009

One-Minute Organizer Plain & Simple

Submit your review of this book and we will send you a free gift if we publish it on this blog.

I really love this book because it's compact, and it's written in very short texts in big prints. The book itself is very organized, simple and uncluttered of texts. It has 500 tips and strategies that help you get your home, your work, your family and ultimately your life more organized. The book's simple and plain to-do lists and schedules will help you reclaim your space, your time and your life minutes at a time... until your life is well in order. All the strategies are very practical, simple and so easy to execute that I feel motivated to get organized, and I don't feel overwhelmed and start to procrastinate again. I love the strategies because they make the otherwise daunting organizing tasks a breeze. This tiny book is one that we all should keep as a home reference.

Inspired by the advice of this book, I had spent my weekend clearing clutters, recliaming my space in my apartment, and giving up my storage unit. I have been paying $146 for each of the last 8 months for a storage unit just to keep my old books and magazines that I haven't opened for a long long time. Many of them were books and magazines I already read. Many more were the ones I bought on impulse and I never had the time to even open. One of such books is "Cooking Around The Clock - Racheal Ray's 30-Minute Meals". I couldn't believe I had spent a total of $1,168 just to store them. The reason I hold on to all these books and magazines is because I always feel I may one day go back to read it. The reality is, as much as I want to, I just don't have time to.

Thanks to the advice from this book that tells me " If you are saving something because you might need it someday, ask yourself, 'Could I get another one pretty easily and inexpensively if I needed it someday?' If the answer is yes, let it go." I figure out that I can buy any of those books or magazines back issues relatively easy and sometimes cheaper on the internet...if in case I want to read them.

I also checked my apartment for clothings and other stuff that I had not used for years, bagged them up and dropped them off at Goodwill. Surprisingly, after I gave away the old clothes, shoes, beddings, holiday decorations, wrapping papers, etc, etc... I was able to find space in my cabinets to put all the books and magazines that I had taken out of my storage unit. I'm a bookworm and it's still very hard for me to give up my old books that look all like brand new to me... Since I find it easier to part with old clothings and other home decor junks I got from gifts or from my own silly purchase in the past... I let these go to make space for my beloved books and magazines. Now, I am able to see all my books and magazines in one place inside my apartment, instead of off site. My next action of putting more money back to my wallet is to unsubscribe my TV cable, so I can read these books.

I have to agree with the book that, I feel relieved that I don't have a storage unit anymore. The unit is in an upscale neighbourhood but the building is so huge, so quiet and has so many turns and floors that it is scary for me to go alone, so I never did. It's amazing how much money I can save by letting go of stuff, plus the stress of having to deal with them. Not only that, the less stuff I have will give me less a chance of being a victim of theft and robbery. Just yesterday, I had 4 of my big plastic storage containers stolen right at the lobby of the storage building. I am still in shock that had happened. My friend and I just wanted to gather all the containers of books to the lobby so we could load them up to his truck right from there.... But when we carried out other boxes down to the lobby, we realize that my 4 big plastic containers we stacked on the corner of the lobby were gone. Someone had the guts to take out my books from the containers, put them in old and torn Wal-mart boxes and took my plastic containers away. I paid $19.00 for each of them 8 months ago... but that's not the issue, I had no way to load the books onto my friend's truck the fast and easy way, cause the Wal-mart boxes were torn and ripped... My friend and I had to carry them in stacks and stack them up in the truck many times, intead of 4 times if they didn't steal my plastic containers.

Anyway, I had learnt from yesterday that the more stuff I have , the more aggravation I will have taking care of them and the more anger I will have when I become a vicitm of stupid theft. One will be shocked by how people will steal seemingling worthless things, I have to say only in America.... My family in Hong Kong had never experienced thefts of this kind.... No thief in Hong Kong is interested in anything other than money, fine jewelry, new electronics...It's not the value of the lost items that angered me so much, it's about all the inconvenience that such theft had costed me.

I will stick with one of this book's tips to never get another book or magazine into my apartment again, not until I get rid of the ones that are sitting on my shelves. So far, I am doing quite well in refraining myself from acquiring new stuff. So watch out for this blog, I am going to give my books away one by one and I will post it for you to claim. Good for you, good for the enviornment, a relief for me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Submit your review of this book and we will send you a free gift if we publish it on this blog.

Description from A sensation across Europe—millions of copies soldA spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue.It’s about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden . . . and about her octogenarian uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder.It’s about Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, hired to get to the bottom of Harriet’s disappearance . . . and about Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age—and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness to go with it—who assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, astonishing corruption in the highest echelons of Swedish industrialism—and an unexpected connection between themselves.It’s a contagiously exciting, stunningly intelligent novel about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a brilliantly realized cast of characters, all of them forced to face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse

Description from Is Capitalism the Culprit?

The media tells us that "deregulation" and "unfettered free markets" have wrecked our economy and will continue to make things worse without a heavy dose of federal regulation. But the real blame lies elsewhere. In Meltdown, bestselling author Thomas E. Woods Jr. unearths the real causes behind the collapse of housing values and the stock market--and it turns out the culprits reside more in Washington than on Wall Street.And the trillions of dollars in federal bailouts? Our politicians' ham-handed attempts to fix the problems they themselves created will only make things much worse.

Woods, a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and winner of the 2006 Templeton Enterprise Award, busts the media myths and government spin. He explains how government intervention in the economy--from the Democratic hobby horse called Fannie Mae to affirmative action programs like the Community Redevelopment Act--actually caused the housing bubble.

If you are fed up with Washington boondoggles, and you like the small-government, politically-incorrect thinking of Ron Paul, then you'll love Tom Woods's Meltdown. In clear, no-nonsense terms, Woods explains what led up to this economic crisis, who's really to blame, and why government bailouts won't work. Woods will reveal:
* Which brave few economists predicted the economic fallout--and why nobody listened* What really caused the collapse* Why the Fed--not taxpayers--should have to answer for the current economic crisis* Why bailouts are band-aids that will only provide temporary relief and ultimately make things worse* What we should do instead, to put our economy on a healthy path to recoveryWith a foreword from Ron Paul, Meltdown is the free-market answer to the Fed-created economic crisis. As the new Obama administration inevitably calls for more regulations, Woods argues that the only way to rebuild our economy is by returning to the fundamentals of capitalism and letting the free market work.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny

Submit your review of this book from Suze Orman and we will send you a free gift if we publish it on this blog.

Description from Why is it that women, who are so competent in all other areas of their lives, cannot find the same competence when it comes to matters of money?Suze Orman investigates the complicated, dysfunctional relationship women have with money in this groundbreaking new book. With her signature mix of insight, compassion, and soul-deep recognition, she equips women with the financial knowledge and emotional awareness to overcome the blocks that have kept them from making more out of the money they make. At the center of the book is The Save Yourself Plan—a streamlined, five-month program that delivers genuine long-term financial security. But what’s at stake is far bigger than money itself: It’s about every woman’s sense of who she is and what she deserves, and why it all begins with the decision to save yourself.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Getting Sick With "Twilight"

Today I am battling a really bad cold... Looks like I will not go to the bookstore tonight to read "Twilight" . I suspect that I got my cold from the bookstore. With the economy so bad and my 401K slashed...(don't even want to look at it), I have been cutting expenses, one of the expenses is book purchases. "Twilight" is the first novel that I am reading but I don't own. I just go to the bookstore every other 2 nights to read the book. So far I am in Chapter 10...but I got sick from such reading trips, cause this is the cold season and I noticed that when I was there, there were people coughing and sneezing... I even suspect that the book I was reading was somehow contaminated with this horrible cold virus.

Anyway, I like the story so far... I can't wait to go back and finish the book, but I think it won't be too soon....In the meantime, I am following Dr. Arthur Agatston's advice to drink plenty of fluid, to take Cold-Eeze. Hopefully I can shorten my cold.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Suspect

Description from Carelessly confident that the cops will recognize his innocence when his wife is found murdered, Stuart Gorman tells them everything-and becomes not only the number-one suspect, but number-one with a bullet. He reluctantly hires lawyer Gina Roake. Back in the game after a personal loss of her own, Gina knows all too well that innocence is no guarantee of justice...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Why Him? Why Her?: Finding Real Love By Understanding Your Personality Type

Description from Why do you fall in love with one person rather than another? In this fascinating and informative book, Helen Fisher, one of the world’s leading experts on romantic love, unlocks the hidden code of desire and attachment. Each of us, it turns out, primarily expresses one of four broad personality types—Explorer, Builder, Director, or Negotiator—and each of these types is governed by different chemical systems in the brain. Driven by this biology, we are attracted to partners who both mirror and complement our own personality type.
Until now the search for love has been blind, but Fisher pulls back the curtain and reveals how we unconsciously go about finding the right match. Drawing on her unique study of 40,000 men and women, she explores each personality type in detail and shows you how to identify your own type. Then she explains why some types match up well, whereas others are problematic. (Note to Explorers: be prepared for a wild ride when you hitch your star to a fellow Explorer!) Ultimately, Fisher’s investigation into the complex nature of romance and attachment leads to astonishing new insights into the essence of dating, love, and marriage.
Based on entirely new research—including a detailed questionnaire completed by five million people in thirty-three countries—Why Him? Why Her? will change your understanding of why you love him (or her) and help you use nature’s chemistry to find and keep your life partner.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Inheritance of Loss

Description from Amazon: Published to extraordinary acclaim, The Inheritance of Loss heralds Kiran Desai as one of our most insightful novelists. She illuminates the pain of exile and the ambiguities of postcolonialism with a tapestry of colorful characters: an embittered old judge; Sai, his sixteen-year-old orphaned granddaughter; a chatty cook; and the cook’s son, Biju, who is hopscotching from one miserable New York restaurant to another, trying to stay a step ahead of the INS. When a Nepalese insurgency in the mountains threatens Sai’s new-sprung romance with her handsome tutor, their lives descend into chaos. The cook witnesses India’s hierarchy being overturned and discarded. The judge revisits his past and his role in Sai and Biju’s intertwining lives. A story of depth and emotion, hilarity and imagination, The Inheritance of Loss tells a story of love, family, and loss.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century

Description from P. W. Singer’s previous two books foretold the rise of private military contractors and the advent of child soldiers— predictions that proved all too accurate. Now, he explores the greatest revolution in military affairs since the atom bomb—the advent of robotic warfare.We are just beginning to see a massive shift in military technology that threatens to make the stuff of I,Robot and the Terminator all too real. More than seven- thousand robotic systems are now in Iraq. Pilots in Nevada are remotely killing terrorists in Afghanistan. Scientists are debating just how smart—and how lethal—to make their current robotic prototypes. And many of the most renowned science fiction authors are secretly consulting for the Pentagon on the next generation.Blending historic evidence with interviews from the field, Singer vividly shows that as these technologies multiply, they will have profound effects on the front lines as well as on the politics back home. Moving humans off the battlefield makes wars easier to start, but more complex to fight. Replacing men with machines may save some lives, but will lower the morale and psychological barriers to killing. The “warrior ethos,” which has long defined soldiers’ identity, will erode, as will the laws of war that have governed military conflict for generations.Paradoxically, these new technologies will also bring war to our doorstep. As other nations and even terrorist organizations start to build or buy their own robotic weapons, the robot revolution could undermine America’s military preeminence. While his analysis is unnerving, there’s an irresistible gee-whiz quality to the innovations Singer uncovers. Wired for War travels from Iraq to see these robots in combat to the latter-day “skunk works” in America’s suburbia, where tomorrow’s technologies of war are quietly being designed. In Singer’s hands, the future of war is as fascinating as it is frightening.