Monday, February 9, 2009

Losing It: and Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time

by Valerie Bertinelli
Free Press, 2008

The majority of the book dwells on Bertinelli's life so far: her childhood and entry into the entertainment industry, the years on TV's hit series, One Day at a Time, and various other acting jobs, the indiscretions that would today see her picture plastered all over the tabloids, and her 20 year marriage to rock's bad boy, Eddie Van Halen. A typical celebrity tell-almost-everything. Of course, we're fascinated by that - that's why the rags keep selling, and the paparazzi keep busy.

The part of the story that Bertinelli alludes to in the book's title, and that many women will be able to relate to, is her long struggle with weight issues. An emotional, unconscious eater, Bertinelli ballooned to 172 pounds, and became the Jenny Craig spokesperson following Kirstie Alley. In the latter pages of Losing It, Bertinelli shares how the Jenny Craig program not only resulted in a weight loss of 40 pounds (and counting), but also forced her to examine the underlying issues that caused her to make poor eating choices.

Bertinelli was not the "good girl" we all thought she was - I remember thinking "Valerie and Van Halen - what's up with that?" - she is a very real and down-to-earth person with a story that could have ended far differently.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Spoonful of Poison (an Agatha Raisin mystery)

by M.C. Beaton
St. Martin's Minotaur, 2008

Once again Agatha Raisin finds herself up to her neck in murder after a village fete gone wrong. As she and her sidekick Toni question the suspects there seems to be no shortage of possible villains. Everyone from the vicar's wife to the roguishly handsome George has one secret or another. Always on the alert for possible romance, Agatha blusters along, trying to stay one step ahead of the law, while managing jealousy of her assistant and her ex-husband's new fiancee.

There are a couple of nice twists near the end that leave the reader longing for the next Raisin installment. Beaton is a prolific author, but one still wishes she'd churn them out a little faster!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What in the World is Going On? 10 Prophetic Clues You Cannot Afford to Ignore

by Dr. David Jeremiah
Thomas Nelson, 2008

This is a must read for anyone who looks at our world today and wonders what on earth is happening. Dr. David Jeremiah has been studying prophecy for over 40 years and is able to explain it in language the layperson can understand.

In What in the World is Going On, he addresses why Israel is so important; discusses the European Union, Islamic terrorism, and the Rapture of the church; and offers a blow-by-blow account of what will happen in the end times.

This is very exciting and enlightening reading. My husband and father-in-law have been passionate about prophecy since before I knew them; now I am too. If there's one book you have to read this year, this is it!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Magic Words: 101 Ways to Talk Your Way Through Life's Challenges

by Howard Kaminsky and Alexandra Penney
Broadway Books, 2002

From the book jacket: "A comprehensive collection of powerful phrases to help you face a variety of awkward, intimidating, confusing, or otherwise challenging moments."

A wonderful little handbook for anyone who has to deal with people! The book is broken into three types of magic words: those that you say to yourself, those that you say to others, and words that have universal application. Examples include, "I'll sing for my supper, but I won't audition", "When you draw the line, do it in cement", "Why are you asking?", "I need your help", "There's only one condition for friendship", and "When you get in a downward spiral, hit the ground running". You'll have to read the book to find out what those signify. Believe me, you won't be sorry you did.