Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Buyer Aware by Marta L. Tellado

Book cover
Buyer Aware
by Marta L. Tellado

ISBN-13: 9781541768574
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Released: September 20th 2022

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
The rules that have protected consumers for decades are failing. Companies are spying on us. Many of the products we once trusted are dangerous and failing at alarming rates. Whether we are buying a crib, a small appliance, an iPhone app, or shopping for car insurance, it's become harder than ever to know whether the choices we make in the marketplace are putting us at risk-either from physical harm or the abuse of our personal data by hackers or corporations.

Marta L. Tellado, the president and CEO of Consumer Reports, has been an advocate for consumers for decades. In Buyer Aware, Tellado shows you the steps you can take to protect yourself from predatory business practices, and how to exert your inherent power as a consumer to spur politicians and businesses to clean up their act. Only then can we ensure that we have an economy that is fair, safe, and transparent for all, and puts consumers first.

My Review:
According to this author, "user generated reviews"--like this one--are generally untrustworthy, especially if they're 5 star reviews. Or if they're from social influencers who got the product for free. The only really trustworthy reviews are from Consumer Reports, for which the author works, and she highly promotes them. Either this is hypocrisy (as book reviewers have been asked to review her book which is given to them for free) or it's really stupid to insult the very people who are going to be the first ones reviewing your book. Just saying.

I've only read about a third of the book and won't be finishing it. So far, she has described some things that she doesn't like about the internet that people should be aware of, though nothing really new to me so far. She basically said to go the the Consumer Reports site for more information on how to prevent companies from tracking you to gather and sale your data, and I assume that she will point the reader there for solutions in future chapters, too.

Why have I stopped reading when I usually finish even the books I hate? Because she's ranting about how people are manipulated toward their own bias and how horrible misinformation is while proving with her examples that she's been manipulated toward her bias and hasn't noticed. If you're conservative, she'll insult you in some fashion, like specifically targeting Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson (from Fox News) and saying they don't report news but rather provide manipulative fiction.

She also spread misinformation while complaining about how there's so much misinformation. One example is that she stated as fact that the COVID vaccines are safe and it's misinformation to say that they can cause death. Yet the CDC's own Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (for data up to June 17, 2022) indicates that 29,031 deaths have been reported from the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, with 16% occurring within 24 hours of vaccination, 20% occurring within 48 hours of vaccination and 59% occurring in people who experienced an onset of symptoms within 48 hours of being vaccinated. If she can't even correctly identify what is true and what is propaganda, why should I trust her discernment about anything else in this book?

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Fascia, 2nd edition by David Lesondak

Book cover
Fascia, 2nd edition
by David Lesondak

ISBN-13: 9781913426316
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Handspring Publishing
Released: Sept. 21, 2022

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from NetGalley:
This book presents a clear and easy to understand explanation of what the fascia is and the role it plays in the body. As the importance of fascia is increasingly recognized it became obvious that there was a need for a book that clearly and concisely presents the facts. This is that book. Each chapter logically connects to the next, rather like fascia itself!

Fascia - What It Is and Why It Matters serves as an essential primer for professionals, such as movement educators, physical therapists, osteopaths, massage therapists, fitness professionals, and doctors enabling them to attain a solid grasp of what fascia is and what it does in the body. It provides an understanding of fascia as a tissue, of its role in the various systems of the body and of its clinical significance.

My Review:
Fascia, 2nd edition explains what fascia is, how it works, and different methods for treating fascia problems. The chapters covered: what fascia is, tensegrity, studying fascia anatomy, fascia and the nervous system, fascia-like structures in the brain, fascia and organs, recognizing a fascia problem, and various methods of treating fascia problems. That last chapter talked about different methods, what the method was like, and where to learn it. All throughout, there were pictures of fascia (or related things, like tensegrity models). The text wasn't highly technical but it's in-depth enough that it's probably most interesting to bodyworkers and other people with some medically training. While very interesting, clearly fascia needs a lot more study--and this book is meant to both inform and interest people in furthering this research.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Victorian Fashions for Women by Fiona Kay, Neil R Storey

Book cover
Victorian Fashions for Women
by Fiona Kay, Neil R Storey

ISBN-13: 9781399004169
Hardcover: 248 pages
Publisher: Pen & Sword History
Released: Aug. 9, 2022

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Victorian Fashions for Women explores the British styles and clothing throughout the long reign of Queen Victoria, from the late 1830s to the first years of the 20th century. Within are a superb overview of the dresses, hats, hair styles, corsetry, undergarments shoes and boots that combined to present the prevailing styles for each decade. From those who had enough money to have day and evening wear and clothes for sports and outdoor activities, to those with limited income and wardrobes or labouring folk with little more than the clothes they stood up in.

All decades are illustrated with original photographs, adverts and contemporary magazine features from the authors' own remarkable collections, accompanied by a knowledgeable and informative text that describes the fashions, their social history context and influences reflected in the clothes of the time. Laid out in a clear and easy-to-follow chronological order, the key features of styles, decoration and accoutrements will help family historians to date family photographs and will provide a useful resource for students and costume historians or for anyone with a love of fashion and style to enjoy.

My Review:
Victorian Fashions for Women describes the changing fashions in women's clothing in England from 1840 to 1900. It's actually throughout Queen Victoria's reign, but the authors took each decade at a time so it ended up titled as "The 1840s Look" and so on. The authors described what fashionable women were wearing and used some quotes from fashion magazines, newspapers reporting on what the royals wore, and even ads. I'd hoped for a lot of pictures or illustrations, but it was basically a lot of technical terms (fabric names, sewing and clothing terms) that I sometimes found hard to follow as I didn't know what many of the terms meant. Only afterward, I discovered a glossary of terms at the back, though even that wasn't as helpful as I'd hoped.

Anyway, the authors focused on changes over time to the overall look, the sleeves, waist, where the bulk of the skirt went, trimmings, the underclothing used to get the right look, outerwear (hats, cloaks, etc.), and trends in jewelry. They also talked about how changes in technology (like new dyes) changed fashions. In the last chapter, the authors covered things like prison warden uniforms and mourning attire. This book is helpful if you mainly want to know what fashion trends were popular at a certain time (big skirts, big sleeves, etc.) but it's less helpful if you want a visual guide or a non-technical description of real dresses in real situations rather than the suggested high fashions.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Friday, September 2, 2022

Brilliant Inks by Anna Sokolova

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Brilliant Inks
by Anna Sokolova

ISBN-13: 9780760374511
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Quarry Books
Released: July 5, 2022

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
In Brilliant Inks, artist, illustrator, and top Skillshare teacher Anna Sokolova shares her own unique methods that get the most out of this versatile medium. With her guidance, create beginner-friendly florals and foliage, animals, still lifes, figures and portraits, and hand lettering. Learn about the various types of inks and the best tools and surfaces to use with them. Then, try basic techniques such as color mixing, creating visual texture, negative painting, and splattering. Work with a variety of brushes, dip pens, and droppers to get different looks, and see how adding common household supplies such as salt and bleach can create the most amazing effects.

Use these methods in lessons designed to improve skills and boost confidence. Be inspired to make projects such as a bracelet, paper art dolls, a tote bag, and a decorated book. Full instructions and templates make projects fun and stress free. Perfect for all skill levels, the books in the Art for Modern Makers series take a fun, practical approach to learning about and working with paints and other art mediums to create beautiful DIY projects and crafts.

My Review:
Brilliant Inks is an art instruction book on using inks, mainly with brushes. The author started by describing the different types of ink (acrylic, alcohol, etc.) and some tips about using them. She also talked about other materials (paper, brushes, ink droppers, dip pens, markers, etc.) and briefly covered basic concepts like color mixing. She then described some techniques for using inks (washes, spattering, etc.) and included step-by-step exercises for several of these techniques. She then had exercises that combined these skills, with step-by-step instructions and illustrations on how to paint a rose, mushrooms, butterfly, stylized bird, red panda, distant people, portrait, fashion figure, map, pomegranate, and dessert. She then had step-by-step directions for making several crafts: a cork bracelet, clay horse, alcohol ink "tie-dyed" tote, and accordion book of illustrations.

I've been painting with watercolors for years, so it was easy for me to understand her instructions as there were many similarities. She only briefly talked about alcohol ink markers, and she didn't seem to have the same problems with using them that I do so she didn't include tips that would help improve my results. However, I did find the ink selection and techniques part useful to help me use inks in my own painting projects. Overall, I'd recommend this resource to artists interested in painting with inks.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Make Your Own Board Game by Jesse Terrance Daniels

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Make Your Own Board Game
by Jesse Terrance Daniels

ISBN-13: 9781635863413
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC
Released: August 30th 2022

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Tabletop board games are having a comeback, and especially within a younger, tech-y audience who enjoys the challenge and opportunity to work in an analog sphere. Game design expert Jesse Terrance Daniels teaches all the fundamentals of game design, from rule-setting to physical construction, along with original illustrations.

Readers will learn the “building blocks” of game design, including game components, rules, and gameplay mechanics, and then how to craft a game, with a variety of examples and design prompts. After completing Make Your Own Board Game, readers are equipped with a broad understanding of game construction and flow and ready to create games that are playable and satisfying, while also expressing the makers’ unique creativity and passions.

My Review:
Make Your Own Board Game talked about designing tabletop games like board, tile, card, and role-playing games (with the most time spent on role-playing). It's solely about the concept, not the manufacture or marketing of a game. The author started with pretty basic stuff, like playing cards are usually these sizes and have the same pattern on the back. You could figure these things out just from playing a variety of board games. He then moved onto game play rules. He explained a variety of ways to handle taking turns, using currency, etc., and the pros and cons of using the different methods. He sometimes pointed out or used an existing game to demonstrate the idea, but not always. At the end, he provided a few example games, from a basic game to a complex one.

The descriptions weren't always easy to follow. Since the author explained different ideas in different areas, he might refer to a concept (like a "bank") in one place but you have to flip to another section to learn about that concept. He pointed out some complex game play possibilities that might make a game more interesting, but it's also trickier to understand how to make it work. This is a good book for inspiration about the possibilities, but I would have preferred more examples of how the more complex ideas worked in an actual game play and the steps of actual game design.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

The Complete Guide to Anti-Inflammatory Foods by Lizzie Streit

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The Complete Guide to Anti-Inflammatory Foods
by Lizzie Streit

ISBN-13: 9780785839644
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Chartwell Books
Released: June 14th 2022

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Researchers have linked low-grade, persistent inflammation to premature aging, heart disease, MS, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, psoriasis, arthritis, and cancer. The Complete Guide to Anti-Inflammatory Foods introduces 50 anti-inflammatory foods that can easily be incorporated into your day-to-day diet with tips and tricks to keep their anti-inflammatory properties active while preparing your favorite meals and snacks. Most anti-inflammatory foods are naturally vegan and gluten free, and include tomatoes, avocados, green beans, bell peppers, sesame seeds, walnuts, chickpeas, and more.

The guide explains how each food contributes to improving your health and well-being, and includes tasty recipe suggestions for combining several anti-inflammatory foods to boost your daily intake. The benefits of each food are listed, such as antioxidants and polyphenols—protective compounds found in plants—that may contribute to protecting against inflammation, as well as the nutritional breakdown of foods to help include them as part of restricted diets such as Keto or low GI.

Authored by Lizzie Streit, a renowned nutritionist and prolific contributor to Healthline.com, this anti-inflammatory guide demystifies which anti-inflammatory foods are the most worthwhile to include in your diet and includes a list of foods to avoid, while offering advice on assessing your diet along with a detailed guide to which health concerns may benefit from an anti-inflammatory diet.

My Review:
The Complete Guide to Anti-Inflammatory Foods is a basic guide to anti-inflammatory foods with profiles on 50 of these foods. Some of these profiles are categories of food (leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, mushrooms, peppers, berries, citrus, legumes, etc.) but most are specific foods (sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, artichokes, fennel, salmon, etc.). Each profile devoted one page to the information about that food and another to a picture of the food. The profile included brief information about the food's anti-inflammatory effects, how to select it and prepare it, best ways to cook it for the most anti-inflammatory effect, a few suggestions on ways to add it to meals, and consideration for those with special diets or medical conditions. The book also talked about anti-inflammatory and inflammatory foods (so you also know what to avoid) and ended with eight recipes. The recipes were sized for 4 people and included ingredients, cooking steps, easy alternatives, and a picture of the finished product. This would be a good introductory book for someone who doesn't know about anti-inflammatory foods.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Weed-Free Gardening by Tasha Greer

Book cover
Weed-Free Gardening
by Tasha Greer

ISBN-13: 9780760373231
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Cool Springs Press
Released: April 12th 2022

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Spraying chemical herbicides isn’t a smart solution for eco-conscious homeowners or pet parents. If that’s the case for you, the weed control prevention and control strategies outlined here by author Tasha Greer will have you growing flowers, vegetables, shrubs, and trees with little to no weed competition. Tasha’s organic approach hands you methods for both preventing weeds early in the growing season and managing weedy intruders year-round.

Control annual weeds by disrupting their natural lifecycle. Learn the whys, hows, and whens of weed-inhibiting mulching techniques. Eliminate deep-rooted perennial weeds by eradicating them at their source. Meet the best and most effective weeding tools available to homeowners. Discover many ways to keep weeds out of the vegetable garden while ensuring healthy and productive soil. Implement a practical plan to gain long-term control over weeds. In addition, you’ll find resources for weed identification, tips for getting rid of invasive plants, useful ideas for handling areas completely overtaken by weeds, and dozens of “weed hacks” to make life in the garden so much more beautiful.

My Review:
Weed-Free Gardening is a guide to organic gardening methods to control weeds. In the introduction, she talked about what a weed is and a history of weeds. She talked about different categories of weeds, from plants that you didn't intend to grow there but which might be helpful to plants that will take over your garden if you don't get rid of them quickly. She talked about a wide variety of techniques and tools that you might try out, but this was more of an overview of different things to try and why they work. She explained how these techniques disrupt the weed's lifecycle, starting with preventing germination with things like mulches or no-till techniques. There's enough information to be able to try out these techniques and see which ones work best for your situation. Overall, I'd recommend this gardening book.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.