Brain Candy Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

Customer Comments

Sheila Deeth has commented on (375) products.

Signs in Life: Finding Direction in Our Travels with God by Deanna Jean Nowadnick
Signs in Life: Finding Direction in Our Travels with God

Sheila Deeth, October 7, 2015

Beautifully presented and nicely based in the Bible, Doeanna Nowadnick’s Signs in Life invites readers into her life story, shows how traffic signs relate to everyday living, and offers a wonderful guide to hearing and heeding God’s guidance. Well-chosen Bible passages (from Exodus) introduce each section. Very human photographs invite the reader to make friends with the author’s voice. And the signs...

Stop signs are important -- they save lives -- but we’re all careless drivers sometimes, mouthing “Oops, sorry!” and glad to have been kept safe. Life signs matter too, when friends see we’re falling apart and show us the way. And Bible signs help -- not just the Ten Commandments, but the history of obedience and disobedience, of danger and consequence, and of freedom and hope. It’s a history well-told in Exodus.

“Facing the Red Sea, Moses had stopped and trusted in God for direction. Facing my own Red Sea of career choices, I plunged in,” says the author, each story segueing from driving, to personal life, to faith, to a rest area’s questions. “God’s able to work with our imperfections,” and the author’s life offers signs to readers, where we can see His work on our own path.

I love the author’s natural, never-preachy voice, her gentle (sometimes even laugh-out-loud) humor, and the way these stories flow, as if I’m sitting at table with a friend. Did that really happen? And did you...? There are surprises, and deep revelations. There’s advice quoted from many sources. And then there are the questions, which make it all personal. Of course, I also love the book of Exodus. And...

Deanna, I will cling to the picture of you at the bookstore, and I too will pray, “Please help me to get out of the way and let You lead.” Perhaps that’s the sign of a really good inspirational book -- it’s sunk into my heart.

Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy and I offer my honest review.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Lucky Go Happy: Make Happiness Happen! by Paul Van Der Merwe
Lucky Go Happy: Make Happiness Happen!

Sheila Deeth, October 7, 2015

With chapters that separately cover their own pieces of the “complex puzzle” which is happiness, Paul Van Der Merwe offers a story-book on happiness that might equally be read by random dipping as by sequential reading -- rather like happiness itself. Parable or fable, these tales read smoothly and “happily” while teaching wise lessons through humor and animal interest. I read them sequentially, laughed out loud on occasion, and thoroughly enjoyed those stings in rat-like tails -- Lucky being a rat (and a math teacher, no less!) in a Bushveld world of lions, elephants and more.

Based on a theory that all our actions are aimed at increasing happiness, Lucky is sent to investigate the stories of other animals. Pleasing humor invites the reader into each tale, and intriguing situations transport modern life into the world of animals, as creatures tell what they’ve learned of happiness. The stories are offered with an unforced sense of fable, making this a really enjoyable read.

My favorite story just might be the marketing executive hyena, creating “unhappiness while also supplying the fix.” “Be happy with the fur you live in” might be the wisest advice to un-furred humans as well as to Lucky the rat. And my favorite lesson? Well, I’m just going to check this review off my to-do list, plan next year’s vacation, and take life a little slower. I’m not sure happiness really is the only destination, but I do know I enjoyed this book. It’s even got (simple) graphs to appeal to the mathematician in me -- after all, Lucky is a math teacher!

Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy and I offer my honest review.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Maximum Mental Health: Overcome Depression, Anxiety and Other Mental Illnesses with 20 Principles for Happier and Healthier Living by Mr Aleks George Srbinoski

Sheila Deeth, October 7, 2015

The author of Maximum Mental Health is an Australian life coach, hypnotherapist, and clinical psychologist. In Maximum Mental Health, he offers a collection of principals aimed at helping readers improve their motivation, mood, meaning and mastery, in the search to cure or counter anxiety and depression. “For someone who is in the ‘normal’ range and more self-improvement focused; or who is suffering from only mild to moderate range issues, the application of these principles alone” might be enough to satisfy. For others, the book might provide some sense of direction in which to progress.

Hypnosis is nicely explained in this volume, though the book is not about hypnosis. Mental skills are convincingly described. The difference between thought, feeling and action is wisely presented. The way online life and advertising feed into feelings of depression is disturbingly persuasive. And there’s plenty of nicely practical advice. The author offers intriguing downloadable content (which I did not avail myself of) to help readers progress further, including “mindfulness recordings to listen to.”

From optimism, to pessimism, to following the latest diet plan, with or without spirituality, with or without hypnosis, Maximum Mental Health is user-friendly, reader-friendly, and an interesting read. My favorite bit? The final “values rankings” exercise, for the way it makes readers really think about what matters.

Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy and I offer my honest review.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Extinction Game by Gary Gibson
Extinction Game

Sheila Deeth, October 1, 2015

Gary Gibson’s the Extinction Game starts with a wonderfully imagined frozen world where one man fights for survival. Dogs have become feral. Ice has covered the land. And it’s the winter of mankind’s existence. Then everything, including the story, changes.

Extinction, it seems, could come from multiple directions, perhaps even simultaneously, and the brave lone survivor becomes one of many in a team of extinction explorers. Characters, mystery and plot take on a computer game-like feel, as the team is compelled to collect ancient artifacts without ever knowing quite way. Politics lurks behind the scenes with hints of terror and questions that shouldn’t be asked. And then the story begins to take shape again as threats become real.

Questions of identity, selfhood and self-determination; issues of terrorism and plot; the value or negation of freedom or free will -- there are serious undercurrents in this tale, bound together with nicely different survivalists, complex situations, well-drawn worlds, and a pleasing sense of personal solutions mattering more than the global. It’s an intriguing, thought-provoking tale that would convert beautifully into a computer game.

Disclosure: I read the first few pages in the store and I was hooked.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Station Eleven

Sheila Deeth, October 1, 2015

Some novels paint a dystopian future after the end of the world. Others portray the world ending and the hero marching to survival. But Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven does neither of these. Instead she interweaves stories of before and after, of a time when so many details were important and a place where survival alone takes priority. She adds music and Shakespeare, to help survival make sense. And then she makes her own sense of it all through wonderful, slowly-grown interconnections, building a future on the ruins of our mistakes.

The world most surely ends with a whimper in this novel. Survivors are real people rather than heroes, and heroes might die or go mad. But the future grows, like seeds in a scarred land. And the author distills it all into smooth reading. A wide-ranging novel of only 300 pages---no marathon slog---this is a beautifully constructed tale, a story that switches between locations and seasons with perfect timing, that builds its characters with convincing dialog and gorgeously imagined scenes, and that slides its mysteries and connections under the radar until they shine, like a glow on the horizon, like hope for the future of mankind.

Love, romance, the search for meaning in life or death, the search for identity, and the responsibilities of relationship, all are here in a literary novel of the present time crossed with convincing science fiction. I love this book!

Disclosure: My husband knew I would love it and kept telling me to buy it, so I did.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

1-5 of 375next
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at