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michelle.skaflestad has commented on (3) products.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

michelle.skaflestad, March 5, 2010

I just finished Quirk Classics' newest future classic Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls. DotD is the prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Jane Austin's classic with Zombies and mayhem thrown in for good measure. This book begins four years before P&P&Z as Elizabeth is ready to come out into society, but low and behold even those long dead can't resist a good party!

Reading Steve Hockensmith's prose almost made me wonder if Jane Austin herself hasn't risen from the grave as well, because down to Mrs. Bennet's last "La" it sounds downright Austin. The book itself takes Regency to a new place with the scandalous nature of the Bennet girls becoming warriors, and shunned from society. How ever will they find a husband now? Humor is not lacking as we learn how the dreadfuls return to the English countryside, and we set the scene for P&P&Z.

I highly recommend this book. If you like Austin, and like fun - you'll enjoy this book too!
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So You're Fat. Now What?
So You're Fat. Now What?

michelle.skaflestad, March 3, 2010

In 2008, $40 billion was spent on the diet industry. Yes, that's billion with a B. It's not surprising, when you figure that in the US alone there are 97 million fat adults (no, we're not even counting children). So you can understand how I was quite disarmed when I read on the back cover of this book, "I will tell you right here and now why this book will work for you. The truth is simple. The secret to dieting success is this: there is no secret." What?? He's joking right?

Honestly, no. He's not joking. When we take a real moment to stop kidding ourselves, we know it's true. Nothing on Earth can make that cabbage soup diet work for long. All of the shakes, books, and weird equipment we've tried haven't amounted to much more than a hole in our pockets, yet we're still looking for that miracle answer. However, we know, deep down, that there isn't any real secret to losing weight; we just don't want to acknowledge it.
Dr. Tirrito tells us that many diets work, in the short term, because they tell us how much to eat, and keep us aware of what we are putting in our mouth. However, the diets fail because they do not teach us how to determine the amount to eat, or what we should be eating. Basically it comes down to the law of "calorie in, calorie out".

Out of all of the diet books I've read, I've never gotten answers about the nuances of nutrition the way I do here. He does a great job of explaining in more detail just what fat, carbs, and proteins do in our body and why we need them - something many diet books fail to do. He also explained about the purpose of insulin, and why we're still hungry after eating a full dinner, drinking a case of soda, and following it up with a gallon of ice cream.
In addition, Dr. Tirrito stresses the importance of physical activity. He states that frequency and duration is the key to maximum weight loss.
Also of importance is his explanation of plateaus. That it isn't our body's way of telling us this is the weigh to be at , but our body's way of saying that it's caught up to the changes we've made - now work harder.

The book closes with this thought. "By following the few simple steps that I have outlined in this book, you have the ability to change and find that skinny person that has been hiding inside you all these years." I think he may be on to something.
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Dancing with My Father: How God Leads Us into a Life of Grace and Joy by Sally Clarkson
Dancing with My Father: How God Leads Us into a Life of Grace and Joy

michelle.skaflestad, March 3, 2010

Sally Clarkson plays many roles: writer, speaker, wife, mother, missionary and more. Yet she shows that even a strong Christian can still struggles with pettiness, temper, and negative emotions. In her search for joy in a life full of disappointments, frustrations, and day-to-day interruptions, she found solace in a memory of dancing with her father. As he twirled her around the dance floor, she found pure joy. Trying to regain that joy, Clarkson writes a poignant lesson on how to live our lives as if God is our dance partner in her new book, Dancing with My Father.

Each chapter offers a glimpse into Clarkson's personal life, and demonstrates a different aspect of dancing with a partner. In addition to showing us that God is one of love, beauty, and goodness, each chapter is wrapped up with thought provoking questions and prayer.

I found reading this book to be a bit of an emotional roller coaster. It had some slow moments, and some moments where I felt like I was trudging through some of the same old advice. On the other hand, my heart soared through chapter five as it spoke of God as an artist, and I cried as I read the account of Marcy who, dying of ovarian cancer, never lost sight of heaven and wanted to share the way to everyone she loved.

By the time I reached the last page, and the last prayer, I felt I had a better understanding of the nature of God as a good father. Knowing how to be his dance partner means that anyone can find joy in their lives if they just dance.
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