Saturday, June 30, 2018

Book decisions

What to do with those books you will never read again

Donate them – When most people think about getting rid of any unwanted items that they no longer need, the first place they think of is St Vincent de Paul or the Salvation Army. And while both of these places are great, and do some excellent work for the community, there are plenty of other places that accept second-hand goods and the donations go to some very good causes. Organisations such as the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation, which helps indigenous children gain access to education through literacy, and Books for Lesotho, which takes the donated books over to students in Southern Africa are great examples of other places that are always accepting donations. These organisations, and many others like them are great causes to get behind, and you’ll feel like you’re really making a difference by giving them your unwanted books. Local libraries are also another great place to donate to, and they are often on the lookout for new and different books to add to their collections.

Give to a Community Street Library – In most big cities and suburban areas, you may stumble across little wooden houses full of books out the front a local school or community centre. These little houses are known as community or street libraries, and they allow the community to engage with each other through the donating and swapping of books. Most of them have a clear glass window at front and a door that opens and closes to allow people to come and go with ease, as well as being able to protect the books from the weather and any other external forces. As mentioned, you can leave your own books in the library, or you can take a book with you. This is a great way to get rid of your old books that you no longer want and gives others who may not be able to afford new books the opportunity to take them for free. The Street Library website shows you the locations of some of the community libraries in your local area, so you know where to go to donate.   

Recycle them – Because books are made from paper, it is easy for them to be broken down and made into new items of a similar fashion and even be printed on again. Most old books are made from high-quality paper, and not made of mixed materials like that of a magazine or a catalogue. According to Planet Ark, a non-for-profit environmental foundation in Australia, paper can be recycled up to 8 times, and it can be repurposed into things like packaging, toilet rolls, and egg cartons, all of which can still be broken down fairly easy over time, and even reused again another time. There are plenty of recycling centres throughout most major cities in Australia that accept donations like books for recycling which are supported by Planet Ark. This is another great way of repurposing old and unwanted books to be used in a more positive an environmentally conscious way. They also sell the books that are in better condition at some of their repurposing centres, with the profits going to local charities and hospitals.

Sell them – If you’re a little bit strapped for cash, another thing you can do with your old books is to sell them. Bountye is a website that helps you find and sell second-hand and vintage goods online from multiple third-party websites. We live in an age where we are concerned with the mass-production of objects, we need to find solutions to try and reduce our carbon footprint significantly in order to continue to live happy and healthy lives. We’re always being told to reduce, reuse and recycle, and Bountye works hand in hand with this idea by repurposing old and unwanted items. At Bountye they “think buying second-hand stuff should be as easy as buying something new” and this is a great idea because if you don’t want something anymore, someone else may. They also have an app available on the App Store and Google Play, so you can do your buying and selling on the go.

Repurpose them - Although it goes against the grain for most people to defile an old and beloved book, there are many ways in which you can recycle your old and unwanted books and turn them into something completely different. One ever-popular project that uses an old book is the ‘book-safe’, in which you glue the pages of your book together and then hollow out the middle of it to use as a safe, which can store some of your valuables and hide them from unsuspecting guests in plain sight. Using an old hardcover book, you can also make some interesting bookmarks. All you have to do is cut off the spine of an old hardcover book and pierce a hole in one of the ends for a ribbon or some string, and you have a lovely custom-made bookmark. Also, this activity doesn’t destroy your book too much, so you won’t feel as guilty about doing this project compared to some of the others out there that use books. In saying that, both projects are a great way to repurpose the books that you once loved and allow them to continue to be used in a positive way in your home.  

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Spiritual Gifts Handbook

The Spiritual Gifts Handbook
Using Your Gifts to Build the Kingdom
Randy Clark and Mary Healy
Two authors teamed up to bring an interesting approach tothe gifts of the spirit. Mr. Clark is an international healing minister and Ms. Healy is a Catholic Bible scholar. Each author's voice is heard throughout the book with their vision for what using your spiritual gift looks like.

The book was not what I had been hoping for. It definitely leaned in the speaking in tongues, Pentecostal direction. I was hoping for a look at how I could apply the spiritual gifts that I'd been given to my life. But the book felt more like a theology text book that a layman's handbook. I agree that our churches need more of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and that the spiritual gifts are an absolute necessity in today's work of reaching souls. However, I'm not sure that I agree with a lot of what the authors chose to focus on. It had an almost spiritualistic slant that I found a bit different.
Some of the stories were interesting, but overall, I found the book too dry and slightly boring with a touch of condescending. This is definitely not what the other reviewers are saying, so it was clearly just my opinion. So if you want to dig deeper into the Bible and want another person's take on spiritual gits, this might interest you.

I received a copy of this book from Chosen. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


How to Live Scandinavian
Bronte Aurell
Numerous studies point to the general happiness of the Scandinavian people. So what exactly makes these northern European people so unique and content? The author has taken from her personal experiences and from research and has written an entertaining book that covers a lot of aspects, such as style, food, family, culture, and holidays. Full of colorful photographs and tons of information make this a fun and entertaining way to learn more about Scandinavia and it's people.

I absolutely loved reading this book. It was tastefully done with a tongue in cheek type of humor. I learned a lot and the writing made me want to someday travel to this part of the world. This would make an excellent addition to anyone planning to travel. Due to the cover it would also make an excellent coffee table book.

I received a copy of this book from Goodreads. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

I Will Love You Forever

I Will Love You Forever
with Marianne Hering
Cori Salchert
Cori has suffered from extreme medical issues most of her life. At some points they kept her confined to bed. Her husband and eight children were there for her and helped keep the house afloat while she was trying to find answers. When Cori loses her job at the hospital as a counselor for parents losing their children to death, she's devastated. But what she didn't know was that it would open the door for her to care for an infant on hospice. Caring for this tiny baby knowing that she would soon be gone, changed their entire lives.

This book was not a thing like I was expecting. It was more of a memoir about the author, than about hospice babies. There is really only one child that was considered a hospice baby. It dealt with the author's health issues, those of one of her children, and the adoption of a special needs child. It also talked about her childhood and the death of her sister. So very little was actually about the one hospice baby she took in. But despite the misleading title and my general dislike of memoirs, I actually enjoyed the book and my heart was warmed reading about the hospice infant and how her own children reacted. If you enjoy memoirs or true stories, you'll really enjoy this inspirational book.

I received a copy of this book. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Hello Mornings

Hello Mornings
How to Build a Grace-Filled, Life-Giving Morning Routine
Kat Lee
Are mornings difficult? Does it seem that the morning starts of okay and then your schedule goes awry? Or is getting into a routine in the first place seem daunting? The author, now well known for her podcasts and founder of, took the information she's been sharing and put it together in a book for those looking to invigorate and change their mornings. The book has a Christian theme and gives the simple steps that the author found to work so well for her.

I am definitely one in need of help in the mornings. The book started out strong and was super inspiring. I talked about it with several of my friends while reading. The steps were easy to understand and implement. The author put personal experiences with scientific studies to prove her point. But despite the informative style of writing, it was interesting and I enjoyed reading it. The only negative was the last few chapters. I felt that they were necessary, but for some reason they were very dry and hard to get through. Turned this book into a 4.5, instead of a 5. But overall, I would still recommend it to my friends and family.

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Blogger. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

How to Window Box

How to Window Box
Chantal Aida Gordon and Ryan Benoit
Window boxes are common in areas where space is limited and can be used to grow plants indoors or out. This book delves into the process of setting up a good soil environment for growing all types of plants in a grow box setting. There are approximately sixteen sections that deal with different types of plants, soil conditions, fertilizers, and show various styles and types of grow boxes. The unusual rectangle shape of the book, the glossy pages with beautiful photography, and in depth details will have plant lovers falling in love with window boxes. 

I loved reading through the book and think it would make an excellent gift or addition to a garden lovers library. The book has a high quality feel and taught me several things that I wasn't aware of in regards to window boxes. The photography alone sells the book. I really liked the step-by-step instructions on how to set up the box. 

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Follow Your Bliss

Follow Your Bliss Guided Journal
This particular journal features the art of Hello Angel. The theme is bliss. The pages are wide rule lined style and the paper is thick and acid-free. Almost every other page has a bright picture with rich, deep colors. There are flowers, animals and scenes, and mandala shapes. Each page has a hint of color corresponding to the pictures around it. The hard back cover makes it excellent for holding while journaling or drawing.

I fell in love with the beautiful pictures and tinted pages. Each lined page has plenty of room to journal or write down lists and thoughts. The thick pages didn't bleed through when I used a heavy marker or gel pen. This would make an excellent gift, but I'm going to have a hard time parting with it. These books can be found at all of the retail sites I checked. Overall, I would say this is an excellent journal and can't wait to use it more.

I received a copy of this book from Fox Chapel Publishing. All thoughts expressed are my own.