Book Review: How to Be Cool by Johanna Edwards

How to Be Cool follows Kylie Chase, a “cool instructor” who helps the insecure and socially inept become confident and more socially knowledgeable.

 

Despite what people may have heard, everyone has insecurities. Some people have so many, however, that they want to shed their old skins and completely transform into someone new, someone more sociable and intrepid, someone…cool. What if there was someone that could help, someone who specialized in “coolness” that could create this transformation?

Meet Kylie Chase

Kylie Chase can help. She is a bona-fide “cool instructor” who makes a living from helping the dissatisfied and socially awkward turn into trend-setters. Seemingly undaunted, Kylie is well-versed in pop culture, fashion trends, and anything else required for the great metamorphosis that is turning “cool.” But how satisfied and confident is Kylie herself?

A Hidden Past

As it turns out, Kylie isn’t as intrepid as she seems. Before she became the knowledgeable instructor of the highly popular How to Be Cool classes, she was far from cool–dorky, insecure, and seventy-five pounds heavier. And underneath all the size-eight glamour, Kylie is still uncertain at heart. She still loves Star Wars, she still has two left feet, and most unfortunately, she still really, really cares what people think, far more than a cool instructor should.

 
 

 
 

A Steady Unraveling

 
 

When Kylie’s apartment burns down in a fire, she has nowhere to go but her parents’ house, which has a great impact on her self-confidence. (Kylie is Not Thirty–or twenty-nine–and one of her “cool rules” is that no one should be living with their parents after the age of about twenty-six.) Her parents don’t make her look too cool, either–her father is still enforcing the same rules she had to live by when she was a teenager, and her mother, a size-two former

Massage Chair For Reading

We live in modern times when everything looks easier to do, more accessible, a world in which everything looks handy. Who thought that at some point we will not need a masseur, and we will be able to replace him with a handy device that we can have in your living room? With the massager chairs for reading, you can relax in the library while discovering the characters from your favorite books.

Massage chairs and armchairs for reading have diverse functions; they are complex and are the proof that technology advanced a lot. Today, choosing a chair is a matter of preferences, as there are many advantages offered by such devices.

Some believe only people with muscular and inflammatory problems can benefit from these chairs. People that are following physical recovery programs and clients looking to improve their incorrect position while reading are also common buyers of massage chairs.

Choosing a good massage chair for reading

There is no point in investing in an expensive massage chair just because you can afford one. The most expensive chair is not always the one with the biggest number of features or options, so here is what you need to look for while looking to buy a massage chair for your reading room.

Dimensions – if you don’t have a room functioning as a relaxing zone, you need to look for compact models that can fit anywhere. You can find expandable and foldable models, but also classic ones that would be easy to arrange in any part of the house.

However, the best massage chairs for reading are the big models allowing you full comfort and the right posture while submersing in the world of your favorite book. Professional chairs are able to concentrate massage in different zones of the body – head …

Ways that Moms Can Get Involved in Politics

No matter what your party affiliation, you as a mother can get involved in politics. It is rewarding to know that you are fighting for the causes you care about, and it shows your children that they can also one day become a part of the democratic process that exists in our great country. Moms are busy, and most of us will not ever get a chance to run for office, but here are some ideas of smaller ways we can get involved:

1. Be sure you are registered to vote, and vote. Most states now make registering so easy that you can do it at the same time that you get or renew your driver’s license. Once you are registered, be sure to keep your registration updated if you move or get married. Then, it is important that you do vote. Take your child(ren) with you to the polls and let them watch you vote. Explain to them the importance of voting and how men fought and died for us to have this privilege. I try to make “voting day” an exciting event for my son, and he already looks forward to the day when he will be able to vote for himself.

2. Join your party’s Women’s Chapter. Both the Republicans and Democrats have women’s chapters, and probably the lesser known parties do as well. Join so that you can receive emailed updates of issues that are important to you. You will also receive ideas of other ways you can become involved in your political party.

3. Donate money if you are financially able. Obviously, as a mom with one or more children, you may not be in a position to help out your party financially, but if you are, consider donating even a small sum.

4. Be …

Books About Moms

Whether you are a mother, have a close personal relationship with your mother, or not, one of the following books is sure to peak your interest.

Chicken Soup for the Soul

This commonly recognized line of books contains nineteen different titles devoted to mothers. Each book contains a collection of stories on a wide array of motherly subjects submitted by the general public. Emotionally charged tales have been compiled and published about expectant mothers, mothers and daughters, mothers and sons, and one Chicken Soup for the Soul is a compilation of recipes for the busy mom.

Any one of the titles in this heart-warming collection is sure to bring a smile to the reader’s face.

Traveling with Pomegranates

Published in 2009, Travelling with Pomegranates is a memoir by mother and daughter co-authors, Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor. As 50-year old mother, Sue and 20-year old daughter, Ann travel to places of sacred significance throughout France and Greece, each writes of her own distinct journey to define herself. As each woman struggles with her own life challenges, mother and daughter come together and create a familial bond like no other.

If you are a mother or daughter with a strong relationship to your daughter or mother, this is the book for you.

Daughter’s Keeper

Ayelet Waldman shows the strength of the mother-daughter bond in her fictional novel, Daughter’s Keeper. Over the years, daughter, Olivia and mother, Elaine have grown apart: each not agreeing with the other’s chosen lifestyle. In a significant twist of the novel, Olivia finds herself pregnant and in jail with no where to turn except her mother.

For the reader who is looking for a suspenseful, yet heartwarming tale, this novel will surely do the trick.

White Oleander

The story of Astrid Magnussen, a …

Hollywood Politics: The Effect of the Stars on the 2008 Presidential Campaign with John McCain and Barack Obama

Hollywood stars always seem to think it’s important to tell the world about their politics and views, whether they are on the right or the left and whether they support Barack Obama or John McCain. Since we’re exposed to it whether or not we want to be, the relevant questions become: 1) What effect do the political views of the stars have? and 2) What effect should the political views of the stars have?

Hollywood Politics Question #1 – What Effect do the Political Views of the Stars Have?

This is a very difficult question to answer. There is a reason that celebrities are paid millions of dollars to endorse products and companies. In that line of thinking, you would imagine that Hollywood endorsements would carry an enormous amount of weight with the general public. However, I’ve not been able to find any research to back that claim. It may be that a celebrity can influence the type of pop that you drink, but not a more important decision like the political future of the United States.

One way that celebrities may affect the Presidential campaign, however, is fundraising. Star power could help when the celebrities throw a fundraising bash that includes all of their ultra-rich friends. Typically, you hear about the fundraising assistance of celebrity democrats like George Clooney, Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, etc… However, according to the Washington Times, even John McCain is also getting into the act with a fundraiser set to include John Voight, Robert Duvall, and Jon Cryer. No offense to the latter group, but the serious star power still appears to be on the side of Barack Obama and the Democrats.

Hollywood Politics Question #2 – What Effect Should the Political Views of the Stars Have?

The answer to this question is hopefully, no …

Continuing Education

Many of us seek to continue our education after graduating college and going into the real world. Recently, I discovered a few continuing education sources on the Internet. The courses offered range from Grant Writing to Medical Encoding. There’s a little something for everyone.

This aspect of continuing education is good for those who seek to learn something new and for those who want to expand on what they already know. It’s a great idea for resume builders and job enhancement for promotions.

My recent experience was completed in a 6-week course on Ed2Go. The course was basically built around my busy schedule, this allowing time for lesson reading and assignment completion. In the end, I received a certificate for my hard work and dedication.

For those seeking to expand on their knowledge or simply for those who want to learn a little…

Lobbying in American Politics

Lobbying, the act of communicating with elected officials in an attempt to influence the outcome of legislation. Often hired by businesses, corporations, and non-profit groups, lobbyist’s have been a staple in American politics since the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant. Marred by highly publicized scandals and controversies throughout history, lobbyist’s are often held in contempt by the American people and considered to be a corrupting influence in our nations capital. I am arguing that the use of lobbying is not a cause of corruption in American politics. And that the hiring of lobbyist’s by major corporations has been misrepresented and demonized by the mainstream media, drawing attention away from the real problems in Washington. Also resulting in widespread misunderstanding regarding the function of lobbyist’s as public policy experts and advocates. Political lobbying simply would not exist today if it was detrimental to legislative processes.

Conceding the fact that lobbying does not have an immaculate ethics record in Washington, only a small percentage of the 40, 000 lobbyist’s may participate in illegal practices (Birnbaum, 2005). The most notable instance of a lobbyist taking part in corrupt activities is the case of Jack Abramhoff. Abramhoff, dubbed a “Super Lobbyist” by the media, was convicted of conspiring to bribe public officials, tax evasion, and fraud. More like a successful conman than super lobbyist, Abramhoff’s case has become the gold standard for associating lobbyist’s with corruption. But I would like to look at this from another perspective. Abramhoff went to jail for conspiring to bribe public officials, earning six years for his actions. I agree that what he did was criminal, but when it comes to bribery it takes two to tango. Upon further investigation of Abramhoff’s actions, one member of the House of Representatives and two high ranking White House officials were found …

Maria Menounos Book Review: “The Every Girl’s Guide to Life”

Maria Menounos’ first book “The Every Girl’s Guide to Life,” was released on April 12, 2011, via It Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

From start to finish, Menounos does a stellar job writing her book. If her readers take her honest advice to heart, they are bound to see major improvements in their lives, and ultimately, become happier and healthier individuals!

Background on Menounos

Throughout her tenure in the film and television industry, Ms. Menounos has played many different roles including actress, journalist, host of Entertainment Tonight, former Miss Massachusetts Teen USA, independent movie producer, as well as West Coast special correspondent for Access Hollywood and The Today Show. It is safe to say, that now she can add “published author” to her impressive list of professional accomplishments.

 
 

About the Book

In this book, Menounos takes her readers on a journey, as she includes stories from her own personal experiences, and discusses how she tackles such issues as health, love, work, fitness, friends and family, among other topics.

Menounos reveals several of the events she has covered in her career. These include the 2010 earthquake in El Salvador and an AIDS series from South Africa. She has also interviewed such luminaries as the Clintons, former President George W. Bush, John Edwards, and was the first reporter to interview the entire Obama family.

Menounos talks about makeup, shares her workout routines and yoga stretches, and how she lost forty pounds by eating healthy; furthermore, she opens up about Keven, her partner and best friend in life.

The lists and organizers she includes in the “Appendix” section of her book are equally helpful and useful.

Menounos Stays True to Greek Roots

Particularly impressive about Menounos, is that throughout this book she always stays true to her Greek-American roots. She …

Worship Places, National Geographic Book Review: Religious Festivals & Sacred Places, Pilgrims, Retreats & Memorials

Sacred Places is in the Journeys of a Lifetime series, published by National Geographic and packaged by Toucan. The coffee table book explores 500 worship places around the world through the eyes of professional travel writers and photographers. Peaceful or powerful, most destinations claim a full page with lavish illustrations.

With ten chapters and nearly 400 pages, Sacred Places looks at many aspects of worship, from religious retreats and memorials to festivals, pilgrims and shrines. Themed lists complete the picture of the world’s top spiritual sites, whether it’s about harvest festivals or artists’ chapels. The book appeals to readers interested in spiritual or cultural journeys.

Worship Places, National Geographic

Sacred Places of a Lifetime by National Geographic opens with a chapter on inspiring landscapes, from the Devil’s Tower in Wyoming to the Islands of the Sun and Moon in Bolivia, from the sacred Ganges to Mount Ararat. Climb Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka, listen to aboriginal tales at Uluru or witness the summer solstice in the French Pyrenees. Mountains, rivers and lakes are well covered alongside natural phenomenon.

 
 

Stone circles and ancient mysteries come next, mostly in South America, Mexico and Europe, plus Petra in Jordan and the Plain of Jars in Laos. Cradles of Faith follow with worship places associated with the world’s great religions. These include the Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul, the Jokhang temple in Tibet and the Nativity Cave on the West Bank.

Places of Worship, Ancient Temples and Memorials

Ancient temples and sacred ruins claim a full chapter with visits to Angkor Wat, rock churches in Anatolia and the Hindu temples of Khajuraho covered in erotic carvings. The memorials section features Ground Zero, the Peace Memorial Park in Japan, the Merry Cemetery in Romania, the Taj Mahal, war graves and much more.

The middle chapter …

World Travel, National Geographic Book Review: Journeys of a Lifetime, Adventure, Food, River Cruise, Rail Journeys

Journeys of a Lifetime was the first release in the National Geographic series which now includes Sacred Places and Food Journeys of a Lifetime. Designed by Toucan with contributions from world explorers, this hard back coffee table book is easy to browse, beautifully researched and illustrated.

Nine themed chapters guide the readers through 500 of the world’s greatest trips from adventure and food travel to river cruises, cultural tours and road and rail journeys. A succinct fact file provides useful tips and information for every trip. Over 20 Top Ten lists cover additional highlights such as canal trips or historic walks.

World Travel, River Cruises, Road and Rail Journeys

Journeys of a Lifetime opens with travel by boat from canoes to ocean liners, from Antarctic and jungle trips to idyllic river cruises. Explore the Kerala backwaters or the Norwegian fjords, board a pirogue in Mali, a felucca on the Nile, sail on Lake Titicaca or cruise in the Eastern Caribbean, there is something for everyone.

Rail journeys include the Palace on Wheels in Rajasthan, Switzerland’s Glacier Express and a wildlife safari from Durban to Pretoria. Trolley rides and steam trains are also covered. Road trips take readers along the Pan American Highway and the French Riviera, explore the Australian Blue Mountains and the desert forts of Oman. There are cultural city drives and overland adventures across mountains and national parks.

 
 

Journeys of a Lifetime, Adventure Travel

Adventure travel is split into three sections, the largest highlighting the greenest way to go, on foot. Gentle rambles in the Italian hills are described alongside coastal walks in Ireland and treks to Everest base camp or along the Great Wall of China. There are trails underground, across stunning bridges, through remote valleys and around bustling cities.

Chapter seven leads into the …