The Best Children’s Books of 2014

Childrens Books

As an educator and mother, I am always looking for new, high-quality children’s literature.

With so many children’s books coming out each year, it can be difficult to keep up with what’s new and worth reading. Here are some recent and noteworthy children’s books of 2014 that I have discovered. I hope you will check them out!

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Greatest Love Novels Ever Written

BookShelf

A good love story bridges generations, cultures, and ages. Love is the universal magic that everyone experiences at one time or another in their lives.

Along with love comes the other feelings of jealousy, anger, and heartbreak.

The authors combine all of these common feelings into words for everyone to enjoy.

Naturally, many of the best love stories have also been turned into movies. This allows the story to reach a broader audience that the novel might not reach.

It’s almost impossible to pick just a few “best of the best” because there are so many classics.

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Top Selling Novels of 2014

Books

Books are one medium of communication that will always be around for many years to come.

All throughout history books have been created to tell stories, teach and to help us see the world from another person’s point of view.

The year 2014 has been a great year for books and some of the top titles have moved readers with joy while others made them see life from a whole new perspective.

The following books are the top best-selling novels of 2014 on Amazon.

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Latest Book Review: Dare to Repair

Latest Book Review: Dare to Repair: A Do-it-Herself Guide to Fixing (Almost) Anything in the Home

Well, here are 4 things I have received in the last 6 weeks:

1. Copy of Dare to Repair: A Do-it-Herself Guide to Fixing (Almost) Anything in the Home
2. A cordless drill (if like me 6 weeks ago, you know nothing of these – here’s a little cordless drill guide!)

3. My fair share of chipped nails and dusty hair
4. A feeling of competence in the field of DIY

This was the 1st time I had received any of these things, and I think there may be no looking back! Ok well maybe that is a bit too far, but I have been reading through Julie Sussman‘s Dare to Repair and it is definitely a book I will be dipping in and out of for years to come I’m sure.

I received this as a present from a friend, and I am pretty sure it was bought in jest. Some sort of joke about my relationship status? Or perhaps a joke because 6 weeks ago people would have considered the very thought of me doing any sort of home repair to be hilarious. I am not well known for my handiwork skills, but as it turns out – I am exactly the sort of person this book is aimed at.

In the last few months, I have:

- Replaced a few door knobs, and put up a shelf (I am going to see how that holds up for a few weeks before I move on to ‘shelves’).
- Fixed my friend’s toilet that was leaking.
- Installed a new carbon monoxide detector.

These were all things I could never have done, but armed with this book, a few basic hand tools, a cordless drill and a whole heap of grit and determination, I actually got stuff done.

The book is written in a very easy-to-read style. The authors are well aware that the target audience will not be too well-versed in DIY terminology, so they take the time to explain each concept, and back up a lot of the info with diagrams and pictures. I found this helped me a lot as I am quite a visual learner.

My only complaint with the book is that it is written in a very girly style. Although I understand this is the theme, and it is how the book is being marketed and branded, but I couldn’t help roll my eyes any time it likened a task to ‘painting your nails’ or ‘frosting a cake’ but I understand that that’s explicitly what the author has chosen to do. If it wasn’t being marketed like that, then it’s unlikely it would have ever found its way to my house – so I guess I will let that one go.

The beauty of this book is that it takes things that probably seem scary and impossible to many women, and make then suddenly understandable, and something you can handle. I recommend it to anyone who doesn’t have endless amounts of money to hire professionals, or have a lot of handy friends.

Do it yourself. It feels good.

101 Careers in Public Health Review

Hello fellow readers. Leigh here, welcome back to my blog! Today I’ll be reviewing 101 Careers in Public Health. If you are interested in a career in the healthcare industry or public health, this is a very good book to look into. You get plenty of information on public health career opportunities and a great resource for students who are interested but unsure on where to start when it comes to careers in public health. 101 Careers in Public Health in combination with online health career resources can provide you with plenty of information and guidance.

101 Careers in Public Health is split up into three sections or parts. In Part 1, the readers is provided with some general information in regards to the public health industry, educational requirements and credentials needed, and the various pathways that can be used for finding employment opportunities. Part 2 goes into the different types of careers that are found within the public health sector. Part 3 talks about the future of public health.

Part 1 describes the field of public health for readers who have little to no knowledge of the field. The section goes into definitions and talks about the 10 public health services that are the most essential. The author also talks about the various credentials and degrees found within the field and mentions what certifications and licensure are required. While the book does a good job of going into the newer certifications, many of the more established ones are not even mentioned. Definitely one of the flaws of the book as it could have done a better job of providing more information on this topic. There is a very comprehensive list of the various pathways available for job opportunities and agencies for job seekers within this section.

Part 2 covers several different areas of the public health field. These include broad areas such as occupational health and infectious disease to name a few. Each chapter within the section also highlights some of the positions within that particular area. Topics covered include educational requirements, work descriptions, job outlook and additional resources.

Each chapter of part 2 also includes an interview with someone who is currently a working professional in the position. The interview covers various questions regarding education, what a typical day is like, challenges and advice. The number of health areas covered is actually quite comprehensive and the descriptions and interviews provided are great. The information provided gives readers some good insight into the pros and cons of the various positions.

Part 3 is about several issues in regards to the future of public health. One of the topics covered are areas that will likely be expanding in the future, whether it is due to population shifts, changes in climate, natural disasters or social media. The possible impact of the Health Care Reform bill is also covered in this section as well.

All in all, 101 Careers in Public Health does a good job of providing quality information about public health careers. It is a great resource, especially useful for college and graduate students.

Book Review: Field and Stream: The Total Outdoorsman Manual – 374 Skills YOU Need

There has been a revival of the outdoor survivalist skills movement of the 50′s and 60′s when we all thought the world was going to end through war.

TV shows like the “Man vs. Wild”, “Doomsday Preppers” and “Survivorman” is only the tip of the iceberg today.

Field and Stream have always been in the forefront of mainstream hunting and fishing, outdoors skills, and now outdoor survival in the wild.

Today we are going to review their latest book on outdoor skills “Field and Stream: The Total Outdoorsman Manual – 374 Skills YOU Need” by T. Edward Nickens.

The book itself is laid out into 4 sections and we will look at each and give you a taste of what’s inside:

Camping

The first section most people turn to is the camping section and this is pretty much what you would expect. This section covers the mundane matters of:

- Camp site selection
- Setting up your tent
- Building a fire
- Fire safety
- Food Storage

However, the rest makes for an interesting read and goes into exhaustive detail about the various pieces of gear to take with you.

By the time you finish this part of the book you will feel ready to take on the “Great Outdoors” and have the right amount of camping gear and the savvy to set up your camp with a minimum of fuss and muss.

Fishing

One of my favorite sections of the book and expected a lot from the author here. This section will not disappoint the fisherman or Angler.

There is information here for novice and pro alike with information on:

- Knots to use in securing hooks and lures
- Proper way to cast your line
- Deep bottom fishing techniques
- Documentation for a trophy fish
- Lures and bait that draw in the big ones
- Fishing around snags and debris
- Fish photos
- Choosing the right knife for the job

In about 100 pages you will get years of fishing lore and tips gathered from the authors years of experience.

Hunting

The section on hunting is equally extensive and covers the various kinds of hunting skills one needs to have today.

The first question is always “What kind of hunting are you planning on doing, for food, sport, or monetary reasons?” This will dictate the type of gear you need to take with you.

Generally in all forms of hunting, binoculars are going to be your most important piece of equipment.

Tracking is almost a lost art that our native ancestors had down to a find art.

While this book will not turn you into a Davy Crockett or Daniel Boone, it will get you moving in the right direction. Mr. Nickens goes in to fine detail on the subject and the skills you need to develop.

There of course is a lot of emphasis on weapons safety as most hunting accidents are caused by improper use of firearms, carelessness, and unfortunately alcohol.

This section also touches on the various other ways you can hunt using other means and methods.

I like the information about trapping game, as while it is a passive means of hunting and in the past is what opened up much of the wilds of America, it must be done properly in order not inflict needless pain and suffering on the game you are seeking.

Survive

This part of the book most people who contemplate going outdoors should read first.

Survival skills are the basis of any venture that takes you beyond the confines of your normal world and thrusts you into an environment that is unpredictable and sometimes dangerous.

While most outdoor trips are happy and enjoyable, in the back of your mind you must always be thinking, “what if?”

You can’t go to a hospital or get help quickly and you must rely on yourself and the skills that you can learn from this book.

First aid is the main skill and carrying the proper First Aid tools is mandatory before you walk out the door, this is illustrated for you in this section of the book.

Most of the advice and the gear talked about in this area are common sense, the idea however, is to get you into survival thinking.

This will protect you and keep you safe when you journey out into the wilderness. America is vast and in many places still untamed country.

Final opinion

This book does deliver on its promise to give you a wide a varied selection of skills and sage advice on going out into the outdoors.

Every person today should have some basic survival and outdoor skills to fall back on. As often today, the environment goes from the predictable and comfortable to chaotic.

Many have seen this recently after Superstorm Sandy and some of the other natural/man-made disasters that have occurred in recent years.

I can recommend this book to put on your bookshelf, to be used to gain these valuable skills or bone up on skills you may already have.