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!


Greatest Love Novels Ever Written


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.


Top Selling Novels of 2014


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.


A Gunsmithing Book That Helps You Find The Best Gunsmithing Books

I’ve been fascinated with guns and their internal working ever since I saw my dad work on his old Springfield in our garage. He was a hobby gunsmith that taught himself, mainly because gunsmithing training wasn’t so readily accessible like it is today. The way he would painstakingly disassemble, inspect and reassemble that antique rifle had a poetic touch that would stir something up in me, even as a child. It was a thing of wonder to see the parts fit into place like a jigsaw puzzle and the gun to work like a well-oiled machine. The best part was that my dad recognized in me a natural talent for understanding the mechanism in various guns, something that neither of my older brothers had, and he was proud of it. It was through his support that I purchased so many different manuals on gunsmithing and got to know a great deal about firearms. The biggest problem, though, was being unable to find books which addressed specific projects e.g. modifications, repairs etc. A couple of times, I discovered that I had spent my pocket money on a book that did not contain what I needed to know – and it was extremely disappointing.

Fortunately, you won’t have to go through the kind of trouble I went through to find good books on gunsmithing, because Midway USA have taken the trouble to compile a comprehensive compilation of gunsmithing book reviews that you can refer to in order to find the one you need! It is edited by Larry Potterfield and Reid Coffield, and covers more than a hundred books on the subject of gunsmithing, that have appeared in the market ever since the famed ‘The Gunsmith’s Manual’, which came in 1883. Altogether, they address almost 250 different topics related to gunsmithing. If there is something you need to learn about gunsmithing, you will often be advised to attend a gunsmithing school, but for those who can’t afford that, this compilation offers an excellent mechanism for finding the best book on any topic related to gunsmithing.

It contains a comprehensive review of 100+ works on gunsmithing, with each topic mentioned in each book rated on a scale of fair, good or excellent. Moreover, every book has been assigned an overall rating from one to five stars. This book is truly one of a kind – you can take a look at how good a specific book is, or turn to its Master Index which lists all topics related to gunsmithing and the corresponding books that cover them.

What particularly impressed me about this book was the depth of its ‘Master Index’ feature – it covered topics from Gunsmithing Basics to Metalworking, Stockmaking, Bolt and Non-Bolt Action Rifle, Shotgun, Military Rifle and Handgun Metalwork. My only regret was not having discovered this gem of a book earlier – it would have saved me several hundred dollars’ worth of cash which I could have spent on creating better gunsmithing projects. I gifted this book to my dad last Christmas, and he was obviously delighted at my discovery. I would recommend this book to any beginner gunsmith who is looking to build their first gunsmithing library.

Books That Will Help Your Child Understand Serious Health Issues

In an ideal world, we’d keep our kids sheltered from tragedy until they’re well into their teens. The idea of our children going through any sort of hurt or pain is often too much to bear. Unfortunately, serious illnesses such as cancer are part and parcel of life and as parents, we have no choice about those affected or when.

That’s why it’s so important that we’re prepared to handle these issues when they crop up unexpectedly. And one way of doing this without getting too serious and technical is by reading children’s books specifically written for these situations. They illustrate tragedies in a way that children can understand them, helping them understand difficult issues. The following books have been written with kids in mind deal with a wide variety of health issues, from chronic conditions to terminal diseases.

The Girl with No Hair

Most people tend to relate hair loss with male pattern baldness. In other words, with men only. But hair loss can affect everyone, no matter how old or what gender. But considering how uncommon it is for girls to suffer from conditions such as alopecia areata, it can make losing hair a much more painful experience (even though there are some treatment options available). And kids usually just don’t get it. Dad having no hair is something that’s funny, but mom losing hers doesn’t make sense.

Elizabeth Murphy-Melas has written a superb book titled ‘The Girl with No Hair’. Expertly illustrated by Alex Hernandez, the book goes through Kelly’s journey of suffering from alopecia from a very early age. Combined with big names such as Gail Porter suffering from the condition, books like these will help your child understand that losing one’s hair doesn’t make someone strange or stare-worthy!

Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings

This book will resonate with a lot of people, as it deals with cancer which, unfortunately, affects most families. It’s a truly beautiful book that takes a child through the most common questions they’ll have when they first hear that their mom has cancer.

The book is comforting, hopeful, but also gives the reality of the message. It’s well-written by someone who has worked closely with children in the health profession – in other words, Ellen McVicker really knows what she’s talking about. What you’ll need to note is that this book is written specifically with mothers in mind. So while it’s still relevant, it may not be the best pick if your child’s grandparent, father, or other close relation other than the mom has cancer. Otherwise, it’s a top pick for me!

When Mommy has a Mastectomy

This is another book that deals with cancer, though in this case it specifically covers breast cancer amongst women. When Mommy has a Mastectomy goes through what it means to have cancer in an easy-to-understand manner, while also explaining what a mastectomy is. It does this by telling the story of one particular girl whose mom is sick, which makes it so much easier for the child to understand the trajectory of this awful disease.

The book not only has engaging text that’s purposefully written for a child, but it also has accompanying illustrations that further explain the situation. The illustrations allow the parent to explain it to younger children in an easier way. If you or a loved one have gone through breast cancer before, this book is a definite tear-jerker.

The Ants Book Review

The Ants looks at the ecology, evolution, and the behavior of ants in their natural habitats. About a third of this book is taken up by reference material and can be quite difficult to get through. But the other two thirds should keep anyone who has an interest in biology or ants highly engaged.

Chapter one of this book examines the sequence of events involved in the evolutionary development of ants. However, the evolution of ants can also be found throughout the entire work. Similarly, the anatomy of ants is not covered separately but covered where relevant, and ants are connected throughout to general biological and sociological theory.

Although it is not a major focus, certain aspects of human influence and the surprising economic importance of ants is discussed. There are a few opening pages on the importance of ants (unless they’re in your home), which are followed by the least digestible of chunks of work. There are nearly 80 pages of taxonomic keys and sixty pages of line drawings. Throughout the entire book, you can find highly detailed information in the form of tables indicating the distribution of various traits and features among different ant species.

Basically, the entire book falls into two main parts, with the first half covering the important features of the ant life cycle and ecology and the second part covering different ant specializations.

A typical ant colony has a life cycle that consists of nuptial flight and mating, then colony foundation, growth, and movement. However there are many ant species that do not fit into this typical pattern. A critical factor in the social behavior of ants is the level to which ants can recognize kin, ants of the same colony, as well as different brood stages. The patterns of diversity in recognition systems of ants still remain unknown today.

The ergonomic analysis of ant colonies shows a range of roles allocated to different castes. The ant colony workers are subdivided into minors, medias, and majors. There are temporal castes with changing roles over individual ant’s lifespans.

While ants do have the capability of learning to some extent, it is important to consider the colony as a super-organism, with homeostatic responses and flexibility in behavior. A notable example is the thermoregulation of nests and humidity control.

About two hundred pages of The Ants book cover some of the specializations of ants. Three chapters cover ant’s symbiotic relationships and five chapters cover tropic specialization. While ants have predators and parasites, it is important you view the ant colony as an ecosystem for symbioses. On relationships with plants, they are equally varied. Ants offer protection to plants and plants provide shelter to ants in return.

The Ants book has plenty of amazing, highly detailed images throughout the book. Similarly, effective use is made of line diagrams, graphs, and maps to break up the dense biological data. If you find ants interesting or want to learn more about them, you can’t find a better reference material then The Ants.

For better or worse, till death do us part : A Review of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars

Cancer is one illness that was always a taboo subject to talk about. Albeit being widespread, many people refused to utter the C word and often beat around the bush once the topic is being brought up. Although it is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, its origins still remain to be a mystery, albeit the many theories. But given the magnitude of this disease, cancer has caused panic in most people, rendering them unable to even discuss it at length.

However the recent years have seen a change in the mindset of people all over the world. Science has reached breakthroughs that allow new medications and solutions for people stricken with cancer. With the many changes come a growing number of cancer survivors, which have caused cancer to be a more approachable topic. But since cancer is still a devastating illness for both the patient and their loved ones, it is often used as the medium to add drama to both novel and film. Many a book, television show and movie have used cancer as the pivotal focus as the ailment add more heart and depth to any show or book you would come across. And this is depicted in the New York Times best-seller The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

The phenomenal success of Green’s top-selling novel comes about due to the way he wrote the book. Although the book was written for young adults, the book was filled with wisdom and depth that drew youth readers. Coupled with the realistic and raw glimpse into the illness of cancer, this book shows the reality of the illness and how it can affect anyone from any age.

As seen in the book, the ones that are hit the hardest would be the children. As the illness would rob them of a normal life, children stricken with cancer often do not have a childhood to speak of, let alone a semblance of normalcy. Narrated by Hazel Grace Lancaster, the book shows her life as she battles thyroid cancer. Since the age of 13, she has stopped leading a normal life and has been relegated to use drugs to keep her alive. Carrying a tank of oxygen everywhere she goes, she is not able to attend school like other people her age. Moreover she is not able to do normal mundane things. In fact, she would have loved to help around at home and even find out how to kill a termite as seen here. But because of her situation, she cannot do anything else except focus on her illness. Due to her dire situation, she is lonely and becomes depressed. Her lonesomeness leads her to join a support group, where she meets Augustus Waters. Clicking and becoming instant friends, Hazel has the time of her life because of Augustus. Due to their illness, both teens portray zest for life that is not seen in many people.

Due to the elegant way Green wrote the book, one would feel the joy and love the teens felt for life and one another as their relationship progressed. Filled with tenderness, Green has opened up a whole world of emotions by depicting the angst of two teenagers who find themselves in love with one another while facing their impending death. Unlike other books that deal with teenage feelings, Green does not trivialize the emotions of teenagers. In fact he delves in the rawness and pureness of it, allowing readers to truly feel his characters.

Without a doubt, one of the best novels in the young adult genre, The Fault in the Stars is definitely one to be hyped about.

Believe It or Not I Read a Book About Knives

Time for another book review! I think you’ll all be a little surprised at this one since it is not one of my usual interests. However, I like to know about all walks of life and all types of people. There are so many sub-cultures to explore and it seems that there are more every day. In the internet age especially there is so much access to everything you want to know with just a few clicks or taps. But… I came upon my the following book without even looking online, read on…

I was visiting my mom and dad and talking to my dad in his den and saw Knives 2015: The World’s Greatest Knife Book by Joe Kertzman. I’m not a knife fan but in the interests of keeping close to my dad I thought I’d spend some time looking through it. To my surprise it is really fascinating! If you let yourself get into something with an open mind you can really expand your world-view! Of course it helps that my dad is the person interested – the family connection gives a little extra impetus that I otherwise wouldn’t have and got me to take the initial plunge into the pages.

So Knives 2015: The World’s Greatest Knife Book is a full-color paperback with plenty of beautifully shot photos. Some of the knives are quite plain and simple – made just to do the job and nothing else – while others are incredibly ornate works of art that have hardly ever been handled let alone used. Personally I’m fine with all types: knives displayed in glass cases on a mantlepiece and, of course, the simple kitchen knives that I use every day to chop my veggies to throw in the pressure cooker I bought recently (I’m so proud of it! I bought it on this top pressure cooker site). My favourite style was the folding knife: compact and easy to take along on a hike or camping trip and with it’s own built-in blade protector – unfold the knife and it’s ready to use, fold it and the blade is safe and, more importantly, you are safe from the blade! Dad said that the next time he visits REI he is going to find me the best folding knife possible. I said try looking online and doing some research first and don’t just rely on the one book and one source.

But more on the book… it is written in easy-to-understand prose and for a wide audience. I’m sure there are more technical and specialist books for the real knife aficionados out there but this one suited me just fine; I have no intention of becoming an expert. The book’s owner, my dad, commented that he likes that the knife suppliers and makers are included in the book, and that seems only fair to me. If the knife makers are kind enough to supply the knife then the author and publisher should be kind enough to provide contact info. I found it really educational to learn about the different types of steel and the different types of processes used to make knives. The story-telling style and the familiar friendly tone of the writers made it easy to read and sometimes even hard to put down as I got pulled into the lifestyle (if only in my mind!).

So, I would recommend Knives 2015: The World’s Greatest Knife Book, but if you miss it this year you can always pick up the 2016 edition in a few months time. It is a yearly publication!

Choosing the Best Books to Prepare You for a Medical Assistant Exam

It is not easy to take the medical assistant exams. There are a lot of people who attempt to pass the test, but only a few people successfully make it. Though it takes a lot of medical knowledge and practice to do well in the test, the key is to have the right reviewer with you. Once you have a really comprehensive book, you are almost assured of passing the test.

General Reviewer

If you want a book that covers everything that you need for the test, you need to check out the Certified Medical Assistant Exam Secrets Study Guide. This is one of the most reliable options when it comes to medical assistant exam. It is very comprehensive. It discusses a lot of areas very well. It also provides practice exercises. You can also get links so you will be pointed out to other sources that will enhance your knowledge about different relevant subject matters.

Enhancing the Basics

The exam is mainly about medical terminologies. There are questions that you can only answer if you understand the definition of certain words. Otherwise, you will not be able to answer them at all. Thus, if you want a quick guide, you can check out the Medical Terminology: The Basics. It provides a list of medical terms and their quick definitions. While you are traveling, you can bring this light reviewer with you. This will help refresh you with some of the most important terms you need to know. 

Some Notes

Once you are done reviewing your big books, you might want to have something light that has everything you need. This is why while reading, you take notes as well. If you are lazy doing that, then you just have to buy the MA Review Notes: Exam Certification Pocket Guide. This is a very light weight reviewer that has some quick notes that you need. It is like a summary of all the terms and concepts that you need to remember for the exam.

Practice tests

When you want to be fully prepared for the test, you have to do some practice exercises. In doing so, you can check out the CMA Exam Study Guide: Test Prep and Practice Test Questions for the Certified Medical Assistant Exam. This allows you to practice for the actual test. It pays a lot to know how it feels to do the actual test rather than doing it on the spot for the first time. You can also read the instructions and follow them carefully. Sometimes, examinees fail because of their inability to read instructions well.

Once you have gone through all these books and reviewers, you are most certainly ready for the test. All you need to do is to stay focused and you will pass the exams with flying colors. You also have to keep your mind out of things that could possibly bother you while taking the test. Aside from the books mentioned, you may also visit for more information on how to be a good medical assistant.  

A Quick Review of “Viewing the Constellations for Beginners”

Good afternoon fellow book worms! Today, I’ll be reviewing something a bit out of the ordinary from my usual beloved genres.  Recently, I picked up “Viewing the Constellations for Beginners,” in honor of Jacob’s recent foray into astronomy 101.  Before I begin, let me give you background as to how I got my hands on this book in the first place.

Jacob, my boyfriend, has had a tough time since he graduated high school because he cannot commit to a career and feels pressured daily to do so.  He has been working at a bar back in town for two years since his graduation and things are beginning to get too stale for him.  I, myself, revel in being able to take college-level English courses and discuss literature online for hours.  I think he sees my passion and it is motivating him to do better for himself.  After long hours of discussion, he has finally enrolled at the local community college part-time and is embarking on his general education requirements.  For his science elective, he has chosen to take astronomy.

This is a momentous step forward for Jacob (in my eyes) and I am so unbelievably proud and want nothing more than to be supportive of him as he attends college for the first time.  He has taken a liking to his astronomy professor, as well as the class as a whole, so I figured I’d do some of my own light reading on the topic.  This way, I can understand what he is learning as well and intelligently discuss it with him!

Jacob’s professor assigned this awesome project wherein everyone in the class must explore the constellations for one night and hand in a write up of what they saw and just a general reflection on stargazing.  To my surprise, Jacob is psyched! He has even invited me along to stargaze with him, so we’ve planned to drive out to the beach.  So romantic, am I right?

This brings me back to “Viewing the Constellations for Beginners.”  It was a bit elementary for my taste, as it is geared towards families.  It’s purpose is most likely aimed at parents attempting to get their kids involved in stargazing.  However, since Jacob and I are burgeoning stargazers, I figured I should stick with it instead of attempting to read a cryptic jargon-filled text.  “Viewing the Constellations for Beginners” is nicely organized in thirds.  The first third of the book has great pictures to teach readers what the various constellations look like, along with a brief history of each.  The second part is tips and tricks for how to locate the constellations without a telescope, whereas the final section is all about viewing the constellations with a telescope. The final section was particularly intriguing as it gave some very good tips for finding the best telescope. It actually suggests that beginners consider starting one of the computerized NexStar GoTo telescopes, or comparable models. That way amateurs don’t get frustrated struggling for hours trying to navigate the open sky which they will be unfamiliar with at first.

The book did its job perfectly.  It was easy to read and aided in our search for constellations, as well as my own conversations with Jacob.  It was so empowering having read about all these stars and then pointing them out in person!  We focused heavily on the first two-thirds of the book during our stargazing trip, but overall I highly recommend “Viewing the Constellations for Beginners” to anyone looking to learn more about the stars, or inspiration for a stargazing date!

Best Parenting Books

Today’s post is all about parenting books and I hope that my readers will get active in the comments section with other book suggestions. My personal favorite is “What To Expect” and it is now in its second edition. But friends of mine have brought another book to my attention called “The Shit No One Tells You” and I borrowed a copy of it to write up this review. So, let’s get started with what I like and dislike in each book.

What To Expect

This is one of the top selling books on Amazon and one of the most highly recommended on numerous mom blogs including The great thing about this book is that it really goes into great detail about how to prepare for everything from the first days after birth in hospital to the first birthday. This is by far the most stressful time for first time parents and there is so much that you need to think of.

The book starts with a great chapter on what you will need. It covers everything from clothes, to furniture, car safety seats and even information on ideal strollers for running and jogging. The advice given is chronologically set up on a time-line so that you know exactly what and when you need different things. There really is no point worrying about things that you won’t need until your baby is 9 months old when you are just home from hospital.

The rest of the book is segmented into the individual months and what to expect along the way. This really helps you to identify developmental changes, but it can also make you worry if your child is slightly behind in certain areas, so don’t read too much into this.

The sections that are really valuable for most new parents are the medical and first aid ones. Trying to figure out symptoms your baby may be showing can be very difficult and this book really does a great job of helping out.

Finally there are chapters that help moms and dads with the emotional changes and the tasks ahead. Many parenting books focus more on the babies and neglect the needs of parents, so this is a great addition by the authors.

The Shit No One Tells You

This is a good book and written in a very entertaining way. I don’t think it is even remotely as good as the one above, but it does add a lot of value. What I liked most about it was the matter of fact way that lots of parenting situations are described.

Some of the things are exaggerated to provide an added level of humor and I think that is a very good approach. What I am not so certain about is how beneficial this book would be before your baby is born. Reading it with the benefit of hindsight is definitely entertaining and most parents will be able to relate to a lot of the chapters.

Basically, if you want to have something to laugh about then this book will provide it. However, do not buy this book as a guide to parenting and dealing with all the ups and downs that come with a new baby.

Life Hacks on Skin Care: Two New Books to Read

When you’re 20 years old and looking as great as you can ever could, the last thing you’d want is to worry about advanced aging and sun damage. There are plenty of books and e-books that have been published saying that you’re never too young to start on a sensible skin care regimen and program.

Here are two ebooks that can help if you’re eager to start on a skin care regimen and keep the signs of aging at bay:

  1. Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist. This book by a famed New York dermatologist Debra Jaliman is a short and direct read that helps women attain beautiful skin as well as a much younger appearance. Skin care has evolved and requires more than just three things. It used to be enough to cleanse, tone, and moisturize your face and the whole of your skin to keep it looking fresh and young. However, free radicals have exposed the skin to damage much more than before that it needs something to repair and help it become rejuvenated while you sleep at night. In her book, Dr. Jaliman shares her wealth of experience as well as other tips which has made her the go-to dermatologist of celebrities.
  2. While the book gives simple and straightforward advice, it also supports practices and other methods that turn back the clock. A lot of people are now using Lifecell anti-aging cream; you may check out this page for more information. According to reviews, Lifecell works on the deepest layers of the skin and reverses the damage that the skin experiences on a daily basis. Only a small amount is needed and the cream is said to work best when started on younger skin rather than waiting to be in your 40’s or 50’s. It works on dark spots, wrinkles, as well as fine lines.

  3. Dr. Denese’s Secrets for Ageless Skin: Younger Skin in 8 Weeks. This book is also becoming popular not only with the mature crowd but even women in their 20s. It is a no-nonsense guide that offers a practical approach on skin care, which can be done by ordinary folk on any given day. Her advice includes a practical and easy to follow six step guide to skin care. A lot of people have said that this book beats going to an expensive skin care salon for treatment. While that claim has yet to be proven, especially by people whose skins are exposed to the elements every day, (say soccer players) the rest of the testimonials are positive and pleasant.
  4. Speaking of soccer, there’s this new epic soccer training program known to be helpful (see this link) to kids and young adults. The training program was developed by Matt Smith and contains not only videos but also PDFs that can be downloaded and studied much more closely. It can be very helpful to young athletes who really want to improve on their soccer skills and maybe compete in a professional level. The program is available online and many people have also expressed their satisfaction on the training materials.

Because Life Really is Stranger than Fiction

I’ve lived a life wrapped in a bubble of fiction. I’ve been reading all kind of books since I was really young; and I have no plans of stopping. Maybe until my eyesight gives up on me; or I’ll just get a computer software to read to me. The idea of that happening is no longer remote as there are several of this already available in the market today.

I have gone through several phases of obsession over certain genres. There was a period when I was into young adult romances. I was at that age when every guy I met could possibly be the one, or so the books made me believe. A few years after that, I became engrossed with chick lit and became the spokesmodel for female empowerment and self-reliance. That was probably because I had suffered a couple of really devastating breakups (yes I’m 20, so what!) and swore off dating for a good six months or so.

This period of self-discovery led me to the genre of courtroom dramas. John Grisham became one of my favorite authors and I quickly looked up other similar writers and wanted to look into this genre more closely than the others. None of my family members are lawyers, and up until reading I never thought that a lawyer’s life could be absolutely interesting. I also did not know that there are dozens of lawyers who specialize on different kinds of things.

For example, there was this book that was based in Alabama and the character had to visit a personal injury lawyer. I was curious and looked it up online. I was surprised to find that there were actual, brick and mortar law offices like these Anniston lawyers that offered this kind of service. I Googled a few more and saw that there’s one for family law, tax, child protection, assets and so on and so forth. But no, this did not interest me one bit to pursue a career in law. Just the idea of spending another four or more years in law school is enough to make me go bananas. Strange, but for someone who loves reading, I somehow feel that I have gone through enough school and homework for a lifetime. Or maybe I am just saying that now, but may change my mind a few years down the road.

Going back to my courtroom dramas and how I became quite obsessed with them, I once drove all the way to Alabama and stayed a couple of nights at this nice rental because of a novel I was reading. There were several things in the story that got me curious and wanted to see for myself. Of course I know that writers have some sort of “poetic license” to invent certain details or embellish facts to fit their story, but the information in this novel was surprisingly accurate. It was so riveting that I found myself reading and researching for background about the characters at the public library.

I will not reveal who the inspiration for the stories were in this blog post because of possible controversy, but it was very enlightening to find out that life really is stranger than fiction.

Crossfit Training Guide Review

Many people struggle to find a workout regimen that truly works for them. They seek the one magic formula that they are able to stick with for longer than a couple of months; the one that will alter their overall health, their outlook, and their entire lives with effective results. In recent years CrossFit has surged onto the fitness scene and gained an impressive following. CrossFit gyms are springing up in every city and the word is spreading like wildfire.

Before undertaking a lifestyle change like this, you must consider all of the factors that contribute to change. Diets have to be altered. Schedules need to include time for workouts. Extensive reading must be done to truly understand the benefits of what you will be tackling. The CrossFit Training Guide offered by is just over 100 pages of concise and informed literature. A quick read like this is perfect for setting you on the course for success.

The manual offers a wide variety of in-depth information and stresses accuracy. Their “evidence-based fitness” claims to provide and describe measurable, observable, and repeatable facts, rather than relying on conjecture. And they consistently deliver throughout, even including a section after each chapter to write in your own notes to reference in the future.

As described in the CrossFit Training Guide, CrossFit is a manner of functional training. The focus is to hone in on function rather than form through natural and varied movements. This allows your body to be overall stronger, more agile, and adaptable- rather than bulking any particular muscles. The workouts strengthen the human form as a whole.

The manual will take you through the very basic fundamentals of a CrossFit workout. It breaks down “The CrossFit Method” into 5 basic components- Diet, Metabolic Conditioning, Gymnastics, Weightlifting and throwing, and Sport. They move heavily into descriptions of a proper CrossFit diet that focuses on a balanced, protein-heavy diet. Metabolic conditioning, i.e. working very hard at a fast rate, is the core of any CrossFit workout and is discussed to great lengths. Gymnastics includes extensive descriptions of flexibility and basic human movement. Weightlifting describes proper form and effective exercises. To wrap it up, Sport discusses utilizing the strength you gain through workouts. It emphasizes a demonstration of the body functioning in a real-time situation that calls for the movements you have practiced over and over.

Many times CrossFit workouts run into criticisms of injuries due to its difficult nature and penchant for improper form. This manual explains the reasons for this can occur. When you are pushing your body to the limit, the chances of minor and major injuries can increase. Neglecting your body’s signals or pushing yourself a step too far can result in months of recovery. CrossFit trainers must focus on proper form above all else when conducting any workout and adapt to stress. This manual breaks down bodily movements, with simplistic and easy to follow illustrations, which allow you to get an idea of the problems you may encounter.

As always, equipping yourself with proper gear is essential. CrossFit is meant to be gritty and tough, but it can be made into whatever you like. Wearing fitness apparel that is comfortable for you is essential to training. You can find a range of crossfit gear guides and reviews at Distractions like pants falling down or a strap digging in can draw away from an effective workout. Clothes should be well-fitting and your shoes should be selected based on your foot-type and the nature of your exercises. Consider what works for you and everything else will fall into place.

By the end of this read, you’re left with a sincere understanding of the experience and methodology that has been poured into this fitness phenomenon. The CrossFit Training Guide is perfect for answering any questions a beginner may have, clarifying and expanding an expert’s knowledge base, and offering a concise compilation of the knowledge that is spread throughout the web.

Top 3 Books About Spray Painting

About a month ago, I decided it was time to give my flat a makeover. After all, I never really did anything to spruce it up when I moved in almost 2 years ago. While my flat isn't all that big, I at least wanted to do something to not make it look so cramped and shabby.

I realized that the first thing I needed to do was clear out all of the stuff I didn't really need around. When I was done with that, I got a good look at my surroundings and realized what I really needed to do was give the walls a fresh look. Problem was, I didn't really have the budget to hire a contractor to get the job done. Naturally, the only solution was to do it myself.

I discussed the idea with a couple of friends who have done some DIY home improvements in the past and got useful pieces of advice. However, they also told me that the first thing I needed to do was do a little research on how to DIY. Since I decided I didn't want to go with the traditional route of using paint rollers and brushes, I researched on other options. That's when I found out about paint spraying.

Here's the thing though, I know nothing about working with a paint sprayer. Yes, there are a ton of information on the internet but being the bookworm that I am, I decided to invest in a couple of books about spray painting. Here are my recommendations on the top 3 books about spray painting in no particular order:

Spray Finishing by Andy Charron

This is probably the best book for people who, like me, know absolutely nothing about spray painting. Andy Charron explains everything from the different types of surfaces to types of paint. He also gives recommendations for paint sprayer equipments beginners can use. The problem is though, the recommendations in this book aren't updated and there are probably better spray paint machines now out in the market. However, Andy Charron gives very detailed explanations on why he recommended a particular product. When I was shopping around for the best paint sprayer for my project, I knew what to look for because of the tips he provided.

Spray Finishing Made Simple by Jeff Jewitt

This book was written by Jeff Jewitt, a professional woodworker. It probably wasn't what I was looking for since I wasn't really planning on painting my furniture or anything. But one of the reasons why I am recommending this book is because it actually comes with an instructional DVD. Along with the details Jeff Jewitt wrote, I also got to see him in action on the DVD. This helped me understand spray finishing even better. It was also because of this book that I got the courage to also give my wooden furniture a makeover.

Alternative Art Surfaces: Mixed-Media Techniques for Painting on More Than 35 Different Surfaces by Sandra Duran Wilson

The main reason why I bought this book was because I was toying with the idea of unleashing my inner Picasso on my living room wall. I'm not an artist by any means but I knew what I liked. I wanted to add an accent wall in the living room to give it a bit of a character. This book helped me achieve the look that I wanted without needing to shell out thousands of dollars to pay for a professional artist. 

The Best Self Help Books For Young Women In 2014

As a lover of self help books I consider myself an expert on this genre of reading. Self help books are probably my favorite choice of non-fiction reading. There are serious self help books and books that contain a humorous side to the topic you are learning about. I once read somewhere that reading a self help book is better than a therapy session and a heck of a lot cheaper too.

So, today I will review the self help books that I felt were the best for a young woman to read. I will also recommend a couple of authors I feel are the best in their field and who will deliver information that young women will find empowering. So let’s get started:

Adulting – How to Become A Grown Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps – Kelly Williams-Brown:

This book is for young people who want to be more responsible and achieve more in life. Adulting – How to Become a Grown Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps is suited for young women and men, but let’s face it, when was the last time you saw a man in his twenties pick up a self help book. The author of Adulting; Kelly Williams Brown is witty, clever, funny and wise. Even though I am pushing fifty, this book was fabulous and there were moments I was laughing so much, I cried. This book was probably the best self help book I have read this year.

Adulting is an extremely helpful book, covering all the basics of life. It contains the simple things in life, the small stuff and the big stuff; like renting your first apartment or how to behave at your first work party. One example would be to not get drunk and sleep with a co-worker or worse; your boss. I highly recommend this book and thank you to my dear friend – you know who you are for lending me this book. It’s perfect for that pool side reading while on holiday. Adulting is available in Paperback format and Kindle.

A Young Woman’s Guide to Setting Boundaries – Allison Bottke:

Setting boundaries is something we all need to learn how to do, and this especially applies to women. We are more likely to let someone violate our boundaries than a man is. This book contains information that young women need to know and if they master the art of setting boundaries when they are young, even in their teens, then they will have this skill forever and will be able to respectfully put a boundary in place when required. Learning these life lessons will not only make a young woman proficient in setting boundaries and saying no without feeling guilty, she will undoubtedly become more confident, assertive and her self-esteem will soar.

A Young Woman’s Guide to Setting Boundaries is targeted towards teenage women and young adult women, but this book is helpful for all women, regardless of their age. Many people did not learn how to be assertive and set boundaries when they were younger. Their parents might not have been assertive. Listening to two people argue will tell you if one of them, or both have assertiveness skills. If you are a young woman who cannot say no, then this is a great book for you. It is available in Paperback form and via Kindle.

Nail Him, Girl!: Dating advice for Young Women – Monique Chi:

This article would not be complete without a book about dating for young women. This book was impressive and easy to understand. Monique Chi gives straight-forward explanations about men and why they do the things they do. For example ladies, men don’t call when they say they will because they do not want to appear too keen and they are terrified of looking desperate out of loneliness.

Monique Chi’s theories on dating roles are clever and she goes over the mistakes women make with men they date. Her premise is based on martial arts philosophy and without giving away too much and ruining it for the reader, her method and instructions on what women should do when playing the dating game are pretty great. This writer comes across as very intelligent when it comes to human nature and the differences between men and women. This book; Nail Him, Girl! is only available on Kindle, if you do not have Kindle, you can download this software for free. As far as dating books for young women go, this book was the best dating self help book I have read this year.

Well, I have recommended three books that I feel all young women should read as I have read them all and they are fantastic. You will learn plenty from these books. Other authors I recommend for young women are Rhonda Britten, the creator of the Fearless Living institute and four wonderful books. She gives great advice about self-worth, self esteem and learning to love yourself. One of her books is also a dating and relationship book.

Another author who I absolutely love is Dr Laura Schlessinger. As a writer, she is probably most famous for the books: Ten Stupid Things Women Do To Mess Up Their Lives and Ten Stupid Things Couples Do To Mess Up Their Lives. Dr Laura is probably most famous for her controversial radio program, where she has people call up the station and ask her advice. She is what I would call traditional in her values and morals. Being a traditional woman, I enjoy Dr Laura’s books. Some young women may not think Dr Laura’s opinions are for them. But if you desire a stable, committed relationship, then I would be reading her books and listening to her radio show and her advice.

I hope that you will read the books I have recommended as you will gain a lot of great advice and learn a great deal about life, love, careers, family and so much more. Chances are after reading some of these books or the authors books I recommended, you will feel more confident in yourself. Remember knowledge is power and the power gained from learning new life lessons can make you feel great.