• Sherlock Holmes:The Complete Novels and Stories
    by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    with an introduction by Loren D. Estleman

    Let me begin by saying that I LOVE Sherlock Holmes. I will watch
    the really old OLD movies on PBS and stay up at unreal hours of
    the night to do so.

    When I found this book with a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories,
    I almost left my cart in the aisle and went straight to the checkout and home!
    This book goes anywhere I go, if I know I will be delayed by waiting for an
    appointment, mine or someone elses. I have found myself saying things like,
    "oh yeah, I'll be glad to take you, I've got a good book and you just take your time."
    You think I'm kidding? I am serious! I now find excuses to give someone a ride!

    I will in NO way critique Sir Arthur Conan Doyle...my mama did not
    raise a dummy! I love his careful depiction of the everyday, the color of
    the fog in the early morning sunshine, the smells of the market in London,
    the way the train whistle sounds as

    Read More »from "Sherlock Holmes:The Complete Novels & Stories" Vol.1 Book Review
  • Whether you've moved in together to cut costs, test-drive what it will be like to be married, or because the commute back-and-forth to your significant other's place made you feel like you were in a long-distance relationship, chances are you fall into the category of what sociologists call "tumblers." This is a prevalent subculture among cohabiters. When I interviewed Cornell University social demographer and cohabitation researcher Sharon Sassler for my book, A Little Bit Married: How to know when it's time to walk down the aisle or out the door, she said: "Couples don't prepare for moving in together. Very few have talked about it. It's surprising how little discussion of 'we-ness' factors into the moving-in conversation." So, I came up with a list of Cohabitation Commandments. (They have been called a list that should be memorized by anyone even thinking of entering a cohabitation arrangement.) Here's a peak at a few of them.

    Thou shall expect the first six months to be

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  • 0108-talk-to-me_da.jpgHappy Friday! (And thank you for all of the birthday wishes yesterday!) While I am still in transit on my way to Rio, I thought I'd share with you this amazing little book I stumbled upon. It's called Talk To Me Like I'm Someone You Love: Relationship Repair in a Flash. Author and psychotherapist Nancy Dreyfus provides 101 flashcards that you can use when "the energy between you and your partner feels more unfriendly than friendly." Dreyfus says the key to connecting is showing a deeper level of vulnerability. And, she notes, everyone is different, so not all of the messages will feel "you"-but there are 101 of them, so get the book and read through them all! Below, I've given one sample message for each category, from the book:

    1. Shifting Gears
    "I am upset. This doesn't mean that you are a bad person…It means that if you could just listen, I would feel incredibly loved."

    2. Setting Limits
    "Rather than just criticize me, can you tell me what you want in a more

    Read More »from Found: The Most Crucial Relationship Advice Book Since Men Are From Mars
  • Getty ImagesGetty ImagesEarlier this week, the number five most e-mailed story on the New York Times was: Study Says Women With Mate Get Heavier. Yes, love handles have found their empirical source. The study, after adjusting for other variables, showed the 10-year weight gain for an average 140-pound woman was 20 pounds if she had a baby and a partner, 15 if she had a partner but no baby, and only 11 pounds if she was childless with no partner.

    I first heard about the mate gain when I was doing research for my book about the long-term unmarried relationship, A Little Bit Married: How to know when it's time to walk down the aisle or out the door . In 2006, Clay Risen wrote a piece in the New York Times Magazine about a study out of Newcastle University Human Nutrition Research Center in Britain. Researchers found that living with a male seemed to put pressure on females to consume more of the "unhealthy" choices. The irony, of course, is that females have a positive influence on their mates' diets.

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  • by Jo Keroes

    Ah. A New Year (note the caps). A time for resolutions kept and un.

    In this spirit, l can't resist offering my own resolution: read more books. The platform doesn't matter. Kindle, i-phone, or good old paper and ink - just read. Read more for pleasure and the exploration of new worlds; read more to learn, to entertain new ideas or even to revisit old ones, like New Year's resolutions.

    In this regard, consider The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin's entry into what's threatening to become the topic du jour- happiness. Rubin may in fact be among the bandwagon leaders, since she has a busy blog and website devoted to happiness projects, along with lots of fans. Everyone, it seems, has resolved to be happier. A former lawyer who clerked for Sandra Day O'Connor, Rubin opted for an early career change and became a full time writer. Contemplating her life as a successful professional in a happy marriage with two adorable children, she realized she nonetheless suffered from

    Read More »from The Happiness Project: Your Resolution for 2010?
  • Just about everyone is concerned with saving money. These three books, written by a pair of students, a mother of 10, and a restaurant owner, offer recipes and ideas for trimming your monthly grocery bill without sacrificing taste.

    The Frugal Foodie Cookbook: 200 Gourmet Recipes for Any Budget
    By Alanna Kaufman and Alex Small

    On their first date, Alex Small showed up at Alanna Kaufmann's apartment with bags of groceries and made salmon, pear and gorgonzola salad, and bananas flambé with ice cream. Kaufman was impressed not just with how the food tasted but also by the fact that Small put the meal together on his limited student budget. Over the years, Kaufman and Small spent a lot of time learning to make the foods they craved on the budget they could afford (they even started a blog, Two Fat Als). In The Frugal Foodie Cookbook, Kaufman and Small share 200 of their favorite wallet-friendly recipes for appetizers, snacks, soups, cakes, pies, main courses, drinks, and more.

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  • Until I read "Get Real" and Stop Dieting I thought I was eating healthy. I had paid a small fortune for my prepackaged "healthy" diet plan. Yet by the end of the book's introduction, I realized I was misinformed. I was on a "DIET" but I was not eating healthy. I felt like the duped emperor in "The Emperor's New Clothes" and Brett was the child in the audience pointing out that not only didn't I have anything on, but if I continued to be dazzled by "claims" and bought into "DIETING" I was destined to walk naked down the boulevard again and again.

    If you are the type of person that runs for cover at the thought of reading another diet book, you can come out of hiding. While this book has comprehensive dietary and nutritional information, a shopping list and recipes to get started immediately, this is not a diet book. Brett Blumenthal has drawn upon her years of experience as an advisor and consultant in the wellness and spa industry to create an easy to follow map. Her knowledge

    Read More »from User Post: "Get Real" and Stop Dieting" Book Review
  • "The Shack"

    In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant THE SHACK wrestles with the timeless question: Where is god in a world so filled with unspeakable pain? The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did me and him.

    the shackthe shack

    Mackenzie Allen Philip's youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives, a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.
    Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkness nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever.

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  • "Final Exam" by Maggie Barbieri
    Minotaur, 324 pp., $24.99
    Reviewed by David Marshall James

    One would think that any college professor who carries a teaching load of four classes on a Friday would be entrenched in the tenure pool of her employer (in this case, her alma mater as well).

    Far from it: Like Rodney Dangerfield, Dr. Alison Bergeron doesn't seem to get much respect from the uppity-up's and muckety-muck's at St. Thomas College, on the scenic Hudson River in the Bronx.

    Except, that is, from Marcus, the fellow who preps her "anything with bacon" breakfasts in the commuter's cafeteria on campus.

    So, the good doctor is fairly unsurprised when she's forced to accept the onerous task of taking over for a resident adviser who's skipped out after spring break, leaving St. Thomas in the lurch for the remaining five weeks of the semester.

    Dr. B is sizzling to beat her morning rasher of bacon, but she's not altogether unhappy to ditch her cushy digs, as they've been overrun by the

    Read More »from "Final Exam" by Maggie Barbieri: Book Review
  • twenties girltwenties girlI just finished reading Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella. I don't usually read chick-lit, but a couple of my friends were reading this so I decided to join in - and I ended up finishing this book in one weekend, it was that good! Seriously, this is the most fun book I've read in a while! Parts of it had me laughing out loud, and Kinsella writes some great characters. Even when I would put the book down for a while, I would still be thinking about Lara Lington and her ghost. Yes, there's a ghost in this novel but it's definitely not scary or a ghost story in the traditional sense. In fact, the ghost kind of got annoying but the book itself was still awesome. Sophie Kinsella is the author of the Shopaholic series too so if you liked those, you're going to like this too.

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