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The written word has always been a joy for me.  I can not remember a time in my life when I did not have books. Before I was able to read them, my mother read books to me. As soon as I could read independently I was never without a book in my hands or very nearby.  As years passed, writing developed into a passion for me as well. I tried novel writing while home with my two children during their early years and was challenged to focus on the craft.  I never gave up the love even when I had to give up the pursuit.  Now, with grown children and the fact I am sitting on the other side of fifty I can pursue my dream of writing.  I have continued the reading quest but now the writing is attainable as well.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Acing The ACT: An elite tutor's guide

Acing the ACT is every student’s dream and Elizabeth King’s book by the same name is a well-written, practical approach to achieving the goal.  “Acing The ACT” is a tool for the student that sincerely wants to better an ACT score by careful studying and learning the tricks and strategies employed by the test makers. In the short time that it took me to go through the guide, I learned many strategies that I am anxious to pass on to my students.
             King breaks the process of studying for the ACT into three categories: memorization, tricky questions, and human error.  Memorization consists of just that, memorizing specific grammar rules and  math formulas necessary for the test questions.  Tricky questions deals with strategies to handle confusing or creative ACT questions that cause the test taker to lose points through failure to completely read a question or place too much weight on the way the question is presented on the page. Finally, human error trains the student to be aware of the consistent errors made while taking the ACT prep tests and learning how to counteract those errors on future tests.  Normally, much studying for the ACT is concentrated on cramming information into the brain to later be regurgitated on the exam.  “Acing The ACT,” focuses on what areas of the test must be memorized data and what areas are pure application and need approached according to how the question is presented.  
            The guide is furthermore broken into four main sections: the English test, the math test, the science test, and the essay. Each section carefully explains the components of the tests, how many questions and how much time is devoted to each area. Following this information, King gives attention to the approach in answering problems in each category.
            Overall, my favorite part of the guide is the clear instruction King has given to all students studying for the ACT.  In one handbook she has compiled a clearly written text that any student may use to better the chances of getting higher ACT scores.  I would recommend this guide to any teacher or student who is sincerely interested in learning how to get the highest score possible on the ACT.
FTC disclaimer: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

What Are You Hungry For? The Chopra Solution to Permanent Weight Loss, Well Being, and Lightness of Soul

Satisfied, content, fulfilled, may sound like the beginning of a self-help book, no surprise here, Deepak Chopra's newest publication is exactly that; however, what may amaze the reader is that Chopra's book is a diet book.  "What Are You Hungry For? The Chopra Solution to Permanent Weight Loss, Well-Being, and Lightness of Soul is his approach to tackling the problem of many Americans, being overweight.

Chopra's book is a refreshing approach to a common problem.  Weight loss has been a lifelong challenge for this reader. After trying many diet approaches that isolate food groups and rank foods into what is a good food and what is a bad food, and what foods must be totally eliminated from the diet and never eaten again; Chopra focuses his plan on finding fulfillment in all parts of life and eating healthy, colorful foods to the point of satiety.  Awareness is a primary theme in Chopra's program.  Being aware of bad habits and old conditioning, such as eating unconsciously and using food for an escape, are negative habits and Chopra encourages positive thoughts and habits to help the body find it's balance.  Chopra touts a mind-body approach to find each individual's fulfillment. Food alone can not nourish the body. The body needs food, yes, but also love, knowledge, and self awareness.  Through all these means, Chopra instructs the reader to find balance, become aware of the body, the emotions, the choices being made and over time a transformation will occur from adopting these techniques.

Chopra includes a contract in his book to make a personal commitment to follow the mind-body plan for 30 days. He says, "you will not go on a diet, you will not indulge in negative judgements against your body, you will live in the present and disregard the old conditioning that has led only to frustration and disappointment, and with an open mind you will focus on walking the path of fulfillment." The contract is a tangible way to help the reader look internally for support and not fall into the diet traps of deprivation and and guilt.

The book is well written with a solid  message that encompasses step by step advice, anecdotes from patients, and Chopra's unique medical perspective as a doctor of endocrinology. The non-fanatical process is easy to follow and can be embraced wholeheartedly  or  in part, but any healthy change in diet or behavior management is a positive step toward balance in the body.  The Chopra Solution to Permanent Weight Loss, Well-Being, and Lightness of Soul is as the book says, a mind-body approach and the key to lifelong well-being.  Anyone who is unsatisfied with their body size in any way should read Chopra's book, and find the balance their body is craving.
FTC disclaimer: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.