08.30.10

To Your Dog’s Health by Mark Poveromo

Posted in Review at 5:47 am by Amber

Title: To Your Dog’s Health
Author: Mark Poveromo
Publisher: Poor Man’s Press
Printed: as part of The Tree Neutral Program
Source: Lisa Roe, Online Publicist

To Your Dog's Health Cover

My husband and I are eating better than we were 10 years ago so it’s no surprise I’d be interested in what the Resident Corgi puts into his digestive system.  He ate Science Diet at the humane society.  It’s what the original Resident Corgi ate but I wasn’t entirely happy with it.  So I began searching for something else for the new Corgi.  After Science Diet I fed him one of the Nutro foods and kept finding expired food at the store.  It was discovered a diet high in corn meal or corn gave him dandruff.  Back to the drawing board…

This book is a quick read that explains how to make or pick a nutritious food for your dog.  It would have been a welcome addition when I was doing my research on what to get the Resident Corgi and now it just confirms I was on the right track.  We have an organic dog bakery in town that carries dog food but  it isn’t convenient to get to with regularity.  Our neighborhood store (it has three locations in the city) offers raw food and none of the mass market food brands like Pedigree or Science Diet.

The Resident Corgi is allowed to have “junk food” as snacks once in a while but his food and a majority of his treats are all organic.  To be honest, his diet is better than ours!

Poveromo is not a dietitian and doesn’t claim to be an expert in animal nutrition.  He writes from his own experiences and some of it is common sense.  For example, when switching from one food to another, do it gradually; it’s less likely to upset your canine’s tummy.  No food is 100% perfect and it’s okay to provide supplements to boost the immune system.  Isn’t that why we take multi-vitamins ourselves? 

I probably won’t use any of the recipes in the book – I don’t even cook for two people every day of the week.  And they’d probably be more helpful if they were scaled down to what to feed 10lb dogs.  Then each ingredient could be multiplied to the weight of the dog.  I’m not good at math but I’d likely make the recipe for a 70lb dog and divide it up for 2 weeks (the Resident Corgi is about 30lbs).  I have been known to make dog treats from time to time and this book will allow me to give the ingredients a more critical eye.

What’s nice is Poveromo doesn’t recommend or push any one specific brand in his book.  It truly gives the reader informaiton to think about and consider when choosing to make their dog’s food or buying a processed food.

08.20.10

Still Here

Posted in Event at 12:52 pm by Amber

I’ve been mostly posting reviews this summer but I’m still here!  In fact, just last week I finished up my judging for Book Blogger Appreciation Week.  Have you registered for BBAW this year?

08.18.10

Moonstone by Marilee Brothers

Posted in Review at 7:16 am by Amber

Title: Moonstone
Author: Marilee Brothers
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Source: My Own Copy

Moonstone Book Cover

Allie is a teenager living with her mother in a trailer on her uncle’s property.  Her mother, Faye, is busy trying to get disability.  Allie acts more like a responsible adult than Faye.  On the evenings Faye “consults” with her lawyer, Allie stays with Kizzy, the Romany gypsy the town likes to call “the witch”.  Allie notices strange things are beginning to happen when she receives an unexpected heavenly visitor.

This is the first book of the “Unbidden Magic” series.  Other titles include Moon Rise and Moon Spun.  Allie actually seems like a teenager.  She has two good friends she sticks up for, has a crush, and even takes the school bus.  Brothers manages to make Allie ordinary and extraordinary at the same time.  Allie discovers the power in the moonstone necklace Kizzy gives her and someone wants the necklace.  Badly.

I seem to find myself reading young adult quite a bit.  This strays from the orphan who discovers supernatural powers in so many ways it stays interesting.

08.12.10

The Kitchen Shrink by Dora Calott Wang, M.D.

Posted in Review at 8:00 am by Amber

Title: The Kitchen Shrink
Author: Dora Calott Wang, M.D.
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Source: Caitlin at FSB Associates

The Kitchen Shrink Book Cover

My best friend is a psychiatrist who works with military veterans so I was interested in reading what Dr. Calott Wang thought of the current medical system in the US.  The Kitchen Shrink is a memoir that reads like a string of stories to illustrate her points.

One example is how the family doctor who was paid upfront and treated like a family friend (or a respected community member) is now relegated to a physician number in a managed health care system designed to not pay the doctor.  I’ve seen her point firsthand.  Dr. Light delivered me when I was born and was at my oldest brother’s bar mitzvah.  If we hadn’t moved from California he probably would have been the family doctor until he retired or passed away.  Doctors I’ve had for several years (my family practitioner, ob/gyn, gastroenterologist, and opthamologist) I know well enough to ask about their families but newer doctors I would have problems recognizing them outside their office.  And I doubt they would recognize me. 

My insurance benefit form shows me the original cost of the services provided, how much was discounted, how much insurance paid and what is left for me to pay.  It’s difficult to make sense of it at times.  For example, I had blood drawn in May and June at the same facility for the same tests and yet the second blood draw was $25 less.  Who comes up with these figures?  It’s not difficult to imagine the paperwork hospitals and doctors need to fill out in order to get reimbursed for providing medical care.  Or to imagine doctors/hospitals hiring people to take care of the paperwork and deal with the insurance companies.

The flow of the book is good but I had to stop about two-thirds of the way through to give myself a break.  It was depressing.  I took two days off to read something lighter before returning to it.  Some of the changes and consequences Dr. Calott Wang describes were only visible to her in hindsight.  I think her book is a good place to start a discussion on how the medical profession became the health care business.

Author Bio
Dora Calott Wang, M.D., 
is a psychiatrist with degrees from the Yale School of Medicine and the University of California, Berkeley. She was awarded a prestigious writer’s residency from the Lannan Foundation. Dr. Wang has been in private practice and served on hospital staffs, and is currently a medical school professor. She lives in New Mexico with her family.

For more information please visit www.doracalottwang.com and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.

08.02.10

Mailbox Monday – August 2nd

Posted in Event at 12:14 am by Amber

Mailbox Monday

A big thank you to Chick Loves Lit for hosting the August edition of In My Mailbox.  This meme is known to increase your TBR pile so beware if you take a look at what others have recieved.

This week two books arrived in my mailbox. 

Fox's Bride Book Cover

The first was Fox’s Bride by Amy Ruttan.  It was a win from MayNoWriMo sponsored by Joely Sue Burkhart and has a nice personalized message from Amy.  It’s a historical romance about the Dread Pirate Captain Meg and her husband, Lord Foxton, who lives on the other side of the world.

To Your Dog's Health book cover

The second was To Your Dog’s Health by Mark Poveromo.  It was sent to me for review by Lisa Roe, Online Publicist.  The book is about canine nutrition. 

What arrived in your mailbox this week?

08.01.10

CSN Gift Certificate Giveaway Winner

Posted in Giveaway at 11:30 pm by Amber

I so wish it were possible to give everyone a gift certificate from CSN but I only have one.

Random.org chose #28 – Edmonton jb at Mom of Boys With Toys.  Congratulations!

July 2010

Posted in Status Report, Writing at 11:13 pm by Amber

These statistics are all for short stories, poems, or contest entries. Book reviews (and interviews) are not included.

  1. Sales in July: 0
  2. Rejections in July: 0
  3. Submissions sent out in July: 1
  4. Total stories/poems/contests pending responses: 3

Last year I didn’t have a good run in sending out submissions.  I think my May writing events got my behind in gear.  I’m starting to submit flash fiction pieces written this year.