review: You’re Saying It Wrong

You're Saying It Wrong

You’re Saying it Wrong: A Pronunciation Guide to the 150 Most Commonly Mispronounced Words and Their Tangled Histories of Misuse by Ross Petras and Kathryn Petras

This book provides a list of commonly mispronounced words with phonetic (but using the ‘normal’ alphabet – no schwas or other symbols used by academics and dictionaries) pronunciations, definitions, and a paragraph or two on the history of the word and in some cases an anecdote about ways to mispronounce it. The authors note at the start that they go with the correct or most commonly used pronunciation, regardless (note: see their entry on irregardless!) of how many other accepted or colloquial pronunciations there might be (a few entries have more than one pronunciation listed, but most stick to one). The entries include commonly used words (spurious, sherbet), historical words that come up sometimes (wassail), famous people (Wagner, van Gogh), phrases (would have [not would of!]), and others. Throughout the book, one-page lists highlight the pronunciations of words that fit into a particular area of interest: fashion, philosophy, gourmet food, and such. A fun book to look through for folks who like words and pedants who like to be right!

full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Blogging for Books

review: David Bowie Retrospective and Coloring Book

David Bowie Retrospective and Coloring Book

David Bowie Retrospective and Coloring Book by Mel Elliott

This book is a tribute to David Bowie’s unique style and provides ready-to-color images of Bowie in many of his most iconic ensembles. Each image is accompanied by a brief description of the look (and even the description is outlined so that the reader can color the text), often highlighting the designer Bowie worked with. It is clear that the author has a deep love for Bowie and hopes to honor his memory with this book. Bowie fans and coloring book fans should all enjoy it.

full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Blogging for Books

Review: What Color is your Parachute?

What Color is Your Parachute 2017

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2017: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers By Richard N. Bolles

Readers will find what they expect in this updated version of the long-popular career book. It has been updated and includes information on now-standard practices such as managing web results featuring your name. It has the usual Christian bent which is especially apparent in sections such as Finding Your Mission in Life, but the bulk of the book remains focused primarily on how to figure out what you want your career to be.

full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Blogging for Books

review: The Secret Language of Dogs

The Secret Language of Dogs

The Secret Language of Dogs: Unlocking the Canine Mind for a Happier Pet by Victoria Stilwell

First up: I haven’t seen any episodes of the author’s TV show, so I don’t have any previous experience with her or her style. She takes the approach that we should try to understand our dogs and where they’re coming from and maintains that punishment isn’t effective (because dogs’ brains don’t work the same way humans’ do), both of which I think make sense. She also notes that if a person tries to be the dominant “pack leader” (as espoused by some other TV dog trainers), they end up as the “socially incompetent bully” rather than fostering a healthy environment within their house. This also makes sense! She also encourages each person to figure out what works with their dog and go with that type of training. Not every dog will respond equally well to clicker training, problem-solving exercises, shaping, or any other type of training; it makes sense to figure out what works in each case and go with that. Above all, “no matter how we choose to humanely and effectively change our dog’s behavior and teach necessary life skills, we should always respect the dog’s autonomy.” I heartily agree!

Stilwell covers some history and gives a brief overview of the basics of dog behavior, body language, emotions, motivation, sensory learning, aging, and more. A few tips are included here or there, though this book is primarily informational rather than overtly instructional. Plenty of references are provided at the end of the book and though I don’t feel qualified to judge the science included here based on my own (lack of) knowledge, the sources cited seem to be legit. If nothing else, dog-lovers will enjoy the super adorbs dog photos throughout this book.

full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Blogging for Books

review: Rad Women Worldwide

Rad Women Worldwide

Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History by Kate Schatz, illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl

This follow-up to Rad American Women A-Z includes short biographical sketches of about forty women who have achieved in a wide variety of areas: science, sports, art, social justice, music, politics, and lots more. I was pleased to see women from many cultures and backgrounds included – there are still plenty of white women here, but not as uneven a balance as most of the history books I’ve seen. This book is written at about a middle school level but the design is appealing to this adult and the papercut illustrations work very effectively at conveying a timeless feel while not seeming dated (so many books that try to “make history cool!” are designed to current trends and seem outdated almost immediately). It definitely has a bit of a zine-y feel, which I am admittedly predisposed to. Each of the entries is only a page or two long and it’s easy to dip in and out or read straight through, whichever suits you.

full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Blogging for Books

apples?

We planted two apple trees last year, and they are both still alive, though one seems to be doing better than the other. It was a REALLY hot summer and I think that they got more heat and less water than they wanted.

Forgive this terribly-lit photo:
This apple tree got scorched? or something, only looking about half okay

This one is the one that is not doing as well. It doesn’t have any fruit and part of it looks like it just got scorched.

This apple tree got scorched? or something, only looking about half okay

Parts of it look okay, though, with green leaves growing on normal-looking (as far as I can tell) wood.

This apple tree got scorched? or something, only looking about half okay

You can see the contrast there. I’m not sure what to do about it – need to do more research. If anyone knows more about this, please share!

Happily, the other one has several teensy little apples, so it’s at least trying!

A couple of wee apples on this tree

It’s definitely a tiny start, but baby steps, right?