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I read 80 books in 2006. At least.

These are books I read in 2006. I'm not going to write a review or summary of each. If you want to know what I thought, email me or drop me a comment and I'll let you know what I though.

Cheaper by the Dozen, by Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey.

Belles on Their Toes, by Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey.

Organizing Plain and Simple: A Ready Reference Guide with Hundreds of Solutions to Your Everyday Clutter Challenges by Donna Smallin.

The One-Minute Organizer Plain & Simple, by Donna Smallin.

School Proof: How to Help Your Family Beat the System and Learn to Love Learning, the Easy, Natural Way, by Mary Pride.

Shopaholic Ties the Knot , by Sophie Kinsella.

Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui, by Karen Kingston.

Feng Shui: How to Achieve the Most Harmonious Arrangement of Your Home and Office , by Angel Thompson.

The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live, by Sarah Susanka.

The One Minute Manager, by Kenneth H. Blanchard and Spencer Johnson.

The One Minute Mother, by Spencer Johnson.

Everything Bad is Good for You, by Steven Johnson.

The Happiest Toddler on the Block: The New Way to Stop the Daily Battle of Wills and Raise a Secure and Well-Behaved One- to Four-Year-Old , by Harvey Karp and Paula Spencer.

Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression, by Brooke Shields.

The Redemption of Sarah Cain, by Beverly Lewis.

The Brethren, by Beverly Lewis.

Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel--Why Everything You Know is Wrong, by John Stossel.

Saving Dinner for the Holidays: Menus, Recipes, Shopping Lists, and Timelines for Spectacular, Stress-free Holidays and Family Celebrations, by Leanne Ely.

The A.D.D. Book: New Understandings, New Approaches to Parenting Your Child , by William Sears and Lynda Thompson.

The Butlerian Jihad (Legends of Dune, Book 1) , by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.
The Machine Crusade (Legends of Dune, Book 2), by by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.
The Battle of Corrin (Legends of Dune Series, Book 3), by by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.

These are some of the longest, most tedious, over-written books I have ever read. If it hadn't been for the fact that I wanted to read the whole Dune series, in order, I would have stopped a quarter of the way through the first book. I actually caught myself looking at how much of the first book I had left to read and being surprised at how much more I was going to have to slog through. Surprising, since I thought that Brian and Kevin did a great job with Hunters of Dune.

A Ride on Mother's Back: A Day of Baby Carrying around the World, by Emery Bernhard

While I don't usually blog about children's books, this is one I checked out for me. A Ride on Mother's Back is a delightful book which shows babies being carried around the world. The only bad thing I can say about the book is that I wish it showed Western European/North American babies being carried. The modern ring sling, for example, is said to have been invented in 1981 by Brittish researcher Rayner Garner and his wife, while living in Hawaii. But on the last page (and in the icon on the map for North America) there is a photo in the background of a baby in a structured backpack-type carier. Also, although this book is titled "a ride on mother's back", nearly half of the examples show babies being worn by grandparents, fathers, sisters, etc. A must for the baby-wearing crowd, though.

The Buck Stops Here's Stuart Buck reviews Steven Berlin Johnson's book Everything Bad Is Good for You.

Healthy, Wealthy & Wise: A Step-By-Step Plan For Success Through Healthful Living, by KRS Edstrom.

CEOs and leaders of major American corporations are healthier, eat better, and exercise more than the general population. Perhaps if you follow their diet, excercise, and lifestyle tips, you will become successful, too.

Sacred Cows Make the Best Burgers: Developing Change-Ready People and Organizations , by Robert Kriegel and David Brandt

You may know by now how much I appreciate a catchy, descriptive book title. This book discusses the "sacred cow" (defined as an outmoded belief, assumption, practice, policy, system, or strategy, generally invisible, that inhibits change and prevents responsivenes to new opportunities) and how to go about finding and eliminating them. The second half of the book discusses change, how to ready you team for change, and how to implement change so that it will be embraced instead of resisted. This book is helpful and interesting.

Baby Laughs: The Naked Truth About the First Year of Mommyhood, by Jenny McCarthy

Though I dreaded reading this book, it was not as irritating as Belly Laughs nor as dreadful as Life Laughs. It’s far from being recommended, but it was actualy entertaining, The difference between this book and the others is this: Baby Poop is cute and funny. Jenny McCarthy’s poop (subject of the other two) is not. Here we learn the answers to such questions as why Jenny did not breastfeed (had "inhancements" and had concerns about the safety of them).

Alpha Bravo Charlie: The Military Alphabet , by Chris L. Demarest

While I generally don't intend to blog children's books here, this one has become a favorite of our whole family. My five-year-old memorized the military alphabet and astounded everyone. One day, I was doing some alphabet flashcards with my three-year-old, and was surprised to learn that he had learned a great portion of it, as well. The illustrations are gorgeous.

For Packrats Only: How to Clean Up, Clear Out and Dejunk Your Life Forever, by Don Aslett

Clutter's Last Stand: It's Time To De-junk Your Life!, by Don Aslett

These books provide an exhausting exhaustive list of all the junk we buy or acquire; all the reasons we acquire junk; all the reasons we find it hard to part with junk; all the different ways there are to clean up, clear out, and dejunk; and all of the negative results of failing to dejunk. These books don't describe one method to simplify your life - it describes them all. The books are disorganized and one gets the impression that if you have read one Don Aslett book, you've read them all. The books themselves need to be dejunked. A heavy-handed editor would have done the trick.

On the other hand, I did find the books to be motivating and inspiring. So, if you feel helpless, don't know where to begin, and need someone to tell you, step by step, what do do, go buy The Flylady's Book. But if you are already on the right path and feel yourself getting into a slump, these books will do the trick.

Crossing Over: One Woman's Exodus from Amish Life, by Ruth Irene Garrett with Rick Farrant

Not a great book, but interesting. Ms. Garrett grew up in Kalona, Iowa, and mentions some places I am familiar with, such as the Stringtown grocery, where my mother-in-law sometimes shops.

I've switched over to the beta version of Blogger. The good news: tags are enabled. Bad news: it will take some time before I get everything tagged and the blog reformatted. Sorry if it's a mess in the meantime.

Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression, by Brooke Shields

This book chronicles Brooke Shields' battle with postpartum depression, made famous by her public feud with Tom Cruise, for which he later apologized. Ironically, one of the obstacles to Ms. Shields' recovery was her reluctance to use antidepressants:

The idea of taking medicine to deal with a psychological problem scared me. I had always believed I could solve my own problems in a natural and healthy way and was ashamed by the thought that I might need drugs. I came from a family of alcoholics and feared addiction myself. But the truth was that everyone was thriving in my household except me.
When I saw that she was endorsing a brand of baby formula, I was disappointed and lost a great deal of respect for Ms. Shields. However, the story of her meeting with the company's execs reflect the marketing techniques used by formula companies to undermine breastfeeding:

They kept reiterating that "breast is and always will be best," but that not everyone can or chooses to breast-feed. I had many reservations about formula and never would have considered using it had I not met this team of professionals. They insisted that they did not expect me to use only formula, but if Rowan liked Bright Beginnings, and if I was willing to use it as a supplement, then we would have a good relationship. They suggested I talk to my doctor to feel better about introducing formula and then call them. They said all the right things to make me feel secure about the benefits of their product, and I wouldn't have to stop breast-feeding, either. We continued to discuss the positive effects of their product, and they gave me a can to take home. I left the meeting and then went to discuss it all with my agent.
They obviously have a lot of practice feeding that marketing message, because it has worked on hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of mothers each year.

The major criticism I have of this book is that it just drags on toward the end. We get a play-by-play description of Rowan's first Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, which does nothing to "advance the plot"of the book, so to speak. Maybe there was a page quota she had to meet.

Overall, I liked the book and found it interesting and helpful.

DotMoms' Sarah Egelman interviews Sarah Bilston, author of Bed Rest.

Debtective has a few words to say about the new book by Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki, Why We Want You to be Rich: Two Men - One Message. Point taken, although I still plan to read the book.

Healthy Foods: An irreverent guide to understanding nutrition and feeding your family well, by Leanne Ely

Known best for her Saving Dinner series and for her Menu Mailer service, friend-of-FlyLady Leanne Ely's first book is a no-nonsense look at family nutrition. My only complaint is that some of the ingredients - like kamut flour, sucanat, or tofu - are not items that I normally stock in my pantry or cook with. I'm moderately crunchy, but I preferred the less-healthy but more family-friendly Saving Dinner. Still, some great recipes and information.

My Life as a Furry Red Monster: What Being Elmo Has Taught Me About Life, Love and Laughing Out Loud, by Kevin Clash

This was a cute book. The Tao of Pooh it's not.

One of the neatest things about this story was the way that Mr. Clash's parents accepted and even encouraged his making puppets and performing in puppet shows. He clearly had a passion from a young age. At the age of twelve, he would drag his parents down to J0-Ann Fabric on a Saturday morning to buy yards of fake fur. Although he was painfully shy, the author seems to have had lots of support and mentoring along the way to becoming Elmo.

Ooh, Doulicia has a book blog, too.

The Bully of Bentonville: How the High Cost of Wal-Mart's Everyday Low Prices Is Hurting America, by Anthony Bianco

In lieu of actually blogging about the book, because it's late and I want to go to bed, I give you the following:

Prof. Bainbridge blogs about Wal-Mart as the recipient of corporate "welfare" in What Left and Right Both Miss About the Wal-Mart Debate:

Once again, Wal-Mart is being used as a political football. On the left, politicians and pundits use Wal-Mart as the poster child for living wages and mandatory health care benefits. On the right, Wal-Mart is held up as a paragon of corporate efficiency.

Interestingly, however, both the left and right implicitly cast Wal-Mart in the role of free market capitalist. What's missing from the debate is the extent to which the Wal-Mart story really is the antithesis of laissez-faire capitalism. When you look under the rug, it turns out that Wal-Mart is a beneficiary of corporate welfare.
(HT: Ernie the Attorney)

The Shunning, by Beverly Lewis
The Confession, by Beverly Lewis
The Reckoning, by Beverly Lewis

This is Beverly Lewis’ earlier series about the Amish in Pennsylvania. The plot has a little less mystery to it, her characters and their lives a little less moving than her later series. She is definitely improving as a writer over time. Still, if you have liked Ms. Lewis’ other writings, you will not want to miss this series.

The Preacher's Daughter, Beverly Lewis
The Englisher, Beverly Lewis

Note to self: Do not start a book series that the author hasn’t finished writing yet. The final installment of the trillogy will not be available until October. That’s a long time to wait for such a good book. This series, “Annie’s People”, is a little bit darker with more of a mystery to it than the “Abram’s Daughters” series.

The Total Money Makeover Workbook by Dave Ramsey

This is what I was looking for.

Bed Rest: A Novel by Sarah Bilston

The back cover proclaims, "Sarah Bilston reads like Sophie Kinsella's big sister – a bit more serious, a little wiser, just as irresistible." Since I loved, loved, loved Kinsella's The Undomestic Goddess, (a novel about a London attorney who accidentally takes a job as a housekeeper), no surprise that I liked this book as well. Our heroine, "Q", a British lawyer married to an American lawyer and living in New York City, is put on bed rest half way through her pregnancy. She has to deal with the emotional turmoil of her bed rest, her husband’s workaholic, just-about-to-come-up-for-partnership lifestyle, and her quirky family. What I would have liked a little more of is to see what Qs life as a lawyer was like before the bedrest. Also, I found it a little unrealistic that she could drop her work so quickly – I know pregnant female lawyers who put in more than a few billable hours while on bedrest, even while in the hospital. Sad, but true.

The Insiders' Guide to Relocation: Expert Advice to Move Across the State, the Country or the World by Beverly Roman

Organizing Plain and Simple: A Ready Reference Guide with Hundreds of Solutions to Your Everyday Clutter Challenges by Donna Smallin

Positive Moves: The Complete Guide to Moving You and Your Family Across Town or Across the Nation by Carolyn Janik

Moving Without Madness: A Guide to Handling the Stress & Emotions of Moving by Arlene Alpert

Smart Moves: Your Guide Through the Maze of Relocation by Audrey McCollum, MSW, Nadia Jensen, Ed.D., Stuart Copans, MD

First, we were going to move. Then we weren't. Then we were. Now we're definitley not. But to be prepared I checked out everything our library has on the subject, figuring that if we did move on short notice, I would be too busy packing and such to do a whole lot of reading. The four books listed above are in order, top to bottom, of most recommended to least recommended. As always, anything that makes my "recommended" list will have an Amazon link on the left sidebar (although I am a bit behind in getting those up).

Insider's Guide to Relocation – this is the best of the bunch, with plenty of checklists and chapters for special situations, such as foreign relocations and advice for the career-interrupted spouse (i.e., if you are relocating because your spouse has a new job and now you have to find a job in the new location). Lots of resources and a related website.

Organizing Plain & Simple – even though this book had only one chapter on moving, it was extremely helpful.

Positive Moves - helpful, but this book, written by a "real estate expert", emphasizes the real estate aspects of relocation: putting your house on the market, mortgages, etc., and is generally more geared towards company moves. Best tip for moving: in your new home, tack up a street map to the dining room wall. Mark all the important spots – schools, work, grocery stores, friends’ houses, etc. This will help orient you and your children to your new hometown.

Moving Without Madness – Focuses on the Physical, Emotional, Social, Mental, and Spiritual needs of a relocating person. I need to write a book, because if Arlene Alpert can write one, so can I. Summary: moving is tough.

Smart Moves - Summary: moving is tough, and experts think so too. Explores the difficulties of moving in excruciating detail, as only a psycotherapist, an early education specialist, and a psychiatrist can do. Some good suggestions for helping children deal with the move and information about what their concerns might be at different "ages and stages". Generally, however, this book just points out all the different ways you have to be miserable while moving.

Get Clark Smart: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Rich from America’s Money-Saving Expert by Clark Howard.

I was really excited about this book. The cover proclaims: “Hundreds of Tips for Saving Money and Investing Wisely!”. How disappointed I was to find that the very first chapter of the book is entitled “Buying a New Car.” I read no further. No one is going to get rich buying a new car. Buying new cars is what you get to do after you have become rich. The man obviously lacks a fundamental understanding of money.

This is an amazing story.

No, not Hunters of Dune, though it is a great read. Rather, the story of how this book came to be.

Frank Herbert is ranked with the greatest Science Fiction writers. He penned the award-winning Dune in the mid-1960s and, before his death in 1986 wrote five sequels (Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, Chapterhouse: Dune). He also co-wrote Man of Two Worlds with his son, Brian Herbert, and The Road to Dune with Brian and Kevin J. Anderson. Before his death, Frank Herbert discussed with his son his plans for a seventh Dune novel. As Herbert and Anderson explain in the Author's Note to Hunters of Dune:

In 1997, more than a decade after the death of his father, Brian began to discuss with Kevin J. Anderson the possibility of completing the project, of writing the fabled Dune 7. But apparently Frank Herbert had left no notes, and we thought we would have to do the project based solely on our own imaginations. After further discussions, we realized that a great deal of preliminary work needed to be completed before we could tackle Dune 7 - not just laying groundwork for the story itself, but also reintroducing the book-buying audience and a whole new generation of readers to the incredible, highly imaginative Dune universe.

More than twenty years have passed since the publication of Chapterhouse: Dune. while many readers loved the original classic Dune or even the first three books in the series, a significant portion of the audience had not continued all the way through to that last book. We needed to reawaken interest and get those readers prepared.

We decided to write a trilogy of prequels first... When we began to dig through all of Frank Herbert's stored papers in preparation for writing House Atreides, Brian was surprised to learn of two safe-deposit boxes that his father had taken out before his death. Inside the boxes, Brian and an estate attorney discovered a dot-matrix printout and two old-style computer disks labeled "Dune 7 Outline" and "Dune 7 Notes" - pages describing exactly where the creator of Dune had intended to take his story.
For more information, check out The Official Dune Website and the Wikis for Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune.

Bekah of The Road Well Traveled posts some comments on Leboyer's Birth Without Violence, and I respond.

The Prodigal (Abram's Daughters) by Beverly Lewis

Book 4 in the Abram's Daughters series. The only problem is our library doesn't have book 5, The Revelation, so I am stuck with listening to it as an audiobook, or scrounging around for a used copy.

Financial Peace: Restoring Financial Hope to You and Your Family by Dave Ramsey

I'd been listening to David Ramsey's radio show and really enjoying it, so I must say this book was a bit of a disappointment. Mr. Ramsey talks about financial peace, and a hodgepodge of other issues such as investing and getting a good bargain on the things you buy. But he really does not go into detail on his "baby steps" (one short chapter at the end of the book), debt snowball, and other advice he is famous for, such as budgeting (another short chapter). I'm hoping his more recent books will be more usefull.

Millionaire Women Next Door: The Many Journeys of Successful American Businesswomen by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D.

If you've read The Millionaire Next Door, you know the basic setup for this book. It is a sociological approach to wealth; if the average millionaire is frugal, drives old cars, and drinks cheap domestic beer, do the same and you will get rich, too. In Millionaire Women, the author examines the ways in which female millionaires are different from male millionaires. This book had some good points, but way too much discussion on the relationship of women to their husbands and their parents. Frankly, I found the book boring and way too long.

Give Me a Break : How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media... by John Stossel

I read Stossel's Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity and really liked it (but haven't blogged it yet). Give Me A Break is ok, but not great. As Stossel explains, he wrote the book in order to say the things that, because of producers, advertisers, and lawyers, he couldn't say on ABC's 20/20. I don't agree with all his conclusions, but he does a great job at exposing commonly held myths and gets to the truth - although sometimes the truth is more complicated than he makes it out to be. I'm recommending this book, but you should skip it and read Myths, Lies instead.

Can She Be Stopped? : Hillary Clinton Will Be the Next President of the United States Unless . . . by John Podhoretz

Three thoughts on this book:

1) This book is a roadmap for the Republicans on how to prevent Hillary from getting elected. Now, is it really a good idea to come up with a strategy and then publish it for everybody, including the Democratic strategists, to read?

2) Mr. Podhoretz just doesn't make a good case against Hillary. He seems to be writing to an audience that is already convinced that she is the anti-Christ. While I am wary of a Hillary presidency, it's not because of anything he wrote in this book. He could have done a better job at the outset of building a case against her.

3) His ultimate solution, if you don't want to read the book, is that Rudolph Giuliani needs to run against her, and change his position on abortion to a pro-life stance (he maintains that every politician is entitled to change their position on this issue once and only once).

I'm recommending this book, because it is an interesting read, but only marginally.

The Sacrifice by Beverly Lewis

The Betrayal by Beverly Lewis

Books 2 and 3 in the Abram's Daughters series. I can hardly wait to read books 4 & 5 (tomorrow is library day. Yipee!).

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