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Holly "Book addict" RSS Feed (Indiana, USA)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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20 Retirement Decisions You Need to Make Right Now
20 Retirement Decisions You Need to Make Right Now
by Ray E. LeVitre
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.87
38 used & new from $10.48

5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book - some of the best money you will ever spend, July 11, 2015
I worked in the retirement area of a Fortune 500 company for 10 years and all I can say is that I wish all the people I sat down and talked with had read this book! People made all sorts of mistakes by listening to friends, relatives, or financial advisors who steered them wrong. People made irrevocable decisions based upon bad information that sometimes made me want to cry.

"20 Retirement Decisions You Need to Make Now" is a wonderful book that is marketed for folks getting ready to retire. It has explanations about decisions that need to be made at that point. For example: What kind of pension payout stream should you elect? Should you rollover your 401(k) money into an IRA? Should you drop your life insurance policy? He presents all the questions you should ask yourself and thoroughly explains the pros and cons of each option. He does an EXCELLENT job of not steering you in one direction or the other - gives you all the information you need and then lets you make the decision.

While this book (especially the beginning and end) are geared toward the soon-to-be retired reader, I would encourage everyone to read it regardless of where you are in your working career. There is an explanation of investment vehicles, the pitfalls of stock market timing, asset allocation, understanding how financial planners get paid, and other chapters that even the younger worker should read.

I have found that you usually need to read several books to get this much information and many books are written by people who have agendas themselves and the advice is biased. This is one of the best, most complete, and must unbiased books I have ever read. Even with all my years of experience in the field (and getting close to retirement myself), I learned a few things. It can get a bit dry, especially in the middle when investment vehicles are explained, but I can't recommend it highly enough. Sit down and spend a bit of time with this book - it will pay off for you in a big way.

Absolutely excellent!

Beach Town
Beach Town
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $12.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Middle of the pack for this type of summer read, July 6, 2015
This review is from: Beach Town (Kindle Edition)
This is one of those light, summer reads that doesn't have a lot of substance and is pretty predictable. While I enjoyed the book and don't regret the time I spent reading it, it doesn't rise above the crowd but it is better than many novels of this genre. There wasn't really anything outstanding (good or bad) and will fade in my memory over the coming weeks. I am happy I borrowed it from the library versus paying, what I believe to be, an inflated price.

Paris Letters
Paris Letters
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a gem of a book, July 6, 2015
This review is from: Paris Letters (Kindle Edition)
This book should be appealing to many different readers. For the armchair traveler, there are fabulous descriptions of Paris and the challenges of living in a country with a limited grasp of the language. For minimalists, this is the perfect example of letting go of your "stuff" and the freedom that comes from that. For the romantics, there is the love story that everyone hopes for (with a few hiccups, but nothing is perfect!). For the dreamers, here is a woman who has a vision and does what she needs to do to make it happen - chucking the job she no longer finds satisfying to do what her heart is telling her to do.

I loved it from the opening sentence to the final one and found myself totally immersed in the story of this interesting woman. I have the utmost admiration for people who build the life they want to live, and this is such a perfect example of that. The author allows us to go along on her journey and experience it with her, which felt like such a gift.

A book that would lend itself to being picked up for short periods of time, however I found myself wanting to live in her world just a little longer and consumed the narrative in just a few, short days. While some folks may view this as chick-lit or light reading, there is actually a depth to the message if you are open to it. A fun, entertaining read that is also very hopeful and uplifting. I will be recommending it to friends in the coming months.

Clever Yoga Mat Strap Sling Made With The Best, Durable Cotton - Comes With Our Special "Namaste" Lifetime Warranty (Red)
Clever Yoga Mat Strap Sling Made With The Best, Durable Cotton - Comes With Our Special "Namaste" Lifetime Warranty (Red)
Offered by HaveSomeGoods
Price: $14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal solution, June 25, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had been going to a yoga class for a couple of months and taking my own yoga mat with me. I like to leave it in my car so I don't have to remember to take it, but it was always partially unrolled and looked messy. In addition, carrying the mat into class was awkward as I had to keep it rolled using just my hands. I knew I wanted something to carry it in/with but wasn't really sure what. After seeing other people in my class struggle with the enclosed yoga mat bag, I decided that this strap looked like the ideal solution.

After using it for a while, I can report I am very pleased. When the mat is in my car, it stays neatly rolled and because the strap means the mat is no longer a cylinder shape, it doesn't roll around. Getting the mat in and out of the strap is super easy and I like the fact that it is adjustable. If I purchase a different yoga mat in the future, it will still fit that one as well.

The strap is well-made and of high quality. I anticipate being able to use this for many years to come. I am very happy with my purchase!

The Rosie Effect: A Novel (Don Tillman Book 2)
The Rosie Effect: A Novel (Don Tillman Book 2)
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $11.99

3.0 out of 5 stars O.K. read, but missing most of the charm of the first one., June 8, 2015
Being a huge fan of "The Rosie Project", I was enthused to read this second novel which continues the story of Don and Rosie. As many other reviewers have noted, I didn't care for this book as much as the first one. While still having some very good moments, there was something a bit off about the whole thing. I think my primary discomfort was the change in the character of Rosie. In the first book, she is quirky and fun while having the patience to understand Don and accepted him for who he is. Somehow in this second book, Rosie came across as narcissistic and manipulative. I don't want to give too much away, but she is dishonest and devious in the actions she takes and then becomes bad-tempered when things don't work out the way she planned. The cast of supporting characters aren't particularly likable either, so it became difficult for me to enjoy a large part of the book. Don continues to be a wonderful character but he, alone, can't save the book from being only an "o.k." read when taken as a whole.

If a third book is published, I will probably give it a try but won't stick with it if it has the same issues as this one.

Food For Life Baking Organic Ezekiel 4:9 - Sesame Sprouted Grain Bread, 24 Ounce -- 6 per case.
Food For Life Baking Organic Ezekiel 4:9 - Sesame Sprouted Grain Bread, 24 Ounce -- 6 per case.
Offered by FoodserviceDirect Inc.
Price: $36.85
2 used & new from $36.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Great taste and good for you, June 6, 2015
I have been a fan of Food For Life Baking Organic Ezekiel 4:9 - Sesame Sprouted Grain Bread, 24 Ounce -- 6 per case. for quite some time but had only found it in the frozen section of my local grocery store. Being frozen meant it was just great for toast in the morning, but didn't work well for sandwiches unless I wanted the bread toasted. I found this "regular" bread recently and am very excited. I am not a health nut (or anything close), but when I can, I try to purchase products that are healthy and this is one of them. I love my breads, but so many have processed flour and sugar plus ingredients listed that I have no idea what they are.

The ingredient list on this Ezekiel bread, which is available on the product description, only contains items I recognize and can pronounce. I feel like it is a very easy way to make my diet more nutritious and allows me to consume more natural ingredients rather than processed foods. Probably the biggest selling feature for me is the taste. It is wonderful! I actually prefer the taste of this bread over the standard grocery store bread. It also is denser so more filling. If I toast two slices for breakfast in the morning, I feel more satisfied and am not looking for more to eat a half hour later.

If you are already eating some sort of grain bread, such as wheat bread or multi-grain bread, I would highly recommend you give this a try. It is a wonderful, easy way to introduce better nutrition into your diet without feeling like you gave anything up.

Stonewall Kitchen Caramel Apple Butter, 12.5 Ounce
Stonewall Kitchen Caramel Apple Butter, 12.5 Ounce
Offered by MyQuickMart
Price: $13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and different, May 25, 2015
This past weekend, We went out to dinner with another couple and then had them back to our home for dessert. They are big fans of ice cream and the woman is particularly fond of caramel. With that in mind, I decided to serve vanilla bean ice cream topped with this and a wafer cookie filled with vanilla on the side. It was definitely a hit.

The Caramel Apple Butter is a nice alternative to the regular, thick syrups that are often used as toppers. This definitely had the consistency of apple butter and the flavor of apple butter as well with just a hint of caramel. Since it wasn't as thick, it distributed itself across a larger area of the ice cream and didn't get stuck in just the one spot where I placed it.

I was very impressed and will definitely be purchasing again. In addition, I think I will try it on English muffins since I like traditional apple butter on those and this isn't all that different.

Two Fridays in April
Two Fridays in April
Offered by Hachette Book Group
Price: $7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Roisin Meaney - an author to love, May 15, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Roisin Meaney is on my "automatic buy" list. In my case, that is a very short list as there are very few authors I am not willing to wait until the book goes on sale or becomes available at my library. She caught my attention with Semi-Sweet: A Novel of Love and Cupcakes and I fell in love with her writing in Something in Common. That particular book is one of my all-time favorites.

The plot/story line of her most recent offering is well represented by the product description, so there is no need to go into that since you can read it for yourself. What I will say is that I didn't enjoy this book as much as the others I have read. It was still very good - as reflected in my 4-star rating - but I didn't find myself as caught up in the story or as involved with the characters as I have been in the past. I was able to put the book down and do other things before coming back to it. In the case of other novels, I found myself not wanting to do anything else but sit and read until it was finished.

If you are a fan of hers, it is definitely a book to read. If you have never read anything by Ms. Meaney, I would start with some of her others. The early ones are lighter and some of these later ones are more weighty, but still never dark or depressing. As I said, my favorite is "Something in Common" so I would recommend that one.

Again, the book is still very good it just isn't quite in that "great" category.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 9, 2015 9:47 AM PDT

The Ladies' Room
The Ladies' Room
by Carolyn Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.99
39 used & new from $7.13

4.0 out of 5 stars Your reaction will largely depend on your personal reading preferences, May 9, 2015
This review is from: The Ladies' Room (Paperback)
This was my first book t by this author, but I chose to read it based upon the reviewers who indicated the book was funny and uplifting.

The premise of the story is that Trudy is in the ladies' room prior to the funeral service of her Aunt Gert when two cousins come in chatting away and, not realizing Trudy is in one of the stalls, begin gossiping about her. What she overhears will change the trajectory of her life. Her eyes are opened to how she is viewed by her family and learns some very interesting information about her immediate family members.

On the positive side, the novel is overall very uplifting (even with an initially depressing premise) and it was enjoyable to read about a woman approaching 40 as a main character. There were moments of humor and fun and I enjoyed the book quite a bit.

On the negative side, the reader must suspend disbelief as many of the situations strain credibility and everything that happens is way to convenient and predictable. The other thing that I found to be a bit of a distraction is the way the 39-year-old character seems to act and think in a way more appropriate to someone in her 50s

What is interesting about the novel, is that even with the negatives, I enjoyed it quite a bit. When I list the negatives, they are pretty overwhelming but somehow the uplifting nature of the book manages to overcome those and it winds up being a good read. This is definitely a situation where the total is more than the sum of the parts.

If you like more of an edge to your reading or prefer novels to closely mirror reality, I would recommend you give this one a pass. If you enjoy novels that are comforting to read and are sweet, clean stories, this one would be a good selection

InterDesign Ellis Hand Knit 2 Piece Mini Set, Gray/Ivory
InterDesign Ellis Hand Knit 2 Piece Mini Set, Gray/Ivory
Price: $12.99
2 used & new from $12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I really like these, May 5, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I love organizational items but so many of them have hard edges - primarily being plastic. It was refreshing to find these which had a softer look and gave a nice texture contrast.

They are well made and very high quality. The to knitting is tight enough that both bins hold their shape and only have a slight slouch to them. The stripes match up perfectly. One has a divider creating 2 compartments within the bin. The other has a loop which would allow for an item that might have a tendency to fall over but it is a bit of work to get it back in again once it has been taken out and used.

I wasn't sure what I was going to do with these when I purchased them, but ended up putting them in my college-age daughter's bathroom here at home. We put cotton balls, qtips, and other small items she needs and she can leave them here so she doesn't take them back and forth when coming home for a visit. They are nice enough to leave out on the counter but I have chosen to put them in the linen closet as I don't like any clutter if I can help it. The are a nice addition to the other containers we use for bathroom organization and they look very nice.

Quite pleased and I would definitely purchase other items in the line.

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