Twinkle, once a brightly shining star high in the night sky, is now alone on a journey to find himself again. He is like no one else now but refuses to give up his mission to rejoin the other stars and illuminate all around him. As Twinkle searches for the light he has been promised exists for him, he encounters one planet after another. Each of the planets explains in no uncertain terms that they cannot give him what he seeks, but each directs him toward Sol, the sun. Twinkle’s journey is long, and he is persistent; the lesson he learns is an important one.
Twinkle’s Starlight, written by Rachael Higgins and illustrated by Carole Higgins, is a beautifully illustrated children’s science fiction book that perfectly balances fact and fantasy. The sweet story of Twinkle’s journey to find his light leaves readers with the distinct feeling of hope, motivating them to persist in all things. Though an unlikely character and one who is different from any other in a children’s science fiction story, Twinkle fits in nicely with this genre and provides young readers with an oddly lovable character to champion.
As an elementary teacher, I was pleasantly surprised at the mixture of fiction and nonfiction in Higgins’s work. From cover to cover, teachers will be able to use Twinkle’s Starlight to easily illustrate elements of both fiction works and nonfiction text. I can see Higgins’s book being used as part of a science curriculum or as an integral part of an interdisciplinary text set for ages 6-10. Twinkle’s Starlight makes for a fantastic classroom read aloud.
Carole Higgins has done a wonderful job of illustrating Twinkle’s adventure. The paintings are quite striking and add to the nonfiction feel of the tale. While colorful and appealing to the eye, they are true to the images students will most likely have seen in their science texts. The illustrator’s style and choice of color schemes make the illustrations especially eye-catching. Every other page has a beautiful canvas painting of stars, planets and space that are all one-of-a-kind.
The stunning illustrations and touching story will have young readers asking for more from Twinkle. The message throughout Twinkle’s Starlight is a strong one and definitely one that will resonate with elementary students.
Pages: 27 | ASIN: B08LT9HH4D
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Decoding the Holy Grail introduces the “Potential Molecule” and presents a unified “Theory of Everything” that highlights the connections between science, philosophy, civilization and religion. How did this idea begin and change as you developed it?
My search for the truth started it all—the real truth, not mine. After several mystical events occurred in my life, I directed myself to ancient sites and sacred scriptures…there was a math, geometry that was evident to me. Eventually a geneticist contacted me and told me the science I was uncovering was related to his work in biological cellular development. We determined the scriptures, including factors such as the Holy Grail, held this unknown secret knowledge of creation…over the years I came to see that this process was directly connected to thinking and behavioral patterns, and that the geometry of this process defined a cell itself: one that was not yet visible to science but has all the potential of reality within it—hence, the Potential Molecule.
I felt like there is a great deal to be gained by reading your book. What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?
My hope is that people will understand that the power of Potential exists in their daily reality, and that they adapt the Philosophy of Potential as a central focus of their daily lives.
Why was this an important book for you to write?
The importance of the book was first to uncover the hidden meaning behind the Holy Grail and other mysteries. Additionally, I wanted to prove and display that the human psyche has so much greater power and control than people ordinarily believe, that there is a much deeper meaning to life.
Do you plan to write more books on this same subject? Or do you have other topics you would like to write about?
I have follow up plans for the book…actual examples and scientific studies of the Potential Molecule at work in people’s lives. I am also developing a computer model which dictates where, when and how space portals function.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Decoding the Holy Grail, ebook, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, philosophy, read, reader, reading, religion, Robert J. Flower PhD, science, story, writer, writing
Lance Vance Picks a Topic, starts with introducing us to our 9 year old, smart, cocky and impulsive protagonist Lance and then proceeds to follow his journey from the time he receives his Science Fair assignment to the day of the Science Fair. This charming children’s book follows his adventure, impulsiveness and knack for creating something new and is bound to inspire young readers.
Children are often afraid of science as a subject and science fairs can be a real cause of anxiety in not only them but their parents too. But through Lance’s story, the author successfully breaks down the steps of the Scientific Method and makes it easy and simple for children to grasp. It aims at imbibing and instilling scientific flair in children from a very young age. After all science is the most exciting subject, if we just introduce kids to it right! Lance’s hilarious yet thrilling experiments does exactly that. It instigates creative thinking in young readers. The storyline is compelling and keeps readers engaged. Lance is bound to fascinate them. The writing is lucid and that helps in easy comprehension of not only the plot but the insights as well. The illustrations are really adorable and will hold their attention.
I recommend this book to all young readers so that they get to enjoy science in its all glory and don’t associate fear with it. It is an interesting subject and science fairs allows them to create fun projects. I’m really looking forward to more of Lance’s adventure.
Pages: 53 | ASIN: B08CSZZ2W4
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Anyone looking for an in-depth discussion on what it means to be whole and happy would certainly benefit from reading Chester Litvin’s Life of the Sailor: The Psychology of Who We Are. Litvin creates an easily digestible work on an extremely complex topic. The author comes from, as he terms it, “the Soviet Collective,” and has clearly dedicated much of his career to understanding the psychological effects of radicalization of the human psyche.
Litvin goes to great length to help his readers understand why it is that there are always certain specific roles being played out within society, and how those roles are all a part of who we are as human beings. Coming from an oppressive society that fed on reducing individualism, the author sees himself as an adventurer into the psyche where he can begin dialogues between all the different splits in the human psyche in hopes that finding ways to nurture every part of the whole will result in a complete, happy, and satisfied life and self-awareness.
Through the use of characterization, the author makes it possible for readers to quickly grasp the concept of a person’s psyche being split into a variety of parts due to both internal and external traumas. There are characters who represent all the various types of splits that one could experience along the road to finding a completed version of themselves, and Litvin expresses the vital role of these characters to create healthy dialogues in order to mend the splits that exist between them.
More than just showing his readers that it is possible for a psyche to split into sections that become distant from one another, Litvin goes into great detail to show the methods and concepts that are required to close the gaps that exist within us all.
While some may not quite be ready to take on this type of intense personal introspection, the subject matter is still important and interesting in many ways. For example, learning more about the roots of some of our most troubling psychological states, including fear, anger, and others, helps to understand and cope with these types of things whether they are internal or external.
Chester Litvin’s Life of the Sailor: The Psychology of Who We Are is an eye-opening work. Whether the concepts discussed within are new to you or you have studied them before, the author discusses many important aspects of our nature as people, and he does so in a way that can be understood by all.
Pages: 228 | ISBN: 1450219047
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For anyone who suffers from hair loss, the topic can be one of immense frustration and aggravation. Not necessarily because of the hair loss itself, but because of all the conflicting information found on the topic. Any information coming from a seller or manufacturer of a particular hair loss treatment methods will likely be biased so as to pull in additional paying customers, and even worse than that, much of that information is often either outdated or just plain false.
Sifting through all the misinformation can seem like a daunting task, but when a book like Hair Loss: Options for Restoration & Reversal by Gustavo J. Gomez, Ph.D. comes along everything seems quite a bit clearer. And the best part is, there does not seem to be any angle in its composition or style other than to give as much information on the topic as possible, in as organized a way as possible.
Gomez’ book feels like a scientific study written for the non-scientist and, in fact, it is a peer reviewed work like those found in scientific journals. The author outlines just about every aspect of hair loss that is available to the field of hair loss treatment, and he does so in a way that just about anyone can easily understand.
Starting his book with detailed information about the way hair grows on an anatomical and physiological level, Gomez helps his readers get a feel for the underlying causes of hair loss, so they are better equipped to understand what the various treatment paths discussed later in the book attempt to address. Identification and classification of different types and stages of hair loss, in both men and women, is then discussed at length, before a comprehensive breakdown of all the known causes of hair loss. Once the causes for hair loss are understood, the reader gets to see how and why various treatments have been used throughout the history and what the most popular approaches are today.
The quality of work that went into Hair Loss: Options for Restoration & Reversal by Gustavo J. Gomez, Ph.D. and published by Halo Publishing International of San Antonio, speaks for itself. Hair Loss is neither a light read nor a quick one, but it easily accessible by all. Gomez produced a work that provides pretty much everything a person would need to know about the subject of hair loss, and that is partially why it has won so many impressive awards.
Pages: 390 | ASIN: B074TNDLR1
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Why are we here? Where did we come from? Is there a bigger picture than the existence that we know? Is human life purposeful? Humans have contemplated the answer to these questions, and others that are similar, for much of our history. Here, author Francis O’Neill makes his own attempts to provide answers through a mixture of science, religion, the supernatural, and some ancient mythology. O’Neill’s theories lead to a definitive “yes, we are here for a reason”, but the journey to his conclusion is more interesting than the resolution itself.
In Love’s Story of Why We Are Here, O’Neill explores one of humanity’s most philosophical conundrums from a wide variety of angles. By his own admission, the theories that are proposed are speculative, and therefore untestable. For that reason, much of what he provides as answers can’t be considered true science. Many might argue that there is no science involved at all since much of the book focuses on the idea of a living Earth (not terribly far-fetched) and the importance of extraterrestrial life in human evolution. Despite the very unusual ideas that are discussed, O’Neill’s theories are presented in a well researched and organized manner, often including quotes from well known scientists in a plethora of fields. The professionalism of his work protects the subject matter from ridicule. The excessive use of commas throughout the book seems to imply a casual, conversational tone but instead creates long and circuitous sentences which often hide O’Neill’s intended meaning. I had to read many sentences multiple times, which interrupted the flow of the text and made it difficult to comprehend some of the concepts.
The theme of this book is simple- existence, purpose, and an explanation for both. Curiosity is a basic human trait that propels us forward and O’Neill uses that interest in the unknown to explore these ideas from a fresh standpoint. While some of what he discusses is not exactly new, he creates a fresh combination out of multiple theories that have been proposed in the past. It is also interesting that he uses both science and religion to support his theories, since those two schools of thought are typically contradictory.
There were parts that laid out simple rules for happiness and self-care, which everyone could stand to be reminded of. There was also a quick lesson on quantum theory that is thorough yet simplified, and incredibly interesting. Ultimately though, much of the book had a very new age and enigmatic feel. While this would be appealing to readers that are already interested in such subjects, it would likely make very few converts out of those that are not.
Pages: 163 | ASIN: B07FDG9FSL
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The Transition, Initiated by Copernicus and Galileo, from Religion to Science: The Beckoning Bridge Many Find Difficult or Impossible to Cross’ By Lawrence H Wood is a nonfiction book that seeks to shed light on the dichotomy between religion and science, and how the two can continue to co-exist side by side. The author details the transition from a religious based understanding to a scientific based understanding that began to occur in the mid sixteenth century, and discusses the two different explanations of ourselves and our surroundings–how they developed and why they co-exist when such coexistence is a constant source of confusion and conflict. In this book, Dr. Wood, a science historian, focuses on examining the historical aspects of science to further the reader’s understanding of the subject.
This books is divided into sections that look at various aspects of the historical development of science. It’s a fascinating topic that is given very little attention in an academic setting, since most science classes focus exclusively on the actual science with no mention made of the history of science. I found it interesting to read about the historical development of scientific understanding, as people came to understand various scientific principles, starting in the 1500’s when Copernicus observed that the Earth revolved around the Sun, not the Sun around the Earth, as was the previous accepted belief. This marked the beginning of modern scientific investigation, along with the invention of the telescope and the microscope. I liked that the book described many scientific principles and theories and how they came to be discovered, and covered many different science disciplines, including geology, physics, biology, archaeology, and chemistry. I enjoyed reading about the discoveries and contributions of a wide range of scientists, from the sixteenth century to the present.
The book focuses on a variety of subjects from discovering that the Earth is billions of years old to modern advances in DNA and gene-splicing, but the author describes it in terms that make the information accessible to average people who may not view themselves as particularly scientific-minded. The author’s use of graphs and charts to illustrate points was a welcome inclusion that helped to further my understanding of the explanations presented in this book. Another helpful tool was the author’s summation of information at the end of each chapter.
Pages: 444 | ISBN: 1532024576
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It’s fascinating and scary thinking that the center of our bodies can contemplate its own demise. Our brains can study, research, and fear ailments like cancer and Alzheimer’s. And finding a healthy combination of these reactions might be our best chance at avoiding these terrible conditions. Dr. Shantha Kumar’s Functional Nutrients for Brain Health: A Vegetarian Perspective seeks to help readers find that balance.
Dr. Kumar undertakes a noble, yet challenging, task: helping the mind keep pace with a body that continues to live longer and longer. To do this, she applies her knowledge and experience to a full body type of medicine. In other words, the book’s advice goes beyond nutrition and includes commentary on exercise, sleep, and stress. In our current hashtag nutrition culture, where foods are elevated to savior status with little to no explanation, Dr. Kumar’s words become particularly refreshing. Take this passage for instance, “Olive oil is an Omega-9 monounsaturated fat which is a healthy option for the brain, although it is more cholesterol genetic (increasing blood cholesterol) than other unsaturated fats” (12). Rather than just uplift olive oil as a cure-all superfood, she takes the time to explain how some substances that increase brain health can simultaneously put other parts of the body under duress.
Additionally, the book provides a wealth of nutritional information that though aimed at vegetarians can apply to anyone. I particularly liked the section on fruits – which she lists hierarchically to indicate that not all fruits contribute to the same level of brain health. Just as useful was what food to avoid. I’ve heard a lot about why I shouldn’t eat artificial sweeteners or food coloring, but only now do I know it’s because they “increase free radical formation” and can “trigger generalized allergic reactions” (24).
Unfortunately, this fantastic information is buried in technical jargon. It’s not unusual to come across passages like, “the major apolipoprotein constituent of HDL-like particles in the CNS is ApoE which transports cholesterol and other lipids made by astrocytes and microglial cells to neurons” (14). Passages like the one above, as well as charts that occasionally stretch on for multiple pages, can discourage the average reader. In fact, one might think the book is intended for a professional audience were it not for the lack of sources backing up the information. Dr. Kumar is upfront about this approach. But this combination of medical terms and missing sources leaves the book in a weird middle ground: too complicated for average readers; too simple for medical experts.
Yet, discouraged readers should commit to reaching chapter four’s “Menu Planning Criteria and Strategies.” Here Dr. Kumar breaks away from the medical jargon and dives into specific dos and don’ts of brain health. This chapter transitions into recipes – which again prove more useful than the early sections of the book: even this meat loving reviewer admits that the bean salsa sounds delicious. People motivated to improve their brain health can trust they’ve found a worthwhile guide.
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