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Tonia V. (bvaughnfamily) - , - Reviews

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The Accidental Airbnb Host
The Accidental Airbnb Host
Author: Veronica Tercan
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 9/3/2020


Quick read.
Good information that's applicable to non-hosts as well.
Each chapter ends with a handy checklist/review.

Good tips for cleaning, decorating, shopping for practical items for the home:
- make sure kitchen items are dishwasher safe
- get two sets of good quality sheets per bed
- wash sheets & towels separately (towels take longer in the dryer)
- vacuum the couch


American Dirt
American Dirt
Author: Jeanine Cummins
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 30
Review Date: 9/16/2020
Helpful Score: 1


I just finished reading this.
I had a very hard time putting it down to go to sleep last night, but had to get some sleep because I had to work in the morning.
I was able to take it to work and finish in my down time.
It's one of those compelling stories that troubles you until it's resolved.
It definitely challenged my notions about family, trauma, good Samaritans, friendship, immigration - legal and otherwise, sacrifice, journalism, corruption...


Basic Candle Making: All the Skills and Tools You Need to Get Started (Basic Books Series)
Review Date: 7/8/2017


My 13 Year old daughter says:
"It was really good for the basics. Mostly focuses on paraffin and beeswax. It definitely has a lot of good information for reference as far as procedure and equipment."


Christmas Jars
Christmas Jars
Author: Jason F. Wright
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 28
Review Date: 4/11/2019


Sweet, inspiring, uplifting fiction.
It took me about two hours to read this afternoon - once I picked it up I did not want to put it down.
Really good reminder that giving should be a blessing on both ends, and sacrificial giving can be rewarding.


The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music: A Guide to Composers, Works, Performers and Musical
Review Date: 11/20/2018


I requested this from another PBS member, for my youngest daughter, to encourage her interest in music.
It's a bit much for her, and then some.

LOTS of information, very useful.
Type is small, so as long as an older person has reading glasses, or a younger person has good eyesight, no problem.

Approximate dimensions of book, in inches: 5-1/4 x 8 x 1-1/2


Divergent (Divergent, Bk 1)
Divergent (Divergent, Bk 1)
Author: Veronica Roth
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 460
Review Date: 5/18/2016


Reviewed by my 11 year old daughter, Katie:
After reading "The Hunger Games" I wanted to read another dystopian series. I saw several references that said this series was simalar. I was greatly disappointed to find that they are nothing alike. The characters do not have very much personality, and the main character was extremely annoying. She was whiny and unbearable. The story has some good ideas, but it was a bit over-the-top. There are factions, and if you fit into more than one faction, you are a threat to society. The antagonists are Erudite, the intelligent, the protagonists are Dauntless, a faction which causes chaos.


Dust of the Streets: The Journey of a Biracial Orphan of the Korean War
Review Date: 9/3/2020


Heartbreaking.
Heartwarming.
Inspiring.

One of my favorite quotes by the author:
"If I think about the Korean War, living on the streets and the orphanage, I could be 'totaled' by these thoughts; or I can use these life experiences to feed the fire to motivate me to make a positive change, and make the world a better place for our children in the future."


Review Date: 12/3/2014


I had requested this book several years ago for Christmas. It's jam packed with good info. But it's small, and the print is small, so I was a little disappointed. If it was bigger, or large print, I think I'd be keeping it.


Earth Ponds A to Z: An Illustrated Encyclopedia
Earth Ponds A to Z: An Illustrated Encyclopedia
Author: Tim Matson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 9/16/2020
Helpful Score: 1


Helpful information, easy to read, interspersed with illustration. If you have an interest in ponds, wetlands, etc. it's pretty useful.


The Elf Queen of Shannara (Heritage of Shannara, Book 3)
The Elf Queen of Shannara (Heritage of Shannara, Book 3)
Author: Terry Brooks
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 175
Review Date: 10/13/2016


I liked this series so much, I posted on my blog about it - here's an excerpt:

So, let me introduce you to a series (don't you love series? because when the book is finished you don't have to mourn forever, because there's another book to dive back into...? just don't think too much about the eventual end of the series...) that I can recommend with enthusiasm: The Shannara Chronicles by Terry Brooks. I happened into this kind of backwards. Grace & Katie & I watched the televised show The Shannnara Chronicles, and for the most part enjoyed it. As a mom watching with my daughters, I didn't so much appreciate the hot and heavy passion parts (less is more, folks. please leave most of that to the imagination - won't hurt the story line! I mean, that's not in the books...). But the underlying story sucked me in. And when the season was finished I was curious about the books. Since I'd already been introduced to the televised characters, the actors' faces remained cast in my mind, with Manu Bennett as Allanon remaining throughout the series.

Each book of the series has a good balance of action, drama and underlying good vs. evil. There's plenty of suspense. A good amount of heart ache and a lot of wisdom throughout. It occurred to me in hindsight that I should have been keeping track of some of those wisdom nuggets. Written them down for future reference/inspiration. Yes, I know, that's why you BUY the book... but at this point in my life buying the books is not an option. Thank the Lord for the library! So, before I took the Elf Queen of Shannara back, I copied out one of my favorite little bits of wisdom I'm going to share with you here. I hope that's okay with Terry Brooks?

Pages 164 & 165
The Elf Queen of Shannara
By Terry Brooks
ISBN 0-345-37558-0

Aurin Striate aka The Owl speaking to Wren:
"Wren." She turned when he spoke her name and faced him. "Let me tell you something you haven't learned yet, something you learn only by living awhile. As you get older, you find that life begins to wear you down. Doesn't matter who you are or what you do, it happens. Experience, time, events they all conspire against you to steal away your energy, to erode your confidence, to make you question things you wouldn't have given a second thought to when you were young. It happens gradually, a chipping away that you don't even notice at first, and then one day it's there. You wake up and you just don't have the fire anymore."
He smiled faintly. "Then you have a choice. You can either give in to what you're feeling, just say okay, enough is enough' and be done with it, or you can fight it. You can accept that every day you're alive you're going to have to face it down, that you're going to have to say to yourself that you don't care what you feel, that it doesn't matter what happens to you because sooner or later it is going to happen anyway, that you're going to do what you have to because otherwise you're defeated and life doesn't have any real purpose left. When you can do that, little Wren, when you can accept the wearing down and the eroding, then you can do anything. How did I manage to keep going out nights? I just told myself I didn't matter all that much that those in here mattered more. You know something? It's not so hard really. You just have to get past the fear."

I'm currently reading The Talismans of Shannara by Terry Brooks ISBN 0-345-38674-4. As wisdom nuggets come along, I'm going to write them down (fully cited with page number, author, title, etc.). Then when I'm done with the series, I'll go back and reread (Lord willing) - remembering this time to record the nuggets. Terry Brooks has a cool website with all the books listed http://terrybrooks.net/books/ ; there's a new reader list and then another list in chronological order. When I'm done with that, wouldn't it be great if I could start buying the books? I do realize that's what normal people do... :)

http://bvaughnfamily.blogspot.com


The Frugal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas
The Frugal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas
Author: Jeff Smith
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 22
Review Date: 12/3/2014


Nice hard cover book by the Frugal Gourmet guy, Jeff Smith. Great background on Christmas traditions.


Garden, Landscape, and Project Plans: 225 Do-It Yourself Designs
Garden, Landscape, and Project Plans: 225 Do-It Yourself Designs
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.7/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 4/19/2017


I purchased this at a Friends of the Library Book Sale for maybe $1 several years ago. Since then I have perused the 320 pages for inspiration and ideas for my garden and yard. I've been satisfied that I got a great bargain :) There are no actual plans but there are instructions and ordering info in the back of the book if you want to buy plans. I'll type the table of contents below so you get a better idea of what's inside.

I would keep this because I still enjoy looking at the garden sketches, but I'm trying to reduce my personal library so that my kids won't have so much stuff to sort through after I'm gone (like my siblings & I had to do for our parents).

The Table of Contents
---------------------
Gardens & Landscapes: A Layman's Guide
- Tips on do-it-yourself landscaping

Deck and Project Building Basics:
- Helpful information about the building process

Stunning Gardens:
- 47 backyard & border designs

Breathtaking Landscapes:
- 48 woodland and wildflower designs

Imaginative Projects:
- 57 gliders, gazebos, garden sheds and more

Distinguished Decks:
- 24 outstanding outdoor living plans

Studios and Storage Spaces:
- 47 spacious garage and guest house designs

When You're Ready to Order:
- Everything you need to know to order plans in this book


Georgia Atlas and Gazetteer (Georgia Atlas  Gazetteer)
Georgia Atlas and Gazetteer (Georgia Atlas Gazetteer)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 12/23/2018


We keep this in our car. Very helpful! Sometimes GPS is unreliable, so it pays to have one on hand to check and double-check. No batteries required...


Hearts and Hands
Hearts and Hands
Author: Darrel Trulson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 5/23/2017


This is my absolute favorite homeschool preschool book. I used this with my two youngest children. Great for beginning reading, Bible memorization (helped me as well as my young'uns).

There is a Bible verse for each consonant letter of the alphabet, and one for each of the vowel sounds. (short a - apple - Ask and it shall be given you. Matthew 7:7; long a - acorn - And God is able to make all grace abound toward you. 2 Corinthians 9:8) There is also a Bible verse for each number 1 through 9 (1 - One - For ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28)

When my young'uns finished these, I made a 3-ring binder notebook for each of them. Each page went into a sheet protector and into the notebook. That way I could group all the vowels together, and all the consonants. Or put it in alphabetical order. A definite keeper!

I highly recommend this very affordable beginning drill in letters, numbers and phonics.


Highfire
Highfire
Author: Eoin Colfer
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 9/2/2020


It was hard for me to believe the author was not born and raised in and around the bayou, sho nuff.
Fun and fast moving story about a teenage boy, his mama, a dragon, a crooked cop and then some. There were some crude anatomical references, and crude "adult" humor bits. I guess that is part of setting stage / atmosphere.


Hoffa: The Real Story
Hoffa: The Real Story
Author: James R. Hoffa
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 9/23/2020


I like reading biographies because you see parts of a life, an industry, a community, even a nation that you probably wouldn't on your own, first hand. You can see how some have lived out their passion and purpose, and the part of the world their life touched is changed.

I think this is a book about a life like that. Although Mr. Hoffa quit formal education at 14, that did not deter him from working hard, learning, and improving his life as well as those around him.

From Oscar Fraley's epilogue:
"His mind was sharp and his memory amazingly retentive as to dates, names, places. An avid reader, he spoke knowledgeable and with deep conviction on a variety of subjects including economics, finances, politics..."


A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
Author: Molly Wizenberg
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 26
Review Date: 2/11/2015


A delightful collection of recipes, and the stories behind them. I really enjoyed reading this. Copied out my favorite recipes to add to my recipe book.


Kindergarten : Language Arts  (Teacher's Guide) (Lifepac)
Kindergarten : Language Arts (Teacher's Guide) (Lifepac)
Author: Mary Ellen Quint
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 1/13/2017


Kindergarten Language Arts Teacher's Guide Spiral Bound.
I like this Spiral Bound Teacher's Guide because it lays flat and stays open when in use, however it doesn't last as long as a hardback.
A very straightforward and easy to use curriculum for Kindergarten Language Arts, covering Alphabet, Colors, Directions, Grammar, Listening Skills, Personal Recognition, Phonics, Shapes, Stories and Poems, Writing, Patterns, Sequencing, Size Concepts, Word Recognition.

Back in the years when I first started homeschooling, and had money to spend, I'd buy Bob Jones University Press textbooks and teacher's guides. I had no trouble reselling those for good prices. But as the years went by and we had more than one young'un, and hubby was self-employed, the homeschooling budget didn't allow for the high dollar BJU curriculum. So, we switched to Alpha Omega LIFEPACS.

The AOP LIFEPACS are easy to use for student and teacher, and have good info, but they just don't resell... So for content I'd give them 5 stars. But for resale value 3 stars. So I'm averaging that out to 4 stars.

If you choose to go with AOP, rest assured it's excellent value Bible based curriculum that covers it all from Kindergarten through High School, with electives - college preparatory rest assured.


Kindergarten Math (Lifepac Gold Teacher's Guide)
Kindergarten Math (Lifepac Gold Teacher's Guide)
Author: Lifepac
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 1/13/2017


AOP LIFEPAC Kindergarten Math Teacher's Guide Spiral Bound. I know the description says hardback, but my ISBN matches and mine is spiral bound. Go Figure.
I like this Spiral Bound Teacher's Guide because it lays flat and stays open when in use, however it doesn't last as long as a hardback.

A very straightforward and easy to use curriculum for Kindergarten covering Directions, Comparisons, Matching, Cardinal Numbers, Colors, Shapes, Number Order, Before and After, Ordinal Numbers, Problem Solving, Number Words, Addition, Subtraction, Place Value, Time/Calendar, Money, Skip Counting (2's, 5's, 10's), Greater/Less Than.

Back in the years when I first started homeschooling, and had money to spend, I'd buy Bob Jones University Press textbooks and teacher's guides. I had no trouble reselling those for good prices. But as the years went by and we had more than one young'un, and hubby was self-employed, the homeschooling budget didn't allow for the high dollar BJU curriculum. So, we switched to Alpha Omega LIFEPACS.

The AOP LIFEPACS are easy to use for student and teacher, and have good info, but they just don't resell... So for content I'd give them 5 stars. But for resale value 3 stars. So I'm averaging that out to 4 stars.

If you choose to go with AOP, rest assured it's excellent value Bible based curriculum that covers it all from Kindergarten through High School, with electives - college preparatory rest assured.


Let's Take Care of Our New Budgerigar (Let's Take Care of Books)
Review Date: 1/24/2017


I bought this book when I was about nine, and I was about to get a pet parakeet. I would definitely say that this book was very helpful in picking out, feeding, and taking care of, and training a parakeet. It even has instructions at the back of the book for how to make a toy for your bird.

Katie, 12


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