Book Review: Women Empowering Themselves: A Financial Survival Guide by Antoinette Babek & Hollis Colquhoun

Amazon summary
“Women Empowering Themselves: A Financial Survival Guide” will take you through the basic steps to calculate your financial worth, identify your financial needs and gain control of your financial destiny. Inside are simple exercises and tools to help you understand what you own and what you owe and to show you how to manage your budget and debt, whether you’re in a relationship or alone. Keep this guide with you as a reference, a financial record keeper and a resource; you will become more financially aware and independent. It will be like having a credit counselor in your purse!
Inside this guide you will find:
• Definitions of financial terms and concepts
• Tips for organizing your financial information
• Marital and personal net worth charts
• Personal income calculators
• Household expense analysis
• Budgeting and problem-solving tools
• Debt and credit report explanations
• Warnings of potential financial pitfalls
• Housing and major expense evaluations
• Financial considerations for divorce negotiations
• Savings tips and financial goal setting
• Resource directory for information and assistance

My review
The full title of this book is Women Empowering Themselves: A Financial Survival Guide – For Women at Risk of Drowning Financially Before, During and After Divorce, but it’s a great resource for anyone. It’s short and to-the-point, with detailed tables for recording your  assets, liabilities, and expenses. The authors have also included a few inexpensive, easy recipes in the back to help with menu-planning and grocery expenses, and there is an extensive list of resources.

The authors also point out several financial mistakes that women often make (no, buying too many shoes is not one of them) and how to avoid them. Every woman needs to read this book, even if you think you’ll never get divorced. The sudden death of a spouse can have devastating financial effects as well, if you’re not prepared. Following the advice in this book will help women feel more in charge of their financial health, no matter their circumstances.

About the book
Title: Women Empowering Themselves: A Financial Survival Guide – For Women at Risk of Drowning Financially Before, During and After Divorce
Authors: Antoinette Babek & Hollis Colquhoun
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing, LLC
Release date: June 10, 2009
Pages: 132
Where I got the book: For free through the WLC Review Program in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble by D. Robert Pease

Goodreads summary:
Noah lives for piloting spaceships through time, dodging killer robots and saving Earth’s animals from extinction. Life couldn’t be better. However, the twelve-year-old time traveler soon learns it could be a whole lot worse. His mom is abducted and taken to thirty-first century Mars; his dad becomes stranded in the Ice Age; and Noah is attacked at every turn by a foe bent on destroying a newly habitable, post-apocalyptic Earth.

Traveling through time in the family’s immense spaceship, Noah, a paraplegic from birth, must somehow care for the thousands of animals on board, while finding a way to rescue his parents. Along the way, he discovers his mother and father aren’t who he thought they were, and there is strength inside him he didn’t know he had.

My review:
Noah Zarc and his family are travelling through time collecting animals from Earth – while the animals are still around to collect. In Noah’s own time, the Earth has been uninhabitable and all animals extinct for almost 1,000 years. There is a bit of “Take care of the Earth before it’s too late”, but it’s part of the story, and not preachy. (I think that’s common sense myself, but obviously not everyone feels that way.) Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with the project, and Noah’s entire family is in danger.

This was a fun book to read, with all the 31st-century gadgets, and Noah and his siblings picking at each other. The time-travel stuff made me a little dizzy, though. It always does. If you go back in time, are you changing events from that point forward, or were they always that way because you’d already been there… See what I mean? Time travel is fun; it just blows my mind. LOL

There was also all the references to the Noah’s Ark story: The most obvious one being Noah’s name: Noah Zarc. Also the massive ship on which they traveled and transported the animals: the ARC. The smaller ships they use to for short jaunts: DUV ships. The robot that accompanies Noah’s parents to Earth to keep records: MOSES. And we can’t forget Jonah the whale. (Not actually from the Noah story, but roll with it.)

I loved the twists and turns in the story and how it wasn’t predictable. Even the bad guy wasn’t completely evil. I do like a well-rounded villain.

While reading Mammoth Trouble, I couldn’t imagine what the author would have left to write about in a second book, but Pease did a great job of wrapping up this part of the story while leaving enough for another book.

About the book:
Title: Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble
Author: D. Robert Pease
Publisher: Walking Stick Books
Release date: August 13, 2011
Where I got the book: Free from the WLC Review Program in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: A Manic Marriage by Nina Mensing

Amazon summary:
Having lived with someone suffering from Bipolar Mood Disorder for over twenty years, Nina is better qualified than most to speak about the affect this condition has on relationships. From caring for her partner whilst he was suicidal with depression to visiting him in a state mental asylum after he was committed during a manic episode, she’s seen first hand the ups and downs of bipolar. This story is a journal account of her tumultuous relationship in amongst worldwide travel and finally marriage. Juggling motherhood, a career in journalism and photography, and a partner who refused treatment, she has been left with some battle scars. However, she has persevered and through her book, support groups, and community workshops on Bipolar Awareness her knowledge is now helping fellow supporters conquer and befriend this monster she calls Bipolar.

My review:
If you’re expecting a “poor me” story full of horror stories, you won’t find it in this book. In fact, most of the first part of the book is stories about Mensing and her then-boyfriend Bradley as they travel on a shoestring budget. Occasionally, Bradley would pull something frightening during a manic phase, but mostly I was just thinking, “How cool to be able to travel like that.”

The closer we get to present-day, though, the more we read about specific incidents and how bipolar affects not just the person with the disorder, but everyone around him. Mensing stresses over and over in her book that it is crucial to find not only a reputable professional to prescribe and regulate medications, but also a support system. Not just family and friends who truly understand what’s happening, but also others who have experienced bipolar illness. She also lists facts and statistics about Bipolar Mood Disorder to help readers understand what it is and is not.

As someone who has not had any personal experience with a person who is manic-depressive (as far as I know), I found this book to be an eye-opener and a little frightening, to be honest. It’s definitely worth your time if you’re looking for books to help you learn more about Bipolar Mood Disorder.

About the book:
Title: A Manic Marriage
Author: Nina Mensing
Publisher: Porcupine Press
Release date: July 1, 2010
Pages: 208
Where I got the book: From the author for free in exchange for an honest review.