"Laughter From Heaven." Barbara
Johnson, W Publishing Group, 2004, 120 pages.
Laughter is the best medicine, and
there's plenty of medicine to go around in Johnson's latest book.
This collection of touching stories, funny quips and hilarious
cartoons all direct the reader to a central theme: God's enduring
promise of eternal life with him in glory. Johnson's humorous
approach to developing strength and fortitude to combat life's
problems is a breath of fresh air in the self-help publishing
market. Called the "Queen of Encouragement," she currently serves as
speaker emeritus for the Women of Faith conference.
* * *
"Ex-Etiquette for Parents." Joan
Blackstone-Ford and Sharyl Jupe, Chicago Review Press, 2004, 335
One of the most important, and
neglected, aspects of a divorce or separation is the way parents
conduct themselves around their children and each other. In their
new book, "Ex-Etiquette for Parents," authors Joan Blackstone-Ford
and Sharyl Jupe describe the peaceful coexistence that parents must
exercise with their former family and their new family. The book is
divided into three sections and addresses issues such as integrating
the new partner, getting along with your spouse's ex, improving the
extended family relations and how to handle delicate situations such
as holidays and special occasions. An outstanding bibliography of
information available on this topic concludes the book.
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"Wild and Scenic Illinois."
Robert Hutchinson (text) and Willard Clay (photography), Brown Trout
Publishers, 2004, 167 pages.
Simply stated, this may be the
coffee-table book of the year. Author Hutchinson has teamed up with
photographer Clay to produce a book of breathtaking photography and
informative writing on the natural beauty of the Prairie State.
Dividing the book geographically into the state's four scientific
landforms -- central lowland, Ozark plateaus, interior low plateaus
and coastal plain -- Hutchinson and Clay have shattered the
stereotype of Illinois as a flat plain containing endless rows of
corn and soybeans. The state has an abundance of natural wonders and
supports a diversity of ecosystems. These ecosystems are captured on
film in a spectacular way that is guaranteed to capture any reader's
attention. The colors are vibrant and alive and highlight the beauty
of the change of seasons in Illinois. If you are considering one
book purchase this year, consider "Wild and Scenic Illinois."
* * *
"The House to Ourselves." Todd
Lawson and Todd Connor, Taunton Press, 2004, 217 pages.
The last of the kids have left the
nest and now it's just you and your spouse. So what's the next step?
According to authors Lawson and Connor, it may be to "reinvent your
home." In their new book, "The House to Ourselves," they point out
that, once the children have grown up and left home, it's a perfect
opportunity for couples to rethink the concept of their house or
neighborhood. It is this opportunity that's explored through the
book's tour of 20 homes that are designed for this "joyous and
liberating phase in life." The book's central themes reflect the
different possibilities that couples can consider in planning their
new abode. Particularly interesting are the themes of the home as
either a retreat, a family compound or a office-studio-workshop.
Whatever your decision may be, this book and its stunning
photography are certain to offer endless ideas for recapturing your
home for you and your spouse.
Sumrall, Lincoln Public