Yule Time Reading

Educational Books, Reading and More!

Yule Time Reading - Educational Books, Reading and More!

My Favorite Teenage Fiction Books

Certainly Twilight has had its time to shine in the literary world, but when the time has come for a comparison test, there’s really no substance to work with in this world of vampires and shapeshifters. Also, the title gears itself more towards the female audience. With the following books, the audience is varied more widely towards both male and female teens. The City of Bones series nearly made this list, but it’s much too new of a book series to have only just seen a surge in popularity, and so it’s too early to tell whether or not it would take a spot in a “Top Ten Best List” quite yet. Although the following is a bit shorter; a top 5 list of the biggest teen genre books.



Coming in at number one is the world renown Harry Potter series. To say that these books did not make a impact on modern day pop culture would be a lie. There’s hardly a soul above the age of eight who does not recognize the signature circular glasses, the lightning shaped scar on a forehead, and the deep red and gold colored scarf. A few other icons that have made themselves unanimous with Harry Potter is the broomstick and the golden snitch, with its crazy quick flapping wings. Harry potter has been beloved by readers of all ages since its initial release in the 90′s. Continue reading “My Favorite Teenage Fiction Books” »

My Favorite Web Design Books

Web design has become the backbone of a business. Today’s era of a web sites have become the virtual door for entering a business. Some businesses will offer information about the products and/or it’s services, or the business will have a virtual E commerce store to buy a product or a service. This was not an option in the earlier years. But, the technical savvy people created the art of web design by starting from the basics by creating the first web language, HTML and CSS. This language has opened the door for many web languages that will create many different types of themes, designs, images, etc.

The new languages that were created in the early years were written and documented, which was transcribed into books. These books are used as an instructional aid to educate and train those interested in web design. The language and the new technologies have changed throughout the years, so the web design books are always changing. However, there are books that, regardless of age, provide the basic information needed to know the new techniques or software applications. Without a thorough understanding of the basics, one will not be a successful web designer. For this reason, let us take a look at the Best Web Design Instructional Books available. Continue reading “My Favorite Web Design Books” »

My Top 5 Stylist Education Books

Hair StylistThere are many great books for stylist but if I had to choose these are my top five:

1. The Science of Black Hair: A Comprehensive Guide to Textured Hair Care by Davis-Sivasothy, Audrey. This book is technically detailed and covers everything from maintaining optimal heir health, which shampoos to use, to growing longer and healthier hair. There is a special salon version that features full color photographs and color tab organization.

2. Make a Six Figure Income Doing Hair: How To Do It, Really. by Alan Daniels (Oct 10, 2012). Although this book is not about the process of cutting and styling hair, it is still one every stylist should read. Lets face it, we would all like to make a six figure income as a stylist but how realistic is this dream? Alan Daniels explains exactly how to build and maintain a thriving client base, everything from using humor with clients to tracking your business. It is not easy but Daniels gives you the tools to leap ahead of the competition and significantly increase your earning power.

3. How to Create the Perfect Cut, Shape, Color, and Perm for Any Hair Type: Secrets and Techniques from a Master… by Easterly, Cosmo (Aug 3, 2009). Cutting hair is all about Hello yes I tried and inspiration. Understanding how to read and work with different types of hair can take a whole career. Not only does this book cover every aspect of styling hair, it also goes into depth on how to talk with clients and build a strong client base. Written by Cosmo Easterly, this book is a must read for any stylist no matter their experience.

4. Good to Great Hair: Celebrity Hairstyling Techniques Made Simple by Vetica, Robert, Hayek, Salma and Messing, Debra (Jan 1, 2009). Celebrity hair stylist Robert Vetica dives into the work of celebrity style with this fascinating book and reveals the tips and secrets celebrities use to get their astonishing looks. Every client that walks into a salon secretly wants to look like a star. Vetica does a good job of explaining how to use these celebrity techniques on the average person to give them the best look possible. Before and after photos help customers pick the best hair style for the shape of their particular face.

5. Hair-Styling Tips and Tricks for Girls (American Girl) (American Girl Library) by American Girl Editors (Sep 1, 2000). If you are a fan of the American Girl books that have swept the nation this book is absolutely for you. With over 40 great styles for young girls and teens from knots to pony tails to ballet buns, you can use this book as a guide for your younger female clients. This book is packed full of easy to follow instructions that you can teach your clients so that they can get the same results at home.

There are many great helpful hints for stylist on the web. As a stylist it is important to keep up to date on the latest trends and techniques. For more great stylist tips visit http://www.betterhairday.com.

My Favorite Hunting Books

If you are like me, then you have a hunter on your shopping list, and you are always worried about the right gift for birthdays, father’s day, and even Christmas. This list provides you with reviews of my top five hunting books for hunters. Whether you are interested in hunting yourself, or looking for that perfect, but genuine gift, then these books are bound to satisfy your troubles.  If your hunter is not a reader, you could always consider a safety item that would help with hunting!

5 Great Books for Hunters

5. The Beginner’s Guide to Hunting Deer for Food
This book is simply fantastic and appropriate for both the experienced hunter or a beginner. Author, Jackson Landers, explores the idea of obtaining a natural food source, specifically deer, in a refreshing and new light. So many hunters today hunt for the fun of it, but with the advice and refreshing outlook provided by Landers, hunters will take pride in understanding how their kill provides for their families in other ways than entertainment.
Lander’s book provides readers with a new understanding of what hunting is all about. In our society, it is easy to view hunting as a vicious sport, a selfish reach for entertainment, a violent and unnecessary past-time. However, Landers portrays hunting in a new light. He makes the case that grass-fed prey are treated much better than the meat bought at Wal-mart, and he’s right!

4. Where the Red Fern Grows
Now, I know what you are thinking: A) Isn’t that a children’s book, and B) That is so not a “hunting” book. However, hear me out on this one. Where the Red Fern Grows is a classic hunting novel written by Wilson Rawls. Yes, this is usually considered a classic children’s story, but adults can greatly appreciate the subtleties of Billy’s coming of age, the true value of Billy’s hard work, and his passionate relationship with his dogs. This story is one that no hunter- of any age- should miss.

3. The Most Dangerous Game
Written by Richard Connell, The Most Dangerous Game is another great hunting adventure story that no hunter should miss out on. The story chronicles a 1920’s big-game hunter from New York, who gets trapped with no ship on an unfamiliar island in the Caribbean. The hunter is subsequently hunted by an aristocratic Russian, and the tale is as exciting as its storyline. This tale of a hunter’s love for his sport turned dark is one that is bound to keep any hunter on his/her toes.

2. Meat Eater: Adventures from the Life of an American Hunter
Meat Eater tells the true story of Steven Rinella’s lifelong love for nature and the art of hunting. A love he developed early in childhood. Rinella grew up in Twin Lake, Michigan and his love for hunting was fostered by his own father’s experiences as a hunter. This true hunting story is sure to pull the heartstrings of even the toughest hunter.

1. The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins does a wonderful job chronicling the adventures of young hunger, Katniss Everdeen in this modern popular fiction novel. If you’ve seen the movie, but haven’t read the book then you really should give this great novel a try. Katniss has been forced to hunt illegally, with a bow might I add, for years to support and feed her mother and beloved sister, Prim. When an ugly turn of events forces her to volunteer for the Hunger Games, Katniss must use her skill with a bow to fight to the death for her life. This book is a great book for hunters as it is both entertaining, and exciting.

My Adventures in the Self-Help Section: Hidden Gems

As you guys know, I’ve been a book nut all my life. I’ve worked in libraries, I’ve been an author (well, I’m still an author), I’ve reviewed books for major publications and, most importantly, I’m an avid, avid reader. So, it should go without saying that I’ve spent a fair amount of my adult life in book stores and libraries.

And, for the most part, book stores and libraries are great. They are full of Jason - Yuletimereading.com (img)awesome resources on nearly any subject. However, there’s always been one section that really annoyed me… the self-help section. Now, I’ll the first to admit I’m a little bit biased. For the longest time, I thought “Pfft. Who would need anything from that section? If you want to improve yourself just do it!”

Really, I’d even be embarrassed to be seen in that section. Now that I’m typing it out, it’s embarrassing that I was embarrassed! Because here’s the thing: sometimes you just don’t have the knowledge, skills or background to improve yourself in the meaningful ways you’re looking for. Most of us aren’t psychologists, nutritionists or DIY nerds.

So, one day, I made it a point to actually go and look through some of the books there. Some of them, of course, were full of bologna. And that’s what a lot of people don’t like about this section: it’s full of “gurus” telling them how to make money online (which we all know is impossible). And, believe me, that’s true. But there are some really awesome books, too! More accurately, I’ve found that certain genres of self-help books are good. That’s what I wanted to share with you today. So, without further ado, here are a few types of self-help books you should make a point to check out:

  • Meditation/happiness books. These are usually the ones people need the most but are most resistant to trying. I’ve come to feel that, as a society, we’re just not very happy people. Reading about what happiness actually is and how to practice being a happy person has been super elightening. If you can get your hands on anything by the Dalai Lama, go for that. His writing is very rarely religious – it’s mostly just super wise and very enjoyable.
  • Nutrition. Now, be careful here. There will be tons of fad diet books in there as well. But most of us know next to nothing about what we’re putting in our bodies. Finding an awesome book on nutrition can help you lose weight (of course), improve your moods or even get better skin. After starting to eat clean, I’m down 10 lbs, I’m a million times happier, and my lifelong battle with blemishes seems to be over. Awesome!
  • Psychology. A lot of self-help books about psychology don’t even give you a ton of advice, but I’ve found them to be a really good compliment to books about happiness. It just really helps to understand what is actually going on in your head. Because most of us don’t have a clue!

So give those a shot! I was pleasantly surprised at how fun and helpful some of those books here. I’m sorry I ever doubted you, Self-Help Section! I’ll be back to visit you soon!

I’m Tired of Being a Lazy Book Reviewer: My Fitness Goals for 2014

The new year is upon us and I’ve made a commitment to my husband to get back in shape.  He has been working out like crazy with his friends before the new year and it’s absolutely putting me to shame.  I recently purchased the Gillian Michaels at home workout routine and based on what I’ve read it seems like it’s a great fitness tutorial for someone like me that only runs on the treadmill from time to time.  I’ve been also studying online to find the best fitness advice so I am not wasting my time by doing the wrong exercises or taking the wrong supplements when I can’t find the time to put together a meal.  Below is a sample workout plan of what I plan to do starting January 1st.  I’m going to start off by doing them at home, and if I find out I can’t stay dedicated enough, I’m going to pony up the cash to go and join a gym.  I can’t let my husband keep putting me to shame and I’m determined to get back to my pre children shape!

Me - Pre Kiddos!

Me – Pre Kiddos!

Here’s a below sample of what I’m planning to do going forward.


Bodyweight Workout

  • Push Ups
  • Pull Ups
  • Crunches
  • Rowing Machine (We have one in our home gym)


  • Run a Mile
  • 3 Sets of Burpees
  • Sprints at the Park


  • Rest Day


Bodyweight Workout

  • Push Ups
  • Pull Ups
  • Crunches
  • Dips (We also have a Dip Bar at Home)


  • Run a Mile
  • Sprints at the Park


  • Rest Days Both Days

Now that you’ve seen to what I’m committing to, hopefully my faithful readers here can help me stick to it!  My husband has been taking supplements that he says have really helped him but I’m a little nervous to jump on that band wagon because I’ve read that some supplements like creatine can make you bloated.  He seems to do okay with them but he’s a guy and typically guys seem to react differently than us girls with supplements especially if we are trying to lose weight, not gain it!

I’m hopeful that I can stick to my goals and not just have them turn out to be another new year’s resolution flop that they seem to have been over the last few years.  My husband has already lost about 20 pounds doing crossfit and seeing him drop weight so fast really agitates and aggravates me.  But the good news is that it also motivates me too!  I hope that you and your family all have a great new years and I’m hopeful that all of you can meet your new years resolution goals this year!!!

My Favorite Camping and Outdoors Books

When it comes to camping, hiking, backpacking, and survival, you can never be too prepared. This is one of those areas where you should always be practicing, learning, testing, and improving – the right information and knowledge could literally save your life when you’re enjoying the wilderness.

Some people think that all they need is the right equipment and they’ll be golden – use what the pros use, right? But what if you’ve got your down filled sleeping bags, your Coleman stove and lamps, the best family tent you can find for you and kin, and an emergency comes up that you are unprepared to deal with? You can have all the ‘stuff’ in the world, but if you lack the knowledge and know-how, you can be in serious trouble.

My Favorite Camping and Outdoors BooksNow, we obviously turned to books to help us improve our camping skills, and it would be a disservice if we did not share what we have come up with. From fires to picking the right location for your tent, there are important tips and tricks in these books that will give you the necessary base of knowledge and skills to survive in the great outdoors in many situations.

The Ultimate Camping Guide and Camping Tips

G.A. Iron Cloud writes this number one best seller that goes into great detail about numerous adventure styles from car camping to backpacking. There are tips about camping in general, advice about the right kind of gear to bring, checklist information, ideas for camping with pets, and more.

It is a very comprehensive book that is easily digestible with just over 100 pages. The concise tips and tricks laid out in these pages will definitely give you more ideas than you ever thought possible when it comes to getting the most out of your camping trips, and will also sharpen your knowledge and skills when it comes to survival and staying safe.

You can find the book on Amazon in paperback edition or for your Kindle.

100 Easy Camping Recipes

Lets now say that you have all the skills and knowledge in the world – you can stay alive in any situation!

Until you have to put together an edible meal.

That’s where this book comes in.

You will find a lot of recipes for different styles of cooking, including but not limited to:

  • Grilling recipes
  • Dutch oven recipes
  • Campfire cooking

You’ll learn to cook with all sorts of ingredients and in all situations so that you don’t wither away underneath your camping gear at the top of a mountain when you realize you don’t know how to prepare that delicious tin of beans you packed in the bottom of your bag.

The Backpacker’s Field Manual, Revised and Updated: A Comprehensive Guide to Mastering Backcountry Skills

If you’re into backpacking and more serious backcountry outings, this is the book for you.

Princeton University’s Rick Curtis gives you over 400 pages of in depth info ranging from how to choose a group with whom to go backpacking to dealing with certain weather conditions.

This is your one stop shop for all things backpacking, and is as detailed and impressive as your checklist and kit right before you leave the beaten path for the one less traveled.

If you’re going camping and need to be fully prepared, check out these three books to get the most out of your experience and stay safe.

My Favorite Bodyweight Training Books

Spending longs hours at work as book critic and a hectic schedule with my family often prevent me from fitting into my day all the gym hours that I want. But not finding enough time to go the gym doesn’t mean that I gave up so easily, I just found another solution to my problem. I looked for workouts that were beneficial and works well to strengthen and tone my muscle mass. Another important factor was a workout that I could take with me on the go, something that I didn’t need a weight or gym for but could crunch into my day when I had a spare moment. This is why I turned to bodyweight training and below are the ultimate books that will give you the body you want in the time that you have to spare.

You Are Your Own Gym:  Bodyweight Bible

Bodyweight ExercisesI didn’t expect to be so fortunate with my first bodyweight training book. This book was a complete guide to bodyweight training. It introduced me to endurance exercise and helped me build the strength that I needed to maintain continuous workouts. The exercises in this book also tend to be very tough but the challenge makes them all the more better and worthwhile. This book also comes with a DVD which provides complete explanations so that you can be sure you’re doing things right. Continue reading “My Favorite Bodyweight Training Books” »

Best Paleo Cookbooks of 2013: Improve Your Diet Today

Food is a necessary staple for every human being. But food doesn’t need to be processed, and it does not need to include sugar, legumes, and refined carbohydrates. For a fully nutritious and healthful diet to maximize performance throughout the day, the best thing you can do for yourself and for your body is to adhere to the Paleo diet. The Paleo diet is a lifestyle that brings us men back to our roots and allows us to have the diet that our ancestors strengthened themselves upon. Below you will find my favorite and best Paleo diet cookbooks of 2013.

Gather, The Art of Paleo Entertaining

Gather - The Art of Paleo EntertainingHand your girl this book when she invites guest so you can keep your diet on track and she can enjoy the cooking process. I’m being sarcastic. We both had a good time cooking these recipes together. This book was a great book to follow when my girl and I invited guests over. With recipes that allowed us to cook together and enjoy with friends and family, I’m glad I bought this book. This book splits Paleo entertaining into sections so that there is a meal for every occasion. There are too many occasions, but still a decent amount of recipes that can be used even without the occasions. Continue reading “Best Paleo Cookbooks of 2013: Improve Your Diet Today” »

My Favorite Fitness Books

This list of books features some of the standards that focus on overall fitness. They are books that will help you to build a well-rounded workout that includes flexibility, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness. While they are likely to be familiar to some, it never hurts to review the classics for those who are looking for guidance in achieving a new level of fitness.

ACSM Fitness Book

This book, written and periodically revised by the American College of Sports Medicine, has earned its status as a standard. It is my all time favorite, and the one I most often recommend. Tests of flexibility, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness along with an assessment of your Body Mass Index (BMI) determine your fitness level for your age and gender in each of the above areas. The book then guides you to a six-week long program of carefully described exercises that start at an appropriate level and build from there. Photographs also illustrate the proper form for the exercises. At the end of six weeks, you repeat the tests to find the exercises appropriate for you new level of fitness. The book also contains a fitness maintenance program and suggestions for ways to vary the routine or to increase the difficulty levels of the exercises should you want to move beyond the level of fitness attained in the maintenance program.

Fitness for Dummies

Fitness for DummiesAs with all of the books in this series, this book is a comprehensive guide. It cuts through hype and quick fixes. Then, like the ACSM Fitness Book, Fitness for Dummies addresses the need for testing to find an exercise program appropriate for your fitness level. It goes beyond the ACSM Fitness Book, however, to discuss diet, finding a health club, hiring a personal trainer, and creating a home gym. Once you read these sections, you will better understand which route is the best for you. Continue reading “My Favorite Fitness Books” »