With spring blossoms slow to arrive this year, we recommend a dose of color and creativity for your soul as found in the recently released “Weird Homes” by David J. Neff and Chelle Neff (

This gorgeous volume is artfully illustrated with lush photographs by Thanin Viriyaki , each showcasing homes in and around Austin, Texas that have been skillfully decorated by their occupants to reflect creativity, imagination, bursts of color and most of all, unique character. As you take a visual tour through what the authors call “the people and places that keep Austin strangely wonderful” you may feel inspired to do a little redecorating of that space you call home this spring!

Weird Homes by David J. Neff and Chelle Neff – Gotta Love It!



Both spring and baseball season have arrived, perfect timing for the newly released “America Can Catch”, written by Kevin Christofora and illustrated by Dale Tangeman (

This action-filled, engaging tale tells the story of Syrian immigrant Amira, new to the school and excited to join the Hometown All-Stars, a team of children from diverse backgrounds. Readers of “Amira Can Catch!” will not only learn baseball history, terminology and skill sets, they will also learn how everyone’s differences can unite to make a strong team effort. This book makes an especially good gift for young girls interested in sports and provides a nice role model that encourages participation.

“Amira Can Catch!” by Kevin Crhistofora and Dale Tangeman – Gotta Love It!


“Fermentation Revolution” by Sebastien Bureau and David Cote, published by Robert Rose Inc. ( offers a beautifully illustrated guidebook for readers interested in creating more probiotic-healthy foods into their diets.

“Fermentation Revolution” offers not only an overview of the fermentation process and the kitchen equipment necessary to properly ferment foods and beverages, but also provides detailed instructions for creating some 70 healthy recipes, ranging from homemade sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha to preparing black garlic, almond yogurt and Umeboshi Plums in your home kitchen. The wide array of food and drink recipes presented in this handsome volume have enormous health benefits for your digestive, immune and nervous system function.

“Fermentation Revolution” by Sebastian Bureau and David Cote – Gotta Love It!


Some cookbooks offer a wonderful way to enjoy an armchair tour of exotic lands half-way around the world and Cameron Stauch’s beautiful newly released “Vegetarian Viet Nam” ( is one of those!

The author offers a comprehensive overview of the country, the history of its cuisine, as well as user-friendly guides and instructions for creating authentic vegetarian dishes from Viet Nam’s restaurants and food stalls right in your own home kitchen. Most of the recipes require special ingredients and a commitment of time, but the results are well worth it. Shake up your spring menus with servings of such Vietnamese specialties as Hot and Sour Tamarind Soup, Palate-Cleansing Pomelo Salad, Rice Porridge with Squash, Kidney Beans and Corn, and Warm Banana Tapioca Coconut Pudding.

Vegetarian Viet Nam by Cameron Stauch — Gotta Love It!


If you’ve been searching for a way to gently teach your children to celebrate rather than judge the differences they encounter in others, Absurdimals: Lola Goes to School, written by Gwendolyn Javor and Illustrated by Melissa Aker Spears ( offers you a lovely way to do this.

This charming tale introduces the reader to a Belephant named Lola, half-rabbit and half-elephant, who sadly encounters discrimination at school because she is different. But by the end of the tale, once Lola and her classmates realize the truth that we all have differences that make each of us special and unique, there is greater acceptance that there is absolutely everything right about being proud to be yourself and not exactly like everyone else! Check out the author’s website to be informed about upcoming new Absurdimals in this children’s book series.

Absurdimals: Lola Goes to School by Gwendolyn Javor and Melissa Aker Spears – Gotta Love It!


It can feel stressful enough to deal with a diabetic condition, whether for yourself or a family member. But this latest offering from the American Diabetes Association, “The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook” ( offers a simple, budget-friendly plan that will cover you through the next three months.

Author Linda Gassenheimer has done an excellent job of presenting a wide range of delicious recipes, including comfort food favorites and international specialties, with each week featuring a shopping list, detailed instructions for easy to prepare nightly recipes that serve 4,  along with costs per meal and nutritional information. This guidebook is a valuable resource for answering the question “what’s for dinner” when someone in the family is diabetic.

“The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook” by Linda Gassenheimer – Gotta Love It!


When Howard Shifke was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, he re-examined his life, his attitudes toward self-love and forgiveness, and decided to embark on a journey that eventually results in the complete elimination of the signs and symptoms of this neurological disease.  “Fighting Parkinson’s…And Winning” (  is the amazing story of that journey.

Deciding to fight for his recovery without the use of traditional pharmaceutical medications, Shifke designed his own “Recipe for Recovery” that involved deep self-examination, exercise, changes in diet and other alternative therapies. Shifke’s experiences will certainly inspire and give hope to the millions of others who are experiencing the impact that chronic disease has on quality of life. This book offers many alternative mental and physical ways to overcome disease and regain improved life quality based on Shifke’s experiences with  his self-designed daily program that included meditation, vegan dining choices, Qigong exercises and a restoration of faith, self-love and forgiveness into his life.

Fighting Parkinson’s …And Winning” by Howard Shifke – Gotta Love It!


With the arrival of spring, it’s officially time to get into swimsuit shape for summer. our book pick of the week, “Flat Belly 365 by Manuel Villacorta ( lays out a dietary program that is easy to understand and follow.

The author explains the factors that cause inflammation, poor digestive health and the accumulation of fat around your middle, and offers a 7-day dining plan for every season to not only help accelerate the loss of belly fat but encourage weight loss and the decrease of painful inflammation.  Also included are helpful charts that outline the best seasonal offerings at the marketplace.  Menu ingredients featured are affordable, with easy to make recipes to see quick results!

Flat Belly 365 by Manuel Villacorta — Gotta Love It!

creative wows

Randi Brill has compiled an assortment of great advice for business and personal success in “99 Creative Wows Words of Wisdom for Business” (RandiLand Press).

Open this book to any page before starting your day or even opening your e-mail and be treated to a thought that will inspire, challenge, encourage or possibly even make you feel defensive.  Each of the  thoughts presented in “99 Creative Wows” are deceptively simple, but also amazingly complex. They can serve as your touchstone for the day as you navigate your way through today’s increasingly rude and wild business environment.

“99 Creative Wows Words of Wisdom for Business” by Randi Brill – Gotta Love It!


Author Melissa Taylor infuses her love of animals and farm life into “A Runtamuffin Tale” (, beautifully illustrated by Marc Beauregard.

This charming story introduces the reader to a group of chicks, the tiniest of whom is named Runtamuffin,  as they  encounter a variety of other animals in and around the barn, including dogs and horses. This is the type of story that parents and children can enjoy reading together!

A Runtamuffin Tale by Melissa Taylor — Gotta Love It!