Books

Rent Textbooks and Save

Top Doctors Fight Cancer Biblical Wisdom Kick Bad Food Habits The Look of Love The Music Room Jesus's Lost Years Revealed Learning Opportunities

Renting Textbooks Can Help Students Save

(NAPSI)—Renting is the new normal. Increasingly, consumers are turning to renting over buying for everything from homes to cars, to designer handbags, jewelry, bridal gowns and now—even textbooks.

This smart alternative lets consumers save money by paying for just what they need without the long-term burden of ownership.

In the case of college textbooks, renting can help parents and students stretch their budgets for college-related expenses. Given that the average student at a four-year public college can expect to pay $1,100 a year on textbooks and materials, this is welcome news.

How the Process Works

Saving money on textbook rentals does not have to be a long and painful process thanks to a website designed to be simple, straightforward and efficient to use. It provides students with access to textbooks at savings of nearly 85 percent compared to the price of new books. It even offers a discount when more than three books are rented.

By visiting the site called collegebookrenter.com (CBR), students are able to rent or buy their entire course load of books online. They also have the option of applying rental costs toward the purchase of a book if they are inspired to do so once courses have gotten under way-a flexible option designed to benefit students still searching for their major or career path.

Their Buyback Policy

To make things even easier, collegebookrenter.com will buy back textbooks 365 days a year. Students can sell college textbooks-even if they were purchased from another source—for cash or receive a credit toward future textbook rentals or purchases. Plus, it offers fast, secure payments and free shipping on your textbook buyback, so students can spend their cash on other important things.

A Deep Inventory

CBR is designed to serve the full spectrum of higher education students. Students of all kinds-college, graduate, part-time and professional-can choose the textbook solution that works best for their personal needs with a wide array of options for rent or purchase, flexible time frames and bundled discounts. The website also offers in-house customer service, including a quick "click to chat" option, as well as live phone support.

"I'm always looking for ways to save money," said Taylor Rinehart, a Florida State University senior. "After comparing prices, using collegebookrenter.com has always been the cheaper option and renting books online is easier than waiting in long lines at the bookstore."

To learn more, visit the website at www.collegebookrenter.com.

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Find Top Doctors To Fight Cancer

(NAPSI)—Good news about children's health: Most youngsters with cancer—nearly 80 percent—beat the disease, according to Michael P. Link, M.D., president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

"One major reason," he explained, "is that the overwhelming majority of childhood cancer patients—about 80 percent—have enrolled in clinical trials. These are the vehicles through which cancer treatments are developed and refined. They remain the most powerful tool for advancing the care of both childhood and adult cancers."

You can find this prestigious spokesman for the highest levels of cancer research and treatment listed among the more than 2,600 outstanding physicians in the new seventh edition of " America 's Top Doctors for Cancer."

The book is published by Castle Connolly. It's sold for $34.95 at (800) 399-3627, major bookstores and www.castleconnolly.com.

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The Lessons That Last All Year Long

(NAPSI)—The most important lesson learned during Christmas can illuminate our lives all year long. That lesson is that God cares so much about us that He showed up among us.

Jesus was born into the same world that you and I live in today. Jesus was born to a broke teenage mother. He was born into an occupied nation ruled by outsiders. He was born in a world that was not so merry—the diseased were outcasts, women were stoned at even the suspicion of impropriety, and children were senselessly slaughtered.

Some time in the past two thousand years, we've forgotten the reality of Jesus' birth—its stark juxtaposition of joy and pain.

We witness the glittering side of the holiday in all the bright displays, in the commercials on every channel and the songs that permeate public spaces.

But the pain is there just below the surface.

Just beneath the glitter and the ever-cheerful tunes, we hurt again with the news of another police officer killed in the line of duty; news of another trusted coach accused of assaulting another innocent child.

Stories of women on the other side of the world whose repeated rapes are perpetrated as another senseless act of another senseless war.

So much of the pain is more personal and hits much closer to home.

A friend is rejected for that much-needed, much-prayed-for organ transplant.

A neighbor is losing his house to foreclosure.

Jesus wasn't born into a utopian society to well-to-do parents. He was born right here among us.

So He gets it when you hurt. He feels it when anger wells up in you because of life's injustices. He grieves right along with you through your losses and discouragements. He lived it, so He gets it.

That's the Jesus of the Bible.

There's much more to Jesus than just a perfect baby born in a perfect manger on a perfectly silent night. I challenge everyone to get to know the real Jesus who came into the real world for the sake of real people. Why not read what happened after the manger? His story is as close as the nearest Bible.

Dr. Lamar Vest is the President and CEO of the American Bible Society (ABS) and author of five books. Under Dr. Vest's leadership, the 195-year-old Society is working to deliver Scripture where it is most needed including anytime, anywhere access through MP3, web, e-mail and mobile technologies.

Headquartered in Manhattan, ABS exists to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format that each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life-changing message. One of the nation's oldest nonprofit organizations, today's ABS provides interactive, high- and low-tech resources enabling first-time readers and seasoned theologians alike to engage with the best-selling book of all time.

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Kick Bad Food Habits

(NAPSI)—Here's a surprising fact: Not only do drugs and alcohol alter your brain chemistry in ways willpower can't control, but so does the wrong food. However, most people don't see food addiction as akin to substance abuse.

Fortunately, help may be at hand. Based on a scientific study by Scripps Research Institute, renowned addictive behavior expert Dr. Mike Dow wrote "Diet Rehab: 28 Days to Finally Stop Craving the Foods That Make You Fat," published by Avery-a specifically designed diet plan that slowly replaces bad foods and behaviors with good foods and behaviors.

When you eat fatty or sugary foods, Dr. Dow explains, your brain releases a surge of feel-good chemicals. Eventually, it takes more and more just to feel normal. Instead, he says, you can use gradual detox to harness the power of your brain chemistry as you restore your proper weight, balance, energy and well-being.

There's no calorie counting and you won't feel deprived. You can continue eating your favorite snacks but after 28 days on this plan, you won't want to as much.

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Look Of Love

(NAPSI)—A glamorous spa provides a deceptively idyllic setting in "The Look of Love," a delicious new mystery by New York Times bestselling author Mary Jane Clark.

When the owner of Elysium, an exclusive spa and plastic surgery center, offers Piper Donovan an all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles, she accepts. All she has to do is create a dazzling and unique wedding cake.

The job also appeals to Piper because it will give her the time to sort out her feelings for handsome FBI agent Jack Lombardi.

The ultraluxurious spa caters to the rich and famous in need of a little "refreshing"—a nip here, a tuck there, a little Botox, a little detox. Nestled in the Hollywood Hills, Elysium seems picture perfect. But no sooner does Piper arrive than a guest is brutally murdered in one of the private bungalows. She soon discovers that beneath the glamorous surface of this idyllic oasis lies an ugly truth—and a cold-blooded plan for murder.

The Associated Press has called Clark "one of the most talented storytellers around." Like Piper Donovan, Clark has a mother who made customized cakes for the neighborhood kids when she was growing up. After a career at CBS News and writing 12 media thrillers, the author envisioned the Piper Donovan/Wedding Cake mystery series.

Part of the appeal may be the great recipes the books include, such as this one for Icing on the Cupcake Cream-Cheese Frosting.

cup butter (1 stick), at room temperature

1 cups cream cheese, also at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups confectioners' sugar

Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the butter, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. Turn the mixer down to lowest speed and add the confectioners' sugar, a little at a time, until it's completely combined and smooth.

The series has also garnered positive reviews.

Library Journal said that "Touches of humor keep the mystery light, the baking subplot keeps it cozy, and there is enough going on with family and Piper's newly developing relationship to keep it real," and Romantic Times gave it four stars.

The book is available wherever books are sold. For more information, you can find Mary Jane Clark or Piper Donovan on Facebook or visit www.maryjaneclark.com.

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The Magic Room

(NAPSI)—A joyful and at times heartbreaking new book offers insights into marriage, family and the lessons that parents pass on to their daughters about love.

The story takes place in Becker's Bridal in Fowler, Michigan, a place that 100,000 brides-to-be from across the Midwest have made pilgrimages to. A mirrored room in this bridal shop, once a bank vault, is now called the "Magic Room."

In "The Magic Room: A Story About The Love We Wish For Our Daughters" ( Gotham), Jeffrey Zaslow takes readers to this remarkable small-town bridal shop to explore the hopes and dreams that parents have for their daughters.

Zaslow came to Fowler not just to write about wedding gowns and what they represent. He came to understand the women wearing them, their fears and yearnings, and through them, he tells a larger story about the love between parents and daughters today.

In "The Magic Room," Zaslow examines women on the brink of commitment, whose stories, secrets and memories will pull you in from the moment they first see their reflection in this iconic room.

"The Magic Room" is available wherever books are sold.

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Jesus's Lost Years Revealed In New Thriller Novel

(NAPSI)—A great mystery, one that has baffled religious scholars for centuries, is tackled in a new thriller novel, "The Breath of God," in which readers are taken on a breathless, page-turning adventure.

The History

It starts in 1887, when a Russian journalist, Nicholas Notovitch, claimed he had made an explosive discovery in the Himalayas. Notovitch published his findings in 1894 but was quickly condemned and silenced for what was perceived to be heresy. Evidence of his discovery then mysteriously disappeared and the story faded into obscurity.

Starting with this historical fact, Jeffrey Small, a respected commentator on religion and spirituality, has written a novel setting contemporary religious conflicts and his protagonist's personal journey against ancient history and accepted religious dogma.

The Mystery

The story centers on a young doctoral candidate who hopes to prove that a series of legends indigenous to South Asia refer to spiritual pilgrimages of Jesus during his "missing years" between the ages of 13 and 30. Set amidst the dramatic Himalayan landscapes of Bhutan and exotic, mystical India , this debut novel weaves a tale of hidden teachings, religious secrets, ancient and current-day cover-ups, and fanatics who distort the truth for their own agendas.

"The Breath of God" (West Hills Press) addresses Notovitch's claims and tackles whether there is fact behind his alleged discovery of a fifth Gospel. Through Small's protagonist, it explores what Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism have in common and similarities in the spiritual paths of the Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad.

Library Journal says the "tale is for fans of Dan Brown's thrillers as well as readers who enjoy visionary fiction," while RT Book Reviews says it's "a thought-provoking masterpiece." The Progressive Christian Review calls it a "breathless quest."

The novel relies on Small's impressive scholarship and extensive research, which took him to the Himalayas, monasteries in Bhutan , and Yoga ashrams in India . When not writing, Small often speaks on the topic of how to think about religion in a scientific and multicultural world.

For Further Information

"The Breath of God" (print and digital) is available where books are sold. Learn more at www.JeffreySmall.com

 

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Learning Opportunities During School Recess

(NAPSI)—Schools are closed. It's a snow day. It's the winter break or the summer vacation. You've watched TV, played video games, baked cookies. Now what? Schools are closed for several more days.

But a break from school doesn't have to be the equivalent of a learning-free time for kids.

For children who have been struggling in school, a school recess can be their opportunity to catch up on key skills and feel more confident when they head back to class. For students who do well, it's an opportunity to keep their enthusiasm high for learning.

Parents can play a key role in reinforcing learning on an ongoing basis. Here are some tips, suggested to make sure that every holiday is a good balance of free discovery, play, leisure and learning for kids.

Read. Everyone has his or her favorite book, so read them to each other. It's fun for the older kids to read their favorite childhood books to their younger siblings. Act out your favorite scenes for the enjoyment of everyone.

Play games as a family and, for some quiet time, as individuals. Some mind-engaging activities include board games, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, coloring, finger painting, watercolors, scrapbooking.

Keep up the lessons. Check those spelling words—If there aren't any from school, assign your own. Practice math facts. Read the next chapter in the social studies book.

Practice. Practice. Practice. Workbooks and learning kits can help fill in the gaps and provide the practice needed to excel in school. For example, supplemental education companies like Sylvan Learning provide a wide variety of exercise books that include fun, teacher-reviewed, age-appropriate games and activities. These resources offer chapter books with grade-appropriate vocabulary, flash cards, CDs and games that can equip families with fun, effective and grade-appropriate learning tools during the holidays.

Keep writing. As a family, keep a holiday journal. Have everyone write a few lines each day about important and not-so-important events. The weather, the rainfall, the consecutive sunny days, the growth rate of the tomato plants. Favorite movies, TV shows, sporting events. People you've visited or who have visited you. Neighborhood news and events. New friends. School plans for next year.

Try to keep up normal routines. Yes, the snow throws everything off, and that's okay. It's good to take a break (or have one thrust upon you) from time to time. But try to keep bedtimes, mealtimes, study times and other important personal routines (medications, for example) as close to normal as possible. When you know schools will reopen again, start to get back into the swing of things right away.

Organize. Take this found time to organize notebooks, planners, backpacks and study areas at home. Make sure everyone's up-to-date on assignments that will be due when school starts again.

Keep it informal. You don't have to re-create a classroom experience at home. You shouldn't, as a matter of fact. Kids will soon "get it" that they can be learning new things, remembering old ones and using their knowledge as a simple matter of course. Keep up the holiday fun. Just keep up the learning, too.

A recess or day off from school is no excuse to put kids' brains on hiatus. It's for a different kind of learning.

For additional resources and information, visit www.randomhouse.com/sylvanlearningbookstore.

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