Books:

Carb Lovers Diet Rent Textbooks Disneystrology Patient Empowerment Spirit of Christmas Romance Novels Buy an E-Reader Wine Guide

Why Adding Carbs Can Help You Lose Weight

(NAPSI)-If your love of carbohydrates has been a stumbling block in every attempt you've ever made to diet, a new book by Ellen Kunes, editor in chief of Health magazine, and Frances Largeman-Roth, RD, senior food and nutrition editor at Health magazine, may be just what the doctor ordered.

"Health The CarbLovers Diet" takes the very natural love of carbohydrates and uses it to your advantage.

Instead of feeling guilty about loving pasta and bread, the diet shows you how to eat carbs and get thin.

Recent studies have shown that eating the right carbs is the best way to get and stay slim. The multicenter study concluded that the slimmest people ate the most carbs in the form of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and the chubbiest people ate the fewest whole grain carbs.

The diet plan in this book works by increasing your total intake of carbs and upping the percentage of a type of carb called resistant starch (RS). Research shows that this starch can help shrink fat cells, making you feel fuller and stoking your metabolism.

As the recipes in the book demonstrate, this can be a very tasty and satisfying diet.

The black beans in the following dish should be every dieter's best friend. They provide plenty of resistant starch with plenty of appetite-suppressing protein. To save time, use prewashed lettuce and preshredded carrots.

BLACK BEAN TACOS

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Makes: 2 servings

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

6 (6-inch) corn tortillas

6 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese

2 cups shredded romaine lettuce

1 cup shredded carrots

¼ cup salsa

1. Microwave beans on high for 2 minutes or until heated through.

2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add tortillas, one at a time; cook 1 minute on each side.

3. Divide beans evenly among tortillas. Top with even amounts of cheese, lettuce, carrots and salsa.

Calories 380; Fat 8 g (sat 5 g, mono 0.5 g, poly 1 g); Cholesterol 25 mg; Protein 18 g; Carbohydrate 67 g; Sugars 6 g; Fiber 17 g; RS (Resistant Starch) 4.7 g; Sodium 780 mg

This book is published by Oxmoor House and is available where books are sold.

For more information, visit CarbLovers.com.

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Why Buy When You Can Rent?

(NAPSI)-One positive result of the recent recession: It has made us more conscientious consumers. A 2010 survey from Booz & Company found that 65 percent of consumers now consider saving to be more important than spending, and that they are more inclined than ever to do research before making purchases; that is, if they choose to buy at all. The concept of renting is fast gaining popularity, with a proliferation of online services that enable customers to quickly and easily borrow anything from camping gear to textbooks and everything in between at a fraction of the cost of buying.

College Students

With tuition costs that far surpass the rate of inflation, families need all the help they can get to make college more affordable. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks textbooks as the second highest educational expense after tuition, room and board, and many students pay upwards of $1,000 per semester.

Textbook rental companies like Chegg.com, however, offer much-needed financial relief to students nationwide by offering huge discounts on textbooks, fast shipping and free returns--and the company plants a tree every time a student rents. A popular textbook, "The Science of Psychology" by Laura King, can be rented from Chegg.com for about 80 percent off the price of buying it.

Students who rent textbooks from Chegg.com can save an average of $2,000 over the course of their college career.

Techies and Hobbyists

An obsession with the latest and greatest gadgets can get pricey quickly. The Census Bureau estimates that the average American spends over $900 annually to support his or her habit of cable television, Internet connectivity and video games. With websites like ATSRentals.com, consumers can spend less on everything from HDTVs to GPS navigation systems (rent for $20 vs. buying for $260). Photography can also be an expensive hobby if you buy instead of rent, but Borrowlenses.com offers affordable camera equipment rentals, for budding amateurs and seasoned professionals alike, such as a Nikon fish-eye lens (retails at $695) for just $28.

Want to go camping but don't want the hassle of buying and transporting expensive equipment? (A good backpack alone can cost up to $400.) LowerGear.com will ship all the low-cost rented gear you need (including that backpack for $29) to your home or destination whether you're headed out on a long backpacking trip or an adventure in your own backyard.

Fashionistas

A slew of websites have surfaced that make even the most sought-after labels affordable to almost everyone. Get that new $1,500 Herve Leger cocktail dress from RenttheRunway.com or WearTodayGoneTomorrow.com for around $150. That's 90 percent off the retail price and the shipping and the dry cleaning are free, too. Savvy renters can even pair their dress with a designer handbag (and heels, jewelry and sunglasses) from BagBorroworSteal.com.

Don't Know What to Rent?

Don't worry--there's a rental site for you! Rentcycle.com lets anyone discover, compare and rent all types of things online at a great price, from tools to sports equipment and party supplies. (Rent a Cannondale Six road bike that retails at $1,600 for just $50.) The site connects consumers with a community of more than 30,000 rental businesses across the U.S. and it promotes sustainability by supporting local businesses. Not only are you getting the things you need conveniently and for less money, you're helping others, too.

With all the options to rent, you'll have plenty of money saved to invest in your future.

Photo credit: iStock.com

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"Disneystrology"

(NAPSI)-Your future might be read in the stars—Disney stars, that is.

A new book, “Disneystrology” (Quirk Books, $16.95), combines astrology and numerology with the magic of Disney movies to help readers understand their own personalities.

Noted astrologer Lisa Finander has identified 366 unique Disney character types—everyone from Cinderella to WALL-E—and paired these characters to corresponding birth dates.

Readers born on June 3, for example, are especially enthusiastic, caring and persuasive-traits shared with Dory from the 2003 hit “Finding Nemo.” Those born on July 26 are courageous, tenacious and good-humored-just like Mowgli in “The Jungle Book.”

And those born on September 29 are just like Sulley from “Monsters, Inc.”—progressive, friendly and accomplished.

Illustrated with hundreds of stills from more than 90 years of classic animation, “Disneystrology” is an entertaining tribute to the most delightful characters in movie history.

“Disneystrology” is available wherever books are sold. For more information, visit www.quirkbooks.com.

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The Empowered Patient

(NAPSI)-Having decided to become a better health care consumer, 76-year-old author Lorene M. Burkhart is sharing her research and insights in a new book called “Sick of Doctors? Then Do Something About It! A Prescription for Patient Empowerment.”

Burkhart explains, “We’re all patients from the time we’re born until the time we die. The question is, how will we manage our own health and health care in between? I choose to be empowered and hope others will, too.”

Five years of research and countless interviews with patients, physicians, nurses and other medical professionals led up to writing this easy-to-read text, from which Burkhart hopes readers will become empowered patients.

The softcover book from Curtis Publishing is at www.SickOfDocs.com/store. The e-book is at Amazon, Sony or iTunes.

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A Warm Look At Dark Days

NAPSI)-The story behind two classic American Christmas songs that figured in one of the darkest times in history is told by noted historian and two-time Pulitzer Prize−winning author David McCullough in a new book that can make a great gift at holiday time or anytime.

“In the Dark Streets Shineth: A 1941 Christmas Eve Story” (Shadow Mountain, $19.99) tells the story of Christmas 1941, when British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt attended a church service and sang “O Little Town of Bethlehem” including the words, “Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light.”

It also describes how, with more than a million Americans serving overseas, two New Yorkers gave the country hope with “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”

On a DVD in each book McCullough narrates the story accompanied by the famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Filled with historic photographs, the book is available at bookstores and online.

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Romance Meets Reality In New Page-Turners

(NAPSI)-A publisher has turned the page on established styles of romance novels to create something new--the reality-based romance™ novel. The books take the stories of actual couples and romanticize them. Now, it's inviting the public to take part in the launch of the first title.

Free Sneak Previews

To celebrate the birth of its new series, the publisher, HCI Books, is giving readers the opportunity to preview this new subgenre before the books hit the store shelves.

Readers can preview the first novels in the series--called "True Vows"--before they are officially launched into the marketplace. This sneak preview is more than just a few paragraphs from the first chapter.

Readers will be given access to five chapters for free. They'll be able to meet the characters, get introduced to their story and join them in their real-life romantic drama. The first book in the series, "Meet Me In Manhattan," by Judith Arnold, tells the story of high-school sweethearts who meet again after 15 years and try to rekindle the spark they once felt.

Subsequent books in the series include "Hard To Hold" by USA Today best-selling author Julie Leto and Alison Kent's "The Icing On The Cake," in which the heroine learns about having her cake and eating it, too.

To access the free chapters each week from August 8 to September 18, go to http://vows.hcibooks.com/true-vows-free-chapters.

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Five Reasons To Buy An E-Reader

(NAPSI)-If you’re like most people, you’ve been hearing about the new electronic readers and may be wondering if you should buy one. Here are five reasons you may care to consider:

• Lots of choices. There are several types of e-readers available, so you can probably find one that fits your needs and lifestyle. The e-readers that are simplest and easiest to use are the ones designed just for reading, so you’re not distracted by other technologies.

• You can now read in color. Reading a recipe in a cookbook with photos in black and white, or reading a children’s book to your kids with the illustrations in black and white, just isn’t the same as enjoying them in full color. Luckily, some of the newer e-readers let you read in full color, so you can enjoy the complete reading experience.

• Portable library. Imagine being able to take all your books with you when you go out or on vacation. You can do this with an e-reader, which stores all your books so you have a portable library. In addition, they’re small and lightweight so you can easily carry them in your purse or luggage.

• Great gifts. An e-reader makes an excellent gift for friends and just about everyone in the family, young or old, who loves to read. And it’s a suitable gift for all occasions, including Christmas, Hanukkah, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and for graduation. Consider giving an e-reader together with an e-book from the recipient’s favorite author.

• They’re affordable. The first e-readers were fairly expensive but nowadays you can find one for $160 and under. And the savings don’t stop there. The e-books themselves, which you buy through an online bookstore, typically cost under $10, much less than you’d probably pay for a new hardcover book. If you prefer to get your reading materials from the library, many now lend out e-books.

One new wireless color e-reader that’s considered simple, affordable and stylish is the Literati by The Sharper Image. With it, you can read and enjoy your e-books on a vibrant 7-inch color screen. When you’re ready for new reading material, you connect wirelessly to the built-in bookstore, where you can browse through millions of books and magazines before making your purchase. As a bonus, the e-reader includes 150 free books (all classics) and a stylish carrying case. You can find the e-reader at major retail stores and online at www.LiteratiReader.com.

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Thirsty For Knowlege? A New Course

Can Make You An Expert When It Comes To Wine

(NAPSI)-If there's one thing the movie "Sideways" accomplished, it's that the mispronunciation of the word "Pinot" is down dramatically. But Hollywood's homage to the grape notwithstanding, wine remains a subject most Americans have more questions about than answers.

Is red wine, for example, always best with meat? What, exactly, does it mean if a wine is "badly corked"?

Fortuitously, help has arrived.

In an age when we're all supposed to be "lifetime learners," the same people who brought us "The Great Courses" videos in fields like philosophy, history, literature, science and the arts--taught by many of the nation's top professors--have now extended their purview to include wine. "We listened closely to consumers and designed the course to their exact preferences," says Brandon Hidalgo, CEO of The Teaching Company.

The result? "The Everyday Guide to Wine," a series of 24 engaging, half-hour DVD lectures, intended for connoisseurs and novices alike, taught by Master of Wine Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, one of only 26 Americans (four of them women) ever to achieve the prestigious MW title.

An inspiring speaker and an expert on all things wine, Simonetti-Bryan leads you through a series of fun, informative, interactive wine tastings that highlight each DVD and are sure to delight both the mind and palate (the course guidebook provides her list of wine selections used throughout the lectures). Her personal recollections add a fun touch to the DVD, like when she retells the fate of a certain expensive 1996 Grands Échézeaux red burgundy she once excitedly brought to a family dinner.

"I went into a long explanation about why it was so amazing, and then left the room," recalls Simonetti-Bryan, who's achieved the highest credentials from both the Society of Wine Educators and Wine & Spirits Education Trust. "When I got back, to my horror, they'd poured the wine into a pitcher and added 7UP to it. A $200 spritzer."

Fully 130 different wines are covered on the DVDs. Plus, you'll find trade secrets for identifying tasting notes, and be treated to tours of some of the world's greatest wine regions.

Of course, just getting your hands on a Master of Wine's personal favorites is probably worth the cost of the DVDs (available at www.everydaywineguide.com). But for now, here are some insights from Simonetti-Bryan to mull over:

Portugal is the next "It Country" for great value wines.

• The proper way to hold a glass is by its stem--not the bowl. "Body temperature can warm wine way too much, causing it to lose aroma."

And, oh yes, just so you'll know, "badly corked" means a bottle is tainted with a musty aroma. Which, rest assured, Simonetti-Bryan has a solution for.

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