Book Review -Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care by Maria Noel Groves.

4 out of 5 stars.

I would like to thank Storey Publishing for providing me with a free ARC of this book in exchange for an open and honest review.

Where to start? Another simply amazing book from a publisher I can’t seem to fault. ‘Body into Balance’ was a breath of fresh air for this wannabe herbalist.

Clear, concise and easy to read formatting, glorious pictures and a really good overall tone were all used in this book. What do I mean by the tone? Well, reading it felt welcoming. You could tell the person who had written it was passionate not only about the topic, but about SHARING this knowledge with others.

I love the introductory where it went over the basics, went over the reason for the book and all in all helped the reader ease into what it was all about. You could read this entire book from end to end just to learn what it’s all about, but I could really see myself referring to sections of it as needed.

The balance is true too. This is not a book telling you to ignore “modern medicine” and the like, but simply to allow herbal remedies be part of your health routine – alongside a decent holistic medical practitioner. Seriously, this is my way of thinking and therefore definitely my kind of book.

And I strongly recommend people read the introduction – it is well worth it and is filled with valuable information on how to use the book, what herbal health is all about and a lot of other wonderful information. So even if you’re just going to use it as a reference guide – read the intro first! It really is aimed for the novice through to the advanced herbalist and it’s there for a reason – so read it!

I could go on and on about the different sections of the book and why I liked and felt them so important to read… but I fear I would start repeating myself rather quickly. So I will just say – yes! This book is a terrific and very comprehensive book on better health through herbalism and one I feel should be in the home of those looking for a better health/ life balance.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would. Absolutely I would! As said, I feel this would be a terrific tome for any home wanting to have a more holistic and healthy approach to living. It’s not just about cures and remedies when you’re sick, it is about all over, everyday health through better nutrition, better mindsets, etc. This isn’t your “cures to colds and flus guide” this is your “how to live better through real foods guide”. And the level of information given, to me, seemed perfect for all levels of herbalism from your beginners, your intermediates (like me) through to those who have been doing it all their lives. This book might be about herbalism… but it about so much more too that the benefits are boundless.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Oh yes, a very BIG yes. If you look on Amazon you will see it’s on my wish list. I am running out of unique ways of explaining how good ‘Body into Balance’ really is. Can I just say I clicked with this book, felt it perfect and want it to come join the ever dwindling space in my bookshelves. The only reason I didn’t give it the full 5 stars is due my usual “written for USA readers, not Australians” thing I have. And this is a fault that lies with me the reader and not the book.

In summary: I love this book, ‘Body into Balance’ is a fantastic reference guide to better, healthier living and one that should be in the home of anyone truly interested in better health through better foods/herbs. I highly recommend.

Until next time,


Book Review -Ten Spices: for Health and Longevity by Valerie Lull.

3 out of 5 stars.

I would like to thank the author Valerie Lull for approaching me to review this book. I was provided a free copy in exchange for an open and honest review.

This was an interesting little eBook. I would actually call it more an eBooklet… if there is such a thing? I held some very good information and covered the basics of these ten spices very well.

Though I do question the comments on ginger not being good while pregnant as I – and many women I know – have found it a TREMENDOUS help towards morning sickness and my Doctor was the one who suggested it. Maybe ginger isn’t deemed as safe in the USA as it is here in Australia? Not too sure.

But, all in all, a very helpful little booklet for those starting out on learning about spices and seeking ten of the best to assist with better health.

I do have some very minor constructive criticism to share – as I do with all my open and honest reviews. This is not a slur against the author or her skills, merely me trying to offer hopefully helpful feedback. Being an author myself, I may not always agree with it, but constructive criticism can make us better writers.

Okay, so those who have read other reviews of mine will know I am a bit of a diva when it comes to the layout and formatting of books. It comes from my years of technical document writing. And, sadly, the formatting of this little booklet was not the best. I found the font size too large and chunky, found the layout a little sloppy with how a new segment’s title would be at the bottom of one page and the rest of the segment begin on the next page and so on. This is seriously minor stuff and a quick layout edit could fix this up in less than a day. And me, being SUPER picky, also didn’t like how dates were written long hand and short. Meaning sometimes it was written as sixteenth century and sometimes as 16th century. Choose a format and stick to it. Same goes for Vitamin A, C, and etc. vs vitamin A, C, etc. Ensure the formatting is consistent as it gives a more professional look.

The tone of the book kept changing too. Sometimes it was passive with the spices “may”, “have been known to”, etc. While at other times it was positive with what the spices can cure, deter and assist with. Again, consistency in this area would help improve it. It’s not bad the way it is, but it can be even better with some further proofing and editing.

I would have also liked pictures of the spices in question as well as maybe some pictures of the remedies and recipes. That I do feel this is me asking a lot. The booklet is what it is and it is good… but a quick tidy up of the formatting could make it even better.

Would I recommend this book to others?

UPDATE —  No I would not recommend this review as it appears the author has taken a dislike to my reviews published on both Amazon and Goodreads and tried to have them blocked as inappropriate or offensive. The review I have published on both sites is the same one you see here. And so, to have them blocked as they don’t show the book in a perfect, full of praise light, I would not recommend it. The actions are unprofessional and rather disappointing.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Probably not. And that is simply because I have a lot of books that cover this information – and more – already. I do not feel I am the right audience for this book as I am more an advanced spice student than a novice. The fault is with the reader and not the book as to why I wouldn’t buy it!

In Summary: An interesting and informative little booklet that gives a sound introduction to ten top spices beneficial for health. I have to say they would be my top ten spices too! A little more work on the proofing, layout and format could make this booklet into quite an exceptional little reference book.

Until next time,


Book Review – Naturally Bug-Free by Stephanie L. Tourles.

4 out of 5 stars.

I would like to thank Storey Publishing for providing me with a free ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an open and honest review.

What a fantastic little compendium to have in the home to help not only keep you, your pets and your home bug-free, but nasty chemical free too!

As some of my other reviews may have indicated, I’m a bit of a herbalist and I have to say this would be a great addition to my small library of herbal remedy books as it covers “bug” eradication far better than any others I own!

One of the things I really enjoyed was that, yes, it covered all the basics that I already (mostly) knew… but it did it in such a manner it wasn’t dull, repetitive or made me feel like I was being talked down to. This has happened in other books I won’t mention! No, ‘Naturally Bug-free’ was thorough, comprehensive and enjoyable to read without me feeling like I was being granny taught to suck eggs… now I do wonder how many people know that saying? 😉

I also loved the ‘Ingredient dictionary’ as it just focussed on the facts of the herbs in their relation to being bug-free. So many herbalist books list the herbs and all the things they do and only occasionally touch on why they are in the book. Nope, in ‘Naturally Bug-free’ we kept to the subject at hand, kept it short, sharp and shiny and made the read all the more enjoyable for someone like me. When I use a herbal book like this I am doing it for a specific purpose and don’t want to wade through pages of pointless facts before the point is found. So really enjoyed the ‘directly to the point’ attitude of this book. It encourages me to turn to it again and again with the feeling I will find what I want first time without having to look too hard. Best sort of reference/ recipe/ remedies book you can get!

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would. Whether you are a beginner in natural remedies, a bit advanced like me or someone who feels they know what they’re doing but still like a little reminder – this book is for you. It might be basic, but is still covers things in such a way that it doesn’t make you feel like you’re an idiot. It is simply there to help, guide and keep you naturally bug-free.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Yes I would. Whether as an eBook or a paper version, I would HAPPILY have this book take up space in my home as I can see myself turning to it time and again as a better option to nasty chemical pesticides. My garden is filled with a lot of the ingredients already so it is perfect!

In summary: Storey Publishing have done it again by creating such a fantastic little reference book to help keep you, your pets and your home natural bug-free. It is a great herbal helper to have in your home and I strongly recommend it!

Until next time,