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Book review: Looking for a few 'Common Cents'

By JanaLee Stocks Brown

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, March 3 2012 4:00 p.m. MST

"QUEEN OF COMMON CENTS: 1,001 Tips and Tricks to Save Time and Money," by Michelle Snow, Cedar Fort, $11.99, 125 pages (nf)

When it comes to tricks and tips for running a home, saving money or just plain surviving a busy life, it seems like there's always room for a little help. "Queen of Common Cents, 1001 Tips and Tricks to Save Time and Money" is a quick reference source for some old-fashioned hearth wisdom and storytelling.

"Queen of Common Cents" is written by Michelle Snow, the well-known author of "The W.O.W. Diet" and the "It's in the Bag" series for meal preparation. A mother of five and registered nurse, Snow is known for a common-sense approach to health, nutrition and organization in the home, themes which are repeated in this volume.

The chapter topics are interesting and well thought out, however the organization within the chapters often leaves something to be desired. The presentation sometimes begins with an introductory paragraph, but is mostly a list of tips or facts loosely organized around a theme within the chapter topic and move from theme to theme. "Facts" may or may not be backed up with hard data and are very often associated with a personal experience, versus a scientific reference. There is a lot of very good information presented in the book and some excellent recipes, but the format and style of presentation makes it harder to find the best bits.

A couple of story-parables are presented as part of this book, both emphasizing the benefits of self-reliance and preparing for the future. While these are nice additions in breaking up the chapter flow and adding color, the personal narratives are more engaging and interesting.

"Queen of Common Cents" embraces Mormon values and culture and is a family-friendly read. It will generally appeal to adult readers, though there are lessons to be learned, with some searching, that appeal to anyone looking for a few "common cents."

Jana Brown is a writer, wife and mother. She is an excellent cook and avid reader, who resolves one day to have a full database of all the books in the house. She blogs at cornabys.wordpress.com.

Twitter: Cornabys

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