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While my book club is on summer break, I thought I’d look into some books that inform and some that entertain.  My summer theme is personal care, cruelty-free, veganism and of course animals.  Here are what I recommend as really good books to read this summer.

eBeautiful Skin Begins Within

I have this book, and it’s a beautiful resource for taking care of our skin.  It’s written by a cosmetic rejuvenation physician and one of Canada’s leading women’s natural health experts.  From understanding what your skin type is, what diet rules are best for skin, and which supplements are of benefit, to skin care SOS.  Skin rejuvenation procedures are covered as well if you’re interested in learning more about getting extra skin help.  I highly recommend this book!

Living Cruelty-Free

I’m recommending this book for obvious reasons, plus the reviews are positive.  If you want to know about animal testing practices or looking to make cruelty-free buying part of your life, this book looks like a winner!

5.0 out of 5 stars great if you are looking for information. labels. testing. cosmetics.diet. etc
on December 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
I love this book. Easy to read. Very informative. After reading this I am more aware of the common misconceptions that companies use against consumers. Includes wonderful tips on healthy ways to reduce or eliminate meat from your diet. I am hypoglycemic and the tips seem helpful even with my dietary restrictions. It is by no means an extreme view type book. Great for average people looking to live a less cruel or cruelty-free life.

The Book Of Veganish:  The Ultimate Guide to Easing Into A Plant-Base, Cruelty-Free, Awesomely Delicious Way to Eat

An introduction to Vegan lifestyle geared toward young adults or those on a tight budget.  With positive reviews and the non-judgemental way, the authours present the information I’d say this one is worth looking into if you’re dipping your toe into eating vegan.  Has 70 recipes to try.

5.0 out of 5 starsGreat Book
on July 26, 2017
This is the first book I know of that allows Vegans to not be perfect without guilting them. This is an imperfect world, and the vegan community is like Democrats vs. Republicans. If you don’t do it “their” way, you’re damned. Sorry, but that’s what it’s turned into. Folks, this is an imperfect world. Just do the best you can. For me, that means avoiding obvious meat, fish, fowl, dairy and eggs, but allowing incidental animal by-products in an otherwise vegan food. This has allowed me not to go obsessive compulsive crazy. For you, it might be different. I know this book is geared toward younger folks, but I wish it wasn’t, because it applies to all. I’m 63, and I wish I had this book years ago. This book is like a sigh of relief.

Give A Sh*it: Do Good, Live Better, Save The Planet

A witty yet informative book on how to better our lives and be more conscious of how we live.  Ashlee Piper’s book navigates sustainable living in the home, our closets, personal care and socially with wit and humour.

5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!
June 27, 2018 LOVE. THIS. BOOK! I’m halfway through the book and found it to be so enlightening, helpful and light-hearted. So many great tips to better my life while helping others and our world, Plus, Ashlee Piper’s wit is fantastic making the material easy for others to relate. Love it! I recommend this to everyone. I also ordered the Audio version. I think it will be great to listen to on vacation and road trips.

Natural Hair Care (with Essential oils):  DIY Recipes to Promote hair Growth, Shine & Repair (Shampoo, Conditioner, Masks, Aromatherapy, Hair loss Treatment – 100% Cruelty-Free)

If you don’t want to shop for cruelty-free and non-toxic hair care, this book is for you.  Using essential oil and raw ingredients from your kitchen, Carmen Reeves provides recipes for shampoo, conditioner and masks to deal with every hair issue.

5.0 out of 5 stars Such great information! 
November 23, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

The Compassionate Chick’s Guide to DIY Beauty: 125 Recipes for Vegan, Gluten Free, Cruelty-Free Makeup, Skin and Hair Care.

Well, the review below is the best description of this book.  I have nothing to add to this.

5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and Special DIY Beauty Book
October 4, 2016
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

I just got my copy of The Compassionate Chick’s Guide to DIY Beauty and I am thrilled! The book is a pleasure to look at – easy to flip through with bright colours, fun patterns and a few pictures of cute furry animals. The language can sometimes be a little silly (some people might call it “hip”), but it is still informative and useful. It’s everything a vegan DIY guide to beauty products should be! The Compassionate Chicks Guide to DIY Beauty is a gorgeous, well-made book that offers 125 total vegan and gluten-free recipes detailing how to make everything from blush to conditioner and facial moisturizer to deodorant. It’s fairly comprehensive take on the basics and encourages your own creativity. It favours breadth over depth, so if you’re looking for a book with 25 different recipes to make bath bombs, this is not the one. That said, this book will teach you enough to get creative and figure it out for yourself! (I wrote about it and included pictures on my blog, Vegan Adventures and More)

Now, you might wonder why I’d buy this book when I can easily find DIY beauty products online. Well, to begin with, it can be difficult to find a good vegan beauty recipe. Some that advertise themselves as vegan aren’t always vegan because they use honey or don’t explain that most sugar (unless organic) has bone char. By buying this book, I receive a level of quality and thought put into the guiding instructions that not all DIY recipes will have. Plus I hate losing a great beauty recipe to the Internet and then being unable to recreate it months later. This way, I’ll have a collection of reliable recipes, easily found!

This book is also much more than a list of beauty recipes. I especially appreciate the fact that she includes a smaller list of staples that you can focus on gathering if you want to switch to natural beauty products so that you aren’t overwhelmed! (See page 56). If you are interested in making your own makeup products, many of the recipes she provides use the same ingredients in varying proportions, so you really only have to focus on getting a few different ingredients to create various natural beauty products!

The appendix offers some useful information like a table of all natural vegan-friendly beauty brands and types of products, what chemicals to look out for in nail polish and helpful tips for packaging your natural vegan creations. Finally, the resource page thoughtfully has helpful guidance on where to buy the different materials used in the guide. Sunny’s thought of everything!

This book contains even more information than I have attempted to relay. In fact, I expect to get a lot of use of out this book and use it for reference quite often. If you are interested in creating your own vegan beauty products, I highly recommend this book as a great place to start! There’s nothing else on the market that compares to it.

Homemade Shampoo: Beginner’s Guide To Natural DIY Shampoos- Includes 34 Organic Shampoo Recipes!

Yes, shopping for cruelty-free, non-toxic shampoo can be pricey.  This book will guide you through making your own.  The author frequently uses Castille soap which doesn’t work for everyone, but at less than $1.00 for the Kindle version, there will be something for all hair types.

Homemade Shampoo: A Complete Beginner’s Guide To Natural DIY Shampoos
March 19, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Two Days To Cruelty-Free Beauty: A Guidebook for Going Cruelty-Free

If you’re not into reading blogs like mine (shameless plug), then this may be for you.  Claire Noel has written an accessible book to get through with lots of information.  I think two days to cruelty-free might be optimistic as in my experience; shoppers will transition gradually.

5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and informative
May 19, 2017
Verified Purchase

Natural Skin Beauty: Eco-Friendly Cruelty-Free Recipes for Glowing Skin From Your Kitchen

Are you the crafty DIY type?  This guide will teach you how to make your own hand creams, body butter, deodorants, perfume, lotions and creams.

No Amazon reviews of this book yet.

Kindness to Animals Or, The Sin of Cruelty Exposed and Rebuked.

Honestly, I don’t know much about this book.  The authour Charlotte Elizabeth died in 1846, and this old book was put into digital format by volunteers.  It is free to purchase on a Kindle, and since I’ve been into old books lately, I’m adding this to my summer read list.

5.0 out of 5 starsVery Interesting
May 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary: A True Story of Resilience and Recovery

I don’t think I can do any better than the “master” Jane Goodall in describing this book.  Ms. Goodall’s review is below.  I’m a sucker for a heartwarming story involving animals for sure!!!!

“The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary is a true story of endurance and resilience, compassion, dedication and love. I knew the prison-like conditions of the medical research facility from which Gloria [Grow] rescued these chimpanzees; when I visited them at their new sanctuary I was moved to tears. Finally, they had reached a secure haven where, gradually, they could recover from their years of torment. Andrew Westoll is a born storyteller: The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, written with empathy and skill, tenderness and humour, involves us in a world few understand. And leaves us marvelling at the ways in which chimpanzees are so like us, and why they deserve our help and are entitled to our respect.”–Jane Goodall Ph.D., DBE

The Dogs Were Rescued (And So Was I)

A love letter to animals?  I’m a goner.  If you like Marley and Me then I’m pretty sure you’ll love this too.  Written by the #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and top 10 USA Today bestselling author of The Dog Lived (And So Will I)

“… a love letter to our animals, to who they are and who they make us want to be. She also reminds us of what her beagles always knew; love deeply, move forward, and never turn down a snack.” – Quinn Cummings, author of The Year of Learning Dangerously and Pet Sounds

Vodka is Vegan; A Vegan Bros Manifesto for Better Living and Not Being an A**hole

This book looks like it would be a good chuckle whether you’re a vegan, a “pregan” or a “not on my radar.”  I love a book that can make me laugh!

5.0 out of 5 stars BUY THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW!
June 3, 2018
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

I don’t really know where to start – I have so much to share!

Firstly, this isn’t really like a traditional book. Reading it felt like I was hanging out with Matt & Phil, and we were having a chat! It’s not easy to skillfully write in a conversational way, to make the reader feel like they are part of the dialogue! But this book pulls it off with ease. I loved reading it, and I finished it in a few hours – such a page turner, I didn’t want to put it down!

The other thing that came as no surprise – it’s bloody hilarious! I was literally sitting by the pool, laughing my arse off! They are hilarious, satirical, sassy and they quote so many cool books and movies, such winners! As soon as I read a quote about “so much room for activities”.. I knew this book was for me. (Side note: If you haven’t watched Step Brothers the movie? Go and watch it!) But back to my main point? Imagine what good marketing it is for a book when people are watching you read a book and hear you audibly laughing! It then becomes a talking point, or maybe they just quietly google the book, and the vegan message is spread even further!

The information in the book is so easily accessible and understandable, that as far as I’m concerned? even a pregan (not vegan yet? …that’s you!, a “pre” vegan) will feel comfortable with the topics covered. Matt & Phil share information.. then they clarify/simplify said information, cuss a little and make you laugh. What better way to aid comprehension of new information? Genius approach if you ask me. Being educated and entertained at the same time. High five guys, high five!!

I’ve been vegan for almost 3 years now, and I found myself reading the book and reflecting on some of the asinine approaches I have taken to sharing animal rights information in the past, or attempted to spread vegan love. It gave me a new outlook – one of much more love and support and understanding, for all people.

Matt & Phil. This book is magnificent. I mean that from the bottom of my vegan heart. I will be gifting this book to my pregan friends, and I know it will have a ripple effect…. and as you guys say? The whole world is going vegan!

In other news, My dogs were loving the book! And yes, They are vegan too!!!

END NOTE: While I was in the swimming pool here in Vegas, reading this book the day it arrived, a bee was drowning. I am allergic to bees and wasps so I didn’t want to use my hands and risk going to the hospital… but the bee was struggling and I was worried it would die if I didn’t think fast…… so I did what any self-respecting Vegan Bros fan would do. I sacrificed their book, dunked it in the water and saved the f*&k outta that bees life. Matt and Phil save the bees without even trying!!!! (the book dried, the bee lived and I didn’t end up in hospital. #winning).

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