18 1 / 2013
Tell Your Time: How To Manage Your Schedule So You Can Live Free
By: Amy Lynn Andrews
“What if you could change your life in 30 pages? And for less than a couple of fancy coffees?”
That’s what I intended to find out. And I have to say, Amy outlines a pretty sweet plan in her e-book, and it took me all of 20 minutes to read. I’m sitting down at this very moment to get on her website and look at her tools and fill them out.
By the end of February I hope to be immersed in excellent time management thanks to this little gem. No, scratch that. I will be excellent at managing my time thanks to this gem.
04 1 / 2013
The Happiness Class - Janine Rowe
62 pages of excellence. Can’t wait to fill out the guides she includes. Janine reminds me of my On The Edge professor who taught me so much about life and happiness. It was a nice little refresher course on how to keep tabs on my emotions and how my body is feeling. :) I would certainly recommend it.
02 1 / 2013
How To Be Sexy - Helena Frith Powell for Infinite Ideas
I’ve been telling everyone that this quick read was one I thought I’d make fun of and just read for a giggle (I have a collection of freebies from the Infinite Ideas library from some sale I caught last year….some serious, some ‘did they really make a book for this?’ …don’t go looking for it now…It’s currently $6.39 in the Kindle store. Not worth it imo.) But it ended up being intriguing, concise, lighthearted and fun. A good first book of the year.
Side note: I now know what Thai Massage is…and am perplexed at how it is considered sexy. But whatevs. It would be good for a laugh anyway.
22 10 / 2012
Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a WWII Fighter Pilot - Bruce & Andrea Leininger
I saw the TV special the family was on a few years back and was so intrigued by James’ memories of the planes he said he flew in WWII that I had to go out and get the book. Took me a while to get around to reading it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Certainly made me think about what my stance on reincarnation is.
22 10 / 2012
Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business - by Meg Mateo Ilasco & Joy Deangdeelert Cho
Meh. It’s more geared toward graphic designers, painters, photographers etc. So I didn’t get much that I can use for my jewelry endeavor, but I got a few tips and I got the book at a bargain price, so I can’t be too mad. If you are planning on freelancing in any of these fields, it’s a good find.
06 10 / 2012
Tomorrow They Will Kiss - Eduardo Santiago
Meh. I got it for a dollar at The College Store before they closed. I’m glad I finished reading it and didn’t put it down after two chapters like I initially wanted to, but I wouldn’t have finished it if I hadn’t been sick. It hooked me on wanting to find out what happened to the characters, but it was pretty boring overall. And the fact that a good portion of the dialogue was in Spanish was extremely confusing and time-consuming to try to figure out what it said based on the context and the few Spanish words I know. Oh, well. I read it. It’s done. I’m donating it to the library and moving on. Haha.
25 9 / 2012
Promise Not To Tell - Jennifer McMahon
Couldn’t put it down. Read it with record speed. One of the reviews says “Part ghost story, part whodunit, and part coming-of-age tale, Promise Not To Tell takes you through the twisted world of adolescent friendship, betrayal, and murder. An ambitious debut by Jennifer McMahon that will make you look forward to her next.”
I agree. :)
21 9 / 2012
The Happiness Project - Gretchen Rubin
I’m gonna make this REALLY easy for you. BUY THIS BOOK. READ IT. NOW. Just…seriously…do it.
I bought it months and months ago (think belated Christmas present to myself) and finally got around to starting it about a month ago. I’ve been reading it sporadically as August and September have been ridiculously busy for me, but it turned out to be a good strategy. Gave me time to absorb everything and try to put some of it into practice as I went.
I could talk and talk and talk about this book but I’m leaving it at this rave review because I am going to start my own happiness project, and I intend to create a separate blog for said project to hold myself accountable.
Sidebar: Ironically, Gretchen talks about having a resolution chart hold you to your promises because you’re tracking your progress, and this whole “50 book challenge” thing has been serving the same function for me and my goal to take more time to read. Knowing that as soon as I finish a book I get to come here and add a post and cross another number off my list keeps me motivated. She talks about the importance of an atmosphere of growth and pushing yourself to go just a little further with things, too. Last year I read 13 books for this challenge. Just over one per month. 9 months into 2012 I have just finished my 19th book. I am a-okay with this progress, and can’t wait to see what happens in the remaining months.
Gretchen, I know you like to find blogs that post about you and your book - so in the unlikely but possible event that you stumble upon my page - here’s a personal note to you.
24 8 / 2012
Marry Him - Lori Gottlieb
Okay. I’m going to start with this (tiny) disclaimer. This is a self help book. It is geared heavily toward women (obviously). Don’t let this deter you. Keep it in mind…preferably in your open mind.
Here’s a link to buy it on Amazon (expand the paperback section…there’s a bargain edition for $6) - I got my copy at Barnes and Noble for about the same price.
Here’s what I think: Read it. NOW. Whoever you are. Whatever gender you are. Whatever gender you’re attracted to. JUST FREAKING READ IT.
Here’s how Amazon describes it:
You have a fulfilling job, a great group of friends, the perfect apartment, and no shortage of dates. So what if you haven’t found The One just yet. Surely he’ll come along, right?
But what if he doesn’t? Or even worse, what if he already has, but you just didn’t realize it?
Suddenly finding herself forty and single, Lori Gottlieb said the unthinkable in her March 2008 article in The Atlantic: Maybe she and single women everywhere, needed to stop chasing the elusive Prince Charming and instead go for Mr. Good Enough.
Looking at her friends’ happy marriages to good enough guys who happen to be excellent husbands and fathers, Gottlieb declared it time to reevaluate what we really need in a partner. Her ideas created a firestorm of controversy […] Women all over the world were talking. But while many people agreed that they should have more realistic expectations, what did that actually mean out in the real world, where Gottlieb and women like her were inexorably drawn to their “type”?
By looking at everything from culture to biology, in Marry Him Gottlieb frankly explores the dilemma that so many women today seem to face—how to reconcile the strong desire for a husband and family with a list of must-haves so long and complicated that many great guys get rejected out of the gate. Here Gottlieb shares her own journey in the quest for romantic fulfillment, and in the process gets wise guidance and surprising insights from marital researchers, matchmakers, dating coaches, behavioral economists, neuropsychologists, sociologists, couples therapists, divorce lawyers, and clergy—as well as single and married men and women, ranging in age from their twenties to their sixties.
Marry Him is an eye-opening, often funny, sometimes painful, and always truthful in-depth examination of the modern dating landscape, and ultimately, a provocative wake-up call about getting real about Mr. Right.
More thoughts: Seriously. Whether you’re taken, single, engaged, married, WHATEVER, Lori has brilliant advice on what to look for in a partner - which things to be picky about and which things to get go. She also has great words of wisdom on what things to focus on once you’re with someone you could potentially spend the rest of your life with. The book changed my entire perspective on how I approach and what I expect from my relationships. I feel like I rarely say I disliked a book that I’ve read as part of this challenge, but honestly, do yourself and your future spouse a favor and go pick yourself up a copy of this book.
26 7 / 2012
100 Ways to Happiness: A guide for busy people - by Dr. Timothy Sharp
I’m in love. I couldn’t say enough to tell you how wonderfully uplifting and simple this book is. If you’re looking for a little motivation or are trying to figure out little ways to improve your life even with a jam-packed schedule, check this book out.
19 7 / 2012
Heart of the Matter - Emily Giffin
I couldn’t put this book down once I got into it. It read like a typical Emily Giffin novel, bouncing between the two main characters, making you fall in love with both of them, also making you completely unsure of who to side with.
It was a hard read for me because both the leading ladies were in love with the same man. One was his wife, one became the other woman. As much as I wanted to avoid drawing parallels to my own life, that’s what happens when you’re lost in a good book. The book brought me to tears as I approached the end of it. Thankfully it ended the way I hoped it would, or I would have been an even bigger mess.
It’s definitely a girly book…I’m not telling the guys to go out and pick up a copy right this moment. But. If you’ve read Something Borrowed, perhaps Something Blue or any of Emily’s other books and enjoyed them, give this one a try. :) Oh, and if you’ve read the Something Borrowed/Something Blue duo, you’ll get to visit a few familiar faces with this book. So read at least Something Borrowed first if you’ve been meaning to do so, or you’ll have the ending spoiled for you.
10 7 / 2012
One Woman Short - Nelson George
So, meet Rodney Hampton. Player extraordinaire. Master of the one night stand. 33-year-old bachelor who may or may not have been a little jealous of his best friend’s new married status when he wrote down the names of all 133 of his previous lovers and decided to track a few down to see if perhaps he had already met the one and passed her by.
This was one of those books I got for less than $2 when Borders closed last year, and it was definitely worth it. Was it one of my all-time favorite stories? No. Did I enjoy it? Indeed, I did. Would I say it’s worth the $12 Amazon is charging new? Nah. Here, get the bargain priced mass print edition - you’re welcome. Did I identify with parts of it? Yup. Would I loan it to a friend and say “here, read this next!”? Sure. :) If you want a fun, quick, summer read, I’d be happy to let you borrow it.
21 6 / 2012
Love Wins - Rob Bell
Here’s the Amazon description:
Millions of Christians have struggled with how to reconcile God’s love and God’s judgment: Has God created billions of people over thousands of years only to select a few to go to heaven and everyone else to suffer forever in hell? Is this acceptable to God? How is this “good news?”
Troubling questions—so troubling that many have lost their faith because of them. Others only whisper the questions to themselves, fearing or being taught that they might lose their faith and their church if they ask them out loud.
But what if these questions trouble us for good reason? What if the story of heaven and hell we have been taught is not, in fact, what the Bible teaches? What if what Jesus meant by “heaven,” “hell,” and salvation” are very different from how we have come to understand them?
What if it is God who wants us to face these questions?
Author, pastor, and innovative teacher Rob Bell presents a deeply biblical vision for rediscovering a richer, grander, truer, and more spiritually satisfying way of understanding heaven, hell, God, Jesus, salvation, and repentance. The result is the discovery that the “good news” is much, much better than we ever imagined.
My thoughts? This was a very, very difficult book to read for someone who is fairly insecure in her faith. I know very little about the Bible and the stories it contains - just the basic stuff, really. And even then, my knowledge is lacking. It took what seemed like forever to read, only because my mind and my emotions could only handle it in bits and pieces. I would read 5-10 pages here and there, whenever I felt up to having my beliefs either solidified or questioned, depending on where I was in the book. No matter what your take on Christianity is, your ideas will be challenged by Rob Bell.
All in all, I am happy to have read it. Nicholas loaned it to me back in March, after a deep discussion we had one night which led to me almost being in tears over not having the strong faith that he does. I said I had never been able to make sense of how Hell worked its way into God’s master plan, and that there were far too many things I was unsure of. He said he thought it would be good for me to read with where I was coming from, and he was right.
Bell talks in circles - raising an excellent question about something relating to God or Jesus or The Bible, an then debating it around and around for a paragraph or two. Half the time I was reading, I had no idea what end point he was trying to make. Perhaps that was the point.
What really struck a chord with me was his interpretation of the story of the prodigal son. If you want to know why, you’ll have to read it for yourself and start a discussion about it with me. ;)
08 6 / 2012
The Pawn - Steven James
This is part of a really incredible series about a detective named Patrick Bowers. Or at least I’m assuming the rest of the series is as intense as this first book was. I was constantly left guessing with this one. I actually hated it. Until I got about a third of the way through the book. Then the plot picked up and I refused to set my Kindle down. Seriously. I was reading it on vacation and my family thought I had suddenly gone catatonic on them because I was in such a focused reader’s trance. Guess I hit my flow. (Czikszentmihalyi, anyone?) I usually don’t pick up thrillers, but this one again was a kindle deal of the day and when I read that the serial killer was using chess pieces and rules to toy with the investigators, I had to give it a shot.
08 6 / 2012
The Five Love Languages - Gary Chapman
Given the fact that I have a psych degree, I find it fascinating when someone proposes that a relationship working out between two people all depends on whether or not they speak each other’s primary love language well enough to keep their significant other’s “love tank” full. Confused? Pick up the book or go to http://www.5lovelanguages.com to see what I’m talking about. You can even take a quiz online to find out your primary love language. What I find even more fascinating is that I think this theory makes total sense.
If you’re curious, of course I took the quiz. My primary love language is physical touch, followed by a tie between quality time and words of affirmation. Which, if you know me, completely explains my need to hug everyone all the time, high five when I’m excited, and have some point of contact with my significant other even if we’re in a huge group and talking to different people. The secondary languages also make sense of my desire to be around people even if I’m not interacting with them and my appreciation and mental notes of any compliments I’m given… or criticisms for that matter.
Just do yourself a favor and read this book. Whoever you are, you can learn something from it. It reminded me a lot of The Noticer by Andy Andrews, which I have incidentally been meaning to read again…one of these days. Main difference is that instead of drawing comparisons to animals and intertwining the lessons with a story, this book comes right out and gets to the point and instructs people in various ways to use this knowledge.
Important note: This book is geared toward married couples. I didn’t mind taking the contextual “lessons” and changing them up to apply them to my own life as a girl still in the dating world. If having to think that much about how to rework it bothers you, there is a singles version and a few other versions as well. I’m pretty sure there’s one about how to use it in the work place and one for teenagers and such. This one was $1.99 in the Kindle store when I got my hands on it, so I figured I’d read it first and check out the others if I liked this one.