A few months back, I wrote a blogpost on The Handmaid’s Tale. Without much consideration for the current tv show on Hulu, I discussed the emotions felt at the end of the book. In my mind, the book was exempt from spoiler alerts based on its age (published in 1985) and the fact that it… Continue reading When is a spoiler a SPOILER?
There’s a chalkboard sign on my desk that reads “What you THINK you become. What you FEEL you attract. What you IMAGINE you create. – Buddha”. This little sign has prompted many a good daydreaming thought sessions, particularly with what I let myself think and feel. Last year, I started binge watching Sons of Anarchy with the goal of making it through all 7 sevens. After a few episodes, I began to notice myself feeling a lot more jumpy in public. After watching a few seasons, I was a nervous wreck while running. The roar of a passing motorcycle sent chills down my spine.
As I finalized my books read list for 2017 the other day, I started reflecting on the year’s book choices and realized many of them were rooted in challenging the status quo, particularly the thoughts and habits built around consumerism and finance. “The Millionaire Next Door”, was recommended by my mentor as a tool to frame how we were setting our financial goals as a family. I expected a “get rich quick” theme similar to Dave Ramsey or Rich Dad, Poor Dad. What I got instead was a life changing paradigm shift.
While I do enjoy a good “adult” book now and then, the emotional strength needed for books like The Girl on the Train or Little Bee has just been too much for me this year. Even finishing The Maze Runner series proved too much emotionally, which led to a good browsing through the Kindle Unlimited section one night and an introduction to Kerry Lonsdale, a writer from California.
I just finished reading the 2013 novel, Little Wolves, by Thomas Maltman. After reading, I scoped out the reviews on Amazon and was completely surprised by 2 things: the very low number of reviews on Amazon for a book that is 3 years old (only 132 at the time of writing this post) all of the 4-5 star reviews For me, this book ranks a solid 2 stars. It is full of inconsistencies that disjoint and disrupt the flow of the story, starting with the title itself. Little Wolves surprisingly has nothing to do with Wolves.
After I've finished a good book, I usually head over to Amazon to check out the reviews and see if there were any insights or interesting tidbits that I missed or see if anyone else felt a certain way about this character or that event. When skimming reviews for Percy Jackson, I was blown away by how many people felt Rick Riordan had followed a bit too closely in J.K Rowling's footsteps. This was interesting, because while reading the book, not once did I think "Wow..this is just like Harry Potter". After discussing with my favorite bibliophile, we both agreed the reviewers panning Percy Jackson as a Harry Potter knock off had done a lazy comparison of the two books.
If there is one type of book I can't resist, it's a good old fashioned self help book. I just can't help it. They're fun, easy to read and occasionally you'll find a gem in the heap of unconventional life advice. Self help book are like the flea market of literature. You never know what treasures you'll pull out of the pile. We're at the beach again this week and my trusty Kindle companion has been Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Prior to reading "The Doctor Is In", my knowledge of Dr. Ruth consisted of: cute little old lady with a funny accent giving sex advice. Post read, I want Dr. Ruth to be my spirit animal.
The Handmaid's Tale is big in my circle right now, with some reading the book and some watching the Hulu series. The common consensus: alarming, relevant, shocking. With the popularity of dystopian tales in recent cinema, it's surprising The Handmaid's Tale hadn't popped up before now. It's the perfect blend of religious fanaticism and government gone bad to control man-made environmental and population crisis. Think Divergent meets 1984 meets The Third Reich and you've got The Handmaid's Tale.
Of all the gifts I received over the years, there are several books that were literally life changing and would make fantastic graduation gifts. One of those books was How to Dress for Success by Edith Head. This book changed my entire approach to fashion, shopping, personal style and gently nudged me on the path towards minimalism.
Last week I had the task of presenting to a group of people who had previously been given incorrect information about my project. Setting the record straight is never easy and it was a daunting task that left me nervous and sweaty right up until show time. It took me a good month to create the 30 minute presentation, which luckily, went off without a hitch. Many of the guests thanked me afterward and their smiles and friendly conversation were a sign that the presentation had hit its mark. When one of the guests asked for advice in her own similar campaign, I immediately recommended she read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. My entire presentation was guided loosely by the advice contained in this 80 year old book, starting with “Smile” and “Remember names”.