A Guide to Happiness by Tara Ward. This quick guide offers helpful tips and information on using mindfulness and meditation. Seven steps build a way for making happiness a regular and natural part of our lives. The chemistry of our emotions and hormones is explained easily and concisely to help readers understand how and why we feel the way we do, depending on the situation. Several meditation exercises are placed throughout this guide. One of my favorites is the happiness cloud. The book closes with the Happiness Plan which involves questions and exercises to help gear our minds to daily happiness. A fun guide to happiness!
When I was first approached about reading and reviewing this book, I didn’t know the term for the actions of manipulative people. Now I know gaslighting means exactly that. This book is a helpful and logical guide to recognizing, dealing with and overcoming the manipulative behavior of gaslighters, those narcissistic people that bring toxicity to everyday life. Examples are given of workplace scenarios and family situations to help identify the behavior.The next section delves into the questions of how and why people become manipulative. Then into the types of gaslighting. Some gaslighting occurs with intent while others can be unintentional. Gaslighting techniques are explored and discussed to help identify this behavior. Common signs of a gaslighting victim’s actions are listed also, to help readers recognize if this is happening to themselves or someone they know. Gaslighting is a “tool” of narcissists, who manipulate those around them. Effects of gaslighting on the victim can alter and inhibit normal life. Loss of self esteem, confidence, friends, emotional expression, feeling anxious and depressed, trust issues and submissive behavior are some of the results or effects of being a gaslighting victim. Being a victim can also take a huge toll on physical well being, since stress can cause health issues. Luckily, we can deal with and overcome gaslighting. First, recognition is the key and trusting yourself will help you gain the confidence needed to put the behavior out of your life. Self-affirmation exercises can help you gain your confidence back and mindfulness and meditation can help you strengthen your resolve and deal with and stop being a victim. Self-help for building awareness and regaining confidence!
Great reasons to keep laughing!
Thanks to NetGalley And Penguin Books for the opportunity to read and review Laughter Yoga: Daily Practices for Health and Happiness by Madan Kataria, M.D.!
The book takes readers through the origins or beginnings of Laughter Yoga and what this practice actually is and onto the process and how it works. Then it teaches how to laugh more alone and within a group, the shared benefits, and gives ideas for using Laughter Yoga. A Laughter Quotient Quiz opens the book and allows readers to rate the amount of laughter in their lives. I have a laughter quotient of 78 which falls in the category of “you are good at laughing, but you can do better”. Laughter Yoga practice starts with stretching, clapping and chanting which can lead to a playful attitude and onto laughter, especially in a group setting. Deep breathing exercises prepare us for belly laughing which is a healing laughter. A regular session has fifteen steps and lasts about twenty minutes but alternative options are shared to vary the session experiences. Yoga nidra is explained also. This is putting your body to sleep while your mind stays awake. This practice helps rejuvenate a person and thirty minutes of yoga nidra equals two hours of regular sleep. Fascinating practice that I tried and I agree with the helpful results. Three key tips for laughter yoga are to know laughter, do laughter and be laughter. Wonderful reasons for making laughter a part of daily life, 5 stars!
Fascinating information about our country’s past presidents!
Thanks to NetGalley And Bloomsbury Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Close Calls by Michael P. Spradlin.
A collection of short stories describes how eleven of past United States presidents escaped “from the brink of death”. The book begins with the threats to George Washington and continues throughout the centuries to the first President Bush. It seems that we learn about the assassinations only but never the attempts that aren’t successful or the other dangers presidents have been in. I never realized that JFK almost died in a boat crash while serving during World War II just as I hadn’t realized how many death threats President Lincoln received. Fascinating information and snippets of facts sprinkled throughout the book make it an interesting nonfiction read. 5 stars!
Guide to making and keeping better habits!
Thanks to NetGalley And The Experiment for the opportunity to read and review Kaizen- The Japanese Secret to Lasting Change by Sarah Harvey!
The book’s contents include how to start Kaizen, health, work, money, home, relationships, habits and challenges, stumbling blocks, and change for good. “Kaizen isn’t about change for change’s sake, but about identifying particular goals-both short-term and long-term-and then making small, manageable steps to achieve those goals.” Taking small steps in making changes is the absolute key. Kaizen is meant to be tweaked to your individual needs and goals. Continuous improvement is the philosophy of Kaizen. This informative book is filled with helpful tips for every aspect of our lives that break everything into manageable pieces to make improvements easier! Educational, instructional, enlightening and inspiring! 5 stars!
Thanks to Granta Books, The Experiment and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Brilliant Maps for Curious Minds: 100 New Ways to See the World by Ian Wright.
Sections include people and populations, politics, power, and religion, culture and customs, friends and enemies, geography, history, national identity, crime and punishment, and nature. This book is full of maps, of course, but also trivia. The author has created maps for just about everything you can possibly think of, such as what countries drive on the wrong side of the road, generate nuclear power, population comparisons and some I’ve never thought of or known about, like which countries use a comma or point to separate decimals. I had no idea that anyone used commas as a decimal separator. The map of countries showing McDonald’s is jaw-dropping since McDonald’s restaurants are almost everywhere in the world! Longest place names fascinated me as well as the map showing Vikings’ raids and settlements. The weirdest map to me is of the world’s time zones which zig-zags everywhere. Brilliant Maps promises to be an interesting book and it delivers, 5 stars!
Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett addresses several difficult topics with boldness and knowledge. Simone was born HIV positive and she lives with her loving, adoptive parents, Dave and Paul, who she calls Dad and Pops. Simone recently moved to the school she’s now attending, after being tormented and shunned at her previous school when her best friend told everyone that Simone has HIV. She wants a fresh start and her junior year is going well, at first. She’s been assigned as the high school musical director for the school production of “Rent” because Broadway is one of her passions and her teacher believes she has what it takes to follow her dreams and make a career out of directing. Simone meets this amazing guy, Miles, and they form a healthy relationship and she shares her secret with him. Miles handles it kindly and with empathy and treats Simone the same as before. Someone starts leaving threatening notes for Simone, warning her to break up with Miles or else. Everything escalates after that and blow up. Simone finds out who her true friends are and she has to decide whether to hold her head up high and persevere or run away from the same problem all over again.
Be aware that Full Disclosure freely talks about sexual issues and questions, so not for sexually squeamish readers.
Necessary and beneficial guide!
Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Overcoming Opioid Addiction by Adam Bisaga, MD.
I wanted to read this book because, as a librarian, I was hopeful that it could be a helpful guide and voice of wisdom and information to those who may need it most, whether for personal, family or friend use. Overcoming Opioid Addiction was written to give general knowledge of Opioids, the epidemic and addiction, for health-care professionals, family members and for addicted individuals. The book is sectioned into four parts, each concentrating on one of these areas. This fascinating but informative and helpful book opened my eyes to Opioids and helped me to better understand how addiction became an epidemic and how patients can be treated and overcome addiction. 5 stars for this necessary and beneficial guide to Opioid Use Disorder!
Spread the joy of reading!
Thanks to NetGalley and Workman Publishing for the opportunity to read and review How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo!
The book opens with explanations of reading’s importance and the reading experiences of both authors. I appreciate this statement from this section of the book: “School is where children learn that they have to read. Home is where kids learn to read because they want to.” That quote sums it all up perfectly! As a parent and a teacher, I have personally experienced both school and home influences on reading. The book is broken up into parts. Part One: Born to Read includes book suggestions to the years of babyhood through toddlerhood and breaks down what babies can handle by stages and ages. Developing rituals around reading is a great way to guarantee reading takes place every day, like reading at bedtime. It’s a wonderful step when a toddler becomes a reader as he or she looks through books independently and starts telling the story on their own. A reminder of what libraries are great for for when our kids are little and not so little. Here’s an eye-opening statement that will be important to remember: …the statistic most highly correlated to literacy is the number of books present in the home. Part Two: Growing a Reader discusses the emerging reader and independent reader. Part Three: Your Middle-Grade Reader discusses “novels for children”. The following statement is a reminder of why we read, “…to escape, to uncover, to challenge ourselves, to be swept away by a compelling voice, to find companionship with characters we connect with, to travel the world from the safe distance of a living room armchair.” Thanks to J. K. Rowling for ushering us into communal reading by building excitement, anticipation and all the aspects of her Harry Potter stories that give readers topics of discussion. Part Four: A Reader for Life: Teenagers states the fact that young adult literature is a category that didn’t even exist a few decades ago. When I was a teenager, reading choices were much more limited than they are now. Reading options can be overwhelming now because we have so much choice and variety in genres. Part Five: More Books to Love by theme and reading level explores books that are humorous, tear inducing, heartwarming, family stories, full of courage, kind and empathetic, good for identifying and accepting yourself, have awesome male characters and great female characters, are historical and biographical, dealing with science and nature, and historical fiction. Fantastic book for adults wanting to foster a love of reading in their younger counterparts, 5 stars!
User-friendly plant guide!
Thanks to NetGalley and Timber Press for the opportunity to read and review Plant Parenting by Leslie F. Halleck!
Separating and propagating instructions to increase the amount of plants you have are the basis for this book. The first section explains how plants multiply and how plants differ in propagation. Next up is understanding plant names and their varieties. Materials, tools and instructions show different propagating systems, soil and lighting available. Then the sections are broken into the type of growing preferences, such as seeds, water rooting, propagation, and dividing plants. Photos are close up and detailed for making concepts easy to understand. I found this book so helpful that I’m now following the author on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! 5 stars for a user-friendly guide to multiplying plants!