Book Reviews – Summer 2019

Book Reviews – Summer 2019

It feels like forever since I’ve done a book reviews post and as I’ve read some terrific books lately, I felt compelled to share my favorites! Instead of my usual long list of holds at the library, I’m trying to get through some of the stacks of books I’ve had TBR at home. So, some of these titles are a bit older. That doesn’t mean they aren’t worth reading – AND it means most will cost less or be easier to obtain at your library – seems like a good deal to me. Non-Fiction Book Reviews FutureBoards: Learn How to Create a Vision Board to Get Exactly the Life You Want #FutureBoards was sent to me as a review copy and I have to say I loved it! Most entrepreneurs have done or at least heard of vision boards before, but this book took it to the next level. I enjoyed the friendly tone as well as practical advice. I especially liked the step-by-step action items at the end of each chapter. Definitely, a fun way to dream and plan a little. My rating 4 out of 5. The BUILD Framework: A Heart-Based System for Personal and Professional Growth This was another book sent to me as a review and I thought it was quite helpful. It is a very quick read, but there is so much wisdom in it, that I’d recommend reading it twice! Most of the ideas and suggestions are common sense, but the “heart-based” philosophy made me feel a lot more excited about them. This is definitely worth adding to your business help books. My rating...
Book Reviews Spring 2019

Book Reviews Spring 2019

Ready for some new book reviews? I’ve always got a book (or two or three) that I’m reading. I usually keep one on the car, one in the house and sometimes one upstairs in my office. Since I love reading so many different types of books, I rarely get them confused. Suffice it to say I read WAY more than I share in these book reviews. In the quarterly reviews, I just like to give you a highlight of some of my favorites. These last few months of reading included quite a bit of Young Adult fiction. There are currently 25 books on the list for the 2019 – 2020 Eliot Rosewater “Rosie” High School Book Award. Since we love a challenge in my family, my daughter and I are reading through them. They are all YA, but they are all very different genres. I’m about halfway through the list, so I suspect my summer reading reviews will also contain quite a few. NON-FICTION Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive was an eye-opening view into the life of a young single mom without any family support. It was interesting (and often heart-breaking) how drastically her life changed when she became pregnant with her daughter. I felt myself cheering her on as she worked so hard to improve her life, give her daughter a good childhood and struggle through the government systems. My rating 4 out of 5. The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives was based upon the true story of an agender teen who was set...
Book Reviews

Book Reviews

It’s been a crazy, cold winter with more snow than usual, so we’ve spent more time hunkered down at home. In addition to plenty of card and board games (finally taught the kids to play euchre!), I’ve gotten in quite a bit of reading. Since it’s been a while since I did a book review post, I figured I’d share some today. Although today is a work day, with temperature’s hovering at -11 (we actually met the record for the coldest day ever in Indianapolis), I suspect I’ll be spending the evening on the couch, by the fire with a good book. In case you’d like to do the same, here are some of the best books I’ve recently read – some real winners here! Time travel, a love story AND a mother’s love, how could this book be anything but fabulous? The Dream Daughter: A Novel was beautiful. It was beautifully written, a beautiful story and a joy to read. Carly is a recent Vietnam war widow when she discovers that her unborn daughter has a heart defect that can not be cured. She is devastated until her brother-in-law shares with her a way that her daughter could possibly be saved. It will require a lot of faith for Carly to move forward, but as a soon-to-be mother, she will do anything to save her daughter. My rating 5 out of 5.   Does one bad decision make you a bad person?  How profoundly can a series of small choices change your life as well as those around you? Geo’s best friend in high school mysteriously vanishes one night....
Top 10 Travel Bloggers to Follow in 2019

Top 10 Travel Bloggers to Follow in 2019

*This post may contain affiliate links, but as always, opinions are 100% my own.* Do you love to travel as much as I do? When I’m not traveling or planning a trip or searching for a local adventure, I’m either dreaming of a vacation or reading a travel blog. I get so much inspiration as well as ideas for future trips for myself and my family and it’s fun to live vicariously through someone else’s travels. If you can relate, then you need to check out the following travel bloggers – these are my picks for the top 10 to follow in the upcoming year – if you aren’t following them now, you’ll want to check them out: It’s a Lovely Life  – The Reese family has made blogging their full-time job. They travel over 150 days a year with their three kids and go on all the adventures I’d like to go on someday! I love that their trips are so family oriented. It makes them very relatable to me. The blog also showcases a lot of videos which is very fun, AND if you are at all interested in blogging yourself, check out their FREE 5-Day Start a Money Making Blog Course. The Uncorked Librarian – I find this blog (and Christine) so entertaining yet FULL of useful info. She loves drinks and food just like I do, and her adventures sound very much like the ones we used to have pre-kids. Luckily, now that our kids are older we can drag them along again! Living in Florida, she shares lots of information about places we visit often,...
2018 Fall Book Review Post

2018 Fall Book Review Post

How has it been a few months since my last book review post? Time really flies, right? I thought I’d share my favorite books from the last few months – these would ALL make excellent holiday gifts, so if you still need to purchase some gifts, consider some of these: The Great Believers is a book that I read a few weeks ago but I find myself thinking about the story at random times. The author moves back and forth between two connected stories. The first is Yale’s story – he is a young man finding himself in the midst of the AIDS crisis in Chicago in the 1980s. As someone who was a teen in that time period, I remember the fear and how little was known about the disease. The second story concerns Fiona, who was also a young adult at that time period and a friend of Yale’s. However, her story is told in the present day and is about how she is trying to reconnect with her daughter. Her scars from losing so many friends in the ’80s have made her who she is today and greatly affected her current relationships. The book is haunting, yet realistic. As I mentioned, it’s stayed with me for weeks now. My rating 4.5 out of 5. Then She Was Gone: A Novel was another book that I continued to think about long after I had finished it. Although I did figure out the plot midway through, I found it well written and still wanted to continue to see how the author would wrap things up. We begin with wondering what happened to...

Listen to Your Engine

I’m in the middle of reading an advance copy of Jennifer Dukes Lee’s latest book “It’s All Under Control,” and I have to say it is wonderful. Just what I need at this busy time of life. Today I want to share an excerpt from the book along with some practical advice on how to incorporate more rest into your life, and make sure to scroll down to the bottom for a special giveaway!   Jennifer’s words: Let’s stop should-ing ourselves and start replenishing ourselves. We need to listen to our bodies instead of pushing them. What if, when we heard our bodies begging, Go into a lower gear, we actually paid attention? As an example, let me introduce you to my first car. It was a red Volkswagen Beetle with a clutch and stick shift. It always reeked of fuel, which meant that I smelled like a gas station. My Slug Bug died an untimely death in 1989 when it started on fire on an Iowa highway. I rescued my French horn from the backseat and walked down the deserted highway, crying under a half-moon sky, waiting for someone to let me hitch a ride. The car had been my first major purchase, bought with my lifeguarding paychecks. I didn’t know how to drive a stick shift at first but learned by listening to the sounds it made. In its own way, the car had a “voice.” When the car was in too low of a gear, it made a high revving sound. That was my cue to shift to a higher gear. As I continued to accelerate,...

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