January 2016 Book Reviews

This is obviously the month of goal setting and new beginnings – at least evidenced by what I read!  I did read a couple of good Fiction books, but the majority of what I read was all-around productivity and such.  Definitely some good stuff, but I’m going to be on the lookout forIMG_3464 some more good novels next month!


I’ve been looking for something fun to read with my son at night – we have tried and given up on a few books that he just didn’t find interesting.  Finally, when cleaning out the basement, I came across this book.  Some of the things we love about this book:  Grandma Dowdel is hilarious!  The writing is good – funny and engaging.  The narrator is a young boy – he starts out a similar age to my son – so he connected with him right away.  I also love that each chapter is a little story by itself – makes it an easy one to read at night before bed.  My only complaint?  I wish the book was longer!  My rating 5 out of 5.

What a fun story to read.  This is a YA novel, but I still got a kick out of it.  I loved that I could pass it on to my daughter and feel comfortable with her enjoying it.  The main plot consists of two teens who accidentally “meet” on the internet, and start an engaging and meaningful conversation – without knowing who the other really is (definitely a good time to have a conversation about internet safety!).  Turns out one of them is a famous movie star and the other a girl who has a family secret to hide.  They eventually meet in person and find out if the “real life” person is the same as the online version.  My rating 4 out of 5.


Loved this book!  It was full of useful advice and reminded me a lot of my favorite book on productivity: Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time.  Jeff Sanders offers up a realistic and doable plan for getting up earlier and accomplishing more out of life.  A mix of motivational and practical, I found a lot of his ideas interesting and helpful.   The biggest takeaway for me was the idea of planning three months at a time versus an entire year.  Somehow that idea never occurred to me but you can bet I’m giving it a try!  I may like this book even more at the end of the year if that plan pans out.  My rating 4.5 out of 5.

Truth be told, I’ve had this book in my “to read” pile for a few years now.  This year felt like the year to crack it open – I really wanted to come at my New Year’s resolutions in a softer and more meaningful way.  Wow am I GLAD I got started.  It’s different (very different) that any other goal setting book I’ve read.  In fact, you don’t even set goals until the very end of the book.  By that time, I knew exactly how I wanted 2016 to feel for me – and I believe my goals are simpler and more meaningful because of it.  Although January is an obvious time to dig into this one, I think the message and work involved could successfully be done anytime, so don’t be like me and wait for a new year to start.  Curious about my desired feelings for the year?  Connection, cozy, delight, vibrant and energy.  I’ll be sharing more on that later this year.  My rating 4.5 out of 5.

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