Review: Reinventing Yourself

Reinventing Yourself Book Cover Reinventing Yourself
Steve Chandler
Nonfiction; Self-Help
Career Press

From the back cover:

"Whether you're self-employed, a middler manager, or a Fortune 500 executive, its easy to get get stuck in a humdrum life and only fantasize about 'what could have been.'

Motivational speaker Steve Chandler helps you transform 'what could have been' into 'what will be.' You'll learn numerous techniques for breaking down negative barriers and letting go of pessimistic thoughts that prevent you from fulfilling, or even allowing yourself to conceive of, your goals and dreams.

Drawing on many years of work in the field since the original publication of the book, Chandler has added numerous new stories, quotes, insights, and recommendations on how to reinvent yourself from the fictional, limited personality of old to a fresh level of creative action."

I was prepared to not like this book when I started it. I had just finished, or was in the process of reading, several other self-help style books that just left me irritated and annoyed. Thankfully this book was a welcome departure and I ended up really connecting with it.

I really connected with Mr. Chandler’s definition of victim and owner, and I was able to see the ways in which I had behaved like a victim in my own life. Thankfully, I was also able to see many ways in which I behaved like an owner.

There are plenty of examples and anecdotes surrounding the ideas presented. They are all easy to relate to. The chapters are kept short, so you don’t get bogged down by any extraneous information. Everything is kept simple and understandable.

At a point in my life where I am considering a break from the self-help genre, Reinventing Yourself reminded me that there are still books out there that are helpful and relevant to my life.

Monday Update #7: Oops I Did it Again


Every time I commit to reducing my currently reading pile, I seem to go in the wrong direction! I was making good progress on my pile before my trip to the library a few weeks ago (I came home with 3 on that trip). But I got through those and was ready to start powering through what was left. And what do I do? I go to the library again and come home with 7 more books! It’s an obsession. Anyway, so I have shifted from the 3 books I was working on to 5 books now. Here is my current reading pile.

Recently Completed:

The Apple Tart of Hope        Shelter for the Spirit: Create Your Own Haven in a Hectic World        The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)        The Little Paris Bookshop

The Apple Tart of Hope//Shelter for the Spirit//The Scorch Trials//The Little Paris Bookshop

Currently Reading:

Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog        The Casual Vacancy        Being Single in a Couples' World: How to Be Happily Single While Looking for Love       The Beginning of Everything       Under the Wire (The Bodyguards, #5)

Marley & Me//The Casual Vacancy//Being Single in a Couples’ World//The Beginning of Everything//Under the Wire

Up Next on the TBR:

All the Light We Cannot See        The MacKade Brothers: Devin and Shane (MacKades #3 & 4)        Falling Awake        Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6)       Water for Elephants

All the Light We Cannot See//The MacKade Brothers Devin & Shane//Falling Awake//Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince//Water for Elephants

**All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

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Sunday Post #6

Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Life Happenings:
With the exception of a trip to the library on Monday, I did not leave the house at all this week. This is not totally unusual. Since I’m a total introvert and not working at the moment, I tend to spend more time with my computer and my books than with people. Plus I honestly don’t know anyone in the area except my family. This means that I got a lot of reading and blog work done, but not much else. I did pack up my winter stuff and the books that I’ve read since I arrived so that I can switch for summer stuff and different books from storage. That should happen sometime early this week, then it’s my week to go stay with Cheshire. So I’ll get out of the house a couple of times this week 🙂

Last Week on the Blog:
Sunday Post #5: Adding Something New
Monday Update #6
Review: The Liar
Top Ten Tuesday #4: Feelings Change
Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
Page vs Screen #5: The Silver Linings Playbook
Review: This Year I Will…
Favorite Authors~ Cherry Adair
Review: All the Bright Places
A Day in the Life~ Before
Stacking the Shelves #2

This Week on the Blog:
Monday Update #7: Oops I Did it Again
Top Ten Tuesday #5: Toes in the Sand
Page vs Screen #6: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Thursday Thoughts: Socially Awkward
When I’m Not Reading

Reviews This Week:
The Little Paris Bookshop
Reinventing Yourself
Shelter for the Spirit
The Apple Tart of Hope

Book of the Week:

The Apple Tart of Hope

Quote of the Week:
“I learned that if someone you know disappears you shouldn’t automatically jump to conclusions. You should ask questions, and look, and search until you know for sure. Don’t write them off until you’ve exhausted every avenue. Keep hope in your heart.”
Oscar, The Apple Tart of Hope p.11

Last Week’s Goals:
I did pretty well with my goals from last week, though I didn’t hit them all.
Social Media: 100 followers on Bloglovin~ Nope, but I did pick up some more followers, and I did get my link out there on social media.
Blog: Schedule all posts by Wednesday~ Success! All posts for the week were written & scheduled by the end of the day Wednesday, I even started work on all of next week’s posts too.
Reading: Finish The Casual Vacancy & The Scorch Trials~ Half. I finished The Scorch Trials and 2 other books, but not The Casual Vacancy.
Personal: Revamp resume~ Success!

This Week’s Goals:
Social Media: Reach 400 followers on Twitter (follow me here)
Blog: Comment on 3 blogs every day
Reading: Complete at least 4 books
Personal: Go to storage to switch out books and winter/summer clothes

Notable Posts from the Blog World:
How to Deal with Depression and Anxiety: 10 Lessons from a Lake from Tiny Buddha
10 Dreadful Things That Will Happen if You Read too Much from Paper Fury
Jo Talks Books: On the Gender Divide in Reading from Book Lovers Blog
Marks on Your Books from A Dance with Books
13 Books Everyone Will be Talking About This Summer from Modern Mrs. Darcy
Do You Ever Feel Pressured to Read? from The Quiet People
How to Stop Living on Autopilot and Make Life More Exciting from Tiny Buddha

Stacking the Shelves #2


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by the team at Tynga’s Reviews where bloggers can share their book hauls for the week.

Right now I participate in Stacking the Shelves very infrequently since I am not able to purchase any books at the moment, and I am new to the book blogging world, therefore and not receiving copies for review. I do however frequent my local library. While my library may be small (our “downtown” is six square blocks), I am usually able to find some good reads, and this last trip was no exception!

Here is my library haul for this week:

The Apple Tart of Hope        The Beginning of Everything

The Apple Tart of Hope//The Beginning of Everything

Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog

Marley and Me

All the Light We Cannot See        Falling Awake        Water for Elephants        Secret Sisters

All the Light We Cannot See//Falling Awake//Water for Elephants//Secret Sisters

** All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

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A Day In the Life~ Before


So I had the idea that it might be fun to share what a day in my life is like. Then I remembered that I really don’t do a whole lot with my day right now, and I often feel really unproductive. So I got to thinking that I really need to make some changes in the way that I am spending my time. That brought me to the decision to share what a day in my life looks like right now, and then as I work on making changes to the way that I spend my days, I’ll share an “after” look at a day in my life in two weeks. Ultimately I would like to share another day in the life post down the road after I’m working again.

So here is what my Wednesday looked like this week:

Free stock photo of coffee, cup, mug, bed

8:30am wake up and lay in bed trying to talk myself into getting up

9am finally get out of bed, check Instagram and Twitter while waiting for my email to boot up

Free stock photo of woman, apple, iphone, smartphone

9:15am check email, log into Facebook and play my games, log into my website to post today’s post to Facebook and Twitter, log into Bloglovin, log into Goodreads

10:30am Take shower, get dressed

Book in the hand

10:45am Read

11:00am start cycle over again with Instagram and Twitter, then Email, Facebook games, Write and post Review, read blogs on Bloglovin, check recommendations on Goodreads, take surveys, read. Repeat all of these

Free stock photo of food, sausage, hot dog, puff pastry

1:00pm Stop to help bring in groceries and make lunch for myself

1:30pm Return to my social media, computer, and reading cycle on repeat

Broccoli Shrimp and Carrots Food on Tray

6:00pm Make dinner for my parents and myself and eat it

7:00pm Return to previous cycle

Free stock photo of food, restaurant, summer, nuts

8:00pm Break for ice cream

8:30pm Return to previous cycle and continue until bedtime (1am).

And is it any wonder why I feel like I never get anything accomplished throughout the day? To be fair, I did get 4 posts written and scheduled on this day and finished a book. I guess this is what happens when you’ve been out of work for 6 months and get into a rut. As I said, over the next two weeks I will be changing the way I spend my days and hopefully add some more productivity to the mix.

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Review: All The Bright Places

All the Bright Places Book Cover All the Bright Places
Jennifer Niven
YA Fiction
Alfred A. Knopf

From Goodreads

"Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink."

This book… it ripped my heart out, squeezed it, and put it back bruised and bloody. Ok, maybe that’s was a little graphic, but really this book is a heart breaker!

Combining mental illness with grief and loss, Jennifer Niven has provided a compelling an poignant story about dealing with powerful issues as a teen.

Violet is dealing with tragedy and is basically hiding from life until she meets Finch. He helps her to understand herself, doesn’t let her hide from life, and helps her to move forward and open herself to the future.

Finch is troubled and hides behind various personas to keep the truth of his illness to himself. Because of my own experience with a similar disease, I connected so deeply to Finch’s character and thoroughly understood his thoughts, questions, and fears. Violet makes him want to be better, but he doesn’t know if he can be… and he’s afraid of breaking her in the process.

Together Finch and Violet are magic and everything that first love should be.

While this story broke my heart, and I wish that it could have gone another way, I was uplifted by the end and the promise of the future for Violet.

Favorite Authors~ Cherry Adair


I really enjoy sharing my favorite authors with you. These are authors whose books I tend to grab whenever I see them. Some authors are known only for their niche, others are widely known and frequently pop up on the best sellers lists. I have a few more authors that I want to share with you, but I’m feeling like a weekly feature is not necessary for this category. I’ll be changing the frequency to every other week for this feature and will be looking at the possibility of adding another feature for the other weeks.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I want to share a favorite of mine who is a niche author and writes fabulous romantic suspense books… Cherry Adair.

Ms. Adair is best known for her T-FLAC series and the off-shoots from it (including Cutter Cay and Lodestone). All of her books feature strong heroes who could be special agents, even if they aren’t. While it is usually the hero who is rescuing or protecting the heroine in these novels, the ladies are no slouches and their assistance and expertise is usually necessary to the ultimate triumph over the bad guys.

The Mercenary (T-FLAC, #1)       White Heat (T-FLAC, #11)        Edge of Danger (T-FLAC, #8)        Black Magic        Undertow (Cutter Cay #1)        Afterglow (Lodestone, #2)

Because Ms. Adair writes mostly series novels (she does have some stand alones), characters continue to make appearances in later stories. I love this because I never have to let go of my favorites and get to check in with them down the road.

“Never run after a man or a bus, there’s always another one in five minutes.”
Cherry Adair (Kiss and Tell (T-FLAC, #2))

So if you’re in the mood for hot heroes, steamy couples, lots of action, and a bit of humor, pick up one of Cherry Adair’s books.

**Covers link to Goodreads

And if you still aren’t following me on Bloglovin, don’t forget to follow me today!

Review: This Year I Will…

This Year I Will... Book Cover This Year I Will...
M.J. Ryan
Nonfiction; Self-Help
Broadway Books

From the dust jacket:

"Every so often people get inspired (again!) to lose weight, get organized, start saving, or stop worrying- but a few months later they give up, frustrated. It doesn't have to be that way. In This Year I Will..., bestselling author M.J. Ryan offers breakthrough wisdom and coaching to help readers make this time the time that change becomes permanent.

Why do people find it so hard to change? The secret is that everyone has their own formula for making changes that stick, but most people don't know what theirs is. They think there is one way to lose five pounds, and another way to stay on top of their e-mail, but they don't realize that for all changes, there is one system that works best for each individual. This Year I Will... helps you lock on to your unique formula for planning, implementing, and seeing a life change through, so you can use it again and again to tackle anything else you do.

For anyone who has broken a New Year's resolution, fallen off a diet, or given up on fulfilling a dream, the ingenious strategies, inspiring stories, and sheer motivational energy of This Year I Will... will help you make a promise to yourself that you actually keep."

There are two things that I really like about this book:
1.The chapters are relatively short and easy to read
2. The author let’s you decide what you want to work on and provides ideas for just about everything.

I am a big fan of M.J. Ryan and have read several of her self-help books over the years. She writes simply and directly without a lot of extra fluff that is not needed. That is not to say that her books are dry, because they aren’t. She includes plenty of stories and examples along with her advice. But she doesn’t beat you over the head with multiple examples and anecdotes for each idea.

Most sections are under 5 pages long, so you can pick this up and read a section if you have 10 minutes to spare here and there in your day. And the book takes you through all aspects of change, from preparation to maintenance.

Ultimately, at the end of the book, you will receive some great advice for how to real a big goal or change a habit for good.


Page vs Screen #5: The Silver Linings Playbook


The Book:

The Silver Linings Playbook
The Silver Linings Playbook
Author: Matthew Quick
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books

The Movie:

Product Details
Silver Linings Playbook

Screenplay: David O. Russell
Producer: Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen & Johnathan Gordon
Director: David O. RussellStarring: Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence

The Comparison:
I have read reviews of people who prefer the movie over the book for this one. And the movie is pretty terrific and stars two amazing actors and had a lot of Oscar buzz {including Jennifer Lawrence winning Best Actress}. I personally enjoy both the book and the movie, but can tell you that there are a lot of differences between the two.

If you’ve read the book, you’ll notice within the first 10 minutes of the movie that there are going to be a lot of changes. The main character’s last name is changed, as is the name on the Jersey he wears, even the song that triggers Pat’s outbursts is different. These are minor changes compared to most of the others, but are notable in my opinion. There is also a huge change in the timeline. In the book, Pat has been in the mental health facility for years and has no memory of the time that has elapsed, or really the details of why he was there. The movie has Pat with full memory of what occurred, and leaving the facility after only 8 months.

The book focusing on football and the Eagles. Pat is a loyal and dedicated fan, as are his brother and father. While Eagles football is still a big part of the movie, Pat’s participation in watching the games is not.

The biggest and most glaring changes occur with the relationships in the film. I won’t go into the changes with Pat’s ex-wife Nikki to avoid spoilers, but his relationship with his father, brother, friend, and therapist are all dramatically different between the book and movie. There is also the addition of two characters in the movie who were completely absent in the book- a police officer and a friend of Pat’s dad. I think the relationship between Pat and his father is much more positive and healthy in the movie, but his relationship with his brother is not. The book shows a much healthier and supportive relationship between the brothers.

The movie seems to rush Pat’s relationship/friendship with Tiffany. Granted there is a lot to fit into a 2-hour time slot, but the development of their friendship is overlooked. In the movie they are almost instantly friends, where in the book Pat is wary of Tiffany for some time before they truly become friends.

In the book, we are able to experience more of both Pat’s and Tiffany’s mental states and see the progression of their recovery. Their mental illnesses are more in focus. The movie doesn’t really spend time focusing on their illnesses.

The Bottom Line:
Based on my above comments, you may think that I didn’t like the movie, but I really do. I saw the movie the first time long before I read the book and really enjoyed it. Even after reading the book and going back to watch it, I still enjoy the movie. I just think that the book goes much deeper into the heart of the issues and the development of the relationship between Pat and Tiffany and the struggle with their respective mental illnesses.

**covers link to Goodreads/IMDB; titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) Book Cover Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
Mindy Kaling
Memoir; Humor
Three Rivers Press

From Goodreads:

"Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka."

Mindy Kaling tells her story through a series of short essays from childhood through her time on The Office. She is humorous and engaging in the way she shares her life. The titles of each section are witty and fun, including such names as “The Day I Stopped Eating Cupcakes” and “In Defense of Chest Hair.”

I loved watching Mindy on The Office and picked up this book because I love her humor. I received a treat because her openness and warmth added to the experience and made it even more genuine.

Mindy shares her story in a way that we can all relate with. I identified with her childhood self who felt like she didn’t really fit in. We get to experience her insecurities and faux pas in work and love as she moves through life. The reader is there with Mindy as she works her first job in the industry, and able to celebrate with her when she lands a job writing with what would become a hit television show.

I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone looking to read a heartfelt and humorous look at life.