Showing posts from October, 2016

I Got How Many Books in October???

I had this idea. I thought it was a good idea; now I’m not so sure. Being that I read a lot and talk about books a lot, I thought maybe I would document here what books I get each month, starting with October.

The problem is, it would seem that I amassed 41 books in October. I’m not sure whether to throw my fists in the air and celebrate or hang my head in shame.

Let’s go with the former. Woohoo, I got 41 books in October!!! Now, just because I got that many doesn’t mean I read that many (or that I’ll ever read them all; let’s be honest).

Also, side note: I'm not going to link these titles like I normally do. Because 41.

So, let’s start with what I finished (or abandoned) this month:

My (Underground) American Dream by Julissa Arce was my favorite book that I read this month, and then I got to see Arce speak at the Hachette Book Club Brunch. Amazing! Read my full review. (received for free to review)
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee is one that I started but haven’t finished and may not finish. H…

What is That Hachette Book Club Brunch Thing I Keep Mentioning? This.

Last Saturday was pretty much the perfect day. How do I measure a good day? Good conversation, time spent with friends, delicious food, and books. Saturday had all four.

I joined a few friends in New York City for the entire day. The women I went with aren’t people I get to see very often since my move, so having a full day in the city with them was magical.

Our first stop was the Hachette Book Club Brunch. My friends had gone last year and had a blast, so I decided to join them this year and I was not disappointed.

Hachette Book Group planned a four-hour event that included panels and discussions with four non-fiction authors and four fiction authors, plus lunch.

Prior to the event, Hachette had mailed advanced reader copies of Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (on sale February 2017) to all of the attendees. My copy was delayed, so while I waited, I went in search of some of the other author’s books and was able to get a Kindle copy of My (Underground) American Dream by Julissa Arce, which I love…

Nourishing Meals: a cookbook review

Nourishing Meals: 365 Whole Foods, Allergy-Free Recipes for Healing Your Family One Meal at a Time
by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre
Published by Harmony, an imprint of Crown Publishing Group, on October 11, 2016

There is something about fall that gets me in the mood for cooking. The cooler weather makes me want warm, hearty meals.

I have been looking for a new cookbook to add to my collection, but I am picky about them. I wanted a cookbook with “normal” meals in it -- no outrageous recipes, no unknown ingredients. I was ecstatic to come across Nourishing Meals.

Nourishing Meals is written with food allergies and sensitivities in mind. Thankfully, these aren’t really issues for my son and me, but because of this focus, the recipes focus more on whole ingredients. Finding healthy and delicious meals that would satisfy us both was my goal.

The book begins with approximately 40 pages explaining whole foods, causes and symptoms of food sensitivities, and other healthy eating concepts. From t…

My (Underground) American Dream: a book review

My (Underground) American Dream: My True Story as an Undocumented Immigrant Who Became a Wall Street Executive
by Julissa Arce
Published by Center Street on September 13, 2016

This memoir about Arce’s experience as an undocumented immigrant from childhood through early adulthood was riveting. It begins with early childhood when she lived in Taxco, Mexico with extended family while her parents lived in San Antonio, Texas and traveled to trade shows to sell jewelry. They eventually brought her to the United States where she attended Catholic school and watched her parents work hard, then joined them in their work.

It continues through her high school experience at a public school and college then through her first job at Goldman Sachs, until she ultimately moves on to writing and activism. Somewhere in there (I won't tell you when), she becomes a legal U.S. citizen.

I picked up the ebook when I went in search of the authors who would be speaking at the Hachette Book Club Brunch next week…

My Most Favorite Planner Ever

I talked about the Desire Map Planner by Danielle LaPorte at the end of last year in a post called The Planner You Want for 2016, and I’m going to talk about it again. Why? Because I love it so much, and the 2017 collection is out!

I love planners. Love them. I need a way to stay organized and, despite all of the online options and apps, I love a physical pen-to-paper planner that I can flip through easily.

I also love journals. Loooove them. So when Danielle LaPorte first designed a planner with integrated journal prompts, I flipped. Okay, I didn’t flip. I’m not much of a gymnast. But I got really excited and ordered one.

Each daily page gave space to scheduling, to-do items, AND to gratitudes, things to let go, core desired feelings, and a “soul prompt.”

There pretty much isn’t anything that could be more in my wheelhouse than that.

I have used the Desire Map Planner for the past two years (2015 and 2016), and I have already ordered one for 2017. I love it that much.

Creator Danielle LaPo…

Be Still: a poem

Really. Just stop.
You don’t have to run all the time.
You don’t have to always be doing.
You don’t have to go, go, go.
You don’t have to scroll through your Facebook feed.
It is OK to do nothing.
Be still.
Really. Just be still.
For it is in the still that knowing comes.
It is in the still that healing happens.
It is in the still.
And still, we run.

Edge of Wonder: a poetry book review

EDGE OF WONDER: Notes From The Wildness Of Being
by Victoria Erickson
Published by Enrealment Press on December 15, 2015

Edge of Wonder is a book of poetry that is accessible and inspiring. It is particularly suited to sensitive souls (HSPs -- that is, highly sensitive people -- this means you!).

Erickson’s poems marvel at the wonder of the everyday. She delves into hopes, soul-care, and why all of our voices are needed in this world.

Though their language makes them easy to comprehend, these poems pack punches that are harder than they seem at first glance. I read just a few poems each day to let Erickson’s words sink in, to let their simple truths permeate. I will return to Edge of Wonder many more times.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Please see my book review and affiliate disclaimer. I purchased this book from Barnes & Noble with my own money.

Rad Women Worldwide: a book review

Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History
Written by Kate Schatz; Illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl
Published by Ten Speed Press on September 27, 2016

Rad Women Worldwide is a fun look at more than 40 women, contemporary and historical, who have done amazing things around the world.

I was pleasantly surprised that the women discussed in this book included names with which I was familiar (Malala Yousafzai and Frida Kahlo, for example), as well as names I’d never heard of (Grace "Granuaile" O'Malley and Policarpa "La Pola" Salavarrieta, to name a couple).

They also come from a wide variety of backgrounds and vocations, such as activist, soccer player, pirate, and even a female king.

The design of the book contributes to the rad feeling with simplistic, edgy images in contrasting colors. I wish, however, that actual photographs had been included where possible. Although the illustrations make for a cohesiv…

Behold the Dreamers: a book review

Behold the Dreamers

by Imbolo Mbue

Published by Random House; released August 23, 2016

Behold the Dreamers is a masterful novel that juxtaposes a rich, white American family from Wall Street with an immigrant family from Cameroon trying to obtain their papers to stay in this country legally. Both families are struggling -- one within its own family, the other with the world around them -- and both are affected by the financial collapse of 2008.

Clark Edwards is a hard-working Wall Street executive, and Jende Jonga is his equally hard-working chauffeur. Jende's wife, Neni, is a caregiver studying to become a pharmacist. She is happy to have a chance to live the American dream. That same dream, however, is suffocating Mrs. Edwards.

This is not a plot-based, action book. This is a drama about the daily life -- good and bad -- of two very different families, who perhaps are after the same American dream -- to be secure and have a happy home.

I loved reading this story and getting to go insi…