Category Archives: books

A few Friday things + some weekend tunes!

Books to read…

I finished this book in three sittings!  Just took me a weekend and I loved every page!  I’ve already handed the book off to my mother in law because I think it’s a great summer read.  I’m sure one of your friends has already bought this book so go out and find it!

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On my nightstand…

This book came from the summer reading list of my favorite author.  How could I say no?  I’m only a few pages in but I have a feeling I will devour this one out on the patio this weekend.  I think it’s the fact we have comfy patio chairs, great weather, and great wine!  I could stay outside all day and just read!

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And in my shopping cart on Amazon…

If this book is anything like Ms. Semple’s other book above, I think this will be a great read!  Just a hunch.

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Palisade peaches!

We are thinking about making the trek over the mountains this weekend to Palisade.  We can get the peaches here but they aren’t as good as the ones straight off the tree.  Last year we went here and found peaches bigger than softballs!  Now if only I could find the pictures…

And some weekend tunes to play while I (or you) sit out and read!
spotify:user:1260097405:playlist:53TK6xD1bc5ifclz4zX053

 

Happy Friday!

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BHBC Presents Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

When I was given the opportunity to review Jenny Lawson’s book, Let’s Pretend this never Happened, I was very excited. I have been reading Jenny’s hilarious commentary on daily life at TheBloggess.com for quite some time and I find her writing full of dark humor and biting wit a great combination. She writes without apology about her feelings and daily life. As her writing style in the book is not that much different from her blog, I found the book easy to read and get lost in. Once the book arrived, I dove right in and had to stop from sharing every story with my husband every time I laughed out loud.

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What I really enjoy is her honesty. No matter how mundane, personal, or downright gross, Ms. Lawson doesn’t hold back. She wants people to connect with her because we have been there or can at least understand her point of view. If you need a quick pick me up or short read, this book can be read as a whole book or can be viewed as a collection of short connecting essays. I have really enjoyed this book and hope there will be more.

check out the BlogHer discussion here

I was made for my review by BlogHer but all opinions are my own

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BHBC Presents Touch and Go

This is a paid review for Blogher Book Club, however, all thoughts and opinions are my very own.

When given the opportunity to read a suspense thriller, I think I actually rolled my eyes… Then I realized that I am always looking for something new to read and stepping out my genre might shake things up just enough.  And I was pleasantly surprised.

What I really like about this book is that they get to the actual event within the first couple of pages.  You don’t get invested before anything happens and you don’t spend the first half of the book to find out what you already know from inside the dust jacket.  We learn about the family, the investigator, and several other characters as you move through the book.  The only thing that turned me off about this book was the distinctly different stories.  I found it hard to care too  much about Tessa because I just wanted to get back to what was happening with the Denbe family!

Overall, while suspense isn’t my first choice I am going to go and find another one of Lisa Gardner’s books soon.  I think it would make for good airplane reading!

Have you heard about BLEND??  One of the best experiences of my life!  It was right in my backyard last year and I meant incredible people from all over and met a lot of people from Colorado as well!

Pic from Ashley

Pic from Ashley

We are doing it again in Utah this year and prices go up tomorrow.  Do you have your ticket?

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BHBC presents: Here I Go Again

When presented with the opportunity to read and write about Jen Lancaster’s book, I was ecstatic.  I have been reading her blog and her books for a while.  I devoured every memoir.  As you can see, some of them are on loan.  Too good not to share.

Jen

When she let her fans know that she was moving to fiction, I was skeptical.  Jen Lancaster is a humorist and a memoir author, not a fiction writer.  I am so glad I was given the opportunity to read this one!

When it arrived on my doorstep, I dove in!  As I started reading, the book started to sound a lot like her first memoir… Was she just telling her same phoenix rises from the (hilarious) ashes again?  As I kept reading, I fell further down the rabbit hole.  I couldn’t put the book down.  Lissy Ryder, the center focus of the book, has realized that her life isn’t what she wanted and after an eye opening reunion, she finds out that it is of course her own fault.  After a quick trip in time, it seems as if she has righted all of her wrongs but she soon finds out that she is the only one who came out unscathed.

This was an incredible piece of work that kept me laughing out loud.  Jen Lancaster’s books are always great and quick reads.  Reading this book was a great way to unwind after a long day at work!  If you haven’t read her books yet, it’s definitely time to get started!

I was compensated for BlogHer for my review but all opinions are my own.

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BHBC Presents: The Willpower Instinct

And I’m not talking about the race car driver Will Power, even though he is good at his job and some would argue that he has great racing instincts…

Anyway, now that everyone has had the chance to gather their resolutions and goals for 2013 it’s time to talk about sticking to them.  How do you say no to the next glass of wine of the piece of birthday cake at the office.  It’s called willpower!  As Kelly McGonigal lets us know in her newest book The Willpower Instinct we all have the power to figure what we want, what we don’t want, and what our future selves wants. 

The part of this book that resonated with me the most is it isn’t about setting goals but it is about identifying the behaviors that will help us reach those goals and hit them. 

Once we have identified what our future self needs, we need to get to know them.  The me in 20 years is still me, not just a stranger that I will hopefully meet in 20 years.  We need to realize that what is best for ourselves now should also be what is best for the version of ourselves that is all grown up!

While I don’t think this book challenged me to find my willpower, it definitely is making me think about who the future me is and how I can make her happy!

 

I have been compensated by BlogHer for my review but all opinions are my own.

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BlogHer Book Club Presents: Daring Greatly

What an amazing perspective!  As I read this book, all I could say to myself is “Hey, that’s me!”.  For the majority of the book, Brené Brown addresses our culture as a whole, hitting the nail on the head every time.  She addresses the ways that shame and vulnerability creep into our homes, our marriages, our workplaces, and our self talk and then tells us to stop worrying about it.  Shame and vulnerability are part of who we are and by putting down our walls and learning to work with those traits, we can adventure out our comfort zones and dare greatly!

(from Brenebrown.com)

“I want to experience your vulnerability but I don’t want to vulnerable” (p.41)

So many times, we are moved and impressed when someone tells their story, speaks their mind, or genuinely moves us.  We are so impressed that someone would bare their soul because we would never do that, EVER!  Ms. Brown does such a great job of relating her own experiences as well as combining it with her research to make great and relatable points.  With every story, I wished I could have sat with her and heard the whole story.  She writes the way that I would imagine that she speaks and I was completely enamoured. 

My major take-away: “A daring greatly culture is a culture of honest, constructive, and engaged feedback.” (p. 197)

I want every HR representative, manager, and owner to plaster this on their door, break room fridge, and frame it on their desk.  Ms. Brown has found my new workplace mantra.  It’s not just about reporting to your desk (or your home, your marriage, or your relationships) and doing exactly what is required of you, it is about doing more than is what required and helping those around you to do the same!

I would like to thank Brené Brown for this book!  I was generally impressed with the book and really felt like it was a book that gave me something to really apply to myself.  While there were sections that didn’t apply to me (the whole thing on parenting) every section gave me perspective on those around me.  There was enough story telling that it didn’t feel like I was being preached at but enough lesson to give me something to think about.  If you feel like you are doing anything less than what makes you happy, read this book and discover the start to the path of discovering what allows you to DARE GREATLY!

I was compensated to write a review of this book however all opinions are my own!

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BHBC Presents: The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns

This time around I had the pleasure of reading Margaret Dilloway’s second BHBC book.  I am so glad that I got in this time around because this was a fantastic read.

The story is about Gal, a keep to herself kind of lady, dealing with the cards she has been dealt.  She teaches at a private school, deals with frequent dialysis, and of course, care of her roses.  Throughout the book, Gal is found in her greenhouse, tending to her nearly prize winning roses.  The rest of her life is split between her classroom and the hosptital bed.  That is until her life is upended!  While the book is slow to start, once Gal is unexpectedly saddled with her niece Riley, things start to move rapidily for Gal.

The relationship between Gal and her niece is tense throughout most of the book.  While I found the description of Riley (and most the teenagers) in the book to be way too stereotypical, I was still able to see the important characteristics that needed to be driven home.  We saw the surface of the teens in Gal’s class who eventually become Riley’s friends.  We don’t learn enough about them for them to matter too much to the entire story.  It seems that Gal was aware of most of the teen drama that surrounded her classroom and home, the story lines didn’t delve too deeply into them.  It was sparse when it came to Riley’s interactions outside of Gal’s home.  I felt that the story could have been filled in a little more with a little more of Riley’s perspective on her new situation.

This is the kind of book that kept me turning pages.  It was relatively easy to finish and would make a great vacation read.  While I felt that I was left with many unanswered questions, I am okay with that.  It felt as if I was given a small window into Gal’s life without intruding.  I was able to see her struggle and her triumphs and sometimes felt like crying along with her on her blue days.  Margaret Dilloway does an excellent job of letting us see into a situation that most people may never experience.  The text will definitely have to you thinking about what you would do if your life were turned on its head tomorrow.

Remember to be thankful for today and look expectantly at tomorrow!

 

I was compensated by BlogHer but all opinions are my own.

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