Mental Dumbbells – May 2012

Wow, looking back I read A LOT this month. I suppose setting the goal of finishing 50 books in the next year was a strong motivation to read 8 books this month. However, in doing so, I have realized how much I’ve missed reading over the past few years. Now, instead of watching TV, I find myself curled up on the couch with a book. I’m loving every second of it.


The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun

Since I’m on my own ‘Happiness Project’ of sorts this was an easy buy. I liked following Gretchen’s progress throughout her year, and she had some goals that I hadn’t even thought of. Easy, and fun read for anyone that is looking for motivation to make a few changes in their life.



Imagine: How Creativity Works

I was feeling a little lacking in the creative department early this month so I picked this up on a whim while browsing Target. It was an interesting read that goes into the neuro-science of creativity (without being as boring as it sounds).



The Imperfectionists: A Novel (Random House Reader’s Circle)

I think I need to read this book again to really get everything out of it. I honestly didn’t get it for the first half, but once I figured out that it was telling the story of a newspaper based in Rome from start up to closing through the eyes of everyone involved, it was actually quite brilliant. Very well written. It reminded me of a puzzle that I want to go back and do all over again.



Water for Elephants: A Novel

This one had been on my kindle for a long time. I bought it when it was on some sort of super sale and just never got around to reading it. I love the LOVE story…but I hated the animal cruelty.  I almost put it down a few times because some of the animal stuff is just awful, probably true, but awful. Is the movie as graphic as the book for the animals? I haven’t seen it yet, and I’m just not sure I could handle it. [Although I did imagine Rob Pattison as the ‘hero’ throughout, so that wasn’t too bad a visual].



The Skinny Rules: The Simple, Nonnegotiable Principles for Getting to Thin

LOVED this book. I probably have 15 different ‘diet’ books on my bookshelves, but this one actually made sense for me. I’ve been following the eating plan now for about a week and I’ve lost 10 pounds so far. Yes, it’s mostly water weight, but it’s still 10lbs. The rules are easy to understand (not necessarily easy to follow), but outline a healthy eating, weight loss plan that works for me. I can also see building on this once in maintenance mode and using it as life long healthy lifestyle.



Enough Already!: Clearing Mental Clutter to Become the Best You

Eh, not my favorite book this month. Probably because I’ve heard most of it before. I suppose it’s one of those books that you need to read at the right time, because it just didn’t sink in for me this month. However, I did like the format and will keep it so that I can reference the different sections (i.e relationships, work, family, money, etc.) as I need them in the future. 



Mud, Sweat, and Tears: The Autobiography

Also LOVED this book. I’m a big Bear Grylls fan so I didn’t even think twice when I saw it at Barns & Nobel. I finished it in a few days and enjoyed the whole story. He shares bits from his life from childhood to now, and the writing is similar to how he talks on his TV shows which I found endearing. He’s funny and incredibly honest throughout. Definitely recommend if you’re a fan…or if you just want to hear amazing stories of someone that has climbed Everest, and survived SAS training. 



Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy

Ugh…I don’t know what to say about this book. I’m sort of sorry I spent money on it out of sheer curiosity. Alyssa Milano’s tweet probably sums it up best…


Ok, let me try my recap…

Little miss innocently ignorant, meets gorgeous arrogant asshat…they have lots of hot (mostly kinky) sex.

I’m sorry but even though I kind of like the arrogant asshat in the end (what is wrong with me!), the writing in this book sucks. I almost put it down after chapter 2 because I was so annoyed by the bad editing…and I hadn’t even gotten to any of the ‘juicy’ parts yet. There’s a really interesting love story in there, if you can get past the porn. I can’t bring myself to buy the second book since I’m still partially pissed that I spent money on this one. Has anyone read the 2nd book? Is it worth it?



What are you reading right now?


4 responses

  1. Hey Addison! It seems like a lot of books that you read are all nonfiction books! Well, I’ve got a GREAT fiction book for you! It’s actually my all-time favorite:
    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty White
    It’s about a little girl that grows up in Brooklyn, until she goes off to college. I’ve read it so many times, but only recently had I started to understand the underlying themes, about poverty, and literature, and pursuing the things you love and feel passion about, and the circle of life. I find it very interesting. Have you heard of it? Maybe you’ve read it? I hope you give it a try, and if you do, I hope you like it! Let me know!!

    – Calia 🙂

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