Mental Dumbbells – October 2012

It has been a busy month over here. The Etsy shop opened (THANK YOU for all your kind words on the store), I finished a half marathon with my mom in San Francisco, the Fruit Butter eBook I wrote is launching on November 1st (YAY!), I’ve started a few house projects that will be posted next month, and I read 8 books!

The last few months have been slow in the reading department so I was determined to step it up this month. I cut out a lot of TV watching to make more time for reading and it was well worth it. I haven’t missed a single second of housewife drama or SVU reruns. I’ve even considering cancelling my cable again. When I was living in the apartment I had cut out cable for several years to save money, and found that I didn’t really miss it. I used Netflix and Hulu to watch all my favorites. However, when I moved into my new home, I got a great deal on a cable package, so I splurged and signed up. Now that the deal is over, I may give it up, it’s just so expensive.

Then I’d have more time to read…there were lots of good ones this month.

 

The Girl Who Swam to Atlantis

I scored this book for free through the kindle store and was pleasantly surprised. It was the story of a young girl’s summer vacation in 1957. Throughout the summer she learns to swim in an effort to gain her fathers attention/approval; but ends up finding a friend and her own inner strength, as well as the secret of where her mother disappeared to. I liked the story and it wasn’t a difficult read, though it didn’t suck me in the way others did this month. Each time I put it down, it took me a few pages to get back into the story.

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Wild (From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)

I can’t remember where or when I purchased this book, but I had seen several articles with Cheryl and was intrigued. I have a a soft spot for biographies, so it’s probably not a surprise that I really liked this book. I enjoyed her writing style; she seems like a fun person to sit and chat with. I can also, somewhat, relate to her search for something more in her life. I thought the story was inspiring as I’ve often dreamed of taking off on an adventure at various points in my life. Who knows, maybe I will one day. Although it won’t be the PCT…I’m not that badass.

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A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy

I read Elie Wiesel’s book a few years back and was very moved by it. So much so, that it still sits on my shelf. Thomas wrote a great book and I would recommend it to everyone. It’s such an amazing personal account from a man who lived through the Holocaust and not only survived, but went on to do some incredible things with his life. It doesn’t just focus on his childhood experiences in Auschwitz, but also what came immediately after and later in life as he grew up. Very inspiring.

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Shut Out

Cheesy clearance book I bought for $1 at the library bookstore. I needed something light after the last few books. This book is about a group of high school students, dating the school Jocks. To stop a rivalry between the Soccer and Football team, the girls decide to go on a sex strike. There is a sweet love story that hides in the book…but I was more bothered that I was reading about high school age girls going on a  sex strike. I think I would have liked the story a little more if the setting had been college or twenty-something’s.

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The Total Money Makeover Workbook

As a single gal, I think it’s a very important for me to have solid finances. This concern multiplied when I bought a house. I don’t have a second income to rely on if I lose my job, and I can’t settle with living paycheck to paycheck anymore. I need an emergency fund to cover things like my broken AC, the washer I had to replace, or the garbage disposal that randomly died earlier this month. It’s not just me that I have to think about too, I have my pup. I watched my parents pay a lot of money for unexpected surgeries for their dogs, and that scared me. The way things were, I couldn’t afford to do the same for my pup if it became necessary. It would break my heart if I couldn’t help him, simply because I didn’t have the money.  Since I’ve recently opened the shop, I also needed to start getting my business finances in order. So I picked up two ‘money’ books this month. My favorite financial author is David Bach, I’ve actually read all his books so I have a good background on the topic. However, I think you can always learn something more, so I picked up the Dave Ramsey workbook.

I wanted to buy the Total Money Makeover book, but it was out of stock at BN which is why I bought the workbook. First let me say that I did learn quite a bit from the workbook. I now have a detailed budget set up, have a new debt plan in place, and I’m even following some of his budget tips. However, I wish I had waited and bought the book as opposed to the workbook. There were lots of little quizzes and word play activities that felt childish. I get what he was doing, trying to switch on the light bulb over people’s head, but I think I would have personally benefited more from the book. 

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The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke

This is the second ‘money’ book I picked up this month. I bought this book primarily because it offered something different. A lot of the advice in this book would counter what you find in other financial books, but she wrote this for a specific demographic and I appreciate that. While I’m not broke, I am young…and sometimes rather fabulous. I’m also trying to change my career which was discussed at length in regards to finances, as was buying a car (which I’ll need to do in the next year or so). It did touch on retirement but not as much as other books. It was written in a question/answer format which was very easy to read and reference.

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Cleopatra’s Daughter: A Novel

LOVED LOVED LOVED this book. It’s fairly long, around 430 pages and I read it in one afternoon, it was that good. I could not put it down. I read while cooking, eating, walking, when I should have been working, etc. It’s a historical fiction novel that chronicles the life of Cleopatra and Marc Antony’s children, particularly their twins, Selene and Alexander. The author does take some liberties with the story for the benefit of the reader, which she explain at length in the end. However, it was mostly factual and beautifully written. I have been a fan of Greek Mythology and Roman History since I was in high school, but I think the way it was written would be entertaining to those that are just looking for a good story. Did I tell you that I LOVED this book? Yeah.

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The Well and the Mine

I bought this book at Costco thinking that it was a mystery book. In part it was, but there was so much more to the story that I didn’t expect. It follows a family living in a coal mining town in the 1930s. The story is written chronologically, but told through the eyes of each character. For example the little girl, Tess, tells you about what they were doing at school, then her sister picks up the story from her viewpoint as they make their way back home. I’m probably not explaining that well, but it was a very interesting way to tell each characters personal story while progressing through the bigger family story. This was another book that I really enjoyed, because it was fascinating to hear about a world that I know so little about.

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*The book links in the post are affiliate, but I was not provided with any of these books to review. All the opinions are mine and I paid for each book out of my own pocket.

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Mental Dumbbells – September 2012

This was another month light on pleasure reading. Like last month, I’ve been scouring small business and web design books and I think it will be better to create a separate post in the future of all those books. When I pull those from the list, I finished 2 books this past month.

I’ve missed reading random fiction lately, so I hope to pick that back up in October.

 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Sometimes when I’m wandering aimlessly around Barnes & Nobel, I find myself in the high school reading list aisle. I keep wanting to read more of the classics and inexpensive copies are usually set out right around the start of the school year. I’m not sure if this specific book is considered a classic, but I was surprised that it was originally published in 1999 and I had NEVER heard of it.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s the life story of a boy transitioning into high school as told in a series of letters from the boy to an unnamed person. He’s unedited, funny, and genuine. I found him endearing and in his own way, an enlightened old soul.

I believe this book just came out as a movie this past month. I’m not sure how they would do that given the writing style, so I may have to check it out.

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Blog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community

As a long time fan of the blog, Oh Joy, as well as Joy’s design work, this was a no brainer. I snapped it up as soon as it was available. There is a TON of information in this book. I’ve been managing various blogs for the past 4 years so I’ve read a lot of blogging books. This book contained much of the traditional info, but I still found plenty of new to me stuff making it well worth it. I loved reading the interviews the most since there’s always something new to learn from other successful bloggers and business owners.

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What have you been reading lately?

 

 

*Book links are affiliate, but I was not provided with these books or paid to share my opinion.

Mental Dumbbells – July 2012

It has been absolutely beautiful out lately. I captured this amazing sunset on Friday night while I was out walking my pup. He was unimpressed with my Instagraming skills, but I showed him anyway.

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On Saturday I was up early to pick up my CSA box and run some errands before heading over to my parents house to celebrate my Mom’s birthday. We went out to dinner at Outback then we went and wandered around the Wild Animal Park. She has a yearly pass which allows her and a guest free parking and entry. We had to check out little Monroe who is 1 year old and apparently enjoyed jumping on his mom’s head while we were there. Who knew little gorillas were so fun.

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Itty Bitty Bat-Eared Fox is about 6 weeks old and still living in the nursery…sooo adorable!

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We also got to see a lioness up close, which was amazing. Unfortunately my phone was dying and I couldn’t get any good pics of her.

Otherwise I’ve been working (too much), reading (not enough), and running. I’m down about 40 lbs and getting ready to run my first ‘official’ 5k in 12-ish years later this month. I say official because my standard workout these days is about 4-5 mile jog/walk so technically I’m doing a 5K all the time, but this will be the first one since 2000 that has been part of an official event.

I’ll be back this week to catch up on a few home DIY projects and this weeks CSA haul…but first let’s recap last month’s reading. This month I read 5 books which bring the 30 in 30 tally up to 20. Only 30 more to go before my birthday in May!

 

What have you guys read lately? Anything worth sharing?

 

Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate)

I’ve been more than slightly obsessed with Paris since I was in high school. I took French in College and dreamed about the day that I would get to visit. I’ve had a few chances and still haven’t been which is a sad fact. It’s probably why I love these types of books. I really enjoy reading the true story of a young woman offered a chance to move from New York to Paris (for work) and her adventures along the way. Most of the adventures are all about sweets and chocolate. What could be better? If you’re visiting Paris soon, it also has a whole list of resources for the best places to enjoy delicious desserts.

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No Turning Back

This one was actually a recommendation from my mom. We both have Kindles and keep an eye on the Free Kindle Books Blog. If you use the kindle software, you should follow that blog because he posts dozens of free books a day. This book has been featured for free a few times. In my opinion, this story was incredibly similar to the Shades of Grey series, except this had far less sex. If you enjoyed the story hidden in between the sex scenes in the Grey series, then I would expect you would like this too. It has a great mix of humor and action.

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The First 50 Pages: Engage Agents, Editors and Readers, and Set Your Novel Up For Success

Yet another book about writing. Any inspired writer wants to know how to get their manuscript noticed by Agents/Editors. This outlined exactly what should be included and the first 50 pages and gave me lots of inspiration that I hadn’t seen in other books. The author does talk about his other books a few times (which gets a little annoying), but otherwise it’s been a great resource direct from the source.

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Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, Book 2)

Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three of the Fifty Shades Trilogy

So apparently you can’t just read just one of these books. However, since I was a little torn after the first one, I waited to hear from others if these were any good, then borrowed the books.  I liked the second book the best since there was much more story and action (although not at all lacking on the steamy scenes). By the third book the sex scenes were getting boring since they were busier than rabbits. However, I loved the ending of the trilogy.

There is an epilogue for the last book that provides a few extra chapters where you get to learn more about Christian.  The very last one tells you of the couple’s first meeting from Christian’s point of view. I really hated where this chapter was placed in the trilogy. I loved Christian at the end of the 3rd book, but then reading about that first meeting was a reminder about how much of an ASS he was. I didn’t need to end the trilogy with that image of him in my head. Just a warning if you haven’t read it yet.

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Mental Dumbbells – April 2012

This year is flying by, I can’t believe we’re already done with April! Reading for April started out pretty slow, then I finally decided to crack open The Hunger Games trilogy and I finished all three books in three days.

But first I started with…

Unlimited: How to Build an Exceptional Life – Jillian Michaels

I read this book at the start of the month, right after I finished the four agreements. While they are not related, I thought they were great to read together. Overall I really loved this book and I plan to hold onto it for future reference. It wasn’t a diet book, like one would expect when you see Jillian, but instead was a book about potential. It had a ton of great tips on how to change my mindset on certain experiences in life and how to move forward. It also contained exercises that I find myself using even a month later. I particularly enjoyed the goal setting, pyramid exercise. I highly recommend this book.

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ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income

I think I’ve been very honest about the fact that I’ve been trying to come up with ways to bring in some extra money while I try to get out of my current work situation. I haven’t monetize the blog so far, with the exception of adding Amazon affiliate links to some items. However, I do my research and you can’t get much better than Problogger if you are a blogger. Another great resource book that I expect to reference for as long as I continue to blog. The nice thing is that it isn’t written like an affiliate marketing ad as some blogging books are, this one was honest and had great examples.

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Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

I started school this month and this was one of the recommended books. While it’s particularly helpful for anyone that enjoys writing, it was also an entertaining read. I think my favorite part was about giving yourself permission to write shitty first drafts. All of a sudden I was able to silence that inner critic and just get my thoughts on paper. Writing (even for the blog) became much easier after understanding that concept.

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The Hunger Games

Ok, so I may be one of the last people on earth to finally read this book. I was also a little slow on reading the Twilight series. I actually bought this months ago since it was super cheap online. Verdict: I really liked the first book. It was interesting and kept my interest throughout. Although, are these seriously young adult books? I guess times have changed. I thought this book was a lot violent for young adults until I read the last book in the series. Compared to Mockingjay, this really wasn’t all that bad if you don’t mind the kids killing kids thing. (insert sarcastic face here) I still haven’t seen the movie yet, but I intend to.  I give Suzanne Collins a lot of credit, she came up with an incredibly novel idea.

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Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games)

I liked this book a little less than the first one; however, I like that they continued with another Hunger Games (I feel a little disturbed saying that). Since the hunger games finished in the first book I was a little worried about this story getting boring. At the same time, the whole second round of hunger games was disturbing. However, I can’t deny that I purchased this on my kindle within minutes of finishing the first book since I wanted to keep reading.

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Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)

My least favorite in the series, although I did like the very ending (which I’ll keep a secret). I kept wanting to yell at the characters in this book, scream some sort of sanity through the pages. There was a lot of gore, and it just wasn’t as exciting as the others, in my opinion. I’ve read books about war, the best part of this series was the dynamic of the Hunger Games since that was a new concept so I was a little disappointed in this last book. However, I am looking forward to the movie simply because I just don’t see how they’ll get away with PG-13.

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What have you guys been reading? Any suggestions?

Mental Dumbbells – March 2012

I felt like I really needed to step up the reading this month since I’d like to finish at least 50 books by the end of the year. So far I’ve finished 13, so I’m right on track. This month I finished 6, and with exception of one somewhat depressing storyline, I liked all of these.

 

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest

My FAVORITE series of all time. I had actually read the first two books last year, but stalled on reading the third because I wanted to buy a specific edition to complete my set. The version I wanted didn’t come out until about a month ago so I quickly picked it up. For anyone who’s read the series, you know there is a major cliffhanger at the end of the second book. Since I couldn’t get my hands on the third right away, I ended up watching all three movies in one sitting (the originals, not the US version) on Netflix. These books are actually what sparked my love for writing again.

In my opinion they are definitely adult books, there is some seriously graphic and violent stuff in this series. I also think that if you plan to see the US movies then you need to read the books first. I’ve seen the first US movie and it was good, but I loved the detail in the book so much. You’ll understand the movie much better if you’ve read the book first.

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Pop Tart

After Hornet’s Nest I wanted something light. This was a clearance book I picked up at BN for under $5. It’s the story of a makeup artist to a Hollywood pop star. It’s a book I would have enjoyed on the beach, had it not been March and rainy. There are some times when you’ll want to smack some sense into a few of the characters but otherwise an enjoyable read.

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Your Farm In The City

I don’t know that I would have called this a fun read really, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Lots of great information about urban farming and it does dig into the concept of raising animals. I can’t have my own chicken coop but maybe someday.

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 Oogy

I am, without any doubt, a dog person. I had a cat growing up, I don’t think she really cared much for me. But my dogs, they are more like my kids. With this said, I cannot read a book where the dog dies, it breaks my heart and I end up a crying mess. Even if the story is really great, if the dog dies, I won’t read it. It’s the reason why I haven’t read Marley and Me yet. So, I cheated a little when I saw this book and I read that last few pages in the store to make sure the dog lived to the end. It only makes the story better to know that he does.

I still cried at times, especially when they told you Oogy’s story, but you can’t help but love him and his family. Such a sweet story (with a happy ending!).

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Apologize, Apologize!

I don’t know what to say about this book. I really didn’t know anything about it when I picked it up. I bought it at a library book store for a few bucks because I liked the cover (not the cover below, I had a different version). There’s a lot of heartache in this book and I ended up being angry and depressed by the characters most of the time. I can’t even recall the ending, but I do seem to think it redeemed the book a bit. The writing was well done which is one reason why I kept reading. This one was a little like watching a train wreck, I didn’t really like what I was reading about at times, but I just couldn’t look away.

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The Four Agreements

I just finished this book yesterday and have to say that it ranks as one of the best books I’ve ever read. Not because it was well written, it could have used a bit more editing. However, the message was something I really needed right now in my life. It basically outlines 4 agreements in which to live your life and every one resonated with me. This is one of those books that comes into your life at the perfect time and has made a profound effect on how I’m viewing my life and my future.

It’s a tiny book, just over 100 pages, and a quick read. If you’re trying to figure out how to let some things go in your past and how to change that, sometimes detrimental, internal dialogue then check this book out. If you’re ready to think a little differently, it will make a big difference.

*An interesting tidbit: I’ve actually owned this book for years and years. However, I never felt ready to read it until the other day. I usually scan the shelf, pick it up, read a few pages and put it back. I’m a strong believer in the saying “When the student is ready, the teacher appears”. I was finally ready to absorb the message in this book a few days ago and randomly walked to that bookshelf to find something else. It caught my eye and I read the whole thing in two days.

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What have you been reading? I need some suggestions for April.

Mental Dumbbells – January 2012

I’ve been trying to come up with some witty intro all day, but it’s Monday, and my brain hurts.

When I set my 2012 goals, I really wanted to work on reading more and watching TV less. So far so good since I haven’t really sat in front of my TV at all this month. My DVR is giving me that little flashing message which I’m pretty sure means it’s going to self destruct anytime. It’s been fun disappearing into a good book lately.

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One of my first rentals, when I got my Library card earlier this month, was a design book that I’ve had my eye on for a while.

Domino: The Book of Decorating: A Room-by-Room Guide to Creating a Home That Makes You Happy

There was always something about this book that intrigued me, but I could never bring myself to buy it. I was a big fan of Domino magazine, and the book had the same great information. It walked me through the design process, and I think it would be great for anyone that was just starting design or a hobbyist. I thought it was an excellent resource and had some really great inspiration pictures; but I own other books that covered the same basics so I probably won’t buy it for myself.

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Bossypants

This book is a testament that even with the library, I will still pay for books. I had heard so many great things about this book that I was bummed when my library had it on hold. It wouldn’t be available for a few months, so I checked the kindle price ($12.99), which was a little steep for me. However, I found it a few days later at Costco for a few bucks cheaper so I bought it. I’m a sucker for Costco’s cheap book prices.

Verdict: LOVED IT! It also scored a reading record since I finished it within 3 hours. It’s an easy read and hilarious, exactly what everyone told me it would be.

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Bad Things Happen

Another Coscto book purchase, mainly because I liked the cover and the story idea. It was a murder mystery that had a few really good twists and turns. I’m usually the person that figures out the ending pretty early on and this one caught me off guard again and again, totally didn’t see it coming. The book does drag a bit, I wish it had been a bit shorter, but overall a good story for a rainy weekend.

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Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction

Earlier this month I made a trip to my local Barnes & Noble, looking for a specific computer book that they didn’t have at my library. Turns out they were also having a big clearance sale…lucky me.

I picked up this book for about $5 and it was worth every single penny. I really love biographies and this was a very well written story about a dad dealing with his sons addiction. It was gritty and beautiful. It was also really interesting to read since his son is the same age as me and I recognized a lot of the world his son lived in.

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What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures

This was another book that I picked up at the BN clearance for about $5.

I was impressed with the first part of the book, interesting accounts from news articles that the author had written in the past. The story about the infomercials was really fascinating. However, I was so bored in the second section that I stopped reading it. I also found that I was scanning a lot when I read, as I felt some were so way over told. Lots of information, some was fun, some put me to sleep.

I’m a little sorry I paid for this book, but a few of the articles that I read were good enough to at least rent the book if you wanted something fun to read.

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What have you read this month?

Mental Dumbbells – November Edition

Since this month was so focused on finishing NaNoWriMo, I didn’t set the bar very high in the reading category. However, I ended up reading much more than I expected. There were a few days this month that were miserable at work and reading let me mentally get away a bit. Isn’t it fun how a good book can just transport you to another reality? Now that I’m out of school, I love reading again. This month I finished 4 books, all of which were purchased on clearance at the now defunct Borders. I miss Borders.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

I’m a little torn about my feelings on this book. The main premise is a young boy, son of a zookeeper, travelling with his family overseas with many of the Zoo’s animals. The ship sinks and you follow their struggle to survive.

The survival story was beautifully told and I honestly loved the story about the boy and the tiger. However, it was a really, REALLY tough read. Simply put, animals died (some of them in a very gruesome manner) and I cried A LOT. It’s not a feel good summer read if you catch my drift. It was a heavy, powerful story that left me emotionally drained. In the end I’m not sure I believe the post it, I wasn’t too happy. I was moved by the story, especially the end, in a thought-provoking and intrigued kind of way.

Overall I probably wouldn’t recommend it to many people because of the heavy story line. You need to be in the right frame of mind to read this book. The story was beautiful, but it was difficult and emotionally draining to finish.

Everything else this month was a little lighter since Life of Pi was so tough.

November Reads

Tales from the Yoga Studio by Rain Mitchell

This is the kind of book you pack on a vacation and can read in a few days. It was a light and fun read. It’s the story of several women living around Los Angeles working through their various life struggles, and how an amazing teacher at a little Yoga studio in Silverlake helps them through those tough times with her yoga practice.

I really liked this book for the fact that it was light and entertaining. I enjoy yoga myself so it was relaxing to read about the practice and imagine owning my own little yoga studio in the artsy Silverlake area. It was a fun love story with an empowering female based storyline.

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 The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz

I’ve always dreamed of packing up a few bags and moving to Paris or Italy for a year. I still may do it someday, but in the meantime, I tend to pick up books that talk about others doing that same thing. I like to live vicariously through them. So it goes without saying that I loved this book. You are probably familiar with David Lebovitz from his hugely popular ice cream book, The Perfect Scoop, and other cookbooks. This book has many of his great recipes littered throughout the stories of his experience living in Paris.

David is hilarious and kept me laughing throughout the story. I’ve also tagged several of the recipes to make in the future. This could be a great gift for a book loving foodie in your life.

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One Hit Wonder by Charlie Carillo

I bought this book on a whim because I tend to buy books if I like the cover, I also liked the concept of the storyline. It’s the story of (you guessed it) a one hit wonder who wrote a chart topping love song 20 years ago. He comes back home to live with his parents after some bad luck and runs into the woman who inspired the love song he once wrote.

The book was good, but was far too long in my opinion. There were also several detailed one night stands that I could have done without, if for no other reason that to shorten the story. I did a lot of talking to the characters in this book. So while reading it, I would shout…’just call her already!’…’don’t say that dummy!’…or ‘good lord will this ever end?’

The book redeemed itself in the last few chapters, the best ending I could ask for, but it just took forever to get there.

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I think I’m going to continue the reading trend into next month and try to finish another 4 books. With all the busyness of life, I tend to forget how relaxing reading can be.

On My Bookshelf – Life of Pi

A few weeks back, when they were still liquidating their remaining stores, I stopped past Borders. Hands down, Borders was my favorite bookstore, and I’m sad that they are no longer around. It also makes me sad that they sold their domain name to Barnes & Noble. I was partially hoping that they would maintain their online presences…ya know, despite the whole Bankruptcy thing.

In those last few weeks of existence, I roamed several Borders as if books themselves were never going to be found again. I love books, bookstores, and libraries. I bought close to a dozen books during those weeks, but one really stood out.

Life of Pi

I had heard really great things about Life of Pi, and this was a hardcopy illustrated version. I ‘heart’ hardcopy books in particular, but that isn’t really what sold me on buying the book.

Life of Pi

That little pink sticky note did it. As I flipped through the book in the store, I almost put it back. While it looked interesting, I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to buy it. I honestly thought I might just get it at the library.

However, as I closed the book, I noticed the pink note.

Life of Pi

Get This! (it’ll make you happy!)”

Life of Pi

I don’t know why I trust a little pink sticky note left by a stranger, but I felt like I needed to follow the advice on this one, so I bought it that day. My mom actually started reading it first and spent quite some time in tears before giving it back to me, unfinished. So I’m not so sure how happy I’ll be in the end, but I’ll go with the note and give it a shot.

Have you read Life of Pi?  What are you reading right now?

Mental Dumbbells – September Edition

I love reading, but like many others, after college I was burned out. Now that I’m out of school and not reading any technical books I can spend more time reading the books that I want.

I try to read a handful of books each month on a variety of topics. I’ll share my monthly reads at the end of the month. If you have read any books that you would recommend, please do so in the comments.

Sleeping Naked is Green: How an Eco-Cynic Unplugged Her Fridge, Sold Her Car, and Found Love in 366 Days

Verdict: I LOVED this book. It was a true story about a girl that made a ‘green’ change in her life everyday for a year. It was funny, smart, and informative. It was also easy to read and touching to listen to her journey through the year. There were also some great suggestions for going green, that I hadn’t heard elsewhere.

 

The 90-Day Novel: Unlock the Story Within

Verdict: I also LOVED this book. I haven’t quite finished the book, but it’s been fun to read. Even if you’re not planning on writing a novel, you can use it for creative writing prompts. It really helps to flip through this book when I need to break out of a creative writing slump.

The 90-Day Novel: Unlock the Story Within by Alan Watt: Book Cover

 

The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World

Verdict: I really enjoyed this book. It’s the story of 3 friends who give up their traditional New York based jobs to travel the world. The story is told from the point of view of each girl as they visit each destination. Parts were a bit slow, but most was enjoyable for the travel talk alone. They visited a lot of areas that I had never heard of and triggered the travel bug in me. If you’re looking for a fun, summer, beach read, consider this book.

The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World by Jennifer Baggett: Book Cover

 

** I was not in any way compensated for my review or recommendation of any book. These are books that I bought with my own money and decided to share with my readers. I am in no way affiliated with any of the authors or publishers. They are simply books that I have enjoyed and wanted to share. The opinions are my own and not solicited by anyone.