ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · Business · feminism · mental health · non fiction · Self Help

Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder by Reshma Saujani | ARC #BookReview

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Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder by Reshma Saujani

Published: February 5, 2019

Publisher: Currency

Pages: 208

Genres: non fiction, self help, business, feminism 

Rating: 5 stars 

Recommend to fans of: books that inspire you, point out gender stereotypes, strong brave women

Foodie Vibes: chocolate cake – Have your cake and eat it too

 

Synopsis: 

In a book inspired by her popular TED talk, New York Times bestselling author Reshma Saujani empowers women and girls to embrace imperfection and bravery.

Imagine if you lived without the fear of not being good enough. If you didn’t care how your life looked on Instagram, or worry about what total strangers thought of you. Imagine if you could let go of the guilt, and stop beating yourself up for tiny mistakes. What if, in every decision you faced, you took the bolder path?

Too many of us feel crushed under the weight of our own expectations. We run ourselves ragged trying to please everyone, all the time. We lose sleep ruminating about whether we may have offended someone, pass up opportunities that take us out of our comfort zones, and avoid rejection at all costs.

There’s a reason we act this way, Reshma says. As girls, we were taught to play it safe. Well-meaning parents and teachers praised us for being quiet and polite, urged us to be careful so we didn’t get hurt, and steered us to activities at which we could shine.

The problem is that perfect girls grow up to be women who are afraid to fail. It’s time to stop letting our fears drown out our dreams and narrow our world, along with our chance at happiness.

By choosing bravery over perfection, we can find the power to claim our voice, to leave behind what makes us unhappy, and go for the things we genuinely, passionately want. Perfection may set us on a path that feels safe, but bravery leads us to the one we’re authentically meant to follow.

In Brave, Not Perfect, Reshma shares powerful insights and practices to help us override our perfect girl training and make bravery a lifelong habit. By being brave, not perfect, we can all become the authors of our biggest, boldest, and most joyful life.

 

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Currency, and Reshma Saujani for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me. 

Like: 

  • A self help business book for woman without being overly technical or dry
  • She launched Girls Who Code and ran for political office
  • Gives a voice to all the things that so many women experience 

Love:

  • Incredibly relatable 
  • That bravery is a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger your bravery muscle will be
  • The author’s voice/writing style: professional, authoritative, but relatable and kind
  • The message that its okay to not be liked, because those just aren’t your people
  • The quote “In a world full of princesses, dare to be a hot dog.” 

Dislike:

Wish that: 

  • There were a few more practical examples of how to be brave on a day to day basis
  • The book was longer!

Overall,  a very powerful, relatable book that every woman needs to read. Even if you think you’re brave, I think you will find many elements of value in here. A book I’m going to be referencing again and again. 

 

For all the ladies out there,

How can you be brave today?

 

Add to your Goodreads TBR

 

Come say hi!

Twitter: @BooksAndLife1

Instagram: @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

Goodreads: Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)

Facebook: @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

 

4 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · Books About Books · Cozy Mystery · fiction · mystery

Release Day | Murder by the Book

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Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliott

Published: October 30, 2018

Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation

Pages: 304

Genres: cozy mystery, mystery, fiction, books about books

Rating: 4 stars

Recommend to fans of: books about books, feel good books with an intense edge, strong smart business women

Foodie Vibes: soothing cup of tea and a sack lunch brought to you by a new friend and fellow business woman 

 

Synopsis:

Addie Greyborne loved working with rare books at the Boston Public Library—she even got to play detective, tracking down clues about mysterious old volumes. But she didn’t expect her sleuthing skills to come in so handy in a little seaside town . . .

Addie left some painful memories behind in the big city, including the unsolved murder of her fiancé and her father’s fatal car accident. After an unexpected inheritance from a great aunt, she’s moved to a small New England town founded by her ancestors back in colonial times—and living in spacious Greyborne Manor, on a hilltop overlooking the harbor. Best of all, her aunt also left her countless first editions and other treasures—providing an inventory to start her own store.

But there’s trouble from day one, and not just from the grumpy woman who runs the bakery next door. A car nearly runs Addie down. Someone steals a copy of Alice in Wonderland. Then, Addie’s friend Serena, who owns a nearby tea shop, is arrested—for killing another local merchant. The police seem pretty sure they’ve got the story in hand, but Addie’s not going to let them close the book on this case without a fight . .

 

Review:

I won this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. Thank you to Goodreads, Kensington Publishing and Lauren Elliott for an ARC copy of the book. As always, an honest review from me.

What better than a book about books? Not much in my opinion. Murder by the Book centers around Addie who recently moved back to town and opened a bookshop. Previously she was in the business, along with her family, of selling, tracking down and authenticating rare books. Now she’s venturing out into business. The reception of her new shop is mixed. Some people are happy to welcome her to town, like Serena her new door neighbor, fellow business owner, and new friend. Other locals aren’t so happy to see her. 

Addie doesn’t have much time to dwell on that when there’s a rash of break ins at her shop, home and also other crimes about town. There’s something strange going on and she’s determined to get to the bottom of it. 

I like that Addie investigates based on her hunches but also allows the police to do their job investigating initially. She’s not just going about town willy nilly, searching for clues. The book retains its cozy mystery vibes while still being authentic and modern. A perfect mix. 

I wish there was more about Addie’s assistant. I think it would be a lovely heartfelt storyline that could definitely be explored more in a future book. 

Overall, a wonderful cozy but modern mystery featuring a great mix of small town and big city vibes. I definitely recommend it. 

 

Add to Your Goodreads TBR

 

Answer me this:

What’s your favorite part about books written about books?

4.5 Star Books · Book Reviews · non fiction · Self Help

I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships by Michael S. Sorensen

Be sure to answer the question at the end of the review

Let’s start a fun discussion in the comments!

 

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I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships by Michael S. Sorensen

Published: June 19, 2017

Publisher: Autumn Creek Press

Pages: 148 

Genres: non fiction, self help

Rating: 4.5 stars

Recommend to fans of: people wanting to work on their communications skills, reducing stress

Foodie Vibes: power protein smoothie

 

Synopsis:

+ 2018 IPA Book Award Winner What if making one tweak to your day-to-day conversations could immediately improve every relationship in your life? In this 3-hour, conversational read, you’ll discover the whats, whys, and hows of one of the most valuable (yet surprisingly little-known) communication skills—validation.

Whether you’re looking to improve your relationship with your spouse, navigate difficult conversations at work, or connect on a deeper level with friends and family, this book delivers simple, practical, proven techniques for improving any relationship in your life.

Mastery of this simple skill will enable you to:

• Calm (and sometimes even eliminate) the concerns, fears, and uncertainties of others
• Increase feelings of love, respect, and appreciation in your romantic relationships
• Quickly resolve, or even prevent, arguments
• Help others become open to your point of view
• Give advice and feedback that sticks
• Provide support and encouragement to others, even when you don’t know how to “fix” the problem
• And much more

In short: this skill is powerful. Give the principles and practices in this book a chance and you’ll be amazed at the difference they can make.

 

Review:

I won this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. Thank you to Goodreads, Autumn Creek Press and Michael S. Sorensen for an ebook copy. As always, an honest review from me. 

The premise of I Hear You sounds too good to be true, but its really not. Most of the book is centered around the premise of validation being the key to better understanding, meaningful conversations and relationships. I think it’s true. I tried out the technique myself and it worked. It helped to deescalate a situation in which the other person was angry and stressed. They felt heard and understood and the situation resolved itself nicely. Also, bonus, I felt proud about the new interpersonal skill that I acquired.

I like that the book is short without too much extra fluff. Succinct information but also enough examples to really help you apply it to your life. Almost everything in the book completely resonated with me.

However, I wish there was more about getting people to validate me when I need it. It’s so hard to tell someone “I’m feeling insecure, validate me!” Also I want to add that you don’t always have to do the long drawn out process of validating people. You can put yourself first, keep it short and sweet and not be an emotional sounding board for the other person. But these communication skills are great when you choose to use them.

Overall, a really helpful book! Many self help books are informative but when it comes down to real life, don’t help me that much. Not so, with this book. I definitely recommend giving it a read!

 

 What are your best communication tips? Enlighten me!

4 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · Christmas · contemporary fiction · contemporary romance · Holidays · romance

Release Day | Dear Santa by Nancy Naigle

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Dear Santa by Nancy Naigle

Published: October 16, 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Pages: 352

Genres: Christmas, holiday, contemporary romance, contemporary fiction

Rating: 4 stars

Recommend to fans of: cozy reads, small businesses, books that remind you of the reason for the season

Foodie Vibes: hot chocolate with a fire roasted marshmallow and beautifully decorated Christmas cookies

 

Synopsis: 

A holiday retelling of You’ve Got Mail that will make you fall in love with the Christmas Season!

Angela Carson wants nothing more than to be the third-generation to run her family’s holiday store, Heart of Christmas, successfully. They’ve weathered over sixty tourist seasons, major hurricanes, and urban sprawl, in their old decommissioned lighthouse. But the national chain that set up shop in their small North Carolina town of Pleasant Sands may be more than Heart of Christmas can survive.

Geoff Paisley has been at his mother’s side running the mega-chain Christmas Galore for the last ten years. When his mother falls ill, Geoff promises to answer the town’s Dear Santa letters in her stead. Soon he realizes the woman he’s been corresponding with on Dear Santa is Angela. How could the woman that grates his every last nerve in person have intrigued him so deeply through those letters?

Encouraged by her niece to ask Santa for help, Angela gives in and lets the words fly in a way that, if Santa were real, would no doubt land her on the naughty list. What’s the harm when it’s just a computer-generated response?

When Geoff reveals that he’s her Dear Santa, will Angela be able to set aside their very public feud to embrace the magic of the holiday and possibly find true love?

 

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Griffin, and Nancy Nail for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me.

Dear Santa is a sweet heartfelt Christmas story that reminds you of the true reason for the season. Angela owns the Heart of Christmas, a one of a kind shop that’s been in her family for years. They sell high quality hand made Christmas decorations. When a new big box style Christmas store comes into town, Angela’s business takes another hit on top of her already foundering business. The book encourages us to look at what’s really important to us, our families and our communities. Will Angela get some help from Santa this year?

I loved the setting. A quaint beachside town isn’t what you first think of for a Christmasy book, but it works perfectly. The passion Angela has for her town, the history and townspeople absolutely makes the book so special. You can feel the true magic of the holidays on each page. The descriptions of her Christmas store made me feel as if I was right there, surrounded by all the twinkly lights, fresh cut trees, and handcrafted ornaments. The scent of gingerbread and peppermint mochas waft through the air. The book is such a cozy holiday read that I can’t get enough.

However, there isn’t much romance. The story focuses more on Angela’s love for her family, business, and town than a new love interest. At least until the last, maybe 20%. It’s very sweet and happily ever after, so that helps. Also there was a lot of tension and arguing in parts. Completely authentic to the story, but sometimes you don’t want to read about stress and tension. Luckily most is about the wonderful moments of Christmastime. 

All together, Dear Santa captures the true magic of Christmas with all the cozy feels. 

 

What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

Self Help · What You Missed Wednesdays

What You Missed Wednesdays – Self Help Edition

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

What You Missed Wednesdays is exactly as it sounds!

Book reviews of each week’s genre of choice that you might have missed, and I think you should really hear about.

3 Books a Week with 3 Words/Phrases to Describe Them 

Click on the title of each book to be taken to my full review.

I hope you find new books that you’re excited to add to your TBR!

 

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Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger by Soraya Chemaly 

5/5 stars

My must read book of the year, incredibly validating, necessary for women who are caregivers

 

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The 1% Rule: How to Fall in Love with the Process and Achieve Your Wildest Dreams by Tommy Baker

4/5 stars

Practical steps, business goals and success, highly motivated

 

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Gratitude for Happiness: How to Exercise Your Gratitude Muscles by Ged Cusack

4.5/5 stars

Practical, finding your gratitudes, self care 

 

Well there you have it!

Another edition of What You Missed Wednesdays.

Keep coming back each Wednesday for more Can’t Miss Books!

Which book(s) are you now adding to your TBR?

4 Star Books · Book Reviews · Business · non fiction · Self Help

The 1% Rule by Tommy Baker

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Let’s start with the Bookish Question of the Review:

If you have a book blog, what is your dream goal for it?

The 1% Rule: How to Fall in Love with the Process and Achieve Your Wildest Dreams by Tommy Baker

Published: February 19, 2018

Publisher: Archangel Ink

Pages: 292

Genres: business, non fiction, self help

Rating: 4 stars

Recommend to fans of: succeeding in business, motivational and practical self help books, self improvement 

Read with food: healthy smoothie to help fuel your success

 

Synopsis: 

In a highlight reel, microwave world — we’re led to believe success is right around the corner.

It’s not working.

Not only is it not working with our ability to achieve our goals, we’ve never been more frustrated, stuck and unfulfilled.

But what if there was a way to shut out the noise, fall in love with the process and take one step forward every single day — leading to an undeniable confidence as we paint our life’s masterpiece?

Enter The 1% Rule — a daily system designed to help you close the gap without the crushing pressure that leads most people less inspired, and more stuck.

The 1% Rule was designed to answer three core questions:

Why do some people seem to achieve massive success in everything they do, while others can’t even get out of their own way?

What separates those who get excited and inspired for a season, a quarter, a month or a week — and those who are consistently on fire?

What are the core principles, mindsets, habits and rituals of those who execute ruthlessly, and those who sit on the sidelines pondering?

…through exploring these answers over the last decade the core principles, strategies and proven framework of The 1% Rule were born and are now yours today.

If you’re ready to ditch the highlight reel illusion…

If you’re tired of sitting on the sidelines waiting…

If you’re frustrated with the 24/7 noise…

You’ve come to the right place.

 

Review: 

I won this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. Thank to you Goodreads, Tommy Baker, and Archangel Ink for a copy of the book. As always, an honest review.

The 1% Rule is all about the process of achieving your goals, your big dreams, the wildest possibilities. First of all the author is very motivational, which you want in a business self help type book. He truly inspired me to start making more positive changes in my life. But even better, most of the book centers around practical steps to make your big dreams a possibility.

I loved that he focused on breaking everything down into small daily steps to hold yourself accountable. It will be different for each person, since each person’s goal and process is unique. The emphasis is on putting in the mundane, necessary hard work each day. Over time the results will at least add up, if not compound on each other. The process makes absolute sense yet many books don’t focus on this. I also appreciated the focus on doing what works for you and not worrying what other people think. I also loved the little trick the author uses to keep motivated. Makes complete sense and is incredibly helpful when you get in a slump.

Even with all these amazing aspects, at times it felt a bit much. It’s definitely a book for highly motivated people who will stop at nothing to make their dreams a reality. I prefer, and actually require, a bit more balance and calmness in my life.

However, I’ve already implemented changes in my daily routine based on the author’s suggestions in the book. Keeping myself accountable and putting in consistent daily work towards my book blog. And I’ve already seen small improvements. The 1% Rule is a self help book geared towards business that might actually help you get where you want to go.