Book Review · Books · Self Care

Find Your Awesome

I’m a sucker for self-help books. When I saw the cute artwork on the cover I couldn’t resist requesting the appropriately titled Find Your Awesome. This short book has 30 different ideas on ways that you can learn how to start loving yourself. Some of the suggestions that stood out to me the most were:

* Rocking my life list

I need to make a life bucket list, so I have goals I am always reaching on meeting.

* Hold a burning ceremony

There are things about my past and myself I need to let go of, but my OCD reparative thoughts like to dwell on those things anyway. A burning ceremony of letting go would be acknowledging these things, but then physically letting them go by burning away their hold on me.

* List 10 people you are grateful for

Writing down 10 people I’m grateful for helps me stay focused on the important people in my life who help influence and shape me in who I’ve become through the years.

* Organize something

Organizing is something I like to do briefly, then my piles start up again. Going through my things and only keeping what is essential is therapeutic. I need to do more of it so there is more room in my life for things I truly need, plus I will feel less claustrophobic.

* Unplug

Unplugging from social media occasionally is important and something I want to do more often. It’s never a dire emergency to check notifications. If it’s an emergency the person will call me and leave a voicemail.

* Be unapologetic

I am a classic apology case. I apologize often to where it even annoys myself. I need to stop apologizing, especially when I’m not truly sorry. It’s a bad form of coming across humble and selfless when in reality you aren’t wanting to own your true feelings about something.

* Write your personal manifesto

Writing my own manifesto on how I want to live my life is something I need to do. It’s a way for me to have a nice, firm reminder of what I believe in, stand for and want to accomplish with my existence.

* Decide what matters

Deciding what matters can be a tough exercise.

* Write yourself a love letter

I don’t like being the center of attention, so the idea of writing myself a love letter sounds egotistical, but I need to honestly love me for me and writing it down will help cement it in my mind.

* Design a book cover for your life story

Some day I do want to publish. A memoir might be a tad strange, but to design a unique book cover for it would satisfy my creative side.

These suggestions each speak to me in that they are ways I can uncover who I am down to my core.

What would your answers be to these different suggestions on how we can love and care for ourselves more?

I think with social media when can get so caught up in following other’s lives that we forget to be ourselves, to be our own unique selves. These suggestions help peel off the layers of fitting in, so that we can love ourselves for who we are. I know I don’t always like what I see when I peel back my protective layers, but it’s important for me to truly like myself, even the scary parts of me (body parts, personality, habits).

If you need a uplifting pick me up, go find a copy of this short book. The artwork alone is sweet and inspiring. I received my free digital ARC of Find Your Awesome by Judy Clement Wall care of NetGalley from HCI Books in exchange for my honest feedback. Thank you Judy for an easy to use self-help book that will help society get their life balance back.

Book Review · Books

Rose Colored Glasses

Memoirs steal your heart. The author gives you a peek into their personal life, the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. Jo Ann Simon does just that in her memoir, Rose Colored Glasses. In her book she chronicles her marriage to Tom otherwise known as TK. Their love and romance reads like a fairy tale until they are faced with a harsh health update for Tom.

What would you do if your spouse or partner suddenly has to deal with a terminal illness? Jo Ann meets this challenge head on like a freight train, determined to find a cure for Tom. She is honest about their good days when Tom is back to his old self and days when getting through the day is a challenge. I can’t fathom going through what Jo Ann has. You expect to grow old with your other half.

I received my free digital ARC copy of Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon from NetGalley care of Smith Publicity in exchange for my honest feedback. This memoir was beautifully written with little notes from Tom to Jo Ann sprinkled through out the pages. Loosing a partner to disease is devastating. Jo Ann shows how we can get through to the other side of this premature challenge to live life again. If you have a friend, family member, or an acquaintance that needs assurance they aren’t alone going through this kind of major life change then I recommend to read this book. It’s a book about hope.

Book Review · Books · Uncategorized

My Father’s Business

I enjoy shopping at Dollar General. You never know what you’ll discover, but they always have unique bookmarks. I still have one that’s embroidered from ten years ago. When I got asked if I’d like to review My Father’s Business by Cal Turner, Jr. with Rob Simbeck I said, “yes,” since I like to personally shop occasionally at Dollar General.

This memoir goes behind the scenes of this major retailer to show the humble start of Cal Turner, Sr. starting the retail chain that would morph into becoming Dollar General where everything is only a $1. Based out of Scottsville, KY where hardworking customers value a great deal and buy. Senior Turner knew what his customers wanted and needed. He would look high and low for great deals to sell to his customers. When his eldest son, Cal Turner, Jr. got into helping out in the stores he knew one day he’d take over the reigns of Dollar General.

This book is a short read, filled with personal stories of Cal Jr. growing up under the shadow of his dad and what it was like to grow up in a family immersed in living, breathing retail. Cal Jr. does share how his Christian faith helped shape his work ethic and personal life. There are tense moments and moments you’ll laugh. If you enjoy business books that are part memoir then you’ll enjoy this book.

I received my free copy of My Father’s Business from Center Street in exchange for my feedback. This was an enjoyable read and it’s neat to read about the history behind an iconic store.

Book Review · Books

You All Grow Up And Leave Me

What if you discovered one of the most trusted adults you knew had a dark secret; a secret you escaped from being a victim of? Piper Weiss describes her life growing up during her teen years being coached tennis by Gary Wilensky. Gary made tennis practice fun. He would dress up in a funny costumes, coach wearing roller skates and even allow some of the girls to buy candy after practice. Piper’s parents trusted Gary, as did a lot of the parents of teens Gary coached. When Gary sends Valentine cards to select tennis players that does raise a few parental eyebrows. One night Piper hears the news that Gary is dead. Years later she decides she wants to find out what really happened the night Gary died. Why wasn’t Piper one of Gary’s favorites and was there more to Gary than meets the eye?

This memoir is gripping from page one. Piper brings forth the true creepiness of what happened in 1993 to full color. After the first chapter I felt goosebumps it was that creepy. Yes, Stephen King creepy! I haven’t read true crime in a long time, but Piper’s account of her experience being coached by Gary and what she uncovered by her research into the night Gary died brings to mind that as an adult, don’t be ashamed to ask for help if you are depressed. Piper discusses the tricky mind screw that is being thought a favorite of Gary, but yet not THE favorite.

I received my ARC copy of You All Grow Up And Leave Me by Piper Weiss for free care of TLC Book Tours from William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins. If you are looking for a fast paced read this memoir will have you staying up late to finish. Thank you for speaking out Piper. To go buy a copy click here and to contact Piper click here.

Book Review · Books

The Fox Hunt

What would you do if you wanted to research opposite faiths than what you were raised with? Mohammed encounters a Christian teacher at his college. He wants to be an obedient Muslim and share his faith with his teacher, so he brings him a Quran. Surprisingly his teacher is of the same mindset and gifts him a Christian Bible, which for Mohammed is a forbidden item.

Mohammed reads his Bible and starts to have discussions with his teacher, but when his teacher moves away he branches out online to connect with others who can help further explain Christianity and Judaism. Through his studying he gets jobs at nonprofits where he can continue his studies and connecting with Christians, other Muslims and Jews to learn more about why there is conflict. Mohammed wants to help bridge peace between the groups, but when there is upheaval in his country of Yemen he is trapped in his home. He reaches out to others online to see if anyone will help him escape.

I received my ARC copy of The Fox Hunt by Mohammed Al Samawi for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my review. This book is intense from page one. Mohammed writes in such a way you feel as though you are walking by his side throughout his memoir, experiencing every moment. This book is a great window into what it’s like to grow up in Yemen.

Book Review · Books

True Stories From An Unreliable Witness

Christine Lahti’s memoir True Stories From An Unreliable Witness is hilarious, sobering, and mesmerizing. Christine talks about her life growing up in a house filled with 5 siblings, a perfectly coiffed mother and an aloof father. She is a sensitive and emotional person in a family that has to wear their happy smiles and never take off their masks. Each chapter is an essay about different parts of Christine’s life from childhood, to college, entering the acting world, marriage, motherhood and more. She wanted to break out of the prescribed shell her mother lived in.

This short book packed a punch on so many topics from family dynamics, father and daughter relationships (I can relate), finding your footing professionally, mental illness, motherhood and loving yourself as you are despite what the magazines say. This book had me laughing, tearing up, feeling convicted and more.

I received my free copy of True Stories From An Unreliable Witness by Christine Lahti for free from TLC Book Tours care of Harper Weave in exchange for my review. This memoir was a quick, enjoyable, enriching read. I hope Christine will write more books because she has a talent with the written word. To purchase her book click here. Now off to go watch some of her movies.

Book Review · Books

The Dream Of You

If you are a woman who needs a spiritual pick me up then I recommend The Dream Of You by Jo Saxton. This short book is heavy on wisdom in a non-preachy manner. Jo talks about her tough childhood, how she came to faith and the different trials and accomplishments she’s had in her life. She shares her honest faith struggle in a way you can relate to. Throughout sharing her story, Jo includes Biblical stories about women and men who went through trying times to discover who God made them to be.

I received my free copy of The Dream Of You by Jo Saxton from Blogging For Books in exchange for my review. If you are a seasoned or new believer this book is written in language that is easy to understand and a great fresher on Christian basics.