Tag Archive: self-help



Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear SugarTiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One day, in the last couple of months, my daughter kidnapped me so I could spend a week back in Reno. It was one of those serendipitous things that made me very happy. I got to spend time with her and with other family and friends.

My daughter loves to listen to podcasts on long trips. When she learned that I had read and watched Wild, by Cheryl Strayed, she pulled up the Dear Sugar podcasts and we enjoyed a long listen.

Once back at home I found the Dear Sugar websites and other books by Cheryl Strayed. I looked at the eBook/Overdrive local library copies. I found this copy but it was just an eBook with no text-to-speech and no audio version. I tried very hard to enjoy the book. There was wonderful advice given here.

I wanted to keep reading past the mid-point that I thought I got to, but with no way to listen it was hard to read. I will try to keep an eye out for the Audible or Kindle with TTS to read later. Besides, most of it was written for younger people. I played the kind of game I used to play with the Dear Abby advice column, see if I can give the same advice the writer does. I was pleasantly surprised that Ms. Strayed gave more personal answers and helped in deeper ways than Abby or her sister Ann Landers ever did.

I think this is a wonderful book for young people to have. I think Dear Sugar is a good podcast for those under forty. I hope to find this book again in an easier form for me to read.

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Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the WorldFluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World by Benny Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished reading this a couple days ago. No, I was not in the haze of wanting to stay with the story or characters. This is a non-fiction about learning other languages. I didn’t want to leave this one because it helped me so much and I want to re-read it a lot more times.

As many of you know, I have been working with Duolingo learning Spanish and German. I have taken two levels of both in school but would like to be fluent in both of them. Right now I can read a bit but I feel so very elementary in both of them.

There are so many good ideas on how to learn a language and get to the point of fluency! And I read this using the Audible with the author’s voice. What a delight to hear his accent and enthusiasm! And he is a polyglot. For those of you like I was, who don’t know, that means he is fluent in many languages, all learned since he was an adult.

The best part is that there are web-links to study certain aspects of each chapter. I didn’t follow those with the first reading, but I will with the next. And I will take notes and make flashcards.

This is the best book about languages I have ever read. If you are thinking about studying another language, this should be your first book to read to give you the best start.

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Spontaneous HappinessSpontaneous Happiness by Andrew Weil

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As someone on disability for depression and now fibromyalgia for over a decade, I felt I needed some new answers. I have always admired Dr. Andrew Weil so when my friend told me she liked it, I thought I ought to give it a try.

Kindle and their whispersynched Audible co-play helped me get through the techno-speak. Kindle’s ability to fast forward Dr. Weil’s slower speaking speed, helped this to be a fast and educational read. By the way, that was a hint my husband pointed out to me. That on smart phones, tablets and Fires one can speed up the narrator’s voice and not lose quality. It’s like the person is speaking faster, not higher like a chipmunk.

I can see that the paperback or hardback book would have its points as one could highlight or check back on references later, still, I like this version for the first run-through. That way I got the gist of what it was all about in a quick over-read. I will go back and take notes and try to follow many of the suggestions presented in this book. Meanwhile, I will try a couple ideas that stayed with me and see how they help with the mental and physical pain.

This book is well worth the read, and further study.

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Bountiful Women: Large Women's Secrets for Living the Life They Desire
Bountiful Women: Large Women’s Secrets for Living the Life They Desire by Bonnie Bernell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a slow read for me. Not that the writing was bad, but because it was the paperback version and the font was small. But it wasn’t so small that I couldn’t take it in small doses.

Going deeper, the information that gave reminders that all of us need; that we are okay as we are. Fat shaming has never helped a bountiful woman or man to lose weight. That those who are of bountiful size have had enough with dieting that doesn’t work. That trying to hide so as to avoid the critical voices, hides us from those who might be our friends or more.

Did I learn anything new here? No. Just some affirmations I had forgotten. Moreover, I wish the book had started with the ending stories. The beginning seemed a dream for those of us who have fixed incomes. The suggestions we go to health spas or invest in counseling that can also be exorbitant. Instead offering ideas to find those positive beings to come into our lives that create the kind of support we all need.

So, sorry, it’s just okay but worth the read. Find the bits, as I did, and pass it on.

I registered this one with BookCrossers, the BCID here:  473-12817834

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Vitamin D Revolution
Vitamin D Revolution by Soram Khalsa
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Though I loved the information I picked up from this book, I found it boring and repetitive. The information I really wanted was tucked into the last few pages, yet by then I think I had figured it out. Like many non-fiction books, this one followed the method of telling us there’s a problem, why we have the problem, and what research has been done. The problem was repeated over and over.

On the other hand, my personal experience with my doctors has made me more than curious about this vitamin. One doctor told me that I was vitamin D deficient. The next doctor told me I was too high in this vitamin, that it was toxic. This book proves that it is nearly impossible to have toxic amounts of D. That our bodies use this vitamin completely. And it seems that I have all the symptoms of adult rickets. Those are the symptoms of fibromyalgia, at least my experience of it. And I am now taking the amount of vitamin D that the first doctor advised me to take. I will follow through and get tested soon. And I will continue to research this and other methods to find my health again.

I would love to hear from others who have read this book or followed the higher vitamin D intake and find out how well it works for them. I do think people who are having health issues and those who would want to keep themselves healthy would find this book informational, at least.

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Basic Drawing Technique: The How-to Guide
Basic Drawing Technique: The How-to Guide by Dr. Vook
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This was one of my first Kindle books. It seemed like a great idea at the time. The only thing I can think of to say is, what if you were only able to talk to your art teacher on the phone. Not Skype, just landline type phone. There would be no illustrations to show how it is done. That is how this book attempts to teach art. Just words. There wasn’t even a passion from the teacher. Just deadpan instructions. Boring.

When I was in high school, I thought all the teachers felt sorry for me. That was why I got A’s in art and music. Then they decided I was so advanced that I was placed in senior lever art while only a freshman. That might have worked for me had the teacher actually taught. Instead, he wrote on the chalkboard all the notes we were to copy down. The notebook was to be the grade in this class. ART!!! When I brought home the note that said I was failing this class my mom went through the roof. She made me stay after school every day to catch up with that notebook. I didn’t fail that class but I did learn a lot about my abilities and lack thereof. I had no problems with creativity. I was not good at taking notes, even when they were spelled out in front of me.

This book brought that nightmare to mind. I am glad I got it for free. I can’t imagine spending $2.99 for this non-art book.

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