“Power Your Happy”–Review

51zfsuzy5ll-_sx329_bo1204203200_An inspirational, upbeat memoir sprinkled with advice and encouraging stories from the founder of the hugely popular website POPSUGAR.

Lisa Sugar spends her days creating content about pop culture, must-have handbags, makeup, healthy recipes, and recommended sweets on Instagram.  Her company, POPSUGAR, is rapidly growing and has hundreds of employees who enjoy what they do.  At home, she and her husband, Brian, have three daughters.  Lisa enjoys attending their soccer games, as well as reading bedtime stories to them every night.

In this book, Lisa tells her readers about how she did it all, how she had to figure out what her dream job was, including taking risks, and having confidence in herself.  Because of that, she wants to motivate others to live life, to figure out what their dream jobs are, and to take risks, as well.

While sharing her personal and business stories, she provides advice on creating your dream.  She shares the pros and cons of when it comes to working to achieve your goals, such as starting a company to ditching a relationship that isn’t working, etc.  Working toward our dreams is hard work, after all, and it takes a lot of patience and experience.

This is quite an interesting memoir and I enjoyed reading it.  In fact, it got me to think more about getting back into my novel-in-progress, which is now a second draft.  Perhaps before the end of this year—or the beginning of this coming year—it’ll be ready for the world.

I recommend this book for those who love motivational reads, especially for those who are fans of POPSUGAR.  Power Your Happy: Work Hard, Play Nice, and Build Your Dream Life will be available on September 20, 2016.  Feel free to post your comments.  Happy reading!

*I received this copy from Dutton Books, in exchange for an honest review.


“A Field Guide to Lies”–Review

41PBiqBSfLL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_It’s raining bad data, half-truths, and even outright lies…We are bombarded with more information each day than the mind can process—especially in election season.  Levitin shows how to recognize misleading announcements, statistics, graphs, and written reports, revealing the ways lying weasels use them to manipulate and cheat.

In this book, Daniel J. Levitin shows readers how to distinguish misinformation, pseudo-facts, distortions, and lies from the most reliable information.  This field guide is grouped into evaluating numbers, words, including evaluating the world by showing how science is the answer to critical thinking.  Although newspapers, bloggers, the government, and Wikipedia are expected to present factually and logically correct information, the truth is that they’re not always right.  Levitin suggests we all need to use critical thinking if we want to be successful in all areas of life.  It’s important to check the plausibility and reasoning of particular statistics, instead of just accepting them and making decisions based on them—which is a common thing.

I may not be the greatest with statistics, but this book is worth reading.  It’s a plus if you’re a fan of numbers.  In fact, I never really got around to the idea that statistics aren’t actually facts; they’re considered interpretations.  So if we’d like to know why these certain numbers show up on a chart, graph, etc., critical thinking is necessary.

A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age will be available on September 6, 2016.  Feel free to post your comments.  Happy reading!

*I received this book from Dutton Books, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: Daniel J. Levitin is the James McGill Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience at McGill University and is dean of the College of Social Sciences at the Minerva Schools at KGI.  He is the author of This is Your Brain on Music, The World in Six Songs, and The Organized Mind.  He divides his time between Montreal, Quebec, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

“Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal”–Review

41okQLg0eoL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Why the title Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal?  Because each piece of prose is organized into classic subjects such as Social Studies, Music, and Language Arts.  Because textbook would accurately describe a book with a first-of-its-kind interactive text messaging component.  Because textbook is an expression meaning “quintessential”—Oh, that wordplay and unconventional format is so typical of her, so textbook AKR.  Because if an author’s previous book has the word encyclopedia in the title, following up with a textbook would be rather nice.

This is an interesting, humorous read, which I finished in three days.  It’s an insightful memoir of the author’s life, filled with random insights, memories, and moments.  Included are some drawings, charts, and diagrams.  In a way, I see this book as a diary.  In fact, it may have inspired some new writing ideas for me.  I’m happy for having the opportunity to read this book.

Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal will be available on August 9, 2016.  Feel free to post your comments.  Happy reading!

*I received this copy from Dutton Books, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: Amy Krouse Rosenthal writes for both adults and children.  She has written more than thirty children’s picture books, including Little Pea, Spoon, Exclamation Mark, Duck! Rabbit!, Uni the Unicorn, and I Wish You More.  Amy is a contributor to public radio, YouTube, and TED.  She resides digitally at whoisamy.com and for real in Chicago.


“Not Cool”—A Review

9780804138550Behind every awful, dangerous decision lurks one evil beast: THE COOL.

Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War On You, by Greg Gutfeld, discusses issues of everyday life and the choices most people make, in order to fit in with society.  …From what we wear and what we eat to what we smoke and who we poke, pop culture is crafted and manipulated by the cool and, to Greg Gutfeld, that’s Not Cool.

In this book, you’ll read about how the cool want to enslave all.  The cool try to convince you that:

1. If you don’t agree with them, no one will like you.

2. If you don’t follow them, you will miss out on life.

3. If you don’t listen to them, you will die a lonely loser.

Gutfeld, however, shows the reader that it’s cool to just be ourselves, to not change who we are just to be accepted by those who’d never give us the time of day.  He shows the reader the ideal of cool—building businesses, protecting freedom at home and abroad, taking responsibility for your actions, and letting others live their own lives as they please.  One of the lines I’ve kept in mind is: “It is a mistake to worry about how others view you.  ‘Other people’ are like images created in your mind.  It’s only your desire to appease or please or impress them that makes them meaningful.”

I’m happy to have had the opportunity to read this book.  There really is no harm in being ourselves and going after what we want—and being passionate about it, of course.  After my reading this book, I’ve realized that I’m not part of the cool and I’m definitely okay with it.  Read on to find out what I mean.

About the author: Greg Gutfeld is the cohost of The Five and Red Eye on the Fox News Channel.  He also is the author of The Bible of Unspeakable Truths and The Joy of Hate.

FTC Disclosure: I received the book from Blogging for Books, in exchange for an honest review.


“Percolate”–A Review

Is there a voice inside of you that’s urging you to make changes and seek a richer, more fulfilling life?  Do you feel like you’ve been searching for something more meaningful, even if you don’t know exactly what it is?  Have no fear–“Percolate” will show you how to let your best self filter through and thrive!

I can honestly say that I did enjoy reading Percolate, by Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino.  I like how the author uses coffee as a metaphor for when it comes to making changes in your life; for example, chapters that are entitled Allow for Change to Brew, Choose a Bolder Brew, Create Your Own Best Blend, etc.

For anyone who is looking to make a change or two in life—major or minor—I’d recommend this book, especially if you’re a fan of coffee.  Throughout the book, the author talks about events in her life that caused her to make positive—albeit difficult—changes that made her the person that she is now.  Also, she talks about everyday topics and issues that we all go through and what we can do about it, including solutions to achieve happiness.

There was a particular passage in one of the chapters that caught my attention, where the author says: “When people tell me they’d be happier if they had more money or a nicer house or a multitude of explanations, I can’t help but think it’s all a disguise.  No one thing or person can make you happy; happiness is a choice from within.  These are merely excuses to not be happy in the present moment.”

I’m happy to have had the opportunity to read this book.  Check this book out and feel free to post your comments.  Happy reading!

FTC Disclosure: I received this free copy from Hay House in exchange for an honest review.  The opinions are my own and based on my own experience.