Wednesday, February 27, 2019

"Totality of Possibilities" by Louise Hay

This audio book CD is a live recording with a studio audience.  Louise Hay speaks to the audience about how there is so much potential in the world for living our dreams.  She encourages listeners to think positively and let go of the negative voices in one's head that say we don't deserve this, we aren't good enough, we can't do this, and so on.  Hay explains that there are billions of people in the world and thus billions of opportunities for business, friendship, and love.  Near the end of the recording, there is a fun question and answer session where Hay dives deep into real people's insecurities.  At the very end, Hay leads a very peaceful meditation to the sound of piano music playing in the background.

Monday, February 25, 2019

"Make it Work" by Tony A. Gaskins Jr.

I first found out about Tony Gaskins when I listened to his videos on youtube.  He has a lot of advice about relationships.  The main premise of his platform and message is for women (and men) to not sell themselves short.  No one should settle.  No one should be with someone who makes them sad, cry, cheats on them, abuses them, is mean, is controlling, and so on.  Gaskins notes that people make mistakes and not everything is worth breaking up over.  However, he also emphasizes the power of consistency.  It's one thing to mess up and make it work moving forward.  It's another thing to repeatedly hurt someone over and over.  If you are repeatedly being hurt, heal yourself and move on.  Gaskins also talks about the importance of marriage and saving oneself for marriage.  Men who string women along for years end up wasting the women's time by making her what Gaskins calls a "hold me down".  Gaskins goes so far to say that most men know within a year if they want to marry someone...if not sooner.  Don't be the woman waiting years for a ring.  If your man is slow on commitment, get out and meet other men who will better value and appreciate you for the jewel that you are.  Aside from what to avoid, much of Gaskins' book has advice for married couples on how to strengthen the relationship and keep the flame of love burning for years to come.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

"Jelly Bean Blessings" by Maddie Frost

This full-color, hardcover book is one to be treasured for years.  There are three animal friends that enjoy the blessings of spring together.  The fox, the pig, and the alligator (or crocodile, I'm not really sure which it is!) are the best of friends.  Despite the title, this book does not just focus on jelly beans.  The trio enjoys splashing in puddles, gardening, picking wild flowers, flying kites, riding bikes, hiking in the park, doing spring cleaning chores at home, feeding birds, having picnics, and more.  I really liked the fun outfits for the animals that changed from scene to scene.  Also, I'm not sure what the media is, but many of the pages are shiny and glittery, or at least they give that impression.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope you will, too!  Now if only springtime would come sooner! 

Sunday, February 17, 2019

"You are a Prize to be Won" by Wendy Griffith

I didn't know if when I first picked this book up, but the author is a famous news anchor for the Christian Broadcast Network (CBN).  This accomplished woman is beautiful, strong, and vibrant.  Her book starts off with her own story of love and heartbreak.  Never married, at age 40 (the book doesn't talk about Wendy's love interests pre-40) she meets Michael.  At first it is love at first sight and everything seems to be going well.  However, as time goes on, Wendy begins to realize that Michael is not ready for commitment and does not want to marry her.  Wendy shares her journey during this difficult time, how she handled her emotions, how she got over her grief, and how she deepened her relationship with God.  I think all women can learn something from this book.  You are a prize to be won.  Don't ever settle for less.  This isn't to say that couples can't have arguments or issues.  However, if the arguments or issues never go away and never get better, it's time to move on.  I wish Wendy and all women around the world much happiness and the knowledge that they are dearly loved.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

"Self-Compassion: Step by Step" by Kristin Neff, PhD

I listened to this audio book CD while driving to and from work.  The basic premise is to not be so hard on yourself.  Rather, be kind to yourself and show yourself the compassion that you would show to a dear friend.  The CD is full of meditations that are quite relaxing--maybe not the best for driving!  Neff has a very soothing and non-judgmental voice, which makes her an excellent narrator for her own book.  This is the type of CD that people can easily listen to over and over.  I think we all need a reminder to be kinder to ourselves from time to time.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

"How to Get a Date Worth Keeping" by Dr. Henry Cloud

This book is all about how to get out into the dating world and do it successfully.  While there are not statistics on scientifically proven methods, the advice given in this book makes very much sense to me.  There is an emphasis on healing emotional wounds and negative self talk that prevents people from dating in a healthy manner.  There is discussion around people who attract poor partners or do not attract good partners because they have low self-esteem and self-limiting beliefs.  The author encourages readers to get out of the house (unless they want to marry the mailman!), get friends, get hobbies, and go out with anyone at least once.  The point of dating is go have fun, enhance one's social skills, and get to know what one wants vs not wants.  The point of dating isn't to find a marriage partner, and that sort of thinking leads to stress and anxiety.  Just be yourself, love yourself, and enjoy dating for the sake of dating itself.  Don't overthink things, stay positive, and you may just find your love!

Monday, February 11, 2019

"All the Good Ones Aren't Taken" by Debbie Magids, PhD and Nancy Peske

The combination of amusing title and cover caught my eye, and I decided to read this book.  It's all about finding lasting love and changing thoughts / behaviors that self-sabotage.  The authors go into detail on eight types of women.  They have clever titles like Runaway Bride, Uptown Girl, the Wanderer, the Old Faithful, and so on.  These characters mirror women who go after married men, are afraid to commit, can't get over an ex, are afraid to date, and more.  There is a huge emphasis on repressed emotions stemming from childhood as many of the examples in the book go back to one's home life growing up.  While I wouldn't say every dysfunctional relationship is due to someone's upset childhood, I would say that the ideas laid out in this book can help readers get to the heart of why they act the way they do and why they believe the thoughts they do--regardless of their origin.  There are also some psychological terms used, all of which are properly explained for the lay reader (thank goodness!).  Overall, I found this book very interesting.  I also really liked how at the end, there was a summary of what happened to the women in the book.  The examples given for each type of woman were not made up.  They were actual clients (last names omitted, of course).  It was cool to see what happened to those women after taking the advice from the authors.  It gives hope to the reader that people can change for the better.  Not every example woman landed a husband, but they all improved their outlook on life and made positive steps in the right direction towards finding love and, more importantly, learning to love themselves.

Friday, February 8, 2019

"Dog Flight" by Johanna Chambers

As someone who absolutely loves corgis, I was very excited to read this book.  It is soft-cover and full-color with amazingly beautiful illustrations.  Asia the corgi takes a nap outside, meets a butterfly, undergoes a very special transformation, and spends the night soaring the skies with other like-minded dog friends.  There is such a sense of cute mischievousness when Asia's owner asks where she's been and she just smiles with that look on her face like she knows what she did but will never admit it.  How many dog lovers have seen that face on a dog before?!  I know I have!  The illustrations are so lifelike yet imaginative.  I loved how other dogs and methods of flight were incorporated into the book.  There were dogs of all breeds, colors, shapes, and sizes.  As for method of flight, not every dog had butterfly wings like Asia.  Some had different style wings, some flew airplanes, some sat in hot air balloons, some were parasailing, and so much more.  This is a fun book that readers will cherish for years to come.  Fly high Asia!

"God, I Know You're There" by Bonnie Rickner Jensen and illustrated by Lucy GLeming

This hardcover full-color children's book is just darling.  The pages are thick and wooden--sure to last for years to come.  Short poems line every set of pages, explaining to readers how there are very real things in life that people can't quite touch or see.  Examples are the wind, the sky, stars, rainbows, and so on.  At the very end, readers know that they can sense God by love in their hearts and in the world, just like they can sense the sun by means of observing light.  The illustrations in this book are fantastic.  They are both extremely artistic / professional while remaining childishly pure and light.  This is a great book to keep by one's bedside whenever one begins to have late-night doubts about God.  I'd love to see what other books Lucy Fleming has illustrated since she sure is talented.

"The Bare Naked Truth" by Bekah Hamrick Martin

I got this book from the library partly due to its scandalous cover / title but also partly due to its promise of covering difficult topics like purity from a spiritual perspective.  The way the book is outlined, there are ten chapters with each chapter covering a lie that most young women believe.  These are lies like: waiting is for wussies, boundaries don't matter, sex is okay as long as people are in love, sex is okay as long as it is safe, and so on.  While there are religious references, the bulk of this book relies on personal anecdotes from the author and multiple guest authors who share their own personal stories.  There are also statistics showing girls how saving oneself for marriage can actually lower their divorce rate.  Single, married, virgin or not, this book is a must for any woman looking to decipher the truth about dating, waiting, and God's plan for purity.  While purity is definitely pushed, this book is not judgmental or condemning for those who may have made mistakes in life.  It merely aims to reduce / prevent the physical, spiritual, and emotional pain that women get when they don't save everything for marriage.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

"Dealing with Meetings you Can't Stand" by Dr. Rick Brinkman

For all the working professionals out there, how many meetings have you gone to where you felt bored, left out, unheard, and just wasting time?  If you're like most of working America, the answer is "too many!".  Contrary to the title, Dr. Rick's book isn't just about dealing with meetings you can't stand--it's about fixing them by implementing what he calls the Meeting Jet Process.  I liked the Meeting Jet Process because I work in aviation and there are lots of fun terms that mimic my industry.  There is the flight recorder, the air traffic controller, and the pilot.  Each has their own separate and important responsibilities.  The book also describes different types of people in meetings win comical detail.  There are tanks, judges, snipers, and more, which I'll let you read about on your own.  From people who say too much to people who say too little to people who just make distractions, there is a section on them!  I totally agree with the philosophy that meetings need start times, end times, clear agendas, and a method by which people are involved in discussion.  While this may sound like common sense, it can be hard to implement.  That's where Dr. Rick's many examples come into play to help the reader.  Meetings are for interaction, not for information distribution or monologues.  If you want a more productive meeting at your workplace, read this book and give it to your boss, too! 

"Life by Design" by Dr. Rick Brinkman an Dr. Rick Kirschner

 Have you ever wanted to improve your life or life situation but didn't know where to start?  Dr. Rick's book takes you through all the necessary steps for cultivating a life that is meaningful for yourself and others.  Each chapter has inspirational quotes and illustrations, as well as detailed descriptions of why the lesson is important.  Then, there are guided activities / journal prompts for the reader to complete.  Beyond just accomplishing a goal, Dr. Rick gets to the heart of values and why a person wants a specific goal.  As stated in the book, many unpleasant emotions and even some physical ailments are the result of people living in conflict with their most cherished values (some of which they are not even consciously aware of!).  Topics such as attitude, friendship, marriage, and world politics are even touched on.  I could go on and on but encourage readers to find out for themselves how to bring out the best in themselves.  I like how un-daunting this book is.  The chapters are short and the text isn't full of jibber jabber.  This is a fun yet practical no-nonsense guide to self-improvement.

"Meditations for Personal Healing" by Louise L Hay

I listened to this audio book CD and really enjoyed it.  As I listened, I felt like Hay was the grandmother I never had (I had wonderful grandmothers, but they've since passed when I was too young to remember them much).  Hay talks about imagining yourself as a baby or child.  Think of how much that kid is loved, wanted, adored, cared for, and so on.  No one wishes harm or anxiety upon children, yet we place such huge burdens upon ourselves.  If you had a great childhood or a less than stellar one, it doesn't matter.  Listening to Hay will make you feel better about yourself and heal whatever needs healing.  She loves you and I love you.

"Stress-Free" by Louise L. Hay

I listened to this CD while driving to and from work.  It is on the shorter side of audio book CDs and can be completed in about an hour.  The first half is all about Hay's methods for combating stress.  The second half is relaxing music for one to listen to.  Hay explains that stress really just is a fear response and that once we let go of fear, we can let go of stress.  I really liked that idea.  What does stress do except make matters worse and lead to physical ailments?  If you are feeling stressed out, calm down by listening to Hay's CD on your way to work.

Friday, February 1, 2019

"Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell

I listened to this audio book CD while driving to and from work.  It centers around very successful people in history and getting to the heart of why they are so successful.  I was quite taken aback at this book and learned a lot.  I learned Bill Gates got his big break when he had unlimited access to a university computer in the 1960s, something which was quite rare back then.  I learned that major league hockey players who are born in January are older than their counterparts born in December and end up getting more opportunities for practice.  I learned that Asians who are good at math have cultural habits of hard work ingrained in them from centuries of arduous rice farming (rice farming is considerably more difficult than other forms of farming for various reasons that Gladwell explains).  There are so many examples of people who were in the right place at the right time.  What I did not like about this book were some crude references and swear words.

"Color me younger" by Pat Henshaw and Veronique Henderson

This book is all about how to look one's best.  While there is an emphasis on women over 40, I think women of all ages can benefit from this book.  There are examples of different hair / eye / skin combinations, as well as corresponding colors that go well with said persons.  I found my own palette and plenty of outfit ideas based on the colors suggested for me.  I found it funny that most of the colors suggested for me were colors that dominated my closet!  There is a black lady in this book, but, that aside, I'd say there aren't many examples for other nationalities.  As a white woman, I found my own color examples.  However, for women who are Asian, Indian, Hispanic, African, or other exotic nationalities, I'd suggest getting a more specific book that will work to your palette.