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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

"Put on your PJs, Piggies!" by Laura Neutzling and Illustrated by Sydney Hanson

This wooden hardcover, full-color children's book is quite a delight for bedtime.  The short story follows a family of pigs that is in no hurry at all to go to bed.  The parent pig repeatedly tells the little piggies to put on their pajamas and GO TO BED.  However, the piggies are more ready for playtime and fun than they are for snoozing.  Through a colorful series of events that include counting nearby sheep friends, the piggies do eventually put on their pajamas and go to sleep.  This book was rather cute and comical.  It gave me a good laugh.  I'm sure this will help create bedtime memories with little ones for years to come.

"Placemaker" by Christie Purifoy

This book is all about the art of making a place a home.  Purifoy writes of her life experience as a married woman following her husband from town to town for his work.  There is deep internal conflict as she struggles to have children and must sacrifice her own career for her husband's career.  Much description is paid to trees and wildlife in the various places Purifoy visits.  She talks about the need to make each of her individual homes welcoming and hospitable--even if she knew she was only going to be there temporarily.  There are many existential paragraphs in this book when the author meditates on the cycle of death and rebirth in nature.  A tree may fall, but it gives new life the next season.  Are not people the same way?  There are some sad parts of the book when the author is vulnerable with her emotions, as well as when a death in the family is mentioned.  I wouldn't say this book is extraordinary in terms of telling a story, but there was some way in which Purifoy wrote that made me feel relaxed as if I was talking with a dear friend.  Read this book if you want to slow down and make your house a home, no matter how long you plan to stay there.

"Seven" by Jen Hatmaker

I listened to this audiobook while driving to and from work.  It is more of a diary / blog / journal of one woman's journey to simplify her life with radical giving / sacrifice.  There are various experiments she does around the number seven.  There is a time when she eats only seven foods.  There is another time when she wears only seven items of clothing.  There is another time where she pauses to pray seven times a day.  The aim of her trials is for her spiritual enlightenment.  Hatmaker is a Christian, so there are many references to Jesus throughout.  The author makes a claim that most people in America--even those who consider themselves poor--live like royalty when compared to third world countries.  Hatmaker even talks about adoption and her struggle to adopt Ethiopian children.  While I admire the author's drive for altruism, I do not see it as taking on widespread popularity anytime soon.  Yes, there are people starving and suffering in the world.  But does giving up one's possessions and living a lower quality lifestyle really help all that much?  Wouldn't it be far greater if the countries in need solved the root cause of poverty, abuse, and neglect?  Why should someone forego having their own children to take care of a child someone else had?  These are very deep ethical questions that the reader will have to answer.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

"Better Together" by Warren Photographic

Adorable and sweet, this hardcover full-color book is sure to bring your living room table to life.  What an excellent book to peruse while waiting for an appointment or just to add some cheer to one's day!  Each page has an inspirational quote on one side and a lively photograph on the other side.  The quotations are centered around themes of friendship, respect, diversity, love, kindness, and compassion.  The photos are of various animals--mostly dogs and cats less than one year old.  I liked the photos that paired different animals together that were colored the same.  It's fascinating how, say, a bunny and a dog can be so different but look so similar!  There are also images of very different looking creatures side-by-side.  Overall, this is a fun book that I'll enjoy for years to come.

"Getting past anxiety" by Melissa A. Woods

This book is of the inspirational fiction / recovery genre.  It is about a woman Stella who goes on her own personal journey of healing from anxiety.  Stella comes from a broken home, had a child out of wedlock, is a divorcee, lost her brother at a young age, has a distant mother, has an inappropriate father, and more.  Needless to say, Stella's life is not easy!  She has extreme anxiety that causes her to lose relationships and even prevents her from getting on airplanes.  Stella undergoes an alternative medicine form of therapy that is very shaman-like.  She heals her childhood wounds and learns why she does what she does.  While this book is very inspirational, I must warn readers that it is very sad and tough and raw.  This is not a book to be read before one goes to sleep.  Also, due to the nature of this book, I would not recommend it for children or young readers.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

"If I'm so Wonderful, Why am I Still Single?" by Susan Page

This book's cheeky title got my attention in the library, so I gave it a go.  This book is more full of practical advice than hard statistics.  The whole premise is getting to the root of why people are single.  The author distinguishes intentional singles from unintentional singles--after all, some people do NOT want to be in a relationship.  There is a lot of psychology covered about intimacy and those who do not commit.  A laundry list of excuses that most singles use to justify their single-hood is explained and debunked.  For the singles out there, some need to resolve their emotional issues through therapy, some need to regain their self-esteem, some just need to get out of the house, some need to join a singles group / website, and so on.  Page urges readers to use equal measures patience and persistence.  Patience without persistence yields no results.  Persistence without patience lends itself to desperation.  If you are single and you do not wish to be, give this book a read to see why you are single and what you can do about it.  

"Love your Body" by Louise L. Hay

I listened to this audio book CD while driving to and from work.  Hay is like a gentle grandmother figure that aims to make listeners feel better.  There are several guided meditations that emphasize how much we should all love our bodies.  The meditations can be for men or for women.  Specific parts of the body are covered, all the way from the top of one's head to the bottom of one's toes.  Even organs are cherished in this CD, from our hearts to our lungs to our digestive parts.  Hay uplifts listeners by reminding them that they are normal, beautiful, and natural.  Our bodies should be nourished and taken care of--not reprimanded and punished.  Listen to this CD today to get more appreciation for your own body.