I would love to carry around a selection of journals (including two from Blogging from Books), sit at a coffee shop for an hour a day, and just unwind...think....and write. I love guided activities that get me thinking, especially if I'm not venting about the frustrating things, people, and situations that aren't unique to me alone. Just taking a minute to remember the good choices or blessings I've been given can be powerful and uplifting.
Does it spark joy? is a simple journal that asks the same question everyday. There are blank spaces each day - the only prompting are three "20_ _" spots indicating the year and a few blank lines for each year's entries. You can use this journal for a few years and look at what sparked joy in you on the same day each year. I think it's fun and whimsical - I'll start using it and see if it is addicting. It has the potential to be. Note: if you are looking for a journal with different guidelines everyday - this is not it. Each day is the same.
Thanks Blogging for Books for another interesting, thought provoking book!
Instant Happy Journal by Karen Salmansohn
Sometimes just looking at something cute can make us happier. This book is cute – flipping through the pages, reading the myriad of happy ques – you can’t help but feel a little inspired, get ready for some introspection, and highlight the high points of you and your day. I like it – happy, happy, happy.
Karen Salmansohn is a woman after my own heart – human need directed, purposeful, creative spaces to think and write. A few minutes a day spent thinking positively and documenting it can lead to years of happiness. Each day I am going to choose a page I want to complete – out of order (crazy, huh?) – and write what comes to mind. Each page has at the top a short blurb telling you what to write/think about – some are pointed and many are vague. It’s your happiness – make it yours, write it down, be purposeful. I love this – thanks Karen Salmansohn & Blogging for Books for another great, free book to review.
This is sad to say - but I won't have much to comment on this fiction book I received from Blogging for Books (great book review site - not so great book). I read a few chapters of this story - couldn't get in to it, and just had to put it down. I haven't had an inkling of "I should really pick that back up and try again".
Ms. Bertino has written a tale of a few "lost souls search for love, music and hope on the snow-covered streets of Philadelphia, together they will discover life’s endless possibilities over the course of one magical night." She's written in a sort of poetic style - which to me is choppy writing with added details for show. I couldn't get in to her writing style and had to put the book down a few chapters in when a dog was thinking with f-bombs? Please, publishing companies, start rating books so I can know if it's a good clean read or one with filthy-mouthed dogs.
I'm curious to share this story with some friends and see if it was just me or if they have the same thoughts. Thanks Blogging for Books for another story to review - I'm off to pick out my next book!
I don't like cookbooks. Perusing written cookbooks is time consuming and typically yields only a small portion of recipes that are actually attempted (most are very expensive to make). At least 90% of the time I would rather go to Yummy to browse for recipes by ingredients.
That being said, this cookbook is beautiful, informational, practical, and wonderful for anyone who has been to China or simply loves Chinese food. When I went to China this year, we were fed mostly Westernized Chinese food. I was hoping for more - more spice, more (within reason) new ingredients, more seafood, more desserts (we were rarely served anything sugary!). I didn't get what I was looking for. I am going to love perusing this book while the kids play or in times when I don't want to dive into a novel but want to feel a book in my hands and smell the 'new book smell'. I'm honestly not sure how many recipes I will try - I want to start by doing some simple stir-frys, would love to progress to "Red-Cooked Lion's Head" (dish with meatballs, not actually lion!), some deep frying, and add in some authentic Chinese desserts. "Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees" will be a resource for me as I delve into Chinese cooking and begin to teach my children about cooking ethnic foods.
Thank you Blogging for Books for a free book in exchange for an honest review! This is one of the best I have yet to read/review!
The Watercolor Course You’ve Always Wanted
Guided Lessons for Beginners and Experienced Artists
By Leslie Frontz
I used to think I wanted to take up painting, but lately I have been on the fence and leaning towards not taking up this hobby at this time in my life (maybe when the kids are older?). I chose Leslie Frontz’s Watercolor Course from Blogging for Books (free book in exchange for an honest review – thanks Blogging for Books!) to see what watercolor painting is all about. Leslie has put together a lovely read with beautiful pictures and detailed instructions. It seems to be a great resource for watercolor painters, possibly not very entry level beginners like myself, but those with at least a little experience.
Chapter 1 opens with choosing watercolor supplies – this is great for starters or maybe intermediate artists. Sometimes just choosing the right medium, brushes, and paper can be overwhelming and delay beginners from diving in. This is a great opening. Leslie then dives into details – providing a starting picture and three stages of how to get a finished result. Simply stated again, I’d say this book isn’t for those who have never painted with watercolor before, but those with at least a little experience and practice. The pictures Leslie provides instructions for are detailed and overwhelming for me (no experience painting).
For those who are hikers and those who aren't, A Walk in the Woods presents a decent, realistic look at backcountry hiking. Bryson and his not-so-close friend from way-back-when team up and hike part of the AT with almost no hiking experience. Both have great personalities and great dialogue, fun interactions with those they connect with on the trail, but overall the story left me wanting more.
Thinking of what can realistically and excitingly be put on paper of an 800+ mile stroll through the woods is overwhelming, mundane and redundant, and mostly indescribable. I ended up skimming some of the later educational (Forest Service, biology, trail history, etc) sections and looking ahead to future chapters to see if there was action coming up. It started off strong and ended weak; I probably won't go and see the movie (the trailer looked pretty bad and deviated far from the book in the 2-3 minutes already).
Thank you Blogging for Books for another free book! Always a pleasure. A Walk in the Woods is not in my typical genre - I love the diversity I get through this amazing book review website. Happy trails!
Walking with God in the Season of Motherhood: An Eleven-Week Devotional Bible Study
Melissa Kruger has written a thought-provoking, truth speaking, truly easy to read devotional for moms. Moms who are too scattered to look up the scripture separately or write answers in a separate journal, This eleven-week Bible study is a great tool to help you prioritize, refocus, spend calming time with our Father, much needed for all mother's of all ages.
I have enjoyed reading through this great devotional, and I am not one to jump into self-help books or devotionals usually. The messages will resonate with new and old believers - I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this devotional. It would make a great gift for mom's at baby showers (Why should all the presents be for the baby, anyway?).
Thanks Blogging for Books for this great read!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.