Category Archives: Let’s Talk About Books

Books I want to read, have read, or will read. Let’s talk.

What’s on Your Nightstand? H.A.G. Reads for May

nightstand may

Ack! What am I reading?!

I am SO behind in my To-Be-Read (TBR) pile(s)!

My friend, Julie lent me books 5, 6, 7, & 8 of the Louise Penny series (13 total), so I can try to binge-catch up on those wonderful reads, but to be honest, I am slacking…as in way behind and mid-way through about 5 books! Here’s a recap at both, what I finished and am still in the middle of~

*This post contains affiliate links, where if you click on them and make a purchase, I make a small percentage. I include them so that you can find what I am referencing and loving!*

What I listened to:

Finished:

Thunderstruck by Erik Larson
This was the one of four choices that I could read for my “The Blended Book Club” reads. I thought it might be sort of boring, so I opted to listen to audio and I was unfortunately right. Several of us in the group found the story quite jumpy in places and the characters a bit under developed. I did learn a lot about Marconi the inventor (or not) of the telegraph, being the first way to send a message over long distances and the ocean. Interesting since Marconi Beach on Cape Cod is somewhere that I have been and never knew the history of…so that was the positive. If you love  literal non-fiction, there is a good book here, but fiction readers might not love the dry narrative-non-fiction take that Larson presents. I found his other book, The Devil in the White City similar in this way, so if you like that one, you may enjoy this.

Still listening:

Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
This has been such a good listen! It is all about witches, vampires, and demons…and humans too! So not what I usually read, but fun and so compelling with the storyline of a reluctant witch and taboo-love between a reluctant witch and a hunky vampire…sounds super cheesy, I know, but I have to say it  isn’t written that way and it’s sort of nerd-brainy with all the literary references and academic setting. I am liking this a ton and good news! It’s a series of 3 books so I can keep loving this for two more stories!

Reviewing:

Under Her Skin by Adriana Anders
Loving this but just did not finish- I really can’t read books on my kindle or iPad as fast at all- I just don’t want to read off a screen after being on one all day for work! Paper has my heart!

Reading Now:

Mindset by Carol Dweck
This is sort of a professional development and parenting book for me. I love the concept of a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset set forth in this book- the idea that a person isn’t inherently good at something, but works to be better at it…is just such a great lesson for kids and for the similar concept of “grit” in learning. Thinking that people are just born being the next great athlete or master piano player, and don’t have to work at it is just crazy and limiting…the book is pretty much occupying most of my brain space- I find that I relate everything to it. Very highly recommend!

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
Who is Robert Galbraith? The Pen name for J.K. Rowling of course! You know…the woman who wrote Harry Potter!? You probably know that by now, but some people don’t, and no wonder since this 3rd book of the Cormoran Strike series is a far cry from youth and magic- these books are quite grizzly and for crime fans, super reads. I love the characters in these books: a nice and put-upon young twenty something secretary, and her boss, an ex-military, son of a groupie who is the star dectective- our unlikely hero.  I love the setting of London and the weirdness of all the crimes, but they can be a lot of graphic crime…I have to be in a good place before I read one of these and then I always need a break afterwards to read something more uplifting! I am having fun with this one right now though, and since it’s an older book (2013) you can find it easily in the library!

You know that I am reading 5 other books still, but I will have to catch you up later. This is just getting out of hand, and I have to finish some of these up soon! Happy Reading & Doing whatever it is that you ENJOY!

What are you reading? I’d love to know- Lemme’ know in the comments!!

Check out these nightstands at : 5 Minutes for MomBookDate, &  Booknificient along with the Blended Blog Virtual Book Club on Thursday!


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive compensation. It does not affect your price at all. For more information, see my full disclosure page.

 

What’s on Your Nightstand? April Edition

Let’s talk about BOOKS! It’s the last Tuesday of the month, and I actually got a lot done as far as reading goes this April, but not nearly as much as last month… but I was reading and I am slowing getting through my pile! Scroll through and have your Goodreads account open- there are lots you will add to your “To Be Read (TBR)” piles!

nightstand (2)


*This post contains affiliate links, where if you click on them and make a purchase, I make a small percentage. I include them so that you can find what I am referencing and loving!*

“The Blended Book (Tbb)” reads:

Actually, this month, the TBB group had 4 chosen books, only 2 of which I wanted to read.

The first, was Small Great Things, by Jodi Piccoult:

I really enjoyed this book and am still thinking about it a week later! It is classic Jodi Piccolt, where you learn a lot about a topic and also see all sides of a story. I always like this approach, as I love to learn about new important topics, and I also tend to see all sides of an issue myself, so this resonates with me. The topic is racism both explicit and unintended. How interesting and disturbing and uncomfortable it was to read how I myself have privileges that are assumed, rather than earned as opposed to people who feel they are under a microscope to constantly prove themselves. A current issue and very important to read books that challenge ourselves like this. I didn’t love it half way through, but her style of writing is so good, that it propelled me forward and the conclusion of the books was very satisfactory for me. I would recommend this for sure for Piccoult fans.

I wanted to read another TBB pick, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, as most of my friends have read and loved this, but I am bogged down with too many other reads in my pile. I did go back and read (listened) to this one from January’s TBB picks and really enjoyed it:

A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman

It was the audio version, and I read My Grandmother Told Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, by the same author, but this was read by a different person. Actually, it was weird because the narrator of this one also read another book, Moonglow (reviewed last month) so I was totally thrown off until the 2nd disk or so. He is such a talented story-teller, this author. I am going to read Brit Marie next, as I just love his writing style- kind of weird characters, showing complete honesty in a sort of dark, but also funny way. Sort of Fargo-like (the movie). It features a man Ove (pronounce, UVah) who is grumpy, and somewhat obsessive/compulsive, and a loner. He lives in a housing complex surrounded by people whom he despises and tries never to deal with, until one day when a new family moves in, disrupting his routine, and his life changes to open him up to the world around him. A beautifully written book. Highly recommend this author.

What I listened to:

 Before the Fall, by Noah Hawley

I loved this audio book. I am not sure I would ever have read this, although it was highly recommended, but as audio, it was really good. About a plane crash and the survivors and how their lives unfold.  There is mystery surrounding the reasons why the plane crashed at all and the book is told backwards from the event, showing each character’s viewpoint (and possible motivation).  While I was mad at myself for picking another plane crash book (Judy Blume’s book), this was quite different in that it is more about the survivors and the crash then the plane industry. Quite a fun little history lesson on Jack LaLane within the story too- Recommended.

Currently, I am listening to:

Comfort Food, by Kate Jacobs

I honestly just picked this up because I needed an audio book STAT- and this seemed interesting: A food-network star ages out of a job and has to reinvent herself and finds that she learns a lot about herself in the process. This author wrote The Friday Night Knitting Club, which was a big hit, so I thought maybe I’d like it. So far, it’s okay. Seems like a Martha Stewart based persona and I don’t really love her, so I am having to remind myself that this is NOT about her, but is Fiction! I am still reading this though, so if you are considering it, I will have more information on my rating on Goodreads later.

Reviewed:

Super Genes, by Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi

See my full review from last week.

Reading Now:

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

OMG. This is an unbelievable book. It is short stories, all about women. Some strong, some crazy. The stories. This book is staying with me. Her ability to get right to the core of who women are and their inner lives is just amazing. I am seriously crushing on Roxane Gay, who if you don’t know her, take a look at this TED talk– it is long, but she is fierce. I like her personality, her views on life, but her writing…whoa. So good! Another of her books, Bad Feminist is on my list!

Under Her Skin by Adriana Anders

I just started this but already I am intrigued by the story of a woman after a dark and abusive relationship, leaves and tries to move on- is she able to move forward with her life get beyond the bad and not only survive, but actually live and possibly love (this IS a contemporary Romance book!)? Her second book just came out, but I wanted to read this first in the series before I moved on- I have put the full series on TBR. This is going to be a fun read, I can tell, but stay tuned for a full review next month!


So that is IT! Whew! I am loving all this reading and wondering if I can keep up the awesome pace as my Spring is just so crazy with kid-events and blogging and job craziness. H.A.G. is supposed to remind us women that we don’t have to do EVERYTHING, we just need to try to enjoy the things that we DO, do. I am enjoying the reading that I’m doing, and the activities too, so I won’t complain- but my house. That is the “something’s gotta give” that gave! I think I will Spring-clean soon…or… at least clean the bathrooms. HAha!

Happy Reading & Doing whatever it is that you ENJOY!

What are you reading? I’d love to know- Lemme’ know in the comments!!

Check out these nightstands at : 5 Minutes for MomBookDate, &  Booknificient along with the Blended Blog Virtual Book Club on Thursday!

What are you reading and loving right now?

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive compensation. It does not affect your price at all. For more information, see my full disclosure page

 

 

Book Review: Super Genes: Unlock the Astonish Power of Your DNA

As a book reviewer, I received a copy of this book for free from Blogging For Books to facilitate this review. I received no other compensation and as always my review and opinion is 100% my own. Links within the post are affiliate links (read full disclosure).

I had high hopes for this book. I really respect Deepak Chopra as a thoughtful mind in the mind/body arena. I think though the last time I read a book by him it was Ageless Body, Timeless Mind…which was in 1993. So maybe I don’t remember his writing style or maybe since Super Genes was also written by Rudolph Tanzi, the writing was a giant leap for me to get over. I had to skip past the first 80 pages, which is essentially Part 1 of the book, until I could get my head around relating to any concepts the authors were trying to express.

At page 80 though, we finally got to some ideas that I can understand, and this section is Part 2 of the book.

Diet: How the “laissez-faire taken toward fast food by many Americans(p87)” is doing us more harm than we think. It’s not all about calories and fat my friends. Inflammation response in your body after eating fast food, can last 5 hours! And we have been hearing a lot about inflammation as the cause to so many of our problems. BUT they point out, we can counteract inflammatory foods by eating non-processed foods with them, and the book offers Easy Choices, Harder Choices, and Experimental Choices for people to take to try to change their diet for the better.

This Easy, Harder, Experimental Choice theme repeats itself in the book, with other topics like:

  • Stress
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Sleep
  • Emotions

In each there is definite scientific analysis going on, so it can get technical to slog through, but I like that they were basing their suggestions on actual studies that were done.

Finally, Part 3 of the book speaks to the title of the book: connecting the brain and body, summarizing with:

Cooperate with your body’s wisdom.
Don’t oppose your body’s wisdom.
Increase your body’s wisdom (p230).

Wisdom being knowledge from experience. Your body’s wisdom. And they go on to speak of the 9 essentials of cells and when one is out of whack, it can set your whole body out of sorts. Hmmm. Stuff to think about for sure here, and much of it is “big-head” thinking. But this chapter gets into the adaptation of our cells that can modify its DNA as it adapts to its environment (whew!).

I think the concepts are here in this book and solid and super interesting. Genetics are so fascinating as they approach our own understanding of serious diseases like Cancer or Alzheimer’s. But I teach college students how to perform research for my “day job” and this book is sort of geared toward research or a higher level of reading than a general audience. If you enjoy facts and figures and science behind your non-fiction reading, then you may enjoy this. For now I can only give it a light recommendation for an everyday read.

As a book reviewer, I received a copy of this book for free from Blogging For Books to facilitate this review. I received no other compensation and as always my review and opinion is 100% my own. Links within the post are affiliate links (read full disclosure).