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? 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.


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).

#MondayMatinee Book Giveaway: The Last Chance Matinee

UPDATE: Giveaway closed

Hey there friends and loyal readers! I am giving on lucky reader a chance to win a signed, hardcopy of this wonderful book by Mariah Stewart. 
lcm book review

This is so Easy! Stop by this post (where I reviewed the book) and leave a comment over there on WHY you want to win a signed copy of this book!

Done. The giveaway ends on April 10th, IS OVER so comment away- only once per person please!

This is a #MondayMatinee Giveaway: Follow XOXO After Dark on Twitter (@xoxoafterdark) Mondays in April to see which blogs on the blog tour will host a giveaway for The Last Chance Matinee: April 3, 10, 17, 24!

*I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

Giveaway ends April 10 at 11:59 PM EST. Open to Legal Residents (18 years of age or older) of the *US only*. Prizes cannot be shipped to PO Boxes. Winner will be selected by and be notified by email. Please note that Hardly A Goddess is not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. I have represented each sponsor with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. I will contact the sponsor regarding your prize(s). The sponsor will ship their items to you directly. I will make every effort to assist you in obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor, please notify the blog you won a prize from within 30 days for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you. The product provided for the review was free of charge from the company. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway.