The Art of Flaneuring is to wander intentionally in an aimless way. It is a technique to use mindfulness, live in the moment, and get some exercise.
It was first practiced by rich, slightly drunken Frenchmen in the late 1800s. In modern times, it isn’t so limiting. In fact, flaneuring can be done at work, while driving, or when traveling. It is healthy to let your unconscious mind free-rein over where you go for a few minutes. Though, of course, you eventually want to return to your starting point.
I am a master flaneur, even if I had no name for it prior to reading this book. And, of course, occasionally that results in getting myself hopelessly lost. Now, with a convenient pocket GPS (my iPhone), I can always spin myself around to the right direction. It is freeing to just wander. I think most people will enjoy the tips and tricks in this book for how to begin and excel at it. However, I thought the Art of Flaneuring occasionally repeated itself—perhaps to fill a certain word count. 3 stars but possibly more for fans of Marie Kondo or the Swedish art of Hygge.
Thanks to Tiller Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: guide, Oct 22 2019, self-help
Being Healthy as F*ck is hard. You have to change your habits. You have to change your mindset. You have to put your big-girls panties on.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. This book attempts to straight talk you into actually changing your habits—but only the ones that provide the most bang for your buck. Nothing here is original: eat more veggies, eat less protein, sleep more, drink less alcohol, etc. It is the way the book seems to speak straight to you that is new.
If you are ready to make some uncomfortable, but not painful, changes to your lifestyle, Healthy as F*ck is a great motivating tool—like a blunt, foul-mouthed cheerleader in your corner. You gotta love a diet/fitness book that uses Einstein, Grover, and Mr. Burns for examples. Again, as you can tell from the title, this book holds back no punches with its honesty but also its underlying support of the reason you want to get healthy. We all want to feel good about ourselves and this book might help you get there. 4.5 stars!
Thanks to Sourcebooks and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: fitness, self-help, Sep 17 2019
In our modern world of teenage online influencers making six-figure incomes, it is natural to want to learn the Soulful Art of Persuasion.
The book details four traits that make a person more persuasive: originality or genuineness, generosity, empathy, and soulfulness. Soulfulness is further defined as being ethical and an inspiration to others. It also includes eleven habits that can be used to increase your persuasive powers.
It is hard to shake the cognitive dissonance resulting from the conflict between saying “be genuine” and then showing how to “learn” it. However, the author almost convinces me that genuineness can be learned by disagreeing with two frequent mantras of self-help books: be confident, and fake it till you make it. In fact, the book disputes many so-called truisms. Always Be Closing is perceived as manipulation for profit with no concern for the customer’s wellbeing. The idea of personal branding is also dismissed as shockingly old-fashioned. Even corporations are moving away from branding to marketing their values instead.
Overall, the Soulful Art of Persuasion has some thought-provoking ideas. 4 stars!
Thanks to Crown Publishing and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: self-help, Sep 10 2019
It is important to remember that promising to follow a dream “someday” never works because Someday is Not a Day in the Week.
This book gives ten life hacks that can help you align your ultimate goals with your current reality. Are the life hacks new ideas that you have never heard before? No. However, the author has an enthusiasm for them that is contagious. The book is motivating! Unfortunately, it is aimed a bit toward the well-off members of society. For example, I can’t quit my job until I put in the 30 years necessary to get my pension plus I have to wait until I’m old enough for Medicare, which is a long time from now. I wish I could just jump off that cliff with the knowledge that my family will support me like a parachute. However, that is not reality and the book encourages thinking realistically about how to implement your goals. If you are in a position to take that first step to finding a job that brings you joy, Someday is Not a Day in the Week is the perfect book to motivate you to do it sooner rather than later. 4 stars!
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Posted in Non-fiction Tagged with: Mar 12 2019, self-help
Inner Alchemy is by the author of the Urban Monk. In both books, Taoist principles are explained and used to reduce the reader’s stress and challenges with modern life and free their minds for more spiritual thoughts. The Urban Monk is a more user-friendly book. True beginners will be able to quickly learn the exercises and improve their thinking. Inner Alchemy is the more advanced book and is better for either people already familiar with some Taoist principles or at least read the Urban Monk first.
Therefore, I recommend Inner Alchemy only for readers already familiar with the core principles of the Urban Monk. Read that book first and then this book will make much more sense. For those ready for more advanced topics, this book gets 4 stars.
Thanks to Sounds True Publishing for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
Posted in Non-fiction Tagged with: Jan 1 2019, self-help
The Bloated Belly Whisperer is an excellent self-help book for those with digestive distress.
The book begins with a brief overview of how the digestive system works—with helpful illustrations of internal organs. A quiz to narrow down the reader’s stomach and intestinal issues follows and then refers readers to the appropriate detailed chapter(s). In those chapters, the book lists the symptoms, the cause and possible solutions of each illness. The book describes the ten most common ailments that cause digestive distress:
- Classic indigestion
- Functional dyspepsia
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
- Carbohydrate intolerances
- Celiac disease
- Pancreatic insufficiency
The book concludes by providing two diets, including recipes, plus a chapter on fiber and another about digestive support supplements.
The Bloated Belly Whisperer goes into more detail than most health self-help books. Readers who have, or know someone who has, “tummy troubles” will find a lot to like about this book. The author is a dietician who worked in a gastroenterology office so she knows of what she writes. 4 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for an advance copy.
Posted in Non-fiction Tagged with: Dec 24 2018, Diet, self-help
How many people multi-task daily? I know I do because I have so much to do in each 24-hour day. However, it does lead me to not get as much enjoyment out of each task. Mindfulness: Being Mindful in Your Everyday Life states that not focusing on one task at a time leads to living life on autopilot, stress, depression and anxiety.
The book’s solution is mindfulness or paying attention to what you are doing right now. It has some easily adopted habits to put a bit of mindfulness into your day no matter how busy it is. At work, take a five-minute break to relax and just focus on your breathing. While walking during your usual tasks, focus on your feet hitting and lifting off the ground. When eating snacks, put them in a bowl so you won’t eat the whole bag distractly while watching tv or surfing the web.
Even the book’s short length will save your time for mindfully doing something else. I read one much longer book about mindfulness previously. After about 100 pages, I decided that I just didn’t have the time or energy to spend 30 minutes a day to meditate in a quiet room. Mindfulness: Being Mindful in Your Everyday Life doesn’t require that kind of commitment. You can save time (and calories) by not eating a whole bag of chips. No one at work will know that you are focusing on your breathing at your desk. You can pay attention to the movement of your feet when walking into a grocery store or walking your dog.
This book is highly recommended for those busy people who are intrigued by the idea of enjoying their life more but don’t want to spend much time to see if mindfulness is for them. 4 stars!
Posted in Kindle Unlimited, Non-fiction Tagged with: self-help, wellness
Millennial new age look at how to clear the clutter from your life.
There are some practical clutter removal tips scattered throughout Clutter Intervention: remove the easy stuff first, declutter fast to keep your energy high, and make a prioritized to do list of next steps. However, the majority of the book is about how to remove the emotional baggage that makes you want to keep stuff you never use or don’t fit into anymore. It may be an image of yourself from twenty years ago. It may be a gift that you didn’t even like when you received it. It may be mementos, paperwork or clothes from an old career. Unresolved grief may force you to keep a loved one’s stuff for sentimental reasons.
Clutter Intervention uses some new age techniques like burning sage and using feng shui. Personally, that part wasn’t for me but people who already believe in that type of think will be thrilled to see how to incorporate into their decluttering process. The best part of the book was the digital decluttering section. This topic is seldom explored in decluttering books.
Ever since I read the gold standard of decluttering books, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, I have been looking for a more practical decluttering book. I need a book with step-by-step lists of how to declutter. Typically, I do a great job in one room, get tired and don’t continue. Clutter Intervention did not satisfy that need. However, it is recommended for readers that are more open to the “why” of decluttering rather than the “how”. 3 stars.
Thanks to the publisher, Llewellyn Publications, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Posted in Non-fiction Tagged with: clutter, Feb 8 2018, self-help
If you have ever thought about starting your own business or finding a nice side gig to augment your day job, Entrepreneurial You is for you. In just 272 pages, Entrepreneurial You contains enough tips for a stack of business books and several classes.
The format is simple. Each chapter starts with a goal (i.e., Build Your Brand, Monetize Your Experience, Extend Your Reach and Impact Online). It then gives the reader several ways to accomplish each goal (speaking engagements, blogging, writing an eBook, etc.) Within each idea are practical ways to accomplish each goal. The best part is the Try This section at the end of each chapter. It lists either questions you should ask yourself or activities that can be used immediately to accomplish your goal.
Each chapter builds on the last. The first few discuss how to determine your product or service, develop a price, decide on a market, and begin your business. Later chapters explain how to build an existing business up to a level to support both you and your family. It discusses how to hire employees and get crowdfunded. The book also mentions some pitfalls (i.e., focusing on low price high volume sales or display ad income is not a good start-up strategy). It has many real life examples of how other entrepreneurs have used the book’s tips and tricks to become successful. The author writes in a style that motivates the reader to get off their chair and start their new business!
I chose Entrepreneurial You to help build my book blog’s brand and traffic. However, it is so great that I recommend it to anyone that watches Shark Tank and dreams of a better life than working for others can provide. There is no better step-by-step guide to starting a side gig or a full blown business. 5 stars.
Thanks to the publisher, Harvard Business Review Press, and netgalley for an advanced review copy in exchange for an honest review. This book will be published on October 3, 2017.
Posted in Non-fiction Tagged with: new businesses, self-help, side gigs, start-ups
Perfect gift for females newly entering corporate America.
The Unspoken Code provides a good overview of how a woman who wants to achieve success in a man’s world should act. This book covers substantial ground from how to build confidence to how to dress for success. Unfortunately, many important topics are discussed in only a page or two before the author begins a new topic. Ms. Norris does use references that allow the reader to dig further into any particular interests. However, any of the three sections could have filled a book individually.
The author’s main message is that complaining about inequality will not fix it. Only by many women breaking through the corporate upper management barrier will women truly achieve equality. Some of the sexual harassment that the author suggests should be endured doesn’t seem acceptable to me. I agree that role models like the Kardashians unfortunately encourage women to use their sexuality to further their goals. However, I don’t think it is unprofessional to wear no sleeve tops. I also wish the author had addressed the need or lack of need for stockings in the workplace during her dos and don’ts section.
Overall, The Unspoken Code is best for workforce neophytes rather than women already climbing the corporate ladder.
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway but that has not impacted my review.
Posted in Non-fiction Tagged with: self-help