Review: Darkness Visible

Posted April 13, 2011 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

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It is a short book but it packs a powerful punch.This is from the author that brought is Sophie’s Choice. This is a powerful memoir about how the author suffered and overcame depression.
There are a lot of “depression” memoirs out there today. While all give a peek into what’s it’s like to live with depression very few come with the literary quality that Styron lends to Darkness Visible. Depression is a serious illness and some memoirs can fall victim to inducing massive amounts of self pity. This book however induces a sort of felling as one is along for the ride. The reader is transported to a place where it is dark and madness resides.
Styron speaks of “tumbling in the abyss” and takes the reader along with him. he gives life to where others had painted only darkness. The memoir reaches it’s climax when he is hospitalized for suicidal feelings. From there he tells of his recovery. From this he gives hope to those who may have been trapped in the abyss. That it is possible to recover from depression and lead a normal productive life.
While not all of us can be a first person account of what it is like to live with depression this is an excellent book that will give you a good idea. It is also excellent reading alone.

five-stars
Hillary
I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Review:Happiness Project

Posted April 12, 2011 by Hillary in Book Reviews, self help / 0 Comments

happiness project

Everybody wants to be happier. Sure we could all move to the tropics and make ourselves think we are happier but what if you want to change your life where you are? That is what author Gretchen Rubin did.

This book chronicles a one year journey that the author took to “change her life without changing her life” She conducted research on happiness and made a resolution chart and tried then out for a year.

She draws on current happiness research. What does happiness really mean? She points out that it will be different things for different people. Which is true what makes me happy wouldn’t necessarily make you happy. She took some antidotes from some people well known for their happy state of mind and drew inspiration from them.

She sets up a system that allows her to focus on one aspect of happiness per month. For example the first month she focuses on energy. Because having energy will make the other resolutions easier. Makes sense. Then she sets up how she will gain more energy. She goes to bed when tired even iif its at 9 30 pm. Sounds simple but how many of us really do that? She keeps a resolution chart to track everything.

This book was really fascinating. She had scientific facts to back up her claims so it does not come off a New Agey or some far off experiment that everyday people like me and you could not do. In fact it is so doable that many people are doing their own happiness project, including myself.

five-stars
Hillary
I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Review:Getting Things Done

Posted April 11, 2011 by Hillary in Book Reviews, self help / 0 Comments

Review:Getting Things DoneGetting Things Done by David Allen
Published by Penguin on 2001-01
Genres: Business & Economics, Personal Growth, Self-Esteem, Self-Help, Time Management
Pages: 267
Source: library
Goodreads
five-stars

In today's world, yesterday's methods just don't work. In Getting Things Done, veteran coach and management consultant David Allen shares the breakthrough methods for stress-free performance that he has introduced to tens of thousands of people across the country. Allen's premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential. In Getting Things Done Allen shows how to: Apply the "do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it" rule to get your in-box to empty Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations Plan projects as well as get them unstuck Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety, and being overwhelmed Feel fine about what you're not doing From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done can transform the way you work, showing you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down.

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This was a re read for me. Back in the day I was an disorganized freak. I could find nothing to save my life. A friend recommended this book so I read it (can you tell I will read almost anything someone recommends?) Any way the book did help to some degree. When I remember to use the principals in the book that is.

In all seriousness though if you are disorganized and you miss deadlines and stuff or you miss very important events (like me) David Allen has some very good recommendations that can help you get a better hold on things.

I still remember when GTD was the latest fad. It is still going strong judging by the amount of GTD stuff on the internet and other book that have been written about it. One book about it is enough for me though.While I like the book and it concepts there is only a certain amount they can say without rehashing the same stuff over and over again. When they make a book that can actually do the organizing for me then I will be more interested.  In all fairness though the book does work so read it if you are looking to put some order in chaos.

five-stars
Hillary
I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Sunday Salon

Posted April 10, 2011 by Hillary in Sunday Salon / 0 Comments

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Good Morning everyone!

Yesterday was the read-a-thon and I read from 8 am to 12 midnight with an hours nap. I tried to stay awake but I fell asleep with a book and when I woke up it was 8 am. I still got a huge chunk of reading time. In fact I enjoyed it so much I may make a habit of it! I am glad that I finally got my reading mojo back.

This week was a good week in books. I read 4 books. I am going to try to do what I used to do. Focus on my reading and responding to blogs then one day a week write up all my reviews. In fact that is what I will be doing today.

Springtime is on its way. I look forward to when I can go outdoors and read. That is one of my favorite things to do. I am off to write and maybe read the books that will be coming up this week are

The happiness project

Winter Ghost-an ARC

Become a Better You

Darkness Visible

Check back this week for the reviews.

I hope everyone has a good day!

Hillary
I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Read-a-thon Intro Post

Posted April 9, 2011 by Hillary in read a thon april 2011 / 0 Comments

1)Where are you reading from today?

Northeastern Ohio
2)Three random facts about me…
I am on a low carb diet, I am addicted to Caffeine and I love to meet new people

3)How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?

4

readathonbooks

The book you cant see the title is Darkness Visible.
4)Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?

not really. Just stay awake as long as possible.
5)If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time? have plenty of caffeine on hand and take breaks.

Hillary
I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Sunday Salon

Posted April 3, 2011 by Hillary in Sunday Salon / 1 Comment

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Good Morning everyone!

I have picked up another book that I love. The Happiness Project. I bet this will become another favorite. The problem when I find a good book I want to savor it and I don’t want it to end so I read more slowly. It does not bode well for my 200 books a year but I doubt I will reach that anyway.

I see many people are outspoken about indie bookstores and while I do support them, there are a lot of people who for whatever reasons are just too poor to afford the price. I am a firm believer in books being available to everyone which is also why I am such a strong supporters of libraries. I have been thinking how I can raise awareness of this issue on this blog. Not everyone can afford 20 dollars a book. If you have any ideas let me know. I really feel that this is an issue that needs to be addressed.

In other words it warmed up here. I think spring may finally be on its way. It is about time too. When I moved here from the south I never knew northern winters could be so harsh. Now I have utmost respect for people who endere this year after year.

I am off to finish Project Happiness. I think After I read this I will start my own project happiness.

Hillary
I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Review: Boneshaker

Posted March 29, 2011 by Hillary in Book Reviews, steampunk / 0 Comments

bone shaker

I normally don’t take a week reading a book but this one was so good I just had to savor it. I think I found another favorite for books I have read this year.

The story starts with the boy Zeke and his mother Briar living in the outskirts of Seattle. Years before his father had run a machine called the Boneshaker through downtown Seattle. Originally the boneshaker was for mining gold under the frozen ice of the Klondike. However when it was run through downtown Seattle it caused a huge rift and the blight gas erupted. This gas burned anyone who came into contact with it. It also caused some people to turn into rotters. Zombies in other words. When Zeke goes into the walled off city to find the truth about his father who disappeared during the escape from the blight,  there is an earthquake that blocks the entrance and exit tunnels so his mother goes in by dirigible to try and find and save him.

At the start of the year I had told myself I was going to try new genres of books. I tend to stick with literary fiction with a side helping of self help. I felt the need to broaden my horizons. This book was my first foray into Steampunk. And what a delightful trip it was! I am now going to explore the genre farther. So if you have any suggestion feel free to leave them in the comments.

Back to the Boneshaker. This was a plot and character driven book. Things happen quickly while also giving you necessary background information. I felt that I really cared about the characters in the book and actually fantasized meeting them in real life!.Even the secondary characters come to life.

The plot was believable. Ok, it required you to forget about when actual events happened and to suspend actual history but reading it you felt that it COULD happen. That I feel is really important in this kind of novel. This shows that the world building was excellent. You had such a complete picture that you felt you could really “step” into that world and feel what the characters were feeling.

The plot was really fast. There were no dragging in this book. Things happened one after the other. I was glad because I for one find that as I get older my attention span for long explanations that go on for pages is getting shorter. I could blame twitter and facebook but oh well.

Over all this book had excellent writing, and an excellent story. I would recommend this book to all who like steampunk.

five-stars
Hillary
I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

The Power of a Praying Woman

Posted March 28, 2011 by Hillary in Book Reviews, christian, self help / 0 Comments

The Power of a Praying WomanThe Power of a Praying® Woman by Stormie Omartian
Published by Harvest House Publishers on February 1st 2014
Genres: Christian, Christian Life, Prayer, Prayerbooks, Religion, Women's Issues
Pages: 254
Goodreads
four-stars

Stormie Omartian's bestselling The Power of a Praying® series (more than 23 million copies sold) is rereleased with fresh new covers and new material to reach a still-growing market of readers eager to discover the power of prayer for their lives. It may seem easier to pray for your spouse, your children, your friends, and your extended family, but God wants to hear your requests for your life too. He loves it when you come to Him for the things you need and ask Him to help you become the woman you have always longed to be. The Power of a Praying® Woman is just for you. You'll find personal illustrations, carefully selected Scriptures, and heartfelt prayers to help you trust God with deep longings, not just pressing needs cover every area of life with prayer maintain a right heart before God Each chapter concludes with a prayer you can follow or use as a model for your own prayers. Women of all ages will find hope and purpose for their lives with The Power of a Praying® Woman.

power of a praying woman

From Goodreads:

It may seem easier to pray for your spouse, your children, your friends, and your extended family, but God wants to hear your requests for your life too. He loves it when you come to Him for the things you need and ask Him to help you become the woman you have always longed to be. The Power of a Praying Woman has led countless women into deeper, more fulfilling prayer lives. Now, with a new cover, Omartian, through her knowledge of Scripture and candid examples of her own epiphanies in prayer, shows you how to:
1. draw closer to God
2. know His plans and purpose for your life
3. receive comfort, help, and strength for every day
Trust Him moment by moment with the concerns of your heart and discover the awesome power that prayer will release in your life.

This is a re-read. Every time I read it I feel that I get more out of it. I try and read it several times a year.

Ever since I was little I have been taught to pray for others. Somehow it seemed selfish to pray for myself. This book shows that not only is it good to pray for yourself but that God wants you to. It tells when you stop and take time to yourself that you fortify yourself to do what God has in store for you.

This book explains all the different areas that you can pray for yourself. It explains why those areas matter and how it can help you have a better life. The author puts in some things that I would have never thought to pray for myself for. She really puts a new perspective on how to have a deeper understanding of an effective praying life.

four-stars
Hillary
I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

When books cross over into real life.

Posted March 22, 2011 by Hillary in blogging, ramblings, reading, self help, Writing / 0 Comments

When most people read it is to escape reality and to delve into a good story. However there are some books that propose to provide a richer life out side of books. Flow was such a book. I reviewed it a while ago and one thing has stuck out to me in all of that time. It mentioned that chess players engage in physical activity to strengthen their mind. At first, I was like, how can that help strengthen your brain? My laziness knows no bounds. I will be the first to try and get out of anything resembling purposeful movement.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. My attention was waning and my writers block was so bad that I could hardly write my own name. I had heard of writers and other people say that daily exercise cures both aliments. Of course up until then I never actually listened.Then one month into my writers block, when I despaired of ever writing anything again I decided to give walking a try. It wasn’t the magic cure all but slowly it was as my brain was disengaging itself and starting to function again,ideas began to come and I can focus for more than an hour at a time.

What amazes me is that the more I exercise my body the stronger my brain becomes.And not only that but I have really really realllly bad anxiety and it get in the way of writing also. Walking has helped more than medication has ever did. Plus it does not put me to sleep.

And to think I would have never even thought of adding in walking had I not read a book about inducing happiness first. When people say they dislike reading or do not have the time for it, I always remind them that they will be richer and better off for it. There is so much to learn out there. Even fiction can teach you valuable things through the power of a good story.

Hillary
I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Sunday Salon

Posted March 20, 2011 by Hillary in blogging, reading, Sunday Salon / 0 Comments

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This week I started reading The Boneshaker and feel in love with it.I have been trying to read it slow to savor it then I found out there is a sort of a series. I know I said no more books from the library until I read all that I already checked out but I couldn’t help myself. I went and order both droughtnaought and Clementine.

Speaking of Libraries, since I am too poor to buy books at this point in time and I get all my books from the library, I see people taking pictures of what they bought and stuff and I get jealous. So I decided to implement a new feature. Library Loot (the link will take you to the first post I wrote this week). This will enable me to show off what I got at the library and hopefully will give readers a better taste of my very eclectic reading style.

I have been looking for more eclectic reading blogs. It sometimes seems the whole bookblogging community is blogging about young adult and while I read them from time to time I thought it would be nice to find bloggers such as I who reads a whole verity of things. So if you are an eclectic  blogger or knows someone who is please let me know.

I am going to spend the day reading The Boneshaker. I think I feel in love with steampunk genre. I will probably finish it either today or tomorrow.

What is everyone else reading today?

Hillary
I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!