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review 2019-08-05 17:19
Rising Strong! - self-help book

 

 

 

Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Brené Brown

Paperback: 352 pages

Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (April 4, 2017)

ISBN-10: 081298580X

ISBN-13: 978-0812985801

https://www.amazon.com/Rising-Strong-Ability-Transforms-Parent/dp/081298580X?source=ps-sl-shoppingads-lpcontext&psc=1

 

 

Reviewed by Dr. Wesley Britton

 

I was assigned this title as a monthly reading for a book club I belong to for widows and widowers going through the grief process. Is this a book helpful for readers like us? At first glance, no, not really. Brown's focus is how to get off the ground after you've fallen face down and need to admit your own vulnerability and shame to work through your recovery. Well, those going through the grief process already know about vulnerability and shame rarely applies to that situation.

 

I admit I felt like I should have liked the book much better after reading some glowing reviews at Amazon and Goodreads.  So clearly there is a very responsive audience for Brown's very academic and formulaic approach for working through the hard situations in life. I started to tune out a bit when Chapter Two kicked in and Brown talked about a pivotal moment in her marriage. During an unhappy swim, her husband didn't respond the way she wanted in a brief conversation. Not exactly a turning point for most people. It seemed like the sort of missed communication you can have countless times in a day.  That was the first of such small moments that inspired chapter after chapter where Brown, her colleagues, family and friends worked through usually rather small-scale crises. Well, not small-scale to them, of course.

 

Whatever setback or crisis you face, Brown has a three-part formula for you: The reckoning where you tell your story so you can understand it; the rumble where you face your challenge and take ownership of it; the revolution where you have a transformative experience and move on. Put another way, fall. Get Up. Try again.

 

Other teachings in the book include: Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.

 

Hmm, now that I've written all this down, I think I need to rethink my introduction.  I still don't think the book is especially helpful for that suffering grief. The section on broken hearts is rather short and did disappoint me. That's what I most needed to explore. But the lessons do seem quite helpful in human and business relationships if you're willing to look at things in ways you hadn't before. For example, if you're willing to accept that most people are doing the best that they can.

 

So, while Rising Strong might not be the first self-help book you might want to pick up this year, or even the first Brené Brown title to read judging from descriptions of her earlier titles, it's still a tome full of nuggets and insights well worth the price of admission. It could very well be a transformative book in your life.

 This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on Aug. 5:

https://waa.ai/3FxZ



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review 2018-02-06 20:23
Broken Beautiful Hearts - Kami Garcia Broken Beautiful Hearts - Kami Garcia

I have been a fan of Kami Garcia ever since I read her Beautiful Creatures series and I've been meaning to pick up one of her contemporary books for a while now. I am very, very happy that I ended up loving this book. A lot.

Broken Beautiful Hearts is the story of Peyton and her journey of healing and finding strength, courage, and the true meaning of friendship. Peyton is a girl that went through a lot of things. Her father died in an explosion when he was deployed, her boyfriend turns out to not be the perfect guy but instead pushes her down the stairs, causing her to have a torn knee ligament that puts her future in danger, her friends abandon her, and she has a stalker. She has moments when she's scared that history will repeat itself with another boy, she has moments when she feels like she needs to hide what happened to hear for fear of being judged or be seen as that girl, the victim, but I also think she hides what happened because she's ashamed; like she should have seen it coming and prevent it in some way. I was very happy when her new friends show her that Reed was the one who should be ashamed, not Peyton. I also loved how Peyton learns to be strong, whether that means finding out what truly happened with her dad, or learning to accept and move on from what Reed did. She goes through a transformation. All of that is secondary to one important lesson: asking for help. I feel like that is the main theme of this book, learning how to ask for help when you need it, how not to be ashamed of something someone did to you, and it's an important lesson to learn.

Owen is a great guy, that has some secrets of his own. I liked Owen, mostly because he represented the courage that Peyton learns to have. He also has a reckless side, probably due to his childhood and his family situation, of which you learn more about as the story moves on. I liked how he doesn't push Peyton beyond what she's comfortable with, in their relationship, but he does challenge her to learn how to trust again.

This was a great story, just as great as I expected from Kami Garcia. I only wish Peyton had found that courage to trust again in herself and in others by herself. The pacing was great and there were a few surprises along the way that I didn't see coming. I just wish there was a book for Peyton's twin cousins, because I loved them.

All in all, I loved this book, and it showed me exactly why I love Garcia's books.

Source: rubys-books.blogspot.com
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review 2018-01-17 15:39
Hardened Hearts edited by Eddie Generous
Hardened Hearts - Eddie Generous,Somer Canon,Calvin Demmer,Gwendolyn Kiste,Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi,Meg Elison,Theresa Braun,Laura Blackwell,John Boden,Kathleen W. Deady,James R. Newman

 

HARDENED HEARTS contains dark fiction stories connected by the theme of love-all kinds of love. This book's strength is in its diversity. It covers so many facets of the subject, there's something here for everyone.

 

The tales that stood out for me were:

 

Calvin Demmer's story WHAT IS LOVE. This story knocked my socks off and I will be tracking down more from this author!

 

THE HEART OF THE ORCHARD by Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi. This read almost like a warped fairy tale, and as we all know, fairy tales can often be quite grim.

 

PINK BALLOON by Tom Deady was my favorite story in the book. It totally broke my heart.

 

HEIRLOOM by Theresa Braun. I love tales about mirrors and this was an excellent example of why. This was my first experience with Theresa Braun's work and we are off to a good start.

 

THE RECLUSE by John Boden. Short and sweet, Boden always impresses me.

 

ClASS OF 2000 by Robert Dean. I guess the moral of this tale is not to mess with someone that can throw a baseball at 100 mph. It seems like common sense to me.

 

BURNING SAMANTHA by Scott Hallum. I had never previously heard of Scott, but he's on my radar now.

 

50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR MONSTER LOVER by Gwendolyn Kiste. Here is another author that I haven't had any experience with but whose story was impressive.

 

Lastly, IT'S MY PARTY AND I'LL CRY IF I WANT TO by J.L. Knight. A heartbreaking story about love and loss. Poignant and dark all at the same time.

 

 

9 of the 17 tales resonated deeply with me and that's above average, so I rounded up my original rating from 3 to 4 stars. I have some new authors to follow and I think they are offering up original work which only improves the genre. Bravo!

 

Recommended for fans of diverse dark fiction!

 

*Thanks to John Boden for providing an e-ARC of this anthology in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

 

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review 2016-11-28 08:00
Broken Paper Hearts
Broken Paper Hearts - Seanan McGuire

Broken Paper Hearts was very abrupt. It was also very short. While I see this extra settles the abruptness of the terribly events in this story, I was a bit unsettled by it. I knew it had to be coming since I was nearing the end of the short stories, but somehow it still took me by surprise (which it really shouldn't have been considering the title).

I'm not looking forward to reading the last story, The Star of New Mexico, now...

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review 2016-11-16 19:37
Big Little Lies Review
Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty

Lies generally serve a purpose.

To save someone from harm. To make one look better to their peers. To get out of a jam.

When we were children, we were always told to NEVER tell a lie. You would get into so much trouble if you told a lie as a child. I for one remember the punishments for lying.

As you got a little older you found out there others have lied to you before...but it's okay. It was just a white lie...which to our understanding THAT lie was to save us from harm.

Then we grew up. One lie after another. But it's okay. We are now adults, so we can tell big lies. We just tell the kids it's a white lie and that they shouldn't lie at all. (And we get away with it.)

Well, sometimes we can get away with them.

A group of parents are getting ready to take their kids to school. A few moms stick together like before; a few new mothers are in town needing guidance. First day of school can be hectic, but once you deal with the cliques; getting the kids ready the rest of the day should go easy as baking a pie.

Apparently someone forgot to set the timer on that pie for it just burned!!

A child is accusing another child of bullying; teachers get worried, want it solved right away so saying your sorry is in order. But, the child in question says it wasn't him. As any parent would do they stick up for their child. Of course other Mom's don't agree with that policy and name calling gets thrown out into the air, and people start having opinions of others (especially if they are new to the town) and start gathering in their cliques to force others to choose: Truth, or power.

It isn't easy for Jane to be new in town and trying to understand the small town antidotes but when her son is accused of bullying and she fully well knows he didn't do it, it just takes the cake. Good thing she became good friends with a woman wouldn't shouldn't be reckoned with. Madeline has been there, done all that even had a divorce. She knows the in's and out's of the small town and knows everyone and everyone knows her. Even though she used to part (or known) the cliques, she sides with the new girl. Helps her out of jams once in a while. Of course she doesn't do this alone, she has help from her friend Celeste.

A woman who has everything: wonderful, handsome husband and two loving boys. She has a wonderful house, beautiful looks, great clothes. Everyone marvels on how she can handle twin boys and always being there for the school/church activities. But we must ask ourselves...do we really know our neighbors? Or do we see what we are supposed to see?

Lies are like a domino effect: once one gets going, it gets tough to stop them from growing. But also like in domino's, somehow, somewhere the domino's stop falling. How would you like the domino's to stop thought is the question? Towards you? Or something more sinister?

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/19486412-big-little-lies
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