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review 2016-08-17 13:19
Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal
Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal - Conor Grennan

This is probably one of the best memoirs I have ever read. Part of that has to do with how honest the author is throughout. Little Princes tells the story of the authors creation of Next Generation Nepal, a  nonprofit organization that helps reunite the children of Nepal with their families after the civil war. He starts out admitting straight up that he only volunteered to go to Nepal, so he wouldn't appear to be selfish or irresponsible and how he couldn't wait for his time to be up so he could travel around the world without feeling guilty, and oddly enough I respect him for that.

"I needed this volunteering stint to sound as challenging as possible to my friends and family back home."

"But there was something about volunteering in a Third World orphanage at the outset of my trip that would squash any potential criticism. Who would dare begrudge me my year of fun after doing something like that?"

He doesn't pull any punches in this memoir, several times he calls out his younger self for being selfish and irrational. When he first meets the families of the children back at the NGN house, he greets them at first with anger before one of his traveling companions points out, that he is speaking from a  place of privilege -- he has never had to live through a civil war. And he has never had to make the horrible decision to keep his children at home, where they would be conscripted, or send them away with a
stranger in the hopes that they would be safe. This is what memoirs should be in my opinion, a story of growth and learning. I started there, thinking that, and I ended up here, thinking this. These are the people who helped me make me who I am today.

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text 2015-08-09 04:16
Nutshell Library - Maurice Sendak

I loved this. Fun to read with my 5 year old. She enjoyed reading it because of the rhyming structure and adorable drawings.

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review 2014-12-27 01:39
Haatchi & Little B
Haatchi and Little B: The True Story of One Boy and His Dog - Wendy Holden

I initially picked this one up for my mom, but the little fella on the cover just wouldn't let me be until I read it for myself. I have to say, I had a hard time getting past the tough bits at the beginning that explain the abuse pooch Haatchi miraculously survived, and I even put the book down for a few minutes, but then I picked it up again, and things got better. It's a story of real hardship, difficulty, and pain, but it's also a story of tremendous love and dedication. There are some tough spots, but it's a good reminder to be intensely grateful for all the good times and loving people and pets in our lives.

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review 2014-07-15 15:19
The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness - James Altucher,Claudia Azula Altucher

Boy, was I mistaken! I started THE POWER OF NO expecting ESEENTIALISM-lite. You know, nice message, but without the collective power of heavy corporate sponsorship. When I started reading it, I thought it was weird..a bit odd. It didn’t jive with everything else I’ve been reading. And then I thought of that quote by Haruki Murakami, “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

 

 

The more I read this, the more I loved it. This may be one of the best books I’ve read this year (I’ve read over 120 so far). Leading up to this review, I’ve been quoting some of my favorite lines on Twitter. It’s a shame about the limited space, otherwise I’d be quoting huge chunks out of the book. Here are some quotes I’ve shared:

 

 

"The brain is scared of reinvention because it might be not be safe."

"Don't waste your free thoughts on the other slaves with their Rolex shackles."

"If we have crappy people around, we have a crappy life."

 

 

These quotes out of context may sound odd; you may get more meaning out of the authors’ slideshow on their site: http://www.slideshare.net/JamesAltucher/the-power-of-no-36962678

 

 

One of the more profound quotes that touched me personally came through a story about CATCH-22 author Joseph Heller, who was at a New York gathering of rich hedge-fund managers (even more poignant for me after reading THE BUY SIDE and RICH KIDS OF ISTAGRAM). Someone told Heller to look around and see the people that would make more money doing what they do versus Heller. In response, Heller said he has something they do not. When asked, his answer was, “I have enough.”

 

 

Another powerful moment came from Claudia sharing her meditative experiences throughout the world; one such was an event with Thich Nhat Hanh, where a sign displayed, “no mud, no lotus”. Sometimes the biggest hurt will produce the most beautiful results.

 

 

As alluded to before, this is more than other books that dive into “doing less to achieve more”. As the authors say, “It’s one thing to say no. It’s another thing to have the Power of No.” A lot of this is touchy-feely without any references or footnotes; much of it is about the authors’ personal lives, including dating, loss of self, and loss of loved ones. It threw me off. The authors would theorize something like, “Okay, maybe eat some vegetables. Or, better yet, drink your vegetables.” Or, “Never watch the news, on TV or on the Internet.” Some of it is a bit off from what we read in the other popular books, but again I reference that Murakami quote. If you stick it out, you’ll find inspiration which you’ve not been exposed to before.

 

 

One of the key things mentioned throughout this book is to reinvent yourself every day. Like the co-founder of Twitter Biz Stone mentioned in his book THINGS A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME, “Creativity is a renewable resource. Challenge yourself every day. Be as creative as you like, as often as you want, because you can never run out. Experience and curiosity drive us to make unexpected, offbeat connections. It is these nonlinear steps that often lead to the greatest work.”

 

 

The authors really hit their stride at the end of the book with a mock Q&A section. They asked, “What if I can’t sit in silence for an hour a day?” They answered, “Sit for two hours a day.” They asked, “I can’t read 500 books. What one book should I read for inspiration?” They answered, “Give up.” They asked, “What if I’m going to jail?” They answered, “Perfect…you’ll read a lot of books in jail.”

 

 

Thanks to Hay House for providing this book electronically for me to review. I’m adding it to my Goodreads’s favorite list.

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review 2014-06-21 00:00
Haatchi and Little B: The True Story of One Boy and His Dog
Haatchi and Little B: The True Story of One Boy and His Dog - Wendy Holden [b:Haatchi & Little B: The Inspiring True Story of One Boy and His Dog|20945097|Haatchi & Little B The Inspiring True Story of One Boy and His Dog|Wendy Holden|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1400987846s/20945097.jpg|40316516] is such an incredible story of love, devotion, courage, sacrifice, healing, and forgiveness. It's an inspiring true story of heroic people that refuse to be defeated by the inhumane cruelty of man, about those willing to go the extra mile and a half to save a soulful Anatolian Shepherd, found dying on a railway track and facing certain death. [b:Haatchi & Little B: The Inspiring True Story of One Boy and His Dog|20945097|Haatchi & Little B The Inspiring True Story of One Boy and His Dog|Wendy Holden|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1400987846s/20945097.jpg|40316516] is a magical story of how fate brought a three pawed, gentle giant to a loving, little boy and a forever home. Dog and boy would always require special attention due to their own special needs but HOW did the Fates know that placing Haatchi with Little B would be the perfect saving grace for both?! Karma. The BEST kind of Karma that brought about the best of everyone that came in contact with the Howkin's and their beloved dog, Haatchi.

East London, January 9, 2012, was a night of horror for the Anatolian Shepherd puppy. That someone had intentionally placed the animal in harm's way is certain. After being struck by the train, tail and back leg horribly mangled, the dog managed to crawl to partial-safety, where he was found bleeding to death. Cruel intentions were thwarted on this bitter night. A dog was about to change the lives of many.

Less than 50 miles away, Little B (Little Buddy) was facing struggles of his own, diagnosed with a rare condition known as Schwartz-Jampel syndrome.

This is a story about a boy and his dog and how each found strength, courage, and independence from the other.

"It was as if Little B had been a bud waiting for the light and love of Haatchi to wake his
flower."

I have to say, when I picked up this book that I had received as an ARC giveaway for review, I was in a depressed state of mind, feeling sorry for myself and brooding over the horrible week I'd had. As I began reading the first few chapters, I started crying tears of sorrow. How can a human treat a dog so cruelly? WHY?! When dog and boy were introduced and began to heal each other, I REALLY cried tears of joy, my faith in humanity restored. Haatchi and Little B's story has once again touched someone's life and managed to bring about a smile and inspiration to my day. Powerful stuff!
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