Like many of you, I have a list of "to read" books that is a mile long. Between my Nook books, my library books, the books that I'm "book sitting" for Chloe, my Good Reads list, and my NetGalley queue....I could be confined to my house for a very long time, and not run out of reading material.
I decided to create this dedicated place for book reviews for simplicity's sake. Want to know what I'm reading? Come here. I will post most reviews on Figuring Out 40 as well...I'll figure that out as I go along.
Some may remember that part of my 40@40 list was to read 26 books - the list of those books is in the sidebar. I didn't review all of them, but if you want an opinion on any of them, feel free to ask.
Note: I overanalyze MANY things, and the name of this blog was no different. It occurred to me in the shower that in label printing, we refer to "book turn" and "coin flip" copy positions. And so, Book Turn became a blog..
Author of the blog Karma (continued), Jenny Feldon imagined life in India as a glitzy yoga whirlwind when she and her husband are outsourced from the Upper West side to Hyderabad. Instead she found buffalo-related traffic jams. Jenny struggled to fight the depression, bitterness, and anger as her sense of self and her marriage began to unravel. And it was all India’s fault—wasn’t it? Equally frustrating, revealing, and amusing, this is the true story of an accidental housewife in the third world.
Here's the thing that scares me about traveling to other countries: the food. I'm not good with sauces, I'm not very adventurous with spices, and condiments give me the creeps. So, for that reason alone, I commend Jenny Feldon for her bravery. Between the food-sickness (it's probably not fair to call it poisoning), and the utter lack of coffee...I wouldn't have lasted a week.
Karma Gone Bad is often sarcastic, and funny in that better you than me way. Jenny's memoir about attempting to build a life in India was entertaining and even heartwarming. Yes, she finds a yoga practice there, but the book is not centered around a spirtual awakening. That's one of the things that I liked the most about this memior - its honesty. She doesn't embrace the laundry that smells like coal, the overpriced chai, nor the utter loneliness she feels after trying to settle into India. That said, she does manage to find the silver-lining in her situation....helps others along the way.
This is a book to tuck into your yoga bag, and read after class at Starbucks. It's fun and funny...and will make you appreciate that red cup in your hand just a little bit more.
disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.
It's no secret that I will try just about anything to deal with my back/hip pain issues (well, anything except wicked strong drugs). When I heard about The Tapping Solution, I thought "well, why not?"
The Tapping Solution describes using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to help heal everything from pain to emotional trauma. Tapping draws from chinese medicine, and works on stimulating your body's meridian points to help release stress and pain.
The book is informative, and interesting...and helped me to get over the "out there" factor. I mean, c'mon, I can tap away pain? Really? Really. The Tapping Solution explains the science, but also the underlying beliefs, that are key to finding healing.
As someone who VERY firmly believes in alternative medicine & the power of self-healing, I highly recommend this book...and EFT.
I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.
I listened to The Importance of Beng Extraordinary over the course of a week on my morning commute to work. More than once, I found myself sitting in my car listening to just a few more minutes.
Eckhart Tolle describes being extraordinary as "to be awake, aware, present." That pretty much sums up how I'm trying to learn to live my ordinary life. I hadn't stopped and thought of it as extraordinary.
Combining the wisdom of Dr. Dyer and Mr. Tolle creates a brilliant coffee talk conversation that is inspirational & motivating. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed listening to this work - they have vastly different speaking styles. The contrast was an excellent tool to continually bring my attention back to the conversation (don't tell me that you don't tune out audio books sometimes!).
The reminders throughout the CD to be present, and embrace awareness, are worth replaying time & time again. Looking forward to my next road trip to listen!
Hay House provided me with this CD-set free of charge in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.
I almost didn't read this book. I don't remember where I first heard mention of it, but I quickly filed it under "too religious"...and then it kept showing up. Clearly, I was meant to read this book b/c suddenly it was everywhere that I turned. I put myself on the wait list for it at the library, and then clicked over to Good Reads to read a few reviews. Many reviews said that it was too short. Some said that it was sloppy (or choppy. or something unflattering.) I had an audio book credit to use up, so I downloaded it and committed to start listening on the treadmill.
Why all this backstory? Well, mostly b/c I want to make the point that after all of that...I was so pleasantly surprised that I loved this book. I was raised Southern Baptist, married a Jehovah's Witness, and then married a lapsed Catholic...I've seen prayer from many sides, many of them complicated by ritual & rules. This book breaks it all down...help, thanks, wow. Three simple prayers. Brilliant.
Anne Lamott advises early on - page 2 - "Let's not get bogged down on whom or what we pray to. Let's just say prayer is communication from our hearts to the great mystery..." Okay, I can do that. Although, I admit that I've wondered - if I pray to "God, the Universe, Guardian Angels" - are there 3 entities looking at each other, shrugging, and saying "oops, I thought you had that one." That would make for a good comic strip, eh? Anyway...Anne had my attention. Three of my favorite passages from the book...
Help. "So when we cry out for Help, or whisper it into our chests, we enter the paradox of not going limp and not feeling so hopeless that we can barely walk, and we release ourselves from the absolute craziness of trying to be our own - or other people's - higher powers. Help."
Thanks. " In the face of everything, we slowly come through. We manage to make new constructs and baskets to hold what remains, and what has newly appeared. We come to know - or reconnect with - something rich and okay about ourselves. And at some point, we cast our eyes to the beautiful skies, above all the crap we're wallowing in, and we whisper "Thank you."
Wow. "Wow is often offered with a gasp, a sharp intake of breath, when we can't think of another way to capture the sight of shocking beauty or destruction, of a sudden unbidden insight or an unexpected flash of grace."
I smiled through the entire Wow chapter, remembering my Great-Grandma Bea. We used to convince her to take her dentures out and say "Wow" over & over while we giggled.
This book isn't wrapped in doctrine. It was real, honest, and even funny at times. Yes, it's a short read...but that's part of its appeal. I highly recommend!
It should surprise no one that this book practically jumped off of the library shelf and into my bag. It's artsy and about mindfulness....that's an "is the Pope Catholic?" kind of moment. I didn't notice until I was checking out my stack-o-books that Christina Rosalie is a local author. Which is sort of like a "I saw Jesus in my toast" moments. (Okay, I'm done with the religious jokes. I promise.)
I took A Field Guide to Now over to Maglianero with the intention of reading a few pages while I sipped my latte. Side note: I'm pretty sure that it's a state law that you MUST read a locally authored book at a locally owned coffee shop....reading at Starbucks is strictly prohibited.
I got to page 27 and realized that I'd be sitting there for a while...
This work of becoming can happen at any time, right here, in the middle of your life, with the subtlest internal shift - with acknowledging your potential.
Christina writes with such authenticity & openess that I wanted to immediately ask her to join me for coffee...which I almost did, but turns out she was in Hawaii, at the same time as Ali Edwards, who seems to know her, and HOW SMALL OF A WORLD IS THAT???
The book is infused with thoughtful prompts. So perfect for journaling and/or blogging. A favorite...
Try asking: What do I need to do to feed the hunger that I have for what is real in my life right now? Let your answers guide you toward a practice that will fill your soul. Above all else, keep showing up.
Anyway. Her words are beautiful & inspiring. Her art is beautiful & inspiring. Her take on mindfulness, especially in the messy moments of motherhood, make me want to start the parenting journey all over again and do it better. I ended up finishing the book in one sitting (the laundry didn't get done, and the grocery shopping was delayed). I adored every page. I promptly bought a copy for Colleen, and then bought another copy for Katherine a few days later. Oh, and remember that my copy was a library book! So, I need to order my own copy....b/c this is a book that I will read again & again.
Rather than moving all of the book posts over from my main blog, I thought I'd start by linking 2012 book reviews here. Apologies for making you do another click! (note: I realized as I was writing this very short list that I failed to blog about MOST of the books that I've read. Trust me, I read many, many more than this in 2012!)