Books From My Closet

"I Love Books The Way Some Girls Love Shoes"

Books That Give You Food for Thought

Hello Dear Followers, 
The following blog post is from guest blogger, Pam Sahota of Radiate Daily!  She provided reviews on some books that made a difference in her life.  Hope you enjoy! 
I went through a phase where I read a lot of books to help me understand what more I could do in my life for happiness, motivation, and inspiration to live a healthier and better life each day. Some may call these “self help” books but I call them inspiration and words of wisdom. There are authors who I fell for over perusing these and I dare you to give them a try as well.

“Girl Boss” by Sophia Amoruso 

The Why?

There are more and more folks becoming entrepreneurs and wanting to be their own boss. However starting off on your own has its pitfalls and obstacles, and Sophia definitely fell a few times in her career before she got where she is today. This book (like the Netflix series) is comedic, raw, emotional, and encouraging that even if we fail and fail, we can keep hope and make it. GirlBoss_
“Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes 

The Why?

Yes, she’s the lady who started Grey”s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder and more. She’s the woman who made TGIT what it is today. But, she didn’t just land there, she had to really go with her gut, and determine what road to take. And when she decided to say Yes to more – more doors opened, and more opportunities beckoned.

“The Universe Has Your Back” by Gabrielle Bernstein 

The Why?

Ever feel like you have a need to control each piece of your life? That the lack of control could make you spiral into no man’s land? I know I do at times. Gabrielle guides her community of readers to let go a bit and trust in themselves even more. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely worth it. Big Magic

“Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert 

The Why?
The book has six sections: Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust and Divinity. Similar to Eat, Pray, Love it takes you through different parts of your self and areas of encouragement to do more and believe more in yourself. Even if it means breaking yourself first, to find the better you.
What’s your favorite?
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Dark Matter

Hello Dear Followers,
This post is by my blogger and friend Pam Sahota of Radiate Daily (follow her site here www.radiatedaily.com)!  Pam offered a bit of her insight on on the book, “Dark Matter”  Hope you enjoy!  
27833670Dark Matter written by Blake Crouch is a novel that leaves you thinking from chapter to chapter. In summary it’s about a gentleman who is taken away from the life he knew and realizes that there is another version of “him” out there living an alternate version of it. He has to escape to get back to his family and convince them it’s the real him, while ensuring the other versions of him don’t get in the way of his reuniting with his family and true life.

The book makes you think at every chapter. Will he decide to return to his original version of his life or will this new version be something he finds more appealing? Why did the other version of him trade places? Is the grass really always greener?

It makes you think inward and wonder about your own life in comparison – or at least it did for me.

Can you imagine the potential of alternate realities and having multiple versions of yourself living them? The outcome of your current existence can change in an instant (as we know) but the life of another one of your existences could be on a path you never imagined For example if one of you went right, but the other went left.

I won’t spoil the ending, but I will say the book is not just suspenseful and thrilling (a true page turner as critics would say), but it’s major food for thought. It makes you wonder what the main character should do, but what you would do if you were given a chance to live a different version of your life. Ever missed a chance at a relationship or job or a chance to live somewhere else? What if you had a chance to go back and live that life. Would you?
Photo by Goodreads

Why Would Anyone Read About Lincoln?

Hello Dear Followers,

downloadThe title of this post was asked of me recently, and I laughed. Simply because why not read about President Abraham Lincoln?  He was one of the most influential presidents in our nation’s history.

But he was also a good man.  You can tell that by the moves he made while he was president, you can tell that by the way he stood at 6’4” tall, you could see it in his face.  He was good man who wanted to do good for this nation.

He was humble, he was romantically melancholy, the kind that made you want to spend time with and find out what was going on in his head to see who he was and what he thought about regularly.

So why not read about President Abraham Lincoln? Don’t get me wrong, historical books about dead presidents isn’t always what I choose to read about, but I truly love history, particularly Civil War history, so I am always wanting to know more about this time.

As I have been reading I am finding myself thinking of the movies I’ve seen during this era like,  “Glory” or “Gone with the Wind,”  “Little Women,”  and lastly “Lincoln.”

I remember seeing “Lincoln” and at the end of the movie as he headed to the theatre I started to tear up, because I knew he was going to die.  Oh how I would have loved to have seen him as president, I am sure it would have been remarkable.

Is there a historical figure you would love to learn more about?

Until next time…

Killing President Lincoln

Hello Dear Followers,

I have chosen my next book!  I am so excited about this! I am reading “Killing Lincoln” by Bill O’Reilly.  For years I have wanted to read this book because I just love LOVE Civil War history and President Abraham Lincoln.  When I saw “Lincoln” in the theaters I had just about started to cry knowing this man was going to be killed as if he were my president.

Biographies and autobiographies always intrigue me, I want to know about people’s lives, how they lived it, what made them tick what they loved, what they lost. All of it.  I hope you will join me as I go along this journey into a different time and place as we read the ending of life for such an extraordinary man.

Until next time…

 

How Wild It Was to Let It Be

Hello Dear Followers,

WildI FINALLY finished “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed.  It only took like half a year! Haha.  Anyway, I wanted to share some of my final thoughts on the book, before I move on.

I thought the book overall, was decent.  I admit, I found myself bored at times, often expecting more than what was actually revealed.  I had a hard time separating her from author Elizabeth Gilbert’s “get away from life and find yourself” journey in “Eat, Pray, Love.” I had to keep remembering these were two different people with two different life experiences.

But what tied these two women together was bravery.  Stopping their lives for however long and doing something extraordinary that only most of us talk about doing.

Cheryl’s excursion seemed more rigorous and less romantic. It was dirty, it was hard and it was at times damn near impossible.  But that’s life too isn’t it?  Life isn’t always going to be this romantic journey, it’s going to be tough and sometime damn near impossible. She had to really work through her shit.  And I mean work.

I often thought about how I’d be if I did this, deciding to leave my life for several months and go on a hike, I don’t think I could do it.  I hardly feel I survive in the everyday monotony let alone surviving in the wilderness.  I was never a good Girl Scout.  🙂

Through out the book I kept waiting for her to meet her man, again…comparing her to Elizabeth Gilbert in “Eat Pray Love.”  Who did meet her man, who did have sex as she found herself in a foreign place.

This didn’t happen here, while Cheryl had urges and needs to be loved and joined by a man, it only briefly happened towards the tail end of the book.  I was so happy, but it left me wanting more.  I wanted her journey to end with her finding love, real love.

But maybe just the journey alone was enough, and it was everything after her hike through the Pacific Crest Trail that would lead her to where she needed to be.

Life is like that, sometimes you have to work through your shit, whether it is through a hike, or some other soul searching journey to get to the other side.

I recommend this book, I do. I think it’s for anyone who is really going through some stuff right now that really needs inspiration that whatever you set out in your life to do can be done.

Until next time…

 

Choosing the Right Book…

Hello Dear Followers,

Last night I was reading some of the final pages of “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed, (not finished it yet..almost done!) and I began to think about my next book choice.  For months I had one book in mind, was so sure about it.  Until last night.

What made last night stand out? Nothing really. But I think my needs changed. And right now, I am looking for an escape.  And this book may not be it. No biggie.  A few days ago, two friends recommended two different self-help books, while I have both on my to-read list, I think I need a fictional novel.

Let me dive into someone else’s life while I try to figure out my own.  Have you ever felt this way before? Not knowing which book to choose?  Here are some things to think about:

  • Pick a book based on what you are feeling. Intuitive reading I like to call it. What does your heart and mind need at this moment? Does it need some help? And are you willing to listen? Choose a self-help book. Are you in love? Choose a good love story.  Let your feelings decide.
  • Are we going with classics, older contemporaries or the latest book trend?  Several people in the past have said to keep your blog engaging, you should be reading what is popular, I don’t know that I completely agree with that.  I think people appreciate books they haven’t heard about in a while, or books they have never heard of at all.  For example, right now I am sure everyone is reading a few of the following: “Big Little Lies”  or “Handmaid’s Tale” or they are re-reading “Fifty Shades Freed”.  Why not stay away from what is popular for a bit, return to these books when the popularity has dimmed a bit.
  • What genres are your favorite?  Do you tend to go back to old standbys or are you willing to branch out and try something new?
  • What you loved before, you may not love now.  I have a ton of books on my shelf that has me questioning, “What was I thinking when I bought this?” Which is sad, because my books are my treasures.
  • Reading is for enjoyment, so it’s important to choose a book you will actually enjoy and want to recommend to someone else.

Until next time…

My Own Physical Exhaustion

Hello Dear Followers,

It’s pretty late right now, but after a few weeks of not writing or sharing a blog post with you, I thought I’d hop on for a moment.

I am in the middle of reading “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed, and she is now deep in her hike in Pacific Crest Trail.  She’s now talking about the physical toll this hike is doing to her, and all I could think was, I could never do this much physical labor on my body, or take a hike.. exercise.. whatever.

But I realized as I went on reading that I had. Ok, so maybe not the same as Strayed had, but her account brought me back to 2005.  This was the year I left working retail to work at a spa and salon…( okay, so you’re probably wondering how on earth there is a similarity.)  Trust me there is.

I had gone through some terribly depressing times then, anxiety ridden,  angry, sad… you name it.  And working in my hometown’s mall, just wasn’t helping any.  I always saw someone I knew!  And all I wanted to do at the time was getting away from seeing people I didn’t necessarily want to see.

This is when (by the Grace of God) I got a job a salon and spa in a town away.  I didn’t work as a front desk girl either, I worked as a spa attendant.  I worked folding laundry, washing laundry, serving food, cleaning the spa and salon.  This was unlike anything I had ever done or ever dreamed of doing.

It was physically challenging, I was on my feet five days a week, constantly cleaning, washing, folding etc.  It was physically draining.  But what did it do for me?  It helped me work through my shit.  Work through the intensity of the pain I was feeling at the time.  I found a new part of me, and one that was coming back to life as time went on.

I was eating a lot again, ( I hadn’t eaten properly in months),  I was sleeping (because I was exhausted) and I was thinking of better things than before.  It was my life saver.

Now, you’re probably still wondering what the comparison is, well it’s the working of the body to calm the mind.  And I think by what I am reading of Strayed’s account, this is exactly what she is doing, she’s on a new path (no pun intended)  as was I during that period in my life.

When you are in this state, it is so important to find your outlet, whether it be a hike in the woods or some other meditative exercise. I did.

Until next time.

Take a Hike… Why Don’t Ya?

HikersonknifesedgeHello Dear Followers,

I finished part one of “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed  and I have a mixture of thoughts about all that has happened so far.  As I mentioned in my last post, the over-arching theme was “survival.”

I still believe that to be true about this woman, who suffered such a great loss that she decided she was going to work through this loss by taking a hike.. for 3 months!

As I had read on past the point that she had lost her Mom, I read about what lead her to want to hike the trail and I began to become judgmental,  I didn’t mean to.  I had to figure out what was making me judge this woman’s journey,  what made her leave everything she knew behind to hike a huge trail when she’s never hiked before.

At one point I found myself saying, “But is she nuts?” Take a trip to Europe, lay on an island for three months, but I had to stop myself and realize, this wasn’t my journey to take and it was clear she had to work through some pretty tough stuff and what better place than on a hiking trail.

In the midst of my judgement, I often found myself  saying, “Another aimless wanderer.” And I couldn’t grasp it. I wanted to, but I couldn’t.

When “Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert did her soul searching expedition, I thought “Wow, that’s brave, I want to do that.”  Leave everything behind and just go and figure stuff out, figure life out.  I felt this way for a number of years, she became my idol.  I can’t seem to relate to Strayed in the same way.   I don’t understand why she wouldn’t stay and help her family get through this difficult time?

I also don’t know her nor do I really understand her loss.   Again, her journey.

In my judgment I also find curiosity, how is she going to make it through? What will she learn from the experience?

Have any of you been on a soul searching journey that took you to exotic places like the Pacific Crest Trail or somewhere else in the world?  What did you learn from it?  Where did you go and why?

Please feel free to comment in the comments section below! I’d love to hear more stories like this.

Until later…

Image by PCTA.org 

One Word: Survival

Hello Dear Followers,

I have begun reading “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed.  So far, so good. It’s a memoir which tells the story about how Strayed embarked on a hiking trip through the Pacific Crest Trail which is a 1,100 trail which spans the states of California / Oregon / Washington, USA / British Columbia, Canada. She started this journey in 1995 in an effort for “self-discovery” after losing her mother.

I found the story to be very fascinating, brave and eye-opening, because here is this young woman embarking on a journey she has never embarked on before (this reminds me of another woman I have read... let’s see if you can guess who I am thinking about, they’re friends too!).

So the first chapter, the one word that kept circulating throughout my mind was – SURVIVAL.  This word is ingrained in this woman’s DNA. She has had to know how to survive since she was a young girl, through many trials her family faced.  Whether it was poverty, an abusive father, and later a sick mother. Survival didn’t begin when she decided to take this trip, that is definitely for sure.

Is survival always that hard like Cheryl’s? No. Survival can be simply dealing with our own inner demons that get claw their way into our minds on a daily basis, and waking up every morning is survival.  Our lives however, aren’t meant be survived, they are meant to be lived.

Anyway, I plan to continue on after I finish this post with “Wild” if you are joining along with me, or have read the book already, please feel free to chime in!

Until next time…

 

“And I Love That” – Kyle Cease

Hello Dear Followers,

KyleCeaseBook

Image by Amazon.com

I just finished the book “I Hope I Screw This Up” by Kyle Cease.  I was reading this for a Facebook book club I am part of.  I thought overall the book was pretty good,  however it didn’t move me like other “self-help” books have in the past. I am not sure why. I found it hard to take him seriously, maybe he made too many jokes or put too many pictures in his book.

One thing however stood out. He said whenever you have a fear-based thought add “And I love that” to the end of the sentence.  I just about started laughing hysterically. Because it changes the thought entirely.  It makes the thought easier to bear and puts a different spin on fear.

I also took part in some of his exercises where he asked readers to name their assets, the things they loved in life and that was heartwarming.

I think if you are looking for a light read that is both helpful and humorous, I do recommend this book.

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