Books From My Closet

"I Love Books The Way Some Girls Love Shoes"

Archive for the category “Self-Help/Relationships”

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven

Hello Dear Followers,

Have you ever found a book in your life that changed everything for you? Many years ago, I found “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” by Mitch Albom. When I discovered this book, I was about 22-years-old and working at a salon and spa here in Connecticut.

At the time I was in a terribly dark place in my life and this book changed everything for me and how I viewed the world at the time. It was definitely a book that became an instant favorite that I never forgot as I got older. It was recommended to me by someone I had worked with at the spa who knew of this dark place I was in.

It taught me that every place and everyone you meet you were meant to. At the time I didn’t know how much of that I believed or wanted to believe, but I was instantly glued to this book and finished it in a matter of 24 hours.

Flash forward 14 years, and the author came out with a sequel. “The Next Person You Meet in Heaven.” I was so excited, I honestly thought this was the universe’s way of providing a comfort again.

And I have to say, I loved this book, but it didn’t do the thing for me as the first one did. It wasn’t until the very last page, where the author says, “She would tell her that all endings are also beginnings, we just don’t know it at the time.”

This was probably the only line that resonates with me at this moment. In the last couple of years I’ve seen endings and while I am still working through those endings without any explanation or cause, I have seen a world of beginnings take shape in my life. I may never know why the endings happened, but maybe I am not supposed to, not yet.

I’d like to believe that I have been protected from what isn’t meant to be part of my life and that whatever comes next is much better than whatever was left behind.

Other than this, I honestly don’t have any other reaction to this book, which I think it also great, because often times we cling to things we think we need not realizing we’re our own savior that no book, person or event can help us with.

I was much too young during my first darkness and today there is so much light in my life that the darkness I once felt so many years ago cannot and will not rear its head again.

Until next time!

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Girl, Wash Your Face

Hello Dear Followers,

Gosh, it’s been a long time since I’ve written a post on here. My apologies. But life gets in the way sometimes from doing things you need to do for yourself. Like reading and writing, in my case.

Anyway, I just finished “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. I wanted to share my thoughts about the book with you.

I thought the book was good overall, I didn’t however, find anything earth shattering or new about what Hollis had to say. It’s stuff I’ve heard before.

I loved the motivation she brings throughout the book, the honesty and certainly the humor. I watch her live videos on Instagram on a regular basis and I definitely could hear her humor in this book.

I loved how she provided tips how make things possible in our lives through what has helped her. Some self-help authors don’t do that. They usually share their motivation and you’re still left with, “Well, how do I do that?” She laid it out quite easily.

I resonated with a lot of her chapters. It was nice to know there others in the world who have felt the same way you do about everyday life. Whether it relates to weight gain or loss, getting past your shit, traumas you’ve experienced in the past. We’ve all had these and it’s nice to know I am not alone.

In one of her chapters, she says, “Pain and trauma are a violent whirlpool, and they will drag you under if you don’t battle to stay afloat. There will be times, especially in the beginning, when it will take everything within you to keep your head above those waves.”  

I felt that quote. We’ve all had moments in our lives where it seems like we will never get our heads above water and we are gasping for air only to be pushed down again by the waves that come crashing behind us.

In another chapter, she says, “The difficult seasons we walk through are how we learn to build up strength to manage any situation. The strongest people you know? They’ve probably walked some pretty hard roads and built up skills necessary to be emotional giants”  

All I can add to that, is always look out for the “strong people” in your life.

I don’t have much more to add to this post, I am looking forward to her next book, “Girl Stop Apologizing” this year. Because we must stop apologizing…for everything!

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.

Smart or Beautiful?

lovewarriorHello Dear Followers,

Over the years, my best friend and I have had several conversations ranging in various topics, in one of our conversations, I had asked what I thought was rather a simple question, “Why can’t people just be themselves?”

She answered immediately with, “Do you know how fuckin’ hard that is to do?”

I replied, “No, I don’t.” Because I didn’t.  I didn’t know because I was always myself.  Maybe it was pure ignorance, but I just didn’t know how to be anyone else.

She then said, “Well, I guess you have had a higher sense of self.”

I began to think at that point, whether there had been a time I wasn’t myself. But I couldn’t think of a one.

I recently began reading “Love Warrior” by Glennon Doyle Melton.  A book that everyone (including the author) is calling “a book about marriage.” I suppose that is true, I just haven’t gotten to the marriage part yet.

I am in the beginning, where the author talks about who she was growing up or rather who she wasn’t.

She talks about how in her younger years she was always considered beautiful by those who came in contact with her.   As I was reading this, several things she said struck me and it’s this:

“When strangers admire me, I practice returning their attention. I understand that beauty is a form of kindness. It is for giving away and I try to be generous.”

She goes on to say that her parents tried to instill balance in her life by telling her she was smart as well.

“I’m an early reader, and at four, converse like an adult.” “But soon I realize that smart is more complicated than beautiful….”  “I begin to understand that beauty warms people and smart cools people.” 

Let me preface this by saying, I am smart. Always have been, somewhat absent minded, but smart just the same. I grew up loving to read, I enjoyed history and studying people and the world around me. Beautiful wasn’t a word I would exactly use to describe myself.

As I have gotten older, I embraced all of these “smart” aspects me and accepting that I wasn’t physically beautiful.  Sure, I have physical traits that I love, but I was never completely happy with it all.

People reading this might say things like, “Beauty only runs skin deep.” or “Think more of yourself, Daniela.”

I never wanted to play the dumb blonde to get noticed, I never knew how to flirt or if I did, I didn’t use it.  I loved that I loved to read, I loved that I knew I thought differently than most girls my age, but does this get the attention of the opposite sex?  No. You hardly get noticed.

Glennon goes on to talk about how she became someone else as she got older, having a “representative” of sorts, getting involved in things that could destroy anyone.

Anyway, I think this is an excellent and easy read, definitely worth diving into.  While this is one of six books I am reading right now, I will definitely get back to you with more thoughts as I continue on with this book.

Until next time…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writers: The Wanderers of Life

elizabeth_gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert

Hello Dear Followers,

I am on vacation this week so I thought I would drop in and write a new blog post.  I am currently re-reading “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I promise this blog won’t turn into an Elizabeth Gilbert fan page, I am still in the midst of finishing her new book, “Big Magic.”

I stopped “Big Magic” to return to “Eat, Pray, Love” for some life advice.  I assume many of you know, she keeps an active Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, so I follow her regularly on all three.

I love reading her words of wisdom daily or almost daily and trying to figure out how to infuse what she tells us into my own life.  She is so wise.

I read “Eat, Pray, Love” for the first time around the time when it came out, in 2006.. I read it because it was the book to read at the moment.  But I never soaked in what she was trying to say in her book.

This time around, I read it again because I needed to.  I needed my dosage of Liz on a grander scale than just her daily posts on Facebook.  I needed her mentoring about life.  I wanted to know how she went through some tough times and got through, what was her method?

(Spoiler Alert ahead!)

Anyway, she recently announced that she was getting separated from the man she met in the last chapter of “Eat, Pray, Love.”  It was shock to all of her followers I am sure.  But it made me applaud her, she always ran to the beat of her own drum, a wanderer of sorts through life.  She was inspiring.

I then began to look back at other writers I loved in my life… with the exception of Laura Ingalls Wilder,  most of my favorite writers weren’t married.   Jane Austen, not married.  Louisa May Alcott, to my research… never married.

Liz was married once, and now this would be her second marriage.  These famous writers have something in common – independence.  They are strong enough in their own minds and hearts to carry on their own away from the confines of marriage.  I applaud them.

So many women these days, particularly women my age (33 and older)  feel that it is a must or be viewed as some sort of failure in life.  I am not married, even though I so want to be, but I also enjoy this life.

I am a successful writer, living on my own doing my own thing… I have good friends and family. I have accomplished a lot in my life.

I don’t pretend to know the reason behind Liz’s separation from her husband, it could be a myriad of things, but I still applaud her strength and ability to move forward with her life.

I applaud all of the other authors before her too, that found the strength to remain independent in their own lives and in their craft.

Until next time…

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a Quiet one

Hello Dear Followers,

I am going to share a little secret with you – I am quiet.  I have been quiet my entire life, never really facing conflict head on, never speaking up, very introverted in how I lived my life. Only taking chances with situations when I felt I absolutely needed to or I would run the risk of losing sleep.

So you can probably see why I am a writer.  Why my greatest form of communication is through the art of writing.  It has always been the best way I communicated with the world.  I was always a thinker, sometimes  I have thought too much about things, never acting on anything always fearful what people might say to what I had to say.

I found a book  titled “Quiet” by Susan Cain a few months ago. It grabbed my attention because it spoke to my personality, who I have been my entire life and I wanted to learn more about my personality and why I do the things I do.

Why spending time in a bookstore and why I collect books in general, why driving through the countryside in my car by myself is bliss. I wanted to learn more about all of this.   Why I would prefer a night in a coffee shop or a dinner with friends much more than a loud and crowded club/bar.

I wanted to learn more about me.

When I told people on Facebook through my Facebook status that I was reading this book, a friend of mine called me a “Facebook extrovert” which is totally true, because as secluded as I’d prefer to be, I want to be heard and what better place can you be heard without physically being seen than Facebook?

I’ve often told people that I have always been awkward when it comes to speaking to people in social situations or with members of the opposite sex, my introverted self needs to feel you out,  I need to see if it’s safe to get to know you  before I allow myself to.

A friend of mine asked,  “Then how are you a journalist?” I told her I had absolutely no idea.  The idea of talking to someone one-on-one and trying to pull answers out of someone was definitely not something I enjoyed doing especially in a social setting.  But I did it for my job. It was somehow different.  I did it because I had to.

Image by citypaper.com

Image by citypaper.com

Another friend of mine said to me recently “when something is bothering you, you should speak up, who cares?” He was very right, but I was never good at verbalizing my thoughts, because my thoughts are so many that sometimes what makes sense to me may not always to another person.

I’ve taken a lot of risks as an introvert, I’ve  fought to fix things I have cared deeply about no matter how uncomfortable I am doing so.  This is where my strength comes through. I’d rather run and hide than deal with anything head on, but I have.

I have spent my entire life always thinking, thinking, thinking and wondering and coming up with conclusions (eventually) that I may not have, if I hadn’t.

My mother and others who should be now know how introverted I am, still tell me I need to “come out of my shell”  or “you need to speak up” etc. etc.

I feel more than I say, I see more than many people realize, as introverts often do.

So I right now I am reading “Quiet” and so far I would say I recommend it.

Until next time…

Randy Pausch

Photo of Randy Pausch, courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Hello Dear Followers,

It took me way longer than I thought it would to finish “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch, however I have finished it and can now give you my closing thoughts on the book.

I thought overall the book was very good, a lot of life lessons that we often take for granted. It seemed like the ongoing theme in the book was to have fun in life and dream.  We so often forget to do both, or give up on our dreams because too often reality sets in.

In my last post I asked followers if they were to vanish tomorrow, what would be their last words of wisdom to those they were leaving behind? Maybe vanish isn’t the correct word, I’d have to go with die. If you were to die tomorrow, what would be the last words of wisdom you would leave as your legacy?

( I hate thinking about dying) but I’d say just let go to things that are holding you back, don’t hold on to things that happened in your past and just live. I know its easier said than done, because we are so defined by our experiences and so impacted by the people in our lives.

I also recommend to not sweat the small stuff, because seriously life is too short.  Mr. Pausch was dying of cancer, do you think towards the end of his life he was worried about the small stuff? I doubt it. I think about those dying of cancer and how those of us that are healthy are so quick to worry about the little things in life we make them big things. What I have learned too is that it is not the end of the world, you just keep going forward. What you might think is the end of the world yesterday, may not even phase you tomorrow.

Also let go of the toxic people in your life that bring you down, you don’t need them, they do nothing to your personal growth.

All these “words of wisdom” may sound cliche or redundant, but its true.

Have fun even if you aren’t having fun, have fun. Be happy.  Okay. I think I have given you all enough of my words of wisdom for one day.

But I thank Mr. Pausch for his inspiration book and I now think of his family as they continue to go on with their lives.  I dedicate this blog to Mr. Pausch.

Until next time…

“The Last Lecture”

Book image courtesy of http://www.bestsellers.about.com

Hello Dear Followers,

My July book choice is “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch.  I chose this book a few years ago or so because it reminded me in a lot of ways of books written by Mitch Albom and I thought that this would be an interesting read.

The book tells the story of late author Randy Pausch, who gave his “last lecture” at Carnegie Mellon.  According to the book, a lot of professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them.  And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy. Mr. Pausch, a computer science professor was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it was his last since he had been recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.

So while I read this book, I am asking my followers that are reading this post, if you were to vanish tomorrow, what would be your last piece of wisdom you would want as your legacy?  I ask that each of you think of that, and I love to hear from all of you about it. I will think it over myself and in my concluding post on the book which I am hoping will be next week, I will tell you all.

I hope you all follow along with me or at least consider this book as a good suggestion for a summer read.

Until next time…

What I’m Reading This Summer

Hello Dear Followers,

I usually don’t announce books in advance like this and I am not done with “The Help” just yet, but I have to admit seeing the constant mention of “summer reading lists” in bookstores and on various social media sites, made me nostalgic for the days before Borders and Barnes & Noble were my escapes, when I’d be one of the first kids signing up at the library for the summer reading program.  I couldn’t wait!

So here are three books I will be reading this summer –

Book image courtesy of http://www.bestsellers.about.com

1. “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch. A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture” Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them.  And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want to as our legacy. Mr. Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it was his last, since he was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Why I picked this:  Because it has been my experience that books like these, however  as short as they are (this one is 206 pages), they are filled with excellent advice about life and this reminds me of my favorite book “The Five People You Meet In Heaven” by Mitch Albom. Mr. Albom’s book left such a deep impact on my life, it saved me from myself during some of the darkest moments of my life.  I imagine this book will do the same.

Book image courtesy of http://www.bookmomma.wordpress.com

2. “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  It is January 1946, London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject.  Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’d never met, a native of Guernsey, the British Island once occupied by the Nazis. He’d come across her name on the flyleaf of a secondhand volume by Charles Lamb.  Perhaps she could tell him where he might more books by this author. As Juliet and her new coorespondent exchange letters, she is drawn into the world of this man and his friends, all members of Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a unique book club formed in a unique, spur-of-the-moment way: as an alibi to protect its members from arrest by the Germans.

Why I picked this:  Letters, books and history. All of which I just love. I feel the art of letter writing is lost in the maze of social media and e-mail. There isn’t romance in correspondence anymore, letter writing was personal, romantic, and passionate.  I love books, if I could spend my time in a cafe  drinking fabulous coffee and reading all day escaping the world around me, I’d be happy.  History especially the time in which this book takes place has always fascinated me, I love learning about World War II and shortly after the war.

Book image courtesy of http://www.nicholassparks.com

3. “The Best of Me” by Nicholas Sparks.  In the spring of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply irrevocably in love. Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for each other seems to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. A loner from a violent and infamous local family, Dawson believed his love for Amanda promised an escape from the darker destiny laid out for him. A golden girl from a well-to-do family with plans to attend Duke University, Amanda saw something in Dawson that spoke to her own rebellious and passionate heart. But as summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths.

Why I picked this –  I just love Nicholas Sparks, he is a wonderful writer. He grabs you from the first page and never lets you go and when it is over.  Then you are left craving more. That is a good writer.

(Since I fell behind with “The Help” I will be making up my June book with one of these three books and “The Help” will be considered my May book.  )

Make sure you share with me what you are reading this summer on here or on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Okay! Until next time… Happy Summer Reading!

Thumbs Down

Hello Dear Followers,

Well, I finished “Much Ado About Loving” by Jack Murighan and Maura Kelly. And I have to admit, I found it boring. I didn’t feel like I got anything from this book, like at all. Well, that’s not true, I was given a good list of new books I would want to look into.

While I know the book’s premise was to relate our relationship issues to our favorite novels, I wish they hadn’t. I didn’t want someone to tell me about a book I could honestly find out about myself.

I’m finding that like most “self-help” books, like I thought this one turned out to be, are boring. Some are funny and some are just plain annoying. Telling us what is wrong with today’s relationships, if we didn’t know  already.

I may be a little harsh here, but I’m not sure I’d recommend this book, I just thought it was boring and struggled to finish it, I honestly have to admit I skimmed the end, because I had had enough.  I do think if you do choose to read this book, that you take with you a notepad and pen and start making a list of the books they mention.

I also found them to be repetitive.  I believe, and I could be mistaken that they talked about the same topics more than once.  I don’t have much more to say about this book, so I am going to leave you here. I will be back shortly to introduce my March book! Stay tuned.

Until next time…

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