Category: Self-Help

Facehooked

December 16, 2014 non-fiction, Review, Self-Help 10 ★★

FacehookedTitle: Facehooked
Author: Suzana E. Flores
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:two-stars

Summary: The anecdotes in this book were fascinating but the information was both obvious enough to be boring and not obvious enough to justify the nearly complete lack of citations.

I love books about the way technology affects our lives, so I was excited to hear what psychologist Suzana Flores thought about the way Facebook can influence our mental health. After noticing that many of her clients had Facebook related complaints, Dr. Flores began interviewing people specifically about their experiences with Facebook.  In Facehooked, she shares many of the stories she heard, discusses some of the problems she believes Facebook can cause, and offers some advice for fighting bad Facebook habits. Read more »

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My Thinning Years – Review and Giveaway

September 23, 2014 LGBT, Memoir, non-fiction, Psychology, Review, Self-Help 10 ★★★★★

My Thinning Years – Review and GiveawayTitle: My Thinning Years
Author: Jon Derek Croteau
Source: TLC Book Tours
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: This was a tough read, but also engaging and eye-opening.

It was clear from an early age that Jon was not the athletic, all-American boy his father wanted him to be. His father responded with fear and hate, trying to change Jon with physical and emotional abuse. As a teenager, Jon’s internalized homophobia caused him to continue abusing himself, with eating disorders and excessive, unhealthy amounts of exercise. Only years later, by cutting his father out of his life and out of his head, was he able to come to terms with his sexual identity and to recognize that he deserved to be happy. Read more »

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Some Non-Fiction Mini-Reviews

February 20, 2014 Biography, Memoir, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction, Science, Self-Help 6

7651620Title: The Husbands and Wives Club
Author: Laurie Abraham
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★☆

This is the story of five couples doing group marriage counseling and of one author who sat in on the sessions. I  liked that it became a story that was a little bit about the author too. This could easily have turned into a detached third-person narrative. Instead, it’s clear that the author connected with the couples, so it’s easy for the reader to connect too. That does make this some very unobjective non-fiction though. The author isn’t shy about inserting her own speculations about the couples’ feelings. However, she generally makes it clear when she’s speculating, so I didn’t mind too much. I think a similar fictional story could be a great character driven narrative, but I liked that this was non-fiction. It made the story more interesting that it was true. It made it easy for the author to hold information back without being manipulative because she shared information in the order she found it out. And of course, it made for a very believable story. This is in part due to the author’s ability to convey the personalities of the people involved, but I’m sure the fact that they were real people didn’t hurt either! Read more »

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What Are You Waiting For?

December 19, 2013 Memoir, non-fiction, Self-Help 5

17707883Title: What Are You Waiting For?
Author: Kristen Moeller
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: I like the author’s story a lot and would have loved this as a memoir, but the attempt at being a self-help book really didn’t work for me.

I find this book difficult to describe because I disagree with the book cover description. Purportedly, this is a book about how to change your life instead of waiting for your life to change. In reality, it largely focuses on the author’s own challenges throughout her life, from early drug addiction and bulimia to her recent loss of her house in a wildfire. She reframes many of these challenges as ways in which she was waiting for something. She also includes thought-provoking questions that challenge the reader to apply the lessons she’s learned to their own life. Read more »

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The Sh!t No One Tells You

November 29, 2013 Humor, Memoir, non-fiction, Self-Help 12

16073050Title: The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby’s First Year
Author: Dawn Dais
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: This was often funny but also had sections that contained really useful advice and heart-warming empathy for new mothers.

“There comes a time in every new mother’s life when she finds herself staring at her screaming, smelly “bundle of joy” and wishing someone had told her that her house would reek of vomit, or that she shouldn’t buy the cute onesies with a thousand impossible buttons, or that she might cry more than the baby….Eschewing the adorableness that oozes out of other parenting books, Dais offers real advice from real moms—along with hilarious anecdotes, clever tips, and the genuine encouragement every mom needs in order to survive the first year of parenthood.” (Source) Read more »

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Creative Confidence

October 29, 2013 non-fiction, Self-Help 4

17288649Title: Creative Confidence
Author: Tom and David Kelley
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Review Summary: Although this could be a very helpful book for people doing design work, I found the advice to be less generally applicable than the summary suggests.

The authors Tom and David Kelley work together at the Stanford design school, where they help both people and companies to think creatively. In Creative Confidence, they share their personal experiences with many clients as well as some of the exercises they use to help students improve their creativity. They are strong believers that everyone is creative and can learn to access their innate creativity. Read more »

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Hardwiring Happiness

October 8, 2013 non-fiction, Psychology, Self-Help 10

17288646Title: Hardwiring Happiness
Author: Rick Hanson
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Fun Fact: Things you think about often shape your neural pathways.
Review Summary: I only finished this book two days ago and I actually think it’s already making a difference for me because it gives such great actionable advice. Very helpful!

Hardwiring Happiness is all about focusing on the little things. It is not, however, just another one of those books telling you  “live in the moment” which are so popular these days. Instead, it focuses on events and feelings that you can pay attention to in order to build up the inner strength you need to face specific challenges. By focusing on positive experiences, you help yourself remember positive feelings more strongly, despite our brain naturally remembering negative experiences better. Read more »

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Lean In

September 26, 2013 non-fiction, Self-Help 8

16071764Title: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
Author: Sheryl Sandberg
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★★
Fun Fact: When shown resumes identical except for gender, people tend to consider the man more qualified.
Review Summary: I can’t promise everyone will love this book as much as I did, but the world would be a better place if everyone read it. Definitely an eye-opener!

It’s not often I agree completely with the hyperbole found in book cover blurbs, but Lean In is in fact both “an inspiring call to action and a blueprint for individual growth.” After getting in on the ground floor of Google and working as the chief operating officer at Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg has plenty of experience as a working a woman. She’s seen firsthand the challenges women face in the workplace, including the way women sometimes hold themselves back. This book includes some great advice for helping women overcome their own fears and others’ steretypes to become stronger participants and potential leaders in the workplace. Read more »

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Quiet: The Power of Introverts

May 15, 2013 non-fiction, Psychology, Science, Self-Help 2

Title: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
Author: Susan Cain
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★★
Fun Fact: Individual animals may also be categorized as introverts or extroverts.
Review Summary: This was fun, easy to read, enjoyable and educational. Also somewhat inspiring for us introverts 🙂

The stereotypical introvert is not viewed as someone who could be a great leader, lawyer, or salesperson. Susan Cain challenges that view with both fascinating research and enjoyable anecdotes. This research strongly suggests that society could benefit from the complementary strengths of extroverts and introverts. However, much of American society is designed to favor extroverts. Cain discusses why that is; why we should try to change it; and how we can begin doing so. Read more »

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