Lessons of the Turtle – Book Review


“Turtle slips and slides and finally ends upside-down, certain he will die. But while on his back, he learns valuable lessons about how to manage his life. He learns that things really can be different.”

What a delightful book! A friend of mine donated a box of books to our local library and said I could read any before they were donated. Lessons of the Turtle: Living Right Side Up is one of the books I chose to read. I am glad I did.

The book is of course based on a parable but the story teaches us, “our lives do matter. We can be truly happy. We can make needed changes. And we can live fully – when we decide to live right side up.”

The book has six lessons illustrating the acronym C-H-A-N-G-E. The letters stand for:

* Choice




* Goals

* Energy.

This is a sweet, uplifting book that reminds us that we make choices every day that affect the lives we live. It also reminded me that often if we take small steps every day, we will eventually reach our goals.

Another thing I enjoyed was writing down my aspirations. The author lists 8 life areas and then invites the reader to write an affirmation (a dream or wish of what you want for that topic).

Here is the list:


*Work & Finance

*Spiritual Life

*Service to Others

*Mind & Body




If you have the time today or this week, try it. Write down what you wish for each topic. Just write down what you dream of.

So many times in my life I have written down things, forgotten about them, and then later realized what I had dreamed of became a reality.

Have a wonderful week!

A Book for Aspiring Writers (and also experienced writers!)

Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel.

This is a great book for anyone who is wanting to, or perhaps already, writing a book. Just to give you an example of what this book is about and the tone, here is what you will find when you open the cover: Story Genius: How to use brain science to go beyond outlining and write a riveting novel. (*Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere).

This author is funny. I enjoyed her writing style. I found the book very useful. Writing a book can be challenging; and, writing a good book can be daunting. Cron makes a good case for why writers should follow her advice.

The book is broken up into three parts. 1.) What a story is, and what it isn’t, 2.) Creating the inside story, and 3.) Creating an external gauntlet to spur your protagonist’s internal struggle.

This book is basically a how-to text for writers. It’s well done and I recommend it.

You can find this book at Penguin Random House or Amazon.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for writing this review.

The Night Before Christmas Book Review


This is a children’s picture book based on the Christmas classic by Clement Clarke Moore. There is a slight twist in the story because on Christmas Eve Santa visits a family of bears.

The illustrations in this book are so well done! It honestly is a joy to read and look at. I can see how small children would enjoy this book very much. I read it electronically, and I can imagine kids viewing it on a tablet and swiping the screen themselves.

This book is very reasonably priced and can be found at:


Barnes & Noble


*I was given the opportunity to read and review this book by the book’s publisher.


The Happiness of Pursuit – Book Review

the happiness of pursuit


I was excited to get this book and start reading it. I admire the author for visiting every country in the world – so impressive! The author starts off by telling a personal story. He ends the prologue by explaining the lessons he learned in his ten-year journey.

He believes adventure is for everyone and offers criteria that defines a quest:

*A quest has a clear goal and a specific end point.

*A quest presents clear challenge.

*A quest requires sacrifice of some kind.

*A quest is often driven by a calling or sense of mission.

*A quest requires a series of small steps and incremental progress toward the goal.

The book is 17 chapters and is broken up into three parts. At times I felt the book didn’t flow well and was somewhat tedious. I enjoyed the real life experiences that the author writes about. I just wish the material would have been presented in a more linear fashion. The book has a lot of information in it, but to me it didn’t feel organized well.  I did very much like the three appendices. Some of the quests he writes about I could relate to and others not at all.

It is an interesting book, and I like that it’s nonfiction. People have accomplished some amazing feats, for sure. For example, walking across the United States, a teenage girl who sailed the world’s oceans on a 38-foot sailboat, living in a tree for a year to protest illegal logging, cooking a meal from every country in the world, and running 250 marathons in a single year, to name a few. It did not make me want to start a quest, but it did motivate and inspire me in other ways.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

A Wonderful Read in the Month of June or Any Month!!


Having read Miranda Beverly-Whittemore’s book Bittersweet, and thoroughly enjoying it, I had a good feeling I would enjoy her new book June as well. She is a talented writer and this is such a good story.
What would you do if you inherited an old, neglected mansion and had very little funds to fix it up? What if you lost your grandma who raised you, broke up with your boyfriend, left the big city and your career, and moved to a small town in Ohio? Would you be depressed? Cassie, one of the main characters felt quite depressed when she found herself in this situation. However, she couldn’t remain this way for long because one day there is someone at the door who informs her she has just inherited a vast fortune from a famous movie star. From this moment her life will be changed forever.
This novel travels back and for between June 2015 and June 1955. The author does a brilliant job of taking the reader on an amazing journey with twists and turns and just when the reader thinks she know what’s going on, a surprise awaits her. It’s a wonderful read!
Surely I am not the only person that feels a little sad when a book is coming to a close. This book could definitely be a page turner, but I savored it. If you enjoy a book that has well developed characters, an interesting plot, a nice bit of diversity, and twists and turns, this is the book for you.

Also, I must mention the stately home, Two Oaks, is at the heart of the story. This is such an interesting read, and I highly recommend it.

More Info.

Author Bio.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


Book Review of The More of Less

the more of less

Joshua Becker is the creator of BecomingMinimalist.com . I enjoy reading his posts and I believe in his philosophy of living a more abundant life by owning less.

Becker’s newest book, The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own, is a good read. Although I have been simplifying my life for several years now, I still found good points throughout the book.

It states in the book, “There is more joy to be found in owning less than can ever be found in pursuing more. ” The author claims that if we practice the principles of minimalism taught in this book, we can experience: more time and energy, more money, more generosity, more freedom, less stress, less distraction, less environmental impact, higher-quality belongings, a better example for our kids, less work for someone else, less comparison, and more contentment.

There are personal stories shared throughout the book, but the book primarily offers advice on how to become a minimalist on one’s own terms and the numerous benefits that come from making this change in our lives.

I also appreciated the last part of the book where the author talks about how we can give to others once we reach the stage in our lives where we have more time, energy, and money due to our new lifestyle.

More info.

Author Bio.

*I received this advance reading copy from Blogging for Books for this review.


Book Review of Big Magic!

big magic

I loved this book! I bought it for a close friend of mine who is a talented artist. I thought she would like the book. I knew when I bought it that I would read it first. If I had the wherewithal, I would buy this book for every friend I know who has any spark of creativity in them. And, really, who doesn’t?

Most people know the author, Elizabeth Gilbert, from Eat, Pray, Love. In her newest book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, she claims:

“Creativity is sacred, and it is not sacred. What we make matters enormously, and it doesn’t matter at all. We toil alone, and we are accompanied by spirits. We are terrified, and we are brave. Art is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege. The work wants to be made, and it wants to be made through you.”

I found this book encouraging, helpful, delightful, loving, and just plain terrific. She really gets to the point of how we can let go of our fears and emotional drama, and just create for the love of creating.

 Big Magic was fun to read and I highly recommend it.

Book Review!

I love this book! It’s beautifully written and illustrated. I think it’s important in life to keep learning and growing. This book taught me things I had never even thought about before.

In the introduction the authors state, “Bee gardens make people happy! Whether you enjoy a brilliant chorus of saturated color, a tranquil sanctuary from the busy world, or a hardworking edible garden, there is a glorious, flower-filled bee garden waiting for you.”

This book is broken up into six chapters: 1 – Our Friends, the Bees; 2 – Plants for Your Bee-Friendly Garden; 3 – Bee-Friendly Plants for Edible Gardens; 4 – Bee Garden Basics; 5 – Designing Your Bee Garden; and 6 – Beyond Your Own Backyard – Becoming a Bee Activist.

The back of the book offers resources, regional plant lists, photography credits, and an index

I love nature, and I honestly have never given bees or insects much thought. After reading this book, I can see the powerful role bees play in our lives. I plan to implement some of these terrific ideas into my own yard.

This is a well thought out, beautifully designed, and helpful book.


*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Book Review!~

a 50 year silenceAs so often happens with books I become engrossed in, I don’t want the book to end. It took me a couple of weeks to read this book. The author, Miranda Richmond Mouillot, takes on the daunting task of trying to solve the mystery of why her grandparents didn’t talk for Fifty years.

In the Preface she writes, “In the ten years it took to write everything down, my grandmother died and my grandfather lost his mind. I got married and had a child. I abandoned my intended career, moved to another country, and spent my savings. And the house, which may or may not have started it all, continued to fall down.

But still I was afraid to begin, for this is a story about a silence, and how do you break a silence that is not your own?”

This book is part love story, part memoir, and part historical. The author’s grandparents are holocaust survivors. She is incredibly close to her grandmother and becomes a savior for her grandfather. Through a tremendous amount of time, energy, and research a story is unfolded to the reader. Each person will take something different from her story. For me, it was heartbreaking and healing at the same time. I enjoyed the book because it was creative nonfiction. These are real people who I got to know through reading this book.  It was exciting, suspenseful, and hopeful; and in the end, I felt the author had to write this book for her own well-being.

I recommend this book.

More Info.

Author Bio.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


Book Review

tiny beautiful thingsSeveral years ago I read the book Wild  written by Cheryl Strayed. When the movie came out, I made sure I went to see it. I was familiar with the online site The Rumpushowever I didn’t know they had an advice column called Dear Sugar, and I didn’t know Cheryl Strayed was the writer giving advice.

When this book was loaned to me, I was warned that some of the subject matter was a little rough, but that it was a good book. This turned out to be a quite accurate description.

I am glad I read this book for many reasons. I don’t believe there is a single person on this earth who does not go through difficult times. When we do, we need a place to turn. Dear Sugar gives some very good advice. She is kind, honest, genuine, insightful, and gets straight to the heart of things. Often she makes her point through telling a story from her own life.

If you are looking for a book about real life situations and real advice on how to handle these situations, this is the book for you. It definitely made me think and grow from reading it.