Posts Tagged ‘non-fiction’

Book Review: The Gratitude Diaries

Monday, February 15th, 2016

The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your LifeThe Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life by Janice Kaplan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Simply put, I enjoyed this book.

I am not much of a self-help reader, but this year, I decided to set aside my pride and try a few that appeal to me. Many of them I don’t even finish, because they all seem to be written by spoiled brats who don’t know how good they really have it. Their life is full of multiple homes, travel, money, fame, and more, but their lives are somehow so miserable, that they despair at missing out on some enlightenment.

I can’t relate to that.

This book is also written by a spoiled woman, except that she realizes that she’s spoiled, and decides to spend a year learning to be grateful. Rather than trying to change the circumstances of her life, she seeks to learn how to express and feel gratitude for what’s right in front of her.

This is an approach I can get behind!

She didn’t need a fully funded trip around the world eating, praying and loving. She didn’t need other people to stroke her ego, guide her onto new spiritual plains, or tell her comforting lies over really great food. She realized that it is her responsibility to find her own joy and happiness within the life she has been given.

She also realizes that gratitude allows you the wisdom to see circumstances that might need to change, and the courage to make those changes herself.

Breath of fresh air.

The best part? She doesn’t claim to hold the keys to happiness. She just shares her research and personal journey. And I believe her year of gratitude was genuine, and it’s going to stick, and she’s really going to be better for it.

I appreciated her approach, her conversational writing style, and her humility.

She comes across kind of big-sistery at times, even though she’s the little sister in her family. But even that made me appreciate her more, because I related so strongly.

I’m glad I read it, and I think I can apply what I learned from it.

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Book Review: “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert

Monday, December 21st, 2015

This book did not even have enough substance to allow me to hate it. It was just…nothing. Nothing at all.

Eat, Pray, LoveEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This book is way overrated. I couldn’t even finish it, which is saying something. I hate not finishing a book.

She gets one star purely for writing style, which I really like. She’s funny, accessible, and honest.

Other than that, I found it shallow, privileged, and self-centered. There are a lot of neat anecdotes (Luca Spaghetti, anyone?), and some nice insights, but not much else.

I get that this was all about her, but it was ALL ABOUT HER. And that just gets boring after awhile.

I finally gave up when she “learns” that Heaven and Hell are the exact same place. That you get to it via happiness or trouble. Ummm…that is the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard. Utter poppycock.

I didn’t expect to read anything that was in agreement with my own theology and worldview, but I expected a window into the soul of someone different from myself, and perhaps gain insight into why people seek fulfillment in eastern religions. I still don’t get it. Maybe I never will. And maybe I just don’t need to have that insight. Or perhaps I should read a biography of the Dalai Llama instead of the ramblings a self-centered, privileged person like the author.

And that’s pretty much it. Well-written, sincere, accessible, honest, selfish nonsense.

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30 Days of Thanksgiving, Day 4: Midwifery Books

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

I am so thankful for the abundance of excellent midwifery texts that I can use for a self-paced academic study as I walk out my apprenticeship. Without such material, my education as a midwife would be sadly lacking. I value a balance between the experiential nature of my apprenticeship and academic knowledge, because this balance lays a solid foundation for me to establish a safe, healthy practice as a CPM someday.

That said, here is my short review of the very first midwifery text I have finished reading, cover to cover. Next up? Anne Frye’s Holistic Midwifery Vol. 1. All 73-bajillion pages of it.

Heart and Hands: A Midwife's Guide to Pregnancy and BirthHeart and Hands: A Midwife’s Guide to Pregnancy and Birth by Elizabeth Davis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Being my first ever midwifery text, I am glad for Elizabeth Davis’ writing style. It flowed so well, affirmed so much I have already learned during my apprenticeship, and expanded my knowledge on even the most basic of topics. I think it’s the perfect first book for anyone contemplating whether midwifery could be their calling.

I think it had a good, logical flow, with excellent supplementary charts throughout, as well as a few basic “case study” style stories to illustrate concepts outlined more academically.

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What are you thankful for today?

Grace & Peace,