Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Review: Peak Performance!!: Awaken and Achieve

Peak Performance!!: Awaken and Achieve Peak Performance!!: Awaken and Achieve by Alan Sullivan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The thing that stayed with me from this book is "know yourself". In Peak Performance!!, Alan Sullivan teaches the reader both that they should accept themselves, flaws and all, and that personal improvement is well within our grasp. That acceptance of ourselves does not mean overlooking improvements to be made. The reader gets a real sense of what it means to bare yourself and expose limitations that he or she are probably mostly unaware of. Social, spiritual, and even self-imposed constraints that have been in our own way all along are discussed along with steps that can be taken to remove the most burdensome from our lives completely. There is talk of Eastern vs Western ideals without coming down negatively on either one.

Peak Performance!! is written in layman's terms about themes in this genre in a way that doesn't turn off those readers who aren't immersed in self-help and spiritualism. That may not seem like such a big deal but for me, it it. There's nothing I loathe more than to feel I'm being talked down to when I've taken the uncomfortable action of reaching for a self-help book.

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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Why isn't reading hereditary?

My kids act like my love of reading is an affront to them specifically. As if I enjoy reading purely to irritate them. Do you know how many times I'd wished my mother had sent me to my room to read when I'd pissed her off?

Let me set the stage for ya. The 2nd Hunger Games movie is on and Aidan is watching. Cinna appears on screen and I whimper a little because, well... if you know, you KNOW. Aidan looks over at me and says, 'what?' 

What? Oh my god, kid, I'll tell you WHAT!

They do carry half  of my DNA, correct? I mean, that's how it works, right? So why... no, HOW IN THE EVER LOVING HELL do they both hate to read???  I just find it wholly unfair. I don't begrudge them their father's affinity for math despite my reaching for a mug of broken glass and seltzer water to gurgle when I think about it. They complain about being bored when there is an entire Happy Potter library at their disposal, yet balk at the suggestion that reading might actually entertain them. 

God, I can't even comprehend the bull-headedness so securely centered in my sons. I'd be remiss to mention that I, myself, am not stubborn or contrary  in any way and therefore have obviously no culpability in tat particular aspect of their personality. Just ask my husband...

Friday, December 28, 2018

Review: The Rooster Bar

The Rooster Bar The Rooster Bar by John Grisham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I keep waiting for Grisham to run out of lawyer tales but apparently he's still going strong. The Rooster Bar had a lot of fun with the emails from each character to the student loan sharks, I loved those parts. Antics the characters get up to are clever, as usual. And speaking of the characters, these law students are each flawed to the point of being criminals themselves. I didn't have too much sympathy for them despite the sham they fell victim to. Apparently many people had a hard time with this book because they hated the characters and/or the things the characters did. Who says you have to be the president of their fan club? I managed to enjoy the story and the characters regardless. There is a satisfying wrap up to the story, something a few other Grisham novels failed to provide.

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Sunday, December 23, 2018

Review: Smart Marketing for Indie Authors: How I Sold my First 1,563 Books and Counting!

Smart Marketing for Indie Authors: How I Sold my First 1,563 Books and Counting! Smart Marketing for Indie Authors: How I Sold my First 1,563 Books and Counting! by Mike Kowis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Smart Marketing for Indie Authors: How I Sold my First 1,563 Books and Counting! I wish you could see my deadpan/really face right now; you know the gif of the kid's school picture where they make the eyes blink slowly to portray how not amused you are with something? That's me right now after having to type out that title. Kowis forgot to include 'Don't make your title fifteen words long' or 'If your title requires a colon, it's too long' in his 'What NOT to do' chapter but he's a lawyer so being needlessly wordy is in his genes, right?

Okay, now that I've worked the snark out, Smart Marketing is... well, smart. Also a bit thick with common sense but sometimes writers are too blinded by the love of their craft to think logically beyond the act of telling a story. Here is a step by step, clearly stated playbook to keep the indie author on the right track. I am interested in reading future reviews to see if other authors have had success with the advice given by Mr. Kowis.

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Review: Attribution: The Screenplay

Attribution: The Screenplay Attribution: The Screenplay by Christine Horner
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Based on the summary, this story has both aspects I gravitate toward and ones that I have a tendency to back away from. I'm all for the underdog, the disgraced character who musters the courage to overcome an injustice from some deep rooted sense of loyalty. A backdrop of doom for humanity via some plague, horrific natural disaster or, as is the case here, a global water crisis usually makes for an action filled adventure that I enjoy. Where my focus tends to fade is in the futuristic, sci-fi genre that Attribution seemed almost surely to be despite the date being a couple short decades ahead.

The author's intro in Attribution: The Screenplay drew me in quickly. I felt like I connected with Christine Horner on the writer level and just knew I was going to love this novel in screenplay format despite trying and giving up on several screenplays before. Oh how I wish it had happened that way! I want to be able to say how much I loved this character or hated that one. I'd like to be able to tell you that the action was thrilling and the world portrayed was rich and detailed. I can't say any of those things because apparently I am a reader who cannot read screenplays. That is not the fault of the author, this may be an award winning screenplay, I've no idea. What I can say is that the plot of this story in fascinating and I wish I had been able to see past the format to experience it.

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