Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook by Ann Crile Esselstyn and Jane Esselstyn

I bought The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook by Ann Crile Esselstyn and Jane Esselstyn when it was released in 2014. I've used it several times though there are several recipes in it I've yet to make. Most of the recipes are quite easy to make and offering interesting flavors. It's a wonderful cookbook for those just starting on a plant-based diet or those looking to add some simple but tasty recipes to their plant-based diet. I've made some of the recipes for friends who quite enjoyed the food even though they haven't adopted a plant-based diet. The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook offers a nice variety of recipes to appeal to differing moods and taste preferences offering options for me to keep trying .

Thursday, April 12, 2018

How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job by Sally Halgesen and Marshall Goldsmith

How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith examines the habits women tend to develop that work in one part of their careers but don't translate well to other parts. Based on their years of experience coaching both men and women as well as research into women and men in the workplace, they've honed in on habits that women tend to adopt that men don't necessarily adopt while also referencing that both men and women develop habits that can stymie their advances in their careers. While there are moments the book feels a bit overly generalized, Helgesen and Marshall readily admit that there are women who don't adopt these habits and men that do. They deal with tendencies and how to address those tendencies rather than absolutes. One thing that sets How Women Rise apart from many self-help books is that it doesn't approach the subject from the concept of the broken or inadequate women. It fully acknowledges that many of the habits women need to change worked for them to get them to where they are even if they don't offer them the platform to move up to the next position. Most women who are looking to rise in the careers, and even those who are self-employed but find they'd like more out of their careers than they're getting, will likely benefit from reading How Women Rise because Helgesen and Goldsmith look at the bad habits from an approachable and honest point of view that gives insight as well as actions to be taken to turn bad habits into good habits.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

One Good Dog by Susan Wilson

One Good Dog by Susan Wilson shows the power of connection to change lives and bring us to our best selves. I found it really hard to sympathize with Adam March's loss of wealth and social standing even as his story progressed through facing his losses and dealing with a past that he'd worked so hard to suppress he'd adopted the role of the man he wanted to be instead of the man he was. In fact, I related more with the chapters told the dog's point of view. I felt his pain. I felt his desire to change. I felt his will to survive. I felt his need to serve a purpose. The dog represented everything I wanted to feel for March but struggled to feel. Wilson pulled me into the lives of the characters to the point I wanted to influence their decisions and push them to do the right thing. One Good Dog illustrates how easy it is to let perception lead to biases based on the superficial parts of life. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality by Sarah McBride

Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality by Sarah McBride tempted me to expand my reading time day after day as I read Sarah's story of coming to terms with who she was, her love story with Andy, and her unquenchable thirst for seeking equality and social justice not only for the Transgender Community but for all those who are disenfranchised. Her story made my heart ache for all those people who have resigned themselves to living identities that don't fit just to fit in in the world and to stay safe. McBride immerses the reader in her fears that living as her true self would diminish her possibilities for the career in government that intrigued her as well as her journey as she faced those fears and sought out opportunities to seek change within the government and society as a whole. Her hope for the future inspired me to remain hopeful even when things appear hopeless. Tomorrow Will Be Different is as much a love story as a story of the fights most of us are too privileged to ever notice taking place. McBride's story touched my heart and my mind in ways I didn't quite expect reminding me how important it is to approach life with an open heart and a willingness to seek both understanding and knowledge. Tomorrow Will Be Different touched that place in me that longs for the day when we as a society find a way to truly understand that no matter our differences, we have far more in common than not. Stories like Sarah McBride's gives me hope that she's right... That tomorrow really will be different...

Monday, March 26, 2018

Fierce on the Page: Become the Writer You were to Be and Succeed on Your own Terms by Sage Cohen

Fierce on the Page: Become the Writer You Were Meant to Be and Succeed on Your Own Terms by Sage Cohen gently, steadily, and apologetically pushes writers to recognize, embrace, and project their fierceness onto the page. Cohen offers short essays, stories, and anecdotal evidence of the techniques she describes for finding one's own inner fierceness. I opted to do the exercises in the book as well as read it and found they deepened the experience quite a bit. Most are simple writing exercises that take only a few minutes to do though a few are more intensive. All of the exercises are thought and/or emotion provoking, some more than others. I decided to treat the book like a class and do one chapter a day until I completed it. That worked well for me and gave me time to really digest each chapter before delving into the next. Sometimes I couldn't resist peeking ahead to see what was coming up. Cohen writes in a fiercely engaging way that feels vulnerable and strong at the same time. Her guidance feels gentle even with its emphasis on the idea of being fierce on the page. I often discovered myself smiling at the little insights she shared about her life that also gave insight into who she is as a writer. Fierce on the Page reminded me that I be both fierce and gentle with my writing because the key is to be true to myself and the message I want to convey to the world. Fierce on the Page is for any writer who wants to write fiercely enough to let the world hear their roar!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon (A Falcon Guide) by Adam Sawyer

I've been using Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon (A Falcon Guide) by Adam Sawyer to find hiking trails leading to waterfalls for several years now. I really like this guide because it provides good directions to the trailheads as well good descriptions of the hikes and what to expect on the hikes. The maps of the trails are also quite nice providing a realistic idea of what the hike will entail. The photos are nicely done and add a bit of enticement for many of the hikes. The estimated time the hikes will take are fairly accurate though this does depend on one's fitness ability. I'm not sure how accurate the difficulty scale is because I think there's a large amount of subjectivity involved again. I found some of the easy hikes more difficult than I expected and some of the difficult hikes easier than I expected. Overall, though, this is my go-to guide when I'm searching for a hike, particularly because I love hikes that include waterfalls.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

In the Beauty of the Lilies by John Updike

In the Beauty of the Lilies by John Updike explores ideology and the intense effects of releasing beliefs as well as clinging to them. Updike drops the reader into the life of the Wilmot family and follows the family through four generations of belief and life demonstrating the strong effects of society on belief and belief on society. In the Beauty of the Lilies pulled me into the middle of the Wilmot family making me feel invested in their decisions even when I didn't particularly like a character in a given moment. His characters are deeply flawed individuals who also exhibit admirable qualities. There's a sense of watching human strength and human frailty battle each other in the internal workings of the characters as well as in their interactions with one another. Updike writes in a prose that feels like it inhabits his characters and their lives with page after page that strike the moods and attitudes of the character whose point of view is front and center. In the Beauty of the Lilies demonstrates clearly the ripple effect of our actions not only through the present but also into the future as consequences pass from one generation to the next.