Monday, November 16, 2009

Get a Life That Doesn't Suck: 10 Surefire Ways to Live Life and Love the Ride Get a Life That Doesn't Suck: 10 Surefire Ways to Live Life and Love the Ride by Michelle DeAngelis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A refreshing take on a self help book that, while it doesn't necessarily teach anything new and noteworthy, it teaches all the things we should know in a way that's refreshingly digestible and immediately applicable.

The summary from the book cover, which explains it pretty well (although the claims *may* be a little over generous for what it delivers...):
Life can really suck. But it doesn't have to. This book offers a better way to live every day.

Engaging and encouraging, Get a Life That Doesn't Suck: 10 Surefire Ways to Live Life and Love the Ride explains how ill-equipped most people are to deal with the challenges in life and then introduces foundational tools and effective techniques to take you from crappy to happy. By providing the specific "mechanics" to joy, Michelle shows that joy is a repeatable by-product of living your life in integrity and of making conscious choices every day that kick misery, worry and guilt to the curb.

For anyone who is bored, disenchanted, or in despair, this book serves up a combination of street-smart wisdom and cheerful irreverence and shows you how to enjoy the "ride of your life," regardless of the roadblocks along the way.

With this book you can:

•Close the gap between your dreams and your real life
•Learn very specific techniques to make the best of every situation
•Get the importance of saying what you mean and doing what you say
•Learn how to thoughtfully respond instead of react to tricky situations
•Master the 10 Life-Changing Ahas - daily actions that improve your life
•Get the tools you need to manage yourself and make life easier
•Um, get a life that doesn't suck!

Check out another synopsis of the content here:

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Monday, November 9, 2009

TV for your brain, take 2

The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1) The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I'll just get this out there: James Patterson is not one of my favorite authors. His books, which are typically formula-driven without a whole lot of originality, are typically perfect candidates for a made for TV movie. So it probably goes without saying that I wasn't expecting Pulitzer-esque writing.

My husband, who lovingly loaded this free book into my Kindle, thought this would be a great bridge between the mass market novels he likes to read and my current infatuation with Young Adult books. And he was sort of right: the story was one that was written pretty well (in YA formula). And though it was entirely predictable, I became invested in the characters, so much so that I think I MIGHT read another Maximum Ride novel. But first, I have to read something more pressing on my nightstand. (It may be awhile)

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sex, love and Vichyssoise

Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
What a cute book. This book is a must for anyone who is a blogger and knows about the challenges of daily posting and the exhilaration of reading encouraging words from Internet strangers. The way Julie's story develops and intertwines with Julia Child's life, and the evolution of a basic cook that everyone can relate to who ends the book being able to make a nearly perfect pastry is a nice wrap up to the whole story.

It's also a great book about obsessions and symbolism. Julie compares her thrill in reading Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French cooking to her sneaking and reading The Joy of Sex behind closed doors when she was a younger girl, before she knew what sex was.

And in a way, she's right: French cooking is somehow mysterious and seems seductive in a way that makes the simplest dishes into gourmet meals. Take,for example, Vichyssoise. The English translation is cold potato leek soup. Yet the simplistic deliciousness makes it something I don't hesitate to share with the pickiest company. Also, it rolls off your tongue much better. Isn't it sexier to say "Vichyssoise" than "cold potato leek soup". (Plus it's really, really, REALLY good).

I'm looking forward to seeing the movie and will post an update to the review then. Until then, try the Vichyssoise. You won't be disappointed.

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