Book Review | Sometimes Sneezing Hurts: The Journal of a Divorced Bachelor by C. Sleek

sometimes sneezing hurts.jpgWritten in diary form, Sometimes Sneezing Hurts reveals Sleek’s dating life as he approaches his 40th birthday. As a divorced bachelor he shares custody of his 12 year old daughter, works a 9-5 job with side gigs, and still finds plenty of time to match with chicks on Tinder while banging a string of them. Readers who shuttered at that last sentence won’t be able to handle this book.

The story is interesting from the beginning, but after a while it drags a bit. It’s a little challenging to keep the seemingly endless string of females straight. Some readers will be captivated by hearing what goes on inside the mind of a male serial dater, while others may just be put off. Certain people may also be able to gain something from the author’s shared experiences. The edition I read would have benefited from an editor catching a couple of textual errors.

I received a Kindle ebook edition of this book as a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the author/publisher for participating in the giveaway. *Fans of Sometimes Sneezing Hurts may be interested in We’ll Sleep When We’re Old by Pino Corrias (2017). 

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Book Review | Mindfulness for the Mindless by John Burley

Mindfulness for the Mindless cover.jpgAs mindfulness becomes more popular, introductory texts such as this one are quite advantageous. Mindfulness for the Mindless in particular is an accessible read for all audiences, written in a casual style. Burley’s goal of sharing a summation of what he has learned about the definition and practice of mindfulness is clearly attained within this quick read. Readers will gain an understanding of what being mindful means, how mindfulness may benefit them, and further, brief introductions to several forms of meditation. Burley includes an extensive list of further reading, which could be helpful for those wanting to pursue additional specific topics. Perhaps I received an early edition, but my copy was in need of a good editing. There were a few repetitions and grammatical errors that may have been fixed in later editions. At present, only one library reports holdings for this text.

I received an ebook version as a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the author/publisher for participating in the giveaway.

For further reading, adults dealing with or overcoming trauma may appreciate the insights offered in To Lose the Madness : Field Notes on Trauma, Loss and Radical Authenticity by L.M. Browning (2018).

Book Review | Be Mindful and Stress Less: 50 Ways to Deal with Your (Crazy) Life by Gina Biegel

be mindfull stress less cover This little book is packed full of tips and tactics aimed at a YA audience for being mindful and stressing less. The book’s tips are certainly helpful and it offers an accessible introduction to mindfulness that would be applicable to readers of any age. While the chapters are very short, making the book easy to pick up or put down, as a whole it may be a bit more of an undertaking for a teen than the author intended. Lots of acronyms are included that list out processes for dealing with certain situations, but it could be hard to keep them all straight. Likely, this book could be used as a type of handbook to be referenced in various stressful situations. A helpful appendix also spells out a list of which processes may be helpful to individuals “actively working with a disability” (p.199). Check it out from a library near you.

I received a copy of this book as a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the author/publisher for participating in the giveaway.

For further reading, adults dealing with or overcoming trauma may appreciate the insights offered in To Lose the Madness : Field Notes on Trauma, Loss and Radical Authenticity by L.M. Browning (2018).

Book Review | So Happiness to Meet You: Foolishly, Blissfully Stranded in Vietnam by Karin Esterhammer

so happiness to meet you cover.jpgAfter the recession hits their Los Angeles family hard, Karin, Robin and their adopted son Kai move to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Though they’ve touristed there before, the story of becoming residents in a district where they are the only non-natives is eye-opening. While Robin is able to secure a job teaching English, Karin is left to home school Kai, do freelance work and take care of their home while befriending the neighbors.

Esterhammer’s background in writing makes this book a delightful read. Feelings, humor and challenging situations are shared with great insight and tact. The memoir is a very entertaining and quick read, with frequent chapter breaks, making it easy to pick up and put down. It would be especially appealing to those who love to travel and/or experience other cultures. Check it out from a library near you.

I received a copy of this book as a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the author/publisher for participating in the giveaway. *Fans of So Happiness to Meet You: Foolishly, Blissfully Stranded in Vietnam may be interested in Songs of the Baka and Other Discoveries by Dennis James (2017). 

Book Review | To Lose the Madness : Field Notes on Trauma, Loss and Radical Authenticity by L.M. Browning

to lose the madness cover.jpgIncorporating beautiful photographs from her travels to the Southwest, Browning’s mini-memoir focuses on her experience with post traumatic stress disorder. To Lose the Madness reveals events that led up to Browning’s breaking point and discusses ways she tried to work through her trauma, ultimately explaining what it all meant to her. Without asking for sympathy, this account lays undergone hardships bare for the reader in a manner the author terms “radical authenticity”.

More of an essay, this memoir reveals a very personal struggle. It conveys the idea that not all trauma can be worked through or simply left behind. Browning stresses the importance of being able to carry one’s trauma with grace. Readers who have experienced similar losses or attempted to overcome their own mental health issues will certainly be able to relate to many of the passages in this text. It is a well-written, thought-provoking, quick read. Check it out from a library near you.

I received a copy of this book as a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the author/publisher for participating in the giveaway.

Book Review | Aroused : The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything by Randi Hutter Epstein

aroused cover.jpgI went into this book thinking that it might explain to me why certain people are attracted to each other, but that was not what it was about. Instead, Aroused consists of gathered scientific anecdotes and topical research on various hormones and their effects on humans. Each of the book’s chapters focuses on a different piece of the hormonal puzzle. This table of contents provides a clearer picture: 1. The fat bride 2. Hormones … as we may call them 3. Pickled brains 4. Killer hormones 5. The virile vasectomy 6. Soul mates in sex hormones 7. Making gender 8. Growing up 9. Measuring the immeasurable 10. Growing pains 11. Hotheads : the mysteries of menopause 12. Testosterone endopreneurs 13. Oxytocin : that lovin’ feeling 14. Transitioning 15. Insatiable : the hypothalamus and obesity. While a reader may still have questions, rest assured, Epstein will address them all.

This text is written for all audiences. While many of the topics covered are complex and scientific, Epstein has written about them in an approachable way, even for someone with little or no scientific background knowledge. By choosing interesting individual anecdotes to focus on, she draws the reader into each of the hormonal topics. Chapters are of reasonable length, making the book easy to pick up and put down. The reader is sure to gain new knowledge, while also finding herself laughing aloud from time to time. Check out this informative and entertaining read from a library near you.

*Fans of Aroused, may be interested in the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

Book Review | The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter by Margareta Magnusson

death cleaning.jpgIt sounds a bit odd to read a book on the topic of death cleaning, but this little volume is a helpful and thought-provoking piece, which may serve as the welcoming introduction some older folks need. It makes a lot of sense when getting on in years to decrease some of the clutter that may have accumulated over a long life. By whittling away at this cleaning process, heirs may be saved the daunting task of having to rid the recently deceased’s house of years of stuff.

Magnusson provides basic direction for how to undertake such a cleaning by dividing it into more manageable parts. She explains how this project can create positive feelings in both the cleaner and the recipients of the aged person’s belongings as they are passed on. While dealing with a sometimes sensitive subject in death, Magnusson keeps a light and effective tone by incorporating brief personal anecdotes. At times the book even leads to a quick giggle. Some advice was so helpful I immediately passed it on to someone I thought would benefit. This book is certainly recommended for those later in years who may be downsizing or preparing for a more permanent end, but also to those who may be dealing with parents in such situations. Check out this quick and entertaining read from a library near you.

*Fans of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, may be interested in the book Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by García & Miralles.