In Retrograde, the author takes you to a colony on Mars where astronauts, engineers, and other skilled experts are working for a space program. The protagonist is female and portrayed as compassionate, impetuous, and brave. I thought the beginning of the story was intriguing, watching characters from different countries getting to know each other on a foreign planet and finding shared ground through their work. After a disaster strikes earth that the colonists don’t know the true details of, the plot takes off. The author had an interesting concept behind his book, making you think twice about the type of threat the colonists are up against on Mars. His plot is extremely unpredictable, which I like. Unfortunately, the overall execution of the story felt lackluster, with the characters coming across as soggy, and missing edginess and depth. The characters’ main coping skill seemed to be to cry a lot in response to the dangers at hand, and the story was filled with awkward interactions and banter throughout. In my opinion, the education about Mars was also overdone, sometimes overtaking the chapters and diluting the plot. Also, at times, descriptions in the book made it difficult to take the story seriously. For example, there was an overemphasis on characters getting naked and putting on space clothes, donning adult diapers underneath their suits. At one point, the lead character strangely compares the group’s grunting while climbing Mars terrain to the sounds of a porn movie. Overall, the unique plot kept the story going, but the writing could have been more daring and cohesive to pack a greater punch.
One of my favorite kid’s books. It combines a cool message about health and individuality with a creative story, beautiful illustrations, and humor. I found this book at a school book fair years ago, and now I can read it to my kids who can’t look away. Camilla Cream is the lead character, and she has developed a case of stripes out of nowhere. Everyone seems to have an answer ready about how she can get rid of them, but who really knows the underlying root of her strange ailment? What ultimately helps her feel better? This book will entertain kids and parents, and it reminds us that real medicine is often hidden in plain sight and something that we are innately connected to.
This book is neat, tidy, uncluttered, and pure in its message. With two babies, clutter can become a bigger problem by the day. I found this book and immediately went to work with the author’s easy techniques. Namely, 1) everything at home should have a home; 2) if an area such as a cupboard or a drawer is already jam packed with stuff, that’s a problem and that space needs help; 3) if we’re just staring at a possession and know deep down we’ll never touch it again, it should probably move out somehow (by selling it, donating it, etc.). I love how the author tells you to calm down, and handle decluttering in manageable, even enjoyable chunks. My whole family, minus the babies unfortunately, have gotten into the action. The babies are on an opposite mission, but they’ll learn sometime… far down the road. I like the stress relieving feeling of enjoying a house with visible floors, walls, counters, and space. I also like being able to find stuff when I need it. Stuff isn’t bad, but too much useless and irrelevant stuff can be.
This is the parenting book I’ve been looking for! There are vulgarities throughout Bunmi’s humorous book, but that’s okay because being bad is challenging for parents to do and we need more of it. We’re so hard on ourselves and we tend to invite impossible expectations that pile on top of us day-to-day. The author is expert at pointing out how our kids don’t actually care about most of what we fret over. If you’ve thought your toddler is strange for seeking out recycled containers to play with over the toys you buy them, you’re not alone. This book tells it like it is when it comes to kids, rather than painting the parenting experience as the smooth, enlightened, peaceful, perpetually enriching, and lovely ride that we may hear about through social media or from other parents we interact with. If you have friends who are new to parenting a toddler, and who don’t mind vulgar language, give them this book as a gift. Tell them to keep it in a drawer until they’re ready to pull their hair out, and then to read it for some instant therapy. It’s a short and easy read, and I laughed a lot. I also gained some wisdom from the book; read through to the end and you’ll find it too on the last page. If your kid is en route to earning the Nobel Peace Prize or writing a bestseller at the age of 3 or 4, I’m not sure whether you’ll enjoy this book or not. It’s worth a try.
If women’s clothing stores would listen to Bob and set up an area where husbands could kick back, watch sports, and even take a nap while their wives shop, they would see a spike in profits. This book is humorous and lighthearted in an area that can become so formulaic, pressure-filled, and therefore heavy in today’s society: marriage and relationships. Bob knows how to keep a sense of humor about the whole thing, which can help through challenges and growing pains that come up. Both men and women will enjoy the book and be able to laugh at themselves a little more, and maybe even blame themselves a little less for the idiosyncrasies that can come up in any relationship. There should be a part two of this book, the You Exhaust Me: Kids Edition! It’s healthy to recognize that interacting with others can be both exhausting and rewarding.
The premise of this book was good and some of the tips are helpful, but overall the message seemed unrealistic and somewhat self-righteous. I really liked Mini Habits, by the same author, as it described a practical, loose-fitting, and even fun way to develop habits in areas you’re not used to taking consistent action in. The Imperfectionist book felt like an opposite approach: an over-thought-out series of steps on how to think, relate to others, and feel on a daily basis. I agree with the idea that perfectionism often causes a lot of woes for people and stifles their potential and creativity. What was hard to read about was the suggestion of a confident, happy, and socially savvy “Imperfectionist” group that is juxtaposed with a supposed “Perfectionist” group of people who lack confidence, seek approval from others, feel relatively unhappy overall, and are at the bottom of the totem pole in socializing with others. Seeking approval from others? Gauging from reality T.V. shows, social media, and even politics, seeking approval is a nation-wide obsession and not just a shortcoming of perfectionists. The book seems to say, “Join our team and you’ll discover what living really is!” Now buy all this stuff marketed at the end of the book too. The advice is just too seamless and chipper for me. There is a suggestion to wear a fanny pack to show you don’t care what others think about you. The book also included a comment about Kurt Cobain’s perfectionism that I didn’t like, because no one knows what he went through and can’t perfectly assume things about him. Finally, all the lists of advice are repeated again and again in the last part of the book. I’d recommend reading Mini Habits, and skipping the Imperfectionist book.
Derek’s memoir of his life is like watching a “Rocky” movie, as he describes in his book. Much like Rocky, you see him deal with difficult punches being thrown his way left and right. The opponent in the ring is a family history of heart disease that dramatically changes his life as well as his whole family’s. As I read the book, I wondered what the outcomes would be as I watched him ride all the highs and lows he openly shared. It really was like watching a movie, especially with all the photos included in the book. I would never have been able to predict the shocking events that unfolded. I’m so happy I found this book, as it truly is an account of how precious life is and how easy it is to forget this sometimes. It’s about doing it your way, and Derek shows how he found a way to make his life and health his own. His book is heart-wrenching, but also very inspiring and well worth the read.
Health care is a right we all have and can exercise at any point we choose. It’s a lifelong practice that can move and shift with whatever we’re going through. It’s ultimately in our hands, and it hinges on how we treat these bodies we’re born with that are inherently intelligent enough to seek out health.
Yet these days, the words “health care” call to mind a system, a medical authority, and a place we wrap our concerns in heavily for the future of our well being. The word ‘care’ starts suggesting that we don’t know how to engage in this action ourselves without outside intervention. The word ‘health’ takes on the reputation of being scary, regimented, and outside our control. Put together, what could be a couple of words that are empowering toward a vital and self-supportive life become instead a possession of society and mainstream medicine.
Do you feel like it’s time to reclaim these words for ourselves? Health care isn’t just an institution we go to, or legislation that we and politicians endlessly vote on and argue over. It happens, or doesn’t happen at home, from the moment we open our eyes to wake up each morning.
Personal health care has also become focused on a boot camp-style practice of eating and exercising perfectly, constantly swayed by advice from fitness gurus and gluten-free recipe blogs. Not everyone relates to this way of getting healthy, but it’s all the rage in bestselling books and among celebrity fitness experts. Slowly, the idea of health care can get crowded out of people’s lives by what society and mainstream opinion defines as health.
Health, simply put, is treating yourself well and being there for yourself—no matter what you go through. Unlike society’s message to just paste a smile on it, even when you’re feeling anything but happy, true health care is about allowing other reactions and emotions to exist when they come up. It’s about letting yourself be who you are no matter who’s around. And it isn’t fueled by guilt, fear, or the drive for perfection.
When you open your ears to the health advice being given out there in a casual and nonchalant manner, underneath the matter of fact tone you may find a message that is demeaning. It is one that points out your supposed deficiencies and demands of you perfection and perpetually high and unmet expectations. Is that real health care?
If the words “health care” are too loaded for you, just remember this simple phrase for better health: Less is more. We are constantly told to do and be more more more, when we can use our innate potential for health by keeping it low key, relaxed, and easy.
Most of all, health is a skill you already have. So you can reclaim health care for yourself. It belongs to the individual who wants to live his or her own life. It’s something you deserve and can take ownership of.
This tech-style mystery takes place in a world that resembles our own, yet is taken to a whole new level. You’ll learn about an imagined ranking system called karma, which affects the main character’s life and work. Though karma in the book means something different than how you or I define it, it does exist in today’s world in a frenzied and somewhat nefarious way. The main character has to solve a mystery along with a new friend he’s made, all the while watching his own back in the tricky world of karma. The book bravely questions whether this type of karma, which coincides with a constant striving to “make a difference in the world,” is always worth it. Does it come at a cost to individuals who just want to live life on a more natural and simple wavelength? Considering that many commercials we see on T.V. question us to make a difference each and every second of life, this book’s message is very relevant. At times, I got lost in the plot during scenes focused on parkour or technology. Overall though, I enjoyed the book and the social commentary it makes using a creative story line.
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This book is still yet to be published, but I received an Advance Review Copy from the author. I enjoyed the beginning of this book and learning about Alaska and the culture of crab fishing. It was also exciting to meet the characters and get involved in the unique challenge each one was facing by stepping on board the Angie Piper. The characters’ personalities played well off one another. When the going got tough though, and the Angie Piper was en route to sinking (that’s not a spoiler, it’s actually part of the title), the gritty edge of the story wore off for me and what should have been suspenseful and climactic felt almost like an ordinary series of events. The words were there describing a life threatening situation, but the tone of the book and emotions of the characters didn’t match the feel of one. At the end of the book, I also felt like the main character’s internal conflict didn’t get resolved for the reader. There was something he always regretted in his past, which at the end we still didn’t get to see him resolve though he had the opportunity. The book is well written for sure, but the reveal of the book’s main event in its title gets in the way of the story somewhat.