Favorite books of 2018

This year I read or listened to an average of a book a week. So I had over 50 books to choose from as my favorites for 2018. The following recommendations are the cream of the crop from my perspective.

Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment

Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment by Martin E.P. Seligman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was filled with tests. I found it valuable to think about my level of happiness and signature strengths. I thought about what virtues I have and which ones I might want to place more focus upon in the future. I wish I had read the chapter on raising children when my kids were little. I understand more about how I can achieve more lasting happiness. And what I like most about the book is its hopeful and optimistic nature. It was very inspiring and I have recommended it many people.

 
Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Outstanding! I have been recommending this book right and left to young and older people alike. I found the power posture concept invaluable. The imposter syndrome rang true for me at times in my life. The book is filled with gems and I know I will read it again and soak in even more of its valuable content.

 

[Read more…]

Tips for Writing Book Reviews

It is a gift to authors when you write positive, honest book reviews. A bad review stings as well. Be thoughtful in what you say in your review. If you only slam the book, that does not help the author improve. If there is one thing you can praise even if you did not like the book, be sure to mention it.

In writing a positive review, here are some tips:

Think about and then write some stand out points you gleaned from the book. What section was most valuable to you and why? Did you become inspired to take some type of action as a result of what you read? Did the book provoke emotion in you? Why might someone else enjoy or benefit from the book? Be specific; vague statements of praise are rarely helpful to discerning, prospective readers.

Make sure you review more than one author or Amazon will think you are biased. I know two people who were banned for life from writing future reviews on Amazon because they had not written reviews for more than one particular person. Share the love!

Most reviews can be kept to 2-5 sentences, which does not take much time. You can write a much longer review, but it may not be necessary and be considered a rant. [Read more…]

Favorite Books of 2017

On Goodreads, I read and reviewed 52 books in 2017. Many friends have asked if I would share my favorites of the year. This is a challenging task, but I will attempt to narrow it down to my 2017 best reads for you. To see all my reviews, be sure and see my Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge and connect with me there for ongoing reviews.

Favorites in Fiction:

A Gentleman in Moscow

What a treasure! I was enchanted from the beginning and fully engaged all the way through. The reader on Audible is delightful and brought the character to life. It made driving a pleasure even in heavy traffic to hear the voice of the narrator and the story unfold. [Read more…]

How to Write a Book Review

Authors, including myself, appreciate honest and positive reviews for their books. You have probably told a friend about a movie that you enjoyed or a restaurant you just discovered. If you take the time to write a review on a book you liked, you are providing a gift to the writer.

Here are some ideas and ways to write a review. I will use my latest book, A Chance to Say Goodbye: Reflections on Losing a Parent as an example, but the principles can be applied to any book.

First, draft on paper or type on your computer your review. Give it a short title that captures the essence of the book.

Think about and then write some stand out points you gleaned from the book. What section was most valuable to you and why? Did you become inspired to take some type of action as a result of what you read? Did the book provoke emotion in you? Why might someone else enjoy or benefit from the book?

You will be asked to give it a star rating, 5 being the best on most platforms. Choose that rating when on the review site.

If possible, post the review on two or more sites/platforms in case it is lost, hidden or rejected on one for some reason.

Here are a few choices for my book as examples:

If you have never written a review on one of those platforms, you may have to establish a brief profile.

You do not have purchase on that platform to write a review. However, the platform might reject your review if they think it is overly biased from a friend. You can state that you bought the book at a live event, book signing, etc. Posting the review in more than one place might also ensure it gets posted to at least one. You may want to check back on the site to see if it appears.

Be sure to write reviews for more than one author. Spread the love! You will definitely be considered biased if you only write reviews for one person.

On Amazon, you will see need to scroll down the page until you see the other reviews. You should find a button that says, “Write a customer review”. Click on that and proceed to the end being sure you “submit” or save when finished.

Other ways you can support the author: [Read more…]

A Chance to Say Goodbye: Reflections on Losing a Parent

My book is available on Amazon! Also Barnes and Noble!

Gold Winner in “Aging Family” and Honorable Mention in “Life Journey” Human Relations Indie Book Awards, 2017. Bronze Winner in “Mature Living/Aging” Living Now Book Awards, 2017. Finalist in “Health: Aging/50+” Best Book Awards, 2017. Finalist in “Death and Dying” National Indie Excellence Awards, 2017.

~

Throughout the years, Lisa and her dad had a tenuous relationship. In her youth, she was disappointed and angered by his behavior, distancing herself from him and blaming him for the sudden end to their intact comfortable family life. As a young adult and after her father’s sudden heart attack, Lisa was given a second chance to heal their relationship. Over the next three decades they became closer, enjoying time together, including travel. When her dad entered his eighties, and while still raising her own children, Lisa found herself unprepared for his steady health decline. Suddenly, she was thrust into the role of overseeing his care as he began to experience increasing disability and the beginnings of dementia.

Not having prepared for or anticipated such a role, Lisa floundered as she attempted to address his ever-changing situation. The closeness and healing they had achieved was challenged as her father resisted conversations about his failing health and his care, exacerbated by a western medical system that fell short to prepare them for the end of his life.

A moving tribute to a remarkable man and a daughter’s experience of losing her dad, A Chance to Say Goodbye gives rise to reflections about what is important in living and dying.

Purchase online Amazon

Purchase online Barnes and Noble

Praise for A Chance to Say Goodbye:

[Read more…]

My Favorite Books of 2016

On Goodreads, I read and reviewed 52 books in 2016. Yes, that is a lot but some were short and many were on Audible while I drove to and from Breckenridge and Denver. I love books and find them as necessary as food. It is challenging to pick the winners of a year. I am going to pick 4 non-fiction books to highlight.

Oneness

Not only did Oneness make the top of my list for 2016, it is in the top 5 of my lifetime. It is very spiritual and requires deep contemplation. It is not for everyone. For those seeking to understand the complexity of your life patterns, why things happen in your life and the big picture, this book will be profound.

Love Warrior

This memoir is brutally honest, real and empowering. I listened to it on Audible and the author did an incredible job describing the story of her life. Some will find uncomfortable because she dares to share what is often hidden. [Read more…]

My Favorite Books of 2015

I read and enjoyed many books in 2015, but the standouts are worth mentioning. All my reviews of books in the last several years are on Goodreads. As I looked over my completed reads this past year, I took excerpts from my reviews on Goodreads to share with you my favorites.

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Guest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

My review:

I devoured this book! The story was enthralling, and I rank it as one of the best books I have read this year! I listened to it on audio and Edward Herrmann was such a good reader, I will likely seek out other books he has recorded. The story was beautifully written with such vivid adjectives that the story came to life in my mind. Magnificent!

 

The Signature of All Things

My review:

Absolutely outstanding! I had read Eat, Love, Pray and thoroughly loved it. This book is incredibly different in style and has increased my admiration for the talent of Elizabeth Gilbert’s skill at crafting a marvelous tale. Her writing is excellent, and it was an absolute pleasure to read. I highly recommend it although I suspect it will be most enjoyed by females.

 

Bel Canto

My review:

I loved this book! So rich in feeling and sensory pleasure that I could almost hear the singing. A real treasure.

[Read more…]