The premise of this book is simple, that creativity boils down to a science. That there isn't this select group of people only capable of being creatiThe premise of this book is simple, that creativity boils down to a science. That there isn't this select group of people only capable of being creative because they are 'born that way,' all the rest bound for living off the somewhat limiting logical left side of our brains. It's proof that the ability to be creative is in us all. It's up to us to flex that muscle, to place ourselves in situations and around people that encourage it, to design a way of living that embodies tapping into the side of your brain that takes you out of the box and into the clouds. It wasn't just the science that was interesting in this book but also how it's been put to use, by people, schools and companies, and how it's being proven possible. Yup. Science is pretty cool. ...more
I first heard about this book from a TED talk, by a woman who referenced how your surroundings (the friends you choose, the place you live in, the infI first heard about this book from a TED talk, by a woman who referenced how your surroundings (the friends you choose, the place you live in, the information you ingest) makes you who you are because you made the choice to invite them in. So you can invite in people you call friends who do nothing but complain, blame and remain stagnant all their life, with little to no dreams. You can live in a place that feels limiting to your dreams and goals and ingest in information that is nothing but toxic (ie the news in general). And when you are around that 24/7, those people, places, and things, you become it. But when you eliminate those things - you choose friends who are smarter than you, more ambitious, positive, accountable, live in a place that fosters and encourages your dreams and take in information that is encouraging and positive, you become that. Which do you choose?
That was just one bit of this book she referenced. That alone was enough for me to pick it up and read it. Granted, when I saw the title I thought to myself, 'oh another rich white guy defining success by how much money you make, telling me how to be successful per his standards of success.' And that, in itself, showed my negative attitude, my predefined generalized bias I already had. But luckily, it didn't stop me from reading it. Having now read it, I think the greatest compliment I can give this book and its writer, is that I will reread it again, right after this review. Having only reread one book in my life, consider it a great compliment.
If you want to live a life that is successful (success being defined by your terms, not society's), that is happy, joyful and fulfilling, then you have to take a look at you. It's never them, it's you. It's your choice to be their friend, your choice in where you live, how you think, what you do and don't do, what you listen to, read and watch. And because it's your choice, you can unchoose and/or choose wisely.
Just the other day I was out at my local grocer having some freshly cooked stir fry for dinner, and in a pause of conversation with my husband, I heard what the people next to me where discussing. One lady in the conversation was discussing the parents of these kids that she teaches, explaining that they are 'the kind of people' who don't have much to say. When you state something, they say, 'oh yes' or something else of brevity. She went on to say how she hates people like that, who 'have nothing to say,' 'no opinions on things' and who make for awkward conversation. And I couldn't help but think about the recent walks my husband and I have been going on and how many people we pass who don't smile back or even purposely look the other way. And I saw myself in this woman, but then I saw something I don't think she did, something that may help her attitude when chatting with 'those kinds of people' and something that will help me when passing by strangers and smiling at them. It's not them, it's you. It's a simple idea but when practiced can unleash amazing results, embodying the 'you get what you give' attitude. It's not the people with short answers, it's how you phrase the question. It's not the people who don't smile but how you smile, how inviting you are and having zero expectation in return.
It's the simple act of accountability. We live in a world constantly playing the blame game. Oh the weather makes me sad, so I'm sad. So and so looked at me this way, and now I'm mad. I gained weight because of x,y,z that has nothing to do with me. A world where your failure and your feelings are somehow someone's fault but your own. The simple realization that you and you alone are to blame, your choices, is both haunting (because only you can fix your attitude, your happiness, the actualization of your dreams) and liberating (because, hey, you have complete control, as long as you take the reigns).
This book is, hands down, going in my top ten non-fiction reads. There are many ways I have embodied some of the actions described in this book. I've learned to minimize, to delete that which doesn't benefit me and my goals - I'm not 100% at it but I'm darn near there, looking to make more changes after reading this. I'm not afraid to follow my dreams, lately being moving to the place (the Portland, OR metro area) that I felt would welcome my passions and goals, and display, with open arms, options and opportunities I would not have elsewhere. And while coming here was sort of scary, not knowing anyone, many times lonely, and I knew that some people would drop out of my life, would let me go - not realizing they are letting go of the wrong thing, that I made the right choice for me. And while I'm in a bit of a plateau, with a lately slogging attitude and feelings of hopelessness, depression and even anger, this book gave me the ass kicking that I needed and have said in my head, but needed said to me by someone I don't know, which is, it's not them, it's me. You can do it one consistent, unrelenting, step at a time. You can be the success you want to be....more
When I saw this book on my library's bestseller shelf I thought, 'ooo, did Rowling come out with a new book I wasn't aware of?' The moment thereafter,When I saw this book on my library's bestseller shelf I thought, 'ooo, did Rowling come out with a new book I wasn't aware of?' The moment thereafter, realizing it was a book of her 2008 Harvard commencement speech, my thoughts dove into the well of negativity, saying, 'why is it that every time someone gives a commencement speech they feel the need to use resources and make money off of it?' Not a completely invalid statement but, nevertheless, I faced my own hypocrisy, grabbed it off the shelf and read it in a few minutes. And here is what I realized, or should I say was reminded of, which is ... words have power. But they have different powers in different forms.
I do remember watching that speech years back but, as she mentioned and like with all commencement speeches, I forgot it. The written word, though, has a certain longevity and permanence to it, affecting you in a way that the audible never will. And for that I realized the benefits of having both. And for that her messages on fear and imagination will stay with me for quite some time now, reminding me to drop my incessant perfectionism, allow myself to suck, and dream, never pushing away those thoughts and imaginings, deeming them irrelevant, but instead giving them light and reality. And, as a result, living a 'very good life,' my life, my dreams and the lessons learned from my failures....more
My thoughts consume me, day to day. Ideas that could fill notebooks. But as the one and only Buddha once said, 'An idea that is developed and put intoMy thoughts consume me, day to day. Ideas that could fill notebooks. But as the one and only Buddha once said, 'An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.' Ideas are a dime a dozen, but 'action expresses priorities' (Gandhi). This book, written by the idea and action behind Toms shoes and, more importantly, the One to One movement, explains how to take that step, how to make that thought dancing in your mind a reality and, even more importantly, how and why to make sure it matters. To make sure it matters not just to yourself but beyond your bubble of a world, for we are all connected.
That is where my headspace has been lately. To do something that matters, something with meaning and impact beyond myself. For I've been taught all my life how to take care of myself, and naturally, and unfortunately, I often first think selfishly and not selflessly. I think, I should save that penny and not give it. That's not to say I'm not a giving or caring person. I am. But I just wish to alter my way of thinking slightly, amp it up - if you will, to encompass the reality that I am not alone in this world. We all matter, no one life more important than the other, and each of us is capable of using the unique skills that we have individually to give more than we receive, to make an impact. To not make 'me' a priority but 'we' a priority because when we do that we all benefit.
If you are at all interested in living a life that matters, a life of giving beyond yourself, then pick this book up and be introduced to a way of thinking and doing that benefits the greater good....more
... feel compassion for others, human and non-human. ... want to make a positive difference in the world. ... worry aboutThis book is for people who...
... feel compassion for others, human and non-human. ... want to make a positive difference in the world. ... worry about the environmental state of the planet, the future of their families. ... wish to live a healthy life that allows them to not just survive but thrive.
Heck, this book is simply, for everyone.
I want to buy multiple copies of this book and hand it out to everyone I know and don't know.
When I think of people I admire most, people I call heroes, I don't think of 'celebrities.' I think of people like Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and Mr. Gene Bauer. People who have not just changed my life but have saved lives by educating, advocating and being a helping hand to others and the world. They are the real heroes.
In this book, Gene presents everything so eloquently and kindly as to why a plant-based diet is essentially the solution to all major problems of the world and the individual. He doesn't judge or criticize those who still eat animals. He comes solely from a place of compassion and passion. And that is why I feel this particular book is one to be read by everyone.
Plus it's beautifully done. The photography is lovely, the randomly inserted stories are sweet and sure to spark a tear, the facts well laid out and the following recipes in the second half of the book look divine!
Below are the recipes I've tried thus far and loved (I"ll update this review every time I try one):
- Jambalaya - Soooo good. I made my own cajun seasoning by finding a recipe online and mixing the herbs I had. It was the perfect flavor and I can see many options with this jambalaya to try it in different ways, using the same base. This will surely be a staple in our diet.
*Read it. Read it again. Pass it around. Donated it. And start with you. Remember, you can make a difference ... in your life, in the lives of others, in the world, in everything. ...more
Originally published in Dangerous Women, this story was rereleased this past month for Kindle on its own and I just had to have it. I've been in a bitOriginally published in Dangerous Women, this story was rereleased this past month for Kindle on its own and I just had to have it. I've been in a bit of a reading slump lately. The kind where everything you pick up just isn't to your taste, your interest quickly fading. And so I've put a lot of books down, hoping to find that one that will draw me back in, reminding me why I love stories so much. And I find short stories and novellas, if well done, to be a great means of getting 'back on the horse.' And honestly, you just can't go wrong with anything Sanderson writes. Can I also say, that freakin' cover is breathtaking! And the story inside measures up quite well.
I loved the intro to the story, Sanderson's discussion about women and the stereotypical 'dangerous' woman. As stated by Sanderson, they are often found in two varieties, the 'femme fatal' or the 'I wear black leather and kick demon butt.' That's not to say that those women aren't a hell of a time to read or that they aren't ever written well. But Sanderson's take on 'dangerous women,' with the small cast of women in this little tale, is fresh, haunting, and a devilishly good time. I loved these women and I loved this story. It might be a new favorite of mine from him.
Here's to hoping he writes more in this world because I would really like to read more stories like this, with not only strong creatively written women as the main role but a whole cast of them. It's down right refreshing!...more
Are we sure he's human? This Sanderson guy. I mean, has anyone actually checked? Seriously, how he keeps putting out such quality and kick ass work isAre we sure he's human? This Sanderson guy. I mean, has anyone actually checked? Seriously, how he keeps putting out such quality and kick ass work is just baffling. It has to be the workings of a machine, ya? No human could tell such a damn good story, consistently and no matter the word count. You know, he said this newest work of his was different. He was not wrong, but the man also doesn't know how to disappoint.
You know what inspires me most? People who have a deep, in their bones, unrelenting passion for what they do and they share that passion with the worlYou know what inspires me most? People who have a deep, in their bones, unrelenting passion for what they do and they share that passion with the world. It oozes off of their being and into the lives of others, inspiring them in turn. Scott McCloud is one of those people.
Before this I'd only read one book by McCloud, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, and that book was enough for me to see his passion. I wanted to hand that book to every person who's never read a comic, a graphic novel, and say, 'Here. This! This is what it's all about. This is what's so special about the medium.' Every medium has its own reasons for existing, that when a story is done well you know it could have only been done in that medium, utilized in that way, to speak to the audience in that way. And Scott McCloud is a master of understanding the medium of comics, of what they're capable of, and The Sculptor is proof of that.
Honestly, I can't even write a review (though I'm not sure if this 'qualifies' as a review and I don't really care) without tearing up. This story is just so profound. So beautiful. So tender. It's no surprise it took McCloud five years to write and no surprise he got a blurb from Neil Gaiman stating it to be the best graphic novel he's read in years.
It just spoke to me. I didn't want it to end and I did because I wanted to see how it ended. I connected so much with this story, with the characters, and... it just...I'm am at a loss for words as to how it made me feel.
I'll just say, read it. Take your time. Reading isn't a contest. It's not a race. In the end it doesn't matter how much you've read. What matters is what you've read and how it's played a role in your life. Let each story take its time to seep into every fiber of your being. Let it breathe into who you are, forcing you to dig deeper within. For that's what story is all about. Connecting. Looking. Reflecting. Being.
Read it. Don't read what it's about, just read it. ...more
Who knew one could become so attached to a crippled torturer? A barbarian? A bald old wizard?
What can IThese characters. These. Freakin'. Characters.
Who knew one could become so attached to a crippled torturer? A barbarian? A bald old wizard?
What can I say, I like my characters a bit rough around the edges, as flawed and as fucked up as can be. Our flaws are what make us humans interesting after all.
Even in the moments where the plot lagged for me, I still wanted to know these people. Hell, I could read a chapter on Glokta eating his porridge if it meant learning how he ticks, why he is who he is, and what more there is to that poor bastard. Even the pathetic nobleman, Jezal, has me hoping and wondering that maybe there's more to him, that only he'll find out by leaving his pristine status for an uncertain and dangerous future.
Fuck, I guess I have some more reading to do .... book two.
I've been wanting to read a Chuck Wendig book since coming across his blog and laughing my ass off at his excessive, but never redundant, explicit remI've been wanting to read a Chuck Wendig book since coming across his blog and laughing my ass off at his excessive, but never redundant, explicit remarks and/or jokes. Call them what you will, they're hilarious. And this book was no exception to his love of the word motherfucker, and man does that fucker know where to place those mothers.
This isn't a book to pick up if you've read other books on writing and are looking for 'new and exciting' tips to help unleash your inner writing beast. This book is to remind you of the things you should know, while laughing enviously at how Wendig so easily writes such witty content. His tips both beat around the bush (take that how you wish) and get to the point with such brevity. Now maybe I'll getting around to reading his fiction, especially with him being selected to pick up the newest upcoming Star Wars books. Fuck ya!...more
Just one of those books that felt a bit overhyped for something a bit undercooked. I love a good bit sex in my books, when done well, but this one, weJust one of those books that felt a bit overhyped for something a bit undercooked. I love a good bit sex in my books, when done well, but this one, well, what's the saying, if you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all......more
I've only recently given audiobooks a chance, this one being my third. I much prefer the experience of reading the written word, but when it came to dI've only recently given audiobooks a chance, this one being my third. I much prefer the experience of reading the written word, but when it came to driving 44 hours cross country in 4 days, I figured a good audiobook would be a great way to alleviate the exhaustion. So, wanting something a bit familiar, I decided 'Veronica Mars' would be a treat to listen to, and boy was it like hanging out with an old friend - especially with Kristin Bell narrating it. For that I couldn't help but enjoy it. For that I might give audiobooks more of a chance, especially now living carless and soon using public transportation to get around. But I'll still have one a many paperbacks at my bedside to curl up with. :)...more
A beautifully written, delightful little tale, highlighting the spirt, wonder and imagination within all children. A bit of Narnia, Willy Wonka and thA beautifully written, delightful little tale, highlighting the spirt, wonder and imagination within all children. A bit of Narnia, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and classic fairy tales, with a heavy dose of whimsy. An oddball of a story tied up in the most delicate orange bow. ...more
A quick and entertaining story set between Steelheart and Firefight, showcasing a showdown between Epic, Mitosis, and, Reckoner, David. A nice setup fA quick and entertaining story set between Steelheart and Firefight, showcasing a showdown between Epic, Mitosis, and, Reckoner, David. A nice setup for the next book, while still giving itself importance in the story as a whole....more