Good habits are the key to making positive changes in your life, says Rubin. But starting and keeping those habits can feel like a Sisyphean task. ThiGood habits are the key to making positive changes in your life, says Rubin. But starting and keeping those habits can feel like a Sisyphean task. This book has a lot of solid, helpful suggestions for staying on task. The most important thing, she says, is to work within your personality to set habits. There is no one-size-fits-all approach.
To that end, I loved her "four tendencies" framework. How you approach expectations sets the stage for how you will incorporate a new habit. We fall into one of the following categories: upholder, obliger, questioner, and rebel. Which one are you?
This framework really helped me understand my own tendency and now I'm trying to figure out my friends and family! ...more
As with Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys brings to light a little known event of WWII. This story covers the evaI devoured this book in two days.
As with Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys brings to light a little known event of WWII. This story covers the evacuation of refugees and soldiers as the Russians close in on Germany's eastern front.
Salt to the Sea alternates in very short chapters between four teens: a Polish refugee, a Lithuanian nurse, a Prussian soldier who deserted the German army, and a German sailor devoted to the Reich to the bitter end. Each one carries a secret of something that cannot be undone.
They crowd onto the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship scheduled to take them to the relative safety of Germany. I could feel how trapped these characters were, between the Russians and the Nazis. Safety becomes a moment to moment concern. A wrong move or a wrong word can alter the future forever.
The ending felt a bit rushed as each of the character's fates had to be wrapped up. But that is a minor point compared with an overall stellar read.
I'm still in the afterglow of this beautifully told story. If you loved All the Light We Cannot See as much as I did, you'll love Salt to the Sea also. ...more
I knew I liked B.J. Novak's humor and writing style from his work on the television series The Office, but I wasn't sure how that would translate to fI knew I liked B.J. Novak's humor and writing style from his work on the television series The Office, but I wasn't sure how that would translate to fiction. Turns out, the transition between categories was easy for him. This collection of short stories was a nice surprise.
The entries ranged from micro-fiction --three sentences, which to be honest felt like filler-- to twenty pages. Most of the pieces were about three pages. These short bursts are great for vacation reading. It was easy to dive in and read an entry or two. If you prefer audiobooks, this one would be a great choice.
The bite-size length of the pieces had a downside. It was difficult to connect with the characters, and I got the impression I wasn't supposed to look for a poignant moments. Some stories, like "Sophia" about a man whose sex robot falls in love with him, could have been more effective had they been given more depth. They were here solely to entertain. Once I got into the rhythm of the pieces and understood the structure and dynamics, I could go along for the ride.
For pure entertainment value, I found this collection to be a light and easy read. ...more
I really wanted to love this novel. Really. I worked hard to keep turning the pages and engage with the characters. I probably haven't put in so muchI really wanted to love this novel. Really. I worked hard to keep turning the pages and engage with the characters. I probably haven't put in so much effort reading a novel since I was in school, but I'm afraid, for me, it just never came together. I think there were a few reasons for this.
There were far too many POV characters. I counted 20, and they ranged from a one-page dip into a character's perspective to several pages. I felt like I had reader whiplash. Some characters returned again and again to share their POV and some never did. It made me wonder how critical it was to jump into these minor characters' heads. I lost track and started keeping a list of characters and how they were related to each other. I knew I was having trouble when a significant event happened and I had to refer to my notes to figure out if any of the characters mentioned were involved. I much prefer immersing myself in one or two (maybe three) character's perspectives. Is this format a by-product of our sound-bite culture?
The main part of the story was set in the early 1950s and we are constantly reminded of this. From other reviews, I know some readers loved all of these little details, and it is evidence that Judy Blume did a lot of research (or has a fantastic memory as this novel emerged from events that she experienced as a young girl). I found the details overwhelming. It was never just a stick of gum but _____ brand of gum. Not just a car but ______ model of car. I love historical fiction and period pieces. Specificity is important, but it's the author's job to focus the reader's attention on what is important. The more of these kinds of details weigh down the prose, the less importance each one has.
As always Judy Blume can write about teenagers like no one else. That was the part of the novel that really shined for me. I wanted to focus on Miri (the teen) and her mom. The other characters were less intriguing and memorable.
I realize my rating is in the minority here, so I hope the issues I had are not a problem for you.