There came to a point earlier this year when I would visit my sister's house and our conversations would be like this:
Me: How are you guys? Joe: All liThere came to a point earlier this year when I would visit my sister's house and our conversations would be like this:
Me: How are you guys? Joe: All life is travesty. Judy: I hate everyone. The entire universe is a bunch of f'ing idiots except for me.
If I called on the phone, it was the same. I was getting to the point I couldn't take it any more. I went to Barnes and Noble and out of the blue, How to Be Happy Dammit! called my name.
The book is a quick read full of interesting pictures, funny sayings, and stories. The bright orange cover catches the eye, and the first couple of lessons really grab you and don't let go. But it's not a sugary or saccharine type of self-help book either.
There are 44 lessons in the book and they are all interconnected. It begins with the idea that when you're first born, you're tiny, you don't know what's going on, you've been warm and cozy in your little womb, and then all of a sudden: WHACK! Some idiot on the outside smacks you when you're 3 1/2 seconds old and you've learned your first lessons: Life is not fair, and life occasionally hands out pain for seemingly no good reason. But without it, your little baby self would not grow, and instead you would be dead. I love, love, love this story. And the entire book has these interesting points of view and analogies.
If you're looking for a serene and calming self-help book, this might not be the one for you. BUT! If you want to have some fun learning to have a more positive outlook on life, and you find yourself a little bit cynical of the self help industry, this might just be the one for you.
The book is a very quick read, I read it in about an hour and then Michael and I re-read it outloud together in about an hour's time. Although I was loathe to do so, I did give it to Joe and Judy, and as best I can tell, they've put it in a cupboard and neither one of them has read it. C'est la vie. This book was fun, colorful, and interesting. READ IT! ...more
This is the sequel to a previous favorite read, How to Be Happy, Dammit!, which I read earlier this year. Enough Dammit again has lots of pretty graphThis is the sequel to a previous favorite read, How to Be Happy, Dammit!, which I read earlier this year. Enough Dammit again has lots of pretty graphics and 44 life lessons, but challenges you to quit sabotaging yourself and start getting what you want by doing what needs to be done to get to your goal.
The book tied in nicely with my general state of mind right now. I didn't want to hear the message of the book, which is basically that change is painful, but living the life you're living right now where you don't have what you want mentally, physically, and emotionally is also painful, and a little different pain will put you in a happier place. I recommended this one to several people I know need the message like I do, I hope they'll get it and read it. Unlike How to Be Happy, Dammit, I can see myself coming back to this one several times, to refresh my memory and re-learn the lessons. This was a lot harder to read, since I generally consider myself a happy person, but not necessarily motivated to change. ...more
David Gerrold, a science fiction writer, decided he wanted to become a father. Single and gay, he chose to adopt through the California Foster Care syDavid Gerrold, a science fiction writer, decided he wanted to become a father. Single and gay, he chose to adopt through the California Foster Care system. One day, while looking through a book of adoptable children, he came upon a picture of Dennis, a troubled young boy that the social workers had labeled unadoptable. Dennis was convinced he was a Martian, got into fights with other kids, and destroyed property. But David was ready to take him on. Together, they built a family.
This was a great book! I happened upon it by accident in Borders and I read it immediately. Gerrold does gloss over almost all of Dennis's behavioral problems, making lists like "of course, he got into trouble, stole money, destroyed books, but he was a great kid". So we never really know much about the real struggles they went through.
The book instead focuses a lot on Dennis's obsession with being a Martian. Gerrold finds other examples of children who think they're Martians too, and speculates that they might, in fact, be Martians! Of course, he doesn't pursue this line of thought, for fear he'd be found crazy and put the adoption in jeopardy.
The book won a Hugo and a Nebula Award, which I gather is a big deal in the Sci Fi community. However, it really was just a heartwarming story of a dad and his son, and the growing pains a kid in the system faces as he struggles to become part of an average family in America. I have great respect for foster parents--I am a volunteer for the Orphan Foundation of America, which helps youth aging out of the foster care system, and I listen to the kids I mentor talk about it and wonder how the system and the families can be improved. It's a tough, tough job. I'm glad it worked out for these two. ...more