Category: Non-Fiction

Review: Letters to a Young Writer: Some Practical and Philosophical Advice

Letters to a Young Writer: Some Practical and Philosophical Advice by Colum McCann My rating: 4 of 5 stars This book is inspiring and liberating. I feel like Colum McCann cut my puppet strings and gave my writing free will. There were many times when a passage jumped out at me as if the author were speaking directly to me. I’m going to try to limit my quotes and not quote half of the book. This one quote made me feel like he was pointing his finger at me. ”A writer is not someone who thinks obsessively about writing, or...

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Review: How The Secret Changed My Life: Real People. Real Stories.

How The Secret Changed My Life: Real People. Real Stories. by Rhonda Byrne My rating: 4 of 5 stars How The Secret Changed My Life is an inspiring collection of stories of people who changed their lives using methods from The Secret. It’s repetitive since it still uses The Secret Daily Teachings and has the same words of wisdom from The Secret, but I still think this book is motivating, because anything positive that gives us a little momentum to change for the better is worth repeating. We all get stuck in a rut and old ways of thinking that...

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Review: How To Read A Book A Day: The Ultimate Guide To Quickly Retain And Absorb Information

How To Read A Book A Day: The Ultimate Guide To Quickly Retain And Absorb Information by Thomas Dev Brown My rating: 4 of 5 stars How to Read a Book a Day is a short book that takes less than an hour to read. Surprisingly, it has useful information. It’s not new advice; I’ve heard this technique before, but I like his presentation. Unlike other books and websites on this subject, he explains why and how this technique works. If you’re familiar with Pareto’s 80/20 principle, then you might know where this book is heading. I love that he...

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Review: The Ultimate Guide to Success: How to Achieve Your Goals in 10 Steps or Less

The Ultimate Guide to Success: How to Achieve Your Goals in 10 Steps or Less by Dan McDaniel My rating: 5 of 5 stars Dan McDaniel’s The Ultimate Guide to Success is one of the most inspirational books that I’ve ever read. I feel so energized and transformed. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I truly can achieve my goals. If there is a formula for success, this is it. Before I even wrote this review, I recommended this book to three of my closest friends. Here’s the Goodreads summary: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SUCCESS...

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Review: How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method

How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson My rating: 4 of 5 stars I’ve tried formal outlines and pantsing (writing by the seat of your pants), but neither really works well for me. Outlining feels like it’s sucking the creativity right out of me. Improvising a story usually causes me to get stuck because I can’t resolve a plot point easily. Once it’s resolved, I have to rewrite a big chunk of my novel and that takes a lot of time. The Snowflake Method is the best of both worlds. It has enough structure to...

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Review: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick My rating: 3 of 5 stars 3.5 Stars This was so sad. It could have been four-stars, but I don’t think Scott Brick has the right voice to narrate this book. His voice made it sound like he was reading a financial statement instead of a true story about a horrific event. I broke my own rule by seeing the movie before reading the book, but in this case, it worked out well. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, go see it. This book...

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Review: Get Smart!: How to Think, Decide, Act, and Get Better Results in Everything You Do

Get Smart!: How to Think, Decide, Act, and Get Better Results in Everything You Do by Brian Tracy My rating: 4 of 5 stars Don’t let the size of this book fool you. It may be short, but it’s packed full of helpful information. It’s short because there’s no fluff, at least, not in my opinion. I took many pages of notes from this book because there were things that I didn’t want to forget. Some of the advice in this book I’ve heard hundreds of times or more, but it’s worth hearing again. Most of us are very familiar...

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Review: Excuses Begone! How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits

Excuses Begone! How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits by Wayne W. Dyer My rating: 5 of 5 stars Sometimes we read a book and something in it just clicks with us. This is that book for me. I’ve known about this book since it was first published, but I wasn’t ready to read it until now. I wish I had been ready to read it back then. I could have shortened the lifespan of my mistakes. This is a wonderful book to open up your mind, change your old thinking habits and create a new way of thinking that...

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Review: Your Erroneous Zones

Your Erroneous Zones by Wayne W. Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars The audiobook is only an hour and a half, because it’s abridged, but it’s packed full of helpful information. Here are my favorite points: We have control of our feelings. We have the choice of how we process other people’s opinion. Esteem lies within you, not in other people. That’s why it’s called self-esteem. “As you think, so shall you be.” “You are what you think about all day long.” If you put a label on yourself such as “I am…” and your label becomes your reality,...

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Review: The Intelligent Investor

The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham My rating: 4 of 5 stars I see why this book is so popular and well-respected. However, out of the 20 chapters, there are only 6-8 chapters that I couldn’t “must reads.” If you want to read about investing, definitely add this to your list, but I recommend that you go to Investopedia to look up some of the terms and concepts. This is a heavy read, so don’t rush through it. View all my reviews

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Review: The Art of X-Ray Reading

The Art of X-Ray Reading by Roy Peter Clark My rating: 5 of 5 stars I’m a voracious reader, but this book made me feel like I’ve never truly read a book. I mean that in the most complimentary way. I didn’t realize how much I was missing when I read, until I read this book. It’s a very eye-opening experience that lead to many aha moments and a ton of “OMG, I can’t believe I missed that!” moments. Each chapter focuses on a specific work and at the end of each chapter is a writing lesson. These lessons are...

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