Learning to Love Yourself by Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse is a good starting point for the journey toward finding self-worth and self-love. It is a fast read and discusses such important topics as negative self-talk, the importance of learning to forgive and moving forward, daily positive affirmations, making productive and meaningful contributions to society and much more. As someone who has read many self-help books of this kind, the drawback is the large number of important facets of the self-love concept only skimming the surface. I would have liked to have seen fewer concepts discussed, but in more detail. Continue reading
I have enjoyed Paul Auster’s fiction ever since reading his first novel, The New York Trilogy. (During one span, I read three of his books in a row and I swear, because of it, suffered some not-so-good random events.) But I have never been as enthralled and willingly tricked as I was while reading Invisible. By far, in my mind (which is where Auster’s characters easily insinuate themselves), Invisible is literary magic. It’s hard to imagine a more enjoyably and elegantly disturbing contemporary novel. Continue reading
Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way by Dan Buettner is an “interesting” read. It follows his first book, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer. A “blue zone” is a place (demographic or geographic) where people live measurably longer lives.
This book lacks the narrative drive and cohesiveness that I tend to look for in nonfiction regardless of topic. I haven’t read The Blue Zones so I may have been at a disadvantage; that is, not knowing what to expect. I found the book oddly formatted, seemingly designed to maximize page length. For example, the “leading experts” are listed in chapter one, then questions about happiness are asked of each expert. As you might expect, you get some repetition, and since these experts are not writers, you get some fairly banal answers. “The word ‘happiness’ means many things.” That’s not to say that some of their responses aren’t interesting, just that the answers should have been heavily edited and weaved into the narrative, which consists of four separate travelogues in search of happiness.
The travelogue chapters, about 170 pages, are entertaining and worth reading, carrying the reader to four unexpectedly happy places – despite the often repetitious “lessons” at the end of each chapter, and the page-hogging big-font random facts at the bottom of pages. Chapter six “Lessons in Thriving” echoes the previous lessons, but aren’t too bad used as a sort of checklist for choosing a place to live. A “Special Bonus Chapter” is tacked on, a 25-page excerpt from The Blue Zones.
♥♥♥ Worth reading, but could have easily been a slim volume about four special happy blue zone places.
Watching the Tour de France was great fun when Lance Armstrong was zooming past all his European competitors. I remember him bursting away from the pack, slogging up steep mountain roads that seemingly went on forever. I remember him riding too close to the crowd, contacting a spectator, going down, then getting up and continuing, winning again, wearing the yellow jersey, and I remember my awe and respect, agreeing with a friend, “The man’s a machine!”
Our pal Gerry Mandel, (author of Shadow and Substance and Where the Mountain Takes Me), created this great video — a la Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris — about St. Louis. If you’re from St. Louis or just love St. Louis, you have to see (and share!) this video.
Check out Gerry’s blog here: http://heyyouhoser.blogspot.