Brené Brown – Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

REVIEW

I listened to this audiobook after listening to the author’s very popular TED Talks. As for the audiobook, the long title is reflective of a long winded book. The content of the book is truly interesting and most definitely worth reading. However, SKIP the audiobook! The most disappointing aspect was that the author does not actually narrate her own book. The reason why I chose to read the book was because her Ted Talks were amazing. She is extraordinarily  charismatic. It was a huge loss in her audiobook.

It is very difficult to rate this book. The audiobook I would only give a 2.5 (round to a 3). I kept increasing the speed to try and get through the book more quickly. The standard book I would give a 4. The content is great, but I still felt it was a little long and repetitive. But listening to her Ted Talks, I would give her a 5.

Check out her TED Talks

BLURB

From thought leader Dr. Brené Brown, a transformative new vision for the way we lead, love, work, parent, and educate that teaches us the power of vulnerability.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”—Theodore Roosevelt

Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable or to dare greatly. Based on twelve years of pioneering research, Dr. Brené Brown dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and argues that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage.

Brown explains how vulnerability is both the core of difficult emotions like fear, grief, and disappointment, and the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, empathy, innovation, and creativity. She writes: “When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.”

Daring Greatly is not about winning or losing. It’s about courage. In a world where “never enough” dominates and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It’s even a little dangerous at times. And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there’s a far greater risk of getting criticized or feeling hurt. But when we step back and examine our lives, we will find that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as standing on the outside of our lives looking in and wondering what it would be like if we had the courage to step into the arena—whether it’s a new relationship, an important meeting, the creative process, or a difficult family conversation. Daring Greatlyis a practice and a powerful new vision for letting ourselves be seen.

BUY LINK

 to Brené Brown!

AUTHOR BIO

Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation-Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work.

She has spent the past sixteen years studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of three #1 New York Times bestsellers – The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, and Rising Strong. Her latest book, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and The Courage to Stand Alone, will be released Fall 2017.

Brené’s TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over 30 million views.

In addition to her research and writing, Brené is the Founder and CEO of BRAVE LEADERS INC – an organization that brings evidence-based courage building programs to teams, leaders, entrepreneurs, change makers, and culture shifters.

Brené lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, Steve, and their children, Ellen and Charlie.

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Amy Schumer – The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

Review

First off, I listened to the audio book that was done by Amy Schumer. I would highly recommend the audio over the regular book as Amy’s well-honed timing is a true art.

Listening to this book was like eating a gallon of chocolate peanut butter cup ice cream. The ice cream is cool and refreshing, but it is really those tastey treats of candy sprinkled throughout that makes the dessert delicious. Did I mention that I’m lactose intolerant? So after eating the entire carton or reading her book, I vowed to never listen to her comedy routines in the future. I had more than enough of Amy Schumer. However, there were enough of those candy bites or humor to warrant a rating of 3 stars.

Her overuse of the word footnote started causing me to have an involuntary tick.

A couple of highlights included an explanation of her IQ and an incident with Men’s Health magazine. She explains that when she took an IQ test she tested as a genius in half the categories and incompetent (something to that effect) in the other half. After listening to her book, I would have to agree with her intelligence assessment. She can be an amazingly well spoken individual. The way in which she deals with an awkward situation with Men’s Health magazine demonstrates her high intellect and gift with words.

Blurb 

The Emmy Award-winning comedian, actress, writer, and star of Inside Amy Schumer and the acclaimed film Trainwreck has taken the entertainment world by storm with her winning blend of smart, satirical humor. Now, Amy Schumer has written a refreshingly candid and uproariously funny collection of (extremely) personal and observational essays.

In The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy mines her past for stories about her teenage years, her family, relationships, and sex and shares the experiences that have shaped who she is—a woman with the courage to bare her soul to stand up for what she believes in, all while making us laugh.

Ranging from the raucous to the romantic, the heartfelt to the harrowing, this highly entertaining and universally appealing collection is the literary equivalent of a night out with your best friend—an unforgettable and fun adventure that you wish could last forever. Whether she’s experiencing lust-at-first-sight while in the airport security line, sharing her own views on love and marriage, admitting to being an introvert, or discovering her cross-fit instructor’s secret bad habit, Amy Schumer proves to be a bighearted, brave, and thoughtful storyteller that will leave you nodding your head in recognition, laughing out loud, and sobbing uncontrollably—but only because it’s over.

Buy Link

  to Amy Schumer!

Author Bio

Amy Schumer has become one of the most influential figures in the entertainment industry as a stand-up comedian, actress, writer, producer, and director. Her smash hit television series Inside Amy Schumer, has won a Peabody award, a Critics Choice Television Award, and two primetime Emmy awards. She wrote and starred in her first feature-length film, Trainwreck, which dominated the 2015 summer comedy international box office and was nominated for two Golden Globes and won both the Critics Choice award for Best Actress in a Comedy, and a Hollywood Film Award for “Comedy of the Year.” As a stand-up comedian, she continues to perform to sold-out audiences around the world. Her 2016 tour was voted Pollstar’s Comedy Tour of the Year. Schumer was raised in New York City and Long Island and loves her brother and sister the very most.

Orpheus’ Fallen Angel – Jason Price

REVIEW

I’m not a huge action adventure fan. That being said, the author did a great job of describing scenes with a freshness that kept me engaged. That’s quite a feat as I can get bored rather easily.

BLURB

In this dark erotic comic book crime adventure, Orpheus Jones searches the crime-ridden city of Plutopolis for his missing girlfriend Angel. In his quest, he encounters gangs, bikers, hookers, pimps, neo-nazis, crooked cops, strippers, evil doctors, duplicitous priests, dubious nuns and satanists.

One of the many adversities getting in his way is Moth, a lower-than-low level criminal with delusions of grandeur and Lady J, a high level shot caller who is second-in-command to Boss Creeg, the most powerful crime lord in Plutopolis.

Orpheus does however makes a few friends along the way, such as SpiderBat, a super-vigilante skilled in combat and stealth, the Huntrix, a leather-clad dominatrix-styled bounty hunter, and the Swan of Death, a sexy female ninja assassin.

During all this, Angel herself has been captured and suffers at the hands of the sexually sadistic Lady J. Can Orpheus rescue Angel before Lady J sends her to the waiting hands of Boss Creeg or will he have to deal with the crime lord as well?

BUY LINK

 to Jason Price!

 

J.B. Havens & Samantha A. Cole – No Way In Hell (Part One & Two)

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Review

I’m a huge fan of the Trident Security novels by Samantha A. Cole. I’ve read and loved the entire series. I have never read J.B. Havens’ Steel Corps series. I make note of this because I think it is important to be upfront about how I go into reviewing a book.

First item you must know: these two books must be read together. It really is just one continuous story.

Second, these books are much more military based than romance (like the Trident Security). There is only a dab of romance.

Part I

This was a serious deviation from Samantha Cole’s Trident Security.  The story line was mostly military. The military scenes were full of intensity and graphic details. It was a little too gory for my taste. I missed the BDSM club from Trident. There are a few quick vanilla romps and a mere reference to Carter playing at BDSM club. I had a great appreciation for the heat in the Trident Series. I missed it in this book. This is also a multi-perspective book told in both first and third person. This combination is not typical, but I didn’t mind it. I’ve always been a fan of Carter. I liked getting to know Mic. She’s small but mighty.

Part II

This book was a bit more playful as Carter and Mic go undercover together. I prefer books that are fun and flirty. The military and suspense aspects were much more appealing in Part II. The scenes were extremely well thought out and had a lot of detail. The difference was the military parts were more intellectual than gruesome.

LOVED THE ENDING!

Blurb 

No Way in Hell is a novel separated into 2 novellas. Reading Book 1 is necessary for Book 2.

Steel Corps—an elite, covert U.S. military team led by Staff Sergeant Bea ‘Mic’ Michaels, based out of a secure location in Pennsylvania.

Trident Security—a private security agency located in Tampa, Florida, comprised of retired Navy SEALs.

T. Carter—U.S. spy and assassin.

What do they have in common? They all do Uncle Sam’s dirty work.

How did they get started and how did their paths cross? Find out as they prepare to join forces to take down a domestic terrorist organization with one goal in mind—to destroy what these men and one woman will fight to the death to protect—life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

No Way in Hell is a two-part crossover novel uniting J.B. Haven’s Steel Corps Series and Samantha A. Cole’s Trident Security Series. While reading both series is not necessary prior to reading No Way in Hell, it is recommended for optimum enjoyment

See Related Posts:

Samantha Cole – His Angel

Samantha A. Cole – The Devil’s Spare Change

Samantha Cole – Leather and Lace

Samantha Cole – Not Negotiable

Samantha A. Cole – Take the Money and Run

Samantha Cole – Topping the Alpha

Samantha Cole – Waiting For Him

Samantha Cole – Watching from the Shadows

Samantha A. Cole – Whiskey Tribute

Thank You Arc to J.B. Havens & Samantha A Cole!

 

 

 

 

Jerry P. Gore, MD – Holistic Medicine

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REVIEW

This book came to me as a welcome deviation from the books that I generally review.

Typically, when I review a book, it is one of my choosing that I have high expectations of enjoyment.  Almost all of the books that I read are fiction. My Review Policy

Because I believe that a book’s rating is directly reflective of the reader, I feel that I need qualify a few things about myself.  The author of this book is my neighbor, but I have never visited his Center for Holistic Medicine.  I do believe that wellness is directly related to living a healthy life and I am not one to eagerly seek out medical treatment.

As such, I opened the book with an open mind.

First off, I’ld like to make note of the fact that the author does have a M.D.  I believe that intrinsically it offers a lot more credibility to the topic than others.  This is a non-fiction book and therefore the background of the author is critical to the integrity of the material.

As a whole, I enjoyed learning more about the intricacies of holistic medicine.  The author made numerous case connections.  This offered a more practical understanding of the methods of holistic medicine.  Often times, I considered how the approach could benefit people close to me. This was something that surprised me, because I tend be skeptical.  I have degree in engineering and law and tend to need to have all things proven in order to believe.  However, the book doesn’t contain any formal scientific proof to back up the holistic theories.  The book is more of an introduction into the world of holistic medicine.  In the end, the author’s words moved me enough to suggest his services to a friend.

I found it particularly interesting that homeopathy in Great Britain is, “widely practiced, recognized, and paid for by health insurance plans[.]”  Whereas, in the United States, my home, homeopathy is not subsidized by health insurance (at least none that I am aware of).   The author notes that there are some cost savings by opting his services to those of “standard medicine.”  However, I would have preferred more discussion in this area.

Chapter 8 is entitled Food for Health and Wellness. This chapter read like a typical nutrition or diet book.  It is this chapter that made me reduce my star rating for this book.  There are certain aspects of all nutrition books that are consistent.  For example, you can’t live on baked goods (ah, to dream).  I have read many nutrition books and am in contact with a trainer and nutritionist on a weekly basis.  I felt this chapter contained an opinionated perspective.  This chapter lacked continuity with the rest of the book.

While I might not have agreed with all the methodologies in the book, they were discussed with clarity.  I am pleased to have gained a better understanding the practices of holistic medicine.  Overall, I found the book to be quite informative.

BUY LINK

AMAZON https://www.amazon.com/Holistic-Medicine-Physical-Clarity-Consciousness-ebook/dp/B01HJ2IIUK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1476024274&sr=8-2&keywords=holistic+medicine

BLURB

Have you ever had a body ailment that no physical treatment could cure? Has your state of mind ever affected your health—for better or worse?

These are the types of questions that only alternative medicine can address. Holistic medicine isn’t a passing fad; it’s a comprehensive approach to health that recognizes the interconnectedness of body, mind, and spirit. Rather than writing off traditional medicine, however, author and holistic medical practitioner Jerry P. Gore, MD, acknowledges it as one approach within the bigger picture of health possibilities.

Introducing the basic concepts of holistic medicine, this easy-to-read guide highlights the range of methods you can practice in your everyday life, from nutrition and exercise to yoga chakras and meditation. Examples are accompanied by real-life case studies to better illustrate how these techniques work and what they can accomplish. There’s even a twenty-four-hour health plan included in the appendices so you can immediately put what you’ve learned into action.

Your health and well-being are essential if you want to fulfill your potential and enjoy your life. Discover how to build a partnership between your body, mind, and spirit through the art of holistic medicine and start reaping the benefits today.

Thank You Arc to Jerry P. Gore, MD

Doctor Jerry P. Gore M.D. Medical Director & Holistic Psychiatry in North Shore, IL

Dr. Jerry Gore practices holistics psychiatry in North Shore, IL

Doctor Gore is a holistic doctor and obtained his M.D. from the University of Illinois Medical School, and completed his post-graduate program at Northwestern University’s Institute of Psychiatry. He is a co-founder and Medical Director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in Riverwoods/Deerfield IL where he practices both general medicine and psychiatry. He has over 35 years of experience specializing in integrating the body, mind and spirit of the person into an individualized medical treatment plan specific to that patients needs. His vision is to treat symptoms, educate the patient about his/her health and help people transform their lives using holistic medicine.

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http://www.holistic-medicine.com

Diane Thorne – A Gift to Remember & Another Gift to Remember

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REVIEW

Why review two books in one post?  Easy – as soon as I finished the first book, I couldn’t stop reading and had to read the next.  I mean that literally.  As soon as I finished A Gift to Remember, I fumbled with my kindle app.  My finger shook with anticipation.  I cursed every millisecond that it took my app to load my library.  I frantically scanned my page searching for where previously downloaded Another Gift to Remember.  I eagerly touched on the image of the cover.  Ah … page 1.

The blurbs and the covers make the plot crystal clear.

The story is hot, considerate, and loving – A GUARANTEED PLEASURE TO READ.

Although the stories are on the short side, I still felt like I got to know the characters.  The characters themselves had history so the story revolves a change in dynamics rather than getting to know one another.  It was also great that this wasn’t just another insta-love story.  I loved how everyone’s needs were able to be satisfied.

The ratio of story to sex scenes was perfect.  The pace and lure of the story kept me turning the pages quickly.  The steamy scenes made my blood boil, heart race, and a few other bodily reactions that aren’t appropriate for discussion on a PG13 blog.

I will be gifting this book combo to all my closest friends for the holidays this year.

BLURB – A GIFT TO REMEMBER

One man. Two women. A birthday surprise he will never forget…

Carol has spent the last five years working as an assistant for her boss, Thomas Barrett. She enjoys her job, and is a good friend to his wife, Lynn. Every year Lynn asks Carol for assistance in obtaining a gift for Thomas’s birthday. With his big fortieth arriving in a week, Carol expects she’ll need to snoop around the office for Lynn. To Carol’s surprise, Lynn already has an idea for Thomas’s present, and it’s one he will never forget.

Lynn invites Carol to join her and Thomas in a menage a trois. Although shocked, Carol considers such a rare opportunity to broaden her sexuality. But if she joins her boss and his wife in the bedroom, will Carol be able to continue a relationship with them? Moreover, can she keep her job working for Thomas?

BLURB – ANOTHER GIFT TO REMEMBER

Thomas Barrett has it all. He’s part owner of a marketing firm with his best friend of twenty years, Andy. In addition to having a successful career, Thomas enjoys the love of two beautiful women: his wife, Lynn, and his assistant, Carol. He couldn’t be happier with life.

Tasked with finding a gift idea for Andy’s fortieth birthday, Thomas comes up with a perfect one. Not only will it please Andy, but Thomas is certain his idea will provide great pleasure for Lynn and Carol. Thomas wants his favorite naughty women to bring Andy into their love nest. But will Lynn and Carol be willing to have sex with Thomas’s best friend? Better yet, can Andy maintain a working and sexual relationship with them?

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for your chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card.

Giveaway runs the duration of the blog tour (September 26 – October 2). Good luck!

Thank You Arc to Diane Thorne!

About the Author:

Diane Thorne is an erotic romance writer living in Indiana. She writes in a variety of genres such as Contemporary, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Erotic Romance and Menage a Trois. When she’s not slaving away at her day job, she creates erotic adventures with hot and seductive men. Reader beware, she is not responsible for any titillation, increased temperatures, or hormonal stirrings. Blame her characters and read responsibly.

Facebook  ||  Twitter  || Website  || Goodreads

Shakespeare vs Contemporary Romance

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Like most kids in high school, I was never a fan of Shakespeare.  In fact all of the mandatory reading in high school made me dislike reading.  To make matters worse, after undergrad, I went to law school where I was inundated with so much reading that I had a fleeting thought about reading for enjoyment.

It wasn’t until many years later that I started reading for pleasure.  This quickly progressed into an obsession and my blog.  I’ve read around 650 books – about 99% are romance books.  I may not be “well-read” in the Shakespeare arena, but I have a considerable number of romance books deliciously tucked into my head.

My teenage daughter found it odd to find me reading Shakespeare.  She wouldn’t bat an eyelash if she saw me reading an erotic romance, but when she saw me reading Richard III she shouted, “Why?”  Her tone of voice was amusing as she seemed almost appalled.  My honest answer was two-fold.  First, I’m helping out a friend with a project.  Obviously it is a good friend, because why else would I subject myself to Shakespeare.  Second, one of my reading goals for the year was to read a few books outside the romance genre.

Now, with age, a lot more reading experience, and a new perspective I have to admit that I’m still not a fan of Shakespeare.  Sorry, if that offends every English major out there.

I’m not an English major.  I majored in civil engineering, went law school, and am well-read in the romance genre.

How does Shakespeare compare to contemporary romance?

  1.  If a romance author were to try and publish a book with as many characters as were included and alluded to in Richard III, a publisher wouldn’t even waste their time with a rejection letter.  Richard III would be sent straight to the circular file.
  2. Shakespeare not only uses the same name for different people, but often refers to the same person by different names without ANY clarification.  This is the crux of why I really disliked the play.
  3. Shakespeare requires a history background to actually understand the genealogy surrounding the characters.  I felt the play was like a long relationship problem on the LSAT exam (but not all the information was provided).  It wreaked of unfairness.
  4. The actual language in Shakespeare was challenging as I lacked a familiarity with old English.  However, by the end of the book I didn’t feel any need to read the translated easier version in the No Fear book.  I have come to love reading authors from other parts of the world where some of their phrasing or lingo is different from my U.S. background.  In fact I was completely amused by some of the odd phasing in Shakespeare that crept into modern language.  “No doubt.” was a particular favorite.
  5. It is unfair to plainly state that Shakespeare’s words are “superior” or contain more “depth” than current authors.  I have read some romance authors that are also linguistically beautiful.  In fact, their words come off the page like a song.
  6. Alternatively, I find that Shakespeare is similar to antiquated and wordy legalese.  Today’s law schools teach students to write with clarity and to write succinctly.  Old school ways should be left in the past.
  7. Great romance books have great characters.  The reader gets to know and understand the way the characters think.  Shakespeare lacked in this department as well.  While the reader does get to know Richard III, the other characters (all too many) were often wishy-washy and flat.
  8. Not truly knowing the characters made it unclear how to interpret their feelings through dialog alone.  It was like reading a text from someone and being uncertain if the sender was being sarcastic.
  9. There may be more use of thematic devices and other literary devices in Shakespeare.  I don’t mean to condemn Shakespeare as a barren book not worthy of any recognition.  However, I do take issue with the common misnomer that romance books lack in this arena.  Many authors use similar devices in their works.  Most reviews or book discussions focus on the entertainment value rather than a full blown deconstruction of romance books as considered as literary works.

I’m not suggesting that English teachers replace Shakespeare with romance books in their curriculums.  I believe that there is an educational value in learning HOW to read Shakespeare.

I take issue with people bashing those that prefer to read romance over traditional literary works.  It is very pretentious and egotistical to take such a position.

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HAPPY READING!