book review


Goddesses in Older WomenGoddesses in Older Women by Jean Shinoda Bolen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I actually wasn’t sure I would like this book when I first started it but once I was into it, I did really enjoy it. It was interesting reading about the different mythical goddesses and their strengths. It was actually inspiring to think about how they are in all of us to some extent. It wasn’t a quick read but it was an interesting one. I definitely could relate to some of the ideas about the power of women after fifty. I am embracing my third stage of life and am going to live it to the fullest.

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Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! by Anthony Robbins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was recommended this book to me several years ago by a friend. He was the most positive person I had ever met and I asked him how he was that way. He was going through a divorce and things in his life were quite difficult but he was always happy. He told me that this book transformed his attitude about life.
It has taken me a while to actually sit down and read this book but this was definitely the right time. For many years, I was a wife and mother and all my goals and dreams involved my husband and kid. Five years ago, that all ended and my youngest graduated from high school a couple of years later. I am finally ready to focus on me and my goals again. I don’t think I realized that until I read this book. I have been thinking about goals and dreams now and am making plans. I have broken a lifelong habit of picking my skin. Tomorrow is two weeks since I picked and I actually have not had a hard time in days. I am no longer a picker. I have tried to quit all my life. Quitting smoking was easy compared to this. Suddenly, after reading this book, it has been easy to quit.
I highly recommend this book to anyone that is wanting to make positive changes in their life. I will continue to work on the assignments in the book and continue to grow and follow my new dreams and goals.

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Things I Overheard While Talking to MyselfThings I Overheard While Talking to Myself by Alan Alda
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my goodness, I LOVED this book. I could enjoy another 200 pages of things he learned. There is so much to think about in this book. There were things that made me laugh out loud and things that made me cry. This book is a series of speeches that he has given and him talking about them. I highly recommend this book and think we can all get things from his insight.

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A Woman on the Edge of Time: a son's search for his motherA Woman on the Edge of Time: a son’s search for his mother by Jeremy Gavron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this book up at a book rescue not knowing much about it but it definitely drew me to it. The speed in which I read it says something. I did not want to put this book down. Hannah was such a strong woman and so ahead of her time. It made me think of being a woman before now. My grandmother was also ahead of her time. I often thought about my mother who was in the same age group as Hannah. Women were expected to be a certain way and women who chose not to had a difficult road. Unfortunately, Hannah ultimately couldn’t handle it and took her life. She left two young boys and a family that never spoke of her again. This is written by the younger of the boys as he tries to understand his mother and her choice. This book also made me proud of my daughters who are in no hurry to marry and have babies. They are living their lives before they go down this path, if they choose that path I sure wish that I had done so. Hannah’s thesis that was later published is The Captive Wife. I wonder how many of us feel the way this book implies. I think Ii will have to find it and read it. I know I can probably relate. I gave up my life for the “dream” and it was a mistake. Now I am alone, poor, and fifty, trying to figure out how to live my dreams. I will make it as I have made it this far. This book is worth the read. It is not anti-man. It is not anti-marriage. It is more about having the strength to follow your dreams. The women back then had so many more obstacles than we do now. It has improved but many are still there due to our gender. We need to continue to change things for our daughters and granddaughter.

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Never Let Go: A Philosophy of Lifting, Living and LearningNever Let Go: A Philosophy of Lifting, Living and Learning by Dan John

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was given this book by a power lifter friend of mine. We talked a lot about fitness when we were hanging out and when he moved away, he thought I would enjoy the book. It really was interesting with lots of discussions about different fitness programs, diets, etc. I got a lot from it. One of my favorite things was “If it is important, do it every day. ” That actually pertains to all aspects of life and I am fully embracing this. I also think I may do the one lift a day option occasionally to change things up. I guess this was a book of essays written by the author. When I was looking something up, I found one of the chapters online.

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Eat, Drink and Be Mary: A Glimpse Into a Life Well LivedEat, Drink and Be Mary: A Glimpse Into a Life Well Lived by Michelle Mras

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. I initially was loving it because it brought back memories. I am friends with Mike and Michelle. I attended the school with them in the Philippines. A few of the events she talked about, I was there. We were on track team together and Mike was one of my best friends. We graduated from high school and came back stateside. Like many brats back then, we lost contact. Thanks to the internet, we all were reconnected and I am thrilled to have them back in my life. They are both the same wonderful people they were back in the 80’s. Michelle asked me to read the book and so I did. I had no idea what to expect but ended up loving all of it. I honestly do not remember Mary. She may not have ever been my teacher but I wish I had known her. The way she raised her kids was really how I tried to raise mine. I love her attitude towards life and lessons that she taught people. I am so glad that Michelle is sharing this with the world. With all the negativity in the world, it is wonderful to have Michelle sharing these positive lessons. Thank you Mike and Michelle for sharing Mary with me. I really enjoyed reading this book. It was very uplifting.

“Love is a decision,” I answered. “Choose your love and then love your choice”. Shared values and attitudes are much more important to a long term compatibility than common activities or backgrounds. One day at a time, one small step at a time, and it’s suddenly 36 years later.” is one of my favorite quotes from this book. It is so true.

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I grabbed this book off of a free bookshelf at my old job because I really enjoyed The Poisonwood Bible. This is a book of essays from Now or Never. In these essays she talks about her life in so many areas. She mentions her childhood, her being a mother, and struggles of both. She discusses spirituality, love of nature, different cultures and appreciating our world. I especially liked the essay on novels and the importance of them. I learned things about Africa. She made me think about parenting. It was interesting reading about her tour of a Titan Missile silo in Arizona where my father once worked. I am so glad I picked this book up and do plan on reading more of her work.

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