Book Review: The Big Book of Less

The Big Book of Less by Irene Smit

The Big Book of Less: Finding Joy in Living Lighter
by Irene Smit, Astrid van der Hulst, Flow Magazine

2.5 out of 5 stars

2.5 stars – The first article in this book is a serious analysis of the American economy, the financial crisis of 2008, the history of consumerism, and progressive theories about economic change. Not what I was looking for in this book. I wanted something much more lighthearted, personal, and inspiring; not a bunch of political theories.

However, there were many other articles and little personal biographies in this book that I DID enjoy, and which I found very inspiring! There is one article about stepping away from our screens that really spoke to me, and encouraged me to spend less time on my phone. I like the overall message of this book about slowing down, living more simply, and embracing what it truly important.

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Non Fiction Book Review: I Will Teach You to be Rich

I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

I Will Teach You to Be Rich: No Guilt. No Excuses. No BS. Just a 6-Week Program That Works
by Ramit Sethi (Goodreads Author)

3 out of 5 stars

The title kind of put me off, because no one can give you a magic formula that will suddenly make you rich. However, as I began reading I was relieved to see that there are no get-rich-quick schemes in this book. It’s just general advice about saving, spending wisely, investing, and saving for retirement.

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NonFiction Review: Younger Next Year

Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley

Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, Sexy, and Smart—Until You’re 80 and Beyond
by Chris Crowley, Henry S. Lodge, Allan J. Hamilton MD (Contributor)

1.5 out of 5 stars

This book gives advice on exercise, nutrition, and staying healthy beyond 50.

This is definitely a “guy” book, written by guys, for guys. It’s crass and in your face and trying to be super macho. I only wish that the descriptions on the back, or in the title, or anywhere on the internet had made that clear. There should be a big sign on this book saying, “No Girls Allowed.” I finally searched around and found a different book by the same authors called “Younger Next Year for Women.” Guess I should have picked that one up, but I won’t bother with it now.

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Book Review: Love Notes to My Self

Notes to Self by Tanya Carroll Richardson

Notes to Self: Creating a Practice of Self-Care, Self-Compassion, and Self-Love
by Tanya Carroll Richardson

4 out of 5 stars

Each page in this book has a little lesson or affirmation to help you navigate the difficulties of life and find peace within yourself. At the top of the page is a main statement, and then a short paragraph or two explaining the concept and how you can apply is to your own self-care.

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Non Fiction Review: Life Skills 101

Life Skills 101 by Maria Gorina

Life Skills 101: All You Need, But Won’t Learn in School
by Maria Gorina

4 out of 5 stars

This book covers topics such as emotional resilience, relationships, self-esteem, health, managing your time, and reaching your goals. It gives practical advice for navigating common pitfalls of life and being successful and happy in whatever you choose to do.

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Book Review: Quackery

Quackery by Lydia Kang

Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything
by Lydia Kang (Goodreads Author), Nate Pedersen (Goodreads Author)
3 out of 5 stars

Throughout history people have tried all sorts of weird things to cure ailments. Sometimes they have even continued to use products that they knew were poisonous, hoping for lingering benefits. Conmen have promoted cure-all elixirs that promised youth and beauty and robust health, when really they were poisoning their customers with arsenic, mercury, and morphine.

I think this book is just too morbid for me. It is certainly interesting, and the writing is excellent, but it’s not quite my cup of tea. The writing is funny, putting a light mood onto a dark subject, but it’s still too yucky and disturbing for me.

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Book Review: Who Got Game? Baseball

Who Got Game? by Derrick Barnes

Who Got Game?: Baseball: Amazing but True Stories!
by Derrick BarnesJohn John Bajet (Illustrator)
5 out of 5 stars

Did you know that a girl pitcher struck out Babe Ruth? Did you know that a Japanese baseball player has more home runs than Hank Aaron? Who were really the first African Americans to play in the major leagues before Jackie Robinson? These are the lesser known heroes of baseball.

I loved this book all about the lesser-known history of baseball! With decades of history, there are some people’s stories that have been lost to time, but now you can discover the real people behind the legends.

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Book Review: Made by Hand Guitars

Guitars by Patricia Lakin

by Patricia Lakin
5 out of 5 stars

This book gives an overview of the history of the guitar and how it was developed over time to include different styles in different cultures, finally including the modern guitar and electric guitar. With paintings and photographs showcased in a colorful design, this book is sure to capture the attention of anyone interested in the guitar!

I like that the design has small paragraphs of text so that it is easy to read and absorb the snippets of information. As a musician, I really appreciated all the music history, the explanations about types of guitars, the nature of sounds for each instrument, and how different styles developed.

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Non Fiction Book Review: Everything You Need to Ace English Language Arts

Everything You Need to Ace English Language Arts in One Big F... by Jen Haberling

Everything You Need to Ace English Language Arts in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide
by Jen Haberling (Editor), Elizabeth Irwin (Contributor)
5 out of 5 stars

This book really does have everything you need to know about reading, writing, and understanding the English language. There are chapters about Grammar, Language, Reading Fiction and Non Fiction, and Writing. It covers the basics of sentence structure, clauses, and figurative language, and also explores plot structure, character development, textual analysis, and how to write a convincing argument and present the facts correctly.

Don’t be fooled by the “middle school” label. This is information that most college students and adults have probably forgotten and would need to review (or learn for the first time because they missed it in grade school.) This would be a very helpful resource to anyone who wants to write, or who just wants to get better at understanding what they read.

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Book Review: Steal Like an Artist

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
by Austin Kleon (Goodreads Author)
5 out of 5 stars

“There is nothing new under the sun.”
The truth is that originality does not exist. Everything has been done before, and when we see something that is “new”, it’s actually just a remix of whatever came before.

This book explores how to use what came before to inspire and guide your creativity. The author gives advice on how to steal ideas from the masters of the past, and make it your own thing.

I was really inspired by this book! It doesn’t just apply to art, but also to music, writing, or any creative endeavor. I loved the advice about how to hone your ideas, and keep yourself motivated. And it’s not just about the spiritual, mental, and emotional inspiration. There are entire chapters with practical advice about how to actually get the work done and create something worthwhile.

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