Inspirational/Self-help

Book Review: Real Artists Don't Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age

Real Artists Don't Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age
Author: 
Goins, Jeff
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

I’m a little conflicted with this book’s message, mostly because it downplays its definitions at the beginning of what an “artist” really is. It would be nice to make a living on my writing, but this book isn’t about how to do that. In fact, I’m already the artist that this book describes: someone who sells their creative hobby while pursuing it on weeknights and weekends. I have a full-time job, so my art isn’t my primary profession like the term “starving artist” is meant to invoke. Sure, there are bits of useful advice sprinkled throughout this book, but it wasn’t anything I hadn’t already picked up by now.

Perhaps the audience for this book is the individual who is thinking of taking a considerable risk and quitting their job to jump wholly into being an artist? Any more, the current Millennial mindset of “hustles” makes this an old way of thinking. We don’t have just one job: we have many, which we also juggle with our relationships and our hobbies. Furthermore, with online communities bringing together like-minded creative individuals with no limitations of geographical separation, some of the advice in this book is already dated three years after it was published.

Even if I already knew a lot of the advice in this book, it was encouraging to know that I’m on the right track for the artist I want to be. There are plenty of examples of successful artists in this book that give me hope that I’m doing the right things to advance my artistic career. It even filled in a few gaps that connected pieces of information I had learned but hadn’t put together yet. In the end, being an artist is a mindset, and it’s not a binary “all or nothing” that we used to consider it. Hopefully, we can soon retire the “starving artist” moniker because many artists don’t make a living on their art.

Fairly evident advice for a redefined group of artists, I give Real Artists Don’t Starve 3.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: 
Benjamin W.

Book Review: The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself
Author: 
Singer, Michael A.
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Wow...reading this book will take you on a spiritual journey unlike any other. If the idea of becoming more mentally and emotionally free, mindful, concious, happy and self-actualized interest you, then give this #1 New York Times Bestseller a read today!

Reviewer's Name: 
Alyssa

Book Review: The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Terms

The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Terms
Author: 
Lakhiani, Vishen
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Written by the founder of the successful online learning platform MindValley, this book will change your life, or at least spark a bit of self-reflection. Vishen takes the reader through 10 life-redefining laws leading to success, which are then divided into 4 parts. Part I explains how we have each been shaped, for better and for worse, by our culture and childhood. In Part II, the reader is challenged to either accept or modify what was brought to the surface in Part I. Part III is entitle "Recoding Yourself" and delves into mindfulness, discipline, "bending reality," goal setting to lead to lasting fulfillment every time and other compelling topics. Finally, Part IV provokes the reader to find their quest, and change the world. This is one of the most worthwhile self help books I have ever read and I recommend it to anyone wanting to change their life, thinking patterns, or habits for the better.

Reviewer's Name: 
Alyssa

Book Review: Travel As Transformation: Conquer the Limits of Culture to Discover Your Own Identity

Travel As Transformation: Conquer the Limits of Culture to Discover Your Own Identity
Author: 
Diehl, Gregory
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Part travel, part philosophy, part self help, this book is certainly a compelling read. Gregory Diehl shares his unique perspective and riveting accounts from his time spent traveling around the world. He describes in depth how his experiences and sometimes dark and uncomfortable lessons he learned while living in multiple countries around the globe have shaped his unique identity. He also challenges readers to examine the lessons in self discovery they too have encountered when traveling and to experience immersion in other cultures in order to develop a more well-rounded identity and life experience.

Reviewer's Name: 
Alyssa

Book Review: The Survival Guide for Making and Being Friends

The Survival Guide for Making and Being Friends
Author: 
Crist, James
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

This a a short book, but you get a whole package when buying it! I think this book was a bit young for me. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone ages 7-10. However, this book gave me a little reminder on the effects kindness has on others. This book gives many dialogue suggestions for on-the-spot situations. The author gives information about friendships that 100% of people with experience involving peers would agree with. This text gives tips on what friends really are, how to make friends, how to hold onto friends, how to avoid arguments, how to talk through arguments, and the most important of all, how to kindly and properly end a friendship. The author emphasized that everyone has the potential of being a good friend and I think that that is extremely important. This was a good refresher on important social skills.
Reviewer: Grade 8

Reviewer's Name: 
Samantha

Book Review: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
Author: 
Covey, Sean
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens is a must-read for every teenager. Sean Covey's 7 habits touch on a variety of subjects and will help you in every aspect of your life. This book has something in it for everyone and really shows how you can live up to your potential. Sean Covey gives small, simple steps that will make a big difference so that you can become a balanced, well-rounded individual. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens is full of humor, relatable stories, and great advice. I highly recommend this book for every teenager.

Reviewer's Name: 
John

Book Review: The Power of Habit

Book Cover
Author: 
Duhigg, Charles
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

"The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg is a great read if you are interested in changing your habits or changing your company's habits for the better. Duhigg guides the reader through how habits work in life and in business. What makes "The Power of Habit" a good read, though, is Duhigg's remarkable talent for storytelling. The narratives Duhigg presents are both informative and heartfelt. The stories are what make this book a real page turner, but when coupled with Duhigg's insights about habits, the book is both enlightening and informative.

Reviewer's Name: 
Melina D.

Book Review: Level Up Your Life

Level Up Your Life: How to Unlock Adventure and Happiness by Becoming the Hero of Your Own Story
Author: 
Kamb, Steve
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Steve Kamb’s book Level up Your Life is one of those rare self-help books that manages to be a page-turner. As an avid gamer, Kamb’s approach to gamifying goal-setting really resonated with me, and his journey from “shy, risk-averse nerd” to diving with sharks on the Great Barrier Reef inspired me to start my own bucket list.

One thing to keep in mind before picking up this book is that a substantial portion focuses on achieving fitness-related goals. Kamb is, after all, the founder of a Nerd Fitness, a website geared towards helping gamers and comic book fans have fun getting fit. Although my own reasons for reading Level up your Life weren’t related to fitness, I enjoyed this section all the same. Still, I felt it was worth noting since this book isn’t specifically marketed as a fitness resource.

With that said, the principles Kamb discusses can be applied towards accomplishing any goal, whether it’s learning a language or writing a book. And indeed, Kamb includes stories from members of his own community (the Rebellion) which show them using gamification to do everything from designing apps to traveling around the world.

While Kamb’s primary audience is undoubtedly gamers and comic book fans, I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone interested in self-improvement.

Reviewer's Name: 
Lisa

Book Review: Girl, Wash Your Face

Girl, Wash Your Face
Author: 
Hollis, Rachel
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

I really loved this book. It really hit home for me and made me think and examine some things in my own life. I would highly recommend this book to other women.

Reviewer's Name: 
Lisa S.

Book Review: Cringeworthy: A Theory of Awkwardness

Cringeworthy: A Theory of Awkwardness
Author: 
Dahl, Melissa
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Raise your hand if you’ve ever done something awkward. Now, raise your hand if you enjoyed that moment.

I’m willing to bet there’s not a single person in the world who would raise their hand in response to the second question. All of us hate awkward moments because they’re… well… awkward.

But in her hilarious book Cringeworthy: A Theory of Awkwardness, Melissa Dahl proposes that we learn to laugh at our awkward moments. In doing so, we can feel less alone.

Sounds pretty interesting, right? But Dahl goes one step further. She says that by actively seeking out awkward activities, we can diminish the power they have over us.

Some examples of these deliberately awkward activities include singing “Mary had a Little Lamb” in public, going to a crowded restaurant and asking a group of complete strangers to listen to your maid of honor / best man speech, and reading an embarrassing entry from your diary out loud to a live audience.

If the idea of doing any one of these activities sounds terrifying to you, you’re not alone. Indeed, the book opens with Dahl feeling like she’s in a waking nightmare as she reads an entry from her middle school diary out loud to a live audience.

But as Dahl later explains, these deliberately awkward activities are a form of exposure therapy prescribed by cognitive behavior therapists to help their patients navigate the realm of social anxiety. And it’s in anecdotes like these that the book’s strengths really shine through, as Dahl does an excellent job of balancing her own experiences of awkwardness with the more scientific aspects of social anxiety. The result is a book that’s both refreshingly honest and unusually grounded for a topic as seemingly trivial as awkwardness. Highly recommended for anyone who’s ever experienced the
discomfort of awkwardness (which is everyone… right?)

Reviewer's Name: 
Lisa

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Inspirational/Self-help