Sometimes all it takes for a book to reel me in is a great concept. And Jared Knott's Tiny Blunders/Big Disasters definitely has that. This book has it all:
Saturday, November 7, 2020
Monday, October 26, 2020
Hi all. Wanted to let you know that I will be working at Recycle Bookstore in downtown Campbell starting this weekend. My shifts will be Friday from 4:30-8:30 and Sunday from 10-6. Come by and say hello. And, if you are interested, I will be happy to recommend some books to buy - both used and new. Recycle is loaded with great books. And if you haven't had an opportunity to see Recycle, I'm pretty sure you will enjoy your visit. It's at 275 E. Campbell Avenue (408-370-3514). See you there!
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Let me start this review by saying that not only is Let’s Talk a well-written and interesting book, it’s also an important one. The cover reads: LET’S TALK…ABOUT MAKING YOUR LIFE EXCITING, EASIER, AND INTERESTING. Art reinforces this goal repeatedly throughout the book. He does it in such a way that it’s a frequent reminder but doesn’t beat you over the head.
What did I like about this book, you ask? Everything, is the answer. Let me list the Top 10 reasons (not in any specific order):
1. It's very readable. Self-help books can tend to be dry. Let's Talk is definitely not.
2. There is quite a lot of humor. For example, on the first page of the book he says "I'm a trial
lawyer - no, wait! Don't close the book! There are bits like this periodically thrown in.
3. There are meaningful quotes at the beginning of each chapter. They set the stage for what
follows. And what I found particularly effective was how he quoted such a wide variety of
people - from Buddha to John Lasseter to Cicero to Jack Nicklaus…and the list goes on.
4. I like that his goal is to create dialogue instead of preaching to us. He does this, in part, by
reminding us on several occasions that we can click on his website - RiosTalks.com.
5. He makes a lot of cultural references that are just flat-out fun. At one point, he says that
the one wine lunch and happy hour go together like “mac and cheese, Batman and Robin,
rum and coke, chips and salsa, and Scooby and Shaggy.” Are you kidding me? Scooby
and Shaggy? How cool is that?
6. There are 15 chapters in Let’s Talk. But Art identifies the 2 that are the most important -
Gratitude and Kindness. I couldn’t agree more.
7. I really connected with his chapter on Power Vision. This is another name for The Law of
Attraction. If you are not familiar with this concept, first introduced to us by Esther and
Jerry Hicks, take a look. I think you will find that it just might resonate with you, too.
8. Art gives us 3 takeaways at the end of each chapter, which act as a great summary of what
we just read. But don’t make the mistake of avoiding the content of the chapters. You will
need that in order to receive the most impact.
9. Chapter 13 - Two Ears, One Mouth - hit me hard. It’s about listening. When my wife and I
have been with people, we always compare notes to see if they asked the second
question. Think about how many ask the first question in such a way that they don’t really
care about the answer. They are probably more Two Mouths, One Ear than the reverse.
It's so important to listen, not just talk. But, sometimes, that’s hard to find.
10. In the Kindness chapter, Art gives us 20 ways to show kindness. I STRONGLY urge you
and me and everybody to pay close attention to this list. We all need to be reminded of
how important this is to us, our families and friends, and the world at large.
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I think this is a terrific book. I am anxiously awaiting
#2. I will be at the front of the line to pick up my copy. Do yourself a favor and get your hands on Let’s Talk. This is a book that actually makes a difference.
Monday, September 14, 2020
First of all, I've got some news reports for you. I will follow that up with 3 very short reviews.
1. Warner Brothers has purchased the rights to The Alice Network. We know that buying the rights doesn't always mean that the project will come to the big or little screen. But it sure is a good story, and it would be great to see it produced.
2. Reese Witherspoon's production company is bringing Where the Crawdads Sing to the big screen. This is one of the few books I've read in recent years that has gotten a thumbs up from everybody I know who has read it.
3. Kerry Lonsdale's book, Side Trip, has a pretty unique surprise in it. She is going to have a meeting designed to give readers a chance to ask questions...and they/we WILL have questions! The event is called Kerry's Tiki Bar, and is scheduled for October 1, 4:00PST. You can go on her website to get the link.
And now 3 mini-reviews:
1. The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett. I have liked a lot of Patchett's books (especially Bel Canto) but haven't been crazy about the most recent ones. TDH has gotten a ton of high ratings. I liked it well enough but didn't love it. Interestingly enough, Joni and I started listening to the audiobook (narrated by Tom Hanks) quite a few months ago. We liked it but turned it in because we wanted to listen to Ronan Farrow's Catch and Kill (which we couldn't get through). We never went back to the audiobook, but I decided to read it based on some glowing reviews from friends of mine. The best I can say is that I'm not sorry I read it.
2. Charming Falls Apart, by Angela Terry. This is a debut novel for Angela. And I liked it a lot. I definitely recommend it and look forward to her next one, whenever that hits the circuit.
3. The Light in the Hallway, by Amanda Prowse. This is an author that I had never heard of until recently. And she's written almost 30 novels and novellas! I discovered her on a FB book group page. I saw several members raving about her books. I went back and forth with them and finally decided I would read one of her books and make up my own mind. I picked this one based on recommendations and Goodreads ratings. Anyway, although this was a very long-winded explanation, the bottom line is that I definitely liked it. I would probably read others by her but don't feel the need to run out and do that.
Sunday, September 6, 2020
Back in 2018, I read my 1st Katherine Center book. It was How to Walk Away, and I loved it. Then why did it take me so long to read another one? Beats me. But I finally did. It's called What You Wish for, and it's darn good. This one hit me differently than a lot of other books do. I was rolling along, enjoying HtWA. I wasn't as emotionally connected as I like to be with the books I read. But I was certainly engaged and glad I picked it. And then...BOOM! It hit me like a ton of bricks. The last 65 pages I almost couldn't stop crying. It definitely crept up on me. So I guess I was emotionally connected after all! Here's what the book is about:
Samantha Casey is a school librarian who loves her job, the kids, and her school family with passion and a joy for living. But she wasn't always that way. Duncan Carpenter is the new school principal who lives by rules and regulations, guided by the knowledge that bad things can happen. But he wasn't always that way. And Sam knows it. Because she knew him before - at another school, in a different life. Back then, she loved him, but she was invisible. To him. To everyone. Even to herself. She escaped to a new school, a new job, a new chance at living. But then Duncan, of all people, gets hired as the new principal there. Although it feels like the worst thing that could possibly happen to Sam, it feels like the best thing that could possibly happen to the school. Until the opposite turns out to be true. The lovable Duncan she had known is now a suit-and-tie-wearing, rule-enforcing tough guy so hell-bent on protecting the school that he's willing to destroy it. As the school community spirals into chaos, and danger from all corners looms large, Sam and Duncan must find their way to who they really are, what it means to be brave, and how to take a chance on love - which is the riskiest move of all.
Katherine not only tell a good story, she also writes well. Here are a couple of examples of great visuals:
"I could not disguise the bizarre feeling of joy that had just appeared inside my body - like a million tiny, carbonated bubbles. I felt positively fizzy."
"I'd try to give in just enough to satisfy the urge without actually doing it. Like biting the corner of a chocolate bar."
She even has a scene in which Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove is mentioned. That's in my Top-12 All-Time. Obviously a fun reference for me.
I waited a couple of years to read my 2nd Center. But the 3rd will be making its appearance much sooner. I've already ordered Things You Save in a Fire. I daresay that even with the mountain-high books in my TBR pile, I will get TYSiaF near the top pretty quickly. And there are 5 more after that! It's a daunting proposition...but a good problem to have.
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
We've got some books coming out next month from big name authors:
Nicholas Sparks -The Return
AND, the biggest one of all...wait for it...do you feel the tension mounting...it's...Ken Follett - The Evening and the Morning - IT'S A PREQUEL TO PILLARS OF THE EARTH! - I'm sure you all know by now that Pillars, along with The Source and Shogun, are my 3 favorite books of all time
Sunday, August 30, 2020
Yesterday was Independent Bookstore Day. And, not surprisingly, I trekked over to Recycle Bookstore in Campbell to pay homage. Here are a few pics from my visit:
Good old Recycle!