Category Better You

Finding Zoe

Finding Zoe
by Brandi Rarus and Marlee Matlin
BenBella
Retail Price $22.00
Amazon Price: $17.14

Book Description

At just a few months old, Zoe was gradually losing her hearing. Her adoptive parents loved her—yet agonized—feeling they couldn’t handle raising a Deaf child. Would Zoe go back into the welfare system and spend her childhood hoping to find parents willing to adopt her? Or, would she be the long-sought answer to a mother’s prayers?

Brandi Rarus was just 6 when spinal meningitis took away her hearing. Because she spoke well and easily adjusted to lip reading, she was mainstreamed in school and socialized primarily in the hearing community. Brandi was a popular, happy teen, but being fully part of every conversation was an ongoing struggle. She felt caught between two worlds—the Deaf and the hearing.

In college, Brandi embraced Deaf Culture along with the joys of complete and effortless communication with her peers. Brandi went on to become Miss Deaf America in 1988 and served as a spokesperson for her community. It was during her tenure as Miss Deaf America that Brandi met Tim, a leader of the Gallaudet Uprising in support of selecting the university’s first Deaf president. The two went on to marry and had three hearing boys—the first non-deaf children born in Tim’s family in 125 years.

Brandi was incredibly grateful to have her three wonderful sons, but couldn’t shake the feeling something was missing. She didn’t know that Zoe, a six-month-old Deaf baby girl caught in the foster care system, was desperately in need of a family unafraid of her different needs. Brandi found the answer to her prayers when fate brought her new adopted daughter into her life.

Set against the backdrop of Deaf America, Finding Zoe is an uplifting story of hope, adoption, and everyday miracles.

Review

 

This is an inspirational story of love and determination to make a difference. It was not only very interesting, but very enlightening.  It sheds light not only on deaf culture, but teen pregnancy and adoption as well.   I learned a lot about deaf culture that I never knew before and about adoption and the foster care system.  It was a heartwarming, feel-good read, spurring you on to make a difference in your own sphere of influence.

~Reviewed by Rosie B.

 

Please Share!
    Read More

    Jumping into the Parade

    Jumping into the Parade
    by Tim Brown
    BenBella
    Retail Price $19.95
    Amazon Price: $15.16

    Book Description

    After overcoming a difficult childhood in a dysfunctional family rife with drugs and alcohol, he became a millionaire by age 30 and had a beautiful wife and young son, a deep commitment to the community, and a big house where he could entertain friends and clients. But all was not as it appeared. Behind closed doors, Tim’s life was like a cracking windshield, splintering further day by day, on the verge of shattering.

    One November night while on an important business trip, he found himself at a New York hotel contemplating ending his life. He spotted a place on the roof where he could end the pain. In his early 40s, his marriage was struggling, his businesses were collapsing, and his health was hanging in the balance. He was being pushed to the edge, forced to face the darkness and shame of his past.

    But from that darkness, Tim found the strength to reshape and rebuild his life. His faith gave him the courage to “jump into the parade,” a phrase his former father-in-law coined to mean truly living, taking chances, and being who you really want to be—not who others expect you to be. Jumping into the Parade is his honest and candid memoir, detailing how personal struggles and flaws led him to reframe and embrace his life on his own terms. Tim’s raw and humbling story will inspire you to find the meaning in your life, wherever you are on your journey.

    Jumping into the Parade is a memoir that illuminates why embracing the edges, owning the traumatic events that shape us, and facing the stress that life can throw our way allow us to transcend our circumstances and live authentic lives in alignment with our own values—not the values others believe we should hold. Tim’s raw and humbling story provides inspiration, thought-provoking insight, and, most important, hope. Hope for those who, like Tim, want to overcome their personal struggles and flaws to reframe and embrace life on their own terms.

    Review

    This book was not only thought-provoking but truly inspiring.   Author Tim Brown shares his life with us, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Not just for interesting reading, but in hopes that his struggles, failures, and successes will help us build the life we always wanted.  While his past was very dysfunctional, he seemingly overcame it, becoming successful in personal life and business.  Yet, never fully dealing with that past caught up with him and seeped into his life, killing his joy.  In this book he tells us how he overcame that past and went on to rebuild a life based on his present and future, not his past.  Brown is a fantastic storyteller and I became very involved in his story.  And he had plenty of life lessons and take-away value.  This is an inspiring and life-changing read.

    ~Reviewed by Dave H.

    Please Share!
      Read More

      Sunrise, Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe and Gratitude

       

      Sunrise, Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe and GratitudeSunrise, Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe and Gratitude
      By Kim Weiss
      HCI
      Retail Price $10.95
      Amazon Price: $9.86

      Book Description: 

      The same vista.  Never the same sun. Much like life, the stage changes even when our vantage point doesn’t.  And so it is with the rising and setting sun, no two are ever the same. Every picture tells another color, shape and shadow story . . . whatever unfolds each day reveals the diversity and beauty of life. Birds, insects, reptiles, trees, sandy shores—all thrive under the majesty of the sun.Weiss offers all of this as a show of gratitude, a tribute to the awe of each new day. Sunrise Sunset is replete with glorious photographs of different days and different suns captured from the very same vantage point, the very same terrace.

      Complementing her photographs are meditations, passages, poetry, reflections and contemplations from some of the bestknown and loved inspirational leaders of our time: Jack Canfield, Marci Shimoff, M.J. Rose, Arielle Ford, Don Miguel Ruiz, Jr., Richard Bandler, Lisa McCourt, Betsey Chasse and many more.

      This is the ultimate gift book for saying ‘thank you’, sharing a blessing or offering an oasis for spiritual awakening. From sunrise to sunset, this will be a perennial bestseller.

      Review

      This was an enjoyable book that helped me to focus on the good things in life.  We all have so much to be thankful for, yet we often get bogged down in the negative that we overlook the positive.  The author uses some stunning photography and thought provoking reflections to remind us that everyday brings things to be grateful for.  I loved the way she used the imagery of sunrises and sunsets to get her point across.  Kudos!

      ~Reviewed by Allie B.

      Please Share!
        Read More

        Not It: An Approach to Life

        Not It:  An Approach to Life
        By Lori Rehnelt
        Beaver’s Pond Press
        Retail Price $19.95
        Amazon Price: $16.40

        Book Description: 

        Remember playing the childhood game of ”not it”? While we can no longer simply shout to avoid what we don’t want, identifying and discarding the paths that no longer serve us is key to personal fulfillment and professional success. Life is a series of choices, and oftentimes determining what we don’t want is just as important as clarifying what we do.In Not It: An Approach to Life, author Lori Rehnelt draws upon her professional experience as a business advisor and life coach to help you cut the clutter, avoid analysis paralysis, and focus on achieving the life of your dreams. Stop sleepwalking through life and find the courage to declare ”not it!” to anything less than exceptional.

        Review

         

        The author does a fantastic job of helping you to look at your life and getting motivated to organize and change the things you need to change.  She offers ideas and systems that will help you put your ideas into actions.  As with most self-help books, you will need to take what applies to you and leave the rest, but there were lots of good ideas and suggestions and I am sure there is something in here for everyone.  It is well worth the read and the effort it will take to make valid changes.

        ~Reviewed by Jen W.

         

         

        Please Share!
          Read More

          YogaLean

          YogaLean
          by Beth Shaw
          Ballantine Books
          Retail Price $18.00
          Amazon Price: $12.48

          Book Description: 

          Forget diets and guilt and judgments! Achieve your optimal weight by developing what internationally recognized yoga and fitness expert Beth Shaw calls Lean Consciousness. The ultimate path to weight loss, weight management, and whole-life wellness, Lean Consciousness grows out of filling your mind with good intentions, fueling your body with good food, and then moving your body intentionally. Combining the latest nutrition and exercise science with yogic wisdom and principles, YogaLean offers an easy-to-follow and inspiring holistic lifestyle program:

          • fully illustrated yoga poses that promote a lean physique, strengthen your core, increase energy, improve balance, boost metabolism, and enhance confidence
          • a menu of cardio and weight-training workouts that complement your yoga, refine your physical strength, and ward off disease
          • easy recipes (gluten-free!) and simple suggestions for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks that will help you burn fat more efficiently
          • stress-reducing and clarity-enhancing daily meditations
          • breathing exercises to fortify your immune system
          • strategies for clearing clutter from your space in order to clear barriers from your life
          • a one-week jumpstart plan outlining precisely what to eat and how to exercise your body and mind!

          Review

          The concepts in this book are not really new, but the author does a great job of pulling it all together to create a holistic weight loss program that will not only heal your body but enhance your mind as well.  Shaw gives us some delicious recipes to follow, suggestions on food combinations, exercises to build strength and reduce stress, and ways to use yoga to benefit both mind and body.   I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking to start practicing yoga as a beginner. It is  packed with useful information.

          ~Reviewed by Jessie M.

          Please Share!
            Read More

            The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet Cookbook

            The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet Cookbook: Juice, Smoothie, and Plant-based Recipes Inspired by the Hit Documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead

            TheReboot With Joe Juice Diet Cookbook
            By JoeCross
            GreenLeaf Book Group
            Retail Price $16.95
            Amazon Price: $12.88

             

            Book Description: 

            Since releasing his documentary, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, in 2010–which became a worldwide sensation–Joe Cross has become a tireless advocate for the power of juicing. The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet brings us his story of overcoming obesity, poor health, and bad habits and presents success stories from others whose lives he has touched.Cross–who lost a hundred pounds and discontinued all his medications by following his own plan–walks the reader through his life before juicing, candidly sharing his self-defeating attitude toward food and fitness.The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet Cookbook, the sequel to The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet, provides readers with more plant-powered recipes that they can use with the Reboot Juice Diet plans or any time for a healthy meal along with juicing and cooking information and inspiration.

            Review

             

            This is a good book – full of great juicing tips and interesting recipes. Juicing is not easy. It takes a lot of time, so you need to get some inspiration. This book serves the purpose. It covers different aspects of improving your health through green juicing. I recommend it for all enthusiasts of healthy living.  I won’t lie and say every juice tastes like heaven the first time as it takes some adjustment when you are used to everything being full of sugar. Your body will thank you in ways you cannot imagine. I would recommend this book.

            ~Reviewed by Allie B.

             

             

            Please Share!
              Read More

              The Power of No

              Product DetailsThe Power of No
              By James Altucher & Claudia Azula Altucher
              Hay House
              Retail Price $14.95
              Amazon Price: $11.85

              Book Description: 

                   How many times have you heard yourself saying yes to the wrong things—overwhelming requests, bad relationships, time-consuming obligations? How often have you wished you could summon the power to turn them down? This lively, practical guide helps you take back that power—and shows that a well-placed “No” can not only save you time and trouble, it can save your life.
              Drawing on their own stories as well as feedback from their readers and students, James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher clearly show that you have the right to say no: To anything that is hurting you. To standards that no longer serve you. To people who drain you of your creativity and expression. To beliefs that are not true to the real you. When you do, you’ll be freed to say a truly powerful “Yes” in your life—one that opens the door to opportunities, abundance, and love.

              Review

              I judge a book by it’s message and how it is delivered, and this one is a gem! There is honesty, humor, and inspiration. And it come in a concise format instead of the repetitive rambling tomes we often get with self help. This book has one of the most important messages we will ever learn:  It i okay to say no to things that hurt us.  Oh, if I’d only gotten to read this many years ago. I could have avoided so many unfortunate situations, bad bosses, bad jobs, being overworked, abused, manipulated and disrespected so many times. Above all: Saying YES to everyone all of the time is like saying NO to yourself. Learn to say “no” and you can really change your life. Like magic, your life will become what you always wanted it to be. NO is the new black. It works like a charm every time and looks great on everyone.

              ~Reviewed by Denisse R.

               

              Please Share!
                Read More

                Soul Choices

                Soul Choices
                By Kathryn Andreis
                Ozark Mountain Publishing
                Retail Price $16.50
                Amazon Price: $12.34

                Book Description: 

                The first book to teach the top 6 methods of self-awareness.Reading this book will bring you face to face with your true self and help you discover parts of yourself never before encountered. Full of unconventional ideas, thought-provoking questions and engaging activities, this book will propel everyone, regardless of age or religion, to examine their life’s mission in a new light.A guidebook, resource manual and workbook all in one! Soul Choices: Six Paths to Find Your Life Purpose shows how to successfully use six different methods of self-awareness to understand yourself and your life mission. More than 130 thought provoking questions, exercises and tasks will lead you to uncover your strengths and weaknesses. This is the first time these 6 intuitive sciences have been brought together in one book. Andries shows how to synthesize the information from the six methods into a cohesive message that pertains to your life mission. Best of all, Soul Choices teaches you how to do it on your own, or how to get in contact with people and resources that can help you. You will learn how to:

                • Use your influences to create a joyful and purposeful life
                • Discover the story in your eyes and hands
                • Understand and improve family relationships
                • Determine the significance of your birth date
                • Link your past lives and current circumstances
                • Master lessons and challenges
                • Find a satisfying career

                 

                Review

                Soul Choices: Six Paths to Find Your Life Purpose by Kathryn Andries (Published 2013) is a beautiful book that introduces us to six methods to help us discover our life purpose. The six methods we are introduced to are: Past Lives, Astrology, Numerology, Rayid Iris, Palmistry, and finally Family and Birth order.

                We are then shown how these six methods can be combined together to help us find our life purpose. I had never heard of the Rayid Iris method and found it to be very interesting and look forward to learning more about it. Rayid Iris is basically looking at our eyes to find out more about ourselves. I like the exercises at the end of each chapter which showed us how each method represents us. I also enjoyed the exercises that integrated all the aspects together in order to help us find our life purpose.

                I really enjoyed this book and think it is a good introduction to the six methods mentioned above. I also thought the cover of the book was very beautiful and fitting for this book. I would recommend this book to those who want a very brief introduction to the methods and also those who want to learn how to bring all of the methods together to find their purpose.

                I acknowledge that I received this book free of charge from Ozark Mountain Publishing in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion of the book.

                ~Reviewed by  Book L.

                Please Share!
                  Read More

                  The OPA! way

                   

                  The OPA! WayProduct Details
                  By Alex Pattakos and Elaine Dundon
                  BenBella Books
                  Retail Price $24.95
                  Amazon Price: $18.60

                  Book Description: 

                  In chasing “the good life,” many of us sacrifice our relationships, our health, and our sanity, but at the end of the day, we still find ourselves with lives and work that bring us little fulfillment. It’s not about the pursuit of happiness, as happiness is superficial and fleeting. It’s about meaning, which helps us know that our lives and work matter. As meaning emerges as the next hot topic in personal and organizational transformation, it also helps us realize our full potential, regardless of our circumstances.

                  Inspired by the wisdom of ancient Greek philosophy and traditional village values, and backed by years of research, The OPA! Way provides a breakthrough approach and practical tools for finding joy and meaning in everyday life and work. Bestselling authors Alex Pattakos and Elaine Dundon demystify the subject of meaning by sharing insights, stories, and three core lessons to guide you on your odyssey to meaning:

                  Connect meaningfully with Others

                  Engage with deeper Purpose

                  Embrace life with Attitude

                  Stop looking for happiness, and start looking for meaning. Create the meaningful life you want, The OPA! Way.

                  Review

                  Within a context of love and acceptance, the author’s present thought provoking issues for self-examination. This book offers insights to change your view of the world. Though it is not advertised as a Christian book per se, it follows the biblical examples of loving your neighbor as yourself, positive thinking , and seeking purpose and meaning for your life.  The book is
                  soul-enriching, though-provoking, and a call to action.  Inspirational!

                  ~Reviewed by Allie B.

                  Please Share!
                    Read More

                    222 Questions We Should Ask Ourselves at Least Once….

                    222 Questions We Should Ask Ourselves at Least Once….
                    By Catherine Craven
                    Create Space
                    Retail Price $12.00
                    Amazon Price: $10.80

                    Book Description: 

                    I was motivated to write this book because I desired a simple guide that offered insight, created questions, provided affirmations, pointed to answers, generated ideas, produced solutions, and reflected truth in a succinct manner, which could be deciphered and applied to everyday life. We are selfishly aware of how hard it is today to devote ourselves to anything that is not work or family related. If we would commit to devoting ten minutes a day to ourselves, then ten may become twenty, and twenty to thirty, and so on. We are the only ones who can change how we view our circumstances, how we view the world, and how we react to what happens within that world. It is all determined by our individual mind-set. If you want to change your life, then you have to change the way you think, which will change the way in which you view the world. This book is a compilation of ideas, thoughts, words, actions, objective opinions, and the “aha” moments I thought worthy to share. My hope is that you find a new healthy perspective awaiting you at the end of this annual journey.

                    Review

                     

                    This book is a powerful tool to help you look inward, prompting self-examination, asking yourself the tough questions that will lead to change, not only in your own life, but in your entire sphere of influence.  The author offers great insight as you ponder the questions she suggests leading to a new perspective and personal growth.

                    ~Reviewed by Denisse R.

                     

                    Please Share!
                      Read More