SELF HELP REVIEW: ATOMIC HABITS

About a year ago, it seemed as if everyone was reading this book. People I knew claimed it was life changing. There was a wait list at the library.

I wonder how many people were as disappointed in the book as I was.

I found the book little more than a rehash of other books I’ve read. Now granted, I’m older and at one point in my life was deeply involved in a corporate career, so I read as much as I could about worker smarter not harder. Many of the suggestions in this book have been a part of my routines for years.

I have to ask myself why I keep looking for a magic solution.

Book Review: Linda Howard-Mr. Perfect

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I recently learned some people have stopped reading Linda Howard due to alleged racist comments she’s made on social media. I haven’t seen the comments, so I’m not going to judge.

I’ve also read that people think Mr. Perfect  is a dreadful book because of the way she treated one of the characters who some might consider marginalized. As an author, I’ve often been told as long as something is well-motivated, an author can do anything. And that is the case in this book. The motivation is . . . perfect.

Mr. Perfect is one of my favorite books of all time. It starts out with a group of friends–co-workers–who get together every Friday night after work for dinner and drinks. This circle of women reminds me of my friends and how much fun we have when we get together. One Friday night, these women laughingly put together a list of what they think would constitute the perfect man. Some of the items are ribald and made in jest; others are serious and thoughtful.

Little did these four women know their fun time was about to turn deadly.

The main character has just purchased her own home and is having issues with her cranky neighbor, who turns out to be a cop. A sexy cop. A sexy alpha male cop.

My biggest complaint about this book is the negative portrayal of a cat. It’s well known that Howard is a dog person. She doesn’t understand cats.

Five stars anyway.

 

Self-Help Review: The Artist’s Way

When I first joined RWA and started writing with focus in addition to serious intent, I heard about Julia Cameron’s seminal book The Artist’s Way everywhere. Blogs, Private chat rooms. Other books  People raved about their Morning Pages habit.

I bought a copy to see what the worship was about. The book is about creative recovery. Cameron has come up with a method for artists of every type to tap into their deepest reserves of creativity. It is a twelve-week program.

I’ve read the book several time. What many people don’t realize, is The Artist’s Way is book one of a trilogy, all of which are twelve-week programs. I own all three. I’ve read all three. (Walking in the World and Finding Water are the other two).

Cameron has solid advice in the books. The first step, the most important part of the process is Morning Pages. The first thing everything morning, an artist is supposed to write three pages of stream-of-consciousness thoughts. Even if one writes nothing but I have nothing to write for three pages, one must write it. Every morning. Three pages.

When I was the Book-in-A-Week Babe for my local RWA chapter, I used many quotes from the book as inspiration for the BIAW participants. One said to me, “Oh! I love The Artist’s Way!”

I tried Morning Pages. Actually, I’ve tried The Artist’s Way several times. Cameron’s way is not my way. I have learned I am a writer who must jump feet first into her work-in-progress first thing every morning. I don’t have time for Morning Pages. Tapping into the personal me distracts from the stories I’m trying to tell.

That’s me. Morning Pages, Artist’s Dates, and other Cameron prescriptions might work for you.

 

Book Review: Karen Robards-Superstition

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This year I am going to review my six favorite Karen Robards books. My sister gifted me with my first one many years ago. When I first joined my local RWA chapter, I learned about another one (which I will review later) that had my colleagues gaga.

Since then, I’ve read most of Robards’ single title romantic suspense novels. I love her stories. My favorite is Superstition. Take an ambitious TV new reporter, a psychic who is blocked, a chief of police with a shady background, a couple of uncooperative ghosts, a haunted house, set them on Pawley’s Island right before tourist season is about to begin and watch this story unfold. Suspense. Twists. Turns. A couple of chilling moments. Superstition has it all. One of the things I like about this story is how deeply embedded the character backstories are embedded in the plot.

Five stars.

Book Review: Linda Howard-Open Season

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Linda Howard is one of my favorite authors of all time. I love a great romantic suspense story. This year, I’m going to review my top six favorites Linda Howard novels, starting with OPEN SEASON.

The main character, Daisy, wakes up on her birthday and decides her life is boring and it’s up to her to make the changes. She starts with a makeover. I love makeover stories. Not only does she change her looks, but also her habits, and attracts the attention of the new-in-town chief of police. That’s the romance, and it’s a great one.

The suspense comes in when ditzy Daisy, the town librarian, witnesses a murder. She doesn’t realize what she’s seen. There are plenty of twists and layers to the suspense plot, including crooked politicians, date rape drugs, international sex trafficking, and spousal abuse.

One of the things Howard does so well is show us the inner workings of her character’s minds. Daisy may come off as scatterbrained, but her once the reader follows how her thought process works, everything makes sense. Naive doesn’t mean stupid.

Howard also has a great sense of humor that doesn’t always show up in her books, but there are a couple of laugh-out-loud moments in OPEN SEASON.

I highly recommend this book.