Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips

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Books, books, books – What I got for Christmas & first impressions

I guess I was quite adamant when I said I only wanted books for Christmas, huh? Because that’s what I got – and piles of ’em! So you can imagine how thrilled I am to start the new year with a stack of books to read and plenty of reviews to bring you throughout 2017. I’m just about to finish reading Dave Gorman Versus The Rest of The World so I’m excited to dive straight into these new books. Here’s what I received and my first impressions:book review 2016 2017 books tim peake amy schumer caitlin moran gretchen rubin-3Caitlin Moran – Moranifesto

I’ve read most of Moran’s books and this one has been on my wishlist since it was published in March 2016. I didn’t buy it straight away though because I find hardbacks more cumbersome to read and I was waiting for the paperback version to come out. How long would I have to wait? While I was browsing a book store in Ely in November I found this signed first edition and pointed it out to hubby. Thankfully he took the hint and managed to snaffle it for me without me knowing! Can’t wait to get started on this review 2016 2017 books tim peake amy schumer caitlin moran gretchen rubin-9Tim Peake – Hello, is this planet Earth?

As someone who followed Tim Peake’s mission religiously (and was giddy with excitement when I met him only a couple of days after he returned to the UK) you can imagine how excited I was to unwrap this book. It’s a chunky square book full of beautiful photographs taken by Tim during his time on the international space station. The cover is a shiny hardback (which I think looks a little bit cheap or unofficial) but when you open the pages, it’s full of stunning photos alongside Tim’s own words about the images and locations. I’d actually recommended this book to mum as a suitable present for my husband, but it was actually him who bought it for me. Good thing we didn’t all buy it for each other!book review 2016 2017 books tim peake amy schumer caitlin moran gretchen rubin-7

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Book Review – Robert Holden’s Success Intelligence

I thought I’d share a quick review of the book that’s on my bedside table right now. I’m reading Success Intelligence by Robert Holden PhD, the bestselling author of Be Happy. I’d heard many good things about the author and have fancied reading his books for a while, so when this one popped up in my local library I borrowed it immediately. I was pretty enthusiastic about reading it and started with such gusto that I think I wore myself out!

Here’s the Blurb:

Success Intelligence examine show to enjoy real, soulful success while living in a manic, busy and hyped-up world. This landmark book is an invaluable guide to achieving genuine success and happiness.

success intelligence robert holden book review

I’ve had it on loan from the library since before Christmas but I’ve still not finished it. I hope this isn’t a reflection on my reading ability, and I usually get through books pretty quickly, so I think this is a motivation thing – the reading is pretty heavy-going and although I enjoy Holden’s anecdotes, I find my mind wandering and it’s hard to get back into the main message of the book. I am reluctant to speak badly about such a well-written, helpful book, but I always without fail fall asleep before I’ve finished a chapter. And that’s not just because I’m reading at bedtime – even in the mornings when I think I’ll really put my mind to it and crack on with reading it – I start reading, the content gives plenty of food for thought and I’ll stop to think about what I’ve just read… and drift off to sleep. As a self-help book for insomniacs, this would be pretty good! 😉 But seriously, the book does share excellent ideas and really does make you think and apply Holden’s ideas to your own life – the Success Intelligence method been featured on Oprah, so it must be good, right?.

There are tasks throughout the book – each chapter has a “Success Intelligence Tip” at the end which asks you to reflect on your own abilities and behaviours eg ‘Talents’ – write down answers to “What am I really talented at in my work?”, “What makes me very good at relationships?” and “What have a I mastered about living life well?”. I therefore think that it would be best to read this book “actively” and not for relaxation as I usually do. It would be very helpful to do the tasks in order self-analyse, but I’ve not done any of them (they’re at the end of the chapter and I’m asleep by then) so maybe I’m not getting the most out of the book. But I don’t want to go back to the beginning again… I’ll never finish it! A lot of the themes of the book are around slowing down, taking time to appreciate life and dedicating time to yourself in order to feel more fulfilled and satisfied – but I find myself saying ‘I have a busy life and can’t even find the time to read the book’  and that’s pretty rubbish by Holden’s standards: it turns out that I’m doing exactly the opposite to his recommendations. Must do better.   

Seeing as I’ve not read the whole book yet, I’ll reserve my judgement until the end. The language of the book hasn’t put me off; it’s certainly not written in cheesy self-help lingo nor is it too smarty-pants to understand, I think Holden has got it just right – easy to understand, but with enough complex ideas that it really makes you think (shame I find thinking so tiring, really). I think I’d like to try reading Holden’s Be Happy first to get a bit of background on the author and I think some of the parts of Success Intelligence assume a prior knowledge of Be Happy. As a writer, I’m enjoying his style (very calming and sensible tone) and the content really is great – I’m not into self-help mumbo-jumbo but this book totally makes sense intellectually and I can’t help but believe what Robert Holden says; he’s such a smiley happy chappy in his photo on the back cover.

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