Bomb Shelter [Book Review] and I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet [Book Review] #Essay #Memoir #MentalHealth

May 13, 2022

Two Memoirs/Essays: Bomb Shelter and I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet #MentalHealthWeek

Memoir Reviews (collage of two covers)

Two reviews today!

My favorite memoirs/essays are ones where I can glean something useful for my own life….where I can make a connection….where I can acquire insight and understanding of particular challenges and struggles. I think these two titles are perfect for sharing during May’s focus on Mental Health Awareness. While one (I Haven’t Learned That Yet) mentions faith, both are poignant, transparent, and honest reflections on life’s challenges.

*Titles are Amazon affiliate links.

Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives by Mary Laura Philpott

Bomb Shelter by Mary Laura Philpott (cover) Image: yellow text and a large turtle against a pinkish red background

Genre: Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Essay, Self-Help, Self-Reflection, Anxiety, Humor

My Summary:

Mary Laura Philpott is a self-proclaimed “optimistic worrier” or “anxious optimist.” This tendency intensified when she became a parent and believed that if she cared enough, she could keep her loved ones safe. One day, her teenage son experienced a seizure and she began to worry about what else could happen? How do you keep going and continue loving and caring when you don’t know what will happen next?

My Thoughts:

I imagine most of us have experienced that feeling of helplessness and anxiety and worry over the ones for whom we are responsible. I know I have. In fact, if you are a fan of the NBC drama This is Us, a scene in one episode touched me profoundly. Randall is at the cabin working and has visions/imaginary conversations with Jack about his anger toward Rebecca for keeping the truth about his bio father from him…..Jack encourages Randall to see the situation from Rebecca’s perspective. Through the window, Randall glimpses a frantic Rebecca closing and locking all the windows and doors in an effort to keep her family safe. So moving. A perfect picture of how I felt as a parent of a growing family…..so many worries and dangers to keep at bay.

“It’s true. There will always be threats lurking under the water where we play, danger hiding in the attic and rolling down the street on heavy wheels, unexpected explosions in our brains and our hearts and the sky. There will always be bombs, and we will never be able to save everyone we care about. To know that and to try anyway is to be fully alive. The closest thing to shelter we can offer anyone is LOVE, as deep and wide and as in as many forms as we can give it.

Philpott shares honestly how her anxiety was triggered as a parent. Isn’t it helpful knowing others have felt the same? Experienced the same? I think the book is relatable for parents or anyone who experiences episodes of anxiety or worry.

Philpott’s writing style and reflections are conversational, engaging, mostly light-hearted, and sprinkled with humor.

Recommended for anyone who experiences anxiety and/or worries.

Content Considerations: epilepsy, anxiety

My Rating: 4 Stars.

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I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet: Discovering New Ways of Living When the Old Ways Stop Working by Shauna Niequist

I Guess I Haven't Learned That Yet by Shauna Niequist (cover) Image: colorful text against a white background

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Essays, Self-Help, Self-Reflection, Grief, Faith, New Beginnings

My Summary:

Shauna Niequist’s carefully and thoughtfully cultivated life as she knows it falls apart after her fortieth birthday. What do you do when your entire life has revolved around your father’s church and your life-long, close-knit community of family and friends all collapse when your father is accused of inappropriate behaviors at his mega-church and resigns (not detailed). What happens when the happy and secure life in the mid-west you’ve dreamed of and carefully built falls apart around you? Well….you might move to Manhattan and rethink everything.

My Thoughts:

I suspect most of us can relate to a life that isn’t at all what we expected or dreamed about. We may face unexpected financial problems, toxic relationships, family disappointments, broken friendships, health concerns, etc. What then? What happens when all you want to do is quit? Does everything fall apart or can we learn to live in a new way, make adjustments, gain new perspectives, forgive, show compassion, navigate heartbreak and grief, and accept unknowns? Can we rebuild, refocus, and retool?

“…Life is…interconnected and multifaceted. We carry around our whole selves…our past and our parents, our loves and our limitations our dreams and our grocery lists, and our wounds.”

I need to note:

  • Not all of us have the option of relocating and starting a new life, have access to vacation homes, or can take a year off work to pull ourselves together. Nevertheless, she has some good things to share!
  • Some readers are frustrated that Niequest never shares the nature of the issue with her father and the church that motivated her memoir. Her intentional vagueness is out of respect for her father’s privacy….and really the issue is her dad’s to write about….she’s sharing how her life changed and how she adjusted to those changes as a result of what happened. I had followed the news story when it came out, so her vagueness didn’t bother me. He’s easy to google if you’re interested (Bill Hybels).

Recommended for anyone who is facing a life change.

My Rating:  4 Stars

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Meet the Authors, Mary Laura Philpott and Shauna Niequist

Author Mary Laura PhilpottMary Laura Philpott is the author of I Miss You When I Blink, the nationally bestselling memoir-in-essays, as well as Bomb Shelter, forthcoming in 2022. Her writing has been featured frequently by The New York Times and also appears in such outlets as The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Paris Review Daily, O The Oprah Magazine, and Real Simple. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

For more information, visit http://www.MaryLauraPhilpott.com

Author Shauna NiequistShauna Niequist is the author of Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, Bread & Wine, Savor, and Present Over Perfect.

She is married to Aaron, and they live in Manhattan with their sons, Henry & Mac.

Shauna is a bookworm, a beach bum, and a passionate gatherer of people, especially around the table.



QOTD:

Do you love memoirs? Are these titles on your TBR or have you read one or both?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



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***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

The Guide to Gratitude [Online Course Preview] #MentalHealth #GuestPost

May 11, 2022

What tops YOUR gratitude list?
Do you keep a gratitude journal?

  • A baby’s first smile just for you
  • Spring flowers in every bold and gentle color
  • Gentle rain that covers the earth like a blessing

Guest Post: The Guide to Gratitude by Jake Kneeland

The Guide to Gratitude: Change Your Perspective, Change Your Life (Image: white text over a mountain vista)

 Self Help, Mental Health, Online Course

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links

The Guide To Gratitude

Are You Feeling Completely Overwhelmed?

We’ve all been there. After all…life is BUSY.

We run to and from school, work, our families, friends, and repeat it the very next day. If we even come close to a moment with ourselves four other things seem to come up that need our attention. No wonder we’re so anxious all the time! Every day can begin to feel like one endless loop and before we know it – months, even years, pass by. How do we change this? A simple shift in perspective.

The Guide To Gratitude is just that – a roadmap to help you identify the moments we take for granted – and start to appreciate them deeply.

Gratitude Reciprocates

What we put out into the world – whether it be kindness, energy, compassion, positivity, or something negative – is what we draw to ourselves. When we show more appreciation we create an abundance of things to cherish in life. When we are able to show more, we are able to receive more – gratitude reciprocates.

“The depth of our joy can be measured by the height of our gratitude.”
~Jake Kneeland

Step-By-Step

The Guide To Gratitude is a practical step-by-step framework to get you back to you. It will help you identify, focus on, and deeply appreciate the best parts of life – the moments in between.

Once you grab the Guide you not only get a video introduction and the full online course, but you also receive Jake’s Mental Health Toolkit and Daily Affirmation Guide for FREE!

Let’s begin to deeply appreciate the simple gifts of everyday life. After all – we only have one go at this thing. Make It Count!

Order the Gratitude Course here

Related: The Seven Day Gratitude Challenge

The 7 Day Gratitude Challenge by Jake Kneeland (cover) a person sits on a boulder overlooking a valley surrounded by mountains

Meet the Author, Jake Kneeland

Author Jake Kneeland

Jake Kneeland was born and raised in rural South Dakota where he learned to embrace the little things and simple pleasures in life. Through his travels, Jake has cultivated a passion for deep conversations and identifying what energizes others. That passion has led to a greater understanding of time and the importance of who we surround ourselves with. Jake believes that when we simplify the events, circumstances, and people in our lives we form a deeper level of appreciation for those very things. The little things in life become the big things.

When he’s not spending time with those closest to him you can find Jake enjoying his two passion projects – itsjustjake.com and The Little Things Podcast.

***Full Disclosure: There is a family connection and Jake is my (second) cousin.



Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

December 16,  2021

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
#throwbackthursday

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb (cover) Image: black text over a large yellow box of tissue against a blue background

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Psychology, Therapy, Mental Health

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a compelling memoir that explores therapy, Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Humorous, thought-provoking, and candid…

Lori Gottlieb, a psychotherapist and national advice columnist, shares a behind-the-scenes look into her work as a therapist. She also shares what it was like when she sought out therapy for herself.

“Most of what we say to ourselves we’d never say to people we love or care about, like our friends or children. In therapy, we learn to pay close attention to those voices in our heads so that we can learn a better way to communicate with ourselves.”

Exploring mental health, finding meaning in life, and repairing broken relationships…

Continue here for my full review of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone…



QOTD:

Have you read Maybe You Should Talk to Someone or is it on your TBR?

 

Joyful [Book Review] #WhatsOnYourBookshelfChallenge

October 22, 2021

Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee

Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee (cover) Image: black text over a large orange frozen ice cream bar against a white background

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Self Help, Home Design, Aesthetics, Reflection

Today I’m reviewing a book that’s been on my (virtual) bookshelf for some time. I’m linking up with Deb @ Deb’s World and Sue, Donna, and Jo for the October installment of #WhatsOnYourBookShelfChallenge .

Whats On Your Bookshelf Challenge

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Does the outer world of design affect our inner joy? Do our outward surroundings promote joy? The author explores the principles of psychology, visual and sensory input, and design to discuss how they might promote personal joy. Ten aesthetics that affect joy are addressed in depth and she reveals “a distinct connection between the feeling of joy and the tangible qualities of the world around us”: Energy, Abundance, Freedom, Harmony, Play, Surprise, Transcendence, Magic, Celebration, and Renewal. In addition, the author provides sample worksheets for making our own spaces more joyful.

Key Concepts:

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Why You Need to Fail [Book Excerpt]

October 8, 2021

Why You Need to Fail by Jake Kneeland

Why You Need to Fail by Jake Kneeland (cover) Image: black and white text over a background of steep mountain peaks

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Self-help

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Amazon Summary:

“Do you feel like you are coasting through life? Are you struggling to find meaning after countless mistakes and the circumstances they put you in? Do you feel completely lost? Everything changes the moment we discover why we went through the turbulent times. How exactly do we find the answer? Join author Jake Kneeland as he guides you through Why You Need To Fail – a roadmap to rediscovering your purpose, energy, and vibrancy for life. Inside you will find moments of transformation, step by step techniques, and the momentum you’ve unleashed by removing previously held self-limiting beliefs. Are you ready? Grab a journal and pen and begin. A better understanding is at your fingertips. There’s no time to waste!”

***Full disclosure: Jake Kneeland is a member of my extended family. I’m choosing to highlight his self-published book today because I’ve observed his journey and know that this book is an authentic reflection of his personal experience and that he has important insights to share. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Jake!

Excerpts:

(provided by the author)

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Tell Me More [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

December 10, 2020

Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan
#throwbackthursday

Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan (cover) black and white text over a multicolored background

Genre/Categories: Memoir, Biographical, Humor, Self Help

This year as part of Blog Audit Challenge 2020 I’m going back to update older review posts. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m eager to share my review of the compelling Tell Me More: Stories About the Ten Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“In these various personal essays, popular author Kelly Corrigan explores the power of words to make a difference in our lives. Throughout the engaging and thoughtful collection of stories, there runs a theme of grief as she learns to accept the loss of her father and best friend. Each chapter includes humorous, insightful, and poignant reflections revolving around the roles she plays as a parent, a spouse, a survivor, a daughter, a sibling, a seeker, and a best friend.”

Friendly, engaging, thought-provoking, reflective…

Continue here for my full review of Tell Me More ….



QOTD:

Have you read Tell Me More or is it on your TBR?
Have you read other books by Kelly Corrigan?

The Choice: Embrace the Possible [Book Review] #NonFicNov

November 27, 2020

The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Dr. Edith Eva Eger
#NonFicNov

The Choicde by Dr. Edith Eva Eger (cover) Image: black text on white background, a black stemed coral colored flower decorates the left border

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, WW11, Holocaust, Mental Health, Jewish, Self Help, Psychology

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Edith Eger and her family were taken to Auschwitz when Edith was sixteen. Her mother and father were killed shortly after they arrived. Edith and her sister survived. In this memoir, Edith recounts her experiences and her mental health journey. Her practice as a psychologist later in life focuses on PTSD. Edith weaves her own stories together with case studies from her practice to talk about healing, forgiveness, and freedom from the prison of the mind.

My Thoughts:

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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone [Book Review]

January 3, 2020

 Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone review

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Psychology, Therapy, Mental Health

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Exploring mental health, finding meaning in life, and repairing broken relationships…

Lori Gottlieb, a psychotherapist and national advice columnist, shares a behind-the-scenes look into her work as a therapist. She also shares what it was like when she sought out therapy for herself.

“Most of what we say to ourselves we’d never say to people we love or care about, like our friends or children. In therapy, we learn to pay close attention to those voices in our heads so that we can learn a better way to communicate with ourselves.

My Thoughts:

(more…)

Tell Me More [Book Review]

summer

Happy August!

I hope your summer has been delightful and that it’s brought you many great reads and many opportunities for the best kind of Laziness! As summer winds down, I have an easy and light reading recommendation for you.



August 17, 2018

Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say by Kelly Corrigan

Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan (cover) black and white text over a multicolored background

Genre/Categories: Memoir, Biographical, Humor, Self Help

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

In these various personal essays, popular author Kelly Corrigan explores the power of words to make a difference in our lives. Throughout the engaging and thoughtful collection of stories, there runs a theme of grief as she learns to accept the loss of her father and best friend. Each chapter includes humorous, insightful, and poignant reflections revolving around the roles she plays as a parent, a spouse, a survivor, a daughter, a sibling, a seeker, and a best friend.

Amazon Rating (August): 4.6 Stars

My Thoughts:

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