Choice: Uncover and Claim Your Happiness by Melaine Steele

3/5 stars.
ebook, 56 pages.
Read on March 03, 2014.

I stumbled upon this book through Goodreads as I found the cover and the book summary appealing. From Goodreads:

Every day most of us choose to be unhappy. Unintentionally, of course. We make choices all the time that hold us back. Meanwhile, the happiness available to us literally passes us by…

It’s time to choose what’s important, what truly matters, what will fulfill you. It’s time to choose what opens you up to the life you were meant to live, the way you were meant to live it. It’s time to choose happiness.

This guidebook shows you how.

CHOICE is a straightforward, engaging handbook that will help guide you through the simple and essential art of choosing happiness.”

The concept that the author is trying to portray is one that I have been trying to use on myself on over the last two-years. The problem I have with the summary and the book itself is that I found it wasn’t really much of a guide-book. The author does a great job at detailing why happiness is choice and why you should embody this concept in your every day life but I found the brevity of the book didn’t provide much guidance from that. Positivity, gratitude and meditation were three items that the author suggested in assisting in choosing happiness but she provided very little information of how to do this. For example, negative and self-destructive thoughts are a massive habit for a lot of people and in order to choose to be happy this is a habit that has to be overcome. The author was just a bit too vague on the how-to details and support for my liking. I think if the author invested a few more hours of research and added another 50 or so pages this book would have been a more efficient and structured guide.

Kudos to author for writing this still as it is a hugely important concept that has tremendous power to changes people’s lives and outlooks. It’s also a brave concept to write about because it would have required a lot of vulnerability on her part. The more that this idea is spread the more people can benefit from it, even if it just seems in one bit at a time.

Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney

3/5 stars.
ebook, 161 pages.
Read from January 09 to 15, 2014.

I picked this book up in anticipation of the movie coming out called The Seventh Son. I have heard that the movie is invariably different than the book and the book series itself which makes me a little bit sad but that is usually the case with book to movie interpretations. The book series, called ‘The Last Apprentice’ or the ‘Wardston Chronicles’ contains 12 books.

As a young adult novel, this story is not only extremely exciting but very dark at the same time making this story appealing to variety of age groups, which I think is what the movie creators saw. Thomas Ward is the seventh son of the seventh son and like all boys in this birth position he is sent off at to apprentice to become a ‘Spook.’ A Spook, is the person in charge of managing all of the evil and supernatural in the area, such as witches, boggarts and ghosts. The seventh son of the seventh son is sent for this position as they are born with special intuitive gifts that keep them in tune with the supernatural. The downside to all of this is that the work is very dangerous and lonely. Spooks are not well liked and all of the apprentices prior to Thomas have not lived to see themselves become the next Spook. Thomas finds himself in a pinch when he inadvertently has to deal with a very malevolent witch early on in his training.

There are a lot of different details in this book that make me want to continue the series: I have questions about Thomas’ mother and the strange friendship that Thomas builds with a young witch he encounters. Additionally, the writing appeals to readers of all ages as the author plays with the grey area between good and evil, where most us find ourselves in, adding that extra moral dilemma for the characters and the reader.  Also, the author, while making Thomas the hero, still manages to keep the physical and emotional age of Thomas in proportion. This makes the story more enticing and exciting as Thomas is facing obstacles that no boy his age should be but the author ensures that he reacts appropriately for his age in these experiences.

Overall, a solid young-adult fantasy read . I am looking forward to the next book in the series and the movie, even if it does end up being a bit a different from the book.

 

 

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

3/5 stars.
ebook, 288 pages.
Read from January 07 to 08, 2014.

Ahh how delightful! I can’t tell you how much joy it brings me to know how successful Ms. Allie Brosh has become with her work. I can’t imagine that Allie ever believed that her comedic posts about her obnoxious childhood or hilarious coping mechanisms would ever become the star of the blogging internet world but it’s because Allie truly does have a gift. Allie’s imagination and experiences are so immensely relatable and in combination with her writing/comic style that’s easy to read it’s hard not to become addicted to her posts. Allie seems to let you know that what you think and feel is not so abnormal. For example, I too have an issue with people who choose to ignore spelling and grammar and in her post titled, The Alot I found some relief from my grammar Nazi ways and I will now use the same method she endorses in that post to deal with those who have poor spelling and grammar.

If you are unfamiliar with Allie’s blog, I absolutely insist that you visit it. You won’t be sorry: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.ca/

Her book is a collaboration of some of her most popular blog posts as well as some new content and while I enjoyed the book the reason I did not give it a higher rating is that I’m not sure her content worked in book format.  What I enjoy about her blog is that the posts are concise and moderately short, just tid bits and bursts of awesome when you choose. When it’s all in a book I found that the style is overwhelming and can get redundant. I didn’t want to devour it all at once and maybe I shouldn’t have. While I understand that this book means profit for Allie and it’s a great way to commemorate her success it just felt like a weird medium to me while I was reading it.

So overall I’m glad this book was published and I want Allie to keep writing but I would like to see her success continue through her blog.