Monday, July 22, 2019

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama XIV, Desmond Tutu, & Douglas Carlton Abrams


I listened to the unabridged audio version of The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama XIV, Desmond Tutu, & Douglas Carlton Abrams, which I've wanted to read or listen to for over a year now.

Listening time for The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama XIV, Desmond Tutu, & Douglas Carlton Abrams is 10 hours, 12 minutes.

I enjoyed that The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World was divided into three parts: The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu discuss "their own stories and teachings about joy (first part), the most recent findings in the science of deep happiness (second part), and the daily practices that anchor their own emotional and spiritual lives (third part)."  Douglas Carlton Abrams acts as sort of moderator in The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World.

Honestly, I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read it verses listened to it! 

I didn't like the sound of the voices of the voice actors who read for the Dalai Lama's and Desmond Tutu's voices... I found it initially difficult to differentiate between whether it was the Dalai Lama speaking or Desmond Tutu speaking in certain sections of the book. 

I also found that I would want to go back and listen to certain passages again in this book, which was a bit difficult to do with the audio format. If I was reading the printed version, then I could easily reread passages I just read to gain a better understanding or clarification. Plus, I could use book tags to flag passages I would want to refer to again in the future.

Below is the publisher's summary for The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama XIV, Desmond Tutu, & Douglas Carlton Abrams from Audible:
Two great spiritual masters share their own hard-won wisdom about living with joy even in the face of adversity.
The occasion was a big birthday. And it inspired two close friends to get together in Dharamsala for a talk about something very important to them. The friends were His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The subject was joy. Both winners of the Nobel Prize, both great spiritual masters and moral leaders of our time, they are also known for being among the most infectiously happy people on the planet.
From the beginning the book was envisioned as a three-layer birthday cake: their own stories and teachings about joy, the most recent findings in the science of deep happiness, and the daily practices that anchor their own emotional and spiritual lives. Both the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu have been tested by great personal and national adversity, and here they share their personal stories of struggle and renewal. Now that they are both in their 80s, they especially want to spread the core message that to have joy yourself, you must bring joy to others.

Most of all, during that landmark week in Dharamsala, they demonstrated by their own exuberance, compassion, and humor how joy can be transformed from a fleeting emotion into an enduring way of life.
I am giving The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama XIV, Desmond Tutu, & Douglas Carlton Abrams a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars. I think I would have given this book a higher review had I read it verses listened to it.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Thousands Of Books Given Away At A Contra Costa County Library!!!


Wow!! Just wow!! I live in Contra Costa County, which is located in Northern California. So, I was beyond thrilled to learn that the Pleasant Hill Public Library was giving away thousands of withdrawn library books for FREE to the public starting Tuesday, July 16th through Saturday, July 20th between the hours of 9am to 4pm. 

All free books were located in the Pleasant Hill Public Library's shipping and receiving area located behind the library itself. The books were being "removed from the library collection due to lack of circulation, poor condition or relevance" according to a news article I read online.



I made my visit to the Pleasant Hill Pubic Library on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 around noon and stayed for quite awhile looking through several boxes of books. There were a plethora of books in boxes to look through during one's visit... It was a massive set up for sure!! Did I look through all of the boxes? Not a chance!! I would have been there for hours if I had.

Lots of people were in attendance perusing the boxes looking for books. Everyone appeared to be hauling off large bags or boxes filled with books. A few people even had rolling bags on wheels to load their books off in.



I captured only a few imagines of the shipping and receiving area at the Pleasant Hill Public Library during my visit as I was fairly busy browsing for books to add to my collection. There was another entire area of books that I didn't even capture photographs of during my time spent at the library.

I came home with a total of 25 books - 6 audiobooks and 19 hardback books. Believe me, as a book lover, I found it difficult to stop at coming home with just 25 books... But the extreme afternoon heat was getting to me. Additionally, I already have so many unread books in my personal collection as it is that stopping at 25 books was probably a good thing! Plus, I don't have much more room in my home to store extra books as it is.




I'm hoping that they will have this wonderful event next year as well. It was fun browsing for free books as you never know just what you'll find and that was the fun of it. I didn't find any books that were on my reading wishlist, but I did grab some books that were by well known authors that look like promising reads.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Read About Women In Space

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar landing. 

To mark the occasion, I am sharing an interesting article I discovered through Bustle's website titled, Read About Women In Space In These 10 Novels & Nonfiction Books About The Final Frontier by Kerri Jarema. In the article, Kerri Jarema wrote the following:
In July 2019, the United States celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. Taught in school's across the country, and depicted repeatedly in books, films, and television shows, the moon landing in 1969 — in which astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to step foot on the moon, taking "one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind" — is one of the most iconic moments in world history. Since the late '60s, the NASA program has continued to make history, with missions like the Mars Exploration Rover ensuring continued interest in the men and women who explore the unknown Final Frontier.
But once you've gotten your fill reading all about Apollo 11 and other major space missions, you might find that you want to keep those galaxy-filled stoties on deck — especially stories about women, who are so often left out of important historical moments. This list of 10 books about women in space contains both fiction and nonfiction picks, with classic must-reads and newer books among them. Whether you want an edge-of-your-seat sci-fi novel set in space, or you want to learn more about the real-life women who have made space their careers, there's something on the list for you:
Click on the top link to discover which books made the list about women in space!

Friday, July 19, 2019

Accidental Eyewitness by Alice Zogg


I enjoy reading mystery novels. I learned about author, Alice Zogg, from Judy @ Keep The Wisdom. So, I decided to start by reading one of Alice Zogg's standalone novels titled, Accidental Eyewitness.

I enjoyed Alice Zogg's writing style. The storyline and characters for Accidental Eyewitness were interesting and kept my attention throughout the entire novel. I had no idea who the killer was until it was revealed at the end of the book. In fact, I was actually kind of surprised by the killer's identity!! Additionally, I thought the killer's reasoning for killing was a bit superficial. Otherwise, I enjoyed reading Accidental Eyewitness by Alice Zogg.

The following is the plot summary for Accidental Eyewitness by Alice Zogg from the author's website:
Kurt Nobel, known as “The Real Estate King,” invites a mixture of odd guests to his mansion on the Isle of Ease for a week of snorkeling, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, and general fun in the sun. The occasion is to celebrate the millionaire’s recent marriage to his new young wife, singer Barbie.
But all is not pure pleasure and merriment on the tropical island. One person plans an intriguing way to commit murder, and may get away with it, if not for the fortuitous eyewitness, eight-year-old Evie Frederique.
I am giving Accidental Eyewitness by Alice Zogg a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Watching Willow (Gold Coast Retrievers #7) by Ann Omasta


Lucky me!! I was able to download Watching Willow (Gold Coast Retrievers #7) by Ann Omasta for FREE to my Kindle from Audible with a special code from the author!!

Listening time for Watching Willow (Gold Coast Retrievers #7) by Ann Omasta is 4 hours, 48 minutes.

Below is my honest, unbiased review of Watching Willow (Gold Coast Retrievers #7) by Ann Omasta!!

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the unabridged audio version of Watching Willow (Gold Coast Retrievers #7) by Ann Omasta and narrated by Sarah L. Colton. This is a sweet, contemporary romance novel. The writing is good. I enjoyed the characters and the low drama storyline. If you want a fun, feel good novel with a happy ending, then this is the novel for you.

I also thought that Sarah L. Colton was a good narrator for Watching Willow

Additionally, I have not read any of the other novels in the 'Gold Coast Retrievers' series by Ann Omasta, but felt that I didn't need to have read the previous novels to read/follow the plot for Watching Willow.

The following is the plot summary for Watching Willow (Gold Coast Retrievers #7) by Ann Omasta found on Audible:
On the verge of losing her job, local television star Willow Winks desperately seeks the one thing she believes can save her fledgling career - a golden retriever sidekick.
Willow thought being told she was getting too old for television was the most frightening thing a celebrity diva could hear - until she and her furry best friend, Buddy, receive a threatening letter. Concerned for their safety, the television studio hires Caleb McCreery, a brave, strong, and young bodyguard to protect the famous duo. Caleb is ready to do whatever it takes to keep his charges safe, even if that means risking his own life. As the threats begin to escalate, Willow and Caleb struggle to keep their budding attraction at bay. Will the distraction of their growing feelings make the bodyguard vulnerable and put all three at risk?
This sweet tale is a romantic adventure you don’t want to miss.... Grab your copy and start listening today! Fans of the Must Love Dogs series by Claire Cook and the Everyday Heroes series by Margaret Daley are sure to enjoy curling up with this delightful romantic suspense novel. Watching Willow is part of the Gold Coast Retrievers series. Each book stands completely on its own, but you'll have even more fun if you listen to them all!
I am giving Watching Willow (Gold Coast Retrievers #7) by Ann Omasta a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs by Ben Garrod



As a member of Audible, I was able to download the Audible Original titled, A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs by Ben Garrod, for FREE to my Kindle.

Below is my honest, unbiased review of A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs by Ben Garrod.

Listening time for A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs by Ben Garrod is 2 hours, 42 minutes.

I enjoyed listening to A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs by Ben Garrod more than I thought I would. I learned lots of new to me facts about dinosaurs... Like some dinosaurs had feathers and that chickens are related to dinosaurs!! 

If you want to learn more current information about dinosaurs, then check out A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs by Ben Garrod from Audible.

The following is the publisher's summary for A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs by Ben Garrod found on Audible:
Most children go through a dinosaur phase. Learning all the tongue-twisting names, picking favourites based on ferocity, armour, or sheer size. For many kids this love of ‘terrible lizards’ fizzles out at some point between starting and leaving primary school. All those fancy names slowly forgotten, no longer any need for a favourite.
For all those child dino fanatics who didn’t grow up to become paleontologists, dinosaurs seem like something out of mythology. They are dragons, pictures in books, abstract, other, extinct.

They are at the same time familiar and mysterious. And yet we’re in an age of rapid discovery - new dinosaur species and genera are being discovered at an accelerating rate, we’re learning more about what they looked like, how they lived, how they evolved and where they all went. 
This series isn’t just a top trumps list of dino facts - we’re interested in the why and the how and like all areas of science there is plenty of controversy and debate.
I am giving A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs by Ben Garrod a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Man Who Knew The Way To The Moon by Todd Zwillich



With July 20th marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, I decided to listen to an Audible Original production titled, The Man Who Knew The Way To The Moon by Todd Zwillich.

Listening time for The Man Who Knew The Way To The Moon by Todd Zwillich is 3 hours, 32 minutes.

I was able to download The Man Who Knew The Way To The Moon by Todd Zwillich to my Kindle for FREE from Audible. 

Below is my honest, unbiased review of The Man Who Knew The Way To The Moon by Todd Zwillich.

I enjoyed learning about the behind the scenes information about how we, as a nation, were able to make it to the moon in July 1969. 

I knew nothing about the story of John C. Houbolt, a mid-level engineer at NASA, who advocated the use of the Lunar Orbit Rendezvous to get to the moon until I listened to The Man Who Knew The Way To The Moon. Nor did I know much about the politics and so on that came to building Apollo 11.

The Man Who Knew The Way To The Moon by Todd Zwillich makes for a fascinating listen for readers that want to learn more about Apollo 11.

Below is the publisher's summary of The Man Who Knew The Way To The Moon by Todd Zwillich from Audible:
The story of John C. Houbolt, an unsung hero of Apollo 11 and the man who showed NASA how to put America on the moon.
Without John C. Houbolt, a mid-level engineer at NASA, Apollo 11 would never have made it to the moon.

Top NASA engineers on the project, including Werner Von Braun, strongly advocated for a single, huge spacecraft to travel to the moon, land, and return to Earth. It's the scenario used in 1950s cartoons and horror movies about traveling to outer space.

Houbolt had another idea: Lunar Orbit Rendezvous. LOR would link two spacecraft in orbit while the crafts were travelling at 3,600 miles an hour around the moon. His plan was ridiculed and considered unthinkable. But this junior engineer was irrepressible. He stood by his concept, fired off memos to executives, and argued that LOR was the only way to success.
For the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11, hear the untold story of the man who helped fulfill Kennedy’s challenge to reach the moon and begin exploring the final frontier.
Below is video footage of author, Todd Zwillich talking about his book, The Man Who Knew The Way To The Moon.



I am giving The Man Who Knew The Way To The Moon by Todd Zwillich a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Little Free Library in San Francisco, California!!

63 Funston Avenue, San Francisco California 94129

This past Saturday afternoon my husband and I spent the afternoon at the various sites within San Francisco's Presidio. 

During our time at the Presidio, we found a Little Free Library outside of the entrance to the Presidio YMCA. I left two books at this particular Little Free Library. 

I had initially planned to take a copy of Shade by Pete Souza with me, but ended up walking away empty handed.

Have you visited any Little Free Libraries lately?