Review: You Are Awesome: How to Navigate Change, Wrestle with Failure, and Live an Intentional Life

Title: You Are Awesome: How to Navigate Change, Wrestle with Failure, and Live an Intentional Life
Author: Neil Pasricha
Genre: Nonfiction
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback, ebook
Release Date: November 5, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From Neil Pasricha—New York Times, million-copy bestselling author of The Book of Awesome series and The Happiness Equation, thought leader for the next generation, and one of the most popular TED speakers in the world—comes a revelatory and inspiring book that will change the way we view failure and help us build resilience.

We are lucky. For most of us, famine, plague, economic depression, and other life-threatening catastrophes are the stuff of history books. We’re living in an era with the highest-ever rates of longevity, education, and wealth. Cars drive us home as our phones entertain us before we arrive to food delivered to the front door. We have it all!

But there’s just one side effect. We no longer have the tools to handle failure…or even perceived failure. When we fall, we lie on the sidewalk crying. When we spill, we splatter. When we crack, we shatter.

We are turning into an army of porcelain dolls.

A rude email from the boss means calling in sick. Only two likes on our post means we don’t have friends. Cell phones show us we’re never good enough. Yesterday’s butterflies are tomorrow’s panic attacks. Record numbers of students have clinical anxiety. And what about depression, loneliness, and suicide?

All rising!

What do we desperately need to learn?

RESILIENCE. And we need to learn it fast.

Read You Are Awesome to learn:
• The single word that keeps your options open after failure
• What every commencement speech gets wrong
• 3 ways to dramatically accelerate your ability to learn and adapt
• The 2-minute morning practice that helps eliminate worry
• Why you need an Untouchable Day (and how to get one)
• and much, much more…

Because the truth is, you really are awesome.

Review:

I loved this book! It was the perfect combination of Neil’s personal stories and research about living an awesome life.

This book was divided into nine different tips on how to be awesome. These include “Lose More to Win More,” which was about taking more chances to have more success as well as failure, and “Fine Small Ponds,” which was about finding success by being the big fish in a small pond.

Each of these tips were divided into easy to follow sections, which had a great mix of research and stories from Neil’s life. Each story he told illustrated the subject perfectly. These ranged from his mother’s resilience while growing up in Kenya, and a man who told him his biggest secrets during a flight.

I found this book so inspiring. It has made me so much more positive about my outlook on life and the way that I think about success.

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything by Neil Pasricha

The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha

Have you read You Are Awesome: How to Navigate Change, Wrestle with Failure, and Live and Intentional Life? What did you think of it?

Review: Zaha Hadid (Little People, Big Dreams)

Title: Zaha Hadid (Little People, Big Dreams)
Author: Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Genre: Children’s, Nonfiction
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Part of the critically acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, Zaha Hadid tells the inspiring true story of the visionary Iraqi-British architect.

Zaha Hadid grew up in Baghdad, Iraq, surrounded by music. She was a curious and confident child, who designed her own modernist bedroom at nine years old. As a young woman studying at University in Beirut, she was described as the most outstanding pupil the teacher had ever met. With her spectacular vision and belief in the power of architecture, she founded her own firm and designed some of the most outstanding buildings in the world—including the London 2012 Olympic Aquatic Centre. This inspiring book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the architect’s life.

Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children.

Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!

Review:

I only learned who Zaha Hadid was after she died, but she was a fascinating person. She was a trailblazer in architecture, and she was the first woman to do many things in her field. She worked hard her entire life and created her own success.

I’m so glad this is a children’s book about an inspiring woman. It’s important for children to see that you can do anything if you work hard. Zaha was often the only woman and the only Muslim in the room, but she didn’t let anything stop her.

I really liked this new children’s book.

Thank you Frances Lincoln Children’s Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Marie Curie (Little People, Big Dreams) by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

Amelia Earhart (Little People, Big Dreams) by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

Have you read Zaha Hadid? What did you think of it?

Review: The (Other) F Word: A Celebration of the Fat and Fierce

Title: The (Other) F Word: A Celebration of the Fat and Fierce
Author: Angie Manfredi (editor)
Genre: Young Adult, Nonfiction
Publisher: Abrams Kids
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The definitive collection of art, poetry, and prose, celebrating fat acceptance 

Chubby. Curvy. Fluffy. Plus-size. Thick. Fat. The time has come for fat people to tell their own stories. The (Other) F Word combines personal essays, prose, poetry, fashion tips, and art to create a relatable and attractive guide about body image and body positivity. This YA crossover anthology is meant for people of all sizes who desire to be seen and heard in a culture consumed by a narrow definition of beauty. By combining the talents of renowned fat YA and middle-grade authors, as well as fat influencers and creators, The (Other) F Word offers teen readers and activists of all ages a guide for navigating our world with confidence and courage.

Review:

I absolutely loved this book!

Often when I read collections of essays or stories by a variety of authors, I like a few of the pieces but not all of them. I loved every essay and piece of work in this collection. I could relate to most of them, and I learned new things from the ones I couldn’t relate to.

This collection is so important. It isn’t just for fat readers. Everyone can benefit from reading this book, because it gives a glimpse into the lives of fat people. Being fat is treated as even worse than other traits. When sexist and racist jokes aren’t allowed in mainstream media today, fat jokes still remain. This may be because people think you can change your weight easier than you can change your skin colour or gender. However, this is not always the case.

I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to read this book. It really means a lot to me! I would have loved to have read it when I was a fat teenager. I hope this book gets the recognition it deserves!

Thank you Abrams Kids for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World by Kelly Jensen (editor)

Have you read The (Other) F Word? What did you think of it?

P.S. Stay tuned for a special giveaway related to this book coming soon!

Review: I’ll Be There For You: The One about Friends

Title: I’ll Be There For You: The One about Friends
Author: Kelsey Miller
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: October 23, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

This definitive retrospective of Friends incorporates interviews, history and behind-the-scenes anecdotes to offer a critical analysis of how a sitcom about six twentysomethings changed television forever

When Friends debuted in 1994, no one expected it to become a mainstay of NBC’s Must See TV lineup, let alone a global phenomenon. In the years since, Friends has gone through many phases of cultural relevancy, from prime-time hit to 90s novelty item to certified classic. Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe have entered the pantheon of great television characters, and millions of people around the globe continue to tune in or stream their stories every day.

I‘ll Be There for You is the definitive retrospective of Friends, exploring all aspects of the show from its unlikely origins to the elusive reasons why we still watch it. Journalist and pop culture expert Kelsey Miller relives the show’s most iconic moments, analyzes the ways in which Friends is occasionally problematic and examines the many trends it inspired, from the rise of coffee-shop culture to Friendsgivings to the ultimate 90s haircut, the Rachel.

Weaving incisive commentary, revelatory interviews and behind-the-scenes anecdotes involving high-profile guest stars, I’ll Be There for You is the most comprehensive take on Friends, and the ultimate book for fans everywhere. 

Review:

I loved this book!

I’ve been a fan of friends for as long as I can remember. I always had to be home from my dance classes on time on Thursday nights so I could watch the new episodes. It was a huge part of my life, and it’s still a comforting show to watch.

This book had so many fun facts of the show, including how the actors were cast. I loved all of these little anecdotes.

I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but I’m so glad I read this book. I flew through it, because it was so entertaining. I highly recommend this book for fans of the show!

What to read next:

Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting and Got a Life by Kelsey Miller

Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman by Anne Helen Petersen

Have you read I’ll Be There For You: The One about Friends? What did you think of it?

Review: David Bowie

Title: David Bowie
Author: Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Genre: Children’s, Non-Fiction
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: ebook
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

New in the critically acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of David Bowie, the starman who dazzled audiences with his music. As a child, young David had a head full of songs and ideas. He was inspired by the pop and mod scenes in Britain to pick up the saxophone. After earning his stripes in some of the coolest bands in London, David splashed onto the solo scene. His songwriting talent and musical skill made him one of rock and roll’s all-time greatest artists. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the musician’s life. Little People, BIG DREAMS is a bestselling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream. This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardback versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children. Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!

Review:

I haven’t read any books in this series, but this one was very cute.

This series is great for young kids to learn about important historical figures. This book is about David Bowie and how he became a rock star.

David Bowie was an interesting man. I think his music and costumes would appeal to kids, so this book is a great way to introduce kids to David Bowie.

Thank you Lincoln Children’s Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Muhammad Ali by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

Mahatma Gandhi by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

Have you read David Bowie? What did you think of it?

Review: Work It, Girl: Boss the Bestseller List Like J.K. Rowling

Title: Work It, Girl: Boss the Bestseller List Like J.K. Rowling
Author: Caroline Moss, Sinem Erkas (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Nonfiction
Publisher: Lincoln Children’s Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 5, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this new series for aspiring future girl #bosses, discover the life of JK Rowling, the famous author. Be inspired by her remarkable story, and learn 10 key lessons from her life and work. Featuring inspiring quotes and mantras, this is a book for all girls wanting to forge their own career path. 

Review:

I’ve always been a huge fan of J.K. Rowling. I have fond memories of reading the first Harry Potter books with my dad when they first came out.

Her life story is a huge inspiration to me, as a writer. I was familiar with a lot of her story, but I still found this book fascinating. Jo created her own success by working hard at what she enjoyed doing. She wrote when she had time, including while her daughter was napping. She continued to work hard even after she became successful. She also never forgot her humble beginnings, by giving back to those in need.

The books in this series are beautiful. I love the creative graphics. The images look like they are created with layered pieces of paper. There are many pages just made up of just pictures, with short quotes from J.K. Rowling.

I love this series! There are currently two books, one about Oprah Winfrey and the other about J.K. Rowling. I can’t wait to see what other inspirational women are featured in this series.

What to read next:

Work It, Girl: Run the Show Like CEO Oprah Winfrey by Caroline Moss, Sinem Erkas (illustrator)

Who Is J.K. Rowling? by Pam Pollack, Meg Belviso

Have you read Work It, Girl: Boss the Bestseller List Like J.K. Rowling? What did you think of it?

Review: Work it, Girl: Run the Show Like CEO Oprah Winfrey

Title: Work it, Girl: Run the Show Like CEO Oprah Winfrey
Author: Caroline Moss, Sinem Erkas (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Nonfiction
Publisher: Lincoln Children’s Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 5, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A new series of empowering biographies featuring modern women.

When Oprah Winfrey was a little girl, she watched her grandma hang clothes out on the line. Oprah adored her grandma, but she knew in that moment her life would be different… And she was right. 

Discover how Oprah became a billionaire CEO and media mogul in this true story of her life. Then, learn 10 key lessons from her work you can apply to your own life. Featuring inspiring quotes and mantras, this is a book for all kids wanting to forge their own career path.

Review:

I didn’t know much about Oprah’s life before reading this book. She came from very humble beginnings. She had to live with her grandmother as a child, and they didn’t have much. Her mother didn’t care for her the way she should. She was discriminated against because of her race, including not being able to sleep in the same building as her family because her skin was too dark. Oprah made the most of her opportunities in school to become a very successful business woman.

I loved the art in this book. Each illustration looks like pieces of paper cut out and layered to make a picture. There are some parts where different materials are used, such as ribbon to create Oprah’s hair. One of my favourite pictures had a VCR tape with the tape coming out of the plastic to create an image of Oprah. This was such a creative way to illustrate the book!

This book is for kids, so it has simple language. It talks about the hardships that Oprah had to go through to get to where she is today, so it doesn’t talk down to the young reader. There was a list of further reading at the back, though I don’t think some books should have been included because they are too mature for children reading this book. It had a parental advisory next to the book titles, but I don’t think they should have been included. My copy is an ARC, so this may have been changed in the final copy.

I loved this book. I’ll be reading the other book in this series soon, which is about J.K. Rowling.

What to read next:

Work it, Girl: Boss the Bestseller List Like J.K. Rowling by Caroline Moss and Sinem Erkas (illustrator)

Have you read Work it, Girl: Run the Show Like CEO Oprah Winfrey? What did you think of it?