Nonsense

nonsense

How do you make sense, handle ambiguity, or embrace uncertainty? We make decisions everyday without having all the information we need – or even know that we need. NONSENSE: The Power of Not Knowing by Jamie Holmes explores how being able to “deal with what we don’t understand” affects how we manage uncertainty in our daily lives. For some, decision-making is simple and clear cut. For others it is an agonizing process.

In an increasingly complex, unpredictable world, what matters most isn’t IQ, willpower, or confidence in what we know [but rather] how we deal with what we don’t understand.” Life is not what it seems and the author painstakingly presents examples that expose out human weaknesses, our humanity or lack thereof. For example, too many doctors over test their patients with ambiguous (or unnecessary) tests, mainly to avoid potential lawsuits.

NONSENSE is a book that examines what we do “when the information we need to make sense of an experience seems to be missing, too complex, or contradictory . . .[because] this is where ambiguity resides.” The examples are too many to cite, but after a few chapters a pattern emerges, you start to see things often taken for granted from another perspective. As a reader, there are plenty of obvious opportunities to experience epiphanies  . . . only if you know they exist.

Thoughts for your Soul:

  • When our need for closure is high we tend to revert to stereotypes, jump to conclusions, and deny contradictions.”
  • “New ways of seeing aren’t necessarily clearer ways of seeing, and sometimes, the illusion of knowing is more dangerous than not knowing at all.”
  • “Urgently fixating on certainty is our defense mechanism against the unknown and unstable. However, what we need in turbulent times is adaptability and calculated reevaluation.”

NONSENSE disappointed me not because the book wasn’t good, but because it wasn’t as engaging as I had hoped – sometimes the examples/stories were dry as toast!  The book reminded me of the Malcolm Gladwell books (but they were more engaging) and I believe NONSENSE would have been more interesting if I had not read them first. With that being said, I learned a lot of “NONSENSE” facts and information that helped me connect some ambiguous dots.

If you are looking for a book to take on a trip, snuggle up with in a cozy chair, etc. this is not the book. However, if you like knowing what makes people tick, “what happens when we’re confused and the path forward isn’t obvious” then this is the book for you. NONSENSE may not change the way you make decisions, but it will change how you approach the decision-making process . . . you will probably not look at things the same way again.

Disclaimer: BONDing over Books received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review

Find Your Extraordinary

findyourextraordinaryA LIFE “So full of passion, positivity, will, tenacity, and gratitude that can transform your life from ordinary to extraordinary” is within your grasp. To have it, you’ve got to want it! FIND YOUR EXTRAORDINARY: Dream Bigger, Live Happier, and Achieve Success on Your Own Terms by Jessica DiLullo Herrin is the story of a woman’s ordinary to extraordinary.

INSIDE MANY OF US is the longing or desire to do more with our life before it gets too late. In the pursuit of passion, we often stumble upon our purpose. Jessica DiLullo Herrin stumbled onto her path while on a treadmill in graduate school. The idea sparked an insatiable thirst that drove her to ultimately drop out and while she doesn’t encourage it, it worked for her. That idea was Della & James, which became WeddingChannel.com and was ultimately sold to The Knot (the online wedding planner website) for $90 million.

TIMING AND PREPARATION are everything. Her next business venture is Stella & Dot a direct marketing, e-commerce and social media company that sells jewelry and handbags through Trunk Shows given by independent contractors or entrepreneurs.  Stella & Dot grossed over $100 million last year

JESSICA DiLULLO HERRIN writes of her struggles, her tenacity, her perseverance, and her ‘normalness’, but she never let it minimize her dreams. Struggles are real and her’s is relatable. A $100 million company comes with its own struggles, although these “new” struggles were not the struggles of an ordinary person, we can still  learn from her story.

THOUGHTS For Your SOUL:

  • Don’t think about how your past limits your future, but instead about how your unique past has made you stronger.”
  • It’s not about who is more successful – it’s simply about whether you are happy with the trade-offs that come with your choices.”

ALONG THE WAY to her dream Jessica knew she “was going to pay some dues and work some jobs that were not altogether awesome.” What are you willing to sacrifice or give up to pay your dues? Taking a step back to move forward could be the best strategic move that gives you the additional perspective needed to propel forward.

FIND YOUR EXTRAORDINARY while inspirational on so many levels, cultivates and feeds the entrepreneurial spirit. Risk is not something to fear, risk reminds us that “Extraordinary exists only outside of your comfort zone. Fear will always be there, but if you push yourself to find it, your courage is there, too.” This is the kind of book you want to read multiple times or share with a friend.

WHEN YOU ARE BRAVE ENOUGH to “Develop the will to do things your way, without fear of failure or how your choices look to anybody except yourself” you can discover your extraordinary.

Let’s BOND over BOOKS rates FIND YOUR EXTRAORDINARY as MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pages) . . . Just the right mixture of content and pages.

Disclaimer: BONDing for BOOKS received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Spiritual Sobriety

Spiritual SobrietyAS WITH ANY OTHER ADDICTION, my overzealous religious practice came with a dark side.” Elizabeth Esther chronicles her journey as a religious addict and her road back to recovery in SPIRITUAL SOBRIETY: Stumbling Back to Faith When Good Religion Goes Bad.

RAISED IN A HIGHLY RELIGIOUS FAMILY, which she compared to a cult, Elizabeth Esther learned at an early age how to overindulge in the Spirit of the Lord. Through this behavior, she conditioned herself to have (what she described) an unhealthy attitude towards God. Later in life, as well as during the times she was in recovery Elizabeth discovered she was “Using God, a church, or a belief system” to measure her self-worth.

FOR ELIZABETH being a religious addict meant she had a hard time saying “no.” No, to the rituals, the attention, the euphoria she experienced when she praised God or did His work. No different from what any other addict would face, “There was the uncomfortable, sometimes painful letdown once the spiritual high wore off.”

MUCH OF HER RECOVERY PARALLELS other recovery programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Addicts Anonymous, as well as church-based support groups. She joined many support groups and pointed out that she could “Be more honest in nonreligious support groups because I wasn’t worried about tarnishing my good-Christian-girl reputation.”

THOUGHTS for your SOUL:

  • A process becomes an addiction when the process becomes the center of life, the most important reason for living, when a person becomes dependent upon the process for mood-altering relief.” – Robert Neil Minor
  • Imagination is a tool that helps us change things while fantasy is a distraction that prevents us from accepting the things we can’t change.”

MS. ESTHER TOOK ONE DAY AT A TIME and found a way to experience peace in her life. Her path included the importance of boundaries because “Without them, our vulnerabilities become liabilities and we are often left feeling used and discarded.”  She spoke with courage from her heart. However, SPIRITUAL SOBRIETY read like a series of journal entries or blog posts and missed the opportunity to be a landmark resource for Religious Addicts.

THOUGH IT’S NEVER EASY to expose your vulnerabilities, Ms. Esther showed hers. Words have the power to change lives and if this book helps one person, then it was worth reading. “Whatever your situation, surrender. Get help if you need it. Face your reality and become spiritually sober.”

Let’s BOND over BOOKS rates SPIRITUAL SOBRIETY as MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pgs) . . . Just the right mixture of content and pages.

Disclaimer: BONDing for BOOKS received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

The Girl On the Train

GirlOnTheTrainSOMETIMES, BOOKS THAT START SLOW and drag from chapter to chapter have a short life on my bookshelf.  THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN: A Novel  by Paula Hawkins is not one of those books.

RACHEL, THE MAIN CHARACTER, is in an emotional tailspin ever since her divorce. She never wanted the divorce but knew it was inevitable. She is THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN because each day she passes her old home, and her old life while on her way to work. However, Rachel cannot seem to pull herself together and drinks to bury her sorrow and pain. “Drunk Rachel sees no consequences, she is either excessively expansive and optimistic or wrapped up in hate.”

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN is a suspenseful, murder mystery set in a small “village-on-the-edge-of-London feel.”  Each chapter toggles between three characters and explains how each is an integral part the storyline. An underlying thread is the link between the characters: Rachel, Megan, Anna, Tom and Scott.  Each one knew that “Having power over someone,” and  using that power, “. . . That’s the intoxicating thing.” They were all connected – Wives, ex-wives, neighbors, ex-neighbors, friends, ex-friends, husbands, and ex-husbands.

FROM THE TRAIN WINDOW, Rachel can see the residents in their backyards and has grown “attached” to them. Then one day, one of her “attachments” is reported missing. Rachel believes she can help the police, but because of her drinking history, she is not taken seriously. Unable to shake the feeling that the missing person’s report is wrong she goes into super sleuth mode. She feels she must push against the pain of self-doubt and ridicule to find the truth.

THOUGHTS for your SOUL:

  • The holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mould yourself around the gaps.”
  • There’s nothing so painful, so corrosive, as suspicion.”

THE ENDING WAS NOT obvious, although not totally predictable. It reminds you of an Alfred Hitchcock movie.  Rachel’s redeeming quality was her inability to let go of that nagging feeling and follow her gut instinct. Even after you have finished the book, you feel like you have to re-read the last page because you will be left speechless.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN . . . Is an engaging read that sneaks up on you and before you know it you’re hooked.

Let’s BOND over BOOKS rates THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN as CHALLENGINGLY CHARISMATIC (301-500 pgs) . . . Borderline lengthy – It better have a good ending and it does!