Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Book Review: EntreLeadership

One more for today... Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey. Business books are another genre that I never used to read, but now that I have my own small business I thought I should dabble in the business books a bit.

EntreLeadership is basically a compilation of all the things Dave Ramsey has learned about business along the way. Do you know his background? He started a very successful business as a young man, lost it all, and now runs another very successful business teaching people about personal finance.

I enjoyed the book, but I'll admit I can and did put it down at times. It's full of great info, but a book about business just isn't as enthralling to me as a book with more personal stories. Ultimately I skipped a few chapters that really didn't seem to apply to me at all, but the rest I did read. If you own a business or are interested in the subject, it's a good read.

Book Review: Unbroken

Another awesome book- Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (author of Seabiscuit)! This is the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini and his experience as a WWII Air Force lieutenant. Here's what has to say about the book...

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

Doesn't that just make you want to read it?! You should because it's an unbelievable story. War stories aren't generally a genre that I get into, but this one is very personal and it just drew me in and I had to find out what happened to him. It's a very long book, but definitely worth reading.

Book Review: The Help

I am so behind on these book reviews! Most of you probably don't even care about them, but I want to post them anyway so I can look back at them down the road if I need a refresher on what they were about and what I liked or didn't like about them. So here goes...

When the movie The Help came out last year everyone was raving about it. And raving about the book version, which I had not read or even heard of at that point. This year I decided I should read the book and then watch the movie and I have to say that I LOVED the book. The movie was great too, but it had to skip over a lot of the great details in order to keep it to a reasonable length.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett is a fictional book about black maids working for white women in Mississippi in the 1960's and the budding young journalist (white female) who dares to write down their stories and have them published into a book. The book deals with the very serious issue of civil rights, but in a way that draws the reader in and entertains you. The characters are phenomenal and I found myself really loving (and in some cases, hating) them. If you've seen the movie, but haven't read the book, you should really read it because there is so much more to it. Two thumbs up from me!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Book Review: 168 Hours- You Have More Time Than You Think

Finished another book this week - 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think. In my opinion, this one was only okay. I say that because I think the heart of her message is a good one, but the delivery of it wasn't the greatest.

Most everyone you talk to would say they don't have enough time to do all the things they want to do (or need to do), right? Well the author of 168 Hours argues that we do all have enough time, at least for the things that are important to us. And definitely some of us could stand to reevaluate what we define as "important." So she says the key is to allocate time for the things that are most important first and then add in some of the items of lesser importance. The end result being that you will feel happy and fulfilled because you accomplished the important things.

I do heartily agree with her that most people waste a lot of their time and that how we choose to spend our precious hours is a reflection of our values. However, I think some of her suggestions are just not realistic for households on a tight budget, like hiring a personal chef, personal shopper, or cleaning service. She also sights A LOT of statistics about how people spend their time today vs. 50 years ago. I'll admit some of them were interesting and surprising even, but it was just too many stats for my taste.

While I can't say that I LOVED the book, I'm still glad that I read it and I feel like I took some nuggets from it to apply to my life. The result? This week my daily 'to do' lists have been more reasonable, more focused on the things that are the best use of my time, and they've nearly all been accomplished. And I've still had time to do preschool activities with the girls, work on a puzzle with my hubby, and do some pleasure reading.

So I guess if you feel like you never have enough time for all the things you need to do, you would probably benefit from checking out this book. There's probably at least a few nuggets of help in there for you too.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Book Review: Pride and Prejudice

I finished Pride and Prejudice the other night. We own the movie- the BBC version with Colin Firth- and I've seen it countless times, but I had never read the book so I decided it was time. It was the perfect book for reading before bed and while sick kids slept in my lap.

That movie version follows the book very closely, but there were a few tidbits here and there that didn't make it into the movie so I did feel like it was worth reading. If you're looking for a classic or a bit of romance, consider reading Pride and Prejudice. It's a good one!