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The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide of Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz

The author has created of series of self-help books based on ancient Mexican Toltec wisdom and spiritual practices. In this book, he claims that reality is a collective dream state and Dream of the Planet is an accepted societal culture. With this in mind, he proposes four ideas that if followed will help you live a happy and peaceful life:

Agreement One: Be impeccable with your wordAgreement Two: Don’t take anything personallyAgreement Three: Don’t make assumptionsAgreement Four: Always do your best This book was highly recommended to me so I wanted to give it a fair chance. There are aspects that I found very important and useful and others I had to let go.

One example of this first agreement, be impeccable with your word,  is that the Toltec are a spiritual people and words are very powerful. They feel that they carry magical power, an aspect that I let go. He also says that words have impact on our lives by influencing our minds when heard out loud. The idea that words can poison …
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Wine for Normal People by Elizabeth Schneider

Wine for Normal People is a wonderful resource for anyone struggling to understand wine. 

Elizabeth Schneider is a certified sommelier and host of the successful podcast, Wine for Normal People, which sparked the creation of this book. In this guide she explores basic vocabulary, how wine is made, all the factors that impact flavor, and the reputation and geography of prominent wine countries. She also delves into how to match wine and food pairings, and generally how to feel more confident about your selections in the wine aisle.  Each explanation is easy to grasp and interspersed with helpful graphics or charts. She even includes some cheat sheets you can copy and take with you to the store or wine tasting. I admit that I am not particularly interested in pursuing wine tastings, but I did want a better grasp on the world of wine. I had a bit of trouble getting through the chapter that discussed Old World wine countries and their specialties, largely because I had little confidence in m…

Save the cat! writes a novel: the last book on novel writing you'll ever need by Jessica Brody

Do you enjoy the magic of reading works of fiction and being swept away to places of wonder and intrigue? Do you dream of leading a life where you can take people and control their thoughts and actions (as a writer of course)? If you answered yes to either of those questions or even both, then I have the book for you! Enter Save the Cat! Writes a Novel: The Last Book On Novel Writing You'll Ever Need a book based on another with a similar title. The original Save the Cat book walks you through the ins and outs of writing a screen play. Jessica Brody decided that cats in novels needed to be saved just as badly as those in screen plays. So, she set out on a mission to help others save those fictional felines. Brody claims that the ideas and strategies are great for both plotters (those who plan out every detail before writing) and pansters (those who start writing and see where the words take them). When you open this book, you are taking a journey on the path to becoming a great a…

Plum Tea Crazy by Laura Childs

Theodosia Browning, owner of Indigo Tea Shop, in the swanky area of Charleston South Carolina is quite inquisitive and eager to investigate any crime that comes along. Particularly the murder of Carson Lanier, banker. Carson was viewing the Gaslight and Galleon parade from Timothy Neville’s Charleston mansion widow’s walk, when suddenly he is tumbling down the rooftop, falling to his death skewered by an iron fence. The accident becomes murder when Theodosia finds that the victim was shot by an antique crossbow. Eager to investigate the murder, Theodosia bribes Drayton, her tea sommelier, to join her in sneaking around houses and antique shops to uncover the mystery. The suspects, an almost ex-wife, executive banker, and owner of a very lush art gallery, all had good motives for killing Carson Lanier, but Theodosia and her unsuspecting aunt crack the case when they attend the Rare Weapons Show and put the pieces together.
Laura Childs –Tea Shop Mysteries immerses you in the quaint and …

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
Cantero's Meddling Kids is an obvious but decidedly off brand take on Scooby-Doo. He uses the familiar dynamic of four kids and a dog who fight crime as a foundation for a whole new story. The group spent their childhood summers in Blyton Hills, a sleepy mining town, catching elaborate and incompetent criminals. It was always a man in a ridiculous monster mask. Until it wasn't.

Here the similarities to Scooby-Doo end.

In the summer of 1977, the kids got in over their heads. They managed to pull a mask off another criminal and send him to jail, but they've suffered severe psychological repercussions from that last fateful case. Now it’s 1990 and the kids are all grown up.

Kerri (Velma), got a degree in biology before her anxieties got to her. Now she bartends and is plagued by constant nightmares of that night.

Andy is our Daphne, who joined the air force before ending up in and subsequently breaking out of jail.

Pete (Fred) seemed to be the m…

Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? by Dave Eggers

Stop me if you've heard this before: a man wakes up in a room he can't leave.

How'd he get there? Why is he there? And who put him there?

This man is a Kev, a NASA engineer, and he wakes up to find himself chained to a post. Thomas is his captor, but Thomas never wanted to be his captor. Thomas just wants to talk. They share some history, and although Kev doesn't really recall Thomas, Thomas needs Kev to remember.
You and I read the same books and hear the same sermons and we come away with different messages. That has to be evidence of some serious problem, right? Dave Eggers's little-known novel (somehow at 225 pages) strips away everything but dialogue: this is a story about communication, and the desperate lengths one man will go in order to understand his place in the world. It's about a breakdown, and it's about breaking down barriers...

-so conversations, when they take place in this book, look like this.
-oh, really?
-absolutely, they do. character di…

Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

Legendary by Stephanie Garber
Legendary is the second installment in the Caraval series. If you plan on reading this book I highly recommend you read the first one (my review on it here). The first book was a delightful glass of something sweet but not quite thirst quenching.

This one however, isn’t as enjoyable as the last one was. It takes off where the last book ended, and its time for another game of Caraval. This time it's being hosted in the city of Valenda as a celebration of Elantine's day. This holiday is a celebration of Empress Elantine's birthday, so people from all over are sure to attend the festivities and enjoy the game of Caraval.

Scarlett decides once again to join the fray, but this book follows the adventures of Tella instead. I can appreciate the author wanting to focus on another character, but this is one of the reasons I am not such a fan of this book. I relate to Scarlett a lot so maybe I am biased when I say that following her was a more enjoyable …