Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Podcast Thoughts: The Life Coach School Episode #244 Thinking Big

May 8th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Access The Life Coach School’s Episode #244 here.

As I mentioned in an earlier post I’ve been on the hunt to find books, podcasts, YouTube videos, etc. to help my kids grow and listen/watch things besides video game or random YouTube videos. I’ve stumbled across some great books and podcasts that have lead to some interesting discussions with my 8 year old and 11 year old. My 8 year old son and I listened to this episode while waiting for my 11 year old to finish practice and while this podcast is geared towards adults it had some great nuggets that my son was also able to apply to his life.

I found that both my kids will sometimes say that learning to do something new is “Impossible!” and that they will “never be able to figure it out” and want to give up trying. I’ve tried to point out to them that they’ve said this same thing when they were first trying to learn to ride a bike without training wheels or tie their shoelaces and now those things are pretty much second nature to them. In this podcast Brooke Castillo points out how beneficial and necessary it is to set “impossible goals” for ourselves and to think big because that is the only way we truly grow. It’s so easy to stay in our comfort zone and do the things we know we are good at and never venture beyond that but then you stay stagnant in life. She talks about business goals and weight loss goals but I pointed out to my son his big goals can be learning a new skill or right now he’s working on dealing with anger and frustration issues. Mastering that could be his big goal and we talked about how he could break down smaller goals to lead up to that ultimate goal, things he could do every day to work his way towards that goal and how to deal with potential obstacles to achieving that goal. I think having discussed those smaller steps and pointing out other “impossible goals” he has already achieved helped make his other goals seem more achievable even though they seem so big to him now. He did have me pause the podcast at some points to explain what certain words meant or to more fully explain a point Brooke made which I thought was great. He really listened to what she was saying and worked to understand how it could apply to him. This is a great podcast for both kids and adults.

Posted in Kids, Podcasts | No Comments »

Children’s Podcast Review: But Why? Episode: Why Is Money So Important

May 6th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Access the But Why? episode here.

I’ve been working with my kids to read some self-development books or listen to some podcasts that aren’t necessarily video game related which is how they like to spend the bulk of their screen time doing and I stumbled across this great podcast called But Why? They have episodes on topics that are not only interesting to kids but also have some interesting nuggets of information. This episode was all about money and covered topics like the evolution of paying for items and services via bartering, trading shells for goods & services and eventually the creation of coins and paper money. It also talks about why people have to work, having to balance wanting things in life with how much money will it cost you, saving money and taking out loans to but things.

As we listened to the podcast my 8 year old, 11 year old and I discussed points that stood out to us. My 11 year old said she learned she never wants to borrow money because she doesn’t want to have to pay interest. So that lead to a discussion about does she really NEVER want to borrow money? Or are there situations where maybe the interest payment is worth what she could get by taking out the loan. My 8 year old was interested in why certain jobs pay more than others and how going to school and learning new things could affect the types of jobs he could get. They also loved that the podcast covered their question on why is the dime smaller than a penny if it’s worth more. I honestly didn’t know that answer myself and found the answer interesting. All in all, it was a great podcast and amazingly my 8 year old sat through the entire 24 minutes and was engaged the entire time.

Posted in Kids, Podcasts | No Comments »

Kids Book Review: Baditude! What to Do When Life Stinks! by Julia Cook

May 2nd, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Borrowed from the library

Publication date: August 15, 2015

Publisher: Boys Town Press

About the Book

So much of Noodle’s life just stinks! Homework stinks. Practice stinks. Yard work stinks. And family pictures? They REALLY stink!

Luckily, Noodle’s mom and teacher are there to help him understand how his bad attitude, or “baditude,” is affecting his mood and those around him. Even his friends are starting to avoid him! If only he can stop looking at everything so negatively, more positive results will follow!

Join Noodle as he learns to turn his “I have to’s” into “I get to’s,” his frown into a smile, and his “badtitude” into “gratitude”! This is the 2nd title in the Responsible Me! series.

My Thoughts

I stumbled across this book as I was browsing children’s books suggested for fostering a growth mindset in kids and requested it from the library. My 8 year old read it today and it was a great discussion book. We often have discussions about how his outlook on a situation can affect how good or bad an experience is for him. He has had a habit of complaining if he has to wait “one million hours” or if a situation at school was “just not fair!”. This book covered so many of the situations both he and my 11 year old complain about like having to go to bed early and wake up early, having to do homework, having to practice something, etc. Some of the key points the character in the book learns are, the more you complain about something, the more things you will find to complain about and try to change your baditude into gratitude. So instead of complaining about HAVING to do something, focus on how you GET to do something and how that can be a positive thing.

There is a list of things parents can do with their kids to help turn baditude into gratitude in their kids (and these apply to adults too!). My son and I talked about which situations in the book also applied to his life and how he can change his outlook on these situations. Some things we have been working on that tied in nicely with this book was when we talk about how his day went in addition to talking about what may have gone wrong that day he also has to tell me three things that went well that day too. It’s so easy to focus on the negatives that you gloss over the things that did go right. We also have discussed that sometimes you just have to brush off other people’s negative attitude. Just because someone says something about you doesn’t make it true. If they tease him that doesn’t make their criticism true and maybe it’s even hiding some insecurity in themselves. He may not be able to get them to stop saying something but he can change how he reacts to the situation.

I love the closing quote in the book and this is the second book we’ve read recently that mentioned this quote: “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it!” – Charles Swindoll and I think it’s a great quote to embrace in life.

Find it online

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Posted in 4 Star Books, 5 Star Books, Books, childrens | No Comments »

Review: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

April 30th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Purchased

Publication date: February 28, 2012

Publisher: Random House

Rating: ★★★½☆

About the Book

A young woman walks into a laboratory. Over the past two years, she has transformed almost every aspect of her life. She has quit smoking, run a marathon, and been promoted at work. The patterns inside her brain, neurologists discover, have fundamentally changed.

Marketers at Procter & Gamble study videos of people making their beds. They are desperately trying to figure out how to sell a new product called Febreze, on track to be one of the biggest flops in company history. Suddenly, one of them detects a nearly imperceptible pattern—and with a slight shift in advertising, Febreze goes on to earn a billion dollars a year.

An untested CEO takes over one of the largest companies in America. His first order of business is attacking a single pattern among his employees—how they approach worker safety—and soon the firm, Alcoa, becomes the top performer in the Dow Jones.

What do all these people have in common? They achieved success by focusing on the patterns that shape every aspect of our lives.

They succeeded by transforming habits.

In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.

Along the way we learn why some people and companies struggle to change, despite years of trying, while others seem to remake themselves overnight. We visit laboratories where neuroscientists explore how habits work and where, exactly, they reside in our brains. We discover how the right habits were crucial to the success of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and civil-rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr. We go inside Procter & Gamble, Target superstores, Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, NFL locker rooms, and the nation’s largest hospitals and see how implementing so-called keystone habits can earn billions and mean the difference between failure and success, life and death.

At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work.

Habits aren’t destiny. As Charles Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

My Thoughts

I’d say this was more of 3.5 stars but not quite a 4 star read for me. It started off great and I was honestly fascinated but the studies the author references and in particular the anecdotes about how Starbucks trains their employees. Maybe that just stuck with me because I do love my tea/refreshers from Starbucks and have to say how amazing most of the Starbucks employees I’ve encountered are. Their attitude as a whole are so customer focused that even when I do encounter issues with my visit they go above and beyond to fix it.

That said once you drill down into the basic concept it’s pretty obvious that most of our life is lived through a series of habits we form and that changing those habits can have a huge effect on the direction our lives take. While I found reading the book enjoyable I kept waiting to read more about how we can change these habits but that is not really addressed until the very last chapter of the book. I guess I was hoping for some “miracle” bits of advice that would make interrupting an existing pattern and replacing it with a new pattern easier but of course that never comes. The author does give some good methods to try and narrow down what your cues are for habits you want to change that are great for practical application. I just wish that had come earlier in the book. I could definitely tell when I felt the book started to get a bit repetitive because the number of highlights I made dropped of significantly. This book could have been a lot shorter and a much tighter read in my opinion. I’d say the first half and then the last chapter are definitely worth reading and the rest could be skimmed.

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Posted in 3 Star Books, 4 Star Books, Books, Non-fiction | No Comments »

Review: Toxic Game by Christine Feehan

April 2nd, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Purchased

Publication date: March 5, 2019

Publisher: Berkley

Series: Ghostwalkers #15

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book

On a rescue mission in the heart of the Indonesian jungle, Dr. Draden Freeman and his GhostWalker team need to extract the wounded as quickly as possible—or risk spreading a deadly virus unleashed by a terrorist cell. When Draden gets infected, he forces his team to leave him behind. He won’t risk exposing anyone else. He intends to find the ones responsible and go out in a blaze of glory….

Shylah Cosmos’s mission is to track the virus and remain unseen. Her enhanced senses tell her that the gorgeous man eradicating the terrorists one by one is a GhostWalker—and his lethal precision takes her breath away. When he’s hit by a lucky shot, she can’t stop herself from stepping in, not knowing that by saving his life she’s exposed herself to the virus.

There’s no telling how much time Draden and Shylah have left. Racing to find a cure, they quickly realize that they’ve found their perfect partner just in time to lose everything. But even as the virus threatens to consume their bodies, they’ve never felt more alive.

My Thoughts

I started this series years ago and was totally addicted to it but I started to drift away from it at some point. The story lines just haven’t gripped me the way the early books did but I happen to pick up the recent books from the library and got sucked back in. I ordered this one on release day and it was a great pick.

I enjoyed both Peony’s and Draden’s characters and their situation makes you think about how would you behave in their situation. If you knew you were going to die a painful life, how would you spend your last days. I also liked how much Peony and Draden respected each other’s abilities. Often in these types of books the hero can easily tip over into too much macho, protect the lady despite how capable she is, type of personality. However, Draden struck that perfect balance. He had a few understandable moments of wanting to save Peony but I think those were understandable reactions so they didn’t feel overbearing.

Another great thing about this story is despite Peony and Draden having to be isolated due to their illness we still got to see several of the characters from earlier books. I always love seeing how the couples from earlier books are doing. All in all I am glad I came back to this series.

Find it online

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Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance | No Comments »

Review: The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins

March 26th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Purchased

Publication date: February 28, 2017

Publisher: Savio Republic

Rating: ★★★½☆

About the book

Throughout your life, you’ve had parents, coaches, teachers, friends and mentors who have pushed you to be better than your excuses and bigger than your fears. What if the secret to having the confidence and courage to enrich your life and work is simply knowing how to push yourself?

Using the science of habits, riveting stories and surprising facts from some of the most famous moments in history, art and business, Mel Robbins will explain the power of a “push moment.” Then, she’ll give you one simple tool you can use to become your greatest self.

It takes just five seconds to use this tool, and every time you do, you’ll be in great company. More than 8 million people have watched Mel’s TEDx Talk, and executives inside of the world’s largest brands are using the tool to increase productivity, collaboration, and engagement.

In The 5 Second Rule, you’ll discover it takes just five seconds to:

Become confident
Break the habit of procrastination and self-doubt
Beat fear and uncertainty
Stop worrying and feel happier
Share your ideas with courage

The 5 Second Rule is a simple, one-size-fits-all solution for the one problem we all face —we hold ourselves back.

The secret isn’t knowing what to do—it’s knowing how to make yourself do it.

My Thoughts

I waffled between a 3 and a 4 star rating for this book because it’s a great concept and I can see how it can help but I’m not sure it required an entire book. I have listened to Mel Robbins on a couple podcasts so that may have also contributed to why the book felt so repetitive to me but I honestly feel like you can get the basics of this book from listening to Mel Robbins online.

Once she goes over the basics of why the 5-4-3-2-1 method works I felt like the bulk of the book were just examples of how people applied it to their lives. So if you are the type of person who gets inspired by reading real life testimonials you will probably enjoy this book. Otherwise, I think you can get by on watching her videos.

Memorable lines from the book…

“The counting distracts you from your excuses and focuses your mind on moving in a new direction.”

“The more that you believe that you are in control of your life, your actions and your future, the happier and more successful you’ll be.”

“Right before we’re about to do something that feels difficult, scary or uncertain, we hesitate. Hesitation is the kiss of death. You might hesitate for a just nanosecond, but that’s all it takes. That one small hesitation triggers a mental system that’s designed to stop you. And it happens in less than—you guessed it—five seconds.”

Find it online

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Posted in 3 Star Books, 4 Star Books | No Comments »

Review: Huge Deal by Lauren Layne

March 3rd, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Purchased

Publication date: February 12, 2019

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Series: 21 Wall Street #3

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the Book

An alpha among the wolves of Wall Street, Kennedy Dawson rose to the top of the pack by striking the right contracts at the right times. But there’s one deal that’s been giving him a run for his money—a pact to never again let his assistant, Kate, get under his skin. She may be smart, gorgeous, and sharp as a whip, but she’s definitely off-limits.

Kate Henley isn’t a banker, but she knows a thing or two about risk management—specifically, about managing her attraction to her smolderingly sexy boss. She already fell once, and Kennedy showed no sign of paying a return on her investment. So when Kennedy’s brother starts pursuing her, Kate figures she has the best of both worlds. Jack is charming, rich, very attentive, and the spitting image of his older brother.

It’s also making Kennedy think twice. But to win Kate’s heart, he’ll have to broker the deal of a lifetime…and prove he’s worth the risk.

My Thoughts

This is another winner of a series from Lauren Layne. I’ve enjoyed every single book and I was dying to read Kennedy’s story. I love Kennedy and watching Kate throughout the previous two books had me on pins and needles to see how she and Kennedy would finally come together. I honestly would love to be Kate. She’s cute, uber-competent but relatable in that she can be slightly socially awkward at times plus she gets the super sweet, sexy guy. There wasn’t quite the same amount of external drama going on as in the first two books. The story focuses mainly on watching Kennedy slowly become aware of Kate as more than just his capable assistant and wondering if he missed his chance with her. It was lovely watching the two of them dance around each other and finally come together. I am hoping we get to see Kennedy’s brother, Jack, get his HEA as well. He was one of my favorite supporting characters.

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Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Contemporary | No Comments »

Review: Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne

February 19th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Purchased

Publication date: August 25, 2015

Publisher: Loveswept

Rating: ★★★★☆


About the book

When Parker Blanton meets Ben Olsen during her freshman year of college, the connection is immediate—and platonic. Six years later, they’re still best friends, sharing an apartment in Portland’s trendy Northwest District as they happily settle into adult life. But when Parker’s boyfriend dumps her out of the blue, she starts to wonder about Ben’s no-strings-attached approach to dating. The trouble is, even with Ben as her wingman, Parker can’t seem to get the hang of casual sex—until she tries it with him.

The arrangement works perfectly . . . at first. The sex is mind-blowing, and their friendship remains as solid as ever, without any of the usual messy romantic entanglements. But when Parker’s ex decides he wants her back, Ben is shocked by a fierce stab of possessiveness. And when Ben starts seeing a girl from work, Parker finds herself plagued by unfamiliar jealousy. With their friendship on the rocks for the first time, Parker and Ben face an alarming truth: Maybe they can’t go back. And maybe, deep down, they never want to.

My Thoughts

Lauren Layne has quickly become one of my favorite authors and I love the best friends to lovers trope so this book really checked all the boxes for me. I loved Parker and Ben’s relationship both as best friends and as a couple. They were adorable together and the interaction between the two totally drew me in. I felt the pacing for the majority of the book was spot on and I finished this book in almost one sitting (I had to take a break to actually go to work. lol.).

The main reason I took one star off was Parker turned me off a bit towards the end when she is totally clueless about how her words really affected Ben. For two best friends who were supposed to be so in tune with each other and know each other so well, it took a woman Parker despised to actually get to the root of Ben’s insecurities. Knowing Ben like she is supposed to I expected Parker to have a bit more insight into Ben’s non-romantic feelings.

Ben on the other hand really held my heart because despite being good looking, great at his job and an overall sweetheart of a guy he still had his own insecurities. It was touching to see and added an extra layer of depth to his character that made me totally fall for him.

This is a quick read. Yes, it’s predictable but it’s oh so fun to read!

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Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Contemporary, New Adult | No Comments »

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