How to Read More Often AND How to Get More Out of Reading

Open a Book... Open Your World!

Quote About Books
 

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions was to read more, I hope you’re just blazing a trail right through a string of amazing books! If you fell off a little bit over the past few weeks, I  hope I can help you get back on track.

First a few things about reading:

  • Reading is, to the mind, what travel is to the body. It opens up a whole new world!
  • Reading has been proven to help a GREAT deal in the prevention of dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • If you read inspirational books, they can help lift your spirits to new heights.
  • As wonderful as books are, remember that reading is only as valuable as the books you read.  Reading bad books isn’t really much better than not reading any books at all.

 The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read. – Mark Twain

How to Read More Often

If finding time for reading is an issue for you, I have a few suggestions.

  1. Keep a book near one of your favorite spots.  For example, I’m almost always reading more than one book at a time. I’m always (and when I say always, I mean always!) in the middle of an Agatha Christie mystery, so I keep her nearby at all times. I’m also, at any given time, reading a cookbook or book about cooking/food, a historical non-fiction book (history buff), and a self help related book (usually to review for Self Help Daily).  I keep the cookbook or food-related book in the kitchen, so I can read it during lunch or breakfast – sometime during the day when it’s just me and my cat Alexa dining.  I keep the historical non-fiction book near my chair in the den, and the self help related book is kept by my bed.  Wherever I happen to be, during the day, I have a book nearby. It really doesn’t take a lot of time to read a chapter, after all, and they can be slipped in at just about any given time.
  2. Fall in love with reading e-Books! Whether you have a Kindle or download books to your iPad or iPod, this is the ultimate way to keep your book with you at all times. I have a Kindle, but I also download books right to my iPad, so it’s convenient to keep Hercule Poirot with me at all times.  In celebration of National Reading Month, Amazon’s Kindle is just $59, twenty dollars less than the regular price. Amazon is also the perfect spot to order your books – whether they’re physical books or downloadable books. Amazon also has you covered for the next suggestion…
  3. Two words: Audio Books.  Audio books are a dream come true for a lot of people – people who are on the road a lot, people with attention spans that tend to wander, and people who aren’t just busy, but darn busy!  You can listen to your book being read to you while driving, doing dishes, taking a bath, doing chores, etc. It’s still “reading” and it’s still gaining information and, when applicable, inspiration and motivation.
  4. Set goals.  Pick a book you’d really love to read and set a deadline. Map out the number of chapters and the amount of time you’ll devote to each. Most people will rise up to a goal, even if it’s one they set themselves.
  5. Choose a reading buddy.  Plan to begin reading a certain book with a friend or family member, with each grabbing their own copy of the book. People always watch tv shows and discuss them, why not treat books the same way? I’m in the middle of a WONDERFUL book, John Adams, by David McCullough and I often wish someone I knew were reading it as well. The topics of conversation would be epic.  This book is available in every conceivable format on Amazon and, I just can’t possibly say enough good things about it. This is a book to end all books.
  6. Read about what interests you.  I am a huge history buff, so I can’t get enough of historical books, biographies, and autobiographies.  I’m such a history nut, I could read a History text book just for fun. And I have.  Think of a subject (or subjects) that interest you, then search out books relating to this subject(s).
  7. Explore different Fiction niches and authors. If you don’t think you’d enjoy reading fiction, try a few different authors and even niches before you swear off fiction entirely.  You’ll probably come across a particular author and think, “Now I want to read everything this author wrote!”
  8. Get a Library Card and Use it.  Whether you prefer fiction or non-fiction, you’ll probably find that visiting a library is just as fun as an adult as it was when you were a kid. More so, actually, because we actually LIKE quiet now.  Library trips can be the most tranquil and relaxing part of your week – especially if you find a comfy chair or table and dive right in… to the chair and the book.
  9. Make Reading a Personal Retreat.  Set aside a time where you grab a cup of coffee or tea and escape with your book. It’ll become a time that you look forward to each day.
  10. Get great ideas for books to read from book reviews. You can find killer non-fiction book reviews AND fiction book reviews online.

How to Get More Out of What You Read

To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting. – Edmund Burke

I actually asked the biggest book lover in the world to share with you her tips for getting the most out of books.  Below is the advice from author, book reviewer, and book lover extraordinaire Emily Dill:

I have one main tip for non-fiction and one main tip for fiction. When reading non-fiction, my main tip for getting the most out of the material is TAKE NOTES. No matter what kind of non-fiction book, I’m reading, I take notes as I go.

Bob Harper book about exercise or nutrition? I write things down as I go.

A book about how to write an entire novel in the month of November? Take notes.

An Amen Clinics book about keeping your brain healthy? Yep, notes.

My main tip for getting the most out of fiction is to read in a quiet area. I know a lot of people brag about reading while the tv is on, kids are yelling, music is playing, and so on, but that doesn’t work for me. And it probably doesn’t work for most people either, because I can promise you they’re missing a few things in their reading. It has happened to me before – when I try to read in a loud or active room, I’ll end up reading the same page two or three times and still missing things.

So treat yourself and concentrate 100% on your reading – that book deserves your full attention!

I totally agree with the tip about taking notes! I am a note taker from way back. Writing something down helps you retain the information – it can also serve as a fantastic reference point, specially for long books or if you’re reading different books covering the same subject.

This actually brings me to another tip for getting the most out of reading.  If you find a particular subject that you enjoy reading about, search out as many books relating to this subject as possible. Make a list of all the different subjects you want to learn more about.  You can get inspiration for reading subjects anyplace – just pay attention to the things that spike your interest and follow through.

Here’s an example: My husband and I watched a GREAT mini-series on the History Channel, Sons of Liberty. Was this History nut ever in Heaven?!?!  By the time the series ended, I had a LONG list of subjects I wanted to delve further into: John Adams, Abigail Adams, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, The Boston Massacre, the Tea Party, Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin… and on and on.

Suffice to say, I have enough subjects to last several years!

My note-taking will really come in handy while reading through these fascinating subjects. I can cross-reference and see, for example, where George Washington was (and what he was up to) during the Tea Party, or what Abigail Adams thought of Benjamin Franklin… that sort of mentally delicious thing.

You should also pause to reflect on what you’ve read with fiction as well as non-fiction. Think back over the lessons that could be carried away from the characters, their experiences, their choices, etc.

A good book should leave you… slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it. – William Styron

I hope this article will serve as inspiration to you in your quest for reading more and for getting more from your reading. Thanks again to Emily for her words of wisdom and experience.

If you have any reading tips of your own, please share them with us in the comments!

~ Joi

All the secrets of the world are contained in books. Read at your own risk. – Lemony Snicket

Also See: More quotes about reading.

People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them the Keys (Review)

Get Your Hands, Eyes, and/or Ears On This Book

People Can't Drive You Crazy if You Don't Give them the Keys
 

Continuing the Focus of 2015: Building a Happier Family!

A while back,  I downloaded an interesting sounding e-book, People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them the Keys (Kindle edition link) by Mike Bechtle.  I fell in love with the cover image Come on, who wouldn’t be? It’s a duck. In a snazzy jacket with a whackadoodle hat.

And can we talk about the fact that he has green hair?

The title is, to be honest, what initially caught my eye. Even before the duck. The title reminds me of a something I always said to my three daughters while they were growing up. I don’t know about where you live, but in Kentucky we have a popular saying, “He’s getting my goat…” or “That really gets my goat..”

With three little girls, I often heard, “She just gets my goat…” In one of our infamous, “table talks,” I told my girls, “People can only get your goat if you put it out in the open. If they know where your goat is, it’s easy pickings.”

The title of this book just kind of reminded me of homespun wisdom and it had me at “crazy.”

When doing book reviews, as I often point out, I want to give a great “feel” for the book without giving the entire premise away. If I were to lay out all the brilliance of a particular book right here, why would you need to read it for yourself?

Since I VERY much want everyone to read People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them the Keys (paperback link) as soon as they humanly can, I’m going to tread lightly.  I hope you’ll stick with this book review, even if it gets lengthy – this book is extra special.

As we continue the focus of 2015 on Self Help Daily, Building a Happier Family, I have to strongly suggest everyone read this book. If you are a really, really busy individual, and simply don’t have time to devote 30 minutes to an hour reading each day, I have a few solutions…

A reaction is how we feel; a response is what we do. Reactions are automatic, but we choose our responses. – Mike Bechtle, People Can’t Drive You Crazy if You Don’t Give Them the Keys

Like most books, this particular WINNER is available in a variety of formats, so there’s simply no reason NOT to make this the next book you read… even if you read it with your ears.

The beauty of People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them the Keys (as it relates to building a happier family) is that it gives you the motivation, information, and inspiration you need to do your part to make your family the happiest family in town.  This book is, also, ideal reading for anyone who’s looking to improve their relationships at work or school (or anywhere for that matter) – but since our focus is on families… we’ll just stay seated around the dining room table rather than a board room table.

The food’s better anyway.

As I said, I read People Can’t Drive You Crazy if You Don’t Give Them the Keys on my iPad – so I couldn’t highlight or underline extra-insightful and/or humorous quotes and paragraphs. I could, however, write them down – and I did just that. You never saw so many notes and notations!

…. Your emotions got the best of you, and your crazy person has you dangling in her grip like a bungee jump gone bad….  Mike Bechtle, People Can’t Drive You Crazy if You Don’t Give Them the Keys

True story: One night a History Channel show that my husband and I wouldn’t miss for a million dollars had just gone off.  I knew I had about 15 minutes to read a little something before bedtime, so I grabbed my iPad to read from one of my e-books. I flew past PCDYCIFDGTTK (looks like a cat just walked across the keyboard, doesn’t it?) and chose an Agatha Christie mystery I was in the middle of. Why? I didn’t have my pen and notebook with me and I knew that even just 15 minutes with PCDYCIFDGTTK would have produced more than a few note-worthy points.

It’s that good.

For one thing, People Can’t Drive You Crazy if You Don’t Give Them the Keys is a very enjoyable and entertaining read. The author is absolutely hilarious. I’ve read that he’s a popular speaker and I can absolutely see why. GREAT sense of humor.  The sense of humor and warm stories about his own family and friends (including precious granddaughters) make for a very, very special book.

A certain passage about the author’s oldest granddaughter reminded me so much of my oldest daughter (Emily) that it’s beyond uncanny.  I was delighted –  the world can never have too many colorful, detail-oriented, little girls who march to the beat of their own drum. They grow up to be colorful, detail-oriented young women who just keep on marching.

People Can’t.. is also a really “fast reading” book.  When you aren’t taking notes, that is.

A lot of self help or self improvement books are good, while you’re reading them, but fail to “stick.”  This is not one of those books. It’s fantastic while you’re in the middle of it, and it sticks like super glue.

History brings us to where we are right now, but it doesn’t have to dictate how we respond in the future. – Mike Bechtle, People Can’t Drive You Crazy if You Don’t Give Them the Keys

I will, in the foreseeable future often quote or refer back to this wonderful book. However, I have to give you one of the most profound messages or points from the author and his wonderful book.

Ever read a quote or a passage that is so profound and packs such a wallop that you go back and re-read it… allowing it to wallop you from the other side? Early in the book, Mike Bechtle hits the nail on the head when he says, “Never allow yourself to become a victim of anyone else’s shortcomings or weaknesses.

I read a lot.  A LOT. But it has been ages since a single cluster of words had such an impact on me. When we allow others to impact our peacefulness or happiness, we become their victim. This could be anyone..

  • rude servers
  • inefficient store clerks
  • family members
  • co-workers
  • friends
  • toxic people online…. I’m looking at you social media

…. anyone, anywhere, anytime. If we allow them to remove us from where we want to be —- content, peaceful, happy —- and place us anywhere else, we are at their mercy. Worse, we are their victim.

I guess I’d just never thought of it that way before. Since reading (and re-reading) the words, however, I’ve thought about it plenty!  There are a lot of jackals in this world, after all.  Not one has victimized me since.

Not even vile online toxicity rattles my cage anymore.  If I see someone being a complete jackal, I just thank God that it isn’t my jackal and go about my business.

Book Synopsis: Strange as it may seem, other people are not nearly as committed to our happiness as we are. In fact, sometimes they seem like they’re on a mission to make us miserable! There’s always that one person. The one who hijacks your emotions and makes you crazy. The one who seems to thrive on drama. If you could just FIX that person, everything would be better. But we can’t fix other people – we can only make choices about ourselves. In this cut-to-the-chase book, communication expert Mike Bechtle shows readers that they don’t have to be victims of other people’s craziness.

With commonsense wisdom and practical advice that can be implemented immediately, Bechtle gives readers a proven strategy to handle crazy people.

More than just offering a set of techniques, Bechtle offers a new perspective that will change readers’ lives as they deal with those difficult people who just won’t go away.

How Can People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them the Keys help You?

Let’s get right down to it, want to? Why should you get your hands, eyes, and possibly ears on this book as soon as possible?

Because you deserve to be happy. Simple as that.

Yes, reading this book can help you keep peace within your family. Yes, the author’s wonderful advice can help you get along with even the craziest of the crazies, at work or home.  Yes, if you read this book and allow it to sink in, you can have the kind of peaceful, happy family holidays you see in tv commercials.

But, just for a minute, don’t think about any of that. Just for a minute, put everyone and everything else out of your mind and only think about yourself. It isn’t easy to live in a world of crazies – they’re everywhere, after all.  They can, and will, leave their footprints on your psyche. You’ll find yourself coming unglued, sighing deeply, whining, crying, and arguing with people over the silliest things. If it continues, you may even find yourself unable to sleep or unwind as well as you once did and your health can (and will) pay for the turmoil.

A lack of harmony in your life and an inability to “deal” with the handiwork of a crazy person can affect every corner of your life.

This book will help you clean out those corners. You’ll be happier and, as a result, everyone around you will be happier.

Think about it – if you feel tension in your family or at work, everyone feels it.  A tense individual in a room is like a caged tiger. Everyone focuses on the show, holding their breath waiting for the roar.

If you aren’t handling your crazy person (or crazy people, if you’re an over-achiever) well, you’re making everyone around you tense, unhappy, and downright miserable. Whether you encounter your crazies at work or home, you will be happier when you know how to cope with them.

You know I always level with my readers – and I’m telling you right now, this is a book you have to read.  This one’s a life-changer. ~ Joi

 “Never allow yourself to become a victim of anyone else’s shortcomings or weaknesses.” – Mike Bechtle

In Honor Of Abraham Lincoln on His Birthday

Failure Doesn't Have to Have the Last Word!

Abraham Lincoln Quote
Today (February 12) is the birthday of one of my greatest non-Biblical and non-Family heroes – the beautiful soul known to the world as President Abraham Lincoln.  He was born on February 12, 1809 in Hodgenville, Kentucky.

Suffice to say we Kentuckians are understandably proud that Mr. Lincoln was also a Kentuckian.

More importantly he was an American and every single one of us can be both proud and thankful for that.

As you may know, I am completely in love with old books. One of my favorites is Words to Live By (Copyright 1947-1957). This golden oldie is a collection of writings by some of the wisest men and women of all time.

In honor of Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday, I thought you might enjoy this article which appears in Words to Live By. It’s by Reverend James Keller and it is outstanding.

Failure Isn’t Fatal

by The Reverend James Keller, M.M.
Author of “You Can Change the World

Too often, it seems to me, people lose their courage in facing life because of past failures or fear that they may fail in the future.

One good way to cure such fears is to remember the story of a man who actually built a lifetime of accomplishments out of defeats. The following litany of failures that punctuated his life throughout thirty years is a living and eloquent example of the successful use of defeat in achieving victory.

Abraham Lincoln’s record is as follows:

  • Lost job 1832
  • Defeated for legislature 1832
  • Failed in business 1833
  • Elected to legislature 1834
  • Sweetheart died 1835
  • Had nervous breakdown 1836
  • Defeated for speaker 1838
  • Defeated for nomination for Congress 1843
  • Elected to Congress 1846
  • Lost renomination 1848
  • Rejected for land officer 1849
  • Defeated for Senate 1854
  • Defeated for nomination for Vice-President 1856
  • Again defeated for Senate 1858
  • Elected President 1860

Lincoln’s deep conviction that God had given him a mission to fulfill accounted in no small way for his deep humility and ability to push on in the face of difficulties and failures that would have discouraged most people.

His abiding faith was well summed up in this comment which he made after becoming President:  “God selects His own instruments, and sometimes they are queer ones; for instance, He chose me to steer the ship through a great crisis.”

You, too, in God’s providence can be an instrument in bringing His love, truth and peace to a world in urgent need of it.

And with Abraham Lincoln, you too can learn to say, “With God’s help I shall not fail.”

Never despair. But if you do, work on in despair. – Edmund Burke

How to Think Like a Millionaire

How to Think Like a Millionaire (Available in Paperback or Kindle)

The belief that dreams are impossible to achieve prevents most people from getting what they want. Their experience certainly seems to support this belief. They get exactly what they expect from life: boredom, frustration, obstacles, and small incomes. People are what they believe themselves to be, no more, no less. – How to Think Like a Millionaire Page 75

I first read How to Think Like a Millionaire years ago. I loved it then and I love it now. Great books never truly go out of style or lose their magic and this is really and truly a great book.

While you may think of it, initially, as a “business-minded” book, it’s actually much more than that. I think of it as a self help and self improvement book in every sense of the word.

Click the following link to read my review of How to Think Like a Millionaire or grab a copy for yourself today on Amazon:

Review: Happywork by Chris Reimer

A Parable about Happiness and Purpose in the Workplace

Happywork by Chris Reimer
 

Below, within my review of Happywork, you’ll find three groups of people who you’ll hope read this book as soon as they can get their hands on it.

Quite a while back, I made two specific New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. I vowed to consume my life source, chocolate, daily.
  2. I vowed to read my favorite (non-family/non-Biblical) author, Agatha Christie, daily.

What do these resolutions tell you about me? Well, pretty much all you need to know. I like, very much, to set myself up for success. They also tell you another truth – I may, I just may, mind you, be nuttier than a Payday candy bar.

Dipped in chocolate, of course.

I would have also resolved to spoil my family and cats rotten, obsess over animals, and drink coffee like its my job – but, let’s be honest – I already have a gold medal in each of these sports and carry them out as often as I breathe.

I only mention these resolutions to get at this: I am obsessed with Agatha Christie mysteries and have read and re-read them for years. My favorites are the Hercule Poirot stories and often thank the literary Heavens that the great Christie wrote so many of them.

A recent non-Agatha Christie book I read – and enjoyed very much – made me think of my much loved Hercule Poirot mysteries.  You’ll see the tie-in soon enough.

(Review continued below Charlie’s great quote…)

 Happywork by Chris Reimer
 

Happywork, by Chris Reimer, is a highly unique book and, as you would imagine, I love anything that can be described as highly unique.

With Happywork, Chris Reimer has given us a highly entertaining parable – a fictitious story that holds wisdom and very sound teachings within the plot, characters, and dialogue.

A fictitious manufacturing company  (“Vunorri Inc”) is in deep, deep trouble.  The hero of the story, Sam Maslow (a “turnaround specialist“) is called in to save the day.  This is where yours truly, the Agatha Christie fan girl, drew an instant comparison to Hercule Poirot.  Sam is called in to get to the bottom of the problem, as Poirot would be called in to solve a mystery.

Sam Maslow runs into mysteries of his own. He only has a certain amount of time to BOTH find the problem and eliminate the problem. And without Poirot’s sidekick Captain Hastings!

Along the way, author Chris Reimer gives the reader a lot of opportunities to reflect over our own approach to work – to be more specific, our attitudes toward work and the way we treat others. We see both sides of the story as they relate to the workplace, the employers and the employees. More importantly, we see how each of these two equally important and necessary groups must have respect for one another.

They have to realize that they’re all working to keep the same ship afloat because, make no mistake about it, if it goes down, they’re all going down with it.

 Three Groups of People Who Will Want to Read Happywork:

  1. Men and Women in Managerial Positions. The mysteries unraveled by Sam aren’t entirely fictitious. These mysteries – or crimes against management, if you will – happen every single day. If not these exact occurrences, then certainly similar ones. That’s the bad news. The good news is that, once identified, these problems can be remedied.  However, make no mistake about it – identity must come first.  I think Happywork has the power to open a lot of eyes. When eyes remain closed, the company soon follows suit. And, let’s face it, closed companies are bad business.
  2. Men and Women in the Workplace… any workplace. If you have co-workers, whether it’s one or one hundred, Happywork can help you with your attitude – toward work as well as your attitude toward your co-workers and “bosses.”  We all look at life, whether it’s our home life or work life through our own personal window. Father Time, discouragements, disappointments, stress, and disagreements can leave streaks and smears across our “work window.”  After awhile, we find ourselves looking through a window PAIN as opposed to a PANE.  Happywork could be just the thing you need to clean that glass.  If you stop to think about the number of hours a week… month… and year you spend at work, you’ll soon realize that the window through which you look at this particular scenery of your life is of the utmost importance. How we see our world determines, to a very large extent, our world.  Oftentimes a simple change of attitude can bring greater contentment, peace,  purpose, and something you may not associate with work… happiness.
  3. People who Enjoy a Great Story! I work entirely from home with my web publishing business. My co-workers? My cats. My bosses? My cats. Can you say, “Zero drama.”? However, even I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Obviously, I enjoy a good mystery. Watching Sam get to the bottom of problems (sometimes in spite of himself) was greatly entertaining and – without giving anything away – I will say that, like Agatha Christie, he provided a couple of plot twists and shockers along the way.

About the Author Chris Reimer:

Chris Reimer is an award-winning communications strategist, a humanist, and a student of human interaction. He founded Rizzo Tees, a t-shirt company headquartered in his basement. Using the skills gained from marketing his t-shirt business, he went on to become possibly the only human alive who went from being a CPA and CFO to a marketing and communications strategist.

Chris is currently Marketing Director at both Kaldi’s Coffee and Honolulu Coffee, is a guest lecturer at Washington University, and resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and two daughters. He is passionate about improving the way humans treat each other, and that especially includes adding more NICE to the workplace. He drinks coffee in the morning and red wine at night, and loves everything Italian.

Join him on HappyworkBook.com, or say hi on Twitter at @ChrisReimer (99% he’ll say hi back). – From “Happywork”

Happywork: A Business Parable About the Journey to Teamwork, Profit, and Purpose is now available on Amazon!

 

Happywork by Chris Reimer

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do Review

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

A while back I reviewed an exceptional book,  13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin. As I recently told one of my daughters, this is one of the best self help/self improvement books I’ve ever read. It isn’t preachy, new-agey, or a colossal bore…

Get the impression I’ve run into some less than lovely books in my time???

If you’ve read any of my book reviews on Self Help Daily, you’ll know that I read A LOT.  In fact, I am always in the middle of – not one – but three or more books.  So, for me to say this book qualifies as one of the best – trust me, that’s saying something.

13 Things is a perfect ten out of ten and if Amy Morin never writes another book, she’ll still be one of my favorite authors. Personally I’m hoping for many more books – I’ll just go ahead and put that out there.

Above I told you a few things this book is not. Here are a few things that it is:

  • filled with information you can begin implementing into your life immediately
  • common sense advice that we, as humans, have somehow wandered away from
  • an enjoyable, even fascinating read
  • potentially life-changing

Read the review, then get your hands on this wonderful book as soon as possible: 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do Review. This is one you’ll want to read more than once.

You can learn more about Amy Morin on her website, Amy Morin LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker). Also be sure to follow her on Twitter and Facebook!

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do Review

In the Heart of the World by Mother Teresa

In the Heart of the World

If we were more willing to see the good and beautiful things that surround us, we would be able to transform our families.  From there, we would change our next-door neighbors and then others who live in our neighborhood or city.  We would be able to bring peace and love to our world, which hungers so much for these things.  –  Mother Teresa, In the Heart of the World: Thoughts, Stories, and Prayers

Read more about this beautiful book: Review: In the Heart of the World by Mother Teresa

Choose the books you read as carefully as the company you keep!
~ Joi

Furry Logic (10th Anniversary Edition): PERFECT Gift for Animal Lovers

Cat Pause
11/14/2014

Furry Logic
I just wrote a review on my Cat Blog for an adorable book I know you’ll love as much as I do – Furry Logic: A Guide to Life’s Little Challenges.

One of the secrets to happiness is filling your life with things that make you smile and… hopefully… even laugh. This wonderful little book is filled with smiles and laughs just waiting to happen. Not only is it something I know you’d love, it’d make a wonderful gift idea for any cat lover, dog lover, ostrich lover… let’s just say, any animal or bird lover – that’ll be easier!

Read my Furry Logic: A Guide to Life’s Little Challenges Review on Cat Pause or simply click through and check it out on Amazon: Furry Logic, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Guide to Life’s Little Challenges

This is one ADORABLE book!
~ Joi

Are Grains Harming Our Brains?

A Renowned Neurologist Says, "YES!"

Grain Brain
I often like to remind Self Help Daily readers that I am not a doctor, nurse, or any other variety of medical expert.  I’m like most of you – I gather my information from experts, then come to my own conclusions, based on their years of expertise and research.

I thought this would be an appropriate time to remind you of this very fact as I introduce you to one such expert and his fascinating studies with grain’s effects on the brain.

Renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, has a very popular book that you may have heard of:  Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers.

If you’ve read much on the subject of wheat and other forms of gluten, you probably realize that the wheat we have today is not the wheat our great grandparents enjoyed. As William Davis, MD points out in Wheat Belly, “…  today’s wheat has been genetically altered to provide processed-food manufacturers the greatest yield at the lowest cost.”

Grain Brain  and Wheat Belly are filled with information about the negative effects this “genetically altered” wheat has on our bodies and minds.

Here’s a scary statistic: More than 5 million Americans are now living with Alzheimer’s. That doesn’t even count the numbers who are living with other forms of dementia – If we knew the numbers for those, combined with the Alzheimer’s numbers, I’m certain we’d lose sleep.

For weeks.

David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, Board Certified neurologist, and author of the book Grain Brain believes we can do a GREAT deal to prevent Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia by our diet alone.

Perlmutter says we should focus on eating lots of nuts, veggies, olive oil, eggs, wild fish, free-range chicken, grass-fed beef, avocados and some dairy, but to always choose whole milk.

As for what we should avoid, he says to stay away from trans fats, sugars, processed foods and carbs.

He gives the green light for eating fruits sparingly but says we should completely eliminate gluten.

From Amazon:

David Perlmutter, MD, blows the lid off a topic that’s been buried in medical literature for far too long: carbs are destroying your brain. And not just unhealthy carbs, but even healthyones like whole grains can cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression, and much more. Dr. Perlmutter explains what happens when the brain encounters common ingredients in your daily bread and fruit bowls, why your brain thrives on fat and cholesterol, and how you can spur the growth of new brain cells at any age. He offers an in-depth look at how we can take control of our “smart genes” through specific dietary choices and lifestyle habits, demonstrating how to remedy our most feared maladies without drugs. With a revolutionary 4-week plan, GRAIN BRAIN teaches us how we can reprogram our genetic destiny for the better.

GRAIN BRAIN is a #1 New York Times bestseller and a finalist for a 2013 Books for a Better Life award.

Reviews for Grain Brain:

“Dr. Perlmutter takes us on a detailed tour of the destructive effects that ‘healthy whole grains’ have on our brains. Modern wheat, in particular, is responsible for destroying more brains in this country than all the strokes, car accidents, and head trauma combined. Dr. Perlmutter makes a persuasive case for this wheat-free approach to preserve brain health and functioning, or to begin the process of reversal.” –William Davis, MD, author of Wheat Belly

“If you want to boost your brain power, keep your memory, and lift your mood and energy, as well as heal from a host of other common complaints, Dr. Perlmutter is your guide. This is the definitive instruction book for the care and feeding of your brain!” –Mark Hyman, MD, author of The Blood Sugar Solution

“Dementia and many other brain diseases are not inevitable, nor are they genetic. They are directly and powerfully linked to a diet high in sugar and grains. Grain Brain not only proves this, it also gives you everything you need to know to protect your brain–or a loved one’s–now.”–Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom

If  you’re interested in learning more about Grain Brain, click through one of the links or the picture at the top.

~ Joi

Coming Next Week: My review of Wheat Belly!

Review: Bend Your Brain (From the Minds Behind “Marbles” The Brain Store)

151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (And Grow) Your Mind

Bend Your Brain
Bend Your Brain: 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind has a few questions for you: Want to get your frontal lobe breaking a sweat? Make your blood pump to your cerebellum? Stretch your occipital lobe to its limits?

If you’re as interested in mental fitness and brain health as I am, you’ll answer this question with a question of your own: How soon can we begin?!

Fortunately, you can begin the second you get your hands on this outstanding book. Bend Your Brain: 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind is actually more than a book, if we’re being honest here. It’s more of a workout program for the part of our body that is probably taken more for granted than any other part.  Which is perfectly ridiculous when you consider that it runs the whole shebang.

Bend Your Brain
From the Back Cover:

Then you need to bend your brain! This first book from the team behind Marbles: The Brain Store, a chain devoted to building better brains, offers puzzles and brain teasers to help enhance memory, build problem-solving skills, and reduce stress.
Since Marbles started helping people play their way to a healthier brain, they’ve sold, solved, and been stumped by more than their fair share of puzzles. Along the way, they’ve learned which puzzles tie people in knots (not in a good way) and which ones make the neurons downright giddy. With the help of their in-house team of BrainCoaches and access to cutting-edge neuroscience, they’ve designed these puzzles to keep your mind flexible and fit.
Arranged in five key brain categories—visual perception, word skills, critical thinking, coordination, and memory—Bend Your Brain offers a variety of puzzles ranging from mind-warming (easy) to mind-blowing (hard!):

·  Connecting the dots? More like working your spatial-orientation skills.
·  Identifying famous smiles? Flexing your visual memory.
·  Taking a closer look at your keyboard? Coding, storing, and retrieving.
·  Word-doku? Summoning cognitive abilities like appraisal, inference, impulse control, and evaluation.
·  Word scrambles? Tapping your brain’s association areas.

Your brain is your most important muscle, so let the brain-building begin! –  Bend Your Brain: 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind

Bend Your Brain
I have to say, I love everything about “Bend Your Brain.”  I know the STELLAR reputation Marbles: The Brain Store has in the mental fitness world.  When it comes to brain fitness, Marbles is “all in.”  They invest their hearts, bodies, and souls into discovering how the brain works, what it needs to keep working at an optimum level, where problems can arise, and what steps can be taken to avoid these problems.  I’d have as much confidence in their teachings on brain health as I would Rachael Ray’s teachings on cooking, Jillian Michael’s teachings on physical fitness, Albert Pujols’ teachings on swinging a baseball bat…

Well, you get the idea. We’re talking about experts in their chosen field.

MARBLES: THE BRAIN STORE is in malls across the country. They’ve been featured in Good Housekeeping, Real Simple, USA Today, and Wired, as well as on the Today show and Martha Stewart Living.  Like I said… experts.

While the book is flexible, the cover is made of a very sturdy material – it isn’t the type of “romance novel” paper covers that dog-ear or tear. It’s ideal for curling up in a comfy chair with a pencil and a hot Chai Tea Latte as you treat your mind to a FUN and STIMULATING workout.  I’m, perhaps, more familiar with brain games and brain puzzles than the average person. Another one of my blogs (“Out of Bounds“) involves mental fitness and brain health.  While doing research for the articles on “Out of Bounds,” I’ve bought and used countless books with “brain stimulating” puzzles.

Frankly, there are quite a few on the market that are outstanding. However, the puzzles throughout Bend Your Brain: 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind are different from other puzzles I’ve seen in other books. Bend Your Brain does a much better job of letting you know WHY you need each type of puzzle.  I also love the fact that the puzzles address the five key brain categories (visual perception, word skills, critical thinking, coordination, and memory).

What good would it be to focus on just one or two?!?!

If I were to recommend one book for the individual who is interested in protecting and strengthening their mind, this would be the book.  The puzzles are a PERFECT blend of challenging, very challenging, and OMG challenging.  What’s more, they’re a lot of fun!

If you’re looking to strengthen your mind and memory, increase self-confidence, and even improve your problem-solving skills, Bend Your Brain shouldn’t just be the next book you buy… it has to be the next book you buy.

Click through and learn more about Bend Your Brain: 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind. Trust me, this is one you and your brain are going to love.

Never stop learning!
~ Joi

Bend Your Brain Book Review
Note: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. The opinions are entirely my own.