Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Sunday Salon... New Year, New You!

Welcome to The Sunday Salon! It's a new year, do you ever think about change? I'm not talking about resolutions, I'm talking about taking a deep breathe and feeling like changing a habit or introducing something different into your life. Find yourself a comfy chair, pour yourself a cup of joe and let's talk about 3 books designed to help you make a positive change...

Sometimes making a change isn't easy to do on your own. That's why we make and break resolutions. But what about books that are meant to inspire us to make a change in our lives? Do they work better than a New Years' Resolution? Here are three books (Okay, 4 books) that have gotten a lot of buzz lately...

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo... Japanese organizational consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly declutter your home once, you'll never have to do it again. Whereas most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, the KonMari Method's category-by-category, all-at-once prescription leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo's clients have been repeat customers (and she still has a three-month waiting list of new customers!). With detailed guidance for every type of item in the household, this quirky little manual from Japan's newest lifestyle phenomenon will help readers clear their clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home--and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

This was the "It" book of 2104! Everyone was cleaning up their act. And it was one of those cute size gift books too, and comes in at a slim 224 pages. Have you read it? I actually bought it and it's in my TBR pile. Of course, if I had read it, would I have a TBR pile anymore? It's time for me to read this little book and put order in my "piles". Lots of praise for this book and Marie Kondo has just released a companion book to this called, Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up, which is an 'in-depth, illustrated manual on how to declutter and organize specific items throughout the house, from kitchen and bathroom items to work-related papers and hobby collections." This new book, released January 5th, has had mixed reviews. I'm saving my judgement until I finish the first book and look for this second book to keep me going. 

52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier Healthier You by Brett Blumenthal... Whether as New Year’s resolutions, birthday wishes, or daily promises, most everyone vows at some point to make a major life change. But change is easier said than done, especially when it comes to better managing our wellness amidst the chaos of everyday living. Fortunately, wellness coach and award-winning writer Brett Blumenthal has devised a way to inspire and motivate her readers to live healthier and make positive changes in their lives. Although Blumenthal’s method is not a quick fix, it is a surprisingly simple one: make one small change per week, for fifty-two weeks, and at the end of a year, you’ll be happier and healthier. After all, it is the small changes that are the most realistic, instead of trying to overhaul your lifestyle all at once

This was Brett's first book dealing with "52 small changes", and wraps itself around the concept that small changes taken over time is more successful than trying to make a change all at once. She encourages you to make positive changes for your total well being, such as drink more water, get more sleep, laugh, take your vitamins, etc. AND, there are so many great reviews for this book too! Want to make some positive changes in your life? Why not give Brett's book a try! And right now, it's at a bargain Kindle price of $3.99! Here is THE LINK .

52 Small Changes for the Mind: Improve Memory * Minimize Stress * Increase Productivity * Boost Happiness by Brett Blumenthal... Small changes work. In this practical book, wellness expert Brett Blumenthal reveals how to hone in on the mind as the foundation of overall health and well-being. She presents one small, achievable change every week—from developing music appreciation to eating brain-boosting foods, practicing mono-tasking, incorporating play, and more. The accumulation of these lifestyle changes ultimately leads to improved memory, less stress, increased productivity, and sustained happiness. Backed by research from leading experts and full of helpful charts and worksheets, 52 Small Changes for the Mind provides a road map to a better life—and proves that the journey can be as rewarding as the destination.

This is Brett's newest book and focuses in on mindfulness. 52 positive changes we can do with our minds to help us become happier. This would involve reducing stress, improving our memories and becoming more productive. Though her other book was a hit, she thought zeroing in on these things could be beneficial. Mindfulness is all the rage these days, and I think this book may be a way for the author to hop aboard, but if it helps someone to have a happier life, I am all for it. I'm picking up the first book at the bargain Kindle price and checking out this book at the library first.

You Are Here by Thich Nhat Hanh... This moment is the gateway to enlightenment. It is the only moment we have to be joyful, mindful, and awake. The key is to be there for yourself—to learn to be fully present in your life. This, Thich Nhat Hanh explains, is the heart of Buddhist practice.
In this introduction to the practice of presence, the beloved Buddhist teacher provides indispensable insight on the essentials of Buddhist thought and offers a range of simple, everyday practices for cultivating mindfulness. These teachings empower us to witness the wonder of life and transform our suffering, both within us and around us, into compassion, tenderness, and peace—not in some long and hard struggle, but in this very moment. As Thich Nhat Hanh declares, “the energy of mindfulness is the energy of the Buddha, and it can be produced by anybody.” It’s as simple as breathing in and breathing out.

How often do we race around not really paying attention to what's going on around us? Have you ever driven to work and not remember the drive? Thich Nhat Hanh is a "Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh is an internationally known author, poet, scholar, and peace activist, and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1967" and has written quite a few books inspired by his practice of Buddhism. This is a slim book of only 163 pages, but packs a powerful punch and is inspiring. Maybe this could be the book that helps start your new year? This one is on my shelf.

Are you inspired? Going to make any changes? Is reading about how to make those changes more effective for you then going it on your own? I think that these books are the type that can help us make positive changes in our lives. I'm almost over New Years resolutions of the non-reading kind. These books inspire to make changes whether it's January 1st or October 9th. Happy New Year, New You!

Happy Reading... Suzanne


Bryan G. Robinson said...

I think I'll just go for the one book: You Are Here. With the others, I'd have 104 things to do this year. I already have enough to do. :)

Suzanne Yester said...

I like that, Bryan! I think I'm going to give the focused "52 small changes for the Mind" a go around, but as with all things of this nature, my best intentions will probably loose out to my harried life! ;-)

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I spent a lot of last year decluttering, so I think I'll skip the Tidying Up book, as I'll probably realize I did it wrong. LOL

Seriously, though, everyone has different priorities and things they want to keep, and authors who diss our sentimental items usually just make me mad.

At least, that's what some have gotten from the Tidying book....a cold hard tossing out of everything.

Not for me.

Thanks...I hope it works for you. Here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I was be-gifted with 52 Small Changes a few years ago. I need to pull that one out again. This is a good time of the year to look at that.

Suzanne Yester said...

Often times things I am a whip when it comes to tossing out of things, Laurel, but you are right, why do we have to toss out EVERYTHING?! Sentimental is not evil! I'll let you know if I can throw anything out after reading the book!

Suzanne Yester said...

Yes, Deb, even though I've tossed out the notion of New Years Resolutions (hey I DID toss out something!), its nice to look at oneself at the beginning of a new year and see if there is anything we would like to "work" on.

Anne@HeadFullofBooks said...

I seriously thought about the decluttering book but decided I couldn't devote my efforts to the project just now. But I did do the 40 bags in 40 days decluttering last year and felt pretty good about that. Happy New Year.

Suzanne Yester said...

Oh, Anne, 40 bags in 40 days sounds great! Hmmm, I might have to consider that. Thanks for sharing that!

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