Non Fiction Review: 5-Minute Happiness Journal

The 5-Minute Happiness Journal by Leslie Marchand LCSW
The 5-Minute Happiness Journal: Practices to Help You Tap Into Joy Every Day
by Leslie Marchand LCSW

4 out of 5 stars


This guided journal explores the meaning of happiness and how it can be unique to each individual. The journal prompts you to write down the things that make you happy, to re-imagine difficult situations in a more pleasant light, and to go after your own style of joy.

The journal questions include things like:
“What is a hobby you’ve always wanted to try?”
“Write about a time when a closed door led to a new opportunity that brought more happiness into your life.”
“Write about a time when you used your imagination to solve a problem.”
“Write down one thing you do regularly that makes you happy.”

Some of the prompts are simple, and others are more complex, leading to deeper reflection. Each page builds on the previous lesson, guiding you further on a journey toward understanding and embracing happiness. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Extreme Ocean

Extreme Ocean by Sylvia A Earle
Extreme Ocean: Amazing Animals, High-Tech Gear, Record-Breaking Depths, and More
by Sylvia A Earle,  Glen Phelan 

5 out of 5 stars


With stunning photographs, this book chronicles the ocean explorations of the author, a marine biologist. Along with personal stories and anecdotes, this book includes the facts and science about everything in the ocean from currents to sharks.

The first section explores waves, tsunamis, and currents, ice shelves, and answers why the ocean is blue and why it contains salt water.

The second chapter focuses on the fish and animals that live in the ocean. There are articles and facts about seals, whales, and other mammals, as well as fish and creatures that live in the deepest parts of the ocean. The photographs of these fish are absolutely gorgeous, showcasing their bright colors and delicate fins. There are also facts about sea plants like kelp forests, and a whole page about coral reefs. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Meditation for Kids

Meditation for Kids by Tejal V Patel
Meditation for Kids: 40 Activities to Manage Emotions, Ease Anxiety, and Stay Focused
by Tejal V Patel

5 out of 5 stars


This book has easy and fun meditations for children that helps them to navigate tough emotions, calm their impatience, and learn to listen. The meditations are grouped in categories for increasing your positive energy, improving concentration and creativity, and opening your heart to kindness and compassion. There is an entire chapter of meditations just for bedtime, to soothe and calm the mind and body. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Trigger Point Therapy Made Simple

Trigger Point Therapy Made Simple by Richard Finn LMT CMTPT
5 out of 5 stars


This book outlines where trigger points are located in our muscles, and how massage, pressure, and other therapies can help to alleviate that pain. The self-therapy techniques include self-massage, breathing exercises, stretching exercises designed to alleviate nerve tension, massaging or compressing a trigger point in your muscle, and Swedish movements for stretching your range of motion.

I really like the attitudes in this book, putting the power of healing back into the hands of the patient, instead of relying on doctors who don’t give any answers or solutions other than prescription pain medication. The writing is so encouraging and gives good information about using techniques to heal yourself and find relief from pain and tension. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Joy at Work

Joy at Work by Marie Kondō
Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life
by Marie Kondō ,Scott Sonenshein 

4 out of 5 stars


Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein give some wonderful guidelines in this book for tidying up your work. They focus on not just your desk and workspace, but also your time, contacts, email and digital documents, and decision-making process. They give advice on team-building, evaluating tasks, and how to run an effective meeting.

I liked the chapters that Marie wrote the best. Her voice is so inspirational and clear. The advice given by Scott is also good, but I didn’t connect with his voice as much.

I really liked that the circumstances and examples of each job could apply to almost any job or field of work, no matter your level or profession.

Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Origami Made Simple

Origami Made Simple by Russell Wood
Origami Made Simple: 40 Easy Models with Step-By-Step Instructions
by

5 out of 5 stars

This book has simple instructions for easy origami patterns, and begins with the simplest of them all, a little paper house. Gradually the book moves from simple designs to more complex designs that require more folds. Everything is explained with detailed instructions and diagrams that clearly show each fold.

I love the cute designs! There are cats and birds and fish and butterflies, a teapot, a basket, a man fishing, a praying nun, and even a sphinx and a snail. The instructions for some of these are so simple that a child could do them, and yet they are still interesting for adults. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: The Empowered Highly Sensitive Person

The Empowered Highly Sensitive Person by Amanda Cassil
The Empowered Highly Sensitive Person
by Amanda Cassil

5 out of 5 stars

As a Highly Sensitive Person, it is such a relief to have a book like this! It describes the HSP experience so clearly, and gives real and practical ideas for navigating the strong emotions and overwhelming sensations that come with having an HSP brain.

There is a quiz you can take to determine whether or not you are an HSP. The quiz says that if you score a 14 or higher, then you are an HSP. I scored a 24! I am extremely sensitive, and it’s always been a struggle. I’ve felt misunderstood my entire life, and have spent years telling myself, “Why can’t you be like other people? Why does this bother you so much? Why can’t you just let it go?” This book spoke so compassionately to my frustration and emotional pain, as well as my physical struggles. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Stretch

3 out of 5 stars

I picked up this book because the author has co-written the new Marie Kondo book, Joy at Work. I wanted to check out other books by this author before I read Marie Kondo’s new book.
I was disappointed.

The writing is much too verbose, taking forever to make a clear point. Every chapter is FULL of stories; true stories, anecdotes, business stories, and examples of people who succeeded or failed. Then the author uses the example from the story to illustrate their point about being resourceful with little instead of grasping for more. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Stuff Every Tea Lover Should Know

Stuff Every Tea Lover Should Know by Candace Rose Rardon
Stuff Every Tea Lover Should Know
by Candace Rose Rardon 

4 out of 5 stars

This book covers everything you could ever want to know about tea from the rich history of tea to how to brew it properly. There are chapters about the different types of teas, the pros and cons of teabags vs. loose leaf tea, how to determine the flavors and aftertaste of a tea blend, and how to brew the perfect cuppa.

There are excellent instructions on how to store tea, how to determine the caffeine content, and how to calculate the correct temperature and steeping time.

One of the details that make this book special is the inclusion of Asian tea ceremonies and traditions, along with fun things like a tea pet, which is a small unglazed clay figurine that can be saturated with the tea and takes on a beautiful patina and aroma of the tea. There are also tea ceremonies from Russia, Tibet, Britain, Turkey, New Zealand, India, Morroco, and a dozen other cultures. There is a section about the newly popular “bubble tea” from Taiwan, and it has inspired me to try it! But I was especially delighted to see a section for Southern Sweet Tea native to my own Southern United States. Continue reading