Showing posts with label Reading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reading. Show all posts

Why Our World Would Basically End If Books Disappeared

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For so long, books have been an integral part of most people’s lives - but what if they didn’t exist? A common pastime for many, books help enrich our world and are a powerful source of relaxation as well as escapism. Nothing beats curling up with a brilliant book and a warm drink on a cold and blustery day or picking up something thought-provoking to satisfy our curiosity and expand our knowledge. In short, books are amazing for our mind, body, and our soul, but can often go unnoticed in a world that is dominated by technology. What makes them so universally loved and why are they still so relevant in the digital world?

Books Encompass Knowledge
Books are a learning gateway and a foundation of endless knowledge that provides us with an understanding of the world around us. From a young age, books provide us with essential building blocks in life including literacy, social and communication skills. They preserve all knowledge of the past and are a reminder of how far humanity has come. Books bring awareness to pressing issues in society and enlighten us about other cultures. Without books, our intelligence would certainly not be so advanced, and we would be living in a very bleak world.



Books Make a Huge Impact on Our Lives
The power of words can be often underestimated. Whether it’s a psychological thriller, a crime novel, or trending biography, unforgettable, profound books present us with an array of emotions that can move us and broaden our minds and perspectives. The works of others, whether fictional or non-fictional, can often inspire us to make changes in our lives and can ultimately stay with us forever. Aiming to finish a book gives us a focus and goal to complete, and they also have the incredible physical ability to lower stress levels, and can even deflect unwanted feelings of negativity.

Books Sharpen Our Minds
Books are capable of more than just entertainment – they’re vital tools to living a healthier lifestyle. Since books require concentration, reading can essentially count as a workout for your brain. Studies have revealed that reading stimulates our brains and can improve our cognitive functioning, especially the part within the brain that is responsible for focusing, critical analysis, as well as our memory. In fact, studies have suggested that engaging in reading regularly encourages a delayed decline in key mental capacities, which can potentially result in a longer life.

Books Enhance Our Imagination
When you open a book, you open up a completely new universe - reading is an immersive and fulfilling experience that pulls us out of our usual day to day thoughts. When you’re nose deep into a book, magic happens and everything else around you seems to fade. Endless amounts of worlds and characters that you meet in books help to spark your imagination through the visualization of what you read. Reading can additionally strengthen your writing ability and creative skills – who knows, reading more books could help you become the next top bestselling author or prolific academic writer!

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The Essential Guide To Getting Your Kids Into Reading

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How many times do you venture into your kids’ bedrooms with your fingers crossed hoping to find them with their head in a good book, only to find them with headphones on playing some online RPG with pals? If you have read my blog previously, you know I LOVE reading. You can check my many book suggestions by clicking here for all of my posts reviewing various and sundry books.

28 Day Reading Challenge - Day 10

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I've read some pretty good chick-lit lately.  Sophie Kinsella never fails to come through.  One of her new books, Surprise Me also does not disappoint.

28 Day Reading Challenge - Day 9

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I run the risk of seeming like a book reader that really only loves books that get turned into movies given that most of my other posts in this challenge fit that description.  Particularly with today's selection of The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.

28 Day Reading Challenge - Day 8

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The Happiness Project was another one of my favorite books from last year.  It follows the story of Gretchen Rubin as she tries to cultivate happiness over 365 days after having the realization: "The days are long, but the years are short."

She performs a variety of different experiments incorporating the wisdom of the ages, current research, and popular new trends to try and find what makes one happier.  She tests the theory of can money buy happiness.  Turns out it can if wisely spent.  What the Kon Mari method and my mother have been telling me for years - outer organization creates inner calm.

It is hilarious and at times a little sad as Gretchen finds her way through the 365 days of grappling with what happiness means.  I loved the book and definitely considered doing a 365 day happiness project myself.  Turns out lots of other people did too and now, there's a Happiness Project Manifesto, groups, along with dozens of other resources.

Until tomorrow and the next great read!





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28 Day Reading Challenge - Day 7

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The Tea Girl from Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See is by far one of the most moving books I've read in a long while. I have loved Lisa See's books since I first read Shanghai Girls which was the first encounter I had with her work. I've since read most of her books, heard her speak, and been a loyal fan for years. The Tea Girl follows an Akha through her life in Yunnan province.


The Akha people are one of the 55 minority groups that exist within China's borders. Yes, China definitely has more than just Han majority. I actually spent 3 weeks in Yunnan province in 2001 and went to some of the places mentioned in The Tea Girl. It is a beautiful province that was extremely poor both in the novel and my personal experience.


Times have changed over the past 20 years and with the growth of the tea industry, Yunnan has become famous for their Pu'er tea. Tea is at the center of this story and how it shapes the life of Liyan. It is how her peasant family made a meager living prior to the opening of China and how Liyan ultimately triumphs. It the story of loss, love, struggle, enduring and overcoming.
It is also the story of mothers and daughters - a unique bond that defines who we are as girls and women the world over no matter race, creed, religion, or background.  Read this book!
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28 Day Reading Challenge - Day 6





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The Help came out several years ago and also was made into a movie. It takes place in the deep South back in the 60s when white women were expected to marry, play bridge, and have the help raise their children.

28 Day Reading Challenge - Day 5

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28 Day Reading Challenge - Day 4

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28 Day Reading Challenge - Day 3


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28 Day Reading Challenge - Day 2

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28 Day Reading Challenge - Day 1

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5 Activities That Encourage A Calm Mind

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In this day and age, it’s natural for you to feel overwhelmed. Very much so. And when this is the case, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re able to can manage yourself well. Because if you’re disorganized in life, and you’re not all that intentional, chaos can occur. Our minds are strange places. Naturally, they’re programmed to cause problems. They worry, they fear, they’re negative. And they’re exhausting too! So, you have to go the extra mile to keep your mind calm. To quieten your thoughts and to promote peace and positivity.

In a busy world, that’s tough. So it’s always good to know ways to deal with anxiety and stress. But when you’re dealing with both, it’s the hardest thing to do. To help you, let’s consider five activities that can encourage a calm mind.

Writing

To start with, there’s writing. You don’t have to want to pen the great American novel or even have anything to say to write. You could just start by journaling and emptying your thoughts onto a page. Or you could make up stories - anything. The process of writing is like therapy. It’s calming and allows you to escape your mind for a while.


Running

Exercise is so good for us. And not just for your body - mainly for your mind. Running, in particular, is one of the forms of exercise that gives you immense mental clarity. If you find that your thoughts consume you and you cannot escape them, hit the road. Just start running. It weirdly clears your mind and allows you to focus. It’s a great way to force yourself to breathe and to be present, whether you’re listening to music while you’re doing it or not.

Meditation

And then, of course, there’s always meditation to think about here too. Meditation is one of those things that you can easily think is hard work or not for you, but most of the time you may not even know what it involves. The idea is that you’re calming the mind. And anyone can do that. So much so, that there are different meditation apps that you can try to see what works for you. By making your mind still and controlling your thoughts, you’ll always be able to encourage a calmer mind.


Reading

Next up, there’s reading too. Because it’s escapism. Whether you’re an avid reader or not, there’s always going to be a kind of book for you. And it allows you to take your mind off of whatever it’s thinking about and diving into a new world that allows you to feel calm.

Drawing

And finally, there’s also drawing too. You may not realize it, but drawing is a great stress reliever. Even if you don’t think you’re all that creative. Or you don’t you think can draw, it’s pretty calming. Here, you could even look to get one of the adult coloring books. Because spending your time coloring things in is just as therapeutic as drawing something from scratch.



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September Reading List - a little late!

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A little late with my September reading list, but I did quit one job, start another, and have just generally been really busy.  

August Reading List

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Instead of waiting until the end of the month to do a reading list, I thought I should start posting earlier instead of after the fact. So this month, I've been obsessed with The Maze Runner series.





In the first book, The Maze Runner, Thomas arrives in the Glade without his memory in a box that deposits him in the midst of a group of boys. Think Lord of the Flies meets the future that is in total upheaval. There is definitely a pecking order and each boy is assigned a job. The Glade is surrounded by walls on each side that close up every night. Runners have the job of trying to map the maze that encircles The Glade to try and find a way of escape. It's very much a young adult read but it's a good story of what trust is, is the individual or group more important, and what determines friendship.




The Scorch Trials continues the Maze Runner saga. They've escaped the maze but what follows is anything but better. The Gladers learn the Sun Flare has ruined the world as they knew and has infected most of the population with "the flare". WCKED is the group that put them in maze to try to find a cure and now they are testing them even further in this next set of trials set in The Scorch where humans don't quite act like humans but more like crazed, rabid animals.





The Death Cure is the third installment of the saga. I'm still in the middle of getting through this one, but it definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat. Thomas continues to fight for his life, his friends, and to try and take down WCKED. More to come as I finish.

The Maze Runner movie franchise starts out very much in line with the first book. However, then it dramatically departs from the storyline in the books. That being said, although different, I think they are still very good. Some of the things depicted in the books would just be too difficult to try and convey on the big screen.





The Tea Girl from Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See is by far one of the most moving books I've read in a long while. I have loved Lisa See's books since I first read Shanghai Girls which was the first encounter I had with her work. I've since read most of her books, heard her speak, and been a loyal fan for years. The Tea Girl follows an Akha through her life in Yunnan province.

The Akha people are one of the 55 minority groups that exist within China's borders. Yes, China definitely has more than just Han majority. I actually spent 3 weeks in Yunnan province in 2001 and went to some of the places mentioned in The Tea Girl. It is a beautiful province that was extremely poor both in the novel and my personal experience.

Times have changed over the past 20 years and with the growth of the tea industry, Yunnan has become famous for their Pu'er tea. Tea is at the center of this story and how it shapes the life of Liyan. It is how her peasant family made a meager living prior to the opening of China and how Liyan ultimately triumphs. It the story of loss, love, struggle, enduring and overcoming.

It is also the story of mothers and daughters - a unique bond that defines who we are as girls and women the world over no matter race, creed, religion, or background. Read this book!

What have you been reading?


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