October was a pretty good month for pleasure reading. I was able to knock out a few books that have been sitting on my shelves for a while and was happy to spend uninterrupted hours reading for fun. Since I was able to read so many books this month, I will be splitting this post into two so that it is not too lengthy. In today’s post I will review the first three books I read in October.
For those of you who missed my initial post on this topic, I have decided to embark on a most enjoyable challenge to read 52 books in 2012. I have chosen the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge in which I select my own goal, and a book a week is what I came up with as truly doable this year. Each month I will give you an update on where I am in the challenge and what books I was lucky enough to indulge in. I’ll also include a link to Amazon for each book in case you would like to pick a read up for yourself.
In the month of October I have read six books and according to the graph on Goodreads, I am at 62% of my goal, which is eleven books (22%) behind. Even being a bit behind this close to the end of the year, I am over half way to my goal and confident I can catch up. I only have six weeks of school left and can really amp up the reading in December to catch up. Without further ado, here are the reviews for the first three books of this month’s list.
Weight Loss Boss-David Kirchoff-Completed October 1st
I am currently utilizing the Weight Watchers program and having some success, so I decided I’d read the book written by the CEO of Weight Watchers, David Kirchoff. The book is well-written and full of valuable information, even if you don’t follow the program formally. Kirchoff has a knack for making his personal anecdotes funny and relatable without being preachy and I found myself nodding in recognition many times. The background information about how Weight Watchers was founded was interesting, and hearing about how Kirchoff went from internet monkey to CEO of a company he initially thought was aimed at women was inspiring.
At the end of each chapter is a success story from a Weight Watchers member that is inspiring and honest. I recommend this book to anyone who struggles with weight issues and to Weight Watchers members especially. It should be required reading.
Get It Done When You’re Depressed-Julie A. Fast & John D. Preston Psy.D.-Completed October 4th
This book is written by Julie A. Fast, an author who has struggled with depression most of her life. She teams up with licensed physician John, D. Preston to deliver a book of 50 ideas for getting tasks completed when you are bogged down by the symptoms of depression. My regular readers know that I am diagnosed bipolar and have had my share of difficulties struggling with depression, and this book came at a time when I was starting to feel a little down and seeing the lack of productivity that comes with those moods.
I identified with Fast in many of her personal anecdotes, especially in Chapter Four where she discusses the inability to make even the simplest decisions when feeling down. “Never negotiate with depression,” she wisely advises, since it will always win. Each idea for getting out of your slump and into action is backed with a personal story from the author, as well as professional input from Dr. Preston. Most of the ideas are very helpful and gave me insight into how to fight my own monster of inactivity, although some would admittedly be difficult to implement if you are feeling too far down in the dumps.
I especially enjoyed the ideas for keeping a structured schedule and the chapter devoted to school since those are two things that affect me on a daily basis, but there are ideas in this book for people from all backgrounds and in all situations. Fast speaks in a no-nonsense tone and each chapter has easy exercises to get you started. I would recommend this book to anyone who struggles with having the blues and finds themselves unproductive. You can get things done while depressed, and this handy book shows you how.
The Rock Star in Seat 3A-Jill Kargman- Completed October 8th
I picked up this book thinking it would be pure chick-lit fluff and was pleasantly surprised to find it had much more heft than anticipated. Don’t get me wrong, I do love chick –lit fluff, but The Rock Star in Seat 3A was a blessing in disguise. Kargman has an extremely quick-witted writing style that bursts from the page with sarcasm and bite. From the very beginning I found myself on our protagonist’s side. Hazel is funny and smart with a doting chef boyfriend and a fabulous job. Add to the mix her incredibly supportive sister Kira and she has the makings of the perfect life.
Hazel finds herself in the lucky situation to meet her long-time musical idol Finn and escapes into his world despite the loyal boyfriend. I had a hard time finding rock star Finn’s character likeable, but maybe that’s just good writing on Kargman’s part. As with all chick-lit, all is well that ends well and this book is a fun romp through the world of a rocking musician and his faithful follower. Add this to your beach-read list.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the follow-up and final reviews for this month!