Mariah's Book Report May 2019

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  1. The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor ★★★★ (audiobook)

    I loved this book! As you probably know by now, I’m a personal development junkie, but I’m also really picky about who I listen to. I feel like Shawn is the real deal. He not only has lots of advice and tools to teach, he’s done the research and teaches it in simple ways. That means a lot considering he’s Harvard educated. This book was published in 2010 so the concepts may seem common knowledge at this point, but it’s important to remember that he’s the one that caused the paradigm shift that happiness leads to success and not the other way around. Read this book if you want to take your happiness seriously, and not just the Pollyanna-brand of happiness, where you paste a smile on your face and pretend everything is honky-dory. He explains that true happiness is so much more than this & inspires you to create it!

  2. The Wild Robot by Peter Brown ★★★

    This was a fun read, but it felt a little juvenile for my taste. I love a good middle grade novel, but this fell flat for me. I like a little more depth and life messages in my books, and this seemed like a fun tale and not much more. Having said that, if you’re looking for something unique to read aloud to your kids (especially if you have boys), this would fit the bill.

  3. Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Alexander Auxier ★★★★★

    Fantastic and unique tale that embodies true history and some fantasy. I picked this one for my book club selection and I think it was unanimous that everyone loved it! The characters were easy to fall in love with and the symbolism runs deep. I especially appreciated the religious overtones that carried the book and gave it weight in a way that any adult would find meaning in this book, but any child would also be gripped by its storyline. This is one that I’ll continue thinking about for a long time, especially after our book club meeting the other day. Everyone had unique discussion points to contribute and that helped me love the book even more.

  4. My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie ★★★★★ (audiobook)

    Major kudos to these authors! The writing is so well done, it’s easy to get lost in the story and drama that plagued her life on a nearly-constant basis. I can hardly believe all that Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton endured. What a life & legacy she left behind. This was a great complement to Alexander Hamilton, which I read about a year ago. There were many events I appreciated more after hearing it from her perspective. The section where she and Alexander were suffering from an illness and they sent the children away so they wouldn’t catch it, killed me. Their oldest was only 11 and he was put in charge of caravanning the 6 or so kids to another house where they could be taken care of & my Momma heart just exploded with empathy. What a woman! She deserves mad respect. Be sure to not miss the Author’s notes on this one. Also must note that the narrators were superb on this audiobook!

  5. Holy as You Are by Christie Gardiner ★★★.5

    I loved the reminders in this book and the reverence in which she approached the sacredness of our lives and our identity. If you’re looking for a way to boost your spirituality and identity with the Divine, I’d recommend this book. I feel like my values align almost perfectly with this author, therefore many of her words felt like they could have come right out of my own mouth. That always feels good & reading this book also felt really good; very validating and affirming.