Tag: Book review

Book review: Atomic Habits by James Clear

Book review: Atomic Habits by James Clear

Atomic Habits is the second book I have read in my list of 20 books I want to read this year. I actually finished this book one month ago and moved onto my next book, but forget to write the review.

I bought this book for a few reasons. Firstly it has sold over three million copies and is consistently in top book lists. Secondly it touches on my interest of human behaviour. Thirdly, we all have some habits we would like to work on, but they are habits for a reason and not easy to change.

The premise of this book is to make lots of small changes which are called atomic habits. Like compound interest in a bank account James Clear applies the same theory to habits. Building on a mall changes can have a life changing impact. This resonates with me for the same reason that I set intentions rather than resolutions. Trying to change, or create, a habit is hard and sets you up for failure and disappointment if you have a bad day.

This book talk through how to create a good habit, or break a bad habit using the four stages of habit which are cue, craving, response and reward. The book works through each of these stages providing background information, practical examples and methods and tips for each.

I found, as I read through the book, that I started to think where each applies to me and the areas I need to work on. I did however, find that this book was not always the easiest read given that I read in bed before going to sleep. There is a lot of information and references. Now that I have finished the book I want to go back and read the sections that I am most interested in and work through how I can apply them.

The table at the end of each stage is a cheat sheet that is built up as you finish reading each section and this is very handy as an overview. There are also great resources on James Clear’s website and you can sign up for emails that walk you through the process.

In general I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to start small to Implement habits that can make big changes. As the back of the book says “doing two push ups a day, waking up five minutes earlier, or reading just one more page”

As for me, I need to go back and review sections but I have applied some of the principles to make small changes to my bedtime routine. These will hopefully compound into better sleep and more energy.

Book review: Queen Menopause by Alison Daddo

Book review: Queen Menopause by Alison Daddo

When writing my intentions for this year I have focused on six key statements. When I reflect on them, two areas have a component that I can use my love of books for. They relate to making time for things I love and focussing on personal growth and development.

I have always been an avid reader but over the last few years, as life has been busy and I have been tired I have been reading less. Recently I have started reading every night before bed again which is a great bedtime routine. I have noticed though these days my preference is for non fiction rather than the crime and psychological thrillers I was always drawn to in the past.

I am compiling a list of 20 books I want to read this year. Some I have already bought and haven’t read yet and others I have heard about through podcasts, reviews or recommendations from friends. I have three empty spots left so if you have a great suggestion for a must read add to the comments.

We have hit the start of Feb and I have already completed two of the books (disclaimer that I started them in late December). As I work through the list I will add a review in my blog. Today i will just cover the first book and add another review later in the week.

Book review: Queen Menopause by Alison Daddo

The statement on the front cover attracted me to this book. “Find your majesty in the mayhem”.

I grew up with Alison Brahe (as she was then) on the cover of the magazines I read. She was naturally beautiful and seemed like someone every young girl wanted to be. Then she went and married one of the Daddo brothers and a family. It seemed like she had it all. I knew she was a bit older than me and when I heard she had written this book in a podcast interview I was keen to hear her experience of peri menopause.

This book was an easy read starting with a sad and unknown history of her adolescence and early adulthood, followed by an honest and amusing tale of her experiences as she has aged and moved through peri menopause. It was refreshing to see a book being honest about experience and not being afraid to discuss something that is often seen as taboo. How nice to hear that other women also snap at the smallest things when they are hormonal.

The stories added into the book from other Australian stars going though this stage of life made it all seem more relatable and there were some great tips throughout the book. I have now lent this one to a friend to read as this should not be a topic women are embarrassed to discuss.

This book definitely ticked my personal growth area in my intentions as due to my age I am only just approaching this phase of life and had not done as much reading on the topic as I would have liked.

Recommendation: great read for women approaching or going through peri menopause to remove some of the unknown elements and break some of the myths. Let’s try and make this topic a little less taboo.

Book Review: A funny thing happened to Simon Sidebottom

Book Review: A funny thing happened to Simon Sidebottom

Today I have decided to do a review on a children’s book.  Now I haven’t read the entire book but feel I can review this through the eyes of my children.

Currently in our house we are trying to reduce the use of screens.  We have recognised we are becoming a little too reliant on them but for my children in particular, especially the eldest, it is becoming the constant go to.  So as a result we are increasing screen free time.  To assist with this I have been buying more books for the boys and trying to find ones that are a little different or focus on topics the boys are interested in.

One that I bought for my 8 year old is called “A funny thing happened to Simon Sidebottom” by P.Crumble.  I was purchasing some other books and this one was at the counter.  It is the first in what I hope is going to be a series as it has been a big hit.  This book is a choose your own adventure but unlike the ones that were around when I was younger this book has quirky images and is very funny with humour aimed exactly at my boys (think gross jokes about bodily functions and dangerous stunts).  Even the font used in the book is fun and easy to read.  My boys are seven and eight and I highly recommend it for children in this age range. In the four days since he has had the book I believe he has read every version of the story at least twice.

Tonight in our quest for less screen time the three of us were making pizzas for dinner together.  As they were cooking the boys came up with a plan to read the book aloud and at each decision point we took it in turns to decide which way to go.  No screens and reading as a family happily at my sons choice – this book is a big winner for me and if there is a second I will definitely be buying it.



Book Review: Buddhism for Break Ups

Book Review: Buddhism for Break Ups

I separated from my husband nearly two years ago now.  It has been a roller coaster ride that was made more difficult by the fact we have two young boys.  Kids are amazing in how quickly they can adapt to situations but Mothers guilt is a shocking thing that attacks us all.

At Christmas my brother bought me Buddhism for Break-Ups by Mishel Laurie as a bit of a light hearted gift to go with my other present.  He thought I might be interested or at least read that instead of falling asleep on the couch in front of the TV.

I am not sure that he knew that I have read books previously on Buddhism as it is a topic that interests me given that I believe and agree with many Buddhist principles and beliefs.  When I started reading this book I was unsure what to expect having listened to Mishel Laurie on the radio and knowing her as a comedian.  Would this book be a comedy full of laughs or a serious look at Buddhism?

What I found the book to be was an interesting, amusing and informative account of the end of Mishel’s 19 year marriage and how she looked to Buddhism for answers.  How she applied Buddhist philosophy to her situation and used it to navigate the minefield that separation can be.

What I really liked about this book is that each chapter covers a different philosophy or component of Buddhism.  each chapter covers what the philosophy is and means, how Mishel applied it to her situation and, what I really liked, a self reflection section at the end.  I found it therapeutic at the end of each chapter to ask myself the questions and think how it applied to me.

Like Mishel I had been married for a long time, had two young children and questioned for a long time whether I was doing the right thing.  Probably the biggest difference was I believe in many ways my relationship was the role reversal where I was more like her ex-husband.

It is definitely a book that I recommend for people going through a separation or who are struggling accepting a separation that has already occurred.

I am now reading Mishel’s next book – Buddhism for the Unbelievably Busy, so I wil give you my thoughts on that once I have finished it.