book review, family, Memoir, mental illness, Nonfiction Review, psychology, self-help

Codependent No More

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I will never stop reading this book. Codependent No More reminds me to nurture the person I am and not feel guilty about that. To take care of myself. To remember I cannot control others no matter how much I may think I know what’s best for them.

I know. It’s ridiculous. I sound like I’m nuts. But sometimes my family makes me nuts.  Codependent No More – How to Stop Controlling Others And Start Caring For Yourself was originally written from the prospective of a former alcoholic married to an alcoholic.  Melody Beattie is very frank about her background and knows where of she speaks.

However, this book for any one who is in a relationship that seems out of control. Is your teen acting out or your adult child abusing drugs? Are you are overeating, overexercising, overspending while you seethe and obsess about ways to solve the problem or what advice you want to give?   Is your spouse taking advantage of your good nature and you are doing all you can to keep the peace while inside you feel resentful and used?

It’s natural for us to want to help. The problem is sometimes things have to run their course. Sometimes we really Can. Not. Help. Still we feel compelled to try. And nothing happens. Or the person we tried to help doesn’t appreciate us. Or they don’t want our help. We feel frustrated. Angry. Hurt. Victimized.

Being codependent isn’t always about alcoholics, drug users, or someone living an extreme lifestyle, though it can be, and if that is your life then this book is for you.  But it is also about people-pleasers like me, who care too much when it is actually ourselves for whom we should be caring.

Read Melody’s book. She will make you feel good about yourself, help you embrace the strong wonderful person you are, and in the long run, help you develop healthy relationships with all your loved ones.

4-daisy-rating

Reviewed by Leigh

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Melody Beattie

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analog, artist, Austin Kleon, blackout poetry, book review, creativity, journal, journaling, Nonfiction Review

Steal Like An Artist

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Steal Like An Artist: Ten Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative is written by Austin Kleon.  He is an amazing guy who encourages anyone and everyone to become inspired, be artistic, stop questioning yourself and your abilities.  Kleon, who is also a musician, believes  emulating your heroes allows you to find your own creative style. His book is distilled from talks he’s given to young people on the subject of successful creativity.

He says, “What a good artist understands is that nothing comes from nowhere. All creative work builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original. Some people find this idea depressing, but it fills me with hope. If we’re free from the burden of trying to be completely original, we can stop trying to make something out of nothing, and we can embrace influence instead of running away from it.”

Kleon advocates using analog tools once in a while instead of a tablet or laptop. For example, he has two desks: one has a stash of paper, markers, and Post-its and one houses his tablet, computer, and scanner.  As Kleon prepared to publish his book of poetry, Newspaper Blackout, the process was nearly all hands on: he used a marker to black out words in newspaper articles, scanned the poems he had created, and printed them. Then Kleon moved the poems around until he had decided how each should be arranged in the book.

Steal Like an Artist embraces an organized plan for self-development with chapters like:

  • Don’t Wait Until You Know Who You Are To Get Started
  • Use Your Hands
  • The Secret: Do Good Work and Share It With People
  • Creativity is Subtraction

Within this short little book you will find quotes from lots of successful people including Pablo Picasso, Steve Jobs, Jay-Z, Kurt Vonnegut, Gustave Flaubert, Tom Waits and Jack White. Kleon pulls from all kinds of resources to support the idea behind Steal Like an Artist. He has written a great book for the recent graduate, or the young artist or musician, but I found it to be inspirational myself, and I’ve  been around a while!

Twitter.com/austinkleon
https://www.instagram.com/austinkleon/?hl=en
4 daisy rating

Reviewed by Leigh

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book review, Memoir, Nonfiction Review

Lost Cat

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Lost Cat
A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology

Caroline Paul
Drawings by Wendy McNaughton

As the book opens the author has just been involved in a horrific plane crash and wakes up in the hospital. When the doctors say that her tibia and fibia are broken and her ankle is crushed like potato chips all she can think of are her cats ‘Tibby’ aka Tibia and ‘Fibby’ aka Fibia. She spends many months recovering and during that time Tibby disappears for 5 weeks. She is not only in a lot of pain and severely depressed due to her injury but when Tibby goes on his extended ‘walkabout’ she is heartbroken. One day Tibby does come back and is none the worse for wear – in fact, he has actually gained weight. This piques the curiosity of the author and her girlfriend on “Where has Tibby been?” Through a GPS device small enough to fit on the wandering feline’s collar as well as other high- and low-tech ways they learn that her cat is not at all what he seems to be.

Thoroughly engaging and funny, the book is illustrated with adorable drawings. The author pokes fun at herself throughout the book and I laughed at her antics of searching for knowledge of the feline brain. If you love cats, this is the book for you. If you don’t love cats, then after reading this book, you will love cats. As the author says, “Sooner or later everyone becomes a cat lover.”

Rating: 5 daisies

Reviewer: 

Debby 2 Debby

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Memoir, Nonfiction Review

The True Tails of Baker and Taylor

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The True Tails of Baker and Taylor
The Library Cats Who Left Their Pawprints on a Small Town…and the World

Jan Louch with Lisa Rogak
Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, 2016

We love books about cats and this is book is no exception. Baker and Taylor are two Scottish Fold cats who were welcomed into the loving arms of the County Public Library in Minden, Nevada. The author, Jan Louch, was their primary caregiver but they were well loved by the many people they met and by many more thousands they never met.

Their story starts with a new library building that was built next to a “highway for field mice” and the librarian and Jan thought of bringing in a cat to help keep the mice away from the precious books. They chose a Scottish Fold whose name was McLean’s Clint Eastwood but eventually changed it to Baker, after the company who supplied the books for the library (Baker & Taylor). They had their hearts set on a second cat and with a little bit of serendipity, another cat, Taylor, joined them. From there the cats, the library and Ms Louch began a 15-year journey that would be life-changing for many hearts.

I truly loved this book; it is very well written, transitioning between life before, during and after the cats. There is a lot of funny–laugh-out-loud antics of Baker and Taylor as they claim their kingdom. There is heartwarming—Mr. Figini’s story meant a lot to me. And, without a doubt, as with any true story of cats and, because all good things must end, there is sadness. I admit to shedding a few tears over the passing the beloved Library Cats. But please, don’t let that dissuade you from reading this book. True Tails is a combination of all the things I love in a book – a great story, deeply felt emotions, characters I fall in love with and above all, heart-lifting.

Rating: 5 daisies

Reviewer:  Debby 2 Debby

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Disclaimer: we received this book free to read and review. However, that did not influence our opinion of the book.

This review is posted on  Library of Cats book review blog as well!!  It is written under the non de plume “Jack.”

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