The Abundance Project: 40 Days to More Wealth, Health, Love, and Happiness by Derek Rydall

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Synopsis: The Abundance Project is about having more than enough in every area of your life—more than enough money, time, love, creativity, happiness—regardless of the circumstances you’ve been through or are currently facing. This may sound like wishful thinking, but once you understand what you’re really made of, and what the source of real abundance is, you will increase your capacity and unleash your divine inheritance.
Built on universal, proven principles, The Abundance Project breaks you out of the unsustainable buying/consuming loop created by the mindset that fulfillment comes from outside ourselves. Instead, Derek Rydall—international life coach and integrative therapist—shows you that the infinite-sum reserve that’s already in you will provide all that you need.

My review: I love abundance books but this one I struggled with sometimes. I’ve not got the greatest attention span so when kindle tells you a chapter is going to take over an hour to read it’s a bit off putting. Long chapters are my personal bugbear of mine. 

The book itself is quite good and covers positive thinking, bits of philosophy, and religious themes (this bit I wasn’t so keen on). There are visualisations and exercises to help you see your true potential and bring forth the abundance you deserve.

It’s not a bad read but I think there are better, and easier to digest books on the subject.

Free arc from netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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101 Reasons Why it’s Great to Be Single by Karleen Dee

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Synopsis: In 101 Reasons Why it’s Great to Be Single Karleen Dee shares her personal experiences with dating, and displays why, contrary to popular belief, being single is actually more desirable than being in an unsuitable relationship with another person.

My review: It’s hard to be single when the media and indeed coupled up friends insist that you can’t be happy unless you join them by engaging in a relationship. Sometimes you’re happy being single.

This book is a fun little reminder of all the good things about being single. It’s really short, quick read. It’s funny in places. There are one or two of the 101 that I think probably could be put together but kudos for coming up with so many. I have a feeling I’ll be quoting some of these examples the next time one of my married friends insists she only wants me to be happy (and by happy she means coupled up).

I’ve already recommended to one person. I loved this little reminder that my life is great.

Free arc from netgalley

The Book of Whispers by Kimberley Starr

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Synopsis: Tuscany, 1096 AD. Luca, young heir to the title of Conte de Falconi, sees demons. Since no one else can see them, Luca must keep quiet about what he sees.
Luca also has dreams—dreams that sometimes predict the future. Luca sees his father murdered in one such dream and vows to stop it coming true. Even if he has to go against his father’s wishes and follow him on the great pilgrimage to capture the Holy Lands.
When Luca is given an ancient book that holds some inscrutable power, he knows he’s been thrown into an adventure that will lead to places beyond his understanding. But with the help of Suzan, the beautiful girl he rescues from the desert, he will realise his true quest: to defeat the forces of man and demon that wish to destroy the world

My review: I couldn’t get into this one at all although the premise was really good. It’s YA but really didn’t feel it. The idea of every little thing having it’s own demon felt a little weird. It made for a very busy world.

I liked the idea of the magic and demons but for me it didn’t gel well with the crusades story. This is the second book recently I’ve read that’s tried to do this and I didn’t like that either so maybe this is just a style that isn’t for me.

This one just wasn’t my book. Free arc from netgalley

Be Happy!: 35 Powerful Methods for Personal Growth & Wellbeing by Rebecca Ray

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Synopsis: Improving your everyday life may seem like a major hurdle, but Be Happy! teaches us how to chip away at our problems with daily behavior until they’re manageable.
Be Happy’s techniques are based in the science of Positive Psychology and Acceptance, and Commitment Therapy, the very movements responsible for millions of people improving their well-being. You will learn strategies like choosing joy and gratitude, cultivating positive thought and vision, and making space for good things in your life. Become a happier version of yourself by adjusting your daily routine with these powerful tools!
There’s no set of habits more important than those that help you thrive, and because these tools are quick, simple, and enjoyable to use, integrating Be Happy! into your daily life will be a breeze.

My review: This is a short and straightforward book full of simple ideas – such as “patience”,  with further info underneath on how to develop that idea.

It’s quite a short book and very easy to read. I managed it in one sitting. It doesn’t go into too much detail regarding each section but there’s enough to whet the interest to go away and research something more on the bits that take your interest.

A fun little book.

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Badass Babe Workbook: Creative Exercises, Drawing Activities, Empowering Stories, and Fuel for Your Personal Revolution, Inspired by Over 100 Trailblazing Women by Julie Van Grol

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Synopsis: This empowering art book highlights the accomplishments and messages of over 100 badass babes with prompts, art activities, and writing exercises that will encourage you to unearth, fuel, and cultivate your own inner superpowers, unleash your creativity, and find your voice.
Get details on trailblazing, badass babes — scientists, artists, athletes, writers, activists, poets, entertainers, and boundary breakers — and you will see how creativity and self-expression combine to energize change yourself, and in the world. The Badass Babe Workbook is a playground for you to tap into your ideas, find your voice, and be reminded of the difference each of us can make when we are unafraid and assured in what we envision and express.

My review: I found about half of the activities in this book not for me however it’s a brilliant book and I’ve already recommended it to a few people. I’m rubbish at arts and drawing, much more of a writing person which is why I say not all of it for me. However I still had a go. 

There’s lots of mini bios of inspirational women and the activities are often linked to these. The book is colourful and fun, very interactive. It gives you so much to think about. It enables you to express who you are, where you’ve come from and how you want to be all through your creativity. 

Overall it’s an amazing book and well worth trying a few of the exercises whether women or male. 

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The Hanging Tree (Peter Grant #6) by Ben Aaronovitch

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Synopsis: The ‘Hanging Tree’ was the old colloquial term for the Tyburn gallows, which stood where Marble Arch now stands. Along Oxford Street, the last trip was taken by the condemned. Some things don’t change. The place has a bloody and haunted legacy — and now blood has returned to the empty Mayfair mansions of the world’s super-rich. And blood, mixed with magic, becomes a job for Peter Grant.

My review: About 4 years ago at one of the World Book Night Events I was given a free copy of Rivers of London. In the time since I bought all the books and am on my second read through of them. Aaronovitch has fast become one of my top 3 authors. 

The Hanging Tree may be my favourite of the books so far (I still need to get the comics). The characters are really well established by now and I really enjoyed the introduction of others that will hopefully pop up at least now and again. 

With this one we’re back to the story of the Faceless Man (who now has a name and real identity) and Lesley May and after the gallivanting around in the last book it’s great to see that story line again and be back on London ground. 

If you haven’t read this series I highly recommend them

Stand Firm: Resisting the Self-Improvement Craze by Svend Brinkmann

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Synopsis: The pace of modern life is accelerating. To keep up, we must keep on moving and adapting – constantly striving for greater happiness and success. Or so we are told. But the demands of life in the fast lane come at a price: stress, fatigue and depression are at an all-time high while our social interactions have become increasingly self-serving and opportunistic.
How can we resist today’s obsession with introspection and self-improvement? In this witty and bestselling book, Danish philosopher and psychologist Svend Brinkmann argues that we must not be afraid to reject the self-help mantra and ‘stand firm’. The secret to a happier life lies not in finding your inner-self but in coming to terms with yourself in order to co-exist peacefully with others. By encouraging us to stand firm and get a foothold in life, this insightful anti-self-help guide offers a sobering and realistic alternative to life-coaching, positive thinking and the need always to say ‘yes!’

My review: A self help book that says stop reading self help books. Bit of a conundrum there. This book is an application of Stoic philosophy to the modern era and while I agree  that our society is trying to do too much and makes too many demands on people I’m not sure if this book is the answer. 

I struggled with reading it and gave up several times only really finishing because I’m stubborn and hate not finishing books. Another book that’s sadly not for me

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Mystery of the Templars by Martina André

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Synopsis: France, 1307. The French king calls for the arrest and assassination of all Knights Templar. Young Templar Gero embarks on a secret mission. Not only his life, but the fate of the Templars depends upon his success. In his rucksack he carries an ancient artefact that protects his brethren from extinction. What Gero doesn’t know – the artefact enables time travel.
After a clash with bandits, Gero and his squire land in modern Europe. When the Medieval knight awakes from his injuries, historian Hannah is the first person he sees. Gero is distraught. Electricity. Airplanes. Culture clash. And isolated by language. What has happened to the Templars? Can Hannah help him?
Gero and Hannah team up with rogue scientists to unravel the truth behind Gero’s impossible journey. But the truth could be deadly. As they dig deeper, they find a trail of lies, conspiracy, and deceit. The government has been performing illegal experiments.
Slowly Gero adjusts to this new world, and for the first time he struggles to keep his vow of abstinence. Despite the dangers, one thing is clear: Hannah is the first woman who has challenged Gero’s celibacy. How will he choose between his sweetheart and the Templars? Can he even make it back to the Middle Ages to rescue his fellow knights?

My review: I found this hard to get into. It took far too long for the time travelling for me and I got a little bored waiting for it to happen. The elements of romance, time travel and historical fiction just didn’t blend well for me. I think sadly this one just wasnt for me.

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Flirtology by Jean Smith

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Synopsis: Flirtology debunks the myths that surround flirting in order to help you find love. It helps you to analyse what you are looking for in a potential partner, shows you how to practise your interaction skills and how to unlock your inner flirt. It will give you the confidence to speak to anyone, anywhere and get results – without every compromising who you are. It’s not about games, rules and tricks – it’s about presenting your real self so that you will attract the right people for you.

My review: I really enjoyed this. It’s more than a book about flirting. It’s about communicating. The lessons in here will help you not just with finding that elusive partner but will help you move forward with just simply talking to people. It helps you deal with potential rejection by changing your mindset and the way you look at talking to people.

It’s full of exercises, examples and importantly for me, doesn’t give much time to the internet. I have no time for sitting behind the laptop on dating sites especially with the amount of catfishing that I keep hearing about. I’d rather speak to a real human and learn about them. I’ve already had a go at a couple of the exercises with mixed results but the book has given the the tools to at least start that journey.

It’s definitely worth a read

Free arc from netgalley

Tell me no Secrets by Lynda Stacey

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Synopsis: Can a secret be worse than a lie?
Every time Kate Duggan looks in a mirror she is confronted by her guilt; a long, red scar reminding her that she was ‘the one to walk away’ from the car accident. Not everyone was so lucky …
On the surface her fiancé Rob is supportive – but the reality is different. He’s controlling, manipulative and, if the phone call Kate overhears is anything to go by, he has a secret. But just how dangerous is that secret?
When Kate begins work at a firm of private investigators, she meets Ben Parker. His strong and silent persona is intriguing but it’s also a cover – because something devastating happened to Ben, something he can’t get over.
As Kate and Ben begin their first assignment, they become close. But, what they don’t realise is how close to home the investigation will bring them, or who will be hurt in the process

My review: This one wasn’t bad but not my favourite of the Choc Lit books I’ve read so far. I did like the characters even Kate’s overbearing mother. They’re quite clearly described and it’s easy to imagine them.

It’s a light, easy to read but I couldn’t quite get into the plot and for me if I start getting distracted by other books in the middle of reading I’m not onto a winner.  It’s a nice enough romantic suspense story, but both, the romance and the suspense didn’t grab me this time.
I received an ARC via NetGalley.