Tag «Self-Help»

Single Sundays: Making Habits, Breaking Habits by Jeremy Dean

Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:

Synopsis for Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don’t, and How to Make Any Change Stick (from Goodreads):

Say you want to start going to the gym or practicing a musical instrument. How long should it take before you stop having to force it and start doing it automatically?

The surprising answers are found in Making Habits, Breaking Habits, a psychologist’s popular examination of one of the most powerful and under-appreciated processes in the mind. Although people like to think that they are in control, much of human behavior occurs without any decision-making or conscious thought.

Drawing on hundreds of fascinating studies, psychologist Jeremy Dean busts the myths to finally explain why seemingly easy habits, like eating an apple a day, can be surprisingly difficult to form, and how to take charge of your brain’s natural “autopilot” to make any change stick.

Witty and intriguing, Making Habits, Breaking Habits shows how behavior is more than just a product of what you think. It is possible to bend your habits to your will—and be happier, more creative, and more productive.

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Author: Jeremy Dean
Genre: Nonfiction, Self-Help, Psychology
Heat Rating: N/A
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: December 25, 2012
Source & Format: Public Library–Audiobook

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I picked this book up in the hopes it would help motivate me to develop some good habits. See, I finally finished my post-secondary education and was about to start my career so I wanted to get some good habits started right from the get-go of my new lifestyle.

My hopes for this novel were that it would help me come up with some strategies to implement a routine that included work, reading, working out and writing!

The Concept:

The scientist in me really appreciated the use of psychology/sociology studies to explain why certain approaches were more successful than others. I like evidence and I don’t like books that just spew out ideas that have no support. So that really worked for me.

For me, I wanted this book to focus more on creating habits as opposed to breaking them and I felt that at times, this book geared more towards the breaking of habits. But maybe that is just what I got out of it.

The Writing/The Narration:

However, at times, I felt like I was just sitting in a psychology lecture because the first half of the book is so focused on the science of what a habit is and why it is hard to break. It was more educational to me than inspiring for the first 50% of the book. Though that did improve on the later half.

I’m glad I listened to the audiobook though. I think I would have felt like I was reading a textbook if I read the physical book. It was a very easy read.

Did it Impact My Life?

Perhaps not as much as I had hoped. I think I wanted some clear cut strategies for starting new habits and I didn’t totally get those. BUT, it helped to remind me that it can take a while to create a new habit; that I shouldn’t be afraid to try new strategies; that it’s ok to miss a few times or make a mistake. So I did find it a worthwhile read because it made me want to try and create some new habits.

My Rating: 3/5

overall

A very informative book but it didn’t offer too many everyday strategies for making/breaking habits. Instead the focus seemed to be more of why people struggle and that it is a normal occurrence to endure.

Read if You Like: nonfiction, psychology
Avoid if You: dislike self-help books

 

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Single Sundays: Your Ex-Boyfriend Will Hate This by Blue Sullivan

Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:

Synopsis for Your Ex-Boyfriend Will Hate This (from Goodreads):
Your Ex-Boyfriend Will Hate This, is a relationship advice book that differentiates itself mostly by not being about dating at all…

Instead, it’s about answering the four core questions in life:

1) Who are you?
2) Where are you?
3) Where are you going?
4) Who are you going with?

The book suggests that the last of these questions can only be satisfactorily resolved by answering the other three first.

You must know who you are before you can know where you are in life.
You must understand where you are in life before you can decide where your life is headed.
You must also know your destination before you can choose the right “travel” partner.

To address these essential questions, we invite the reader to contemplate the origins of:

Their ideas on love.
Their ideas of what constitutes the “perfect” mate.
Their ideas of their own personal “type”.
And most importantly, their ideas of themselves, including their own capacity to love and be loved.

Your Ex-Boyfriend Will Hate This isn’t a set of inflexible rules for who you should be, how you should behave, or who and what you should care about because life is messy, and people are not the same. This book helps you unearth the “rules” which best suit you. Often success in life isn’t about discovering concrete “answers,” it’s about asking the questions better.

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Author: Blue Sullivan
Genre: Nonfiction, Self-Help, Dating, Relationships
Heat Rating: N/A
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: 2014
Source & Format: Provided by Author–eBook

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thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I will admit I’ve never read a “dating help-book” before. My romantic life is a little lower than zero so I wasn’t sure if it really was for me. But when I was asked to review this book, I admit my curiosity was peaked. What appealed to me was the promise of self-discovery and enlightenment–not a set of rules that women think men like and need to do in order to “get a man”.

And don’t be deceived by the cover! It isn’t a romance novel at all. It’s a relationship advice novel for women: it is entirely nonfiction!

The Concept:

I can’t stand when my fictional book heroines change who they are to be with their “one true love” — so it TOTALLY doesn’t fly with me in real life! But what I really liked about this book is that the focus is on YOU–as in who are you as a person? What do you like in a partner? Where do you see yourself in a few years? 

The idea is that you have to find out who you are in order to make sure you find the right person to spend the rest of your life with–or have a casual relationship with. That was another thing I really appreciated about this book: it didn’t “slut-shame” or tell women not to explore their sexuality! I thought it was a really modern, open opinion on dating in today’s society and culture and I thought that was great!

And while this book may be geared more towards women who are attracted to men, the basic premise can apply to anyone of any sexual orientation.

The Writing:

This book was funny throughout but serious when it needed to be. I definitely laughed out loud with some lines with their witty cynical sarcasm. The humour didn’t make me feel like I was reading some PhD scholar who has spent his/her entire career researching relationships and was now telling me how to act in a relationship. Instead, it felt like a conversation with a real person who has personal experience and the research to back up their statements. It made the book very easy to read.

Did it Impact My Life?

A little bit. I think because I don’t really have a whole lot of dating experience, a lot of the dating topics didn’t really apply to me. But at the same time, I think the general message of knowing yourself first before you find someone else is the take away lesson for me.

My Rating: 4/5

overall

A fun and informative modern relationship advice novel that has a great message for women: find out who you are first so you aren’t defined by your relationship.

Read if You Like: relationship advice books, humourous nonfiction
Avoid if You: don’t like nonfiction, books about relationships

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