Showing posts with label 2017. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2017. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Best Books As Reviewed By Me in 2017

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Best Books & Reviews 2017
What follows is a list of the books that I highly recommended in my book reviews in 2017. I did not write a book review for absolutely every book that I read though I did cover quite a few of them and I think that I probably included the best of them. How could I resist writing about a book that I loved? I figure that the few that are missing are likely the books that I did not enjoy reading or perhaps a couple that were missed during a busy time. Anyway, here is my list of HIGHLY RECOMMENDED books that I reviewed here on Review This.

I wrote eleven book reviews and five of them ranked well enough to receive the coveted HIGHLY RECOMMENDED distinction, LOL. These are the books that I thoroughly enjoyed and that stood out above the others:

Kristin Hannah The Nightingale

The Nightingale


Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale is a World War II story set in German-occupied France. I recommend this novel for anyone who enjoys World War II fiction and a good story. Find my complete review here.

The One Man Andrew Gross

The One Man


Andrew Gross’ The One Man is another well-crafted World War II story this time set in Poland. Once again, I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys World War II fiction and a gripping story. Find my complete review here.

John Sanford Extreme Prey

Extreme Prey


John Sanford’s Extreme Prey is also on this list because it is highly recommended but it earned that distinction from a guest writer for whom I have the utmost respect, my husband. Chris has read and enjoyed almost all of Sandford’s works so obviously, I must check out John Sanford in 2018. Meanwhile, you can find Chris' complete review here.

Stephen King Mr. Mercedes

Mr. Mercedes


Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes is an unexpected book addition to both my reading list and to this list of highly recommended books. In 1987, with the release of the book Misery and the subsequent movie, I decided that King's works were too horror filled for me. Until that year, I had read every book he had written but since that day, I have read none. That is, until Mr. Mercedes.

Anyway, Mr. Mercedes was a book club pick from a member whose preferred books are by Stephen King. She wanted to introduce the members of our group who had never read one of his books to his writing.  In my mind, this was an excellent choice and many were enthralled by this police detective novel though of course it opens in a very horrible manner. Crime/detective stories often do. Find my complete review of Mr. Mercedes here and be sure not to miss the rest of the trilogy.

Ken Follett Century Trilogy

The Century Trilogy


Finally, Ken Follett’s The Century Trilogy, which includes three volumes: Fall of Giants, Winter of the World and Edge of Eternity. These three lengthy novels kept me thoroughly entertained for many, many hours. Find my review here.

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Other books that I wrote about but that did not receive the top designation of HIGHLY RECOMMENDED were Losing Graceland by Micah Nathan, Remains of the Day by Kazuo Isiguro, A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, Hallmark’s A Century of Caring, Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham and The Art of Racing by Garth Stein. They are still worth options for your book list.

How does my list stack up? Did you enjoy any of these books? What were your favorite reads in 2017?

Here’s to another
great year in books!
Brenda

Quick Links:

See all of the book reviews on Review This.
Amazon’s Bestsellers 2017 Book List.  
(Yes, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through this link.)





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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

Good Cheer, Good Vibes, Good Health, and Good Fortune
Our Wishes for Your 2017!





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Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Resolutions and How to Keep Them

Reviewing New Year Resolutions


The secret to keeping New Year's resolutions lies in turning the resolution into a goal, making a plan, and keeping yourself motivated. Let's talk about how to do all three.
Time to make your
New Year's resolutions!
Have you made a New Year's resolution for 2017? Better hurry, you're running out of time! Or maybe you don't bother with resolutions anymore since you have a "Fail!" history when it comes to keeping them. That's true of most of us, but you don't have to fail at keeping resolutions. Here are three things to do to keep your New Year's resolutions, along with some specific tips.

When it comes to keeping resolutions, the secret lies in turning the resolution into a goal, making a plan, and keeping yourself motivated enough to stick with that plan. Let's talk about how to do all three.

1. Turn your resolution into a goal. Instead of "I resolve to lose weight this year," get more specific: "I will lose 10 pounds in the next three months." When you're specific, it's much easier to make a plan in order to reach the goal. And when the goal sounds reasonable, you're far less likely to become overwhelmed and quit before you ever get started. You may really want to lose 40 pounds this year, but that sounds so difficult! Losing 10 pounds sounds so much more doable, doesn't it? And when you reach that 10-pound weight loss goal at the end of three months, then repeat it in the next three months, then again and then one more time during the year, the 40 pounds you originally wanted to shed will be gone!

Is "exercise regularly" one of your resolutions? Get more specific than that. What kind of exercise? Have you thought about it? I'd suggest walking, the simplest exercise of all. Set a goal to work yourself up to 10,000 steps a day as quickly as possible and maintain that pace for the rest of the year. All you'll need is a pedometer, a calendar on which to record your progress, and a plan, which brings us to step two.

2. Make a plan to meet your goal. For the weight loss goal, you'll have to decide what you're going to do in order to lose those 10 pounds. My plan would be to simply eat less at each meal. That works best for me and probably will for you, too (seriously, you'll be amazed at what eating smaller portions can do for you). Plan, too, on eliminating all sugary drinks by substituting good, old-fashioned water. (Please avoid diet drinks with artificial sweeteners which actually stimulate your appetite.) Making just those two changes in your diet is a great plan, easy to stick with, and really will help you lose weight.

Walking is Easier With a Companion - New Years Resolutions and How to Keep Them
Plan: Add steps by taking your dog for regular walks.
As for a plan for meeting the exercise/walking goal, if you don't do much walking in the normal course of a day, you may need to dedicate 10, 20, or 30 minutes a day specifically for walking and accumulating steps. Choose a time of day to walk and stick with it. If you miss a day don't stress about it, just do it the next day. Additionally, make small changes in your routine, such as parking at the back of the parking lot when you go shopping. Take your dog for regular walks and extend the walk a couple hundred steps each day. That three-part plan will help you succeed in meeting your 10,000 step goal. After 21 days (that's how long it takes to form a habit) you'll realize that you're finding more ways to take more steps and actually enjoying the challenge. 

3.  Keep yourself motivated. Even when you turn the resolution into a goal, then make and carry out a plan to reach the goal, you'll probably lose focus and lose your motivation at some point during the year. There are various ways to deal with that, especially if you realize that adjusting your plan is fine and much, much better than losing track of your resolution/goal altogether, causing you to just give up. 

Developing daily habits by making the plan part of your daily routine will help keep you motivated. In addition, it's good to plan periodic rewards so that there's always a tempting carrot on a stick hanging not far down the path you're traveling on. Plan ahead of time to treat yourself by buying something special (maybe new earrings?) as a reward for accomplishing half of your total weight loss goal.  Plan to reward yourself with a new pair of walking shoes, perhaps, once you've walked and recorded your steps for six weeks in a row. 

The motivation found in the Life's Little Instruction Calendar will help you keep your New Year's resolutions.
Motivational materials with positive messages to read daily can go a very long way in keeping you focused and on track. Thousands of people love the motivation they find in the Life's Little Instruction Calendar. Each day's calendar page contains a thoughtful, usually light-hearted or even humorous message to help you start your day.

As you change the date each morning, read that day's entry purposefully, with the intent of learning something that will reinforce your positive mindset.  Memorize, read aloud, and/or meditate on each day's message. Tape the calendar page to your mirror or put it on your refrigerator door where you'll see it often.

Apply the positivity you find each day to your own life and let that positivity motivate you towards your goals. And remember that with each page you pull off the calendar, you're that much closer to accomplishing what you've set out to do this year! 

So let's review. I believe that anyone can keep a New Year's resolution if they follow the three steps discussed above: Turn the resolution into a goal, make a plan to meet the goal, and stay motivated in order to carry out the plan. 

Are you up to the challenge?

POLL: Will You Make a New Year's Resolution This Year?

Thanks for participating in the poll, and Happy New Year!

So tell me, have you made a resolution for 2017? What motivates you? Care to share? I'd love to read your comments below.

~ Susan
Read more of my reviews

QUICK LINKS: 
Life's Little Instruction Desk Calendar
Inspirational and Motivational Quotes and Calendars
Record Your Progress on a Planner
Motivate Yourself With a Pedometer or Activity Tracker

"Almost Midnight" and "Dad and Dog" photos property Susan Deppner, all rights reserved




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