This book went on my Amazon wishlist within hours of her announcing its release date on her podcast, That Smart Hustle.
Then, in March 2020, Kristen made an amazing decision. In part due to the stresses of the coronavirus pandemic, she recorded every chapter of Soulflow, and released one per day from March 20 through April 5. At first, I wasn’t sure if listening to the book would work for me. It’s been YEARS since I’d listened to a book. Think back to books on tape and books on CD from the library. Yeah, that long ago.
But, I dove in. And I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it. I got a late start in listening to it, so all the chapters had been released by the time I started the Introduction in early May. I found myself listening to multiple chapters per day while working from home. I love Kristen’s voice!
Between May and August, I’ve listened to the entire book twice. I plan to listen to it a third time before the end of 2020.
I know, personal development books get a lot of flack. Trust me, I’ve read a lot of them over the years. But, I feel like Kristen’s book is different. It is personal development, but it also has a lot of her memories and experiences. To me, it’s relatable. This may be in part because she and I are virtually the same age, but I keep coming back to it.
I love Kristen’s energy through this book. I was planning to read some of her fiction work first, but I’m glad I listened to this one first. I’m even more excited now to read her fiction. If her second personal development book is this inspiring and influential to me, I can only imagine what worlds she’s created with her fiction.
I saw this on Lori’s blog, All Things Momma Blog, and decided to make my own post! It’s not a traditional tag, but a fun challenge!
Here’s what Lori writes: “The original of this challenge was fun and stressful and now there is another one. Hooray. Part two was created by Keeping Tabs and Current Chapter on youtube. It is a scavenger hunt type challenge with 20 prompts. You’re supposed to time yourself and see how fast you can find all of the books, but I’ll just be picking at the prompts over a couple of days when I have time to do so.”
I had a lot of fun with this. I was able to look at my entire bookshelf in a new light.
1. Do you have a book with a fox on the cover or part of the plot?
2. Do you have a book that was published the year you were born, or within a 3 year radius?
Meet Kirsten was published in 1986. I was born in 1988.
3. Do you have a book with music as a weapon or magic?
Columbine, Dave Cullen. Cullen came to my school, Longwood University, in the spring of 2010 to speak and promote his book. I was lucky enough to interview him for Longwood’s student newspaper, The Rotunda.
7. Do you have a book with a mostly red cover?
Finale, Thomas Mallon.
8. Do you have a book between 287 – 306 pages?
True Stories of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Kevin Dwyer and Jure Fiorillo – 249 pages.
9. Do you have a book with a main character who wears glasses?
Jenna discussed her ideal first date. For me, it’s definitely biased, but my first date with Al was absolutely magical. The original plan for September 4, 2010, was to go to dinner at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, and then wait for Chicago to perform as part of the American Music Festival. We had a lovely dinner, and then strolled along the boardwalk. We kissed for the first time that night, and I legitimately saw sparks and fireworks. We talked for hours. I think he took me home at 1:30 a.m. Turns out, he knew he wanted to marry me after that first date, so I think it worked!
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One. First and Last: A book/series you’ve read and enjoyed, but can’t bring yourself to read again.
Ghettoside by Jill Leovy. It’s a really good book, but I don’t think I’ll ever read it again. Some of the visual images I got will haunt me forever.
Two. With a friend of my friend: A book/series someone recommended to you that turned out to be different from what you had expected
The Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth. Many of you know my feelings about Allegiant, so we’ll leave it at that. I don’t have the books in my collection anymore. I was so disappointed. I haven’t picked up any of Roth’s other books since.
Three. Double date: A book whose sequel you immediately had to read
The Hunger Games! I didn’t have the sequel after finishing it, so I immediately went out and bought both Catching Fire and Mockingjay.
Four. Let’s go to the movies: A book/series that should be adapted to the screen.
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware.
Five. Dreamy stargazing: A book that made you go ahhhh and ohhhh
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.
Six. Fun at the fair: A book full of colours
Mosquitoland by David Arnold.
Seven. Amusement park adventure: A book that was a roller coaster
Smashed by Koren Zalickas.
Eight. Picnic with cherries: A book whose food descriptions made you feel all *heart eyes*
I agree with Jenna, the descriptions in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban always make my mouth water.
Nine. Trip to the museum: A book that taught you valuable stuff
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond.
I’ll admit, I was originally intrigued by Rachel Hollis. See the bikini photo above. Several authors I follow on social media, and a few bloggers, have lauded her personality and her business, among other things. One author in particular has mentioned Hollis and her self-help books – Girl, Wash Your Face, and Girl, Stop Apologizing – on her podcast multiple times.
I almost bought both books.
But, I’m so glad I didn’t.
Granted, this is only one video that’s an hour and 33 minutes long. However, within minutes of the opening commentary, I felt so relieved that I haven’t bought into Hollis, her books, or her influence.
Even putting the words “everything wrong with rachel hollis” into Google brings up a slew of articles and videos about how harmful Rachel Hollis’s message is!
I almost feel bad for Rachel. The daughter of a Pentecostal preacher, she has said in multiple interviews and videos to her fans about how awful her family life was and how her childhood was so terrible.
She moved to Los Angeles at age 17. She worked as a production assistant at Miramax for a while, and then she started her own party-planning business. When she was 19, she met Dave Hollis, who was a Disney executive. He was eight years older – 27.
The age difference doesn’t matter, but the way they have treated each other does. Listening to the excerpts of videos during this hour and 33 minutes made me cringe. First of all, Dave looks like and sounds like a creep and an asshole. I feel terrible for their four children. I stopped the video multiple times, and reflected on how much of their relationship sounded like the abusive relationship I was in from 2006-2010.
Aside from all the narcissism and veiled abuse, Rachel’s messages to her fans are full of, absolutely dripping, food issues, hypocrisy, and toxic positivity.
To add to it all, Rachel has been a guest speaker at multiple conferences and retreats for multi-level marketing (MLM) companies! There’s excerpts of her speeches at events for LuLaRoe (LLR), BeachBody, Arbonne, and doTERRA. These companies have already ensnared vulnerable women, and Rachel appears to be a role model! She’s a woman, a wife, a mother, a Christian. All valuable, desired, normal things.
So much of her message is hypocrisy and surface-level bullshit. She gives the barest bones of “advice,” but a lot of it is toxic.
The RISE conferences that she and Dave have hosted cost up to $1,795! And that doesn’t include airfare, hotel, and other things.
In addition, she doesn’t realize when she’s causing harm. Actually, she likely doesn’t care when she’s doing it. And that’s the worst thing.
After getting just one negative / critical book review on one of her fiction books, she hasn’t read or looked at any other reviews of her books. Not one.
And, get this, her fiction books – Party Girl (2014), Sweet Girl (2015), and Smart Girl (2016) – have been lauded and praised. They’re much better than the self-help ones, from what I’ve heard.
She immediately blocks people who even breathe a word or shadow of negativity or criticism. She ignores it all. And that’s so sad.
I immediately picked up on the passive-aggressive stance. It has to be exhausting to be that way ALL THE FUCKING TIME.
So, I wasn’t surprised when I saw the news yesterday that she and Dave are headed toward divorce. I should be thrilled for her. But, all I could think about was her having to deal with such a toxic relationship for the last 18+ years. I was relieved for their kids, but only briefly. I think all four will need major therapy.
I feel sorry for Rachel Hollis. But, at the same time. I’m really glad I didn’t buy into her influence. I’m just sad for the countless wives, moms, military spouses, and those who have joined MLMs who have been swept up under her spell.
I hope, for her sake, that Rachel Hollis will be able to raise her children to be better than her and her soon-to-be ex-husband.
As soon as I heard about Betz-Hamilton’s book on Episode 125 of the Criminal podcast, I added it to my wish list. I was so thrilled when I opened it as part of my Christmas gift from Al at the end of 2019.
It took me nearly six months to get to it, but I knew I was avoiding it. I had so many high hopes for this book, and I did not want to be disappointed.
Thankfully, this was not disappointing.
It’s hard to talk about this book without giving away certain things. But, I will say that I hope Betz-Hamilton writes more books. She did an incredible job with this. It’s such a personal story, and she truly turned it into action. She has done incredible work with helping identity theft victims for many years, while simultaneously trying to solve the mystery of identity theft in her own family.
If you’ve wanted to learn about identity theft, and its interesting history, this is a great book to read. Betz-Hamilton started her investigation with hardly any resources, and little law enforcement involvement. Times have certainly changed, and she helped educate many people along the way. Without her work, I don’t think identity theft would be as widely known or investigated now.
I related to this book in a few ways. Axton and I were both only children. I struggled with my relationship with my mom, especially as I became a teenager. But, I realize how good I had it. Axton lived in a version of hell under her mother’s roof until she went to college. I recognized so many signs of abuse, sadly.
The chapters were the perfect length. I flew through multiple chapters every night, and struggled with putting the book down.
It was so interesting to read about her life. This book spanned from before she was born up through the early 2010s. I really enjoyed the personal anecdotes, mixed in with academia and identity theft history. I’ve found myself searching for presentations she’s given. I’m hoping she’ll offer a course on identity theft. I want to learn more from her.
This is currently my favorite book of 2020. I’m already planning to re-read it next year.
My mom let me read one of the copies I purchased soon after they arrived. At the end of the 37 pages, I was crying. The story is so special and heartwarming.
It shows that teachers truly make a difference. Mr. Falker made a huge difference in the little girl’s life, especially when there weren’t nearly as many male teachers back in the 1940s.
It’s hard to talk about this book because I don’t want to spoil anything. What I will say is this book is based on true events and real people.
This is one of the best children’s books I’ve read. I plan to buy a copy for several teacher friends for their classroom libraries. If you haven’t read Polacco before, I highly recommend it. Her writing is beautiful, and she also illustrates them.
This article was published in March 2019, but it’s a really cool idea. The U.S. should really start paying more attention to what the Europeans are doing!
The premise: Amsterdam-based Civic Architects helped transform a former locomotive shed into a public library and public space.
The skeleton of the locomotive shed was basically preserved. There’s a ton of natural light. A series of movable textile screens are able to be adjusted through a computerized system.
In addition to books, there are small “labs” in the space, visitors can learn new skills and experiment. Meetings are held, exhibitions can be displayed on the large reading tables, and there’s a coffee kiosk. The space can hold up to 1,000 people at one time.
I really like this idea. There are so many abandoned buildings and industrial spaces, and that’s not just in the U.S. If this idea were to be embraced, it would take time and money, but it would also create employment opportunities, engage revitalization efforts, and help the community at large.
This was one of FIVE books that Al bought me for Christmas!
This book, along with Kristen Martin’s Soulflow (Review coming soon!), felt like divine guidance when I needed it most. I was in such a slump with blogging and writing until the beginning of May. Then, it felt like a switch was flipped in my head. I felt inspired again. And both these books were big contributors.
I’m planning to read more from Gilbert down the line. But, this book is just what I needed at this particular moment. It’s part memoir, part self-help, part inspiration.
Although not pleased with how choppy everything felt at the beginning, I liked how she structured the book. It was like listening to a wise friend or relative tell stories over the course of a summer afternoon. And there was something for me to remember or ponder over with every chapter. She placed good reminders in my hear and heart.
It’s hard to describe Big Magic! But I felt comforted the entire time. It was a breezy read, perfect as the weather here has gone up and down and sideways. Until yesterday, it felt like September!
As someone who has Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and struggle most days with imposter syndrome, this book allayed my fears. It’s shown me to stare my fear(s) straight in the face, and proclaim, “You don’t own me. You don’t control me. I do. So step aside and let me finish the work I was called to create. Thanks!”