Rachel G. (roach808) - - Reviews

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The 7 habits of Highly Effective People : 15th Anniversary Edition
Review Date: 12/23/2015


Of course, they're great concepts. I honestly think I got the most out of the updated anniversary edition part where Stephen Covey answers some questions. It was refreshing to hear that he still struggles with many of the 7 habits regularly. Really, we're all human and these are great ideals to strive for. I can jive with that. Was my life changed? Nah, but will it help me remember how to help myself and my relationships with others? Sure!


Accidents of Nature
Accidents of Nature
Author: Harriet McBryde Johnson
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 5/19/2015


What an interested "read!" While there were a couple parts in the end where I felt it could have ended at a nice place, it was overall a heartfelt read. I really felt connected to Jean and Sarah and the gang. As a kid who always went to camp myself, I totally got it and it really drew me in.


After Cancer Care: The Definitive Self-Care Guide to Getting and Staying Well for Patients after Cancer
Review Date: 12/9/2015


This is a really well written, easy to read book. The format is clear, there isn't unexplained jargon, and these doctors get it. Now, I've never had cancer, but I was interested in this as a book to pass on to others. I received it free from the publisher through GoodReads Giveaways for a review.

I'm actually pleased to review this book. As someone else mentioned in their review, this is a good book to read even if you don't have cancer and hope to do as much as you can to prevent it - knowing that you can't really ever have 100% prevention of cancer.

The authors are doctors who know that their kind can sometimes be uppity, defensive and have a sense of superiority. They help explain why that is sometimes evident in client care and how you can still work with your provider to both be happy. They give some really good and useful tips on WHY you should eat or not eat certain things -- giving explanations that those health magazine articles and slideshows on major websites don't give. And yet, they were able to explain it in a way that made sense.

Now, there is a lot of repetition in this book - and for good reason. We humans need to hear the same things many different times and in different ways to start to make changes in our lives. I can't promise I'll do all that I need to do to be healthy and hopefully prevent cancer -- but this did five me some motivation that something is better than nothing and some small changes that I can start to make right way to be more healthy.

Will definitely pass this one on.


Aleutian Sparrow
Aleutian Sparrow
Author: Karen Hesse, Kim McGillivray, Karen Hesse, Kim McGillivray
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 6/5/2014


I do love Alaskana, even though it's often a difficult, sad, and trying history. Hesse has an amazing ability to share such a rich history in such few words. Though this is actually fiction, there is so much truth.


Armageddon in Retrospect
Armageddon in Retrospect
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 8/3/2014


Well, that was different. Different, but good. If you love Vonnegut for who he is and what he writes you'll enjoy it. Yet, these short stories are different. Published posthumously they're not necessarily the normal stories you'd see -- perhaps he'd never meant for them to be published. Yet, I'm glad they were and to see this side of Vonnegut.


Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
Author: Atul Gawande
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 32
Review Date: 1/29/2018


I sure enjoyed the ways that Gawande made me think about aging and dying and how to have the hard conversations early. I think my daddio would appreciate this as a hospice chaplain.


Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions
Review Date: 3/3/2018


Yup, a solid 3 stars. I liked it. It was interesting, fascinating even. But, as many have noted, the title is a misnomer. I was expecting some really extreme religions and more variety. I also wasn't really expecting these women to all be writers. Nevertheless, I appreciated this book, the intent of it, and the voice that these women gained.


BirthCONTROL: A Husband's Honest Account of Pregnancy
BirthCONTROL: A Husband's Honest Account of Pregnancy
Author: James Vavasour
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 8/12/2015


First, let me be clear that by reading this book I am NOT pregnant, nor do I want to be. However, I am fascinated by people who do want to be parents and the whole process. I advocate for honesty and truthtelling when you get into parenthood and pregnancy and humor is a great vehicle for it. Vavasour is definitely a funny guy and I really appreciated that this was short, readable, and yet still packed with tons of legitimate information. Overall, it had a good fun factor and was satisfying.

My copy was autographed too!


The Book of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks
The Book of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks
Author: Bethany Keeley
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 9/11/2014


Wondermous for entertainment. Tragic for humanity.


Born On A Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant
Review Date: 7/7/2014


Endearing. A similar sort of vein as "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime" but it gave the more real feel because it is. It's legitimate and wholesomely honest. I mean, sure, there were times that I skipped over the mathematical schtuff, but it still gave it the feel that it was his life and how Daniel thinks. Overall, I dig it.


Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone
Review Date: 11/20/2017


I own another Brene Brown, but haven't read it yet, so this is my first one. I find her to be very real and able to be non-partisan and speak to just about everyone (though I'm certainly not everyone). I will certainly be using the BRAVING acronym in my life in the future.


Brooklyn Follies CD
Brooklyn Follies CD
Author: Paul Auster
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 2/15/2015


So, honestly, I bought this to trade on PBS and I got it cheap at the bookstore on 75% clearance rack. But, what I found was a real gem. I'd read Timbuktu from Auster before and I very much enjoyed his character, Uncle Nat, Tom, Aurora and of course Lucy. The hijinks and humor fit into Nat's life among just a year or so is unique, interesting and fun to listen to with the author reading the audiobook.


The Buried Giant
The Buried Giant
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 5/30/2018


I read this for the 2018 PopSugar Advanced Reading Challenge prompt: Allegory.

And, well, it felt like a challenge. It had some really beautiful writing and imagery and humanity -- but altogether, it was just far too big and long and boring for my tastes.


Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
Review Date: 5/21/2016


This was a fun audiobook read. While it's not a book I would have added to my overstuff shelf as a paperback, I'm glad I got this via PaperBackSwap on audiobook.

The narrator is a little cheesy, but the author sounds like a cheesy kind of guy, so it's a decent fit. Some parts are pretty hard to fathom, but I have no doubt he's that into candy.

While it was silly and light-hearted for most of it, there was two parts that weren't quite as light-hearted. One I just didn't like and that was his political rant. I'd say there was 1.5 periods of political rants and it just didn't really fit with the book. I feel like it was meant to show where society is at the time, that it's that society that makes it hard for smaller candy companies, but it just sounded like him ranting about Republicans.

The other part that was a bit more heavy-hearted was the recurrent theme that old candy bars are gone, viewed only in our memory, because they just can't compete with the 'big three' when it comes to grocery slotting fees, etc. While some are making a valiant effort and will live one, some aren't and won't.

Needless to say, it got me curious about some of the candy bars I've seen and never purchased. It made me want to make a more concerted effort to support the mom and pop candy shops -- so when I ran an errand to a smaller store today I bought the only non-major-candy bar I could find -- the Idaho Spud! And it was . . . well, you'll just have to read all about it!


Catch Me When I Fall (French, Nicci (Spoken Word)) (French, Nicci (Spoken Word))
Review Date: 3/14/2017


So . . . it was okay. I mean, I guess I'm not sure what I was expecting but I was feeling pretty annoyed with Holly, even though I picked up really early on what her mental health issue was. I just wasn't seeing where the story was going. Perhaps because of my field (behavioral health), that is why it didn't really strike a chord in me.

I was a bit surprised by the ending, but not enough to really end up with giving it more than 3 stars.


Character & Characters: The Spirit of Alaska Airlines
Character & Characters: The Spirit of Alaska Airlines
Author: Robert J. Serling
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 10/19/2014


Well, how pertinent to finish this on Alaska Day!

It was . . . long. Overall, it was interesting. There were some sections where it got really muddled down with business schtuff. Since this is the airline I fly the most it's interesting to read about some of the history and how it became what it is today.


Childfree and Loving It!
Childfree and Loving It!
Author: Nicki Defago
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 12/1/2014


Love love love that this is available and out there to validate my choices.

This book has a lot of inserts of people's experiences other than the author's which offers her credibility. There were a few times I felt she got kind of judgy, but really, the point is that assuming people want to have children is terribly judgy.


Clay Water Brick: Finding Inspiration from Entrepreneurs Who Do the Most with the Least
Review Date: 2/12/2018


Very readable because it was broken up into short bits and pieces/nuggets of wisdom and parts of her experience. As a loyal Kiva supporter, some of the history was interesting, without being burdensome and textbooky.

Counted for the 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge as 37. A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn't get to.


Clueless in Tokyo: An Explorer's Sketchbook of Weird and Wonderful Things in Japan
Review Date: 3/6/2017


While it's a couple more weeks until I actually make it to Japan to test and confirm the accuracy of all this, my sense is that she's right on. because she's written as an American who has lived in Tokyo a long time and knows how Westerners will view and perceive all of Japan's intricacies.

The sketchbook style is PERFECT for this, it's not weighted down by too many words, it's visually pleasing, and she's categorized things in a way that helps the learner like myself realize what's connected and what's not connected to each other. Like, oh, is that flag something that has to do with a festival, or is it something the restaurant would always have hanging?

Examples like that are useful and I'm considering taking the book with me on the trip!


Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II
Review Date: 3/26/2018


This was really interesting and rather enjoyable.

The only downsides were:
- hard to keep up with the changing time frames when reading by audiobook (might be easier if reading in hard copy)
- towards the end I felt like it could have ended and there was just this interest in putting extra details and stories in to put things in because the stories shouldn't be lost. While I get that - it seemed to dilute the Code Girls aspect of it because we started talking about G girls doing other things (I won't spoil it).

I found the epilogue very satisfying for my human interest-loving self and I'll be counting this for the Advanced Reading List for the 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge of a micro-history unless I come across another one in the next year I'd rather count more. ;)


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