Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

I had moved away from reading these types of books. As I noted in my As A Man Thinketh review, I had read so many from this genre that they all seemed to be some variation of the same thing. But for whatever reason, I couldn’t prevent myself from buying this one.

The Four Agreements is a tiny book that I read in 2 hours. The agreements, which you make with yourself, are 1) Be impeccable with your word, 2) Don’t take anything personally, 3) Don’t make assumptions, and 4) Always do your best.

The tenor of the narrative was somewhat surprising. Although the author states the book is not about religion, I believe it has religious undertones. Nonetheless, the agreements all seem pretty reasonable to me.

I found myself in agreement through much of the book as it was confirmation of what I already believe to be true. But the author makes a bold assertion which I’ve heard elsewhere and it was good to be reminded; challenge your beliefs because all of them aren’t yours. And in order to get anything out of this book, you will have to do exactly that.

I didn’t have any revelations while reading The Four Agreements but becuase it’s an easy read and one of the better written books on self-improvement, I’d recommend it to someone looking to delve into this genre.

"In your whole life nobody has ever abused you more than you have abused yourself. And the limit of your self-abuse is exactly the limit that you tolerate from someone else. If someone abuses you a little more than you abuse yourself, you will probably walk away from that person."
The Four Agreements

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

That’s Why We Read…


Per my usual routine, I was watching Morning Joe on MSNBC before work. Today's guest was Michael Hainey, author of After Visiting Friends. The book is about his quest to find the true reason of his father's death.

I walked in on the conversation just in time to catch this classic exchange…….

Co-Host Mika: What an incredible story!

Hainey: Thank you

Co-Host Mika: I never knew!

Hainey: That’s why we read a book right?


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After Visiting Friends: A Son's Story on Amazon

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Keeping Score: A Guide to Love and Relationships by Marc Brackett

I told myself I wouldn’t read any more books covering this topic after reading The 5 Love Languages. But after a pleasant exchange with the author, a copy of Keeping Score: A Guide to Love and Relationships found its way to my mailbox.

I didn’t expect the book to start out as an evaluation with question and answer. I actually put it down until I was in the mood to respond to the questions. The author doesn’t delve into the content until page 25. It initially seemed as if this should be in the reverse order although I can see how the responses may be more genuine before becoming guarded, ready to analyze every question.

The book breaks down relationships into the little parts that can be managed. It’s filled with clever analogies that drive home the point. And in many places it’s just out right funny! I found the book to be very relatable and thoughtfully written. It read like it was written by a person living it every day.

The first section is for women and the second is for men. Although I think it is expected that women skip the section for men and vice versa, I was reviewing the book so I read it anyway. It was surprising how different the men’s guide is from the women’s guide. But it reinforces what should be common knowledge these days; men and women are different and not just physically.

Keeping Score is a very quick read, I finished it in a few hours. Even if you’re not in the mood to do an evaluation or take advice from someone whose name you may not know, the book reveals questions that should be addressed in any relationship.

For more information on the book, check out it’s website:

Fights over financial matters are a leading cause of relationship failure, which is unfortunate, as solutions to financial problems are readily available.” Keeping Score by Marc Brackett

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Keeping Score on Amazon

Sunday, February 3, 2013

January 2013 Books Galore Part 2!

Here's what I spotted commuters reading over the past couple of weeks:

Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Empire the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne
The Art of Fielding: A Novel by Chad Harbach

Added to my TBR list
Last week I saw the award winning Broadway musical FELA! Now I have to have this book!

FELA! is the true story of the legendary Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, a civil rights champion who defied a corrupt and oppressive military government and devoted his life and music to the struggle for freedom and human dignity.

3 days into February and I bought 4 books. But at 50 cents each, they may as well have been giving them away! Stay tuned for February’s Books Galore to see what DC/Maryland/Virginia commuters are reading and my newest acquisitions.

You can find January Books Galore Part1 here.

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Switch on Amazon
The Art of Fielding: A Novel on Amazon
Empire of the Summer Moon on Amazon
Fela: This Bitch of a Life on Amazon