Audio Book Review: I Can’t Make This Up

This book is longer than you think this is, let me tell you. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE COMEDIANS.

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So I made the mistake of thinking I’d be able to catch up on 2 seasons of Thrones, read a book, work on this blog, finish this particular audio book, plus do all I was during my 16 day vacation last month. Obviously we saw how that went. So I finally finished Kevin Hart’s I Can’t Make This Up audio book last night.

If you know who Kevin Hart is, his book (especially the audio version) is nothing short of anything that Kevin produces. He even has some commentary from his dad put into it, and him trying to narrate it is just as amusing as his comedy specials and clips.

If you don’t know who Kevin Hart is, please, just stop here, go watch his stuff, ANYTHING REALLY, even if it’s on YouTube. You’ve probably seen his face on some GIF reactions IRL (well, on the internet IRL).

This book is the story of his life. It doesn’t just stop at his fame. He goes through his upbringing, his trouble with his now ex-wife that was a long up and down roller coaster type of relationship, to his career, and even the downfalls of his character (and still makes it amusing, because we can all relate somehow).

It’s everything you think it’d be, if you’ve seen any of his comedy specials. Listening to him narrate it, I think makes it. It adds his personality better, and his style. So if you’re debating on just reading it or listening to it, I 100% recommend the audio version. Grant it, I’m totally biased since I didn’t read it, but listened to it.

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Audio Book Review: Wisdom of Sundays

I’ve never really gotten into Oprah, but I know she’s so influential, and love her vibe, for what I’ve listened, heard, and saw of her. Awhile back, Aileen from Lavendaire said that she had listened to the audio book of Oprah’s Wisdom of Sundays, taken from her series on her network.

I chose my first of two audiable credits I had, to listen to Wisdom of Sundays as well. It was no better time to listen to this, right before my trip to California. I’ll be sharing more on how I planned that on Monday! Anyway, I truly suggest, as a fan or not so much fan, to go listen to these conversations she shares in this audio book.

Truly, this book is something that was perfectly placed into my life, and made it’s way into my life, at no better of a time.

Oprah’s best life style shines through this whole book, which really isn’t a book, but filled with best life tips, tricks, and “Ah-ha!” moments we should all experience. I would love to get into watching or listening to more of the Super Soul Sunday conversations because of this book.

Oprah shares her conversations with people like Gary Zukav, my next re-read author (which I next to never re-read) Ekhart Tolle, and one of the last ones on her list, Daniel Pink. I love the idea that that conversation brought: every great person/influencer has a sentence or catch that we remember them for.

Throughout this book, every time that Oprah talks about gratitude and her gratitude journal, I keep telling myself that I need to get back into doing my daily gratitude. I was doing so well, doing 5 a day, and kind of lost track of it. This is a habit that I wanted to cultivate this year, and I’m not doing it as much as I should.

Also, while listening to this whole book, over the course of many days, I am brought back to mindfulness and self awareness. When I say I needed this book, at this exact point in my life, I mean it. The mindfulness brought to light in the conversation of John Kabat-Zin was the start of everything I needed in this book. When he says “When you’re making pasta, and stirring the sauce, JUST STIR THE SAUCE”

The next conversation that hit me was the one with Reverand Bacon (I think that’s his name…chapter 4 of the audio book…listed as chapter 5 because of the intro being a “chapter”, for reference).

Their take on vibrations, and how what you do, say, and surround yourself with, creates your vibration and energy. When you tweak or mess with one (or when one messes with you), the others are affected. It makes sense on why I have a lot of the desires that I do, wanting to branch out and move on, in terms of my work, let alone who I want to keep around me.

I’ve been on the journey of filtering out or limiting the energies that don’t vibe with mine, either as they come, or the ones that have been around too long and need to go. Frankly, most of that has been dealt with, so it’s just a “deal with it as it arises” sort of thing.

My next “Ah-ha” moment came just a little over a chapter later in the listen. Commentary on the idea of “the opposite of poverty isn’t wealth, but justice”. What justice are you doing for yourself? With that

As I listened to Oprah’s conversation with Elie Wisel at the end of her book, the first minute broke my heart. Any survivor of that type of horror brings my feels out, and knowing that his heartbreak of his sister dying during the Nazi reign makes me feel the sad feels. Anything like that, sad feels doesn’t even cut it for my pain, and I didn’t even loose someone from those wars.

Wiesel had written about 50 books, and he is best noted for saying “The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference”, which is remarkable. Looking through his list of books is what I HAVE to do over the next while, and add to my ever-growing list of books to read.

He passed away just under 2 years ago, and may his soul truly rest easy.

This audio book is a MUST READ/LISTEN. I grasp why those who recommend it, recommend it. When you need hope, when you need inspiration, when you need ideas, when you are in need of “Ah-Ha” moments, get this audio book. Listen to this when you are short on yourself, when you need something to pull you out of yourself, out of your mind.

This will be a listen frequently. This will be at least an annual listen, like what I’m making the Power of Now from Tolle, and Tuesdays with MorrieTuesdays with Morrie by Albom.

I’ve never been the type to re-read books. But as of late (the last 2 years really), I’ve turned into one of those. My first re-read was Tuesdays with Morrie, hence my desire of talking with “older” people, and wanting to turn it into a podcast.

The Power of Now hit me so hard last year that I couldn’t help but want and near NEED to put it on a re-read list. Listening to Wisdom of Sundays has done the same thing. 12 Rules for Life is on my re-read list as well.

 

Audio Book Review: Eat. Pray. Love.

When YouTuber Kalyn Nicholson says that this will make a travel bug crawl into your soul, she was right!

This week, I’m sharing my review on none other than Eat, Pray, Love. Go grab it, and re-read it (or just read it!). If you’re not a book reader, check out the movie here.

Elizabeth took us around the world. I loved all three parts of the book, or really each “mini-book”, in which the three countries could be their own mini book. Eat and Love were my two.

I could so see myself gaining the same 30 pounds she did in Italy. I also fell in love with her trip to Bali as well. Bali was where she found love, but I don’t think just in the romance way.

You’d think she’d find romance in Italy (which she kind of did), but it wasn’t the romance she needed or deserved. She had to find herself again, create that spark again, to truly find her kind of romance.

In Bali, she seemed to find her love of people, of culture again. She could also keep her love of travel as well, as you’ll see towards the end of the book.

That’s the most basic of all basic summaries, and as much as I would love to totally spoil the whole book for you (assuming you haven’t read it, which, if I can say this nicely: GO FREAKING READ IT!), I won’t.

If it’s been awhile since you read this lovely book, make sure that you can do it on a beach or wherever you find a fancy, and dive right back in! You’ll enjoy it as much as the first time around, I promise.

 

Wine Wednesday: The House by the River Review

Do you recall two weeks ago when I did a review on 2 books for World Book Day? Well, here’s the third book’s review that I got during those days of free e-books and super cheap audiobook versions because I have the eBook version.

My two books for World book day were Last Train to Istanbul and A River in Darkness. Go check them both out, on top of going to my World book day post, if you want my opinions on them.

I’ve truly fallen in love with audiobooks lately. My “day job” is so dull, and to listen to podcasts and books make my job more bearable. I’m aiming this month, to decrease my spending, and get more income, through working with people who may lower my costs of things I can enjoy, and things I can’t dodge paying (mainly the electric bill, for now…stay tuned for that!).

Anyway, let’s get into this review for ya’ll. It’s been too long since World Book Day, and I told you I’d read/listen and share my thoughts.

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This little love story is the story of a woman’s 5 girls who all left her, 4 out of love for a man, that would each take them to different places outside of their small town, and their house by the river. The last girl went out on her own journey, as she went after her passion instead of love like the other sisters.

Going through the book, you take each girl’s journey, and like the girls, you almost forget about the mother, who lost each one of her children, until they get into a situation where they miss and feel the need to go back to the house by the river, but are too ashamed to go back to there.

You can see most of their struggles, and see where they should’ve gone back, or at least dove deeper into their adult relationship with their mother.

This book is a perfect lead up/reminder for Mother’s Day (at least those who participate in it). As someone who only knows the daughter side of things, and only seeing my own mother a handful of times in the almost decade, this is such a reminder of what my mother might see things.

With some of the girls’ struggles in their personal lives, I’ve also seen where my own relationships could go. The advice that the girls’ mother, let alone the influential people they meet along the way, is everything a young woman needs to hear, let alone reflect on.

If you’re interested in the book, visit:
physical copy
ebook
audio version

Try audiable if you aren’t sure about it, or haven’t yet! It’s great for long commutes (personally, over a half hour each way), or if your job is as dull as mine is, and you can at least somewhat get away with audio books. Each book you get, you keep, regardless if you keep your membership. I’ve paused mine a couple times, and enjoy re-listening to some books.

A lot of my older books were cheaper since I had the book in my kindle app, and I only had listened to so much of the book, versus reading it. Half the time, if I can’t get into a book, but want to finish it, I’ll grab the audio version and listen to it at work and it’s made the world of difference!

What fiction books have you been reading lately? Do you like reading books (physical or ebook) or do you like audio books better? I’d like to hear, so I can read/listen, review, and share on here!

See all the books I’ve read or listened to below:
House by the River
A River in Darkness
Last Train to Instanbul

World Book Day 2018: What I Read

Going through the Google suggested articles on my phone (open your chrome app, and as long as your home page is google.com, or on google.com, scroll down, you can read suggested articles), I had an article that today was going to be World Book Day, and Amazon was giving away 9 books from around the world, translated into English for the 9 days leading up to today.

Who wouldn’t take a look at the list? Unfortunately, I think a lot. I got 3 books off the list, and got the audiobook version for $2 each, so I could partake in this day. It’s also nice to learn about other cultures, and what others went through. Fiction or true story, I’m sharing my review on 2 of the books given for free: “A River in Darkness” by Masaji Ishikawa, and “The Last Train to Istambul” by Ayse Kulin. The other one I’ll do another post on soon.

I spent most of what I could of Wednesday and Thursday last week, listening to the first book, and took my time up until today, to listen to the second. Why? Because the second one IS. SO. LONG.

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So I’ll start with “A River in Darkness”. It’s a true story from a guy who was half Korean, half Japanese, whose father got the promise of North Korea becoming a nation of its own, a paradise, which fell through. The family moved to North Korea, even though the dad was born in the south.

He stayed there through his parents’ passing, in the 90’s, and had his own family there as well. After he couldn’t afford to keep raising his family with the “lowest of low” status he had, as a Japanese man, he tries to deflect, and makes it into China, and makes it to the consulate, to try to make it back to his home, Japan, to hopefully save his family as well.

Hearing him go through the troubles he did, with hearing his parent’s death, years apart, while seeing his sister pregnant out of wedlock, to his issues with moving just from China back to Japan, is something. I even wrote in my gratitude journal, that I was glad (and am glad) and grateful for the fact that I grew up here in the States.

Listening to this story, helps me connect a bit with the distaste that the Japanese people had against Koreans, especially the North. My dad grew up in Japan, as a white boy, and was discriminated against, and grew up knowing some of these distastes of Koreans, still affecting him to this day, I’m sure.

Now let’s dive into the other book I listened to: “Last Train to Istanbul”.

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I’m so glad that I went for the audio book version of this! Kindle suggests a 9 hour reading time, and a 12 hour listening time, but OMG my attention span would make the reading time like 20 hours, I’m sure of it. But I got through just under half of it, by listening to it, just in the first “session”, during my first day back at my mundane job.

You follow a few different families, during both world wars, and it’s truly so much to take in. Hearing their differences, how they came together in their own family, for whatever reason, to eventually come to a lot of the same fears, for different reasons, is so amazing.

I can tell you though, that the second half (really the last third, just about) makes the book. The first third feels like it’s going on forever, and the second third has some “meat” to it, but the last third is where you see all of the characters’ stories come together, on that journey to Turkey. The journey to get to the train, and the train ride, you really feel their anxieties, from each stop, to while they’re blatantly going through Berlin, like if half of them weren’t Jewish, is something else. It really does end on a bittersweet note as well.

Learning and appreciating different cultures is not something that is to be frowned upon. It’s the same thing we need to do about other cultures and countries, that we need to do the same with history. They go hand in hand. So please, read, listen, and talk to others who may have lived a little differently than you. And of course, share yours when the time comes as well, with those who want to learn about yours.