My Reads, Reading

“The Paths We Choose” By Sully Erna

You may have no idea who Sully Erna is, but you should read the book anyway. This book will remove your ability to blame circumstances or make excuses as to why you never accomplished your dream and goals.

This is a memoir of a man who grew up in a rough neighborhood whose family just barely made ends meet and who had a bit of an issue with being calm and patient. He had a passion for music though, and no matter what situation or stage of life he was in, he never let his desire to be a successful rock star fade.

Sully had and still has “it”. The “it” that people ask when talking about famous and/or successful people. You know the question:

“What do they have that I don’t?” Or “What is it about them?”

I’ve read several books of successful people from famous celebrities like William Shatner to successful business men like Jim Roth, to religious folks like Joel Osteen and now the lead singer of the best rock band ever, Godsmack. They all come from different places and have different backgrounds but all have one very important thing in common, they have “IT”!

“IT” is a combination of unwavering determination, faith, love, passion, strength and grit to achieve what inspires “IT” to burn inside you.

Even if you are not a fan of Godsmack or Sully Erna as an individual artist like me, this is a wonderful inspiring story that I encourage you to read.

My Reads, Reading

“The Silent Wife” by: Kerry Fisher

Would you risk everything for the man you loved? Even if you knew he’d done something terrible?”

I didn’t think I was going to like this one very much. Typically stories like this usually end with the victim finding her strength and getting out of the horrible relationship she is in, it’s predictable. I was pleasantly surprised that even though I predicted the ending before I was half way thru the book I still couldn’t put it down.

I felt that Kerry Fisher did such a wonderful job with creating the characters and making them relatable enough that you could picture yourself in either of the leading ladies positions. I myself feel like I could relate to both on some level.

She created a space that absorbs the reader and brings you into the families world. It sparks a realization that you never ever really know what’s happening behind closed doors, even though from the outside people look happy or that they are even good people.

A heart wrenching and warming story all in one. I highly recommend y’all put this one on your list to read. Wonderful book that you will finish fast because you won’t be able to put it down.

My Reads, Reading

“The World As I See It” by: Albert Einstein

“What an extraordinary situation is that of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he feels it”. -Albert Einstein

From time to time I get curious about influential people, past and present. What is the “it” that they possess that has made them re-memorable? That made them a house hold name? What is the “it” that so many people seek to have.

Though I have learned years ago what powers “it”, I still find it interesting how individuals that harness the power allow “it” to manifest into the world.

Everybody acts not only under external compulsion but also in accordance with inner necessity.” -Albert Einstein

This book is a compilation of thoughts and letters written by Albert Einstein through the course of his life. When I read about people, I prefer to read, when possible, autobiographies or work from them directly. This way I can form my own opinions and not be influenced by the opinions of others. Though very intelligent, seemingly humble, and with a hint of a heightened ego; I found this book very difficult to read. I agree with most of his perspectives on life and situations, but I found that I couldn’t read more than 2 passages before I was yawning. Perhaps my mind is not educated enough to grasp exactly what he is saying the first time, but the way it’s written and the way he speaks, I had to reread things a few times to let the meaning sink in. Also, I found that I really needed to try to place myself in his shoes at that time to understand where he was coming from. Since this book isn’t about setting up any particular setting, it’s not a “story format” I grabbed scenes from movies and other books to help put myself in the moment when he was writing.

There are some enlightening moments in the book, but mostly it’s his perspective on world events happening at the time. I’m very neutral with my feelings about it, I guess it’s a good read to fill a curiosity about the man.

“The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained to liberation from the self.” -Albert Einstein

My Reads, Reading

“I Am Watching You” by: Teresa Driscoll

“When Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with teenage girls on a train, she thinks nothing of it—until she realizes they are fresh out of prison and her maternal instinct is put on high alert. But just as she’s decided to call for help, something stops her. The next day, she wakes up to the news that one of the girls—beautiful, green-eyed Anna Ballard—has disappeared.” Copied from goodreads.com

This book has a lot of good reviews, however it was only “meh” for me. I found myself skimming thru the chapters for key details, just enough to get the jest of it. The most intriguing part that kept me reading it at all was my curiosity as to who the watcher is and is he the same person that kid napped Anna.

Each chapter is written from a different characters point of view and switches from first to third person, there were a few times I lost track of who’s point of view I was reading from and had to check the beginning name on the chapter.

The story didn’t feel very suspenseful and I couldn’t get attached to any of the characters. There was no moments that made me think or that sparked any emotion, besides for annoyed.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this book to you guys.

Audible Books, Lessons As We Grow, Reading

“Lost At School” by Ross W. Greene

“Stage names are used for my kids. I refer to them as Robo D and Ninja D in all of my stories involving them.”

Since day one of Kindergarten, one of my little bears has had a hard time with school. Well, hard is a huge understatement. For years it was a heart wrenching, extremely stressful, anxiety driven, cluster fuck of a time. My twin boys are my first kids and my only kids. Like so many people and parents who have never been a parent or exposed to kids with “labels” I didn’t believe in them. “Labels” like ADHD, ADD, ODD, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and on and on, I thought they were all excuses for bad parents and lazy teachers. It’s kind of like when you are childless and say ” oh, my kids aren’t going to act like that! I’m going to teach them from the start!” or “I’m old school, I’ll woop their ass if they don’t listen” then you have kids and you realize everything you said was a whole lot of bullshit. It’s the same thing, you don’t know what you don’t know and act like a naïve idiot and sometime asshole to parents who are going thru these challenges.

By day 2 of kindergarten, most of the administrative staff at the school knew my kids and that I was their mom. And ever since, I’ve have been working with the staff to try and help get my kids acclimated. It was hard. I blamed the school and the teachers a lot in the beginning. I couldn’t understand why he kept being triggered and sent into very loud, very disruptive, and at times very destructive rages. It had to be the schools fault because he didn’t act this way at home. I refused to believe that my kid had ADHD or anything else and it took the school trying to baker rack him in the beginning of second grade year before I finally conceded to having him tested. For the record, he wasn’t baker racked. The entire hospital staff from the clerk that checked us in to the doctor who talked to us said this isn’t the place for him and he should have NEVER been brought there. I guess I can’t blame the school or the officers that much, this was after the Parkland shooting, our school is only about 5 miles from there so kids who aren’t acting in a “normal” way get treated with a lot of suspicion, even if they are only 7.

Meanwhile, my other child, “Ninja D” was having his own struggles. He just dealt with them in a very quite and controlled way that teachers could manage. So unfortunately, most of my attention was getting “Robo D” to learn how to deal with his anxieties in the classroom.

Once “Robo D” was diagnosed with ADHD things actually started getting easier at the school. Legally they could start implementing more accommodations. They had a county phycologist evaluate him and give recommendations. I had to talk with her of course and give my side of things, answer a bunch of questions. It was while going thru this process for “Robo D” that I realized “Ninja D” really had more issues than I thought. They focus on ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), the county phycologist that is, I didn’t believe that “Robo D” was on the spectrum when answering the questions, but as it turns out he is also, but I thought about “Ninja D” a lot when answering. So, once “Robo D” was set up and things were calming down for him, I requested “Ninja D” be evaluated also.

Then second semester of second grade, COVID hit. One year ago this week we were launched into a “new normal” . For my kids, it was a blessing. It was like a reset button for them. They could get to know the teacher and kids in the safety of their rooms and see that all the kids needed help or didn’t understand the assignments, it’s not just them. It helped them feel like it was ok not to be perfect. Plus I saw them in more of a school setting and was able to make more workable suggestions when they went back.

But about the books. In the midst of trying to figure out why my kids had such a hard time in school and wanting to help them better, I found this audible book. It’s also in paperback, but with these sort of books I prefer audible. It helped me understand that I need to change my mind set and reword as well as simplify what I’m asking my kids. I can’t impose my will on them with a “because I said so”, I need to help them understand why they need to do whatever it is being asked of them. If they find it to difficult, I need to break apart my questions to understand why they don’t understand me or anyone else and get to the root of it. Really it makes good sense to practice this. It helps with leadership and working with people who don’t follow the same thought process. We as adults would prefer this approach from people in our lives, so why wouldn’t we interact with our kids this way?

I very very strongly suggest this book to all parents and people who work in the educational system. The mother in the book, I was pretty much her. And the kid they talk about the most, that was my “Robo D”. I believe that it can help tremendously when it comes to helping kids with special an/or extreme challenges.

The following from here on out is from goodreads.com just to give you more of an idea about the book.

From a distinguished clinician, pioneer in working with behaviorally challenging kids, and author of the acclaimed The Explosive Child comes a groundbreaking approach for understanding and helping these kids and transforming school discipline.

It’s time for a change in course.

In Lost at School, Dr. Greene describes how his road-tested, evidence-based approach — called Collaborative Problem Solving — can help challenging kids at school.

His lively, compelling narrative includes:

• tools to identify the triggers and lagging skills underlying challenging behavior.

• explicit guidance on how to radically improve interactions with challenging kids — along with many examples showing how it’s done.

• dialogues, Q & A’s, and the story, which runs through the book, of one child and his teachers, parents, and school.

• practical guidance for successful planning and collaboration among teachers, parents, administrations, and kids.

Backed by years of experience and research, and written with a powerful sense of hope and achievable change, Lost at School gives teachers and parents the realistic strategies and information to impact the classroom experience of every challenging kid. (less) -copied from goodreads.com

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com
My Reads, Reading

“The One” by: John Marrs

“A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner the one you are genetically made for.” -Copied from Goodreads.com

I almost gave up after the first several chapters, it didn’t really grab me at first. As most stories, the characters and some of their background had to be introduced, the characters in this story are typical people with average lives, well except for the serial killer, but it made the beginning a little slow, which is why I almost stopped reading.

Just when I was about to give up, the twists and turns began as people started meeting their matches. Then the characters lives started getting interesting and I couldn’t stop reading, where it took me more than a week to get threw the first 50 pages (more or less) it took me a couple of days to finish the entire book.

Imagine if there was a test that could match you with your soul mate. Would you believe it? Would you take it? Those answers might be easy if you are single without kids, but what if you were married? What if you were married with young kids? would you?

It’s an interesting question. Would you give up the life you created up to that point to be with The One person who is made for you? What if they turned out to be a killer? What if you are heterosexual and got matched with your same gender? What if you are a homosexual and got matched with the opposite sex? They might be much older or younger. Perhaps you get matched with a politician. Who knows what might happen. But if they are The One, it doesn’t matter because the feelings you have are so intense, it’s a chemical reaction that can’t be helped.

I like to think that I would not take the test at this point of my life. I am married with young boys that I love more than anyone else in this world. Even more than my potential soul mate. My “soul mate” will never love them as much as me or their father love them. It’s unfortunately possible that no one may love them as much as we do, so why would I destroy their family and put them in a situation where they can’t have access to both of us 100% of the time? Why would I take away family time, when my husband and I are happy together, financially stable, and devoted to them? I wouldn’t. We have had our problems, our challenges. We have both made concessions and sacrifices to keep our family together. The important thing is we are in a happy place now. That being said, I would be curious. I would probably be tempted. Who doesn’t want an intense absolute love? But I wouldn’t do it.

Now, that’s just my circumstance. Every person and every family situation is different. If you decide to read this book you will see some of the interesting possibilities of being matched with “The One”.

For better or for worse.

My Reads, Reading

Nest by: Terry Goodkind

#1 New York Times bestselling author Terry Goodkind reinvents the thriller with a provocative, page-turning walk among evil.

Kate Bishop thought she was an ordinary woman living and working in Chicago. But when she unexpectedly finds herself in the middle of a police investigation into a brutal murder, Kate makes a shocking discovery: she has the ability to identify killers just by looking into their eyes. -Copied from Goodreads.com

I’m not really into thrillers because usually they scare the bagesus out of me. But this one was written by favorite author who has created a wonderful fantasy world that I have visited periodically for the last 16 years. So, I decided to step into the thriller world for a change of pace since it was after all written by my favorite author.

It was so well written, that I think I will stick with the fantasy books. It’s a really good story and will keep you wanting more (if you’re not scaredy cat). I also like that he gave Kate the ability to “see” killers when she looks into their eyes. It’s a good twist and made it all the more interesting. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys thrillers or wants to brave a new world of books.

Kid Reads, Reading

The Poky Little Puppy-Classic Kid Book

How many of you remember reading this or your parents reading you this book when you were a kid? Truthfully, I had forgotten about this book until a friend of mine gave us a bunch of their books, her kids were to old for these special classics so I happily took them.

I remember as a kid thinking how special the books were with the golden spine. As an adult reading them to my kids now, I feel that they are even more special. We read a lot of newer character books, Dora and Diego the Explorers, Last Kids on Earth, The Magic Treehouse, etc, etc, but none of them made quite the same impression on my kids.

It was interesting to hear how they reacted to the Poky Little Puppy and how they felt about the consequences enforced by his mother after getting into trouble. In the story, Poky and his siblings keep sneaking out of the yard by digging under the fence to explore the surrounding world, despite warnings from their mother not to do it otherwise no dessert! However, the first couple of times Poky comes back after his siblings have gone to bed and eats the dessert for himself.

My son “Ninja D” and I had a somewhat heated discussion about this. lol He feels that the mother was being unfair to the puppies for not giving them dessert before bed.

So naturally I asked, “so there are no consequences for the puppies breaking the rules?”

he replied, “they only wanted to explore and learn about their world, it’s not their fault they get bored in the yard!”

Me: it’s natural to want to explore the world, but they are to small to go out by themselves. What if something bad happened to them? They wouldn’t know what to do or how to defend themselves.”

Ninja D: “well, their mommy needs to find a better solution. Why can’t she go with them to explore?”

Me: “Maybe she was busy working, cleaning, and cooking for the puppies and she doesn’t have time right then to take them exploring. Maybe the puppies should have asked her if she could schedule time to take them out”

Ninja D: “yeah, maybe. But she needs to be the one to have that idea and talk to them. Not just torture them with no dessert”

Me: “so, do I have to worry about you exploring the world without me?”

Ninja D: “heck no!” “you’re stuck with me!”

I found it to be an interesting moment and very insightful to how his mind works. He doesn’t lack discipline or consequences for his actions. But his mind does process information in a very different way than the majority of kids his age. He already at the age of 8 years old values communication and working things out. He is coming to understand that his mind processes differently and he is trying harder to talk and ask questions instead of get angry and frustrated because he doesn’t understand. I to am trying to understand and have a different response to his impulsive defiance and naturally dramatic personality. As long as he waits till after I have had my coffee, we are usually good for the day.

These kind of conversations don’t usually happen with newer stories. The action and adventure stories are fun, but nothing beats the classics. I am going to look into getting more of the Little Golden Book Classics.

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy, Smart, Strong, and Successful Day!

My Reads, Reading

Where The Crawdads Sing By: Delia Owens

I have been into emotional books lately and this one did not disappoint. This was a story that takes place in the 1950s and 60s; its about a young girl who is abandoned by her family at a very young age and forced to learn how to live in the Marsh all alone. She survives with the very few skills her parents and siblings taught her before they left. The towns people treated her very poorly as she was a “Marsh Girl” and most never tried to help. Those that did she was very skeptical of and afraid they too would leave. She befriended and became very close to a boy who was one of her brothers friends. He taught her how to read and opened her eyes to science. However, as everyone else in her life he too left her.

I don’t want to spoil the whole book. The story is very well written and the characters are very memorable. It’s a beautiful story of survival, determination, and finding happiness and peace in self acceptance. I would recommend taking the journey with Kya as she becomes the legendary “Marsh Girl”.

My Reads, Reading

When We Believed in Mermaids- by: Barbara O’Neal

Usually when I read fiction I read something in the Scify-fantasy realm. I decided to venture out and try something different. Broaden my horizons!

Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s being a mom, maybe it’s being on locked down with the kids for 6 months and I’m going somewhat insane. I have been drawn to more sentimental type stories. So I googled popular books and this one came up, not going to lie, the title grabbed my attention more than anything as I have always loved mermaids.

When I was little we lived in South Florida and my grandparents had a boat that we use to go out on. We would snorkel and swim between fishing sessions ( in different spots of course). I had always felt out of place and sad as a child. I never felt like I quite fit in anywhere. I wasn’t really bullied in school and I had a good home, it wasn’t perfect, but my parents provided everything we needed. I was the sweet and quite girl; because of that other kids assumed I was smart. After “The Little Mermaid” was released from Disney, I wished more than anything I could turn into a mermaid and always pretended to be one when we were at the pool or in the ocean. I think it’s all of those memories that drew me to the title.

Once I got started with this book, I couldn’t put it down. It was very well written and I didn’t get bored with the characters because the chapters bounced from Kit to her sister Josie. Showing different perspectives to the same story.

The story is about sisters who grew up on the coast of California. Their parents owned a restaurant and were not very involved with their daughters. The girls were allowed to sleep on the beach and run wild and on their own until an runaway boy came to live with them and took on the responsibility of looking out and caring for them. The three kids loved one another and would to anything for each other.

A broken family, as they grew the problems grew and the kids couldn’t hold on to one another as they became adults. While Kit was is college, Josie became a party girl and disappeared. Fifteen years later, Kit goes on a mission to find her sister and while doing so finds a happier version of herself.

It’s a beautiful story of overcoming the tragedies that life sometimes gives and about letting go of the hurt and giving yourself permission to forgive. In so doing, finding love and acceptance. Families may be living in the same story, however we see from different perspectives and still experience different circumstances.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for inspiration to let go of their hurt, find love, and who want a good cry at the end.