New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most by Greg McKeown

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen:

Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most by Greg McKeown
Genre: Self-Help
Expected Publication: April 27, 2021

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Is there a goal you want to make progress on, if only you had the energy? Do you assume that anything worth doing must take tremendous effort? Have you ever abandoned a hard but important activity for an easy but trivial one? Are you often overwhelmed by the complexity that’s expanding everywhere?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might be making life much harder for yourself than it needs to be.

In the New York Times bestseller Essentialism, Greg McKeown urged readers to eliminate nonessential activities and focus on the few that truly matter. He’s since talked with thousands of readers about the challenges they face in putting those ideas into practice. The problem, he’s found, is that the complexity of modern life has created a false dichotomy between things that are “essential and hard,” and things that are “easy and trivial.” But what if the trivial tasks became harder and the essential ones became easier? If the important projects became enjoyable, while the trivial distractions lost their appeal entirely?

In Effortless, McKeown offers proven strategies for making the most important activities the easiest ones. For example:
 Streamline your process by mapping out the minimum number of steps.
 Prevent problems later by solving them before they happen.
 Let Go of perfectionism by finding the “courage to be rubbish.”
 Accelerate your learning by leveraging the best of what others know.

By making the toughest tasks just a little bit easier, we can accomplish more of what matters, without burning out. 

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New Releases

April 2021 Books I’m Excited About

Books I'm Excited About

Hey Everyone!

A new month a new set of releases.  There are 6 books that are coming out this month that I am excited about. One of these is a repeat from last month since it has been pushed back.

Please Note that these release dates are subject to change. While doing this post I realized that some of the dates I had have been moved.

April 6, 2021

Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 3 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi, Hikaru Miyoshi
(Moriarty the Patriot #3)
Manga, Sherlockian

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The untold story of Sherlock Holmes’ greatest rival, Moriarty!

Before he was Sherlock’s rival, Moriarty fought against the unfair class caste system in London by making sure corrupt nobility got their comeuppance. But even the best-intentioned plans can spin out of control—will Moriarty’s dream of a more just and equal world turn him into a hero…or a monster?

Just as everything appears to be going Sherlock Holmes’s way, he finds himself arrested for a murder he did not commit! He soon escapes police custody and sets out to clear his name. The victim, Lord Drebber, wrote Sherlock’s name in blood before he died, but why? Will Sherlock be able to solve this puzzle and save himself?


The Duke Undone by Joanna Lowell
Regency Romance

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An artist stumbles upon a naked duke and an unlikely love story begins in this captivating Victorian historical romance.

When Royal Academy painting student Lucy Coover trips over a naked man passed out in an East End alley, she does the decent thing. She covers him up and fetches help. Trouble is, she can’t banish his muscular form from her dreams as easily. She finds herself compelled to put every detail down on canvas. What she doesn’t know is that she’s painting the infamous Duke of Weston, and that her life will never be the same.

A second son, Anthony Philby thought he could flee his brutal family legacy and become his own man. Forced back to London by his brother’s death, he inherits a fortune… with strings attached. One scandal will sink his bid for independence. It’s in his best interest to burn Lucy Coover’s shocking painting and pretend he never met the bewitching young artist. Instead, he finds himself offering a devil’s bargain. He’ll save her aunt’s dressmaking shop from ruin, if she’ll seek out his missing sister, Effie.

As they work together, an unexpected passion ignites between them. But the hunt for Effie leads to unexpected danger, and soon they find themselves risking everything… for a love that might destroy them both.


April 13, 2021

The Three Locks by Bonnie MacBird
(Sherlock Holmes Adventures #4)
Historical, Mystery, Sherlockian

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A heatwave melts London as Holmes and Watson are called to action in this new Sherlock Holmes adventure by Bonnie MacBird, author of “one of the best Sherlock Holmes novels of recent memory.”

In the West End, a renowned Italian escape artist dies spectacularly on stage during a performance – immolated in a gleaming copper cauldron of his wife’s design. In Cambridge, the runaway daughter of a famous don is found drowned, her long blonde hair tangled in the Jesus Lock on the River Cam. And in Baker Street, a mysterious locksmith exacts an unusual price to open a small silver box sent to Watson.

From the glow of London’s theatre district to the buzzing Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge where physicists explore the edges of the new science of electricity, Holmes and Watson race between the two cities to solve the murders, encountering prevaricating prestidigitators, philandering physicists and murderous mentalists, all the while unlocking secrets which may be best left undisclosed. And one, in particular, is very close to home.


The Light of the Midnight Stars by Rena Rossner
Historical Fantasy

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An evocative combination of fantasy, history, and Jewish folklore, The Light of the Midnight Stars is fairytale-inspired novel from the author of The Sisters of the Winter Wood.

Deep in the Hungarian woods, the sacred magic of King Solomon lives on in his descendants. Gathering under the midnight stars, they pray, sing and perform small miracles – and none are more gifted than the great Rabbi Isaac and his three daughters. Each one is blessed with a unique talent – whether it be coaxing plants to grow, or predicting the future by reading the path of the stars.

When a fateful decision to help an outsider ends in an accusation of witchcraft, fire blazes through their village. Rabbi Isaac and his family are forced to flee, to abandon their magic and settle into a new way of life. But a dark fog is making its way across Europe and will, in the end, reach even those who thought they could run from it. Each of the sisters will have to make a choice – and change the future of their family forever.


April 20, 2021

The Queen of Izmoroz by Jon Skovron
(The Goddess War #2)
Fantasy

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Sonya has brought a foreign army to free her country from imperial rule, but her allies may have other goals in the second book of this thrilling epic fantasy trilogy from Jon Skovron.

The first battle is over, but war yet looms on the horizon. Sonya and her allies–the foreign Uaine and their armies of the undead–have beaten back the imperial soldiers from the capital city. Now they have the rest of the country to free.

Meanwhile, her brother the famed wizard Sebastian has retreated with the imperial forces to regroup and lick his wounds. Betrayed by his sister and his wife, the beautiful noblewoman Galina, he will regain control of his life and his country at any cost. 


April 27, 2021

Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most by Greg McKeown
Self-Help

Add to Goodreads

Is there a goal you want to make progress on, if only you had the energy? Do you assume that anything worth doing must take tremendous effort? Have you ever abandoned a hard but important activity for an easy but trivial one? Are you often overwhelmed by the complexity that’s expanding everywhere?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might be making life much harder for yourself than it needs to be.

In the New York Times bestseller Essentialism, Greg McKeown urged readers to eliminate nonessential activities and focus on the few that truly matter. He’s since talked with thousands of readers about the challenges they face in putting those ideas into practice. The problem, he’s found, is that the complexity of modern life has created a false dichotomy between things that are “essential and hard,” and things that are “easy and trivial.” But what if the trivial tasks became harder and the essential ones became easier? If the important projects became enjoyable, while the trivial distractions lost their appeal entirely?

In Effortless, McKeown offers proven strategies for making the most important activities the easiest ones. For example:
Streamline your process by mapping out the minimum number of steps.
Prevent problems later by solving them before they happen.
Let Go of perfectionism by finding the “courage to be rubbish.”
Accelerate your learning by leveraging the best of what others know.

By making the toughest tasks just a little bit easier, we can accomplish more of what matters, without burning out.


Are there any books that you are looking forward to this month?

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Hauls

Book Haul: September 2020

Book Haul

Good Morning.

I decided to start doing book hauls again as a way to help keep myself accountable. The only way that I am going to be able to work on fixing my habits is if I have some kind of checks in place. In the month of September I received 5 books from authors, 2 books as gifts, I grabbed 1 for free, 1 from subscription boxes, 1 were preorders, and I purchased 2.

Received from Authors/Publishers

Altered Helix by Stephanie Hansen | (Altered Helix #1) | Young Adult, Dystopian, Paranormal Mystery, Novella | Add to Goodreads

I didn’t want to take the traditional path. First, I wasn’t ready for college. Second, I was going to live with my best friend, Tiff, and work at the Haunted House. Third, did I mention the hot guy Josh that works there too?

The most exciting thing about Austria’s new job, at a local haunted house, was the fact that the toughest looking people screamed the loudest. But when she meets the boy without a home, Josh, Austria’s life takes intriguing and eventful turns. Up until now, Josh has managed to hang with his Street crowd, but they’re in danger, and so is Austria, the girl Josh recently fell for. The group finds themselves joining forces with previously considered enemies who also now find themselves in danger.

Deeply compassionate and full of twists, Altered Helix captures the struggle of polarized people that must work together for the greater good.


Stranded Coil by Stephanie Hansen | (Altered Helix #2) | Young Adult, Dystopian, Paranormal Mystery, Novella | Add to Goodreads

For Austria, travelling to the Stranded Coil means she gets to see someone she believed was lost. She’s able to do this because she’s an Altered Helix. But doing so takes her away from her first true love, Josh. Josh is working hard to keep their Haunted House family safe on Earth, but seems to fall in love with Austria more with every second they spend together.

Austria and Josh face a devastating challenge, the mysterious appearance of Mutant Altered Helixes, and an enticingly dangerous answer to their questions.

Impulsive, caring, and full of surprises, this teenage love against the odds is well on its way to breaking even…maybe.


Paralleled Bond by Stephanie Hansen | (Altered Helix #3) | Young Adult, Dystopian, Paranormal Mystery, Novella | Add to Goodreads

When the only option left means losing someone you love, you have no options. How could you, how could you save one person you care about, when doing so would harm another? What if they weren’t even letting you choose but choosing for you? You’d have to intervene without letting them know, right?

To be an Altered Helix and put others in danger is the new reality for Austria. Luckily someone’s there to catch her when she falls, Josh, and fall she does, in love that is. While witnessing her family being put in danger, Austria’s haunted house family grows. Now that Austria has found a way to defeat Mutant Altered Helixes after her, a dangerous stream of events occur to those around her. Just when the family has finally come together, could they be ruined?

The amazing conclusion to the Altered Helix series, Paralleled Bond displays the results when polar opposites come together for the greater good.


The Best of No Small Thing – Mindful Meditations by Deborah Hawkins | Collection of Blog Posts/ Non-Fiction | Add to Goodreads

No Small Thing – Mindful Meditations (NoSmallThing.net) was launched in 2010 with the intention of reflecting on experiences that generated feelings of gratitude in order to create a positive mood and orientation to life. As of fall of 2019, over 500 reflections (mindful meditations) have been published along with over 100 tips that can be employed in a gratitude practice.

This mindfulness process is detailed in a companion book, Practice Gratitude: Transform Your Life. It emphasizes the creation of personal gratitude themes, one’s Grateful Dozen, which can help a person see things that spark grateful feelings in new situations. This is a collection of favorite blog posts that came out of this process.


Practice Gratitude: Transform Your Life: Making The Uplifting Experience of Gratitude Intentional by Deborah Hawkins | Add to Goodreads

For several decades, studies have supported the idea that gratitude has many positive benefits. It boosts optimism, a sense of personal control, and even enhances relationships. Keeping a simple gratitude journal, where daily entries are made identifying things that spark gratitude, has become a very popular. Deborah Hawkins, originator of NoSmallThing.net, goes beyond listing little boons to generate good feelings. In this book, she teaches techniques for mindfulness, self-inquiry, and writing to build memories that activate strong positive emotions. This guide and workbook helps readers understand what kinds of personal experiences prompt uplifting feelings of gratitude in them, develop broad themes that apply to these experiences, and then use these themes to see and experience gratitude in new situations. This approach can empower anyone to begin each new day with confidence that things they love and value are already present. A companion book, Best of No Small Thing – Mindful Meditations provides examples of posts that were written using this process.


Gifts

Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day by Jay Shetty | Non-fiction, self-help | Add to Goodreads

Jay Shetty, social media superstar and host of the #1 podcast On Purpose, distills the timeless wisdom he learned as a monk into practical steps anyone can take every day to live a less anxious, more meaningful life.

When you think like a monk, you’ll understand:

  • How to overcome negativity
  • How to stop overthinking
  • Why comparison kills love
  • How to use your fear
  • Why you can’t find happiness by looking for it
  • How to learn from everyone you meet
  • Why you are not your thoughts
  • How to find your purpose
  • Why kindness is crucial to success
  • And much more…

Shetty grew up in a family where you could become one of three things—a doctor, a lawyer, or a failure. His family was convinced he had chosen option three: instead of attending his college graduation ceremony, he headed to India to become a monk, to meditate every day for four to eight hours, and devote his life to helping others. After three years, one of his teachers told him that he would have more impact on the world if he left the monk’s path to share his experience and wisdom with others. Heavily in debt, and with no recognizable skills on his résumé, he moved back home in north London with his parents.

Shetty reconnected with old school friends—many working for some of the world’s largest corporations—who were experiencing tremendous stress, pressure, and unhappiness, and they invited Shetty to coach them on well-being, purpose, and mindfulness. Since then, Shetty has become one of the world’s most popular influencers. In 2017, he was named in the Forbes magazine 30-under-30 for being a game-changer in the world of media. In 2018, he had the #1 video on Facebook with over 360 million views. His social media following totals over 38 million, he has produced over 400 viral videos which have amassed more than 8 billion views, and his podcast, On Purpose, is consistently ranked the world’s #1 Health and Wellness podcast.

In this inspiring, empowering book, Shetty draws on his time as a monk to show us how we can clear the roadblocks to our potential and power. Combining ancient wisdom and his own rich experiences in the ashram, Think Like a Monk reveals how to overcome negative thoughts and habits, and access the calm and purpose that lie within all of us. He transforms abstract lessons into advice and exercises we can all apply to reduce stress, improve relationships, and give the gifts we find in ourselves to the world. Shetty proves that everyone can—and should—think like a monk.


The Lost Book of the White by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu | (The Eldest Curses #2) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

Life is good for Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood. They’re living together in a fabulous loft, their warlock son, Max, has started learning to walk, and the streets of New York are peaceful and quiet—as peaceful and quiet as they ever are, anyway.

Until the night that two old acquaintances break into Magnus’s apartment and steal the powerful Book of the White. Now Magnus and Alec will have to drop everything to get it back. They need to follow the thieves to Shanghai, they need to call some backup to accompany them, and they need a babysitter.

Also, someone has stabbed Magnus with a strange magical weapon and the wound is glowing, so they have that to worry about too.

Fortunately, their backup consists of Clary, Jace, Isabelle, and newly minted Shadowhunter Simon. In Shanghai, they learn that a much darker threat awaits them. Magnus’s magic is growing unstable, and if they can’t stop the demons flooding into the city, they might have to follow them all the way back to the source—to the very realm of the dead. Can they stop the threat to the world? Will they make it back home before their kid completely wears out Alec’s mom?


Free

The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids by Michael McClung | (Amra Thetys #1) | Fantasy, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

Amra Thetys lives by two simple rules—take care of business, and never let it get personal. Thieves don’t last long in Lucernis otherwise. But when a fellow rogue and good friend is butchered on the street in a deal gone wrong, she turns her back on burglary and goes after something more precious than treasure: Revenge.

Revenge, however, might be hard to come by. A nightmare assortment of enemies, including an immortal assassin and a mad sorcerer, believe Amra is in possession of The Blade That Whispers Hate—the legendary, powerful artifact her friend was murdered for—and they’ll do anything to take it from her. Trouble is, Amra hasn’t got the least clue where the Blade might be.

She needs to find the Blade, and soon, or she’ll be joining her colleague in a cold grave instead of avenging his death. Time is running out for the small, scarred thief.


Subscription Boxes

Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin | (Serpent & Dove #2) | Young Adult, Fantasy |Add to Goodreads

After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Dames Blanches, Lou, Reid, Coco, and Ansel are on the run from coven, kingdom, and church—fugitives with nowhere to hide.

To elude the scores of witches and throngs of chasseurs at their heels, Lou and Reid need allies. Strong ones. But protection comes at a price, and the group is forced to embark on separate quests to build their forces. As Lou and Reid try to close the widening rift between them, the dastardly Morgane baits them in a lethal game of cat and mouse that threatens to destroy something worth more than any coven.


Preorders

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini | Sci-Fi | Add to Goodreads

Kira Navárez dreamed of life on new worlds.

Now she’s awakened a nightmare.

During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, Kira finds an alien relic. At first she’s delighted, but elation turns to terror when the ancient dust around her begins to move.

As war erupts among the stars, Kira is launched into a galaxy-spanning odyssey of discovery and transformation. First contact isn’t at all what she imagined, and events push her to the very limits of what it means to be human.

While Kira faces her own horrors, Earth and its colonies stand upon the brink of annihilation. Now, Kira might be humanity’s greatest and final hope . . .”


Purchases

A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore | (A League of Extraordinary Women #2) | Regency Romance, Mystery |Add to Goodreads

A lady must have money and an army of her own if she is to win a revolution – but first, she must pit her wits against the wiles of an irresistible rogue bent on wrecking her plans…and her heart.

Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price—a night in her bed.

Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as their battle of wills and words fans the flames of long-smouldering devotion, the silver-tongued seducer runs the risk of becoming caught in his own snare.

As Lucie tries to out-manoeuvre Tristan in the boardroom and the bedchamber, she soon discovers there’s truth in what the poets say: all is fair in love and war…


Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown | Non-Fiction, Self-Help | Add to Goodreads

Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin?
Do you simultaneously feel overworked and underutilized?
Are you often busy but not productive?
 Do you feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people’s agendas?

If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the EssentialistThe Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done.  It is not  a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter. 

By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy – instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us.

Essentialism is not one more thing – it’s a whole new way of doing everything. A must-read for any leader, manager, or individual who wants to learn who to do less, but better, in every area of their lives, Essentialism  is a movement whose time has come.


How many books did you add to your TBR this month?

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