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The Complete OCD Workbook by Scott M. Granet, LCSW

515YZJNfjdL._SX403_BO1,204,203,200_The Complete OCD Workbook is just what it sounds like – it’s a book full of pertinent information on how to work through OCD.

A Step-By-Step Guide To Free Yourself From Intrusive Thoughts And Compulsive Behaviors.

The book begins with a rundown of what OCD is. I found it interesting to learn that there are different expressions of OCD. Some people may exhibit more than one OCD habit, while someone else may only have one symptom (for lack of a better word). Or, you might not even realize that some of your habits are ODC related.

There are many types of mental illnesses that have some sort of relation to OCD – including hoarding and various irrational fears. The checklist section at the beginning of this book will help you get a better understanding of the many forms of OCD and which ones may affect you.

Because it is a “workbook,” there are plenty of pages where you can go through and fill in information that will help you understand your illness and learn how to control your thoughts and urges.

I love that this book takes a holistic approach to free your mind – The author suggests using things like mindfulness, as well as treatments like ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). You will learn how to directly apply the therapies in this book into your life.

I like that it also includes exercises to help you be more aware of your actions and reactions, like keeping a list of your thoughts and how you reacted to certain situations. Then you look at how you could have reacted better.

Your OCD doesn’t have to control you. This book may be able to help. Just remember – do not stop taking medications without permission from your doctor.

 

I received this book free from the publisher, and this is an honest and unbiased review.

Drive Thru Deception by Laurie Ayers

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Most of the time, people tell you that body language is the key to determining whether or not someone is lying to you. This book will teach you how to tell when someone is lying by actually listening to them. Laurie Ayers, a human lie detector residing in Jenison, MI, put together this “quick read” to help people learn when people are lying to them – whether you need it in your personal life or at work.

One of the things I really liked about this book (aside from it being a quick and easy read – yet full of information) is the reflection portion. At the end of each section, you will briefly reflect on what you just read – which helps you remember what you read, allowing your mind to digest the info.

My favorite tip is asking one question at a time. I’ve had experience with this, and throwing too many questions at once toward someone makes it easier for them to deceive you in their responses. I think when you ask too many questions at once, you’re also allowing them to gloss over the questions they don’t want to answer, and you may not even realize it.

The wordplay pointed out as hints that someone is lying made me a bit concerned, however. A lot of the words and phrases are things that I use in my regular daily speech and in my writing. Maybe this is an indication that I should start working on my assertiveness again, or am I just a big fat liar?

Actually, you would use what they say to you to look deeper into whether or not they’re guilty of a lie. It’s not as cut and dry as accusing someone of lying because of one single sentence.

I enjoyed reading this book. I learned a lot and just might have to change up my “normal” vocabulary some (haha). I highly recommend this book if you’re interested in spotting deception or simply interested in the art of communication itself. Grab a copy of Drive Thru Deception – Clues To Detect Deceit on Amazon.

Stop Bingeing, Start Living by Shrein H. Bahrami

51bYP2IVUpL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Ever eaten an entire bag of chips in one sitting and then felt bad about it? Do you do this often? Has it been going on for 3 months or more? If so, it could be a problem – binge-eating can lead to other eating disorders. And, like other eating disorders, binge-eating can be a symptom or sign of an emotional disorder as well.

Stop Bingeing, Start Living‘ is a book that not only takes an in-depth look at binge-eating, but it also covers the step you can take, on your own even, to curb your need to eat too much and learn to have a better relationship with your food.

What I love most about this book is that it takes a holistic approach to healing the underlying causes of your binge-eating. Once it walks you through bingeing, to help you understand it, it then covers how to rewire your brain so that you can look at food, and your relationship with it, differently.

I love the array of tips and exercises offered within the pages – it’s definitely written to guide you toward freedom from your addiction to food. The author introduces you to things like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy), to help you with a mindful eating plan.

This book will help you be in control of food, instead of making you feel like food is in control of you. I binge-eat junk food when it’s in the house, and this book is helping me see that I am in control of how much I eat, and I don’t have to eat all of something just because it is there – I am learning new ways to cope with my “boredom” eating habits.

 

I received this book free from the publisher, and this is an honest and unbiased review.

Queen of Clocks and Other Steampunk Tales

51gtd2VQrGL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_I was intrigued by the Queen of Clocks and Other Steampunk Tales from the start. While I’m not steampunk inclined, I do enjoy some steampunk based stories and have always been a Jules Verne fan. Steam Pig is still my all-time favorite ArtPrize entry.

No, it wasn’t the steampunk entity that dragged me headlong into this book, it was the retelling of fairy tales. I am a fairy tale junky – since birth (I think). I’ve been working on a retelling or two of my own, am obsessed with Chris Colfer’s Land of Stories series, and don’t we all dream of being a fairy tale princess at some point in life? (I wore shiny silver heels for my wedding as my Cinderella glass slippers and Dorothy’s OZ slippers – they looked like they were made from a disco ball).

Once I started reading this book, it was hard to put down. The seven stories within are captivating. They are relevant enough to the originals that you know where the idea came from, but different enough that you don’t feel at all like you’ve heard the story before. Some of them are more gruesome than others, which is true in the world of fairy tales anyway.

I loved something about each story, but I have a few favorites, and I don’t want to spoil the entire book for you by telling you about every story.

The opening tale, ‘The Clockwork Nightingale,’ actually brought me to tears. The imagery in this story is absolutely divine. ‘The Marionette’ read like a horror story, turning the story of Pinocchio into something I hadn’t expected (but loved immensely). ‘Treasure’ gave a complete steampunk revamp to Snow White, as did ‘The Little Wind-Up Mermaid’ for The Little Mermaid.

Each author showed their talent for creating fantastical stories, recreating our favorite fairy tales, and writing stories that you just can’t help but enjoy. This is a must-read for steampunk lovers and fairy tales addicts alike.

Feel Better Fast And Make It Last by Daniel G. Amen, MD

978-1-4964-2562-5.BACKIf you want a comprehensive guide to overcoming “negativity, anxiety, anger, stress, and trauma,” Daniel G. Amen, MD, has taken his experience as a psychiatrist to develop this book to help you become more optimistic and happier. ‘Feel Better Fast And Make It Last‘ is a book that will change your life, if you read it and follow what it says.

There is so much stuff in this book that you’ll initially be overwhelmed by it – but don’t fret, once you get into the strategies, exercises, and steps that are described throughout, you’ll start getting a better understanding.

What I really liked about this book is that it has so much information – it’s not just one part of how you can feel better, it’s all of the things that you need to do in order to change your life for the better.

My favorite chapters, the ones that did the most for me, are “I Is For Inspiration” and “N Is For Nourishment.” As someone with a lot of hobbies, and someone that works in a creative career full-time, passions and inspiration play a huge role in my life (and now I am better understanding why I am so much more a positive person than a negative one, even when things seem to be going bad). The chapter on Inspiration also talks about addiction, something I’ve been able to overcome on my own (hoarding) and never had a major issue with in the more life-threatening sense (like drug addiction).

The Nutrition chapter attracts that side of me that took a ton of classes on nutrition in college. “The Feel Better Fast Diet” is filled with info on the foods that are best for your all-around health and wellness.

I enjoyed this book. I didn’t like the overabundance of brain photos (I felt like they weren’t really needed), but aside from that, it’s a book that will help you be healthier and happier.

 

I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Brain Hacks by Lara Honos-Wedd, Ph.D.

Brain Hacks: Life-Changing Strategies To Improve Executive Function has a cover that claims this book will help you “Work smarter, stay focused, and achieve your goals.” It is 140+ pages of useful information that actually gave me tips that I will use forever. As someone that works with numerous clients, from home, taking on a variety of tasks (reviews, article writing, editing, etc.), and has their own creative passion projects, I find it hard to stay on task sometimes – this book has the tools that will help even the busiest worker or entrepreneur.

This book, rightfully, begins with a chapter that explains exactly what executive function is. The key, here, is to keep your business life afloat and tap into the part of you brain that focuses on work (that’s my super-simple layman’s terms description anyway). I like that this chapter is filled with questions that will help you determine your executive style, which will help you learn what strategies will best work for you when it comes to getting your work done.

The layout of this book makes it easy to read. You won’t get bored with super-long paragraphs, and you’ll find the exercises are useful and easy to follow.

Goal setting is one of my passions, but I’ve found myself so busy lately (and it’s not that steady, “regular” schedule busy), so my goal setting falls to the wayside. My work is sporadic, and I fit in my own projects every chance I get – which sometimes isn’t much. Brain Hacks has a lot of tips on goal setting – ones that I am pretty sure will assist me in making it easier to set my own goals even with a sporadic full-time schedule.

This book will make you look at the way you set goals, the way you focus (or your lack thereof), and how you organize (your stuff and your life). It’s a must for busy professionals, whether you work for someone else or for yourself.

 

I received this book free from the publisher, and this is an honest and unbiased review.

Modern Astrology by Louise Edington

Astrology has been a passion of mine since a young age, but at that time I only really delved into my sun sign. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I even learned what my moon sign was (It’s Aquarius, by the way). At that time I was reading a book that had all of the planetary and house info that you get from a natal chart, but it was too difficult to figure it all out. These days you can do all of that online, sometimes for free.

What I didn’t like about doing my birth, or natal, chart online was reading what everything meant online… I am a book girl, always will be. That means that holding a book in my hands with the info I need will always be my preferred method of learning. Louise Edington’s book, Modern Astrology, is just what I needed.

So, why do you need this book and a birth chart? Have you read your horoscope and spent hours trying to figure out how that “prediction” actually fit into your life? It’s sometimes hard to do because your sun sign is only one small part of who you are when it comes to astrology. By knowing where the planets were and what signs were ascending at your time and place of birth, you can understand yourself better.

I found this book to be extremely informative. I went through it with my birth chart, highlighting all of my planets and houses, and then read what it had to say. I thought, “Yep, that’s right,” “That explains things,” and “That is totally me.” Sure, there were a couple that explained me more when I was younger and less jaded.

A bonus within this book is that it contains journal prompts, as well as other things that will inspire you to learn more about your birth chart. I gave this book a five-star review on Goodreads because it is easy to use and understand, it is extremely informational on the subject matter, and it’s written in a way that allows you to enjoy reading all of the info within, even if it isn’t about your own signs!

I received this book free from the publisher, and this is an honest and unbiased review.