The Simple Life Comes At A Cost

The Simple Life Comes At A Cost

My Million Dollar Donkey: The Price I Paid to Live Simply, by Ginny East

Feeling stuck is a sign that it’s time to make a change. And that’s exactly what Ginny and her husband Mark did. One day they both decided to cash in their life and reinvent their world; packing up their three kids and a dog, they said goodbye to a successful dance studio business, and moved to 50 acres of land in northwest Georgia.

In My Million-Dollar Donkey: The Price I Paid for Wanting to Live Simply, Ginny……

life journaling basics-2

Hello everyone! I am coming to you today with a little announcement: The Serial Reader is moving to its own place!

www.theserialreaderblog.com

I have been working on a new website / new domain, and I am now ready to invite you over! Sign up for daily updates from The Serial Reader!

Hope to see you there!


www.theserialreaderblog.com

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Dogs Know Stuff

Dogs Know Stuff

Jonathan Unleashed, by Meg Rosoff

My dog knows stuff! I am pretty sure now that behind those puppy eyes she is hiding a whole lot more about life that I will ever understand. Maybe Confucius was right by saying that life is really simple, but somehow we insist on making it complicated. And every time I look at my dog I know that she knows that I know I don’t really know what to be when I grow up, or even how on earth to get there.

Meg Rosoff delivers….

life journaling basics-2

Hello everyone! I am coming to you today with a little announcement: The Serial Reader is moving to its own place!

www.theserialreaderblog.com

I have been working on a new website / new domain, and I am now ready to invite you over! Sign up for daily updates from The Serial Reader!

Hope to see you there!


www.theserialreaderblog.com

Books of the Week

Books of the Week

CaféLatte

 

Happy Independence Day WeekEnd!! I love the fourth of July… delicious barbecues, friends and a good book, of course! Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, play it safe and enjoy the fourth! … Here’s my best books of the week.

Ready for college? I have the perfect College Starter Kit ready for you, the best books that will help you managing your finances, writing the perfect paper and becoming the best student ever.

Did it ever cross your mind to fake your death? Too much work -if you ask me, and Playing Dead  will show you how this is easier said than done. #NotAGoodIdea

Speaking of hashtags, Babe Walker vs Suburbia in American Babe. Funny, irreverent and absolutely enjoyable.

That’s not how we do it here and a mob of meerkats will teach you about management and leadership. Not just a fable, but an inspiring lesson for every entrepreneur out there.

The Indie Corner is officially open! Interviews, tips and tricks and much more.. for indie authors! Join us! #indiecorner

Social media addicts in search for inspiration try this:  Post this book and explore your inner artist with creative prompts to doodle, color, collage, pictures. And don’t forget to #PostThisBook!

This is all for now! Enjoy your day, have fun and celebrate the fourth! Happy reading!!

How A Mob of Meerkats Will Teach You About Management and Leadership

How A Mob of Meerkats Will Teach You About Management and Leadership

That’s Not How We Do It Here! A Story about How Organizations Rise and Fall -and Can Rise Again, by John Kotter, Holger Rathgeber

Step back Tony Robbins, move over Deepack Chopra..here come the Meerkats to teach us about discipline, planning  and efficiency.

I am firmly convinced that animals are the best teachers. In fact, we’ve learned adapting from mice (Who Moved My Cheese, by Kenneth Blanchard), resilience from penguins (Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditionsby John Kotter and Holger Rathgeberand now.. the meerkats are here to share tips and tricks about management.

You know, thmeerkats_crowd_set_on_danger_51545_1280x1024.jpgose squirrel-size fuzzy, little animals who live in the deserts and grasslands of the southern tip of Africa.

Cute in their bushy, brown-striped fur, meerkats live in groups as large as 40, and everyone in the mob participates in gathering food, keeping a look out for predators, and taking care of the babies.

John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber use a simple fable about these bushy, animals to help any team or organization cope with their biggest challenges and turn them into exciting opportunities.cover90684-medium.png

Once upon a time a clan of meerkats lived in the Kalahari, a region in southern Africa. After years of steady growth, a drought has sharply reduced the clan’s resources, and deadly vulture attacks have increased. As things keep getting worse, the har­mony of the clan is shattered. The executive team quarrels about possible solutions, and sugges­tions from frontline workers face a soul-crushing response: “That’s not how we do it here!”

So Nadia, a bright and adventurous meerkat, hits the road in search of new ideas to help her trou­bled clan. She discovers a much smaller group that operates very differently, with much more teamwork and agility. These meerkats have developed innova­tive solutions to find food and evade the vultures. But not everything in this small clan is as perfect as it seems at first. 

That’s Not How We Do It Here! distills decades of experience and research to understand how organization rise, why they often eventually struggle and how and why they can rise again. This is not just a nice fable, but a real-life lesson that will teach you how to create an environment of openness to new and innovative ideas.


Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)

Who Moved My Cheese (Book) – (eBook)

Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions (Book) – (eBook)

How To Fake Your Own Death

How To Fake Your Own Death

Playing Dead. A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud, by Elizabeth Greenwood

Strangled by debts? Cops are after you? or is it your ex-wife stalking you and demanding for more money? Either be one or the other, here’s your way out: faking your deathcover82152-medium.png could be the solution to your problems.

When I first got a copy* of Playing Dead by Elizabeth Greenwood, I thought of a joke. I’ve heard of people faking dead like a new form of escapology, but I didn’t think it could be “a thing” even now in the 21st century.

Moved by innocent curiosity I asked my best friend in the world wide web -aka Google– about “fake your own death“, and what I found was hilarious.  15,800,000 results after, I had to admit that yes, faking death is still on.

Believe it or not, Wikihow also made a page of “precious” advices called “How to fake your own death” -11 steps (with pictures!) Because, according to the famous online community- “sometimes in life you may need to fake your own death to escape“.

Only a week ago an in-depth investigation by The National ENQUIRER revealed that Patrick McDermott -Olivia Newton-John’s ex-lover who disappeared during a 2005 fishing trip off the California coast- is believed to have faked his death to avoid money woes. McDermott was found living the high life working on luxury yachts south of the border under the protection of some rich Mexican family!

But in the 21st century -when every move is monitored by credit cards, smartphones and  socials network of any kind -how could be possible to disappear? If proving wrong is impossible -because dead are not coming back, right?- than what lesson could we learn from those who had been caught?

What happens to the people you left behind?  What would be lost? And who are the people who’re supposed to “kill” you?

Playing Dead is an empathetic investigation into a universal human fantasy and the men and women desperate enough to give up their lives—and their families—to start again.

*An ARC was kindly sent to me by via NetGalley by Simon & Schuster.


Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)

 

Going to College? Here’s the Starter Kit

Going to College? Here’s the Starter Kit

COLLEGE

 

High school: been there, done that! Now you’re ready for College!

Today I want to share with you my starter kit, just the best books (and a few other online resources) that you could use during your college years.

How to Graduate Debt Free, by Kristina Ellis

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Going to college can be a huge financial commitment. Kristina Ellis -author of Confessions of a Scholarship Winner will share the best strategies to pay for college and  #notgoingbroke!

Pre-college actions, financial aids, scholarships, the best schools and majors that pay off, and  everything else you need to know to make your college experience worth it.

 

Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)


Anyone Can Get An A+. How To Beat Procrastination, Reduce Stress and Improve Your Grades, by Geetanjali Mukherjee

Study Book (9)

Anyone Can Get An A+ is a down-to-earth, honest guide for students on how to maximize their learning and get good grades.

Based on research on principles of psychology and neuroscience,  Anyone Can Get An A+ will teach you:

  • how to prepare for exams
  • how to overcome procrastination and use your time wisely
  • how to write a paper painlessly
  • how to organize your time and study schedule

and many other useful tips and techniques.

Geetanjali Mukherjee is not selling you the magic pill, but strategies that work!

 

Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)


Student’s Guide to Writing College Papers, by Kate L. Turabian

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Writing your first college paper can turn into a nerve wracking experience, but there are some key skills that will facilitate the process. This book is a must-have!

Student’s Guide to Writing College Papers is organized into three sections that lead students through the process of developing and revising a paper. Part 1, “Writing Your Paper,” guides students through the research process with discussions of choosing and developing a topic, validating sources, planning arguments, writing drafts, avoiding plagiarism, and presenting evidence in tables and figures.  Part 2, “Citing Sources,” begins with a succinct introduction to why citation is important and includes sections on the three major styles students might encounter in their work.  Part 3, “Style,” covers all matters of style important to writers of college papers, from punctuation to spelling to presenting titles, names, and numbers.

 

Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)


Campus Politics. What Everyone Needs To Know by Konathan Zimmerman

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Universities are usually considered bastions of the free exchange of ideas, but a recent tide of demonstrations across college campuses has called this belief into question, and with serious consequences. Such a wave of protests hasn’t been seen since the campus free speech demonstrations of the 1960s.

In Campus Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know®, Jonathan Zimmerman breaks down the dynamics of what is actually driving this recent wave of discontent. After setting recent events in the context of the last half-century of free speech campus movements, Zimmerman looks at the political beliefs of the US professorate and students. He follows this with chapters on political correctness; debates over the contested curriculum; admissions, faculty hires, and affirmative action; policing students; academic freedom and censorship; in loco parentis administration; and the psychology behind demands for “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces.” He concludes with the question of how to best balance the goals of social and racial justice with the commitment to free speech.

 

Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book)


The Roommate Book, by Becky Simpson

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Author/illustrator and expert roommate Becky Simpson uses her optimism and sense of humor to highlight the advantages of having a roommate and how best to enjoy these shared years of modular furniture, crockpot meals, and binge-watching Netflix. For high school graduates going off to college and new adults leaving college, this book is essential.

The Roommate Book is all about celebrating this short season of life. It’s the time between parental curfews and settling down with a significant other. It is for the single and proud, silly and crafty, witty and thrifty. It’s a non-serious look at how to live with a friend (or total stranger). Nuggets of wisdom are included, but so are comical pie charts, hypotheticals, illustrations, and brief essays. This book invites passersby to thumb through and stay a while.

Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)


Blogs You Should Follow

I also want to share with you some of my absolutely favourite blogs for college students:

  • Broke Millennialsstarted by Erin, who found herself in this situation at 25 after she graduated from college.  Now, she is learning how to be financially literate and is sharing what she learned with others.  The great thing about her site is that she tells funny stories and is pretty sneaky about getting financial lessons in.
  • Making Sense of Centsfounded by Michelle, who shares her story about graduating with almost $40,000 in student loan debt, and then side hustling her way to paying it off. Her story is incredibly inspiring, both on where she has been with her finances, as well as what she is doing today to support herself.
  • TeensGotCentscreated by Eva Baker to inspire other teens to make savvy financial choices early on in life, and that being smart about your money can be fun as well. On her site, you will find resources for high school students and college bound teens – from saving for college, to finding volunteer work to beef up your college applications, to fun ways to save money.

 

News – Education

Attending College is a terrific opportunity! Learn as much as you can, build good contacts and enjoy!

Think..Listen..Feel..And Enjoy Some Poetry

Think..Listen..Feel..And Enjoy Some Poetry

Djinni Hunter, by T. Kozumplik

I am afraid my only knowledge of rhymes would be limited to “twinkle twinkle little star“.. which, by the way, I’m not even sure it could be called so. Truth is I have never allowed myself to enjoy some poetry… a busy life, always on the move plus, there aren’t exactly many poetry books on the shelves!

As a matter of fact Newsweek declared poetry’s death in 2003 with the very controversial article  “Poetry is Dead. Does Anybody Really Care?“.  I am mostly sure I help killing it, as I can’t remember the last time I cracked open a book of poems.

I found poetry intimidating for one reason: if well written, it forces you to listen, think and feel the world around you.  You can’t tweet while reading poetry. You can’t watch tv while reading poetry. You have to be fully aware, your senses fully open. It’s you and the sweet, melodic sound of words. One after another.

41tvgqrqr5L._UY250_.jpgWhen Thomas Kozumplik asked me to read his book Djinni Hunter I was about to decline. I didn’t feel qualified to review poems,  but when I read some of his verses  I couldn’t help to like them. And that’s all it matters.

Someone said it takes knowledge and commitment to appreciate poems. I would said patience too. But once you allow yourself to  listen the pure sound of words, you are close to discover a new world of emotions.

 


Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (eBook)

Are You A Self-Help Addict?

Are You A Self-Help Addict?

Don’t Get A Job, Live Your Dream, by Scott Haug

Did you know that the self-help represents a $11 billion per year industry in the U.S. alone?

Surprised? Well, don’t be! Self-improvement is the goal of everyone in some ways, we all strive to make tomorrow a little bit better than today; we want to be more productive, more focused, we want the perfect life/job/partner and we are not ashamed of spending up to $500 million  on personal development products every year.

Motivational speakers, inspirational websites, personal coaching, books and seminars.. everything you want. Or need.

I will never get tired of self-help books, I love reading them and becoming inspired by other people stories. Don’t Get a Job, Live Your Dream by Scott Haug is the latest addition to my collection.41d49rY+4BL.jpg

At age 22 Scott -fresh out of college and with a new job- felt trapped. A good job and the new acquired inpependency could’t relieve the huge discomfort he felt everyday after work. No matter how he tried, still the unpleasant feeling made him unhappy. So, one day he decided to quit his job, he found himself a new one and he was finally ready and confident for a fresh start. But after moving his life across the country and settling in a new location, he got a call..the new job was cancelled for budget reasons.

Well, if this is not a major set-back then I don’t know what it is! The impressive thing was Scott’s reaction, he quickly regain his composure and start figuring out the next step. And this book is about how he made it happen.

Don’t Get a Job, Live Your Dream contains 7 important reasons that will help convince you to live the life you truly want to live. Each chapter explains some strategies and useful tips for changing your life:

  1. Be an Inspiration
  2. Create Extraordinary
  3. Live a Life of Meaning
  4. Eliminate Future Regrets
  5. Exercise your Right to be Free
  6. Use the Last of the Human Freedoms
  7. Act on the Only Chance You Have

 

What sold me Scott’s book was its different approach. For once a self-help book which is not promoting to be aggressive, but more self-conscious, understanding that we all have fears, but we also have the courage and the power to overcome them.

If you feel stuck or trapped in a life that doesn’t belongs to you, just step back and listen to your heart…we already have all the answers we need.

 


Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (eBook)

Another YouTuber With Literary Aspirations. Or Not?

Another YouTuber With Literary Aspirations. Or Not?

How To Ruin Everything. Essays, by George Watsky

Here it comes another YouTube “sensation” who thinks he can write. Seriously, it’s a bit annoying… all these kids who get their “books” published JUST BECAUSE they come knocking at the publishing company’s doors with an established numcover85832-medium.pngber of followers from their YouTube channels.

Does it sounds a bit harsh? Maybe it’s my misconception, and YouTubers really can write good stories. Or maybe not.

So, in name of a good critique I took the plunge and bought 10 books wrote by the most famous video-makers of the tube: Tyler Oakley, Joe Graceffa, Shane Dawson, Connor Franta (a 24 years old who writes a memoir? Seriously??) PiewDiePie, Miranda Sings, Phil Lester, Zoe Sugg..

$100 I will never see again! Just saying…

With 792,304 subscribers and 122,784,787 views, George Watsky is one of the last (will they ever end?) to join the party with his “How To Ruin Everything“, a collection of essays about life that range from the absurd (how he became an international ivory smuggler) to the comical (his middle-school rap battle dominance) to the revelatory (his experiences with epilepsy).

To be honest, I am not impressed by a bunch of essays that sound like college papers. And sure enough I am not going to spend $11.99 to read Watsky’s.*

I know, this is how things work: it’s all about making money. But -believe it or not- there is a good amount of readers out there who still wants to read quality material. Good literature, real literature! Let’s just stop feeding the market with a bunch of “books” about nothing. All these books look the same. Joey, Tyler, Shane and George belong to the most selfish generation in history, self-centered, social media  addicted who win the favour of the audience through product placement (sometimes not so honest) and by selling an unrealistic lifestyle.

But -like it or not- it’s a fact that today’s fastest rising stars aren’t coming out of Hollywood, and thanks to online sites like YouTube, mainstream entertainment and reading market will never be the same.

 

*Luckily I got this book for free from NetGalley.


Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)

Do You Do ASMR?

Do You Do ASMR?

Idiot’s Guides: ASMR, by Julie Young – Ilse Blansert

Make Money through YouTube is not a secret anymore. Whether you talk fashion, tech or daily life, product placement and sponsored videos is where money come from. In fact, if most people think of YouTube as a place to find instructional videos, music and news, others look at it as a major revenue source for their business.

51KoByiIbBL._SX416_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgOne of the latest money-maker trend coming from YouTube is ASMR, the “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response” that has been defined as: “a distinct, pleasurable tingling sensation in the head, scalp, back, or peripheral regions of the body in response to visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, or cognitive stimuli“*.

ASMR by Julie Young and Ilse Blansert is an easy-readable guide about  what now seems to be a social and cultural phenomenon:

  • what ASMR is,
  • all the theories and evidence as to why and how ASMR works and where’s the connection to other established methods of relaxation,
  • extensive exploration of the various trigger types,
  • how-to content on creating ASMR videos, including equipment, props, script writing, editing, and uploading,

plus exclusive interviews with the top ASMR artists from all over the world, discussing their strange celebrity and their own ASMR experiences.

Now the big question: Is There Any Money To Be Made In ASMR? You can bet it! Maybe not right away, but with a solid fan base, the YouTube partnership and good contents you might even be able to fully support yourself and even quit your daily job. YouTubers, by their partner contracts, are forbidden from revealing their earnings. But if you browse the net you will come up with quite big numbers (SocialBlade, is one of the longest running YouTube Statistics tracking websites).

Worth trying, isn’t it?

*Source Wikipedia


Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)