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Journey On!

Journey On! The Evolution of Thought by Caycee Johnson and Keith L. Johnson is an inspirational book full of wisdom. The authors take the reader through topics such as joy, encouragement, optimism, and peace. They share their thoughts on these key subjects by sharing their point of view, quotes from well-known personalities, and bible verses. 

Each chapter of this well-written book is short, and the language is simple to comprehend, without many complex terminologies, enabling the reader to quickly grasp the essence of each section. Moreover, due to how the book is written, the reader could read the whole book in a short space or use the book as a devotional: choosing to reflect on a different topic each day.

The authors’ take on the subject of contentment is based on the foundation that tomorrow is not promised. The authors examine how we could all use this sentiment to be more content in life. Interestingly, the book also tackles the topic of a person’s inner circle.   This section contained wise words from the author as well as included a prayer that the reader can pray for their family, allowing them to further reflect on their family members and their inner circle as a whole. The devotional book contains several prayers in other sections, which helps their reader become wiser and think about how these topics affect their heart too.

Each chapter in the book is full of encouragement and reminds me of how I felt when I read the book of Proverbs. Journey On! is thought-provoking but not a deep dive into a theological study. However, it does have critical reminders and thoughts that the reader can quickly reflect upon, and the book is ideal for anyone who wants to move forward in their life with more wisdom.

Pages: 118 | ASIN : B07X4DBKVT

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Grief

Grief: The Beacon of Love is a collection of 12 notes which provide insight into how to cope with the loss of a loved one. The text relies heavily on personal experiences but strives to be universal. The author, Carolyn Begley Daley, mentions medical solutions such as seeking a therapist’s help or taking medication are valid and sometimes needed. That said, this inspirational book focus on the use of faith and religion in order to deal with grief.

The last few notes focus on the grieving process many felt during the COVID-19 pandemic and how much it has changed people’s coping mechanisms. The author believes love is the answer to finding a path through all kinds of grief. As long as one loves God and the little things in life, one can push through anything.

Grief contains some beautiful ideas and will have the reader highlighting or underlining many sentences that will accompany them in their journey. I believe even a reader who is not grieving could learn from this book. The two main takeaways are that community is essential to people’s healing and that ignoring one’s feelings will eventually lead to anxiety and depression.

The 12 notes that his book revolves around are centered around Christian beliefs. Even if it appears as though the book is meant to be universal, all the notes’ conclusions refer back to scriptures and one’s relationship with God and Jesus. Additionally, many of the arguments are repeated throughout the whole book. I felt that it could be more concise and still give out the message it wanted to give.

Grief: The Beacon of Love by Carolyn Begley Daley is an inspirational self-help book that focuses on the reader’s relationship with God and Jesus. This relationship is the foundation for overcoming grief. It is an excellent book for someone who needs to understand that they are not the only ones going through this pain or looking for what steps to take in order to go forward.

Pages: 78 | ASIN : B0B7M47WXZ

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The Big Picture

The Big Picture is a thought-provoking picture book that asks readers to reflect on their life. The book starts with The Big Bang. Because of the way the book started, I thought this was going to be an educational book about space, but with a few questions and the turn of one page, this short book turns into a contemplative journey that will inspire self-reflection and have readers wondering if they’ve lived their best life.

Every page in this colorful book is wonderfully illustrated; well, all pages except one black page that is surprisingly potent for being blank. The journey through the birth of the universe and the beginning of humanity does a fantastic job of setting the stage for the profound questions that will follow. The author helps readers see just how small we are in the universe, but also how lucky we are to be alive.

This is a picture book, so I had assumed this was going to be a children’s book. While you could read this to children, as I think they will be able to understand what’s happening and understand the questions as well, I think this book is just as powerful and moving for adults.

The Big Picture is a profound and intellectually-invigorating book that accomplishes so much in so few pages. It’s educational with its few science facts, it’s a meditative experience with the way it draws you in and makes you focus on an idea, and it’s a bit of a self-help book as well. This book is perfect for anyone that is struggling to find satisfaction or meaning in life.

My Mission In Life Has Been To Help

Jocelyn Jones Author Interview

Artist provides readers with a step by step guide that will help them awaken their higher self. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I’ve been a teacher and a creative consultant for some 30 years. My mission in life has been to help. I feel like we’re at a precarious time in history. We’re exhausted by the pandemic, terrified by our political landscape, overwhelmed by global warming and despondent at man’s inhumanity to man. It’s no wonder we’re overwhelmed by a 24/7 deluge of epically bad news delivered by a media hell bent on keeping us afraid. When people are scared, they are easily manipulated.

All this noise keeps us from remembering to practice basic human values. It’s as if we’ve forgotten the importance of courtesy, kindness, honesty, and doing the right thing.

I wanted to write a book that shared not only my own experiences and lessons, but a book that offered some simple techniques to help people slow down, still themselves, and get in touch with their higher consciousness. I want to help folks discover their purpose for being here, take better care of their lives, and experience the joy of living a life of their own creation.

I wanted to share the tools and guidance I give to artists that can help anyone summon inspiration at will.

I appreciated all the personal experiences you shared in this book. What is one potent piece of advice someone gave you when you were younger and how did that help shape your growth?

As a troubled teen, my father asked me (with genuine interest) “Jocie, if you could have anything in the world, barring all obstacles, what would that be?”

To answer – I had to present the question to myself. This seemingly simple task was life changing. It made me realize; not only was it possible to pose an internal question, but I found myself waiting for an answer. An answer that came slowly – not from the head but the heart.

I have used this questioning process in various ways throughout my life and my art. Asking a question and then patiently waiting for an answer that makes my heart beat a little faster. This simple practice will empower you with the capacity to summon inspiration at will.

What were some key ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

I believe that there is an artist in everyone and that consciously creating our own life is not only our responsibility but our most essential work of art.

I believe the application of simple daily practices can help us live in the present moment and connect to our best self. I believe we are the result of what we practice.

Lastly, I want the reader to understand that posing questions to our most intimate self about what we want, how we’re doing, or what we might like to change in our life, is an essential component to a life well lived.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?

There is an art to living, which begins with the capacity to still yourself and listen to the counsel of your own heart.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Artist: Awakening the Spirit Within

Artist: Awakening The Spirit Within is a life-changing book by acting teacher and writer Jocelyn Jones. The book covers many different topics within the few key ones that revolve around us as humans, art and how we view it, and the freedom and spiritual uplifting that comes with it as well as the law of attraction.

Jones is an acting teacher who comes from a family of artists with her father being Broadway actor Henry Jones, her mother being a photographer, and her stepfather a writer. She has taught many different people throughout her life from world-renowned actors to people who have never set foot on stage before coming to her classes. The book is written from her informed point of view and includes life lessons that she has learned as well as many different techniques, exercises, and meditations that she uses in her classes that are helpful for everyone, not just artists and actors.

In this enlightening book the author talks about goals, spirit, knowing that we know, happiness, and our vibration and connects that with her own life and different tales of Hollywood in a beautiful way. The author teaches readers that we first and foremost need to find peace within ourselves and know that we are one with the spirit to go on and live a life on a higher vibrational frequency.

Since the book is quite literally an homage to the muses, myths, and anything and everything spiritual and creative Jones’ simple yet elegant style of writing compliments the topics she covers perfectly. Reading this book is a lovely experience as it was a pleasure reading something written with so much love and passion. The way she writes about art and artists is touching, and will resonate with anyone who has ever been moved by art. The writing is easy to follow and the author’s passion and knowledge is evident throughout the book.

In the book, Jones mentions that you may find this book or it may find you because it needs to find you. So true. I found myself reflecting on what I read for hours after I put the book down. Being an actor myself, this book resonated with me on many different levels and opened my eyes to many things connected to my craft. I recommend this book to actors, artists, musicians, art lovers, and anyone who wants to feel free, happy, and more at peace with themselves.

Pages: 267 | ASIN: B0B2VDH84H

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The Villains Who Snapped My Spine

The Villains Who Snapped My Spine: A Memoir by A. H. Nazzareno recounts the experience of the health crisis that the author suffered, which culminated in 2021. The book begins when he is admitted to the Boston hospital for surgery in June. As he prepares to undergo the operation, he wonders how long he has left to live. The following chapters switch back and forth from his time in the hospital to descriptions of several previous events the author refers to as “villains.” Showing these snapshots of various points in the author’s life over the preceding ten years provides insight into the past to help the reader understand what contributed to bringing him to this current point in his life.

The author of this memoir has a unique and interesting writing style filled with unexpected and often amusing descriptions and metaphors that I enjoyed reading. I liked that he avoided using typical cliches and found original ways to describe events and express his feelings throughout his experience dealing with what he eventually learns is a rare medical condition. The introduction to the book provided hints about the significant event that affected the author’s life, and these hints had me interested in continuing to read to find out exactly what happened. I liked the hopeful tone at the end of the book, especially given the author’s uncertain prognosis.

There were sections of the book that were a little hard to follow for me because the narrative did not always progress in chronological order and jumped forward or backward on the timeline in several places or went off on seemly insignificant tangents. I would have liked a little more clarification at the very beginning of the book, when the author was being admitted to the hospital in Chapter One, as to the details of the surgery he was about to undergo to better understand why he had such a grim view of the outcome. Without this information, I found my focus pulled away from what was happening in the present to wonder about the things that had not been fully explained. It wasn’t until later chapters, after the author went back to describe some of the previous events in the past, that the reader finally learns what had led up to that moment.

The Villains Who Snapped My Spine: A Memoir is a personal account of rare nervous system diseases and what life is like living with this condition. The author is candid, and readers will get to know him and develop an understanding of the life-changing impact this has had on him and others with similar conditions.

Pages: 191 | ASIN : B09ZF1GJTD

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The Journey Through Which We Find Joy

Michele L. Sayre Author Interview

A Heart Full of Joy: Daily Perceptions on Life is a book with a year of daily reflections to help people see how they can make the world a better place for themselves and others. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I have always loved reading daily inspirations and reflections. One day, I just got it into my mind that I had something to say based on my own experiences and my unique view of the world, so why not share that with whomever was interested in reading it? About sixty percent of this book was written during my mother’s deteriorating health, death, and dealing with her estate. It gave me something more positive to focus upon and I wanted people to know that sadness and pain are part of the journey through which we find joy. Feel the emotions and let them go. These are the things that remind us how great it is to be alive.

How hard was it to come up with 365 separate perceptions to fill the book?

Actually, it wasn’t too hard to come up with topics to discuss. I would pull from my life, my feelings, the news – everything. What I did find a little hard was trying to not repeat the same messages or wording. I had to really think about the topic and why it was important to discuss, and how to go about it in a way that would open hearts and minds to lasting change.

What perception or reflection has the most meaning to you and why?

“Mommy Dearest” (May 20). That was my mother’s birthday. Our mothers are our teachers – they teach us how to behave or how not to behave. Good or bad, their lives are the parameters we set our own lives to live by.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have two projects that I’ll be starting this summer and hope to have completed by the end of the year. One is an account of how we can help our aging parents and some of the trials and tribulations that may result based on my own experiences with my mother’s prolonged illness and death. The other project is a play based on some of the unbelievable things my family went through during my mother’s illness and our interactions with doctors and facilities. The phrase that truth is stranger than fiction would be applicable here.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

If you are looking for more ways to fill your life with joy, then this book is for you. Three hundred sixty-five days of daily reflections that make you think about the world around you and how every one of us can do our part to make this world a better place in which to live.

Each entry is a new thought for the day about the human condition. Each day leaves you with a one-word mantra to focus upon to help you take steps towards a positive and permanent change for your life.

Be A Giant Killer

Presented alongside verses in the Bible, the book is separated into the seven giants you will face in life. You need not be religious to understand the clear message that author Ed Norwood has laced throughout the pages. That is, to overcome these giants we must not run from them but towards them. It is the only way to truly transform and benefit the next generation of lives, but doing so is not pleasant.

Norwood begins his book with his shocking personal experience and the giant he faced which was Jim Jones, a cult leader, and a murderer. He lost twenty-seven family members in the Jonestown massacre. A situation that turned others away from God and all religion instead was used as a source of strength and survival for the author. I immediately connected with Norwood as he overcame an experience that many will find hard to come back from. Norwood’s writing is inspiring and uplifting as he makes you feel like you can do anything.

The author doesn’t force religion upon the reader but he does provide examples of how having strong faith can give you the strength you need to overcome your giant. The seven giants that the author lists are very common giants that we all face in our day-to-day activities, such as fear, dissatisfaction, unforgiveness, addiction, laziness, procrastination, and folly. I enjoyed reading the real-life examples that the author shares about his own battles with each giant. I feel this brings authenticity to the author’s words and allows readers to make a personal connection as they may find a story similar to one of their own.

Be A Giant Killer: Overcoming Your Everyday Goliaths is a self-help book based on Christian religion for those that want to take a hard look in the mirror and unpack their true fears. It captures readers’ attention from the first page. A must-read for those seeking guidance through the use of biblical power and to overcome the demons in their own world.

Pages: 302 | ASIN : B09CVCTB4F

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