in reading

Book Review + Two Reading Challenges

Several months ago, I received a review copy of Head First! A Crash Course in Positivity by Steve H. Lawton in exchange for an honest review. I usually don’t take nearly this long to read review copies, but life just kept getting in the way of this one!

In this book, Lawton starts out by talking about his near-fatal skiing accident that occurred in 2014. As he tells the story of his recovery process, he talks about the eight positivity principles that he believes helped him nearly fully recover in a short amount of time.

I’ll admit, when I started reading this, I was having a pretty meh week at work, so I didn’t approach it with the best frame of mind. That being said, I still enjoyed it and found a few takeaways about how my attitude and thinking can affect my mood. Lawton includes several exercises, at least one per principle, that readers can use to integrate the principles into their own lives. That will be helpful once I can sit down and go through them and give them some thought.

Overall, I gave it a 3 out of 5 stars. I’ve been trying to be more conscientious of not giving everything 5 stars because as I’m reading more, I’m finding that only a few things are worthy of that top prize!

Now, on to the reading challenges!

The first challenge I’m doing is called the Book Challenge by Erin 7.0. She explains it on her blog, but the basic premise is that from July 1 – October 31, you need to read as many of the 10 books you’ve selected from the categories she provides. All books must be at least 200 pages long, and you can only use one book you’ve read before. Everyone who finishes the challenge will be entered into a drawing to win a small prize, plus the first three people who finish will contribute categories to the next challenge. She also has a Facebook group that looks like it’s pretty active.

Here are the categories and my selections:

  1. Freebie – Read a book that’s at least 200 pages – Love Story: A Novel (The Baxter Family) by Karen Kingsbury…she is my guilty pleasure author for sure!
  2. Read a book that starts with the letter “B” – Beastly (Kendra Chronicles) by Alex Flinn
  3. Read a book that has a (mostly) yellow cover – The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae (I don’t know much about her, but I heard an interview with her on NPR and thought she was hilarious)
  4. Read a book that has a picture of an animal on the cover – Dogs and Their People: Photos and Stories of Life with a Four-Legged Love by Morgane Chang
  5. Read a book that was published in 2017 – The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (I’ve read so many reviews that recommend this one. This is the book I’m most excited to read).
  6. Read a book with a compass or cardinal direction in the title – Heisman’s First Trophy: The Game that Launched Football in the South by Sam Hatcher (this is about my undergrad alma mater!)
  7. Read a banned book (since the challenge occurs during Banned Books Week) – The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  8. Read a fictional book about mental illness – Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
  9. Read a book with a non-human main character – The Underneath by Kathi Appelt
  10. Read a book a Disney movie was based on or a book based on a Disney movie – Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly

Some of these I chose because I’ve been wanting to read them, and the others I chose because they were available at work! #frugal #broke

If you want to join in this challenge, choose your books and join the Facebook group to let Erin know what you’ll be reading.

The other reading challenge I’m participating in is a little easier if the idea of 10 books is overwhelming to anyone! It’s called “Quirky Blind Date With a Book”. For this challenge, fill out a Google Form by July 1, and then shortly after you’ll be sent a mystery eBook to read and review. If you’re a first time participant, you’ll only be able to select one book. They also have a Facebook group you can join, and they also award prizes to some finishers. If you do sign up and put me (Amber McKee) as the one who referred you, I believe that gives both of us an extra entry in the prize drawing!

This challenge requires using a Kindle or the Kindle App. If you don’t have a Kindle, then you can download the app for free here! I’ve got the app on my iPad, and it makes it easy to read while I’m trapped with a napping child! 😉

Phew! This was a lot to cover, but I hope it inspires some of you to check out Head First or to get involved in one or both of the reading challenges! If you do decide to do one of the challenges, let me know which one and which books you choose or get paired up with!

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