February Book Reveal: A.W.E. Book Club

This week has been uber busy for me and I am on a wild study schedule right now, but I really wanted to take a break from my studies to reveal the February A.W.E Bok Club novel! This month we are taking it back to the 1920’s where we will follow a woman named Rose Baker through her daily life as a police stenographer. When a new typist joins the staff, Rose is led into taking new risks.

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The book is The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell. We are in the ride together on this one. I saw this book as I was perusing the Barnes and Nobles on campus. I purchased it and now it has been sitting on my bookshelf gathering dust for the past few months. After starting the year off right with the optimistic Srinivas Rao, a historical fiction, thriller, dark-comedy felt like the right way to branch off next. If this isn’t really your type of book either, hopefully, next month’s will be for you. However, I am going to recommend that you read this one regardless of you literature taste. Don’t knock it until you try it, right?

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My copy of the book does include a reader’s guide which I do intend to look through and pick some questions from. These may help guide the reading, but they may also just be a great way to conclude any left-over thoughts at the end of the month. I hope no matter how hectic life gets, these monthly book suggestions and discussions help you escape reality if not for a moment and help you just take a breath. The goal here is not to add stress or more work but to suggest reading material and give you something to enjoy and look forward to. Thank you for reading the February A.W.E Book Club novel reveal and here is to a February full of adventure!

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January 2017: Unmistakable Part 2

No matter where you are in the process of A.W.E Book Club, let it be currently reading the book, already read the book, or what the heck is this, thank you for ending up here. I want to discuss certain sections of Unmistakable: Why Only is Better Than Best by Srinivas Rao and hopefully spark conversation with you. The quotes I’m discussing are quoted below to help you keep up no matter where on that scale I mentioned earlier you may be. So, without further ado, let’s dig in!

I’m definitely jumping around here and these are not all of my favorite quotes from the book, but these are a few that stood out to me and I felt would be good to mention. Let’s start with this one:

Exposing yourself to a diversity of inputs is like combining spices to make dishes that nobody else could make but you.

On page 152 of my copy, this line just hits home for me. When he talks about “a diversity of inputs,” Rao is talking about forms of entertainment such as books and movies, but it can apply to so many aspects of life. It can be very tempting to stick to what we know and love. I don’t know about you, but when I go to restaurants I tend to order the same thing every time. I do this to avoid the chance of getting something I don’t like. We often let fear get in our way even if it is about something as silly as what we order for takeout. We do what is comfortable. However, being comfortable in our choices doesn’t always make us a confident person. So, what does actually makes us who we are?

A large part of our personalities comes from what we choose to consume both literally and figuratively. Literally, if I choose to be a vegan, that becomes part of who I am known to be. Figuratively, if I choose to only watch romance comedies, I will then only be able to reference and get along with people who accept the same genre. I may be able to be friends with someone who doesn’t like romantic comedies but the conversation may be sparse. (Of course, I am only speaking on the topic of movies here.) If I open my mind to new things, like an action movie or reading every now and then, I widen my range of thought and also add more to my bank of conversation making it easier to get along with me.

It would be really nice if we could shield ourselves from adversity, trauma, heartbreak, and all the other negative parts of life. No amount of visualizing, chanting mantras, or repeating affirmations will prepare you for these inevitable experiences.

Now, I really want to discuss the two comments this section of text is sandwiched between which come from page 156. Above, I really want to argue what he is saying. As somebody who struggles with anxiety, I see the need in mental preparation. Affirmations and so on for many people are that little boost that can provide them with motivation and keep them going throughout the day. Saying that these actions are unable to prepare a person for harsh experiences may be a bit of an overstatement. It’s what came next in the book that reinvigorated my belief in Rao’s suggestions.

As my mentor Greg Hartle told me, “The problems don’t go away, what changes is your capacity to handle them.”

This advice from Hartle invalidates Rao’s previous statement while also supporting it. Affirmations are a way to mold mental state. Some days repeating to myself that “I can do this” and “I am worth this” prepare me mentally for what is to come. I change my mental capacity without ridding of the actual problems that sometimes don’t even exist as anxiety can blow small problems out of proportion. Experiencing the death of someone you were close to or breaking up with someone for the first time are experiences we have to live through to truly understand them. However, in both situations beforehand and after, it is that mental control and fluidity that allow us to cope and grow stronger.

If we are going to acheive unmistakable mastery of any craft, our view must be long term.

This is from page 53 of the book. I’m choosing to end off with this quote with the hopes that you look back on everything you have done in your life and look how far you have come. Look back on that and then look forward to what is yet to be. If so much can change from five or ten years ago, where will you be in five to ten years from now? Also, I hope that you will choose to grow with me and everyone else who chooses to be part of the A.W.E community. Writer or not, I hope you feel at home reading what A.W.E is here to say. I’m constantly trying to improve my craft. As I announced on Facebook, A.W.E turned two on the 29th. This little birthday may be for a small number but it is a huge accomplishment looking back on how much progress has been made. “Our view must be long term.”

Thank you for looking at these few quotes with me and I hope you will voice your opinion in the comments below. Check back very soon for the February book reveal!

 

January 2017: Unmistakable Part 1

You are unmistakable! Did you read it yet? Huh, did ya?! Well, if you don’t know what I am talking about go check out January Book Reveal: A.W.E. Book Club. A Writers Earth has a book club and I want you to be a part of it! Reading does a lot of good for you. It is a great way to expand your knowledge, relax, and for my fellow writers out there become a better writer in general. If you do know what I am talking about, welcome back! January has flown by (can you believe it?!) and that means it is time to talk about our January book, Unmistakable: Why Only is Better Than Best by Srinivas Rao.

The great thing about this post is that there are no spoilers, so if you haven’t read the book yet, read on freely! You are an individual. Trying to be the best is basically impossible because you are the only you that exists. However, we still manage to compare ourselves to others. It can be hard to see yourself as a work of art who is valuable and set apart from the rest of the crowd; nonetheless, it is still true. I hope this book helped pick you up and worked as a great way to start off the new year. Quite a few people don’t really enjoy self-help books or reading words of encouragement and that’s okay. Books we read the rest of the year will range all through the spectrum of book genres.

I hope that if you have not read the book yet or are one of those people who doesn’t like the positive go-get-em’ type books that you will take a chance and read this one. Whether you are trying to start a business or feel you have lost your drive in school, or any situation in between that is, Rao has a way with his words that will help you remember why you started it all. You could be in the line-up or you could be tumbling in a massive wave. (Book reference. Go read it!) Where you go from there is up to you.

The great thing about these posts is that even though this book was for January, no matter when you choose to read it or no matter how late into the year you decide to comment, the conversation never has to come to a close. Comment below and let me know your thoughts on the book. If you have any suggestions for the coming months please comment with those as well. Check back soon for part 2, discussion on specific moments from the text and why they stand out.

January Book Reveal: A.W.E. Book Club

HAPPY NEW YEAR! The ball has dropped and 2016 is gone! Some are crying tears of joy right now while others are welcoming in 2017 as though it’s just another year like any other. Whether it is a joyous day or just another day for you, it’s important to enter 2017 with your best foot forward. Start the year off right with the first A.W.E Book Club novel of the year… *drum roll*…Unmistakable: Why Only is Better Than Best by Srinivas Rao.

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This book will give you the positive energy you need to refresh your perspective on life. Was 2016 dull for you? Do you feel stuck in one place? Have you been listening to your criticizers more than your supporters? Be the only one not the best one. Take it from Rao himself who made his dream reality. In his writing, he gives real life examples of his philosophy, how he came to them, and why they work. Rao runs a podcast series titled The Unmistakable Creative Podcast. Click the image below to hear Rao talk about his book.

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Here’s to a year full of great opportunities, new friends, amazing memories, and great literature. To writers and readers alike, happy new year! If you have any book suggestions or questions, comment below or email through the contact form.

 

Book Club #3.1: One Day

Four weeks of April means four weeks of conversation. This week let’s cover part one, chapters 1-5, of One Day by David Nicholls.

I will lead discussion in the comments below by asking a question.

If you cannot comment or would like to contact me then click here–> Contact, and you can email me your comments, questions, or your answers to discussion questions. If you would like me to post a comment for you please tell me and include the name you would like your comment to be under.

Go!

Book Club #3.0: One Day

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February is over which means we can get back into book club. I hope you enjoyed a month off and to those who are joining us for book club for the first time you chose a great time to begin.

This month we will be reading One Day by David Nicholls. This may be my favorite romance novel. The book focuses on two main characters, Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew. On July 15th, 1988 the two met for the first time and from that day on they couldn’t forget each other. Over 20 years pass. Every year on July 15th, the day they met, it is revealed where the two have gone whether it is together or apart.

Life gets busy, so I have put together a reading plan for anyone who would like it. Please, read on your own time at your own pace. What I am giving you is simply a suggestion. This week read part one which is chapters one through five. Next week read part two, chapters six through nine. The third week of March read part three, chapters 10 through 15. The next week we will finish off by reading parts four and five, chapters 16 through 23. The last week of the month we will finish off with discussion and analysis. It is at this point that you may watch the movie if you wish. (Prepare for disappointment. As for most of the time, the book is better.)

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Visual Reading Guide for One Day by David Nicholls

Happy reading!


 

One Day can be purchased online or in stores near you. Look for it at your local library. Click on the image at the top of the page to be redirected to purchase One Day from Amazon.com.

Book Club #2.2: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children Prologue Discussion

It’s January and the time for discussion has come.

SPOILER ALERT! If you have not yet read the book and do not wish to have any prior knowledge of happenings from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, please refer to post #2.0 or #2.1 for more information.


Importance in the Prologue

Paragraph one of the prologue reveals many things about the story. Something to notice is Riggs’ repetition of the word extraordinary. This hints to us about the many ‘out of the ordinary’ subjects covered throughout the plot. Whether it may be peculiar children, shape shifting bird headmistresses, wights, or hollowgasts nothing is quite ordinary about Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Two other items to notice in the first paragraph is the mention of “before and after” as well as the mention of Abraham Portman, Jacob’s grandfather.

The mention of the before and after is what Riggs’ uses to bring his story back around. It was mentioned in the prologue, the before, and the last page of the story, the after. It is important to realize how dynamic Jacob is as a character and how his before and after are not only peculiar but relatable. This is when he realizes that even his ordinary life was a little more extraordinary than he previously thought. The mention of Abraham in the first paragraph is simply necessary for the story to make any bit of sense.

The rest of the prologue also held some particularly interesting details about the story. We find out about Jacob’s childhood and this is when we are first introduced to the peculiar children and the “monsters” who are later very important to the story.

This is also when we find out about the photographs that are scattered throughout the book. One may realize that the four photos shown at the end of the prologue are of the characters who aid in helping get back Miss Peregrine at the end of the novel. It could be argued that Millard is pictured first because of his importance throughout the story. However, the first true photo in the story is of Emma on the inside cover page. Even before Abraham was mentioned in the story we are given a picture of Emma first. It seems that her importance goes above all. Whether it is because of her involvement with the peculiar men of the Portman family or how without her there would be no story is up to you. 

The cover photo on my book is of Olive. This photo may vary depending on the copy of the book and is more based on enticing readers instead of being pertinent to the story, however, it is very important as well. If you disagree with anything I said or would like to share on what you found in the prologue, please comment below! Check back for more discussion on the book this week.


Check back tomorrow for the character list!