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  • Jeff Somers 1:30 pm on 2018/05/16 Permalink
    Tags: alayna schroeder, big life changes, black & decker the book of home how-to, , buying a home: the missing manual, egypt sherrod, , home buying, home buying made slightly more simple, , How To, ilona bray, jack guttentag, jay anson, keep calm...it's just real estate, marcia stewart, , mark montano, , nancy conner, nolo's essential guide to buying your first home, real simple: the organized home, the amityville horror, the big ass book of home decor, , the mortgage encyclopedia   

    10 Books Everyone Should Read Before Buying a Home 

    Buying a home remains a huuuuge step in anyone’s life. While younger generations feel less pressure to hurry up and buy their own home, it’s still the ultimate goal of many of us to eventually own their own home. Homeownership is more than just a signal that you’re all grown up and ready to be an adult. It can also serve as an essential component of your net worth, retirement goals, and financial stability—not to mention a place where you can keep all of your stuff.

    But buying a house is scary—and it should be. It’s probably the single most expensive thing you’ll ever buy, the single largest loan you’ll ever take on, and one of the biggest responsibilities you’ll ever accept. Before you dive into mortgage brokers and real estate agents, open houses and the endless paperwork, here are ten books you should take some time to read in order to ensure you know exactly what you’ll be getting yourself into.

    Buying a Home: The Missing Manual, by Nancy Conner
    Start with some brass tacks. This book is a step-by-step guide that covers all the nuts-and-bolts aspects of buying a home, from choosing the house you want to assembling a real estate team ideal for your needs, figuring out mortgages and financing options, and dealing with inspections and other due diligence. If you think buying a home is a complex and overwhelming process, this book will take away much of the intimidation factor and mystery that surrounds many of the steps along the way.

    Nolo’s Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home, by Ilona Bray, Alayna Schroeder, and Marcia Stewart
    It’s always good to get a second opinion, and this guide covers similar ground to Conner’s book while offering a different perspective. Instead of one expert’s advice, this guide collects the wisdom of dozens of real estate professionals from every facet of the business—Realtors, loan officers, investors, landlords, buyers, and sellers. The end result is a plethora of advice, facts, and useful true stories from various perspectives that really make it easy to understand how things work and the impact of certain specific mistakes.

    Keep Calm … It’s Just Real Estate, by Egypt Sherrod
    If all the talk of mortgages, putting down roots, and dream homes is getting you anxious, you might want a more comforting tone. Sherrod, host of HGTV’s Property Virgins, offers a great mix of advice, facts, and humor in this book. The main takeaway from her advice is that buying your first home doesn’t have to be a stressful horrorshow if you take the time to do some research and be thoughtful in your choices. While this book isn’t as heavy on the facts and figures as the other guides mentioned, it’s a friendlier, kinder, and gentler approach that makes it easier to get your head around such a big decision while also making the process seem a lot easier and less frightening than it otherwise might.

    The Mortgage Encyclopedia, by Jack Guttentag
    The biggest part of the homebuying decision for most people is the mortgage, which is just a fancy term for “huge loan.” Many first-time buyers are stunned to discover how much they can borrow—or or how little—and mortgages come in so many shapes and sizes (and loan officers can be surprisingly creative in putting together financing packages) that it’s easy to worry that you’re going to get pressured into a bad deal. This comprehensive reference work offers everything you need to know about how mortgages work and the different options you’ll encounter, giving you the expertise you’ll need when figuring out how to finance your dreams.

    Real Simple: The Organized Home
    One thing many people fail to think about when searching for their first home is how they’ll organize it. Sometimes the problem is moving from a studio apartment to a 3,000 square foot home means you’ve got a card table in the dining room and absolutely nothing in the spare bedroom. Sometimes the problem kicks in when you clear out your storage units and discover you have turned your second bathroom into a place to store your boxes full of comic books. Either way, thinking about how you’ll organize your home before you move in will save you a lot of stress.

    The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo
    Similarly, Kondo’s runaway bestseller will get you into a crucial frame of mind: keeping things neat. A tidy, organized home will always seem bigger, newer, and in better shape than a disorganized, cluttered space. But when going from a relatively small space (or a space where cleaning and tidying duties were shared with others) to a larger space that’s all your own, keeping things neat can seem wearying and impossible. Let Marie Kondo show you the way before you move in.

    The Big Ass Book of Home Decor, by Mark Montano
    Something else you should start thinking about before you buy your first home is what you want it to look like. While some people grow up cutting out photos from magazines and collecting fabric swatches, just as many step into their first home and realize they have no idea how to choose paint colors, upholstery, and other home decor basics. Get a head start and reduce that first-week stress load by boning up on home decoration basics, while also getting a load of information about how to re-purpose items and otherwise make your new home pretty without spending a lot of money—money you probably don’t have because you just bought a house.

    Black & Decker The Book of Home How-To
    Once you’re in the house, trust us: no matter how comprehensive your home inspection was, things will go wrong. Repairing and maintaining your new house is an essential part of protecting your investment, and if you want to save yourself a boatload of money along the way, learning how to do at least some basic stuff is an absolute must. This book offers easy-to-follow guides on all the basics you’re going to face, offering an overview of everything that gives just enough information without overwhelming you with complicated details you simply don’t need to know about. Having this book packed up in a box before you move will give you some peace of mind.

    Finally, house-hunting can be so exciting you overlook some of the possible problems, so here are a couple of books to remind you to consider everything that can go wrong—or at least to deflate that sense of optimism that might lead you to buy more house than you can handle, or to ignore downsides. In the horror classic The Amityville Horror, by Jay Anson, you’ll get a good dose of house-hunting paranoia as the Lutz family is driven from their dream home in just a month by a malevolent force they maintain was very real. And in Mark Z. Danielewski’s modern classic House of Leaves a family discovers that their house is larger on the inside than the outside—something that might be cause for celebration when you’ve just finished calculating your price-per-square foot, but which serves as a reminder that no matter how much due diligence you do, a house is a place of secrets.

    Now that you’ve done the reading, go ahead and start house-hunting. Just remember the biggest lesson from those TV shows: don’t fret about the colors on the walls. Paint is cheap.

    What books would you recommend to potential homebuyers?

    The post 10 Books Everyone Should Read Before Buying a Home appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Ross Johnson 5:00 pm on 2017/12/29 Permalink
    Tags: david zinczenko, fresh starts, , How To, keenan mayo, meditation for fidgety skeptics, melissa hartwig, , , the super metabolism diet, the whole30 fast & easy cookbook, the wisdom of sundays: life-changing insights from super soul conversations   

    7 Books for a New Year, New You 

    January is almost here! Now’s the time to get your resolutions on the fast-track with 7 books that will help you achieve a happier, healthier 2018.

    The Whole30 Fast & Easy Cookbook: 150 Simply Delicious Everyday Recipes for Your Whole30, by Melissa Hartwig
    Whole30 is all the buzz lately when it comes to fitness and healthy eating, refining a diet style based around eating unprocessed foods with minimal carbs, and eliminating sugars and alcohol. Which will be a lot easier now that the holidays are over, am I right? This new cookbook focuses on convenience, with recipes from Whole30 co-creator Hartwig designed to get you feeling right with minimal time in the kitchen.

    Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book, by Dan Harris, Carlye Adler, and Jeffrey Warren
    Science has begun to back up the promise of meditation, with benefits that many of us could be enjoying. There are a lot of barriers, though, from misconceptions to confusion about where to begin. ABC News anchor Harris teams up here with meditation teacher Warren to take a cross-country journey exploring some of the myths that keep people from trying it out and interviewing people who’d like to try about why they haven’t. From it all emerges some simple, practical instructions about how to get started and why.

    The Whole30 Day by Day: Your Daily Guide to Whole30 Success, by Melissa Hartwig
    If you’ve started on the Whole30 program of eating minimally processed foods and cutting out sugars, or if you’re just interested, this book is designed to make it easy. It’s intended by program co-creator Hartwig as a daily guidebook to healthy eating; sort of like a portable eating coach. It’s got day-to-day reminders, tips, guidelines, as well as inspiration and ideas for tracking your progress and staying motivated.

    Bobby Flay Fit: 200 Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle, by Bobby Flay, Stephanie Banyas, and Sally Jackson
    Bobby Flay’s method here is less about eliminating anything from your diet, and more about making the most of each meal. The idea being that you can make satisfying, flavorful recipes using lean protein, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables by knowing how to use your spice drawer. The balanced recipes utilize low-calorie flavor enhancers like rubs and marinades to jazz up meals, and Flay also offers up some satisfying breakfast, snacks, and smoothies as well as some fitness tips to keep your energy up and the weight off.

    The Little Book of Lykke: Secrets of the World’s Happiest People, by Meik Wiking
    Inspired by the happiness habits of his homeland of Denmark, Wiking set out to discover not just what makes Danes so generally happy, but what secrets could be found in other parts of the world. Focusing on six factors—togetherness, money, health, freedom, trust, and kindness—Wiking looks at what makes people content and satisfied all over the world, whether it’s by savoring a meal or dancing a tango. It’s full of tips based on Wiking’s journeys and research into what makes people happy, and how we can apply those lessons to our own lives.

    The Super Metabolism Diet: The Two-Week Plan to Ignite Your Fat-Burning Furnace and Stay Lean for Life!, by David Zinczenko and Keenan Mayo
    Eat This, Not That! author Zinczenko joins Keenan Mayo to provide a complete guide to getting your metabolism going in 2018. Many of us are feeling pretty sluggish this time of year, so it’s a good time to get things cranking. The book includes recipes and menus for keeping that engine going in-between meals, along with shopping guides and workouts. The focus is on balanced proteins and carbs as a way to feel full and full of energy.

    The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations, by Oprah Winfrey
    Going beyond just our bodies in 2018, Oprah’s new book collects some of the most extraordinary moments of insight and inspiration from her Super Soul Sunday television show. Authors, teachers, writers, and celebrities—people like Shonda Rhimes, Thich Nhat Hanh, Wayne Dyer, and Arianna Huffington share what they’ve learned about finding purpose and making connections in a busy world. The book includes several photographs, as well as an intimate essay from Oprah herself.

    What’s on your new you to-do list?

    The post 7 Books for a New Year, New You appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jeff Somers 6:30 pm on 2017/10/16 Permalink
    Tags: How To, jill of all trades   

    50 Books That Will Make You a Modern-Day Polymath 

    All it takes to become a modern-day polymath is a bit of light reading—or, a lot of heavy reading. If you read the books on this list and pay attention, you’ll walk away able to discuss just about anything with the confidence of an expert. We’re not saying these books represent the sum total of human knowledge, but…it’s close.

    The Fifth Discipline, by Peter M. Senge

    What You’ll Learn: How to, you know, learn.
    First and foremost, learn how to get the most out of these books by prepping your brain to absorb knowledge as efficiently as possible. Senge’s book gives a fresh perspective on how to acquire, comprehend, and retain knew knowledge and skills—and if you’re going to tackle the other 49 books on this list, those are skills you’re gonna need.

    How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman

    What You’ll Learn: How to cook, well, everything.
    We all have to eat, after all, and it’s more or less a proven fact that eating take out every night is bad for you in a lot of ways, including financially. Knowing how to cook is an essential life skill, so why not learn how to cook everything?

    Understanding Comics, by Scott McCloud

    What You’ll Learn: How to read comics and graphic novels intelligently.
    Let’s face it, comic book adaptations are dominating television and film right now. Until the money stops rolling in for superhero and graphic novel projects, you’re gonna need some knowledge to be able to fully appreciate the source material.

    Learning to Program, by Steven Foote

    What You’ll Learn: Programming.
    There’s a growing philosophy that in the modern age knowing the basics of programming is an increasingly necessary skill just for daily living. In the same way our parents needed to know the basics of car repair, we need to know how to create an app rather than relying on super-rich Silicon Valley nerds to do it for us.

    Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess, by Bobby Fischer

    What You’ll Learn: Chess.
    Why play chess? For one, it’s one of the oldest games ever played. For another, humans’ ability to play chess may be all that’s standing between us and our computer overlords. Fischer was nuts, but he was a genius at the game, and his book (written before his full-on breakdown) remains a classic.

    Wilderness Survival, by Gregory J. Davenport

    What You’ll Learn: How to stay alive, no matter what.
    You never know when a casual hike or camping trip or nuclear war might turn into a kill-or-be-killed adventure in the woods. Being an expert on things like building shelter, starting a fire, and knowing which purple berries will kill you might someday save your life.

    How to Fix Absolutely Anything, by Instructables

    What You’ll Learn: How to stop buying new every time something breaks. We’re living in a consumer society and the whole engine will stall if we stop replacing everything all the time. But you also need to worry about your personal bottom line, which means being able to repair things when you want to.

    Economics Explained, by Robert L. Heilbroner

    What You’ll Learn: How the world works.
    If you’ve ever wondered why some folks are billionaires despite obvious mental limitations while you, reasonably smart, earn peanuts, it’s time to become an expert in the artificial systems we’ve created that run the world. While being able to explain economics to yourself might not make you a billionaire, it will at least show you how it could be done.

    The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, by Charles Papazian

    What You’ll Learn: How to make your own beer.
    Beer is not only one of the surest signs of mankind’s intelligence, it’s also an alcoholic beverage you can legally make in your own home. The question really is why wouldn’t you want to become an expert in it?

    The Everything Music Theory Book, by Marc Schonbrun

    What You’ll Learn: How music works—no matter what instrument you choose.
    Being able to play a musical instrument is a wonderful thing, allowing you to be creative and entertaining all at once. Learning music theory is the backbone that will make it possible to play just about any instrument, so starting here is the smart move.

    Modern Carpentry: Essential Skills for the Building Trades, by Willis H. Wagner

    What You’ll Learn: The fundamentals of carpentry—or, how to build anything.
    If you’ve ever tried to hire a contractor for a home improvement project, you have no doubt experienced the burning wish to be able to just do it yourself to a professional level. Learning how to build is the expertise you need to take control of your own physical world.

    Building the Perfect PC, by Barbara Fritchman Thompson and Robert Thompson

    What You’ll Learn: How computers work, and how to build one.
    Building a computer isn’t just empowering, it’ll save you huge amounts of money. Becoming an expert in how computers work and how all the components fit together is probably the most essential skill of the modern age.

    A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson

    What You’ll Learn: A basic understanding of science.
    Bryson’s classic book ranges widely in subject matter, but what you’ll gain from it, really, is a fundamental understanding of the universe we live in. Just resist the urge to drone on at parties about what you’ll learn, which is more or less everything.

    Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards

    What You’ll Learn: How to start drawing.
    Being able to translate the images in your brain to a visual medium is a tremendous feat—and it’s a skill you can learn. You might not be the next artistic wonder, but you can certainly learn how to draw, which is an expertise you can apply to everything from website design to cute notes sent to your crushes.

    Writing Your Novel from Start to Finish, by Joel Bates

    What You’ll Learn: How to write that novel.
    We’re living in the Golden Age of self-publishing—and everyone has at least one novel in them. Get that book out by becoming an expert in the unexpectedly complex arts of rising and falling action, world-building, and showing, not telling.

    Emily Post’s Etiquette, by Peggy Post

    What You’ll Learn: How to behave, you animal. Manners and etiquette might seem like quaint notions from another age, but they shouldn’t be. Knowing the rules is what allows us to break them thoughtfully, after all.

    Haynes Manuals, by Editors of Haynes Manuals

    What You’ll Learn: How to repair whatever vehicle you own, all by yourself—yes, it’s possible! Did you know that the featureless black plastic that greets you when you open the hood of your car are just there to hide the engine? Car makers don’t want you repairing your own vehicle, but these manuals will put the power back in your hands, and save you plenty of money.

    Fluent in 3 Months, by Benny Lewis

    What You’ll Learn: How to become fluent any language.
    While the world waits for advanced translation implants (or the discovery of Babelfish), it’s also getting smaller by the hour. Being able to learn a new language as needed is a skill that might save you a tremendous amount of trouble someday in the (much nearer than you think) future.

    Windows on the World Complete Wine Course, by Kevin Zraly

    What You’ll Learn: How to appreciate, pair, and order wine.
    Wine isn’t nearly as complicated as some might want you to think, and really all that matters is that you’re enjoying whatever you’re drinking with dinner tonight. But a little expertise in wine is not only impressive to the unwashed masses (i.e., your friends) it will also increase your enjoyment of life in general.

    The Times Complete History of the World, by Richard Overy

    What You’ll Learn: How we got here, and why.
    If you’re at all surprised at what’s happening in the world, you haven’t been paying attention. A knowledge of history is like having the cheat codes to this game called life.

    Make: Electronics, by Charles Platt

    What You’ll Learn: The basics of working with electronics.
    We’re long past the time when you could reasonably exists without using electricity. Every aspect of our lives is ruled, augmented, or made possible through electronic components, and yet most of us have no idea how any of it works. Becoming an expert in electronics is like becoming a wizard.

    Practical Algebra, by Peter H. Selby

    What You’ll Learn: How to apply basic math skills to make your life better.
    If you were one of those people who thought “Algebra: when will I ever use this in real life?” back in school, the time has come to admit that the universe is just math in physical form—master math, master the world.

    The Vegetable Gardeners Bible, by Edward C. Smith

    What You’ll Learn: The fundamentals of growing your own food.
    So, the zombies are on the march and the local grocer has been ransacked by terrified families. No worries, because you’ve got a garden producing all sorts of edibles … don’t you? If not, this book will give you the expertise to have a delightful garden that doubles as your zombie insurance.

    Fight to Win, by Martin Dougherty

    What You’ll Learn: How to defend yourself.
    Every time you get out of bed, your chances of being attacked by ninjas doubles—and it’s not zero when you’re in bed, either. Everyone should know the basics of defending yourself. You don’t need to be a martial arts expert—you just need to be an expert in some of the basic self-defense moves that give you a fighting chance to defeat an attacker. Or, zombies.

    HTML & CSS, by Jon Duckett

    What You’ll Learn: How to roll your own website.
    It’s the 21st century and just about everything you do goes through the Internet and some kind of website. People have websites for no professional reason, including, probably, you. But do you know the first thing about how they work? HTML5, CSS, and other languages are the lingua franca of the modern world.

    The Bar Book, by Jeffrey Morgentaler

    What You’ll Learn: How to make amazing cocktails.
    Every adult should know three things: how to cook, how to ride a bike, and how to mix a good cocktail. Cocktails being the cherry on top of civilization, being an expert in mixology instantly makes you the most interesting person at every party.

    The Zombie Survival Guide, by Max Brooks

    What You’ll Learn: How to survive the zombie holocaust.
    Speaking of zombie gardens and self-defense: the dead rising from their graves is more or less inevitable according to every religion and every single SFF book ever written, so why not be the hero of your block? When future histories are written, the only names any one will remember are the folks who fought off the undead hordes, after all.

    Crochet for Beginners, by Tarie Fondertak

    What You’ll Learn: How to crochet.
    Being able to take raw materials like colored bits of string and transform them into useful things is the sort of skill people used to take for granted. The bonus to becoming an expert crocheter is the meditative, zen aspects of keeping your hands busy while your mind is free to roam and de-stress.

    Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey

    What You’ll Learn: How to take control of your finances.
    Financial expertise isn’t necessarily about killing the stock market, it’s about fundamentals—paying your bills, building up a rainy-day fund, and preparing for retirement. This book will give you the basic knowledge you need to pay down your debts and set yourself up to be able to do anything you want.

    The NPR Curious Listener’s Guide to Classical Music, by Tim Smith

    What You’ll Learn: An appreciation for the music of the past.
    There’s no law that says you have to love classical music—or jazz, or hip hop, or rock. But before you can dismiss a genre of music, you owe it to yourself to know something about it, so you can dismiss it from a position of expertise.

    Total Yoga, by Tara Fraser

    What You’ll Learn: The basics of yoga.
    Yoga is great exercise for the body and the mind. It keeps you limber, builds balance, coordination, and muscle strength, all while offering a spiritual connection between your brain and your limbs that can lead to a less stressful, more mindful existence.

    The Everything Philosophy Book, by James Mannion

    What You’ll Learn: The basic tenets of philosophy.
    If you thought math wasn’t going to be useful in your daily life, philosophy probably seems even less so. Being an expert in the basics of philosophical thought makes you an expert in the sum total of the human experience, though—we’re all just trying to figure out why we’re here, and being able to sum up the viewpoints of geniuses on the subject is powerful stuff.

    Casino Games, by John Gollehon

    What You’ll Learn: How to look like you belong on the casino floor.
    If you’re going to gamble, why not gamble smart by becoming an expert on the games? This sort of expertise also allows for that awesome moment when you demonstrate that you actually know how to play baccarat, just like James Bond.

    The American Red Cross First Aid and Safety Handbook, by The American Red Cross

    What You’ll Learn: How to save a life—maybe your own.
    There’s absolutely no reason every single person shouldn’t be an expert in first aid. We’re living in a society here, and one of the basic rules of civilized society has to be not letting people around you die due to your own ignorance.

    Essentialism, by Greg McKeown

    What You’ll Learn: How to manage time, and the rest of your life.
    Time is a precious resource; none of us now just how much of it we have, and there’s no way to get more of it. The only thing you can do is master the art of organizing your time and using it wisely. That’s what this book will make you an expert in.

    A La Carte, by Sherrill Canet

    What You’ll Learn: The fundamentals of interior design.
    Like it or not, at some point in your life you’re going to look around your hovel and want to redecorate. It’s part of getting older and actually, you know, owning things. If you want your efforts to result in a space you actually want to live in, best to become an expert in interior design with a book like this one.

    The Cognitive Style of Power Point, by Edward Tufte

    What You’ll Learn: How to use Power Point effectively.
    Power Point is a hideous mark against humanity, it’s true, but if you find yourself working in an office chances are you’re going to have to deal with it. Learning how to use it well is the difference between a conference room full of sleeping people and a team carrying you out of the meeting on their shoulders in triumph.

    Go, by Chip Kidd

    What You’ll Learn: The basics of graphic design.
    We’re living in a world where the term “personal brand” is no longer something only actors and spokespeople have to worry about. Seeing that we’re all the CEOs of our personal destiny, being able to design the face you present to the world is as essential skill as you can find.

    The Trainable Cat, by John Bradshaw and Sarah Ellis and Modern Dog Parenting, by Sarah Hodgson

    What You’ll Learn: How to be a better pet-parent.
    Millions of us have fur babies, and most of us act like they’re mysterious aliens whose desires and needs are unknowable. But they are knowable—all you need is a bit of expertise, and you could have well-trained, well-behaved, and very happy pets.

    First Time Sewing, by The Editors of Creative Publishing International

    What You’ll Learn: How to sew.
    Before you could buy a pair of pants for less than a childhood allowance from the 1970s, people used to sew their own clothes all the time. Become an expert and you can launch your own fashion line, just like Kanye.

    Marathon, by Hal Higdon

    What You’ll Learn: How to train for a marathon.
    If you want to live longer, you’re going to have to exercise, and running is the easiest way to do that. It costs nothing but time and determination, and the best way to become an expert on running is to train for a marathon, regardless of whether you ever actually intend to run one.

    Real Happiness, by Sharon Salzberg

    What You’ll Learn: How to be more mindful.
    Meditation is itself a super power, a way of clearing the confusion and stress from your mind, enabling you to focus on what’s important. Become an expert at being centered, mindful, and present in the moment and watch in wonder as every other aspect of your life blooms as a result.

    The Filmmaker’s Handbook, by Steven Ascher

    What You’ll Learn: How to make a film or video.
    Youtube is by far the most powerful and influential website in the world—it has its own celebrity culture, after all—because we’re living in the video age. If you want to be truly part of the modern world, learn how to make a video. If that leads to you making Citizen Kane Mark Two, all the better.

    Basic Plumbing, by Howard C. Massey

    What You’ll Learn: How to keep the water flowing in your house.
    Water is life, and if you’re blessed to live in an area of the world where they pump clean water into your home for a nominal cost, appreciate that. And then learn how to maintain it, control it, and reconfigure it.

    The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, by John C. Bogle

    What You’ll Learn: How to work with the stock market.
    If you’ve mastered economics and personal finance, the time might have come to actually build a little wealth. Become an expert on the stock market and give yourself a fighting chance to become one of the capitalist oppressors we hear so much about.

    The Complete Guide to Wiring, by The Editors of CPi

    What You’ll Learn: How the basic wiring in your house works.
    Similar to water, most of us enjoy the magic of electricity flowing through the walls of our home, enabling air conditioning, microwaved burritos, and television. Instead of viewing electricity as some sort of Harry Potter magic, learn how to control this force and then use it—for good or evil, your choice.

    A History of God, by Karen Armstrong

    What You’ll Learn: How the modern religions of the world evolved.
    One thing most folks don’t think on much is religion. It’s either whatever you inherited from your parents, or it’s not a part of your life at all. Become an expert in the historic truth behind the major religions, and it’ll either enhance your sense of faith, or give you factual arguments against it. Your choice, as god intended.

    How to Read Novels Like a Professor, by Thomas C. Foster

    What You’ll Learn: Hoe to be an expert in literary analysis.
    Most people read for pleasure, and don’t spend much time thinking hard about what they’ve just experienced. Learn how to really read a novel by learning just how the sausage is made. If nothing else, you’ll come away with the power to be really, really annoying at cocktail parties.

    How to Find Out Anything, by Don Macleod

    What You’ll Learn: How to find out anything.
    If the other 49 books on this list don’t lead you true Polymathism, this one will show you how you can patch any knowledge gap. After all, there are both known and unknown unknowns, and as the latter become the former you’re going to need to brush up on your expertise.

    The post 50 Books That Will Make You a Modern-Day Polymath appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 3:00 pm on 2017/10/11 Permalink
    Tags: 1 page at a time, 52 lists for happiness, 99 things that bring me joy, abrams noterie, adam j. kurt, andrea pippins, becoming me, crown publishing group, cynthia scher, dream journal, How To, i am here now, , lisa currie, lisa nola, meera lee patel, moleskin, q&a a day, sasquatch books, , spirit listophgraphy, start where you are, studio oh, the artist's way workbook, the grass is green enough, the happiness project - one sentence journal, the mindfulness project, the positivity kit, this time next year, write it down   

    20 Journals and Workbooks for Finding Your Inner Wisdom 

    The world is filled with people who are eager to tell you how you should feel and what to do about it, but if you’ve ever found yourself exhausted after trying to follow all their advice, you know it’s just noise. The best way to find clarity, calm, and confidence is to uncover how you really feel, spend some time questioning the stories you’re telling yourself, and accept the truths you discover. Guided journals and workbooks are a beautiful way to tap into your intuition and own experience, and the ones on this list will help you move away from “should” and toward real wisdom and self knowledge.

    The Happiness Project One – Sentence Journal, by Potter
    Journaling doesn’t have to take a lot of time. In fact, just recording a sentence a day can help you identify patterns and themes. Inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s personal Happiness Project, this simple journal will help you make reflection a part of your daily life.

    I Am Here Now, by The Mindfulness Project
    Make mindfulness more than an aspiration with this guided journal. Playful prompts encourage you to pause and turn inward. Observe your mind, body, and emotions with meditation “field notes,” mapping, letter writing, and more.

    Moleskine Smart Writing Set, by Moleskine
    If you’re struggling to bridge analog and digital life, this pen and notebook set offers the experience of writing on paper with the organization and access that comes with digitizing your handwriting. This is perfect for anyone who uses their journal as a planner for both life and work.

    52 Lists for Happiness, by Sasquatch Books
    As gorgeous as it is useful, this weekly journal will prompt you to pay attention to all the positive elements that are already present in your life. Simply fill in lists like Things You Are Really Good At and Scents, Spaces, Textures, and Sounds that Bring You Joy. You’ll enjoy the process—and looking back whenever you need a boost!

    Start Where You Are, by Meera Lee Patel
    With delicate watercolors on every spread, this interactive journal invites you to accept the messy uncertainties of life and protect your dreams and desires, even when you aren’t sure how you will manifest them. Thoughtful prompts will have you making charts, drawing, writing, and more.

    Dream Journal, by Knock Knock
    Wake up to wisdom with this journal that’s designed to help you record and reflect on your nightly dreams. Cheaper than a session with a psychiatrist and more energizing than another nap, this is a book for anyone who knows the answers are inside, if they can just figure out what they mean!

    The Positivity Kit, by Lisa Currie
    When you have the right prompts, journaling just feels good! And this interactive book is filled with them. There are pages for drawing your dream home, a place to nerd out with a positivity playlist, and even a spot for designing your next tattoo! What could be better?

    Q&A A Day, by Crown Publishing Group
    What if every day for a year, you wrote a tiny bit about your life? And then what if you did the same thing for the next five years, and your answers were all next to each other, so you could see yourself growing older and wiser all at once? Wouldn’t that feel good? This journal offers a compact way to do just that! Write, transform, write again. It will all be captured here.

    The Grass Is Green Enough, by Studio Oh!
    When you’re tired of thinking the grass is always greener on the other side, this guided journal will help you see the sunny side of life. With quotes on happiness, peppy prompts, and an emphasis on positivity, perspective, gratitude, goodness, and happiness, you’ll be smiling in no time.

    Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal, by Lighthouse Publications
    If you’re intrigued by bullet journaling (bujo to those in the know), you’ll want to try this creamy, dreamy journal. Lightly dotted paper that never bleeds through, a pocket for keepsakes, a prenumbered table of contents…it’s pure bujo bliss!

    99 Things The Bring Me Joy, by Abrams Noterie
    Musing about everything from sunny weather to compliments is sure to bring you joy. With charming illustrations and simple yet marvelously specific prompts, this journal will help you ignore all the marketing chatter that surrounds us, and instead tune into what makes YOU happy.

    642 Tiny Things to Write About, by Chronicle Books
    If you struggle with turning blank pages into truth when you journal, this chunky collection of prompts may dissolve your writer’s block. Bit by bit, and page by page, you’ll capture who you are and what your life is like.

    It’s Gonna Be Okay Inner-Truth Journal, by Knock Knock
    Intuition often tells us that we might not know how, but it’s all going to work out eventually if we can just hold on. Remind yourself of this inner wisdom with a journal that’s filled with optimistic quotes and reassuring prompts. Journaling as comfort food? Sounds yummy!

    Wreck This Journal, by Keri Smith
    This classic book has sold more than 7 million copies (!) for a reason. It’s packed with creative activities that will help you turn off your inner critic and think an original thought, and its highly sensory nature will help you get out of your brain and into your body.

    One-Minute Gratitude Journal, by Brenda Nathan
    If developing a gratitude practice has been on your New Year’s resolution list for years, but you never manage to do it, this journal offers an easy way to get started. There’s even space for drawing what you’re grateful for on days when writing feels too tricky.

    Becoming Me, by Andrea Pippins
    If writing feels too black and white, this colorful approach to journaling may help you tap into your inner wisdom. Uplifting quotes and prompts are designed to help you express yourself. And with Pippins’ gorgeous lettering and illustrations, this will surely be your most beautiful journaling experience yet!

    The Artist’s Way Workbook, by Julia Cameron
    This companion to the bestselling book provides everything you need to put Cameron’s exercises into practice. Whether you’re an artist, writer, dancer, or simply a human being with human questions, this workbook includes tasks and check-ins to help you tap into your innate creativity.

    This Time Next Year, by Cynthia Scher
    Isn’t this what it’s all about? This time next year, we want to feel different, better, stronger. With daily prompts, this journal will help you know yourself better. And a year later, when you look back at what you’ve written later, you’ll be ready to build a life that’s all your own.

    1 Page at a Time, by Adam J. Kurtz
    Create something every day, that’s Kurtz’s philosophy. Whether it’s a drawing, a list, a poem, or a moment of reflection, this journal invites you to make space to create—every day. Thoughtful prompts and a quirky design will help you do just that!

    Spirit Listography, by Lisa Nola 
    With their emphasis on brevity and speed, listographies are cousins of bullet journals, and their juicy themes can inspire you to move beyond the blank pages of an ordinary journal. This title focuses on helping you visualize and get intentional about creating a balanced life with a healthy mind, body, and spirit.

    What journals do you love?

    The post 20 Journals and Workbooks for Finding Your Inner Wisdom appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jeff Somers 2:53 pm on 2017/07/19 Permalink
    Tags: be the book club you wish to see in the world, , , , , How To, into the water, , , the jane austen book club, , wine   

    The Introvert’s Guide to Being a Book Club for One 

    Reading is usually a solitary activity (unless you live in New York City and ride the subways, in which case you have been subjected to either some deranged person reading out loud from a book or someone reading along with you over your shoulder on a packed train). That’s one reason reading remains a powerful experience—you’re not part of a hive mind audience, you’re all alone, just you and the words someone else created, crossing space and time to find you.

    Sometimes that solitude gets to be a bit much, and naturally we all have the urge to discuss the books we’ve read, to share our insights and be exposed to someone else’s (or, possibly, just to make fun of the author’s penchant for ellipses or their dreadful Marty Sue addiction). Which is fine if you’re someone who enjoys being with other people—you can join or start a Book Club. A few friends, a bottle of wine, and a book and you’re set to go.

    But what if you don’t like being with other people all that much? What if the thought of offering up an opinion on a book in front of other people makes you nervous? Well, you can still get the benefits of a Book Club all on your own. Here’s our step-by-step guide to setting up an Introvert’s Book Club.

    Step One: Choose a Book

    Obviously you can’t have a book club without a book to discuss. And you might be tempted, out of efficiency or laziness, to choose a book you’ve read already, but we advise you to read a new book for this endeavor. Reading a book knowing you’re going to Book Club it is a different experience, because you’ll be reading with a slightly sharper focus, you’ll be keeping an eye out for discussion points. And, most importantly, you won’t have the option of being lazy and assuming you’ll remember a book you read five years ago. So, pick a new book, like Into the Water by Paula Hawkins.

    Step Two: Choose a Bottle of Wine

    The biggest mistake people make when setting up a Book Club is assuming that the book is the most important aspect of the Club. This is provably false. Book Clubs are all about the free exchange of ideas and the vigorous debate concerning the artistic merit and success or lack thereof regarding a work of art. Alcohol is a helpful lubricant here, a way of loosening you up so you don’t hold back about your opinion of the flashbacks. Choose the wine (or beer or whiskey or whatever) wisely. Of course, books can help here, too; why not read up on wine in Wine by Andre Domine?

    Step Three: Make Notes
    Reading a book with an eye towards discussing it formally is different from just reading it for pleasure. Make notes as you go, circle passages that affect you, scribble insults to the author in the margins, tear out whole pages and pin them to a corkboard—whatever works for you. This isn’t just an exercise; making notes as you go will force you to read thoughtfully instead of passively. You won’t just be enjoying the flow and surprise of the story, you’ll constantly be reading between lines and making connections. Which you’ll need because of…

    Step Four: Locate Discussion Questions

    While some Book Clubs, we’re sure, become mere excuses for some friends to sit around and drink with an air of literary sophistication, the point is supposed to be to expand your understanding of the work (if you’re not certain how Book Clubs work, you can read about them in novels like The Jane Austen Book Clubextra Meta Points if you choose that for your first Book Club read). That’s where the questions come in. Some books come with Book Club Discussion Questions already worked up in the back, and many more have Book Club questions available at the author’s or publisher’s website.

    If there are no prepared questions for you to use, make your own! There are plenty of suggestions for generic Book Club questions (here’s one link), but of course since this is a One Person Book Club, you can do whatever you want, so we have a few suggestions:


      • Did you ever experience the urge to throw this book across the room? Did you? Actually throw it, we mean? If you had the urge, but did not follow through, what restrained you?
      • At any point while reading this book, did you find yourself weeping uncontrollably? Were you on public transportation at the time? Did everyone get up and move away from you?
      • On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to anonymously leave this book on someone’s desk at work with a note suggesting they would enjoy it?
      • If this book were adapted into a film, would you totally go to that theater downtown that’s always empty at one in the afternoon, sit all the way in the back, and watch it unless some kids came in and sat near you?
      • How likely are you to a) name pets after the characters in this book; b) begin dressing like a character from this book; c) use familiarity with this book as a way of judging new people?

    Step Five: Start a Blog

    The key to a Book Club is the expression of ideas and the debate thereon. If you don’t actually comment on the book you’ve read, there really isn’t a club, not even a club of one. So, set up a blog—anonymously if you wish—to be the repository of your bookish thoughts. It doesn’t matter if anyone actually reads it. You don’t have to promote it or send out links to everyone you know. It’s just going to be where you formally organize your drunken thoughts about a book. If you keep it anonymous and turn off comments, you won’t ever even know what other people think, so you won’t have to worry about arguing with people who turn out to be tireless 15-year old trolls whose idea of fun is to argue anonymous with people until they burst into tears. Not sure how to start a blog? Luckily, there’s a book for that.

    Book Clubs can be raucous, fun gatherings of like-minded people seeking to elevate their conversation. Or, they can be one-person efforts to be more mindful of your reading. What do you say—will you start a One Person Book Club?

    The post The Introvert’s Guide to Being a Book Club for One appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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