Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Tigress and the Yogi by Shelley Schanfield

A talking tigress. A wandering yogi. A young woman’s journey through an ancient land where chaos threatens gods and mortals alike.

A tigress speaks to the outcaste girl Mala, and she flees in terror only to collide with an old yogi. She offers him shelter, and in return he spins wondrous tales and awakens her hunger for forbidden spiritual knowledge.

Thus begins her quest for freedom. On her journey she meets gods and goddesses, outlaws and kings, and the young prince prophesied to become the Buddha, but when she loses everything she loves, her quest goes terribly wrong. She descends into madness, worshipping a dark goddess and mastering occult powers. Yoga’s path could lead her back to the light, but inner demons guard the way, and she must summon the courage to face them or wander in darkness forever.

Love it!

It has been awhile since I've been very engrossed in a story. This one mixes Buddhism, Indian's Mythology and you eagerly turn the pages to know what will happen next.

I've really enjoyed Mala's tale even if her path is not an easy one. She has overcome a lot of pain and suffering, tried a lot of roads to be able to let go of her anger and revenche desire.
As for Kirsa, I can't wait to learn what the author has for her in store. I'm sure I will have to keep the kleenex nearby!

Well written and entertaining, I've really spent a great time with this book.

"The lotus has its roots in the dark mud and opens its pure flower to the infinite sky, the way we all have darkness within and struggle to reach the light"

“Within each of us is understanding of the whole universe. You had the right idea – close your eyes to see better!”
“You can’t pretend what you did as Angulimala didn’t happen.” Asita’s sharp tone stooped the tears of self-pity threatening Mala. “If you try, it will become a dark shadow that follows you. At first, you ight be able to ignore it, but the more you do that, the more power you give it. Then you will try to run from it, but you can never escape. You can only dispel the shadow by entering its darkness, accepting what you’ve done, taking the lessons you’ve learned from it and using them for good.”

“Some sages say that what we call reality is just a shared hallucination.”

About the author
The martial arts awakened Shelley Schanfield's fascination with Buddhism and yoga. It happened fifteen years ago, when she and her son were pursuing black belts in Tae Kwon Do in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Tae Kwon Do, like all the Eastern martial arts, includes techniques developed by Buddhist monks to calm and focus the mind. These techniques gave her a refuge and source of strength when devastating illness struck her family. She set out to learn as much as she could about the Buddha’s methods and how he developed them.

It helped to be a librarian. At first in the dusty stacks of the University of Michigan libraries and later on the internet, Shelley immersed herself in research on the time, place, and spiritual traditions that 2500 years ago produced Prince Siddhartha, who became the Buddha. Yoga, in some form, has a role in all of these traditions. While studying yoga’s history, Shelley was inspired to begin her own practice.

Her research sparked her curiosity about early Buddhist women, including Yasodhara, who became Siddhartha’s wife. Because she loves historical fiction, she conceived the mad idea of writing a novel of the Buddha's time. (If only she'd known what she was getting in to...)

Thus began the Sadhana trilogy.

Shelley hung up her black belt to practice Iyengar yoga. Both disciplines have enriched her world and the world of her books.

*Arc provided by Netgalley
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Joy of Less by Francine Jay

Francine Jay pioneered the simple living movement with her self-published bestseller, The Joy of Less. 

In this fully redesigned and repackaged edition—featuring never-before-seen content—Jay brings her philosophy to more readers who are eager to declutter. Rather than the "crash diet" approach found in other tidying up books, Jay shares simple steps to cultivate a minimalist mindset and form new habits, paving the way to lasting success. 

Her easy-to-follow STREAMLINE method works in any space—from a single drawer to a closet, room, or entire house. What's more, it can be called upon during clutter-inducing life events such as moving, getting married, having kids, or downsizing. With an airy two-color interior design and lovely hardcover package, 

The Joy of Less is a refreshing and relatable approach to decluttering that belongs in every home.

The minimalistic view of life is something I really believe in. The fact that your mind, creativity and relationships can be changed when you empty the space you live in. wanting less is helping you to gain freedom and see life clearly.

People always wanted to own more stuff, to buy and to keep. But it don't bring you happiness. You are like a boulimic, busy to put stuff into your life because you are afraid to miss or lack.

But as soon as you understand that you don't need all the objects, all the new devices or the last fashionable clothes, you start to breath again.

This book is interesting if you want to learn more about the minimalistic lifestyle and how to declutter. Nothing new under the sun but it's well written and the advices are well put.
If you want to change your life, this book will help you to go room by room to clean your space as well as to clean your relationships.

It's a good one to understand you don't need to buy and possess to fulfill yourself and be happy. A good way to find freedom from the marketing and advertising pressure and to become your true self.

About the author
Francine Jay is the bestselling decluttering expert and founder of She has helped hundreds of thousands of people organize their homes and simplify their lives, and has been prominently featured in national media. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

*Arc provided by Edelweiss
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Reinventing Green Building by Jerry Yudelson

Reinventing Green Building: Why Certification Systems Aren't Working and What We Can Do About It by Jerry Yudelson
Buildings and their associated systems are the largest source of greenhouse gases in the world. The 2030 Challenge aims to produce zero-net energy from new North American construction by 2030 while achieving a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions from existing buildings. With less than 4 percent of commercial and residential structures in the United States and Canada certified by 2015, we seem destined to fall catastrophically short of this target.

Reinventing Green Building combines a unique, insider's critique of the current state of affairs with a potent vision for the future. This highly visual, data-driven analysis brings together the wisdom of today's leading practitioners including:

Up-to-date information on green building issues, energy economics, and new technology Dramatic new approaches to certification system design and user experience Creative, outside-the-box solutions using the Internet of Things, big data analytics, and cloud-based technologies for building management

The green building revolution has failed to fulfill its promise to transform the marketplace in a meaningful way. Smart, simple, and sustainable: Reinventing Green Building presents a new approach to certification, designed to radically cut costs while dramatically increasing marketplace acceptance integrating true climate mitigation and better building performance.

Even if I'm not working in architecture, I'm interested in green homes, the minimalistic concept and in the sustainable development. We should all be concerned about it if we want to preserve a quality of life on this planet.

This book is a great exploration into the architecture revolution and about going green. What has not been working and how we can change it. Not just to follow a trend but because we want to have a civic engagement and to live in a better environment.
Through quotes, pictures and very interesting studies, the author show you the economical, politcal aspects of the approach.

A real great read!

About the author
Jerry Yudelson, PE, LEED® Fellow, is the author of 13 full-length professional and trade books on green buildings, integrated design, green homes, water conservation, building performance and sustainable development.
Dubbed ‘The Godfather of Green’ by Wired Magazine, his passion for optimizing the built environment is reflected by his many years of professional experience in the green building and certification fields, serving as an elected LEED Fellow and as president of the Green Building Initiative.
Jerry also served on the national board of the USGBC and chaired the Steering Committee for the largest green building show, Greenbuild, from 2004 - 2009. His previous books include Dry Run, Choosing Green and Green Building A to Z.

*Arc provided by Edelweiss
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Kaze Hikaru by Taeko Watanabe Vol. 24

In the 1860s in Japan, a new era is dawning. During this time fraught with violent social upheaval, samurai of all walks of life flock to Kyoto in the hope of joining a band of warriors united around their undying loyalty to the Shogunate system.

This group became one of the greatest (and most infamous) movements in Japanese history...the Shinsengumi!

When word arrives that the renowned assassin Sakamoto Ryoma is active again, the Shinsengumi must come up with a plan to stop him. Sei, still undercover as the male warrior Kamiya Seizaburo, tries to persuade her superiors that he’s not the threat they believe him to be, but to no avail. Will she take matters into her own hands, despite the risk to herself and her troop?

Still following the adventures of Kamiya and Okita Sensei. In this volume, Kamiya end up in trouble of getting herself killed because of her huge heart.

We also focus on the captain and vice-captain friendship. From the begining of their meeting to their dreams of becoming Bushi.
It was cute and funny as always.
Like the drawing and wish a real development will happen between the two main characters!

*Arc provided by Edelweiss
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hell Week by Erik Bertrand Larssen

Hell Week: Seven Days to Be Your Best Self by Erik Bertrand Larssen
From world-renowned mental trainer Erik Bertrand Larssen, whose clients include Olympic athletes and Fortune 500 CEOs, Hell Week is a military-inspired yet accessible guide to making the critical changes necessary for long-term professional and personal success and overall lifestyle improvements.

Norway native Erik Bertrand Larssen is many things: a veteran paratrooper who served in Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Afghanistan; a successful entrepreneur; and a critically acclaimed performance consultant. He has helped catapult the success of countless high-achievers, including Microsoft, Boston Consulting Group, and Statoil ASA executives and Olympic medalist Martin Johnsrud Sundby and top golfer Suzann Pettersen. His life-altering and revered method improves performance by getting people to push themselves past the brink of self-imposed limitations.

Central to his technique is the commitment to live and experience just one week as your best self. It’s this week, Larssen says, that will be the catalyst to making the most of the rest of your life. Offering accessible tools and pragmatic, inspirational advice including how to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, Larssen’s game-changing Hell Week shows you how to apply his principles to everyday life, leading to lasting improvement, personal and professional success, and most importantly, a new way of living to a higher standard. Hell Week will resonate with and inspire you to be the best you can be and make everlasting positive changes in all aspects of your life.

A great way to boost your motivation, change and take charge!

It was an interesting read if you want to correct some of your habits and decide to make some changes in one week. While reading this book, you receive a good kick in the derrière trough examples of people who have take the same steps as yourself.
You will have also tips and motivational quotes to boost your will to take this new step and start a program.
Like the dynamism, the positive direct talk that will not try to make it feel easy to embrace this Hell Week.
Haven't tried yet, as I wanted to finish the book first and was not able to clear my schedule but the author words have already had a postive impact on my mind.

About the authorErik Bertrand Larssen is a performance consultant who energizes people into successful careers and happier lives. After serving with the military as a paratrooper, he worked in the telecom industry, moved into headhunting and then started mental and career coaching.

Holding a Masters degree in business economics, Erik is the number one mental trainer in Norway with clients ranging from business executives at Fortune 500 companies to Olympic medalists. An Oslo, Norway native and a father of five, Erik splits his time between his hometown and New York City.

*Arc provided by Edelweiss
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The 15-Minute Psychologist by Anne Rooney

The 15-Minute Psychologist introduces the reader to universal aspects of psychology that affect our day-to-day lives and relationships and offers insight into many of life’s dilemmas. 

Written in a style that’s amusing and easy to understand, The 15-Minute Psychologist lets you in on the secrets of your own and other people’s minds and helps you get the most out of life.

To be honest I was expecting a different book based on the title. Something probably more oriented about troubles and anxiety. Instead I received a great and enjoyable read to discover through time and experiences how science has come up with nowadays therory about pschycology.

From the best way to raise a child by giving attention and letting him/her cry, from tests on animals to detect the behaviours, it was real pleasant to pass some time with this book.

Far from boring, I've learned cool stuffs about violence, video games, memories, how our brain see things or pschychopath. And it's written in a real fun and interesting ways with pasts examples, historical ones or drawings.

Unexpected and interesting!

About the author
Anne Rooney gained a degree and then a PhD in medieval literature from Trinity College, Cambridge. After a period of teaching medieval English and French literature at the universities of Cambridge and York, she left to pursue a career as a freelance writer. She has written many books for adults and children on a variety of subjects, including literature and history. She lives in Cambridge and is Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Essex.

*Arc provided by Netgalley
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Feeling Good by Menelaos Apostolou

Feeling Good: An Evolutionary Perspective on Life Choices by Menelaos Apostolou

Every day, people make life choices that, ideally, increase their evolutionary fitness - the chances of survival and successful reproduction - and lead to positive feelings of fulfillment, accomplishment, and happiness. Sometimes, however, individuals experience quite the opposite: feelings of sadness caused by fitness-decreasing choices. Fortunately, many advancements in evolutionary theory and evolutionary psychology have increased humans' capacity as a species to address the question of how to live a life characterized by more positive than negative feelings.

Feeling Good reveals anyone can learn how to trigger mechanisms that generate positive feelings and increase positive fitness levels. The key is to employ an evolutionary perspective on how mental mechanisms generate feelings in relation to our life choices.

From an insightfully evolutionary perspective, Feeling Good examines how to find and keep a mate, make good career decisions, build a solid social network, deal with death and negative influences, and make life choices in general that can lead to better and more sustainable mental and physical health. Menelaos Apostolou deepens our understanding of human nature by exploring what is good and evil in an evolutionary sense as well as in relation to religious dogmas; and whether making fitness-increasing life choices can lead to more good or more evil acts.

We are all looking after happiness. So when I've seen this book, I thought it will be interesting to know more about the mechanism of positive and negative feelings.

I've appreciated the examples to make you understand a point as well as the absence of judgement. It's about facts.
Of course, in reality it's much more subtle but when you read this book, you understand even better that the happiness is in your own way of seeing and dealing with your life. You can increase your change by changing your perspective and taking actions.

I've liked the various topics scanned by the author, from loneliness, friends, mating, sex and work.
An interesting read if you want to comprenhend how to feel good!

Great read!

About the author
Menelaos Apostolou is an assistant professor for the School of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Law at the University of Nicosia. His previously published works include Sexual Selection under Parental Choice: The Evolution of Human Behavior. In addition, he has authored more than 50 scientific articles.

*Arc provided by Edelweiss
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Dazeworld by Chris Ellis

Dazeworld: The Artwork of Chris Daze Ellis by Chris Ellis, Sacha Jenkins

This is the illustrated story of New York artist Chris Daze Ellis's successful transition from the subways to international studios and galleries. Follow his 30 year career from his teen years as a graffiti writer to his current life as a professional painter, mentor, and family man. 

This book, with more than 250 photographs, is a journey that tracks seminal moments in Daze's life that shaped his art. 

View his aesthetic evolution, from "Graffiti High" (New York's High School of Art and Design) and an "unsanctioned" street art phase to exhibitions with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Train photos from the 1970s and '80s, a broad representation of Daze's studio and mural works, and personal photos guide the reader through an artistic portfolio spanning five decades. 

Contributions by graffiti writer Jay "J.SON" Edlin and essayist Claire Schwartz, and a foreword by graffiti historian and chronicler Sacha Jenkins complete this volume. 

Street art is an art that amazed me and I really enjoy to know more about it.

In this book, you learn about Daze's world as an artist. Through his eyes you discover the graffiti, the underworld art as well as the evolution of New York from the 70th to nowadays.
A great original view of an art.

Tha fact that Daze has started his work on trains also captivated me. As we often think of graffiti as a nuisance and an act of incivility, and of course some times it is, it was also cool to see paintings made to embellish the cars. The art robs them of the murky atmosphere by adding some colors.  It was interesting to understand; how this artist was trying to be part of the city by making everything his canvas.

Worldwide famous for his art, his numerous exhibitions and huge projets around the world, Chris Daze Ellis has had an real impact on street art and its recognition.

Perfect book, if you want to learn more about the artist and its art!

About the author
Chris Daze Ellis began painting the gritty New York Subways in the mid-1970s while attending the High School of Art & Design. His work can currently be found in galleries and museums worldwide.

*Arc provided by Edelweiss
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

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