Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Power of A Half Hour

Title: The Power of A Half Hour
Author: Tommy Barnett
Labels: Inspirational
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Publication Date: 2013
Recommended To: YA, Adult
Contains: N/A

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository | Kindle
Blurb From Goodreads: What can you do in 30 minutes? Have lunch? Watch television? Check Facebook? How about change your life? Why do some people achieve far more than others? We all get the same 24 hours in a day, yet a special few seem to have superhuman abilities when it comes to accomplishing great things in life.
Tommy Barnett, a proven master at “getting things done,” says the key to maximizing your productivity is to make use of small, manageable moments in your day—just 30 minutes at a time.  In this remarkably practical book, Tommy shows how to begin a whole new life of fruitfulness. You’ll see immediate results in all areas of your life, including your—Purpose and values, Personal goals, Faith, Character and attitude, Dreams, Career, Relationships, Marriage and family, Church involvement and ministry
Why not change time from being your worst enemy to your everlasting friend? It all starts with the amazing things you can do in only a half hour.  Through inspiring stories and biblical principles, discover how your downtime can have a major upside. Get going—you don’t have a minute to lose!
Although, I'm currently very disciplined in my time management, I haven't always been this way. And due to my busy schedule, I'm always on the lookout for ways to increase my time management and get the most out of my time. Hence, when I was given the opportunity to read and review The Power of a Half Hour, I jumped right on it. I don't regret it for one minute.

In this book, Barnett talks about ways and reasons to use half hour segments to the best of your ability and for the greatest purposes and outcomes. One of the things I really liked about the format of the book was that each chapter was short enough that even a slow reader could easily read at least one chapter within a half hour (I found myself making it through 1-3 per half hour). This format allowed me to immediately put into practice Barnett's concept of using half hour segments to accomplish goals.

Despite my extensive research on the subject, I still learned a great deal from this book and I definitely believe I gained from it. I definitely would recommend it to anyone who is looking to increase their time management and gain a better understanding of just how valuable half hours really are. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.

Boston Marathon: A Day of Remembrance

A year ago today was the bombing at the Boston Marathon. 
This unexpected and tragic event took several lives and injured hundreds, forever altering their lives as they knew them.
A year ago today I was in Boston, on the campus of the private college I attend.
I honestly couldn't tell you what I had been doing prior to discovering the news--homework probably.
I honestly don't even remember the exact moment I found out.
What I can tell you, is what happened after I found out.
I remember standing in the doorway of the lounge in my dorm, staring at the floor while listening to the frantic reporters on the news.
I didn't look at the screen, because at that point the bombs had gone off only moments before, and the news stations were putting on whatever footage they had. 
I remember avoiding looking at the pictures as I listened, because the reporter was saying that already the injured were being accounted for, some of which included lost limbs.
I remember thinking that if I looked at those pictures and, by some awful chance, caught a glimpse of injuries that severe, my already sensitive constitution wouldn't hold out.
After a few minutes I wandered back to my dorm room, only to leave a few minutes later and make my way to the main building and common lounge.
There, on the big TV screen on the wall, the news was also playing.
I remember sitting on top of the ping pong table as students gathered to watch the news together.
At that point the news stations were beginning to restrict which images they showed, and so I watched along with everyone else.
Only a small handful of images played on the screen, alternating back to a live reporter periodically.
I remember wondering what was going to happen--was this all there was to the bombing, or would more occur?
Was this just the start?
Thankfully it wasn't the start of something bigger--bigger than its already huge impact.
The Deans and Resident Assistants called and texted everyone to make sure everyone was accounted for--some of our students had been out and about that day, though thankfully none were in proximity of the bombing.
The campus went on lock down and we all waited tensely as Boston turned into a ghost town and grounds for a manhunt.
I remember calling my mom and telling her to be ready to change our plans for the weekend, because if they hadn't caught the guy by the time she was supposed to visit me, there was no way in heck I was going to let her come into the city.
I'm rather proud of Boston.
Technically, I'm not a legal resident of Mass. -- I'm just a student who spends most of her year in Boston.
I really haven't even lived in Boston for that long.
But Boston is my home.
Rather than falling apart at the seams, the people of Boston banded and grew together.
Boston has become much stronger through the endurance of this tragic event.
Even today, no matter where in Boston you go, you hear and see Boston Strong.
Today is a day to remember.
Remember those killed; remember those injured.
Remember the lives changed.
Remember to pray for the families left behind.
I wouldn't wish this event on anyone.
But it has made Boston stronger.

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Sensible Arrangement (Lone Star Brides, #1)

Title: A Sensible Arrangement
Author: Tracie Peterson
Labels: Fiction | Historical Fiction
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Recommended To: YA, Adult, Women
Contains: Age appropriate innuendos

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository | Kindle
Blurb From Goodreads: Marty Dandridge Olson is a widow looking for a way out of Texas. Widower Jake Wythe has secured a job as a bank manager in Denver, only to discover that the bank board wants him to be a married man. With Texas in his roots, he advertises for a Lone Star bride, and Marty answers the call. They both agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.
Marty works to carve out a new life in high-society Denver as Jake works to guide the bank through a collapsing economy. But when money goes missing at the bank and accounting discrepancies point to Jake, he must find a way to prove his innocence. Yet all he wants to do is go back to Texas and own his own ranch. Marty, on the other hand, owns a ranch–one she’s never told her husband about. She hates Texas because it represents the losses in her life. But as the couple grows closer and love begins to bloom, Marty realizes she needs to tell Jake the truth. Can she come to terms with the past and her anger toward God in order to make room for love?
Due to college, this is the first pleasure book I've read in a long time--and it came as a welcome relief! I've been dying for some fiction for so long, and this definitely helped my fiction addiction. Marty and Jake both quickly grew on me and their story interested me and, despite the lack of time, I managed to finish the book in a relatively short period of time.

For the better part of the book I was dying for Jake and Marty to legitimately get together (hopeless romantic kicking in...). The suspense got to be a bit much for me by the end--apparently I need to learn some more patience while reading. Haha! The plot was definitely unique, and one which I'd never seen done before, nor in the way Peterson chose to do it.

Overall I thought this was a great book. I found it easy to get lost in and involved in the characters and plot. I was happy with the ending, although I'll admit I wish there had been a little more detail or a little longer ending. Definitely recommended! I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.