>Library Loot April 13,2011

> In the past when I went to the library I was like a kid in a candy store. I would grab off the shelves left and right- after all, they were “free!” Sadly, I would reutrn a good portion of those unread. Now I’m a little more sensible in how many I check out. While I still check out to many- they’re “free!”- I am able to read nearly all I bring home BEFORE their due dates.

Library Loot is a weekly event co hosted byMarg from Adventures of an Intrepid Reader and Claire from the Captive Reader that encourages bloggers to show what great books they were able to check out from their local libraries. I love this event because I see books that I know are readily available now not something I will have to wait weeks for to come out.

Here’s what I chose this week:

No drinking. No smoking. No cursing. No dancing. No R-rated movies. Kevin Roose wasn’t used to rules like these. As a sophomore at Brown University, he spent his days drinking fair-trade coffee, singing in an acapella group, and generally fitting right in with Brown’s free-spirited, ultra-liberal student body. But when Roose leaves his Ivy League confines to spend a semester at Liberty University, a conservative Baptist school in Lynchburg, Virginia, obedience is no longer optional.

“There,” says Alice Hayward to Reverend Stephen Drew, just before her baptism, and just before going home to the husband that will kill her that evening and then shoot himself. Drew, tortured by the cryptic finality of that short utterance, feels his faith in God slipping away and is saved from despair only by meeting with Heather Laurent, the author of wildly successful, inspirational books about…angels.

Heather survived a childhood that culminated in her own parent’s murder-suicide, so she identifies deeply with Alice’s daughter, Katie, offering herself as a mentor to the girl and a shoulder for Stephen- who flees the pulpit to be with Heather and to see if there is anything to be salvaged from the spiritual wreckage around him.

But then the state’s attorney begins to suspect that Alice’s husband may not have killed himself…and finds out that Alice had secrets only her minister knew.

Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. “The days are long, but the years are short,” she realized. “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.

With humor and insight, she chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from pop culture about how to be happier.

Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions: give proofs of love, ask for help, find more fun, keep a gratitude notebook, forget about results. She immersed herself in principles set forth by all manners of experts, from Epicurus to Thoreau to Oprah to Martin Seligman to the Dalai Lama to see what worked for her-and what didn’t.

Her conclusions are sometimes surprising-she finds that money can buy happiness, when spent wisely: that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that “treating” yourself can make you feel worse; that venting bad feelings doesn’t relieve them; that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference-and they range from the practical to the profound.

Have you read any of these? Let me know honestly whether you liked them or not!

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5 responses to “>Library Loot April 13,2011

  1. >So, clearly, I'm very excited about your first pick; I just reviewed The Unlikely Disciple on my blog today and it's certainly my favourite book I've read so far this year. I really liked The Happiness Project too.Enjoy your loot!

  2. >I've heard of the first one where the student goes to Liberty for a semester….but haven't read any of them. Hope you enjoy!Here's my loot: http://myreadersblock.blogspot.com/2011/04/library-loot-april-13-19.html

  3. >@Claire- I saw your review this morning and laughed. Glad I picked a good one.@Bev, I just checked out your loot! Thanks for sharing!

  4. >Hi Angie.I've always wanted to read The Happiness Project. I try to be an upbeat, happy person and think I'm pretty good at it, but I have the feeling that I'd learn a TON from this book. The other two novels look really good as well. Hope you enjoy them. 🙂

  5. >Christine- I've always loved reading books that give me a different perspective on things and that's what I think the Happiness Project will be. I don't think I'll hear anything new, but probably seen in a whole new light. Should be fun!

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