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20

I wrote about 10 Places Where You Can Do Yoga with Goats! for USA Today 10Best.com. It was one of the most joyful experiences I’ve ever had. Just check out the photos!

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Books

right in time for summer reading: the boxes of books promotion is back!

Posted on June 14, 2016

bookshelves

Filled with vacations and lazy weekends, summer is a big reading season. So, back by popular demand, I’m offering another Boxes of Books promotion!

Many of you have been asking me to do one before the Fourth of July so here you go, my fellow book lovers.

All you have to do to get a big fat box filled with books meant for long flights or chaise lounges is follow these steps: more »

6 new book reviews!

Posted on April 6, 2016

books

I haven’t had a lot of time to read lately and, unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend some of the books I actually took the time to finish. But there are a handful I think you should definitely read. This is a pretty eclectic selection, so there’s something for everyone.

Enjoy, and please let me know what you’re reading now. more »

the fringe hours: making time for you

Posted on January 11, 2016

The Fringe Hours

Although the holiday craziness is over, in some ways this time of year is even busier. We’re trying to start 2016 off right by running to the gym, organizing our closets and signing up for classes.

But what we often forget in our desire for self-improvement is that one of the best things we can do for ourselves is slow down and take time to do the things we want to do rather than the things we think we should do.

“Yeah, right,” you’re thinking. “Like there’s even 10 minutes in the day to do that.”

I hear you. And that’s why I jumped at the chance to review The Fringe Hours Collection from (in)courage, Hallmark and Revell books. more »

books by my blogger friends

Posted on January 8, 2016

Books by bloggers

I’ve met amazing women through blogging and I wanted to end my Book Week by paying tribute to them and recommending some of the great books they’ve written, especially since they’re all non-fiction and many of you have requested suggestions in that genre.

You now have a solid reading list to get the year started for you and, because it would be helpful to also have a planner to keep track of them and everything else you want to do, I’m giving away a couple more of the fantastic Choices notebooks I’ve written about before from another blogging friend, Kimberley Montgomery.

You can enter below but first check out these eclectic titles. Happy reading, and I’m glad I’m traveling again soon so I can find time to read a new batch of books! more »

“the prime: prepare and repair your body for spontaneous weight loss” book review and giveaway

Posted on January 7, 2016

The Prime author photo

Thanks to Harmony Books for sponsoring this post. All opinions are, as 
always, 100% mine.

Losing weight has got to be the most common New Year’s resolution — it always seems to be one of mine — so I was eager to read The Prime: Prepare and Repair Your Body for Spontaneous Weight Loss.

Of course, I liked the idea of spontaneous weight loss. And I liked the fact that the book was written by integrative neurologist, Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, above. I always prefer a holistic approach and the fact that one was grounded so strongly in science really appealed to me.

Plus, I was intrigued by the message on the cover that said, “Stop Dieting Backward!” What did that mean? more »

if you liked “gone girl …”

Posted on January 6, 2016

Books like Gone Girl

It seems like every thriller that comes out now is compared to Gone Girl.

In fact, I’ve actually read a number of books simply because they were billed as “the next Gone Girl” or “the new Gone Girl.” And you know what? They weren’t.

I had such high hopes for The Girl on the Train but, sorry, I didn’t love it. I loved the idea of it and I love that Emily Blunt will be starring in the movie but the story just didn’t have that OMG moment that made me sit upright in bed when I had the flu and was reading Gone Girl. You know exactly which moment I mean.

The only book that actually did make me gasp like that was The Good Girl by Mary Kubica, which you have to read. I can see my mom and daughter nodding in agreement.

What publishers need to know is that we can still like thrillers that have nothing to do with Gone Girl. And we may even like them better because we’re not going into them with this new gold standard of expectations.

So, for your reading pleasure, here are six new thrillers that will keep you reading late into the night.

And, just to be clear, they probably won’t remind you of Gone Girl. more »

6 books to start off 2016

Posted on January 5, 2016

Books 2016

Okay, I’m devoting this first week of the new year to books. I’m determined to get back into my reading habit this year, and I know so many of you feel the same way.

Yesterday I posted my interview with Elizabeth Gilbert about Big Magic. If you have the itsy bitsy slightest desire to do something creative – write, paint, sew, whatever – but you have come up with a million reasons why you can’t do it, YOU MUST READ HER BOOK. And, lucky for you, I’m giving away a copy so go enter now and then come back here. I’ll wait.

I read a lot of books last year – mostly while traveling, which may actually be part of the appeal of travel writing for me – but I’m only going to write about the ones I recommend. Life is too short to waste on negative reviews and attention spans are too short for books that are mediocre.

So, here are half a dozen books to curl up with while El Nino keeps you housebound. I tried to cover different genres so there’s something to fit any mood. As always, please let me know what you’re reading. more »

my interview with elizabeth gilbert and a “big magic” giveaway

Posted on January 3, 2016

Big Magic

Could there be a better way to start the new year than with Big Magic?

I’ve been a huge fan of Elizabeth Gilbert since I discovered Eat Pray Love  — long before it became EAT PRAY LOVE — and audibly gasped when I saw the three words that pretty much guide my life. Her novel, The Signature of All Things, is the book that made me passionate about reading again during a disturbing dry spell, and I’ve seen her speak at two Oprah events and, most recently, in San Diego at a sold-out event I wrote about for the Del Mar Times.

Her latest book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, is another must-read but for different reasons. Her self-proclaimed “manifesto” is a guide to getting rid of all the excuses that are holding you back from being the creative person you want to be.

I finished it in a day and have recommended it to so many friends who have also gobbled it up and thanked me for this life-changing book. It’s the kind of book where you nod your head, and end up highlighting almost every sentence. It’s profound and practical and written as though your best friend is talking to you.

In my head, Elizabeth Gilbert is my best friend so doing a phone interview with her was absolutely one of the highlights of last year for me. Although the book came out in September, I wanted this interview to be my first post of 2016 so her words would inspire you to read Big Magic, stop making excuses and get out there and do the thing that makes you happy. Because inspiring is one of Gilbert’s great gifts.

Speaking of gifts, I’m also giving away a copy of Big Magic to one lucky subscriber so be sure to read the rules to enter after you read what Liz (yes, we are BFFs now) has to say: more »

isabel allende and words alive by elin stebbins waldal

Posted on December 14, 2015

Isabel Allende with Seth Lerer

One of my favorite events of the year is the annual Words Alive author luncheon. Last year, I got to listen to — and talk to! — Anna Quindlen, and previous keynotes have included big names from Alice Hoffman and Chris Bohjalian to Jane Smiley and Vanessa Diffenbaugh.

Words Alive is a fantastic non-profit organization whose mission is “to open opportunities for life success by inspiring a commitment to reading.”

I was disappointed that I had to miss this year’s luncheon because it took place while Michael and I were on our Viking River Cruise through the Heart of Germany. Thankfully, my good friend, Elin Stebbins Waldal, happily took my place so she could share her experience with you. more »

“joni mitchell: in her own words”

Posted on November 7, 2015

Joni Mitchell

Happy birthday, Joni Mitchell!

Like many women of my generation, I can pretty much define an entire period of my life through Joni Mitchell songs.

I remember spending hours lying on my twin bed listening to Blue and Court and Spark over and over again, wondering how she could possibly have seen my diary and put my thoughts and emotions to music, expressing them so much more articulately – and beautifully.

So I was excited to read Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words, which comprises a series of interviews she did over the years with her friend, Malka Marom. And that friendship brings a depth to the interviews that makes you feel like you really get to know Joni Mitchell. more »

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