Monday, September 24, 2012

Rave Reviews

Who loves a weighty book? Like literally-a thick and chunky, paper and ink book? I do.

Today I am doing a book review for you. Well, if you want to be specific, I am reviewing 3 books today. Three books that I have read in the past month that really rocked my world. In several ways.

Not the least of which being the fact that all three are eBooks. Yes, you read that right. This lover of libraries and "real" books, read 3 (!!!) eBooks this past month.

I have read a few eBooks in the past. Mainly when I was bored out of my gourd, and the library was closed. I downloaded a book on Stanza, and voila', reading material.

It was always my last resort, desperate option.

But, more and more new books are only being published as eBooks. It is cheaper for the author/publisher. And has far more original reach possibly than an old fashioned book.

And, I have to say it is rather convenient. You can store hundreds of books on a personal device, or laptop, and it isn't like you are schlepping hundreds of extra pounds of books around.

I may be an almost persuaded convert, but I am not quite ready to give up conventional books.

I have found that books that are formatted as ePubs read very well on my iPod Touch. ePubs will automatically format themselves to the device you are reading on. A PDF is not quite as simple. I have to manually expand each page to make it readable. This was not a problem on my lap top.

31 Days of Twitter
Who amongst us tweets? I know most of my IRL friends don't, but a whole lot of people do including most of my online friends. And if you tweet, this is a great book for expanding your influence reach.

31 Days of Twitter is an eBook written by Becky Robinson, the founder and CEO of Weaving Influence. She has been tweeting since 2009, and has over 15,000 followers. In social media, she has definitely figured out what works.

The premise to her book, 31 Days of Twitter, is that by investing 12 minutes a day for 31 days, you can get good at Twitter too. You can build your online influence.

12 minutes seems a rather random number, but by investing 12 minutes (a small enough chunk of time everyone can find in their schedule) 5 days a week to build your social media presence, you will spend 1 hour a week-which adds up to 52 hours a year.

That's 52 hours to connect with people. 52 hours to share what you know. 52 hours to encourage someone else.

In 31 Days of Twitter, Becky encourages you to set your timer for 12 minutes, and then implement the tip of the day.

These were very helpful tips. Tips on how to make conversation with the people you are following. To retweet things that catch your eye. To tweet about what you know. To tweet and tweet and tweet-at least 10 times every day. One day's tip was a list of 12 subjects to tweet regularly about. 

I must confess that I did not follow each tip. I did not implement each one. I am more of a sift and do what works for me kind of gal. (Which could be why my Twitter account did not grow exponentially.)

I do feel like my twitter time each day has become more meaningful. Rather than just wading through gobs of info, it is more purposeful. I have connected with people. Twitter has become more personal. More of a relationship.

31 Days of Twitter is available (here) for $7.99. If you are at all into Twitter it is definitely a great investment. You will learn some new tricks of the trade.

Trust, Hope, Rejoice
The second eBook I read this month was Trust, Hope, Rejoice by Elizabeth Johnson.

Trust, Hope, Rejoice is a 31 day devotional. If, like with 31 Days of Twitter, you invest a few minutes of your day reading this book, you are guaranteed to be encouraged and challenged. At least, I am guaranteeing you will be encouraged and challenged.

Trust, Hope, Rejoice is a compilation of 31 posts from Elizabeth's blog, DogFur and Dandelions. Each contains a short passage of Scripture to read with thoughts that amplify the text. They are thoughts that point you to trusting God. Challenging you to hope in God and His promises. Inspiring you to rejoice no matter what circumstances you are in.

What makes it especially poignant is knowing Elizabeth's back story. I met Elizabeth online back in July. She graciously allowed me to join her blog mastermind group. As I read her posts, I was amazed by her spiritual insight.

Insight that has been grown, tested and proven in fires of affliction. Elizabeth has lived with Wegener’s Granulomatosis since 2006. These truths she shares in her posts and in her book are truths she has found reliable in her own walk.

Trust, Hope, Rejoice is available free for the taking when you subscribe to DogFur and Dandelions. Click (here) to get your copy. You won't be sorry.

Work Shift
The third eBook I have to recommend to you today was truly inspiring. And, unlike the other two, it is not a 31 day book.

As a matter of fact, at 53 pages, this book is an easy read of just an hour or two. But, let me tell you, that hour or two is going to resonate with your soul.

Anne Bogel is the woman behind Modern Mrs. Darcy. On her blog, Anne writes about current women's issues. Her tagline is "redefining the accomplished woman."

In Work Shift, Anne tackles the current women's issue of blending work and family. She redefines the norm of striving for balance, by introducing the workable alternative of blend.

Anne starts her book with a look at the history of the workplace. Families working together prior to the 20th century, the rise of feminism, and the pressure to do it all.

She then gives a look at where we are now, and what modern women want from the workplace and life. She shares from her own experience of practicing "share care" with her husband. There are pages devoted to the idea of both spouses working, and sharing the responsibility for household chores and child care.

The thing that struck me is that Anne's example is not an anomaly. Women (and men) yearn for meaningful work. Something beyond doing the same house chores day after day, week after week. It resonates with my soul. I have found my outlet, my meaningful work, in blogging, and leading various Bible studies. Other women find their outlet in other things.

Anne gives practical advice on how this blending might look for you and how it could work for you. By sharing many other woman's stories, she presents you with many different options, one of which may line up with your circumstances.

Work Shift is available (here) for $8. If you want encouragement on how to begin your own brand of blending, this book is for you.

Well, friends, I must put in a disclaimer...all opinions expressed in this post are mine. I am not getting any remuneration for reviewing these books. I am only recommending books that have spoken to my heart.

I hope you will pick one or more of them to add to your fall reading list.

By the race went well on Saturday. I ran the half marathon in 1:55:15, which is a whole 6 minutes faster than my last time. I saw a guy with a t-shirt on that said, "13.1, I'm only half crazy." I hear to tell you that I am currently feeling every step of that half craziness.=)

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