Review: Kicking Ass in a Corset

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review as part of a book review tour with TLC Book Tours. 

This was a short but very insightful read!

Basically, this book uses 6 Austen heroines to display 6 different leadership principles and explains how to incorporate them into your day to day life.

The book had a slightly academic tone and structure since it is published by a university, but it still flowed well. The first chapter felt very much like an academic paper, but the rest of the chapters were more accessible. The academic structure was very helpful in keeping the book organized and on point. It was very easy to follow the author’s main points. 

I also liked that at the end of each chapter, the author included a short guide on how to use that principle. 

I’ve one ever read two Jane Austen novels, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility, so I was only familiar with two of the heroines. However, the author does a great job summarizing the stories of the heroines so I was still able to grasp what each one was about. That being said, if you want to avoid spoilers for a particular book, then probably skip that chapter because the summaries are not spoiler free. 

Lastly, I liked the range of the principles. They didn’t reiterate the same things over and over again. Each one was something new and together they made an intricate blend.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and will be using some of the principles in my life! 

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Review: I Used to Have a Plan

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (Harper Design) in exchange for an honest review.

This was such a gem of a book! 

The book is full of illustrations and sayings to help you through tough times. It is divided up into 5 sections for every step in your journey. I found the whole thing to be so relatable. My life has definitely not gone according to plan. There were many pictures/sayings that resonated with me. I particularly liked one in the beginning that said, “This was not how it was supposed to go” with a headstone that said “My ego” on the opposite page. That one hit hard. 

I loved the overall aesthetic of the artwork. It was very clean and simple yet still packed a punch. Because of its simplicity, it had a calming effect. 

I also liked the short introduction that the author wrote explaining the inspiration of the book. I can tell that the book comes from her heart and experiences. 

The book is fairly basic, so I wished there was a little bit more in terms of depth and content. It could have been expanded more. 

Overall, I loved how relatable this book is! I recommend it for anyone who may need a little pick me up after life knocks them down. 

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Review: Make Your Moment

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. 

I was so excited to read this book because the author, Dion Lim, is a news anchor in the Bay Area where I am from. I was already familiar with her so of course I jumped at the opportunity to read her book. 

This book was full of incredibly useful career advice for women. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, her advice works for everyone. The advice also isn’t outrageous; it’s realistic. 

The book is very accessible and well organized. It is super easy to read and gets straight to the point which is practical for women who may be busy with their careers. The use of bullet points in particular made the advice simple to digest. 

The best part of the book is that she embraces her identity as an Asian American woman. She uses her experiences to help shape her advice. Some people might try to downplay who they are to appear more credible, but not her. She stays true to who she is. It’s really refreshing to read a professional self help book from the perspective of a woman of color. I hope to see more of this because diverse perspectives are valid! 

Overall, I really recommend this book! It contains a great blend of personal experiences and solid advice. 

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Review: The Beatin’ Path

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Rating: ★★★

I received this book for free from JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review. 

This is a very unique book. It’s a collection of poetry, prose, and illustrations that deal with self discovery and self awareness. I’ve never read anything quite like it before. The illustrations were an excellent touch. They added a touch of whimsy and humor to the book. 

The book started off really strong. I really enjoyed the first section (the book is divided into 3). The pieces in this part were really thought provoking and offered a lot of food for thought.

However, things took a turn for the worse in the second section. Section two was way too long, approximately double the length of the previous section. A lot of the pieces repeated the same ideas, and after a while it got tiring to read. There wasn’t anything new being said. I also wasn’t a fan of all the anti-religion pieces in this section. I totally respect his viewpoint, but since there were so many of them, it just felt like a bombardment. This section could have been edited down significantly to achieve a better overall balance.

The last section was better than the second, but not as good as the first. It didn’t have that special something that the first section had.

There was also a playlist at the end featuring songs from some of my favorites like The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and  The Beach Boys. I absolutely love it when books have playlists so this was a big plus for me.  

Overall, there were some things I loved about the book (the first section, the illustrations, the playlist), and some things I didn’t love (the entire second section). But since it’s such a unique book, I do think it’s worth a read.

Review: Happier Thinking


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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

This is an interesting book to review because it is a very short (it’s only 50 pages) self help book. 

Please note that this book is written by a regular person, not some fancy expert. Riva makes it very clear right away that she is not a trained professional or anything like that. The book is just tips that she herself has used to make her thinking “happier.”

When I started reading the book, I was struck at how much I liked the writing style. The book is written in a very conversational and easy going manner. Even though the book was short, I enjoyed the style and I am curious to see what else she will write in the future.

The tips in the book are not groundbreaking in any way, but they are helpful. Most of the tips consist of altering your point of view from the negative to the positive. In my view, this book is great to read when you need a pick-me-up. If you’re going through a not so great time, this book serves as a reminder that you can change how you think, and thus have “happier thinking.”

Overall, this is a short book that you can read over and over again when times get tough.