Tagged: Nonfiction

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Charles Duhigg's THE POWER OF HABIT  - nonfiction - personal development - productivity - psychology
Jenn reviews Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit

About the Book

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business,  Charles Duhigg

Adult, Business and Money

Random House (February 28, 2012)

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • This instant classic explores how we can change our lives by changing our habits.
 
“With the days of pulling all-nighters and eating pizza at 2 a.m. (hopefully) behind your new grad, there’s no time like the present to get into a good routine.”—Real Simple
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Wall Street Journal • Financial Times
 
In The Power of Habit, award-winning business reporterCharles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to the sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

About the Author

My name is Charles Duhigg, and I’m a reporter for The New York Times. I’m also the author of The Power of Habit, about the science of habit formation, as well as Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Productivity in Life and Business (which is available for sale on Amazon on March 8, 2016!)

I’ve worked at the Times since 2006. In 2013, I was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize for a series about Apple named “The iEconomy”. Before that, I contributed to NYT series about the 2008 financial crisis, how companies take advantage of the elderly and national violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. (For those series, I won the National Journalism Award, the Investigative Reporters and Editors’ Medal, the National Academies’ reporting award and other recognitions.)

But let’s be honest, you aren’t visiting this page so I can brag about series and awards. (Unless you’re my mom. Hi mom!)

I’m also a native of New Mexico. I studied history at Yale and received an MBA from Harvard Business School. I now live in Brooklyn with my wife and two children and, before becoming a journalist, was a bike messenger in San Francisco for one terrifying day.

I would love to hear from you. I’m at charles@charlesduhigg.com.

Jenn’s Review

Ever wonder why some habits are easier to change than others? Ever pondered what makes us tick? Why is it so hard to quit smoking or stick to a diet? Check out Charles Duhigg’s THE POWER OF HABIT.

Through engaging, real life examples drawn from personal lives and history alike, Duhigg shines a light on the psychology and neuroscience behind the things we do automatically. He explores the science behind AA, business successes and failures, and the psychology behind the Montgomery bus boycott, and why it became the catalyst for the Civil Rights movement.

Between story illustration, science, and practical tactics, the reader has a down-to-earth explanation of the habits and how to change them.

This is a priceless book for the person looking to make lasting change in their lives, and a critical insight into why some businesses fail while others succeed.

For the layperson who wants to get healthier to the seasoned boardroom professional, I would recommend this book to just about everyone. I’ve been able to use the knowledge in this book to make positive changes in my own life, and used the information to help my teenager break some of her unwanted habits early on.

This is NOT a quick fix book to help you loose weight, loose your ex, make a ton of money, etc. This IS a valuable resource for understanding habits and developing a strong game plan to make lasting change in your life.

Jenn reviews Charles Duhigg's THE POWER OF HABIT  - nonfiction - personal development - productivity - psychology
Jenn reviews Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit

Buy the Book

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, audiobook, Hardcover, paperback, and Audio CD editions. [affiliate link]

Motivation Manifesto

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Brendon Burchard's MOTIVATION MANIFESTO - nonfiction - personal development - self-help
Jenn reviews Brendon Burchard’s Motivation Manifesto

About the Book

Motivation Manifesto, Brendon Burchard

Adult, Personal Development, 256 Pages

Publisher: Hay House Inc.; First Edition edition (October 28, 2014)

“The Motivation Manifesto is a poetic and powerful call to reclaim our lives and find our own personal freedom. It’s a triumphant work that transcends the title, lifting the reader from mere motivation into a soaringly purposeful and meaningful life. I love this book.” — Paulo Coelho

The Motivation Manifesto is a pulsing, articulate, ferocious call to claim our personal power. World-renowned high-performance trainer Brendon Burchard reveals that the main motive of humankind is the pursuit of greater Personal Freedom. We desire the grand liberties of choice—time freedom, emotional freedom, social freedom, financial freedom, spiritual freedom. Only two enemies stand in our way: an external enemy, defined as the social oppression of who we are by the mediocre masses, and an internal enemy, a sort of self-oppression caused by our own doubt and fear.

The march to Personal Freedom, Burchard argues, can be won only by declaring our intent and independence, stepping into our personal power, and battling through self-doubt and the distractions of the day until full victory is won. Recalling the revolutionist voices of the past that chose freedom over tyranny, Burchard—at times poetic yet always fierce—motivates us to free ourselves from fear and take back our lives once and for all.

About the Author

 
BRENDON BURCHARD is one of the most watched, quoted, and followed personal development trainers in the world. He is a global Top 100 Most-Followed Public Figure on Facebook, and he’s often referred to as “one of the most successful online trainers in history” (Oprah.com). A #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and #1 USA Today bestselling author, his books include The Motivation Manifesto, The Charge, The Millionaire Messenger, and Life’s Golden Ticket. He is the star and executive producer of the #1 self-help show on YouTube, and his podcast, The Charged Life, debuted at #1 on iTunes. Over 50,000,000 people watched his videos in the last 12 months, more than 30,000,000 see his posts every week across the web, and 1,000,000-plus students have completed his online courses or video series. SUCCESS Magazine named Brendon as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Leaders in Personal Growth and Achievement, along with Oprah, Deepak Chopra, Joel Osteen, Arianna Huffington, Dave Ramsey, Dr. Oz, Wayne Dyer, and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg. Learn more at Brendon.com

Jenn’s Review

I’m a personal development junkie (for those who don’t already know this). I stumbled upon Brendon Burchard’s The Motivation Manifesto while looking for something else on his website. At the time, I was mired in overwhelm, health issues, and depression, and as I was already somewhat familiar with Brendon’s work, I jumped on what appeared to be a lovely volume of literature.

I was not disappointed.

This is a slender volume, for sure, coming in at under 250 pages. Contents aside, the time and care Mr. Burchard put into designing the book is clear – this could easily be an heirloom work of philosophical rhetoric from centuries ago.

The content is what sets this book apart, though. Borrowing from the great philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries, Burchard stylizes and lays out a challenge to 21st Century dwellers to live more fully, open ourselves up to new ways of thinking, and raise our standards.

If you would prefer not to take a hard look at how you’re currently living your life, to be challenged to hold yourself accountable for your words, behavior, and impact on the world, this is not the book for you. If you are not ready to flip your life upside down and change how you think and how you live, this book is not for you.

If, however, you’re looking for motivation to improve your life, start with this volume. If you want to find those elements that seem to be missing from your life, depriving you of a life fully lived – this is your book.

Slender though it is, The Motivation Manifesto is not a book to be rushed through. Take your time. Ponder each section and every declaration. Do the exercises in the accompanying workbook (free to download). Share a copy or two with someone you love.

Jenn reviews Brendon Burchard's MOTIVATION MANIFESTO - nonfiction - personal development - self-help
Jenn reviews Brendon Burchard’s The Motivation Manifesto

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover and Audio CD formats here:

Awakening to Life: Your Sacred Guide to Consciously Creating a Life of Purpose, Magic, and Miracles

Jenn reviews Patricia Young's AWAKENING TO LIFE - Nonfiction, Personal Development, Self-Help
Jenn reviews Patricia Young’s Awakening to Life

About the book:

Awakening to Life:: Your Sacred Guide to Consciously Creating a Life of Purpose, Magic, and Miracles by Patricia Young
Inspired Living Publishing, LLC.
May 29, 2018

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER & #1 BESTSELLER in Mid-Life Management
Inside Awakening to Life: Your Sacred Guide to Consciously Creating a Life of Purpose, Magic, and Miracles are the permission, validation, and action steps you need to break free of what’s been holding you back. With honesty, grace, and compassion, Transformational Life Coach Patricia Young will teach you how to wholeheartedly embrace the possibilities of a truly authentic, inspired life-a life created by you, for you, in total alignment with your deepest core.

We all have a core of divine power within us, just waiting to be awakened. When we fully connect to this part of ourselves-to our desires, our intuition, and our greater purpose for being-a truly magical evolution begins to occur. We discover that we can work miracles in our own lives, and in the world, simply by being who we are.

If you are feeling lost, stuck, or disempowered; if you are no longer satisfied living by others’ rules; if your heart is longing to shine its light and illuminate the path of your passion, you are in the right place. In your hands, you hold the key to becoming everything you already are, and more.

Jenn’s Review:

Feeling stuck in life, paralyzed by fear and indecision? Do you feel trapped in a dead end job that’s slowly sucking the life out of you? Start with Patricia Young’s, Awakening to Life.

Young breaks down how she got herself unstuck, found herself and her passions, and moved in the direction of her dreams, and shares the process she uses with her coaching clients into nine simple steps that comprise the chapters of this book.

Covering such topics as dreams, feeling trapped, fear, passions, and goals, readers can follow the steps to find their own self again and break free of living to the expectations of others. The author provides journal prompts and worksheets for moving through the steps, as well.

Patricia Young’s writing is deeply personal and vulnerable as she shares her own journey as it relates to the steps she outlines.

Regardless of your circumstances, ability level, or past, Awakening to Life can walk you through the process of breaking free, finding healing and purpose, and living an authentic life.

Jenn reviews Patricia Young's AWAKENING TO LIFE - Nonfiction, Personal Development, Self-Help
Jenn reviews Patricia Young’s AWAKENING TO LIFE – Nonfiction, Personal Development, Self-Help

Buy the book:

The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business – Review

Jenn reviews Elaine Pofeldt's THE ONE-MILLION DOLLAR, ONE-PERSON BUSINESS on the Thrice Read Books Blog. Nonfiction, Business Books, Business Development
Jenn reviews Elaine Pofeldt’s The Million-Dollar One-Person Business on the Thrice Read Books Blog.

About the Book

The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business: Make Great Money. Work the Way You Like. Have the Life You Want.,  Elaine Pofeldt 

Adult, Small Business

Lorena Jones Books (January 2, 2018)

The indispensable guide to earning a six-figure take-home income on your own terms, from Forbes.com contributing writer Elaine Pofeldt.

The rise of one-million-dollar, one-person businesses in the past five years is the biggest trend in employment today, offering the widest range of people the most ways to earn a living while having the lifestyles they want. In The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business, Elaine Pofeldt outlines the pathways to joining this entrepreneurial movement, synthesizing advice from hundreds of business owners who’ve done it. She explains how to identify, launch, grow, and reinvent the business, showing how a single individual can generate $1 million in revenue–something only larger small companies have done in the past. Both inspirational and practical, this book will appeal to all who seek a great worklife and a great lifestyle.

About the Author

Biography

Elaine Pofeldt is an independent journalist who specializes in small business, entrepreneurship and careers. She is the author of “The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business,” a look at how entrepreneurs are hitting seven-figure revenue in businesses where they are the only employees (Random House, Jan. 2, 2018). Her work has appeared in FORTUNE, Money, CNBC, Inc., Forbes, Crain’s New York Business and many other business publications and she is a contributor to the Economist Intelligence Unit. 

As a senior editor at FORTUNE Small Business, where she worked for eight years, Elaine was twice nominated for the National Magazine Award for her features and ran the magazine’s annual business plan completion. During her time at FSB, she ran the magazine’s website, fsb.com, for four years, building its traffic to two to five million page views a month. 

Elaine graduated from Yale University with a BA in English. She lives in in New Jersey with her husband and their four children and in her free time enjoys taekwondo, yoga and running.

Jenn’s Review

As the owner of not one, but two online businesses, I’ve been wondering if it’s possible to bootstrap to success. The Million Dollar One-Person Business proves that running lean all the way to huge profits is possible.

Through case-studies and in-depth analysis, the author dissects what makes some lean start ups succeed while others fizzle out.

This is one of my top five recommended reads for someone considering starting their on business. Running a business, especially a bootstrapped start up, is hard work, and the author doesn’t sugar coat this aspect of entrepreneurship.

I came away from this reading with more ideas for our own businesses and how to group them with little to no borrowing.

If you’re tired of the grind and want an honest look at lean start ups, start with this book. I’ll be coming back to this book and it’s various worksheets frequently.

Jenn reviews Elaine Pofeldt's THE ONE-MILLION DOLLAR, ONE-PERSON BUSINESS on the Thrice Read Books Blog. Nonfiction, Business Books, Business Development
Jenn reviews Elaine Pofeldt’s The Million-Dollar One-Person Business on the Thrice Read Books Blog.

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, audiobook, and Hardcover editions. [affiliate link]

Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting – Review

Jenn reviews Lynn Grabhorn's Law Of Attraction book, Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting - nonfiction, personal development, law of attraction
Jenn reviews Lynn Grabhorn’s Law Of Attraction book, Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting

About the Book

Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting,  Lynn Grabhorn

Adult, Self-help 

Hampton Roads Publishing; 15th Printing edition (2003)

Is there a way to always have a fat bank account, a better job, a delightfully smooth relationship, or a better body? Is it possible to realize these dreams now, rather than at some unknown future date? Lynn Grabhorn answers these questions with a resounding “yes.” In Excuse Me Your Life is Waiting, she says that what molds every moment of every day of one’s life are feelings. Using a candid, witty approach, she shows how feelings – not positive things, or sweat or strain, or good or bad luck, or even smarts – set the tone for people’s lives. She frames her theory as a four-part plan that covers all the big topics – money, relationships, health and spirituality – without being pompous or preachy. Grabhorn’s “Law of Attraction” lets the seeker find peace and pleasure in life by feeling rather than thinking.

“Rich in culture, this first book in the Forbidden Love series immediately draws the reader in to this modern take on a familiar star-crossed lovers tale.  The chemistry between Sara and Mazair sparks white hot immediately and every interaction sizzles.” – InD’Tale Magazine 
Be sure to scroll up and hit that BUY NOW button to discover a world in which love faces the ultimate test.

About the Author

Lynn Grabhorn was a longtime student of the way in which thought and feelings format our lives. Raised in Short Hills, New Jersey, she began her working life in the advertising field in New York City, founded and ran an audiovisual educational publishing company in Los Angeles, and owned and ran a mortgage brokerage firm in Washington State. Lynn’s books, which also include The Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting Playbook and Beyond the Twelve Steps, have received high acclaim from all corners of the world. Lynn passed away in 2004 at her home in Olympia, Washington.

Jenn’s Review

Want better health? Financial freedom? Release from crushing and debilitating anxiety, depression and more? EXCUSE ME, YOUR LIFE IS WAITING has straightforward answers in a down to earth language that anyone can learn from.

Manifestation and the Law of Attraction is more than just positive thinking, it’s all about how you feel. In a world where we are constantly bombarded by negative messages, Lynn Grabhorn’s book teaches how to move through it, even change your personal experience of the world, without just ignoring the news.

I’ve been studying Law of Attraction for a few years now, and can attest that Ms. Grabhorn’s straight forward approach is spot on. Read through this book for a better understanding of what Law of Attraction is, and how to make it work for yourself; apply the lessons in this book, stick with it, and see the evidence for yourself.

Jenn reviews Lynn Grabhorn's Law Of Attraction book, Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting - nonfiction, personal development, law of attraction
Jenn reviews Lynn Grabhorn’s Law Of Attraction book, Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Hardback, and Paperback editions. [affiliate link]

At Home with Madame Chic – Review

Jenn reviews Jennifer Scott's AT HOME WITH MADAME CHIC, nonfiction home and personal style
Jenn reviews Jennifer Scott’s At Home with Madame Chic on the Thrice Read Books blog

About the Book

At Home with Madame Chic, Jennifer L. Scott

Adult, Home Improvement, 305 Pages

Simon & Schuster (October 7, 2014)

Approach life at home the Madame Chic way: a beautiful, illustrated toolbox of tips and ideas for organizing, entertaining, and savoring a stylish life.

When she arrived at Madame Chic’s Parisian apartment as a foreign exchange student, Jennifer Scott was a casual California girl who thought sweatpants were appropriate street attire. Madame Chic took Jennifer under her wing and tutored her in the secrets of how the French elevate the little things in life to the art of living.

Years later, Jennifer was back in California with a husband, two young daughters, a dog, and her first home. Every day she confronted mundane duties like folding laundry and unloading the dishwasher, and she began to think about Madame Chic’s home—how the breakfast table was set beautifully the night before, the music that always played in the background, the calm of Madame and Monsieur Chic’s ritual cocktail hour together. Jennifer wanted that life. She decided to see what would happen if she didn’t perform her chores impatiently or mindlessly, if, instead, she could live like Madame Chic.

At Home with Madame Chic reveals the secrets to having a happy, fulfilling, and passionate life at home. Jennifer explains the morning send-off need not be chaotic, it’s possible to look stylish with minimal time and effort, a little forethought makes it possible to serve a home-cooked dinner every night, and details like music and scented candles can set the tone for the whole family’s evening. Organized by the pleasures that can be found throughout the day, this charming, helpful book is full of ideas, playlists, recipes, beauty routines, and advice that can turn an irritating day into an enjoyable experience.

About the Author

Jennifer L. Scott is the New York Times bestselling author of Lessons from Madame Chic, At Home with Madame Chic and Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic (Simon & Schuster) and creator of the blog The Daily Connoisseur. She is a contributing writer for Huffington Post Style and has been featured on CNN, BBC, and CBS News, and in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, USA Today, Newsweek, and The Daily Mail. She lives with her family in Los Angeles, California.

Jenn’s Review

I am always on the lookout for ways to make my home more homey; ways to liven up my wardrobe or self-care routine. It’s not a matter of Keeping up with the Joneses – I honestly don’t care what the neighbors think. It is more a matter of keeping myself out of the rut of the stay at home mom, the chronic pain lifestyle that makes my old ways of doing things beyond reach.

A TED Talk given by Jennifer L. Scott, about the ten item wardrobe caught my attention, and sent me on a hunt for some of these Madame Chic books she’d written. I really wanted out of my old wardrobe of yoga pants, leggings and tee shirts.

At Home with Madame Chic gave me that, and so much more. We recently moved into a fully furnished house, and my life became a constant state of decluttering. With some of the tips in this book, our home feels less like a storage unit and more like a place to live.

Ms. Scott breaks home life into areas, morning, noon, afternoon and evening. She includes recipes, music suggestions and a brief summary of each section. She draws on examples from her own experience, as a student in Paris, and as a work-at-home mom with two little ones.

I borrowed this one from the library, to give it a try before buying it, but it has been moved to the top of my book wish list, along with the other books in this series.

Add class and warmth to your life with this sweet little guide to homemaking with style. Meet Madame Chic, and find your style!

Jenn reviews Jennifer Scott's AT HOME WITH MADAME CHIC, nonfiction home and personal style
Jenn reviews Jennifer Scott’s AT HOME WITH MADAME CHIC, nonfiction home and personal style

Buy the Book

  This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, Hardcover, and audio CD editions. [affiliate link]

Mindfulness – Review

About the Book

Mindfulness, Mark Williams, and Danny Penman

Adult Health 288 Pages

Rodale Books; 1 edition (November 13, 2012)

Mindfulness reveals a set of simple yet powerful practices that you can incorporate into daily life to help break the cycle of anxiety, stress, unhappiness, and exhaustion. It promotes the kind of happiness and peace that gets into your bones. It seeps into everything you do and helps you meet the worst that life throws at you with new courage.

The book is based on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). MBCT revolves around a straightforward form of mindfulness meditation which takes just a few minutes a day for the full benefits to be revealed. MBCT has been clinically proven to be at least as effective as drugs for depression and is widely recommended by US physicians and the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence—in other words, it works. More importantly, it also works for people who are not depressed but who are struggling to keep up with the constant demands of the modern world.

MBCT was developed by the book’s author, Oxford professor Mark Williams, and his colleagues at the Universities of Cambridge and Toronto. By investing just 10 to 20 minutes each day, you can learn the simple mindfulness meditations at the heart of MBCT and fully reap their benefits. The book includes links to audio meditations to help guide you through the process. You’ll be surprised by how quickly these techniques will have you enjoying life again.

Jenn’s Review

I picked this book up some time ago, and due to Life happening (including buying a house and various upsets to my usual routine), this eight-week plan took me almost four months. Did that affect the overall benefits of the plan?

Not at all.

This book was worth taking my time to get through. Between practical explanations in each chapter, the downloadable, guided meditations, and independent practice, I finished the book with more tools than I began with (and I have been meditating for years).

The authors of MINDFULNESS lay a solid foundation of research and application before starting the reader on a series of weekly steps, gradually building on the previous week’s learning and practice.

This is more than a simple how-to book. You *could* just read straight through, but the better investment of time would be to tackle one chapter a week. Repeat the week until you are comfortable with the given practice before you move on.

I’ve read a number of books on meditation and mindfulness, but this is, by far, the most practical of them all. I’ve fallen back on the tools learned in this book to manage stress, anxiety, panic attacks and dietary issues. Definitely worth trying if you are interested in deepening your mindfulness.

Jenn shares her experience with the book, MINDFULNESS - AN EIGHT WEEK PLAN, on this edition of Thrice Read Books' review blog.

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, Audiobook, paperback, hardback and CD Audio formats from Amazon. [affiliate link]

How to Write Dazzling Dialogue – Review

About the Book

How To Write a Dazzling Dialogue, James Scott Bell

Teen to Adult,  Reference, 136 Pages

Compendium Press (July 14, 2014)

There is one sure-fire way of improving your novel fast. . . You may know the fundamentals of how to write fiction. You may be more than competent in plot, structure and characters. But if your dialogue is dull it will drag the whole story down. On the other hand, if your dialogue is crisp and full of tension it immediately grabs the reader. And if that reader is an agent or editor, sharp dialogue will give them instant assurance that you know what you’re doing as a writer. Writing a bestseller or hot screenplay is no easy task, but dazzling dialogue is an absolute essential if you want to get there. The best part is, the skills of the dialogue craft are easy to understand and put into practice. #1 bestselling writing coach James Scott Bell has put together and expanded upon the dialogue lectures from his popular writing seminars. In How to Write Dazzling Dialogue you’ll learn:

  • What fictional dialogue is … and isn’t
  • The 11 secrets of crafting memorable dialogue
  • The 5 essential tasks of dialogue
  • 5 ways to improve your dialogue ear
  • 4 can’t-miss methods to increase conflict and tension in any dialogue exchange
  • The top 10 dialogue issues, and how to resolve them

You’ll also see dazzling dialogue in action with examples from hit novels and screenplays. Don’t sabotage your chances of selling your work to readers or publishers because the dialogue is unexceptional. Dazzle them with what the characters say. How to Write Dazzling Dialogue will give you the tools to do it.

About the Author

For notifications and deals about JSB’s new releases, sign up for his occasional update at www.jamesscottbell.com (the signup box is on the left side of the screen). Your mail box will never be overstuffed nor will your address be shared with anyone else. 

JAMES SCOTT BELL is a winner of the International Thriller Writers Award (for his novel Romeo’s Way) and the author of many bestselling thrillers. He is a popular writing instructor and conference speaker, and formerly served as the fiction columnist for Writer’s Digest magazine. Jim attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where he studied writing with Raymond Carver, and graduated with honors from the University of Southern California Law School. He lives and writes in L.A. and blogs weekly at Kill Zone — www.killzoneblog.com

Jenn’s Review

Dialogue is something I struggle with as a writer. I know that my characters’ mediocre, and often lackluster conversations are about 50% of what’s holding me back from getting published, so, I went out looking for a book to help clarify where I was going wrong. I also attended some great workshops on dialogue at RWA2018, but I was still missing a LOT.

Enter How to Write Dazzling Dialogue by James Scott Bell. Bell’s thrillers are multiple times best sellers, his books on writing craft are multiple times best sellers; this guy has some street credentials, even though I’d never heard of him.
Why his books make bestseller lists so often is clear, all the way through this slim volume on fiction dialogue. The instruction is concise and liberally peppered with examples, both from existing literature and off-the-cuff.

I took this book one chapter a day and will be applying it to my own writing going forward (I’ve already started on that, and the lessons are sinking in, as I notice dialogue more in what I read). Bell tackles such topics as tension, style, info-dumping, punctuation, and cursing. Period dialogue and dialect are also touched on in various degrees within the 134 pages of this book.

Bell’s book on dialogue is written so that most folks can easily understand what he’s demonstrating. If you are a writer, wanting to get published; if you teach writing; if you are the parent of a young writer; and yes, even if you’re an already published author — give this book a read. It’s now a permanent part of my writer’s toolkit, and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to up their fiction writing game.

Jenn reviews HOW TO WRITE DAZZLING DIALOGUE by James Scott Bell in this edition of Thrice Read Books' review blog.

Buy the Book

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions. [affiliate link]

Law of Attraction Habits – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

About the Book

Law of Attraction Habits, Chris Tomasso, The LOA Lifestyle Book 1

Adult, Self Help, 48 Pages

Published March 15, 2015

Create your dream life with simple actions.


Imagine: 

You wake up in the morning with purpose. You stay in your bed for as long as you want, knowing everything is taken care of. When you want, you rise out of bed to greet the day, expecting everything to go well. You don’t do this out of blind optimism, but instead a deep understanding of how the universe works.

You don’t just hope for it. You’ve deeply ingrained it into your way of being.

As each step of your morning routine locks into place, you feel a greater sense of momentum and ease. You feel mastery over your life. You remember back to when life seemed so chaotic, and yet that seems like a distant thought.

Now, as you ponder this new day, your decisions feel supported by the universe. You can’t help but feel lighthearted and appreciative. You’re beaming.

Why wouldn’t you be? Everything is simply ordered. Everything is playfully in your control. Life feels fresh and invigorating, and the universe is working for you.

The only question you have to ask yourself is, “What do I want to create today?”

But, is it this simple?

You’ve checked out books on the law of attraction or “The Secret,” but you’ve had some trouble understanding it and applying it. It seems confusing and illogical. Some things come easily and others seem frustratingly distant.

There’s so much conflicting information.

That’s why I’ve broken it down into 5 easy habits. You don’t need to spend all your time on this. In just 10 minutes a day, this book will help your manifesting skills skyrocket. 


You’ll be able to:

Create more ease in your life.
Learn how to clear your mind in just 10, 5, or even 2 minutes.
Understand the key missing step to becoming emotionally healthy.
Let go of thoughts that aren’t serving you.
Feel appreciation that isn’t forced.
Design a routine that simply prepares you for vibrational success.

Manifesting your dream life is first and foremost about getting the little things right.

About the Author

Chris Tomasso is an author, filmmaker, entrepreneur, and tons of other buzzwords you’ve probably heard before. He loves to deconstruct and teach the processes of things through his books, whether it’s about how to live a better life or get a better essay written. He recognizes that, more than anything, a lighthearted touch helps people make profound changes in their lives.

Jenn’s Review

Five simple habits to strengthen your relationship with the Universe and turn more thoughts into things? Sign me up!

Chris Tomasso’s quick and easy read on Law of Attraction Habits is just that: a simple guide to getting from where you are to where you want to be.

From recognizing your emotional/vibrational state to gratitude and ease, Tomasso lays out a series of habits to develop in order to effectively manifest your desires.

And he does so in a concise and simple-to-understand format.

If you’re struggling with the Law of Attraction, give this little book a read.

Jenn's book review Chris Tomasso's Law of Attraction Habits - Personal Development, Nonfiction

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle edition. [affiliate link]

Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels (How to Write Kissing Books) (Volume 1) – Review

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Jenn reviews ROMANCING THE BEAT: STORY STRUCTURE FOR ROMANCE NOVELS by Gwen Hayes - Nonfiction, Writing Craft, Romance Writing

About the Book

Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels (How to Write Kissing Books),  Gwen Hayes 

Teen/Adult, Research, 98 Pages

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (April 2, 2016)

What makes a romance novel a romance? How do you write a kissing book?

Writing a well-structured romance isn’t the same as writing any other genre–something the popular novel and screenwriting guides don’t address. The romance arc is made up of its own story beats, and the external plot and theme need to be braided to the romance arc–not the other way around.

Told in conversational (and often irreverent) prose, Romancing the Beat can be read like you are sitting down to coffee with romance editor and author Gwen Hayes while she explains story structure. The way she does with her clients. Some of whom are regular inhabitants of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.

Romancing the Beat is a recipe, not a rigid system. The beats don’t care if you plot or outline before you write, or if you pants your way through the drafts and do a “beat check” when you’re revising. Pantsers and plotters are both welcome. So sit down, grab a cuppa, and let’s talk about kissing books.

About the Author

Gwen Hayes lives in the Pacific Northwest with her real-life hero and the pets that own them. She writes stories for teen and adult readers about love, angst, and saving the world.

Gwen’s first novel, Falling Under, was released in March of 2011 by NAL/Penguin and followed up by the sequel, Dreaming Awake, in January of 2012.

In addition to writing, Gwen is a freelance editor at www.fresheyescritique.com.

For more information, please visit http://www.gwenhayes.com or sign up for her non-spammy newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/v-4Xj

Gwen is represented by Deidre Knight of The Knight Agency.

Jenn’s Review

I’m pulling my writing craft books off the shelf and reading them as November draws near. I picked this particular book up, hoping to clarify plot beats for my romance writing. When I received it, though, I lost hope. It’s so slender, how could it possibly help me straighten out my messy storylines?

I took my time reading it, though, and have all but chained it to my desk as a permanent part of my writing toolkit. The author of this slim book on romance writing packs so much into this volume in a clear and concise way, and then throws humor and music playlists in on top of it! I’ve been able to sit down with my manuscripts and walk through each, with this book, and identify what’s missing and what needs to be cut. (Hallelujah!)

Of all the books on my shelf, this one tops the list for helpful. Aspiring romance authors, grab this one and don’t let go!

Jenn reviews ROMANCING THE BEAT: STORY STRUCTURE FOR ROMANCE NOVELS by Gwen Hayes - Nonfiction, Writing Craft, Romance Writing

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, paperback and audiobook editions. [affiliate link]