Doing product reviews just isn’t my cup of tea.
I tried it. Really. But the truth is, when people give you a product for review, they want a favorable response, not necessarily an honest one. And too much honesty can seem cruel when a person or company has oozed kindness and compliments toward you and your blog, then provided free product on top of it. The pressure to find positive things to say can be enormous.
Sometimes that’s easy. Sometimes it isn’t! And I hate being put in that awkward position!
Which is why I would much rather just tell you about products I truly love — things I have tried for myself, of my own volition, and found to be useful, informative, or inspirational.
And there is no product I would rather share with you than good books!
But I refuse to call this a book review. Instead, I want to do monthly Book Shares of both adult and children’s books. Some may be new, but I have a fondness for very old books as well! Some may have topped a best seller list, but others may never have even come close to one!
No matter how new or old, how successful or obscure, they will be books that that have touched me personally — books I have thoroughly enjoyed, that have taught me something valuable, or that have fascinated or inspired me in some way. These will all be books I can recommend for your own personal To-Be-Read list.
I’m sharing them because I love them, and because I think it’s very possible you could love them, too.
So for our January Book Share…
Folks, this little book has seriously been a game-changer for me in so many ways. I just happened one night upon a radio interview with Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory, the authors of Overwhelmed, and though I only heard a snippet of the broadcast, I knew immediately I had to get this book!
I have struggled for years with chronic over-commitment. Seriously. I am notorious for volunteering for things before I have really taken the time to assess the commitment and how much it will affect my family and my own sanity. But then I struggle with so much guilt and such a sense of failure when I know it’s time to walk away from that obligation!
Overwhelmed really helped bring things into perspective for me.
For one thing, it helped me begin letting go of the guilt that has often driven my commitments. Overwhelmed helped me line out my priorities and set boundaries for myself in better ways than I have done in years, and it gave me so many practical pointers for scheduling my life and activities.
There is a large section devoted to dealing with physical clutter — all the STUFF in our spaces that adds to our stress and anxiety in ways we don’t even realize. It was so simple and straightforward, but so helpful to me, especially as we were in the midst of moving and settling into a new home. The book talked about how incredibly freeing it can be to declutter, and I found it to be absolutely true!
Overwhelmed also deals a lot with the effect relationships can have upon our peace and sanity. I’m not sure I would have even considered this issue had I been trying to write a book like this, and yet I found some of it so incredibly helpful and enlightening. The truth is, people do often add so much to our stress and overwhelming feelings, and I appreciated some of the common sense solutions offered here for dealing with difficult people and easing the negative impact they can have on our lives and families. Some of it was truly invaluable.
I loved, too, the back-and-forth format the writers chose for this book! The authors are two incredibly different women, and so they are overwhelmed by different things and have to approach their issues in very different ways. Having more than one viewpoint was so helpful because often I could find myself relating more to one than to the other, and seeing the ideas and solutions from both was very helpful. (Our personalities are all so different. Cookie-cutter solutions just don’t work for us all and I find myself frustrated with self-help/organizational books that seem to expect all people to feel the same way, react in the same way, and find help in the same way!)
Anxiety is a problem for so many of us in this fast and crazy-busy age. Overwhelmed helped very much to bring things into perspective for me and it offered me sensible solutions for the feelings of complete overwhelm I experience sometimes! I’ve done much “decluttering” to my life because of what I read here, and it has been a tremendous help.
If stress and anxiety are an issue for you, or if over-commitment has you at your wit’s end, I can’t recommend Overwhelmed highly enough. Add it to your To-Be-Read list today!