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An Elegant Defense by Matt Richtel Book Review

An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System

Intricately crafted and deeply informative, “An Elegant Defense” by Pulitzer Prize Winner and New York Times Best-Selling Author Matt Richtel, is a must-read.

Bacteria and viruses have been regarded as villains throughout history. Among these so-called villains are E.coli, salmonella, HIV, and Ebola. These deadly bacteria and viruses have claimed the lives of millions of people.

But in his book “An Elegant Defense,” Matt Richtel talks about bacteria and viruses and how some of these “villains” are actually crucial for our survival. According to him, only a mere 1% is likely to cause illness.

The miraculous recovery of his dear friend from cancer with the help of a drug that utilizes the powers of the immune system has inspired Matt Richtel to write about our built-in defense system, the immune system.

In “An Elegant Defense,” you will come to learn what viruses are crucial to survival, what T-cells and B-cells are, and how they fight off intruders to the human body.

Matt Richtel delves into the immune system. He describes the immune system as an “elegant defense” against these deadly diseases which is where he got the title of his book from.

“If the immune system is not aggressive enough, it leaves us vulnerable to malignant pathogens. If it’s too aggressive, it can kill us.”

He touches on the history of the discovery of immunology and how, with the help of a starfish larvae, a white-blooded dog, and a chicken’s purse has given rise to immunology.

Matt Richtel explains scientific terminologies and the processes very simply that after reading “An Elegant Defense,” you’ll come to know your body more and will make you feel like an expert in immunology.

A must-read for those seeking to understand their own bodies and the wonders that happen within, for those who are curious about the history of the discovery of immunology, and for people who are interested in immunology but don’t want to read those boring scientific books.

Overall, “An Elegant Defense” by Matt Richtel is an enjoyable and informative, and a sad yet hopeful read.

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The Advice Trap by Michael Bungay Stanier Book Review

“Be Humble, Stay Curious & Change the Way You Lead Forever”

From the Bestselling author of The Coaching Habit

In his book, The Advice Trap, Michael Bungay Stanier teaches about changing the way you lead so you change your team and your organization, and most importantly, yourself.

We love to pounce on anything that shows up even when it’s not the actual thing that needs to be figured out. We’re keen on giving insights and solutions but fail to take time in realizing the real problem at hand. This is when Michael Bungay Stanier’s new book, The Advice Trap comes in.

The Advice Trap is all about taming your “advice monster,” and staying curious a little longer, to get to the root of the problem in order to be able to solve the right problem. Because more often than not, we’re addressing the wrong problem without even realizing it.

It takes on the concept of “less is more.”

Giving less advice is encouraged.

However, the definition of coaching doesn’t say “never give advice” or “only ask questions” according to Michael. That would be deeply impractical. Rather, it implies that advice-giving is usually an overdeveloped muscle. What you’re trying to do is train an underdeveloped muscle: CURIOSITY.

Michael talks about intellectual curiosity and being more coach-like instead of becoming a coach. Curiosity leads to questions, leading to answers.

According to Michael, in order to be more coach-like, one of the qualities one needs to have is humility. In his book, he defines being humble as knowing that your voice isn’t the only voice, and may not be the best voice.

What I realized after reading The Advice Trap is that the secret to advice-giving is actually in the questions you ask rather than in the insights you offer.

“Learning doesn’t happen when you tell them something, it happens when they figure it out themselves.”

The 7 essential questions introduced in The Advice Trap is a gem such as the kickstart question, the strategy question, the lazy question, and more. These questions serve as a guide in finding solutions to your problem.

Oftentimes, we only look at the surface of the problem when it’s actually deeper than we thought. It’s like peeling an onion. You have to get through the layers of questions before finding out the real problem at hand and dealing with it.

The Advice Trap also introduces the 8 ways to ask a question well. Yes, there is a right way to ask a question, and there’s 8 ways to do it well!

“Practice,

Get feedback,

Adapt,

Repeat”

In this book, you will also come to know what “coaching the ghost” mean, what the “TERA Quotient” is and how to increase it.

At the end of every chapter, there is a space for you to write down the most useful insight that you got from the chapter to help you remember the important points of the book.

Overall, The Advice Trap is an insightful read. A treasure trove of infinite value.

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Hey what's up readers? I've been catching up on my reading because I've been busy with school-related stuff lately. How are you? 😁 I was tagged by @the_mystique_reader to do #bookseveryday tag so here are my answers to the questions. . Country: Japan and Philippines (I'm half) . Color of my bookshelf: Brown at home and beige in my apartment. . Physical books or ebooks: I prefer physical books but ebooks are great for travelling. . Favorite book series: I have to say Chronicles of Narnia aside from trilogies. I think it's the first book series I read when I was a child and it has a special place in my heart. Favorite book villain: Snow White's stepmother (the evil queen) in The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer. . A book I didn't finish: Before Eden (I'll finish it someday. 😅) To those whom I've tagged, I'm looking forward to your answers! 😄📚❤ . #bookseveryday #bookblog #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookish #booklove #read #booktag

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Back to Christmas by Dennis Canfield Book Review

Synopsis

The Krumwerths are in the Naughty List for the third consecutive year.

Will they be in the Permanent Naughty List and be doomed forever?

Or will they be able to discover the true meaning of Christmas in their hearts and save themselves from the impending doom ahead?

Book Title: Back to Christmas

Author: Dennis Canfield

Free Delivery on all Books at Book Depository

My Thoughts on Back to Christmas

Fast-paced and unputdownable, I finished it in one sitting. I was thinking of reading a few chapters before cooking dinner, but then I got hooked. It’s just unputdownable.

I love the writing style and I love the chapter titles.

“Back to Christmas” stresses the importance of spending quality time with family and how technology, despite its convenience, distracts us from forming meaningful connections with the people around us which I think is a pretty big issue that almost everyone can relate to.

I can’t stop myself from laughing at this: “Amanda, do you remember when we made this one? You were four years old. You thought the glitter was so pretty you dumped the whole jar in your hair.”

I like this line from the book:

“Sometimes, crazy is exactly what we need.” -Santa

I personally like reading the Table of Contents of a book because I think it makes the story more intriguing.

Like Chapter 10 in Back to Christmas having the chapter title, “Do You Remember?” and chapter 12 “I Haven’t Figured That Out Yet.”

It makes me curious as to what the memory is, and as to what he hasn’t figured out yet.

I think that’s one of the reasons that it got me hooked up and wanting to read the next chapter immediately.

That is why, I have added the chapter titles of “Back to Christmas” in this review.

Back to Christmas

Chapter 1: Head Labeling Elf

Chapter 2: Can I Do It Later?

Chapter 3: The Permanent Naughty List

Chapter 4: Even Santa

Chapter 5: The North-South Pole

Chapter 6: You Mean a Real Elf?

Chapter 7: Invisible

Chapter 8: Certifiably Hopeless

Chapter 9: Three Tasks

Chapter 10: Do You Remember?

Chapter 11: It Isn’t Certain, Is It?

Chapter 12: I Haven’t Figured That Out Yet

Chapter 13: Trust Me, It’s For The Best

Chapter 14: Sundown

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Stillness Is The Key by Ryan Holiday Book Review

“Stillness is a powerful way to find contentedness and success in life.”

In his book, “Stillness Is The Key,” Ryan Holiday talks about the importance of stillness in our day to day lives.

According to Ryan, “Stillness is not about inactivity. It’s about powerful moments that change our lives.”

Stillness help us think clearly, avoid distraction, conquer impulses, and eventually find happiness.

We are constantly stressed out from overflowing inboxes and constant stream of social media notifications popping up every minute.

Prominent people from all walks of life are being featured in this book and how they cultivate stillness into their lives; including John F. Kennedy, Tiger Woods, Anne Frank, and other figures.

“If people could find peace within themselves, they would still be able to think, work, and be well even if the world is at war.” -Philosopher Seneca

Ryan Holiday also talks about slowing things down and being in the present moment in his book, “Stillness Is The Key.”

Nowadays, we take photos instead of enjoying a beautiful sunset. We take several photos of our food taking time to get the perfect angle to look pretty on Instagram, instead of eating it while it’s still warm and delicious. We check our phones while staying in line at the grocery store.

We’re constantly bombarded with information. Too much of anything is not good. Including too much information.

In a busy, noisy world, stillness is the key to peace, clarity, and happiness.

Ryan Holiday also talks about how journaling is a time of reflection. I couldn’t agree more.

I used to journal a few years back. No wonder I was more calm and collected than I am now. I journal from time to time though, when I remember. This book reminded me how freeing it is to write your thoughts down. Or even just be still and listen to my own thoughts.

Keep a journal. Write down your thoughts before going to bed and you’ll find yourself being free from those noisy thoughts swirling in your head and you’ll be able to sleep soundly.

Journal. Get things off your chest. Find stillness through writing and reflection.

I’m a night person so I don’t wake up early. That’s why during days that I miraculously wake up early, I enjoy the break of dawn with a cup of tea before everyone else awakens. Before the horns start blaring and the children chatter excitedly on their way to school.

A constant companion during these peaceful hours in the morning is a good book and my stuffed animal. Occasionally, a crow would fly near the windowsill as if to say, “Good morning. I see you have woken up early today. Have a nice day.” It does a couple hops towards me but doesn’t get too close, and then it flies away in search for its breakfast.

In “Stillness Is The Key,” Ryan Holiday also talks about the importance of taking naps. I used to take naps when I was in college. I call it a “power nap” where I would take naps for 20-30 minutes after having lunch. When I wake up, I feel refreshed, my head clear of any unnecessary thoughts, and then I head off to take classes.

We tend to feel that there is always something to do. We tell ourselves that we need to reply to that mail. That we have to join the last-minute outing that out friends invited us to. We don’t need to do everything all at once. There is no need to add another thing in our already full plate. You’ll just end up with leftovers and you won’t feel good afterwards.

STOP. Be present. Know your limits. Learn to say, “NO.”

Give attention to your physical health, to your spirit and mind, and you can cultivate “stillness.”

You can feel the “power of stillness” in your life when you slow things down. Calm things down. Quiet things down. Embrace stillness today. 

Overall, “Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday,” is a very insightful read.

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Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time by Rory Vaden Book Review

Thoughts on Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time by Rory Vaden

In his book, Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time, Rory Vaden talks about how to procrastinate on purpose, but in this book review, I would like to focus on the “multiply your time” part.

Let me just touch a little bit about procrastination though. The procrastination talked about in the book isn’t putting off something you should be doing because you don’t want to. Instead, Rory Vaden talks about having the patience to wait until the optimal time to act.

It allows you to adapt to unpredictable changes, whether that’s a change in the weather, the stock market or a customer’s requirements. In our fast-paced modern world, things tend to change at breakneck speed. So don’t be scared of a little procrastination, and have the patience to wait and see.

Now, on to my favorite part, multiplying time. How do you multiply time? There’s only 24 hours in a day. Multiply it by 2 and you get 48 hours in a day. Woah! He must be a magician to do that! Well, not quite.

It’s more like creating more time by eliminating tasks you don’t necessarily have to do, delegating tasks to other people, prioritizing things, and eliminating distractions so that you can focus on the task at hand and therefore finish it faster. It’s about being productive without being too busy.

“The most successful people never complain about being busy.”

Quit complaining about how much you have to do. Instead of worrying about your to-do list and the hundreds of things that you have to do, get on with it one task at a time.

Oh the satisfaction of crossing out a task in your to-do list after completing it. We tend to add little tasks underestimating its “tinyness” just so we can feel more productive. But in reality, those “tiny” tasks will add up and end up taking much of your time.

Eliminate not add. Less is more. Make more time by going through your tasks with an elimination mindset. Cross out your tasks with the highest priority first. Don’t add tasks unless they’re important not because they feel important. There’s a difference.

Delegate tasks. Don’t try to do everything by yourself. Use another pair of hands because as the saying goes, “Many hands make work light.”

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