Belinda’s Book Nook Review: Taking the Leap – Facing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears


Title: Taking the Leap – Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears
Author: Pema Chodron
Copyright: September 8, 2009
Genre: Spirituality, Buddhism, Philosophy
Format: e-book  Pages: 128

This book has been on my radar for quite some time. I own a few of Pema Chodron’s books and have listened to her Buddhist sessions online. She has a great way of bringing topics to you in an inviting and no nonsense way. It’s a really small book with a little over 100 pages but it packs a big punch.

In addition to my general pleasure reading I always have a group of spiritual books that I read on the side. I have decided to share some of them with you in my reviews and recommendations moving forward.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

In this book Pema Chödrön shows us how to break free of destructive patterns in our lives and experience a new sense of freedom and happiness. Drawing on the Buddhist concept ofshenpa, she helps us to see how certain habits of mind tend to “hook” us and get us stuck in states of anger, blame, self-hatred, and addiction. The good news is that once we start to see these patterns, we can begin to change our lives for the better.

The key is learning a new way of facing the inevitable difficulties and insecurities of our daily lives: we must learn how to stay present and open our hearts. “This path entails uncovering three basic human qualities,” explains Pema. “These qualities have always been with us but perhaps have gotten buried and almost forgotten. They are natural intelligence, natural warmth, and natural openness. Everyone, everywhere, all over the globe, has these qualities and can call on them to help themselves and others.”

A Few Quotes:

“Pausing is very helpful in this process. It creates a momentary contrast between being completely self-absorbed ad being awake and present.”

“Make a commitment to pausing throughout the day, and do that whenever you can. Allow time for your perception to shift. Allow time to experience the natural energy of life a it is manifesting right now.”

“Deep down in the human spirit there is a reservior of courage. It is always available, always waiting to be discovered.”

My Thoughts:

I really enjoy reading what I call my spiritual books because they provide me with ways I can improve myself and my life with others. This book appealed to me because I wanted to work more on some of the ways I habitually react to things I perceive as negative in my life. Let me first say that many of the concepts in this book aren’t new but Ms. Chodron has a way of making big topics accessible to all readers in a very friendly way. It’s like she is talking with an old friend. This format made it a delight to read. I found many of the passages, both inspiring and thought-provoking. Which is just what I like in spiritual and self-help books. I recommend this to everyone. The principles can be applied to anyone at any stage in life. For these reasons, I gave this book 5 butterflies!



Belinda’s Book Nook Book Review: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Sleeping Giants

Title: Sleeping Giants
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Copyright: April 26th 2016
Genre: science fiction
Format: e-book  Pages: 320

Wow, it’s been a while since I have written a review. Don’t be fooled, because I have still been ferociously reading books! This is one I recently read.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of the relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

My Thoughts:

I heard about this book from the online book community and it sounded like a good sci-fi fix. So I placed it on an e-book hold before it was released.  I was more than thrilled to receive the email informing it was available from the library to read.

I jumped right in and honestly found this book so easy to step into. I wasn’t sure if I would go for the interview transcripts format but I actually loved it. It kept the pace moving nicely while making it easy for the reader to keep up. What draws me to science fiction is the possibilities, the unknown, and the mystery. This book had a little of each. So I was pleasantly satisfied.

I don’t want to spoil this book for any intended readers so I won’t say more except that it was a fast read and very enjoyable. I also should point out, that it is the first book in what might be a series or a trilogy. Not sure which. But to be honest, it was a great stand alone read too.

I will be back with more books soon. Because I have been devouring so many. I hope you fill your summer with great reading adventures. They sure do make the summer even more special for me.

Although I enjoy science fiction, I can’t say I have read a lot, but from my perspective, I would rate this book a 4 1/2.

Happy reading!


Belinda’s Book Nook: Free Sujata Massey e-book for 2 Days only

Hello! I just found out that one of Sujata Massey’s e-books is on sale for two days only.

I love finding a good deal on books and free is as good as it gets. So when I found out I thought I would share it with you.

Convenience Boy and Other Stories of Japan (Rei Shimura Series) by Sujata Massey

A collection of Rei Shimura stories previously published in paper form by Sujata Massey. In this mini-book, Rei Shimura solves 3 very different mysteries. The title story, “The Convenience Boy,” tests Japanese romantic rituals in an unexpectedly humorous way. “Junior High Samurai” sends Rei back to her teaching roots as she becomes entwined in a bullying incident. “The Deepest Blue” is a poignant exploration of the conflict between family love and ambition. This 50-page trilogy is a must for anyone who wants everything related to Rei Shimura.

You can download it for free today and tomorrow at amazon here.

I hope you had a blessed MLK day today!

Happy Reading!



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