Bergers Book Reviews

Habit Stacking


Author: S.J. Scott
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: Self-improvement
ISBN: 978-1545339121
Pages: 330
Price: $14.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Developing better habits can be tricky, since old habits keep us locked in patterns that feel hard to break. But what if there was a way to make this easier? What if we could group several habits together, making it more likely that we complete them all every day?

Habit Stacking shows us how to add good habits to our day by “stacking” them into manageable thirty minute time slots. If it makes sense to do them at the beginning of the day, we can stack them in the morning. Or maybe we’d be better off doing them in the middle or end of the day. That’s fine, too. Just schedule the stack, make a list of new habits we’d like to develop, and get ready to see positive changes.

S.J. Scott provides suggestions for 127 new habits that could improve our lives. These are grouped into categories: Career, Finance, Health, Leisure, Organizing, Relationship, and Spirituality. Habits are also categorized as Keystone, Support, and Elephant, based on how they are developed and used. Scott also shares some of the tools he finds useful, such as websites and apps that help in developing these new habits. And he tackles any resistance we might feel at adding new habits to an already overcrowded lifestyle.

Habit Stacking shares a unique and helpful approach to new habit formation. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

June 5, 2017 Posted by | self improvement | Leave a comment

Mini Habits for Weight Loss


Author: Stephen Guise
Publisher: Selective Entertainment LLC
Genre: Diet / Personal development
ISBN: 978-0996435444
Pages: 252
Price: $14.35

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

The dieting industry has a lot to say regarding what we put into our bodies. Whether we want to go low-carb, count calories, or watch fats, we can find a plan to suit our needs. But each of these diets falls short when we can’t sustain them for the long term. If it can’t be a lifetime commitment, it’s doomed to failure.

Mini Habits for Weight Loss provides a unique common-sense outlook to long-term weight loss and management. Any diet plan can be modified to fit the Mini Habits system, although Stephen Guise recommends we eat more of certain foods and less of others to have optimum success. Adopting new “mini” habits is the key to this system, and some other tips and tricks are provided to help us accomplish our goals.

Backing up his claims with a wealth of research and scientific proof, Guise makes a brilliant case for why people don’t lose weight long-term by using certain dieting methods. And he shows how even the savviest shopper can be duped by healthy-sounding claims by food manufacturers. Mini Habits for Weight Loss is the most common-sense book on dieting that I’ve ever seen. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

April 11, 2017 Posted by | self improvement | Leave a comment

Ishi: Simple Tips From a Solid Friend

Ishi
Author: Akiko Yabuki
Publisher: POW!
Genre: Philosophy / Self-help
ISBN: 978-1-57687-816-3
Pages: 40
Price: $12.95

Buy it at Amazon

Ishi is a pet rock with a warm smile and words of simple wisdom. In this book, author Akiko Yabuki encourages us to listen to Ishi’s message, be happy, and share Ishi with a friend.

In the first frame of each two page spread, Ishi finds himself in an uncomfortable situation. Then in the second one, he shares some of his simple wisdom on how to deal with the situation and make himself feel better. Feel stuck? Always move forward, not backward. Sad about what’s missing? Focus on what you have and appreciate it. Feeling unhappy? Smile – happiness will follow.

Ishi is listed for Pre-school to Kindergarten aged children, but I feel that Ishi’s wisdom can also be enjoyed by adults and teenagers. As we age, we may find ourselves even more stressed than children, and Ishi’s gentle smile is a soothing balm for frazzled nerves. I highly recommend Ishi: Simple Tips From a Solid Friend for all ages.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

July 11, 2016 Posted by | philosophy, self improvement | Leave a comment

Level Up Your Life

Level Up Your Life
Author: Steve Kamb
Publisher: Rodale Books
Genre: Self-improvement / Fitness
ISBN: 978-1-62336-540-0
Pages: 288
Price: $19.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Life is meant to be an adventure, but far too many people simply sit on the sidelines and watch. But what if we could be the hero in our own story? Steve Kamb shows us how we can tackle challenges like a video game and learn to level up our own lives.

Although Kamb is the founder of Nerd Fitness, Level Up Your Life is only partially concerned with fitness. Mostly, it encourages us to step outside the box we’re living in, and be willing to try the new and exciting things we’ve only allowed ourselves to dream about. Travel, learning a new language, making a career change, and other fun and intimidating adventures are presented in a fresh way, with the focus on taking small steps until we master the challenge. In video games, we face small battles until we’re good enough to take on bigger foes, and life can be handled much the same way.

Without foes to thwart us, we quickly lose interest in video games. And without challenge in life, our day to day existence becomes humdrum. Level Up Your Life shows us how to bring back the sparkle and enthusiasm for living. I highly recommend this unique and fun self-improvement book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

May 16, 2016 Posted by | fitness, self improvement | Leave a comment

Wake Up, Man Up, Step Up

Wake Up Man Up Step Up
Author: Ray Arata
Publisher: Highpoint Executive Publishing
Genre: Men / Self-improvement
ISBN: 978-0-9839432-6-6
Pages: 260
Price: $21.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Ray Arata’s wake-up call came when he was suddenly faced with a huge change at work and the end of his marriage. Although his circumstances had become unstable, he knew he needed to make adjustments to how he handled things, if he wanted to be happy. Wake Up, Man Up, Step Up shares some of the processes he went through to turn his life around.

Once a man has had his wake-up call, he will need to take action. In this book, Arata provides a roadmap of steps to success: create support for yourself, speak your truth, declare your want, identify blocks, break through old ways of being, embody responsibility, and integrate and manifest. These steps are explored with examples, explanations and journal entry questions, designed to help the reader get more in touch with himself and his underlying beliefs. Follow-up chapters help men focus on specific areas such as being a good parent, friend or spouse.

Wake Up, Man Up, Step Up is not a book men can simply read to absorb and understand the concepts presented. This is an interactive workbook, and the exercises won’t be effective without putting in the time and energy to get to the root of problems. But if you’re willing to make the commitment, this program will lead you to be the best man you can be.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

October 3, 2014 Posted by | men, self improvement | Leave a comment

Little Black Sheep

Little Black Sheep
Author:  Ashley Cleveland
Publisher: David C. Cook
Genre: Christian / Addiction
ISBN: 978-1-4347-0529-7
Pages: 200
Price: $17.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Ashley Cleveland’s early years were traumatic due to her parents’ drinking and divorce. A cross-country move and her mother’s remarriage added to her struggles, and she soon developed an addiction to food. But once she discovered alcohol and drugs, her life took a radical turn for the worse.

Music was Cleveland’s saving grace, and her talents were noticed and appreciated in the churches she attended. However, her interest in salvation was inconsistent, at best. But, God was invested in saving his “little black sheep,” and she finally found recovery and hope.

Little Black Sheep is the absorbing autobiography of Ashley Cleveland’s life and recovery. No matter what we’ve experienced in our own lives, we will relate to aspects of her struggles – with home and family growing up, a traumatic move, and maybe even promiscuity and addictions like she faced. It’s inspiring to see how Cleveland continued to fight through the relapses and finally find a sure-footed recovery. But, I would have liked to see more of how she finally found her way through the darkness to the light on the other side, as a guide to those who are still trying to get there. This would be a great read for anyone in recovery.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

September 17, 2013 Posted by | Christian, self improvement | Leave a comment

Design Your Own Destiny

Design Your Own Destiny
Author: Mary A. Molloy
Publisher: TRB Press
Genre: Self-help
ISBN: 978-0-9853796-7-4
Pages: 192
Price: $21.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

If you’ve decided it’s time to make your life better, you may find you need some guidance along the way. Do you know what you really want? And do you know how to get there? Mary A. Molloy has worked with numerous people, including homeless women, to get them all back on track, working toward the life of their dreams.

The first place to start is a life balance chart. What parts of your life – intellectual, emotional, physical, spiritual – are you happy with? Next, it’s time to draw your dreams. The physical act of drawing releases energy that helps you reach those dreams. Once you think you know where you want to go, use the life choices assessment tool to evaluate the best options. And finally, you’ll need to create a life choice map as a step-by-step plan to get there. Quotes from the best self-help masters are included in each section as encouragement and motivation.

Molloy has had years of experience in coaching people to reach their dreams and this book grew out of her desire to help even more people. But several of the exercises in this book are printed in a repetitive way, with similar information repeated over many pages. This repetitiveness caused me to skim quite a bit. Overall, Design Your Own Destiny is a nice guide to making changes in your life, but it didn’t present any new ideas not covered already in other, similar books.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

August 8, 2013 Posted by | self improvement | Leave a comment

Beyond the Power of Your Subconscious Mind

Beyond the Power of Your Subconscious Mind
Author: C. James Jensen
Publisher: Waterside Publications
Genre: Self-improvement
ISBN: 978-1-937503-94-9
Pages: 216
Price: $16.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

The subconscious mind is very powerful, if it is accessed properly. But not all of us intuitively know how to do this. To help us in working with our subconscious, in 1963 Dr. Joseph Murphy wrote a book called The Power of Your Subconscious Mind. C. James Jensen credits this classic book with changing his life, and he wanted to update and expand it in this new version.

The first sections approach the subconscious mind from a psychological perspective. But if you’re not in that field, you may have trouble following along at times. Explanations of how the mind works can be a bit confusing. But once you reach the latter sections, topics like affirmations, health, happiness and emotional mastery are a bit easier to grasp. Explanations of each are included, along with several practical examples of how to use these principles in your own life.

Many books have been written about using our minds to change our lives. This one shares quite a bit of the same material, but without a lot of the enthusiasm and hype. It also touches less on the spiritual dimension of this process. But if you’re looking for a no-nonsense, intellectual approach, Beyond the Power of Your Subconscious Mind is the right book for you.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

June 26, 2013 Posted by | self improvement | Leave a comment

Your Superpowers Vol. 1: Dream It, Achieve It

Your Superpowers
Author: Steve Gardner
Genre: Teen / Self improvement
ISBN: 978-0-9839332-0-5
Pages: 106
Price: $12.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Life just isn’t going the way you planned, but you don’t know how to change it. Maybe you don’t know about your superpowers! Yes, you do have superpowers, and Steve Gardner shows you what they are and how to access them, in this book.

You are greater than you realize, and you can attract good things into your life. But how, you ask? By following this five step process. There is a logical technique to attracting your best life to you, and if you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way.

Adults have followed the Law of Attraction for a long time, but it may surprise teens to know this law can also be applied to their lives. And once these principles are established, they can easily be used forever. One of the things I really like about this book is the author’s encouragement to establish contact with Heavenly Father. Without divine assistance, the Law of Attraction doesn’t work, so it’s great to see Gardner’s insistence on prayer and gratitude. Overall, this is a nice, concise guide in easy to understand language, on how to live a wonderful life.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

May 24, 2013 Posted by | self improvement, teen | Leave a comment

Change the World Before Bedtime

Change the World Before Bedtime
By:  Mark Kimball Moulton, Josh Chalmers, and Karen Good
Publisher: Schiffer Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-7643-4238-7
Pages: 32
Price: $16.99

Schiffer Books
Buy it at Amazon

Small acts can’t really make a difference – can they? They sure do! In fact, kids can even change the world through random acts of kindness and social responsibility.

Eating wholesome and nutritious foods start the day off right. Cleaning a park, cheering up a sick friend, visiting the elderly and housebound, and raising money for the less fortunate are just some of the actions encouraged by this book. With colorful and fun illustrations, these ideas generate excitement and enthusiasm for doing good deeds just for the sheer joy.

Kids have tremendous power to make positive changes in the world. And learning these skills early in life will guarantee they will be practiced well into adulthood, for the betterment of all. I highly recommend Change the World Before Bedtime.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

February 12, 2013 Posted by | children, self improvement | Leave a comment