New Book Releases for January 12th, 2021

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Universal Love by Alexander Weinstein – A Review

Universal Love: Stories by Alexander Weinstein
Short Stories | Science Fiction
Published by Henry Holt & Company
Released 21st January 2020
Goodreads | Amazon

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Technology plays an ever-growing part in our lives. Most of us are so addicted to our phones or laptops that it’s hard for us to fathom not having them. The internet, our phones, and the satellites moving through space all help us connect to the rest of the world. We share information and news. People have access to resources they wouldn’t have otherwise. Technology had undoubtedly improved our world.

As we all know, however, technology is far from perfect. We can easily become addicted to its use, oftentimes to the detriment of our real lives. There are a lot of questions we have to ask ourselves as technology continues to grow in our lives, such as how much privacy to sacrifice.

Author Alexander Weinstein

In Universal Love: Stories, author Alexander Weinstein places the reader in a near-future inundated with technology and both the positives and negatives of technology on our relationships. While many of the stories are in the realm of science fiction, the technology feels close at hand.

As I read these eleven stories, I found myself living through the ethical ramifications of the characters. In my favorite story, “Purple Heart,” a father and son play a video game that takes place in real life, fighting terrorists in a distant land. With the increased use of drones in modern warfare, this could easily already be happening. A child playing a game, however, might struggle to understand the gravity of the situation at large.

In another story, “The Year of Nostalgia,” a grieving father allows his daughters to create a holographic version of his late wife. After doing this, one of their daughters discovers the unknown past of her mother, which seems very out-of-character. One moment from this story that’s stuck with me is how the father, after spending time with the holographic wife, almost seems to prefer this “new” version of her better than who she was when she was alive.

I thoroughly enjoyed Alexander Weinstein’s glimpses into what could easily be our very near future. I find myself in the same situation as many others: loving technology while simultaneously being wary of it. The stories collected in Universal Love play on these feelings and create scenarios that leave you questioning how you’d react in such a situation, and which also leaves you with a hesitancy about where technology is taking our relationships and lives in the future.

Note: I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher for review. This in no way effects my opinions.


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Best Comic Book Covers for the Week of January 6, 2021

One of my favorite aspects of comic books is the art, especially the cover art. For important issues, there are often numerous variant covers where the publishers commission incredible artists.

Here are my favorite comic book covers this week. If you’d like to see a list of this week’s new releases, click here.


Eternals Vol 5 #1
Marvel Comics
Cover art by Joe Quesada


Future State: Wonder Woman #1
DC Comics
Cover art by Joelle Jones


Future State: Wonder Woman #1
DC Comics
Cover art by Adam Hughes


Eternals Vol 5 #1
Marvel Comics
Cover art by Rian Gonzales


Star Trek: Year Five #18
IDW Publishing
Cover art by JJ Lendl


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Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher – A Review

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
Non-Fiction | Memoir
Published by Simon & Schuster
Released December 2, 2008
Goodreads | Amazon

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

While I don’t usually read celebrity memoirs (with a few notable exceptions), I listened to the audiobook of Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking because I wanted to learn more about her struggles with bipolar disorder, a condition that I also have.

It’s a very short audiobook at just a little over three hours. I knocked it out while playing Minecraft (which has become my favorite activity while listening to books).

I had hoped that she would talk about her experiences with bipolar disorder and electroshock therapy. However, the book is more or less about her experiences being surrounded by famous parents, spouses, and friends. There was a lot of airing of “dirty laundry,” as she discussed her father’s drug use and sexual affairs, which was less than interesting to me. If you’re into celebrity drama, however, you might really enjoy these parts.

Her love for her daughter is so clear through her words, which I found super-sweet. As the audiobook is narrated by Carrie Fisher, so much of her personality shines through. With the exception of a lot of strangely placed yelling, she came across as hilarious and very loyal to her daughter and mother.

Having wanted perhaps a deeper memoir, Wishful Drinking felt like a bit of a letdown. Apparently this book is based on a one-woman show that she did. Perhaps it didn’t translate all that well to book-form. I know she wrote several other books, so if you’re a big Carrie Fisher fan, maybe check one of those out first?


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Weekend Wrap-Up – Jan 2, 2021

Happy New Year’s everyone! Cheers to 2021 being less of a dumpster fire than 2020!

You guys already saw the list of new updates and things to look forward to on the blog in 2021. I’m still so stoked for all of it, and excited to be posting regularly again on here, Youtube, and Instagram. If you haven’t already joined Read Yourself Happy’s Facebook group, go ahead and do that now.

To start off, just like last week, we have a ton of best of 2020 lists. I always find new recommendations from lists like these:

In The Guardian, Laura Barton writes about how facts made her fall in love with the world again when she was bored.

James Doohan, known for his role as Scotty on Star Trek: The Original Series, was secretly smuggled aboard the International Space Station after his death and cremation. It seems fitting.


On the Blog


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New Updates for Read Yourself Happy

Are y’all ready for a bunch of new content in 2021!! I know I am!

Since I didn’t get to do a lot of the things that I had planned in 2020, this new year is going to be chock-full of exciting things for Read Yourself Happy!

No need for a bunch of preamble. Let’s get right to what’s new!

  • An actual schedule, and preparing content in advance. This was probably my biggest downfall in 2020. I never once sit down and actually planned out my blog posts or Instagram photos. As a result, I rarely got around to posting anything. This year, however, I already have a content calendar going, as well as tons of content prepped.
  • Booktube is a priority. I enjoyed filming and posting the (very) few videos I uploaded to YouTube, but seemed to find a lot of excuses when it came time to actually filming stuff. This is a huge priority for me in 2021. My goal is three videos per week, but it might end up being more than that. One thing you probably won’t see too much of, however, are vlogs. I very rarely enjoy reading or lifestyle vlogs, and don’t feel that my life is exciting enough to warrant those types of videos. What can you expect? Lots of reviews, tags, hauls (and unhauls), mental health updates, and discussions about having a speech impediment, being bipolar, and stuff of that nature.
  • Read the world! If you’re one of the few who have been around since the very beginning (and if you are, THANK YOU!), you may remember that in 2018 I attempted to do a Read the World challenge wherein I would choose three countries every month and read books from there and talk about their literary traditions. As is very often the case, I bit off way more than I could chew and got burned out within the very first month. My goal in 2021 is far simpler: read a book from as many countries as possible. I’ve already gathered quite a few to get started. I love reading books in translation. It’s a way for me to travel the world while staying in place. I’ve always prioritized translated literature, so the only real difference is that now I’m trying to focus on hitting every nation at least once. I’m learning German at the moment as well, and I’m going to be reading a lot of German children’s books until I’m ready to graduate myself up to middle-grade and young adult literature. In December my goal is to read Der Kleine Hobbit.
  • A Facebook reading and discussion group. This is something that I’ve wanted to do since the start of this blog. I would love the opportunity to get to know you guys better and do monthly buddy reads. The group is very new and sparsely populated at the moment, but obviously, as it grows it’ll get more interesting.
  • Crushing my 250 Goodreads Reading Challenge. I will kill it this year. This past year I had an ongoing reading slump preventing me from reading as much as I usually do, plus this was the year that I discovered how fun Minecraft is. (Yes, I know I’m a decade late. What else is new?) My biggest goal this year is to get my physical TBR down to a manageable number. Right now it’s in the hundreds, primarily because I have absolutely no self-control.

That’s all I’ve got, but for me, it’s a lot to look forward to. I’m really eager to start blogging again in earnest, as well as to have plenty of content ready in case I have days where my mood swings a bit lower and I don’t feel like writing or filming.

All the usual stuff will still be around too, like weekly book and comic book releases, and daily Kindle deals.

If y’all have any recommendations for things you’d like to see on the blog, Instagram account, or YouTube channel, let me know! I’m always open to new suggestions!

I hope every single one of you have a great 2021! Here’s to a brand new year!


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A Look Back At 2020

A look back at 2020, a year that most of us are ready to leave behind.

2020. It’s been one hell of a year.

Plague. Explosions. A tumultuous presidential election. Isolation. Protests. Violence. Etc, etc. I think everyone is breathing a collective sigh of relief that this year has come to an end.

My blogging suffered a lot in 2020. I don’t think I even need to make excuses about why that was. We all know how rough this year has been.

I’m adamant that 2021 is going to be better, at least in terms of Read Yourself Happy. I’ve got so much fun stuff planned out!

For now, however, let’s look back at 2020.

This was the year that I took the leap and switched from a WordPress.com site to a completely self-hosted one. Talk about a learning curve! I’m not the most tech-savvy person in the world, so even though the transition happened months ago, I’m still getting everything straightened out.

I failed miserably at my Goodreads challenge. My boyfriend and I have a bet every year based on that reading goal. If I win, he buys me a super-fancy book or book collection; if he wins (and I don’t meet the goal), he gets a fancy cologne (something that he collects). I lost by a bit last year, but this year…

Yeah…… Not hitting 250 this year. That screenshot is from December 30th.

I’m still super happy with the amount I read, however. Any amount of reading I consider a victory.

My best and worst books of 2020 lists will be coming early next week, so keep an eye out for that. I read mostly backlist titles this year, although I did make space for a few new releases, like V.E. Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.

Like many companies, my employer switched to work-from-home back in March (March 19th actually – it was a nice birthday surprise for me!), and I’m obsessed. I hope I never have to go back to the office! Working from home has improved my mental health by an incredible amount. Obviously, WFH isn’t for everyone, especially extroverts. However, as an introvert who needs silence to be productive, I’m absolutely thriving.

My overall mental health has held up surprisingly well, all things considered. A few medication changes, but nothing major. I’m still learning to deal with bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression, but these are conditions I’ll be living with for the rest of my life.

While I’m wary of what 2021 will bring, I’m confident that at least in the book and blogging portions of my life, things are looking up. I’m so excited to be sharing more regular content with y’all!

Let’s kick 2021 off with a bang! Get your reading lists ready!


What was your 2020 like? Are you happy or sad that it’s over? Tell me about the best thing that happened to you this year down in the comments!


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Top Ten Tuesday – My Favorite Non-Fiction Books of 2020

For Top Ten Tuesday, here are my ten favorite non-fiction books of 2020.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly tag run by That Artsy Reader Girl. Check out her blog for the rules and weekly prompts.

This week’s topic is Favorite Books of 2020. Since I already have that particular list coming out soon, I decided I’d instead share my Favorite Non-Fiction Books of 2020.

Let’s get started!


Less Than Crazy Bipolar II Karla Dougherty

Less Than Crazy: Living Fully with Bipolar II by Karla Dougherty

Goodreads | Amazon

I’ve discussed before on this blog about my bipolar II diagnosis, and this was the first book that I picked up on the topic. It’s full of great information, from how to manage and recognize mania and depression, facts about common medications, and more. It’s become one of my go-to books when I need to look up something related to my condition.


When You're Not Ok - Jill Stark

When You’re Not OK: A Toolkit for Tough Times by Jill Stark

Goodreads | Amazon

This pocket-sized book is full of great advice for dealing with tough situations. I keep it next to my bed for those times when I’m panicking or feeling anxious and need a reminder that everything is going to be okay. When You’re Not Ok would make a great gift for just about anyone.


The Hidden World of the Fox

The Hidden World of the Fox by Adele Brand

Goodreads | Amazon

It should come as no surprise to anyone that reads this blog that I’m obsessed with foxes. I’ve grown up watching these elusive creatures and love their personalities and ability to thrive anywhere. Adele Brand does a great job of introducing the reader to everything you could ever want to know about foxes.


Death is but a dream christopher kerr

Death is But a Dream: Finding Hope and Meaning at Life’s End by Dr. Christopher Kerr

Goodreads | Amazon

I very recently reviewed this book. It was a fascinating look at the end-of-life experience of hospice patients. I think it’s important to read books confronting death, as it’s the only thing certain in life.


The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America by Langdon Cook

Goodreads | Amazon

Taking place mostly along the Pacific Northwest, Langdon Cook joins up with mushroom hunters and writes about his experiences. It’s an endlessly entertaining book. Not only is the information about mushrooms fascinating, but the mushroom hunters themselves are very interesting people.


Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft

Goodreads | Amazon

No one will ever change my mind that this book should be required reading for everyone. While it’s primarily written towards women, everyone can benefit from Bancroft’s examples of abusive relationships. From how to spot an abuser to what to do if you find yourself in a dangerous relationship, this book contains everything you need to protect yourself from all forms of abuse.


For the Love of Books: Stories of Literary Lives, Banned Books, Author Feuds, Extraordinary Characters, and More by Graham Tarrant

Goodreads | Amazon

This book was so much fun to read! Covering all types of literature, Tarrant finds the most fascinating stories and authors to talk about. This book would make a perfect gift for any bibliophiles in your life.


An Environmental History of the Civil War by Judkin Browning & Timothy Silver

Goodreads | Amazon

I love history, but an environmental history of a single war is something that I’ve never had the pleasure of reading. I greedily consumed it, finishing it in just a couple of days. The authors discussed how the elements, illnesses, and animals impacted the outcome of individual battles and the overall war. I would love to find similar books about other conflicts. It was such a fascinating way to look at a historical event.


Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving by Celeste Headlee

Goodreads | Amazon

One of my strongest beliefs is that, as a society, we put far too much stock in our jobs and not enough in our free time. That’s exactly what this book is about, and Celeste Headlee does a great job of convincing the reader of this. I wish books like this didn’t have to be written, but our culture pushes so many people to devote their entire lives to work. I know far too many people who don’t have a single hobby. If you’re one of these people, please read this book.


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

Goodreads | Amazon

This no-nonsense self-help book won’t be for everyone, but it spoke to me in a way that few other self-help books have. Two of my least favorite aspects of the entire self-help genre are the pandering and calls to “manifest your desires.” Manson doesn’t do that. His approach is to call you out on not taking responsibility for your actions and persuading you to take control of your own life. It was exactly the motivation I needed in my life.


What were your favorite non-fiction books of 2020? Let me know down in the comments!


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The Illustrated Book of Mindful Meditations for Mindless Moments by Courtney E Ackerman – A Review

Courtney E. Ackerman’s The Illustrated Book of Mindful Meditations for Mindless Moments is a short book with advice on how to use mindfulness in your everyday life.

The Illustrated Book of Mindful Meditations for Mindless Moments by Courtney E. Ackerman
Non-Fiction | Meditation & Mindfulness | Self-Help
Published by Adams Media
Released December 29th, 2020
Goodreads | Amazon

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Mindfulness and meditation have both been huge influences on my quality of life since I discovered books about the subjects at my local library back in 2006. As a result of that and of wanting to constantly expand my knowledge, I’m ready to pick up any book about these topics.

When I requested The Illustrated Book of Mindful Meditations for Mindless Moments from Adams Media, I was expecting an adorable, illustrated guide to mindfulness. And that’s exactly what it was… sort of. Unfortunately, the advice contained within these 190 pages felt shallow. As someone who’s been reading and studying up on the subject for years, I learned absolutely nothing. I can’t be sure, but I feel that someone completely new to the subject would also struggle to learn anything useful.

Courtney E Ackerman

I hate having to give this small book such a low star rating, but I was very disappointed. I’ve seen plenty of small, easy-to-digest meditation books done so much better.

Here are a few examples of the “advice” contained in this book:

  • “Look out the window and take note of what you see. Count the birds or the telephone poles. Look at the trees or hanging flags and decide whether it’s windy or not.”
  • “Whether you sign in online or write out a check, notice the movements your hands and arms make as you pay your bills. Feel the smoothness of the pen in your hand or the keys on your keyboard.”
  • “As your coworkers chat nearby, take a minute to listen. Don’t eavesdrop, but take note of the tone of the conversation. Hear the rise and fall of their voices as the discussion continues.”

These are the only words written on each page. There’s no real introduction to what mindfulness meditation is. The advice goes no deeper than what you just read.

The illustrations on every other page are sort of cute, but this book seems like a waste of printing material. I feel horrible saying it, but there are a thousand better books about mindfulness meditation, including on how to use it in your day to day life.

My recommendation is to skip The Illustrated Book of Mindful Meditations for Mindless Moments. It’s not worth the $15.99 US price tag. Instead, pick up Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Wherever You Go There You Are or Thich Nhat Hanh’s The Miracle of Mindfulness.


What’s the best book on mindfulness meditation that you’ve read? Let me know in the comments!


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Weekend Update – Dec 26 2020

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season!

I’m so excited about getting closer to the beginning of 2021! I’ve got so many things planned for this blog, my Instagram page, and my YouTube channel. 2020 was crazy for everyone, and I sort of fell off from blogging frequently. My goal is to stay far more motivated in 2021!

As we near the end of the year, there are a ton of book lists and reward lists being releases. Here are a few:

My own best and worst of lists will be coming early January, so keep an eye out!

Rachel Kadish, author of The Weight of Ink, a novel set during the plague years of 1665-66 in London, discusses the question “Do you feel like your living in your own novel?” [Slate]

34-year-old Shannon Hennig was stressed and busy and failed to notice signs of congestive heart failure. This is a great reminder to pay attention to your body even when life is crazy. [Business Insider]

Everyone knows by now that social media can be detrimental to your mental health. Here are a few great tips to make your time on Facebook less stressful. [Make Use Of]

Cult-classic Firefly is coming back in 2021 as a comic book series from Boom! Studios! I will 100% be reading, but as it takes place after the events in Serenity, I suppose it means I’ll have to acknowledge that a certain death definitely took place, which I like to pretend otherwise. [Boing Boing]


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First, Wear a Mask by Dr. Philip M. Tierno, Jr – A Review

First, Wear a Face Mask: A Doctor’s Guide to Reducing Risk of Infection During the Pandemic and Beyond by Dr. Philip M. Tierno, Jr.
Non-fiction | Health | Current Events | Medical
Published by Rodale Publishing
Released 1 September 2020
Goodreads | Amazon

Rating: 4 out of 5.

When Rodale Publishing reached out to me for a review of First, Wear a Mask, I immediately said yes. It felt like an important book to read and discuss during this world-wide COVID-19 pandemic. As it’s a very straight-forward book, this won’t be a very long review.

Dr. Philip M. Tierno Jr

It’s a short book at just 125 pages. It literally covers everything – how to clean every surface and item you can imagine, the best homemade cleaning supplies, how to travel safely, how to sanitize your mail, how to keep germs to a minimum in your home – again, just about everything. The information contained within First, Wear a Mask left me feeling confident in my ability to protect myself and my family.

I appreciated all of the information, but there were a few times where it may have gotten a little too over the top. For example, his suggestion that you take your own cleaning supplies to hotels to clean the room before staying there. If you want to do that, great – do it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with making sure you’re in a clean environment. Personally, however, I’m choosing not to go to those lengths. (As an aside, I worked in hotels for most of my twenties. One of them was a very upscale resort hotel and the other a pretty cheap beach hotel. Most of my friends also work in hospitality, some of them specifically in housekeeping. In all cases, I never came across situations where the rooms weren’t being properly cleaned. I’m sure it happens, but in my experience, it isn’t common.)

I’d really recommend this short, informative book to everyone. From people just getting out on their own to older people who have been cleaning up after themselves for decades, there is bound to be some bit of information within these pages that will teach you something new. `


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10 Small Things You Can Do To Make Yourself Feel Instantly Happier

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We all have days when we feel down in the dumps, frustrated, or angry. Most of us don’t have the luxury of taking mental health days and calling out of work or canceling all of our plans when we have days like that.

There are small things you can do in the moment to make you feel happier, however. Some of these suggestions might sound silly at first, but I’ve tried all of these and they really do work.

Here are ten small things you can do to become instantly happier.


1. Smile

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Studies have shown that when you smile, your brain releases chemicals that make you feel happier. So, essentially, when you smile, you’re tricking your brain into releasing those chemicals. This is the easiest thing to try when you’re feeling sad or upset.


2. Walk Outside

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Spending 20 minutes walking outside in nature can boost your mood significantly. Obviously, this isn’t convenient for everyone, but if you can, take a walk outside on your lunch break or in the morning. Back when I lived in Asheville, NC, I would spend many of my days off hiking, and my mood was always improved for days afterward.


3. Breathe

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Meditation is incredible and has been shown to be beneficial to our bodies and minds. Some people find meditation a little intimidating but it doesn’t need to be! At its very simplest, all you need to do is spend a few minutes paying attention to your breaths.

You can even do this at your desk. Just close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths, and try to focus on your breathing. There are also several apps you can download to your phone with guided meditations (such as Headspace).


4. Be Mindful of Your Posture

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Most of us don’t think about our posture very often, but bad posture could lead to bad moods. If you need help, Lifehacker has a wonderful guide on how to improve your posture.


5. Practice Gratitude

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When you look back on your day or week, are you more likely to remember the bad things that happened or the good? For a lot of us, we tend to focus more on the negative things around us. Practicing gratitude can help us focus on those good things we experience on a daily basis, even if those things are minuscule. There are so many things you can be grateful for: a friend texting you just to say hi, catching every green light on your way to work, your dog greeting you happily at the door, the temperature being perfect outside, etc. There’s really no end to things that you can be thankful for.


6. Text a Friend

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This is something that I make use of whenever I’m feeling terrible at work. My job is super stressful and involves getting screamed and cussed at over the phone for hours at a time. Whenever I’m starting to focus on the negativity, I text one of my friends just to say hi or to see how they’re doing. Hearing from people you care about can instantly boost your mood.


7. Surround Yourself with Things That Make You Happy

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If you have a desk at work, keep a photo of your loved ones or your pets on it. If you work in customer service, change your phone background to a picture that makes you smile or a motivational quote. Put fresh flowers in your room. Basically, surround yourself with things that make you happy.


8. Laugh

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Much like smiling, laughing can trick your brain into releasing chemicals that make you feel happier. Also, who doesn’t like a good laugh? Ask someone to tell you a joke, watch your favorite ridiculous gif, or recall memories of something hilarious that happened to you once. Force yourself to laugh your ass off.

For me, no matter how bad of a mood I’m in, this clip from Star Trek: The Next Generation always makes me laugh. Make sure you watch it to the end.


9. Use Essential Oils

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I used to work in a spa, and during those years I discovered that there really is something amazing about aromatherapy. Scents such as orange, lavender, and peppermint (among others) can instantly boost your mood. Everybody enjoys different scents, so experiment and find what scent makes you happiest! For me, I enjoy a blend of orange or grapefruit extract with a touch of rosemary.


10. Remember That You Are Amazing

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After going through a rough breakup years ago, this tip really helped me. Anytime I was feeling worthless, I’d find one or two things that I loved about myself. It would instantly make me feel better, and would also serve to boost my confidence! If you’re thinking of saying there’s nothing amazing about yourself… don’t! You are absolutely amazing, and you have countless great qualities you can focus on. Feel good about who you are, and constantly remind yourself of how awesome you are!



What do you do when you’re feeling down? Let me know in the comments!




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Death is But a Dream by Christopher Kerr – A Review

Death is But a Dream: Finding Hope and Meaning at Life’s End by Christopher Kerr, MD, PhD
Nonfiction | Memoir | Medical
Published by Avery Publishing Group
Released 11 February 2020
Goodreads | Amazon

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Most of the non-fiction I read tends to have self-help or historical themes. Lately, however, I’ve been more and more interested in the more spiritual side of things. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but who knows.

When I was approached by a publicist to review Dr. Christopher Kerr’s Death is But a Dream: Finding Hope and Meaning at Life’s End, I was hesitant but interested. I’m glad I agreed to read and review it, however, because it taught me a lot about the end of life process.

Dr. Christopher Kerr

Dr. Kerr is a hospice doctor, and this book is a collection of his observations about what patients experience on their death beds. He takes a strikingly non-spiritual and non-religious view of the dying process, which made the book even more interesting to me. His views on the experiences of his dying patients were based on science and his own observations.

With tons of patient stories and anecdotes, Dr. Kerr recounts the plethora of patients who have experienced seeing their loved ones, who have passed on before them, in their last few days of life. Likewise, he discusses the overwhelming sense of peace that many people experience in their last days or hours.

While many people might chalk these experiences up to hallucinations, senility, or the side effects of heavy doses of medications, Dr. Kerr makes the point that it doesn’t necessarily matter what is causing these visions – the only thing that matters is how they make the patients feel, which is overwhelmingly more peaceful and happier during an otherwise stressful time.

My only complaint about this book is that I wished Dr. Kerr had used more statistics and stories from other types of doctors – possibly trauma surgeons or ICU nurses – to get a different perspective on other types of patients. It’s a very small gripe though because overall, reading this book was an enlightening experience.

I’d recommend Death is But a Dream to anyone interested in death, the experiences of terminally ill patients, and those who want a non-religious look at the end of life. Death is But a Dream is a beautifully written account of the experiences of dying patients of all ages, their families and loved ones, and the doctors and nurses who care for them in hospice.


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My Life in Books 2020

I saw this fun challenge over on Fictionophile’s blog and wanted to give it a shot. It was created by Annabel at Annabookbel. The goal is to answer the prompts using only titles you’ve read in 2020. If I have a review for the selected books, I’ll link to it for y’all.


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If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

Abridged vs Unabridged – What’s the Difference?

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I’ve been trying to get into audiobooks lately. I have a subscription to Scribd and have also been using Audible and Hoopla to listen to them.

psst: if you aren’t already subscribed to Audible, click here to sign up for a free trial and get two free audiobooks!

Something I’ve begun to notice is that many of the audiobooks I come across, particularly long fantasy and self-help books, are that they are abridged. I avoid abridged books at all times.

A few days ago I was talking to a friend about being frustrated that one of the books I was trying to find an audiobook for I could only find an abridged version, and she asked me what the difference between abridged and unabridged was. So, I thought it’d explain it here on the blog as well.

When a book is abridged, it’s a shortened, more concise version of the book. Someone reading or listening to an abridged version of a book will still understand the plot and themes of the book, but might miss out on the smaller scenes.

An abridged book is sometimes a great choice for students who don’t have enough time to listen to the much-longer original version of a book or to people who want to understand a book in a short period of time.

Unabridged, however, is the original, full-length version of the book. This is the route I always go, and for people reading for fun, it’s probably the best option.

It’s pretty simple, but knowing the difference between abridged and unabridged is important when seeking out literature.


Do you prefer abridged or unabridged books? Let me know in the comments!




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