Book Review: 18 Steps to Own Your Life: Simple Powers for a Healthier, Happier You

18Steps

I had the pleasure of reading Keith McArthur’s 18 Steps to Own Your Life in exchange for a fair and honest review.

18 Steps for Your Own Life has to be one of the most practical self-help books I’ve had the pleasure to read.

It’s a short but compact read, filled with nuggets of common sense, practical life tips that will make your life easier, happier and healthier. No gimmicks, no guff, just solid advice that makes sense.

Author Keith McArthur breaks life down to 18 important categories where we can make vast improvements in our lives with small changes. He draws from his own life experience and also references the writings of other well known self help writers, compiling the best information out there into one practical resource.

He does not present himself as a guru, but as a human who has struggled with his own battles, both internal and external. He presents what he has learned from those experiences, what has worked for him and chose to share it with the world in the hopes of helping others.

Each of the 18 steps are presented, expanded upon and followed by a list of the key takeaways at the end of each section. My personal favourite section was on sanctifying your space.

Worksheets for the book will also be available, an absolutely fantastic way to stop and think about your goals and choices instead of skipping over to the next section.

18 Steps to Your Own Life is an excellent resource for anyone looking to change their life through their choices, habits, healthy mental and physical health and using your time more effectively.

18 Steps to Own Your Life is on sale at Amazon. Here is the link to get your own copy.

To view this book on Goodreads, go here.

 

41afkwdo9zl-_sy200_Keith McArthur got a second chance at life in 2017 when his little sister donated one of her kidneys to him. Now, he writes and podcasts about his journey to becoming happier and healthier. Keith is the creator of MyInstructionManual.com — a website, podcast, and book series providing high-quality personal-development content.

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Friday Post: Seventh Son (The Last Apprentice)

Book Beginnings on Fridays

Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

My opening sentences for this week is from Seventh Son by Joseph Delaney.  I just happened to pick this book up one day, not even knowing anything about it. I fell in love with the story and then when I found out there was a whole series of thirteen books I thought I’d died and gone to heaven!  My son and I read the whole series together.  He was around eleven at the time and he loved them, too.

Click to see this on Amazon.com

 

When the Spook arrived, the light was already beginning to fail.  It had been a long, hard day, and I was ready for my supper.

“You’re sure he’s a seventh son?” he asked.  He was looking down at me and shaking his head doubtfully.

 

Friday 56

Every Friday, there is also the Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s voice.

 

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post to the Linky on Freda’s blog. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.

From Page 56:

I’d have liked to know more but had the sense not to question him further.  It seemed to me that there was a lot to learn about the Spook and his past, but I had a feeling they were things he’d only tell me when he was good and ready.

So I just followed him south, carrying his heavy bag and thinking about what my mam had written in the letter.  She was never one to boast or make wild statements.  Mam only said what had to be said, so she’d meant every single word.  Usually she just got on with things and did what was necessary.  The Spook had told me there was nothing much could be done about ghasts, but Mam had once silenced the ghasts on Hangman’s Hill.

Being a seventh son of a seventh son was nothing that special in this line of work — you needed that just to be taken on as the Spook’s apprentice.  But I knew there was something else that made me different.

I was my mam’s son, too.

My Thoughts…

Loved these books…all thirteen of them!  They revolve around a world where witches, ghosts, ghasts and boggarts are alive(well not alive, technically!) and well.  People depend on their local Spook to drive off these pesky and sometimes dangerous beings.  Spooks will take on an apprentice, a seventh son from a seventh son being the basic requirement.  That’s where Tom Ward comes in.  The Spook is getting old and the dark is getting more powerful.

There is a hint of romance in these books, too.  It is something that is frowned upon by the Spook, especially when it comes to girls ‘who wear pointy shoes’.  Will Tom’s friend be lured to the dark?

The first two books in the series were actually made into a movie.  It had a great cast with Jeff Bridges, Kit Harrington and Julianne Moore.  Unfortunately, it was a huge departure from the books and didn’t do too well a the box office.  It was quite awful, in fact.

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Book 1 and Book 2 of the best-selling fantasy adventure series that inspired the forthcoming major motion picture Seventh Son! Read Book 1, Revenge of the Witch, and Book 2, Curse of the Bane, in one volume! A major motion picture phenomenon and an international bestseller, The Last Apprentice will haunt you—and terrify you—and keep you coming back for more.

This volume includes Book 1, Revenge of the Witch, and Book 2, Curse of the Bane, of the Last Apprentice series. Only the Spook has the knowledge and skill to face ghosts, bind witches, and bargain with boggarts. Now he needs an apprentice—Tom Ward, who is the seventh son of a seventh son. Other apprentices have come before. All have failed, or fled, or died. Will Tom learn what they could not? Can he trust anyone, even his one true love? He will find out—and soon, for the dark is getting powerful, and the Spook’s time has come. Will Tom survive to carry on his master’s battle? Will he be the Last Apprentice?

New Review: The Council by Kayla Krantz

The Council by Kayla Krantz

The Council follows in a similar vein to the Divergent series. There are separate covens and each coven has a primary ability in which they can do magic.  There is a also a ruling group (the Council) and a rebel group.  The main character, Lillith, is a strong character, just discovering her own unique and unexpected abilities.

LIillith is a witch who is powerful enough to overcome her disability, a childhood injury to her leg that had been caused by magic.  The daughter of Unequipped parents, she is not expected to have any magical abilities  That all changes at the Arcane Ceremony, where she and everyone around her are shocked when five goblets light up, each relating to a different power.

Mysteries about why she has these magical powers when she comes from Unequipped (non-magical) parents, her parents refusal to give her information on her injury, and the strange witch that shows up at the ceremony lead the reader into wanting to know more.

I love the idea of witches living in this dystopian world of separate covens being able to harness separate powers related to their individual element.  I found Kayla Krantz’s writing drew me in and I found it hard to put down.  I was dying to find out what was really going on and what was going to happen next!

I would have like to have seen more development between the characters Clio and Helena. I am excited to read Book 2 when it comes out

I received The Council as an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I’d like to thank Kayla for the opportunity to read this awesome book!

You can receive your own copy of The Council here: The Council at Amazon.com.

Kayla Krantz

Fantasy Fiction: Low Fantasy vs. High Fantasy

Who doesn’t love getting into a good fantasy fiction?

There are oodles and oodles of different types of fantasy genres in literature, and they can  be broken down into their own subcategories.  Fantasy almost always involves some form of supernatural magic.–Wikipedia defines Fantasy as”

Fiction with strange or otherworldly settings or characters; fiction which invites suspension of reality 

Fantasy falls under the umbrella of Speculative Fiction, defined as any narrative fiction with supernatural or futuristic elements.  Fantasy is then broken down into categories by Setting and Theme.

High fantasy, a subgenres of fantasy, is set in a fictional fantasy universe with it’s own set of rules and physical laws, or by the epic stature of its characters, themes, and plot.

Low fantasy stories on the other hand, are usually set in a fictional but rational world.  A lower emphasis is placed on traditional fantasy elements.  There is a tendency for less magic and a less fantastical, more ordinary setting.

According to Bestfantasybooks,

Common thematic elements include struggles for power, moral ambiguity, and cynicism about society and the flawed nature of the human condition. Moral Ambiguity and a flawed humanity are perhaps the biggest contrasts to High Fantasy and are key to creating a grittier, more realistic world. Magic is also a point of divergence: magic envelopes the worlds of High Fantasy, but in Low Fantasy, magic is not the focus or in some more extreme cases, might not even be present in a Low Fantasy world (example, Jennifer Fallon’s Second Son’s trilogy).

A Review

Speaking of low fantasy, I recently had the pleasure of reading Lady Blackwing by Devorah 

Fox.  It was an advanced reader copy in exchange for a fair and honest review of this science fiction mini. This was my first time reading any of Devorah’s books and I enjoyed this light fantasy very much.

Lady Blackwing is about a young barista, Mercedes, an interesting and kind character. She’s a hard worker, at school and at the coffee shop though she still enjoys making time for writing. After a strange but minor accident, she finds that she is able to control situations, and make them happen as she saw fit.

I found Devorah’s writing to be fresh and fun. I liked that the story was a quick read, and at the same time, I found myself wanting more!  Well written and entertaining.  Please click on the links to check out more of Devorah’s work.

Devorahfox.com

Goodreads

Twitter

On May 10, Lady Blackwing will be launched on Amazon.