Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Those Girls

Those Girls by Chevy Stevens
St. Martin's Press: 7/7/2015
eBook Review copy, 384 pages
hardcover ISBN-13:


My Thoughts:

Those Girls by Chevy Stevens is a very highly recommended novel about three sisters trying to escape and survive in a world set against them. Great novel, perfect stay-up-all-night-at-the-airport book (but be by a security guard station), an accomplished thriller that held my rapt attention from beginning to end! 

It's the summer of 1997 and those girls are the Campbell sisters who live in a run-down house on a ranch in Western Canada by the Alberta/British Columbia border. Jess (just turning 15), Courtney (16 1/2) and Dani (almost 18) have had a hard life for years. After their mother died, they were foster care for a while because their father was unemployed and drinking heavily. Then their father regained custody, promising to stay sober. Now he's off working in the Alberta oil fields for three weeks at a time, only coming back, maybe, for one week out of the month to see how the girls are and, sometimes, buy groceries. The girls help out with work on the ranch to help pay the rent. The trouble is their father is drinking again, and when he drinks he is abusive. 

When he comes back drunk for the final night, he has heard some rumors around town about Courtney. To punish her, he burns Courtney with a hot pan and then tries to drown her in a toilet.  Dani and Jess are watching and trying to stop him. Dani gets the shot gun out, but Jess is the one who uses it to save Courtney's life. Now the girls are on the run, headed to Vancouver, where they are sure they can blend into the city and make a new life for themselves.

Along the way their truck breaks down near the small town of Cash Creek. When two brothers, Brian and Gaven Luxton, stop and offer to help, all three of the girls sense that something isn't right, but they are desperate. The brothers tell them that they can work on the ranch to earn the money to pay for the repairs needed on their truck. Feeling trapped and hoping they are just being alarmists, they decide to trust the brothers. And then things get really bad.... 

The sisters do finally make it to Vancouver with the help of a few good men, where they change their names (to Jamie, Crystal, and Dallas Caldwell) and make a life for themselves. But the past is not quite through with them yet and now they have even more to lose. They have all done an excellent job avoiding sharing information about their past and trying to get on with their lives, but the truth is always with them, and there are events that will always haunt them.

As I was reading Those Girls I had two quotes running through my head: "Women have got to make the world safe for men since men have made it so darned unsafe for women." (Nancy Astor) and "A girl child ain't safe in a family of mens..." (Sofia from The Color Purple by Alice Walker). Most women will understand that, even today, the world is not safe for women in so many ways.

The novel is divided into three parts. The first part of the story opens in July 1997 and is narrated by Jess. The second part jumps ahead to July 2015 and is narrated by a new character. The third part is narrated by Jess/Jamie, with an epilogue by Dani/Dallas.

I was absolutely, totally engaged with Those Girls from beginning to end. The writing is superb, the story is fast-paced and emotional, and the suspense is taut and nerve wracking. Chevy Stevens has done it again. This is a book that should be on everyone's list as a best book of the summer. Look for it's release on July 7th. (Although men may not quite respond to it as much as women - that whole unsafe reality women have to deal with while even walking to their cars at the grocery store.)

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of St. Martin's Press for review purposes.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Love May Fail

Love May Fail by Matthew Quick
HarperCollins: 6/16/2015
Review copy, 416 pages
hardcover ISBN-13: 9780062285560

"Love may fail, but courtesy will prevail." Kurt Vonnegut

My Thoughts:

Love May Fail by Matthew Quick is a very highly recommended novel about redemption, relationships, and interconnected lives. It's also, in part, about goodness, broken people, adultery, unconventional families, English teachers, religion, 80's metal bands, fate, coincidence, hoarders, drinking, paper airplanes, and closure. I loved it.

After witnessing her wealthy pornographer and serial-cheating husband Ron's latest affair with a teenager, instead of shooting them, Portia Kane jumps on a plane, drunk, headed for South Jersey and her hoarder mother's house. On the plane Portia sits next to and profanely over-shares her woes with an elderly plucky nun before passing out. Sister Maeve wisely leaves Portia her contact information. Once in NJ, Portia is back at her mom's house, trying to avoid the piles of stuff, and drinking the diet Coke with Lime her mom has obsessively purchased just in case Portia ever visits.

While trying to get her mom out of the house, they go to a diner where Portia meets an old high school friend, which leads to meeting her little boy, Tommy, and her brother, Chuck Bass, who secretly always had a crush on Portia. (All of them love 80's metal bands, especially Motley Crue.) When Portia tells them she wants to find their old English Teacher, Mr. Vernon, and tell him how much he meant to her, she learns that he gave up teaching and left town after a student attacked him. She plans to help/rescue Mr. Vernon because he believed in her. Although it may appear I've retold the whole plot, this is only a taste of Love May Fail.  There is so much more.

All the characters embody the Albert Camus quote Quick includes: "Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal."

I thought Love May Fail was a delight to read. Yes, sometimes it is sad and heartbreaking, but it is also quirky and funny. These are all very real characters, broken in some ways, trying to redeem themselves. They all have lots of faults and are trying to do what they think they are supposed to do in order to become the person they are supposed to be. They are also all strangely interconnected, be it a master plan or fate, and need each other in some capacity. The novel unfolds through three characters and the letters of a fourth. Portia, Mr. Vernon, and Chuck all take up the narrative and tell us what is going on, while Sister Maeve has one short section comprised of letters she has written.

Love May Fail is most assuredly very well written. Quick does a superb job with dialogue and the plot moves along quickly. I can concede that
some readers may struggle with Portia's swearing and rants, especially at the beginning, but give the woman a chance. Think about how you would feel in her situation. And, again, all of these characters have faults, just like real people, and they are trying to do the best they can. I just love it when a novel comes together perfectly and hits all the right marks for me!

Disclosure: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher and TLC for review purposes. 

TLC Tour Schedule

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Little Beasts

Little Beasts by Matthew McGevna
Akashic Books: 7/7/2015
eBook review copy, 288 pages
ISBN-13: 9781617753473

My Thoughts:

Little Beasts by Matthew McGevna is a highly recommended novel loosely based on a real story.

Eight year olds James Illworth, Dallas Darwin, and Felix Cassidy are doing what any kids would do in the summer of 1983 in Turnbull, a working-class Long Island town. They watch an eviction. They assign themselves characters to play Star Wars. They find a stray dog as a mascot. They play in the woods by their houses. They plan to steal fort building materials from another gang of kids (and get into a fight). They try to appease the adults in their lives, answer if their mothers yell for them, and avoid the sullen, angry teens that always seem to be hanging out. They are busy children, serious about their friendship and playing with each other.

David Westwood is hanging out with his friends, other 15 year old teens. David is a budding artist, but finds himself at odds with others at his high school. Other students have given him the nickname "Red" and have accused him of hating America and being a Communist. David doesn't agree with their assessment, but he plays the role. Although he has a group of friends, he is really a loner, trying to fit in, looking for acceptance. He pines for Julia, who may or may not be his girlfriend.

While our group of eight year olds has a horrible fight with other kids, the teens are struggling with their own social issues. The next day the two groups meet with fatal results.

McGevna does a great job describing the feelings of the kids out and about, trying to stay out of the way of trouble and doing their own busy work of being children in the summer. When the view switches to the teens, he also manages to capture the bullying and teen angst David is experiencing. Although it is well written and the inner workings and pitfalls that must be avoided in both the lives of the kids and the teens is clearly portrayed, I wasn't sure exactly where the novel was heading. There is a lot of lead up to the tragedy, which doesn't happen until you are well into the second half of the book.

In the end this is a fine summer novel or a great airplane book. It will keep you reading, the writing and descriptions are great, and, although you have to wait a bit too long for the horrible turn of events to happen, McGevna skillfully handles the subsequent aftermath.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Akashic Books for review purposes.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Bones of You

The Bones of You by Debbie Howells
Kensington: 6/30/2015
eBook review copy, 320 pages
hardcover ISBN-13: 9781617737664

My Thoughts:

The Bones of You by Debbie Howells is a highly recommended psychological thriller that is somewhat reminiscent of The Lovely Bones. The novel opens with 18 year old  Rosie Anderson telling us about her death by stabbing and how her life begins to flash before her eyes.

Kate McKay is a friend of the family whose daughter Grace is the same age as Rosie. Kate knows Rosie very well because the teen often stopped by to see her horses and help her in the stables. She knows Rosie as a quiet, pretty good girl who kept to herself. She is quite naturally shocked when she learns of Rosie's disappearance and, later, her horrible death. Kate reaches out to Rosie's mother, Jo, and wants to be supportive to her and to Rosie's younger sister Delphine. Rosie's father Neal, is a successful journalist and he seems to have it all under control. Jo, on the other hand, seems odd - either intense or scattered. Delphine is very quiet and always alert and watchful. It will be obvious to readers that all is not how it seems to be in the Anderson family.

While the search for the killer is underway, Howell's uses Rosie and Kate in a dual narrative to tell the story (with a third point of view included intermittently). Rosie's parts are short and provide flashbacks that provide insight and delve into the history of her family's dynamics. Kate, who genuinely liked Rosie, is concerned with finding out who the killer is and trying to be a friend to Jo, but she is also struggling along in her daily life and that of her own family.

The Bones of You is not a fast paced thriller, but it is very well written which should capture the attention of most readers, as it did mine. Howells is great at character development. On the downside, in many ways Kate is rather naive, which was somewhat distracting and unrealistic. It was also hard to believe that the presence of the police was so absent in the novel, considering a murder investigation was underway, but I can also see this as a choice made by Howells for the format of her novel. Many astute readers are going to guess what happened long before the big reveal.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of
Kensington for review purposes.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Fixed in Blood

Fixed in Blood by T. E. Woods
Random House: 6/16/2015
eBook review copy, 310 pages
ISBN-13: 9781101886564

My Thoughts:

Fixed in Blood by T. E. Woods is a very highly recommended 4th book in the Justice series.

Mort Grant, Chief of Detectives, is on the case when a young woman is found dead in Seattle and discovered to be the victim of a sick individual making a snuff film. When a second young woman is found dead and it is determined that her murder was also filmed, there is an obvious connection between the two women. The two victims are connected to a chain of payday loan shops called Rite Now.

Psychologist Lydia Corriger, the Fixer, has seen two patients with connections to Rite Now loans, so, naturally, her path crosses Mort's during his investigation. Mort and Lydia still have unresolved issues from when she tried to protect Allie, Mort's daughter. Can they set their issues aside and work together to solve the brutal murders? And is it time for The Fixer to return to work and make things right? What about Mort's daughter, Allie? Could she be involved?

Fixed in Blood continues the well written, fast-paced series by
T. E. Woods. Woods keeps the tension high as she slowly reveals more clues uncovered by the investigation. I was going to rate this fourth book four stars, because I think readers new to the series and the characters really need to read the previous books for more background, but
Fixed in Blood is just too good to dock it a star. The investigation has plenty of false leads and the twist in this one is a huge surprise. The Fixer/Mort Grant series is one of my favorites. This would be a stuck over night at the airport book.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Random House for review purposes.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
Atria Books: 6/16/2015
eBook review copy, 384 pages

hardcover ISBN-13: 9781501115066

My Thoughts:

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman is very highly recommended fairytale. I love this book! Great writing, incredible storytelling, wonderful plot... My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry has it all!

Elsa is 7, almost 8, years old and bullied for being different. She loves her grandmother who is 77 and a little bit crazy. Elsa's grandmother is her best friend and her champion. Her grandmother tells her stories from the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas "where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal." Elsa has memorized all the stories her grandmother told her.

"Granny isn’t particularly good at living in the real world. There are too many rules. She cheats when she plays Monopoly and drives Renault in the bus lane and steals those yellow carrier bags from IKEA and won’t stand behind the line when she’s at the conveyor belt at the airport. And when she goes to the bathroom she leaves the door open. But she does tell the very best fairy tales ever, and for that Elsa can forgive quite a few character defects."

When her grandmother dies, she leaves behind a series of letters that Elsa must deliver to people, telling them that her grandmother is sorry. Elsa only has to deliver one letter at a time before the next letter is revealed. While Elsa delivers the letters she is also dealing with her grief and anger. Anger over, in part, her grandmother's death, her mother's busyness, her parents' divorce, her new half-sibling due to arrive soon. What Elsa learns through the letters and her journey to deliver them is that the fairy tales her grandmother told her are real. The magic, heroism, tragedy, and danger in the fairytales are present and reflected in the various people Elsa meets when delivering the letters.

I simply loved this book and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry will certainly be on the best books of the year list. For a story full of grief, it is also full of hope, forgiveness, and acceptance. You have to stick with the story until  the fairytales Elsa's grandmother told her are shown to be connected to the real world and provide a poignant insight into the people surrounding Elsa.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Atria Book for review purposes.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Pirate Hunters

Pirate Hunters by Robert Kurson
Random House: 6/16/2015
eBook review copy, 304 pages
hardcover ISBN-13: 9781400063369

My Thoughts:

Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship by 
Robert Kurson is a very highly recommended, fascinating look inside the search for the pirate ship the Golden Fleece. 
The Golden Fleece was the ship of a pirate captain more notorious than Blackbeard and more daring than William Kidd, a real-life Jack Sparrow, a man who’d been legend but whose story had been lost to time: the buccaneer Joseph Bannister. Bannister was an English merchant captain who turned pirate. His ship sunk in the 1680s somewhere off the coast of the Dominican Republic.
Robert Kurson tells how John Chatterton and John Mattera are hired by well-known treasure hunter Tracy Bowden, and how, undeterred by the many obstacles they faced, they conducted the search for the Golden Fleece. If they find the ship it will be only the second time in history that a pirate ship has been found and positively identified. Their quest was difficult though, and the price they paid while searching and even to the present day was high. They had to get into the mind of pirate Joseph Bannister to uncover the clues that could lead to the discovery of the Golden Fleece.

Bowden provided them with some clues that helped narrow the search: the Golden Fleece had sunk in twenty-four feet of water, had muskets scattered on her deck, and had been careening when confronted by the Royal Navy warships. The information that she had been careening was the most important. Kurson explains that careening  was done to clean and repair hulls from damage done by Teredo shipworms, barnacles, and other marine life that attached to the underside of a vessel’s hull. To careen, crews beached the ships at high tide, and then tilted them onto their sides as the water went out. If the Golden Fleece had been sunk while careening, it meant she would likely be found near a beach.

While describing the present day search, struggles, the research, and the threats to their project, Kurson chronicles the biographical background information on Bannister, Chatterton, and Mattera. He also presents the facts about pirates and separates them from the many myths.

This is a well written, informative, thoroughly entertaining nonfiction adventure story that should capture the imagination of anyone interested in the Golden Age of Piracy (1650-1720) or deep sea diving or treasure hunting. It is a present day quest for the Golden Fleece.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Random House for review purposes.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I Saw a Man

I Saw a Man  by Owen Sheers
Knopf Doubleday: 6/9/2015
eBook review copy, 272 pages

ISBN-13: 9780385529075

 My Thoughts:

I Saw a Man by Owen Sheers is a very highly recommended novel that features exquisite prose while dealing with love, loss, and secrets.

Grief-stricken Michael Turner has moved back to London after his wife Caroline Marshall, a journalist, is killed in Pakistan. In London he makes friends with neighbors Josh and Samantha Nelson, and their two young daughters, Rachel and Lucy. The comfortable friendship with Josh and Samantha help Micheal through the grieving process. On a Sunday in June an event happens that changes all of their lives.

When Michael stops by the backdoor of the Nelson house to retrieve a screw driver he had just lent to Josh that morning. Even though no one appears to be home, Michael notices that the door is unlocked, so he innocently steps into the house to grab his screw driver and then head off to his fencing lesson. As Micheal looks for his screw driver we are privy to his thoughts and the back story of his life and friendship with the Nelsons.

While it is just Michael, looking for a screw driver, this first half of the book is also a series of flashbacks. These help develop all the characters and also begin to slowly increase the tension. Then, totally unexpectedly, halfway through the book, after we have been introduced to all the characters and feel we know these people, we understand them, an event happens that changes the whole dynamics of the story. After this point we are also introduced to another character that even further changes the focus of the novel. 

Ultimately this is a finely written novel with poetic phrasing and keen insight into the nature of grief, secrets, love, friendship, and lies. Sheers descriptions are utterly brilliant. Admittedly, Micheal's search for the screw driver seemed rather drawn-out and tedious, until the novel took a sharp turn down a parallel path. I'm also glad I waited a bit before writing my review, as my immediate response to this novel wasn't as favorable as it became upon more reflection. This is a novel that ages well. You will remember it.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of  Knopf Doubleday for review purposes.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Slow Bullets

Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds
Tachyon: 6/9/2015
eBook review copy, 192 pages
trade paperback ISBN-13: 9781616961930

My Thoughts:

Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds is a highly recommended novella that should please science fiction fans.

Scurelya Timsuk Shunde is a conscripted soldier who goes just by the name Scur. The war is supposed to be over and a ceasefire in effect but that doesn't prohibit war criminal Orvin from capturing Scur and torturing her. All soldiers have a slow bullet implanted, sort of dog tags only more closely resembling the implanted id chips used for dogs. The slow bullet carries all their personal information. Orvin, to torture Scur, shoots a different kind of slow bullet into her, one that is meant to slowly painfully kill her by moving through her body to her heart. When Orvin leaves, Scur begins to cut the slow bullet out of her leg. She wakes up in an unknown place at an indeterminate time.

Scur sort of saves and takes as a prisoner Prad, and discovers she is on the Caprice, a prison ship. This skipship was also being used as a Military transport and the destination was supposed to be the planet of Tottori, but things seemed to have gone terribly wrong. Now the passengers on the ship are waking up too soon and it appears fraction are developing, with violence an obvious result. Scur also sees that her nemesis, Orvin, is on the ship and she is determined to make him pay. At the same time they need to figure out where they are since none of the obvious facts make sense.

This story focuses tightly on the character of Scur and the story and all of the action is through her point of view. Reynolds is an accomplished writer so he pulls off this comparatively short novel but he leaves you wanting more. It easily could have been expanded to a larger novel with a more complex plot.  At the end of the novel, though, the tight focus makes sense. Reynolds shows growth in Scur's character, raises some satisfying questions, and ultimately leaves us with hope.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of
Tachyon for review purposes.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Truth According to Us

The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows
Random House: 6/9/2015
eBook review copy, 512 pages
hardcover ISBN-13: 9780385342940

The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows is a very highly recommended novel about loyalty and secrets in a family and community. This is a perfect novel for languid summer reading!

Set in 1938 in Macedonia, West Virginia, The Truth According to Us uses multiple viewpoints and epistolary sections. The focus is on the Romeyn family and their border for the summer, Layla Beck. Layla is a Washington D.C. debutant who is being punished by her Senator father for not marrying the young man he chose for her. Through her Uncle Ben, the Senator has gotten her a job on the WPA Writers' Project and she has been sent to Macedonia to write a history of the city. Layla is boarding at Jottie Romeyn's house.

The Romeyns used to be an influential family in Macedonia back when their father was the head of the American Everlasting sock factory. After an arson fire that killed the close family friend, Vause, their circumstances have diminished. Now Jottie, cares for her brother Felix's two daughters, Willa, and Bird, as Felix comes and goes on mysterious business. Two aunts also live in the home and a younger brother is nearby.

Even before Layla arrived, Willa was suspicious about her family's past and hints that secrets that are being hidden. She decides to quietly snoop into what is the truth behind her father's business and why her Aunt Jottie never married. Once Layla arrives, Willa takes an instant dislike to her - even as her father Felix seems to be intent on charming Layla.

For Layla, what appeared to be a boring chore has turned out to be an interesting task. She is managing to meet all sorts of interesting characters as she proceeds with researching the history of the town. Interviews with local citizens are uncovering the truth behind the legends so often told as part of Macedonia's history. Layla also finds herself smitten by Felix's charm.

The Truth According to Us, while it does have letters to and from Layla as part of the narrative, is not entirely an epistolary. Most of the narrative is told from the viewpoints of Willa (12 years old), Jottie, and Layla. The quality of the writing is exceptional and the narrative rings true. She takes great care in keeping the historical facts in place and skillfully creates a realistic setting for her tale. The character development is excellent and all the characters experience growth.

Even while I wondered at the length of The Truth According to Us, Barrows kept my attention and slowly moved the plot along. While the length of the novel kept the pace slow, it felt right for a novel set in a hot summer. It also makes it a fitting summer choice and would be an excellent book club selection.

Annie Barrows, along with with her aunt, Mary Ann Shaffer, is a co-author, of the much loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Random House for review purposes.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


Ruthless by John Rector
Thomas & Mercer: 6/1/2015
eBook review copy, 270 pages
trade paperback ISBN-13: 9781477827628

My Thoughts:
Ruthless by John Rector is a highly recommended crime novel that pulls off the feeling of a vintage noir novel in a contemporary setting.

Nick White is down on his luck man who is separated from his wife and drinks too much. While having a drink at his favorite bar a blond woman he does not know mistakes him for someone she is supposed to meet. Nick flirtatiously plays along for fun and she ends up giving him a manila envelope meant for the other man. The envelope contains $20,000, a flashdrive, and the picture of the young woman she wants gone. Nick tries to contact the police, but when circumstances result in the hired killer who was supposed to get the envelope spotting Nick and getting his address, he flees.

Nick eventually, with help from his ex-cop father, figures out the young woman in the picture is Abigail Pierce, and the woman who hired him is Patricia Holloway. They both have a connection to Daniel Holloway, and Nick thinks he knows why Patricia wants Abigail killed. Instead of leaving and hiding out for a while as his father suggested, Nick decides to warn Abigail and soon they are both clearly in danger from a trio of ruthless killers.

Ruthless is a fast paced thriller where the action moves quickly along (except for the variety of occasions where Nick takes a lot of time to drink) so there is a real sense of urgency. Nick is basically a likeable protagonist who is trying to do the right thing and save Abigail, even though he doesn't quite know the best way to proceed and is clearly not a match for the men threatening them. The hired killers are creepy-old-school and very sinister and threatening which keeps the tension high. Rector throws in a nice plot twist that raises the narrative above a routine scenario.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of the publisher and TLC for review purposes. 

TLC Book Tour

Monday, June 1, 2015

I'm Happy for You

I'm Happy for You by Kay Wills Wyma
Crown Publishing: 5/5/2015
eBook review copy, 240 pages

trade paperback ISBN-13: 9781601425959

My Thoughts:
I'm Happy for You by Kay Wills Wyma is highly recommended. If we refuse to allow comparison to control our thoughts and emotions, we can be more content and full of joy.

The complete title of Kay Wills Wyma book, I'm Happy for You (Sort Of...Not Really): Finding Contentment in a Culture of Comparison, really explains the whole premise of the book. Wyma points out that most of us suffer from "Obsessive Comparison Disorder." When we are constantly concern about measuring ourselves in comparison to others it can take the joy away from things we like and all of that perceived competition can sap our energy and steal our contentment. 

Comparison to others is really all about self-absorption and self-centered thinking. All of that focus on comparison can create dissatisfaction, even though many of the goals other people have were never our goals to begin with. We can help break free of Obsessive Comparison Disorder by being able to say "I'm happy for you," and truly meaning it. We need to try to celebrate what others are sharing without comparing our lives to theirs. 

Wyma wisely points out that, "Even now I wonder how many of life’s gifts I have labeled hardship and thus missed enjoying their benefits. How many times have my eyes been closed in self-pity or focused on what I thought I wanted. Good things exist in the midst of bad circumstances, if we’re willing to look for them."

She shares a Ctrl/Alt/Delete strategy when dealing with Obsessive Comparison Disorder:
Ctrl: Control the Thought Process by Pausing to Recognize the Problem. Curing comparison starts by being aware and by identifying the signs that it has infiltrated our thinking.
Alt: Consider an Alternative Perspective.
Delete: Eliminate Comparison - or at Least Tone It Down

I loved the quote from Anne Lamott that Wyma shared: "I can still get my jeans on, for one reason: I wear forgiving pants. The world is too hard as it is, without letting your pants have an opinion on how you are doing.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Crown Publishing for review purposes.