Oodles of Books, January Playlist

I have a few lessons that I have learned over the years when reading books. One lesson: don’t waste your time on a bad book. Second lesson: if you can tell you aren’t going to get anything out of a book, get out as fast as you can. I say this because I started reading one such book as part of my list from last month that I immediately put down about twenty pages in, and I didn’t look back.

Don’t slog through a book that isn’t going to enrich your life just to say you read it. Nothing is going to magically give you your time back once you finish it, so don’t waste your time.

I was not a fan of “Not a Fan.” It is not a horrible book. It isn’t horribly written. I wasn’t pained to read it. I just knew from the jump that this book wasn’t for me, and it was in some respects a book not written for me, theologically-speaking. That’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. But I was glad to discover this early on.

Note: if you are a student, sometimes you have to read books you don’t want to. It’s just how it is. You don’t have to like it, but take the opportunity to find your own lessons in the writing.

Also Note: you can see my other book reviews from December here.

A real gem

However, I did discover a really great book in its stead. Lorenzo Gomez III is a guy I know through others. I’ve heard several stories about him, but have never actually met him. We follow each other on social media, so I became aware of his book, The Cilantro Diaries, not too long ago and decided I wanted to support an indie author I knew. I’m glad I did!

Lorenzo has some pretty amazing insights to not only business, but life in general. I would say that his book has given me the most bang for my buck. No chapter faltered. Everything was of substance and a great deal of help. The Cilantro Diaries is a book less about the do’s and don’ts of business, but is an almanac of wisdom from someone who has accumulated mentors and friends that have enriched his life and others.

I think the greatest of the insights that Lorenzo shares in his book is that it’s not about him. He gives a lot of credit throughout his writings, and it was refreshing to find a helpful book that wasn’t self-promoting or egotistical in its form.

I would gladly recommend Lorenzo’s book to anyone, but especially if you live in the San Antonio area. It paints a wonderful picture of what this city is growing into and where it has come from.


Just Write Already

I plowed through the next book over Christmas break because I just wanted to knock it out, but I really ended up enjoying it and it gave me a lot to ponder. It was a quick help guide: How to Write Pulp Fiction by James Scott Bell.

No, not that Pulp Fiction.

This quick read helps people who want to make a career out of writing shorter form books, specifically that fall into escapists pulp fiction. These writers may not necessarily capture the literary world by storm, but they create content that grabs peoples attention and gives them some escapism for an evening. It helped me because it taught me a few strategies as well as some example plots to craft fun fiction to. If you are someone who wants to be an author as a business, this is a good book to have in your arsenal.


Battling Anxiety

It took me a long time to finish DARE, the New Way to Stop Anxiety and End Panic Attacks by Barry McDonagh. It was a lot to read because it was thorough, and that is very appreciated because when it comes to anxiety, the more information there is the better. Anxiety takes advantage in informational gaps to spread worry and harm, so having a lot to read about it was genuinely refreshing.

I still think that Declutter Your Mind is holistically more helpful than this book at attacking the things that stress us out and can cause anxiety, but if you are someone who is experiencing very traumatic anxiety – complete with panic attacks – this book can help you.


Since it is so early in the month, I will probably tackle another installment of Oodles of Books for January, but I wanted to get these out there right away.

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