Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year Resolutions

Today, I'm linking up with my personal blog, That's What She Said for my New Year Resolution. I know this might sound a little strange but I want to have separate resolutions for this blog. So here they are:

  • Read at least 50 books
  • Write at least 40 reviews
  • Have my first novel reviewed on at least one blog
  • Sell at least one copy of my novel once it is published
Happy New Year's Eve!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

All of these books are already in stores, but since I ordered them, I'm waiting on them.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top Ten Books of 2011

  1. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  2. The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson
  3.  The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  4. Uglies Series by Scott Westerfield
  5. Paper Towns by John Green
  6. The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King
  7. The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking
  8. Dear Mr. Potter by Lily Zalon
  9. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  10. Emotional Blackmail by Susan Forward

Emotional Blackmail (Book Review)

Book: Emotional Blackmail
Author: Susan Forward, Ph.D. with Donna Frazier
Source: Bought
Publisher: William Morrow

Goodreads Summary: 
"If you really loved me..."
"After all I've done for you..."
"How can you be so selfish..."
Do any of the above sound familiar? They're all examples of emotional blackmail, a powerful form of manipulation in which people close to us threaten to punish us for not doing what they want. Emotional blackmailers know how much we value our relationships with them. They know our vulnerabilities and our deepest secrets. They are our mothers, our partners, our bosses and coworkers, our friends and our lovers. And no matter how much they care about us, they use this intimate knowledge to give themselves the payoff they want: our compliance.
Susan Forward knows what pushes our hot buttons. Just as John Gray illuminates the communications gap between the sexes in Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, and Harriet Lerner describes an intricate dynamic in The Dance of Anger, so Susan Forward presents the anatomy of a relationship damaged by manipulation, and gives readers an arsenal of tools to fight back. In her clear, no-nonsense style, Forward provides powerful, practical strategies for blackmail targets, including checklists, practice scenarios and concrete communications techniques that will strengthen relationships and break the blackmail cycle for good.

My Thoughts: I've never been a person to buy self-help books. However Susan Forward is highly respected in the world of psychology so I thought I would give it a try. Still, I was pleasantly surprised by how good this book is. The first part of the book explains what emotional blackmail is including explaining when arguments are not emotional blackmail. I expected that part of the book and the last part which explains steps to break the cycle. What I wasn't expecting was everything else, which takes up the majority of the book. She explains the psychology behind emotional blackmailers and why they feel the need to use emotional blackmail. Blackmailers are bad people, they are usually scared and feel helpless. She explains how the target needs to take some responsibility in allowing themselves to be blackmailed and advice on how to change those behaviors that invite blackmailing. I thought that she showed very realistic views on the topic. The blackmailers aren't all bad and the targets aren't all innocent. As she says, "it takes two." Her steps to breaking the cycle were practical and realistic as well. I also really liked that this book did not focus solely on romantic relationships but relationships of all kinds and is more universally applicable. I would highly recommend this book to anyone in a relationship that involves fear, obligation, or guilt in unhealthy measure.

Rating: 5/5

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Movie Review)

IDBM Summary: Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker.

My thoughts: I loved this book. And for me that almost always means that I won't like the movie very much.  Of course, I thought the book was better. Not something that I am surprised about. There are some good things and some bad things about this movie.

  • The Good: The actors and actresses were all great in their roles. I had some doubts about the two main characters. But Daniel Craig made a perfect Mikael and even though Rooney Mara isn't what I pictured as Lisbeth, she definitely grew on me as I watched the movie. She acted the part very well. I also think that they did a good job keeping the book close to the movie. The rape scene was rather graphic, which I think is a good thing because it really shapes Lisbeth's character. The story moved along well, and even though it was three hours long, it didn't seem like a long movie as I was watching it.
  • The Bad: All of the suspense and mystery seemed to be missing from the movie. I know that they couldn't have really added any more to the length, but I do think there could have been more of an effort made into developing the mystery. The book keeps you guessing about what happened to Harriet. You suspect one person and then another and you really want to know what happened to her, at least I did. In the movie though there isn't anyone to really suspect we're lead to the conclusion without any guesses along the way. And I think that this really takes a lot of the beauty of the story out of the movie.

Rating: 3/5