Saturday, February 24, 2024

Book Review: Overlap: The Heart of Happiness by Trevor J Petersen

Book: Overlap: The Heart of Happiness by Trevor J Petersen

Genre: Non-fiction (self help, psychology, etc.)

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 


It's been awhile since I've actually done a true review here, but I wanted to feature this one a bit more than my norm has been lately. 

This book takes us on a journey to discover the ultimate path to finding happiness. The author first talks about all the ways he's tried, and failed, to find happiness, and then shares this idea that he's come up with called Overlap. He says that the most important thing with regard to being happy is to "overlap" with living things. He describes it like snorkeling... you can drive by the ocean without looking, or sit on the beach and observe, or maybe wade and get your feet wet... or... you can get in and see what's out there and go snorkeling! Passing, Spectating, Wading, or... Overlapping. This is the key to everything! 

He then lays out the "recipe" of 11 steps on how to do this. These include: opening up, valuing, empathizing, relishing, letting go, attending, participating, getting close (proximity,) intensity, netting (gathering) and giving. Each of these ideas gets a lot of space in the book for what exactly it entails with lots and lots of concrete and practical ways you can add overlapping to your life.

And everything is so thoroughly researched and referenced. With lots of stories and pictures to illustrate it all. It's amazing.

At some points I did think... but this is too hard! And what if I struggle to do stuff like this? And then he addresses those worries and concerns and encourages us all to get out of our comfort zone and live life. It's very inspiring and upbeat and awesome. 

And you might wonder what he means by living things, so he devotes a part of the book giving a detailed list on how he defines this. It's obviously people in our lives (and not just people we know of course, but strangers as well... talk to them!) but pets, ourselves, wisdom (literature and arts and music,) food, and nature. All considered living!

I really enjoyed the experience of reading this book and hope others trying to figure out life and how to enjoy it more will discover it and give some of these strategies a try. There's  A LOT to take in, but I think if we can do it just a little at time, and work on something day by day... we can do it!


Friday, February 23, 2024

SCHEDULE for the Fairy Tale Read-Along!



Here's the schedule I've come up with for the Fairy Tale Read-along starting in March... which is NEXT WEEK!!

  • Week one (through March 8): Chap 1 to 9 
  • Week two (through March 15): Chap 10 to 16
  • Week three (through March 22): Chap 17 to 24
  • Week four (through March 29): Chap 25 to end

This breaks down to be about 150 pages each week. 

There will be discussions posted here, on the Storygraph page and on the channel each week (hopefully) and I'm also planning on a LIVE discussion on my channel on Sunday March 31 to wrap up the whole thing! (I know it's Easter that day, but I'm hoping some can still join in!)

Let me know if you plan to participate!


Sunday, February 4, 2024

Top Books of 2023

I talked about these over on the channel (click here) but for the blog readers, I will list them here also!

I read and loved so much nonfiction this year that I've made two categories. So here's my list:


Six Fiction

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh

Still Mine by Elizabeth Vernon Taylor

Shining a Light by Veeda Bybee



Six Non Fiction

Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang

Spare by Prince Harry



Honorable Mentions

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu

The House on the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollen


What books did you love this past year??

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Fairy Tale by Stephen King: A READALONG ANNOUNCEMENT!

 


So... one of my goals is to get back to doing or participating in... readalongs. That's like a temporary book club of one book! Gather a bunch of people that want to read a specific book, read it, and discuss! 

I wanted to read Fairy Tale by Stephen King, and I think this book would be a TON MORE FUN with people! So, I'm hosting a readalong for this book in March. 

If you are on Storygraph, you can join the readalong over there. I'll (hopefully) create some forums and stuff to see how that works over there. BUT I'll also post stuff here, and on the channel. So you don't need to do the Storygraph thing at all. (Here's the link to find that page over there.)

Though I would love for you to tell me if you're interested, so I can know who to..annoy...about stuff as we get going! LOL! So comment here if you think you might join in. 

Anyway, look for a schedule to come in a bit, as we get closer. In the meantime, if you are interested, you can get the book and plan your schedule to participate in March. JOIN US!!



Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Favorite Kdramas in 2023

I kind of stopped reviewing my kdrama watching over here on the blog! AHH, I'm going to regret that just for my own knowledge at some point. Sigh. Anyway, I thought I'd at least share the list of my favorites for those interested. Because there were some AWESOME ones from this year!


See You in my 19th Life: This one is about a girl who can remember her past lives, and when she ends up in her 19th life, she is determined to find the boy that she loved in her 18th. Oh my word, it's so good and so heartbreaking! We learn about many of her other lives along the way too. (You can watch this one on Netflix)


King of Land: This one is a fantastic romcom about our dude who is the CEO of the hotel (and aren't they all!!) and our girl is the front desk person. And she is like SO GOOD at her job, and ends up working in the posh part of the hotel where the execs (including our dude) hang out. They take notice of each other, and bam, stuff happens. And he's not as CEO -ish as one would imagine. Ah, it's the best romantic-y thing ever! (You can watch this one on Netflix)


Twinkling Watermelon: This one is probably my favorite of the bunch. Our guy is a CODA (child of deaf adult) and is very important to the survival of his family. (His whole family is deaf actually.) But his dream is to play the guitar, and when he argues with his dad about this issue, he ends up back in time (to 1995) when his dad is in high school. And his dad isn't deaf! What's up with that??? And he realizes he needs to help his mom and dad meet, because it appears his dad is gaga over some other girl. This one is so cute, and so funny, and so sweet, and so...perfect! The two leads.... our dude and the dude that plays his dad in 1995... are SOOO GOOD! And the girls are amazing also. And it's fun to see how different Korean sign language is from American sign language. Who knew I would recognize this fact? Anyway, I loved loved loved this one. (This one is on Viki)


A Good Day to be a Dog: This is an adorable drama about a girl who is cursed to be a dog if she gets kissed, and the curse is only broken if the same dude kisses her again... when she is a dog. But the dude she ACCIDENTALY kisses.. is scared to death of dogs!! WHAT TO DO? In addition to solving this problem, we also learn the back story of why she is cursed, which is a heartbreaking story. Cha Eunwoo (of Astro) is fabulous in this drama. Talk about swoony.... (this one is on Viki)




Peak Time: This was a fantastic band competition show between idol groups that are maybe struggling, or are brand new... or are has-beens... and they are all pitted against each other to win the prize! But at the same time, they all bond and are cheering for each other. And the performances are amazing and you just want them all to win. It's so good! You can watch this one on Viki.


So there you have it. My favorite Korean TV watching stuff from this past year! I dare you to give one of them a try. You know you'll love it!

Monday, January 15, 2024

Crunching the Numbers 2023

 READING STATS for 2023 

(If you want to watch the live where we discussed all this in real time on the channel, click on over here!)

TOTAL BOOKS: 50 (Goal was 50!)
Total pages: 16,606
Total Re-reads: 0

Authors
Men: 10
Women: 40

For:
ARCS for Review: 1
Book Club: 11
Readathon/Events: 1 (Ktropeathon) and 3 (Asian Readathon)
Forced Phase: 5

From:
Library: 5
On my Kindle: 14
Bought/Owned: 29
Borrowed: 1
Audio: 3

Genres:
YA: 24
Adult: 24
Middle Grade: 2


From the YA Category:
Contemporary Realistic Fiction or Romance: 14
SF/Fantasy: 6
Dystopian: 0
Historical Fiction: 2
Graphic Novel: 1
Non Fiction: 1

From the MG Category:
Classic: 1
Nonfiction Biography: 1

From the Adult Category:
Historical Fiction: 0
Fantasy: 5
Romance: 1
Literary Fiction: 7
Non Fiction: 10

Star Ratings:
5 stars: 12
4 stars: 22
3 stars: 14
2 stars: 2
1 star: 0

Observations:
  • Go me for making my 50 book goal!
  • I am so amazed at how many non fiction I read this year. I love memoirs I guess!
  • I need to read more classics though. Why can't I get that one going again?
  • Next year I will do more readalongs. The first one is already scheduled! Stay tuned!

KDRAMA STATS

Total Kdramas: 14
5 hearts: 6
4 hearts: 6 
3 hearts: 2

YOUTUBE STATS:

The Kpop Konverters

Total videos uploaded in 2023: 32 long videos, 3 shorts
Subscribers at year end: 40,219
View count at year end: 18.9 million

Note: I was demonetized this year, but according to my analytics, I ended up making nearly $2000 from this channel before it all ended! Now I'll just make videos for fun without worrying about the whole making money side of it. 

Suey's Book Banter 
Total videos uploaded in 2023: 119 long videos, 88 shorts
Total Views at year end: 100.6 K
Total Subscribers at year end: 919


Note: Working on hard on the youtubing thing, hopefully someday it will pay off! The booktube crowd is a hard sell! 

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Reading Recap: December 2023

 Here's what I read (and listened to!) in December! Not too bad a month... I was trying to catch up to my goal!



Becoming by Michelle Obama:
I listened to the audiobook, read by the author and enjoyed it A LOT. She tells stories from her childhood, through all the schooling she had, how she met her husband, and following him on his path to the White House. And how she made a name for herself all the way there too. Great stories and lots of fun to listen to. Five stars! 





The Quiet Little Woman: A Christmas Story by Louisa May Alcott:
Cute compilation of three short stories for kids that the author wrote for a magazine back in the day, started by some girls who were inspired be her Little Women story. They sat unknown somewhere until someone found them and compiled them into this cute little volume... three lovely Christmas tales for kids. Four stars!





The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict:
Our Christmas book club book, about a girl whose aunt has called her and all her cousins to come to the mansion in the country at Christmastime to play game to see who will inherit the house. The aunt, dead of course, has figured out all the clues and rules ahead of time. As the game progresses, nearly everyone gets murdered! And so her girl has to survive till the end and hopefully get the house, even though she really doesn't want it...lol. This one was weirdly written which took me out of the story a lot. Strange stuff, this one is. Two stars.




If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin:
A very angsty and very sad YA story about a girl who is in love with a dude who has been her friend her whole life. We learn from the first page that he dies, and then we learn what lead up to that. Sad heart wrenching stuff, but so good! Four stars.






Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham:
another memoir I listened to while finishing my Christmas crafting... so fun to have her tell a bunch of Gilmore Girl stories and other tales from the business. I really enjoyed it. Five stars!






The Name Drop by Susan Lee:
A cute YA (ish... a bit older than YA actually) about these two kids who are both headed to a huge company in NY for their summer jobs. But their names get mixed up and they end up at each other's spots. One is a post exec job, and the other a lowly intern job. Even though they figure it out, they decide to stay put and learn from the experience. And fall in love at the same time. Fun! Four stars!





Check & Mate by Ali Hazelwood:
Another YA-ish romance (I guess new adult is not a thing anymore? These would be NA if it was a thing!) about a girl who loves to play chess, but has sworn it off, until she ends up in a competition, and then in a job... where she has to play chess. She needs the money so why not? And the dude is the champion to beat, which she does. But she is oddly drawn to him too, so how to navigate THAT? What to do! I enjoyed it a lot and managed to finish it just before New Years so it counted as my 50th book of the year. Go me! Four stars!



Now on to 2024! I've committed to 60 books this year. Any bets on if I can make it???


(If you want to watch me discussing all these books on the channel, here's the link!)

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