Book Review – Shortest Way Home

Shortest Way Home
by Pete Buttigieg

With all of the interesting and varied individuals who are (or were) vying to be the Democratic nominee for US President, I felt this was a great time to dive into some of their books.

As a disclaimer, I have not decided who “my” candidate will be – not that it matters, as there is not a defined nominee, yet. I wanted to read these books to learn more about the backgrounds and insights of an individual who feels they are the right person to lead our country.

The first that came available at my library was Shortest Way Home by Pete Buttigieg.

Note: All of the book links will take you directly to Barnes & Noble.
I do not use affiliate links, if that’s of concern.
Please consider purchasing any books you like from
your local independent books store.

Shortest Way Home:
One Mayor’s Challenge and a Model for America’s Future
by Pete Buttigieg

Book Description:

A mayor’s inspirational story of a Midwest city that has become nothing less than a blueprint for the future of American renewal.

Once described by the Washington Post as “the most interesting mayor you’ve never heard of,” Pete Buttigieg, the thirty-seven-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has now emerged as one of the nation’s most visionary politicians. With soaring prose that celebrates a resurgent American Midwest, Shortest Way Home narrates the heroic transformation of a “dying city” (Newsweek) into nothing less than a shining model of urban reinvention.

While Washington reels with scandal, Shortest Way Home, with its graceful, often humorous, language, challenges our perception of the typical American politician. In chronicling two once-unthinkable stories—that of an Afghanistan veteran who came out and found love and acceptance, all while in office, and that of a revitalized Rust Belt city no longer regarded as “flyover country”—Buttigieg provides a new vision for America’s shortest way home.

My Take:

I really enjoyed this book.

I am fairly certain it is because I found so much in common with Mayor Pete.

He is 2 months older than I am (both born in the snow of 1982) and grew up in the Midwest (he in Indiana, myself in Iowa).

Okay, the similarities ended there, but I was still drawn in to learn his whole story.

As someone who went to Harvard and was a Rhodes Scholar, he reminded us:

Good policy, like good literature, takes personal lived experience at its starting point.

One other thought that has stuck with me after I finished the book was:

Much of the confusion and complication of ideological battles might be washed away if we held our focus on the lives that will be made better or worse by political decisions rather than on the theoretical elegance of the policies or the character of the politicians themselves.

Now, I know an author can put whatever they like in a book. The point of the book is to be sold. But, I do hope that some of the sentiments and ideals throughout Shortest Way Home come to pass and we all do a little better in the coming years.

The Final Verdict

My rating: 4 stars

Would I recommend? Yes

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Book Review with MyChild – The Monkey Mind Meditation Deck

The Monkey Mind Meditation Deck
by Carolyn Kanjuro

Welcome to another

Book Review with MyChild!

Books are critically important in our family – the saying around here goes, “I am always willing to spend money on books and Legos.” As a refresher, MyChild is 8-years-old, in second grade, reads on her own, and her current favorite books to read are the DogMan series and the Pig the Pug books.

I have had the privilege of review a couple Advance Reader Copy books through NetGalley and when I was recently searching for some new books to read, there were a few children’s books available. Of course, I could have just read these on my own and provided a review, but why not involves someone of the intended audience demographic. Here we go.

The Monkey Mind Meditation Deck: 30 Fun Ways for Kids to Chill Out, Tune In, and Open Up
by Carolyn Kanjuro

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book
from Shambhala Publications through NetGalley.
Opinions expressed in this review are completely our own.

This book is currently available for pre-order. Publication date is February 4, 2020.

Book Description:

Navigate changing emotions with this beautifully illustrated meditation deck featuring 30 cards to help kids connect more deeply with themselves and others.

Help your child become more focused, calm, and capable of dealing with overwhelming emotions. The Monkey Mind Meditation Deck explores the playful and powerful qualities of animals and nature to inspire your child to discover the same qualities in themselves and others. Vibrant images from illustrator Alexander Vidal are paired with key phrases and short meditations or activities to help children learn about themselves without judgement. By getting to know the impulses that give rise to their actions, children can become empowered to make choices that truly serve them best.

Our Review:

Mom: Having practiced yoga for more than a decade, I learned how to deal with the “monkey mind” and how to refocus. When I saw this deck of cards aimed at children, I was very excited to let MyChild try it out.

Each card has a beautiful illustration on one side, with a fun activity on the back. The activities have a physical component blended with a mental- or emotion-based element.

MyChild: My favorite picture was the Butterfly one,

Monkey Mind Meditation - Brave Butterfly

MyChild: But my favorite activity was the Wriggly Worm one. Wiggle, wiggle!

Monkey Mind Meditation - Wriggly Worm

Mom: My favorite was the Hurricane card and activity.

Monkey Mind Meditation - Hurricane

The Final Verdict

Our rating: 5 stars

Would we recommend? Yes

#MonkeyMindMeditationDeck #NetGalley

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