My August 2017 Book Haul

My August 2017 book haul was comic galore! I paid less attention to actual books, only reading two out of the whole month.

Here’s my haul:

Adult Non-Fiction Books

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Ask and It Is Given by Esther & Jerry Hicks (3/5 stars) (book review)

Esther shares Abraham’s teachings on raising vibrations and maintaining an abundant life.

Recommended for readers into: Channeled books, law of attraction, teachings of Abraham.

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Imagining the World into the Universe: An Ancient Egyptian Manual on Consciousness by Normandi Ellis (4/5 stars) (book review)

The ancient Egyptians believed the gods created the universe simply with pure thought. Normandi Ellis reveals how these myths ruled the Egyptians’ daily lives.

Recommended for readers into: Ancient Egypt, higher consciousness, new age books

 

Comics/Graphic Novels

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The Adventures of Tin-Tin (volume one) by Hergé (4/5 stars)

This volume is divided into three stories: Tin-Tin in America, Cigars of the Pharaoh, and The Blue Lotus.

It’s good to be reunited with Tin-Tin again! I’ve been a fan of the TV series since I was a kid.

Recommended for readers into: Adventure comics, comics, Tin-Tin

 

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An Age of License: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley (3/5 stars)

Lucy Knisley shares her European adventures and feelings about her future in this illustrated journal.

I’ve also read: French Milk

Recommended for readers into: Female-lead characters, graphic novels, travelogues

 

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At the Mountains of Madness: A Graphic Novel adapted by I.N.J Culbard (4/5 stars)

Eager explorers uncover strange things and dark secrets buried underneath the Antarctic snow.

If you’re familiar with Lovecraft, expect some creepiness.

Recommended for readers into: Adaptation graphic novels, graphic novels, H.P. Lovecraft

 

Black Widow, Volume 1: The Finely Woven Thread

Black Widow (volume one): “The Finely Woven Thread” by Nathan Edmondson (3/5 stars)

Natasha Romanoff takes time to remove whatever remains of her murky KGB past. Unfortunately, opening old wounds has led her to new dangers and heartless killers.

Recommended for readers into: Black Widow, female-lead characters, Marvel.

 

Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier, Volume 1: The Man on the Wall

Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier (volume one):  “The Man on the Wall” by Ales Kot (3/5 stars)

Bucky Barnes: The Winter Solider has an interesting yet confusing premise.  Bucky is in outer space dealing with Loki, a crazed space assassin, and an attractive alien queen. Time-traveling also included.

Make sure you have have a good background of Bucky Barnes before reading this series or else you’ll be completely lost (like me).

I’ve also read: Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier (Volume Two)

Recommended for readers into: Action comics, Bucky Barnes, Marvel.

 

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Captain America, Steve Rogers (volume three): “Empire Building”  by Nick Spencer (4/5 stars)

Here are some keywords to describe this volume’s plot to avoid major spoilers: Maria Hill’s clues, screwed Red Skull, and new war foreshadowing.

I’ve also read: Volume 1: “Hail Hydra”, Volume 2: “The Trial of Maria Hill”

Recommended for readers into: Action comics, Captain America, Marvel.

 

Doctor Strange (volume two): “The Last Days of Magic”  by Jason Aaron (4/5 stars)

The Empirikul are imposing a brutal sorcerer inquisition across the universe. Doctor Strange has to fight its leader before every trace of magic ceases to exist.

I’ve also read: Volume One: “The Way of the Weird”

Recommended for readers into: Doctor Strange, fantasy comics, Marvel.

 

Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme (volume one): “Out of Time” by Robbie Thompson (4/5 stars)

Merlin handpicks Doctor Strange and other Sorcerer Supremes on a challenging assignment: Defeat the Forgotten. This ancient beast has escaped from Merlin’s prison to unleash its chaos onto the world.

Recommended for readers into: Doctor Strange, fantasy comics, Marvel.

 

Ghostopolis by Doug Tennapel (3/5 stars)

A spirit detective must retrieve a young boy accidentally taken to the spirit world Ghostopolis. Meanwhile, the boy discovers he has special powers and the tyrannical ruler of the land wants the powers for himself.

Recommended for readers into: Graphic novels, supernatural comics, YA graphic novels.

 

Harley Quinn (volume five): “The Joker’s Last Laugh” by Amanda Conner (4/5 stars)

Everything has been going well for Harley Quinn and her beau Mason Macabre until he’s sent to Arkham Asylum. Harley infiltrates the infamous institution and faces her hellish ex: The Joker.

I’ve also read: Volume 1: “Hot in the City”, Volume 2: “Power Outage”, Volume 3: “Kiss Kiss Bang Stab”, Volume 4: “A Call to Arms”

Recommended for readers into: DC Universe, female-lead characters, Harley Quinn.

 

My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf (3/5 stars)

Can you imagine your old high school friend becoming one of the most prolific serial killers in America?

Derf Backderf brings to life a steadily disturbing, tragic story of his association to Jeffrey Dahmer as he knew him in high school during the seventies.

Recommended for readers into: Graphic novels, memoirs, true life stories.

 

Paper Girls, Vol. 3

Paper Girls (volume three) by Brian K. Vaughn (4/5 stars)

Four newspaper delivery girls are sucked into a grand time-traveling adventure. As they try to figure out a way to return to their sleepy Ohio town, they end up learning more about each other and the future ahead of them.

I’ve also read: Volumes 1 & 2

Recommended for readers into: Comics, sci-fi comics, time travel

 

Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm Vol. 1

Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm (volume one)  by Corinna Sara Bechko (4/5 stars)

Ape civilization is a wreck!

Dr. Zaius must find the culprit behind the moon explosion and devastation of Ape City. He sets to resolve the crisis before it spells an end to his society as he knows it.

Recommended for readers into: Comics, Planet of the Apes, sci-fi comics.

 

Radioactive Spider-Gwen (volume one) “Greater Power” by Jason Latour (2/5 stars)

This alternate Spider-Man universe presents Gwen Stacy as the arachnid heroine. A mutant chemical kills Peter Parker but Spider Gwen is blamed for the boy’s death. Gwen Stacy claims she’s innocent, but it only falls on deaf ears.

Recommended for readers into: Alternate universes, female-lead characters, Marvel

 

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Wonder Woman (volume one): “The Lies” by Greg Rucka (4/5 stars)

Wonder Woman can no longer return to Themyscira. She must seek her arch nemesis Cheetah who can show her the way back to her beloved homeland.

I’ve also read: Volume 2: “Year One”

Recommended for readers into: DC universe, female-lead characters, Wonder Woman.

 

Looking for my latest manga reads? Click here for the latest update!

Comment below if you read any of the books listed above or you have any recommendations.

I’m all ears! 😉

 

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Manga Update! *Sept 2017 Edition*

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Updated: September 8, 2017

Read any good manga recently?  I came down upon volumes with a vengeance since last month’s dud.

This is what I’ve read so far in this latest manga update:

New Manga

  1. Ai Yori Aoshi by Kou Fumizuki
  2. Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama
  3. FLCL by Gainax
  4. The Legend of the Zelda: Four Swords by Akira Himekawa
  5. Puella Magi Madoka Magica by the Magica Quartet
  6. Soul Eater by Atsushi Ohkubo

Updated Manga

  1. Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama
  2. Azumanga Daioh by Kiyohiko Azuma
  3. Black Butler by Yana Toboso
  4. Black Clover by Yuki Tabata
  5. Blood Lad by Yuuki Kodama
  6. The Demon Prince of Momochi House by Aya Shouoto
  7. Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima
  8. Haikyu by Haruichi Furudate
  9. Magi by Shinobu Ohtaka
  10. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki – Kun by Izumi Tsubaki
  11. My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi

Nostalgia Hits!

For those who don’t know, Dragon Ball is the first series before all of the others came out. The story begins with young Goku and Bulma on their first grand adventure tracking down the legendary dragon balls. If they collect them all, Shenron the dragon will appear and grant one wish.

Back in the day, I used to wait for Cartoon Network’s Toonami to watch Dragon Ball Z. At some point, they brought the original Dragon Ball on TV too.

Instead of tracking down where I left off watching Dragon Ball Z by reading the manga, I’ve decided to start at its origins.

Read All the Zelda Manga!

I enjoy reading The Legend of Zelda manga.

About a year ago, I read Akira Himewaka’s manga adaptation of The Ocarina of Time. If you barely play the video games, stories like Four Swords will fill you in on Link’s quests.

Being a Magical Girl Can Be Scary…

The volume cover of Puella Magi Madoka Magica looks cute and friendly until you uncover its dark side you will never forget. The story takes the magical girl genre into a surprising path. Don’t want to spoil much of the story…

I thank my friends for recommending this to me! Wish I’ve started reading Madoka Magica sooner.

Conclusion

August was indeed a great manga reading month and it has given me many manga series to add in my “to-read” list!

The latest manga volumes has been updated in my manga list.

(Pic Source: Giphy)

Read any of the manga listed? Recommendations? Feel free to comment below!

“Imagining The World Into Existence” BOOK REVIEW

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“The mind is but a reflection of the mind of God, and both God and man possessed the ability to use that greater mental power.” – Normandi Ellis

What would do if you read a book revealing you have the same powers as a god?

Normandi Ellis’ Imagining the World into Existence is an insightful look into ancient Egyptian mysticism. The early Egyptians strongly believed they were no more different than their gods in terms of creative powers. Creation, the power of thought, and the role of consciousness plays major roles in this book.

In addition, these themes reminded me of The Kybalion, a text claimed to be written by the legendary figure Hermes Trismegistus.

Considered to be a reference manual to ancient consciousness, I’ve expected Imagining the World would provide lessons and exercises applying the timeless spiritual wisdom into my daily life.

The book was completely different from my expectations. It’s packed with mixed subjects on consciousness awareness, myths, and priests’ rituals. Even though they do correlate with each other, this book seems like three books jammed into one.

Overall, the extra research Ellis compiled into Imagining the World was indeed educational. I did receive the information I was looking for.

The Power of Thought

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The ancient Egyptians believed Ptah, the god of creation, created the world with pure thought. The gods Thoth and Atum didn’t have parents; they thought themselves into existence.

The source of these gods’ creations is merely thought. Without thought, nothing would manifest into the physical plane.

The Egyptians also believed Egypt was made in the image of heaven. Therefore, the idea of everything from their pyramids and to their sacred texts came from a higher plane of existence. Ellis writes the following quotes:

“Thought precedes action.”

 “Life already exists before the physical act of creation.”

“The material world is made through work on the mental plane.”

 Mental existence comes before it reaches into its physical form. We can become powerful beings with our imaginations. Of course, we can’t physically shoot laser beams from our eyes and run faster than the speed of light easily if we imagined it.

Still, every one of us have the power to change things with our thoughts.

Change Your Mind, Change Your Reality

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“A change of consciousness changes physical matter.” – Normandi Ellis

Every decision we make changes our reality bit by bit. Think about all the internal decisions you’ve made up to this point. Your reality has changed every time you’ve traveled somewhere, switched job professions, changed religious beliefs, and more.

We’re more powerful than we think, but how would we know in this massive jungle of information we live in today? Imagining the World acknowledges an ancient perspective lost in this modern day.

I think about how much power we would truly have if we recognized our higher consciousness and harness it for our own use.

Nowadays, we let any sort of distracting information place us into states of fear, chaos, and anxiety. The news today consists of more negative news than good. It’s like the show runners are keeping the mass consciousness in a lower state on purpose. Turning our heads away from the consistent negativity shows we have the power to control which thoughts we receive.

The ancient Egyptians believed the gods created the world; we can create our own.

Consciousness & Heka

The ancient Egyptians were so in tune with higher consciousness they had incorporated rituals to their daily lives even after death. They knew what they did in the physical plane would affect their souls in the non-physical realms.

Ellis frequently mentions The Book of the Dead, The Coffin Texts, and The Pyramid Texts in her book. These manuscripts contained spells to guide and protect the deceased in the afterlife. The act of writing and reading spells were forms of creation, magical practices known as heka.

Remember in The Mummy when Evelyn read a passage from The Book of the Dead and brought Imhotep back to life?

That would be heka.

Not only heka are spells, but a god. Heka is the source behind all the existing magic in the universe including the souls’ ability to travel through the afterlife.  It is said he existed before any other god.

Doctors, priests, and scribes were highly valued for their knowledge of heka. It was believed they used heka to call on the gods to aid in their works. Writing, meditation, healing, and reading were all consider acts of heka.

In that sense, we work with magic every day! We write, we read, and empower ourselves with affirmations. We create magic daily, yet we don’t consider our abilities to be magical.

Imagining the World & The Kybalion

Imagining the World has a strong concept about thoughts and vibration correlating to The Kybalion. Ellis writes:

“Everything comes alive through the law of vibration and vibration is not static. Vibration changes thought. Thought is a vibration that changes things.”

This quote closely resembles to a principle in The Kybalion stating all matter are vibrations:

“Nothing rests, everything moves, everything vibrates.”

Thought is a state of matter. It can execute all sorts of emotions within us. If we’re upset, we receive upsetting events. If we’re happy, we’ll receive happy events.

Our emotions are magnets. We attract whatever is our current vibrational state. Change your vibration and see what comes to you.

Conclusion

I recommend this book if you’re into metaphysical subjects, ancient magic, or mainly interested in ancient Egyptian culture and beliefs. It’s best to check out the table of contents before reading the entire book.

I would personally purchase this book. The concepts of thoughts changing reality and the infinite power within the self really stood out to me. The ancient Egyptians knew so much we don’t know these days.

Books Reviewed Similar to Imagining the World into Existence:

(Pic Sources from Giphy)

 Comment below if you’ve read this book or you have related recommendations!

“5,000 Words Per Hour” Book Review

 

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Struggling to write three hundred words a day? What about five hundred words? A thousand?

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At first, I thought I couldn’t write more than eight hundred words a day until I read 5,000 Words Per Hour. Chris Fox made the impossible possible!

Fox provides many awesome writing tips advising readers to write every day and forget about editing until a draft is absolutely finished.

Sounds like common sense, right?

If you haven’t been writing often, what you don’t know will surprise you!

Tip #1: “Write In the Mornings”

First of all, write as soon as you wake up. List writing as one of your top morning priorities. That way, you’ll have your writing session for the day completed before you do anything else.

If you must wake up for school or work, wake up an hour or two earlier than you’re used to.  It’ll be crazy difficult at first, but better once you keep up with the habit.

Tip #2: “Write Everyday”

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Writing every day can strengthen your writing muscles.

You don’t have to sit on your desk and write for eight hours straight. What matters the most is consistency. Writing daily at the minimum of thirty minutes is good enough. You can always expand your time limits whenever it gets too easy.

Here’s an effective method I’ve done you can try too:

  • Week One: Write for ten minutes
  • Week Two: Write for twenty minutes
  • Week Three: Write for thirty minutes
  • Week Four: Write for forty minutes

You can switch around the times to your desire. It’s better to be writing something in a quick ten minutes than nothing at all.

Tip #3: “No Editing!”

I have an awful editing habit. Whenever I write down a sentence or two, I tend to read it over and change it if necessary. Next thing I know my scheduled writing session is over and I barely wrote more than a paragraph.

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Have you down this before?

Fox recommends writing until you’re absolutely done with your work. If you’re planning to write a short story for example, keep writing until you’ve reached the finish line! The story will be terrible, but it’ll be a finished terrible story.

You’ll be able to see what you need to edit in a greater scale.

I’ve tried this tip with a TV pilot that has been lingering in my mind for a while. There were moments I had to force myself to the next page whenever I was tempted to change a character’s dialogue or fix a lousy scene description. I reminded myself how great it will feel to finally finish that pilot.

After all, there’s no greater feeling than accomplishing something you’ve been putting off.

Tip #4: “Record Your Writing Sprints”

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Fox refers small writing time blocks as “micro-sprints”. They can be five, ten, up to twenty-five minutes. Some people use their cooking timer for their sprints (aka the Pomodoro Technique).

Make sure you record your sessions after you’ve completed your daily sprints. Reviewing your progress will keep you on track on what you need to improve and new challenges needed to be made.

Next, Fox recommends recording words written per day, but I prefer pages. I like to start my writing first on paper. I used to write five to six pages of written content. Now, my average page count is ten, about a thousand words on the computer.

As a matter of fact, there are studies reported writing is more effective on paper compared to typing. Writing by hand can increase brain development and elevate efficient writing.

What kind of writer doesn’t want that?

Tip #5: “Write a Story Timeline”

Are you an active storyteller? Pay extra attention to this tip!

Fox creates his stories by outlining each one with a story timeline. A story timeline consists of three significant scenes: the inciting incident, the first doorway, and the second doorway.

The inciting incident changes the main protagonist’s everyday life, the first doorway leads the protagonist to an unfamiliar world, and the second doorway leads to the final confrontation with the antagonist.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a great example with a notable story timeline:

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  • Inciting Incident: Gandalf the Grey gives Frodo the One Ring.
  • First Doorway: Frodo leaves the Shire with Sam, Merry, and Pippin.
  • Second Doorway: The Fellowship of the Ring battle the Uruk-Hai at Amon Hen.

Every story has this noticeable three-arc timeline. It’ll be helpful for you to plan timelines for your own story developments.

Tip #6: “Full-Time Writer? Write Full-Time!”

You must commit to writing at all times if you plan to be a full-time writer. You’ll be better the more you work on it.

Fox has an inspiring attitude towards his craft. He admits to writing every day including the holidays because loves he so much. It’s a fun way to make a living!

Writing full-time means repeatedly creating, editing, and publishing your work. Plus, generating new ideas all the time.

On top of that, sacrifice is required. You may have to cut off your Netflix marathons and weekend outings with your buds. The short-term pleasures will never compare to the long-term ones. Long-term commitment and discipline offers long-term rewards.

Lastly, creating and focusing on long-term goals will kickstart your writing motivation. Do your writing goals include selling Kindle books on Amazon or creating an insanely popular blog filled with insightful content?

Imprint these goals in your brain and take action now!

Conclusion

Overall, 5,000 Words Per Hour is a convenient book for writers in urgent need to increase their writing productivity. It’s a valuable tool for online content writers too.

However, my only complaint is the book was too short. The book was so intriguing, I bummed out when I finished the last page. I’m sure Fox’s point was to get his readers writing as soon as possible after finishing his book.

Fox’s writing methods were truly helpful. They have helped me become a more productive writer.

Read this book and you’ll become one too!

A Reviewed Book Similar to 5,000 Words Per Hour:

(Pic Sources: Giphy)

Comment below if you’ve read this book or have any writing book recommendations!

BOOK REVIEW: “Ask and It Is Given”

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Wondering if the Universe is purposely making your life hell for pure amusement?

Don’t blame the mercury retrograde yet! Read Ask and It Is Given and you’ll discover all your negative thoughts may be the root of your frustrations. What happens in the outside world reflects your mind.

Esther Hicks has written this book channeling a non-physical being named Abraham. Its purpose is to share news the world is an illusion and we have the power to change our experience in this physical plane with our thoughts.

Ask and It Is Given is a book strongly reserved for those interested in vibrations, good thoughts, and the law of attraction.

Yet, this book could’ve provided better explanations for rising from negative vibrations.

For instance, it’s game over for you if you have a mental illness or live in poverty. Apparently, you’re responsible and you must find a way to change your thoughts even though you’ve suffered for a long time.

Abraham has some serious explaining to do.

Who Is Abraham?

Abraham is described as a collective of non-physical beings from a higher dimension. It approached Esther while she was in the middle of meditating and started using her body (with her permission) to channel information through her.

Like Bashar channeling through Darryl Anka, Abraham has come to our world to spread news about our untapped powers.

 Non-Reality and Physical Reality

Everything we create comes from the mental plane. Our minds carry an unlimited amount of ideas waiting to be manifested in this physical realm.

Abraham points out everything we think about with enough focus eventually manifests. We don’t allow our desires to come through most of the time. Our fears and excuses get the best of us.

The universe will help us out if we change the way we think, letting us achieve our greatest potential.

The Universe is Your Genie

There are three steps in the “ask and it is given” process:

  1. Asking
  2. Letting the Universe does its job
  3. Receiving

Your only job is to state your desire (asking) then keep up with thoughts matching it (receiving) until it comes to life. The Universe does the middle job. It sets up the right time, the people involved, and its location.

Look at the universe as your genie. Whatever you ask, you let the genie do its work. You don’t see Aladdin complaining to Genie whenever his wishes don’t come true.

The Earth is Our Canvas

 According to Abraham, the earth is made as a platform to develop our creations. Our purpose here on the planet is to simply create and have fun doing it.

Nevertheless, it’s hard to imagine the earth as our playground. Rules and expectations about life have structured our minds since birth.  The more we grow our imaginations, it is cut down by our parents, teachers, and authority figures. It feels like we can’t do anything except for what we are told.

Luckily, Abraham affirms we are born free and will always be. We are free to paint the reality of our dreams. Nobody can take our paintbrush away from us!

The Emotional Guidance System

Take this scenario: you’re in a cramped fourteen-hour flight and you can’t wait to get to your destination. For now, a baby is wailing behind you while you’re trying to watch a long, boring movie.

Either you:

  • A: Tell the mother to shut her baby up
  • B: Lock yourself in the bathroom and cry
  • C: Calmly ask the mother if the baby’s okay
  • D: Jump out of the plane

Choice C feels the most pleasant. You ask the mother what’s wrong and she apologizes, revealing her child is sick. Now, you sympathize for the mother and her child. You hope the trip turns out better for them.

Meanwhile, the passenger beside you starts joking about the lame movie. You chip in and enjoy each other’s company.

Thanks to your emotional guidance system, the plane trip’s been made worthwhile.

Everybody has what Abraham calls the “emotional guidance system” aka your emotions. The purpose of your feelings is to let you know of your vibration status. If you’re sad, it means you’re in a low vibration. You’re happy then you’re on a high vibration. Your emotional guidance system can help you decide which choices feel the best.

The only concern I had with this concept is mental health disorders. What about the people with depression and anxiety issues? They can’t flip their emotions from sadness to happiness like a light switch. A depressed individual can be in Disney World and still be down in the dumps.

It’s not fair to say it’s their fault they carry low vibrations due to their mental condition. The same goes to homeless people who don’t know better.

Millionaire Vibrations

Most people aren’t millionaires because they don’t emit “millionaire vibrations”.

Millionaires have abundant mindsets. Everywhere they look and everything they do is a financial opportunity. A millionaire’s money-flowing imagination immediately expresses itself into physical reality.

On the other hand, poor mindsets remain in low vibrations. Money doesn’t come to poor people because they’re not a vibrational match to abundance. Screaming to the world you’re broke isn’t exactly going to help you out. The universe only responds by giving you more “broke” situations.

To sum things up, Abraham suggests the best way to have money come to you is to change your thoughts about it. Start thinking of money as an infinite resource instead of a limited one. The more positive thoughts you have about money, the more it will fly into your bank account.

However, this view seems fair until I think about the children who were born poor. Surely, they didn’t deserve to be born in poverty. I wished Abraham elaborated more on this factor.

Conclusion

Ask and It Is Given is a decent beginner’s book to the Law of Attraction process. Abraham reveals we have the powers of thought to change our realities. What are you going to do with your infinite creative powers?

This book would’ve been better if it had more clarifications on certain topics. I suppose that’s why more Abraham books we’re published after this one.

Reviewed books similar to Ask and It Is Given:

 Comment below if you’ve read this or any other Abraham books.

BOOK REVIEW: “Deep Work” by Cal Newport

 

Deep Work praises the lost art of long, focus-intensive work. Cal Newport clearly defines the difference between “busyness” and concentrated work leading to notable advancements.

This book has captured my attention entirely. I’ve read it all in one evening!

We currently live in a bustling world of multitasking. Studying nowadays consist of occasionally glancing over notes for an upcoming test while watching The Life of Kylie with a group of friends. The failing test grade answers the accomplishments.

Next, there are work places glorifying multitasking. The ideal employee constantly checks e-mails, accomplishes many trivial tasks around the office, and attends meetings with minimal “call to action” results.

Really? Research reveals multitasking harms our brains!

I learned from Deep Work being that kind of busy isn’t remarkably as important as society points it out to be. There’s “busyness” aka shallow work then there’s deep work.

Shallow Work

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“Shallow work” is labor of little to no value to your major goals.

Let’s say you’re a blogger planning to post ten blog articles within a month. You want to complete your first blog post on the first day of the month.

On the first day, you search for the perfect WordPress theme for your blog, comment on other people’s blogs, write notes from a book about blogging, and watch dozens of YouTube videos on creating blog content.

Close to midnight, you’re too tired to start your blog post. You decide to do it tomorrow and go to bed.

The day wouldn’t have flown by if you’ve only given yourself a few hours in the morning writing your first blog post. All the blog post commenting and WordPress theme searching is shallow work. They mean little to writing!

Now, you can’t avoid shallow tasks forever. It’s best to schedule your deep work first and the shallow work later.

Deep Work

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“Deep work” is tending on a goal from start to finish in a dedicated number of hours. The more focus on a project, the more it will likely be produced.

University of Pennsylvania professor Adam Grant (introduced in Deep Work) formed an excellent “deep work” formula that has helped him reach astounding success in his teaching career:

(Time Spent) x (Intense Focus) = High Quality Work Produced

Back to the blogger example, it would’ve been best to give yourself two hours to blog content creation with no distractions. The first draft would’ve been completed with a brief outline for the next blog post.

Now, Newport mentions big goals are best when they’re cut down into small, manageable steps. One can’t simply publish the next great American novel of 100,000 words within a day. Set up how many hours a day you’re planning to work on the novel and see what happens.

Better luck having the novel all set and ready within six months than twenty-four hours.

How to Start Deep Work

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Did you know J.K. Rowling wrote the last Harry Potter book exclusively at an Edinburgh hotel?

Mark Twain isolated himself in a cabin to get some work done. His family blew a horn to get his attention when it was time for dinner.

These famous authors have created time for deep work and steered away from any distractions for their projects. That’s how you can get started.

Distractions include:

  • Phones
  • Tempting internet
  • TV
  • Small talk with people disrupting “deep work” time

Some of you who may read Deep Work may be thinking: “I can’t do deep work, I have kids!”

Along with being an active writer and associate professor, Newport mentions his deep work routine with the addition of his two kids. He has established time blocks for himself to get work done and a shutdown time.

Shutdown is a set time when you stop everything and chill. Your willpower can go on for so long until it runs out and it needs to be recharged.

After a couple of hours of deep work, parents can conveniently use shutdown mode as precious time to spend with their kids (if their little ones can understand that).

However, I’m a single gal with no experience with parenting whatsoever. I don’t know much about the hustling parent world balancing family and work life except for what I’ve seen my parents do. Check out this Motherly article about doing deep work from a parent’s perspective.

In short, to start deep work:

  1. List your top goals
  2. Create time blocks for those goals and a shutdown time
  3. Clear distractions
  4. Execute deep work within time blocks
  5. Shutdown after you’ve completed blocks

The Benefits of Deep Work

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Deep work creates flow and flow leads to happiness.

Surprisingly, work flow leads to more fulfillment than free time.

Work flow happiness comes from the structure of a planned goal. When you set an intention, and put forth action until you reach your goal, the euphoria of achievement (thanks to dopamine) overcomes you. You’ll want reach the pleasure of success repeatedly.

Free time is always fun. You get to break free from structure once for a while to do the spontaneous. People go on vacations to take a break from their everyday routines and do whatever they want in a new landscape.

Eventually, vacation mode gets dull and it’s time to return to work mode.

Happiness is found in whatever meaningful creation you contribute. Chinese philosopher Confucius once said: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work again.”

Vacations aren’t necessary to finding happiness but they’re worthy rewards for hard work.

My Deep Work Relationship

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I’ve changed a couple of my daily habits after reading Deep Work. I shortened time from less important tasks and added it to more important ones. Exercise, a very important habit to me, has been reduced from an hour to thirty minutes. My hour of writing I do most days increased to ninety minutes.

Plus, I changed my wake-up time from five in the morning to four. My body is not used to it yet so I take a nap or two during the day to work diligently with much energy as possible.

Video games, social media, and TV have all been placed after my shutdown time around five in the evening. However, I’ve end up writing and reading more after shutdown simply for leisure more than I already do for deep work.

Great things happen when you sharpen your habits!

Conclusion

Newport has indeed written a remarkable book on the joy and great outcomes of focused creations. Deep Work offers readers a “deeper” look on what needs to be done to get ahead.

If you want to stand out for your steel discipline and ceaseless production, please do read this book!

Other Book Recommendations:

  • The 80/20 Manager: The Secret to Working Less and Achieving More by Richard Koch (review)
  • The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller & Jay Papasan (review)
  • Do Less, Get More: How to Work Smart and Live Life Your Way by Shaa Wasmund (review)

(Pic Sources: Amazon, Giphy)

 Had a “deep work” experience? Share your story in the comments below!

Manga Update! *August 2017 Edition*

The Manga Mecca

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I’m pleased to announce I’ve found a new library with a fresh, breathtaking manga selection in this manga update! The library had manga series I haven’t seen in years (Zatch Bell, Dragonball), based on my friends’ anime recommendations (Soul Eater, Puella Magi Madoka Magica), and a couple I stopped reading after I was distracted by other manga (Black Butler, Negima!).

Below are the new manga series I’ve picked up and read (so far) from my newly-discovered “Manga Mecca”.

 New Manga

  1. Blood Lad by Yuuki Kodama
  2. High School of the Dead by Daisuke Sato

And one teeny update from a series I’ve already started:

Updated Manga

  1. Kimi ni Todoke by Karuho Shiina

Conclusion

I highly recommend Blood Lad. Great action scenes and humor fill this supernatural adventure.  Vampire Staz loves everything connected with human culture. He loves to play video games, read manga, and collect fandom memorabilia.

A girl from the human world accidentally steps through a magical portal and ends up in Staz’s demon world. Unfortunately, the girl dies in his world before he can ask her a million questions about her world. Now, the girl’s a ghost and Staz must seek the spell to transform her back to a living human before she disappears forever.

High School of the Dead is The Walking Dead with Japanese high school students fighting their way of their zombie-infested city. Fair warning: there are plenty of panty shots and other obvious fanservice (random shots to please readers) scenes. Overall, this manga series is a captivating “fight for your life” story.

Interested in the latest manga I’ve read so far? Check out the full list with the latest titles highlighted in bold. Make sure to look out of next month’s manga update too!

(Pic Source: Tumblr)

You’ve read the manga listed above? Any recommendations you would like to share? Please comment below!