Tuesday, July 5, 2016

*Joood's Reviews* Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling

You may or may not know this already, but Joood - Hooligan of Platypire Reviews is notoriously bad at writing reviews after she finishes reading books. I'm serious, her to be reviewed list is almost as long as my Platypire Read-A-Thon list, and that thing is monstrous. So after much cajoling on Joood's part, I have decided to help her out and once a week I'm going to write one of her reviews for her because I'm a good friend like that, and there is no way this could possibly go wrong. I will be writing the reviews as if I actually am Joood.

This week, I will be reviewing Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling.

Genre: Memoir
Published: September 15, 2015
Pages: 240


In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

In “How to Look Spectacular: A Starlet’s Confessions,” Kaling gives her tongue-in-cheek secrets for surefire on-camera beauty, (“Your natural hair color may be appropriate for your skin tone, but this isn’t the land of appropriate–this is Hollywood, baby. Out here, a dark-skinned woman’s traditional hair color is honey blonde.”) “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model. And now they had matching bangs.”) In “Unlikely Leading Lady,” she muses on America’s fixation with the weight of actresses, (“Most women we see onscreen are either so thin that they’re walking clavicles or so huge that their only scenes involve them breaking furniture.”) And in “Soup Snakes,” Kaling spills some secrets on her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and close friend, B.J. Novak (“I will freely admit: my relationship with B.J. Novak is weird as hell.”)

Mindy turns the anxieties, the glamour, and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into a laugh-out-loud funny collection of essays that anyone who’s ever been at a turning point in their life or career can relate to. And those who’ve never been at a turning point can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper.

Favorite Quotes

"The most valuable thing I learned from Kim Kardashian is that your arm must never lie flat against your body. The second most important thing is how to do this sex move called the Armenian Strangler, but that's for another book."

"The word mentor is funny because it has a pedagogical, formal feel to it." 

"Thankfully at curtain call, the riotous applause and standing ovation woke B.J. up."


The audiobook version of Why Not Me magically showed up in my audible library one day after I bought it with an audible credit that I had on Amazon. It's truly amazing how that works. 

I'd like to start off my review by answering the question to the best of my ability. I'm sorry to have to tell you this, Mindy, but I think your voice has a lot to do with it. I feel awful for even saying this, but I had to listen to the book in small doses because my eardrums just couldn't withstand the onslaught for extended periods of time. That being said, I would have been quite upset if the audiobook had been narrated by someone else. 

I really related to Mindy though, so much so that I feel like we should be BFFs, but she'd never want to be friends with me, and then I thought "Why not me?" I am the leader of the charge for Platypire World Domination, which makes me basically the coolest person ever. People should be breaking down my door just to hang out with me (but I wouldn't recommend it because I will likely not be wearing pants, just ask Bekah.) So even though the narration hurt my eardrums, I really enjoyed the book. 

3.96 Platypires. - Joood - Hooligan

Buy the Book

About the Author

Vera Mindy Chokalingam, known professionally as Mindy Kaling, is an American actress, comedian, and writer. She is the creator and star of the Fox and Hulu sitcom "The Mindy Project", and also serves as executive producer and writer for the show.

Alternate Reviews

If you would like to read some legitimate reviews of Why Not Me, just click on any of the links below. 


Sunday, July 3, 2016

*Mail-Call* June

June is over and it was an exceptionally good month for book mail. I even got one book that I won from Goodreads that shouldn't have been shipped to me because the giveaway said "No P.O. Boxes" (but I'd missed that when entering and use my actual address instead of my parents address). However, it would kind of be poor form if a book titled "Seal Team Six..." wouldn't be sent to an APO (a military post office). I was still pleasantly surprised when I realized that I shouldn't have received it here, and fully intend to read it sooner rather than later because of that (although we all know how little my intentions are worth). Without further ado, here are all the books I got in the mail in June, all 41 of them. 

Inside the Bubble by Noga Niv

Photo Credit: Goodreads

In Inside the Bubble, a captivating tale of high-tech and female friendship, Noga Niv takes us to Silicon Valley at the turn of the millennium, when the collapse of the dot-com bubble had produced thousands of new millionaires and left behind many frustrated contenders who’d hoped the gold rush would never end. Against the backdrop of California Internet culture unfold lives and stories from Silicon Valley’s émigré Israeli community.

Daniela, a clinical psychologist and mother of three, has followed her husband from Tel Aviv to the center of technological innovation, where she and her four closest female friends live in material comfort but grapple with homesickness. The women contend with the changing dynamics of their marriages, and their individual transitions into middle age. They talk openly about men and women, about Americans and Israelis, and about life far from the home country. Secrets are half-spoken and plans are formed that will determine the course of their future.

Any Resemblance to a Coincidence is Accidental by Stephen C. Bird

Photo Credit: Goodreads


Experimental novella blends realism, surrealism, humour with horror. Interwoven themes and archetypes manifest in the form of satirical fantasy. Superficial silliness within the text betrays deeper, darker sociological and philosophical commentary. Characters often become emotionally disconnected and navigate a tightrope between their waking and dreaming lives.

Please refer to the Blog Posting on the Stephen C. Bird Author Profile Page for Quotes from Reviews for "Any Resemblance To A Coincidence Is Accidental".

The Adventures of Little Red by Paul Thomas

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Little Red is a tough country rooster, boss of a very big barnyard and conductor of the Country Rock Band. His barnyard prowess and musical talents are famous far and wide, but no one knows Little Red has a very different dream, far from the success he's already found. Little Red dreams of becoming a football player and not just a player but also a superstar! Soon, exciting news spreads around the barnyard. A professional football team is coming to Little Red's county, searching for new talent. After nine months of intense preparation, the trials begin, and Little Red stands out from the other players. He's a great teammate, but he's also a great leader. He thinks he'll be a shoe-in for the team, finally fulfilling his dream. But to the shock and bewilderment of all his barnyard friends, Little Red doesn't make the cut. Upset, he hides himself away so that the others don't see him cry. Simply put, men don't cry! Then, one morning, he remembers what his mom used to do when things got bad: she prayed. Little Red says a prayer of his own, and God listens. Now, Little Red's life is about to change forever.

White Ashes by John D. Moulton

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Rachael Farrington is sitting on a riverbank when young Jason Beauvale wanders into her life. The two become inseparable, but Rachael’s mother is suspicious of the boy; he’s wealthy and, for reasons of her own, she has no trust for him and his kind.

As the couple become closer, Jason shares a secret: Many years earlier he witnessed his father escape, badly injured, under a hail of bullets. He doesn’t know why it happened, or if his father survived, or why his mother then chose a life in hiding, refusing to speak much of him or their past lives again. These are mysteries that haunt the boy and which he aches to resolve.

In an ironic twist, as the young couple battle against those determined to end their passionate relationship, they are confronted by the very forces that lurked in Jason’s past.

In the turmoil that follows, loved ones soon face abduction, imprisonment and death, as an unscrupulous organization, known as The Syndicate, seeks to fulfill a long-outstanding resolution to which Jason unwittingly becomes the key.

The fight for justice falls to Rachael, but with high-ranking police corruption working to defeat her, how can she alone bring The Syndicate down?

The Nethers: Frontiers of Hinterland by M.E. Parker

Photo Credit: Goodreads

The distance between your cell and freedom is a hell of a journey. 

In the jaw-dropping sequel to "Jonesbridge," M.E. Parker takes readers on a furious ride through bedlam, perfect for fans of Mad Max and Hugh Howey's "Wool." 

As Jonesbridge descends into chaos, Myron seizes an opportunity as a member of a mobile recovery squad, sent to salvage metal. He wanders the Nethers, where he meets a nomad who seeks out people for delivery to a mysterious place called Mesa Gap in exchange for fresh water and supplies. On their journey, they encounter dangerous groups of cultists and fanatics, as well as refugees, as desperate as Myron for a way out. 

Myron's love Sindra survives, banished for giving birth, and is now holed up in a village by the sea. Myron s mission is to get to Sindra, and then to get them both through the ancient highway that promises freedom. To get there, though, will test every limit, and force Myron to make decisions that could ultimately alter the future of what is left of the human race."

The Civil War Soldiers' Orphan Schools of Pennsylvania by Dr. O. David Gold

Photo Credit: Goodreads

This is the only modern, published account of the Soldier's Orphan Schools of Pennsylvania. A bureaucrat of the system wrote a so-called history in 1873 but it is very self-serving and devoid of any critical analysis. Also included, a bonus feature on the Ill-Fated Gettsyburg Orphanage.

The Soldier's Orphan Schools of Pennsylvania, 1864- 1889 were unique to the history of the nation. They were the first historical example of a government attempting to nurture and educate the children of soldiers killed in war. During the 25 years of its existence, over ten thousand children passed through the Soldiers' Orphan Schools of Pennsylvania.

Established largely through the efforts of Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin, they were not orphanages but privately owned boarding schools funded by the state which took in soldiers' orphans between the ages of eight and sixteen.

While they designed a rigid academic plan of studies, the well-known professional educators who supervised the system for the state were mainly interested in the moral development of these children from the lower strata of society. Discipline, hard work, and obedience were the principal aims of those who ran the schools. Intellectual development was always secondary.

Located mainly in the rural and agricultural areas of the state, the Soldier's Orphan Schools were challenged by the new economic and social forces of the latter nineteenth century.

In a state renowned for its savage partisan politics, the Pennsylvania Soldiers' Orphan Schools got emeshed in a so-called scandal which involved the Democratic governor and the GOP opposition. Charges of neglect and fraud dominated the political press for months. This episode of 1886 soured the public on the system of relief established during the Civil War.

An add-on chapter concludes the book - The Ill-Fated Gettysburg Orphanage. This institution was like a counterpoint to the S.O.S. The latter was a government sponsored creation. The orphanage in Gettysburg for soldiers' orphans was a private endeavor with no government supervision or financial involvement.

This is truly an amazing story beginning with the battle of Gettysburg, the discovery of a dead soldier clutching the picture of his three children, the search for his identity, the sale of the picture to raise funds for an orphanage, its life from 1866-1877, and its closing largely because of a "cruel headmistress" who among many "evil acts" kept her charges in an underground torture chamber. This section features the Lunden Family Letters, printed for the first time. The three Lunden children corresponded with their mother while under the care of the notorious headmistress, Rosa Carmichael.

The book is enhanced by 170 photographs and drawings.

A House for Happy Mothers by Amulya Malladi

Photo Credit: Goodreads

A stunning new novel—full of wit and warmth—from the bestselling author of The Mango Season.

In trendy Silicon Valley, Priya has everything she needs—a loving husband, a career, and a home—but the one thing she wants most is the child she’s unable to have. In a Southern Indian village, Asha doesn’t have much—raising two children in a tiny hut, she and her husband can barely keep a tin roof over their heads—but she wants a better education for her gifted son. Pressured by her family, Asha reluctantly checks into the Happy Mothers House: a baby farm where she can rent her only asset—her womb—to a childless couple overseas. To the dismay of friends and family, Priya places her faith in a woman she’s never met to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Together, the two women discover the best and the worst that India’s rising surrogacy industry has to offer, bridging continents and cultures to bring a new life into the world—and renewed hope to each other.

The Book of Esther by Emily Barton

Photo Credit: Goodreads

What if an empire of Jewish warriors that really existed in the Middle Ages had never fallen—and was the only thing standing between Hitler and his conquest of Russia? 

Eastern Europe, August 1942. The Khazar kaganate, an isolated nation of Turkic warrior Jews, lies between the Pontus Euxinus (the Black Sea) and the Khazar Sea (the Caspian). It also happens to lie between a belligerent nation to the west that the Khazars call Germania—and a city the rest of the world calls Stalingrad.

After years of Jewish refugees streaming across the border from Europa, fleeing the war, Germania launches its siege of Khazaria. Only Esther, the daughter of the nation’s chief policy adviser, sees the ominous implications of Germania's disregard for Jewish lives. Only she realizes that this isn’t just another war but an existential threat. After witnessing the enemy warplanes’ first foray into sovereign Khazar territory, Esther knows she must fight for her country. But as the elder daughter in a traditional home, her urgent question is how.

Before daybreak one fateful morning, she embarks on a perilous journey across the open steppe. She seeks a fabled village of Kabbalists who may hold the key to her destiny: their rumored ability to change her into a man so that she may convince her entire nation to join in the fight for its very existence against an enemy like none Khazaria has ever faced before.

The Book of Esther
 is a profound saga of war, technology, mysticism, power, and faith. This novel—simultaneously a steampunk Joan of Arc and a genre-bending tale of a counterfactual Jewish state by a writer who invents worlds “out of Calvino or Borges” (The New Yorker)—is a stunning achievement. Reminiscent of Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union and Philip Roth’s The Plot Against AmericaThe Book of Esther reaffirms Barton’s place as one of her generation’s most gifted storytellers.

The Promise by Robert Crais

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are joined by Suspect heroes LAPD K-9 Officer Scott James and his German shepherd, Maggie, in the new heart-stopping thriller from #1 New York Times-bestselling author Robert Crais. 

Loyalty, commitment, and the fight for justice have always driven Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. If they make a promise, they keep it. Even if it could get them killed.

When Elvis Cole is secretly hired to find a grief-stricken mother, he’s led to an ordinary house on a rainy night in Echo Park. Only the house isn’t ordinary, and the people hiding inside are a desperate fugitive and a murderous criminal with his own dangerous secrets.

As helicopters swirl overhead, Scott and Maggie track the fugitive to this same house, coming face-to-face with Mr. Rollins, a killer who leaves behind a brutally murdered body and enough explosives to destroy the neighborhood. Scott is now the only person who can identify him, but Mr. Rollins has a rule: Never leave a witness alive.

For all of them, the night is only beginning.

Sworn to secrecy by his client, Elvis finds himself targeted by the police even as Mr. Rollins targets Maggie and Scott. As Mr. Rollins closes in for the kill, Elvis and Joe join forces with Scott and Maggie to follow a trail of lies where no one is who they claim — and the very woman they promised to save might get them all killed.

Heart of Stone by Dakota Willink

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Krystina Cole was a girl on a mission. She had big dreams and aspirations, none of which included a man by her side. She knew better than that – at least until she met Alexander Stone, the New York billionaire real estate tycoon. She saw the way that he looked at her, and the dark promises in his eyes. She was curious about his world and all that it entailed. But the shadows of her past haunted her, making her afraid to explore possibilities that she could never before have imagined… 

Alexander Stone was a man who knew how to get what he wanted. He understood the value of finesse, and the importance of patience and diligence to achieve the desired result. He was successful and wealthy, relying on his naturally sharp instincts to guide him through life. But a chance run in with Krystina Cole quickly turned his world upside down. Her quick wit and firecracker attitude was the complete opposite of what he wanted in a woman, and his instincts failed him at every turn… 

However, both Krystina and Alexander are clinging to the secrets in their past, and neither of them are willing to compromise. Krystina’s hardened heart makes emotional surrender a hard limit. But for Alexander, revealing his past could have devastating results.

Street of Eternal Happiness by Rob Schmitz

Photo Credit: Goodreads

An unforgettable portrait of individuals who hope, struggle, and grow along a single street cutting through the heart of China’s most exhilarating metropolis, from one of the most acclaimed broadcast journalists reporting on China today.

Modern Shanghai: a global city in the midst of a renaissance, where dreamers arrive each day to partake in a mad torrent of capital, ideas, and opportunity. Marketplace’s Rob Schmitz is one of them. He immerses himself in his neighborhood, forging deep relationships with ordinary people who see in the city’s sleek skyline a brighter future, and a chance to rewrite their destinies. There’s Zhao, whose path from factory floor to shopkeeper is sidetracked by her desperate measures to ensure a better future for her sons. Down the street lives Auntie Fu, a fervent capitalist forever trying to improve herself with religion and get-rich-quick schemes while keeping her skeptical husband at bay. Up a flight of stairs, musician and café owner CK sets up shop to attract young dreamers like himself, but learns he’s searching for something more. As Schmitz becomes more involved in their lives, he makes surprising discoveries which untangle the complexities of modern China: A mysterious box of letters that serve as a portal to a family’s – and country’s – dark past, and an abandoned neighborhood where fates have been violently altered by unchecked power and greed. 

A tale of 21st century China, Street of Eternal Happiness profiles China’s distinct generations through multifaceted characters who illuminate an enlightening, humorous, and at times heartrending journey along the winding road to the Chinese Dream. Each story adds another layer of humanity and texture to modern China, a tapestry also woven with Schmitz’s insight as a foreign correspondent. The result is an intimate and surprising portrait that dispenses with the tired stereotypes of a country we think we know, immersing us instead in the vivid stories of the people who make up one of the world’s most captivating cities.

Willy Whale by Jaxy Mono

Photo Credit: Goodreads

How do you solve a mystery when you can’t trust your own sanity? 

Hollywood private detective Willy Whale finds a severed human nose one morning in his burger. Convinced that he’s either hallucinating or that he is the victim of a cosmic practical joke, Willy initially tries to ignore his gruesome discovery. But when a string of unsolved murders all point back to this sinister first clue, Willy realizes that he has stumbled on a dark secret.

As all around him A-list stars lose their heads, starlets sell their bodies to become famous, and movie moguls shoot out the holes between their ears, Willy tracks the unknown killer through Hollywood, even as all the evidence seems to point to him being the murderer. Running from his past, his memories, and even his real name, Willy knows he must discover the true killer before the cops begin to look into his identity. 

And time is running out.

Liar's Key by Carla Neggers

Photo Credit: Goodreads

An FBI legend, a mysterious antiquities specialist and a brazen art thief draw top FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan into a complex web of blackmail, greed and murder in the eagerly awaited new novel in the highly acclaimed Sharpe & Donovan series 

Emma Sharpe is suspicious when retired Special Agent Gordon Wheelock, a legend in FBI art crimes, drops by her Boston office for a visit. Gordy says he's heard rumors about stolen ancient mosaics. Emma, an art crimes specialist herself, won't discuss the rumors. Especially since they involve Oliver York, an unrepentant English art thief. Gordy and Emma's grandfather, a renowned private art detective, chased Oliver for a decade. Gordy knows Wendell Sharpe didn't give him everything he had on the thief. Even now, Oliver will never be prosecuted. 

When a shocking death occurs, Emma is drawn into the investigation. The evidence points to a deadly conspiracy between Wendell and Oliver, and Emma's fiancé, deep cover agent Colin Donovan, knows he can't stay out of this one. He also knows there will be questions about Emma's role and where her loyalties lie. 

From Boston to Maine to Ireland, Emma and Colin track a dangerous killer as the lives of their family and friends are at stake. With the help of their friend, Irish priest Finian Bracken, and Emma's brother, Lucas, the Sharpes and Donovans must band together to stop a killer. 

The Project by Johnny Moscato

Photo Credit: Goodreads


John Greenleaf establishes a new country (Adrianna), where everything is free, in order to take on the greedy corporations and corrupt governments that control the world- a group known as The Alliance. With no system of currency, Adrianna’s technology is not limited by money. After offering to give the entire world free wireless electricity and a cure for cancer, Greenleaf gets the attention of The Alliance who vow to destroy Adrianna and its technology before it eats into their profits. When The Alliance uses the American military to attack Adrianna, American cities start disappearing one by one. New York City. Washington, DC. Los Angeles. Twelve million people….gone. Can anyone stop John Greenleaf from taking over the world? Does anyone really want to?

Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral

Photo Credit: Goodreads

After her mother died, Glory retreated into herself and her music. Her single father raised her as a piano prodigy, with a rigid schedule and the goal of playing sold-out shows across the globe. Now, as a teenager, Glory has disappeared. As we flash back to the events leading up to her disappearance, we see a girl on the precipice of disaster. Brilliant and lonely, Glory is drawn to an artistic new boy, Frank, who moves in next door. The farther she falls, the deeper she spirals into madness. Before long, Glory is unable to play anything but the song "Chopsticks."

But nothing is what it seems, and Glory's reality is not reality at all. In this stunningly moving novel told in photographs, pictures, and words, it's up to the reader to decide what is real, what is imagined, and what has been madness all along...

Hurricane Street by Ron Kovic

Photo Credit: Goodreads

In the spring of 1974, as the last American troops were being pulled out of Vietnam, Ron Kovic and a small group of other severely injured veterans in a California VA hospital launched the American Veterans Movement. In a phenomenal feat of political organizing, Kovic corralled his fellow AVM members into staging a sit-in, and then a hunger strike, in the Los Angeles office of Senator Alan Cranston, demanding better treatment of injured and disabled veterans.

This was a short-lived and chaotic but ultimately successful movement to improve the deplorable conditions in VA hospitals across the country. Hurricane Street is their story--one that resonates deeply today--told by Kovic in the passionate and brutally honest style that led to over one million sales of Born on the Fourth of July.

Born on the Fourth of July by Ron Kovic

Photo Credit: Goodreads


This New York Times bestseller (more than one million copies sold) details the author's life story (portrayed by Tom Cruise in the Oliver Stone film version)--from a patriotic soldier in Vietnam, to his severe battlefield injury, to his role as the country's most outspoken anti-Vietnam War advocate, spreading his message from his wheelchair.

Grace Sees Red by Julie Hyzy

Photo Credit: Goodreads

The New York Times bestselling author of the Manor House Mysteries and the White House Chef Mysteries is back with another nail-biting murder mystery for curator Grace Wheaton. 

Grace Wheaton, curator and manager of Marshfield Manor, and her benefactor, Bennett Marshfield, are discussing how to help her roommates Bruce and Scott with their wine shop troubles when Grace’s trusted—if testy—assistant, Frances, calls, saying she needs some assistance of her own. Arriving at the address Frances has given them, they find a coroner’s van and police cars parked outside an upscale assisted-living facility called Indwell.

One of the elderly residents has been found dead under suspicious circumstances, and Frances, seen arguing with the man earlier that day, is now a person of interest. It’s up to Grace to clear her assistant’s name and find the real killer—before another Indwell resident checks out early...

Urban Allies edited by Joseph Nassise

Photo Credit: Goodreads

In this impressive anthology, 20 of today’s hottest urban fantasy writers—including Charlaine Harris, Jonathan Maberry, Kelley Armstrong, Larry Correia, and C. E. Murphy—are paired together in ten original stories featuring their favorite series characters.

Urban Allies brings together beloved characters from two different urban fantasy series—Peter Octavian and Dahlia Lynley-Chivers, Joanne Walker and Harper Blaine, Joe Ledger and Agent Franks, Sabina Kane and Ava—in ten electrifying stories. Combining fictional worlds in one dual adventure, each of these stories melds the talents of two high-profile authors, many working together for the first time—giving readers a chance to see their favorite characters in an imaginative and fresh way. 

Edited by acclaimed bestselling author Joseph Nassise—who is also a contributor—this outstanding collection showcases the brilliant storytelling talents of some of the most acclaimed fantasy writers working today, among them seven New York Times bestselling authors, two USA Today bestselling authors, and multiple Bram Stoker Award winners. 

Contributors include: 
Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden • Carrie Vaughn and Diana Rowland • Jonathan Maberry and Larry Correia • Kelley Armstrong and Seanan McGuire • Joe Nassise and Sam Witt • Steven Savile and Craig Schaefer • David Wellington and Weston Ochse • Stephen Blackmoore and Jeff Somers • Catie Murphy and Kat Richardson • Jaye Wells and Caitlin Kittredge

Adult ADHD: How to Succeed as a Hunter in a Farmer's World by Thom Hartmann

Photo Credit: Goodreads

How to harness your ADHD “hunter” strengths to start your own business and prosper in the workplace

• Provides organizational strategies, tips to maintain focus, and tools to set goals, build a business plan, and discover the right project to keep you motivated

• Shares ADHD success stories from Fortune 500 CEOs, inventors, small business owners, and the author’s own experience in launching new businesses

• Explains the positive side of ADHD behavior in the context of creating a business, working within an existing company, and raising children with ADHD

Most people do not “grow out” of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). For many, their ADHD traits have led to difficulties in school, relationships, and work. But for our hunter-gatherer ancestors these characteristics were necessary for survival. Hunters must be easily distractible, constantly scanning their environment, and unafraid of taking risks. When humanity experienced the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago, a vastly different type of personality--the methodical “Farmer”--became dominant. Most of our modern world is tailored to this Farmer personality, from 9-to-5 jobs to the structure of public schools, leaving ADHD Hunters feeling like unsuccessful outcasts. However, the Hunter skill set offers many opportunities for success in today’s Farmer society--if you learn how to embrace your ADHD traits instead of fighting against them.

In this step-by-step guide, Thom Hartmann explains the positive side of Hunter behavior. He reveals how Hunters make excellent entrepreneurs, sharing ADHD success stories from Fortune 500 CEOs, inventors, small business owners, and his own hands-on experience in launching new businesses. Drawing on solid scientific and psychological principles, he provides easy-to-follow organizational strategies, tips to maintain focus and create a distraction-free workspace, and tools to set goals, build a business plan, and discover the right business project to keep you motivated. Hartmann shares valuable advice for both the Hunter entrepreneur and the Hunter within an existing company and for curtailing the aggressive side of the Hunter personality in group situations or manager positions. 

Revealing the many ADHD opportunities hidden within the challenges of work, relationships, and day-to-day life, Hartmann also includes tips on navigating family relationships and parenting--for most Hunter parents are also raising Hunter children.

Becoming Steve Jobs by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli

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There have been many books—on a large and small scale—about Steve Jobs, one of the most famous CEOs in history. But this book is different from all the others. 
Becoming Steve Jobs takes on and breaks down the existing myth and stereotypes about Steve Jobs. The conventional, one-dimensional view of Jobs is that he was half-genius, half-jerk from youth, an irascible and selfish leader who slighted friends and family alike. Becoming Steve Jobs answers the central question about the life and career of the Apple cofounder and CEO: How did a young man so reckless and arrogant that he was exiled from the company he founded become the most effective visionary business leader of our time, ultimately transforming the daily life of billions of people?

Drawing on incredible and sometimes exclusive access, Schlender and Tetzeli tell a different story of a real human being who wrestled with his failings and learned to maximize his strengths over time. Their rich, compelling narrative is filled with stories never told before from the people who knew Jobs best, and who decided to open up to the authors, including his family, former inner circle executives, and top people at Apple, Pixar and Disney, most notably Tim Cook, Jony Ive, Eddy Cue, Ed Catmull, John Lasseter, Robert Iger and many others. In addition, Brent knew Jobs personally for 25 years and draws upon his many interviews with him, on and off the record, in writing the book. He and Rick humanize the man and explain, rather than simply describe, his behavior. Along the way, the book provides rich context about the technology revolution we all have lived through, and the ways in which Jobs changed our world.

Schlender and Tetzeli make clear that Jobs's astounding success at Apple was far more complicated than simply picking the right products: he became more patient, he learned to trust his inner circle, and discovered the importance of growing the company incrementally rather than only shooting for dazzling game-changing products. 

A rich and revealing account that will change the way we view Jobs, Becoming Steve Jobs shows us how one of the most colorful and compelling figures of our times was able to combine his unchanging, relentless passion with a more mature management style to create one of the most valuable and beloved companies on the planet.

Then He Kissed Me by Laura Trentham

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Can two hearts come together in one divided town?

As a boy, Nash Hawthorne spent countless afternoons on the Louisiana side of Cottonbloom with Tally Fournette, wading in the river, peeling oranges and catching frogs. When illness stole his mother, Nash yearned to take Tally and run away—for good. Instead, he crossed the state line to live with his aunt. It was a short distance as the crow flies, but it swept him into a whole new world…

After Nash left, Tally managed to struggle through her own losses without him. But now that she’s crossed paths with him again—at Cottonbloom College, where the grown-up, gorgeous Nash teaches history—she is reminded of their cherished youthful connection…and an attraction that has only gotten stronger with age. Between Tally’s possessive ex and Nash’s snobbish aunt, no one thinks they belong together. In a town torn apart by old resentments and rivalries, can they find their way back to the life they once shared—and turn their long-lost dreams into a real and lasting love?

Orange Berets: Adventures an Misadventures in the Sinai by James "Doc" Crabtree

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The Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) came about as a result of the Camp David accords. This peacekeeping force (NOT under the auspices of the United Nations) keeps the peace by means of three infantry battalions (one Fijian, one Colombian, one U.S. Army), a Civilian Observation Unit and military men and women from several other countries.

Maj. Crabtree, the Press and Visits Officer, served there in 2007 and saw the rise Hamas in Gaza, the mysterious crash of the MFO's Twin Otter, and the lack of popularity of then-President Hosni Mubarak. He provides background information on the history of the region and insights into how things work (or don't work) in Egypt.

Crabtree's writing has a biting style and it is supplemented by cartoons drawn by his "acid pen" and photos taken by the author. His take on the Army, the MFO and the absurdity of life in general makes this a must-read.

The Twelve Coins by Trevor J. Brunsink

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Upon a distant magical island, seven animal races have taken on human characteristics-sheep, goats, llamas, horses, eagles, wolves, and snakes. Medieval kingdoms have been built and alliances formed. Prince Angor, raised by the evil king, desires justice. However, his plan leads him down a road that he never quite imagined. To make things right, he must journey across Choice Island and back again to find twelve gold coins-or, rather, for the coins to find him, based upon the purity of his motive to love in the midst of unexpected circumstances. Will he gather and return the twelve coins to Sheep Kingdom in time to face his destiny, or will he be overcome in the island's untamed wild?

Icons: Celebrity Satire by William Wright

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2015 was certainly a busy time for celebrities! In a mere 365 days we were hit with enough jaw-dropping headlines to last a decade:

• Marilyn Manson marries his cat
• Bill Clinton has an affair with Yoko Ono
• Hulk Hogan permanently dyes himself green
• Martha Stewart gets caught shoplifting at Goodwill
• Rosie O’Donnell undergoes “gay conversion therapy”
• Sarah Silverman undergoes “masturbation therapy”
• Mary-Kate and Ashley switch identities
• Charles Manson records a gospel album
• Pope Francis trades in his Popemobile for a Segway
• William Hung is made an honorary Dallas Cowboy cheerleader
• Roseanne Barr tases an annoying fan
• Jim Morrison is alive and well

You say you don’t remember any of those things happening? There’s a good reason for it: They were all made up! Never one to let the truth get in the way of a good story, I’ve put together a collection of over a hundred over-the-top fake showbiz news articles called Icons: Celebrity Satire. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll soil yourself. Well, not the last one.

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

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Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself; he's still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people's lives.

The Waiting Room by Leah Kaminsky

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Leah Kaminsky’s powerful fiction debut—a multi-generational novel perfect for fans of The Tiger’s Wife and A Constellation of Vital Phenomena—unfolds over a day in the life of a young physician in contemporary Israel, who must cope with modern threats in the shadow of her parents’ horrific wartime pasts.

A young doctor in Haifa, Israel, must come to terms with her family’s painful past—and its lingering aftermath—as the conflict between Palestine and Israel reaches its height and the threat of a terrorist attack looms over the city....

Born to two survivors in the smoky after-haze of WWII, Dina has never been able to escape her parents’ history. Tortured by memories of Bergen-Belsen, her mother leaves Dina to inherit her decades of trauma. 

Dina desperately anchors herself in family—a cherished young son, a world-weary husband, and a daughter on the way—and her work as a doctor, but she is struggling to cope, burdened by both the very real anxieties of her daily life and also the shadows of her parents’ ghosts, who follow her wherever she goes. A witty, sensitive narrator, she fights to stay grounded in the here-and-now, even as the challenges of motherhood and medicine threaten to overwhelm her. 

In taut, compelling prose, The Waiting Room weaves between Dina’s exterior and interior lives, straddling the present and the past—and building towards a profoundly dramatic climax that will remind readers of the fragility of human life even as it reassures them of the inescapable power of love and family.

Secrets of Men In a Lifeboat by Todd R. Baker

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Luke Morrow, a financially struggling young single parent to an 8-year-old boy, comes to believe that he has nothing, until by a magical twist of fate, his improbable internet technology start-up turns him into a Silicon Valley billionaire star. Secrets of Men in a Lifeboat begins with Luke’s harrowing romantic sojourn on the moneyed Westside of Los Angeles. Just when Luke can’t bear life’s pain anymore, he is remade—into a rich but brutal man. As Luke catapults through realms of fame and fortune, he is granted one last chance to seek redemption in a final showdown between honor and his own devastating power.

Seal Team Six: Hunt the Dragon by Don Mann and Ralph Pezzullo

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Hackers from the North Korean government are one click away from obtaining black market nuclear weapons. Only the heroes of SEAL Team Six can stop them. 
In Don Mann and Ralph Pezzullo's newest novel, Captain Thomas Crocker and Mancini of SEAL Team Six's Black Cell are in Las Vegas after conducting a training exercise in the desert with new members of the team. Lounging by the pool at Caesar's Palace, they witness an argument between hotel security guards and three Asian men in corporate attire that quickly turns physical. Crocker and Mancini give chase and soon corner the businessmen, who claim to be Chinese diplomats under the protection of diplomatic immunity. Except the men don't respond when the head of hotel security--Crocker's old friend--addresses them in Chinese. 
That night someone hacks into the Nevada Power Company system, and Las Vegas goes completely dark. The businessmen set their hotel suite on fire and escape amidst the chaos. When Crocker and the rest of his SEAL Team Six attempt to track them down, the squad finds itself in the middle of an international plot with dangerous geopolitical ramifications: a desperate scheme by an embattled North Korean government that combines cyber warfare with old-fashioned money laundering and the theft of black market nuclear weapons.

The Devils of Cardona by Matthew Carr

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In this gripping historical thriller set in sixteenth-century Spain, a Catholic priest is murdered by a mysterious Muslim avenger as the Inquisition continues to force Moriscos to live and worship as Christians.

In March 1584, the priest of Belamar de la Sierra, a small town in Aragon near the French border, is murdered in his own church. Most of the town’s inhabitants are Moriscos, former Muslims who converted to Catholicism. Anxious to avert a violent backlash on the eve of a royal visit, an adviser to King Philip II appoints local magistrate Bernardo de Mendoza to investigate. A soldier and humanist, Mendoza doesn’t always live up to the moral standards expected of court officials, but he has a reputation for incorruptibility.

From the beginning, Mendoza finds almost universal hatred for the priest. And it isn’t long before he’s drawn into a complex and dangerous world in which greed, fanaticism, and state policy overlap. And as the killings continue, Mendoza's investigation is overshadowed by the real prospect of an ethnic and religious civil war.

By turns an involving historical thriller and a novel with parallels to our own time, The Devils of Cardona is an unexpected and compelling read.

Phantasia: Into the Rain by M.U. Riyadad

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After finding the body of a dragon in a metallic desert, Red finds out that he is the reincarnation of a messiah worshipped by an insectoid alien race bent on invading his star system. Swept into a dangerous adventure across glacial swamps, cloud cities, and dead stars — Red must evade his true purpose in the world, to summon a forsaken deity trapped in another realm.

Travel into a world unlike any other, a world teeming with creatures the size of planets, parasites that can lay waste to entire civilizations, and mysterious energy sources that can decay the lifeforce of stars. What starts as only a whisper in the darkness, grows into a tale of epic proportions.

Phantasia is a future fantasy epic that stands at 180,000 words.

Goodnight, Beautiful Women by Anna Noyes

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Moving along the Maine Coast and beyond, the interconnected stories in Goodnight, Beautiful Women bring us into the sultry, mysterious inner lives of New England women and girls as they navigate the dangers and struggles of their outer worlds. With novelistic breadth and a quicksilver emotional intelligence, Noyes explores the ruptures and vicissitudes of growing up and growing old, and shines a light on our most uncomfortable impulses while masterfully charting the depths of our murky desires.

A woman watches her husband throw one by one their earthly possessions into the local quarry, before vanishing himself; two girls from very different social classes find themselves deep in the throes of a punishing affair; a motherless teenager is sexually awakened in the aftermath of a local trauma; and a woman’s guilt from a childhood lie about her intellectually disabled cousin reverberates into her married years.

Dark and brilliant, rhythmic and lucid, Goodnight, Beautiful Women marks the arrival of a fearless and unique new young voice in American fiction.

Elements by Raymond Henri

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At age sixteen, Mink Jolle still hasn’t discovered his Elemental affinity, which is an identity crisis unheard of on the planet Georra. He has endured constant bullying while being held back in school, and his parents have come to employ drastic measures to help him mature. Their current ruse is a camping trip on Rift Ridge, where they test Mink to the breaking point, to no avail. 

Meanwhile, Mink and his parents run across a Machinist scout searching out a mother lode of ore, who finds more than he bargains for. An immense geode buried deep in the ground is fabled to be the Tear of God, and the first nation to claim it will hold power and protection unrivaled on Georra. 

The race is on as Mink’s parents stand guard at the Tear of God, sending Mink back to his homeland for help. Defying the odds and surprising himself, Mink succeeds in delivering the news to his people, and is chosen to assist a Team in returning to the site to relieve his parents and acquire the Tear of God for Octernal. Along the way, Mink is forced to rely on his strengths without an Element in order to win respect and ultimately discover his true identity.

The Bowl with Gold Seams by Ellen Prentiss Campbell

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Ellen Prentiss Campbell’s debut novel was inspired by an unusual chapter in the history of the Bedford Springs Hotel in Pennsylvania. During the summer of 1945, the State Department selected the resort to serve as the detainment center for the Japanese ambassador to Berlin, his staff, and their families.

The novel tells Hazel Shaw’s story of unexpected personal transformation — both as a young woman working at the hotel among the Japanese, and the further story of the reverberating lifelong consequences of that experience. The final events of the war challenge Hazel’s beliefs about enemies and friends, victory and defeat, love and loyalty. In the ensuing years she remains haunted by memories. Long after the end of the war, an unexpected encounter causes Hazel to return to the hotel and she must confront her past, come to terms with her present life, and determine her future.

Love Outraged and the Liberation of the Core Self by Franklin Sollars, PhD. 

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*Love Outraged* is a guide book for those who are disenchanted by the limitations of more superficial approaches to emotional and spiritual development.

Rather than bypassing our character faults and inner conflicts and simply using positive intention, affirmations and visualizations, Dr. Sollars provides a depth psychological model of spiritual transformation aimed at changing our very darkness and shadow elements within to positive outgoing emanations of expression from the core of our being.

Sollars takes us on a Dante-like adventure to the depth of our souls to finally discover the way back through darkness and the liberation of our positive, loving and ecstatic qualities of the soul.

Love Outraged's depth approach to transformation offers numerous specific techniques, practices, meditations, Qs and As, and real case examples that illuminate the path to the liberation of that which is most loving, ecstatic, healing and sacred within us - Our Core Self.

Ice Station Nautilus by Rick Campbell

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Russia's new ballistic missile submarine, Yuriy Dolgorukiy, is being deployed on its first patrol while America's newest fast attack submarine, North Dakota, is assigned to trail it and collect intel. As the Russian submarine heads under the polar ice cap, its sonar readings reveal the trailing American sub and cause the Russians to begin a radical, evasive maneuver. This, however, fails and the submarines collide, resulting in damage that sends both to the bottom. 
The Americans immediately set up a rescue mission, sending a new submarine and a SEAL team to establish an ice camp---Ice Station Nautilus---and stage a rescue. The Russians also send men and material, ostensibly to rescue their own men, but the Russian Special Forces team is also there to take the American base camp and the American sub, leaving no survivors or traces of their actions. As the men in North Dakota struggle to survive, the SEAL team battles for possession of the submarine. 
Rick Campbell's Ice Station Nautilus is an epic battle above and below the ice, Special Forces against SEALs, submarine against submarine, with survival on the line.

The ABCs of Adulthood by Deborah Copaken and Randy Polumbo

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Here's a book of wit and wisdom that's perfect for any "welcome to the adult world" moment. From New York Timesbestselling author Deborah Copaken and noted sculptor Randy Polumbo come 26 genuine and funny bits of advice as surprising as they are sensible. From "A is for Anger" through "Z is for Zzzzzzz," each entry is paired with the authors' street-smart photography of the matching alphabet letter to create a savvy ebook. Based on a viral article written by Copaken when her own firstborn left for college, The ABCs of Adulthood is a delightful, worldly riff on learning your ABCs all over again. 

Idiot Brain by Dean Burnett

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The brain may be the seat of consciousness and the engine of all human experience, but it’s also messy, fallible, and disorganized. For example, did you know that your memory is egotistical? That conspiracy theories and superstitions are the inevitable effects of a healthy brain? Or that alcohol can actually improve your memory? (Editor’s note: please read the book before testing that last conclusion.)

In Idiot Brain, Dr. Dean Burnett celebrates blind spots, blackouts, insomnia, and all the other downright laughable things our minds do to us, while also exposing the many mistakes we’ve made in our quest to understand how our brains actually work. This is the best kind of popular science—lucid, funny, and whip-smart—from a debut author who will be tickling funny bones and firing neurons for a long time to come.

The Godless by Ben Peek

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The first in a crackling, unputdownable new epic fantasy series, introducing a fascinating, original new world and an incredible heroine.

The Gods are dying. Fifteen thousand years after the end of their war, their bodies can still be found across the world. They kneel in forests, lie beneath mountains, and rest at the bottom of the world's ocean. For thousands of years, men and women have awoken with strange powers that are derived from their bodies.

The city Mireea is built against a huge stone wall that stretches across a vast mountain range, following the massive fallen body of the god, Ger. Ayae, a young cartographer’s apprentice, is attacked and discovers she cannot be harmed by fire. Her new power makes her a target for an army that is marching on Mireea. With the help of Zaifyr, a strange man adorned with charms, she is taught the awful history of ‘cursed’ men and women, coming to grips with her new powers and the enemies they make. Meanwhile, the saboteur Bueralan infiltrates the army that is approaching her home to learn its terrible secret.

Split between the three points of view, The Godless' narrative reaches its conclusion during an epic siege, where Ayae, Zaifyr and Bueralan are forced not just into conflict with those invading, but with those inside the city who wish to do them harm.

The first installment of an exciting new epic fantasy series, The Godless is a fast-paced page turner set in an enthralling new world, perfect for fans of Joe Abercrombie and Brent Weeks.

Moving Forward: Finding Purpose in Your Pain by Angela Roberts Jones

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Moving Forward: Finding Purpose in Your Pain taps into the deep wells of experience gained by author Angela Roberts Jones from her grief over the death of her husband. She reflects on her loss from the perspective of the Bible's message of hope and suggests ways to find through scripture words of encouragement and guidance for living today with hope for tomorrow.

Moving Forward sketches three legs for the spiritual journey from loss to hope. The grief stage takes a clear-eyed look at profound loss and the pain that accompanies it. The healing process proposes how to make adjustments, to move ahead despite one's pain, and to sidestep barriers that would block one's progress in healing. Finally, the strengthening phase outlines how, after the death of a spouse, one may move from marriage to singleness, let go of one's old ways, and choose between mourning and happiness.

By contemplating the author's story and her guides for living as you read Moving Forward: Finding Purpose in Your Pain, you can face the transformative times that pain inevitably brings. You can discover how God is leading you to embark on a path that leads to healing, celebrating life, and discerning His purpose in your own pain. You can move forward knowing that the best is yet to come.

The Murder that Never Was by Andrea Kane

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Given the opportunity, would you assume someone else's identity and leave your old life behind? A serendipitous crossing of paths between Lisa Barnes, a down-on-her-luck job seeker, and Julie Forman, a personal trainer to an Olympic hopeful, forever changes the course of both women's lives. One winds up dead and the other finds herself a fugitive, hiding behind one lie after another as a cold-blooded killer methodically hunts her. Desperately trying to stay alive, the terrified woman enlists the help of Forensic Instincts, a rogue investigative team that clandestinely operates in the gray area between legal and illegal. Safeguarding their client's deception, Forensic Instincts digs into dangerous territory as they try to find out who's after their client and why. Meanwhile, bodies are piling up in Chicago, New Jersey, and Vermont as a megalomaniacal genius will stop at nothing to eradicate anyone who threatens the success of his medical breakthrough. With an unhinged client and a monstrous criminal enterprise as its adversary, Forensic Instincts is forced into uncharted territory to protect their client and save one of their own from becoming the next corpse. Forensic Instincts is an unorthodox, criminal investigative team that carefully navigates the fine line between legal and illegal. The team consists of a behaviorist, a former Navy SEAL, a techo-wiz, an intuitive, a pickpocket, a retired FBI agent, and a human scent evidence dog."

So there you have it. That's all the books that I got in the mail in the month of June. I'm most looking forward to The Little Paris Bookshop and The Waiting Room. Which of the books I received are you most interested in reading my review about? It may just move it up my list. - Katie