Thursday, August 31, 2017

Kidnapped, Redux

KidnappedKidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After second reading (4 stars):
Either I've become a less discerning reader or the story has grown on me. Hands down, Mr. Rankeillor is my favorite character. But how can you not enjoy Alan Breck Stewart: the obstinate dandy?? "Am I no a bonny fighter?"

After first reading (3 stars):
While this story was mostly fast-paced and exciting, it did drag a few times. Redeemed from its reputation as a boys' novel (maybe that's why I never read it as a child?) and now considered a classic, "Kidnapped" held my interest and inspired several Internet searches into Scottish history. My favorite characters were the supporting ones, especially the wicked and greedy Ebenezer Balfour, the wily Highland cardshark Cluny Macpherson and the Latin-quoting lawyer Mr. Rankeillor.

My favorite quote: “I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both; and I believe they both get paid in the end; but the fools first.”

View all my reviews

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Better Than Before

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday LivesBetter Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars: Rubin's framework of four habit tendencies may not convince every reader that she's on to something regarding habits. It's not based on rigorous behavioral science, but I think it can provide a fresh perspective for many people. One positive aspect of Rubin's framework is that it emphasizes how many different habit change approaches there are. That information alone can be encouraging if you've started to feel like you'll never change that darned habit. Maybe you just haven't tried the right approach.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Thinking about Habits

That's what I've been doing lately. This comes compliments of Gretchen Rubin's website:

“To make Routine a Stimulus
Remember it can cease —
Capacity to Terminate
Is a Specific Grace —.”

-- Emily Dickinson, “To make Routine a Stimulus,” 1196

Sunday, August 13, 2017


What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
--W.H. Davies (1911)