Brianna and Ariel review and discuss the book Fly Safe: Letters from the Gulf War and Reflections from Back Home, by Vicki Cody. If you order the book through our affiliate links, you're helping to keep Busy Nest News going at no extra cost to you. Thanks.
Fly Safe: Letters from the Gulf War and Reflections from Back Home, by Vicki Cody
Ariel and I recently received copies of Fly Safe: Letters from the Gulf War and Reflections from Back Home, by Vicki Cody. We’ve read a lot of books by military spouses, from awesome to cringeworthy, so we were cautiously interested to see what this one would hold.
Fly Safe is Cody’s memoir from the Gulf War, with details filled in by her journal entries and letters between her and her husband while he was deployed. She describes life on an Army base (post) before, during, and after the conflict. During the deployment, she covers what her husband was doing (the details of which she only learned of afterward) and the challenges he faced, as well as the challenges she dealt with on the homefront.
By Brianna and Ariel
This post contains affiliate links. If you follow them to purchase Fly Safe, you're helping to keep Busy Nest News going at no extra cost to you. Thanks.
In addition to getting advance copies of Fly Safe: Letters from the Gulf War and Reflections from Back Home to read and review, we also had the pleasure of talking to the author, Vicki Cody, about her latest work. Read on to see what we chatted about! Forour full review of Fly Safe, click here.
In pursuit of making great book club kits and generally improving ourselves, we read a LOT of books! We believe that you can get at least a little bit better at just about anything, as long as you keep learning about it and practicing proven techniques. We extend this philosophy to our journeys as parents, too. What if all parents took their parenting as seriously as their career or favorite hobby? To progress at work, people read books, take classes, and seek mentorships. We aren't too proud or self-assured to try these techniques to become better parents, as well.
While we're certainly not perfect, we're definitely seeing results from these efforts. One of our biggest lessons has been that we're constantly planting the seeds for future progress; real changes are rarely immediate, but they're lasting and buildable. That and, parenting is hard! Even when you're doing it right, your kid will still get mad at you. Saying "no" in the cereal aisle when your kid is two might result in a tantrum that makes you wish you'd just ordered everything online. But sticking to your "no" and enduring the tw0-year-old's rage will result in a much more subtle, but accepting, form of dissatisfaction to your "no" in the same scenario a year or two later.
All of this is to say, you've got this! And when you feel like you don't, we have books that can help. Read on for our list of our ten favorite parenting books (in no particular order). These are all of our go-to's when friends ask how we handle things. Use the links in the article to order your own copy from Amazon (we'll get a small referral payout if you do, at no additional cost to you). Bonus: we have a printable pamphlet of all ten titles that you can take with you to the bookstore or library!
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth answers one of life's seemingly unanswerable questions, “why do some people succeed while others fail?” What is the elusive secret ingredient? Duckworth reveals that grit, not natural talent, is the largest predictor of success. Grit is passion and sustained persistence in pursuit of a long term goal for the sheer joy of achievement. We like to believe that you either have “it” or you don’t. We cling to natural talent because it lets us off the hook. I haven’t succeeded? Well I must not have “it.” The truth is that we don’t have “it,” yet. It being grit and yet being the key word! Because as Duckworth shows us you can grow grit from both the outside in and the inside out. And, for those of us willing to put in the work, THAT is a comforting thought.
Full-size versus mini kits
Here at Busy Nest News, we realize that every book club has unique needs. That is why we have many options to choose from including our mini and full-size book club kits.
The Busy Nest News mini book club kit, also known as the “one and done” is an updated version of what we currently consider a typical book club experience. The kit contains discussion questions, tips on how to run a book club, icebreakers, and one group activity. The core of any book club experience is the discussion questions. Our questions are quality. These will not be your run of the mill, “what did you think of x, y, and z?” Our questions will push you to dig into the content and come up with new ideas. They do not assume that you are reading this book because you already agree with what the author has to say. They are developed for those who have come to question and learn. If you are willing, we will help to expand your horizons. Our ice breakers are creative, thought-provoking questions chosen so that even old friends might learn something about each other. The icing on the cake is the group activity. We choose our group activity to maximize engagement and minimize hassle for the discussion leader. Our activity will encourage full group participation with minimal effort on your part.
This post contains affiliate links. If you buy anything using the links in this article, Busy Nest News will get a small portion of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!
Expecting Better, by Emily Oster
It’s been a while since Ariel and I came across a parenting book that we just had to read. When we heard the premise of Expecting Better, by Emily Oster, we knew it bore checking out.
Emily Oster is an economist (as is her husband). In a nutshell, what economists are pros at is analyzing information, evaluating the quality, and synthesizing it into reports to help people in key positions make decisions. In Expecting Better, Oster aims to use her economist skills to breakdown the data around the most common, thorny issues encountered in pregnancy, to help you decide what's best for your family.
Some of the topics tackled include the risks around foods (caffeine, alcohol, lunch meat, sushi), medicines (birth control, pain killers, antidepressants), and exercise. Oster also details risks of and protocols around genetic testing, common pregnancy conditions (such as pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes), bedrest, and the options available during birth.
In which Brianna and Ariel discuss Neil Pasricha's upcoming book, You Are Awesome. Who is this man, what is his book about, and when is it available? We received advance copies of this book so that we could give it our honest review. This post contains affiliate links.
You Are Awesome, by Neil Pasricha
Summary & Review:
Hello, dear readers! It has been a while since our last book review because we have been busy making book club kits. However, we’ve missed sharing our thoughts on helpful books with you and with each other. There’s a long, long list of all the books we want to review or that friends have asked for our take on. We were excited to take on this book because we were fortunate enough to get early access to it. So what is this book? It’s called You Are Awesome, by Neil Pasricha.
Neil Pasricha is the best-selling author of six previous books, as well as the creator of (at least) six failed websites. He’s also the son of two very wise and patient parents, whom I’d love to meet. In his book, which is an interesting blend of autobiography and life advice, Pasricha explains how he went from working the careers he was “supposed” to want, to finding his own path to success, happiness, and resilience.
What's in a book club?
In our book clubs, we have journal prompts.
People love journal prompts, and we find that journaling about self-improvement books really helps one synthesize and evaluate their message. With this in mind, we sprinkled journal prompts throughout our reading guides, for both the discussion leader and the group members.
To be clear: you do not have to share your journaling with the group. The discussion questions never ask you to share your journals, though in a particularly intimate group you may end up sharing anyway. But we ask some pretty personal, self-exploratory questions to get you really thinking about how you’re engaging with the text at hand.
Want examples? Here’s the ballpark:
What isn’t up to you? Coming up with thought-provoking journal prompts! Honestly, all book clubs should have a journaling component. By using our kits, you’re ensuring that your whole group is getting a fuller book club experience than any other. It’s ok to be pleased with yourself; we are, too.
What's in a book club?
One answer to this question, in our book club kits, is modules.
OH my bus, that is not an exciting word, “modules.” But the modules themselves are exciting. They’re what give our book clubs flexibility and thoroughness.
Most book clubs meet once a month to talk about 400-1000 pages. Unless you’re a great note-taker or have an amazing memory (hello, Mom Brain), there’s no way you remember the rich details from the beginning of the book by the end of the month.
Our modules solve that problem. Most of our kits break the book at hand into four modules. You can then meet as frequently as you like to discuss the chapters in each module. Some groups could increase their meetings to being weekly (yay, friendship!), while others could keep meeting monthly but have more in-depth talks and give people more time to prepare (yay, prep time!). The first club using one of our kits is meeting every-other-week. It’s up to you!
What isn’t up to you? You don’t have to break up the book into chapter groupings that make sense. We already did that for you. You don’t have to come up with insightful questions for group members to answer while they’re reading. We already thought of those. Nor do you have to concoct gripping, conversation-starting prompts for your meetings. We did that, too. See? Modules mean flexibility, and flexibility is awesome. Ipso facto, modules are awesome. Order one of our kits and see for yourself the magic of our modules.
Hello, dear readers!
Ariel and I have been blogging here on BusyNestNews.com for a year now (wow, that went by fast!) and we have big news! Are you ready?
We’re going to be selling book club kits! Beautiful, adaptable, personal book club kits.
You are probably most familiar with book clubs taking the shape of a once-a-month meeting to discuss some work of literary fiction that a celebrity or publisher told you was going to be huge this year. But what actually happens for many of us is that we’re too busy/tired/uninterested to really read the book (my toddler doesn’t know what a Pulitzer Prize is, sorry book club!), and so the meeting quickly dissolves into an excuse for an informal cocktail party. Why don’t we start giving wine o’clock the time it deserves and the books that challenge us the time they deserve? Socializing and relaxing are important for everyone (I know we’re big fans!), and so is diving into ideas that push us to grow wiser and happier. So what about those of us that actually want to read a book and talk it over with friends?
Ariel and I love a bit of fiction, but after becoming parents we really got on a nonfiction and self-improvement kick that sees no end in sight. If you want a better marriage, happier you, or (possibly) happier, healthier kids that the neighbors likely don’t hate, we’re here to help! We have developed gorgeous reading guides for both the discussion leader and club members. These kits will get everyone ready for the discussion while prioritizing self-exploration and personal growth. We make getting smarter and socializing easier and more fun than ever.
So that’s what we do now! We’re still going to publish articles on topics we’re passionate about on our blog, but very soon you’ll be able to buy entire, incredible book club kits to help you run the most amazing, insightful book club ever. We can’t wait to show you what we’ve got. We’re sure you’re going to love it!
Ariel and Brianna are friends who met while working in a library. Now they collaborate to develop life-enhancing book club experiences.
Let's keep in touch!