Review shots: Self help books for those who don’t read non fiction AKA the ultimate self help books starter pack

Review shots: Self help books for those who don’t read non fiction AKA the ultimate self help books starter pack

In this December’s edition of the review shots, I will be reviewing books that got me started with self help. Yes I went through a phase for reading those dreaded self help when I was in my high school.

I just couldn’t get enough of them and they were hard come by because, let us face it, high school libraries were not exactly filled with self help books then. 

All the books I will be reviewing today are short and powerful. They would be the ultimate starter pack for your venture into the self help book world, as they did it for me. 

Self help Starter pack

Book Name: Who Moved My Cheese?

Author: Spencer Johnson

Genre: Non Fiction – Self help

No. of Pages: 96

You can read Who Moved My Cheese? in an hour or lesser.  

It took me a while to understand the impact of the simple yet powerful message, given that I was in high school and I didn’t believe that short books could be important and I was skeptic about the whole self help genre. But the message somehow stayed with me and kept me thinking. 

The book is divided into two parts, a short story and then the relevant message. The basic theme of the books is how to deal with change and the importance of the right attitude in life.

While it is usually classified as a business subject, it is equally possible for anyone if us, including the high school me, to implement them in our life. Currently there is a talk of a possible sequel to this one!

Final thought: Simple and relevant message
Recommended to: Self help book noobs

Self help Starter pack

Book Name: Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

Author: Brian Tracy

Genre: Non Fiction – Self help

No. of Pages: 128

I wish I could say this book changed my life. Well, it didn’t. I am still me and handling priorities and following a schedule are not my forte. But this one came so close. 

I carry a copy of this one everywhere I go because I re-read this once in a while. This book is another 60 minute wonder and the message is not gonna blow your mind or nothing that you haven’t heard of earlier. 

The heading is self explanatory and the basic idea is tackling the hardest task first thing in the morning and your day would be much easier. The book is obviously  not going to work for you if you were going to skim through it and not try to practise it in your life (like I do). 

Final thought: Powerful if you practise it religiously
Recommended to: Self help book noobs

Self help Starter pack

Book Name: Alchemist, The

Author: Paulo Coelho

Genre: Fiction – Self help

No. of Pages: 197

Okay technically the Alchemist is not a non fiction or self help book but it works on the same level. 

Someone said ‘The mark of a good book is it changes every time you read it’ and this is one of those books that worked for me like that. The first time I read it, while still in school, I dismissed it as a kiddish fable. But with the second and third time my views changed. Maybe that it helped that I was in a different phase of life than my earlier attempts.

The book maybe kinda slow and evenly paced. But the philosophical theme that ‘the universe conspires to help us achieve things we want’ is well written and shines through. Yes it may get a bit preachy. Yes you may not agree with the message. But it still is a good book. 

Final thought: philosophical with preachy undertones. 
Recommended to: Self help book noobs

Self help Starter pack

Book Name: Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Author: Richard Bach

Genre: Fiction – Self help

No. of Pages: 112

If you are looking for something motivational to inspire you back to action when nothing works in your favor, this is the one for you.

This book will make you question every one of you belief and that may or not sit will with all the readers, but it is worth keeping our minds open, doesn’t it? Published in early 1970s, the concept is still relevant today as it talks about peer pressure and questioning faith.

While I personally didn’t like this one much, it has been called a classic no less. So it should not hurt to give it a try, right?

Final thought: A classic that didn’t work for me, but it may for you. 
Recommended to: Self help book noobs

Do you read self help book? How many of these books have you read? What is your favorite self book? Let us chat. 

Self help starter pack

Review shots: Self help books for those who don’t read non fiction AKA the ultimate self help books starter pack

Sunday Musings #27: One about the National day celebrations & the stunt show

I do not know how the week flew and yet I am here on another lazy Sunday to talk about the week that flew by. We are going to watch a movie in the cinemas in a bit, so this may have to be a quick one. 

Today we are celebrating our (United Arab Emirates – UAE) 47th National day and things are quite fun and happening. We have been having fireworks and flags being displayed in almost every neighborhood. So I thought I will share with you a few of those sparks that I clicked last night. 

We also have several dance and folk song performances in many of the malls. I will try and post the video of it if I happened to catch it up. You may catch up more about Dubai here on my Instagram

National day

I went to watch a stunt show last night but didn’t get any seats. We ended up standing throughout the show and I think that spoiled the fun a bit. Still it was a good one. 

On my blog:

I surprised myself this week by being super planned with respect to my blog. I had three scheduled drafts that went as per the plan. It may not be a big deal for most of you, normal and organized people, but this is the first ever time like that has happened in my blog. So that is a great win.

Here is a recap from my blog

Sunday Musings #26: One About My Visit To The Gold Souq 


Book review: Quiet Kind of Thunder, A 

Quiet Kind of Thunder

Blogging solutions: How to hide Pinterest images from your post?

Pinterest images

Quiz: Can You Name The Authors Of These Famous Books?


On the other news, Elgee Writes is now accepting guest posts. Read this post to know more.

Guest posts

Around the blogosphere:

I will be linking today’s post with Caffeinated reviewer’s Sunday post Meme.

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National day

Let us talk

How has your week been? Do you have any big plans for the week ahead? Would be pitching in for the guest posts? Let us talk. 

Review shots: Self help books for those who don’t read non fiction AKA the ultimate self help books starter pack

Find the name of the authors: Quiz

I was talking to someone last week about trivia contests and believe it or not, I have won a few. I used to be smarter I guess. And would not come as a surprise, that I used to do so well when it came to finding the name of the authors from their books. 

That gave me the idea for today’s post. Let me know if you are any good at bookish quizzes

Name these authors!

You may like these too

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name of the authors Pin me

Let us chat

How did you fare in the quiz? Were you able to find the name of these authors? Are you as interested as I am in trivia contests? Let us talk.

Review shots: Self help books for those who don’t read non fiction AKA the ultimate self help books starter pack

How to hide Pinterest images from your post? (Blogging solutions)

I love Pinterest. Not just for saving ideas or recipes to try out later, but also for my blog. I am not sure how much traffic that has generated for me yet but it definitely has. 

Like everyone around here I caught with the Pinterest train when it came out. But I used it mostly for personal stuff like saving for holiday decor or a hairstyle that I wanted to try out for an occasion. 

While I knew about group boards that worked well for so many bloggers, I was reluctant to join them because well I am majorly a book blogger and many of my posts are going to have a book cover as its feature image. That may not be so attractive to the other bloggers. So never joined them. 

But then I joined some amazing group boards that are mainly for book bloggers and here I am pinning away to glory. If you are not following me yet on Pinterest, ensure you do right away. 

Now that I have established I like Pinterest, though not as much as Twitter, I still hate having to navigate those atrociously huge images in a post. Especially when you have more than one Pinterest size image. There I said it. 

For the uninitiated, the recommended Pinterest image size is 735px X 1102px according to Canva, which is definitely huge. I know some of us dislike seeing too many GIFs in blog posts but imagine having to see these humongous images. 

What if I say you don’t have to see them at all? In fact all my posts have a pinnable image or two, but they are never visible when you scroll down the post. And it is definitely not difficult.

What am I talking about?

Let us for example take my post “Plot holes: Watch out for these inconsistencies!” and I have added one image which I have shared on Pinterest as well. 

Pinterest images
Post with Pinterest image

Don’t you think the is disrupting the reading experience? Imagine when I have 2-3 images of this size in 500 word post. I find them very intrusive. 

However, if you scroll through my post you will not find that huge ass image bothering you at all.

Pinterest images
Post with pinnable image hidden

That is what, my friend, I mean by hiding a pinnable image. 

Why do I have to hide the Pinterest images?

  • I want to keep my posts looking neat and crisp.
  • I sometimes have more than one pinnable image for each post.
  • My pages load faster, despite the image dumps.

How do I hide the pinnable image?

Step 1: Add the image in your post like you would usually do.

Pinterest images

I am using Classic editor on WordPress, but this works on Gutenberg on WordPress and Blogger draft as well. 

Step 2: Next go to edit mode (HTML on Blogger)

Pinterest images

Step 3: Find the relevant code of the image you are trying to hide. It looks like this. 

Pinterest images

Step 4: Here comes the important part. Add this handy code.

<div style=”display: none;”> IMAGE CODE GOES HERE</div>

It will look like this after you do.

Pinterest images

That is it.  

If you switch back to visual mode, the picture will blocked as below. 

Pinterest images

Save and publish the draft. You are good to go. Don’t worry, all the other images and GIFs will be still visible and can be pinned if you still want to. 

You can still add the blog images from your site to Pinterest like you do usually. 


Pin the image directly from your post (here Plot holes: Watch out for these inconsistencies! ) using the Pinterest button on a social sharer.

Pinterest images


Click Save from site on the Pinterest website and add your link there. 

Pinterest images

Either way you will find this Pinterest image ready to be pinned. And if you click on it, you will be directed to my post, like you would expect.

Now you will be able to share as many images as you want from your posts, but without pesky images bothering your readers. 

(Psst.. There is a pinterest image hidden in this post as well. Just try clicking the pin button here)

Let me know if you tried this on your blog. Do you want to see these small yet handy solutions for your blog? Feel free to ask me if you have any doubts. 

Pinterest images

Review shots: Self help books for those who don’t read non fiction AKA the ultimate self help books starter pack

A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard: A Book Review

It has been a while since a book made me laugh, cry and then root for the characters so hard that you forget they are fictitious. But then, if we get that book every time I read it won’t as special right? So A Quiet Kind of Thunder will be one of those special books. 

About A Quiet Kind of Thunder

Quiet Kind of Thunder

Book Name: A Quiet Kind of Thunder

Author: Sara Barnard

Genre: Fiction – Romance, YA

Characters: Steffi Brons, Rhys Gold, September “Tem” 

Setting: Bedfordshire, England, The United Kingdom

Plot Summary of A Quiet Kind of Thunder

Steffi has been a selective mute since her childhood. But when her parents assume she may not be able to pursue her studies in a University, she decides things has to change. With her best friend, Tem moving off to another school she realizes she has to do this alone.

Or so she thought.

Rhys is deaf and entirely relies on the sign language to communicate. Since Steffi knows a bit of British Sign Language (BSL) she is introduced to him to help him out. She is mute and he is deaf and her rusty BSL is all they have to communicate and it also means they have an entire language just for them, more or less.

But when her parents decide college would be too much for her, she rebels and she rebels with Rhys. You need to read A Quiet Kind of Thunder to know how that goes.

Book review of A Quiet Kind of Thunder

As I might have already mentioned I loved A Quiet Kind of Thunder. 

The romance didn’t make me roll eyes. Yes there were cutesy moments but they fit so perfectly into the story. Even when they do the typical teenage-y things it worked. 

But again, they were typical teenagers who had physical disabilities and that is a point that A Quiet Kind of Thunder never failed to remind us. They can’t be much different from the other teens, can they? Well almost. And that is where the author and her research shine through.

What worked for me

  • A Quiet Kind of Thunder has a great diverse representation with people of color, mental illness and physical disabilities, and none of them felt forced. 
  • Not everything is pink. There are people who do not understand them, there are ones who behave around them like they walk on egg shells. But I loved how real that made the story.
  • Of late I have been ranting a lot about how much I dislike the ‘love solves everything’ trope. And I am happy to say this one defies that. 
  • The YA parents are THERE the whole time and they are protective as they should be and even too much at times.

What could have been better

  • It is a typical teenage romance without a stronger conflict. 


I would recommend this to anyone who loves YA romance and want to read books with great diverse representation. 

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Let’s chat

Have you read A Quiet Kind of Thunder? Do you look for books with diverse representation or they just a bonus to a good story? Let us discuss.