Book notes: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman book summary review and key ideas.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel by Gail Honeyman

Synopsis:

No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.  

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. 

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .” -Audible

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2019 Year in Review: Self-Discovery, Life Lessons & Dating Insights

What 2019 has taught me about life, people, dating, and myself.

This is the face I make when I’m thinking… thinking about what face I should make for this photo.

At the end of every “Year in Review” mega-post, I compile a list of all the major Life Lessons I’ve learned that year. For 2019, I realized that this list ended up becoming longer than the rest of the blog post. Therefore, I decided to separate them out as a sort of addendum to the main post.

In compiling these lessons, I noticed they fell into 4 major categories and have grouped them accordingly:

  • Principles of Life and Growth
  • What I’ve Learned About Myself
  • People Skills & Leadership
  • Dating & Relationships

Feel free to skip to the sections most interesting or relevant to you. Or just go through them all if you’re feeling in the “personal development” mood today.

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A Year in Review: 2019

Blessings, achievements, goals, and life lessons of the past year

Why Am I Writing This?

Ever since 2016, I started doing these yearly reviews to reflect on the past year. These are mostly for myself as a way to remember what has happened, what I have achieved, and prepare for the upcoming year. It is also a great place for me to express my gratitude for everything in the past year, as gratitude is a huge cornerstone of my reflection process.

For those of you who know me personally, you may know that I do daily, weekly, and monthly versions of this reflection process. I have daily journals to record my activities and thoughts of the day. I have a weekly review where I examine the highlights of my week as well as track my progress on personal goals. My monthly retrospectives focus mostly on big highlights and life lessons I’ve learned that month. This yearly reflection is a culmination of all three of those.

That’s also why it takes me almost 2 months to prepare this yearly post (mostly due to procrastination lol). I comb through my reflections to summarize my year into main highlights and share insights I’ve learned throughout the year.

My intent with making this public is to share what I’ve been up to, share some of my wins, be honest about my losses, keep myself accountable for my big goals, and hopefully inspire others to adopt a mindset of gratitude and reflection in their own lives.

Past Years In Review:

This year, I’ve also separated out my 2019 Life Lessons section into a separate post as a sort of addendum to this main post. Feel free to check it out if you want to hear about what I’ve learned this past year, both from books and from learning the hard way: experience.

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Book notes: Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata book summary review and key ideas.

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Synopsis:

“Tokyo resident Keiko Furukara has never fit in – neither in her family, nor in school – but when at the age of 18 she begins working at the Hiiromachi branch of national convenience store chain Smile Mart, she realizes instantly that she has found her purpose in life. Delighted to be able to exist in a place where the rules of social interaction are crystal clear (many are laid out line-by-line in the store’s manual), Keiko does her best to copy the dress, mannerisms, and mode of speech of her colleagues, playing the part of a “normal” person excellently, more or less.

Keiko is the perfect employee – never late, always worrying about how to maximize sales, brilliantly conscientious, and highly energetic. Managers come and go but Keiko remains at the store for 18 years. It’s almost hard to tell where the store ends and she begins. At 36, Keiko is very happy in her life, but the people close to her, from her family to her coworkers, pressure her to settle down with a man and to find a proper profession. Eventually, she is pushed to make a huge change. The static world of Keiko is upended – but will it be for the better?

A brilliant depiction of an unusual psyche and an extraordinary world, Convenience Store Woman is both an ironic and sharp-eyed look at contemporary work culture and the pressures to conform, as well as a charming and completely fresh portrait of an unforgettable heroine.” -Audible

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Book notes: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz book summary review and key ideas.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Synopsis:

“Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship – the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.” -Audible

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Book notes: The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga

The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga book summary review and key ideas.

The Courage to Be Disliked: How to Free Yourself, Change Your Life, and Achieve Real Happiness by Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga

Synopsis:

The Courage to Be Disliked, already an enormous best seller in Asia with more than 3.5 million copies sold, demonstrates how to unlock the power within yourself to be the person you truly want to be.

Using the theories of Alfred Adler, one of the three giants of 20th-century psychology, The Courage to Be Disliked follows an illuminating conversation between a philosopher and a young man. The philosopher explains to his pupil how each of us is able to determine our own life, free from the shackles of past experiences, doubts, and the expectations of others. It’s a way of thinking that is deeply liberating, allowing us to develop the courage to change and to ignore the limitations that we and other people have placed on us. The result is a book that is both highly accessible and profound in its importance. Millions have already read and benefited from its wisdom. This truly life-changing audiobook will help you declutter your mind of harmful thoughts and attitudes, helping you to make a lasting change, achieve real happiness, and find success.” -Audible

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Book notes: Permanent Record by Edward Snowden

Permanent Record by Edward Snowden book summary review and key ideas.

Permanent Record by Edward Snowden

Synopsis:

“In 2013, 29-year-old Edward Snowden shocked the world when he broke with the American intelligence establishment and revealed that the United States government was secretly pursuing the means to collect every single phone call, text message, and email. The result would be an unprecedented system of mass surveillance with the ability to pry into the private lives of every person on earth. Six years later, Snowden reveals for the very first time how he helped to build this system and why he was moved to expose it. 

Spanning the bucolic Beltway suburbs of his childhood and the clandestine CIA and NSA postings of his adulthood, Permanent Record is the extraordinary account of a bright young man who grew up online – a man who became a spy, a whistleblower, and, in exile, the internet’s conscience. Written with wit, grace, passion, and an unflinching candor, Permanent Record is a crucial memoir of our digital age and destined to be a classic.” -Audible

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Book notes: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles book summary review and key ideas.

A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel by Amor Towles

Synopsis:

“From the New York Times best-selling author of Rules of Civility – a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel. 

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery. 

Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.” -Audible

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