Blog Challenge

Welcome to Day 03 of #BookReviewBlogChallenge. Today’s prompt is “Golden Classics”. Any book published before 1995.

I chose Robert Cialdini’s evergreen bestseller “Influence” for today’s prompt. This book was published in 1984 but the evergreen content still holds true after all these decades!

Bestselling authors like Malcolm Gladwell and Tim Ferris suggest that everyone should read at least 3-4 books written 50-100 years ago. These books have stood the test of time, so the wisdom remains immortal across generations! Some other perennial classics are listed in the end of this blogpost.

  • Title – Influence
  • SubTitle – The Psychology of Persuasion
  • Author – Robert B. Cialdini, PhD

REVIEW SCORE = 5/5 *****

The book outlines six main principles of persuasion that you can use to influence others and be aware, so others do not take undue advantage of you! Must read for anyone looking to accelerate their career or business, not just marketing professionals or sales folks! If you work in product design, social media marketing or want to boost your personal branding, then please pick up a copy today!

The principles listed in this book have a very sound foundation in science and decades of research. But the book is never dry or boring and uses compelling examples to explain the topics. This book was a recommended reading for my organizational behavior and strategy class during my MBA program.

As a female immigrant, I sometimes encounter subtle prejudices and unconscious bias. I have used the principles of this book to great success to counter these effects.

One example of the effectiveness and ageless insights of this book is the principle of social proof. This book was written before the internet ever existed, but today we rely so heavily on social media reviews on Amazon, Google testimonials, Yelp stars and other proof before making even a $20 purchase.

Even Ramit Sethi, New York Times bestselling author of “I will Teach You to be Rich” and coach of Growth Labs also recommends this book as a must-read for anyone starting their business.

Similar Works

  • Books – “Alchemy” by Rory Sutherland, “Made to Stick” by Dan and Chip Heath.
  • Golden Classics – “Art of War” by Sun Tzu, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, “Sherlock Holmes” by Arthur Conan Doyle.
  • TV Series – Mad Men
  • Genres – Applied Psychology, Social Psychology, Consumer Behavior, Marketing for Small Businesses.

Until next time, adieu and Happy Reading!

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Welcome to Day 02 of #BookReviewBlogChallenge. The theme for today’s book is Travel or Vacations.

For today’s prompt I am choosing the book “Thailand” which I received as an early reviewer copy from #NetGalley.

  • Title – Thailand
  • Author – Narisa Chakrabongse

I’ve always been fascinated by Thailand’s natural beauty after seeing Bond island and the gorgeous Phi-phi island which has been featured in movies galore. My sister-in-law and her family visited the country 2 years ago, and had such a great time that this immediately got added to my bucket list.

This book is a blend between a travel guide and a photography book, with breathtaking images from all corners of the country. Think Fodors meets National Geography. Once you read the book, you will fall in love! ‘

REVIEW SCORE = 5/5 *****

This book is amazing – and anyone reading it will feel compelled to visit the country to experience this beauty. The stunning images and detailed information about culture, important sites and history make it a fabulous read. I love hiking and visiting National Parks, and never knew Thailand had such gorgeous parks! This book just brought Thailand to the top of my travel list, so I can see all these items firsthand.

There is a lot more to Thailand, than just the glitzy streets of Bangkok, and this book catalogs those gorgeous vistas, and getaways. Its hard to pick, but I loved the images of the Buddha statue park, the 300-years-old Sai Ngam and Wat Non Kum temple in the Nakhon province.

For travelers who have never visited this country, this would be fantastic guidebook so they can make the most out of their visit. Others who have visited before, will want to read this to see what they’ve missed and plan a future trip!

So here is the Question of the Day (QOTD) – what is your dream destination? Honest answers please, your favorite travel destination can be completely irrelevant to the book you choose for today! 🙂

Similar Works:

  • Books – “Lonely Planet India” . National Geographic Magazines.
  • TV Series – Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, Lonely Planet documentaries.
  • Genres – Travel, Travel Pictorial Guides, Southeast Asia travel guides

Until next time, happy reading!

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Welcome to Day 01 of #BookReviewBlogChallenge. Today’s prompt is “Dreams & Ambitions”.

Before I begin, thank you to everyone who participated already and commented on the welcome post. So many amazing books, they all made me smile and added a sparkle to my day! Special shout-outs to:

  • Isabella for the stunning book cover for Sarah Maas book, and
  • Camilla for choosing the cheerful Matilda by Quentin Blake

For today’s challenge, I am going with a memoir that really should be made into a movie! 🙂 This book is a perfect muse for the “Dreams & Ambitions” theme, as I would love to be as bold and vivacious as Iris and look back at life (at 60+) with the same joy and wonder, and minimal regrets! 

  • Title – Iris Apfel accidental icon
  • SubTitle – Musings of a Geriatric Starlet
  • Author – Iris Apfel

This book is an autobiography and memoir of the vivacious and brilliant Iris Apfel. The author is an American businesswoman, interior designer, and 98-year old fashion icon! The book is filled with many interesting thoughts and stunning photographs of a life well-lived.

REVIEW SCORE = 5/5 *****

Thoughts on this Book:

Iris Apfel - day 01 #BookReviewBlogChallenge for prompt Dreams & Ambitions

For those who have never heard of this amazing personality, let me start by saying that the author’s list of accomplishments is more numerous than her birthday candles next year! Some highlights from her life, which most impressed me, are as follows:

  • Pioneer reporter
  • Interior designer and decorator for the White House, for 9 different US Presidents! Whoa!
  • She has her own line of cosmetics with the global brand M.A.C, and she modeled it too! Probably the oldest model to ever do so!
  • Fashion icon – with 1.4M followers on Instagram!
  • Her designs are displayed at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art (MOMA), one of the most prestigious temples for anyone in the art and creative industry.
  • She even has a Barbie doll designed after her!

The book itself has infectious joie de vivre and pearls of wisdom you would hear from a loving and extremely “cool” grandmother. Naysayers will point out that she was fortunate to be born into a rich, business family. I will remind them that in the 1940s, US had limited rights for women, so it is still inspiring to see the trailblazing paths the author has tread!

The best takeaways I divined from the book is that Iris Apfel was never scared of failing or looking stupid (something we all suffer from!). Instead of choosing the safe mundane path, she chose to create her own amazing life and leverage all the opportunities life offered to her!

I loved the entire book, but my favorite chapters are:

  • Love and Marriage
  • Your Smartphone is not Your Brain
  • How to Live to be 200

If you like fashion or want an espresso shot of creativity, then read the book! If you like vivid colors or just want to start your day, read this book! If you want to try something new, then read this book!

Just try it once, you will love it for sure!

Similar Works:

  • Books – “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. “Why Not Me” by Mindy Kaling.
  • TV Series – Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. The heroine in this series is as vibrant as the author.
  • Genres – Memoir, Motivation, fashion design.
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Welcome to Day0 of the #BookReviewBlogChallenge!

Today’s task is to add a post on any book that sparks joy in your life! It could be a book that makes you laugh, a book that brings back fond memories, maybe the first book you ever bought on your own salary! 🙂

Write a 1-line description of why you love this book along with the cover image; no word count rules today! Then post the link to your blog or Instagram link in the comments.

For me, this book by Robin Sharma is a favorite read. Love the bite-sized chapters and the mood boost they instantly provide. Its like a prose form of a cup of steaming hot chocolate after a cold winter commute! 🙂 Another lovely part of this book is that it actually belongs to my husband, who introduced me to the beautiful world of self-help books and inspirational authors like Robin Sharma, Brian Tracy and Malcolm Goldwell.

Images of two of my favorite chapters are added below:

Happy Reading!

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#BookReviewBlogChallenge

Calling all Book Review Bloggers and Bookstagrammers! Participate in our Book Review Blog Challenge and win a $50 Amazon Giftcard! Second prize $20 giftcard and 3 honorary mentions.

The rules are simple – between April 15th and May 18 there will be 8 prompts (words or phrases). Review a book that fits each theme and win points. The blogger with the most points wins!

Blogging is fun and so is reading! This blog challenge combines both and gives you a chance to mingle with other book lovers, while helping you push forward with your annual reading goals! 🙂 Plus, if you own a blog this is a great way to add more links, which is good SEO.

Sign up here to participate. Deadline is Apr 25th, 2020.

Rules of the challenges are posted in details here. FAQs below.

Happy Blogging! 🙂

FAQs – Frequently Asked Qs

  • How long is the contest?
    • The contest will run between Apr 15th, 2020 and May 18th, 2020.
  • I missed the start/ first few themes. Can I participate?
    • As long as you signed up before Apr 25th using this link, and posted on 3 distinct dates before May 18th, you are eligible for the contest and to win.
    • You still do have to respond to the earlier posts to win more points.
  • I love books, but don’t have my own blog. Can I participate?
    • Having your own blog helps, even with a wordpress domain. For example, https://nirupamaprv.wordpress.com/
    • You can also use your Instagram, Facebook posts or Medium.com articles to create book reviews (min 100 words).
    • LinkedIn articles and Twitter posts are NOT allowed.
    • For all the posts please remember to add the link of theme post (the appropriate blog post) and the hashtag #BookReviewBlogChallenge for every response. Then use your bloglink or Instagram story (or other) and post as a comment under our prompt.
  • Do I have to respond to all 8 prompts?
    • The minimum is one welcome post and 3 book reviews on distinct days. So technically, you qualify for the prizes even if you miss a theme.
    • However, more posts = more points. $50 prize will be awarded to person with the most points. So writing more works in your favor.
  • I found a book that fits the theme, but I have already reviewed the book in an earlier post. Can I reuse the post?
    • If you reviewed the book for an earlier prompt in this challenge, then the book cannot be reused again.
    • If you reviewed the book on your own, unrelated to this challenge, then the book is allowed. However, you do need to create a new post explaining why you chose the book. Just link to the earlier post instead of doing the review again. Cross-linking is great for SEO and Google searches!
  • I don’t live in the Eastern Time Zone (US-NYC). So my post has a different date, even though it fits the time limits for posting. Is my post still eligible?
    • We use the date/timestamp based on when you commented on our site, not the values on your blog. So we will be able to award you the correct points.
  • I am working/studying/caregiver and can only work weekends. Is it worth participating?
    • Absolutely! The challenge prompts will be added on Wednesdays and Saturdays. As long as you posted on 3 distinct days, you will qualify for the prizes.
    • There are some additional points for posting within 2 days of the prompt. So you should be eligible for those bonus points if you post by Friday (for the Wednesday posts) and early for the Saturday posts.
  • I am having technical difficulties commenting on your site/ posting on my site/ other . Can I email you my book review?
    • Yes, email us at Ann_Venkat@greatnewreads.com . However, please note that we will assess this on a case by case basis. Repeat offenders may be disqualified for prizes at the discretion of the challenge hosts.
    • If you have an instagram account or write on Medium.com, please post there as well, if possible.
    • If you email us, please send your response as a Word doc ONLY. Plus, the contents should follow all other rules including hyperlinks, images and tag #BookReviewBlogChallenge.
  • For all other Qs, please refer to the rules and conditions here.

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