Leaders Eat Last

Leaders Eat Last: Notes on Teams


I’ve said a couple of times before that I’m really inspired by Simon Sinek’s Tedtalks and other interviews. I’ve read one of his other books titled “Start with Why”, but found it to be a little too long and repetitive for my taste. I’m happy to say that this book “Leaders Eat Last” is a little bit more enjoyable and informational than I felt his other book to be. However, if you’re not much of a reader and would prefer to watch his talks online, below is a Talk about the information within this book. I will say that I will probably forgo the rest of his books and just continue to watch his videos since they are more concise and easily digestible.

Still, I wrote a few notes down that I felt were important that I thought I would share with you all!

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Deep Work

Deep Work: Notes on Focus


I didn’t realize how long it had been since I posted about a book that I had read and taken notes on. I had this book by Cal Newport on order from the library for probably…2 months before I ever ended up getting it because the waitlist for it was SO long. But once it arrived at my door, I had sat down and read it within 2 days.

I decided I wanted to take notes on this one immediately for this blog, simply because it’s right up my alley and that even from the title I felt that it was blasphemous to NOT read it with a critical eye. Before we begin, I picked this book up because of a podcast I listened to from College Info Geek.

You can find that particular Podcast HERE.

Thomas also had an interview with Cal way back in episode 35 which I listened to long ago which you can find HERE.



There was a lot of great info in this book, but the beginning really dives into what Deep Work actually is. I took a few notes here as an overview of what was to come.

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Currently Reading + Birthday

The big two four!

It’s true, I grew another year older this January but I definitely celebrated in style! My mom came to visit and I got to spend the entire day with her and Hillary. We opened Magic Kingdom with their new welcome show and closed out the night at Tusker House at Animal Kingdom before calling it an early night. So much more fun than laying on the couch all day like all my previous birthdays.

This year I was so thankful to have moved to Orlando, worked at Mousegear, move in with my best friends, and then FINALLY get to transfer to my favorite role: Photopass. I cannot explain how much fun I’ve had over the last year learning how to become a full adult. There is not a better place to grow old than the most magical place on earth.

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Review: Before Happiness Part 2

Before Happiness by Shawn achor

HERE is a link to the original and part 1 post about the two books and multiple talks given by Shawn Achor on Happiness. This is part 2 and it includes only a book review and some items that I pulled from his second book. This does not contain a day by day experiment like my first post, though I may return to the idea in a month to reflect on how I felt. I will go ahead and link his two youtube videos here again, so that you can watch them before diving into his non-fiction books about his scientific work. 

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Recent Reads

Recent Reads (8.10.16)

Simon vs. the Homosapien’s Agenda

by Becky Albertalli
 4/5 Stars

Simon Vs. The Homosapiens Agenda

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

This was one of the books that I picked up at Barnes and Noble during the YA book signing. Becky also signed it for me, but I hadn’t actually read it until after the event. While I was reading I meant to stop at page 100 and finish it later, but finished it in two sittings. Simon is an extremely likeable character and you really empathize with his situation and feel his frustration.. I’m glad there are so many openly LGBTQA books coming out now, especially in YA.

The writing was simple but excellent and in the end I had Blue narrowed down to two characters, and one of them was correct so it wasn’t a total surprise. Regardless, I enjoyed how some of this was written in email form and shows how great relationships can form online. Nearly every friend I have currently I met online and they are the best that I’ve ever had.

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Life is not the mountain tops, it’s the walking in between

As much as I love my job and working for Disney, the most fun that I’ve had since moving to Orlando has always been when I’m on break talking with my coworkers, the nights when I come home at 10pm and my roommates and I gather in the living room to spend time together, or my full days off. Sometimes that means just  sleeping in and reading my books, or it means going out all day to Universal, Celebration, or a new area and exploring with my friends. I did quite a bit of that as of late as I was finishing up my CP at Hollywood Studios.


Make sure to subscribe to my roommate, Hillary’s youtube channel, she’s super cute and I pop up quite a bit. Celine, Hillary, and I were all off and decided to head to Universal for a girls day, but from the title you can see that we didn’t exactly bring enough umbrellas. We ended up stopping at Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor and I tried Earl Grey Lavender Ice Cream and it really does taste like tea. It’s definitely not sweet like vanilla, but I really loved it and you don’t feel so bad for eating ice cream when it tastes like tea. We planned on hitting up the water rides, but by the time the rain passed, we were already soaked. ALSO, if you stop by Madam Malkins, they carry Hermione’s Yule Ball dress, except it’s only in kids sizes…for now.

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Recent Reads (7.16.16)

It’s been approximately 4 months since my last recent reads and I have to say that I think I’ve done quite a good job at keeping up with my literature though I’m never going to surpass my 140 books from last year at the rate I am going. I am currently at 48 out of the 100, which means I’m only 5 behind so if I just find some more graphic novels (my expertise right now) I think I could finally catch up!


Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Hurston 


When Janie, at sixteen, is caught kissing shiftless Johnny Taylor, her grandmother swiftly marries her off to an old man with sixty acres. Janie endures two stifling marriages before meeting the man of her dreams, who offers not diamonds, but a packet of flowering seeds …

I hadn’t heard of this book before I saw that Crash Course was coming out with their second Literature Series hosted by John Green and this book was the first on the list. A 2.5 stars from  me, but I do understand how important it is as a novel. The story was quite interesting at the beginning, but I felt like it was repetitive as it followed the years of Janie’s life and her 3 husbands. I appreciated the plot of Janie finally gaining her independence as a woman and learning about her family’s history as slaves was insightful.

The vernacular was what threw me off, and I can’t really criticize the book for that aspect because it was just being true to the characters in the novel. It just made the book harder and slower to get through. It’s interesting to see the contrast between Hurston’s voice as a narrator and the voices she gives to her characters. Below is the literature episode discussing this novel.

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Read Around the World: Egypt, Friendly Fire by Alaa Al Aswany

Before I begin on this, I think it’s pretty clear from my previous posts that I’m not at all a top quality reviewer. Some things fly over my head, I never went to university for literature, I’m simply a librarian who loves to read and sometimes catches important details and metaphors that I should. There are plenty of things I don’t understand or do not catch in these novels and things I discuss that might not make sense to you especially in my RATW challenge as I’m a white American. In general these are reviews to generate discussion among friends, and learn new things. That’s all!

Country: Egypt, multiple years

Main Religion: Islam

Characters: Multiple characters

Setting: Cairo and other cities, many locations

Pages: 219

Published: In Arabic in 2004, in English in 2009

Amazon Synopsis: Friendly Fire, the first collection of short stories from Alaa Al Aswany, acclaimed author of Chicago andThe Yacoubian Building, deftly explores the lives of contemporary Egyptians. Here are stories of generational conflict, corruption, repression, infidelity, and the dangerous clashing of western and Arab ideals, all beautifully rendered by Al Aswany, a true modern master and one of Egypt’s “most exciting literary exports” (Minneapolis Star Tribune).

My Rating: 3/5

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Read Around the World: UK, Swimming Home by Deborah Levy

Country: UK, set in Alpes-Maritimes, France 1994

Main Religion: N/A

Main Characters: Isabel & Joe Jacobs with daughter, Nina. Mitchell and Laura (family friends),

Kitty Finch (vacationer), + side characters.

Pages: 157

Published: 2011, Manbooker Prize in 2012

Original Language: English

Amazon Synopsis: As he arrives with his family at the villa in the hills above Nice, Joe sees a body in the swimming pool. But the girl is very much alive. She is Kitty Finch: a self-proclaimed botanist with green-painted fingernails, walking naked out of the water and into the heart of their holiday. Why is she there? What does she want from them all? And why does Joe’s enigmatic wife allow her to remain? A subversively brilliant study of love, Swimming Home reveals how the most devastating secrets are the ones we keep from ourselves.

My rating: 3/5

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July Wrap-Up & Book Haul

I’m combining these two posts together this month, because I only bought two books this month that weren’t included in my last book haul. I know this Fall is going to be crazy for releases and I’ve already got a few on my preorder list from the library. I also read so many awesome books this month that I’m excited to share with you all! Let’s get started….

Book Haul!

I only ended up with 2 books this month that I purchased at the end when I strolled into Books-a-Million just to check out their sale. Luckily for me they had UnSouled, the third book to Unwind on sale for $4. That was exactly the one I’d been waiting to go on sale in paperback so I picked it up. I also randomly found a Penguin classics Library Edition of Persuasion that was just too gorgeous to pass at $6. I managed to not touch anything else and walked out with only those two items, so I’m pretty proud of myself.


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