April 21, 2016

Don’t Be A Jerk: and other practical advice from Dogen, Japan’s greatest Zen Master by Brad Warner

Don’t Be A Jerk: and other practical advice from Dogen, Japan’s greatest Zen Master by Brad Warner is a paraphrasing of Dogen’s work for the modern people (like us) to read and enjoy.


Book Description
A Radical but Reverent Paraphrasing of Dogen’s Treasury of the True Dharma Eye

“Even if the whole universe is nothing but a bunch of jerks doing all kinds of jerk-type things, there is still liberation in simply not being a jerk.” — Eihei Dogen (1200–1253 CE)

The Shobogenzo (The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye) is a revered eight-hundred-year-old Zen Buddhism classic written by the Japanese monk Eihei Dogen. Despite the timeless wisdom of his teachings, many consider the book difficult to understand and daunting to read. In Don’t Be a Jerk, Zen priest and bestselling author Brad Warner, through accessible paraphrasing and incisive commentary, applies Dogen’s teachings to modern times. While entertaining and sometimes irreverent, Warner is also an astute scholar who sees in Dogen very modern psychological concepts, as well as insights on such topics as feminism and reincarnation. Warner even shows that Dogen offered a “Middle Way” in the currently raging debate between science and religion. For curious readers worried that Dogen’s teachings are too philosophically opaque, Don’t Be a Jerk is hilarious, understandable, and wise.” – Don’t Be A Jerk: and other practical advice from Dogen, Japan’s greatest Zen Master


My Thoughts
Don’t Be A Jerk: and other practical advice from Dogen, Japan’s greatest Zen Master is a fun, funny, and inspirational book. I love Brad Warner’s style of writing, and definitely want to read more of his previous books now. The philosophy in this book needs to be read by this generation as much as it did 800 years ago. Although the original text is not paraphrased line by line, Warner highlights the paragraphs throughout the book giving a significant feel for the meaning behind it.

My favorite chapter is “The Mystical Power of the Clothes You Wear”. Summed up, what you wear can affect how you act and how you think. I find this to be true each day I go to work in my nurse scrubs. I’m more of an introvert in real life, but as a Registered Nurse, I have to do many things I wouldn’t otherwise. The clothes don’t make me instantly become different, but it does help me to do my job and have the confidence that I need. This is true for many professions, students, and athletes. The clothes do matter! Think about that time you put on a great interview outfit or date outfit, and you had that extra confidence and it all worked out great. You know the power of it!

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and learning more about the philosophies presented in it. I think that it is written in such a way that all types of people can enjoy it, I highly recommend it.



* Thank you to the publisher of Don’t Be A Jerk: and other practical advice from Dogen, Japan’s greatest Zen Master, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

April 15, 2016

OwlCrate Coupon Code



I (finally) decided to join OwlCrate, I really wish I had sooner because there are a lot of boxes I missed out on that I would have loved. However, that is what happens when you procrastinate and have life going on.

The first box I’ll be getting is the Dystopian box, which is really cool because I quite like The Hunger Games and Maze Runner, which they shouted out is in it. They also mentioned Shatter Me (which I don’t know anything about – yet).

So, if you want to get this box, too. You have only 5 days left to do it!


Sign up using my link https://owlcrate.com/refer/Sheri-ZGAYFFEH and enter code “NEWMEMBER” to receive 10% off – you’ll be glad you did!


April 14, 2016

Mala of Love by Ravi Nathwani & Kate Vogt



Mala of Love by Ravi Nathwani & Kate Vogt is a collection of 108 poems about love. If you are looking for some inspiration in the form of love, this is the book for you to read (perhaps in a relaxing bath surrounded by candlelight and romantic music). ;)


Book Description
From the editors of Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems comes a true gift to the lover in all of us. Love sustains our passions and yearnings, holds us in times of joy and loss, nourishes our hearts, and melts our fears. It opens us to our deepest self and releases us into the embrace of the infinite. 

This powerful, reflective collection is filled with mystical insights into love. In these 108 poems, great poets, saints, sages, mystics, and artists across cultures give voice to the eternal presence of love. Together, the poems reveal a fuller story, inviting us to discover the inner essence of love within us. 

Over the ages, the number 108 has symbolized our hidden connections with the sacred. InMala of Love, 108 poems reveal that love is the path to greater unity and peace. ” – Mala of Love


My Thoughts
Mala of Love is a beautiful collection of 108 poems. The editors included 108 poems to honor the 108 beads in the traditional meditation mala which is used by spiritual practitioners throughout the East. It isn’t a traditional book of love poems, but rather one which can be woven together with love to bring about pure joy, compassion, and gratitude.

The poems included are a joy to read, and I will cherish this book in my personal library forever. It is a timeless collection which anyone who buys either for themselves or for others will most definitely enjoy as well. I highly recommend it.





* Thank you to the publisher of Mala of Love, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

April 5, 2016

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 1: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 1: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan is a new Young Adult series by the author who brought us the beloved Percy Jackson series (and many other great books).


Book Description
Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers. One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. His uncle tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god. The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years. When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision. Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die…” – Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 1: The Sword of Summer


My Thoughts
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 1: The Sword of Summer is a fun book to read, much like all of Riordan’s novels. However, to be honest, I started reading this when it was released last year (I even pre-ordered it), but due to many other personal life events going on in my life, I didn’t have the time to finish reading it. So, I started back where I left off, and finished it this week. It was an easy book to get back into reading, and I’m very happy I decided to start reading it again.

Magnus Chase and the other colorful characters make for an exciting and funny modern-day tale of Norse legends and what they could still be doing if around. I love reading about Norse mythology, and seeing them interact in truly humorous ways in this story kept me entertained, and I bet it will for you, too. I can’t wait for the second book in the series to come out in October to keep the story alive. If you enjoy Riordan’s way with words, mythology, young adult series, and are looking for a new series to read, this is it!