“True Blue (A Short Story)” by Eliot Peper

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True Blue a short story by a favorite author of mine Eliot Peper (@EliotPeper) just released yesterday.

I will first say this is one of the first short stories I have read because most of the time I have strayed away from them in the past. However, I am glad I read this one as it was the perfect size for me to digest in my normally busy week.  Not to mention I am a fan of  Eliot’s work and this is another one that doesn’t disappoint and couldn’t put it down. Let’s just say it was good for me that it was a short story. The main topic of the book is around discrimination but is set in a more future state. Even though this book is a short story Elliot masterfully writes it in great details with various twists you might not see coming.

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I really can’t say enough about the and don’t want to give too much of it away so go grab a copy as you can’t beat the price as it only 2.99 (or free if you have Kindle Unlimited).  So go grab a copy today and start your weekend off right.


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“Neon Fever Dream” by Eliot Peper

Neon Fever Dream by Eliot Peper (@EliotPeper) was a really good page turner that once I finally started I couldn’t put it down as I wanted to know what would happen next (I probably should have read about one month ago but kept putting it off until Monday night).  This is another book of his that I can’t recommend enough as I have tried to read every one of Eliot’s books since he first published Uncommon Stock: Version 1.0 a couple years back.

In full disclosure, I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of the book a while back.  However, at this exact time, you can’t read it yet but can Pre-Purchase it.  In fact, even though I received the advanced copy I still decided to purchase it as well.

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The story starts out by getting you acquainted with the characters over the first couple of chapters to give you a good backdrop of the main character so you get a sense of her background.  Then everything is turned upside down in an instant with Asha and as a whim of trying to take control of her own life she ends up heading to Burning Man with her new best “friend”.

However, just when everything seemed to be getting on the right track, Asha realized she doesn’t know the people she is with as well as she thought and she needs to quickly figure out who to trust and who is telling the truth.  Once sorted out is only the beginning as the bigger story of a criminal take down brings more twists and turns to the past of hers and the people she decided to trust.  Each page will make you question if she is trusting the right people from her current situation or her people from her past from long ago.  Will they still be able to take down the criminal empire?  (Come on I can’t tell you the whole story here, check it out yourself, trust me it is worth it.) 

Most of the story takes place at Burning Man, which I have never been to and not sure I ever will in my lifetime.  However, with Eliot’s style of writing, I felt like I was there.  With my little understanding of the event and layout, I really did feel like I was walking or biking around the playa visiting the various places.  In fact, one specific part of the book detailed out the author’s thoughts on the event that shows you the amount of detail he added:

This was a city built and dismantled in a week—a collective piece of art as beautiful and fleeting as the mandala they had watched the monks create with such painstaking care. Calling it a festival was a slight. It was more than that. It was an experiment, an exploration of what it meant to be alive.

One of my favorite quotes of the book that kept on popping up (four times I think) was:

You cannot control the world, but only you control how you react to it.

Finally, if you are a fan of Eliot’s other writing you might find the “easter egg” in the book where a past character might have made an appearance.  I wish I could say I would have realized it all on my own but prior to reading the book I had read the book review by Brad Feld (@bfeld) and already knew it was coming so was on the look out of for it.

Update:  If you are looking for some details on what inspired the author to write this book check out his post title A dark secret hides in the swirling dust and exultant revelry of Burning Man, where he talks about it.  I always think it is interesting to hear how/why an author wrote a particular book.

The More of Less

It has been more than three weeks since I have finished the book titled The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker and honestly this was a book I really couldn’t put down after I started it.

Before I tell you about the book specifically I want to point something out, I had originally started with only the Kindle version and was enjoying reading it at nights before bed but I realized that I only found limited time to pick it up every night as it didn’t fit with my normal routine of reading/listening to things.  So I decided to upgrade my purchase to the audible companion which was well worth it as I could listen to the Audiobook during my morning run, or while cleaning up and getting things ready in the evening for the next day.  However, the biggest benefit was that I could then pick up my Kindle and actually physically read the book right where my audio portion left off.  Honestly, the best of both worlds and I would recommend it for this book as I can see myself reading and listening to it again in the near future.

Now onto my thoughts of “The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything you Own” by Joshua Becker.  For someone like me that has just stumbled upon this concept of minimalism, I still really hadn’t figure out what it meant and assumed that this book was going to tell me how to throw away almost everything I own.  I quickly realized by Joshua’s definition of minimalism it didn’t specifically talk about “physical things” and in fact, I feel this is a much better definition than what people think.

Minimalism: the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from them

After reading that definition in the book it dawned on me as to why he titled the book “The More of Less.”  Through the book, he explains this from his own personal story of why he wanted less as well as through the stories of others which are great examples of how The More of Less can take on many forms.  In fact, you quickly realize there isn’t a wrong answer or a right way, you just need to figure out your own WHY.  It is a tough question that takes some time to figure out and I honestly believe it might change as you go.  It has for me at least.  Once you start formulating it in your head, it should become clearer as to the actions you might want to take in order to get you on the right track.  That track is again where this book is great. Joshua does a great job laying out various examples of what you can do to take those next steps after the why.  In fact, most are simple steps to get you started and nothing life changing like selling/getting rid of everything you own.  Now I had started some of this process of removing less value added things in my life (I call it decluttering) before I read the book but one of his super simple ideas to start was keep your car clean.  Why that is so simple that it hadn’t even been on my mind yet and with 3 kids your car quickly becomes overtaken with “stuff” all over.  So that night after reading that part of the book I cleaned both our vehicles out.  Now after 3 weeks it is still cleaner than before because it is easier than before and every time I get into my car I just feel that much better.

That was just one example of the many that are touched on in the book.  Honestly, when I got to the last page I was just finishing an early morning run and I was a little sad that the book was over.  There is so many useful examples/thoughts that Joshua put in there and I enjoyed hearing all of them as they continued to shape my thoughts.

I would defiantly recommend this book to everyone as I think everyone can find pieces/parts of the book that will relate to their lives no matter what your own personal situation is.  Joshua Becker has also written some other books, has a blog where he captures his thoughts as well at Becoming Minimalist, and also has a 12-week course titled Uncluttered.

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like” – Will Rogers