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  • Book Review| My Spiritual Journey by The Dalai Lama

    Hi guys, welcome back. Today we are going to do another fun color with me and book chat. So, grab your coloring book and let’s get started. This color with me is a median between the first two. I recorded this video with the time-lapse feature on iphone for over 6 hours and slowed it down to about 5 minutes. In the comment section below, let me know if you prefer the longer, medium or shorter video type. As always, I’ll post the completed version of the pages we color together on the ReadingOnTheRun blog. As an avid reader of the RTOR blog you, dear friend, may already know, I love reading personal accounts by brave souls from worlds I know very little about. This read is a perfect fit. My Spiritual Journey by the fourteenth Dalai Lama is a personal account of his childhood memories, journey as a Monk leading up to becoming the Dalai Lama as well as his hopes for humanity and Tibet. It is beautifully written in translation with his co-writer Sofia Stril-Rever. One of my favorite pieces in the book discusses compassion and love as the basic human need from conception throughout life. It proposes altruism as the solution to this need. This is certainly an argument to consider during this trying time in our world🌍. Wikipedia defines Altruism as the principle and moral practice of [selfless] concern for happiness [and well-being] of others. Simply put, doing things for others is more valuable than selfish pursuits. “By accustoming your mind to a universal altruism, you will develop a feeling of responsibility for others and the wish to help them overcome their suffering effectively.” ~ Dalai Lama Confession: Throughout this book I depended on Google to fill the gaps in my knowledge. Before parting the pages, I researched Tibet (an autonomous region within China), Monk (a member of a religious community of men typically under vows of poverty, chastity and obedience) and Buddhism (a faith that was founded 2500 years ago in India) The Dalai Lama is a Tibetan spiritual and political figure. A position rather than a specific person. In Tibetan culture this figure provides spiritual guidance in the faith of Buddhism and lives as a Monk once appointed. This book is written by the most recent Monk holding the position making him the fourteenth appointed on February 22, 1940. The people of the Buddhist faith believe that the Dalai Lama is reincarnated upon death therefore the same soul/spirit has lived in all of the fourteen men holding this position. Reading this book, I’ve learned that this history is extensively complex, inclusive of how these faiths have affected the relationship of Tibet and China. The fourteenth Dalai Lama explains how, the thirteenth Dalai Lama chose not to appoint his successor before passing therefore the believers were forced to search the community for where his soul could have gone. There is a system to this which is outlined in the book. The, now, fourteenth Dalai Lama was instinctively able to identify with the possessions of the recently passed thirteenth Dalai Lama which qualified him for the position. After other testing and evaluation, he was appointed as a child and moved into the palace to begin his study. He describes his current schedule as meditation, meetings, laughter, more meditation and more meetings. Apparently as a child he was a prankster and enjoyed playing with the palace staff instead of studying. The book begins with the fourteenth Dalai Lama summarizing his life’s commitments as follows in the short except: “My first commitment in life, as a human being, is the promotion of human values and those qualities of spirit that are key elements in a happy life, whether of an individual, a family, or a community... My second commitment in life, as a Buddhist Monk, is the promotion of harmony among the different religions... My third commitment in life, as the Dalai Lama, is the cause of Tibet, which concerns me very particularly...” Therefore, the book is broken up into three parts themed by these three outlined “commitments to life” previously described, stretched over eight chapters, complete with a forward and afterword. The forward is written by the co-writer, interpreter for the Dalai Lama (translated to English from Sanskrit). Chapter Summary: Forward: Listening to the Dalai Lama’ Appeal to the World Part One: As Human Being 1. Our Common Humanity 2. My Lives Without Beginning to End Part Two: As a Buddhist Monk 3. Transforming Oneself 4. Transforming the World 5. Taking Care of the Earth Part Three: As the Dalai Lama 6. In 1959 the Dalai Lama Meets the World 7. I Appeal to All the Peoples of the World Conclusion: I place mu hope in the Human Heart I gathered that this Dalai Lama is a bit unconventional in the way he interacts with the world, other world leaders and through mainstream media. His unconventional methods also extend to considering appointing a woman Dalai Lama before his passing, which is effectively unheard of in the culture. This read is enjoyable, light and informative. The chapters are short, well written and easy to digest. It was most interesting learning about the process of “finding” the next Dalai Lama once the previous one has passed away and I particularly fancied his sense of humor, humility and warmth. Giveaway: Win my copy of My Spiritual Journey by The Dalai Lama *Must complete one or more of the following* 1. Follow @readontherun YouTube Channel 2. Follow @readontherun on Facebook 3. Follow @readingontherun on Instagram 4. Join the ROTR Book Club at 5. Tag a friend who would love to read this book in the comment section below! *U.S. Shipping Only. Giveaway ends 7/31/20 12am CST* As Always, Happy Reading Friends! Xoxoxoxoxo, ROTR

  • Book List| Happy Juneteenth!

    Hi Friends, I am coming to your inbox with a few #bookrecommendations for these celebratory times! 🎉#happyjuneteenth #booklovers . #Pulitzer prize winner (2019) David W. Blight, Professor of American History and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at @Yale University, won in the category of #history for a “distinguished and appropriately documented book on the history of the United States” via his masterpiece entitled “Frederick Douglas: Prophet of Freedom” (@simonandschuster). . Celebrations around the world today commemorate the FREEDOM of brave souls, through generations, who contributed in building the fabric of a country in which today we, together, have a responsibility to make great for everyone. On June 19, 1865 (Juneteenth) federal U.S. troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. This event came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth marks an effective end to slavery in the United States. 📚#anotherone Check out #Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston 📖 Barracoon: The story of the last “Black Cargo” is a non-fiction work based on interviews done in 1927 with Cudjoe Lewis, the last presumed living survivor of the Middle Passage (@harpercollins). . #juneteenthreads#bookstagram#americanhistory#ourhistory#nonfictionreads#pleasebuymeacopy(of both) 😜#bookshelfneccesity As always, Happy Reading Friends! Xoxoxoxoxoxo, RTOR

  • Book Review| We're Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

    Hi guys, welcome back. Today we are going to do another fun color with me and book chat. So, grab your coloring book and let’s get started. This color with me is going to be much shorter than the last one. I recorded this video with the time-lapse feature on iphone for about 3 hours and it condensed it down to less than 1 min, so I had to slow it down a lot. In the comment section below, let me know if you prefer the longer or shorter video type. As always, I’ll post the completed version of the pages we color together on the ReadingOnTheRun blog. The author of the book we are going to discuss today, Gabrielle Union is probably currently best known for being the wife of Dwayne Wade, a skillful, popular American basketball player. However, Gabrielle Union in her own right rose as a popular American actress during the 1990s. Some of her most popular roles include movies such as the Bring it On series, Bad Boys II and Daddy’s Little Girls. In Union’s first book entitled: We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True, Welcome to the Party, she outlines her life in a memoir fashion centering her stories around the topic of colorism. In about 20 chapters Union discusses her struggle to fit in and find her identity while growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood, being a rape survivor, divorcee, Hollywood actress, stepmother and so much more. What's surprising, a least to me, is that the Union we are most accustomed to seeing on screen is indeed the same Union in real-life. The sassy, saucy, never-give-up without a fight vibe that she gives off on screen (in every role) shows up in her personal stories over and over again. For example, as a teenager she managed to get away from her rapist, grab the gun and shoot at him in close range. That took major kahunas! Another example is, at an even younger age she yelled an explicative at her dad from the soccer field for teasing her about losing a game. Union gets real during the book about not always being a team player and using the misfortune of others to her own gain. She talks about dating guys that only the “light-skinned” girls should have because she was cute enough as a “dark-skinned” girl to do so. Knowing that they didn’t have him because she did, gave her joy. She also mentions doing things she isn’t proud of to survive in Hollywood such as wishing ill-will on others so she may get the job or committing to Not mentoring/helping others, so she always has a leg up in auditions. The book is entertaining enough, and I did enjoy learning more about Union and her plight. I respect her hard work, struggle and hustle that lead her to the self-described success outlined in the book. Often at times throughout the book, I felt like Union was defending herself or her past choices to the reader. Explaining how things happened to her which made her make undesired decisions which lead to undesired outcomes. I would have instead liked to have felt drawn into the stories and connected to Union in ways we don't get from watching her films. The collection of stories really didn’t climax and drive home a lasting inspiring message. This could be a result of writing style instead of the actual content of the book in my opinion. Union uses a good portion of the book to describe her role as a stepmother in raising black males in American society. This message is very relevant today as we have watched recent protests erupt in multiple major cities over the unlawful death of yet another African American man at the hands of Police. Union describes making sure she teaches her sons the reality outside of their privilege. If anything, we can take away from this book the awareness of disparities and outdated hurtful social constructs that we as a society have the responsibility of improving. For that Gabrielle, thank you for having the courage to speak up, speak out and personally take action. Have you read this book or would like to read it? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Happy Reading Friends! xoxoxoxox, ROTR

  • Inspired Thoughts| Love is...

    Hi 👋🏽#bookloving friends! In these familiar eyes in the artwork above we can all see a story, an experience and/or someone we love. As avid readers,#booklovers and #storytellers we are deeply aware of the value of each life because there is a unique story behind each one that we are eagerly waiting, hoping, anticipating experiencing through written art. . The news cycle is 💔 are the very communities that have to constantly see, hear and grieve the loss of what they believe the world sees as insignificant. We see you, we hear you, we love you. Love at the very least is “actionable” something, say something, write something to stand-up against the atrocities on human life being displayed over and over again in our society, our world 🌎 . It’s not enough to be able to say you are not the perpetrator. In times like these, inaction is synonymous with aiding and abetting. It takes one message, conversation, act of love to change how someone views their world. Please make the effort. . Poem by: @adrianmichaelgreen . Art by: @solomon_omogboye_studio . Love is “actionable”. Sending #love and #light your way. #youarevalued Send this to anyone that may need to hear it today 💕 Happy Reading my Friends! xoxoxoxox, RTOR

  • Book List| 101 Books You Must Read According to @Instagram (Volume 2)

    I asked hundreds of #Bookstagramers and everyday savvy #Instagram fans to tell us at the ReadingOnTheRun blog, the one #book they would recommend to everyone in their life. Now I want to share this list with you. Over a volume of 15 weekly blog posts we will share these recommendations along with handles of those who suggested them. Want to join the conversation? Follow any one of our social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). We are all about sharing helpful knowledge, thoughts and experiences that spark connection and true, genuine conversation! Know My Name by Chanel Miller @cierahmcelroy To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee @doctorpond32 Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore @Victoriabrownskin Blood and Ballet by Melissa Mitchell @coffeybookreviews The Logan Family Saga by Mildred D. Taylor @introvertinterrupted Common Sense by Thomas Paine @Lina0081 The Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood @2books.andacoffee As alway, happy reading friends! Xoxoxoxoxo, ROTR Want download the entire 101 book list? Click here to join our bookclub and get the entire 101 Book list.

  • @ReadingOnTheRun Very First Unboxing!

    Hi Friends 👋🏽!!@readingontherunblogis celebrating receiving its first ever#bloggermail🥳. Thank you @penguinrandomhouse💙. . 😱Question reel ⁉️: What do you think is inside? Are you ready for a giveaway? I sense an #unboxing video on our YouTube channel in the near future....what do you think? Would you watch? 🎬 ⁉️ See the video below! . During this time, it’s important to celebrate the win, reaching a milestone and the love of one another. If you can’t seem to find something positive to celebrate, create something to celebrate by becoming the positive change. We need one another. What are you celebrating this week? . @readingontherunblogis about sharing experiences, voices, helpful knowledge and thoughts through books/ authentic stories that spark connection and true, genuine conversation! Follow for fun 💕 📚 . Check out the video below!

  • Book List| 101 Books You Must Read According to Instagram (Volume 1)

    I asked hundreds of #Bookstagramers and everyday savvy #Instagram fans to tell us at the ReadingOnTheRun blog, the one #book they would recommend to everyone in their life. Now I want to share this list with you. Over a volume of 15 weekly blog posts we will share these recommendations along with handles of those who suggested them. Want to join the conversation? Follow any one of our social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). We are all about sharing helpful knowledge, thoughts and experiences that spark connection and true, genuine conversation! As alway, happy reading friends! Xoxoxoxoxo, ROTR Want download the entire 101 book list? Click here to join our bookclub and get the entire 101 Book list. Someone I use to know by Patty Blount @thegirlwiththeblackbook The Goldfinch by Donna Tart @raisingdinos 1984 by George Orwell @clearastars Becoming by Michelle Obama @mrstufts There There by Tommy Orange @_angeltea If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin @never_withouta_book (Click here to read our review!) Curse of a Name by Kima Blaze @wordsfromthenorth Happy Reading Friends! Xoxoxoxoxoxo, ROTR

  • Book Review| Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

    Shonda Rhimes is the amazingly talented TV Producer responsible for popular prime time TV shows such as Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. Each of the aforementioned shows feature a fiercely talented, beautiful, independent woman navigating career, love, family and friends. In this non-fiction delight, Year of Yes, Rhimes decides to mimic decision making of the heroine leading ladies she scripts in her, now celebrated TV dramas. The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes follows her life for one year in which she commits to saying "Yes" to every opportunity that comes her way, despite fear of failure, rejection or her extreme introversion. As a result, Shonda gives a major public speaking address at her alma matter, allows herself to receive help mothering her children, loses unwanted extra pounds, joins a club of powerful women and moves forward in letting go of hurtful friendships. Rhimes is the author and voice behind the Audible addition. As a huge fan of Rhimes the person and professional, I must say this project is nowhere near as exciting as Shondaland. The writing is fluffy. This is somewhat to be expected of a self-professed extreme introvert. The intimate details shared in this book felt forced. In addition, most proclamations were laced in flat humor preventing the reader from really feeling deeply. The exact opposite of what we feel when Scandal's Olivia Pope is rescuing Washington D.C. while longing for her married soulmate, the President of the United States. Rhimes' notoriety, in part, is due to something she refers to as ordinary: "[...putting regular people and regular stories on prime-time television]". Telling stories of all ethnicities, cultures and lifestyles has led Shonda Rhimes to build an empire of representation which doesn't go untapped in this read. This is a quick read, easily digestible and sets out to inspire each reader to live a full life, try something new and feel confident in who they were, are and will be. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Shonda Rhimes, television production or simply the transformational properties of applying a Year of Yes to their own lives. Chapter preview: Prologue Chapter 1: No Chapter 2: Maybe Chapter 3: Umm, Yes...? Chapter 4: Yes to the Sun Chapter 5: Yes to Speaking the Whole Truth Chapter 6: Yes to Surrendering the Mommy War (Or, Jenny McCarthy is My Everything) Chapter 7: Yes to All Play and No Work Chapter 8: Yes to My Body Chapter 9: Yes to Joining the Club Chapter 10: Yes to More Year of Yes A Note about Time Chapter 11: Yes to No, Yes to Difficult Conversations Chapter 12: Yes to People Chapter 13: Yes to Dancing It Out (with the right people) Chapter 14: Yes to Who I Am Chapter 15: Yes to Beautiful Happy Reading Friends! xoxxoxoxoxoxox, ROTR

  • Book List| Happy International Women's Day!

    Hey 👋🏽 friends! Happy International Women’s Day! In honor of #internationalwomensday here at we are highlighting 9 groundbreaking books written by women. . See our list below. Click on the name of each book for a link to the book review! 💁🏽‍♀️ . In their own unique voices, these brave women embraced vulnerability to tell stories that are true, real and honest with the intention to leave the world 🌎 better than how they found it. Whether through a personal story or fictional lens, these stories highlight strength, compassion and, in many ways, defiance against expectations that just will not apply. . We thank them for their contributions to the world and their voices which will reach the hearts of millions of little girls in the years to come💫: The Source of Self Regard by Toni Morrison Educated by Tara Westover Know My Name by Chanel Miller Blackout: Remembering The Things I Drank To Forget by Sarah Hepola Dare to Lead by Brene Brown An American Marriage by Tayari Jones A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis Happy Reading Friends! xoxoxoxoxox, ROTR

  • Book Review| A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

    A Spark of light by New York Times Best Selling Author Jodi Picoult attempts to uncover the many sides of abortion rights. The story centers around one main event, a hostage situation at one of the only abortion clinics in over a thirty mile radius, where one hostage has already been shot and another injured. As the hostage negotiator tries to apprehend the suspect, the storyline dives into the lives of each hostage attending the clinic for their own reasons. If you are familiar with Picoult's work, it'll come at no surprise that this book is bold both in topic selection and literary structure. The story takes the reader on a wild ride in reverse order. Yes, you read that right, it begins at the end of the story and takes the reader in reverse. Because of the uncoventional sequence of the story and the fact that there are over 5 main characters, it make take a bit of time to get engrossed in this read. Check out the full character scroll below. Most of us humans have a strong opinion of this topic therefore will identify with one character and struggle to see the view of the others, exactly the point Picoult wants to make. This book is a perfect read for the curious mind looking to open its view of the world. Something we all should be seeking. Click Here to Purchase this Book! Character Scroll: George is the gunman holding the clinic hostage because of a heavy disagreement with his daughter. Hugh is the hostage negotiator who shows up for a typical days work before realizing his worse nightmare has come true. His only daughter is inside the clinic with the gunman. Wren is the daughter of the hostage negotiator attending the clinic to acquire birth control pills before having sex for the first time. Bex is Wren's aunt who never married due to sacrificing her life to care for Hugh as a child. She is accompanying Wren to the clinic as her guardian. Janine is an anti-abortion activist spying on the clinic patrons in efforts to change their minds about abortion. Izzy is a newly pregnant nurse at the clinic. She grew up poor and is very proud of her accomplishments in life, even marring her rich husband. Dr. Ward is the physician who performs the abortions at the clinic in support of his strong feelings of giving less fortunate women a better life. After witnessing the death of his own mother at a young age due to her attempting an abortion at home, he vowed to never let another woman suffer in that way if he could help it. Beth is a young girl in Mississippi on trial for murder because she ordered abortion pills on-line. She and her lawyer struggle to get others to see their reality. Click Here to Purchase this Book! Happy Reading Friends! Xoxoxoxox, ROTR

  • Travel Inspiration| Sunsets in Australia

    Andrew Caccese is a copywriter, blogger, and brand consultant from Italy, with over 10 years of experience, who loves to make music, collect records and travel the world. You can connect with him via his website or his Gig Page. Keep reading for a complete overview of some of Andrew's favorite places in Australia. Australia: Exploring the land Down Under. Wild, beautiful, exciting, and far away from pretty much everywhere else. These are some of the first things that came to my mind when I used to think about Australia, and let me tell you - My experiences in the land Down Under definitely matched my expectations. However, Australia is more to it than just a land with some unique nature and beautiful coastlines. It’s a country that feels lively, modern, and extremely diverse, home to a diverse fabric of people, arts, flavors, history, ideas, and so much more. The first time I visited Australia, I actually had the opportunity to get a more intimate perspective on the country, moving away from the beaten path and having the opportunity to explore beyond the common touristy destinations. Newcastle Newcastle is a fast-growing city in the state of New South Wales. This is actually one of my favorite places in Australia because it has a truly unique vibe. On the one hand, it still has the charm of a working-class harbor. On the other, it is moving quite fast, as a symbol of Australia’s expansion and further race towards cosmopolitanism and multiculturalism - something which was only quite common in the largest cities. Newcastle is home to a charming city center. Have a stroll by the water or hang by the beach, conveniently located just a little walk away from the city’s main drag. If you are feeling hungry or in the mood for some “brekkie,” head over to Darby Street. This is considered one of the hippest little streets in Newcastle, and it’s home to fine establishments like local favorite “3 Monkeys.” Newcastle is also the perfect starting point to explore the charming Hunter Valley, one of Australia’s finest wine regions, as well as the Central Coast, Nora Head, and the Blue Mountains. Sydney How could we not include the capital? Wait, we almost got you there. Australia’s actual capital is Canberra! Many people might get confused, giving the fact that Sydney is actually quite a popular destination. What makes this city special is that it is one of Australia’s most modern cities. It is a true cultural hub, and it is the place to be for any fan of nightlife, theater, and great food. Sydney’s home to some excellent restaurant, and it’s foodie scene is among my favorites in the whole of Australia. In fact, the city is home to one of my favorite restaurants ever, Porteno, which is a fantastic place where to get some of the finest meat dishes ever. I still dream of that pork belly! Food aside, Sydney features an amazing number of fantastic attractions. Surfers and beach rats will absolutely love Bondi and Coogee, two of the most popular beaches in the city. However, it is impossible not to mention iconic buildings such as The Opera House and The Harbour Bridge, two of the most famous man-made structures in modern history. Sydney is an exciting town with a lot to offer, and it is well-connected to many destinations around Australia if you are planning on exploring the country further. Melbourne: If Sydney is a little bit like the London of Australia, Melbourne is its New York City! This city is young, colorful, edgy, and unique, and it has a completely different vibe. Melbourne is home to a buzzing art and cultural scene, with so much music and theatre happening all the time. According to recent reports, Melbourne is the city with the highest number of music venues per capita in the world! This should give you a nice perspective on how important social life is here. From the buzzing downtown district (with an authentic China Town area) to hip areas such as Collingwood and Brunswick, this is the place to be. Melbourne is located in the state of Victoria, and it stands out as one of the most amazing and exciting destinations in the country. It is also a perfect gateway to explore some amazing local nature, as well as checking out iconic attractions such as the “12 Apostles,” a beautiful collection of natural rocks by the shore, gazing out into the Pacific Ocean. If you are visiting the south of Australia during winter, be prepared: it can get quite chilly there because of its relative closeness to the South Pole! Happy Travels Friends! Xoxoxoxoxo, ROTR Are you interested in being featured in the ROTR Travel Inspiration series? Visit our Contact Us page to submit a request.

  • Book Review| Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle

    Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle is a suspense novel following a woman on the run from her abusive husband. Sabine, a beautiful wealthy real-estate agent, has gone missing and it's up to Detective Marcus to find her. Sabine's husband, unhappy with himself and the fate of his marriage previous to her disappearance, has to reluctantly collaborate with her lover and less pleasant twin sister to help detective Marcus bring Sabine home. In another state, Beth is on the run from her abusive husband. After planning her elaborate escape over the prior 10 months she finds herself navigating unanticipated situations. After changing her name, hair color and just about everything else from her past, Beth lives in a boarding home, tries to steer clear of internet trails, phone towers and anything else that would leave a trail for her husband to find. Click Here to purchase this book with an Audible gift subscription! Author Kimberly Belle has branded herself the master of suspenseful marriage plots. In Dear Wife all of the characters are woven into a brilliantly written suspense plot that will not disappoint. This is a good novel for an uninterrupted read. You won't want to miss a clue! Click Here to learn more about the author Kimberly Belle! Happy Reading Friends! Xoxoxoxoxox ROTR

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