November Book group questions

For November, we continue to read the book by Gretchen Ruben, Happier at Home. For November we read the chapter, November: Parenthood Pay Attention. Join our group in person or contribute via the website! I look forward to hearing your answers to the following questions, mainly from Rubin’s reading group guide:

  1. Rubin writes,  “Just because something is fun for someone else doesn’t make it fun for me–and vice versa” and “I can choose what I do, but I can’t choose what I like to do.” Do you agree? Or do you think you can teach yourself to enjoy something that initially you don’t find fun? What do you find fun?
  2. Do you have shrines in your home? If you were going to make one, what would you include?
  3. (From a book group member) If you like, please share your parenting challenges.
  4. Rubin quotes a line from Saint Thérèse: “It isn’t enough to love; we must prove it.” Rubin shares her time and attention to prove her love. How about you?






I just finished reading the September chapter of Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin. The chapter focuses on possessions. I appreciated Gretchen’s idea to go shelf by shelf and decide what to keep and what to save. Instead of tackling an entire home, her idea seems more doable!

Angry teenagers

Tonight, my daughter stormed about the house, showering her angry words down upon me. To console myself, I reached for Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, Creating True Peace. He gave me a wonderful formula that I wrote down and plan on posting somewhere in my car! When dealing with an angry child, he suggests:

  1. Say to the child: I want to listen to you.
  2. Ask your child to breathe first.
  3. Suggest that your child now calmly tell you everything.


I recently started reading our book for the summer months, A Message of Hope from the Angels. When I read Lorna’s first book, Angels in My Hair, I felt skeptical about the existence of angels. However, she writes with such certainty and confidence that I felt swayed by her accounts. In A Message of Hope, she continues to offer her readers accounts with angels, specifically messages from angels.

A Message of Hope from the Angels

For the summer, our bookgroup plans to read A Message of Hope from the Angels by Lorna Byrne. Previously, our bookgroup read Angels in My Hair and thoroughly adored the book. From the author’s website:

“Now, in A Message of Hope from the Angels, Lorna gives us the comfort of knowing that we have guardian angels to support us during our daily challenges, and reveals how we can call on their help to carry us through the difficulties that we all inevitably face—whether it’s loneliness, depression, stress, financial strain or countless other challenges. Lorna explains how we can use the angels’ messages and support to make our lives happier and more fulfilling. Already an international bestseller, A Message of Hope from the Angels went straight to #1 in the UK.”

Nonviolent Communication

Last night, we concluded our discussion of the book, Non-violent Communication: A Language of Life, by Marshall Rosenberg. We honed in on the chapter about Anger. We discussed Rosenberg’s ideas about the root cause of anger–that anger comes from our unmet needs. In our culture, he proposes, we tend to blame others for our anger. When we identify our unmet needs, we travel further along the path of peace. We also spoke about our relationships with our kids and some of the situations we encounter that tend to irritate or anger us. The next time I feel annoyed, I plan on asking myself, what need of mine needs to be met here? Honestly, I already asked myself this question today! The exercise seemed to help.