Book Reviews

How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World

Sophia Stuart

Empowerment, Inspirational

978-1-4019-4410-0

Has it just been one of those days? Or months? Or years? I was once in a yoga class (a rare yoga class, I'll admit), where the teacher had us all exhale again and again and again, until-as she put it-... More

Jul 15, 2014 niseag03
Let’s face it, we live in a craaaaazy world. I know I spend more time feeling overwhelmed with to do lists, places to be, etc. than I care to admit. Sometimes the best thing I can do is slow down and take some me-time to reset.

This is why I loved How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World by Sophia Stuart. It’s like the ultimate escape in and of itself, even as it gives you ideas of ways to step away from the chatter and insanity of life.

The book kicks off with simple, beautiful photos you can get lost it. It then flows into tips on how to simplify life, or at least make it more bearable. It ends with ways to unplug entirely. It even gives lists of great books, movies and music to help with unplugging.

This book will be beside my bed as my little get-away before bed and as a reminder to take a moment to breathe. It would make a great gift to anyone going through a tough time. I loved it! And I think others will, too.

I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes.

I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
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Jun 04, 2014 stefaniekamerman

Sophia Stuart, blogger of teamgloria.com and author of How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World, puts a modern spin on a book of hours, which dates back to the middle of ages and kept by many noble women. While Sophia was recovering from major surgery, she found refuge in her blog and creating this inspirational book.We all need a little bit of time just to stop, don’t you think? Sophia thought so too!

This beautiful book is broken into three sections: Inspiration for morning, Perspiration for daytime, and Exhalation for the night. In the Inspiration section, photographs are placed on one page while short little inspirations are on the other. I thought they were clever and did give proper inspiration to do something out of my norm. In the Perspiration section, the book follows the format of the Inspiration, photographs, but with more in depth how-tos. Sophia’s personality is clearly written into these pages and I felt I got to know her more personally. Finally, Exhalation comes and delivers soothing advice to wind down after a hectic day.

Sweet and Inspirational. Modern and Soothing, like the cover states. How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World is uplifting and refreshing. While some may pick up thinking this is a “Do This” type book, it is not. How to Stay Sane is an eclectic sort of book that gives the reader a boost by photographs and simplicity.

Thank you Hay House for this opportunity for review!

Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through Hay House Book Nook. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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May 25, 2014 ArtisticallyShauna
How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World - A Modern Book of Hours to Soothe the Soul, is a book written by Sophia Stuart, the creator of teamgloria.com. Sophia lived a crazy life with no true relaxation. Soon Sophia found herself in front of a surgeon who told her that she had three tumors in her throat that needed to be removed, and that she needed to take at least a month of medical leave to recover. This is when Sophia's world seemed to come crashing down on her.

How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World gives us a little glimpse into Sophia's life, her journey, her struggle to get through her trial of heath issues, as well as tips on how to take care of ourselves better. Sophia also shares her beautiful photography of photographs taken during her day to day life as well as her travels abroad. The photographs are absolutely beautiful, calming, and relaxing.

Sophia's book, How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World, is broken up into three sections. The first section, "Morning" the reader is given ideas to inspire us for the day ahead. The second section, "Afternoons" we are given fun tips on how to enhance our lives and find more joy in our journeys. In the last section, "Evening" we are given ideas on how to exhale, unwind, and leave the day behind.

One of my favorite parts of the book were the lists in the back of the book that give you ideas on how to make yourself your own "Kindness Kit", movies, music, and book suggestions to help you while recovering from an illness or to simply help let life slow down for a while.

At the very beginning of the book the author says, "During the Middle Ages women of noble birth would have a book of hours, a devotional object that gave them room to pause, to take a moment, to become spiritually refreshed." While pondering this idea the author thought that "perhaps a modern book of hours was needed: some beautiful images and a few carefully chosen words to inspire and soothe a troubled soul."

I also like how the author said, "Please take time to look after yourself. Find the gloriousness in your everyday life. Relish the delightful sparks of inspirational magic. You are important. You matter." Sophia then encourages us to not wait until we get sick like she did to start taking care of ourselves.

Overall I enjoyed this book and I thought that it was unique in its contents and structure. I appreciated the thoughtful ways that the author shared with us on how to better take care of ourselves.

My only thing I would like to have seen a little more of in How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World would have been more of Sophia's writing, a little more substance to balance the gorgeous photography. The author has such a wonderful writing voice that I would have loved to have heard more of it. With that said, I do think that this book is a sweet book, full of positive affirmation, encouraging thoughts, and wonderful tips.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment and opinion of the book.

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Apr 26, 2014 BookLover
How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World: A Modern Book of Hours to Soothe the Soul by Sophia Stuart is a beautiful little book. The author tells us about her battle with cancer and how it inspired this book. The photography in this book is exquisite.

How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World is broken up into three parts. In part one, "Morning" we are given ideas to inspire us for the day ahead. In part two, "Afternoons" we are driven to succeed. In part three, "Evening" we are given ideas and words to help us unwind from the day. This book is inspirational and about having self-care and self-love. My favorite part was in part three when we are shown how to make a 'Kindness Kit' for ourselves or we could even use this idea to make a kindness kit for others.

I really enjoyed the ideas presented in this book. I think this is a wonderful book for anyone and everyone to help them take care of themselves. If for no other reason I would get this book for the pictures which were taken by the author during her travels. This books is a wonderful way to help us unwind and as the author states, "soothe your soul".

I acknowledge that I received this book free of charge from Hay House in exchange for my honest and unbiased review of the book.
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Apr 21, 2014 MaryMikawoz
This book is an exercise of love by the author. The author had been battling cancer. She set upon doing something positive and loving for herself. She used her photographs as inspiration for beauty and reminders of what can be done to take care of oneself while one was battling a disease.

There are three parts of the book. They are in the format of “mornings, afternoons, and evenings.” The morning inspiration section contain short one liners indicating what you can do for yourself like “Dream about far-off lands.” The afternoon perspiration section has a bit more text about tips such as a “Secret Sisterhood.” And finally the last section on evenings exhalation deals with what you can do while battling an illness such as dealing with burnout and making your own kindness kit.

I believe this book would find a good place on a coffee table so that people can peruse the various sections of the book. Otherwise, it might be a thoughtful gift to give to other people how are facing illness and disease. It might help them recover because it reminds people of the good things in life.

I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.
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Apr 19, 2014 Dionnaj
I must admit... It took me awhile to write this review because it wasn't exactly what I expected when I received it. How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World turned out to be a lovely book, however. It's one of those books that you find stocked on the shelves at many gift shops. At first, I was a bit disappointed when I received it in the mail because in all honesty, it reminded me of a picture book for adults. I was expecting something with a little more "meat" in it. I'm one of those avid readers and was expecting something more of a novel. Whereas, this was something I could literally read in one sitting. So for the $17.95 price tag, it seemed a little steep. Keep in mind, this was just my first impression.

The author, Sophia Stuart, is the creator of the blog, teamgloria.com. The name Gloria, originated as the free spirit angel character from a screenplay written by Sophia. The blog became a documentation of the "glorious" things around her, and gained a nice community of followers and supporters. This came in especially helpful when Sophia was diagnosed with tumor in her throat. She felt that the blog gave her enormous courage and inspiration....and that is how the actual book came to be.

It reminds me a bit of a scrap book, filled with one woman's collection of beautiful photography, inspirational ideas, and well-- fun. I'm usually not one for books that are seriously depressing, being in my 20s (let's be honest) and that's not to sound harsh or naive to what goes on in the world. But I, personally, prefer uplifting material that makes me feel happy. And surprisingly, this book delivered just that. The story of her personal struggle was there, yes. And it was necessary for the reader to understand how all of these ideas came to form. But more than that, I found beauty in this book. I am always looking for beauty, be it through things that nourish the body or the mind. I just love connecting with things I find beautiful and things that good for the soul.

The book is divided into three sections--morning, afternoon, and evening. I thought this was a cute idea. (And it reminded me of the Twilight saga concept, which was cool.) Morning is basically inspirational things such as her hopes and dreams. Afternoon is the "business of the world", so to speak. The less glamorous aspect of life. The actual work. And of course, evening is a time to relax and unwind. Basically, looking after yourself.

The book itself is over 100 pages, so it's not short by any means... But much of it is filled with her own personal photography from everyday life--nature, places, art. She reminds us to play and enjoy life, which I thought was really beautiful. She mentions things like books and music playlists, as something enjoyable to do to care for one's self and make things pleasant while going through a difficult time. She even recommends tons of her own personal faves, to help you gain inspiration. Many of the pages are just a few sentences. However the intro, and a few other sections can get wordy. You will do some reading in addition to looking a lovely photographs.

If you know someone who is struggling with a difficult time in their life, or someone who is stuck and just so caught up in the negatives of their situation...I think this would add some light to their day. It's really just a fun, pretty read. It isn't to "heavy" to digest (it's not going to bring you down like I was originally worried about, it's much more likely to lift you up). It's a light and lovely read.

Perhaps for Mother's Day, which is soon, this book with a candle or picture frame or a snuggly blanket would make a great affordable gift idea. I think it would be appropriate for any generation--mom, grandma, aunt, cousin, etc.

I definitely enjoyed it and am passing in down to my own aunt (who lives a few states away) as a nice "thinking of you" gift. And I have faith that she will love it and hopefully pass it along to another deserving lady in her life when she is finished with it! :)


Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with teamgloria.com. All opinions are my own. I was however sent this book for free in exchange for an honest review via hayhouse books. I promise that I will always give you guys the best, most honest critique I can. I'm not going to tell anyone to go buy this book if it isn't something that I enjoyed myself!
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Apr 15, 2014 ginadrellack
Sophia Stuart has created a beautifully "modern book of hours to soothe the soul." Her gorgeous photographs punctuate the wisdom she shares from her experience with stillness born of illness.

This firm yet gentle reminder that Life is bigger than--yet made of--our daily life is a tool to help us re-balance. Both in the small and larger pictures it creates. She leads readers to proactive self-care, rather than her own experience in reaction to serious illness.

Recognizing that my own monkey mind has lately been wearing out my mental hamster wheel, I am grateful for the soothing, savoring, and surrounding quality I become when I read her words and view her photographs.

This book is a lovely touchstone for anyone who could use the gift of an uplift. Both the author's images and words are a balm for the soul.

I did not receive monetary compensation for my review of this book. However, the spiritual compensation I receive is immeasurable. Thank you to the authors who participate in the Book Nook Blogger program, as well as Hay House for making it possible. Books & blogging--it doesn't get much better than that! :)
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Apr 10, 2014 Mikeylynn
This is a perfect book for fresh ideas. Short and simple the most any one page has is a paragraph with a unique picture. The book is split up between morning, afternoon, and evening. I enjoyed the pictures and I thought many of the ideas where creative if you need a "pick me up" or fresh perspective. I really loved the back of the book where the author puts some of her favorite books, movies, songs, etc. Also, I think the start of the book where the author talks about a diagnoses with cancer changes the viewpoint on the book and makes it more personable. I recommend if you want a small go to uplifting book.

"I received this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review."
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Apr 09, 2014 mommyinpa

So I bet you are wondering "What exactly is a book of hours?" A book of hours was given to women of noble birth during the Middle Ages as a devotional object that gave them time to pause for a few moments to become spiritually refreshed. This book is a modern day version of that and is meant to help us take a few moments to just let the crazy world go.

Sophia Stuart was living a very busy life until she found out she had three tumors in her throat that would need to be removed followed by almost a month of being cooped up in her apartment. Sophia's book is intended to help her readers realize that sometimes you just have to step back and relax. Let the world go on without you for awhile and clear the clutter from your mind before it makes you ill.

Mommy in PA: My daughter is always trying to steal my books before I get a chance to read them. This one she opened up and right away exclaimed "Mom, this is a picture book". About half an hour later she returned with the book because she said she was done reading it already.

The book is mostly pictures but it is the soothing message behind the photos that you must focus on...relaxation. The book is meant to help us stop stressing as it is no good for your health. Along with the pictures are ideas to help you relax. Too often we think that if we take time for ourselves to relax, read a book, etc. that we are being selfish but sometimes that time is necessary to keep us from becoming ill.

The photos were taken by Sophia herself from her travels around the world. There are also some beautiful still life photos taken from when she was stuck in her apartment during her medical leave. The book is divided into three sections (morning, afternoon, and evening). Morning is for dreaming, afternoon is for inspiration, and evening is for exhalation.

I can totally imagine finding this book in a doctor's office waiting room or anybody's coffee table. An easy read but full of clever relaxation ideas that will help us take better care of ourselves.

There is also an awesome shopping section at the back of the book that contains items/music/movies that Sophia recommends. Also be sure to check out Sophia's website at teamgloria.com.

disclaimer: I received this book for free from Hay House USA in exchange for my honest opinions. All opinions remain my own.

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Apr 02, 2014 Cheryl
This book is adorable. It makes a great coffee table book, bathroom book (sometimes you’ve gotta have something to read while you’re in there), or thoughtful gift for a friend.

I love the photographs and inspiring messages. The one liner pictoral pages are my favorites. There’s not anything complicated or mysterious about this little book – it’s simply beautiful, inspiring, and uplifting.

To enjoy this book to the fullest, I suggest you purchase the hardback book rather than the ebook--for the fact that more than half the joy comes from its gorgeous photos.

Cover: Love it
Title: Like it
Publisher: Hay House Inc.
Pages: 128
First Lines: When did you last go back to bed on a Sunday morning with magazines and some tea and cake? Or sink into a bubble bath by candlelight and listen to soothing music?


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a Review Copy free from HayHouse. I was not required to write a positive review. The options I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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Mar 31, 2014 badastro
"How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World" (2014, Sophia Stuart) is a book filled with beautiful pictures. The ideas and advice given about how to be inspired, happily productive, and how to best unwind, are aimed at the A-list female executive. Not so much at the stay at home single moms -- we can't really be planning our next vacation, or our next massage, and going to the movies once a week is more likely to happen if it's once a year. But the message can land if you're openminded and it's a good one: Be kinder to yourself, whatever that means to you right now. The world is insane for everyone, whether you're living in the penthouse or the basement, and we can all use a break.

I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes.
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Mar 31, 2014 lausprinkle
I absolutely love to read, and have stayed up many a night till the wee hours just to find out what happens next. Some people read to sleep, but this has never worked for me. I recently found out about Hay House Publishing’s Book Nook, where you can sign up and they send you books for free to read & review! Hooray! And my first book came today, How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World. So appropriate right now, as I feel like organizing my life & space is a very crazy process.

Basically, the book is divided in three sections, Morning, Afternoon, and Evening, aimed to inspire you, drive you to succeed, and help you unwind (in that order). While at first open it appears to be just a book of pictures and short inspirational phrases, it is in fact so much more, especially when you get to the second and third sections. Most of us go through life with the notion that self-love and self-care are just plain selfish, and that giving is better than receiving.

Well, this leads to exhaustion, and in many cases, disease. It’s what it lead the author, Sophia Stuart, creator of teamgloria.com, to, and her recovery from that illness is what inspired her to create the book. In her words, it’s “a modern book of hours to soothe the soul.” It’s definitely practical; I loved the parts about taking to your bed to watch movies, whether to laugh or to cry. Talk about modern healing. And it’s also inspirational. Who would have thought of a “Kindness Kit” for themselves? We are taught to be kind to others, but rare is it that we are taught to be kind to ourselves. I’m definitely getting my own together, and I’m including this book!

It’s for anyone who’s on their own journey to more self-love and self-care, including those who are sick and those who aren’t (yet). It’s a quick read, and a quick inspiration; something to turn to in those desperate moments for ideas on how best to get inspired, stay focused, and recover from our insane lives. It’s not for those looking for a novel or more in-depth self-help book.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review, however, the opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
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Mar 20, 2014 skiwee47
A “modern book of hours” is the name Sophia Stuart uses for her book of comfort excerpt quotes. There are three cleverly named section: morning, afternoon, and evening.

Sophia decided to write this modern day book of hours after being diagnosed with throat cancer. She had to take a month from work for recovery. What would be a greater recovery tool for herself and others. And did I mention the photographs?

The first section, ‘morning – inspiration’, have one-liner words of motivation. Section two, ‘afternoon – perspiration’, shares ten on-the-go activity tips. In section three, ‘evening – exhalation’, you learn to make a Kindness Kit for yourself, the benefits of drinking tea, watching movies on your laptop, and reading books. Did I mention the photographs?

Sophia has included ‘A Few Shopping Lists’. Under this heading are lists containing items you can use for your Kindness Kit, movie and television sitcom recommendations, music to listen to, and books to read.

Did I mention the photographs? If you do not like anything else about this book, you will love the photographs. They are simply fantastic. They lifted my mood immediately and are pleasing to the eye.

Thanks to Sophia Stuart for sharing her “modern book of hours” with us. It is simple, short, and sweet. I recommend this book for anyone whom has fallen victim to home recovery. I also recommend to make a Kindness Kit for a friend, family member, and yourself. I plan to!

I received this book free from the Book Nook reviewer program for an unbiased review.

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