The first is The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin:
This wasn't a book I couldn't put down or one that I eagerly returned too. I don't feel some great kinship with Rubin. If I had to pick an author to have coffee with she's pretty close to the bottom of the list. However, the information and the mindset she presented were definitely eye opening. I found that when I was thinking about making myself happier I WAS happier. If I was happier my marriage, my children, my energy level and just about every other aspect of my life benefited and was improved. I've become much more organized and much more proactive in identifying and improving areas that I felt were stagnant and this book had a lot to do with it.
The second is Free for All by Don Borchert
When I was reading this I found it lightweight and entertaining. It was a quick read but not something I would heavily recommend to anyone. But it got me thinking about the library. When the first group of kids were little we used to to the library once a week during the summer. We'd get movies and books and have a great time but then somehow rack up a huge fine and quit going for awhile. The cycle repeated for years. Then one year it didn't. We never paid off our fines and I kind of forgot about the library for awhile. Between Paperbackswap and used bookstores I was good. Right after I read this book I discovered there was an actual branch library within 2 miles from my house. Since then the Tornado and I have been regular library visitors. We've found tons of new favorites for both of us and I've saved my self serious money by checking out cookbooks. Even better, I found their digital book section which convinced me that a Kindle would be financially feasible. With the Kindle came Netgalley which opened up a whole new world of books.