Saturday, July 18, 2015

More Reviews...



‘MORE TINY THOUGHTS FOR PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION’ by Karl Schmidt begins with a warning, “after reading any, some, or all of the information contained herein, your life will never be the same”. This book is a collection of Karl’s aphorisms on a wide variety of topics. Some of these are plain logic, few are adaptations of existing maxims, but all are enjoyable. It begins with a proclamation “I would rather have a heart that bleeds than a heart that chips”, and proceeds on a journey through a mixed collection of ruminations and ponderings. For example, the thoughts contained in “I appreciate all of your presents, yet it is your presence that is most appreciated”, ” Perhaps the reason we are born with two eyes and two ears is to remind us to see and hear both sides”, “Take heed; even the most bitter of poisons is easy to swallow when coated with honey” or “If people are no longer interested in your ‘feel-sorry’ story, perhaps it is because they have already heard the ending too many times” can show the wide variety of interests espoused by Karl.
‘MORE TINY THOUGHTS FOR PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION’ by Karl Schmidt is a pleasure to read. It evokes many memories, of books read in the past, of talks attended, of maxims came across in life and forgotten as well as of ones personal experiences. Especially at moments when somber and brooding is the ambience favored by our psyche, this book shall greatly be welcome as a choice.
 Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘The Moments That Last Forever’ By Anthony Everett begins with the hallmark of youth, inclination towards happiness, the fulfillment of which taking place by the time the author enters his professional life. He comes across a lady, and they happen to get to know each other more and more as days go by. They date, date again and he moves in with her in a short while. One day she develops a pain and it does not subside. Then they consult doctor and the little illness turns out to be colon cancer. She undergoes surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy on different occasions, but the cancer becomes more aggressive calling for prolonged treatment. They try other medication as well as consultation with other specialists and hospitals, her children also involving in bringing a few of them…
‘The Moments That Last Forever’ By Anthony Everett is a story of courage, determination and above all, companionship.  The attachment Anthony felt for Janis superimposed with the experience of previous marriages is expressed beautifully by him. ”That is what Janis and I had been doing. The two of us were the happiest we had ever been. It was different and grand. We were using our life experiences to our advantage. What had happened in our past gave us this perfection. So no one really fails; we were just too young to know who we were and what we needed to be happy. And now we know.” As Anthony writes in the beginning of the book, he would be remembered, not forgotten for something great.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

THE YOUNG MOLLY MAGUIRES by J. E. OʼROURKE  is a fictional story of some younger members of the Molly families, a handful of teenage boys and a girl, who themselves worked in the coal mines, and who understood their fathers were surely Molly Maguires. It begins with the story of Owen, his friends Peter, Thomas, Tim and others, the way he and many children of his age grow up. The threat of Mollies loom large and there is murder attributable to them, also, Molly is a topic of almost all discussions among the miners, irrespective of their age. Stories of surprise visits from vigilante and the bloody repercussions and revenge that follow, permeate the atmosphere. Owen’s father is arrested and the trial court finds him guilty of many crimes, including assassination…
THE YOUNG MOLLY MAGUIRES by J. E. OʼROURKE is a story based on miners’ life. Not a lot is known about the inner workings of the Molly Maguires, a secret society of Irish miners who were part of many coal mines. The extreme tension that a mine worker constantly experiences in his life, and the equivalent of that as far as his wife is concerned is presented together, succinctly. It can be seen that the ever present events of labor violence, as the author alludes in this book, is more attributable to the vastly unequal balance of power between mine owners and laborers that can make a tragic outcome all but certain. A good book, an honest depiction of a somewhat dark chapter of history.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘MOJO JUNCTION: A WALK AMONG THE SPIRITS’ by Susan L. Yasinski is a panoramic travelogue of someone searching for the planet’s beauty. It acquaints us with the many different pictures one can confront on the way, of objects commonplace, those we mostly overlook. Like that of trees, each tree can be seen as totally different from every other tree, in the way its bends, curves or slant and appear to the viewer. Then there is mist and the patterns it can make, or the colors it can adorn. Sometimes the patterns may look real, but mostly it produces a surreal image. Same is the case with spider web, time of the day or the nature of clouds. Vortices are another beautiful part of nature that is usually overlooked and, the variety of images snow can give rise to, is a legion. Little manipulation of the camera and its settings increase the effect, many fold. Added to all this is the inherent changes that are seasonal, a change in climate affecting nature and its appearance, in unpredictable ways.
‘MOJO JUNCTION: A WALK AMONG THE SPIRITS’ by Susan L. Yasinski is attempts present this quandary through a collection of images. Each image being more than what it is, people thronging nature for inspiration would have been seeing in each image, thoughts supplanting ones thought. Like, one who is in happy mood, or one forlorn, need not see the same picture appearing in a column of mist. Or, what inspiration one finds in these images may be vastly different from what is shown. This book makes a practical demonstration of this phenomenon, the feelings one gets by looking at these images will differ based on the nature, temperament and mood of the reader.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘Miracle Survivors Beating the Odds of Incurable Cancer’ by Tami Boehmer begins with the story of the author and her survival efforts when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. How the news was shattering to all, and how she was quietly told about a possible end of life within six months. How upset she was to hear that and how that gave her a strong desire, of not giving up.
The book is a collection of such instances of determination and grit. Whether Brenda Beguin, living with breast cancer, Brittany Ross, who is affected with leukemia, Greg Cantwell, diagnosed with brain cancer or any one of almost a score more such survivors, is teaching us nothing but the importance of the will to survive. Each of these cases has been analyzed in earnest and the lessons to be learnt is clearly noted, choosing happiness, finding happiness or surrounding oneself with happiness, being a lesson common to all cases.
‘Miracle Survivors Beating the Odds of Incurable Cancer’ by Tami Boehmer is a book, replete with stories of inspiration. In the case of each and every one of these accounts, without fail, I could feel a sense of triumph emanating at the instant of completion. Each of the survivors presented here had a tough time to find words, soothing and comforting while encouraging them in their quest, many of them finding bible to be a source of strength. This book has the potential to be of great succor and solace, while promoting and encouraging such battlers in all their moves.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘MAXIMIZING YOUR INJURY CLAIM - SIMPLE STEPS TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY AFTER AN ACCIDENT’ by Matthew D. Dubin is  designed  to  give  one,  general  information  regarding  personal injury  claims  and  lawsuits. It begins with a discussion on personal injury claims, auto insurance coverage, and concrete steps to protect family in the event of an accident. Matthew introduces one to the scene of an accident, including the steps one must always take to optimize your claim and the things to avoid. One will learn about rights and what you should expect after hiring a lawyer. It also explains in simple steps how to increase the payment for damaged or totaled vehicle. Quite significantly, the book covers the dangers of social media and how to avoid sabotaging ones claim on Facebook. It also discusses the variety of options available to get all of the medical treatment bills settled.
‘MAXIMIZING YOUR INJURY CLAIM - SIMPLE STEPS TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY AFTER AN ACCIDENT’ by Matthew D. Dubin is a complete guide, covering all aspects of injury or accident and its claim. With the help of FAQs and glossary of terms, it makes using this book unimaginably simple and easy. Trials as well as the available options to settle the case without a trial are discussed. This book thus gives a thorough overview of the legal aspects of an injury, offers practical advice on how a decision on claim should be arrived at and provides valuable advices about what to do next. This is a very good reference and a good companion to get ones life back to normal.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

Masters of Life on Good Life and Good Society by Dr. Tommy S. W. Wong presents, through conversations with  two  gurus,  Guru Dick  and  Guru Harry, contrasting views  on  different  aspects  of  life, like  basic  needs, social  needs, longevity or religion. Questions like “What is a good life?”, “What is the importance of money?” or “Why there is so much poverty on earth?” are discussed, the answers greatly revealing the inner meanings. The contrasting answers from the gurus greatly enhance Tom’s appreciation of the worldly matters. For example, while discussing religion, Guru says “So, religious spirituality is commonly referred to as religion and non-religious spirituality is referred to as spirituality”.
Masters of Life on Good Life and Good Society by Dr. Tommy S. W. Wong, through such exchanges, cover all aspects of life and living in a simple manner and style. The author successfully manages to convey his message through a collection of simple parables and equalities. For example, the question of ‘making people happy’ is presented along with another question, “How can a country become one happy family”. The answer to this intermediate question, what happens with every happy family, is that “They share resources”. That leads him back to the original question of ‘making people happy’, and the answer becomes, “a country must share its resources among all citizens”. Or to the question of good society, the answer is more blunt – “Yes, a good society needs a good government and a good remuneration system. And no charity and no religion.” This is a book with big ideas presented in simple terms.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘Everything You Know About Marketing is Wrong’ By John North is written to reveal the strategies one can immediately deploy that will enable one to out-think, out-market and out-sell competition. The author puts a lot of importance on the need for changing the way you do all of your marketing and advertising, yet it's simple and easy to understand. The book begins by identifying the two main components to any marketing plan: strategic marketing and tactical marketing and examines how internet has affected the scenario. The author explains how the most skillful marketing will fail to achieve success, notwithstanding the use of best of the tactics, if it is devoid of a good strategy. To what extent and how social media, and other marketing friendly areas of the web like google adwords, Pay Per Click advertising or Search Engine Optimization, can be tapped.
‘Everything You Know About Marketing is Wrong’ By John North is in fact more than a book, it can be considered also as a compendium of helpful hints and specific steps for applying the techniques, the book is replete with. Every suggestion or recommended steps of marketing is followed with a good collection of, bulleted lists, numbered reminders and other aids, enabling immediate implementation. A few among those could also be made into attractive display boards and placed prominently in the workplace for better operation and monitoring. The book ends with a final warning ‘Start small, Learn from your mistakes and Roll out your big idea when you're ready’.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘Leaving Major Tela’ by J. E. O’Rourke is the story of Major Tela and her daughters, which begins with her visit to her motherland, while as a member of a foreign army. At that time, schooling, games and other activities of growing up, like training in martial arts, is progressing in good pace. Events related to these, like classes and out of class activities, happen in quick succession for her son and daughters, true to the spirit of adolescence. Intra School and other competitions take place, where all of them take part, and the involvement of parents and other elders reach its crescendo. Events of acute emotional strain continue taking place in their lives, Major Tela being an active participant in her children’s activities till her return to army duties.
‘Leaving Major Tela’ by J. E. O’Rourke is a story full of action. The write up is full of gripping account of juvenile and teen contests liberally interposed with the narration. Instances of nervous exhaustion, which is a staple part of any description involving adolescence, also do find a place in this. Competitions, both in the academic topics and that of the sports field, are given large coverage. One nonconformity, I couldn’t but notice though, words of oriental origin, like, karma, tabla drums, Nehru jacket or yoga are lavishly dispersed in this story without introducing a logical connection with Indian sub-continent or thereabouts. On the whole, a good book for the intended audience, the content and the presentation carefully preserving compatibility of language and expressions.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘THE LAWYER AS LEADER - How to Plant People and Grow Justice’     by               DR. ARTIKA R. TYNER presents ‘growth of justice,’ through Banyan tree as a metaphor. As the tree grows, new branches extend its support system. A leader should inspire to make dreams a reality by connecting with others sharing similar passion. Lawyers are better placed to facilitate changes through public policy advocacy. Those lawyers, instead of advocates, can be called policy entrepreneurs, well known examples being Nelson Mandela or Mohandas Gandhi. Challenges facing the marginalized sections are too many and result in a justice gap between these sections and others, as well as a gap in access to resources. There is a need for leaders to take a stand and lawyers are in a good position to do so as they are better disposed to appreciate the cause as well as more exposed to the tools necessary to advance their cause.
‘THE LAWYER AS LEADER - How to Plant People and Grow Justice’     by               DR. ARTIKA R. TYNER examines this threadbare. With extensive references to past dissertations and notes, Dr Artika makes a solid case for lawyers to be adjudged as the most competent to handle this facet of socio-legal responsibility. As the author mentions towards the end of the book, “these policy reform campaigns represent the transformative power of planting people, growing justice. Through the exercise of leadership and lifting of their voices, community members in partnership with lawyers have leveraged their collective power to lead change.”
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘The Layman Who Knew Too Much’ by Loyd West gives the author’s opinions and experience in the church, having been an Elder for three years and a member for many, many years.  Beginning with an overview of what to expect, Loyd dives into his childhood years and the experience he happen gain every Sunday. His father being an elder in the church and his family developing close association with the minister’s family, this Sunday-school attending small boy’s close association with the affairs of the spirit began quite early in life. The connection with church continued, in high school, college as well as during university days, Loyd had the good luck to be always with church related outfits or Bible study groups.
‘The Layman Who Knew Too Much’ by Loyd West lists out his impressions about the church, which he has gained over the years. Whether in the minister’s constant involvement with non-spiritual issues like politics, using the pulpit to spread messages other than that of the God or meddling in the affairs between office bearers of church, all the experiences are educative. The role he played in taking care of church’s facilities as well as organizing events like literacy programs are also discussed in this book. “There are still many opportunities at the church”, the author says “one can do a lot in helping to create, and maintain many different areas, both spiritual and non-spiritual. One can be involved in: a small group, a Bible study, a lunch time gathering…” However the author gives more attention to the abstract part of the topic under discussion than offering practically implementable suggestions, limiting the utility of this book for a layman.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘Leadership Briefs’ by Dick Daniels covers all the topics one can imagine of, having connection with leadership, like, The Social Graces of Memorable Leaders, Questions for leaders and followers, Developing leadership capacity, A leader’s most valuable asset or Sustaining leadership. The content is quite exhaustive and hardly any facet of leadership is left untouched. In each of these areas, the pertinent questions are identified and appropriately answered. Rather than an open ended discussion on leadership, what is envisaged here, I think, is a closed examination of ones preparedness to meet the challenges of leadership. The price one should be prepared to pay for becoming a leader is also discussed. Whether it is criticism, challenge, gossip, or rumor, the leader should be ready to face all.
‘Leadership Briefs’ by Dick Daniels is written as a quick reference but holistic, guide. The book is replete with bulleted lists, important pointers and procedural steps to ginger up the topic under study. The author has further enlivened the discussion by including intelligent quotations at all places appropriately, heralding his unique approach. For example, while discussing communication, the quotation from George Bernard Shaw, ‘The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place’ is given, I think, to show that there are many hidden pitfalls hiding in communication, while the message you wish to pass on may be simple. Aphorisms of such nature are provided at many places, signaling about the approaching topic. A table of contents with ability to navigate through the document would have been a tremendous help.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘LOUISIANA MAN’ by Lloyd Antypowich begins with Tom Menzer from Louisiana, heading for Texas with a strong desire to become a cowboy and attain great repute. His life is a struggle, he is neither able to resign to the life of a white man nor find reliable companionship with a native Indian. He travels further, in Oklahoma he manages to build enduring friendship with a group of natives. The village chief is impressed, who offers his adopted daughter Raven Feather, a lovely maiden, to Tom. Tom and Raven start their life, a happy and close couple, making ranches, fields and all until one day when Tom becomes the father of twin girls. Now Tom continues doing all that he was doing and more, to meet more exciting events of life…
‘LOUISIANA MAN’ by Lloyd Antypowich is a story of endurance, love and vision. The struggles, the young Tom underwent in the initial days of his apprenticeship with the west, like learning to shoot from hip and branding live stock, and how fruitfully he use those times to learn and master, make interesting reading. His intimate relationship with Raven and close attachment with his daughters has been made visible by expressive sentences in the novel.Raven, you know how much I dislike killing, but when they were going to harm you and the girls, I put my life on the line and killed them.” This is a good story, quite moving and deeply enjoyable. As the author mentions towards the end, “There were not too many tracks that Tom didn’t leave a few hoof prints on”.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘Life, Love, and a Hijacking’ by Wendy Sue Knecht begins with the great elation she felt at her selection by PanAm and the joy of flying and, the greater joy of clearing the bone caliper test. Getting nicknamed goodie-goodie for her adherence to rules, falling in love with her job, how the sweet aroma of travel as well as the fun of living with pools made this a remarkable life to lead, how each of the lands she frequented being its own distinct olfactory experience like the pungent spicy smell of India or the smoky Turkish aroma of Istambul, do find its description here. Missing out on planned events by unscheduled stops and delays, as well as her most idiotic move, a solo visit to Africa on an eight day off, adds anxious twists to this page turner.
‘Life, Love, and a Hijacking’ by Wendy Sue Knecht is a collection of memories rich in its variety and content. The excitement of a glamorous life, the high flyers lead and the human touch they all should be having, comes alive in these pages. Though in this book she mentions about a condition, OCD, obsessive cleaning disorder, I think it is more likely that she has ORD, obsessive recollection disorder. For, having been working with aircrafts and its operations, I can tell with confidence that there aren’t many opportunities of entertainment or celebrations associated with a flying career that are not mentioned here. An excellent read, it held my attention from the moment I started till I turned the last page.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘LUCKY GO HAPPY’ by Paul van der Merwe looks at happiness as a complex puzzle. Every chapter of this book covers a small piece of that big puzzle and provides insights into the workings of happiness. The story begins when lion Lion, which is on a mission to find what happiness is, summons the rat Lucky and sends him on a mission. “Enquire from each and every animal “what happiness is to them” and report back. The rat begins its quest, and the first animal to meet, elephant, gives him, its secret, ‘every calamity hides an opportunity’. And so from all the animals he manage to collect the secret of their happiness, which surprisingly happened to be an eye-opener for all. Time came to report back and Lucky’s analysis helped Lion make happiness for himself and his subjects, affectionately became known as the Contended King.
‘LUCKY GO HAPPY’ by Paul van der Merwe is a very interesting book, with a deeply entertaining plot, apt naming of different characters and sharp exchange of dialogue. The dramatic scenes and events that take place are intuitive and well thought about to reflect the logic or the idea, the book conveys. This is one of the best books I have read on the theme of happiness in its many dimensions and the best, as far as the narrow subtopic of attainment of happiness go. With a well organized table of contents and a meaningful division of chapters, it was a pleasure to read this book.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘Las Vegas - Insider’s Guide’ by Titus Nelson is a comprehensive guide to Las Vegas, especially its adult make up, containing much information in that direction. Interesting maps of the city and its vantage points, interesting sights in and around the city, reference lists, including ’10 surest ways to get arrested in Las Vegas’, useful Smartphone apps like Vegas Mate, which can show the best route, walk time, cost of cab etc., are included in this. It starts with Las Vegas at a glance, explains how to navigate in and around the city, gives advice regarding all sorts of fun while staying away from trouble. This book has a chapter on how to get married in Las Vegas, followed by, naturally, ‘How to get a divorce’ in this state.
‘Las Vegas - Insider’s Guide’ by Titus Nelson is written with a ‘discerning visitor in search of entertainment’ in sight and there is no topic which is not discussed in this book, which could be of any significance. This book can also serve as a reference as it holds much data regarding entertainment, sports, legal or other matters of general interest, which could be of need to such a visitor. Quite extensive is the ready reference provided at the end of the book with listing of the statutes, rules and penalties one should acquaint oneself, and are of significance to adult entertainment. A good collection of maps, showing, roads, signs, filling stations and others necessary for a traveler, controlled substances and other things of comparable nature which are best kept away, fill the pages.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘Money Secrets: Key To Smart Investing’ by Kim Curtis begins with a short and crisp discussion about money, and the need to make decisions about money, saying, how you deal with money is how you deal with life. After a brief overview of financial terms and practices, Kim goes on to the specifics of financial planning, the nuts and bolts of investment, the importance of diversification strategy as well as the role of a financial advisor. Kim has made good use of attention grabbers and data presentation techniques, like flow charts, pie charts and diagrams, leaving the reader with no other choice but to master the art of investing. A glossary of terms and a list of source material guarantee its position a book of reference as well.
‘Money Secrets: Key To Smart Investing’ by Kim Curtis examines the whole gamut of spending money to accrue delayed benefits, holistically. Rather than acting as a practical guide, this book will go a long way in making the whole subject clear to us, explaining all related terms from practical as well as fiduciary angle, using sample forms wherever necessary. Introducing us to different types of professionals and experts in this field, Kim familiarizes us with the jobs and functions performed by them. This is thus a very useful book, both for a newbie to ‘investing’, for learning the art, and an expert in finances, as quick reference. The author has succeeded in packaging a rather small book with a horde of big ideas.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

Karma: The Force of Justice by Carolyn van Dijk is the story of Carmen Hamilton, who works as a nurse and is gifted with certain supernatural ability to control objects around her. Since knowing about this in her young years, she had been using this talent occasionally, mostly on benevolent deeds, like healing a cat that had been hit by a car just by wishing for it, or curing her grandmother’s cancer. This is also the story of Peter Anderson, her coworker, with whom she develops a romantic relationship sharing much of pleasure and joy. However, her fears of turning out unsuccessful in hiding her mystery gift always haunts her, more so, because of certain past experiences, especially with a few boyfriends, of being rejected as a freak.
Karma: The Force of Justice by Carolyn van Dijk is a charming fantasy, told with a flowing, smooth prose. Each and every character of this story is made memorable by their own individualistic contributions to the plot, which is maintained till the end. Also, one of the most crucial aspects of the plot, the heroine’s mortal fear of rejection and its aftermath, which she expresses at many places in this drama, is brought to its logical conclusion at the end, that too with minimal sensationalism and a slick approach. However, towards the end of the story, the role played by the heroin’s parents seems to be appearing all of a sudden and unexpectedly. Also, the character of Peter, being linked with ideal romance throughout the story, made me expect a more happy ending.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘Angels are crying’  by Mohammad Rehman is about Islam, an analysis of Islam’s true original message, and its lost absence in the 50 Islamic countries. The book starts with an overview of Islam, with reference to the relevant portions of the Quran. All salient features of this religion, the five pillars of Islam, and other events of historical interest are introduced, followed by an overview of the Quran, discussing the essential ideas contained in it. The path taken by this religion since its birth is analyzed next. The period from about 632 AD to the present, is covered and the major changes that happened in history with its effects on the practice of this religion is described. The ends with a study of Islam, as it is followed in about 50 Islamic countries of the world, with special attention paid on examining, the present practice vis-a-vis the stipulations in the Quran.
‘Angels are crying’  by Mohammad Rehman is a book with the potential to become controversial. I am not able to comment on the veracity or acceptability of the author’s findings, but all of them seem to be pointing to the need of, incorporating corrections in the practice of Islam, to make it more in line with the holy text. Especially at these times, when extremism in many forms is a threat to human society, interpretations like this shall greatly help in initiating healthy discussions. Perhaps, the closing sentence in this book reflects this sentiment better. “ We are a people who can co-exist, who can learn from our faults and realize what is wrong with Islamic conduct today.”
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘Incomplete Without My Brother, Adonis’ by Kaizer Mabhilidi Nyatsumba is a moving biography that tells of his close relationship with his brother Adonis from childhood until the latter’s brutal murder. How his brother gets his name, Adonis, fun and games with fellow children, exchanging Christmas present with a girl inside a parked car and getting stabbed by her boyfriend for it, are only some of the escapades, the boys’ childhood in South Africa gave vent to. It also says how they continued maintaining close association despite the journeys and changes in residence imposed by their studies. He gets opportunity to go to abroad (when he wears his first new suit in life) for further studies, flies to USA, completes an orientation course and joins Georgetown University. His studies, making friends and new relationships, marriage to his old girl friend, Patricia (when he gets his second new suit!), becoming a father, flying back to US followed by divorce makes interesting reading. His return from US, joining the editorial team of The Star, The Independent, frequent interactions with his brother Adonis, and marriage are the interesting part of the remaining pages.
‘Incomplete Without My Brother, Adonis’ by Kaizer Mabhilidi Nyatsumba is the chronicle of an eventful life. The challenges one faced from early childhood and the industrious nature exhibited, make this an inspiring tale. Each and every page of this book abounds with incidents and responses capable of evoking hopes and aspirations in a reader. Well written and stimulating, this memoir can bring out all that is dormant in a reader, especially, of constructive nature.    
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

“I’LL GIVE YOU EXACTLY FIVE MINUTES!” by PETER DANISH is a good reference document for preparing presentations. As the suggested along with the name itself, the author introduces us to the ORSON method, an acronym for the structure of a good presentation. Overview, giving a bird’s eye view of the topic, Research, the information content, especially the delightful part of the presentation, Solution, the corrective elements in it, Opportunity, what this could mean to one and Next Steps, what further remains, or where do one go from here, are the elements of the ORSON presentation and each of these are described in detail. At each step, practical skills needed as well as the bad ideas to avoid are also discussed.
 “I’LL GIVE YOU EXACTLY FIVE MINUTES!” by PETER DANISH is a holistic guide which makes presentations easy, effective and error free. This book can boast of a good number of sensible tips about making an effective, great presentation. Discussing ideas to avoid as well as offering guidelines to planning and demonstrating, this book is full of helpful lists and tables, not to mention the plethora of practical advices, to make the task of presenting anything a child’s play. Highlighted action verbs and equations are shown at frequent intervals, indicating to the points to be kept in memory. Apt quotations and anecdotes make the topic and its delivery quite interesting. For example, who can continue with stage freight after reading this, “The best way to avoid stage freight is to know what you are talking about”.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

I Do.. 25 Years Later.. by Susan Braxton is the story of a couple celebrating the silver jubilee of their marriage, the protagonists living it up in an unorthodox way. They randomly choose a happening of the past from a bunch and break it down with each one of the couple taking turns, to the amusement of all. Out comes a collection of beautiful events of their life, each letting out a stream of colorful memories. Among them are accounts pertaining to ups and downs of their family life and progress of kids, life’s pageants and milestones of their career, awkward moments and fabulous recollections, stories of vacations and, a good assortment of their dreams and desires. As the event moves ahead, they end up realizing that there are more and more happy memories left, to share.
I Do.. 25 Years Later.. by Susan Braxton makes reminiscing educative and fun. It teaches us that just like the main characters of this book would have realized, only when we take efforts to recollect our past do we get an occasion to count the blessings that had been gracing us. That seems to be right, because, more often couples talk about the things they dislike in their relationship or concerning their spouse. This is a well written book, humorous, witty and short, and the style is engaging. Thought provoking and opening up new vistas to experiment, the ideas I received from this book has the potential to enliven (I think!) many of my future evenings.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘HUMAN INTERRUPTED ‘ By Roshanna begins by asking questions, “What do one want from universe?” and “What I might mean to the universe?”. She in fact realizes that ‘I’, in fact is an amalgamation of human ‘I’ and social ‘I’ (representing everything else!), each meaning different to the universe. Further analysis can teach us that from the time we enter into this world as a baby, we continue interrupting the humanness in us, to accommodate social rules, the appetite for superiority, domination and others. This leads us to follow the present pattern of our life, a possible future of which is the total annihilation of our supporting planet. Why the human nature is trying to sabotage itself? Why are we behaving like victims of conspiracy? Isn’t there a way forward, Roshanna asks.
‘HUMAN INTERRUPTED ‘ By Roshanna dwells on some important questions, many great writers, since long have been approaching. One early exponent, Emile Durkhiem, mentions about suicide as one of the natural ways of ending ones life in the animal world, except that when it comes to human, it takes a different shape that could be mistaken for something else, which he terms ‘altruistic suicide’. The author’s brief dissertation, I think has the potential for further development, to include social, political and other changes in human outlook and latest developments in and around us. That can result in a great book, one which could find its place in the annals of scholarly thought. Roshanna has taken a challenging topic, congratulations.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

How to Make a Woman Happy by Denis Hickey begins with a warning that consistent use of ideas contained in the guide may inundate one with too many happy women! His ‘idea’ covers almost all aspects of male-female transactions, offering explanations, and practical suggestions for each. Like his comment about women, ‘Women like a man who is fun, and fun is in the moment’. “In the moment” he further explains as someone who can put aside chores, phones, computers, responsibilities and thoughts of past and future. He offers many suggestions to achieve this, like, ‘Make an extra effort to notice her’, ‘Compliment a woman’s intelligence’, ‘Make approving remarks about her looks’, or ‘Become aware of her dress, her scent’.
How to Make a Woman Happy by Denis Hickey has step by step instructions on attracting women and how to continue that attractiveness. He adds most of his suggestions by practical measures, ‘Find out what is romantic to her and Practice being romantic.’ He supplements the varied advisory notes by its practical adaptations – cheat sheets. Many of his suggestions I found to be of great use in human interactions, irrespective of the emotional sphere of its origin. For example, ‘Remember special occasions and be a good gift-giver’, ‘Listening is not giving advice’, are like adages, always relevant. This book also has a special chapter on removing her roadblocks to happiness, which, with the helpful lists and exercises, holds the potential to become the most effective remedy against domestic unhappiness. Easily adaptable to ones daily chore, this book makes the whole gamut of pleasing the fair sex, into a routine affair.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

Chasing the Strawberry Moon, Hitchhiking (for Girls) by Judith A Grout is a novel based on a true story. It begins with a heavy argument, between a girl called Patsy and her Pa. The ‘Pa’ wants to ‘palm her off with some bloke’, to which she isn’t amenable, and in disgust, Pa locks her up. In retaliation, Patsy, with a good friend of hers Virgie, begins a journey of hiking. The adventure takes them through many towns and places, some shady, some otherwise, many exciting encounters, and events worth cherishing. There are occasions when they resort to hunting behind rag pieces for sanitary purposes, pilfering fruits to fill themselves as well as stealing maps to find the next route to take. Sometimes they spend their night in churches, sometimes sleeping on park benches. Meeting cowboys and facing the brunt of it all, they continue with their journey.
Chasing the Strawberry Moon, Hitchhiking (for Girls) by Judith A Grout is a good story. And to think that it actually happened in 1939 makes it even more worthy of savoring. The people, events and activities, Patsy and friend meet on the way, gives rise to a lot of memories to cherish. The parallel search operation being conducted continuously from her home folk’s side, with her proposed beau in control, adds certain mystery and intrigue. The story is narrated well, all the characters merging effortlessly with the plot. The tension encountered when travelling with strange fellows that too at new and unseen places is shown clearly in this novel.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

Hero to Zero by Zach Fortier is the story of cops, men who were outstanding in his or her own way. Every single one went from being considered an exceptional cop, respected by his peers, to being a criminal and publically humiliated. All were handed their walking papers and asked not to return. This book traces the highs and lows of twenty three unique co-workers of the author, like, the never swearing poster boy for wholesome goodness, Tucker, smart cop Ray Fossum who landed up with drugs, Lance Edwards who happened to come in as the new chief was hell-bent on making his mark on the department’s culture, the nice officer who was arrested for murdering his wife, Roy Grey, and their exciting careers. How, many of them met their end with Alcoholic Anonymous, some dismissed with disgrace, disbarred, spent the last days as a convicted felon or relieved of their enviable positions.
Hero to Zero by Zach Fortier is a gripping story well told and captivating. Almost all the heroes (twenty three of them!) evoking sympathy in abundance, this book has the potential to hold the reader glued to it, to complete all chapters in one go. Easy on language and with an interesting narrative, this book also opens ones eye to the ‘undocumented’ risks of the profession of cop, especially when we observe that every hero, before going to zero, was a reckonable member of the community he belonged to. This book could have scaled further heights, had the opening of the book showed the contents, greatly assisting search cross references and selection, inherent parts of relishing a book.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

Hard Days Hard Nights by Patrick J. DiCesare is the story of the birth of the rock ’n roll concert business in Pittsburgh. The book begins with the rather humble beginnings of Pat, migrating from Italy in 1920, and dwells on how their childhood went, earning nickels by delivering newspapers and learning music in a second hand bass. Soon he starts playing, joining a newly opened nightclub, eventually offered a position as the head busboy. Arranging a Beatles’ show, the sensation of the times, with great difficulty to find himself drafted at nick of time, every month collecting a part of his share of the show’s profit (hundred dollars) to feel as the highest paid soldier in US Army, hobnobbing with bigger names like Jim Morrison, Led Zeppelin or Aerosmith as well as conducting his own concerts and shows are described in these pages.
Hard Days Hard Nights by Patrick J. DiCesare is an authentic report of the early days of rock, spotless as an oracle, Pat being a pioneer of great repute, entrepreneur and rock concert promoter. In these pages we can feel the trials and tribulations faced by Pat since his early days and how, his father’s implicit faith in him by advancing 5000 dollars, that too by putting a lien on the house, and other motivating factors which made him the highest earning concert promoter in USA. Deeply inspiring, this book chronicles all the efforts that went unseen during the latter half of the 20th century of the music industry in general, and of his town Pittsburgh in particular.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘Hand to Mouth - 4 Steps in 4 Weeks to Quit Smoking now’ By Brad Lamm is a guide to stop smoking and breathe in new ways through four steps. Brad focuses on providing unobtrusive assistance for getting rid of this habit for good. His take on channelizing our emotions, even the ones universally acknowledged as negative, to further our aims and desires make interesting reading. For example anger, when denied shall lead to outbursts, whereas, when embraced can result in greater motivation or more energetic action. Also, the set of questions and exercises at the end of each section (each day) can give one time and opportunity to reflect, especially on issues like, how well one has imbibed these suggestions, and how, one is coping with them.
‘Hand to Mouth - 4 Steps in 4 Weeks to Quit Smoking now’ By Brad Lamm is a book of pragmatic suggestions. Having had the experience of quitting smoking more than once in my life, I can tell with confidence that Brad’s approach is well thought about and result oriented. By letting the smokers take part in filling sessions, the author in fact is assuring their involvement, an essential prerequisite for success anywhere. The author has also considered a very (if not the most!) difficult part of stopping smoking, the feeling “I can’t continue with this…”, while offering cure. This is a simple book, perhaps easy too, for the good crowd of smokers for whom every novel idea to make quit smoking easy, should be welcome.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

Journey of the Groovy Goddess by Lacey Dawn Jackson begins with a visit from the police in search of her ex-boyfriend, the questions posed by them reminding her of the sad days she would like to leave behind, which triggers the reminiscences about her good old days instead. Growing up with parents and grandparents in countryside, the adventures, the fun, the mild shock by the first ‘periods’, eruption of a volcanic neighbor, the fear of lava flow and how the parents arrive home fully covered with ash, make engaging reading. Her foray into drugs, marijuana and fast life, moving in with the first man to enter her life, separation, anther man, childbirth, violence, divorce, contacts with narcotic anonymous, a little more serious affair, further childbirth and so on, making me wonder, ‘Shouldn’t there be a limit to one’s experience’
Journey of the Groovy Goddess by Lacey Dawn Jackson is a book I couldn’t put down. It is so full of experiences (say life) evoking a relentless flow of emotions that I had to read it again to see whether it is written well, cohesively, with clarity. And it is! Honest portrayal of ones life and charitable references, even to adversarial events and occurrences, makes this book stand out. It has the potential to prod others into evaluating their own experiences. I have a complaint though; there is no clear mention of the author’s journey from a victim to a healer, the exceptional intelligence and other personal traits, in this book, except perhaps Einstein’s appearance in dream.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘Game-Day Youth: Learning Football’s Lingo’ by Suzy Beamer Bohnert , with the help of simple text, clear illustrations of the field and its markings, drawings of where the players play on the field, and pictures of the official’s signals, explains the questions of playing football, the players and positions, basic rules, various techniques and, the meaning of football words. The book begins with a quick introduction to professional football and its history, describes the football field, the equipment, the players and their positions and officials in detail. This is followed by a discussion on the rules of the game, the skills necessary for a player as well as the formations, both for offense and defense. A concise dictionary of football terms is included in this book, with illustrations wherever necessary.
‘Game-Day Youth: Learning Football’s Lingo’ by Suzy Beamer Bohnert is a book for all type of enthusiasts. Whether you recently signed up for the football team, watch a brother or sister play, or want to learn more about this game, this book is custom made for you. All the essentials of learning the game, as well as playing the game well are included. With the dictionary added to its pages, this book can act as a complete manual for anyone interested in picking up or continuing with the game. Helpful illustrations are provided at many places for easy and quick understanding. An elaborate table of contents and an equally good index placed at the end enhance this book’s suitability as a reference.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘FROZEN TEARS’ by Margaret Irving gives an insider’s view, or rather the heart's-eye-view of abortion, having had hundreds of counseling sessions with women and men who have experienced it. She begins with the story of Julie, who, on seeing a fully pregnant woman used to get “this urge to find a knife, take it and stab her, stab her right in the belly”. She then narrates many cases of abortion related problems, like the case of Denise, for whom personal faith became a natural casualty of abortion and the case of Megan, who  every April go into a slump, get very depressed and cry all the time. And just recently, who realized that it has to do with the abortion she had eight years ago. “I get very depressed and I cry all the time and have to drag myself out of bed to go to work. The baby would have been born in April,” says Megan. And many more such cases of challenging emotional upheaval.
‘FROZEN TEARS’ by Margaret Irving narrates the complex emotional turmoil, an abortion always leads to, and tells about the need for compassion for those who have experienced abortion. Each case is therefore presented, showing clearly, the aspects that need to be addressed with sympathy. The protracted and lengthy sessions Margaret conducted as a clinical social worker, in addition to showing the need for counseling at all stages of abortion, is a pointer to the commitment and sincerity of social workers, of which the author forms a part.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘FOXHOLE FATHER - THE FIELD GUIDE FOR FATHERS’ by CHRISTOPHER R. WHALEN is a guide to raise children to become fully functioning, self aware, self respecting, self sufficient and independent adults.  With the overriding philosophy being to ask oneself the foxhole father’s question, “What is best for the children”, before arriving at any decision, Christopher examines the many facets, specially, of single parenting. Beginning with a very basic question of how, children are to be talked to, he has selected almost all situations or conflicts that can occur while parenting, in providing pragmatic instructions. The importance of being non-judgmental, expected behaviors from children, special care for teenagers, exposing children to technology, the need to have limits and boundaries and how to handle romance, are some of the areas covered in this book.
‘FOXHOLE FATHER - THE FIELD GUIDE FOR FATHERS’ by CHRISTOPHER R. WHALEN is a book full of pragmatic advice. In fact, one need not wait to become a single father to enjoy its help, the sagacious nature of its contents make it a worthy companion, to one and all. The author has made it a point to cover all ‘clumsy’ encounters, I think, and a good part of this book is devoted to handling such occasions, like the meeting with ones ‘ex’. In fact there is hardly any dilemma, an average parent would be required to face, which is not discussed by Christopher and his answers always based on common sense and logic. A good book for all and a worthy reference to all fathers.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘Footprints’ by G. A. Schindler is a collection of poems and little other stuff, poet declaring in prologue, “..we have miles to go..before we sleep” The book opens, with the author, like Plato extolling the virtues of actors, who unlike us, tells the right thing! In the poem ‘Black Friday’, he touches consumerism, and speaks about adolescent love in the poem, ‘A Different Silence’. The poet places writers of poem ecologically more sensible than the novelists, who spend gallons of ink like a ruptured tanker. The poem ‘Random Rhyme’ reminded me of Omar Khayyam. The author’s funny touch is more visible in the last part of the book, where subtle humor emanates from each and every line. Like the warning he gives to those who live in glasshouses, ‘Use wallpapers’.
‘Footprints’ by G. A. Schindler is a mixed collection; some of the poems have nostalgic elements in it. Almost all poems have language in simple and easy style but shines. All the creations by Schindler are worth relishing again and again. Like the advice the poet’s uncle gave, “When you find one you like ..  take two they're small” and the way it was followed. “ Well I kissed me a gal so sweet and nice..Had to kiss her again and make her my wife. I'd lost Uncle Shorty but not his advice..You only live once, taste the sweetest things twice. “ This  good collection can boast of a variety of poetic and literary styles and bits of humor to suit any  mood and ambience.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘EVOLUTION:BEYOND THE REALM OF REAL SCIENCE’ by CHRISTOPHER H.K. PERSAUD accomplishes the task of debunking the claims of evolutionists, those identifiable with worldly science or secular science, in four steps, each of the steps discussed separately in different sections of the book. In the first section, compatibility of science and scientific thought with Christian belief is established. The second section comments on the incompatibility of evolutionary concepts with scientific advances, in many fields like biology, mathematics or physics. For example, Christopher says, “Evolution enthusiasts are unnerved by the results of statistical and probability calculations as they pertain to the origin of life and its supposed development, and the beginnings of the cosmos”. Next section examines other concepts, impetus clearly on theistic evolution. The fourth and final section scrutinizes the state of evolutionists today, exhorting them to review their theory in the light of new developments rather than blindly attacking theism.
‘EVOLUTION:BEYOND THE REALM OF REAL SCIENCE’ by CHRISTOPHER H.K. PERSAUD takes effort to prove that what creationists propose about earth and its inhabitants is true. Taking human life is approximately hundred generations old, it establishes that it is possible to arrive at present population, assuming 2.5 children and forty three years per generation. Though I am not a creationist, I found many parts of this book worth a second look. However, including a few more areas of thought, like periodical reversal of earth’s magnetic field and its effect on life, would have added to the books stature. Few parts like the ‘anthropic’ principle could have been explained in greater detail, for better clarity.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

‘Effective Proposal Writing: Making Your Words Impact Reviewers’ by Dave Erickson gives a good insight into the most important part of a project, proposal. However well conceived a project be, one will never be able to have a budget to begin the work, until a proposal can be made. The reviewers assess a project, based on the proposal. Naturally therefore, the project having the best proposal gets the best attention and the best budget. The book then dwells at length on the points to be considered for making a proposal, importance of gathering information, studying the intent, defining budget, refining plan and making a review, being some of the points covered. The importance, of reexamining the proposal after certain time delay, is also mentioned, which generally is required to avoid any relevant area being overlooked.
‘Effective Proposal Writing: Making Your Words Impact Reviewers’ by Dave Erickson is a practical guide and reference in this critical area. As an important step, the author mentions the importance of independent re-examination. Says the author “Distrust everything you’ve written, uncover every mistake, correct spelling, question every assumption, dispute every fact, and you will have polished your work to the essential form.” Any engineer or manager involved in executing major works or projects can understand the critical nature of ‘proposal’, the seemingly simple task with unimaginable ramifications. The author has produced a wonderful guide to ease the job of making a proposal, while at the same time offering tips to do it error free. Follow the steps, Finish and submit.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

DOUBLE UGLY by Jim Murray begins when Detective Sergeant Armand Burke shocks himself by finding a corpse in his bed. Though he was just back from duty when the event was noticed, needle of suspicion pointed to him. Strongly so, since the set of gloves recovered from the scene turned out to be having only one set of finger prints, that of Armand. Police investigation begins, Armand sustaining a heart attack while interrogation and undergoing further treatment, and suspicion falling on other people to finally rest on the culprit, are covered with needle like precision and a gripping narrative. Human nature of the protagonists also get due share of attention, the psychological trauma that would have haunted Armand comes alive in many of the conversational exchanges.
DOUBLE UGLY by Jim Murray is a story told well, the suspense carefully guarded till the end. Many of the characters, who, though present a rough and graceless appearance, evokes more sympathy than disdain. I can’t but mention one black mark though, introduction of the most important word of this story, ‘double ugly’, to the plot and further development, as well as its role as a prime suspect of this case, could have been more lucid. This is a well organized narrative with all elements of a successful mystery. As the author writes about the hero, “And while you might search for humility and self-deprecation, the man’s reserve and self-assurance are insurmountable. Some might say just a teeny bit repellent. And then one realizes that this is the caliber of those who hunt monsters”.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

The Doom Loop by Charles Cranston Jett is nothing but ‘Straight Talk about Job Frustration, Boredom, Career Crises and Tactical Career Decisions from the Doom Loop Creator.’ It examines ones success in life based on certain easily identifiable parameters, which are more applicable in the professional sphere. Using ones personal feeling about a job, “like/don’t like”, and the general assessment of ones performance, “good at/not good at”, the author has put forward a decision mosaic, to help people in selecting and progressing in ones profession. Intended as a tactical career management tool, as the author  reminds, it can help one in avoiding dumb career decisions and act as tool to enable one to recognize an opportunity to grow and learn, consistent with ones career management strategy.
The Doom Loop by Charles Cranston is a practical guide for management students, a helpful tool in selecting their career. In a field where ones contribution to output is of paramount importance, selecting an appropriate career in the beginning itself, to ensure success in life, need not be overemphasized. This intuitive tool will greatly lessen the difficulties of choosing a suitable line of work. Using an analysis similar to a mathematical equation of two variables, ‘what he or she is “good at” (performance)’ and ‘whether he or she “likes” (preference)’, the whole task of job suitability and ones preferences has been reduced to a simple plot. A useful guide and ready tool, this book has added one more dimension to one of the most interesting and theory-intensive areas of human resources and management.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite

Does God Exist? By Donald Ackermann is a commentary on the present state of science and religion to demonstrate, how science and religion are getting closer, why it is happening, and why the religious and scientific communities are gradually finding so much more that they can agree upon. The author begins by noting that, every new development or theory, in fact is resulting in many of our earlier held beliefs being proven wrong. Also he notes, ‘the further one delves into science, the mushier the ground gets. You start to see there is an order and spiritual aspect to science.’ The author has given many examples of great names in science changing their opinions on these matters, and aligning more with the proponents of spiritual strength and theology.
Does God Exist? By Donald Ackermann looks more closely at the indeterminate elements in scientific realm to prove the existence as well as relevance of spiritual power. All need not agree; what makes science, scientific, is the ready acknowledgement of such elements as another vista of research. In fact, being passionate about questioning the results of science or scientific discovery is good for science; it opens the road to newer pastures of research.
A good book, quite thought provoking and opens up many new paths for those disposed, spiritually, as well as otherwise. Unlike many authors I have come across who are spiritually leaned, the author evidently does not sport self-righteous attitude, making this book a good read, to people on both sides of theism.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite







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All my Books and all my Hubs

Sometimes I wonder , how is that each one of my friends happen to be so memorable a character? One among them, who is also a little mor...