Friday, September 4, 2015

More Reviews...

‘Your Ex-Boyfriend Will Hate This’ by Blue Sullivan is a set of advices to women who are having a rather unenviable dating life. Author’s approach to this question is in fact, an exhortation to all to re-examine their ideas: of themselves, on their own capacity to love and be loved, about pleasures, and the meaning they attribute to life. Discarding the ideals of ‘love at first sight’ as pure fiction, the problem, as Sullivan says, is one of perception, and pontificates on critical questions. For example, what are the types of men to be avoided? The book comes up with a list of five types of benign assholes and a malignant one – the selfish abuser. This book is designed to help one unearth the “rules” which best suits to ones nature and achieve unlimited gratification and success.
‘Your Ex-Boyfriend Will Hate This’ by Blue Sullivan is a complete analysis of dating, especially from the viewpoint of the female participant. Steps are recommended for having a meaningful dating experience and pitfalls are dealt with accordingly. Throughout the book, many approaches are mentioned to assuage ones hurt sentiments, if encountering failure. But the author, I notice, has not given any remedial tips or advices specifically directed at the male participant, though there are chances that he may be equally hurt, if not more. Also, the analysis of the problem is more towards the abstract, restricting the use of these suggestions directly into ones dating experiences, or rather, encouraging one to be thorough with the ideas presented here, before attempting a date.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite____________

‘Divorce: What an Education’ by Patrick Vessey traces the history of divorce since the days of British monarchy, narrating the plethora of legislations that happened, most of which having their origin in United States of America. The author notes specially, the ease these brought to grant of divorce, with the ‘no fault’ clause making this quite popular among married couple under different names like, irretrievable breakdown. How attorneys can take one for a ride, how to deal with child support, what are father’s rights, are some of the other areas discussed in this book. This book is intended to inform and educate individuals, particularly men, before they venture down the path of divorce. They need to be aware—have the knowledge about the dos and don’ts of family law/divorce, and what to expect.
‘Divorce: What an Education’ by Patrick Vessey is a welcome read for men, before they say ‘I DO’, as well as happily or otherwise married. The good overview presented in these pages can ensure that they are not caught unprepared; marital strain can occur at any moment, that too for the most unthinkable cause. Though the author says he is ‘just being very cautious when it comes to the opposite sex’, the opinion that he is bashing women while discussing his marital issues will continue to hold, I think after reading his views. Though reflections of a desolate husband, a couple of cases of deserted wives would have made this book a source of inspiration, and men accused of misbehavior or not, could have seen their actions in different lights.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite____________

‘One Nonprofit's Journey To Success’ by Ms. Savneet Singh is an inspiring story of the Ms Pamela Clark, New Heights Educational Group and its rise as a nonprofit organization. It begins with a usual working day for Ms Clark, the hustle and bustle of delivering NHEG’s promise of a healthy learning environment with enrichment programs for families of pre-school and school going children, as well as to those of special needs. The book mentions various services offered by NHEG as well as the recognitions earned. It also acquaints us with the persona behind Ms Clark, and her childhood with a peep into her biography. The philosophical gems that each student receives from NHEG are also shown in the book.
‘One Nonprofit's Journey To Success’ by Ms. Savneet Singh is a commentary on the contributions from this institution, which begins with a brief background of its formation, its leadership and chronicles the inspiring story of a woman who stepped out of her home to help families who were unhappy and disappointed with the traditional school system. A couple of tutoring reports with student’s performance is included to appreciate the efforts put in by all. Other information, like affiliations and membership is also shown to enable one in getting the picture of this institution in its entirety. This is thus a complete book about New Heights Educational Group and its rise to stardom. Tastefully illustrated with the photographs from Ms Clark’s life and times, this book can adore a living room to evoke the memories of bygone days.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite____________

‘Time Management: How to Plan Your Week, Stay Productive and Motivated the Entire Time’ by Andy Smith, mentions getting a calendaring tool as step one of this process. Finding a space with no distractions and other important elements, namely, activity recall and mind dumping are then introduced. Prioritizing ones activities can then lead one make a calendar. Sticking to ones plan and the other needs of being productive is then discussed. Avoiding distractions, multitasking, the necessity of breaks and the importance of staying motivated are covered by the author. Competing with other people doing the same or a similar task will have the added benefit of inspiring one to stick to the time schedules and try to beat the competitor, which ultimately will be beneficial.
‘Time Management: How to Plan Your Week, Stay Productive and Motivated the Entire Time’ by Andy Smith is a short guide to ‘straighten ones path’. This is a good book to get introduced to the idea of management of time and resources and the tools available for ones assistance, to make ones results better. That enables one in selecting the areas needing greater attention in improving ones productivity, which can then be subjected to closer scrutiny or correction as needed. The author has taken a friendly approach and avoided jargons while putting across these lofty ideals. An introduction to the tools and techniques extant on these aspects would have been a great help, raising the utility of this discussion from the abstract. A good, introductory book in the broad area of self improvement.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘The Commode Companion’ by Rolf C. Margenau is a collection of photographs termed by the author as an excellent bathroom companion. I felt bad, thinking the he is belittling his work, till I read that his decision was in line with the scientific finding, laughter cures constipation. Now I agree with the author, for, this book is hilarious. It opens with the picture of a somber pup followed by that of a pensive cat. From lion to rat, snakes to weasel or from monkey to a turkey, almost every animal manage to find a place in these frames. The imaginative captions of each photograph transposes the image and the reactions it gives vent to, to an altogether new plane.
‘The Commode Companion’ by Rolf C. Margenau is like a breath of fresh air. It gave me no time to look elsewhere till I finished reading the last page. Each of the photographs depicts an animal in an ambiance worthy of response. Not only words fail me in expressing my emotions, but also emotions fail me to show how I feel, while savoring this book. The meaningful, insightful captions make this tasteful collection more relishing. I enjoyed each and every page of this book, all the photographs and captions, but failed miserably in finding a better caption, though Rolf invites us to find better ones. This is an excellent companion whether in commode or outside and can keep our interest for a long time to come, owing to the pictures that tell stories and the short captions speak volumes.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘Steer Your Big Boat Your Own Way’ by Udolph Singh begins with a deeply inspiring story to introduce self confidence and its importance in life. Thereafter he discusses self-motivation and self-efficacy. In both of these also, he suggests a lot of ways to enhance ones talents, prescribing various practical techniques and quick tips. The significance of self-esteem and the possible methods of building as well as nurturing it, is discussed next. This book also introduce the concept of Karmic Footprint and contains various tips to improve ones Karmic footprints, which will be of assistance in gaining as well as spreading more positivity wherever one is.
‘Steer Your Big Boat Your Own Way’ by Udolph Singh deals with one of the most popular topic for authors, for there always will be someone, who is looking for a better or easier way of accomplishing what one wants. This book certainly will not disappoint any. As can be seen, the author has covered the vast area of human desires and aims to three or four, rather simple headings. In each of these topics, the book further recommends necessary steps or actions needed to achieve our goal, with the help of easy, daily practices or procedures. This book can therefore work as an easy guide in ones quest for excellence. Though no specific styles are suggested to suit any particular occasions, the general and behavioral practices mentioned in this book covers almost all events and occurrences of daily life. This is thus a good book for introducing such ideas or updating ones knowledge.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘Story about Rene’ by Brian Rienzie Wicklin begins with a peep into the early history of his mother Rene’s ancestry, her childhood, schooling, death of her father and her marriage Basil Oscar. The way that marriage collapsed, the trials she had to face, the failed attempt on her life and her subsequent immigration to England. And her life in England where the author did visit. “I met my mother several times thereafter and also kept in touch now and again by telephone from Sweden. We never spoke about her ancestry other than in a few words when she explained that Basil was very often found sleeping with the servant girl(s) in our home in Kalapaluwawa.” Her visit to Ceylon, reflections about life the life and times of Rene fill these pages.
It is not easy to believe that ‘Story about Rene’ by Brian Rienzie Wicklin is a true story, which is more affecting than many of the most gripping tragedies. This book has explored rather sympathetically, both her days of agony and suffering at the hands of a man with no capability of understanding and, her helplessness in choosing the voyage she took. One of the most dramatic scenes of this story, the failed murder attempt at Rene, could have been elaborated a little, I was quite eager to learn of the aftermath, especially about the British soldiers. This is a very good book, a real page turner, could even pass off as a thriller if you change the book’s title.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘GET RICH OR GET OUT OF MY WAY: THE SAVVY INVESTOR’S GUIDE TO AN UNSTABLE ECONOMY’ by Dan Nestlerode is designed to provide the reader with a step-by-step process that is essential information for anyone who wants to become a savvy, smart and successful investor. Part one will be for discovering a little bit about oneself and the attitudes about money and investing, one entertains. The next part will be examining various areas of investing and some of the ideas and preconceived notions – both right and wrong – that most people hold about investment possibilities. Part three deals with the practice of all that we learned, all about Protecting & Growing Your Money as well as Managing Your Portfolio.
‘GET RICH OR GET OUT OF MY WAY: THE SAVVY INVESTOR’S GUIDE TO AN UNSTABLE ECONOMY’ by Dan Nestlerode offers rich guidelines to help one understand how to be ‘a smart investor, not a pigeon’. This book, rather than making offers of instant success in this field, shows one the necessary steps to reach a position of comfortable returns. The preparations mandated by the advices of this book is perhaps a necessity, if one is to pass the test of successfully managing ones money in the stock market and becoming a savvy investor. As the author reminds at the end, “The only thing that matters at the end of the day is whether you have increased the value of your portfolio.” A good set of references for further read, and an index, makes this book a worthy one for guidance.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘Inside Out’ by Jack Kearney begins with the rather pensive ramblings of Danny Belson, a trained, aspiring actor in search of a role, and waiting for his break. Roles do appear, but either the cast happens to change or the project gets shelved, attempts to find the next opportunity lands him with new jobs, like the one involving the teaching of acting to inmates of a prison. Just when his career was about to takeoff, he gets involved in a murder incident and is housed in the same prison. Will his experience, with the prison and the travails of a prisoner help him launch his career afresh?
‘Inside Out’ by Jack Kearney portrays the starting struggles of those who want to be in the tinsel town, demonstrating very well, the unpredictability, always linked with such efforts. The ambience surrounding the struggling actors, the frequent queries to the agent who is already fed up, the hungry look for chances and auditions, and the lingering distrust, is portrayed realistically. The scene of playing ‘a bet, of kicking the ceiling unassisted, and the bookie removing a prosthetic foot when others show inability,’ reminded me of many such outings of the past. The part dealing with prison violence, of rape as well as its retribution shook me up by its naked savagery, unsuitable for a wannabe actor. However, the masterly use of flashbacks can be clearly seen in this story and so also are the punch dialogs. A good read, this can be a worthy addition to ones library of good novels.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘Simple Sleep Solutions: And How to Profit from Your Dreams’ by JP Nicolais begins with a peep into sleep enhancers like, having a clear conscience, having a purpose or mission in your life etc. After a brief mention of sleep-enhancers like moderate exercise and sleep-demons like nicotine, JP introduces his technique – conduct a virtual journey in time and space through some pleasant days. Occasions like, happy days of ones childhood, performance by a favorite team, or visiting a much loved spot could be chosen for this journey, which can continue till one falls asleep. This book also contains a bonus chapter, a brief insight into dreams as a symbolic language that seems to inhabit practical thoughts, but in reality, reflect our fundamental nature.
‘Simple Sleep Solutions: And How to Profit from Your Dreams’ by JP Nicolais has come with a simple and pragmatic solution to the problem of inability to sleep and is worth trying. His rather simple and easy analysis of dreams is also organized thus, our daydreams about career success, marriage, a day at the beach or a juicy steak as conscious and directed fantasies, while dreams as undirected fantasies.  The reasons mentioned for arriving at these findings could have been explained in greater detail, to give more authenticity, though I was not able to notice anything illogical. As JP proclaims, “the process of gaining greater awareness leads us to a more complete daily life, and can promote deeper sleep patterns and more active connection to our dreams”. A good array of websites and other references are included for further study.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘Is Love Necessary: The Magnificent Power of Love’ by Antwon J. Blakeney begins with the young days of his parents, how his father met his mother in a nightclub, got infatuated, married, enlisted, and was stationed at Germany and moved to New Orleans. How his father failing in a drug test brought an end to his military career, his family forced to experience the rashness of life. Hard times confront the family, both from the side of income and from the extra marital affairs of his father. Antwon’s experiences, in school and outside, with his girlfriends, finding a job for himself and other more exciting affairs are covered in this masterfully.
I found it difficult to put down ‘Is Love Necessary: The Magnificent Power of Love’ by Antwon J. Blakeney. Every character and every incident narrated in this autobiographic pageturner is capable of shaking one emotionally, both by its nature and by its intensity. This will have an appeal, more so for people like me who have been lucky enough to experience the state of hopelessness.  He also gives an evocative message in this book, “Life is a beautiful gift, but since we are born into a world of sin, we easily lose sight of the gift. But if you try your best to walk in the light and hold on to every word that comes from the mouth of God, you will easily avoid a lot of the bad things life brings”. This is a very good read, a touching drama and an inspiring story.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘Flying With The Enemy: Memoir of a Young Cadet’ by Oleg V. Okševski and George O. Okshewsky is an epic of a memoir, the most significant part beginning with Hitler’s attack on  Yugoslavia and how the difference between Serbs and Croats played out. In 1942, Oleg, an air force pilot, and his brother decide to fly out and take asylum in an allied nation, Soviet Union. Unspeakable days await them, shunted from camp to camp, interrogated by different authorities and housed in prisons of varying degrees of decadence. All their hopes of a release come to nought; though George finds freedom, only in 1946 does Oleg get released from the status of POW, to Yugoslav Air Force. Oleg later immigrates to USA, to be joined by George, later.
‘Flying With The Enemy: Memoir of a Young Cadet’ by Oleg V. Okševski and George O. Okshewsky is to be read to be believed. The treatment they received is succinctly put by Oleg, when they were offered citizenship by Soviet Union, “You held us, Allied pilots, for no reason. Held us captive without any reason, without any charges brought against us; isolated us for five years behind three rows of barbed wire, behind a tall fence, with machine guns and spotlights aimed at us, etc. More importantly you held us captive with German POWs   and you offer us Soviet citizenship under all these circumstances? This memoir should be reminding all those in countries like US, I agree with the author, what good luck they are enjoying, every day and every hour of their life. An excellent read.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘SCHOOL SELFIES: TEACHERS, PARENTS, STUDENTS AND BANDWAGONS’ by Freda Lewkowicz examines why, the public schools are failing and what can be done to stem the rot? Is there anything wrong with kids today?  The first remark she makes is of the new generation parenting, which in fact (according to her) is non-parenting. Our attitude of inflating grades too much, and the unwarranted self esteem as a result of encouraging even shoddy performance, is in fact destroying our children by over protecting. We have forgotten the adage, “Spare the rod and spoil the child”. A test for empathy, as well as an analysis into drug use by students will lead to surprising results.
‘SCHOOL SELFIES: TEACHERS, PARENTS, STUDENTS AND BANDWAGONS’ by Freda Lewkowicz suggests a smart start to every new school year, school and surroundings held safe and secure, experimenting with new patterns and styles of contemporary interest, Outlawing the victim game whether from students or parents, and permitting random drug testing, as some of measures that can yield positive results. Another change the author has observed relates to the lack of solidarity between colleagues today. (This in fact is true of any profession; a greater cohesion between those who follow a vocation, as well as harmony with their immediate society is the need of the hour, as proclaimed by many experts) This is a good book, and I agree with the author. The responsibility of providing an atmosphere conducive for teaching should be undoubtedly accepted by the society, if future is to portend happier days.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘The Ultimate Guide to Green Parenting’ by Zion Lights is a practical guide to environment friendly parenting. Introducing the need to protect children from the onslaught of ‘brands’, it mentions the need to avoid too many material toys, adapting to breast feeding, babywearing as well as natural companions for play. About practicing green birth, this book suggests attending yoga or other active birth classes, practicing giving birth in various styles and positions, and use of pain relief techniques. Vaccinating the child for effective defense against diseases, as well as the need to avoid disposable nappies, are only some of the issues discussed in this rather comprehensive study of green parenting.
‘The Ultimate Guide to Green Parenting’ by Zion Lights introduces the green parenting style, which in fact is nothing but sensitive/responsive parenting, and is described here. Naturally the first element of this is the green birth, which is a cost conscious, preferably natural, childbirth. Diet, nutrition, type of food and healthy eating habits are then discussed, along with an overview of the babies’ clothes, the nappies specially. Other topics like carbon offsetting, especially the ones reflecting the changes in our life style, are also included in this book. A good collection of references for further reading and an index at the end, make this book a worthy companion for a ‘green conscious’ parent, and a path-breaking guide to all parents. I liked the presentation of the subject, letters shown in different styles with multi color, headings, and chapter summaries, made its content an easier one to grasp.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘The Happy Addict: How to be Happy in Recovery from Alcoholism or Drug Addiction’ by Beth Burgess is for people who have put down the drink or drugs, but are still struggling to be happy and healthy. To overcome the hurdles that often face one in recovery, it is important that sobriety is understood as a new freedom in life rather than a restriction and prepare to do a few uncomfortable things to expand ones sober life. Challenge your old attitudes and ways of thinking; keep telling yourself you're a wonderful, happy, positive person and it will improve your ability to make that happen! The author also mentions of the necessity to form good habits to replace bad habits as well as finding a purpose and a mission for ones life.
‘The Happy Addict: How to be Happy in Recovery from Alcoholism or Drug Addiction’ by Beth Burgess shows different ways of thinking and being to have positivity and peace of mind, along in ones journey to sobriety. This set of instructions is to help the recovering addicts to see their unique qualities and skills and to buttress their own beliefs about themselves; in short, to remove the fear to seek success. Beth’s book, by offering the keys to making the best that possibly can be of ones experiences, enables one in creating a better future by rearranging the past. Presented in a simple, easy and intuitive manner, this topics contained in this book is analyzed more in its abstract that can be adapted to ones recovery process.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘Better Remote Work: Do It Right, And Reap the Benefits’ by Jarkko Oksanen, after an introduction to this style of working, explains the increasing popularity of such a work model. The benefits and challenges of working remotely as applicable to firms of different nature like, a start up, small businesses or a large production centre. The basic tenets of this, Trust, Respect and Teamwork are then discussed and how it is quite significant in this technology intensive area of remote stations, networking, screen sharing systems, video chats and others. Jarkko also takes a rather interesting peep into what changes the future is likely to bring to this field.
‘Better Remote Work: Do It Right, And Reap the Benefits’ by Jarkko Oksanen is book for the present to prepare for the future. As the author says, every remote work team has its own issues, and in each place, the solution need not be same or comparable. But the things that are mentioned in this book being the ones that helped in every case, it may be considered that the solutions or the approach suggested by Jarkko has the potential to be of great help to those desirous of entering this field of business, which, as mentioned in this book, is likely to be of necessity in the days to come. The book is well written and the new ideas are developed logically. One thing I noted, easy navigation through the document, which is a forte, as far as an epub book goes, has not been exploited well.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘HELP for Hysterical Humans who Hope to Be Happy in Heaven or Here’ by James Sterngram is a collection of 40+ poems, mostly of non-religist (similar to non-sexist) thoughts and ideals, most of which are abstract in nature. Humor permeates all his poems, whether in ‘Welcome’, when people of different religion meet in heaven and one tells the other, “We are more elect than you, and we’re less divisive, too!”, where this can be seen in subtlety, and in ‘Eternal and Everlasting’, when he sings “what you take away and give away between this moment and your death”, where it is insight at its best. This collection covers a plethora of human transactions, touching all emotions in a lighter, unobtrusive vein, yet questioningly.
‘HELP for Hysterical Humans who Hope to Be Happy in Heaven or Here’ by James Sterngram is truly poetic, the verses hide more than they show. Who can say ‘Human thought produces waste…Once the waste is dry, we carve the hardness that survives into rules by which to live’ does not hide an inner meaning? The idea that we, the humans represent the Son of God and each and every human form a part of that entity is another one that percolates many poems. This collection offers cleverly, a wide variety of inner thoughts centered on these themes without making it look obvious, like, ‘Using favorite holy books to prove your neighbor wrong can be like choosing atom bombs for dueling weapons at ten paces”. This is a very good collection, deeply enjoyable and thought provoking.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘Graceful Last Chapters’ by Cynthia Neher Martindale is to enable one in giving better care. It better prepares you to search options for seniors who need more care, and helps to choose customized help services depending on character traits of the cared. Cynthia also speaks of caring for the Caregiver: how to find the balance, the ways to look for an accurate financial picture and completed legal paperwork. The importance of telemedicine in helping the old and infirm, how to handle movement and transfers of such people between homes or clinics, assisted living and independent living are some of the other topics discussed.
‘Graceful Last Chapters’ by Cynthia Neher Martindale is a complete guide to elderly care, more so from the caregiver’s angle. All matters of interest to those tending to such needs are discussed in rather good detail, with, suggestions for further reading and relevant web links. I think this is a good read for people belonging to any of four strata, Those who have been caregivers, Those who are currently caregivers, Those who will be caregivers or Those who will need caregivers.  Appropriately, its pages are filled with support and guidance for caregivers, clearly defined options for care, and the ways and means for readers to craft their own successful journey through caregiving challenges and heartbreak. However, one thing I noticed is that this book is more or less abstract in its approach to the issue and the reader may have to formulate an action plan suitable to ones specific requirements.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘FINDING TIME FOR YOUR SELF - A Spiritual Survivor’s Workbook: 52 weeks of reflections and exercises for busy people’: by PATTY DE LLOSA contains fifty-two thought-provoking reflections on questions raised by daily life, which are followed by practical exercises that will help you stay inwardly alive and present to meet life’s many challenges. The author has taken 52 different topics to reflect, each topic being looked from a different angle for 5 days (of a week perhaps), thus covering an entire year. The exact topic derived for reflecting each day, varies from the most esoteric to those quite earthly in nature, and is enough to satiate one, however rare the orientation.
The sublime thoughts contained in ‘FINDING TIME FOR YOUR SELF - A Spiritual Survivor’s Workbook: 52 weeks of reflections and exercises for busy people’: by PATTY DE LLOSA is enough to engage people. From the most versatile to those heavily restrained or from the most progressive to the sad reactionary, this can serve a large group of people, however varied the intellectual disposition. Whether ‘The present moment is an interrogatory state’, or ‘Just as each day begins with new energy, each breath also represents a fresh cycle’, the invocations represented by each of these can keep the mind more or less completely engaged, without fear of going astray. The author deserves credit for identifying such topics that possess the quality of not getting answered easily. This is a good book to read and more so, for those fond of abstractions.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘Jack of All Trades’ by The INSTANT-Series opens with an observation: The life time available to us is enough to master one topic, may be one more. Therefore to become someone versatile, rather than wasting time on single area, it is profitable to become a jack of all trades, with greater acceptability in any gathering, which is better for ones livelihood and self-confidence than to only have specialized knowledge in one area. This book, by offering a bunch of techniques to preserve memory, enable easy recall, choose appropriate topics as well as, finding resources to help learning, makes, becoming jack a child’s play.
‘Jack of All Trades’ by The INSTANT-Series acknowledges that undeniably, one of the most rewarding things in life to learn a new skill or feel accomplished in a particular subject. Also, it is dangerous to your livelihood and self-confidence to only have specialized knowledge only in one area. This book, with the help of a good number of pointed suggestions, enables one to acquire a wide variety set of skills to be a multi-faceted talent. To truly be a human Swiss army knife, this book, by encouraging one to stop thinking in terms of money and start thinking in terms of experience, sharpens one in all faculties. Yes, you can absolutely spend nearly a decade of your life to learn a specific skill, whether it’s professional or otherwise, or follow these precepts to be ‘wanted’ anywhere. However, my experience with ‘jacks’ is that, though they command an easy reception, the welcome rarely extends beyond the initial joy. This is a good book for those disposed to that joy.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘INSTANT LEARNING: How to Learn Anything Instantly!’ by Instant Series begins by evincing the advantages of ‘learning’; getting promoted early as we perform better, start studying other subjects because one is able to go through study materials at lightening speed in school or handle clients' requirement at faster speed. Learning is mostly about finding ways to simplify things, and instant learning techniques like, the freezing of information (FIT) technique, the environment absorption technique (EAT) etc are described well. How to learn at a glance, as well as a few other techniques to hasten different learning experiences are also covered by this book.
The learning process elucidated in ‘INSTANT LEARNING: How to Learn Anything Instantly!’ by Instant Series use ample assistance from the age old techniques of simplification, namely, use of connections with the familiar,  utilizing rhymes, application of mnemonic tools or use of other expressions. Specific techniques presented in this book will be of considerable assistance, as these introduce a formal structure to learning, which can be easily tailored to a group of learners. As the author puts it in the end, learning does not stop; one can be skillful and very talented, but learning will never come to an end. Hence, whether you like it or not, there is no other option but to adapt to learning as a continuum. This book, by offering many styles for experimenting with the learning process, is only helping us in relieving our daily stress. Also it opens us to new possibilities. Experiment with new patterns of study to learn faster and better.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

Jane Mpholo's Exclusives’ by Jane Mpholo is the autobiographical lines of Jane  Mamotse  Mpholo, her childhood, growing up and how she  came  about  studying  Drama and Theater Arts at the University of the Free State, to become a  professional  theater  actress. Her child hood dreams and later years, how she had to go through messy engagements, fun and frolic with her peers like faking pregnancy and abortion are some of the highlights of this book. She also speaks of her deep attachment with her mother, as well as with her sister. Instances like how her half brothers kept them all on tenterhooks add suspense to this. She continues with the free flow of candid thoughts on many other strange incidents of her life.
‘Jane Mpholo's Exclusives’ by Jane Mpholo is an enjoyable read. It was really interesting to read that as a child she thought pimples are mayonnaise coming out of the face and stopped eating that. So also is the trouble she took for coloring the pad red (blood, lime juice or tomato sauce!) to make its use look an authentic one, as well as the huge problem posed by being curvaceous. The intriguing twists she experienced later in her life as well as, the premonitions that occurred to her on many occasions, give this memoir an element of suspense. Good narrative and an interesting plot further adding to its gratifying nature, I can tell with confidence that this book is a good addition to ones collection of gems of this genre.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘Hippiebanker: Bringing Peace, Love and Spirituality to the Workplace’ by Camille Sacco is a 12-week guide book about learning how to become a “spiritual activist” by incorporating spirituality into the Workplace. Camille begins with an introductory note: “We don’t need to quit our corporate jobs, move away and start an organic farm to be relevant. We can change the world right from our desk at work.” The author propose a paradigmatic approach; the first lesson of the Five Sutras of the Aquarian Age to the workplace, is to be still and listen, and other lessons, like, let someone else shine, which is nothing but participatory approach, Happy employees = Happy customers = Better bottom line, and, be the change yourself, follow.
‘Hippiebanker: Bringing Peace, Love and Spirituality to the Workplace’ by Camille Sacco approaches the question of adding spirituality in workplace from an angle that is not purely spiritual, but adapting such ideas to actual implementation. To make dreams or visions into true liberation, attempt to apply the learned Sutras to workplace and continue to learn quite a bit from practicing them, she says. And when people start to notice a difference in you and say things like “you’ve changed.” Tell them, I didn’t change. I just woke up!
However this book is not completely free from one pitfall that is common to other abstract solutions to our problems. If one is successful in his effort, the offered suggestions are very good; but if one experiences failure, the suggestions wouldn’t have been followed in letter and in spirit.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘4 Steps To Feel Better & Gain Positive Results (Pathfinder's Guide to Feel4)’ by Christian J Bennett enables you to achieve positive results, for, anything you choose to focus on, energize over, engage with and learn about. As the author says, the FEEL4 formula can be understood in minutes, “It’s all about the four steps”. They are, Step 1, Focus (What do you want to focus on achieving and why), Step 2, Energize (What makes you excited about achieving your focus), Step 3, Engage (Get stuck in and feel the experience) and Step 4, Learn (Learn from your experience, refine if you have to and start again on a tweaked version).
FEEL4 is an acronym for four steps which make the perfect cyclical pathway to achieving anything. This book, ‘4 Steps To Feel Better & Gain Positive Results (Pathfinder's Guide to Feel4)’ by Christian J Bennett, encourages the use of these four steps as an emotional formula to help you feel and think your way to being better at everything you do. “Feel yourself getting better with each step forward”, the author exhorts, while making a presentation of this technique and suggesting suitable measures to confront negativity. The author proposes a pathfinding map to help manage the FEEL4 steps but using pen and paper still remains one of the fastest and easiest methods. With this in mind a very basic pathfinding map template is also included in this book for you to copy and use. A very useful book, dealing with an important topic of life.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘INSTANT TIME MANAGEMENT: How to Manage Time and Get More Done Faster Instantly!’ by Instant Series Is about planning your routine or objectives by using “time“ the right way. To opening message from the book is to arm yourself with the necessary tools, like organizer and reminder, and, consulting these tools regularly. The steps recommended are for effective planning of your routine around a certain portion of your time. Timing Your Activities for Effective Time Management, Evaluating the Effectiveness of Your Time Management, Exercises for Effective time Management are some of the important areas covered by this book. Instructions on memory improvement techniques, how to use reminder tools and how to make and use a time management chart are also given in this book.
‘INSTANT TIME MANAGEMENT: How to Manage Time and Get More Done Faster Instantly!’ by Instant Series makes time management a simple affair, with the help of two highly intuitive tools. Generous description is given regarding the recommended procedures and these are made even more easy with the help of examples. Solved exercises and review questions at the end of many chapters make this an effective learning tool. This book mentions of the use of a few tools for planning, organizing etc, that are useful for managing say, a reasonably sized project. But a more elaborate discussion on this aspect could have been included to familiarize with the vast repository of tools that are a part of modern management, and how these can be used to monitor time. Well presented book.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘A Ranch Day Retreat’ by Chuck Wolf presents life improving, productivity enhancing, and leadership enabling concepts guided by the model of horses in nature. The book begins with meditation and its benefits and delves into goal setting. The relevance of horse is then considered, in the proposed role of an aid to human self-development and therapy.  This is found to be feasible as horses are, agreeably, highly sensitive. Moreover, the oft repeated postulation that horses think in pictures could also be of great help. The interactions between a leader and his team vis-a-vis that of a human with a horse are then analyzed. The results show that viability exists in the formation of an equine basis to assess the performance of a team.
I found ‘A Ranch Day Retreat’ by Chuck Wolf explore equine assisted techniques and more, in the areas of productivity and management. The materials here stand alone and although developed to supplement an actual retreat day, with horses, the narration succeeds in making the readers grasp the topic well, as they gain a thorough understanding of just what the model of horses has to teach us about ourselves. The introductory discourse on few of the related concepts is greatly beneficial to the reader in priming himself. However, the book is lacking an index. Also, this being an evolving field, and this topic, relatively a new and appealing one, it would have been a good idea to include a set of review questions. I do not know whether I grasped this well. (I badly wanted to!)
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘INSTANT MEDITATION: How to Meditate Instantly!’ by Instant Series, after briefly extolling the virtues of meditation, describes the techniques that are available for practicing this. As a prelude, the book mentions about the need to prepare oneself to accept little changes in the way we perceive things. Indoor and outdoor meditation, visualizations, discrete, in-the-moment meditation techniques, stationary meditation, and chanting meditation are some of the other topics discussed in this book. Certain salient features, like, flying away from negativity, cleansing the mind and achieving positivity, and techniques seen among Buddhist Monks also feature in this book. Set of questions are provided at many places and at the end to enable self-assessment.
As the name implies, ‘INSTANT MEDITATION: How to Meditate Instantly!’ by Instant Series, make meditating very easy and that too for those who are always on the move. This book is a practical guide and many methods, mostly of simple convenient steps, are described to achieve the desired state of mind. As examples, see, “Maybe focus on how Valentine’s Day was fabulous this year or how you feel comfortable in your girlfriend/boyfriend’s new German car” or “Planting meditation is a modified version of the traditional sitting meditation. It is called ‘planting meditation’ because you are planting your feet into the ground like a plant. It can be done in any public place—at the office, at school, or on the train”. This is thus a nice little instruction manual containing practically usable techniques, specially suited for those having time constraints.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘Tortuga Bay: Pirate of Panther Bay Series Volume II’ by SR Staley opens with Isabella waking up to a raid in progress, with the ships company of pirates busy fighting from their respective stations. In subsequent fight with the Spanish navy, specially dispatched with naval warriors, that too hidden in a merchant ship, they fail to tame the pirates and Governor Rodriguez plans an attack on land. The operation gets planned with Juan Carlos and others in action. Juan Carlos sport a soft corner for Isabella, and to complicate matters, the Governor’s daughter, Rosa, has set her eyes on him too. The pirate’s journey to Tortuga Bay progresses with plenty of adventure, Voodoo priestess, a childhood prophesy, a potential slave uprising and other occasions of intrigue, en route.
‘Tortuga Bay: Pirate of Panther Bay Series Volume II’ by SR Staley is full of action. Staley has been very miserly when it came to elements other than action, of this story; whether the romantic encounters of Isabella or Rosa’s attraction to Juan Carlos, utmost temperance can be seen while narrating the flow of events. Whereas, when it comes to the exploits, the author is rather unrestrained, greatly enhancing the entertainment quotient of this book. The prevailing ambiance arising from the dreamy scenes and other unearthly elements of this story adds to its suitability for the young adult genre, as the author has in mind. This is a worthy addition to ones library of books, especially of young adult genre, and I can confidently say, Staley has produced a bestseller.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘The Department of Zenitation: A Layman’s Guide To Making Spirituality Work In Real Life’ by Thomas E. Ziemann is a collection of some of the best spiritual, practical, and innovative ideas gleaned from the wisest and most sagely people who ever lived. Uplifting statements designed to nourish the mind, and learned from myriad books and tapes on goal setting, motivation, transactional analysis, success, and a horde of such esoteric thoughts are contained in this. As the author says, he is trying to share some of the incredible life lessons, he has experienced through these many decades of self-discovery so as to enable readers with a wide variety of sublime topics for meditation.
The way this book, ‘The Department of Zenitation: A Layman’s Guide to Making Spirituality Work in Real Life’ by Thomas E. Ziemann, is organized is with ease of meditation in mind. Each and every chapter gleans the cream of the subject matter being discussed, making it easily understood intellectually, and, more importantly, emotionally, and creates lasting, meaningful ideas to be pondered again and again by the reader. One way to get the most out of this book is to hold any of its inspiring passages in your mind, meditate on it deeply, and focus on it intensely. I therefore feel, an index, both of the topics reflected in the uplifting statements of this book and the sagacious sources of those, could have been included in this book. That would have been of considerable assistance while selecting a suitable topic, for example, to meditate.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘Kilimanjaro Diaries’ by Melusine Thieme is about climbing the highest mountain on an entire continent and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. The preparations for this trip, starting with an internet survey began well in advance, including practicing with the climbing boots for the last three months before the trip. The trip pass through dark forest and inhospitable trails and follow a route with good success rate: The Machame Route – also called Whiskey Route. The book mentions of an eerie silence there for company, though that is a bit disquieting; concentration is fully on the climb. On 6th day of their climb, they spot ‘Congratulations! You are now at Uhuru Peak 5895 M A.M.S.L.Tanzania’ and take a return route only used for the descent.
‘Kilimanjaro Diaries’ by Melusine Thieme gives a vivid description of the planning behind the trip, specially the ‘pee’ problem and its solutions. The diary closes with an interesting situation; I certainly won’t be envious of. This book also contains information regarding packing list and tips on routes and climbing seasons, as well as many web links, making it a good reference material for this trip.
As the saying goes “..an American will always head straight to the bar for a round of ice cold Kilimanjaro beers, while the latter go straight to the shower” she headed for a bath “At that moment the power went out, so my glorious hot shower was now a soft trickle of freezing water in pitch darkness.” An interesting, educative and fun filled narrative filled with adventure.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

‘KIDNAPPED BY NUNS’ by Bob Fuss begins with his days at Stanford, which he got into with every intention of becoming a lawyer. But his freshman Pete Williams, who later went on to be a much acclaimed NBC News correspondent and had lived across the hall, attracting him to the excitement of journalism, this, was not to be. How he made a mark with the story of kidnapping of Patty Hearst and her subsequent conversion to the beliefs and radicalism of her captors, how his favorite movie failed to get Oscar, how much difficulty he faced to get his early jobs in the years before America’s Disability Act was put in place and many other anecdotes make this a rich memoir. I couldn’t but notice the way he goes out of to prove that his “disability” is not a factor in his job performance or even in his lust for life’s adventures, which is reflected even by the last story of this book: snorkel on the world’s second biggest tropical reef.
‘KIDNAPPED BY NUNS’ by Bob Fuss shows the author as a compassionate, fun loving and astute journalist. The extraordinary life lived by Bob Fuss can be clearly seen in these pages, and his good luck of witnessing many an incident of fury, like natural disasters, military coups, cults, assassinations, sports events, political conventions and elections and has travelled to over seventy countries. Especially for a man, whose parents were told that he would probably not live past childhood, this is not an easy thing. I am sure; this book will inspire many, for days to come.


Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________

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