Monday, October 12, 2015

More Reviews...

Mark Kane mysteries Book IV – Till Death, by John Higgins, introduce Mark Kane, the ‘thinking’ investigator, and his friend and partner Lucy. They are approached by Don Maddox, who, on sensing abnormal conduct from his wife Lisa, hires their services to shadow her and ensure safety. They find Lisa clandestinely meeting a gentleman and seemingly a victim of blackmail. Further investigations open up certain unusual bank transfers by Lisa in addition to few shady events of her past. The blackmailer is found dead and on hearing this information, a relieved Maddox, calls off further investigation by the detectives. But professional integrity prevails, and Mark continues with the inquiry. The novel culminates in some definite answers, clearing the inconsistencies accumulated over the years.
Mark Kane epitomizes a confident, competent investigator, with his sense of humor, professionalism and cool headed approach evident throughout. Don Maddox, tense because of the affection to his wife and Lisa, who is also tense because of some of her past, make interesting characters. The actions from the detectives as well as from the police force are shown with meticulous detail, dramatically and with suspense. This is a well narrated and fast paced tale crafted professionally. I liked it a lot; the suave Mark Kane can go ahead and take the place occupied by many stalwarts of detection, like Paul Drake or Nero Wolfe.

‘DISCOURSE ON THE METHOD OF RIGHTLY CONDUCTING THE REASON, AND SEEKING TRUTH IN THE SCIENCES’ by Rene Descartes begins thus: “Good sense is, of all things among men, the most equally distributed; for every one thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that those even who are the most difficult to satisfy in everything else, do not usually desire a larger measure of this quality than they already possess.” He therefore reasons out the proposed methods, starting with Languages, History or Ancient fables, whether these can be a fit for conducting reason. Not finding luck, he moves on to Eloquence, Mathematics and theology, to continue his ill luck. Philosophy appears with great promise; but though it is cultivated by the most gifted, there is no single matter where there is no dispute. All other sciences being offshoots of this, they can never be firm on such infirm foundations, he declares. He is then lost in his own thoughts to reach a two forked approach. 1) Do not accept anything as true unless known with certitude, and 2) Divide every difficulty into many parts; start with the easiest part and progress to more complex ones.

‘50 Psychology Classics’ by Tom Butler-Bowdon explores writings from such iconic ļ¬gures as Freud, Adler, Jung, Skinner, James, Piaget, and Pavlov, and also highlights the work of contemporary thinkers such as Gardner, Gilbert, Goleman, and Seligman. There is a commentary devoted to each book, revealing the key points and providing a context of the ideas, people, and movements surrounding it.
This is a book, which, more than nourishing ones intellect, can enhance ones worth in another’s judgment. It covers almost all that could have lured one into studying this branch of science, condensing the fifty classics into significant groupings. Each of such groupings, like, ‘A Science of Brain’, ‘On the Trails of Motivation’ or ‘Creative Power’, acquaints us with the books that spurred trend setting thoughts and opened new vistas in psychological research. A list, of 50 more classics is provided in the book, perhaps to cater to the needs of the readers in pursuing this subject with renewed interest. I, though a greenhorn to these areas, found this a very interesting book. Not only that this is a good read, but also it made me fetch the original work more often than not.

‘Her’ by Felicia Johnson begins when a school going girl, Kristen, is found in a dismal state with her body and mind badly ravished. Long stay in the hospital and the association with fellow youngsters needing similar psychiatric care is being tried, to rid her of the horrid memories, of her past, the separation of parents, step father and his amorous advances, as well as the anger she feels towards her mother. Her constant association with the young crowd facing problems of mental health, like manic depressive nature, identity disorder etc. manages to bring her ailment of borderline personality disorder under control. After she gets discharged, her journey continues in a bumpy path to eventual recovery.
‘Her’ by Felicia Johnson is an absorbing tale. The author has succeeded in portraying the agonizing experiences of a hurt child, especially a victim of sexual demeanor, remarkably well. The ‘good Samaritan’ role, a fellow patient can be of in a hospital, comes out clearly in this narration. (I had experienced it!) I found that commendable moderation is maintained in the description of close, sexual encounters, showing respect to the sensibilities of those inside (child victims), as well as those outside the book (readers). A very good novel, it gives a good commentary on borderlines and how they tend to make irrational decisions based off of their intense emotions. Smooth flow of words adds to its delectation quotient.

‘You can’t ruin my day’ by Allen Klein is funny, lighthearted, and real, providing anecdotal advice that will help you gain the happiness perspective and get over annoyances. It contains fifty-two themes, or “Wake-Up Calls,” to enhance your life. It is organized into seven sections, namely Start-up, Wake-up, Wise-up, Grow-up, Crack-up, Wrap-up and Wind-up.  Concepts about how to counteract the things that dampen your day are added frequently as Wake-Up Calls. Meaningful quotations and anecdotes with relevance to the topic under discussion enrich this inspiring book. Extolling the virtues of novelty, Allen ends this book with an interesting quote “If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten.”
Allen gives greater importance to ‘doing’ rather than ‘opposing’. The author proposes a light but effective way of perceiving all that is happening with you in a different light to help you go ahead with whatever one is seized of. Simple, exploratory questions like “Am I willing not to let anything or anyone upset me?” or “Am I willing to put annoyances aside today?” are included in this book to help one remain focused on goals. Allen boldly says, “To be happier and not let anyone ruin your day, the secret of life is to not take anything personally, to let go and to stop resisting. ONE OF THE things that can quickly ruin your day is insisting that everything be perfect” It gave me a lot to think, a fresh look at the issues of motivation and success.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________
‘Choose to Lose’ by Casey Hayden propounds a complete regime for weight control. It consists of different meal plans called phases I, II and III. The complete 28 day plan is made of four weeks, each week composed by two days of phase I meal, another two days of phase II meal and the remaining three days of phase III meal. Each of the three phases, the constituents, and its contribution the body’s wellness is covered in detail. The book also suggests an array of menus that are appropriate for each phase, in addition to proposing a comprehensive exercise plan. The best advice is the last one:Stay positive.  Look forward to a better tomorrow…you will be encouraged to keep your newfound habits and begin to live a happy life again.”
‘Choose to Lose’ by Casey Hayden is in fact for dieting with help of meals, specially formulated to meet body’s needs. The help of extensive directions given to prepare the suggested menu and the ample exercises included with the plan should be removing the drudgery from weight control, if not making it into a child’s play. The instructions given in the book are quite clear and concise. This, and the fact that at no stage does this book talk of dieting, always suggesting a menu instead, should be endearing the book to those waiting for a pleasant way to shed fat. This is thus a very good book; it should be making the tedious task of controlling ones weight a more exhilarating experience.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________
‘MIRROR IMAGES: A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO HAPPINESS’ by Christine and Cheryl lyric is a path discovered by two sisters, both of whom struggled through a lifetime filled with depression and sadness. “We came to see this sadness as an unrelenting force that propelled us in our search” The mirroring process, rather our daily experiences with others, and their resulting reflections, can assist us in uncovering the truth of what we view ourselves to be. The book introduces us to a seven step process to achieve this in actual life, that too illustrating each step with examples. Complimentary supports to mirror images are also shown, which consist of books, practitioners, meditation music, healthy diet and other forms of help, one can avail.
The book mentions that the mirroring process can be extremely liberating, and it can make you feel free from longstanding patterns that kept you tied to inaccurate views. By explaining that these patterns were once created by your internal confusion, doubt, anger, or fear of the unknown, the sisters are giving us a good reason to try this. For, who is free from internal confusion, fear other destabilizing forces? However the steps suggested are more or less abstract in nature and are dependant on ones perception. For example, “STEP SIX: Discover the Truth to Declare and Integrate a New State of Being”. I found this book rather difficult for a beginner and I think a thorough study might be needed to absorb this. This book has a good discussion on the positive changes that can be expected from mirroring, which, of course, is a motivator.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________
‘SMOKING: QUIT With Your Whole Body - Comprehensive Advice on Preventing & Healing the Effects of Smoking’ by George Barnett & Irfan Ali is a complete study on how smoking play with life. It mentions about the unwanted constituents of cigarette smoke, like nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide, and other harmful chemicals present - about 43 cancer-causing agents and about 400 toxins. The specific effect of smoking and resulting health changes like extra need of vitamin E and greater affinity to erectile dysfunction are noted. Smoking cessation aids like those blocking the nicotine receptor, Nicotine Patch, Nicotine Gums and others are introduced, explaining the functions, benefits and correct use of these gadgets.
I think the book’s title is a misnomer, 'Live with your whole body..' is better. This book presents us with the good that is there around us to enjoy, other than smoke, by giving us a broad lecture on the benefits of a healthy diet and good life style with regular exercise. How smoking can hinder this, like a simple indigestion, is also briefly touched upon. The desire, I think, to quit from smoking should take place as a natural response, perhaps, as the author intended. Hence this book is “not to give you scientific evidence of each and everything, but to provide you a comprehensive guidance and suggestions in a digestible and engaging manner to arouse your interest on the subject: preventing and healing the effects of smoking”. This is a very good book; it contains a lot of information. A bulleted list or other methods to indicate stress, as well as an index, would have been helpful additions.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________
‘WHITE WALLS’ by H.M.C has its beginning in a crazy artist George and a wayward damsel Samantha, being made to join certain psychiatric treatment at Rowan’s Home Psychiatric Center. Dr Jade, who is presently in charge of the treatment, develop suspicions of what is going on and, encounters more and more trouble as she progress her inquisitive visits. Her attempts to uncover the secrets that will allow her to finally help her patients to heal, take her closer to few of the patients, like Samantha, as well as her father, Dr Karl, a reputed psychiatrist. With the help from Dr Karl, Samantha joins others including Dr Jade in launching an attempt to uncover the secrets held by Dr Green, the head of the institution. However quite unexpected and intriguing developments take place, leading to a thrilling conclusion.
‘WHITE WALLS’ by H.M.C has a very good narration and the story flows free. The personal compulsions of disturbed people as well as the helplessness, others are bound to face while dealing with them, come out in bright colors. And this is quite notable in the parts played by George, Samantha and Dr Jade. Each and every character can be seen to be having their marked identity in the whole plot and that can speak a lot about HMC’s apt handling. One thing I should mention though. More clarity about the professional background of Dr Green and the research institution would have enabled the reader to attach oneself closer to the character – thereby deriving a greater share of entertainment. On the whole, a very good read.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________
‘Coloring Serenity’ by Karen Mc Dermott is a collection of mandalas that can be colored appropriately for ones taste. They generally are of abstract forms, of geometrical shapes and figures, and the full set contains twenty different patterns. These more or less resemble contemporary designs and should be of wide acceptance, especially for meditation. In addition, the designs are well suited for learning the art of coloring and present a picture, appropriate for developing the necessary techniques of concentration. Karen has also provided quite exhaustive guidelines for creating ones own mandala, and has given blank pages for making those.
The significance of a hobby, especially for people with stressful jobs, family responsibilities, and busy schedules can never be overemphasized. We know that those are extremely beneficial in relieving our stress and promoting our health and happiness. And drawing or coloring is a good hobby. Also, mandala is generally used for meditations to ignite ones thought process. Pursue it, enjoy it, and soon you'll find yourself developing a greater sense of context for what truly matters in life. This book therefore is doubly helpful, it aids in developing ones potential in fine arts, while providing one with a good object to meditate. It is also a fact that hobbies matter just as much, if not more, than for those persons with less on their plate.  That establishes the universal market too, for such a book as this. This is a well conceived book, the patterns shown are simple enough to color, but complex enough to hold ones attention.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________
‘I'm Not Crazy... I'm Allergic’ by Sherilyn Powers is a recount of her own experiences written with a story component, her own observations, and medical studies to help explain the connections between allergies and depression. Through the experiences of an imaginary patient Julie, the author acquaints us with the many facets of its manifestation – triggers of allergy as well as the response from our physique. The link between allergy and depression, and, the role played by our nature and constitution, like sensitivity, is then examined. Few other topics like, how to test for various allergies, identifying our regular toxins and  looking for hidden allergies are also discussed. Sherilyn concludes her book with concise summary of identifying, testing, and treating ones allergies.
Sherilyn Powers has succeeded in presenting a short treatise on, what is causing lingering, sometimes extreme, discomfort to many amongst us, in a clear and concise manner. The connection allergy has with depression as well as, the discussion on allergies in dormant form, opened me to new vistas of knowledge, and I am now in a better position to give ‘sage’ advice when someone expresses unknown or unexplainable difficulty or irritation. Rich endnotes and a list of resources make it easy for the reader to obtain further help and clarification, for whatever queries one may encounter. This is an excellent guide, it enables one to learn and understand how debilitating allergies can be, including the fact that symptoms of depression and other “crazy” reactions are in reality, energy or sensitivity symptoms.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________
‘Waiting for a Miracle - Life in the Dead Zone’ by John Spencer begins by proclaiming that this is not a manual on how to grieve quickly or successfully. It gives a good account of the author’s life, making it a point to note the fact that he was having a greater share of ill luck all throughout. He then goes on to narrate the life of his daughter, Claire and the unending moments of joy, the bundle of joy brought to their life. With no clear symptoms, one day Claire is found without any signs of life. All resuscitation efforts fail, and she passes away. Rest of the book is covered by the efforts that went on in establishing a cause and John’s reflections.
This book reflects truly, the workings of the mind of a massively bereaved parent. The author’s description of the days with his daughter clearly reminds us of the bundle of happiness, a child of that age is bound to be. Eulogy for Claire contains some of the best lines of this book, which can boast of controlled expression of sentiments and disciplined use of language. Perhaps writing this book would have been a great consoling factor, in John’s fight with his personal loss. A little more description of the efforts taken to find the exact cause of this unfortunate event would have been of interest to the reader, while contributing handsomely in containing his grief. It would have enabled, as John says, “… to deal with the contradictory burden of wanting to be free of this overwhelming pain and yet needing it as a reminder of the child who died.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________
‘Growing up Alaska: Memories of a Town, a Time, a Place, and a People Planted in a Little Pocket of Wonderful’ by Niki Breeser Tschirgi begins with her move to Alaska as a little girl, her car, truck, hundred pounds of wheat, and a grain mill in tow. How that was a dream come true for her dad, and how, she enjoyed the land at its pristine beauty. The more or less regular trips to her grandparents in Wisconsin too, during summer vacations, find its mention here. So is the excitement permeated by the Water Melon Days, games and dancing, the joy of unwrapping gifts for Christmas and the fun of ‘airdropped’ ice-cream. She becomes philosophical also, “the odds are good, but the goods are odd”.
From the opening of this book, where Niki alludes “the reader may roll their eyes to read another Alaska story”, I was looking for a nondescript memoir. On the contrary, ‘Growing up Alaska…’ by Niki turned out to be a surprise; it is an absorbing, vivid description of a life, not many people will get to live. Having spent some time in Russia, I can relate to the excitement things like ice-cream, that too, relishing it at subzero temperature, can bring to a gathering. She becomes nostalgic too while visiting Alaska later, writing, “Memories rushed back, and my childhood rested before my eyes as I took in the glorious view” This is an excellent read with a free flow of out of the world anecdotes, left me jealous of those who enjoyed their childhood in such surroundings.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________
‘Dean Dixon: Negro at Home, Maestro Abroad’ by Rufus Jones Jr. is the biography of the first Black American to lead the New York Philharmonic and NBC Symphony orchestras in 1941. Rufus begins by tracing the family of Henry Charles Dixon from the closing years of nineteenth century to the birth of Dean Rolston Dixon in 1915. He goes on to give us a peep into his childhood, like how as early as a 13 year old, he had started Dean Dixon School of Music and his days with the Institute of Musical Arts. His growing stature and the admiration and help from influential people like Ms Roosevelt, which enabled him to perform at many prestigious venues not normally open to black conductors are described poignantly. He and a pianist, Vivian, fall in love and get married, she being white, adding to interesting consequences too. They make successful visits across Europe, and they divorce, he developing friendship with a playwright to eventually settle down in Sweden. This, their separation, another marriage and more visits are all entwined in the busy schedule Dixon kept throughout his life.
‘Dean Dixon: Negro at Home, Maestro Abroad’ by Rufus Jones Jr. is the story of an inspiring life. The author has shown a great degree of balance in covering the childhood, formative years and the eventful career of a world famous American, more or less equitably. This sense of justice is visible even when the discussion is about the racial injustice the maestro did suffer, or the love and affection he received from all races. One observation though, important events in the career and personal life of Dean Dixon are adequately covered except for the failures of marital life. Both the divorces hit me without warning.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________
‘An Invincible Summer’ by Betta Ferrendelli starts with Jaime Monroe, a young prosecutor at the DA’s office, showing resolve as well as resourcefulness, in cracking a case of rape and bringing the errant fellow to justice. Her attention falls on Ashley Roberts, a girl with disabilities, who is being pressurized by her mother to undergo sterilization. Here too, Jaime adorns the role of a savior to produce some tense moments of court room drama with total disregard to personal prospects, in providing commendable defense to Ashley. More practical counsels prevail in the courtroom; the judge takes a decision to permit the mother to do what is good for her daughter. However, surprises are waiting to emerge; the story goes to a convolved, eventful and happy ending.
Excellent narration (I never felt the pages fly) and the presence of strong characters capable of evoking our heartfelt sympathy and admiration are the high points of this book. The suspense, drama and the larger than life image connected with the justice department is presented with an artful grace. All the events and protagonists are built with a good amount of attention and care that the reader, at no time, feels them separate from the plot. The issues related to the contentious area of eugenics are handled in this book rather commendably well, and in an uncontroversial manner. However I would like to note one thing, which rather protrudes because rest of the book is spotless. The narration, which is quite gripping from the very beginning, becomes rather sentimental towards the end.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________
‘Passion to Move Mountains - The Oxcart Technique’ by Terry L. Fossum begins, by identifying passion as the single most important factor in success. Terry goes on to examine the trick we use to cheat ourselves ‘of the good we oft might win’– excuses. The will to confront failure is mentioned as another essential trait. Then comes the heart of this book, the oxcart technique, and together with that, the book offers many practical suggestions to the reader. And those cover almost everything that can have an impact on success, like, bringing changes into ones life, identifying goals, controlling ones weight or overcoming addiction. Exploratory questions and surveys are also given at vantage points in the book to enhance the reader’s understanding.
‘Passion to Move Mountains - The Oxcart Technique’ by Terry L. Fossum is a book that can offer invaluable assistance in ones quest for success. The ‘success techniques’ proposed by the books are quite simple, logical and looks effective. Like the approach suggested to overcome one of the most common reasons for failure, procrastination, which is to break the complete task at into convenient smaller chunks that can be easily monitored. Self examination questions and surveys given at many parts of this book make it easy to grasp the finer points and putting them into practice. Inspiring quotes given at many places enhance its value, like, “Failure is not falling down, but refusing to get up.” This is a well written book; it is a very good companion in ones journey to success.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________
‘Shalako Rides: The Journey Begins’ by Brian Chute is a story set in USA of 2055. With the collapse of the union, many groups of states have joined together to form local collaborations. With the complete disruption of air travel, and the only communication route of highways being swarmed by thugs, armored, computer controlled trucks, which is still under trials, are the only hope. A truck like that transports some emergency equipment to Albuquerque, to be driven by Shalako, an expert driver, who is part of the trial team. The dangers they encounter on the way in the form of shooting gangs, and how they surmount those dangers form rest of the book.
‘Shalako Rides: The Journey Begins’ by Brian Chute looks at the future of the society in America through the eyes of s truck driver, Shalako, that too, mostly in connection with his job. Brian has given due allocation for advancement in the driving arena, duly accounting for artificial intelligence, voice controlled systems, strong armor and other facilities. However, when it comes to other areas of life referenced in the novel, like highway robbery, due allowance has not been made for possible improvement in their strategy or weapons. Barring this, this is a very good book, the tone and tenor of the narration befitting greatly, with the characters and plot, as exemplified by, “In combat, lady luck plays a huge role. And as with most ladies, some days she's a wonderful person. Some days she's just a bitch. Today, she had decided to be bitchy.”
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________
‘THE PLATE SPINNER CHRONICLES’ by BARBARA VALENTIN, is a humor spinner look at the travails we invite for ourselves both figuratively and otherwise. As the property of things spin, go, these recollections also do not have a beginning or an end, it covers the daily existence of the spinners’ lifetime. Helping her children in getting school uniforms, books or lunch, finding the days work schedule for herself, tending to a sick child, extending hospitality to surprise visitors or profusely apologizing for a prank 911 call, this memoir covers it all. She acknowledges the contribution of others too, like to her husband she says, “You have your own special way of turning the world so it is facing the way that I’m going”
‘THE PLATE SPINNER CHRONICLES’ is an excellent read. I can’t but agree with BARBARA VALENTIN, when she says, “I have mastered the fine art of faux focus, or appearing to be listening when I’m actually doing a dozen other things at the same time. All it takes is a little practice” This book is a good account of that and much more; making out what two children are saying simultaneously, handling tantrums together with a nutritious meal or, adjusting the trouser length with safety pins (which became a hit leading to unimagined consequences!). This is a book embedded with humor that catches the reader quite unexpectedly, which makes it more relishing. The author might also make a few grand old spinners of philosophy turn in their graves, when she says “I spin therefore I am.”
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________
‘START A SUCCESSFUL BLOG: Turn Your Hobby into Business by Jacob Lange is a guide to a blog that answers all the questions that can arise while planning to start a blog. Jacob starts with the most basic question – how to choose a topic for the blog, which will attract readers. Thereafter, he explains other aspects to consider, like, choosing a web host. How should one select a name for the blog, and what information is to be made available to others, through ‘About’ “Contact’ etc. The author also mentions the importance of building an audience and how that can be used for generating income. Ethical as well as legal issues like copyright, trade mark are also mentioned in this pocket guide.
Jacob makes blogging quite easy, for those who attempted blogging will know, the questions that are answered here are the ones that have been found to be dampening the blogging spirit. Jacob’s short guide will go a long way in easing ones preparations for launching a blog, both by choosing all the areas that needs to be attended to, and by avoiding nonproductive time and effort of learning from ones mistakes. (There won’t be a mistake, to learn from!) A list of suggested web hosts of great popularity, like wordpress, and their niche would have been meeting another crucial need for those disposed to following such a path. A helpful book, I wish I could read a book like this earlier; many unattended areas and sites with leftovers of blogging would have been avoided.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________
‘Improve Your Productivity By Using Conditional Formatting in Microsoft Excel’ by John Smith explains what, conditional formatting is, and how that can multiply the information content of a spreadsheet. Use of different colors, selective highlighting and appropriate positioning of cells are some of the topics discussed in this book. As anyone worked on computers will appreciate, John begins this book with an important topic – how to reverse the formatting. Use of these techniques in finding duplicate information as well as, custom formatting rules is also discussed. The author has indicated availability of a formal training course with online discussions.
‘Improve Your Productivity By Using Conditional Formatting in Microsoft Excel’ is a book with tremendous potential in actual use. The capabilities of Excel, of selective highlighting etc, are of great use when it comes to effective information display. Also discussed is the utility of selective highlighting, in locating errors and discrepancies in a table. Though I have seen the use of spreadsheets quite extensively, instances of such advanced techniques of data presentation have been observed to be minimal. This book explains such aspects quite well, in a manner that is simple and easy to follow. The necessary procedural details and commands are shown in a clear and unambiguous manner to make the whole activity, completely error free. Screenshots are also shown to make it very user friendly. In short it is a very useful book; it taught me a few tricks I was not aware of, in exploiting Excel to its full potential and beyond.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________
‘Supercharge Your Productivity’ by Chaiwat Theerasong begins with the mechanics of success, where principles like consistency in approach, thinking big etc are discussed. Keys to assign a desirable priority are then analyzed, followed by ways to get more from the existing strength. The need to develop a system to augment ones productivity is introduced, mentioning how, the modern gadgets could be of great use. While discussing need to stay focused, we are introduced to the habits of productive people. Procrastination, a known enemy, is taken head on, the author suggesting a bunch of actions in defense. Gainful outsourcing tips with a beautiful summary complete the book. A seven day action guide (spreadsheet) for practical analysis is also given along with the book.
‘Supercharge Your Productivity’ by Chaiwat Theerasong approaches the subject in a logical manner and outlines the principles successful people use to stay productive and become high achievers. Each of the points discussed are explained quite well, suggesting practically adaptable ways, where appropriate. For example, one of the suggestions offered for avoiding procrastination is to divide a big job into manageable chunks and closely monitor those small, easy jobs. The concise summary given in the book can serve, as a quick reminder for easy reference, as well as for prominent display. This is a very good book, a thorough dissertation on productivity and a guide for practical implementation of productivity enhancing techniques. And the supercharge productivity worksheet is of great help, both for gaining insight into the concepts and for adapting for actual use.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________
‘How To Write a Simple Book Review: Calling All Readers’ by Allyson R. Abbott is a short book familiarizing one with book reviews, both as a reader and a reviewer. It tells us what a review is and why it is important. Different types of book review are then explained indicating the differences between them. The book, while giving a general idea as to how a review is to be written, suggests a few opportunities of cashing ones effort. A good list for further information, as well as, the addresses of many book bloggers included in this book shall be of great help.
I wish I could review ‘How To Write a Simple Book Review: Calling All Readers’ by Allyson R. Abbott, before I wrote my first review. (That was returned by the author for revealing too much!) Allyson has certainly made a few intelligent suggestions to make book reviews more interesting to the reader, while remaining easy on the reviewer. With the help of a few simple questions, like, “Is there anything in particular that you remember about the book that stands out or you feel confident about mentioning”, as well as by suggesting a few 'must not dos', or more of 'there is no point in doing', the author has given a clear direction for the reviewer. The recommendations given on star ratings too shall be of considerable assistance for rating and marking ones review. This thus is very helpful book, both for learning the basics of a review and as a handy reference.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader’s Favorite_____________________________
‘Potus Goes to Washington’ by T. Pascal begins with an elated president elect Potus, who was named thus (President Of The United States) for better chances of reelection, selecting the wrong speech at his swearing in. He stumbles, but starts with his busy schedule. A meeting with ‘the society of peanut growers’ and other illuminating discussions await him, he using such opportunities to talk about his pet projects – abolition of the awful atrocity called daylight savings and revamping the budget allocation system to enable each citizen to get his share directly. This and the other pearls of wisdom keep, all those around him flabbergasted, like, “If companies are forced to hire more women or pay them the same as men, they will actually hire fewer women because they can now hire men for an artificially lower price.”
‘Potus Goes to Washington’ by T. Pascal is an enjoyable read. Potus, who says “I need to be the defender of the land and execute the laws as they already exist, and to not create more laws that burden our great nation like a huge weight around its neck" is shown as trying to bring more sanity to American life. No need to keep setting clocks ahead and back two times a year. Give Alaska and Hawaii back to the indigenous peoples as a token of retribution. These are only some of the intrepid proposals from this fertile mind, bent on bringing radical changes to the country. I found this an interesting read with a tinge of humor throughout the book.