Posted by: irenesroth | October 25, 2014

Book Review for Dog Lovers and Animal adoption Centers

Sheri Bready's CoverThis is a wonderful book about how dogs think and what makes them the kinds of creatures that we all love and cherish so much. It takes the idea that dogs’ are man’s best friend to a whole new level.

Most people who love dogs would like to know how their canine friends interpret everyday things and situations. In this book, Sheri Bready does a splendid job conveying a dog’s point of view in a very engaging fashion that will keep readers laughing and wanting to know more.

For instance, how would park benches look like if dogs designed them? Or, how do dogs make art? Or, how do dogs make constellations?  Or, what do dogs dream of?  All of these are great questions that all dog lovers would wonder about from time to time.

Thank you Sheri for such a GREAT and inspiring book! In addition, the photographs are so adorable and engaging. Sheri dedicated the book to all the wonderful workers at the animal shelter who work hard to find homes for these wonderful dogs.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | October 23, 2014

Book Review: Here and Again


51jtugvlc7L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_[1]This is a great historical novel with a twist. I loved the story and I was glued to the book until I finished reading it. Nicole weaves past and present wonderfully in this book and transports the reader back in time.

The story is about Ginger who loses her husband in the Iraqian war. The story also follows all the historical details and the descriptions uniquely shift between Ginger and a male’s perspective. It is great to see the differences in perspective of similar events. That always fascinates me because men and women are truly so different in how they view the world and what is important.

Ginger is like so many women who lose their husbands. She is left to take care and raise her three kids. She is lonely and grief-stricken with no one to turn to. So, one day she decides to pour out her grief in her husband’s special spot on the farm where she lives with the kids. There she meets a very special man who will change her life for the better.

They start a profound journey together and the book highlights that beautifully. It is in many ways a journey of love, healing and coming together. The book is so beautifully written and the story comes together like a marvellous piece of beautiful art. I absolutely commend Nicole on writing such a beautiful novel.

The story does show that we never know what will happen in our lives and what our future will hold. But if we are hopeful and live the best and most graceful life possible, things will probably work out for the best.

Thank you Nicole for such a GREAT and inspiring book!

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | September 26, 2014

Book Review: War Babies

718tfjaU0XL[1]War Babies: The Generation that Changed America
By: Richard Pells

War Babies is a wonderful and extremely readable book about a cross-section of the population who were born between 1939 and 1945. It is a book that readers will want to read and re-read over and over again.

According to Pells, war babies changed the whole world. Those changes shaped the world we now live and will continue to for the future as well. War babies are more resilient and successful than people born either before this time or after. This is quite an interesting premise, and a very unique idea for a book.

Pells discusses four themes in the book. First, Pells believes that war babies produced the culture and political attitudes we were living with ever since. Secondly, war babies were the architects of a value system that was less communal and more private. It was also a system that was more suspicious of the benefits of government policy, political power and organizations. Thirdly, war babies provided a unique perspective on America which was darker and more pessimistic than for previous and future generations. This skepticism characterizes American culture even today. Fourthly, war babies were survivors of both the Depression and World War II. Because of this, they have a lot more resilience and can cope better than anyone in the past or future.

Thus, war babies renovated the cultural and political landscapes. Their art and activities transfigured modern America. This book is a tribute to war babies. And it is definitely a tribute worth making, given the fact that so many talented musicians and singers such as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Joanie Mitchell, Judy Collins, Simon and Garfunkel, actors such as Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, directors such as Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, journalists such as Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, athlete/activists such as Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, civil rights activists such as Mario Savio, Tom Hayden, John Lewis, Barney Frank, and politicians such as John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Dick Cheney who were born in these years. They became adults in the early 1960’s.

There was something important about growing up during a time of upheaval and uncertainty. People brought up during these years never took anything for granted and they knew that unless they worked hard nothing was going to come to them easily. So, they developed a discipline and passion for whatever they were truly gifted doing. The war babies taught us that we should not take things for granted but we should work hard to achieve anything that we really are passionate about. And that is a wonderful thing to strive to achieve. If only kids today believed that.

Tags:  Movies, music, TV, radio, Al Pacino, Cold War, architecture, culture, McCarthyism, painting, actors, generation

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | September 23, 2014

Book Review: Noddy in Wonderland

61XC2aC7g7L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_[1]Noddy In Wonderland
By: Paddy Bostock

Noddy in Wonderland is a unique fantasy novel for all ages. It will keep the reader turning those pages. It is filled with romance and magic. What a great combination for a novel!

Noddy in Wonderland is a multifaceted drama, imbued with philosophical, social and psychological implications. Yet, one of the greatest aspects of the novel is that it never makes its connection with that genre completely explicit. I love the freshness and uniqueness of this story.

The story is about a former soldier, Noddy who returns to his hometown, Liverpool. He dreams of becoming the king of Liverpool. When he shoots a government minister in the bottom, he accidently divides the country into two groups, a group of fans who approve of him and the entire government machinery who threaten to go against him. How does Noddy manage to turn this situation around and see his dream come true? This is a very intriguing part of the story that the reader should explore for him/herself. And on this fantasy adventure he chugs along a large group of accomplices and friends including his brother Knobby, a beautiful girlfriend Meryl, and an elf and a talking dog. This is quite a combination of unique characters.

In this story, Bostock mixes satire and sarcasm into a delightful story. Turning this into a fantasy takes a lot of hard work. But Bostock pulls it off with honours. But what is more, behind the hilarity lies a profound understanding of human nature and an in-depth contemplation of some pretty ineffable issues. The book is also paced perfectly. I just love stories that have this kind of depth and meaning.

Bostock’s novel is one of self-development and it will make the reader rethink and reassess some of his common frameworks and viewpoints. Being a philosopher interested in philosophical psychology, this book tweaked my interest quite a bit and held it until I finished reading it. What a GREAT book! Now, I plan on rereading it.

I recommend Noddy in Wonderland to anyone who loves to read fantasies. Get ready to be transfixed by this book.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | September 11, 2014

Book Review of a Wonderful Mystery Romance

GoodSamBookCoverThis is one of the best mystery romance novels I have read for a long time by a debut novelist. Being a philosopher, I love books that have a strong ending. And this one truly does not disappoint.


After years of covering stories about murders, disasters, and tragedy on the Los Angeles TV news, Kate Bradley has become aware that only cruel and violent stories sell. However, when she comes upon a story about a Good Samaritan who gave ten people $100,000 anonymously, she jumped on the chance to investigate to find out who this good person was. I mean, who wouldn’t like to find $100,000 on their porch?!

It must be hard being a news reporter nowadays. Bad stories and tragedy abound. But what happens to the good stories? Doesn’t anyone care about them? I always wondered how some of these good people report on violent and fear-ridden news all the time. What happens to their persona and how their view of life? After a while, one would have to wonder if there is any good or if there are any good people in the world. But Kate discovered that there are good people in the world, and people want to know about it.

As Kate interviews people to determine who the good Samaritan really is, she discovers that there is a lot of good in this world. Television stations just don’t think that good sells. But good does indeed sell! Not only that, but Kate began to believe that good really does exist everywhere. It’s often right in front of us but is hidden by all the violence and cruelty that surrounds us in the world.

I loved the book from beginning to end. And the moral that Dete leaves is this: There is good all around us; all we should do is look around and change our negative point of view so that we could see all the good that there is around us.

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | September 8, 2014

Book Review about Psoriasis

412PsmiINlL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Psoriasis: A Love Story
By Jennifer N. Martin

Psoriasis is a memoir-type book that every arthritis sufferer should read and purchase so that they could refer to it over and over again. It is well-written, engaging, and brutally honest. It is certainly a book that I will be reading and rereading.

Jennifer Martin is among the 2.2 percent of the population who as psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease that attacks the skin and is marked by red, itchy, scaly patches. It was very hard for Jennifer Martin to deal with the onset of this disease. There doesn’t seem to be anything that to tailor the symptoms. It grated on her self-esteem and made her feel hopeless.

Jennifer went through all of these issues and more. Imagine being covered with inflamed, swollen skin lesions with silver white scales? This occurs when the immune system is mistakenly triggered causing skin cells to grow too fast. Jennifer tried everything she could get her hands on: Enbrel, methotrexate, and gold treatments, just to name a few. The side effects from these medications were so bad that at one point Jennifer had all the symptoms of MS. How heartbreaking that all arthritis sufferers become so desperate that they would take anything to get a bit of relief. I can totally relate to that, as I will share below.

Jennifer even tried Eastern remedies and treatments and prayer and meditation. She even enlisted the help of psychics. All of these things didn’t help much. Jennifer had to turn away from looking from things that were outside of her to things that are within her control: her perspective and thoughts. It is only when Jennifer realized this that things turned around for her.

In other words, Jennifer had to stop looking at her disease from the view of negativity and how it was impacting the quality of her life. Instead, she tried to look at the disease from a position of love and self-acceptance. She had to create a lifestyle which is in alignment with who she truly is. That is, Jennifer had to learn to love herself, despite her illness. It is only then that she went into remission.

What a GREAT story! If only we all learned how to do that. I have had Osteoarthritis for over fifteen years now. My life has been an uphill battle too, as I struggle every day with pain and debilitating fatigue. Jennifer’s story has inspired me to start loving myself, despite of the nodes on my hands and legs, and my constant pain and fatigue. I urge all individuals who have any kind of arthritis to read this book.

Rating: 5+ Stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | September 2, 2014

Book Review for Tynsdale Publishers

By Bill Hybels

Are you over-scheduled and too busy? Do you feel so exhausted you can no longer carry on?

Many of us are in this very boat and we are getting sick as a result and losing our equilibrium. For some of us, this exhaustion causes numerous health problems. For others, addictions of every kind become easier than dealing with some of our real problems and taking the time to declutter our lives. Hybels will show you how to do this and more.

In Simplify, Hybels identifies some key issues that drive this kind of busy, stressed-out life. After reading this book, and doing his action steps, we can live a happier, simpler, and more fulfilled life.

For many of us, we are exhausted, over-scheduled, overwhelmed, restless, wounded, anxious, isolated, drifting, stuck, and feeling meaningless. Wouldn’t it be better if we were energized, organized, in control, fulfilled, whole, peaceful, connected, focused, moving on, and satisfied instead? If so, it can be yours by taking a few key steps after reading this book. Hybels demystified the process in his clear, honest approach to the topics.

I am at an apex in my own life right now. I needed to read Hybels book because I know my life can’t go on as it is now. Do you feel the same way? If you do, you can’t afford not to read this book.

Thank you Bill for giving me the courage to take control of my life again.

Rating: 5 stars

Irene S. Switankowsky (Roth)

Posted by: irenesroth | August 12, 2014

The Shy Writer: Book Review

514Ctqps67L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_The Shy Writer Reborn
By C. Hope Clark

This is a book for all introverted writers—beginner and well-seasoned or mature.

Introverts are a special kind of writer. They don’t mind spending endless hours alone writing at their desks. However, when it comes to actually sending out their work, they are filled with fear and even dread sometimes. This can greatly hinder a writer’s success. Hope Clark shows us how we can take steps to be the best writer (by putting in the long hours at our desks) AND promoting ourselves and sending out our manuscripts to potential publishers.

After all, if we merely sit and write without sending out our work, we will never get published. So, why not take small steps today to step outside of our rigid boundaries and comfort zones and step into the public realm so that we can make this happen?

Hope Clark shows introverted writers how to step into the public arena with confidence. She discusses how we can control the negative voices in our heads, define and deal with our fears, how to develop a platform, set our priorities and promote ourselves, blog, and write queries and pitches. Lastly, Hope Clark shows us how to hone our self-confidence so that we can comfortably speak in the public realm and present our work so that others will take notice.

We can create our safe haven and be successful. Just read The Shy Writer Reborn and find out how to do so most successfully. Listen up introverted writers. Success is possible.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | August 12, 2014

Book Review Published on Blogcritics

51q5WGRfXxL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_The Way of the SEAL:
Think Like an Elite Warrior to Lead and Succeed
By Mark Divine

The Way of the SEAL is an important book about how to think like a winner and leader. It will transform anyone’s life. However, it is a book that has to be read and reread many times in order to be able to apply it to your life properly.

Do you ever wonder why you’re not happy and whether you’ve stepped onto the wrong boat in your life? Most of us feel that way, and some of us feel that way all the time. We feel like some kind of a cog in a large wheel that is not even run by us. We feel out of control, and we can’t think straight. We feel stressed out, and there doesn’t seem to be anything we can do to get ourselves out of this rut. If you feel this way, this book is definitely for you!

This book is very different from most leadership books in that they are missing a key ingredient of what makes a true leader. It is not about leading from the outside and knowing how to act in order to be the best that we can be. Mark Divine will show you how to BE a leader and to develop the character necessary to be a better person and to always try to improve yourself. Leadership is not about developing a skill; it is about character development.

To be a true leader, you have to commit yourself to self-mastery and growth. Even the best theory won’t help you lead yourself or a team to success. You need to change your mindset and become that leader. We have to try to develop genuine leadership which stems from the heart of the individual.

The way of the Seal is predicated upon your commitment to fully develop personal discipline and an ethical stand. You’ll focus on becoming a good teammate before stepping into the leadership arena. You will never seek leadership roles as an end in and of themselves. Ultimately, you need to develop kokoro which means to merge your heart and mind in action. This implies that you are balanced and centered, and can operate with synchronicity with your inner selves, others, and nature. When you commit to the integral development and lead with kokoro, you will be truly authentic, powerful, and present.

The Way of the SEAL is not a quick fix. It’s a journey, a way of being. You will learn strategies and tactics you can employ right away. However the key factor is your own development into a person who lives these values and principles and doesn’t just speak about them. This is the true mark of leadership.

This is a wonderful book that I could not put down. Now that I read it once I will be rereading it again, doing the exercises and trying to apply it to my life one chapter at a time. It is that important, and most readers will feel just as drawn to become the best that they can be. It will be a book that is important to everyone who wants to live the best life and think clearly. And who wouldn’t want that.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | August 12, 2014

Book Review on Blogcritics

41VYjMujHHL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_The Generosity Path: Finding the Richness in Giving
By Mark V. Ewert

Do you consider yourself to be generous? Or, do you think being generous is only reserved for a few special people? Mark Ewert shows the reader that anyone can be generous.

We live in a consumerist culture which believes that we can only be happiest when we buy certain products. Otherwise, we are people who don’t deserve to be happy. What an empty philosophy!

Ewert’s book advocates a different cultural stance and an alternative understanding about the best use of our material resources. We have to redefine the use of money. Money should not merely be used to buy what we want but to help others as well.

To be happiest, we should give generously to others. And generous people need not be rich either. They can give what they can at the moment. The good news is that you may not realize it but you are already generous. For instance, do you ever give change to a homeless person on your way home from work? Or, do you give your used clothes to the Goodwill or Salvation Army? If you do, you’re already generous.

To develop the practice of generosity, we should start where we are and be a bit more generous now than we were a year ago. We don’t have to leave our homes or sell all of our possessions in order to be able to give. Just start thinking of others slowly and how you could help.

So, as Ewert says, we can be generous, regardless of our situation in life. You may find opportunities everywhere in daily life, regardless of your circumstances. But what’s even more important is that whatever amount of generosity we can practice will help us to connect with others, find purpose and meaning in our lives, build solidarity, align our values, beliefs and loves with our actions, and experience good feelings.

This book is a must-read for each person who would like to get beyond the consumerist culture we live in the midst of every day and to be stewards of a better world with more kindness and generosity to spread.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

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