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

Posted by: irenesroth | August 7, 2014

Book Review: The Light in Your Eyes

51kcygAd0PL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_The Light in Your Eyes
By Lisa Cassman

This is a unique book of poems expressing the love that a young teenage girl and woman had for a man. It is beautifully written and will keep the reader inspired to find that kind of love at least once in her life.

It all started when Lisa met a very special boy at camp during her early teen years. He helped her feel so secure and comfortable. She was overjoyed to spend time with him. The first few chapters convey how strong young love really is. A teenage girl’s first love is so special. But it can also be a very confusing and difficult time as well. Yet through it all, Lisa wanted to be with this boy forever. But was this possible?

The next few chapters talk about how it feels to really fall in love and yet be separated from each other. A distance began to develop between Lisa and the one she felt closest to. He was in the army and stationed in Texas. When they talked on the phone, Lisa didn’t quite tell him how strongly she fell in love with him. So, it was a time of real confusion and further disappointment for Lisa. She had many positive, loving thoughts of him, and that is what sustained her over time. But he was moving into a life of his own and she had to say goodbye to him.

So, Lisa too moved on in her life. She grew up, got married, started a family, and raised her handsome boys. Lisa’s marriage was very unhappy, however. She lost a lot of her self-esteem and the security and happiness that she once so strongly felt with her first love. But she never gave up hope that she could find that love again.

After her marriage ended, she learned to like herself again. She also knew that she could find the love that she so richly deserved. So, one day, she had to urge to find her first love. Once they had reconnected, she knew that she shared something special with him. It was then that they came together again, their love wouldn’t be torn apart.

Thank you Lisa for helping women to believe that we all can keep hoping to have a husband, lover and friend who is joyous, nourishing, and life-sustaining and that we could all leave abusive and unhappy marriages and seek what is best in our lives. May everyone who reads this book also experience the kind of love that Lisa so beautifully describes.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | August 4, 2014

Book Review: Published on Blogcritics

51MrHxuq7eL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Embrace the Chaos:
How India Taught Me to Stop Overthinking and Start Living
By: Bob Miglani

Does your life feel out of control? Do you feel like you have lost a grip on what is important and you are constantly anxious and frustrated? If so, this book is for you.

Bob Miglani was a person who had it all: he had a wonderful, viable business, a great family life, and relative comfort. But he still felt quite overwhelmed and frustrated. He had no idea why, but the feeling was there. And who cannot relate to that feeling of overwhelm nowadays. We are always doing more and more and hurrying from place to place. We are brainwashed into believing that we can buy happiness. But the more we buy and the more acquire, the less happy we become! This becomes a vicious cycle after a while, eroding our peace and happiness more and more and making us feeling more frustrated.

Bob did a lot of over-thinking and over-analyzing. He had problems sleeping. He definitely knew that something was wrong—but he couldn’t put his finger on what it was until he was invited to go to India with a friend. In India, things are chaotic and unpredictable. Yet, people find a way to live in the midst of this chaos and still be peaceful and happy. This intrigued Bob and he set out to discover how they do it. This is how the idea for this book was born.

In order to regain our peace and happiness and start thriving, we have to push the pause button. We have to stop running and look beneath the surface to the place where we know not just with the mind but also with the heart. We have to overcome our hurry sickness which has really become a neurosis for a lot of us because it creates a lot of anxiety and stress for us.

Our sense of humanity can become hijacked by busyness. When we constantly hurry, we lose touch with our purpose and our perspective of what is truly important. So, we have to pause or pay later. In order to pause, we should accept chaos, refrain from over-thinking, and move forward by taking action.

We live in a world full of chaos, and there is nothing we can do about it. We have to focus on what we can control: our thoughts and emotions. We should look for a place within us for fulfillment. When we find that place, our life will become much less frustrating and anxious because regardless of the chaos outside, we will be peaceful inside. This way we too can transform ourselves from a caterpillar to a butterfly.

Posted by: irenesroth | August 4, 2014

Book Review: Published on Blogcritics

41CjB8K-4aL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_The Blonde
By: Anna Godbersen

This is a uniquely created book in that it is a fictionalized historical telling of Marilyn Monroe. Who didn’t like her and even imagine that they wanted to be her. But even in my teens, I didn’t think that Marilyn Munroe had it all. She struck me as being a person who was stuck in her cultural times, and I was right.

The Blonde is a GREAT story. Marilyn Monroe is a spy. There is so much of the historical Marilyn Monroe woven into the book. The story starts with a flash back into her childhood. Then it flashes forward to the height of her fame and when she seemed to be at the top of the world—which she was on the surface. But under it all, she was a very lonely and vulnerable woman.

Marilyn wants to be desired. That is like a drug to her. She craves it and will bring it about regardless of what she has to do. Many times, women both in Marilyn Monroe’s day and today have to sell their soul and all that they stand for just to fit in. And that is one of the aspects of Marilyn’s life that is sad. She was so beautiful yet she didn’t believe in herself enough to not live for the approval of others.

The story is part spy thriller, and part love story. It is an enthralling read and it will keep the reader wanting to know what happens between John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. Parts of the book read like Marilyn’s personal diary. Some of the details are her inner life are personal and sad. But this is something that every woman can relate to on some level.

Anna Godbersen is a wonderful writer. Her writing is spell-binding. She almost casts a spell with her words as she weaves them into a story line that seems real despite the fact that is it fiction. I don’t usually like to read spy-thrillers; however, this book did not disappoint. In fact, it is a book that I will re-read from time to time.
I recommend the book to all readers who want to read a book that is hard to put down. It is page turner, to say the least. Although the book will probably be most enjoyed by women, men who loved Marilyn Monroe and who love spy thriller’s will also love the book.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | August 4, 2014

Book Review: First Published on Blogcritics

415wPphUocL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_How to Write a Memoir in 30 Days: Step by Step Instructions for Creating and Publishing Your Personal Story
By: Roberta Temes, PhD

Did you ever want to write your memoir but didn’t know where to start? Did you not know how long it would take to write a memoir? If you answered both of these questions in the affirmative, this book for you!

Writing a memoir doesn’t have to be difficult. But it can take a bit of organization. However, Roberta takes all the guesswork out of that process by laying out in step-by-step fashion how to write your very own memoir. The reader is encouraged to write her memoir as she is reading each chapter of the book. You will be guided day by day to writing your memoir in its entirety from beginning to end.

Roberta will help you to determine the major themes in your life, and how to keep digging through your memory bank for dramatic incidents which will make your memoir memorable and relevant to other readers. In addition, she shows how to bring all of your life incidents into a plot structure and organized whole for your memoir so that it is cohesive and interesting. Finally, she shows the reader how to put the whole manuscript together and get it ready for publication in whatever form it will take.

I loved the book, and as I was reading it, I drafted my own memoir. I always held back from getting those words on the page, but when I discovered that I could write my very own memoir in 30 days, I sprung for it. The process was cathartic and liberating. I encourage all individuals who always wanted to write their memoir to read this wonderful book.

Thank you Roberta for such a GREAT book!

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | August 4, 2014

Book Review: First Published on Blogcritics

Let the Tornado Come
By Rita Zoey Chin

This is a GREAT memoir about one woman’s look at her life. It is beautifully written and yet very poignant and sad in places. I couldn’t put the book down after I started reading it. I love reading memoirs. But this book has a special place for me since it is in many ways a coming of age story.

The story is about Rita, and it traces her life story from the time she was eleven years old. She felt very unhappy in her house of origin. Her father was violent and her mother was hostile. This is very difficult for a young adolescent girl to endure. So, she felt her only way to perhaps more happiness would be to leave home and try making her life on the streets.

Being so young and vulnerable, she became prey to older men who took advantage of her. She also got into the whole world of drugs. This was a scary world—sometimes she must have felt even more scared than at home. Strangers were most helpful to Rita, and she did manage to make her way in a dangerous and bewildering world.

Then one day, Rita saw a field of horses galloping around a field. The sight of them gave her amazing hope and a tremendous peace came upon her. This was what kept her hoping for a better day when all things were going wrong all around her. Despite her traumas she developed the ability to endure her traumas to some degree.

This story has a happy ending. Rita survived her terrible childhood and difficult adolescence and became an award-winning writer and the wife of a surgeon. But all was not happily ever after for a while. She underwent more hardship and she became psychological imprisoned by her past. Who would have thought that her love of horses would save her!

Thank you for such a wonderful and honest memoir Rita! You are truly a gifted writer!

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | August 4, 2014

Book Review: First Published on Blogcritics

Under the Wire: Marie Colvin’s Last Assignment
By: Paul Conroy

This is a war book which is very sad. It is a story told by journalists and photographers who put their lives in jeopardy to keep the world informed of the reality of war. Conroy tells the story very vividly. The reader will become aware of some of the horrors perpetuated by Syrian people in the hands of their own government. And poor Marie paid the highest price to show everyone how desperate life could be in Syria.

War really is upsetting to me. It baffles me that at no time in our history have we been so riddled with wars, big and small. It would be nice if war didn’t exist and if people didn’t have to die in wars. But that is probably never going to be our reality.

Under the Wire will give the reader a lot of food for thought and it will help the reader understand the situation in Syria. It reads much like a novel with its adventure and drama, despite the fact that it really is a memoir.

I don’t usually like war stories, but I was glued to the pages of the story since I started reading the book. I was overwhelmed by sadness at some of the atrocities that people have to endure for our freedom. I am honored to have all of them keeping us safe.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in history and wars. It is a fine read and it is wonderfully written.

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | August 4, 2014

Book Review: Published on Blogcritics

3 War Stories
By David Mamet

This is a war book like I never read. It not only spans centuries and continents but it also explores the important themes of redemption and forgiveness.

The book is written as a series of three novellas. In each of them, Mamet does a superb job of explaining the dynamics of war and how it impacts on people and societies as a whole.

In the first novella, The Redwing, he explores the Secret Service naval officer as he becomes a prisoner, novelist and finally memoirist. In the process of the novella, he explains some of the transformations hat he when through during his imprisonment. The story is touching and very painful in places. I really found it sad.

In the second novella, Notes on Plain Warfare, he examines religion and how they can impact wars, specifically the American Indian Wars. This novella was very vividly written and a clear account of some of the origins of war.

In the last novella, The Handle and the Hold, the reader will be sucked into the story of two ex-military men who undertake an amazing adventure before the Israeli War of Independence. It is the best story in the book as it is gripping and the dialogue is very vivid and spellbinding.

This book is written very clearly and cleverly. I just love the style. I didn’t read Mamet’s other books, but I intend to look up his other books and read them in the near future.

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

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