Posted by: irenesroth | February 21, 2015

Practical Proverbs for Everyday Living – Book Review

51jIdI35n7L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_[1]

Practical Proverbs for Everyday Living
By Lawrence Elliott

This is a very inspiring book about how to live the best life by rethinking what’s important to us. Elliott’s practical proverbs are user-friendly and they speak directly to the heart of the reader. Anyone who applies these proverbs to any aspect of their lives will be taking steps to have a much happier and fulfilled life, one that is filled with gratitude and peace.

Our lives are a blend of good times and bad times. We cannot avoid the rough patches that are a part of every life. They will come into our lives like waves at the shore. But if we appreciate that these rough times are there to teach us some valuable lessons, we will see them as having purpose to help us grow.

Elliott examines nine key areas of life that can cause us a lot of grief: God and spirituality, home and family, love and relationships, wisdom and knowledge, leadership and politics, habits and virtues, kindness and gratitude, business and finance, and strength and endurance. All of these areas point us in the direction of re-examining how we live and what small changes we could make to ensure that our life is a lot happier and fulfilled than it has been.

Elliott believes that life was not meant to be as complicated as we make it. It is inspiring to know that in the midst of all of this turmoil we see and experience in the world, we could make choices that will result in happiness and peace of mind. The wonderful nature of choice is that with each decision that we make, we are creating our unique destiny. And when painful things happen to us, as they surely will from time to time, we have hope in a loving God.

What a great and inspiring book!

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | February 20, 2015

Paddy Bostock Book Review

71+K6qkSZyL._SL1050_[1]Peace on Earth
By Paddy Bostock

This is a very thought-provoking adventure-type novel which will keep the reader reading and reflecting on the absurdity of life and what we humans do as a matter of habit. I just couldn’t put the book down.

This book has a very unique story line. The characters in this book are quite off the wall and even foolish. They seem to be unable to grasp the magnitude of what they are really searching after. I wonder if the characters resemble our culture that has always been at war and is unable to somehow come to terms a peaceful world because it too is out of their grasp. We have always been fighting and at war. So, it would seem that we don’t know what peace means and we are always living in strife, even within our own communities.

From the peculiar blend of people and incidents ensues a quest that seems to be of mock-epic scope for an object whose origins are nebulous and current location which is cast in doubt. The outcome of this storyline results in a wild chase one which is unexpected for an adventure story of this kind. Peace on Earth seems to have a bit of resemblance of a rewrite of the Grail Quest.

Paddy Bostock’s rationalizations throughout the book are so irrational, illogical, and even nonsensical in places that they serve to boost the overall mood of triumphant futility. There is also serendipity to some of the coincidences in the book, one that will keep the reader guessing and wondering what will happen next. This is further enhanced by some magnificent coincidences which serve to enthrone serendipity.

Despite this, Peace on Earth contains a very serious message which involves the lengths that humans will go to self-promote themselves and self-flatter themselves over and over again—believing that they are more important than they really are. Can this kind of self-importance ever be attained by human beings? Why do we keep being so ambitious? Peace on Earth shows how vain human beings are and how we focus on the wrong things to better ourselves. It makes us pause and examine the real worth of the goals we pursue unreflectively and busily continuing as if we are pawns on a chess board. If only we stepped back and took stock first. Or, have we become too busy for that?

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | January 31, 2015

Reflections of a Successful Wallflower

51sG-KSzy+L[1]Reflections of a Successful Wallflower:
Lessons in Business; Lessons in Life
By: Andrea Michaels

This is a wonderful book for those who are in the event-business and for all people in general. Michaels’ lessons are very valuable and applicable to all of us. Many of her business lessons can be applied to daily life.

In the book, Michaels shares many of her personal struggles and challenges. One would think that Michaels is problem-free being successful in her business life. But this is far from the case. She is like all of us. Crises hit as do moments of desperation when important decisions have to be made. If you are a woman, a single parent, a married woman or have been through failed relationships, this book will definitely resonate with you.

But what is more, this book shows how important determination and hard work is not only to get along but to be our best. She strove to be her best, and she succeeded in droves. How wonderful and inspiring it is to read about a woman who has succeeded in a world and market that is very difficult indeed to succeed in.

Further, Michaels was so candid and open about her personal life. I truly admire a writer like her. She isn’t afraid to admit her mistakes and misadventures. She shows the reader that you can really do anything that you put your mind to, but you have to be ready for hardship and not shy away from major difficulties and conflict.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end. Thank you Michaels for such a GREAT book! I can’t wait to read your next book!

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

51ielkJLc3L[1]The Balance of Living Well:
6 ways to achieve total harmony in your life
By Rose Reisman

This is a book about Rose’s philosophy of life and how she balances the demands of her life. Women all have a lot of balls up in the air, and self-care if often not one of these balls, much less cultivating a balance in life. Rose has written fifteen books and this book seems to compile many of the important nuggets from her previous books to form a complete system that all women could live by.

We can all get more from our lives. We all seem to run on empty all the time. Some of this is cultural. But a lot of it is self-imposed bad habits and a lack of self-care, resulting in bad health and problematic relationships. After a while, we turn stale and unconscious just so that we could keep running. But what precisely are we running from? Each of us has different answers to this question.

We each need to find our own life balance. But many of us aren’t able to do this on our own without a bit of instruction and motivation. Rose’s book will provide that encouragement that we need. We either don’t know how to create balance in our lives or we don’t want to make the effort to change our unhealthy habits which may eventually cause many health problems. Rose’s book will set us on the right path.

Rose’s recipe towards wellness focuses on fitness, food, family, friends, fashion, and finance. These are the six hallmarks towards achieving balance in life. These areas of life, once considered and changes made to improve wellness, will indeed help you to feel much better quicker.

This is a GREAT book to read at the end of the year, such as we’re approaching here. Read the book and make 2015 your best and healthiest year yet!

To your health! Thanks so much Rose for such an inspiring and timely book!

Rating: 5+ Stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | December 5, 2014

Book Review: 10 Stacks to Success

618zRmQ3WOL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_[1]10 Stacks to Success
Jerome “Jay” Isip

This is a wonderful book that will keep the reader laughing and experiencing constant aha moments. It is a book that I will read and re-read for quite a while. All we have to do is read the book and apply what Jay’s principles into our lives to be successful.

Jay outlines ten stacks of success. They are all common sensical and easy enough to apply into our daily lives if we have an open mind and heart and have the courage to step out of our comfort zones. We also have to be ready to change our lives from the mediocre and banal to the successful and happy. We can all live the life we really want to live and not be trampled by this materialistic culture that insists that our happiness comes from purchasing more and more. This is not the ticket to happiness but to discontentment and bankruptcy.

In order for us to change our minds from the mediocre and banal to the challenging, happy and successful, we have to step out of our comfort zones and want to do things very differently. In other words, we will want to live in a way that really defines us and helps us to develop self-determination, will, integrity, courage, discipline, and most importantly to take action.

The most important take away point in the book is that planning for change is great, and perhaps an important first step. However, unless we take action, our plans are worthless. Some people spend most of their lives planning, and they actually do nothing to change their situation. So, they wallow in their lack of success and become increasingly bitter with each passing day.

Therefore, it is important for us to step into that new reality by dreaming big and taking small steps to move in the direction of our dreams. We can all take that hero’s journey that Jay speaks about. All we have to do is to explore avenues to really find our true bliss. One of the most important ways of living this bliss is to discover what we are truly passionate about and to move towards it. Yes, this is easier said than done, but it must be done before we can be successful.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | November 8, 2014

Book Review for A.J. Tupps

61AyLlYPZnL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_[1]Shadow Tears
A. J. Tupps

The title of this book is quite provocative and it exudes a mystery and sadness that will keep the reader propelled to read the whole book and find out how things turn out for Selena Goodwin.

This story is like no other I have read for a long time. It is filled with angst and it is difficult not to empathize with Selena. But she overcomes so much grief and hardship for a girl her age. And yet, it seems that no matter how much she overcomes there is more and more to overcome and some of it worse than she had to endure before.

The story is about Selena, a girl who suddenly discovers that everything she knew is no longer the case. She has to adapt to an entirely different reality from the one she was familiar with. The only person she really trusts is her adoptive father. Selena is plunged into a world that she never thought existed. It is a reality of secrets, deception and death. Selena gets to the point where she can trust nobody because she is unsure if they are trustworthy. What a difficult way to grow up!

This is supposed to be the best years of Selena’s life, but instead they are the most difficult and full of people who she doesn’t know or trusts. Selena is not merely faced with maturing, and falling in love but she must learn how to live in a completely unknown world. She even has to rely on people who are far from reliable.

Selena was always interested in the world of the paranormal as she was growing up. But she never expected that she may live in a world that has paranormal features. This is so scary for a girl Selena’s age, yet she shows tremendous courage to endure this world and to even overcome it.

I loved this book. It is a book that most adolescent girls will find quite inspiring. No matter how hard they believe their lives are, it can’t be as hard as Selena’s life is. Growing up is never easy. But with courage and perspicacity we can all overcome great odds.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

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

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