Tuesday, August 25, 2015

More Reviews...



“CRITICAL FOCUS’ by Paul Richards, PhD contains the photographs of Harvey Wilson Richards and text of the original book. It also accommodates a much wider selection of Harvey Richards’ still photography which is available on the internet through the Harvey Richards Media Archive and Estuary Press. Endnotes give readers the opportunity to explore Harvey Richards Media Archive by subject. Within the book itself, a new List of Photographs offers instant access to any photo in the eBook. The 120 photographs in Critical Focus were the first to be published back in 1986. Today, over 1000 photos are available on the web on the Harvey Richards Media Archive. This book, in four sections, namely California Farm Workers, Peace and Civil Rights Movements, Forestry and the Environment and Miscellaneous, covers his journey as a photographer from 1958 to 1978.
“CRITICAL FOCUS’ by Paul Richards, PhD is an album of Richard’s photographic work covering many subjects including farm labor, the civil rights movements and the peace and anti-war protests. Poignant pictures illustrating varied but socially relevant topics, such as, working and living conditions in California agriculture, the wasteful and largely hidden deforestation occurring in California, Oregon and elsewhere in the U.S., racism in hiring practices, southern bombings of black churches, the U.S. blockade of revolutionary Cuba, atom bomb testing and the Vietnam war are included in this collection. Each and every photograph speak volumes about the rather hazy and grey chapters of US history of the bygone days, over and above the living proof they are, of the professional competence and artistic ebullition of the lensman in Harvey William Richards.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

‘Adaptive Capacity’ by Juan Carlos Eichholz teaches how an organization should tackle changes with an adaptive approach, to remain relevant notwithstanding the change. This is dealt in two parts. In part one, the broad concept of adaptability and organizational complexity that underlie this approach is discussed. Part two examines specific techniques to be applied to organizations to bring necessary enhancement in its capacity to adapt and, the variations demanded by external and internal challenges. Following questions and its answers broadly summarize this approach. 1)How much adaptive capacity does it have? 2)Is that adaptive capacity enough to meet the challenges it faces?3)How can its adaptive capacity be increased? 4) What are the variables that may increase its adaptive capacity?
‘Adaptive Capacity’ by Juan Carlos Eichholz exhorts the significance of adaptability quoting from the theory of evolution by Darwin, “It is neither the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that outlasts. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” Showing real life examples from the field of business, the author cites various instances of failure as well as growth of different firms like Microsoft, Google etc to drive home his idea, by establishing the better adaptability of the successful one as the significant cause, in case of success and inflexible stance as the cause for failure. This approach is described well and a large collection of real life examples make it very convincing and easy to understand. An index is also provided making this a good material for study.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

‘100 Simple Ways to Have More Friends’ by Cherie Burbach begins with a short discussion on the many facets of loneliness, the inability in finding friends. It then jumps to the first way to befriend– be adept at small talk. Volunteering is the next suggested way, and, having a dog, becoming a good listener, visiting gyms, attending reunions are some of the other ninety nine imaginative but simple ways recommended by Cherie. The key to having more friends, as the author points out, is in increasing the number of people you come across on a regular basis, in addition to holding on to the ones you already have.
‘100 Simple Ways to Have More Friends’ by Cherie Burbach is full of easy and creative suggestions to nurture new friendships while cementing the existing ones. Encouraging one and all that failure to have friends should not be seen as a commentary of ones ineptitude or incapability in social transactions, she rightly exhorts of the essential and winning approach, take interest in others’ welfare. Her other suggestion, that one should avoid displaying general bitterness just because something bad has happened, is another tip worth its weight in gold. Cherie’s perspective, on finding laudable acts of exchange of ideas and emotional needs in simple daily activities, coupled with a good chapter on how it can be actually put to use, make this book an essential read for both. Those without friends can fetch fresh ones in a jiffy and those already with friends can see that the friendship continues unhindered.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

‘Feeling Lonesome’ by Ben Lazare Mijuskovic explains the philosophical roots of loneliness. It begins with an overview citing various approaches like, cognitive, psycho-analytical and behavioral, briefly narrating where they act and how. Other more esoteric facets of loneliness is then discussed, beginning with reflexivity, where Ben argues loneliness as innate to humans (I think, therefore I am lonely) and also, as old as human race, intentionality/transcendence, where its roots are retraced from the very beginning, and phenomenology, which analyses it as ‘multiplicity of emotions in unity’. Language, the distinct feature of humans, and its role, unconscious and the conscious minds, as well as therapeutic measures, are some of the other features that are covered in this rather comprehensive study of loneliness.
‘Feeling Lonesome’ by Ben Lazare Mijuskovic examines all the aspects of loneliness, from a philosophical angle with primacy of loneliness in human consciousness. Though the author concedes to a dependence of mind over matter or vice versa, that relationship is to be considered as a problematic one, preventing one from drawing conclusions. This book opened my eyes to loneliness, rather than my earlier notion as something best to be avoided, I can now see loneliness as turbulence, and similar to, as it is said the eloquence of silence. This is a very good book which examines all aspects of the topic under study. One thing I noticed though. The theories referred to justify or negate conclusions, if referred to by the name of the theory also, rather than only by the originator’s name, would have been a great help to a newbie like me.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

‘Before Afdre and After’ by Maureen Twomey, as the title suggest, begins with her experiences at UCLA as a eighteen year old and her enviable record. Afdre refers to her loss of speech, caused by the massive stroke she sustained and the quick, immediate responses from all. Her days with rehabilitation and her attempts to regain the lost, with additional help of physical therapists, and near and dear ones, finds its mention thereafter. In learning to speak all over again, how, special software, laughing stock classes and a myriad of things came to her rescue is revealed here. In between, with the flow of humorous words, like I am ‘learning the art of being silly’; she makes other consequences of this unfortunate event look rather delightful.
‘Before Afdre and After’ by Maureen Twomey is a collection of true reflections of someone going through a long process of healing and rehabilitation. Feeling the presence of God, having doubts about this being a part of retribution, as well as feeling happy and contended by trusting Him further are recounted here. She is also very lucky, the most frustrating part faced by anyone with a difficulty to speak or express, which lies in the potential for confusion leading to total misunderstanding between one, and the others attending, was notable by its absence. Couldn’t this be due to the particular ‘one’, or ‘the others’ or both in this case, being discerning, understanding as well as competent, and deserving to be acknowledged? This is a good read, told with controlled foray into the realm of sentimentality and a constant touch of humor.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

‘Hotel Hell: Take a Journey Through the Eyes of an Overnight Hotel Clerk’ by Monica Savioz is the author’s experience at the job she took in a hotel. Beginning with her successful interview, her impressions jump to the constantly permeating smell at the hotel, part of it from the different areas and part of it from the diverse occupants. It goes on to describe insects and other irritants of life, not to mention her encounters with police. Monica’s recounting of a barrage of antics of hotel guests and challenges of the job, like, an eleven year old child locking himself up when alone in room, leading to total commotion, helping a guest with a sticky hair dryer or scores of other adventures, each more naughtier than the other, make this a really interesting reading.
‘Hotel Hell: Take a Journey Through the Eyes of an Overnight Hotel Clerk’ by Monica Savioz is bound to enhance the appeal of hotel jobs, or those who want their jobs to look more attractive can think of offering her a position. The author has narrated a good documentary of hotel life, especially, as it is seen from the shop floor. I specially liked the ‘guest with a heavy baby bump’, whose babyname was not disclosed; it was closely guarded for fear of theft! Whether it is with the supply of towels, use of laundry or moving in a burning elevator, it seems Monica has a knack of identifying the protruding element of the experience, as they say, the source of fun. For every story, she adds to the humor, by giving a moral. A good read indeed.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

‘Things to Do in Amsterdam: Museums’ by Marko Kassenaar & Liesbeth Heenk  is about presenting art in a conversational and enjoyable way. This is a 4 book set of lavishly illustrated pages, with Book 1 showing Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Book 2, Anne Frank House, Book 3, Van Gogh Museum and Book 4, Hermitage Amsterdam. In each of these, photographic plates of important exhibits blare out the history of the museum as well as the specifics of the showcased wealth. For example, the curls of his hair, instead of being painted with a brush, are scratched onto the canvas with an etching-needle, on a self-portrait by Rembrandt. Vincent van Gogh’s experimental styles producing a varied spectrum of colors are only some of the priceless treasures one can enjoy here.
‘Things to Do in Amsterdam: Museums’ by Marko Kassenaar & Liesbeth Heenk brings the museums in Amsterdam to our living rooms. All the photographs are perfect reproduction of the paintings, capable of giving rise to the exact feelings of watching the original. Added to it is the writing accompanying each plate, and the brief background information of the exhibit presented there, which not only endears it more, but also is a great help to those who want to study this further.  This is an excellent publication and it contains excellent write up on each of the exhibits shown. With relevant information and life pictures of exhibits, it is a priceless treasure for a seeker and, a commentary of why these great ones remain a timeless inspiration to us all. A great book, indeed.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

‘Anne Frank: Anne Frank 80 Years’ by Ronald Wilfred Jansen is a collection of photographs portraying the life and times of Anne Frank. Starting with her home till 1931, the photographs recount her escape and the first house she lived in Amsterdam. The swimming pool that was out of bounds for Jews, the school where Anne Frank studied during 1934 – 41 as well as, the statue of Anna Frank with her diary that now adorns that place is contained in this. The image of the barracks where she was held captive, the gas chambers at Auschwitz and many other photographs of extermination of Jews can be seen among this album.
‘Anne Frank: Anne Frank 80 Years’ by Ronald Wilfred Jansen is a collection of photographs with life, more like a tableau. Though there is nothing gruesome or frightening in these pictures, all the images evoke highly disturbing memories. With the short and factual caption accompanying these, each picture speaks volumes. Ronald has done a marvelous job, this picture book is capable of inspiring the reader and viewer to delve deeper into the history of the Holocaust and Anne Frank. The message taken from this shall be to contribute to the mutual tolerance and understanding between people and cultures. I am sure that this picture book can make people more involved with the story of Anne Frank and the horrors or war in general. An excellent piece of work, this book is bound to provoke action to maintain the freedom of conscience, by reminding us of Anne Frank. 
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

‘A Pocket Guide to South Africa’ by Terrance Zepke is a guide to learn, plan and enjoy a trip to South Africa. Beginning with interesting and fast facts about this country, this book delves into the historical background and the essential geographical and related information. After acquainting us with the topology of this land, it discusses the safaris and interests of tourists at length in addition to introducing the beautiful beaches of South Africa. In each case, information of interest to the visitor, like availability of place to stay, how to reach, best time to visit, etc make this guide a must for every visitor. A short quiz is included; use it for self test or for entertainment.
‘A Pocket Guide to South Africa’ by Terrance Zepke brings South Africa to our living rooms. In fact this book, by giving an attractive picture of what is awaiting for us in South Africa, initiates the desire to go. The necessary data for the travel, safety tips, the cost of trip, the places to see and the hotels to stay makes it easy to plan a convenient visit. Special interests like blokart sailing, hiking, rambling, kloofing, rock climbing, fishing, hang gliding, paragliding, bungee jumping, sky diving, canopy tours and scores of others make it difficult to choose from. A sample 14-Day Itinerary that can be altered to suit ones interests, timeline, and budget becomes an icing on the cake. A great guide to plan a vacation, which also is extremely useful for enjoying the many features of this land.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

‘Managing Products to Deliver Solutions: 25 Best Practices for B2B Product Management’ by John Mansour is a complete discussion of the nature of B2B and the recommended approach to ensure success. It starts with definitions, and mentions the need to have unique solutions for B2B, also, how it has to different from B2C. The book explains how and why, in B2B, we look for highly valued solutions compared to building great products. Thereafter, the discussion pertains to the things that make B2B unique, alongwith familiarization with the best practices for B2B product management – a twenty five point action plan. The author concludes with a dictum - In B2B, every product should be created with the intent of delivering a solution to a much broader need than the product itself.
‘Managing Products to Deliver Solutions: 25 Best Practices for B2B Product Management’ by John Mansour is a good, rather abstract debate on B2B. It clarified many of the questions I had on B2B and its application. There is potential for further growth and new terms like, ‘prosumer’ or ‘prosumerization’ are already in circulation. With this field of business poised for greater growth in the coming years, books like this can contribute by making our concepts clearer. The topics discussed here will help in altering the business plan and strategy to one that is not focused on a singular product or market or both. Defining the differences and the resources required for either (based on B2B, B2C differences) might introduce necessary correction. This is a good book and an easy guide.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

‘ASK YOURSELF: Getting Back to Being Your Brother’s Keeper’ by Felicia Benton questions our sense of correctness. Even if we ensure that our approach or behavior is correct, we do not bother to question the effect our actions have on those around us. By examining common, regular occurrences in our midst, Felicia attempts to show that human nature does not include examining the appropriateness of the action for the collective good, unless we take efforts to do so. We have to introduce necessary changes to bring even our unconscious acts to be brought under this test – is it against the common good? If so we need to make changes.
‘ASK YOURSELF: Getting Back to Being Your Brother’s Keeper’ by Felicia Benton introduces certain lofty questions. All the chapters of this book are directed more or less towards collective good and Felicia’s exhortation to everyone is also appropriately themed. I have a question. Isn’t this based on the dictum that ‘man is expected to be leading a social life and, individual existence is incidental to it’? Supposing we think otherwise, such as, ‘man is essentially is an individual being and, social life is secondary to it’, wouldn’t our behavior, actions and approaches appear right? But for this question, I found this book echoing the sentiments expressed by many a social reformer, ‘no one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another’. The author has provided a good set of questions for self examination, a simple one being ‘those outside of you do not have to suffer the consequences of your actions’.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

‘Life Changing Habits: Building Yourself to Take on the World’ by Henry B starts with a discussion about building oneself, where he acquaints us with the three facets each and every human has, mental, physical and spiritual. He then suggests ways to achieve, believing in oneself, identifying fears, motivation and goal setting being some of the steps needed towards this. Cultivating healthy habits, like yoga and meditation, being carefree like a child and the importance of keeping an open mind are discussed. With suitable examples from real life, the author exhorts the need to shed laziness, which is an innate quality of man.
‘Life Changing Habits: Building Yourself to Take on the World’ by Henry B is a short description of the path to success. He mentions about the importance of physical beauty to build self confidence and hence keeping trim and fit is a necessity. Eat a healthy diet. Fresh vegetables, fruits, tuna fish and milk combined with brown rice, whole grain bread and poultry can keep you healthy. Since there is less starch in these foods you’ll not gain weight. Avoid sugar and fat. Perform yoga to maintain a healthy body. Yoga cleanses the body, mind and soul. You feel calm and composed after a session of yoga. Meditation helps to keep your focus on what you wish to do with your life. Be it personal, professional or social life, meditation can help you to heal and think with clarity. This short booklet thus contains quite helpful suggestions. Nice little instruction manual.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

‘The Truth About Low Back Pain’ by Gage Permar, DPT begins with first step in curing back pain – understanding what it is and is not. And continues with a rather aggressive suggestion that the present method of drugs and surgery are grossly ineffective in healing this. The author then suggests a comprehensive healing process involving all aspects of physical management of pain. Correcting ones posture, exercises specifically aimed at preserving natural flexion of body, and modifying ones manner of doing things, the author asserts with confidence, possess the ultimate power to relieve back pain. Towards this, a rather exhaustive list of physical exercises to follow as well as the recommended styles and postures contained in this book, will certainly be of great use.
‘The Truth About Low Back Pain’ by Gage Permar, DPT is a comprehensive study of the back pain problem. Though the author’s approach to the physical remedy is quite complete as far as exercises go, alternate systems of medicine, like Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Naturopathy etc are not covered in this analysis. From my personal experience I can say that while exercises can make a lot of difference to occurrence or recurrence of pain, alternate systems of medicine is not completely useless, especially for curing an already painful condition. This is a very useful book; it not only suggests different physical exercises suitable for various joints and parts of our body but also enables one in preventing the incidence of such painful conditions by suggesting an appropriate body posture, even for regular daily activities like sitting, sleeping, etc. Good printing and high quality, clear illustrations make it easy to read and follow.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

‘Hopeless To Husband’ by Fred Esposito begins with a great advice – Get out of your comfort zones. Being an expert on disastrous dates, having faced quite a few of them in life, Fred says, good preparation is needed to ensure success, which always should begin with self. The author proposes complete change, not only that a few non beneficial habits are to be replaced, but also good, healthy and positive styles of living need to be adopted to diet, exercise and other facets of relevance to self esteem. A bunch of tips are included while discussing the practical aspects of going ahead with a date, how to flirt, how to start a conversation, the correct body postures and how to manage rejection.
‘Hopeless To Husband’ by Fred Esposito gives valuable advice in this rather hazy area, where anything and everything can be seen, both as good and as bad. Ones self-esteem, as he says, grows when control of events are taken in ones hand. He therefore suggests meditating on the changes one needs to introduce or that are already in place. ’Take pride in that you are not the average person who just wishes and waits for things to happen.’ However, these recommendations are not connected with Fred’s personal experience in this area, which, as I understand from the book is quite varied. That could have added an authentic touch to each and every suggestion, elevating them to the status of dictums. This is a good read with an easy narration and logical presentation of data.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

‘Finding the Rainbow’ by RACHEL MCGRATH is a chronicle of the timing of cycles and waiting for good news, with the hope and excitement of finding out positive results. However this is followed by the pain and grief of miscarriage, which often leads to starting the same actions all over again. It begins with Rachel’s desire to have a baby and repeated instances of natural abortion. They consult doctors again, and after many instances of heartbreak the doctors’ point out to her that she could be having a serious medical condition that can rule out pregnancy.
‘Finding the Rainbow’ by RACHEL MCGRATH is an absorbing story.  Rachel’s desire to conceive and, the pain she felt to make an amicable husband understand her pain, can be seen quite clearly in these pages. The emotional stress, she was under and the part played by the helpful while understanding approach of her husband in enabling her to withstand that, is another visible facet that comes out beautifully. In addition, this book shows that she also hides good talents of appreciating sardonic humor; ‘..come after six weeks, if you are sill pregnant..’ or ‘ Both of us have the necessary tools to get pregnant’ can be cited as good examples. As this is the way the book ends, ‘I also know my own emotions and limits. We are ready to try again, and I know that I will always remain hopeful for what the future may bring’, I can’t but wait for the sequel. This is an excellent read with a moving description.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

‘A picture of a dead horse’ by Trevor Herdman begins with his last year in school, a time for unbridled fun with his friends. During one such occasion of revelry, an accident at a swimming pool leave him paralyzed and is confined to a wheel chair. After long periods of rehabilitation where he got used to his wheel chair, he continues his study and lands on a job with the help of Disabled Resettlement Office. He goes behind many women in his quest for life and, one woman, Denis, comes across him for a more permanent relationship and it materializes. He now continues his journey with her as a happier paraplegic with, active involvement in many outdoor activities.
‘A picture of a dead horse’ by Trevor Herdman is an inspiring tale of determination and an invisible strength. At no stage could I see a sign of despondency or helplessness, though Trevor’s injury easily justifies it. On the contrary, a rather lingering sense of humor permeates throughout the book. Devoting ones rehabilitation days to master the technique of maneuvering the wheel chair up a kerb as well as the advanced one of dropping down backwards, certainly needs some spirit. Becoming an axe-murderer on bail is another example, and, meeting Denis, his future wife, and taking permission from her children to propose to her is the best example of all. This is a page turner; I felt a great sense of loss after I saw the photograph of the Paralympics Air Weapons Team. No more pages left to read!
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

Build your Computer Skills by Luke Mathius Harlow is a book full of useful information about using a PC. This book can boast of an easy to understand step by step approach,  suitable both for a beginner and an experienced user. It covers almost all the jobs one may encounter; like Navigating Windows, Manipulating Folders or Documents, USB Devices, Maintenance jobs like  Disk Defragmentation, Computer Safety – Viruses,  Computer Hardware – A Glimpse inside the Machine, use of  Email – Gmail, Google Search Features, Online Media – Streaming or  Google Earth. An Introduction to Binary and other Number Systems used in computer is also provided. A set of test questions for each chapter along with a good index at the end enhance the book’s learning value.
Build your Computer Skills by Luke Mathius Harlow covers almost all the questions an average user might confront while using a PC and provides clear and concise instructions. However a few more situations like Use of Safe Mode, Updating Drivers, Enabling Flash or Changing Display Resolution would have been of great help to a beginner.(I used to feel so, on many occasions!) In addition, certain basic instructions on Internet Commerce, Social Media etc could have enabled the readers in acquiring these popular skills which are more or less becoming essential in this arena. This book is however notable for its academic approach; clear explanations, easy to remember procedures and review questions. I think this book should be a welcome assistant for every PC user, more so in the initial days of use.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

‘The Authentic Sale’ by Rena Cohen-First is a book to show every woman that she can move from the supportive roles, considered more traditionally feminine, to the front lines in the sales force and flourish there. Based on hierarchy of needs and other theories of behavioral attributes and incorporating traditional sales competencies, the author presents The Sales Goddess Model: where the goddess id actually a combination of The Worker, who prepares, organizes, and takes actions to achieve the best result for customer, The Connector, who builds emotional connections, and uplifts, The Leader, who takes charge, facilitates, and orchestrates for the best of all, and The Knower, who creates, being some of them. She concludes by equating the woman-sales-enthusiast to Persephone, the Greek queen of the underworld.
I found ‘The Authentic Sale’ by Rena Cohen-First a fantastic study, especially from the angle of a seller. A woman’s role in sale department and her career performance can be greatly altered by the approach proposed in this dissertation. However I have a doubt. The inclusion of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and other principles of similar vein, in this scenario, could also be extended to the customer. And in that case, isn't it likely that customer also will have such needs and satisfying those should be the fist aim of any seller? I found this a new and bold approach. It is rather abstract in nature and establishes the viability of women usurping the kingdom of sales. There is plenty of scope for a more descriptive compendium of techniques, specially suited for women sales people.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

More Reviews...



‘Another Sunset’ by Jason Zandri has its beginning in a happy young drifter, David, choosing Westville, a small town as his abode. His industrious nature, carefree attitude and pleasant outlook endears him to all, more so to Caroline and her mother, Maria. His deep involvement with the local populace with infusion of new ideas and the readiness to join hands with Caroline in her adolescent dreams, make him an inseparable part of the small crowd and they shockingly learn that he has a tragic tale to tell. He has a major tragedy behind him, having lost his wife and young daughter in an accident. As times goes by, he attachment to the people around turns more and more cemented.
 ‘Another Sunset’ by Jason Zandri can boast of a very good plot, and an enthralling narrative that is formed by weaving the significant and the trivial together, leaving hardly anything to review in these angles. The content and the delivery of Zandri’s prose, makes his tale hard to put down. Each and every one of his characters comes out as strong personalities with their independent canvas and colorful presence. An authentic dialogue, which resonates in the midst of tastefully conceived characters, adds to the complexity that underpins his plot. One thing I must mention though, the personal tragedies, the hero did face in his life seemed to be a little too much. Notwithstanding that, this is an excellent book, a real page turner of a novel.
 Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite ________________

‘CAULIFLOWER HEART: A Romantic Wrestler’ by Diana Hart, named after an acquired deformity or hardening of the ear affecting the fighters, reflects the trials and tribulations of living in the wrestling milieu, the cauliflower ear. Through the story of Claudine Bellamy who grew up in the wrestling world and married a wrestler, Diana narrates the ever present romantic twists in a wrestler’s tale, some of them enjoyable and a few, greatly wrecking. With a superstar husband and the associated celebrity status, how Claudine has to rise up in providing necessary help and assistance to her husband as well as protecting her children who stands to lose the love, and wisdom they deserved, wanted and needed from their dear father, is presented in this book.
‘CAULIFLOWER HEART: A Romantic Wrestler’ by Diana Hart is an eye opener of a story with a compelling narration. Just as the cauliflower ear is considered a badge of courage and experience, this tale is also the celebration of superhuman strength of the wrestling crowd in finding answers to their challenges. This book reaffirms the adage, in the words of a famous poet, “The paths of glory, lead but to the grave”. The romantic and whirlwind life of Claudine, and the brave face she had to put up for meeting the challenges of her family life comes alive in these pages. Well written and telling all facets of this colorful life, this story has succeeded in kindling interest in me to look beyond the stages, of all that is publically seen.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite ________________

‘Gooseberry Island’ by Steven Manchester has its beginnings in a chance encounter between Lindsey Wood and David McClain which sparks romance between them, the spark kept alive through Skype when he is back to duty in Afghanistan. In Afghanistan he has to witness much of the horrendous acts of war, arson and violence, mostly senseless. He, on completion of his stint returns, to find himself horribly affected. This leaves Lindsey in terrible grief, who already is in doldrums owing to her father’s condition, being a Gulf veteran. Her experience with these comes handy in David consulting many, find it more or less common among such repatriates, something like PTSD, and with mutual assistance they make peace with the present. David and Lindsay begin their journey…
‘Gooseberry Island’ by Steven Manchester is bound to take its toll on ones emotions, the instant chemistry between the two, Lindsey and David, the exchange of number in the hopes he will call, and the call doing wonders, as well as his invitation to a party without telling her that it’s his going away party! I have had the occasion to witness something similar and have always felt how treasured such moments are. Steven has adopted a good degree of moderation; at no stage do the emotional scenes and exchanges seem unnatural. A moving story with a complete plot, it leaves one with the same feeling as the last thought of the hero “Life is better than good”, and just like him, with a smile.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite ________________

‘The Book of Secret Wisdom’ by Zinovia Dushkova is translation of the most ancient book of our time, known as the Book of Dzyan — a Tibetan name meaning the Book of Secret Wisdom. This book, which is from the beginnings of the evolution of our present humanity, begins with The Genesis of Divine Love, in which the Gods work of rotating the Stellar Wheel starts. As the wheel gains momentum, wonderful changes starts happening in the world, yielding, The Knowledge of the Heart, The Gift of Love, The Gift of Mind  and al other loving forces including The Birth of Gods, that are to control the world. To make comprehension easy, a rather detailed explanation is included in this book, of all terms, both of western romanticism and eastern religious concepts, which might appear in connection with the philosophical thoughts expressed here.
‘The Book of Secret Wisdom’ by Zinovia Dushkova is of a book that is very difficult to translate. Difficulty in grasping content, which is true for any topic when dealt deeply and more so, for ideas or themes like this, can be encountered here. Zinovia has certainly kept this in view while preparing her book, I think. For better appreciation of the ideas presented in this book, mostly belonging to Eastern philosophy and thought, the words used and their contextual meanings are included in this book, and that is a great help. It gives the ultimate power to control human destiny in the hands of love. “Even if obliged to take a loving step backwards yesterday, Love will take two steps forward tomorrow, and man will enter into the Kingdom of Light, nevermore again to lose it in his Heart.”
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite ________________

‘Gravity Games’ by John Matsui introduces Dr Gustav Plank, a scientist, who is on to cutting edge research on gravity, that too, negative gravity, with its substantial military potential. He is found to be kidnapped one day and all his papers also are missing. The investigation agencies take the help of Sherlock Nathan, who has hyper acuity to odors, Rebecca, with enhanced ability to detect chemistry of any male and exude appropriate pheromones to unsettle him, as well as many others from the area of ESP related research. With the help of his ‘conscience’ Bonnie, as well as of others from the FBI, CSIS, all the missing pieces are assembled.
‘Gravity Games’ by John Matsui has many characters that are not of the ordinary, like those who has the ability to sense, micro tremors not strong enough to be measured on Richter scale. The upheavals caused in society due to the news of ‘negative gravity possibilities’, especially the fluctuations in oil prices are shown imaginatively. The authentic and crisp nature of the plot, the story and the dialogue, which was a high point in the initial parts of the book, can be seen to be becoming rather loose as we go towards the end. I see no other reason for keeping down the book before it finished, given the fanfare, the new concepts of negative gravitation, micro tremors or olfactory acuity could easily give rise to. This is a very good plot, a refreshing change from the predictable villains, their cohorts and the usual ambience.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite ________________

‘The Murder On The Mall: The Mystery of the Death of the Pornographer’ by Stanley Yokell begins with the appearance of a dead body in a city mall, body of the owner of Baddyflicks studio. Also, the studio, the main center of his business, is found to be fully burnt down. Marie Quizno, the smart police chief of the city begins investigation, and exposes the possibility of a running business involving pornographic material, including performances by underage children. Many of the victims are teen age girls, and further inquiry leads to identifying one of the affected parents as the originator of the fire, and possibly of the murder. Finding that there is enough evidence to book those parents for arson, they are brought before court, but the jury’s decision is a welcome surprise to all.
‘The Murder On The Mall: The Mystery of the Death of the Pornographer’ by Stanley Yokell is a suspenseful drama. The professional competence of the city’s police chief in conducting investigations as well as that of the defense counsel in formulating the court room tactics is shown with credible brilliance. The part played by others in the story,   children, their parents and other characters of this work, are also kept relevant to the plot. I can therefore confidently say that book is a realistic depiction of the present society, given the nature of news that quite regularly appears in our media. This is a good read, engaging and entertaining work, fully grabbed my attention till the very end.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite ________________

‘The Expanding Universe Saga’ by Wilroy Steel introduces a new organization, named Committee Of the Regions of Earth, CORE, intended to keep peace and order in the world. Leading scientist Blackcherry, Captain Royal Gunner and a few, launches a space vehicle with the task to locate a suitable sanctuary. And the spaceship happens to be destroyed enroute, most of the crew managing to return utilizing an escape vessel, and the remaining few getting lost in the melee. Adventure awaits those lost, rendezvous with alien life under leadership of Pnefurious, visits to alien planet and, calling on earth to check human welfare. Even greater adventure then begins, like establishing collaborative work between different species, as well as, restoring peace within the civilizations of different planets.
‘The Expanding Universe Saga’ by Wilroy Steel can boast of an entertaining ambience. All characters, their abodes and other entities are intuitively named, which also accounts for the colorful stories and mishaps that are part of this book. A few examples of such nomenclature are planet Dwellet, characters, Linc,  Zeel, Synic etc., and each of them is ascribed with appropriate quality. This is a complete plot with hardly any loose ends, and the narration is quite interesting as well as fast moving. Wilroy has even thought about an internal skirmish, the visiting species is currently facing, making beings from the earth useful for their defense preparations and thus naturally welcome at the other planet. I liked this book a lot, a page turner of sorts, which is also an easy read of its genre.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite ________________

‘The Stone House Secret’ by Debra Burroughs opens with a broken date, one wrecked by the news of an unnatural death that was to keep them busy, Michel, being one of only two detectives on the small Hidden Valley police force and Jenessa, being the reporter on a large Sacramento newspaper. They fall headlong into solving the mystery, many a time with mutual exchange of leads. With every turn of the inquiry bringing up fresh characters and events, their tasks become a rather long affair. As the processes of cracking the case continue, new twists develop often, linking the deceased with excess of wealth, as well as that of ill health, leading to surprising conclusions. Michael and Jenessa also find solace and comfort in their romantic company, notwithstanding the frequent intrusions by the ‘ex’es from both sides.
‘The Stone House Secret’ by Debra Burroughs is a fast paced novel that is a pleasure to read. Just when I was convinced that the case is all figured out, introduction of a new twist left me with no clue. In this novel one can see perfect combination of a smooth prose, well-paced plot, interesting, endearing, compelling and sometimes quirky characters, a touch or two of romance and a good suspenseful mystery to solve. The author has succeeded in handling masterfully, the ‘ex’es from sides and making their togetherness, look natural, certainly not too protrusive. A good read with a well crafted plot and an endearing presentation, this is a valuable asset to ones thrillers.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite ________________

‘The Bracelet’ by Todd W. Cheney has Michael Alex, an expert mechanic of his town, receiving a package which contains a bracelet that can grant any wish. Not very convinced about its ability, and to check this, the first wish he make is for a colleague to have marital discord, and alas!, it happens. Feeling regretful, he wishes for the opposite and that too takes place. Much of the changes brought into the life by this capability, is in fact affecting peaceful co-existence, he learns. How the turn of the events influenced by the presence of the bracelet has led to turbulent life, he realizes and takes drastic actions to bring back normalcy.
‘The Bracelet’ by Todd W. Cheney has Michael Alex is a fine novel and a good fantasy, with a well drawn and imaginative plot. The unsure nature of the protagonist on receipt of the mysterious gift and the initial prankish moves with the reflexive wishes, are portrayed quite realistically. But, especially when Mike happens to hear the version of other possessors of this, like, “I don’t know what the bracelet is. It could be a religious artifact, or the Holy Grail, or the devil’s work. It can give you everything, or take it all away. It’s the biggest gambling rush you could ever find—to bet on your own brain power to come up with all the possibilities”, realization occurring to him is shown convincingly, evoking sympathy from the reader. A good book and interesting read, this book is a welcome addition to ones literary wealth of this genre.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite ________________

‘HIT’N RUN’ by Lori Power has its beginnings in a hit and run, one involving a pretty blonde Lorna, who hits a hearse, and the driver Mitch, towing a hearse. Mitch, who obviously is in a hurry, leaves his license with her and goes away. She reports about the incident, and during reporting, mentions that the other driver in fact is her old friend with a fake license, alerting the police.  The hearse turns out to be a part of a clandestine police operation against certain business syndicates, in which, her employer is one of the kingpins. The more Mitch tugs any thread of his investigation, the more it seems to take him back to Lorna. She has to save herself from her employer, while her old friend along with the police force will have to find ways of helping her, and to keep the investigation on without any disruptions.
‘HIT’N RUN’ by Lori Power is a suspenseful drama. Rekindling of old feelings quickly to end in passionate encounters, the investigation successfully unfold, evidence to suggest the connection of the woman he’s falling for with the very criminals he’s after. This is a gripping story, and told with a disciplined moderation (except in the romantic interludes, which, the hero being chivalrous in make up I think, happened quite often), an element of anxiety and suspense maintained throughout. All the cardinal scenes, of chase as well as escape, is drawn quite realistically, many a time leading one to miss a heartbeat. Congratulations Lori, you have done a good job. 
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite ________________

‘Dinosaurs & Cherry Stems’ by Susan Jean Ricci is the story of Cindy, a lively woman who wants to unleash her emotions, having had her marriage in the morgue. How she clandestinely obtains her husband’s paramour’s number; telephones, and suffer the agony of finding her doubts about her husband’s cheating habits to be true. Better counsels prevail; she considers all these as former fiascos, trying to find fabulous future in them. How she starts dating, with a vengeance, and the initial many turns out to be disastrous, including a few attempts through the internet. How she learns lessons, and other new things, like the fetishes, a few of her ‘victims’ entertained. She also finds courtly and gallant gentlemen, and enjoys their companionship as well.
‘Dinosaurs & Cherry Stems’ by Susan Jean Ricci makes the heroine usurp our sympathies, right from the beginning. In man woman relationships, the probability of either partner becoming an epitome of defects is more or less the same. Cindy is definitely an exception, who had the occasion to come across a host of men and none of them turning out to be a gentleman. This is an interesting book, the unsure nature of the male clearly visible in all the ‘adventures’, Cindy jumps into. In some of her affairs, the male’s behavior is improper as they forget their own compulsions, and in other affairs it is so, because they introduce unexpected compulsions on the female partner. This novel thus, is a true reflection of human society, the male female imbroglio.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite ________________

‘TORTURE MAN’ by Warren Adler begins with a chance encounter Sarah Raab has with Carl Helman associated with the CIA, which leaves her with a yet to be repaid debt. When Sarah is confronted with the kidnapping of her daughter, Rachel, she seeks help from Carl. Carl visits her home and traces the crime to the bigoted Egyptian, Iris, working presently as tutor to Rachel. Iris refusing to crack under his questioning, Carl uses his connections to carryout a bold plan to bring her under severe stress, forcing her to cede some of her advantages and giving him hopes of an early success. But she proves to be of tougher material, and many of his efforts are in vain. After many unforeseen and scary situations, the story is brought to a striking end.
‘TORTURE MAN’ by Warren Adler is drama at every page, that too with suspenseful and gripping scenes. The characters chosen for this novel, though from the traditionally observed backgrounds for such books, are shown with their natural appearance and mingling easily with the plot. It is an imaginative and terrifying story and a thriller from the first page to the last, and also an exciting drama. With many interwoven snippets of personal tragedies and related drama covering almost all characters, the ‘story’ in this tale is reaching epic proportions. It is a worthy addition to ones collection of thrillers. Very well narrated, this could keep me immersed in it from the time I opened the book till I reached the back cover.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite ________________

‘Got a Bad Picker?’ by Jesse Carr MD opens with the most basic doubt any woman can have, how to identify a bad picker? First, this question is settled with a quick check survey. Jesse thereafter explores the potential causes and consequences of making poor relationship choices. She then enters into a very important discussion on how to fix and train a bad picker. In this context, living in the moment, gaining self awareness, and building self esteem, character and confidence are the main topics covered. To complete, making the art of picking error free, by becoming our own matchmaker and engaging both the (new) logical brain and the (old) emotional brain to facilitate living a life full of love and companionship, is deliberated at length.
‘Got a Bad Picker?’ by Jesse Carr MD convinced me that rational analysis is not a dying talent. Jesse has shown the importance of balancing our motivations, drives, and self statements against our choices, to make wise decisions in relationships and in life. Also, as the book exhorts, we must go through life and living, actively engaged or always fully present, to enjoy the fascinating experience of the confronting reality. This is an excellent book, which is a rather holistic look at the complex issue of living as a couple. Helpful questions at vantage points make this book a good aid for self improvement. I can tell with confidence, her appreciation of the negative selfie syndrome itself is good enough to propel this book to the list of the best books ever written on male female imbroglio.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

‘Blowing Sandstorm’ by Horace Crenshaw Jr. is an account of the author’s military unit, and its deployment in support of Operation Iraq Freedom (OIF). After a delightful narration of the entry of Horace Crenshaw Jr. into this planet, a rather panoramic description about his growth into a military man of consequence sustains our interest. While recounting the unit’s performance in Iraq, he makes a mention, about the initial hiccups he faced and the efforts that were necessary in reversing the downtrend. That is followed by an explanation of actual deployment of resources for petroleum terminals and other missions. This book also contains rather elaborate discourses on the military dogma extant on man management and issues of morale, like compliance, commitment and influence techniques.
‘Blowing Sandstorm’ by Horace Crenshaw Jr. is a well-thought and nicely written manuscript that is sure to encourage readers to serve and lead. Written in a simple and easy style, the substance is conveyed to the readers as the details and many military jargons that ordinarily tire civilians are well explained and contextualized within the author’s experience being a military man. Because this is a view from his experience and with the much-needed judgment, readers will surely reap leadership thoughts and admire the service the armed forces are giving to citizens. The more than moderate foray into abstract thoughts on military leadership provides a rather academic backup too, making the book useful for those disposed to further reflections on military leadership. An index would have been a welcome addition that can enhance its utility.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

‘Death of a Chorus Girl’ by P.M. Briede opens with a real crime scene at a theater, where the death of a chorus girl, Annie, bringing the lead detective Rich and his partner Steve into action. The pretty Em Delacroix, the choreographer and many others of comparable virtues gets involved in this rather lengthy investigation which calls for close association of the handsome detective and pretty suspects. The investigation finally concludes to a successful end, with the identification of the culprit from the most unexpected quarter.
‘Death of a Chorus Girl’ by P.M. Briede follows a rather revolutionary style of narration. The traditional first person style is radically altered such that there is a different narrator for every chapter. I think this also is a good approach though it is not an established style of narration. Except for the confusion I felt when there was a need to refer back or forward, where the connections could not be readily apparent (I made out that it depended on the chapter name), I found it a welcome challenge to enjoy a rather new and changed pattern of narration. The female protagonist, Em, is shown to be a natural suspect who thus has a reason to placate the investigator, who in any case is one to enjoy beautiful things, making sufficient grounds for romantic encounters. The story is a good one with many moments of suspense and deception to keep the reader always on the edge and PM’s effort has certainly ended in success.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

‘GOJU: THE ROAR OF THE TIGRESS. THE REAL SELF-DEFENSE FOR WOMEN ONLY’ by DANNY GWIRA, introduces a rather intangible self defense mechanism for women, unlike most other books that deals with physical means of defense. As the author puts it, beating the man effectively without touching him. The essential principle used here is that, women should use their most effective weapon – female sense or intuition, against the most vulnerable area of male – his ego. The author mentions as a great peril of modern society, a woman will not ask help from a man, lest he gat the idea that she fancies him; a man will not joke around with a woman, lest he is accused of sexual harassment. Danny has provided fifty specific self-defense tips to help keep women out of trouble and danger, in addition to scores of techniques of general nature.
‘GOJU: THE ROAR OF THE TIGRESS. THE REAL SELF-DEFENSE FOR WOMEN ONLY’ by DANNY GWIRA is a holistic look at the issue of women safety. The author, over and above the specific cases of self defense, looks at the vulnerable areas of male in all possible scenarios, and recommends an effective female response in each case. The approach recommended of taking a rather oblique position of attack, in many cases by diverting the attackers energy, looks to be beneficial for optimum use of resources, more so for women as they are more often at the receiving end. How effective is this ‘bloodless attack’, needs to be seen. The author has not provided any practical cases as examples. This is a very good book, clear and concise narration makes it makes it reader friendly.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

5 EASY WAYS TO EARN MONEY ONLINE by M. L. Fitz is designed to provide information about legitimate online income opportunities, and the book begins with an overview of what is to expect form the book as well as what is expected of the reader, for safe conduct of online work. It begins with a popular field, of getting paid for feedback, like surveys. Another area is then introduced, of social media marketing with opportunities such as Post ads, Share sponsored videos, Add followers to their fan pages and Make comments. A micro job like writing articles, posting videos etc is another vista of income and recruitment agencies over the net is a flourishing business. The book also mentions of the earning potential existing, for creating videos.
5 EASY WAYS TO EARN MONEY ONLINE by M. L. Fitz lends a little clarity to the multitude of advertisements and other attractions showering on every one who choose to browse the internet. I have had occasions to spend long hours on the internet searching for such opportunities and at the end, learning to my dismay that the job I found was not available for my country. The author has not indicated that the jobs mentioned are available in all countries or not, which is a limitation, though I checked a couple of sites and those worked for my country. A good work, this is certainly is a helpful book to many in their internet income dream. With frequent updating, this book may also be used as a reference.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

‘Hope Quotes - Inspirational Picture Quotes about Hope’ by Gabi Rupp begins by seeing hope as an essential for great things in life, quotes from great leaders like Winston Churchill, coming in support. Gabi then looks at hope as a necessity for achievement, words of Helen Keller to assist. The irreplaceable contribution of hope as the pillar that holds up the world or, as the only solace for the poor, finds its echo in the words of Pliny and Nietzsche. How hope is synonymous with happiness and how children need that for their growth, the words of Samuel Johnson and a few others tell us. There is nothing like hopelessness, exhorts Napoleon...well, the manifestation of hope is examined in this book in all its dimensions. In each, sagacious quotes enliven the ambience by giving it an aura of wisdom.
‘Hope Quotes - Inspirational Picture Quotes about Hope’ by Gabi Rupp makes it difficult to be hopeless; in this book, there is nothing of value in life that is not linked to hope. Gabi has selected quotes discerningly to link each and every facet of hope to an essential need of life. Most of these quotes are pointing to equipping us better to face future; many quotes inspire us to see past, as a source of knowledge and future, as one of hope. One thing would have made this book more reader friendly, an index. More so, as this contains a good collection of relevant quotes, all of which can come to great use in ones literary quest. As the book ends, learn from the past, hope for the future and live in the present.
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________

Terrance Talks Travel: A Pocket Guide to African Safaris makes the process of planning and booking an appropriate safari easy. Starting with the necessary data on Africa to make one think of a visit, it offers a choice of safaris and, tips for selecting the appropriate one, like recommended destinations to suit ones taste and the most appropriate time of the year to visit each. Practical advices about, what to carry, getting a travel insurance, vaccination, a packing checklist and  important safety advices make this book a must have, for all those who plan such a venture. Further sources of references and links to important websites make this book, an all in one guide to African Safaris.
Terrance Talks Travel: A Pocket Guide to African Safaris certainly makes enjoying a safari rather easy. As there are many types of safaris, tourists can pick and choose one to remember for a lifetime by following Zepke’s advise. With options of driving, self-driving, flying-in, walking, canoeing, boating, hot-air ballooning, or by camel or horseback, the opportunities for adventure are endless. By providing the five rules of safari etiquette, and with the advices about less expensive places, provision of travel insurance, and packing, this pocket guide has grown in stature. And with the highlights of the best safari destinations, ten locations from East Africa and Southern Africa, as well as including information regarding the islands, this has become a mini encyclopedia. I greatly enjoyed the last item of the book; an array of resources to get psyched for the trip!
Reviewed by Roy T James for Reader's Favorite________________



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