Harness the Power of the Invincible Mind ISBN: 9781999279479 Pearson Press, copyright and written by Alex Neumann, MSc.
The author’s intent has been to provide a strategy that will lead individuals plagued with anxiety, self-hate and/or lack of confidence to a position of success and happiness. His thoughts and suggestions are set forth in ten chapters and a conclusion. He begins by discussing diversity in general terms and provides examples of individuals who are taught how to control a perilous situation such as a Maasai boy or Khoisan children and follows with other famous persons including famous sports figures, such as Michael Jordan who had made numerous mistakes early in his career that he overcame with perseverance; Albert Einstein who was labeled as not too bright as a child, as was Sir Isaac Newton; Statesmen such as Winston Churchill, and music composer Beethoven. Also included are an author by the name of Richard Bach and his interesting story of a huge number of repetitive rejections through which he persevered finally to publish the book in 1970 that sold more than 7 million copies in the U.S. alone. The narrative continues and with succeeding chapters provides more complete stories of additional well-known individuals who conquered monumental odds to attain true success. The discussion additionally explains the difference between “market successes” and “true (inner) success” and how pursuit of the former can trample attainment of the latter. Again he illustrates with an example. This time with that of a simple fisherman who was confronted by a Harvard MBA who explained how he could grow his business and become wealthy before retiring when he then could do whatever he wished to do – something which the fisherman knew was exactly what he was doing The author’s discussion extends to stress how “marketing success” and what it is doing to the world, its forests, oil, water and its people is an “illusion success” rather than the “real success” that lies within. He further admonishes “Demagoguery is the new norm. Fascists, Nazis, racists, chauvinists, sexual harassers and other such dehumanizing malfeasants have been planted into the highest offices, albeit in disguise.” “Has our society lost its value?” and describes how marketing education is driven by the premium on labor that is based on “market” not “real” success. Instead you should play the game to enjoy. Love what you are doing to attain true success which is composed of four factors: compassionate service to others, a life fully lived, an achieved vision and eternal joy. Often you need to take risks, but if you fail, learn from your mistakes and attack the problem again. Originality often is lost by the time education has been finished. It is necessary to stop whining and start thriving. He describes further a time-frame within intent as being the critical ingredients that may be required to unwind mentally from entanglements in the matters that are causing the grief. He prescribes repeatedly the need to persevere and to turn obstacles into opportunities.
Discussion: The author has set forth a prescription for success that has been presented by many CEOs and entrepreneurs in numerous areas of endeavor. However, he has specifically targeted the individual plagued with anxiety, self-hate and/or lack of confidence. Here, he has suggested steps that such a person can, and actually must take to rid themselves of this overburdening weight that such persons carry. A weight that affects every part of the body both mental as well as physical. His thoughts, suggestions and advice are set forth in a simple straight forward, albeit repetitive manner that in itself may be helpful to the troubled reader looking for a way out of the morass in which he/she abides. Specifically, at least one of the messages with its different approach set forth with even different examples may provide the spark that is necessary to ignite the fire required ultimately to help the burdened person to throw off the oppressive yoke under which they have been carrying.
5* Advice for the angst-ridden; highly repetitive but helpful from different perspectives.
Anti-Racist versus Colorblind 2064: Woke Wars assumed published copyright and written by Winthrop Rosenberg.
The story opens with the assumed protagonist introducing himself as Edmund Hsu in the year 2064. He explains that he always has felt like a human being. He has existed in a body and existed in a broader world but that his humanity has never been his body or station in life nor any other aspect that could define him. Thus, to rephrase, he might be characterized as an abstract wandering around observing and taking some part in this world that has become a strange place dominated by a society that now is racist in the extreme. He compares 1964 which basically promised freedom and opportunity to all if they worked hard and didn’t break laws with the present year of 2064 a land where social and economic opportunities are rationed out to members of different racial categories in accord with their race’s overall percentage of the nation’s population and where freedom, particularly in terms of speech, association and movement are significantly curtailed. The restrictions on speech are to minimize anyone hearing criticism of the system that those in power deem “racist”, and the restrictions on association and movement are to ensure that different institutions and geographic districts in nations borders are properly designated, unless one is in one of the sporadic designated racial “safe spaces” that have been established, which allow a race exclusivity in a particular area or organization. The new regime designates its population to consist of 7 categories for a population of 450 million with a dominant 51% Hispanics. The manner in which divisions are made is described and the resultant resentment against these “Wokes” who had “viciously perpetrated a despicable, patronizing, murderous, dehumanizing, and disgusting racial cast system” finally bubbled to overflowing and the “Third Civil War” begins. The attendant activity is provided in detail along with those of the protagonist and the total over viewed in the final Chapter 7 Epilogue dated 22 December, 2098.
Discussion: The author has presented a satire on the repetitive activity of governments that keep evolving into dystopia and/or complete self-destruction. The basic plot can be described perhaps as a ‘personalization of history with projection for the future’. For history buffs it provides recall of various activities of any number of governments going back to the Chinese Dynasties. Assignment of a specific rating level is difficult for this reviewer. The plot is especially pertinent to the present situation within this country of overabundance of the assignment of the term ‘racist’ or ‘racism’. If the author’s acceptable description of the protagonist’s mental attitude is loosely applied, the characters are adequate. The pace, although somewhat slowed at times by extended discourse, is acceptable. The overall message of each side attempting to justify the brutality and/or atrocities they undertake in the name of justice and fairness is a position that demands respectful thought.
4* Reasons as described in discussion.
Zipacana’s Legacy Fifth Dimension Books, cover and Interior design by Rick Palmacci, copyright and written by Cindy Davis.
Jade French, a highly successful marketing specialist soon to be promoted to the top position in her California-based company, has received notice that she has inherited a ‘hotel’ in a small town in Mexico. Because she somehow feels that this is where her future lies, she resigns, permanently breaks off with her boyfriend and leaves with close friend Mari Anderson (a totally high maintenance city girl) to move to take possession of the property. They arrive and find the well-designed structure fronted by a large porch heavily overgrown with tangled vines, and other obvious signs of neglect as it has been empty since grandfather’s death. From this point on, the reader embarks upon an intriguing journey where Jade discovers that her birth name was not Jade French, but Jade Sacniete Waempo IX, that her grandfather had been a practitioner and teacher of a form of Shamanism, that her inheritance resulted from her grandfather’s recognition that she was a person with already developed, but unrecognized, understanding of many Shaman powers and that she had arrived to fulfil a predestined position as a prominent leader. The story is a fascinating unfolding of the manner in which Jade gradually learns of her legacy, the trials encountered as her new life gradually opens, her acquisition of new friends as well as inexplicable enemies and ultimate understanding of formerly unanswerable questions relevant to her mother and father.
Discussion/Summary: The author opens with an Author’s note telling the reader that “the spiritual situations that happen to Jade in the story are things that can happen to anyone, Telepathy and self-healing are not fantasies. They are available inside each of us.” She also explains that shamanism has existed for thousands of years and that ancient times the local Shaman was the physician, psychologist and Spiritual Healer to his community. Purportedly shaman are “connected to earth. They are healers of the earth and the human body; intermediaries between our world and the spirit world.” Further, this former 23-year editor and mystery writer, now has been “awakened” and with her “also reformed husband” Rick Palmacci, present “talks on positivity and spirituality” as well as providing “a bi-monthly blog and short stories featuring characters from the Jade series.” She also has provided a well-selected Bibliography of some publications pertinent to the basic subject of the mind/body/spirit and shamanism, Native American Religions of Central and South America and similar thought patterns. In Summary, a truly intriguing story providing captivating features of a subject rarely encountered when perusing reading choices.
5* Highly recommended read for all.
Incite Insight ISBN: 9780994439901 Tale Publishing, Australia first published 2015 written by Robert New.
The protagonist, Brad Thomas, is a young man who, in spite of somewhat lesser abilities to ‘read’ people, their expressions and body language, and postulate on possibly hidden agendas, manages to become a detective in one of the smaller cities of Australia. However he somehow manages to obtain a similar position in one of the large cities where he constantly is made to feel inferior. He has a certain personal charm, however, which provides some hope for the sergeant to whom he reports and she assigns him to a case where the victim suddenly succumbs from an apparent ‘melting’ of the brain tissues. Several more victims suffer similar occurrences and all are recognized as prominent members of ‘think tanks’ or the highly intelligent products thereof. Forensics provides basic information which allows Brad to discover a certain professor’s programs that were “designed to help its audience improve their understanding of the links between aspects of the so-called ‘human situation’. It aims to increase people’s working memory and awareness of what happens around them”; i.e. not simply make them more intelligent. There are several levels of advancement which they gradually can unlock but really need to work mentally to reach each new level. He is provided another young woman detective as a partner, and at the same time meets, and is attracted to Amy, a secretary he meets while following a prominent lead. The attraction grows as they both are studying the professor’s levels, he thinking it might aid in solving the case while her interest is a basic desire to advance in life. The tale continues as Brad engages in computer hacking to advance in the program, confers with the prominent head of an organization that provides programs for others to circumvent undesirable matters and discovers a world of secrete organizations with thoughts of world dominance they in no way consider unconscionable. Brad gains in self-confidence and makes progress with solving the mystery, but concurrently the tale assumes another, associated but somewhat different, direction to its climax.
Discussion: Brad’s approach to solving the mystery employs an approach that is somewhat implausible and the multi-layers of the story and their juxtapositioning is a little perplexing. However, the story retains the reader’s interest, but somehow leaves, at least this reviewer, with a somewhat confused understanding of its direction from that initially provided for prospective readers.
3* Interestingly worthwhile, but somewhat confusing read.
Diary of a Time Travelling Alien ISBN: 9781234567890 assumed published, copyright and written by Yaakov C Lui-Hyden.
The story is of a fictitious Alien who begins with: “dear reader, be this a tale of woe and hope; two things you love above all else. It is difficult to write. To collect my thoughts of a millennium and my motives for doing so I’m not even sure of. Perhaps simply because I can.” He then continues to describe how he belonged to a race that destroyed itself in wars, not foolishly fought on their own territory, but that of others, until they were the conquerors. Further, this was the cause of the wars, they fought for ‘souls’ which their technology had developed technics to move from one body to another. With shortages as a result of the wars (with technical advancements again allowing the bodies to be maintained [rather than killing]. Their fantastically advanced society, once arriving at their conqueror state, led to complete destruction ultimately through infighting among themselves. He had been a soldier and his last days on his planet he was dead, or as he explains: “Not dead because we had gone far beyond that”, but his consciousness was dormant. He now, and for some millennia, was destined to travel the universe as a bodiless wraith that, if desired could again enter another’s body. The story is of his attempt to do so and the disastrous consequences of his action.
Discussion: The author has generated a fast moving tale that offers a unique and distinctly different plot. It is one that lives up to providing suggested insights into the human condition with sarcasm and wit. Most unfortunately, these insights are mostly momentary statements. The opportunity and desire for expansion not only is there, but looked forward to by this reader with thwarted anticipation. Certain episodes also, such as with the dinosaurs, is too extensive for the material offered, as are occasional others. There also is a certain amount of confusion in following the action, part of which is handling of the unusual subject matter. Judicious editing would have helped tremendously. It is my understanding that this is the author’s first novel and as such problems encountered are no more than can be expected. However, this book demonstrates the advent of an author with a tremendous amount of promise.
3* fine effort from a new author demonstrating 5* uniqueness in plot design.
Getting Unstuck assumed published, copyright and written by Cara Stein.
This is a book similar to a growing number of others published with suggestions on how to be happy with your life and life’s work. The difference in large part is the author’s approach. It is bubbly, as seemingly is the author, and her modus operandi is to ignore the one common thread that appears to ‘hold back’ most persons from moving forward – fear of failure or making mistakes. One must remember mistakes are human, everybody makes them. The answer is to learn from them and not worry about any past faults. In other words, don’t be too hard on yourself. Start with a good session of introspection and follow up with more to find your strengths opposed to your weaknesses. She then attacks a large number of common faults that keep individuals in an unhappy and often most confused state. Too many blow things out of proportion. Some keep avoiding something that must be done, an action that just makes the task that much worse. Other persons stay detached to “avoid being hurt”. Often persons get upset by matters not under their control. Do you have a lot to do? Make a list – don’t try to remember it all. She admonishes the reader to avoid and/or get rid of these faults and provides suggestions on how to accomplish this goal. She suggests, among other moves, making a list of tasks you don’t want to do and then begin doing just that, stop doing them. Start with the little ones and gradually move further up the list. The author’s suggestions are accompanied by a list of 40 references at the conclusion of the book.
Discussion: The author appears to be amply qualified to write this book. She has dabbled in a large number of tasks including obtaining a PhD while “overcoming fears had been my chief occupations for a few years, between career change and completely remodeling my life.” She quit her well-paying job and started her own business. Then “When she experienced how much easier it all is than it looks, I realized I had to spread the word.” Thus, “Whether you’re stuck, lost, or just looking to enjoy your life more, I’ve been there! I can provide advice, guidance, and vision. I’m a big believer in self-reinvention and sculpting your life into what you want it to be. I love guiding people to do the same.”
5* Much material similar to others, but refreshingly different.