Incite Insight

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

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

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.

Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives

The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives ISBN: 9780228834380 Tellwell Talent, a novel copyright and written by Tim Darcy Ellis.

This is a novel based on the history of the early Renaissance when Europe began stumbling out of the Dark Ages. It is an era replete with numerous contributions to different areas of science, art, architecture, religions and to a more humanistic approach to the persons living within it. It is a period that elevates to the highest level the scholar, the man of letters and Classical learning. The protagonist is Juan Luis Vives, a Jew of Valencia, Spain, whose family had converted to Catholicism to avoid the Inquisition but still for many generations secretly maintained their Jewish faith and rituals. Pressure on the family increases that his father ignores because he still remained a man of the golden age of Muslim-Christian-Jewish concord and the fact that Jewish money kept the monarchy in power. Juan Luis, with a growing reputation as a scholarly teacher and writer, decides to escape to Flanders where his reputation continues to grow, Regrettably in Flanders, the Duke of Alba and Louis de Praet also are Jew hunters, and with aid from one of Juan’s brilliant students, constantly are attempting to trap Juan Luis. However, he meets Álvaro de Castro, with secrets of his own, but is responsible, through a special relationship with the Cardinal in charge of the Catholic Faith in England to meet. The reason, Álvaro is responsible for introducing him to Sir Thomas More who in turn, has been sent to discover any reason why he should not be appointed the teacher of Henry VIII and Catherine de Aragon’s only daughter, The story gradually unfolds as the reader follows Juan through what seem to be excerpts from discovery of a secret Diary by an electrician making repairs in an old building in Bruges built years before the Nazi occupation. He shows the box to Linguist Professor Benitez. He swears Jacques, the electrician, to secrecy and spends the next 2 months in isolation at the Museum Brugge. The box contains a manuscript, a sketch and a ring He studied the work, much requiring a magnifying glass and it was written in code as well as some in Spanish, Latin, Arabic, and Greek with the last part almost all in poor English. After 2 months he realized he was examining the secret writings of one of Bruges’s great men. It details his life among the literati and important people of the time, including the Boleyn sisters in the Court of King Henry VIII – his life, loves, his family and his attempts to please both the King, who is leaning away from Catholicism and Catherine of Aragon, the double action leads to his apparent unmasking.

The book is presented in four parts. Part One’s opening chapter “The Eyes and Ears of the King of Spain that explains that Bruges, Flanders is in the hands of the Catholic King of Spain but Martin Luther, with the peasant rebels would change all of that” with Parts Two and Three continuing with the body of the story and Part Four, End of Days where one of his worst enemies throughout the story, Louis de Praet, barges into his home in Bruges and tells him since they’re both exiles – Cardinal Wolsey kicked him out just as the King had done to Vives –  they should be able to help each other. He already had built a hospital so maybe the poor-boy school could be next. Thus he could get the credit and Vives would be the silent voice that steered that change and Juan’s initial desire to help humanity in general was within sight, as well as a closure to his family situation.

Discussion: The author has provided a fascinating hint of what this period of turmoil must have been like as well as the never-ending persecution of the Spanish Jews in particular. With respect to Juan Luis, it is difficult to envision a clear picture. He is described as having a spinal problem and a petit mal seizure and others of greater intensity, although the symptoms described appear to be associated with reactions to emotional problems or inability to cope with a situation more in line with psycho-physiologic reactions. The reader may find other relationships with which it is difficult to equate. In mentioning these problems this reviewer is aware that the manuscript discovered is difficult in the extreme to decipher. However, as a novel, it would seem that a little more descriptive material might have provided an even more enjoyable tale.

4* 5* -1* for reasons described.

The NO Limits Enterprise

The NO-LIMITS Enterprise ISBN 9781946633279 ForbesBooks Copyright and written by Doug Kirkpatrick.

After an unusually large number of strongly supportive statements by individuals of prominence, the author’s book subtitled Organizational Self-Management in the New World of Work, the author’s introduction, Life is a Concert (or it should be), presents overall tenets with respect to self-management and the importance thereof. He quotes Kahlil Gibran: “Work is love made visible”; presents Buurtzorg, a highly prosperous Netherlands-based health care company (initiated by Jos de Blok) where 9000 health care nurses work remotely delivering care. They work for the company but make decisions as they see them; he explains that people (most prominently the millenniums) want their creative, innovative and passion about their work to be appreciated and understood; briefly speaks of Morning Star, a Tomato products distributor company (where he initially became involved in the business) which probably is the most well-known for self-management company success. The book’s content is presented in 2 Parts. Part 1, the promise of self- management consisting of 4 chapters covering the breakdown of bureaucracy; 15 unavoidable challenges found within; the power of self-management; before you plan: self-management considerations. Part II, the self-management roadmap, consisting of 6 chapters covering new ways of working; determining where your organization fits in the self-management continuum; establishing your self-management philosophy and principles; self-management implications (or what to expect); making the case for self-management; bringing self-management to life: 12 real-world components; A conclusion – making “no limits” your reality; About the Author; A passion for freedom and accountability at work; Our services. Extensive Acknowledgements follow immediately, leading to an explanatory Forward and ultimately, the Introduction as briefly summarized above.

Discussion: The business of running a business gradually has been changing since those establishing such organizations with advent of the Industrial Revolution. They had only the Army, its chain of command and its organizational abilities as a template. Humans became increasingly dissatisfied with their need to ‘slave’ for many hours a day to receive pay for their labor which they did not enjoy. Chapter 2 provides a list of 15 unavoidable challenges provided by bureaucracy employed by most businesses – Genetic engineering, nanotechnology, virtual reality, increasing information, and communication moving at speed of light, Robots, AI, all of this additional knowledge when much of business is still at the level employed when we moved into the Industrial Revolution. Thus the required Bureaucracy is wasteful of human life; simply stated, 8 hours/day of doing something not desired is just that, a waste of life.

Thus, gradual change has evolved and has gained increasing momentum with advent of new generations who are unwilling to spend long hours performing tasks which have no relationship to their personal thought patterns and desires. The increased level of interest has been initiated by a few future thinking entrepreneurial individuals and aided immensely by the arrival into the workforce of the millennials, a generation that seeks a work/life balance and have no fear of job loss, plus, a driving need to be engaged as part of a group (company) with a purpose and meaning that is part of the larger world. Repeatedly, the suggestion is made that to best run a business, it is best first to become a philosopher with the other necessities added as needed. Names of numerous prominently successful owners of self-managed companies are provided. Chris Rufer, a single truck owner fascinated by philosophy as well as an MBA was fascinated with human principles and management practices, established Morning star, one of the premiere successful self-management companies, by believing people worked best when they were free to manage themselves at work as they did in their daily life. He also believed they were happiest and most successful. Jaipur Rugs in India is another entrepreneurial self-management phenomenal success story as are Vagas, a Brazilian software company and numerous others blossoming throughout the world as well as here in the United States. In all, the book provides extensive coverage of every aspect of how “Strength of a self-managed organization, where every individual is part of a human network of accountability, responsible to everyone else in the enterprise itself” actually functions. These basic tenets, and philosophies serve to undergird the human network.

Summary: The author, partner in the full-spectrum international consulting firm, NuFocus Strategic Group, consults, lectures on self-management around the world and appears to be the present-day spokesman for a large group of advanced-thinking individuals in the rapidly growing movement toward self-managed business. His book covers every aspect of the subject and certainly is a must read for any person desiring to enter a business and become a success in this era of constant change and regeneration. For this reader, the redundancy and repetition typically exhibited here emulates the tendencies of all lecturers and would benefit from judicious editing for readers. However, the material, to reiterate is a must read.

 

5* must read for target audience, but caveat should be noted.

Hidden Wealth

Hidden Wealth ISBN: 9781950863488 ForbesBooks copyright Clayton Investments, LLC written by Terry B. Monroe.

The author has sub-titled his book, “the secret to getting top dollar for your business” and dedicated it “To all the entrepreneurs who have spent hours of hard work building their business, hiring employees, and supporting their families. I hope they will be able to reap the rewards for everything they have toiled to achieve.” There follows an Introduction, eight chapters, a Bonus Chapter on the issue by a well-credentialed friend, Conclusion, Acknowledgements, About the Author and an extensive Index. Each chapter more specifically is single subjected oriented with the first providing the importance of the business owner really introspectively knowing his/her unvarnished self; #2 discuses why business owners do sell their, while #3 presents reasons they do not sell; #4 discusses when is the best time to sell while #5 admonishes that you must actually know what you are selling; # 6 presents the large number of activities required to ‘get the job done’; #7 explains the rather extensive process involved in order to conclude the sale; #8 provides an estimated length of time required to complete the sale and the extensive list of the large, mostly unthought-of, matters than can interfere with completion of the sale. The Bonus Chapter is written by a highly-credentialed seemingly as corroboration of the material presented by the author. The author’s conclusion is largely a repetition of admonishments previously set forth.

Discussion: The material provided would appear to be a treasure trove of information for the individual attempting to decide whether or not to sell the business he/she has birthed, coddled through its infancy to its accession to a top level of performance. It presents a complete picture to peruse while deciding IF you really do, or don’t, want to proceed, ant the number of features involved, many of which you may never really had considered. This aspect of this book is right on the subject and presented by a person who “Has been there. Done that” and gained a broad array of knowledge of every aspect of the subject. Regrettably, if you are not a member of the target group, it contains much redundancy and repetition of even many well-known maxims and similar. Obviously the author lectures frequently making the usage understandable as all employ these features for emphasis.

5* book for target group; interesting, but several -*s caveat for others