May Cause Drowsiness and Blurred Vision ISBN: 978732721616, published, copyright and written by Gloria Squitiro.
This is an autobiographical segment in the life of a woman of Italian birth, happily married to a man who is a brutally frank auditor who attacks waste in government budgets – Mark Funkhouser, politician, author, former Auditor, then elected Mayor of City of Kansas City, MO. She, like Mark, is adamant about seeking the truth about her areas of interest; e.g. a freelance (unattached to any hospital) individual providing knowledge and aid to couples before and during childbirth after experiencing 2 caesarian sections that seemingly were unnecessary. Her birth children are a son and daughter and she has others she has attracted because of her nature. The story covers a period preceding her husband’s run for Mayor starting with a somewhat extended trip to Europe with the whole family as well as a period following their return.
Discussion: The author has initiated “The C’mon Funk Series” with this first volume that is sub-titled “The side-effects of bravery”. Here, she has set forth a no-holds-barred look at her unvarnished truth seeking evaluation of a number of factors and situations from her brave but confessed quite hypochondriacally slanted approach to life. It provides both humor and bits of poignancy from a realistic viewpoint that seems to be quite congruent with her husband’s thought processes. In her own words: she “has an INFJ (Introverted, intuitive, Feeling, Judging) personality. She is an advocate. She is a dreamer who takes concrete steps to realize her goals and make a lasting positive impact. Helping others is her purpose in life, but not through charity work. Her real passion is to get to the heart of issues so people need not be rescued at all.”
5* Fascinatingly amusing approach to life fascinating for many readers.
Cut Reality ISBN: 9781733504911 Anywhere Press, written by Zack Hacker.
Jason Debord is a College English Professor who decides to become a contestant in the 50th TV Reality Show where two teams of contestants spend sixty days on small islands with no clothes or means of survival other than those they can devise. Periodically, a member is voted out and the rest realign themselves until only one is declared the winner. Conditions are difficult with insufficient food, extremely difficult sleeping arrangements and constant tension to avoid being the next to be voted off the island. One of the participants with whom Jason was most friendly dies, reported by the show’s producers as a suicide. Jason does not believe it was suicide and continues to accuse the producers of murder even after the show’s termination and he was declared the one million dollar winner. He believes that the death resulted from the producers desire to give further life to the series that was beginning to lose its general appeal. One, and possibly more, of the contestants also are critical. However, none can discover any evidence and a number of unusual occurrences seem to support his contentions, among them a near fatal automobile accident. Meanwhile, Jason’s involvement with his intermittent love interest expands and finally reaches a plateau because, as a consulting psychologist albeit mostly with disturbed teens, she find his paranoia difficult to accept. However, the story continues with numerous activities pointing both ways until its ultimate conclusion.
Discussion: This book, the author’s first, has presented an apparent mystery that expands to provide very thoughtful commentary about reality TV. The last pages of Chapter 11 aptly express these basic thoughts under the title “Dying for good TV: What we can learn from Bill Gerding’s Untimely Demise.” From this reviewer’s perspective, the tale’s characters never are particularly well defined, quite a number of features also would benefit from further attention and the romantic relationship is a little difficult to understand. However as a first endeavor, the author is to be commended and further presentations no doubt will be well worthwhile.
4* Thoughtful look at America’s Reality TV near addiction.
Across Time and Space: Chronicles of Courage, Hope, Love, Persistence and Leadership. Assumed published, Copyright and Written by Emilio Iodice.
The title of this book fortified by its subtitle, “Stories for Us, our Children and Grand Children explain exactly its contents. The opening story describes a young German woman who had the fortitude to defy Hitler. The second details the story of the 5 Sullivan brothers who were lost together while serving aboard a U.S. Navy ship during WW II. Another is that of the heroic action of a young Italian police officer and the stories continues with numerous other examples of “wisdom, courage, love, compassion, charity, integrity, faith and hope”. Many of the offerings included are examples of residents of a small island off the Italian coast and apparently are memories of individuals known by, about, and/or are relatives of, the author, and all exhibited one or more of the attributes mentioned above. Many tales seem to be personal remembrances of these individuals as they immigrated to the U.S. and attempted to blend into the country during the devastating Great Depression that began in 1929. Interestingly detailed accounts of the founder of Bank of America, President John F. Kennedy, athletes Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and others also are depicted.
Discussion: The author has described periods of great unrest and/or others calling for display of all of the personal qualities he has enumerated as well as frequent sacrifices of varying degrees. It is a book seemingly ‘written from the heart’ by one who also has experienced some of the same or similar situations. The author has provided an authentic touch to each episode by offering pertinent references. The only regrettable aspect of the book from this reviewer’s perspective is the amount of repetitive material that judicious editing would have eliminated. Overall however, a most thoughtfully prepared and written text from which readers will gain much while enjoying the diverse nature of the tales.
4* 5*Thoughtful reminiscences providing many lessons; -1* editing required.
SLICES, an e-book assumed to be published, copyright and written by Thomas Simon.
This is “a collection of thirty poems that explore objects, people, situations and their interplay in daily life in order to unravel an introspective view of life and its journey. Through various characters, it moves the reader from simple words to a whole different world of metaphor, conveying deeper meaning by uncovering layers of human behaviors and emotions.”
According to further brief words about the author at the end of the book, he is an avid photographer, nature lover and voracious reader who “has been writing poetry since his school days” and is desirous here to have the reader look for “fresh perspectives with varied interpretations and diverse thoughts” from the “everyday thoughts and emotions presented.”
Discussion: Regrettably from this reviewer’s perspective the author’s admirably lofty desires have not been realized. Far removed from once studying Shakespearean and Seventeenth Century Poets I did not expect especially rewarding poetry but was quite disappointed. Additionally and most regrettably from my standpoint, the author did not elicit any of his intended “fresh perspectives with varied interpretations and diverse thoughts” from his often quite unusual ruminations.
1* Regrettably and most apologetically to the author
SLOWER, an e-book for young adults, assumed to have been published, copyright and written by Ted Shepherd.*
The story opens with 9th grader Emit Friend sitting completely bored in science teacher Ms. Beans’ class. He cannot understand how the other students, except for his cousin Ellen, are not also going out of their minds. He has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and sleeps very poorly every night. Thus he falls asleep and is rudely awaked by Ms. Beans shouting his name. He awakens immediately and is told to report to the Principal’s Office. This is a rather routine matter for him, and besides the principal is a very old family friend whom he knows as “Uncle Dimitri” Zachs. Ms. Beans follows his arrival and accuses him of pulling a prank on her. He does remember dreaming of such activity but cannot believe that he was able to perform it. From talking with Zachs he suddenly realizes that he had done it and the tale evolves into a fast moving plot that follows his activities, some of which could turn him into somewhat of a new superhero. It is a story that includes a bit of physical science, cyber science, stock market manipulation, and history that involves Uncle Dimitri, his cousin Ellen, his Grandfather and others. Fundamentally however, it presents a seriously thought-producing for young, as well a older minds to contemplate
Summary: This should be thoroughly enjoyed, as well as providing serious thought paths by young readers.
*Amazon lists as: Ted Shepherd SLOWER
5* Young readers should thoroughly enjoy, while contemplating serious thought paths.
DO GOOD to LEAD WELL ISBN: 9781946633026. ForbesBooks, copyright and written by Craig Bowden, PhD.
Subtitled, The Science and Practice of Positive Leadership, the book opens with a quite extensive list of persons acknowledged to be helpful in the author’s journey followed by an admission that he always has been “fascinated by how people related to one another and how that differed so much from person to person, even when faced with the same situation”. Resultantly he majored in psychology “to learn more about the perceptual and emotional elements of human behavior”. An introduction to industrial-organizational psychology resonated particularly well because “Although people have personalities that are fascinating and diverse, organizations also have personalities (i.e. cultures) that are just as complex.” Studying the two simultaneously presented an irresistible challenge that led to extensive study and culminated in his eventual establishment of “a firm focused on supporting clients in achieving leadership and organizational excellence by leveraging the science of peak performance.” The substance of this volume provides the basics upon which he believes this achievement of excellence rests. Specifically, 6 Pillars – Self-Awareness, Civility, Humility, Focus on the Positive, Meaning and Purpose, and Empathy – each of which he discusses at length with supporting evidence gained from numerous scientifically designed and validated tests. An Appendix provides valuable assessment details of the meaning of scores obtained on selected tests; then an extensive list of references follows and the book concludes with a few notes About the Author.
Discussion: The author has published another in the increasing number of books to provide help to companies, their CEO’s and their various team members as they attempt to stay abreast of their fast moving and rapidly changing work environment. Many have provided valuable material. This particular volume would appear to provide a much greater quantity of helpful material than the others, however, simply because it is not based on one person’s discoveries. Instead the lessons provided here are based on well-designed tests repeatedly given and re-analyzed until results could definitely be validated. On a personal note, two features discussed here were most interestingly presented – the fact that Empathy can be learned and that the Golden Rule might be re-examined from a different perspective; viz. Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you might not be compatible with what they believe is what they might want. One example provided was a manager who thrived on recognition might not be providing a thoughtful ‘award’ by bringing a person who preferred to be more reclusive to a prominent stage to receive the ‘award’.
5* Important must read for every ‘thinking’ person.