Confessions of a Neighbor

Confessions of a Neighbor ISBN: 9780998012902, Plum Tree Press, an e-book by Heather Nadine Lenz.

Plot: A prologue describes Ella struggling to survive in freezing water while attempting to save her very young daughter from drowning. The actual tale then begins with a lovely seventeen-year-old who was struggling with a massive load of problems: 1) the recent loss of her only family, her mother and most loving grandmother. 2) the three had moved constantly to different cities/countries because her mother was ‘fleeing the Russian Mafia’; 3) she is struggling to attempt to succeed in ballet, like her mother who was a featured ballerina in several ballet companies. 4) she had no idea of her father’s identity; 5) money was scarce, necessitating her working as a waitress while attempting to maintain her ballet training schedule; 6) she was attempting to deal not only with the overriding depressing effects of losing the two most important people in her life, but also had absolutely no supportive friends; 7) she mistakenly becomes involved in a relationship with a neighbor that gradually develops into a devastating nightmare; 8) the fact that she ultimately discovers that her mother suffered from a delusional problem which adds still another dimension to her distress The story gradually unfolds describing the manner in which each of the problems eventually is met and dealt with and provision of further detail would be a great disservice to the prospective reader.

Discussion: The author has produced a volume that provides an intriguingly convoluted plot that certainly would have been highly placed on Oprah Winfrey’s recommended reading list. It has all of the elements of a suspenseful thriller with abundant elements for sustained emotional stress being suffered by an unsophisticated young woman.

5* for devotees of suspenseful emotional thrillers involving an appealing, naive young woman.

5 Evolutions for Sustainable Weight Loss

5 Evolutions for Sustainable Weight Loss
ISBN: 9781505297362 (softcover first printing 2014) in e-book form by Dr. Tommy Voris, The Anti-Diet Doctor.

This is a book describing a step by step program for substantial weight loss and its maintenance. The method concentrates on how to “evolve your mind to transform your body” to accomplish the objective. It is divided into five evolutionary stages entitled Power, Emotions, Belief, Fear and Cravings. Extensive explanations and examples are provided to support each division, and myriad suggestions are set forth that will allow the reader to accomplish her/his desired effect. Included are numerous examples of how the author developed the system from his own personal struggles as well as with thoughts he gleaned from mentors and friends. It also is replete with pertinent quotations from Socrates and Einstein to contemporaries such as Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Muhammed Ali and others. Additionally, the making of lists pertinent to each activity addressed by the subject along with simple reasons for the logic for doing so is a most viable suggestion.

Discussion: This is another in the growing number of self- help or ‘how-to’ volumes appearing in the last few years. Ostensibly set forth to provide a weight loss and maintenance program primarily for women, it certainly presents viable suggestions equally pertinent to men. Also as set forth, the program goes beyond simple weight control and can be applied to one’s total life. Specifically, the methodology relies heavily on modifying the individual’s strongly ingrained mental patterns by use of introspective analysis and intensive self-evaluation to understand the reasons for the faulty activity and to remedy it by gradual development of counter actions and self-discipline along with large amounts of positive thinking. The repetitive making of lists and their review would appear to be a most helpful suggestion.

Conclusion: Presentation of this material seems somewhat unusual in that it has been authored by other than a therapist trained in the usual mental disciplines per se. However, and perhaps because of this, its ‘homey’ touch with countless personal references certainly could provide an empathy that should make it most effective with certain readers. The author has seized the essence of the importance of what is required to effect change as well as championing the extensive power provided by positive thinking – both difficult for most to acquire/maintain without sustained assistance. There is much redundancy in the book which is largely excusable. The author lectures widely and it is a common practice for emphasis employed by all lecturers, but difficult (annoying?) for reading.

4* A most viable program for certain readers; some reservations.