The Daily Better

      The Daily Better ISBN: 9781628656992 Authors place Press, copyright and written by Henry Edwards.

In the Preface, the author explains that, although having been raised with all of the amenities available to a child born in this period in the United States, he acquired an obsession “with America’s hypocrisy and the “evils” of capitalism” with a “rotten Core of America – materialistic, militaristic, superficial, overweight…bloated both physically and metaphorically. I also started believing that all of humanity was doomed for decline and fall.” He moved into alcohol and drug abuse and “high school partying moved into an addiction.” Therapy turned things around and he began looking not only at America but also the rest of the world. With voracious reading he began to learn that humanity actually had progressed in fantastic proportions with the passage of time. “Pestilence, War, Famine and Death – the Four Horsemen of the Biblical Apocalypse – are all in retreat. I end up noting that there is a world-wide epidemic of anxiety, depression and suicide. The causes are many and complex, but I propose an additional cause: pessimism.” He expresses hope that by presenting here a full year’s 365 days of Reasons for Optimism others may gain a similar degree of overall optimism. An introduction provides a discussion of how a meeting with one of today’s more pessimistically inclined individuals might proceed and then the substance of the book begins with the list by date of occurrence and/or date of birth of the person responsible for the activity discussed. The first is a brief description of The Montreal Protocol of 1989 that set forth global agreement that stopped the use of chemicals contributing to ozone depletion. Another local/international/global beneficial action that benefits a particular part, or all, of mankind then is set forth in similar manner and the list continues for a complete 365 days. After each individual presentation, there is an accompanying “Thought for Today”.

An enormous number of highly varied actions, people, dates and global areas are presented to offer reasons for optimism. The dates range from antiquity and even before, to present day. The objects – TV, Web, Telephone, sonar, space, quantum theory and more. Coverage ranges through women’s rights, sexual freedom, racial relations, medical advances, and various aspects of children’s well-being, the poor, disabled, health issues and more. Individuals of note include Albert Schweitzer, Ford, Benz (Mercedes Benz), Andrew Carnegie, Jesse Owens, Walter Reed, Washington Roebling (Brooklyn Bridge), Jane Austin, Thomas Edison, Martin Luther King, Jr. and others. Places – Antarctica, various places in England, Africa, America, Apollo Theater in Harlem, Canary Islands, others.

Discussion: Turned off by the pessimism constantly encountered, the author has provided a monumental amount of ‘evidence’ to offer corroboration for his desire to create a basis for world-wide optimism. From this reviewer’s perspective, he has offered excellent material. Regrettably also from this reader’s perspective, the format; i.e. fitting occurrences into a 365 day pattern, although quite unique, results in inclusion of numerous repetitious episodes of the same basic material. The effect is a little ponderous that, at least for this reader, seems to result in an undesirable detraction from the main theme. Additionally, inclusion of his statement with respect to wars being less frequent and less costly in lives will be open to lengthy contemplation as will his comment with respect to Dr. Benjamin Spock’s teachings – a legacy the basic psychology of which along with its manner of application are particularly controversial in the minds of many today.

Conclusion: A bright light offered especially to Americans in this chaotic period of political struggle and questionable Department of Justice activity.

4* 5* Much needed optimism offered; -1 presentation as described.

Consensusland

      Consensusland ISBN: 9781483491103 (Lulu Publishing rev. date: 11/16/2018) copyright and written by Mark Helfman.

Subtitled, A Cryptocurrency Utopia, “This book explores the social and cultural side of cryptocurrency. It examines the ways in which the world will change when cryptocurrency becomes a normal way to do business. It probes the pros and cons. It offers point and counterpoint. It looks at how cryptocurrency changes the way people think and act.” The author approaches his task in a fictional story as follows. Successful small American pharmaceutical manufacturer Quentin Taylor is desirous of expanding his business but has little success in obtaining the necessary funds because he ‘is too small’, ‘does not have enough successful patents’ (even though he was listed as one of the top CEO’s holding two highly credible patents). Further he did not have sufficient collateral to float the necessary loans and was completely frustrated. Suddenly he receives a one-time deal offering, complete start-up of new state-of-the-art labs, tech and a headquarters of at least six stories in a downtown location and all other necessities at no cost, if he will move his operations to a small Caribbean island, named Consensusland. The city/state recently had been touted as a growing principality that was rapidly growing and ‘different’. It was established and functioned in a milieu totally controlled by the country’s currency, a strange one collected by many individuals in America and other countries, but seemingly never used but retained as a type of hedge fund. In fact his medical/legal director included some of their currency in her portfolio. He makes the trip to the island with his wife and his medical/legal director. They are wined and dined, the glowing proposition is explained in detail and he is leaning toward acceptance although his director is more hesitant. They are scheduled to meet the island’s governor the following day, but upon returning to their hotel encounter their hotel owner. He suggested an evening trip to the beach where they meet the originator of the country’s presently used currency. This man now is discovered to be involved in still another project, development of a new currency. Accompanied by input from others, whom Quentin had just met during the day, also were in the beach gathering, He is appraised of the existence of wide dissatisfaction that exists with the manner in which the country is managing the cryptocurrency presently in use. They explain that this ‘similar but different’ currency their splinter group have developed and whose use they just are initiating, is as a reaction to, and remedy for, the unpopular functions for which the government now employs the one presently in use. The body of the tale is composed of Quentin’s action, his vacillation and ultimate decision as the pros and cons of the various components are revealed and discussed.

Discussion: The author has set forth a most interesting fictional tale about a factual subject of increasingly close study today. The intensive investigation is increasingly imperative because many, if not all, of present day society will be forced to face it at a rapidly approaching time. The security of Internet constantly is under attack. As repeatedly reported by the media, thousands are losing personal data at a rapid pace. I specifically recall reading about the 2017 ransomware attack that reportedly affected more than 100 different countries and crippled UK’s National Health Service for an extended period of time. Similarly the huge loss of data from Singapore’s government health service and others. As a result, something new is imperative. Blockchain is one most prominently growing in acceptance. Reportedly it is a technology where information is retained in ‘blocks’ that are chained together and retained in such a manner that attempting to hack would require far more time and energy to make the attempt worthwhile because each block would need to be attacked individually. As the author points out, politics and fraud probably still could exist, but it can’t be laundered or ‘go missing’. Apparently, once stored on blockchain however, cryptocurrency is required for their exchange and one of the problems here is that others may be designed to replace the one in use. One of these currencies, from the few hundred now available that seems to have gained a particular degree of prominence is Bitcoin, which is beyond this discussion. Suffice it to say, the author has set forth a fact-filled discussion in a most enjoyably fictional presentation.

5*Captivating fictional presentation of important factual material.

The World According to Jennie Morris

The World According to Jennie Morris, published, copyright and written by Jennie Morris.

Sub-titled “Adventures and mis-adventures of a single female traveler”, the author provides an astonishingly extensive list of places visited in the world, portions of which had been visited before many of today’s amenities were available, and were revisited more recently. Included are large portions of Africa, Near and Far East and South-east Asia including Cambodia, the Killing fields and the total area dominated by the Khimar Rouge, Borneo, Australia, New Zealand, Russia including the Trans-Siberian Express, Central and South America and more. Her experiences have included diving Australia’s Great Barrier Reef as well as other notable as well as lesser known areas, swimming with Shark and Semiaquatic reptiles, chasing Komodo Dragons and more. This fascinating book can provide an interesting escape for anyone needing one and for the travel junkie it presents a remarkably extensive list of areas to peruse in attempting to choose their next itinerary.

Discussion: The recounting of this woman’s truly remarkable travels is even more fascinating when considering all have been made largely on a somewhat restricted budget. They, along with snippets of the authors thoughts provided here also provide some insight to the actual answers to the constantly recurring questions she receives as to why she would travel to places that so often called for dangerous activity in miserable circumstances. Her answer always explains that it no doubt may be difficult to understand and is to a certain extent even for her. Regardless, she, has found each journey to be a compellingly enjoyable experience.

As just stated above, a most pausible answer to these questions may be found in the book’s prologue. When one considers the restriction on travel funds, one is aware that this fact advantageously functioned to bring her intimately into contact with the working and/or poorer classes of residents in all of these countries, thus providing a greater understanding of the true nature of each country, its people and its basic culture. The author states: “You learn a great deal about humanity by frequenting waiting places” – airports, train stations, boat docks, doctor’s offices and such, and even more especially when attempting to cross borders of countries less frequently traveled. “Cultures lay themselves bare in these times of watching.” More importantly perhaps, “You also cannot escape yourself, and so much downtime comes from excruciating amounts of reflection and overthinking.” And here perhaps, the real underlying reason appears. She states “I grew up in a family of alphas, a family of chaos, anger, jealousy, put-downs and violence. I was never thought much of by my siblings, and all of my attempts at being loved and accepted were met with derision and insults.” It is a well-known fact that thwarting of a young child’s attempts to earn familial love not infrequently leads to the world of books. This activity allows escape for the individual whenever desired, and into a totally different and magical world where dreams can be realized and unwanted thoughts ignored for a time. The author discovered the same escape at an early age and with growth and maturity was able to obtain the means to actually realize many of those dreams. Her prologue ends with the somewhat poignant “Though I have forgotten more than I remember regarding my travel adventures of the past 20 plus years, I wanted to put a few on paper to those who may enjoy a break from life for a little while.”

Conclusion: Thus, this once poorly understood child has produced a book that actually serves two purposes. The first she has verbalized. The second is that it provides the travel aficionado the basics for a wide range of excellent travel itineraries from which he/she can select their next series of adventures. A third, possibly only vaguely considered, is to follow either of two routes to give even more help to those who best can benefit. First, each of the areas discussed could be expanded by setting forth more details about the places, fellow travelers, and adaptations made by particular residents of these countries to their dreams within the mores of their society. (A plethora of stories lie within the brief synopses that have offered only a tantalizing hint of the many tales waiting to be set forth) Second, the huge number of opportunities for fictional treatment of the material presented certainly deserves consideration.

Summary: This book, although it is granted to suffer from numerous faults set forth by most writers in their first attempts, provides synopses of material that fulfill the author’s stated purpose “to put a few (journeys) on paper to those who may enjoy a break from life for a little while”. But most importantly from this reader’s perspective, it presents synopses of tales a reader hopes she will expand upon in her non-fictional prose to provide further substance for those ‘needing a break’. But also, consideration of a fictional line of endeavor could be considered for the huge number of individuals who look forward to stories that satisfy their needs in the many genres nuanced by the brief descriptions provided.

5* Recommended for targeted audience; others as well for reasons explained.

Future Women

    Future Women ISBN: 9781950336104 The Books Factory copyright and written by Chrissa McFarlane.

Sub-titled “Minority entrepreneurship and the fourth industrial revolution in the Era of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency”, the author is the Founder and CEO of Patientory, a company whose purpose is to  “Create a health industry servicing patients in ways that would make every medical record easily assessable by healthcare providers by using Blockchain and cryptocurrency.” She explains that the use of these technologies can eliminate one specific problem of enormous size. She recalls that in 2017 “Wannacry” ransomware crippled UK’s National Health Service & affected over 150 countries and in 2018-19 hackers broke into Singapore’s gov’t health data again causing wide-spread damage. She says “Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology and doesn’t require third-party interventions.” Thus it can help healthcare systems reduce the risk of hacking because it would take too much time/energy to hack all of the nodes within a network to infect the system. Users either can own their own information by joining the chain or by helping to secure the servers and distribute the data on a network and that variations of the system are being used in numerous countries already. Her establishment of a company that can aid in dissemination of personal medical records properly by the owner to the proper agency more expeditiously, with lower cost and far greater security is a tremendous advancement for an industry that is struggling with massive problems and huge, often totally unnecessary, expenses as well as the absolute essential requirement of keeping safe intimate personal facts. As one of the very few women of color in such an elevated position, she seeks to provide a framework for, and instruct others how to proceed to enter the ranks of successful entrepreneurs. After the usual disclaimer, dedication and introduction, the Table of Contents lists numerous chapter headings with explanatory sub-headings widely ranging from a most helpful explanation of blockchain and its many advantages as well as of Cryptocurrency and how they function; through Minority and Mindset; need for flexibility in all thinking and activity especially when seeking financial empowerment; and a host of other pertinent subjects with much biographical and autobiographical material that should serve well as instructive to the individuals she is urging to attempt to pursue an entrepreneurial path.

Discussion: There is a considerable amount of repetition in this book. However, because presentation of this and similar material no doubt serves as basic for lectures, it is not unusual. Thus, this presentation is highly recommended for the author’s target audience and parenthetically the quite clearly set forth explanations of blockchain and cryptocurrency can be most enlightening for all individuals so frequently being introduced today to these and other technological terms.

5* Excellent for target audience; highly informative for all readers.

LEAN ON

 

LEAN ON the Five Pillars of Support for Women in Leadership ISBN: 9781642250824 Advantage Media Press copyright and written by Andreas Wilderer.

The book opens with a sizable number of comments by CEO’s and other highly placed individuals praising the author’s presentation. This is followed by the usual copyright and publication material and then an interesting dedication: “This book is dedicated to all the amazing women who follow their dreams and reach for the stars and to everyone who supports them on their journey. And to my wonderful wife, Mirka and our children Dominik and Viktoria, who supported me in writing this book.” There follows an introduction admonishing the necessity to design the ‘pillars of support’ strongly, but then to be sure that the structure is constantly re-examined to access its  condition so that no deterioration that could lead to eventual collapse can occur. It further explains that in order to properly describe this sound foundation of the Five Pillars – Partnership, Family, Workplace, Society and Self – the manner in which they must function together as one unit requires the ensuing chapters (although having some individual attributes) largely to be focused on selective combinations; e.g. workplace and society. The ensuing 9 chapters along with a Conclusion provide the material in exactly this manner. A few of the many fine bits of important information offered are: the overall necessity for each individual contemplating entering this alternative life-style to thoroughly analyze and truthfully examine his/her ability to function comfortably in a society where a long accepted manner of man/woman/work/home/children functions have been ingrained as ‘the norm’ for generations; the necessity of being able to make their children understand why dad is Mr. MOM so they can face children from traditional households, i.e., They must be taught and be able to understand the importance of gaining sensitivity and compassion so as to break free of gender stereotypes and learn they don’t need to fit into anyone else’s mold; the worker must learn not to micromanage a home situation or the reverse; the absolute need to be open-minded and fair in all situations; apply many if not all of the features of running a business to managing a successful home relationship; and many more.

Discussion: The author has provided a fascinating and most important discussion of a subject that appears to be most appropriate and greatly needed because of the thrust of many new directions that have arisen in today’s society. The reversal of mother/father relationships is only one of the new directions. Modern society and more importantly its children, also are facing and attempting to cope with the growth of single parentage, same sex parents, divorced parents, dual sets of parents and more. Millennials have made initial efforts to change the structure of society and we only can stand by to see if these frequently brilliant entrepreneurial minds can, and are willing to, think beyond their seemingly self-centered interests to solve the problems arising from the conflicts facing children when faced with unfortunately often cruel words and actions of the still existent majority of children from traditional families.

5* Much needed initial discussion. Highly recommended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping Score with GRIT

     Keeping Score with Grit ISBN: 9781946633538 ForbesBooks copyright and written by Shawn Burcham.

     This book contains a Forward, Introduction, eleven chapters, a Conclusion, a Bonus Chapter – GRIT  Business Coaching – Acknowledgements, About the Author, and Our Services. In the Introduction, the author provides a statement attributed to Stephen Wright of an answer to the time-worn question “If you were shipwrecked and could have one book, what would it be?” The answer: “I always say, How to Build a Boat.” The quote alerts the reader to expect the following material to reflect thoughts from a mind seriously and rather uniquely directed toward forward thinking and solving problems. There follows an explanation of how the material to follow arose from his late introduction to one book that changed his entire attitude. It discussed all of the challenges he faced in his entrepreneurial endeavors. From this point forward he read extensively, went to work solving his problems and decided ultimately to share what he had discovered “to help ANYONE become more successful in business and financial literacy, and to teach people how to mentally change in order to consistently improve as a person.”

     Discussion: The author opens in a most interestingly conversational manner explaining his experience as a newly rated pilot flying home when a door blows open forcing him to land the crippled aircraft by making the right decisions at the proper times. NTSB, the governing body investigating all plane crashes, report the majority of plane crashes result from pilot error. Instinctively he suddenly realized that business failures also invariably resulted from CEO/Management (Pilot) error. As founder/CEO of the highly successful PTSbrands he must make decisions that affect “more than 130 different families and the loved ones of the employee-owners who work alongside of me,” the decisions affect 1500+ locations promoting their brands from Washington to Florida with a $60 million plus revenue and with a current trajectory toward 5,000 nationwide locations. His narrative continues in an easy-to-read, plain-spoken manner to provide a blue print written “to inspire other entrepreneurs”, “encourage other business owners and leaders to communicate more openly with their employees so that they can be more engaged at work”, “help people to better themselves”, “help leaders to become more aware of their strengths and weaknesses to enable them to become better leaders”.

     Conclusion: One of the easiest to read books for entrepreneurs this reviewer has read. Highly recommended,

5* Easy to read. Highly recommended.