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.
Master Your Financial Success ISBN: 9781628656800 Published and copyright by Authors Place Press written by 14 Authors Place Financial planners.
The book opens with a disclaimer and an introduction that explains that the authors of this book wanted “to give back by educating others how to address several meaningful areas that impact everyone’s financial planning lives. We are hopeful you will learn something new and be inspired to action at the same time, as even the best intentions that are never implemented can prove worthless, if not tragic.” Eleven chapters follow that cover different aspects of financial planning. One –“Retirement is a New Dawn” explains and offers suggestions for you to “Define your Future” and assess the many opportunities, both good and bad, awaiting you because of the many changes that have occurred. “It almost certainly will not be your parents’ retirement.” Two discusses Financial Stewardship and how important is “Proper financial stewardship (because it) exponentially increases value; conversely improper financial stewardship dramatically dilutes value.” Three discusses “Financial Planning for Today’s Unique Family” which may consist of a single parent, same sex parents and more. Four, is a somewhat more specialized chapter in that it deals with “Advanced Planning for Senior Executives” Five, discusses “Generation Wealth Planning and admonishes “You have prepared your wealth for your family . . . but have you prepared your family for your wealth?” Six, “Creative Strategies to Preserve Family Wealth” and Seven, “Considerations for a Business Owner” like chapter Four, again are a little more specialized. Eight – “Investing Demystified” provides basics of the activity. Nine – “Corporate Retirement Plans” is heavy on 401(K) retirement plans, Ten– “Using Life Insurance in Financial Plans” provides interesting discussion on the subject. Eleven – discusses “Charitable Planning Strategies.
Discussion: The authors collectively have presented interesting and most credible suggestions in each area of their expertise. Readers no doubt will discover many useful, and quite possibly unthought-of points to consider in any of the areas defined. From this reader’s perspective, this is a quite valuable contribution to individuals who have managed to attain a somewhat greater position and/or collection of wealth but unfortunately it is not exactly geared to those lower on the ladder of business or monetary attainment.
3* 5* for those at higher levels of accomplishment; limited otherwise.
Monkey Money Mind ISBN: 9781946633712 Forbes Books Copyright and written by Chris Zadeh and Angeliyue Schouten.
Subtitled “How to Stop Monkeying Around with Your Money” this book provides brief notes about the authors followed by an Introduction commenting on “Making Sense of How We Use our Cents” followed by nine chapters of suggestions, an Epilogue, The Silverback (gorilla), 179 pertinent bibliographic notes and finally an extensive Bibliography listed alphabetically. The authors explain that the Money Monkey Mind is “a hybrid of two concepts; it’s the psychological influences on our financial decisions blended with the Buddhist concept of the monkey mind, “the presence within us that remains restless and unsettled, criticizing our decisions, creating doubt, and stifling our creativity…. affect even the most brilliant financial giants.” The rational mind may focus on the future but the Monkey Money Mind focuses only on the present seeing only the next tree branch with the next piece of fruit – instant gratification. The concept is based upon the fact that “only a few shreds of DNA separate humans from apes. In fact, we share more than 96 percent of our genetic composition – a percentage ten times smaller than the genetic difference between rats and mice.” In other words, even the most knowledgeable individuals suffer occasionally from the urge for instant gratification, or taking the less demanding route our more rational side dictates. Each chapter examines a different phase of this troubling activity and provides helpful suggestions toward making the correct decision. Simple choices are examined with test proven results that readers may find surprising; e.g. is winning of a physical prize such as a car, expensive piece of jewelry, or other more gratifying than winning money? And why? The results often are offered from studies of unusual sources such as the NFL. Other factors are discussed using equally interesting subjects of brand loyalty, Inattention blindness, gambler’s fallacy, the trouble with easy payments, getting over irrational (and expensive) fear of loss, expert addiction, the importance of making your own decision and more.
Discussion: The authors, both of whom have experienced lean money times from childhood, have produced an interesting discussion and provided most viable suggestions on how to deal with this monster of a subject. Further, they have done so in a simple, readily understood manner, reciting study results of pertinent examples from unusual test groups. The summary suggestions pertinent to each subject discussed also neatly provide ‘take away’ thoughts. This book is well worth a reader’s time.
5* Nicely presented discussion and suggestions of a most important subject.
EMPOWERED published by Lasting Press, is a book copyright with ISBN #’s for Mobi, Epub, Paperback and Hardcover and was written by Dominica Lumanazar.
Sub-titled “The Business Owner’s Guide to Leadership and Success” this book presents a more inclusive than usual Disclaimer, the usual dedication, Preface, and Introduction followed by 3 Parts. Part I, entitled “Leading For Success”, consists of 5 chapters – on fundamentals of leadership, spotlighting your business, company history, your mindset with respect to how thoughts/emotions affect work and the necessity for discovering a work/life balance. Part II, Business Value has 4 chapters discussing relationships, company branding, marketing and retention of customers. Part III, Business Clarity, contains 3 chapters centered on the “Habits of Successful Leaders”, “Course Correction” and “Stay the Course”. A conclusion, Acknowledgments, a few References, About the Author and Notes containing more reference material terminate the presentation.
Discussion: A large portion of the book fundamentally is similar to most books of this type – positive thinking. However, here it is provided in a much broader sense and with unusual, interesting and pertinent introductory material that describes an author who has learned the necessities required to succeed in business quite literally ‘the hard way’. As an amusing aside, thoughts of this opening material somehow pop up later during the author’s discussion of “Branding” and the importance of ‘what you are providing’. The material itself discusses the emotional side of business and how it should be controlled and directed; the need to recharge your batteries; the need to recognize when to turn the business over to another CEO; how to avoid isolation and to ‘connect’; importance of ‘branding’; the importance of the 5 second rule – which parenthetically is based upon the latest research results that today’s average human attention span has dropped to 8.1 seconds, which I’ve heard is about that of a goldfish; and above all, the need for constant and extensive research – about the needs or desires for your product(s), the individuals who will be interested; how to interest additional; course correction if needed and more. The author further admonishes that you should work ON your business not IN it and above all ‘stay the course’. Most importantly perhaps is that she presents numerous lists of suggestions on how to proceed to accomplish each of her main points. The book’s Conclusion fits well with introductory remarks bringing closure to the story and the unusual acknowledgements are quite in character with the overall approach. References and notes presented are appropriate as is a short interesting piece about the author’s personal accomplishments.
5* Author’s unusual, conversationally set forth advice ‘learned the hard way’.
Tired and Hungry no More ISBN: 978173693929, assumed published, copyright and written by Phyllis Ginsberg.
The contents of this book are set forth with the usual disclaimer, an introduction, overview and 6 parts. Part One, entitled Healthy Mind presents 3 sections – “Why your efforts haven’t worked”; “Where are you in your life?” and “Reaching your full potential.” Part Two, Healthy Energy, provides “The next big Frontier: Energy Healing” and “EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Tapping with tapping scripts” which provides suggestions for 10 specific situations. Part Three, Healthy Sleep, has 3 sections discussing in order Poor Sleep, Melatonin, and suggestions for acquiring consistently good sleep. Part Four, Healthy Body, with separate attention to how to work with your body, why you should do it and provides “Options you may not have considered”. Part Five, Healthy Eating, discusses your way of “Finding your way back to health” followed by risk factors, numerous ways to healthier eating with special attention to “Desserts, Holidays and Travel”. Part six prescribes “Healthy Recipes”. Acknowledgements, a short biography and a list of the author’s other offerings conclude the book.
Discussion: The author experienced an extremely difficult childhood. Her chronically ill mother necessitated her taking care of herself starting at a very early age and of her mother as well as she grew older. The situation ended even worse for the child as mother died when she was 15 leaving her with a consuming fear of the same fate. She gradually decided that the best way of fighting this fear was to actively attempt to establish and pursue a sensible course of action. She embarked upon this venture by first discovering her present physical state and learning how to make the changes required to live a happy and healthy life. She explains how to proceed because many are lonely, not knowing how to equate with others. They need ‘something to look forward to’- if you’re not satisfied with your life actively attempt to find something that is satisfying, but realize that it requires at least 21 days to establish a new habit (but can vary from 18 -254 days). From this point on, she provides
a series of suggestions that should be of great interest to many busy and overburdened individuals – a list of 7 “Quick and Easy Ways to Recharge your Battery”; a workable meditation method; techniques for “Energy Healing”; a tapping technique, described in detail, to aid in addressing several life disturbing sensations” along with other proven suggestions for a better night’s sleep; 4 steps to tuning into your body’s signals as listed and why it is so important. She progresses to explain the importance of the proper foods for mind as well as body; the necessity of awareness of what you’re eating and proposes and describes how to make a game of ‘buying’ your food each day at $1/calorie – a most effective manner in which to correct bad habits in adults but even more helpful in teaching children these valuable lessons. A large number of recipes provided also should be extremely helpful to the large number of individuals so involved in today’s frenetic activity.
Summary: The author has presented a somewhat unique approach to the time honored subject of ways and means to correct poor eating and living habits and has provided very viable techniques to accomplish this goal.
4* Pleasantly laid-back presentation of frequently offered advice.
How to Live to be 100 ISBN: 9781943386543 Leaders Press copyright written by Elizabeth Lopez.
The book consists of a Forward, Preface and The Magic of Nicoya culture and personality as they are intertwined in a discussion as to how their life activities contribute to their longevity. This is followed by portraits and discussions with seven of these individuals about their lives and with a 95-year-old whose father just passed away at 110. Comments by a school teacher who has had a long and lasting acquaintance with these people follows and then comments by the author’s primary associate in the project. A number of local recipes are provided in detail along with a personal questioner with respect to the reader’s possibilities of reaching this advanced age, and thirty references are added.
Discussion: The book contains considerable redundancy. However, it is the most interesting result of the author’s request to be included as part of the group provided by Blue Zones LLC, Inc. to investigate whether this remote peninsula of Costa Rica qualified as a Blue Zone containing a larger than ‘normal’ number of centenarians (Presently listed are Sardinia, Italy; Loma Linda, CA; Ikaria, Greece; areas of Japan.) As a native of the peninsula and an American University EdD in psychology, the author’s stimulation to make the request is obvious and her findings indeed interesting. They appear to be much in accord with findings in the other Blue Zones listed with respect to living a healthy life style that includes an obvious genetic factor, physical, biological and personal traits and a life style consisting of low neuroticism, high extroversion, openness, agreeableness, competence, self-discipline, ability to ‘take care of one’s self’ and pride in being able to do so. Some qualities perhaps somewhat more specific to this population that she describes as the “World’s Happiest Centenarians” is their love of nature, music and dancing and strong belief in God.
Conclusion: An interesting, but perhaps somewhat surprisingly unsophisticated approach by a native who has obtained advanced psychological training and resides in the United States, to this subject of growing interest to a larger number of people. Of probably particular appeal is the inclusion of a personal quiz for the reader to take and evaluate his/her own chances of reaching that level – one that seems increasingly today to be elevated to ‘holy grail’ status.
3* 4* results & quiz to discern the reader’s possible attainment; -1 as described.