A Kite at the Edge of the World

A Kite at the Edge of the World ISBN: 9781733080613 Yearning Press, copyright and written by Katy Grant.

The story opens with an eighty-plus-year-old man reminiscing on the same beach where he met his first childhood friend in a vacation resort town they visited every summer. He was five or six years old, rather reticent as the result of a rather overprotective mother and a strict nurse heavily occupied with his newly-born sister. Thus, he did not take to the other children because they were ‘too noisy’ but had noticed a young boy several times walking with his mother or an older woman. The boy appealed to him because he too seemed to walk quietly and seemed somewhat ‘reserved’. A few days later he saw him alone on the beach and they began talking. The boy, Ilio, was a little older and this was a first visit with a mother and father who wanted him to learn as much as possible. The reason for the visit, as he informed his new friend because he was dying. He explains that whatever it was it was incurable and he didn’t have very much time left. The plot follows the simple pleasures discovered by the two young boys as it advances during the summer through Ilio’s gradual decline and eventual death.

Discussion: In the closing pages, the author presents a summation by the old man telling the story “True Ilio’s life was short. There were many things he never experienced…Never looked back on a long life and wondered, bewildered, what he possibly had to show for it. Time was his enemy. Yet time has been my enemy too. I was once told years ago that nothing lasts. Not mountains, nor planets, nor stars. And yet, I have also been told that these three things abide – faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love. And now, all of the people I have loved in my life, more of them are dead than are living. Do they know we still love them? I am told that they still do. Perhaps that is the power of love. It endures.” And he continues his ruminations about the first young friend he had ever made. Obviously, the author has attempted to weave a poignant tale extolling the importance and everlasting effect of love and sets forth the story in a well-written manner amply providing thoughts, verbalization and actions of children of the age portrayed. Many readers may thoroughly embrace this story. Regrettably and apologetically to the author however from the perspective of this reviewer, a caveat is required. A story of ruminations by an old man about the death of a childhood friend, although such occurrence is readily acknowledged by all as simply a necessary part of living, is not a more usually preferred subject for selection.

3* 5* Well-written tale extolling the importance of love; -2 caveat as explained.

Entrepreneurs The Little Black Book

Entrepreneurs ISBN: 9781793054586 The Expressive Press copyright and written by Pete Geissler.

Sub titled The Little Black Book for, and those who want to be, entrepreneurs starts with a list of his other series of books; About the Author follows where he is presented as a “Professional/technology writer, teacher professor of technical writing and an author/publisher of self-help books”. These 3 combined, he admits are infamous for creating more poverty than wealth, but they work for him and he loves what he does. A Forward explains: “Happiness is the ultimate goal, and you’re in the driver’s seat.” A Prologue describes who, and why you will benefit from this book. Ten chapters (Drivers) next, beginning with Know and Live your purposes; 2. Aim for competitive supremacy which puts you in charge of your destiny; 3. Live your big 4 behaviors (empathize, appreciate, articulate, connect – actually common courtesy); 4. Collaborate with your customers. Also branding or niche marketing important; Give them more than expected; 5. Nurture and value your talents and principles for they are your conscience. (Picasso reportedly received a complaint when he asked $1000 for a requested sketch he did in a few seconds. His answer – Hardly a few seconds; I worked a lifetime to be able to create that simple drawing. Similarly, this Author was paid $4000 for a few minutes work, but strategically let the recipient believe it was after a week’s work.); 6. Four rules for creating wealth –productive efforts create wealth; 7. Create your own cozy conglomerate, for it is your stability. (The author is in his eighties, still writes, teaches, writes/publishes his and a few other’s books and honestly believes “That if I stopped I would die of boredom and loneliness in six weeks. Crazy, eh?” He believes serendipity was the driving force behind his cozy conglomerate); 8. Avoid greed at all costs – it’s self-defeating. Don’t accept work that’s beyond your capacity to deliver the final product (and this reviewer might emphasize- ON TIME – as follows). Remember your time and abilities also have a limit which it is necessary to discover and recognize; 9. Be creative when planning your future, for it is your road map. (“If you don’t know where you’re going you can’t get there”); 10. Retain financial advisers you can trust for they are your security. Five rules are offered beginning with Never retain a friend or relative to be accountant or manager; 11. Nurture your most important asset: your mind and body; 12. Select the vehicle you’ll ride into entrepreneurship for it will influence your wealth and happiness. There is an Epilogue (Conclusion); PETE’S Punditry: Words to Play By; Further Reading on money, on work, communications and thinking; APPENDIX A – The root cause of Success: Humility; Appendix B –  Root cause of failure: Arrogance; Appendix C –  Your “intelniche” is your brand and your competitive supremacy (your intelligence, imagination, creativity is your only product).

Discussion: A few more ‘gems’ noted in this short treatise include “Knowing your life’s purpose(s) keeps you on the track you’ve decided is best for you. It shapes your decisions and prevents you from irrelevant, irritating and costly excursions that tend to hinder reaching your goals”. The author loves words and first went to work writing for many Fortune 500 companies that needed to communicate better. “I can pick my bosses and embrace those I like and pay my fees.” He can dress as he likes, can get into proper attire if necessary to attend a board meeting or other and otherwise work in shorts/t-shirt and work billable hours in the middle of the night, Christmas day, or whenever. He says everyone needs a statement of purpose that adjusts to life’s changes and here he offers steps to “put you in the driver’s seat” to follow yours because “Perhaps now is the time to redefine success to align with your expectations and encompass more than wealth. The drivers in this book, which are my contract with you, will help…….As you redefine, remember that every person holds in his mind a definition of success and that every person’s path to it is difficult, circuitous, and exclusively theirs. I am your guide, not your overseer.

Conclusion: This reader is an individual who long has embraced the idea behind the author’s recalled statement “If you enjoy what you’re doing, retirement is ‘a vile condition brought about by age and befuddled management’. He too is a ‘word lover’ of long standing who also still is enjoying similar activities. As such, this reviewer highly recommends reading and thoroughly considering altering your ‘work’ to be more in line with the suggestions offered here.

5* Highly recommended!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Complete Collection of Short Stories

The Complete Collection of Short Stories assumed published, copyright and written by Paul Michael Peters.

The book contains eighteen short stories on various subjects created between 2012 and 2018. It opens with an overriding opening quote from Jean Paul “Memory is the only paradise from which we cannot be driven.” The opening story, Hickory Switch, is a quite fascinating look at human frailties when faced with a momentous decision. The second, Fukushima Gold, an interesting story about the fallout from the atomic residual. The 3rd, 4th and 5th are stories from the mind of James Hollins, more easily recognized as “Mr. Memory”. He was born with synesthesia, an unusual condition in which the senses cross and interconnect. Some experience an ability “to taste words, see music or feel smells”. One ability is rare, two are extraordinary. Holland had multiple connections. Thus, “he remembered everything about everything” even to the smallest detail. The first tale introduces the man and his abilities. The second is tied to the once extremely well –known song made particularly famous by Nat King Cole and dealing with the Great War in Poland and attempts by smaller countries to exit soviet dominance. The 7th an interesting ‘take’ on Robots and AI. 8th a tale that looks at transfer of human frailty to an AI component. 9th interesting look at the importance of performances of ‘small helpful activities’. And the stories continue for a total of 18 with 17 an amusing tale of ‘sanctuary’ and 18 another short treatise that follows another strange train of thought. A series on the Devil explains a simple fact that “you can’t kill the devil without facing your own hell.”

Discussion: The author has a very fertile mind that often proceeds in rather unusual directions. It is a book that will be most enjoyed by readers who have similar thought patterns. The book’s offering of largely short, self-contained subjects makes it excellent reading for the person who finds him/herself with short intervals of ‘time-on-their-hands’.

4* Of special interest to similar thinking individuals.

In Search of Natural Support for Diabetes Well-Being

In Search of Natural Support for Diabetes Wellbeing ISBN: 1950336043 The Books Factory copyright and written by John F. Burd, PhD.

Subtitled “The Discovery of Lysulin” the book contains 15 chapters, a Conclusion, an Appendix containing four impressive studies of the effectiveness of this new substance in treating the cause of Diabetes, several Testimonials and “About the Author”. Included are an explanation of Diabetes, Obesity & Heart Disease; the Misinformation Campaign on Diabetes; the Culprit: Glucose Toxicity; the Symptoms and Complications of Type 2 Diabetes; the Discovery of Lysulin; the Unfavorable view of Natural Supplements; the Politics of Food, Science and Diabetes; Putting Lysulin to the Test; Diabetes Drugs and Advertising; Metformin and Insulin; comparison of Effectiveness of Lysulin to Big Pharma’s Drugs; the Fundamentally Misguided approach to Medical Education; Where do we go from here? And the concluding chapter summarizing and amalgamating all of the material provided within the individual chapters.

Discussion: The author is an entrepreneur with an impressive record of successes in discovery, use and/or advancement of worthwhile biochemical elements. The thrust of presentation is obvious from the chapter contents. There is a certain amount of repetition and redundancy. However, the overall impression is highly favorable in that the activities of the pharmaceutical industry are well known and now under investigation, the gullibility of consumers obvious and the prevalent lack of attention to nutrition in medical and dental education shamefully apparent. The reasons advanced by the professions for these missing educational inclusions are just as inexcusable as the probable influential feature suggested by the author. Further, the missing instruction is a sad commentary (along with much that is occurring in these schools today) because, from personal experience, nutritional lectures still were a large part of instruction sixty – eighty years ago.

5* Highly recommended for ALL readers.

(Note – search for title may be easier using sub-title – it’s shorter)

The Robot and Automation Almanac

The Robot and Automation Almanac 2019 ISBN: 9781946197153, Published and Copyright by Prestige Professional Publishing. Edited by Jason Schenker,

The mission of this book is to offer predictive information “For automation and robotics futurists everywhere.” It consists of several descriptions/analyses/conclusions independently written by prominent individuals considered to be most knowledgeable in their particular field of endeavor. The essays are gathered together by the editor who is Chairman of The Futurist Institute and a man who is one of the most eminent in the field. It is divided into four sections; One – Outlook for Robotics, that offers an ‘overview’ of Automation and AI in 2019 including a look at the vectors for robotics advancement and a coming ‘day-of-reckoning’, and also predictions for the future of AI as well as robotics growth and quantum computing’s future in 2019. Two – examines Socializing Robots where various aspects are analyzed from the viewpoint of evolving perceptions, their ability to bridge industry and steam education, the fact that every chatbot now is a voicebot, who’s collaborating with whom and most importantly the need to overcome existing fear with respect to robot/human interoperability and labor replacement fears. Three – examines Socializing Robots from the perspective of how these factors will power innovation, be it in transportation, construction or the advent of “smart cities” and also the further advance of Blockchain and automation in the financial services sector. Section Four – Robots in the Supply Chain examines/ analyzes/ predicts the effects that will result from advancing innovation in this necessary section of the economy. Relatively brief material About the Futurist Institute, About the Author, About the Publisher and Disclaimers terminate the book.

Discussion: The selection offers an interestingly varied view of these rapidly advancing technologies by several individuals prominent in their respective areas. As quoted above, the selection has been offered to update “futurists everywhere” with what is transpiring to treat the environmentally unsustainable and thus totally disastrous worldwide “tsunami of data” that “is expected to consume one fifth of the world’s energy use by 2025.” A few of the more interesting suggestions from this reviewer’s perspective: discussion of the fusion of the physical, digital and biological world by this “fourth Industrial Revolution”; the manner in which robot-human interrelationships will be developed for greatest gain and little actual loss in human man-hours; the growth of presently functioning “smart pilots” into fully developed “smart cities”. However, generally speaking and most regrettably from this reviewer’s perspective, this book provides a rather superficial overview with a considerable amount of repetition, Further, there often is a seeming suggestion that each essayist and/or the approach offered can provide the most authoritative answers. Thus, judicious editing and perhaps greater essayist coordination would seem to have eliminated considerable portions of both problems, although having read several of the editor’s books, a similar inclination also seems to pervade his writing. But perhaps his impressive qualifications and positions make his stance more acceptable.

3* Interesting, but rather superficial discussion/predictions for 2019 technology.

Mask of Bone

 

 

Mask of Bone, Book III in the Chemist Trilogy. Fearless Publishing, copyright and written by Janson Mancheski.

Although a standalone book published first in 2011, this series of activities follows Cale van Waring, Senior Detective Investigating Officer of a series of kidnappings in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Through grinding detective work, a little luck and strangely a little help from his significant other’s clairvoyant sister, he manages to apprehend the perpetrator in a shoot-out, saving his loved one’s life while doing so. In the second volume, the reader discovers that, even though receiving commendations for his heroic activity, he is relieved from duty for two weeks for ignoring basic police rules. The kidnapper, after his incarceration, attempts to avoid a murder charge for the death of his first victim, by providing the name of a man who had been deported from Great Britain as a Liberian National associated with human trafficking. Through FBI connections Cale discovers that this is not a ploy but that the man actually exists. Thus, in typical Cale fashion, he decides to follow the killer named by the serial human bondage kidnapper and return him to the U.S. In this third volume Cale, with his group of mercenaries move from their headquarters in Italy to Belgium where the killer is attending a party held by an extremely wealthy and prominent buyer of trafficked women. Not only is the killer a guest at the man’s Chateau, but there is additional information that one or more of the Green Bay captives also are there. It seems that the Chateau owner is especially prominent in, and holding a week-end soiree, for other fetish lovers from numerous countries, and where his specially attired and trained team of trafficked women is the favorite to win the featured race. It further is reported that one of the Green Bay captives is a member of this team. So Cale’s objective becomes first to rescue the girl and another of the green Bay women also reportedly there. Simultaneously with these activities, Colonel Tazeki “Taz” Mabutu, the head of the Liberian National Police with whom Cale tangled so nearly disastrously in Liberia is moving further on the attack of Cale and those close to him for wrongs he unknowingly performed against the colonel. It seems that Taz also is an extremely highly placed African voodoo priest, a botono or master of all loa, especially the petro loa or dark gods. As such, it is believed Taz can possess another person’s body turning them into a zombie slave to do the botomo’s bidding as well as perform other dastardly effects. The abundant action is concentrated first on the attempt to rescue the girls followed by Taz’s strange and gruesome voodoo activity with Cale’s love, her clairvoyant sister and Cale’s long-time partner heavily involved.

Discussion: This third volume follows the high octane activity established and carried through the first two volumes and again should be sufficient to satisfy the suspenseful thriller devotee. Regrettably, for this reader and perhaps unfortunately for other more pragmatic individuals, several features have lessened appreciation of this series. The supportive procedural police work presented in the first volume was gradually replaced by less credible activity in volume two and this volume seems but an extension of the same with final concentration on the occult. Granted, the action still is intense and to reiterate no doubt manages to retain this element sufficiently to satisfy devotees, although these individuals now must also lean heavily toward tales of the occult for their satisfaction.

3* 4*for continued action; 3* or less for reasons described.