Galadria

Galadria: Peter Huddleston & The Rites of Passage, Book 1, ISBN: 9780692227268, an e-book by Miguel Lopez De Leon.

Plot: Peter Huddleston is a young man growing up in a small town with a father and his second wife. He is a better than average high school student, liked by his classmates but prefers to spend time by himself and practicing with his boomerang. Everyone in town agrees that Peter is “peculiar”, probably as a result of his ‘loner’ preferences. He never feels that he really ‘belongs anywhere’, no doubt a sense arising in part from the fact that his father, after the untimely death of his beloved wife, spent little to no time with, and even seldom spoke to his son. At one time he had been a brilliant business man, but now spent most of his time in his favorite chair reading the news. He had remarried, however and his new wife, Gertrude, if not totally disliking the young lad, also practically ignored him. So, besides time alone, Peter enjoyed spending time with an older couple who owned the local candy shop and kept him supplied with their most delicious products. At the end of the school year Peter became involved in a series of unfortunate and misunderstood adventures resulting from a confrontation with the woman who owned the town’s furniture shop – a woman who was Gertrude’s best friend and insisted he call “Aunt Celeste”. As a result of Celeste’s overreaction and Gertrude’s siding with her, Peter was informed by his father that he must spend the summer with his dead mother’s sister, Aunt Gillian at the Willowbrook Manor. Peter is shocked because he never had been told that he even had an aunt – a fact never previously mentioned because his father actually knew little about Gillian and the two were not particularly friendly. With school’s end for the summer, Peter completed the three day drive with his father to arrive at Willowbrook Manor which sat in a mountain in otherwise rather barren terrain. Here he is met by the quite formal housekeeper and equally formal Montgomery, who will be his constant companion. He does not meet his Aunt until the next day when he discovers that she actually is the ruling monarch of the nearby country of Galadria. She offers him a choice and it is from this moment on that Peter, accepting the enormous offer, embarks upon totally life changing activity and the story advances at an accelerating pace to provide material that makes the reader look forward to the next episode in the trilogy.

Discussion: The author, among other interesting activities, is an accomplished, award-winning short story writer who has extended to full scale novels. This is the first of his writings that this reviewer has read and admittedly is impressive. He has provided a young adult fantasy that reaches and maintains a level of action that deserves the additional term of thriller and with action that is credible (if this term can be applied to a fantasy) enough to be most acceptable to the sophistication of todays’ generation and incidentally even acceptable to more mature ‘young-at-heart’ readers.

5* Fantasy thriller for young readers and for the ‘young-at-heart’.

Transition

Transition ISBN: 9780986103698, Lasting Press is an e-book detailing “How to Prepare Your Family and Business for the Greatest Wealth Transfer in History” by David Werdiger.

Following the usual copyright material and two disclaimers, the author embarks upon explaining the uniquely challenging intricacies of transitioning individual roles and wealth from one generation to the next. He describes in detail how “With planning and awareness, you can experience a smooth and successful transfer that will allow the business to continue to thrive while also bringing happiness to all involved.” To accomplish this transition, the unique thoughts, beliefs, insights, values and idiosyncrasies of each generation must be realized and respectfully considered in interpersonal relationships; clear roles must be delineated for each participant dependent upon their personal strengths; and “the business must have clear values and goals regarding wealth and philanthropy.” Twelve chapters of specific suggestions on how to attain these goals and buttress their positions are provided to understand the generational differences and issues that might arise, creating a legacy, identifying values, place of entrepreneurs within the family, burdens vs. opportunities, intergenerational wealth transfer, the delicate problem of raising children with wealth, problems that can evolve from cross-generational thinking, and perhaps even more important, the search for balance.

Discussion: In this reviewer’s opinion, the author has set forth a remarkably complete dissertation on this subject and has done so quite clearly with amusing but cogent touches included; e.g., citing the old proverb “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” that warns of problems with multi-generational family wealth and explains that it exists in many cultures – Scottish “The father buys, the son builds, the grandchild sells, and his son begs.” Later, a quote from Warren Buffett: “I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing.”

5* Interesting for all readers; essential for targeted group.

A small bronze gift called “Mirror”

A small bronze gift called “Mirror”, an unusual story by juvenile fantasy/mystery Greek author Anna Musewald, whose former books have been published in Greek and German with this e-book translated into English by Dimitris Bontis.

Plot: Lydia, five years old and readying to begin school, sees police at the house where she lives with her mother and her Grandmother Maria. She is told that her mother had to leave for a while. Shortly thereafter, the two make a quick and inexplicable move followed by several more in the following few years until at twelve, Maria leaves her at a boarding school with a Mrs. M. With time, she begins to wonder about her past and from her diary and gradually evolving memories discovers that her mother actually had been poisoned and that her Grandmother was blamed due to untrue information. Additionally, three other deaths of people who had attempted to help her Grandmother had occurred. With school activity, another interesting item is brought to her attention. Maria had given her, as a sixth year birthday present, a very old piece of bronze attached to a stick that she was told was a mirror. She thought it worthless but now at school discovers how to use this mirror, enters a contest participated in by students from other schools as well, wins the contest and escapes from the school to attempt to discover what happened to her mother, why her grandmother was still missing and the perplexing reality hidden behind or within the mirror.

Discussion: A situation seems to arise occasionally where this reviewer seems to be in total disagreement with the others. Specifically, although not removed completely from other reviewer’s thought processors in the majority of cases, we again differ quite noticeably on this book. Thus, a SPOILER ALERT, or perhaps better yet, a HUMBLE APOLOGY is necessary for the following discussion that extends somewhat beyond pertinence to this specific book. The reasons for our major differences are diverse, but in this case seem to arise from interpretation and a completely understandable hesitancy to be critical of an already well accepted author. We agree that the author probably can write well, although another feature not mentioned is that she certainly deserves a better translation. She also obviously is quite knowledgeable of the well described features of the countries and places visited (e.g. terrain, cities, castles) and of the fabled/historical stories/parables (e.g. the women of the defeated city transporting their most precious possessions [husbands] to safety, Montezuma/Cortez relationship, unique historical/fabled position of mirrors) and weaves them well into her tale of mystery/fantasy. From this point we part ways. At least to this reader, this appeared to be a story moving forward toward positive results with possible allegorical overtones. She states: “Those who manage to forge the closest relationship with their faithful reflection are made for the highest positions in the world. They are tomorrow’s leaders who will lead the world with guaranteed prosperity to the future.” In other words, these persons can be introspectively honest and hold the best intentions for the world foremost. And later she explains that no one can know in advance the moves of a man of free will when explaining the actions of the villains in the plot. However, for this reviewer the story seems to ‘lose its way’ as Lydia begins and continues her somewhat vaguely meandering journey of inquiry with pertinent reasons for much activity often difficult to discern. Additionally, some of the physical activity, most especially where physical altercations take place, are particularly difficult to accept even for the targeted audience which is far more knowledgeable than the amount of credit given them. Thus, I have the impression that the talented and successfully published author of this book unfortunately has been misinformed or for some other reason not been made completely aware of the high degree of sophistication that exists in the youth of this country. And I believe that many of us, as reviewers, often forget, or many even only tangently may be aware of the tremendous differences among the generations. Briefly, we know economics are different, but often give little thought to attitudes, and perhaps even more obviously, thought processes and verbalization. Every generation devises its own. Many of the terms that a Millennial commonly uses actually mean nothing to a member of Generation X. and it is hypothesized that an individual of average intelligence in the 1950’s would be of near genius level today with the wide dissemination of knowledge that begins even before school attendance. Traditionally, readers expect reviewers to be aware of these changes that occur and take them into consideration, uninfluenced by the writer’s reputation or similar factors, when we examine/review a work. Admittedly, I could be completely wrong but have been influenced personally by a note sent by an author several years ago: “I think your review is accurate and it certainly is an immersion, for better or worse. Most people really like that but it is a little too much for some others.” So, specifically stated, it is my understanding that most authors, as well as readers, expect reviewers ‘to tell it like it is’, and several other authors even have expressed appreciation for such action.

Conclusion: A probably well-written book that deserves a better translation, by an accomplished author who has been misinformed about the level of sophistication of the youth of this country. An included explanation suggests a reason for the wide division between this review and the others provided; i.e., a wide difference exists between generations with the present ones at a level of sophistication not realized by many. If such lack of realization is evident in a published book, it should be recognized and although not particularly beneficial and possibly heart rending to the author, it is only fair to the reader and author that this fact be presented.

2* Poorly translated, knowledgeably written, regrettably targeted for audience of lesser sophistication level.

Inflatable Pontoon Boating Fundamentals

Inflatable Pontoon Boating Fundamentals ISBN: 9781534958708, eBooks2go & Gantec Publishing Solutions by T. E. Lewis.

The book opens with a short dedicatory statement containing a disclaimer of sorts and follows with pertinent serious questions to ask oneself before embarking on a trip. Next an Introduction is offered with respect to the need for, and establishment of an interactive safety “program for anglers or water recreationists who use one-person pontoon boats”. The need is great because items/attitudes basically necessary for survival so easily can be overlooked or not even thought of by the initiate. The author provides numerous important suggestions ranging from the simple matter of remembering to check the psi of a secured boat when packed for trailing through the mountains (if the psi changes sufficiently and packing does not account for this, or is not checked regularly, it simply can be lost), to descriptions of situations that are life threatening. Further admonishments are advanced to never launch before asking oneself “Am I self-rescue ready?” and to be sure to pay strict attention to the boat manufacturer’s recommendations and ratings for their boats AND to the river classifications with respect to technical difficulty associated with each particular river and/or section. (International Scale of River Difficulty.) Combined, one discovers Class I boats are for mild section water which includes fast movement, small waves, riffles and fewer obstacles. Class II, for rougher, or increased level of activities, Class III and even higher for ‘whitewater’ conditions. Also it is imperative to remember that rapid change in conditions is the one thing that can be counted upon in dealing with nature and is particularly prevalent from season to season. This is just some of the important material offered but seemingly of particular importance in this reader’s opinion are; “Am I self-rescue ready”; Anytime ‘line-of-sight’ is blocked (river bend), stop and check it out; “General rule of thumb is to point the inflatable pontoon boat at the potential hazard and row away into a clear/safe area while the river current carries you past”; and another this reviewer would strongly endorse from years personally spent navigating blue water as well as rivers, ALWAYS RESPECT THE WATER! Almost instantaneous development of disastrous situations is always imminent.

5* Critically important information for the prospective Pontoon Boater.

Do You Know The Advantages of Happiness?

Do You Know The Advantages of Happiness? 100 Ways to Live Healthier and Happier is a relatively short e-book by Emma Jones.

After a rather lengthy and rather extensively complete legal/medical disclaimer, introductory remarks explain that the reader is to be offered material “to brighten your day and help you see the light at the end of the tunnel”. A list of one hundred suggestions follow. They begin with emphasizing “the difference between materialism and success” and suggesting “random simple acts of kindness” and “enjoying what you have’. From here it progresses to simplifying your life, being more creative and “being yourself” and to a myriad of other ways of self-expression, learn to live what is going on in your life but attempt to change what is not compatible with it. All is to be accomplished without ignoring edicts consistent with good sense and the ‘feelings’ of other individuals. And above all, the reader is urged to discover or revisit ways to ‘have fun’.

Discussion: The author(s) [not sure because the listed author is Emma (female?) but one suggestion is offered by a male protagonist] have set forth some most interesting and worthwhile suggestions that readers no doubt will find most helpful and pertinent. Literarily speaking, regretfully there is considerable redundancy and repetition throughout the presentation and several suggestions that make a reader understand the importance of the opening extensive disclaimer. The overall presentation does offer many suggestions readers certainly could find most helpful, and an admonishment must be offered so the reader will not be affected by the same initial impression that occurred to this reviewer. The cover’s appearance, although understandably attempting to depict the joy of youthful participation, for some reason produced a momentary reaction that this was a children’s book. Don’t be deterred.

4* Flawed presentation of generally helpful suggestions.

Incision Decisions

Incision Decisions ISBN: 9780692832547, Linland Press isA guide to getting through surgery, recovery and your hospital stay” in e-book by Kaye Newton.

The author is a survivor of two major surgeries, one scheduled, the other more of an emergency. From these experiences she has provided ten chapters that quite literally address every conceivable question and activity to be encountered. Just a few of the many subjects quite thoroughly covered are how and where to look for the best surgeon and hospital for your particular type of procedure, “lining up help” for activities that must now be accomplished by others, organizing your health information, suggestions to properly prepare your mind and body for surgery, what to expect and decisions to be made during your hospital stay and recovery periods both within the hospital and subsequently at home and finally, the many considerations required for resuming your life. Suggestions for preparation of drug and recovery charts are included along with lists of helpful medical websites to peruse not only for physicians/hospitals, but for care giving services and others, even “Crowd Funding Services” are provided as possible sources if financial help is required. An extensive menu of easily prepared meals also is included as are suggestions how to have one’s children cared for during the patient’s absence, and a useful listing of terminology generally employed by hospital staff can be most helpful to the otherwise uninitiated. Several pages of footnotes also are appended for the subscripted numbers appearing in the body of the text for further explanation, if needed.

Conclusion: The author has provided answers to just about every conceivable question a prospective surgery patient might have and done so in a very simple easily understood manner. Highly recommended.

5* Highly recommended for prospective surgery patients.