Top of the Hill – Learning To Think and Grow Rich at Napoleon High School By Jim Stovall – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake,

Introducing Napoleon Hill’s Personal Analysis System to a New Generation of World Changers

“Top of the Hill – Learning to Think and Grow Rich at Napoleon High School” is the second book in Jim Stovall’s Homecoming Historical Series. “Top of the Hill” is an amazing story of what can happen when a mastermind group or dream team discover and put into practice the Napoleon Hill’s 17 success principles.

 

Philip Madison, a former student and High School English teacher at Napoleon Hill High School, in Wise, Virginia is currently the principal of the school.  Madison is recognized for his community service and is considered the anchor of Napoleon Hill High School (NHHS).

 

Philip was greatly disturbed by a letter, from Ronald Slade, chairman of the state school board, announcing the closing of the NHHS, at the end of the present school year. The closing was due to a drop in enrollment and the loss in tax revenues from the distressing economic conditions; the result of the closing of the local mine.

 

When Philip arrived at his school office, greeted Amanda Cornett, a senior, possibly the best all-around student ever enrolled at the high school, was already at work as an office assistant.  Amanda already completed all her required courses and is working as a volunteer in the principal’s office to develop business skills. She is also taking college courses at the local university.

 

Amanda’s tears betrayed the fact that she had read the letter from Ronald Slade, still in her hand. Ronald Slade. Principal Madison attempted to console Amanda. Amanda took note of a poster on the wall containing a list of Napoleon Hill’s 17 Success Principles. Principal Madison was reminded of Hill’s philosophy that “Opportunity often comes, disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.” Philip went on to show Amanda how setting a goal is the first step toward solving a problem and of the importance of putting together a mastermind group to help solve the problem at hand.

 

Amanda immediately set about recruiting a “Master Mind Group” or dream team from the class of seniors NHHS to commit themselves to keep their school from being closed.  The group included a unique group of talented high school seniors.

The maintenance engineer of the school, Philip and his wife Helen, who worked as an officer at the local bank, and Robert Campbell, an attorney rounded out the team.

 

One by one each of the dream team members contributed their talent as they discovered a challenge from Napoleon Hill’s Personal Analysis. The elements of celebration, disappointment, and intrigue add to the suspense of a well-structured plot, the growth of individual characters, and an unexpected surprise ending.

 

Stovall has created a fast-moving, plot, driven by an unforgettable cast of characters. Stovall uses a combination of fact, fiction, and core beliefs. Each of the chapters of the book builds on the theme of one of the principles included in Hill’s Personal Analysis System.

 

Stovall writes with an upbeat attitude, often using “tongue in cheek” humor. His writing awakens all five senses with vivid metaphors which describe sights, sounds and smells. Other mental images are formed through his picturesque expressive phrases. These ingenious word pictures create vibrant images which stimulate the reader to move from personal application to positive dynamic action.

 

“The Top of the Hill” is written to encourage anyone going through a period of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, or overwhelming adversity. High School seniors, college students, or young entrepreneurs, will benefit from this introduction to Napoleon Hill’s writing.

Sound Wisdom, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 9781937879914, $ 14.95, 2017, 192 pages

 

 

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The 60-Minute Health Literacy – common sense approach to informed decision making By Jo Kline, J. D.,  


 

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Preparing for Decision Making – Managing the Long Range Treatment of Multiple Chronic Conditions

In her new book “The 60-Minute Health Literacy” attorney and bestselling author, Jo Kline, J.D. provides the reader with the practical tools of managing health care decisions for yourself or a loved one. Kline describes health literacy as “the tools and resources needed to make informed decisions regarding preventative, routine, emergency, and end of life care.”

I found the Index of decision-making dilemmas and the medical profile forms, as well as the chapters on The Building Blocks of Health Literacy, Palliative Care, Assembling a Health Care Team, and Keeping accurate Paperwork, especially helpful.

As an aging senior and designated as the durable power of attorney for health care for my wife, an Alzheimer’s patient, I plan to keep my copy of “The 60-Minute Health Literacy” within arm’s reach of my desk for easy reference at all times as I put into practice this “common sense approach to informed medical decision making.”

In today’s complex world of modern technology, advanced research in medicine, new life-sustaining pharmaceuticals, and artificial means of life support Jo Kline’s “The 60-Minute Health Literacy” is important reading for every senior adult, caregiver, designated executor or guardian.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Providentia Publishing, West Des Moines, Iow978-0692955062, $ 14.99, 2017, 80 pages

 

 

 

 

Curse of the Coloring book – A Novel Inspired by a True Story By Howard L. Hibbard – A Book Review


Curse of the Coloring book – A Novel Inspired by a True Story

By Howard L. Hibbard

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Combat Veterans and the Frightening Long-Term Impact of PTSD

Howard L. Hibbard, a Viet Nam combat veteran has chosen to relive his experiences through the eyes of his fictional protagonist, Herald Lloyd, in “Curse of the Coloring Book – A Novel Inspired by a True Story.”

Hibbard masterfully incorporates the elements of good storytelling as he draws the reader into Herald’s life. Tired of living in the shadow of his father’s academic accomplishments as a student at MIT and his reputation as a highly successful status as a doctor; fun loving Herald struggling with his studies, quit school and enlisted as a combat infantry lieutenant headed for Viet Nam. On a whim Herald purchased a GI Joe Coloring Book and a half-gallon of whiskey to celebrate with his fraternity brothers.

Through flashbacks and vignettes, Hibbard relates his experiences of serving a year as a platoon leader in an infantry unit on the Cambodian border. He tells of life after the war, trying to adjust to a normal civilian life, his marriage, building a law practice and the ongoing battle with PTSD while defending himself in a malpractice suit, which was the result a clerical error.

Hibbard writes with authenticity, sensitivity, and with eye-opening reality as he describes the intense terror of serving on the front lines, He writes with a balance heartwarming insight and humor as he speaks reverently of the comradeship and loyalty brought on by the uncertainty of life, death, and the heartache that accompanies survival.

The action-packed account of combat and courtroom tension combine to make ‘Curse of the Coloring Book’ a must-read for the aficionados of both/courtroom drama and frontline warfare.

“Curse of the Coloring Book” is an important book for combat veterans and will resonate with the veterans and their families. Hibbard’s account should be must reading for anyone suffering from PTSD. I have read several books of veterans coming home with battle fatigue and PTSD Hibbard’s account is among the best; one that will linger in the mind of the reader long after closing the final page of the book.

Ghost Dog Enterprises, Inc., 1450 Southgate Avenue, Daly City, California, 978-0985634469, $16.95, 2016, 384 Pages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cancer, Faith, and Unexpected Joy By Becky Baudouin – a Book Review


Product DetailsReviewed by Richard R. Blake

Finding Hope and Help in Seasons of Grief and Suffering

Becky Baudouin was devastated when she learned of an inoperable tumor on her mother’s lung?  Her fear triggered an alarm, followed by apprehension and anxiety.

In her book “Cancer, Faith, and Unexpected Joy” Baudouin relates stories from her childhood, and expresses her fears and insecurities at home, in school, and in her relationships. She tells of how, as a teenager, she became a follower of Jesus and the impact this has made in her life.

A central theme of lessons learned from her mother is beautifully woven throughout the tapestry of the book. Each fast moving chapter is filled with faith building examples and scriptural promises.

Lessons I learned from reading “Cancer, Faith, and Unexpected Joy” include:

  • A willingness to become vulnerable
  • To respect the feelings of other family members
  • God never intended for us to walk alone
  • Our times are in God’s hands
  • To be joyful in hope and patient in affliction
  • The peacefulness of our mutual faith drawing together in a unique closeness
  • Accepting the process of death and the conflicting feelings of loss and agonizing dread, and the wonderful new life awaiting in heaven

“Cancer, Faith, and Unexpected Joy” is an important and meaningful resource for anyone experiencing suffering or facing the uncertainties and grief brought on by a terminal illness.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Kregel Publications, Inc., 2450 Oak Industrial Drive N.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49505,  978-0825444746, $14.99, 2017, 176 pages

Choose Wisely, Live Fully – Lessons from Wisdom and Folly, By Donna Gaines – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Lessons from the Proverbs – A Transforming Journey of Faithfulness

Author, speaker, and founder of Arise2Read, Donna Gaines is known for her two passions, discipleship and literature. Donna’s new book “Choose Wisely, Live Fully – Lessons from Wisdom and Folly” is a balance of the profound life-changing truth of the scriptures and practical applications.

As a discipleship tool, the book will equip the reader to:

  • Discern the voice of god
  • Experience the joy of wholehearted obedience
  • Allow God to help mentor other lives
  • Choose the path that leads to life

The appendices provide additional unique practical pointers and suggestions for:

  • Discipleship training
  • Discipling teen
  • Discipling women
  • Creating a Spiritual Legacy Journal
  • Creating a prayer notebook
  • Instilling Christian values in the home

The book includes important thought-provoking questions and helpful exercises that can be adapted for use as an individual study, as a study guide for small groups, or in a mentoring relationship.

Donna invites the reader to experience abundant life by embracing Jesus with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength; hearts captured by Jesus, captivated in awe and worship.Although Donna writes primarily from a woman’s viewpoint, “Choose Wisely, Live Fully – Lessons from Wisdom and Folly” can be readily adapted for family night devotions, as a resource book for a Bible study on the book of Proverbs, or for dads sharing Biblical principles with their daughters.

Abingdon, United Methodist Publishing House, 2222 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. P. O. Box 280988, Nashville, TN 37228, 978-1501834240, $16.99, 2017, 194 pages

A copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

 

The Compass Solution – A Guide to Winning Your Career By Tim Cole – A Book Review


 

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Lessons for Developing a Sustainable and Successful Career

“The Compass Solution – Guide to Your Career” is designed as a career survival guide to a winning career; time-tested techniques, proven principles, and personal stories navigate the reader through four basic cardinal points and three keys that can accelerate the climb to success.

The book is well formatted, made up of profound principles, presented in practical terms for understanding, application, and execution.  Each chapter includes an important “straight talk summary” to optimize the course of your career. Cole offers the reader keys to analysis, insight gathering, and definitive action that produce the determination and commitment for developing your plans for the future.

Author, Tim Cole’s successful career in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry includes dozens of restructures and five mergers. Tim is now focusing on sharing the secrets and lessons he learned in the corporate world to help others realize success and fulfillment in their careers.

Brilliant articulate writing, timely up-to-date application of proven principles, add to the value and motivation for the reader. “The Compass Solution – A Guide to Winning Your Career” is written for college students contemplating a career, service personal reentering civilian life, and anyone looking for a career change.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

The Compass Alliance, LLC, 11820 Dan Maples Drive, Charlotte, North Carolina 28277, 978-0999057100, $17.99, 2017, 264 pages

 

 

 

Leadership from the Mission Control Room to the Boardroom – A Guide to Unleashing Team Performance, By Paul Sean Hill – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Learning from the Legacy of Mission Control Management Team

In his book “Leadership from the Mission Control Room to the Boardroom – A Guide to Unleashing Team Performance,” executive consultant and former director of Missions Operations with NASA, introduces Missions Control Department (MOD) leadership values and roles that can be adapted to any setting.

The book is made up of four integral parts. Part one deals with the elements of trust, technical truth, integrity, and courage in all decision making. Part two looks at key points on how management can lose the core purpose and values of the key to performance success. Part three addresses the transformation and empowerment of the management team in all facets of management and critical decision-making. Part four sums up some of the tips and challenges to success as an individual and a team with some final thoughts from the author.

Hill’s writing is engaging, forthright, and intense; written with the candor and passion of an evangelist. I was inspired by the story of his personal journey to success, and the importance of understanding the specific challenge, common cause, and mission of team building while accepting a high level of individual responsibility for its success.

“Leadership from the Mission Control Room to the Boardroom – A Guide to Unleashing Team Performance” is essential reading for business executives, leaders and managers, and should be a readily accessible resource guide for ready reference.

Atlast Press, 978-0998634319, $16.99, 2017, 342 pages

 

Well – Healing Our Beautiful, Broken World from a Hospital in West Africa, By Sarah Thebarge – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Lessons You Can Learn when Love Looks Around

After reading the editorial reviews on Sarah Thebarge’s new book, “Well – Healing Our Beautiful, Broken World from a Hospital in West Africa” I knew I had to read the book for myself. I thought I was ready to consider the hard questions we seldom want to face.

Author, Sarah Thebarge, a spokesperson for Compassion International, describes the seemingly hopeless conditions in Togo, West Africa, including the suffering, disease, the cultural conditions, and the discomfort of the climate extremities.

Chapter after chapter, Sarah kept me spellbound as she related her experiences. From baggage claim at the airport in Lomé the capital city of Togo, her first shift on the job at the Hospital of Hope in Togo, right on through her three months of Medical Ministry, I was drawn into the reality of a broken world and burdened by a deep concern to find my place in making a positive difference in the healing process.

Sarah writes with candor and an intense vulnerability that draws the reader into the conflicting reactions of the physically demanding, and emotionally challenging trauma of her experiences and in her search to find hope in an intolerable situation. Sarah’s writing grips your heart. Her sense of compassion becomes contagious.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Faith Words, Hattchet Book Group, Inc.1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N. Y., 10104, 978-1455553198, $20.00, 2017, 322 pages

 

 

 

Healing in His Presence – The Untold Secrets of Kathryn Kuhlman’s Healing Ministry and Relationship with the Holy Spirit By Joan Gieson – A Book Review


 

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Glimpse Behind the Scenes, a Supernatural Compassion, and a Miracle Working Impartation

“Healing in His Presence – The Untold Secrets of Kathryn Kuhlman’s Healing Ministry and Relationship with the Holy Spirit” is written with the express purpose of sharing unique salvation stories and miraculous healing testimonies with important secrets of Kathryn Kuhlman’s ministry to reveal important transferable concepts available to all believers.

Joan Gieson humbly relates experiences and observations of her relationship with Kathryn Kuhlman over an eight-year period of association with the healing ministry. “Healing in His Presence” is an unassuming story with a dynamic power and a life-changing message.

Gieson describes Miss Kuhlman as a captivating presence. The spirit of God was with her all the time. She never stopped pursuing God’s heart. Generations were reached and continue to be touched by Kathryn Kuhlman’s childlike faith in God’s healing power.

After her dramatic healing from blindness through Kathryn Kuhlman’s ministry Joan Gieson, with her husband Frank, worked closely with Miss Kuhlman, They also actively arranged bus and other transportation for sick the sick, physically impaired to attend the healing services.

A concluding prayer of impartation challenges the reader to step out in compassion to be the person God created and designed them to be. Skeptics, seekers, and Spirit-filled Christians will all sense a touch of the miraculous as they read of lives changed by the healing power of Jesus.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768414141, $15.99, 2017, 178 pages, Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Redefining Rhema – Responding to God’s Voice, Releasing His Purposes on Earth, By Ed Delph & David Lake – A Book Review


Redefining Rhema: Responding to God's Voice, Releasing His Purposes on Earth

 

 

Reviewed By: Richard R. Blake, richard330@yahoo.com

 

How to Listen, Hear, and Apply God’s Word in Everyday Living

Worldwide ministry leader, Ed Delph, and David Lake, pastor, business owner, and marketplace ministry collaborate in this deeply challenging analysis of the principal of the Greek word Rhema as used in the Word of God. In their book “Redefining Rhema – Responding to God’s Voice Releasing His Purposes on Earth” address a Biblical reality of hearing first and speaking second.

The authors are forthright, confident, and authoritative in their presentation. Their work is well documented with a balance of apostolic gift driven ministry and mainstream Christian theology. Pastors, Global Christian Leaders, and other Visionary Missional Leaders highly endorse the book.

Important evidence of validation of the principles presented in the book is found in the chapter “Illuminating Leaders, and Influencers, and mind molders.” In this chapter both men relate testimonies of God’s working in their life story through, a faith-infused utterance from God, providing illumination and direction, clarity and instruction in the next step in their lives.

“Redefining Rhema – Responding to God’s Voice, Releasing His Purposes on Earth” is important reading for Christians worldwide, ready to take the challenge of  “hearing God’s Word” and then “releasing” the message “in the marketplace sanctuary where God has placed you.”

A complimentary copy of this book was given for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768414783, $16.99, 2017, 288 Pages