What are you waiting for? It’s Your life! by Jim Donovan – A Book Review


What are you waiting for? – It’s Your Life! Proven Principles for Creating The Life of Your Dreams

By: Jim Donovan

Sound Wisdom, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257

978-1937879341, $ 14.99, 2013, 144 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Practical Strategies, Ideas, Techniques, and Proven Success Principles Which Enable Astounding Results When Implemented

Personal development professional Jim Donovan is quickly being recognized as an inspiring author, and top notch motivational speaker. His book “What are you waiting for? – It’s Your Life! Proven Principles for Creating the Life of Your Dreams” incorporates real life examples, key principles for success, including: self-acceptance, empowering beliefs, developing a positive mental attitude, and a challenge to dream big.

I found the emphasis on recognizing and identifying areas in your life you want to change and the imperatives that can change your circumstances especially important to me personally. These include: Turning negative attitudes to positive, developing an attitude of gratitude, the need to stop blaming others, and turning self-pity and a “poor me” self-talk to positive actions on the road to overcoming seemingly impossible odds. The suggested exercises in the book are filled with personal application, provocative questions, and suggestions for resolving personal challenges currently being faced.

“What are you waiting for? – It’s Your Life!” is for anyone looking for a life filled with peace and purpose, for those looking forward to each new day with a sense of excitement, enthusiasm, and eagerness, for anyone willing to apply Jim Donovan’s simple techniques and put these ideas into practice.

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

 

Coyote Speaks – Cross Country Run by Peter Likins – A Book Review


Coyote Speaks – Cross Country Run

By: Peter Likins

Darby Book, LLC, 978-0997042344, $ 18.00, 2015, 264 pages

Reviewed By: Richard R Blake

Childhood Abuse, Retribution, Recovery, and Ultimate Redemption

Peter Likins “Coyote Speaks – Cross Country Run” captures the plight of Kit Coyote traumatized by the beating, verbal abuse, and hatred of Jake Durkins his foster father. Durkins operated a chicken ranch and foster home in the semi-arid desert of Ajo, Arizona, located about 100 miles from Tucson.

Coach K. from nearby Tucson discovered Kit’s natural gift for running and took an interest in training him in the finer points of running competitively. When life at the chicken ranch became unbearable Kit escaped the horror of hatred and abuse and ran from Ajo to Tucson to the home of Coach K. and his wife Teresa. The Karangetti’s became his new foster parents. Opportunities opened up for Kit during high school in Tucson. He excelled in running and in the sport of wrestling and received a college scholarship at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. A series of bad choices, led to the need to establish a new identity for Coyote: he became a fugitive of the law and fled to California.

Likins writes with a rare sensitivity and gentle spirit that reveal a keen observation of the best in mankind even in light of exposure to the most deplorable and evil of others. This understanding allows him to use the elements of story and a fictional approach to become platform for issues of socio and culture inequity. The realism and striking imagery found in “Coyote Speaks” add a dimension to the elements of conflict and resolution used throughout the story to develop a suspenseful plot and to build character identity.

“Coyote Speaks – Cross Country Run” is timely, especially relevant in light of recent acts of random shooting, acts of terrorism, and international racial and religious tension. This is a poignant story of the impact of childhood trauma on life choices in times of personal crisis.

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

 

 

 

The Physically Fit Messiah, Wellness Wisdom Past and Present by Cal Samra – A Book Review


The Physically Fit Messiah – Wellness Wisdom Past and Present

By Cal Samra

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Fresh Look at Jesus’ Exhortation to His Disciples to “Be of Good Cheer,” With Sage Wisdom from Wellness Advocates Past and Present

Award winning humorist, editor and publisher, Cal Samra’s “The Physically Fit Messiah – Wellness Wisdom Past and Present” is a refreshing approach to the relationship of faith, humor, and health. Pastors and church editors subscribed to Samra’s “Noiseletter” for over 30 years. The newsletters provided reproducible cartoons and humorous illustrations for church publications and for introducing humor into sermon applications.

“The Physically Fit Messiah”  is packed with fast moving facts, wellness principles to live by, real life stories that illustrate and confirm the healing power of exercise, the healing power of prayer, and  the healing power of pets.  He reinforces the healing power of humor with tongue in cheek cartoons, jokes, and stories that help the reader experience personally the benefits of laughter. He highlights the work of Patch Adams, and the impact Chloe the clown on the healing process.

Readers from all faiths will find encouragement from the history of the early Greek Christian physicians, the Franciscans, John Wesley, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ellen White, Mary Baker Eddy, the Quakers, and modern health reformers.

Samra is highly recognized for his reputation as a health and humor historian, for his strong Christian faith, and as an advocate for physical fitness and nutrition, and health care reform.  He demonstrates his keen sense of wit and subtle humor in his writing as well as his passion for historical research and for his skill as a newspaper writer and editor.

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

Robert D. Reed Publishers, P. O. Box 1992, Bandon, Oregon 97411

978-1934759998, $ 14.95, 2015, 216 Pages

 

 

 

 

 

Success with People – Your Action Plan for Prosperity and Success – A Book Review


Success with People – Your Action Plan for Prosperity and Success

By Cavett Robert

Sound Wisdom P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257

978-0768408409, $ 15.99, 2015, 214 Pgs

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

An Action Plan for Successful Group Dynamics through Human Engineering

Cavett Robert’s book “Success with People – Your Action Plan for Prosperity and Success” is based on his six principles on the science of knowing how to deal with people. The application of these principles will not only help you discover a new way of influencing others, but will also lead to a better understanding of self.

A unique writing style, eye catching topical headings, a reader friendly format and stimulating content all reinforce and enrich Robert’s practical and common sense approach to the dynamics of learning. His writing is engaging and will provide the reader with an understanding of what causes people to act, the anatomy of persuasion, and the credentials of leadership. His proposals are often simple yet always profound, challenging individuals: to know what you are doing, enjoy what you are doing, and to believe in what you are doing.

“Success with People – Your Action Plan for Prosperity and Success” is for anyone on the journey to experience a more constructive life; those concerned about their future earning power, measuring their service to others, and learning more about the importance of a positive ethics while growing in professionalism. Transformational reading.

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

Release Your Unstoppable Power the Journey Continues by Kieran Revell – A Book Review


Release Your Unstoppable Power the Journey Continues

By Kieran Revell

Sound Wisdom, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768408836, 2015,

$ 15.99, 254 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Step by Step Guide to Abundant Living – A Journey into Discovery

“Release Your Unstoppable Power the Journey Continues” systematically outlines tools, resources, strategies, and action plans to unleash the power within you necessary to transform your dreams to realities, to unlock unique opportunities about you, and to unleash the spiritual leader within you.

Kieran’s writing is abundant with the use of superlatives, always upbeat, optimistic, and positive. He encourages the reader to “divest yourself of all doubts, recriminations, and fears holding you back.”  He reminds the reader of elements important in personal and professional development insuring tangible results including: acting with respect, trust, gratitude, pride, passion, drive, and commitment.

Chapter by chapter Kieran leads the reader step by sept in a blueprint for a better life through foundational principles of success. These include:

  • Discover the power of a dream
  • The importance of goal setting
  • The necessity of a plan of action
  • A concept of creative visualization
  • The significance of a healthy self-esteem
  • Knowing where you are going
  • Remain focused and determined
  • Recognize your capacity
  • Adopt and attitude of gratitude

I especially like the “Lessons Learned” feature which is included at the end of each chapter which highlights key thoughts emphasized within the chapter. These enhance the assimilation process, and provide an excellent source for review and for implementing. These practices will change your life.

“Release Your Unstoppable Power the Journey Continues” is an important resource and should be read and reread and be readily available throughout your journey to personal self-fulfillment and professional development.

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

The Sun Still Rises, Surviving and Thriving After Grief and Loss by Shawn Doyle, CSP – A Book Review


The Sun Still Rises – Surviving and Thriving After Grief and Loss

By Shawn Doyle, CSP

Sound Wisdom, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257,  978-0768405279, $ 14.99, 2014, 188 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

One Man’s Story of Dealing with Grief and Loss – Steps to Healing, Recovery, and Hope

Professional speaker, author, and advocate for life-long learning Shawn Doyle describes the emotions of his “soul crunching feelings” and the “painful agonizing soul searching” grief at the loss of his wife of 32 years in “The Sun Still Rises – Surviving and Thriving after Grief and Loss.”

Doyle helps the reader recognize and accept the fact that grieving is a personal process; there are no set formulas that work for everyone. He demystifies misinformation and the dangers of trying to fit into society’s rules. He shares his own experiences to help readers know what to expect and some pointers on evaluating their status and formulating plans while designing a new life.

Shawn writes with passion. Every page is infused with hope, empathy, and motivation. Chapters may begin and end with a motivating concept dealing with the specific theme of the material. I found these to be especially uplifting and reassuring. Doyle’s wring style is well organized and formatted filled with thoughtful descriptive phrases and a comfortable and a communication style that draws in the reader. I am looking forward to reading more of Shawn’s books.

Shawn’s goal in writing this book is to help others who are suffering through their loss. “The Sun Still Rises – Surviving and Thriving After Grief and Loss” is a personal story of love and hope including practical guidelines for coping with the process of grief and moving on to find a new life.

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

 

 

 

Turn Setbacks into Greenbacks: 7 Steps to go from financial Disater to Financial Freedom by Dr. Willie Jolley – A Book Review


Turn Your Setbacks into Greenbacks

By: Dr. Willie Jolley

Sound Wisdom, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257,

978-0786408881, $ 15.99, 2016, 224 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Highly Motivational Principles, Insights, and Strategies for Turning Your Personal Setbacks into Comebacks

Award winning speaker and bestselling author, Dr. Willie Jolley’s book “Turn Your Setbacks into Greenbacks” provides the reader with “seven steps to transform financial disaster to financial freedom.”  Each of the seven chapters of the book is packed with life changing and life transforming principles for establishing a focused mindset and persisting and persevering in times of decline, financial setbacks, downturns, and challenges.

Jolley includes real life success stories for “insight on how to create a positive outlook, become adaptable to every circumstance, and seize the opportunities that will lead you to greater success.” As you read you will be directed step by step in learning: to identify and expand your vision, how to empower change, to be proactive and creative, and how to discover your purpose, and establish your goals.

Jolley communiates in a way that draws in the reader in an engaging narrative style. The book is filled with informational content principles and strategies that assure timeliness and relevance in the midst of economic uncertainties.

“Turn Your Setbacks into Greenbacks” is innovative, motivating, and energizing, challenging the reader to: “Turn your worries to profitable opportunities. Keep your faith! And remember your best is yet to come.”

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

 

Napoleon Hill’s Keys to Personal Achievement with Commentary by Judith Williamson – A Book Review


Napoleon Hill’s Keys to Personal Achievement

By Napoleon Hill with Commentary by Judith Williamson

Sound Wisdom, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978- 0768410136, $ 15.99, 2016, 192 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake,

A Combination of a Applied Faith, a Purpose and a Plan to Determine Achievement

“Napoleon Hill’s Keys to Personal Achievement” is made up of 52 essays taken from the archives of Dr. Hill’s writings. Judith Williamson, director the Napoleon Hill World learning center, provides insight into the timeless writings, wisdom, and ideologies of Dr. Napoleon Hill to a whole new generation of readers.

Each chapter includes a motivational quote from highly respected authors, world leaders, including W. Clement Stone, Jim Stovall, J. B. Hill, and others. This is followed with a contemporary commentary by Williamson highlighting the content of the selected them of Hill’s essay.

The themes selected for this collection encourage the reader to recognize the value and opportunity of time, the benefits of self-discipline, personal initiative, and the principle and power of imagination. Readers will gain a higher vision of success, a positive mental attitude, and an enthusiasm for life.

Napoleon Hill’s writing will stir your imagination, inspire action, provide a strong ethical foundation, and increase your capacity to dream. Readers of Dr. Hill’s earlier books will “rekindle the fires that got them going in the first place.”

This is a book worthy of reading for content, assimilating specific details, testing new ideas, and re-reading for ongoing inspiration.

“Napoleon Hill’s Keys to Personal Achievement” includes Hill’s trademark principles, applied faith, and a well-defined purpose with a plan in place to determine achievement.  Highly recommended.

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

 

 

 

Finding Home with the Beatles, Bob Dyland and Billy Graham – A Book Review


Finding Home with the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Billy Graham

By: Jess Archer

WestBow Press, 1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403978-1512721614, $ 11.95, 2015, 124 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake, richard330@yahoo.com

Struggles with Insecurity – On a Path Leading to Finding Home
In her book “Finding Home with the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Billy Graham” Jess Archer describes a transitory life style with inescapable adjustments; of creating new family routines in another rented house or apartment in a new neighborhood, with new schools, stores, and doctors, over a period of 15 years.

Jess opens her heart to the reader with candor and frankness in a way that help them identify with her anxiety struggles, fears and doubts as well as discovering new insights into finding answers to their own questions of faith, purpose, and spiritual meaning.

Archer’s sensitive poetic nature, beautiful descriptive phrases, and her gift of communication enhance her writing skills. Add her sense of humor and light hearted wit, and you know you are in for an exceptional read.

“Finding Home with the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Billy Graham” will resonate with three audiences: those touched by the Billy Graham Crusades going back to the well-publicized crusade in Los Angeles that launched the Crusades in the early fifties, the fans of the music of the Beatles and Bob Dylan who were searching for purpose and meaning to life, and the generation who responded the Youth Crusades of the Nineties.

Brilliant writing. Highly recommended.