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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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

 

 

 


The Shattering II – Breaking the Silence

By: Marsha Barth

Reviewed By Richard R. Blake

A Memoir Written as a Novel – A Shattering Story of Child Sexual Abuse

In her book “The Shattering II – Breaking the Silence” Marsha Barth uses a fictional character, Julie, to relate her story of overcoming child sexual abuse. Through Julie, Marsha, tells how she tried to bury the hurt, pain, and heartbreaking trauma of parental verbal, physical, and sexual abuse.

Marsha’s writing is candid, open, realistic, and forthright. She helps the reader understand the devastation and intense traumatic sense of shame and hopelessness of the victim of abuse. Marsha tell how the aftermath of abuse shatters the spirit, robs its victims of self-worth, value and inadequacy, and an understanding of the meaning of true love. The social stigma and emotional scars of shame and guilt that follow are demeaning and unspeakable.

Marsha Barth is an inspirational speaker, author, and advocate for breaking the silence of the ongoing cycle of sexual abuse. She offers hope to victims in their quest for wholeness.

“The Shattering II” is a story with spiritual implication, an amazing story of a survivor of the hurt, pain, and brokenness of abuse, of her steadfast faith and her determination to overcome the hopelessness of a being victimized to claim victory, inner peace, and healing.

Deeply moving, clearly insightful, an important relevant message at a time when there are reportedly over 60,000,000 survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and countless other victims of rape, domestic abuse, and bullying.

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, 978-1944297053, $16.95, 2017, 360 Pages

Chasing Famous – Living the Life you’ve Always Auditioned For By: Lisa Lloyd – A Book Review


Chasing Famous – Living the Life you’ve Always Auditioned For By: Lisa LloydProduct Details

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Using the Stage as a Platform to Proclaim the Prominence God for His Glory

In her book “Chasing Famous – Living the Life you’ve Always Auditioned For,” Lisa shifts the focus from self-seeking affirmation to pointing people to God as the one to be honored. The theme of exchanging auditioning for approval from the crowds and seeking world renown challenges the reader to change the focus and to seek to proclaim the excellences of God.

Chapters are filled with Scripture truths and an invitation to:

  • Embrace yourself as unique
  • Find God’s unique purpose for you
  • Break free of the bondage of shame and guilt
  • Boldly step out to accomplish your mission of proclaiming the redemptive message of Christ.

Lisa’s writing is articulate, relevant, profoundly thought provoking, and rich in illustrative metaphor. Lisa is openly transparent; and shares an account of an incident from her life when she was young, vulnerable, and felt alone and trapped. She also tells of events in her career where God orchestrated unexpected blessing after a period of testing.

The ‘Questions to Consider’ feature at the end of each chapter can be easily adapted for use as a Reading Guide for book clubs or a discussion guide for small group Bible studies.

Destined to become a spokesperson for a new generation of Christian women, Lisa Lloyd is a successful actress and writer and is a popular speaker at women’s retreats, conferences, and other events, nationally. “Chasing Famous – Living the Life you’ve Always Auditioned For” is highly endorsed by her peers, and by well-known Christian leaders.

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

New Hope Publishers, P. O. Box 12065, Birmingham, AL 35202, 978-1625915177, $ 14.99, 2017, 192 pages

 

Created for the Impossible – Break Every Hindering Thought, Believe What God Says About You By: Krissy Nelson A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

See Yourself the Way God Sees You – Live Out His Amazing Plan for Your Life

In her book “Created for the Impossible – Break Every Hindering Thought, Believe What God Says about You” Krissy Larson establishes the foundational truth of the depths of God’s love, the centrality of the cross, of God’s transforming power, and of his unique purpose and plan for every individual life.

Krissy has a gift for casting vision, inspiring dreams, and encouraging hope.

Her writing is uplifting, transparent, and genuine.  Krissy relates stories and testimonies that touch the heart are authentic and meaningful.

Each chapter ends with the question: What is God saying to you? As I listened expectantly in spirit filled wonder, He reminded me of the innocent faith of my childhood, never a doubt of who Jesus was, , an innocent blind faith, the faith of a child, deeply rooted in Christian heritage, a faith that embraced God’s love and saving power.  Chapter by chapter I listened. He spoke.

“Created for the Impossible” is written for anyone willing to dream dreams, ready to “challenge the impossibilities of life,” and will resonate with those Christ followers who understand what it means walk in an attitude of expectancy and experience the miraculous power of God at work in the lives.

Krissy Nelson regularly hosts women’s conferences and is founder of Not Alone Ministries. She has a vision and passion for people, to help them learn how to let God’s supernatural promises, dare to dream, and overcome obstacles

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, 9780768411706, $15.99, 2017, 238 Pages

 

 

Faithing It – Fight For Your Faith By: Cora Jakes Coleman – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Discovering Miracle Working Power of God – On a Path with Destiny – A Life Changing Message of Faith

“Faithing It – Fight for Your Faith” is an important book for anyone who has ever faced a challenge that made them wonder if they could survive. Cora Jakes Coleman’s story is faith building. Stories from Cora’s life and from the testimonies of her friends reveal how to conquer obstacles, face tumultuous times, and heart breaking disappointments by fighting for your faith

Each chapter contains a faith building lesson, teaching from the scripture, a personalized prayer designed for the reader, an affirmation to claim, a faith point to ponder, and a faith activation exercise to put into practice. An added benefit is an essential resource, a list of 30 short daily affirmations. designed to be used throughout the day affirming evidence of God’s confirming word in your life.

“Faithing It – Fight for Your Faith” is filled with powerful lessons for facing inner struggles, on how to prevail in prayer through deep travail or from the “ashes of despair,” and to move from misery to ministry.

Coleman’s writing is filled with penetrating insight, sound principles, and a step by step process for fulfilling your dream, purpose, and destiny. Cora is an incredible communicator; her stories offer hope and inspiration to the reader. Her writing is authentic and meaningful. Highly motivating

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, 9780768409109, $ 16.99, 2017, 252 pages

 

 

 

 

 


Napoleon Hill’s Success Principles Rediscovered

By: Napoleon Hill

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

 

Timeless Success Principles for the 21st Century, Adopt a positive Attitude, Determine Your Dream, Follow Your Heart, and Take the First Step to Achievement

Jeffrey Gitomer, American author, professional speaker, and business trainer, collaborated with Judy Williamson, Director of the Napoleon Hill Learning Center at Purdue University to create the e-zine “Napoleon Hill Yesterday and Today.” Judy has complied fifty two writings from Hill’s success principles, added comments and challenges for application in the 21st Century in the book Napoleon Hill’s Success Principles Rediscovered.

Each chapter open with an inspirational motivational quote, principle, word of wisdom, or a pithy statement by Napoleon Hill or leaders involved in the work of the Napoleon Hill World Learning Centers.

Judy demonstrates a keen gift for understanding, interpreting, and teaching the reader how to apply and master Hill’s success principles. Each of the 52 lessons contains a principle of attitude, success and life, with the challenge to take action, achieve results, adapt a positive attitude in your professional and family life, and to share Napoleon Hill’s success secrets with others.

Examples from the lives of Henry Ford, the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, Luther Burbank, Alexander Graham and Andrew Carnegie demonstrate purpose, dedication, determination, and dreams of achievement.

Napoleon Hill’s timeless principles have become the standard for personal development Coaches, Career Counselors, and well known Motivational authors and speakers internationally.

I have been personally challenged to read Napoleon Hill’s Success Principles Rediscovered, one more for understanding, again for implementation, and repeated times for meditation and optimum application – always with pen in hand.

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

The Napoleon Hill Foundation,Sound Wisdom, P.  O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-1937879747, $ 15.99, 2017, 184 Pages

Chasing Famous – Living the Life you’ve Always Auditioned For By: Lisa Lloyd – A Book Review


Chasing Famous – Living the Life you’ve Always Auditioned For By: Lisa LloydProduct Details

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Using the Stage as a Platform to Proclaim the Prominence God for His Glory

In her book “Chasing Famous – Living the Life you’ve Always Auditioned For,” Lisa shifts the focus from self-seeking affirmation to pointing people to God as the one to be honored. The theme of exchanging auditioning for approval from the crowds and seeking world renown challenges the reader to change the focus and to seek to proclaim the excellences of God.

Chapters are filled with Scripture truths and an invitation to:

  • Embrace yourself as unique
  • Find God’s unique purpose for you
  • Break free of the bondage of shame and guilt
  • Boldly step out to accomplish your mission of proclaiming the redemptive message of Christ.

Lisa’s writing is articulate, relevant, profoundly thought provoking, and rich in illustrative metaphor. Lisa is openly transparent; and shares an account of an incident from her life when she was young, vulnerable, and felt alone and trapped. She also tells of events in her career where God orchestrated unexpected blessing after a period of testing.

The ‘Questions to Consider’ feature at the end of each chapter can be easily adapted for use as a Reading Guide for book clubs or a discussion guide for small group Bible studies.

Destined to become a spokesperson for a new generation of Christian women, Lisa Lloyd is a successful actress and writer and is a popular speaker at women’s retreats, conferences, and other events, nationally. “Chasing Famous – Living the Life you’ve Always Auditioned For” is highly endorsed by her peers, and by well-known Christian leaders.

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

New Hope Publishers, P. O. Box 12065, Birmingham, AL 35202, 978-1625915177, $ 14.99, 2017, 192 pages

 

What’s Happening to Grandpa? By Maria Shriver – Book Review


What’s Happening to Grandpa?

By Maria Shriver

Little, Brown, Warner Books, 1271 Avenue of Americas, New York, NY 10020, 0316001015, $ 15.95, 2004,

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Deeply Moved – Valuable Insight into the Dread Disease Dementia and Alzheimer’s

I am a grandfather. My wife has Alzheimer’s disease. I can only wish I had read Maia Shriver’s book “What’s Happening to Grandpa?” when it was first published in 2004. I watched as our children and grandchildren struggled through questions I hadn’t resolved myself.

Shriver’s insights into the mind of a child and understanding of the process of aging, dementia, and Alzheimer’s capture the emotions of the victim of Alzheimer’s, their primary caregiver, and the entire family impacted by the disease.

I was deeply moved by Shriver’s warmth and sensitivity. The unique use of the voice and viewpoint of Kate, a child, make this a valuable educational resource for children, K – 5th grade. The book can also serve to open conversations with older children.

The obvious love and patience Kate develops with her grandfather as she works through her feelings of hurt, sadness, and loss bear evidence of understanding as she takes on the project of savoring and saving Grandpa’s stories by making a photo album to insure that these stories live on as Grandpa’s memory continues to decline.

Sandra Speidel’s soft colored illustrations add a rich sense that creates the same warm feelings through Shriver’s word pictures and give an extra dimension of reality to the story.

“What’s Happening to Grandpa?”  is a wonderful tool for Alzheimer’s awareness, family comfort, and childhood education. Highly recommended.

Growing in Grace – Daily Devotions for Hungry Hearts By: Paul and Billie Tsika – A Book Review


 

 

Hungry Hearts – By Paul and Billie Tsika

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

Inspiring Devotional Thoughts for Beginning Your Day – A Character Building Process

“Growing in Grace” concentrates on getting to know God more intimately to enable you to grow in grace and in likeness of Jesus. The book is uniquely designed to include a Scripture passage, a word of encouragement, an inspirational challenge and a prayer to start your day. Seven themes prepare the reader for a spiritual journey that infuses and imparts wisdom, transforms fear to fortitude, gives instructions for a balanced life, provides guidelines for commitment and choice, reveals secrets of the joy of praise and prayer, the benefits of blessing, and the reward of relinquishing control to rely and rest on strength from above.

I am deeply awed by the powerful prayers of praise, adoration, and worship; challenged by the soul searching prayers of confession; strengthened by the petitions for guidance, and understanding, and blessed by the prayers of thanksgiving for God’s love, gift of life, protection, grace, and faithfulness.

“Growing in Grace – Daily Devotions for Hungry Hearts” is an excellent model for establishing the discipline of spending an intimate time with God each morning. These short inspiring devotions are also ideal for adding a vibrant new freshness to an established devotional pattern; strengthened and empowered by a few quiet intimate moments with the heavenly Father.

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

Destiny Image Publisher, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768409918, $16.99, 2016, 384 pages