Teaching School is a Scream! Confessions of a Career Substitute By Judy Woods-Knight – A Book Review


Teaching School is a Scream! Confessions of a Career Substitute
By Judy Woods-Knight
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake
The Art and Challenge of Creating a Win/Win Teaching Situation

Using a memoir writing form Judy Woods-Knight tells of her experiences as a career substitute teacher. Her book “Teaching School is a Scream! Confessions of a Career Substitute” is filled with practical advice, lots of humor, and actual classroom experiences.

Judy’s enthusiasm, optimistic spirit, and subtle sense of humor help her face the uncertainties, and hassles so often prevailing in contemporary classrooms. Judy tells of the excitement and challenge “of daring children to cooperate and have real fun learning.”

In her preface Judy talks about the reasons she chose to become a substitute rather than having her “own classroom and all the benefits that go along with a full-time job.”  She goes on to develop some of the advantages for anyone who may be in the process of change or in the early stages of preparation for a career in teaching.

In a natural and logical progression Judy offers recommendations for creating a “Tool Kit” as well as back up plans for your first day as a substitute. She then moves into Part 1 of the book which is filled practical ideas for dealing with unforeseen dilemmas, with humorous and heartwarming stories, and with those unexpected miracles that bring joy and hope back to the classroom.

The final sections of the book deal with hands-on suggestions and illustrations for defusing problems and preventing disasters; she concludes with dozens of resource ideas and valuable suggestion for making learning fun.

Whether a Regular Classroom teacher or a Career Substitute you will resonate with Judy Knight’s heartwarming stories, real-world examples, and fun loving sense of humor.

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
978-1944297077, $ 12.95, 2017, 136 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

Wisdom for Winners Volume Three By: Jim Stovall – A Book Review


Wisdom for Winners Volume Three

By: Jim Stovall

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Dream Big, Think Outside the Box, Be Innovative, and Seize the Opportunity

“Wisdom for Winner’s Volume Three” is made up of selections of the wisdom and wit which first appeared in Jim Stovall’s successful syndicated column Winner’s Wisdom. This column was must reading for highly successful people around the world for over a decade.

The selections included in this book are arranged in eight standalone thematic units for generating success. Themes include models for “Truth and Understanding,”  “Finite Resources”, and “Facts and Fantasies.”  Each reading ends with an important, memorable, life changing directive to reflect on throughout your day. I was especially challenged by the units “Human and Being,” and “The Most Valuable Commodities.”

Readers will find that Jim Stovall’s millionaire mindset can be contagious, manifesting ‘symptoms’ of success. The will soon find that they putting into action these same incredible tips, principles, and tools, with similar results, of effectiveness, and achieving personal aspirations.

Author of over 30 books, Stovall’s writing is authoritative, fast moving, and reader friendly, he writes ‘with heart’ emanated from ‘his heart’. Jim’s passion for helping others succeed permeates throughout his books. “Wisdom for Winner’s Volume Three” is no exception.

The book is designed to impact a new generation of career professionals and young entrepreneurs. The concepts and principles presented are as relevant, up to date, and effective as in the day they were first recorded.

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

Sound Wisdom, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-1937879891, $ 15.99, 202 pages

It’s A New Life – Mom is Gone – A Memoir about Living Independently with Severe Cerebral Palsy – By Steven Salmon – A Book Review


It’s A New Life – Mom is Gone – A Memoir about Living Independently with Severe Cerebral Palsy

By: Steven B. Salmon

Robert D. Reed Publishers, P. O. Box 1992, Bandon, Oregon, 97411, 9781944297152, $ 12.95, 2017, 154 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake,

A Candid Message of Living with the Difficulties of Severe Cerebral Palsy

“It’s A New Life – Mom is Gone – A Memoir about Living Independently with Severe Cerebral Palsy” is Steven D. Salmon’s story.  This is an amazing Story of the aspirations, determination, dedication, and diligence that have motivated Steven in his passion to become a recognized, successful, and accomplished author. Steven shares his story of overcoming challenges to write about the physically disabled. He serves as a voice and advocate for the many who do not have a voice that is being heard

Steven’s mother dedicated her life to help him succeed. Steven has a Bachelor of Science degree in English with a writing minor from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens point and a Liberal Arts degree from Madison College. All these years his mother served as his primary care giver, so he could go on to pursue a writing career

When his mother could no longer meet all of Steve’s physical needs, health attendants were hired to become a care team. Things dramatically changed the day his mother fell several times. Steven alerted the family with a call for help. When help arrived his Mom was taken to the Emergency Hospital, she never returned home. She died of a cardiac arrest.

The realization that “Mom is Gone” thrust Steven into a new stage in his story. He now had to face the challenge of living independently with severe cerebral palsy.

I found it hard to put Steven’s book down. There were other times when he was so gut wrenching honest it was hard to go on reading.  I felt uncomfortable. As I continued to read Steven’s story, I begin to see life through a new set of eyes. I felt ashamed and embarrassed for living in an uncomfortable vacuum of hypocritical empathy, without recognizing the dignity or character of the individual in a wheel chair, quietly seeking acknowledgement, affirmation, or maybe even an act of friendship.

Steven has ignited a new flame and refueled my passion to write with the reminder to:  Believe in yourself, be patient, never give up. He encourages us to exchange our fears, failures, and impatience for hopes and dreams of success. This is the advice and encouragement he received from his friends, and now passes along to his readers.

I am left with an indelible picture of Steven at his computer, in four hour blocks of time, using a Morse code word choice program.  Since he cannot use his hands, he uses his head to tap out his words.

“It’s A New Life – Mom is Gone” is a gripping story of the severe physical limitations, the pain of loneliness, of feeling being lost, scared, and tired; all while in the pursuit of bringing an influential message of hope to a unique people who have been looked upon as unemployable, who are relegated to become wards of the state living in group houses, highly medicated, forgotten victims of the “system.”

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

 

 

 

40 Days to Wholeness – Body, Soul, and Spirit By Beni Johnson – A Book Review


40 Days to Wholeness – Body, Soul, and Spirit, By Beni Johnson

 

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Devotional Guide Leading to a Healthy and Free Lifestyle

In her book “40 Days to Wholeness – Body, Soul and Spirit” Beni Johnson masterfully presents a progressive positive approach to attain and maintain a lifestyle of health and wholeness from the starting point to a natural sense of relationship of physical health, mental acuity, and spiritual power.

Each of the 40 days open with a carefully selected passage from the scriptures, a word of practical instruction, encouragement or motivation drawn from Beni’s own pursuit healthy living and wholeness. A unique feature of the book is the thematic continuity and consistency by putting an emphasis on “Body, Soul, and “Spirit.” The instructions, words of encouragement, and prayers with declarations of thanksgiving strengthen the reader for their journey.

I found the chapters addressing: the importance of a support circle, practicing self-control, and pressing toward the goal to be especially helpful and motivating.  The suggestions for being intentional about keeping an exercise journal resonated with me.

Christians who have struggled with basic discipline in exercise, diet, and devotional consistency will find Beni Johnson’s “40 Days to Wholeness – Body, Soul and Spirit” practical, easy to implement, and motivating. Highly recommended.

The book is a part of the Healthy and Free video curriculum. 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. 97807687410846, $16.99, 2017, 184 pages

 

 

Drive Yourself Successful – 11 Inner states to Personal Empowerment By: Rachel Lynn – A Book Review


Drive Yourself Successful – 11 Inner states to Personal Empowerment

By: Rachel Lynn

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

Embrace the Journey – Put Yourself in the Driver’s Seat to Personal Empowerment

In her book “Drive Yourself Successful – 11 Inner states to Personal Empowerment” professional speaker and licensed professional counselor, Rachel Lynn, guides the reader through eleven steps to personal empowerment. Lynn uses an analogy of life’s journey with the process of preparing for and taking an automobile trip on the “inner state.”

In preparation for the trip, Lynn establishes why the trunk of the car must be cleaned out. Lynn strongly recommends that you must throw out negative words. These negative words and thoughts have hindered your self-perception and personal self-worth.  When we get trapped with negative attitudes that keep our gearshift stuck in “park” we need to recognize how these obstacles hold us back from experiencing our full potential. Lynn provides the reader with crucial tool to remove the adverse effect of negative thinking and to replace them with positive thoughts that will inspire, motivate, and reassure peace and strength.

When we find ourselves at a standstill point, living a life on hold: needing a tune up; Lynn challenges us to consciously consider our desires and goals by answering the question, “What do I expect from life?”

Lynn then goes on to provide the reader with practical guidelines for facilitating inner growth, reprogramming personal guidance programs (GPS), and transforming negative experiences of fear and self-doubt into fuel that accelerate vision and activate plans for the journey.

I personally appreciated the guidelines for setting goals and developing vision. The “Checkpoints” that accompany each chapter offer powerful pointers for preparing for the trip, choosing the right fuel, the importance of a tune up and regular maintenance, clear vision, recognizing detours as opportunities for other avenues of success, and adjusting your frequency to enable you, the reader, to “Take the Wheel and Make Yourself Successful.”

Reader’s in the genres of Personal Growth, Business and Economics, Self-Help, or Motivation will resonate with Rachel Lynn’s “11 Inner States to Personal Empowerment” found in “Drive Yourself Successful.

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

Sound Wisdom, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257,978-1937879679, $ 15.99, 2017, 184 pages

 

Finding Success in Balance – My Journey to the Cheerful Mind By: Apryl Zarate Schluelter A Book Review


Finding Success in Balance – My Journey to the Cheerful Mind

By: Apryl Zarate Schluelter

 

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Finding Balance to Regain Control, Manage Stress, and Accomplish Your Goals

“Finding Success in Balance – My Journey to the Cheerful Mind” will resonate with anyone who finds themselves overcommitted, and overwhelmed with feelings of exhaustion and defeat. Apryl shares her own story of achieving goals, conquering challenges and appearing to be successful by other people’s standards.

Apryl is open and honest as she tell her story of the Job that Changed Everything for her, a change that centered on finding a Life Work Balance. She describes a life that is not only fulfilling at work, but fulfilling outside of work as well.”

Each fast moving chapter is filled with concrete workable pointers and tips that encourage the reader to:

  • Prioritize and accomplish your goals in light of the life work principles
  • Manage stress to avoid burnout
  • Succeed in your relationships
  • Create your own personal development journey
  • Think of fun as a value and “How to Infuse Fun into your Life”

Apryl Zarate Schluelter, CPC, Eli, MP, is CEO (Chief Energy Officer!) of The Cheerful Mind, Inc.

Apryl’s communication and organizational skills are reflected in her writing. She is articulate and well organized in the structure and presentation of the material. The book is highly informative, well formatted and reader friendly. A thoroughly enjoyable read and reread often.

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

The Cheerful Mind Inc., North Brook, Illinois 60062

09780998320304, $ 12.99, 2017, 164 pages

 

 

 


Love Our Vets – Restoring Hope for Families of Veterans wit PTSD

By: Welby O’Brien

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Comfort, Encouragement, and Practical Help – Answers for the Hard Questions Faced by Families Impacted by PTSD

As the wife of a disabled veteran Welby O’Brien understands what it means to experience the day to day struggles faced by those living with loved ones plagued by PTSD. “Love Our Vets” is written to provide relief, practical help and support for these families.

The book is divided into three parts: Reaffirm, replenish, and reflect.  Additional features include a valuable group discussion guide, help for times of transition and vicarious trauma.

Part one uses a question and answer format to addresses sixty-four hard questions, topics based on issues and concerns from a number of people who share from their heart actual issues they are facing or have experienced in the pastThe questions address topics and concerns, such as: Dealing with misconceptions and stigmas, symptoms to watch for, dealing with frustration, anger and rage, family relationships, problems in the workplace, and many more.

Part Two addresses the subject of replenishing yourself; depleted of energy, tired, exhausted, and facing burn out, you need to be nurtured. O’Brien introduces a list of twenty-one needs you may be experiencing. These are presented in a survey format that will help you recognize personal areas of stress in your life. O’brien provides specific suggestions and tools to help through these hard times.

Part Three is made up of reflections from the lives of many who are dealing with PTSD.  O’Brien writes realistically from her experiences as a caregiver, offering encouragement through heartfelt feelings of hope. She speaks of her personal faith and the importance of prayer. She provides the reader with insightful keys for building a spiritual foundation for finding, inner strength, and healing.

Timely, relevant, and important – Highly recommended.

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

Deep River Books, PO Box 310, Sisters, OR 97759, 978-1940269597, $ 15.99, 2015, 224 pages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Art of Presentation – Your Competive Edge by Ray Hull, PhD and Jim Stovall


The Art of Presentation – Your Competitive Edge

By: Ray H. Hull, PhD and Jim Stovall

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Look at the Elements Involved in Effective Presentations

Ray H. Hull, PhD and Jim Stovall collaborate in “The Art of Presentation – Your Competitive Edge” to provide the reader with a distinctive balance of step by step instruction and compelling illustrative stories that reinforce the essentials involved in effective presentations.

The authors help the reader learn and develop skills of communication that will result in a freshness and individuality to the manner and style of the readers presentations, will hone their effectiveness, and encourage them to become more accomplished platform speakers.

Other tips the authors suggest include: practice your skills by placing yourself in situations that provide opportunities to improve your effectiveness, discover your strengths, determine your brand, and filter your media presentation for” accuracy, bias, and perspective.”

Stovall uses the examples of Paul Harvey, Zig Ziegler, Will James, and others with inimitable presentation skills to demonstrate the art of crafting visual images as powerful “as great movies. The perfecting of this capability, the use of humor, and well placed emotional stories will insure powerful, memorable presentations.

“The Art of Presentation – Your Competitive Edge” will resonate with anyone concerned about their building self- confidence while improving their delivery and enhancing their stage presence.

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

Sound Wisdom Books, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-193787987, $ 21.95, 2017, 192 Pages

 

Set Yourself Free – Live the Life You Were Meant to Live – A Book Review


Set Yourself Free – Live the Life You Were Meant to Live!

By Jean Walters

Reviewed by: Richard R. Blake

A Transformational Journey – Principles from the Life, Teaching and Example of Jesus

In her book “Set Yourself Free – Live the Life you Were Meant to Live,” transformational coach, Jean Walters integrates principles from the life of Jesus, his teaching, and example to guide the reader into a spiritual journey of “surrender, love, and healing.”

Through stories of people who struggled for answers and turned their difficulties into opportunities; Walters weaves insight into a spiritual consciousness that frees from negativitya, sets in motion the law of attraction, which results in an action plan that leads to reaching goals. Walters dynamic teaching, can enable you the reader to overcome the negative results of fear, improve self-worth, turn desire to motivation, and provide a sense of personal security, made possible through your relationship with God.

I found the self-assessment questions and tools for freeing oneself from fear especially helpful and the process for change challenging. The stories of faith and the freeing power of the Gospel illustrate the importance of the disciplining the mind positively to our body and the resulting relationship to our  physical health.

“Set Yourself Free – Live the Life you Were Meant to Live” is or anyone looking for life change. Jean Walters provides the reader with and an eleven step process, suggested tools  and affirmations for freeing yourself self-doubt on a transformational journey to change that will result in a “new you.”

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, 978-1944297039.  $ 15.95, 256 pages,