Audiobook Review: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

Author: Anne Lamott
Narrator(s): Susan Bennett
Date Of Publication: 12th June 2013
Genre: Non-Fiction, Writing Guide, Reference
Series:
Duration: 7 hours (unabridged)
Publisher: Audioble Audio
Blurb:
Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”

REVIEW

★★

So now I’ve read this book twice and after the second read, I’ve dropped another star from my rating. I feel that this book is a bit depressing with the author repeatedly highlighting the downside of writing and publishing. I, as a writer, do understand what she means to convey and get it that writing should not be over-glorified especially to the new writers, but at the same time I also feel that that you simply cannot portray only the negative side of the coin to someone who is new and eager as it would end up only demoralising the reader.

I am fully aware that the entire world, for whatever reasons, absolutely adores this book, but if I am being honest, this book made me feel depressed about writing, just the way it did when I first read it. It made me feel hopeless and gave me the feels of being stuck in an endless pit because according to Anne Lamott that’s what writing is. And publishing? Well, I would beg to differ to the opinions of the author and say to the new writers that getting your work published is a great joy and one should enjoy it as much as they possibly can! Maybe for someone who was born in a household of an established writer and who had an agent even before she wrote anything worth reading writing might feel like a mundane thing and getting it published may feel like a task, but for those writers, including me, who learn the craft on their own and bust their asses trying to write something worthwhile, it means a whole lot more than anyone can ever understand.

To be honest, I find it funny how people read this book and even feel ‘motivated’ or ‘inspired’ to write at all! It made me, an already established full-time writer, feel frustrated. No inspiration for me there.

I would definitely not be recommending this book to anyone, least of all to the young and new writers who are just beginning their writing journey. I consider myself lucky that I did not read this book when I was starting my own writing adventure because I am pretty sure this book would have put a damper on it for the worse.

For those who are genuinely interested in reading something that would actually help them in their writing go for:

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Rennie Browne & Dave King

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer WithinWriting Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg

The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century by Steven Pinker

These books will teach you and motivate you far more than this book ever can. They will not only make you understand the writing process better but also teach you the right ways in which you can write better without outright feeling shitty about your work so far. These books are the best writing books out there and have greatly helped me in my writing journey, so I speak from experience.

You can also read this review on Goodreads 

Book Review: Let me finish: A Rare Insight Into Living With A Lifelong Stammer by Paul O’Meara

Author: Paul O’Meara
Release Date: 15th June 2019
Genre: Non-Fiction, Real Life
Series: 
Edition: E-book
Pages: 180
Publisher: Self-Published
Blurb:
From the school playground to job interviews, oral exams to delivering a best man’s speech, these are not always easy to navigate especially when you are confronted with a stammer.
How does a stammerer approach such situations? What’s a stammerer’s biggest fear? Let me finish answers these questions and more.
More than 70 million people worldwide stammer, and Paul is one of these people.
Stammering can be all-encompassing. It can affect your self-esteem, education and career prospects, and Let me finish offers a rare insight into a stammerer’s world.
Paul recounts his life experiences. The highs and lows, battling other people’s preconceptions, while explaining the intricate and tailored techniques that he applies every day to speak more fluently.
His story is told with a cocktail of sincerity, struggle and joviality. It will make you think, laugh and ultimately change your perspective on what it means to live with a stammer.

REVIEW

★★★★+1/2

Let Me Finish: A Rare Insight Into Living With A Lifelong Stammer by Paul O’Meara is an enlightening and enriching real-life story of the author which, as the title says, provides a rare, and important, insight into the life of a stammerer showing the aspect which we often tend to either ignore unwittingly or remain unaware of.

I’d like to begin the review by sharing that the short introduction at the start of the book served its purpose in helping me understand the book a little better providing a brief glimpse into the author’s backstory. So I greatly appreciated it for that and also for making this book feel more real than most of the other non-fiction books as I was able to connect with the story better.

I enjoyed this book and appreciated the insight it provided into something not many people, including me, are aware of. Everyone’s life has some struggles but for some people, these struggles become something more troublesome because of situations that are entirely out of their hands. And most of the time, we don’t realize what kind of battle a person is fighting emotionally and mentally due to the effects of such circumstances and situations.

Coming back to the book, it was surprisingly well-written and in a style that made me, a fiction lover, enjoy this book as much as I do fictional stories (this is something which rarely get to see in non-fiction books and the biggest let down, at least for me, when it comes to this genre.) So I was very happy to see that the writing sang and flowed well and made this book an enjoyable read. The style of the author and the humorous undertones were polished and executed well. It made this book a light read without losing any of its message or importance.

I enjoyed this book a lot and would recommend it to everyone who liked reading books. This book has a lot to offer everyone whether they read non-fiction or not.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Isidora: The Life, Mind and Memories of an African Phoenix by Kally-Jay Mkwawa

Author: Kally-Jay Mkwawa
Release Date: 24th June 2018
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 50
Publisher:
Blurb:
Spending the better part of your life being called a good listener, a weirdo, a hermit or a ‘mirror of ugly truths’ and a walking-talking memory machine isn’t at all what it’s cut out to be. To a large extent, it’s a lonely life. You arrive into this life without even meaning to and suddenly it seems that you carry the weight of the whole world on your shoulders. You get sucked into it quite easily and coming up for a breath of fresh air is not easy at all.
This is an account that will give the reader, an idea of what Isidora has encountered in this beautiful, yet twisted and noisy place called the world. It’s not a long story with a happy ending (at least not so far). Rather, it’s about the reasons for her tears, worries, the unending voices in her head and the blows that life threw at her. It’s also about those precious moments of sheer joy and last, but certainly not least, her encounter with Him. Hopefully, sharing her story will find others who can relate to it and make them feel they’re not alone. Writing this work has been like an ‘extension’ of herself whilst overcoming her fear of hurting people or being compelled to ‘walk on eggshells’. It’s one of her legacies and as always, has been her type of therapy. May it be a type of therapy or an inspiration for you too.

Review

★★★

Isidora: The Life, Mind and Memories of an African Phoenix by Kally-Jay Mkwawa is a memoir full of interesting experiences of the author.

I liked the book as it was an easy and a quick read. It was a deeply contemplative read and some of the introspections of the author were interesting and presented an illuminating glimpse into her fascinating world. The cultural, environmental as well as emotional insights provided in the book were quite enjoyable.

My only complaint is that the first 7 chapters of the book focused solely on guys the author encountered in her life. As a writer and an editor, I feel that it didn’t serve as the right hook (or to be precise, the right first half of the book.) Being a memoir, I understand the book needs to deal with all the major aspects of the author’s life, but it would have been better if those chapters were placed in the latter half of the book, making the first half more about her than about those guys.

Other than this issue, it was a good read. and I’d recommend it to non-fiction reads.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Incoming! by Thomas Josef

Author: Thomas Josef
Release Date: 10th June 2018
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction, Autobiography
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages:
Publisher:
Blurb:
INCOMING is an intimate view of one man’s highs and lows during his four and half years of work as a military contractor at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.
Thomas’ account explores the oftentimes melancholy details of working in a war zone, but equally delves into the beautiful cultivation of lasting friendships, libidinous love affairs, and the many other ways one must find to help them endure a life away from home and family.
Through his vivid recollections of training as a marathon runner, as well as the amorous but sometimes tumultuous exploration of life as a gay man on a military base, Thomas offers a political and social commentary along the way. For every harrowing moment dealing with personal or wartime bleakness, there’s an equally uplifting reminder that we find peace and happiness within ourselves and those we choose as companions.

Review

★★★★

Incoming! Life Of A Contract Warrior In Afghanistan by Thomas Josef is a remarkable account of his days with the military.

A very well-written book that is brought out by the fact that every emotion and every incident of the book felt not only real but also relatable. The background of the war zone served as a really engaging component. The writing was beautifully descriptive and kept me up at night wanting to read more and more.

I enjoyed reading this book a lot as it made me feel a plethora of different emotions. But more than anything else, I like this book because I was able to feel a connection with the author and felt that the writing was honest.

If you like reading non-fiction and memoirs then you must definitely read this book.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Walking With Peety by Eric O’Grey

Author: Eric O’Grey with Mark Dagostino
Release Date: 10th October 2017
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction, Autobiography, Animals
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 320
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Blurb:
Eric met Peety when he was 150 pounds overweight, depressed, and sick. After a lifetime of failed diet attempts, and the onset of serious diabetes due to his weight, Eric went to a new doctor, who surprisingly prescribed a shelter dog. And that’s when Eric met Peety: a middle-aged and forgotten shelter dog who, like Eric, had seen better days. The two adopted each other and began an incredible journey together, and the bond of unconditional love they formed forever changed their lives. Over the next year, just by going on walks, playing together and eating plant-based food, Eric lost 150 pounds, and Peety lost 25. As a result, Eric reversed his type 2 diabetes, got off all medication, became happy and healthy for the first time in his life, and even reconnected with and married his high school sweetheart. WALKING WITH PEETY is perfect for anyone who is ready to make a change in their life and for everyone who knows the joy, love and hope that dogs can bring to human lives. This is more than a tale of mutual rescue, this is an epic story of friendship and strength.

Review

★★★★

Walking With Peety by Eric O’Grey is a beautiful memoir about the author’s journey, along with an adopted dog, full of hope, lots of ups and downs and love.

This book is a beautiful tribute to the love and happiness an animal brings into the life of a person. A very enjoyable book with honestly that reflected in the writing. It was a very touching and warm read. It proved to be a very inspiring story which left me feeling motivated to change a couple of things in my life that I might be taking for granted.

I’d recommend it to the readers of non-fiction genre as well as to those who love animals or are going through rough times and can do with a bit of a pick-me-up.

this review is also posted on Goodreads, NetGalley, and Amazon

Book Review: Bitcoin For Blockheads by Theme Thomas

Author: Tasheme Thomas
Release Date: 20th August 2018
Genre: Non-Fiction
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 70
Publisher:
Blurb:
Whether it’s your hip grandma, tech-obsessed nephew, or the businessman who wants to cut right to the chase in order to capitalize on this new asset class, Bitcoin For Blockheads will make sure you’re in the know. This book speaks at a conversational level for those casually interested in Bitcoin and blockchain technology but it doesn’t sacrifice the intricacies that make the technology so wonderful.You can expect to learn about the history of peer-to-peer technology, the technological development of bitcoin, the economics behind it, and so much more!

Review

★★★+1/2

Bitcoin For Blockheads by Tasheme Thomas is a very informative book on the concept of Bitcoin and the blockchain technology.

As someone who had almost no idea about what Bitcoin was and the things it entailed, I am really glad that I read this book. It was an easy read and presented all the concepts very clearly and in a very understandable way. The content itself felt rich and even if I wouldn’t have been able to grasp the context of everything described in the book, I know a LOT more about Bitcoin than I ever did before! The best part was that the book was very short, so I did not find myself wandering even for a second, as generally happens in case of technical books.

I’d recommend it to everyone who is interested in Bitcoin and wants to know more about the subject in under an hour.

this review is also posted on goodreads and amazon

Book Review: The Business Launch Code: A Step By Step Guide To Starting Your Own Business by M. Salek

Author: M. Salek
Release Date: 19th July 2018
Genre: Non-Fiction, Businesses and Start-Ups
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 274
Publisher: Polymath Publishing
Blurb:
Everything you need to know to start a business, step by step.
Starting a business doesn’t need to be hard, and it certainly doesn’t need to be confusing.
If you’ve ever considered starting a business (or in the process of starting one), then this is the book for you.
Inside the book, you will learn:
1. 10 mistakes new businesses make, and how NOT to fall prey to them
2. How to give your business an edge
3. The people you should talk to before starting your business
4. The qualities that are important to start and grow a successful business
5. How to test your ideas (this way you can find out if your idea has potential or not)
6. How to determine if your business idea can be profitable (& why you need to do this before you start)
7. How to find out if people will buy
8. The different ways to fund your business (including how to start a business with no money)
9. A quick, fun and effective way to plan your business (create a business plan in less than 15 minutes!)
10. Branding for a new business, and what you need to know
11. The crucial steps most new businesses miss
12. Why it is important to take care of the small things (& how these can significantly improve your business)
13. The 5 things you need in place to create a solid, sustainable business (you need these if you want to create a business that won’t disappear overnight)
14. The optimal structure for your business
15. How you can get great people on board (for free!)
16. The 3 main positions every business needs to fill
17. How to cut your initial business costs to nearly zero!
18. ‘Sensitivity Analysis’ – what it is and why you need to know about this (this can make or break a business)
19. A creative strategy for building partnerships (and how it can also help you cut costs & increase profits)
20. 9 proven tips for coming up with a great business name
21. How to create an effective business card (business cards don’t need to boring…!)
22. A quick list of the records you need to keep to stay out of trouble
23. A 5-minute checklist to help guide you start your business the right way
24. How to make your business finally happen
The Business Launch Code offers essential information, insights, and exercises on what it takes to create a successful business. Each step takes you closer towards creating your own business, while at the same time minimising the risks.
This book goes beyond conventional wisdom and combines standard procedures with the latest developments and updates so that you get an edge when starting your own business.
By following these steps, you will find the knowledge, insights, and confidence you need to finally start your business..

Review

★★★+1/2

The Business Launch Code by M. Salek is a very informative book on starting a new business which also gives helpful insights for established businesses.

Unlike many business books, this book had content that was surprisingly well-written. Many authors of business books concentrate only on the content they’re putting forward and pay little to no attention on the way they write it. They do pay attention to the way they present the content in the way of organisation, but the writing is heavily suffered in such books. So I was pleasantly surprised when I read this book as the ideas are not only put forth in an organized way, but also in a well-written manner.

This book was well-researched and was pretty helpful. The insight into the whole starting-a-new-business scenario in today’s world was very useful, something that I’m sure new entrepreneurs would really appreciate. What better way to start a new business knowing what are the main things that tend to go wrong in 90% of the cases?

It was an easy and interesting read, with well thought out chapters and the points made in each one of them. I liked how the facts, relevant examples and information were presented in an effectively simple way.

I recommend this book to people with new startups and even to the ones who already have established businesses as it is a quick read and also because extra knowledge never hurts.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Brand Identity Breakthrough by Gregory V. Diehl

Author: Gregory V. Diehl
Release Date: 4th March 2017
Genre: Non-Fiction, Business Guide
Series: 

Edition:
 Paperback
Pages:
Publisher: Identity Publishers
Blurb:
Does your business have a story to tell? It should! From the moment you first opened your doors, you began crafting it. With every new product you release, you carve out an even more unique niche in your industry. This all builds up to one thing–brand identity. Does yours stand out from the crowd?With a decade of experience studying businesses across the world, Diehl has unlocked the key to creating innovative brand identities and distinct business stories. In Brand Identity Breakthrough, you and your small business will learn how to develop a strong brand identity by combining your personality and values with the functionality of your products, becoming an irreplaceable brand and company.

Whether you lead a growing company, or are just starting out, Brand Identity Breakthrough will give you a smarter way to think about product development flow, branding, brand mapping strategy, and business model generation. With proven, and well-organized logic, it will set you on the path to selling more–and at higher prices–giving the customers exactly what they want and sending your profits through the roof.
In Brand Identity Breakthrough, you will learn…

-How to incorporate a unique selling proposition into your branding
-The best methods for selling products to customers as a small business
-How to use business storytelling to sell products in both physical and online marketplaces

Table of Contents

Section I: Why Identity Matters
Chapter 1: Can You Tell a Good Story? (The Importance of Business Storytelling)
Chapter 2: When Good Ideas Fail
Chapter 3: Why Entrepreneurs Fail to See Their Own Value
Chapter 4: Why Others Fail to See Your Value

Section II: Creating Your Brand Identity
Chapter 5: Uncovering Your Core Values
Chapter 6: Developing a Unique Selling Proposition
Chapter 7: Crafting Your Personality Profile
Chapter 8: Knowing Your Target Audience

Section III: Telling Your Story to the World
Chapter 9: How to Sell Who You Are (Your Brand Identity as a Sales Pitch)
Chapter 10: How to Speak with Clarity, Authority, & Authenticity
Chapter 11: How to Display Your Character Through Writing
Chapter 12: How to Educate Your Audience About Your Brand Identity

Section IV: Brand Identity Case Studies
Case Study #1: Rebranding a Whole Industry’s Adversarial Image
Case Study #2: Pre-Seeding a Two-Sided Marketplace for Launch
Case Study #3: Turning a Charitable Project into a Profitable Movement
Case Study #4: Skyrocketing a Personal Brand through Narrative Focus
Case Study #5: Embracing Personality in a Technical Niche

Section V: Resources for Prospective Entrepreneurs
Appendix 1: Entrepreneurial Terms Defined
Appendix 2: 50 Useful Starting Questions for New Entrepreneurs
Appendix 3: Making Money Online

Review

★★★★+1/2

Brand Identity Breakthrough: How To Craft Your Company’s Unique Story To Make Your Products Irresistible by Gregory V. Diehl is a comprehensive guide for newbies in the tricky arena of business.

I rarely read business guides, but running a start-up in a mostly unconventional field, led me to explore this book and its various eye-catching contents. And I must say that I’m glad that I read this one. This book is extremely informative and very helpful in understanding the basics of how start-ups need to present themselves in this highly competitive world that demands exhaustive amounts of energy from new entrepreneurs. Yet at the same time, it was easy to read and understand, which made it such a likable read for me.

I bookmarked several pages and added a lot of notes in my copy of this book so I’m going to be using it for reference every now and then, especially when I need a little pick-me-up. So I’m really glad that I have my own physical copy fo this book!

I’d recommend this book to anyone who has or is planning to have a new start-up. And even if you already have a well-established business, I’m sure you can pick up a couple of points of wisdom from this gem of a book that might help you overcome brand identity issues.

This review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Intimacy On The Plate by Olga Petrenko

Author: Olga Petrenko
Release Date: 18th August 2017
Genre: Cookbook, Non-Fiction
Series: 

Edition:
 Extra-trim paperback
Pages: 310
Publisher: Identity Publications
Blurb:
Intimacy On The Plate: Extra Trim Edition contains the same 200+ elegant, erotic recipes as the original, but has been reformatted for a smaller size and lower price. Snack on the convenience of the new smaller trim size, or indulge in the colorful, picturesque body of the original coffee table book.
Every couple knows that the key to a harmonious home is a healthy love life, but keeping your time in bed spicy isn’t enough – you need to turn to the kitchen and amp up the flavor.
Olga Petrenko is a housewife who dedicated years of her life to crafting original dishes that combine tradition with innovation, creating new tastes that everyone can enjoy. In the process, she discovered something new: by applying scientific research to her recipes and by using the correct ingredients, all meals had the potential to be the perfect aphrodisiac. After a decade of hard work and experimentation, she finally had an extensive collection of recipes designed to make every bite erotic – Intimacy On The Plate: 200+ Aphrodisiac Recipes to Spice Up Your Love Life at Home Tonight
Every dish in this erotic cookbook pays as much attention to presentation as to flavor and science. If you want to create the right mood for your loved one, you need to feed the eyes before you feed the stomach. Olga has worked hard to make every sensual meal beautiful and visually appetizing so that you and your partner will feel the food love before you even sit down to eat.
Within these pages, you’ll find 200+ healthy, easy-to-cook recipes known around the world to contribute to sexual desire. Using a wide range of ingredients, including dozens of types of vegetables, mushrooms, fish, seafood, fruits, nuts, herbs, and spices, you and your partner will experience the full range of erotic properties the world of food has to offer. You’ll never run out of new and exciting places to take your meals. From appetizers to main courses, to side dishes, beverages, and desserts, you’ll always have something scintillating to offer up on date night.
Intimacy On The Plate contents ordered by main ingredient:
Section I: Vegetables, Mushrooms, Potherbs, & Seasonings
Section II: Fish
Section III: Seafood
Section IV: Nuts
Section V: Fruits
Section VI: Chocolate
Section VII: Love Potions, Hot Drinks, and Spicy Teas

REVIEW

★★★★★

Intimacy On The Plate by Olga Petrenko is a beautiful cookbook with amazing recipes with eye-catching and sinfully divine-looking gourmet images.

If you love cooking then this book is for you. It has some really good recipes that are not only easy to make but also very healthy to eat. There are so many recipes to choose from! I’ve already marked more than a dozen that I’m planning to try in the coming months. The information provided is like a well full of important knowledge and you get to learn so much about food and its influence on different aspects in our life.

If you love cooking and want to try cooking in a very different style and in the whole new light, then you should definitely get your hands on this book.

Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Loving Ordinary Life by Anastasia Petrenko

[scroll-box]Author: Anastasia Petrenko
Release Date: 12th October 2017
Genre: Self-Help
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 94
Publisher: Identity Publications
Blurb:
Loving Ordinary Life is written for us: living, emotional people.
We all want to live a happy life, but we can easily fall into a state of despondency. We prefer to smile, but more often we frown.
We like being inspired, but most likely, we can’t recall the last time when we were.
There are many books and courses about self-motivation and inspiration. You might have heard hundreds of platitudes and affirmations. Each of them sounds valid but their utility is limited when you actually find yourself stuck in a pit of pain and despair.
Loving Ordinary Life is meant to make a functional difference. It’s not a treatment for depression. It is about living a life where depression has no place.
Loving Ordinary Life is your guide. It is designed so that you can open any page and find the inspiration to act and improve your life when you’re feeling down.
Each chapter in Loving Ordinary Life is a tool for moving from a negative idle state to a positive proactive state. It displays to you the art of being present, free, and genuine every day.
If you want to be more fulfilled and enjoy life more, if you’re open to quality changes, Loving Ordinary Life will become your loyal companion.
Everything is within your power. You are the master of your life. How you experience it depends only on you. Take the lead.[/scroll-box]

Review

★★★

Living Ordinary Life by Anastasia Petrenko is a light-hearted self-help book which is both quick to read and easy to digest.

Though the message tried to convey in this book is nothing different from the other gazillion self-help books, this book wins on the aesthetics part. I loved the basic design of the book, the vibrant yet soft colours used and the quirky fonts and illustrations. It is a fairly quick read, I read it under an hour, so it doesn’t go on for ages like other self-help books. That’s another plus, at least for me.

I’d recommend this book to the genre lovers and to those who need a positive little guide to uplift their spirits and make them feel better about life in general.

You can also find this review on: Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Philippines’ Resistance by Stacey Salinas, Klytie Xu & Syona Puliady

Release Date: 2017
Genre: Non-Fiction, Educational
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 85
Publisher: Pacific Atrocities Education

Blurb:
The people of the Philippine Islands during the early half of the twentieth century experienced various waves of Western Imperialism, two wars of attempted secession from western powers, and two world wars. And yet, the Philippine Islands and its people have received only small subheadings in many American textbooks and histories. The wartime experiences from the perspectives of the Philippine people have gone unnoticed and have become overshadowed by the socio-political dominating legacy of American figures like General MacArthur, leader and historical symbol of the Pacific Theater during World War II. MacArthur’s famous phrase “I came through and shall return” are etched into every facet of World War II historical narratives, textbooks, and monuments that pay tribute to the Allied forces in the retaking of the Pacific from the Japanese. But It is the lesser known people and leaders of the Philippine resistance against the Axis powers whose efforts and contributions allowed for the effective and speedy return of MacArthur’s military forces…

REVIEW

★★★★

Philippines’ Resistance by Stacey Salinas is an enlightening look into the forgotten world of WWII.

This book was short, succinct and well presented. It was an impressively informative book. The images given in the book were very engaging and proved to be quite helpful in comprehending the text in its entirety. It was a good experience to know more about the place where the Second World War took place.

The writing was good and the descriptions quite clear. In spite of not having a lot of knowledge on the subject, I found the book to be very interesting. I’d recommend to all the history buffs and WW2 enthusiasts.

TRB-gram


Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Philippines’ Resistance by Stacey Anne Baterina Salinas

Release Date: 2017
Genre: Non-Fiction, Educational
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 85
Publisher: Pacific Atrocities Education

Blurb:
The people of the Philippine Islands during the early half of the twentieth century experienced various waves of Western Imperialism, two wars of attempted secession from western powers, and two world wars. And yet, the Philippine Islands and its people have received only small subheadings in many American textbooks and histories. The wartime experiences from the perspectives of the Philippine people have gone unnoticed and have become overshadowed by the socio-political dominating legacy of American figures like General MacArthur, leader and historical symbol of the Pacific Theater during World War II. MacArthur’s famous phrase “I came through and shall return” are etched into every facet of World War II historical narratives, textbooks, and monuments that pay tribute to the Allied forces in the retaking of the Pacific from the Japanese. But It is the lesser known people and leaders of the Philippine resistance against the Axis powers whose efforts and contributions allowed for the effective and speedy return of MacArthur’s military forces…

REVIEW

★★★★

Philippines’ Resistance by Stacey Salinas is an enlightening look into the forgotten world of WW2.

This book was short, succinct and well presented. It was an impressively informative book. The images given in the book were very engaging and proved to be quite helpful in comprehending the text in its entirety. It was a good experience to know more about the place where the Second World War took place.

The writing was good and the descriptions quite clear. In spite of not having a lot of knowledge on the subject, I found the book to be very interesting. I’d recommend to all the history buffs and WW2 enthusiasts.

TRB-gram


Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Start Winning With Money by Donnie Masters

Author: Donnie Masters
Release Date: 18th July 2017
Genre: Non-Fiction
Edition: E-book
Pages: –
Publisher: Masters Investment Group LLC

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

If you are looking to make millions of dollars while sitting in your pajamas, then this book is not for you!
Start Winning With Money is financial book that offers high impact, real world solutions for life’s many money questions.
Want to better your personal finances?
Want to open your own successful business?
Would you like some real clarity on the cost of higher education?
Want to address the issue of debt in your life?
All of that and more is available to you.
Start Winning With Money will teach you:
Why your current income has nothing to do with obtaining wealth
Challenge the popular belief that all debt is bad
Address the issues with public education and why you were taught to fail with money
Define a proper budget
Why good debt can help you grow wealthy
Explain the importance of money in achieving financial freedom
Redefine true wealth

Review

Start Winning With Money by Donnie Masters is an insightful book that has a lot to offer in terms of financial ideas, monetary strategies and capital management.

It’s not been long that I’ve started reading non-fiction, but so far I’ve read some books that shed light on some very important topics that help a person in their day to day life. One such topic is money and money management. Everyone has ideas about gaining and maintaining wealth, but often we find ourselves in tight-spots where we fail and have to face consequences. This is why I was really interested in reading this book. And to my delight, Start Winning With Money was a great read and it went a long way in decoding some of the longest standing myths about money and all the related problems.

As a newbie to business, I found this book very helpful and even quite encouraging. I found the tactics described by the author very clear, concise and practical. The methods listed in this book are not only simple and easy to follow but also seem very effective.

Another thing that I really liked about this book was that each and every chapter in this book was organised nicely and was divided into sections that made a lot of sense and also made it easy to keep a track of things. The format of the book makes it very easy to not only read but also remember the points of note.

I’d recommend this book to everyone who wants to learn not only how to get better financially, but also how to prepare practical strategies to maintain one’s wealth.

More from the author: 
- Author Interview
- Guest Post - The 4 Biggest Financial Lies Being Taught To Americans Right Now by Donnie Masters
- Book Excerpt

Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Unpacked Sparkle by Patrick A. Roland

Author: Patrick A. Roland
Release Date: 7th  November 2016
Genre:  Non-Fiction, Memoir
Edition: E-book
Pages: 163
Publisher: Wallace Publishing

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

Over a year ago, I left a Mariah Carey concert in Las Vegas after six songs. I had gone on the trip as a present to myself for turning forty. But I couldn’t enjoy it. I was high on multiple drugs, but mostly crystal meth, and extremely drunk. I had been this way the majority of the year and a half since my partner Pack had suddenly passed away.
I found him dead on the bathroom floor one January morning while I was getting ready for work. The police told me I had no rights in my own home and asked me to leave. This was before gay marriage became legal. Life as I knew it changed instantly.
His family pretended I didn’t exist. They mauled our home the day he died, leaving it a ravaged mess. I was kicked out of that home. I was also disinvited to his funeral. In eight days I lost everything that mattered. Not even the law protected me from this.
So I got high in an effort to shoulder the pain. It didn’t work. I carried the heavy weight of unresolved complicated grief and addiction on my back. It was like an elephant. A large, unwieldy elephant that wanted me to die.
No longer able to participate in anything that mattered and unwilling to bear this burden anymore, I went back to my hotel room on the twenty-sixth floor of a casino and looked out on the sparkly lights below. I wanted to be in the light. So I opened the window and decided to jump.
But God intervened. My mother had somehow found me. Help came and I surrendered to the powerlessness of my situation. I asked God to help me. I stayed and I fought and I learned how to love myself. I put on a pair of sparkly shoes I had bought for that barely attended concert and I walked in to the rooms of Crystal Meth Anonymous. I had bought the sparkly shoes hoping Mariah would see me in the audience. Though she didn’t get the chance, you did. You all embraced me and my sparkly shoes. They have become my calling card of experience, strength, and hope.

Review

Unpacked Sparkle by Patrick A. Roland is a story about grief, addiction, recovery and everything that entails. It is a heart-touching book that’ll make the reader experience the tragedies the author went through first hand.

It is not just another memoir, but it is one to be remembered for a long time. There is so much pain and desperation in the author’s voice that I felt a deep connection not only to the story but also to the writing. This is a very well written book and it has a lot in store for each and everyone who reads it.

More from the author: Author Interview: Patrick A. Roland and Guest Post: Why I Write By Patrick A. Roland

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Book Review: Peanut Butter Principles by Eric Franklin

Author: Eric Franklin 
Release Date: 20th November 2013
Genre: Non-Fiction
Edition: E-book
Pages: 230
Publisher: Everilis Books

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

Great leaders aren’t born. They’re nurtured.
In Peanut Butter Principles: 47 Leadership Lessons Every Parent Should Teach Their Kids, entrepreneur, speaker, author, management consultant and parent Eric Franklin has assembled a wealth of wisdom that has stuck with him like peanut butter sticks to the roof of your mouth gleaned from his parents, extended family; and the many other influential people in his life.
Organized by topics, including The Super Self, Making Wishes Come True and The School of Life, Franklin explains how simple concepts can have lasting power to develop young leaders, including:
Be thankful you don’t get everything you ask for.
The difference between a goal and a dream is a deadline.
Your accomplishments should speak for themselves. Don’t interrupt.
If you don t make your own decision, someone else will make it for you.
Count your blessings, not your problems.
One by one, you can serve up spoonfuls of Peanut Butter Principles to the youth in your life and make a profound impact to help them grow into confident, intelligent, and successful adults and leaders who make good choices, build healthy relationships, and cultivate another generation of leaders.

Review

Peanut Butter Principles is a motivating read that’ll furnish you with knowledge that is regarded common yet ignored quite often.

First of all, I’d like to confess that I love the name of this book. It’s smart, well thought out and very impressive.

Moving further, I had one hell of a time reading this book as I enjoyed learning each and every single one of the 47 lessons the author of this book, Eric Franklin, has to offer. These are the most common things that a person seems to forget in crisis, and as a result suffers invariably. These are the things that one would expect the parents to teach their children but are often neglected mostly because the parents themselves don’t follow them. The underlying point of this book is to be aware and make decisions wisely and, as a result, live a comfortable and stressless life.

Most of the times the main reason of our stress is our own selves – our bad choices, wrong decisions, and ill-considered judgments, and in this book the author makes us come face to face with all these things. This book is a treasure trove of knowledge that’ll not only make one’s life easier and happier but also very fulfilling and productive.

I liked the flow and easiness of the narration and was able to read this book in less than 2 hours. It felt like the book was narrated by a close friend who’s out to give you some really wise advice, which goes a long way in saying how good the author’s writing is. I’d recommend this book to all the adults as we all can learn so much from this beautifully insightful book.

I’d recommend this book to all the adults as we all can learn so much from this remarkably insightful book.


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Book Review: I Came, I Saw, I Coffeed by Bruce Miller

Author: Bruce Miller
Release Date: 16th September 2017
Genre: Non-Fiction
Edition: E-book
Pages: 156
Publisher: Pacific Trust Holdings NZ Ltd

Rating: ★★★

Blurb:

I Came, I Saw, I Coffeed Online Dating: Why Didn’t He Call Me Back? What Goes Through a Man’s Mind on the First Meet? Impressions from a Man Who Had Over 350 First Meetups. Have you ever wondered what goes through a man’s mind when you first meet? “Why didn’t he ask me out again? What did he think of me?” “Did I say the wrong thing?” I was newly singled after an unwanted divorce and retired early, so I had time on my hands to find a girlfriend. I didn’t want to be alone, and hadn’t dated in years. I was eager to meet a woman, and became discouraged trying to find someone to be your love, your best trusted friend, a confidant and companion — a very difficult task. Seeing my low spirits to get on with searching to find a woman, a good friend simply told me dating is “Just a game of numbers — the more ladies you meet, the better decision you’ll make.” So, I ventured into the field of online dating and over three years met over 350 ladies. Many women asked me what goes through a man’s mind when he meets a woman. In this book I spell out my thoughts about the women I met, her walk, her appearance, demeanor, clothes, habits, figure, etc. in detail.

Review

I Came, I Saw, I Coffeed by Brian Miller basically is more like a report of the author’s real-life online dating experiences.

This book is unique, to put it mildly, and quite amusing, to be very honest. It was interesting to read about the author’s observations about what women want and how they behave, but it did feel unusual to be reading about them, especially in the starting. But once the tone was set, it got quite interesting.

I liked the plain writing as this book was more about its content than the writing itself and enjoyed reading it.

I’d recommend it to anyone interested in the subject of online dating as this book is a fun, light and a very quick read.


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Book Review: After Life by Mathew O’Neil

Author: Matthew O’Neil
Release Date: 4th May 2016
Genre: Non-Fiction
Edition: E-book
Pages: 275
Publisher: Ockham Publishing

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

What happens to us when we die? It’s a question that has been debated for centuries, moulded through time to fit our ever changing views.
Many religions teach that how we act in our life will determine where we will end up after life. If you follow religious teachings and adhere to their ethical standards, you will be rewarded and spend an eternity in heaven. If not, you will be punished and forced to spend forever in hell.
Modern science, however, will tell you a completely different story: fanciful, hopeful tales of an afterlife are both rationally explainable and lacking in evidence.
Theologian Matthew O’Neil demonstrates that the contemporary religious view of the afterlife is far from what our ancestors envisioned. Subjecting both original Scripture and contemporary faith to the rigours of modern science and rational philosophy, he seeks to answer one of humanities most famous puzzles: what happens After Life?

Review

After Life by Mathew O’Neil is an extensively researched and a gracefully written book that proved to be a highly insightful read.

I’m officially a convert and have recently started reading non-fiction titles, but I know a well-written book when I read one, and this is definitely it. I started reading this book with a mind buzzing with curiosity as, like everyone else, I’ve always wondered about what really happens when a person dies.

I’m not a Christian, I’m a Hindu, but even in our mythology and religious texts we have a lot of similar concepts like burning in the fire of the hell and such, and I’ve always been curious about whether these things were true or just stories. In spite of belonging to a different religion, I loved reading about the comprehensive cultural references about Christianity, Hebrew, and Jew cultures and their various respective Bible quotations and references.

This book answers, or to be more specific explores, these questions and a lot more. Author Mathew has done a great job in not only researching but also in putting across his views supported by this extensive research. I liked the writing style of the author and it made reading this intriguing book a very pleasant experience.

I’d recommend this book to anyone and everyone who’s ever asked or wondered about the ultimate existential question – What happens after we die?


Amazon

Book Review: Papa’s Family Recipes

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Author: Tony A. Smith
Release Date: March 27, 2015
Series: DCI Lambert
Genre: Memoir
Edition: E-Book (mobi)
Pages: 315
Publisher: Self-published
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Papa’s Family Recipes is a true story of Alberto Petrucci, the son of emigrant Italian parents from Detroit. Alberto went on to become one of the largest contractors in the Midwest. He was a very kind, caring, and humble man who loved his family deeply. He also had a passion for cooking and was quite good at it. Alberto, know to those in his family as “Papa”, left behind a treasure trove of tasty recipes like his Italian Chicken recipe, and his recipes for Risotto. He also left behind a recipe for his secret family spaghetti sauce. Have you ever met someone you liked the first time you met them? That was the man called “Papa”.

Review

Papa’s Family Recipes is a heart-warming tribute to author Tony’s father-in-law- Alberto Petrucci aka Papa. I’m generally not into non-fiction, but this book is something entirely different.

It took me to an emotional journey and left me craving for my own father’s company. It was touching and the love and care Tony put into writing this book comes across beautifully.

The writing is brilliant and it feels like author Tony and his wife are speaking directly to the reader.

As I mentioned, I’m not into non-fiction, hence, I have no particular example to compare or rate this book with, but as far as I’m concerned, I’m quite sure I can happily rate it 5 stars because this book is beautifully heart-warming read.

And the recipes? I LOVED them! And I’m going to try each and every one of them. I especially liked the Tomato section. What really touched me was that each and every recipe’s original photo was provided with the recipe, which made it all the more relatable. Somehow it managed to pull a string in my heart.

Kudos to a job well done, author Tony A. Smith.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “Alberto’s parents came directly from Naples, Italy, making him a 100 percent purebred Italian descendant.”

Highlights: The love that can be felt pouring out of every line.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: A heart-warming tribute.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: The Silent Scream

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Author: Siddhartha Garg
Release Date:  8th March, 2015 
Series: None 
Genre: Non-Fiction | Sociology 
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 156
Publisher: Rumor Books India
Source: Author (Thanks Siddhartha!) via NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Child abuse, one of the many problems that persist in India today, is arguably the filthiest. Of late, we have heard of instances of children being exploited but the most gruesome abuse is child sex abuse. The Silent Scream takes up this issue which people normally turn a blind eye towards. Through the subtlety quoted instances mentioned in this narrative non-fiction we are exposed to the disturbing lives of child predators and their innocent, young unassuming victims. The Silent Scream is a ready guide to create awareness about this rampantly growing evil with the aim of sensitising the general public on the ways in which sex abusers operate. A humble effort is also being made to counsel the victims and carry forward the war against this menace so that other innocent souls are saved.

Rating

4-stars

Review

This is the first non-fiction book that I’ve accepted for reviewing and I must say that, the subject being so intense, it really was a very heavy read. The thing that I really liked about this book was that the author, Siddhartha, introduced his readers to child-abuse in a very educative light. This book was so much more than just real-life-stories. He completely made the reader understand the reasons behind such horrific crimes and how to understand it in a way that one can prevent it from happening or atleast prevent it from happening on a level where there is no looking back.

As difficult as it was to read this book, with all the harsh truths being told bluntly, it was good to read the expert’s advice and experiences. Now atleast I know how to identify potential child-abusers and beware of them at all times. Siddhartha also sheds light on how to prevent child abuse, how to identify the abuser and how to deal with the abused children, all through the guided experiences of an expert.

He explained it very truthfully that how easily we eliminate our loved ones from the bounds of doubt when it comes to child-abuse, and how easily we fail to understand that it’s the same loved ones whom we should be doubting in the first place.

I had nightmares after reading this book, but it’s necessary to face the truth in order to be prepared to fight such a plague that’s destroying the lives of so many people, especially children.

I really feel that all the parents and parents-to-be should really read this book and have it with them to use it as a guide.

You can also read this review at Goodread and Amazon.

Review by:

pics-2 copyHeena Rathore P.

My name is Heena and I’m a freelance writer, blogger and a book-reviewer (and soon-to-be author.) I’m an introvert, thinker, neat freak (cleanliness OCD), hardcore idealist, fitness junkie, music fanatic, compulsive reader, self-assertive, opinionated, dog lover and an atheist.

The Reading Bud is my brain-child and is a huge part of my life. I love reading and reviewing. What started as a hobby has become my passion.

Read more about me here.