Sunday, December 13, 2009
Fitzpatrick, Joe (Author) and Potter, Steven (Photographer). Strictly Sundays: Making Every Cook a Hero on Sundays.
Book Publishers Network. 2009. c.152p. photogs. index. ISBN 978-1-935359-19-7. $19.95.
In this generously-illustrated publication (27 color reproductions), Fitzpatrick (www.strictlysundays.com), also known as the “Blue Collar Gourmet,” a real estate agent living in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, who cooks on Sundays for his wife, children, and grandchildren, compiles the recipes that have won him accolades from his family, friends, and coworkers. Dividing his cookbook into six chapters, the author presents recipes for many types of foods with the exception of desserts. He covers appetizers, main dishes, salads, soups, side dishes, and salsas. The chapters featuring main and side dishes are the longest, whereas the ones on salsas and soups are the shortest, with the fewest recipes. Most of the recipes that Fitzpatrick sets forth are comprised of vegetables, meat, seafood, and/or pasta. Covering basic, American, old-fashioned dishes that every amateur chef probably should master as well as more sophisticated, contemporary, innovative creations, the author includes many recipes for comfort food, “real food that fills the belly, satisfies the soul, and wins the day,” (back cover) as well as for gourmet concoctions. Some of the down-home dishes Fitzpatrick showcases include Buffalo wings, beef and pork pot roasts, cabbage rolls, corned beef and cabbage, lasagnas, chicken cacciatore, goulash, fish and chips, Caesar salad, potato salad, clam chowder, chili, scalloped potatoes, macaroni and cheese, garlic bread, baked beans, and more. The author’s gourmet-style fare are not limited to mustard seed pancakes with salmon and caviar, lamb stew, butter poached lobster, and salmon in cranberry Dijon sauce. The author’s creations are accompanied by the recipes for their marinades, sauces, and toppings. While many of Fitzpatrick’s masterpieces include ingredients that are commonly found in most supermarkets, others may have more exotic constituents or are comprised of wine or beer. The author unfortunately does not list possible, alternative substitutions, nor does he set forth the serving sizes for all his recipes. With the exception of the aforementioned exclusions, this book is nicely-illustrated and presented as well as sufficiently-documented. Instructions are complete, concise, and easy-to-follow. This publication will interest beginner and intermediate cooks. Written for men, it makes a great gift for the man, who may want to learn how to cook or who wants to cook for his loved one(s), thereby becoming a “hero on Sundays,” weekends, special occasions, or whenever. Women also will find this cookbook useful and worthwhile, even though many of the recipes may not be suitable for everyday meals. Highly recommended for many public library book collections. Review copy. Availability: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com
Monday, December 7, 2009
Wiley-Blackwell. 2009. 187p. index. ISBN 9781405187312. $79.95. ISBN 9781405187305. $24.95
“Who owns you?” According to Koepsell (Assistant Professor, Philosophy Section, Faculty of Technology, Policy, and Management, Technology University of Netherlands, Delft; Senior Fellow, 3TU Centre for Ethics and Technology, The Netherlands; Ph.D, Philosophy, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1997; J.D., SUNY at Buffalo School of Law, 1995; B.A, Political Science/English, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1990; author of several books including The Ontology of Cyberspace as well as scholarly articles; www.davidkoepsell.com), an author, attorney, philosopher, and educator, whose research has focused on the nexus of science, technology, ethics, and public policy, you may be surprised and alarmed to learn that biotechnology companies, universities, and other research institutions now own the exclusive rights to many parts of you. As the aforementioned entities rush to patent the human genes comprising the human genome—the genetic code that largely defines the distinct features of humans, of which one-fifth is fully patented-- gene patenting threatens to infringe upon the rights of individuals and hinder scientific and technological progress. It also violates international agreements and is contrary to historical and legal norms. In this noteworthy publication, the author provides the first, nearly comprehensive study of the practices and implications of gene patenting. Koepsell maintains that gene patenting is harmful and needs to be reexamined. Using scientific findings, philosophical conclusions, and ethical determinations based upon his examination of the ontology of genes, the author advocates immediate legal reform. Among other solutions, he argues in favor of partly revoking intellectual property laws in order to establish the naturally-occurring, human genome as a “commons by necessity” that will not be patentable by companies, universities, or other research institutions. Divided into nine chapters, covering the science of genes, their ontology, the legal dimensions of gene ownership, intellectual property laws, pragmatic considerations, and more, this accessible, expertly-argued, insightful, nicely-presented, sufficiently-documented, interdisciplinary study on the practices and implications of gene patenting will interest general readers as well as students, scholars, and professionals. It will serve as a significant resource for further understanding, knowledge, and research. This book belongs in many large, public, academic, and law library book collections. Highly recommended. Review copy. Availability: Amazon, Barnes & Noble.com
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Gazdig, Joan. The Kingdom of Hungary (‘Ten Arrows’ United Military Strength): the Beautiful Mistress.
Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc.. 2009. c.136p. illus.
ISBN 978-0-8059-7758-5. $21.00.
Generously- illustrated with many photographs and other reproductions (thirteen black-and-white and eighty-six color), this brief publication by Gazdig, a family genealogist, retired legal secretary, and Hungarian- North American, whose father, uncle, and their two cousins immigrated to “the new world,” (p. 2) provides an overview of Hungarian history and heritage. In fifty-one, very short chapters that average two pages in length, the author covers diverse subjects, not limited to her family’s ancestry, Hungarian history, Hungary’s kings and queens, soldiers, statesmen, liberators, famous buildings, monuments, composers, painters, wines, foods, customs, dogs, and more. While this book may serve as an introductory guide, it lacks the comprehensiveness and depth of coverage that are found in general reference resources. Also, the author uses her text as a means for arguing that Hungarian lands and cultural artifacts that were lost during and after various wars should be restored to the “kingdom” of Hungary, as it originally came to be established as early as 896 C.E.. Devoting the first three chapters of her publication to family matters, Gazdig sets forth how her family’s history fits into her approach. According to the author, her father, uncle, and their cousins immigrated when their land was dismembered by the signing of the Treaty of Trianon (June 4, 1920) in Paris after World War I. (p. 2) Gazdig prepared her text “out of respect” for her father and his desire to re-live his past and introduce his children to his ancestors as well as to “help others to re-live their heritage.” (pp. ix-x) Lacking scholarly documentation such as footnotes, an index, and a selected bibliography, but including a “Dates to Remember” timeline as well as excerpted addresses by statesmen and a message delivered by Pope John Paul II (b. May 18, 1920- d. April 2, 2005) to the Hungarian nation in August 2000, this book will best suit readers who may have some prior knowledge of Hungary, its cultures, heritage, history, peoples, and more. Sufficiently well- illustrated and thoughtfully- conceived, but not authoritative, it is recommended as an additional, supplementary resource for some large, public and special libraries serving the needs of immigrants, ethnic groups, genealogists, and others. Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit dorrancebookstore.com to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team. Availability: Dorrancebookstore.com
Thursday, November 26, 2009
St. Martin’s Press. 2009. c.288p. photogs. bibliog.. ISBN 978-0-312-38639-9. $24.99.
In this noteworthy study drawing upon popular culture and extensive personal interviews with 200 women of various backgrounds and ages as well as with experts in the fields of psychology and counseling, Barash (Professor, Critical Thinking/Gender Studies, Marymount Manhattan College, 1992- ; M.A., Writing, New York University; B.A., Writing, Sarah Lawrence College; bestselling author of Tripping the Prom Queen; author of eleven books including this one; www.susanshapirobarash.com), a nationally-recognized gender expert, explores the ten types of female friends—the Leader, the Doormat, the Sacrificer, the Misery Lover, the User, the Frenemy, the Trophy Friend, the Mirroring Friend, the Sharer, and the Authentic Friend. She helps women recognize and understand them as well as develop means for assessing them and moving forward with problematic female relationships. Barash accomplishes the aforementioned tasks, by dividing her book into three parts based upon a continuum of types of female friends: female friends that are tolerable, intolerable, and worth keeping. According to the author, most women may be able to tolerate Leaders, Doormats, Sacrificers, and Misery Lovers, while they may decide to ditch Users, Frenemies, and Trophy Friends. Women may keep Mirroring Friends, Sharers, and Authentic Friends. Covering each type of woman friend in a separate chapter, while noting how the types may overlap, Barash sets forth the characteristics of each, first hand accounts of the natures of the type of friend, examples drawn from newspapers, books, and movies, current research, the pros and cons of staying in the type of friendship, and more. Including the questionnaire she administered to her interviewees as well as its percentage results by answer, Barash further references her work with a bibliography. Nicely- presented and sufficiently- well documented, even though it lacks footnotes, an index, and some “characters” are composites, this in-depth exploration of female friendships and useful, self-help guide will interest women readers, students, scholars, and others. Accessible, easy- to- read, with a reader’s guide at the end of the book, and scholarly, it belongs in large, public and undergraduate, academic library book collections. Highly recommended. Review copy. Availability: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Harrison, Matt. The American Evolution: How America Can Adapt to the Political, Economic, and Social Challenges of the 21st Century.
Prometheus Institute Press. 2009. c.244p. illus. index. ISBN 978-0-615-28204-6. $14.00.
In uncertain times, America faces many, difficult, new challenges. Here Harrison (B.A., Business Administration in Political Science, University of Miami; candidate, J.D./Master of Public Policy, University of Southern California; author of over 200 articles, publications, and other features), founder and Executive Director of The Prometheus Institute (www.theprometheusinstitute.org), a nonprofit public policy institute dedicated to discovering independent policy solutions to pressing national issues and creatively marketing these ideas to Americans, asks whether the United States can adapt to economic, demographic, technological, and security challenges in the twenty-first century. What specific policies will facilitate the national evolution? Synthesizing evolutionary science, quantum mechanics, systems theory, complexity economics, and other emerging sciences of progressive change, the author attempts to provide fresh insights on issues, not limited to the global financial crisis, the war on terror, immigration, trade, education, technology, social policy, job creation, constitutional law, elections, and more. For Harrison, many of the United States’ most challenging problems can be solved by the American people and the process of maximizing individual choices. Basing his ideas upon the evolutionary process of differentiation, selection, and amplification, the author shows how evolutionary choice theory can be used to determine solutions. Nicely organized and well documented, with a table of contents, nine chapters, footnotes, and two appendices, this insightful publication, which is not comprehensive or definitive, lacks a selected bibliography that would have been useful to readers. Its sometimes humorous diagrams and illustrations by Michael Kelliher (www.emKel.com) supplement and complement the text by making it more understandable and accessible. Intended mostly for general readers, but also appropriate for some college students, it is recommended for some public and undergraduate, academic, library book collections as an additional resource. Review copy. Availability: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Travelers’ Tales Guides. Travelers’ Tales. Oct. 2009. c.448p. illus. index. ISBN 978-1932361650 (Trade Paper). $18.95.
In this trim- sized (5.5 X 7.5 in.), relatively compact, uniquely- anecdotal, informative guide book intended for women, but also appropriate for men, who are traveling to Italy for the first or twenty-first time, Van Allen (author writing about Italian travel for over twenty-five media outlets including National Public Radio, Town & Country, Student Traveler, the Chicago Daily Herald, and CNN.com; author of monthly Letters from Italy column on the Divine Caroline website; former staffer for the Emmy winning sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond; based in Los Angeles; www.susanvanallen.com), an Italian-American who has been journeying to Italy since 1976 to visit relatives and explore the country, writes about her personal experiences as well as those of her friends. With passion and humor that clearly evidence her love for Italy, its cultures, and peoples, the author culls the overwhelming amount of information on Italian travel into a reasonably- sized publication consisting of thirteen sections, one hundred chapters, and at least two appendices, covering all types of Italian adventures and experiences. With women predominately in mind, Van Allen describes and recommends museums, palaces, gardens, beaches, beauty treatments, spas, caffés, restaurants, winebars, shopping, biking, hiking, skiing, boating, yoga, cooking classes, Italian crafts, fine arts, language courses, entertainment, and more. She also provides many practical details and helpful tips in relatively short, concise chapters, each of which is supplemented by “golden days” or daily itineraries, lists of websites, and recommended readings. While this publication is not available as an ebook and lacks reference maps, photographs, an Italian-English glossary, and tear-out pages, all of which would have been helpful, value-added features, it does contain much useful, insightful, nuts-and-bolts information for women travelers and others visiting Italy. Sufficiently- documented, nicely-presented, and well- organized, this delightful, easy-to-read book is highly recommended for chick-lit readers as well as general audiences. It belongs in many public library collections as an additional travel resource. Review copy (Uncorrected galley). Availability: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com
Sunday, October 18, 2009
BookSurge Publishing. 2009. 81p. bibliog. ISBN 978-1-4392-4742-6. $15.95.
In this publication, Annino (B.A., Smith College, 1978; J.D., Suffolk University, 1981; LL.M , Taxation, Boston University, 1982; partner, Boston law firm of Prince Lobel Glovsky & Tye, L.L.P.; author of many articles and publications, not limited to Women & Money, A Practical Guide to Estate Planning and Women in Family Business. What Keeps You Up at Night?), a nationally recognized authority on estate planning with more than 20 years experience serving the estate planning needs of families, individuals, and owners of closely held businesses, sets forth a to-the-point, easy-to-read guide for women professionals, business owners, executives, and others hoping to jumpstart or get-ahead with their careers and earn more money. The author sets forth important “code cracking” lessons, strategies, and tips that successful men know, but women have to learn. In seven chapters, each of which is ended by a list of strategies covered within the chapter, Annino discusses knowing your worth, setting goals, getting and negotiating a contract, partnering, creating a professional image, taking risks, persisting, and many subtopics, not limited to delegating, marketing yourself, branding yourself, playing outside the box, finding mentors, building business, becoming web savvy, improving your time management skills, being creative, and more. She fills each chapter with many valuable insights gained from years of practicing law. While numerous other books have been written for women on the topics of moving forward and getting ahead professionally, this book distinguishes itself in terms of its no-nonsense, concise, personal approach to the subject by a woman who has ascended from the lower ranks of a business organization by means of experience. Lacking an index but including a table of contents and list of selected, recommended resources, this nicely-organized, well-written, and sufficiently well-documented, publication will interest mostly general readers and some women in business hoping to find a clear, quick, and sound introduction filled with useful advice. Not comprehensive or definitive, it belongs in many large public library collections as a supplementary resource. Review copy. Availability: Amazon.com.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Arnold, Henry O. and Pearson, Ben. Kabul 24: the Story of a Taliban Kidnapping and Unwavering Faith in the Face of Terror.
Thomas Nelson. 2009. 282p. photogs. ISBN 978-1-5955-5022-4. $14.99.
Here Arnold (co-writer and producer of the film The Second Chance; screenplay writer, God’s Ambassador; author of Hometown Favorite), co-writer and co-producer of Kabul24 (Kabul24Movie.com), the documentary film upon which this book is based, and Pearson (photographer; filmmaker; co-writer and director of the cinematography for The Second Chance), director of Kabul24, retell the riveting, harrowing story of the capture and imprisonment of eight Western Christian aid workers and their sixteen, Muslim, Afghan coworkers—all of whom were employees of the international, humanitarian organization Shelter Now International (www.shelter-now.org)-- by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Beginning in August 2001, imprisoned for 3 months during one of the most volatile political windows in recent history, just before and after the 11th September 2001, the SNI eight— Peter Bunch, Dayna Curry, Katrin Jelinek, Heather Mercer, Margrit Stebner, Georg Taubmann, and Diana Thomas—teachers, engineers, nurses, students, and artists who were from countries of Western origin including Australia, Germany, and the United States, suffered interrogations, trials, the bombing of Kabul by Allied forces, and more during 105 days in captivity behind enemy lines. They had answered God’s call to help Afghan refugees rebuild their lives following decades of war, but became pawns used by extremists during the religious and political upheavals in Afghanistan just prior to and following 9/11, when they were declared a threat to Islam and the influence of the Taliban regime. Based upon primary source material drawn from raw film footage taken during the summer of 2003 and Eberhard Muehlan’s Escape from Kabul (Sydney: Strand Publishing, 2003), a collection of interviews with the former hostages conducted in 2002, letters, and court documents, this recollection primarily is an account of faith during extreme adversity when the aid workers sensed that they had been abandoned by the world. Intended to be inspirational rather than authoritative or scholarly, this easy-to-read, fast- paced, interesting, and poignant, publication, reads like a well-written novel, evoking many, perhaps mixed, emotions on behalf of readers. Retold from a seemingly objective, evangelical, Christian perspective, it develops to different extents the participants’ personalities and the events surrounding their imprisonment. The amazing and dramatic rescue of the eight SNI employees by American Special Forces, retold in the last chapter of the book, entitled “Life or Death,” proves to be particularly engaging and thought-provoking. Lacking documentary features such as footnotes, a selected bibliography, and an index, this book, which does include more than twenty, captioned, black-and-white photographs, is recommended for general audiences and public library collections. Availability: Barnes & Noble.com, Amazon.com
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Sansevieri, Penny C.. Red Hot Internet Publicity: an Insider’s Guide to Promoting Your Book on the Internet.
Newly Revised Edition. Cosimo. 2009. c279p. illus. ISBN 978-1-60520-724-7. $18.95.
As early as 2006, book publicists and marketing experts noted that traditional types of book publicity and marketing were defunct, having been replaced by various forms of communication on the Internet. Here Sansevieri (M.B.A., Katholieke Hogeschool Leuven, Belgium; CEO and founder, Author Marketing Experts, Inc.; best-selling author of five books; internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert; inventor, Virtual Author Tour), a top hands-on visionary, industry leader, and Internet publicist previously hired by four of the largest New York book publishers to mentor their staffs and leading authors, provides an easy-to-read, understandable, updated guide to Internet publicity and marketing for book authors and other interested professionals. Arranged into chapters covering all forms of social media, it addresses publicity and marketing issues as they relate to online book tours, author websites, linking and affiliate programs, search engine optimization, keywords, author blogs and blogging, tagging, podcasting, social networking, microblogging, virtual book events, virtual networking, online syndication, automating your marketing, email newsletters, e-books, press releases, and more. While not presented as a hands-on, how-to-manual, with step-by-step, nuts-and-bolts screenshots, this insightful, helpful and noteworthy overview by an expert on promoting your book (and yourself) online is packed with information, advice, and many useful value-added features, not limited to article contributions by insiders, sidebars, bonus chapters, a selected bibliography of print and online resources, and worksheets. Worthwhile, well- presented, and nicely- organized, it will be of significance, interest, and usefulness to book authors and other professionals who desire to self-promote and market on the Internet. Highly recommended for specialized and general readers, this reference publication belongs in many public library collections. Uncorrected proof. Availability: Amazon, Barnes & Noble.com
Monday, August 24, 2009
Thomas Nelson Publishers. Sept. 2009. c227p. photogs. ISBN 978-0-7852-2208-8. $22.99.
Here former Olympic gold medalist in boxing (1968) and two-time, World Heavyweight Champion (1973, 1994), Foreman (also a best-selling author of ten books; founder, George Foreman Youth and Community Development Center, Houston, TX; ordained minister; philanthropist; father of ten children), a successful entrepreneur whose portfolio includes the infamous George Foreman Lean Mean Grilling Machine, George Foreman Knockout Cleaner, a clothing line with Casual Male, and more, shares his personal secrets, principles, and strategies for business success. Defining the successful, “knockout” entrepreneur as a visionary and risk-taking, doer, who wants to succeed, is willing to do the hard work, and seizes the opportunity to grow and prosper, the author sets forth his way of doing business, which serves as the model for the “knockout” entrepreneur. In fourteen chapters that are filled with recollections of his lifetime experiences as a boxer and businessman, Foreman sketches a plan for achieving success that is based upon a plethora of real-world experiences, sound advice, good judgments, and faith in oneself and God. While the first several chapters provide the foundations for becoming successful, the remaining sections encompass ways to overcome obstacles and continue to achieve. The author covers topics not limited to recognizing and seizing opportunities, building a “corner” team, persevering, pursuing the counterintuitive, facing deal breakers, public relating, knowing your foes, overcoming obstacles, making the most of what you have, continuing to the play the game, celebrating success, and more. He ends each chapter with a list of knockout ideas in the format of questions to further stimulate readers. Nicely- presented, well- organized, and insightfully- written, this inspirational and sometimes humorous publication by one of the world’s most beloved athletes and personalities actively will engage general readers and business audiences. Unfortunately, given Foreman’s emphasis on the importance of reading for success (pp. 180-4), it lacks a selected bibliography and back-of-the book index but does include endnotes. After being purchased in print, this Nelsonfree book is available as a free, downloadable audiobook and ebook from the publisher’s website. Recommended for public library collections. Availability:Amazon, Barnes & Noble.com
Monday, August 17, 2009
Hay, Deltina. A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization: Strategies, Tactics, and Tools for Succeeding in the Social Web.
Wiggy Press, an imprint of Dalton Publishing. 2009. c416p. illus. index. ISBN 978-0-9817443-8-4. $24.95.
With the development of the constantly evolving Internet and its new technologies, more individuals and businesses are realizing that success on the Internet requires maximizing their presences in the Social Web. Here Hay (graduate education in computer science, applied mathematics, and psychology; principal owner, Dalton Publishing, and Social Media Power; founder, PlumbSocial.com; regular contributor to many journals and online news sites), an author, programmer, publisher, social media consultant, Web 2.0 developer, and dynamic presenter, provides an outstanding guide to social media and Web 2.0 optimization. Writing for authors, business owners, entrepreneurs, public relations specialists, marketing professionals, publishers, students, and others, she shows readers how to apply and integrate social media tools not limited to blogs, RSS feeds, content management systems, podcasts, videocasts, webcasts, social networks, microblogs, social bookmarks, crowd-sourcing technologies, media communities, widgets, badges, and social media newsrooms. By means of various chapters that are filled with numerous real-world examples and step-by-step screenshots, the author covers the aforementioned nuts-and-bolts technologies of the new, open-source Internet, but she also goes well beyond the basics. Setting forth proven strategies and tactics, future technologies, measurement tools, and more, Hay provides more in depth guidance from a business perspective. While her book can be read from cover-to-cover, it also can be consulted on an as-needed, chapter-by-chapter basis. It includes many useful, value-added features such as detailed appendices and a companion CD with bibliographies, directories, forms, links to other resources, and worksheets. Easy-to-read, but not a beginner’s guide, this expertly-presented, comprehensive, extensive publication will best serve readers who have some background knowledge of the social web and its tools. A significant, worthwhile resource, it belongs in many large public library collections. Highly recommended. Availability: Amazon, Barnes & Noble.com
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Lowe, Janet. Google Speaks: Secrets of the World’s Greatest Billionaire Entrepreneurs, Sergey Brin and Larry Page.
John Wiley & Sons. 2009. c315p. ISBN 978-0-470-39854-8. $19.95.
In fewer than 15 years, Google built the largest index of Web pages, dominated the Internet search industry, grew into a giant with a 1.5 million square foot headquarters in Mountain View, California plus two dozen other U.S. offices and technical centers in more than 30 countries, and became a global household name. Here the bestselling author of numerous popular business books, Lowe (Ben Graham on Value Investing, Bill Gates Speaks, Dividends Don’t Lie, with Geraldine Weiss, Jack Welch Speaks, The Man Who Beats the S&P, The Rediscovered Benjamin Graham, Ted Turner Speaks, Warren Buffett Speaks; articles appeared in more than 100 publications; frequent guest on CNBC, CNN, FOX Business Network, and PBS; former financial editor of the San Diego Tribune) retells the amazing story behind the revolutionary, public corporate colossus (more than 20,000 employees) with a market capitalization of around $123 billion and about $16 billion in annual advertising revenues. With access to family, friends, employees, and company records, the author unofficially examines the founders’ personalities and values as well as Google’s vision, culture, business strategies, new business models, philanthropic projects, future, and more. Presenting more than a mere company profile, Lowe also addresses the criticisms and controversies surrounding Google as the primary portal to the World Wide Web, including copyright infringement, antitrust issues, personal privacy, and intellectual property concerns. Nicely-written and organized, this well-presented book provides a concise overview. Lacking a bibliography and a back-of-the book index but including a historical timeline, glossary, and footnotes, it belongs on the shelves of many public libraries where general readers can read about the secretive company that has become the prototype for a successful, twenty-first century business entity. Recommended as a good introduction but not as a definitive publication. Availability: Barnes & Noble.com, Amazon.com
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Beverley, James A.. Nelson's Illustrated Guide to Religions: a Comprehensive Introduction to the Religions of the World
Thomas Nelson Publishers. 2009. c.850p. illus. photogs. index. ISBN 978-0-7852-4491-2. $39.99.
While the title and subtitle of this book suggest that it consists of a large number of illustrations and serves as a basic introduction to world religions, they are somewhat misleading since this publication is quite scholarly in its presentation and content. Here Beverley (Professor of Christian Thought and Ethics, Tyndale Seminary, Toronto, Ontario; Associate Director, Institute for the Study of American Religion, Santa Barbara, CA; author of Religions A to Z, Christ and Islam, Islamic Faith in America), a leading, evangelical, Christian scholar, attempts to present a comprehensive, detailed, up-to-date text that provides descriptions and evaluations of more than 200 religions, sects, and cults from a Christian perspective. In alphabetically- arranged chapters, varying considerably in content, depth, length, organization, and scope, the author examines hundreds of religions and sectarian movements that fall within nineteen broad categories (Baha’i, Branch Davidians, Buddhism, Christian Science, Christian Sectarian Groups, Hinduism, Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Judaism, Mormonism, The New Age, Orthodoxy, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Satanism, Scientology, Sikhism, Unification Church, and Witchcraft). He oftentimes inventories the principles and beliefs of each religion and religious movement, analyzes and critiques each, and provides critical opinion and commentary on controversial issues. Beverley sets forth additional information by means of colored photographs, detailed timelines, sidebars, biographies, question-and-answer sections, lists of recommended printed and online resources, and appendices. Well-documented, with a concise, sizable, 109- page index, this research-oriented survey may be used as a guide that can be read from cover-to-cover and/or as a reference tool. Written by a leading expert on religions, it is recommended for laypersons with some knowledge of religions as well as for graduate students, scholars, and theologians. Large public, academic, and special libraries may consider this a worthwhile purchase for supplementing book collections covering world religions, religious movements, sects, and cults.
Monday, June 29, 2009
The Ultimate Publishing House (TUPH). 2009. 223p. illus. ISBN 978-0-9819398-1-0. $34.97.
Did you know that (according to Catalyst research and advisory group) women comprise 46% of the North American workforce, but they occupy only 6% of the highest-paying positions in the largest 500 companies? While there may be many explanations for this phenomenon, the causes ultimately may be rooted in the fact that many women face unique challenges in their professional and personal lives that involve balancing their many professional and personal responsibilities within environments that were created by and developed for men. Here Dezsi and Bandola, business founders of the Canadian women’s networking organization The Power of Women Exchange (POWE; http://www.powe.ca), compile inspirational, self-help essays written by twenty, successful, entrepreneurial women as well as themselves who forged their own paths. Working in many different business fields including bookkeeping, business training, communications, consulting, direct sales, event planning, health industries, information technology, legal services, marketing, personal coaching, and real estate investing, contributors share their unique stories as well as impart advice to readers. In their concise and nicely written contributions, they cover diverse topics of interest to women, not limited to adopting positive body language, building powerful relationships, capitalizing upon one’s value, developing confidence, discovering one’s true self and passion, dressing for success, earning respect, embracing change, finding mentors and role models, following one’s dreams, juggling work and family lives, moving beyond one’s comfort zone, networking, overcoming fear, public speaking, utilizing technology in the pursuit of success, and more. Each chapter is ended by a one-page biography about its author and a black-and-white photograph of her. Contributors’ biographies include references to their authors’ businesses and websites. Intended as a “reference guide” for women as well as “a source of motivation and encouragement,” this book provides a lot of practical information, many tools, and valuable advice. It is highly recommended for women entrepreneurs as well as for others. A worthwhile purchase for many public libraries in the United States and Canada—C. A. Lajos
Monday, May 25, 2009
Kennedy, Susan and Baker, Karen. The Job Coach for Young Professionals: the Workbook for Landing the Right Job.
Intern Bridge, Inc.. 2009. 144p. ISBN 978-0-9799373-5-4. $19.95
Here experienced cofounders of Kennedy Baker Associates (now known as Career Treking, LLC)-- a career coaching organization designed to assist entry level job candidates though the job hiring process—Kennedy (B.A./B.S. Psychology/Elementary Education) and Baker (Bachelor’s degree) partner with Intern Bridge, a leading college recruiting research and consulting firm, to provide recent college graduates and young professionals who have been working for a few years with an empowering, interactive handbook filled with useful resources that will assist them in finding the right jobs in any job market. While college graduates usually are able to find employment after they graduate, the high turnover rate of 64% within the first three years of employment indicates that many young professionals graduate without the life skills that they need to begin and develop their professional careers. Here Kennedy and Baker walk young job hunters through the job search process and help them master skills they will need throughout their professional lives. Organized into 4 parts presenting the proven strategies that the authors have used to coach entry level job candidates as part of their job coaching business, this guide sets forth four steps to being successful: Assess Oneself, Prepare Oneself, Sell Oneself, and Succeed. While this workbook is not divided into chapters, its arrangement follows the aforementioned steps. The authors cover most relevant topics, not limited to envisioning one’s future, completing skills and values inventories, researching jobs, industries, and companies, setting goals, developing one’s story, writing resumes, cover letters, and thank you notes, interviewing, networking, creating a job search action plan, securing the right job, and managing one’s career. Filled with examples, diagrams, worksheets, reproducible forms, and more, this publication unfortunately lacks an index and a select bibliography of helpful, proven, printed and online resources for job seekers. Concise, clear, well- organized, and easy-to-read, it will benefit many college graduates, young professionals, and even experienced workers. Highly recommended for general readers and many public library collections (even though it primarily is intended for personal use and consumption)—C. A. Lajos
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Green, Tena. Your First Year as a Principal: Everything You Need to Know that They Don’t Teach You in School.
Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc. 2009. 288p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 978-1-60138-220-7. $24.95.l
Here former substitute secretary, teacher’s aide, and intervention specialist Green, who also is a novelist (The Catalyst, A Woman’s Touch, X-30), provides first-year principals and some principals in their positions longer with a guide to surviving and making their first years as school leaders easier and more effective. Green attempts to present new school executives with all the information that they did not learn in school as well as with the advice of veteran principals. In Chapters 1-3, she lays a plan for new school administrators, discussing how they need to assess the situations in which they find themselves, analyze the gaps between where their schools are and where they should be, and move forward to initiate and effect changes. In Chapter 4, Green briefly covers laws and litigation affecting the administration of schools, including the No Child Left Behind Act (2007), the Individuals with Disabilities Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. She includes a section on politics in education and the influence of various entities such as legislatures, special interest groups, tax payers, the media, superintendents, teachers unions, parents, private enterprises, and more. Chapters 5, 6, and 7 encompass various topics not limited to the responsibilities of principals-- dealing with teachers, parents, students, and the media—closing the gap, and end results. Chapter 8, the longest chapter, organized in a question- and- answer format, enables Green to set forth the advice of veteran principals in response to her questions on many subjects. Not a how- to- or step- by- step manual, this book provides new school leaders with the general overview and preliminary guidelines that they need to get their jobs done and be successful. It also presents some great advice from experienced school leaders. Well- researched and concisely written by a non-educator who has worked in schools in a variety of roles, this publication will serve as a useful companion to providing valuable insight and peace-of-mind. New principals should read it from cover-to-cover and learn as much as they can from it. While some new school administrators may wish to keep a copy of this publication on or close to their desks, the format and content of this book may make it slightly unwieldy as a reference tool or handbook. Recommended for first- year principals as well as for school and public library book collections-C. A. Lajos
Blacharski, Dan. The Savvy Business Traveler's Guide to the Customs and Practices in Other Countries
Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc. 2008. 288p. photogs. index. ISBN 978-1-60138-013-5. $24.95.
Here world traveler, author of six books, and professional freelance writer, Blacharski (http://www.blacharski.net) attempts to provide mostly business travelers from the United States but also Americans traveling abroad for pleasure with a comprehensive, concise guide to the business customs and practices in over 40 different countries worldwide. Dividing his book into seven sections, in chapters one through four, Blacharski first offers some sound advice to American business travelers. He stresses that in foreign countries business is never just business but may be personal and involve an understanding that business is about more than the bottom line. It may involve eating and drinking the oftentimes difficult- to- stomach foods and beverages of host countries. Blacharski advocates adopting an open attitude and willingness to try to assimilate with foreign cultures. Courteous business travelers also will attempt to learn a few words of the languages in which their foreign business counterparts converse as well as respect local customs and practices regarding bribes, gifts, religion, etiquette, and more. The author extrapolates on how a little common sense goes a long way toward being courteous and successful. He emphasizes that in the global economy, the American “way” is being displaced by many ways about which knowledge and insight are needed. The remaining sections of Blacharski’s guide cover the business customs and practices in various geographic areas of the world-- Asia and the South Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, Western Europe, the Americas, and Africa and the Middle East—while separate chapters examine the business dos and don’ts in specific countries or in the case of South Africa, regions. Each chapter includes sections on the economy, greetings, foods, religions, etiquette, business practices, and common customs. Traveler’s Tips interspersed throughout the text as sidebars present the first-hand experiences and advice of Blacharski and others. Not exhaustive in scope or depth and seemingly based upon the author’s first-hand experiences, Blacharski unfortunately omits many countries to which U.S. travelers may embark. Some of the more important countries not covered include Cambodia, Myanmar, Singapore, Nepal, Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Cuba, Morocco, Tunisia, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, and more. A bibliography of print and Internet resources should be added as well as appendices and a glossary defining unfamiliar cultural and religious terms. Finally, while the pictures accompanying this publication are attractive, they should be in color and appropriately placed at the beginning of chapters rather than at their ends. A useful but not definitive, authoritative guide to world business etiquette, travel, intercultural communications, and corporate cultures, this book will serve as a starting point for many travelers. Recommended for general business audiences and many public library collections-C. A. Lajos
Biase, Anita. Your U.S. Citizenship Guide: What You Need to Know to Pass Your U.S. Citizenship Test with Companion CD-ROM
Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc. 2008. 288p. bibliog.. index. ISBN 978-1-60138-135-4. $24.95.
This is a very useful publication for individuals thinking about, beginning, or completing U. S. naturalization, the process of becoming a United States citizen. Here Blaise (freelance writer; former teacher and author of a story in Chicken Soup for the Souls of Mothers and Sons) divides her book into three parts that are intended to make the oftentimes daunting, overwhelming, and lengthy process of naturalization seem less intimidating, simple, and achievable. In Part 1, she guides readers through what they need to know to become U.S. citizens and explains the processes they will have to complete to achieve citizenship. Blaise covers the definition of a citizen and explains the various types of applicants for citizenship. She discusses eligibility requirements as well as methods for obtaining a green card. She examines the application for citizenship (Form N-400), the citizenship test, the interview before an immigration official, and what happens after the interview. In Part 2, Blaise provides a study guide to the citizenship test, including chapters on American history and government, English- language skills, the U.S. Constitution, and the New Citizenship exam. In her final chapter of Part 2, the author presents case studies of individuals who successfully became U. S. Citizens. Blaise’s book also consists of nine appendices, a selective bibliography, glossary, and back- of- the book index as well as a companion CD-ROM that features the Form N-400 (Application for naturalization) with instructions, a 10-minute multimedia presentation on the naturalization process, naturalization guides, study materials, and more. Featuring many supplementary resources, the appendices and CD-ROM nicely complement and enhance the text. While not necessarily a definitive work, this well- organized, concisely- and clearly- presented publication belongs in most public libraries and many school libraries. Recommended-C. A. Lajos
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Jobe, Marjorie. Business Law Battle Plan for Entrepreneurs: Protect Your Company from Lawyers, Lawsuits and Legal Disasters.
Jobe Publishing Company. 2009. c320p. index. ISBN 978-0-615-23364-2. $39.95. ISBN 978-0-615-26398-4. $29.95. paper.
In this guide which is intended to serve as a basic introduction or refreshing review for entrepreneurs and their managerial staffs, business attorney Marjorie Jobe (University of Houston, J.D., University of Missouri, B.A.; Admitted 1987) makes her case that following the rules and “doing the right thing,” even though they may be legally and ethically mandated, may not be enough to protect business owners and their businesses from lawsuits, claims, and investigations by individuals, other businesses, and the government. Jobe argues that in this litigious age in order to minimize the risks of lawsuits and stay out of state and federal courts, business owners and their businesses also must secure the services of competent legal counsels as well as adopt continuously reviewed and revised “legal battle plans” that determine certain strategies, policies, and practices for running businesses. Comprehensive in scope but not depth, each chapter of this publication introduces a new topic pertaining to establishing and maintaining “business law battle plans” and is concluded by Points to Remember, Legal Cases, and Questions for Your Lawyer sections as well as a List of Resources available in print or online. Chapters cover diverse subjects, not limited to business entity formation, government investigations, marital property agreements, asset protection, business insurances, contracts, taxes, intellectual property, employment laws, human resource management, cyberspace liability, hiring and firing practices and procedures, what to do when you are being sued, and how to proceed if you decide to sue. Concisely, articulately, engagingly, and expertly presented by a legal insider who writes for new and seasoned entrepreneurs who may not have experienced the legal system and its many injustices, this informative, useful, and essential resource belongs on the desks of most, if not all, entrepreneurs and their managerial staffs as well as in most public library collections. Strongly recommended—C. A. Lajos Availability: Amazon.com,Barnes & Noble.com
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Thomas Nelson Publishers. 2009. 250p. photog. illus. bibliog.. index. ISBN: 978-1-5955-5185-6. $24.99.
In this reasonably- concise and masterfully- presented publication consisting of nine chapters, all but the last of which include an Executive Summary, McKain (Vice Chairman, Obsidian Enterprises; Vice Chairman, Durham Capital Corporation; Chairman, McKain Performance Group, Inc; Cofounder and Principal, The Value Added Institute; author of ALL Business is Show Business and What Customers REALLY Want) identifies the ubiquitous phenomenon which he terms the “collapse of distinction,” its causes, and ways individuals and organizations can differentiate, stand out, and get ahead while their competitors fail. According to McKain, the “collapse of distinction,” copycat uniformity, or overwhelming sameness is a product of capitalism, affecting individuals and organizations to the extent that it results from incremental advancements, new competitors, and familiarity that breeds complacency and boredom in an individual’s and/or organization’s customers. When customers are faced with a plethora of choices that all look the same or similar they inevitably choose the ones that are different, perceiving them to be better because they are different. This causes individuals and businesses to eventually fail, if they can not distinguish themselves. While in the first part of his book, McKain outlines the phenomenon, its causes, and how customers respond to it, in chapters 5, 6, 7, and 8, the author outlines differentiation and the 4 cornerstones for achieving distinction: clarity, creativity, communication, and customer- experience focus. Engagingly written from the gut but also based upon the author’s lifetime experiences and knowledge of the business world and business theory, this text by an expert will prove to be a “must read” classic with significant content. It also is well-documented with endnotes and several value-added features, not limited to diagrams and sections at the end of each of each chapter providing action steps, questions, and ideas, a selected bibliography including outstanding business and professional development books as well as pertinent blogs, and a reference to the website created by the author to accompany this publication and disseminate cutting-edge information. As a “Nelsonfree” product, purchasers get three formats for the price of the printed one. A free ebook and the mp3 audio version may be obtained by downloading them from the publisher’s website after entering some data and answering a simple security question. Well worth its cost, it is enthusiastically and highly recommended for general and specialized audiences as well as for many library collections not limited to those of public libraries--C. A. Lajos
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Thomas Nelson Publishers. Dec. 2008. c218p. ISBN 978-1-4002-0214-0. $24.99.
Here Robin McGraw, “New York Times”- bestselling author (Inside My Heart; From My Heart to Yours) and wife of the celebrated talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw, presents her way for living her healthiest, happiest life so far. Experiencing the untimely death of her mother, who suddenly died at fifty-eight years old from a heart attack caused by heart disease, at thirty-two years old, McGraw decided not to relive her mother’s life of self-neglect. Believing that by taking care of herself she was not being selfish but rather the best wife, mother, and woman that she could be, she chose to live her healthiest life possible and thereby in her view, her happiest. In this self-help guide that does not purport to provide professional advice or services—in fact, there are two cautionary disclaimers printed in this book, one at the front, on the verso of the title page, and one at the back of the book-- McGraw imparts worthwhile information to other women concerning aging, fitness, nutrition, skin care, menopause, hair, makeup, fashion, faith, and more. Each of the aforementioned main topics includes McGraw’s experiences, knowledge, and tips. In question-and-answer formats at the end of each chapter, members of McGraw’s team of experts, who have assisted her-- a personal trainer-nutritionist, aesthetician, pharmacist, doctors, psychologist, celebrity make-up artist, fashion guru, and hair colorist-- answer questions that her fans may have asked her over the years. Four pages of endnotes follow the text, which unfortunately, lacks a bibliography, appendices, index, pictures, diagrams, and other features that could have added to the content. While this book is dedicated to “every woman … who seeks to live with dignity and grace,” many women may not be inclined to read it. Marketed toward, but not entirely intended for middle- aged and slightly younger women, this publication constitutes a personal and general as opposed to “authoritative” and objective resource on the subjects presented within its pages, particularly since it seems to be more focused on McGraw’s “way” or “brand.” Despite its focus, many readers may find this book readable, engaging, inspirational, and useful. Recommended for general readers and most public library collections serving the needs of women-- C. A. Lajos