Sunday, December 12, 2010
Peak Performance Press, Inc.. Dec. 2010. c157p. illus. ISBN 978-0-9769506-2-2. $19.95.
Ever wonder how you can boost your performance, make your job and/or life better, become more successful, and/or ultimately happier? Winners of all kinds understand the power of 1 percent. In the case of Olympic athletes, 1 percent distinguishes the “exceptionally exceptional” from the “exceptional” competitors, the medal winners from the non-medal winners, whereas for the average person, it may seem more elusive. (p. 9) In this publication, based upon his own research and that of others, Connellan (Ph.D.; author of Bringing Out the Best in Others!), a former Program Director, company founder and CEO, as well as best selling author of ten books and numerous journal articles, sets forth what 1 percent means for an ordinary person, someone who can not be 100 percent better than everyone but can be 1 percent better at 100s of things if (s)he commits to improving. (pp. 9-10) In seven chapters that function as a call to action as well as a comprehensive plan for achieving results, the author retells the story of Ken, an average person, who reaches a turning point in his life after observing how his son’s soccer coach Jim was able to improve his son’s soccer team. Ken discusses the turnaround with Jim, who then sends him to learn from five successful 1 percenters-- a sales executive, college physics professor, prominent business owner, practicing psychologist, and former Olympic tri-athlete. These noteworthy individuals impart to Ken (and readers) their secrets, thereby providing him (and readers) with the knowledge and tools that he (and readers) needs to succeed. Packed with much useful and wise advice as well as many actionable ideas, derived from solid research in the social sciences and sciences, this inspirational, self-help guide, presented in the form of a story, will show readers how to power up and keep going at permanently higher levels in just thirty days. Of interest to anyone who wants more from work and life, it is highly recommended for all readers and most public library collections, even though it lacks a selected bibliography, footnotes/endnotes, and an index, all of which would have augmented the story and assisted readers.
Advance Readers Copy. Availability: Amazon, Barnes & Noble.com
Sunday, November 28, 2010
American Library Association Editions. 2010. c.194p. illus. index. ISBN 978-0-8389-1054-2. $65.00. Item Number: 7400-0542 (e-book, ALA e-Editions). $52.00. B0043VE3J6 (Kindle Edition). $52.00.
Existing for more than 10 years, electronic books are going mainstream. A relatively new phenomenon for many librarians and publishers, they raise many issues and challenges. In this compilation, Polanka (Head of Reference and Instruction, Wright State University Libraries, Dayton, Ohio; M. L. S., Kent State University School of Library and Information Science; “Off The Shelf” Column Writer, Booklist’s Reference Books Bulletin; Moderator, No Shelf Required blog), a reference and instruction librarian with extensive experience in public, state, and academic libraries, as well as a variety of professionals share their expertise about e-books. In nine chapters, contributors examine electronic books in relation to the Internet, student learning, school libraries, public libraries, academic libraries, and the publishing industries. They discuss topics, not limited to the history of e-books, their types, technologies, devices and software applications, pricing models, data standards, usage statistics, preservation, and future. A must-read for librarians and professionals involved with the collection development, acquisition, cataloging, and/or preservation of electronic books, this nicely- presented and well- documented publication, with easy-to-read, insightful essays by experts, provides a significant, solid foundation for further practice and research. It is strongly recommended for many school, public, and academic library collections as a primary professional resource that can be read in its entirety or by chapter, as needed. Review copy. Availability: Amazon.com, Amazon (Kindle Edition), Barnes & Noble.com
Rose Dog Books. 2010. c69p. ISBN 978-1-4349-9791-3. $11.00. ISBN 978-1-4349-4123-7 (pdf ebook). $6.00. B003DYGOGE (Kindle Edition). $6.00.
When Dorothy M. Buse’s mother was moved into the Alzheimer’s unit of a small assisted living home, Dot told her husband Frederic W. Buse, the author of this book, that if she got the disease too, she did not want to be put into a similar facility. Buse promised his wife that he would not do so. (pp. 7-8) In 1997, Dot was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She died nine years later in June 2006. In this brief, well-written story, Buse (New York Maritime College, Marine Engineering, 1958), a retired engineer from Ingersoll Rand Company and the writer of many book chapters and industrial journal articles, sets forth his personal account of his journey coping with his wife’s Alzheimer’s disease. The author shares his “experiences, ideas,” and any “insight gained” (introduction), hoping that his many tips (over one hundred) “may help other caregivers who choose” to care for “their loved ones at home.” (back- of- the book summary) In five chapters, averaging eleven pages each, Buse describes the onset of his wife’s Alzheimer’s and many other relevant topics including diagnosis, lifestyle adjustments, legal matters, social security, medical bills, Medicare, support organizations, patient behaviors, physical and emotional changes, the progression of the disease, hygiene, food and meals, medications, hospice care, his wife’s death, memorial services, and after-death issues. While this publication is not by standard definitions authoritative, since it is told from a layperson’s or an ordinary person’s viewpoint and it lacks appropriate documentation such as a selected bibliography, endnotes/footnotes, and appendices of additional resources, it’s first- hand account and seemingly practical advice may be helpful in some ways to caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients, who may be looking for an understandable guide that they can read in one sitting or a few hours. The back- of- the book “table of contents” by chapter, which lists the subjects covered in each chapter by heading but lacks pagination, may be used to record the page numbers upon which certain topics are discussed and/or to take notes. Reasonably well- presented and compassionately retold, but by no means authoritative or comprehensive, this book will interest mostly early stage Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. It is recommended for some public libraries as a supplementary resource only and should not serve as a substitute for other publications and advice written for caregivers that cover the disease and patient care from the most authoritative, comprehensive, and updated viewpoints. Patients and their caregivers always should consult the most appropriate resources and experts for the best, most comprehensive, and up- to- date information and advice when coping with major medical issues and life events. Review book. 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: Amazon.com (print), Amazon (Kindle Edition), Rose Dog Bookstore
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Book Review: Klaben, Gary. Changing the Conversation: Transformational Steps to Financial and Family Well-Being.
Navigator Press. 2010. c.299p. bibliog.. ISBN 978-0-9828009-0-4. $24.95.
Let’s face it. Most of us probably “have issues” with money. Money oftentimes gets in the way when it should not. It has an enormous power over us. It causes dysfunctional behaviors, debauches, defiles, and demoralizes. In short, money can enslave us, if we let it become our master. (p. 267-74) In this book, which was written in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, during the 2008-09 recession, Klaben (President, Owner, Financial Advisor, Coyle Asset Management, Glenview, IL; President, Protinus; Master of Science, Financial Services, The American College, 1995; Chartered Financial Consultant, The American College, 1989; Bachelor of Science, United States Military Academy, West Point, 1979), a renowned financial advisor and consultant, sets forth a “call to action” for individuals, families, and businesses, arguing that our conversations about money need to change, if Americans are to achieve a better future. (p. 33) Intending a “journey from dependency to mastery,” the author compiles a series of “conversations” that are meant to function as a “how-to guide to financial realization” (p. 21), a comprehensive strategy for multigenerational financial security and well-being. Each “conversation” or chapter focuses on how individuals, families, businesses, and the world are changing. They were written to help us anticipate future changes, prepare to manage them, and even lead. (p. 32) Kleban discusses a variety of topics, not limited to financial awareness, KASH (knowledge, attitude, skills, and habits), choosing one’s path, how the brain learns, setting goals, the psychology of money, the importance of financial mentors and mentoring, risk management, the significance of understanding and taming complexity, navigating life’s storms and currents, retirement, true worth, property, passing wealth to future generations, and growing greatness. Sufficiently well-documented, based upon the notion of the three stages of life—youth (i.e. learning), middle age (i.e. earning), and old age (i.e. yearning)-- and filled with excellent advice, drawn from many of the author’s own personal and professional experiences, this thought-provoking and noteworthy publication, dealing with the emotional (non-financial) aspects of money, will serve as a must-read for most of us and the precursor to transforming our financial livelihoods and legacies. (p. 282-3) Appealing to general and some specialized audiences, it is highly recommended for most public library book collections. Review copy. Availability: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Cost-Saving Options for the Suddenly Unemployed and Anyone Else Who Wants to Save Money. Health Advocate Publishing. 2009. c.75p. illus. ISBN 978-0-9840696-0-6. $6.95. Kindle Edition (e-Book). $2.95
Written with the goal of helping Americans “’survive’” the current healthcare system that is not yet affordable, transparent, or accessible, this brief, clearly-presented, easy-to-read, practical publication, by Rosen (Cofounder, Chief Marketing Officer, and Executive Vice President, Health Advocate, Inc.), an accomplished marketing executive with broad-based experience in brand building, and Leibowitz (Cofounder, Chief Medical Officer, Executive Vice President, Health Advocate, Inc.; M.D.; Board Certified, Pediatrics; Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics), a nationally recognized authority on managed care, clinical management, quality assurance, and medical data and information systems, purports to be a complete guide for unemployed workers who have lost their employer-based health insurance, those persons struggling to find affordable healthcare, and others striving to save on their medical costs. Divided into eleven short chapters averaging five pages each, it covers COBRA, low-cost health insurance and medical services, government programs including Medicaid and Medicare, comparison shopping for coverage, cost-cutting strategies, reducing your medical bills, discounted and free medications, taking charge of your health, and much more. Its attractive graphics, charts, illustrations, and periodic updates complement and supplement the text, which is available free for a limited time from the book’s companion website. Timely, informative, useful, and inspiring, this publication is highly recommended as a very basic resource for most, if not all, public library collections. Review copy. Availability: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com
Book Review: Deysine, Maximo. The Old Man’s Passion for Medicine: Would a 1920 Medical Graduate Feel Just as Proud?
Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc.. 2010. 124p. ISBN 978-1-4349-0521-5. $14.00. ISBN 978-1-4349-1966-3. (eBook) $9.00.
In this fiction book, which may be autobiographical, Deysine (M.D., University of Buenos Aires, Argentina; resident, St. Raphael’s Hospital, New Haven, CT and Bellevue Hospital Center, New York, NY; Fellow, American College of Surgeons; Board Certified, Surgery and Thoracic Surgery), now deceased (1931-2009) but formerly a professor of surgery, practicing physician, and author of many books, reflects upon the good and bad aspects of the United States’ healthcare system. Using various literary devices, including an old photograph and two main characters, the author introduces readers to his thoughts about its current and future conditions. Deysine’s story begins when the “old man,” the author’s main voice and stand-in, a distinguished surgeon practicing medicine somewhere in the United States, encounters an old photograph of medical students from the Class of 1921 in his basement library. The photograph inspires the aging physician to ask himself the question: would these young doctors “feel just as proud” today about their profession and the status of the healthcare system? While the old man concludes that they would (p. 4), he forgets the question arising from the photograph until Franco Tosato, a freelance reporter seeking to write a lengthy exposé on the “real” status of medicine in the United States, approaches him for an extended interview over several months of shadowing the surgeon. (p. 26) Distrustful of reporters, the old doctor agrees to the interview, provided that he will be able to make reference to the history of medicine and how the discipline has improved. (p. 27) Intent on promoting the history of medicine and its advances (p. vi), he believes that such knowledge is crucial to understanding its current state of affairs (p. 27) During ensuing encounters, many of which are described in chapters entitled “Getting to Know Each Other,” “At the Doctors Lounge,” “The Transplantation of a Foreign Surgical Resident,” “The Hernia,” “Coronary Care,” “Enter the Merchants,” “Thickening the Plot,” the old surgeon, the reporter, and supporting characters discuss many pertinent topics, not limited to informed consent, malpractice, advertising, religion and the practice of medicine, on being an immigrant doctor, the training of doctors, advances in medicine, healthcare administration, the disempowerment of medical staffs, medical billing and record keeping, medical bureaucracies, and doctor- patient relationships. Ending on a hopeful, utopian note, the story indicates ways in which the status of medicine and the healthcare system may be improved and ultimately perfected. Constituting one successful doctor’s assessment of and vision for medicine and the delivery of healthcare services in the United States, this publication will interest doctors, healthcare professionals, some general readers, and others. Concise, well- written, thoughtfully- conceived, artfully- presented, and enjoyable to read, it is highly recommended for public libraries and some special library collections. 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: Amazon.com, Dorrancebookstore.com
Monday, September 6, 2010
Burnett, John and Carroll, Becky. How Marketing Can Help Lawyers Make More Money: Targeted at Solo and Mid-sized Practices. (Book Review)
Outskirts Press, Inc.. 2010. c.235p. illus. ISBN 978-1-4327-4579-0. $35.95. ISBN 1432745794 (e-Book). $5.00.
Strategic marketing may not be highly regarded by many law firms. Yet, in today’s brutally competitive marketplace, strategic marketing may be crucial to survival and prosperity. This reality may be particularly true for solo and mid- sized law firms that neither have the resources nor the motivation to learn and implement strategic marketing. In this noteworthy publication, Burnett (President, John Burnett Marketing; Professor Emeritus, Marketing, University of Denver; author of twenty books on marketing- related topics and sixty- five journal articles; Doctor of Business Administration, Marketing, University of Kentucky, 1976), a consultant specializing in strategic marketing for small to medium- sized, businesses, non- profit organizations, and law firms, and Carroll (Community Manager, Verizon, San Diego, California; Founder and President, Petra Consulting Group/Customers Rock!; author of the business blog Customers Rock!; Instructor, “Marketing via New Media,” University of California, San Diego; M.B.A., California State University), a long- time customer advocate, consultant, speaker, and more, provide a comprehensive examination of strategic marketing for solo and mid- sized law practices. In twelve chapters, they cover all topics relating to strategic marketing, including but not limited to, marketing planning and research, situational analysis, S.W.O.T., target market(s), clients and their decision- making processes, legal products, pricing in the legal sector, distribution channels, integrated marketing communications, personal selling for lawyers, social media marketing, budgeting for legal marketing, and evaluation of strategic marketing and marketing initiatives. Written by experts, this book is authoritative, intelligently- conceived, and reasonably well- presented, even though it lacks a selected bibliography, footnotes or endnotes, a back-of-the book index, and a glossary, all of which should have been included as necessary aids for readers. It features many diagrams that help to illustrate and augment the text. Of interest to mostly lawyers, legal marketers, and some business professionals, this informative, go- to resource belongs in some public and special library book collections serving the needs of the aforementioned groups. Highly recommended. Review copy. Availability: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, Outskirts Press (eBook)
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Hultin, Lisa and Hultin, Claire. Love, Sex & Deception: the Chronicles of Online Dating. (Book Review)
Morgan James Publishing. 2010. c.218p. ISBN 978-1-60037-775-4. $17.95.
In light of the fact that online dating has moved into the mainstream, with more than 800 dating sites and 60 million subscribers (p. 4), this publication written by a daughter and mother, who have dated online, compared notes, and “actually survived!” is timely and relevant. By Lisa Hultin (B.A., Telecommunications, Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia; freelance writer, Tao Entertainment and LoveSexandDeception.com), a resident of Atlanta, Georgia, and Claire Hultin (freelance writer, Tao Entertainment; author of The Doctrine of Lucid Dreaming; writer of socio-political excerpts for Srilankaguardian.org; founder of www.dreaminglucidly.com; owner of Electronic Novelties, LLC), a resident of Los Angeles, California, it purports to be an entertaining read as well as an informative guide consisting of stories, advice, tips, and tricks for online daters and others. It also is intended to serve as a “‘comfort book’” for persons who may be in “‘dating limbo,’” while experiencing the cyber world of online dating. (p. 1) Covering online dating as well as in-person dating, since many online dating experiences evolve in the latter, it is organized into themed chapters covering the “new frontier,” sexuality online, dates who lie, college kids and online dating, disaster dates, scammers, illegal activities, swingers, manners, good protocol, and more. Each chapter includes an introduction written by the authors, their commentary and responses, as well as online dating stories contributed by individuals, most of whom are women and many of whom reside in larger cities in the United States, not limited to Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York. Presenting eye-opening views of what daters most likely will encounter when they plunge into cyber dating, the contributions are real, anecdotal, seemingly truthful, and sometimes emotionally evocative. They cover the gamut of online dating experiences. From them, you may learn how to protect your affections, trust, and time, positive strategies for finding true love and avoiding deception as well as the do’s and don’ts of online and in-person dating. While this book is entertaining and to some extent informative and educational, it needs better documentation and presentation. Firstly, in some cases, the stories only are signed with contributors’ first names and locations. In other cases, contributions are anonymous or signed with first names only. While this obviously protects the identities of storywriters and encourages their more complete and truthful disclosures, confessions, and recollections, it also leaves readers in the precarious position of having to judge whether what they are reading is in fact “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,” as they would say in a law court. Secondly, this book lacks footnotes or endnotes, a bibliography, and an index, all of which should have been included for readers. Finally, it includes many spelling errors. Written by authors who have gained their expertise from firsthand experiences and including contributions by participants, it mainly will interest readers who have experienced online dating or want to learn more about it. Not a reference book or how-to-manual, it is recommended as a supplementary resource for many public libraries, particularly for those found in large and medium-sized cities, where the online dating and in-person dating scenes may be more active and developed. Review copy. Availability: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Dorrance Publising Co., Inc.. 2010. c.47p. ISBN 978-1-4349-0665-6. $9.00. ISBN 978-1-4349-5439-8 (e-Book). $5.00.
In this very brief publication, King (LPN, RN, M.B.A.), a critical care nurse for eighteen years and now involved in healthcare business and finance, remembers working as Licensed Practical Nurse on the Intensive Care Units in several hospital settings while she was studying to become a Registered Nurse. She publishes her memories in the form in which she found them while “spring cleaning” the storage space under the roof of her garage, her diary that she kept from June 1975 until April 1982 in which she recorded personal and professional milestones, the latter in the form of “nursing notes.” Honest and insightful, King’s entries recount what it was like to be a nurse as well as care for critically-ill patients on a regular basis. Covering diverse topics with much humor, signs of growth, and increasing confidence, she describes being rotated from one unit to another, becoming an ICU nurse, caring for her sick mother, interacting with her coworkers and doctors, patients’ families, administering treatments, observing various operations, and more. Lacking a glossary of terms, abbreviations, and acronyms, which would be helpful for readers unfamiliar with some of the medical terminologies used by the author, this book, nevertheless, will be of interest to general readers and those individuals considering healthcare careers, perhaps in nursing. It is recommended for some public libraries as an enjoyable, supplementary resource. 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: Amazon.com, Dorrance Bookstore
Simple Truth Publishing. 2010. c130p. illus. bibliog. ISBN 978-0-9825514-1-7. $12.95. ISBN 9780982551424 (e-Book). $7.99.
Most of us probably do not like reading about troublesome situations and/or people, but every once in a while a reality check is a good thing, particularly if it can help us avoid bad experiences. In this humorously- and generously- illustrated (more than eighty illustrations), self-help publication, Dr. Ed Slack (B.S., Psychology, & M.S., Clinical Psychology, California State University, Sacramento; Ph.D, Clinical Psychology, Sierra University, Sacramento), a psychologist with more than 25 years experience working with people who are both manipulative and gifted, discusses a kind of person you may have encountered with disastrous consequences, the “two legged snake.” According to the author, the two legged snake (TLS) or bipedal snake (BS) is a manipulator, who comes in all forms and from all walks of life. Slack describes this kind of individual in terms of various categories, not limited to the Primary and Secondary (pp. 7-10) as well as the Day to Day (D2D) and Public Level. (p. 23) Beyond the aforementioned classifications, Slack discusses the 13 different forms or types of two legged snakes: the Charmer, Backstabber, Bombast Entertainer, Bilker, Decorated, Misdirector, Rhetorical, Situational, Media Maven, Lost, Lifer, Justified, and the King Cobra. (pp. 24-38) Intending to help readers and non-readers identify the various kinds of manipulators, the author also presents the types of people or “fans” who surround them, the persuasive techniques used by bipedal snakes, and their biting styles. He offers advice and tips for handling and dealing with TLS and for “making the world a less snaky place.” Addressing persons who are going through difficulties as well as everyone, since we all have “snakes in our heads,” the author sets forth keys for perceiving and overcoming deception. He suggests how readers can make good choices, not be deceived, and gain the skills to realize when they are being duped. Helpful and thoughtful, albeit on levels that may be superficial to some individuals, this humorous, fast-paced guide on a serious subject by an experienced expert will interest general readers and others. Offered for purchase with a back-of-the-book, selected bibliography and a reproducible two legged snake spotters’ checklist as well as with a downloadable bonus chapter and a money back guarantee on the book’s website, it is recommended for many public libraries as fun, supplementary, introductory, self-help manual. Review Book. Availability: Amazon.com, Twoleggedsnakes.com
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Linenberger, Michael. Master Your Workday Now! Proven Strategies to Control Chaos, Create Outcomes and Connect Your Work to Who You Really Are.
New Academy Publishers. 2010. c.344p. illus. bibliog.. index. ISBN 978-097493044-2. $19.95.
Many of us are familiar with this scenario. You just have walked in the door at work and turned on your computer. Not only are you faced with your boss standing at your office door or cubicle but your inbox and voice mail box are full again and the pile of work from yesterday that was sitting on your desk remains even though you stayed late last night trying to eliminate it. Overwhelmed, you take a deep breath. You feel like you have too much to do in too little time. Where to begin? How to begin? These are two questions passing through your mind. In this nicely- presented and expertly- argued self help book, Linenberger (management consultant and technology professional for more than 20 years; formerly, Vice President, Accenture; Head, U.S. Peace Corps’ technology department; author of three books including Total Workday Control Using Microsoft Outlook, 2nd Edition), an efficiency expert and renowned international consultant, speaker, and seminar leader, attempts to help those suffering from the abovementioned scenario, “workday chaos.” He presents his brilliantly- conceived “Workday Now” system for anyone who wants greater results at work, less stress, and deeper satisfaction from his or her employment situation and thereby life in general. Explaining how work is largely a mental game, Linenberger argues that “urgent” tasks that must be completed by the end of the workday should take precedence over merely “important ones” or less time-sensitive endeavors. In his breakthrough “Workday Mastery Pyramid,” modeled after psychologist Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, he advocates getting control of your workday by managing Urgency Zones, creating your outcomes by using Now Goals and Goal Activation, and connecting your work with who you are and what will fulfill you. In each of the three sections of his book covering the control, create, and connect sequences of his Pyramid, the author presents specific strategies and tools for helping you reach the top. You will learn how to utilize the “urgency zone” concept to create a Workday Mastery To-Do-List, overcome email overload, create Now Goals, Activate Goals, connect with yourself and your life’s work, and more. For the most part fast-paced, easy-to-read, and understandable, this somewhat lengthy publication contains many helpful value-added features not limited to illustrations, diagrams, and two appendices containing a quick start Workday Mastery Toolkit and a list of recommended print and non-print resources. The author also provides downloadable tools and templates on his masteryourworkday.com website that enable you to implement his system while additional resources such as a daily planner are being published. For anyone who wants to transform his or her work and thereby personal lives as well as bring the two closer together, this book will appeal to general and specialized readers. It is highly recommended for many public, academic, and special libraries. Review copy. Availability: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Iapalucci, Havilah Diane. Come Travel with Me! An ESL Language Discussion Textbook for International Students.
Rose Dog Books. 2010. c268p. illus. ISBN 978-1-4349-9680-0. $23.00.
Here Iapulacci (B.A., History, Minor, Education, Rutgers University; Teaching Certificate, High School Social Studies; author of Impressions of Modern Korea: An ESL Language Discussion Textbook (2008)), a teacher who was born and raised in New Jersey, has created a publication with several purposes. Firstly, she has written a textbook for students learning English. The result of the her experiences teaching English as a Second Language in Washington, D.C., New York City, New Jersey, Afghanistan, Korea, and China, it helps students learn the spoken language of English by means of thirty short readings, called “topics,” organized chronologically according to the author’s lifetime experiences. Vocabulary lists as well as comprehension and discussions questions end each chapter. Secondly, Iapalucci nurtures students’ travel inspirations. According to the author, all students relish the subject of travel. Topics cover many locations, not limited to cities and attractions in New Jersey, California, Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Iran, Turkey, Greece, Italy, England, New York, Washington, D.C., Virginia, South Korea, North Korea, and China. Finally, the author presents her text as a memoir. Educated to teach high school social studies, Iapalucci wore many professional hats. She served as a language instructor in the Peace Corps in Afghanistan and then became the Supervisor of American Ambassador John Volpe’s household in Rome, Italy. She was hired as the Legislative Aide to Republican Congressman Burt Talcott of California. She taught history in Allendale, South Carolina and more. Fore the most part, this book fulfills its many purposes, but it could be made better. As a textbook, it could be improved by boldfacing vocabulary words in the readings rather than listing them at the end of topics. Also, the author could include a bibliography of related print and electronic resources, maps, and an index. The illustrations, which are located in the center of the book, need to be interspersed with the text at the appropriate points or referenced in the prose. Additional photographs pertaining to the various countries where Iapalucci lived or visited would be welcome and useful for fostering conversations. Some of the aforementioned suggestions also would inspire students’ love of travel as would more information about the histories and cultures of the featured nations. As a memoir, Iapalucci’s text is detailed, honest, and compelling, but it passes over many personal issues and stories that the author could have addressed. Appropriate for students and some general readers, this publication may be a suitable and worthwhile purchase for some libraries. Recommended. Review copy. 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: Amazon.com, Rose Dog Bookstore
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Dowd, Nancy, Evangeliste, Mary, and Silberman, Jonathan. Bite-Sized Marketing: Realistic Solutions for the Overworked Librarian.
American Library Association. 2010. c.140p. index. ISBN 978-0-8389-1000-9. $48.00.
Writing upon the premise that worthwhile, ten-minute, marketing fixes for libraries are unattainable, but that library marketing does not have to be grand, here Dowd (Director of Marketing, New Jersey State Library, Trenton, NJ), Evangeliste (Director, User Services and Outreach, Musselman Library, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA), and Silberman (Owner, Fearless Future; Graphic Designer, American University Library, Washington, D.C.) show how library marketing can be integrated into the everyday work experiences of librarians and library staff and still be manageable. They have created a book presenting ideas and strategies to help librarians and others articulate the value of libraries. Based mainly upon word-of-mouth marketing but incorporating other marketing techniques, including storytelling, electronic resource marketing, public relations, outreach, advocacy, Web 2.0 tools, design, branding, best practices, and more, the authors present an assortment of simple and cost-effective marketing solutions for small to medium-sized libraries. Easy-to-read, insightful, and nicely-presented, with lists, examples, worksheets, and more, this publication, which functions as a quick informative resource rather than a detailed how-to manual or comprehensive reference book, will be of interest mostly to public librarians and others desiring to articulate the value of libraries and library services. Recommended. Review copy. Availability: Amazon.com
, Barnes & Noble.com
Sunday, April 4, 2010
With a chapter by Joyce Saricks. American Library Association. 2010. c.109p. bibliog.. appendices. index. ISBN 978-0-8389-1017-7. $45.00.
Based upon his many years of experience writing book reviews and presenting review writing workshops, Hooper (B.A., European History, and M.L.S., Master’s of Library Science, Eastern Illinois University; graduate work, European history, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; author of The Short Story Readers’ Advisory (2000), The Fiction of Ellen Gilchrist (2005), Read On … Historical Fiction (2006), and The Fiction of Alice Munro (2008)), an Adult Books Editor at Booklist, the flagship review journal for public and school librarians, which is published by the American Library Association, has provided a concise, how-to manual for writing reviews. Used mostly by librarians, prior to the time that publications are published and afterwards, by librarians, other professionals, and members of the general public, reviews are instrumental resources for providing readers’ advisory, building library collections, and promoting libraries, institutions, and publications. Varying in length, they are distinguishable from criticism and written annotations and are comprised of two crucial elements: a section telling readers what the publication is about and another setting forth why it is good and/or not-so-good. Consisting mostly of eight chapters, each averaging ten pages, the author’s book covers most aspects of reviews and reviewing. In the first three chapters, which are introductory and provide the overall context for writing reviews, Hooper covers marketing through reviewing, distinguishes reviews from criticism, and discusses the two kinds of reviews, pre- and post- publication reviews. In the main part, comprised of chapters four through six, the author then presents the components of nonfiction and fiction reviews, the features of good reviews, and the characteristics making good reviewers. In chapter seven, Hooper provides advice and guidelines for organizing and leading review writing workshops. Chapter eight, a contribution by Joyce Saricks (B.A. University of Kansas; M.A., Comparative Literature, University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.A., Library Science, University of Chicago), a professor, librarian, author, and authority on readers’ advisory services in public libraries, covers a subtopic of writing reviews, writing audiobook reviews, which has unique aspects due to the format of the publications being reviewed. In two appendices, Hooper further supplements his text by discussing writing annotations and his favorite reviewers and their reviews. Filled with much useful, excellent, and pertinent information, tips, advice, ideas, and many examples of Hooper’s published book reviews, this concise, thoughtfully- presented, nicely- organized, general, and sufficiently well- documented, nuts-and-bolts, how-to book, by an experienced professional, with a chapter contribution by a noted expert, will appeal to librarians, writers, book review bloggers, and others interested in writing book and audiobook reviews for websites, book clubs, newsletters, newspapers, magazines, professional journals, and other publications. It is recommended for public and academic library book collections. Review copy. Availability: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com
Monday, March 15, 2010
RoseDog Books. 2005. c.108p. illus. index. ISBN 978-0-8059-9407-0. $13.00. ISBN 978-0-8059-9407-0. $8.00 (E-book).
In this computer guide, intended for seniors and beginners, now retired Papafagos, with over twenty-four years of experience working with computers at Sweet Home Schools in Amherst, New York, The Research Triangle Institute in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and Lockheed Martin in Rivera Beach, Florida, introduces readers to computers, word processing, the Internet, and e-mail by means of easy-to-understand instructions and short, graphic dialogue boxes displayed in a step-by-step manner. Using the Microsoft Windows 2000 operating system and Microsoft Word, the author covers the aforementioned subjects in forty-one, brief chapters, averaging 2 pages each. In the first two sections of her publication, which comprise almost three quarters of her book, Papafagos sets forth information on the Windows operating system and word processing. She discusses numerous topics, not limited to computer hardware and maintenance, navigating within Windows, changing settings, the control panel, keyboarding shortcuts, formatting documents, saving, editing, and printing documents, working with multiple programs or documents, and manipulating computer files. In the last twenty or thirty pages, the author then proceeds to cover the Internet, searching the Internet, and Email. Her chapter on email is the longest one in the book at eleven pages, but it is not necessarily the best. It presents information on composing email, sending, receiving, replying to, and forwarding email, using the address book, uploading and downloading attachments, chat rooms, message boards, and newsgroups. While this publication has many features that make it a good guide for beginners, it also has other characteristics that limit its effectiveness and usefulness. Concise, clear, well-written, and adequately- illustrated, it also is slightly disorganized, outdated, and in need of additional content. The author needs to consider revising the order of the chapters so a more intuitive approach is taken. She should consider grouping chapters by sections and moving some chapters such as the one on “Internet Favorites” to appendices. Papafagos needs to adopt standard book publishing conventions, including a table of contents, sections, and numbered chapters. She needs to redo the index and reorganize it so that index terms do not consist of chapter headings beneath which subheadings are found. Index terms should be keywords that are filed alphabetically. The author also needs to update this edition to cover newer operating systems, software programs, and Internet applications. A chapter on Microsoft Excel would be useful. Papafagos may need to modify the book’s title or include more content for seniors. Its current title is slightly misleading since the book has not been customized for older readers. Finally, the author needs to include screenshots that are better labeled, a back-of-the book glossary of computer terms, a select bibliography, and appendices. This reference guide by an experienced computer professional will best serve readers who only possess basic computer skills and are learning computers on older operating systems and by means of older software packages. In need of reorganization, updating, and revision, it is not recommended for libraries. Review Copy. 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: RoseDog Books
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Thomas Nelson, Inc.. 2009. 217p. illus. index. ISBN 978-1-5955-5274-7. $24.99.
In this well-written, thoughtfully-conceived, and nicely-illustrated publication, which includes several pertinent chapter heading quotes, diagrams, tables, and cartoons, Irwin (Ph.D, industrial/organizational and clinical psychology, Georgia State University, Atlanta; M.A. and B.A., University of Georgia, Athens; licensed psychologist; Adjunct Professor, Psychology, University of Georgia and Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida; Managing Partner, IrwinInc.; http://www.DrTimIrwin.com), author of Run with the Bulls without Getting Trampled, speaker, and authority on leadership development, organizational effectiveness, and executive selection, sets forth his findings and views on executives who “derail” (like trains) in workplaces, a process which may occur suddenly or over time as a consequence of many misguided actions. According to the author, many extremely talented and competent leaders oftentimes fail due to flaws in their characters that indicate their lack of authenticity, self-management, humility, and courage. In fifteen chapters, comprising four major sections, Irwin presents profiles in derailment, describes the process of derailment, and sets forth ways to stay on the rails for the short term and long haul. In the first part, covering the failures of six well-known executives of major corporations in separate chapters that serve as case studies—Robert Nardelli, Carly Fiorina, Durk Jager, Steven Heyer, Frank Raines, and Dick Fuld—the author attempts to humanize the phenomenon and make it universally relevant. In the second section, he describes the five stages of derailment: failure of self/other-awareness, hubris, missed early warning signs, rationalizing, and finally derailment. The third part provides some how-to information for “staying on the rails” by developing your character. The final chapters cover five critical lessons Irwin has learned on the subject and “habits of the heart” that must be cultivated including openness, self/other awareness, listening to early warning signs, accountability, and resiliency. The author has drawn upon his background as a clinical and industrial/organizational psychologist and his twenty years experience as a management consultant in order to produce this authoritative, superior publication. Interspersed with many personal stories and anecdotes, this timely, invaluable, useful handbook is sufficiently compelling and engaging, even though the first part is not investigative journalism and relies on the summation of available public information. (p. xvi) For the most part, Irwin’s presentation of the material is intelligent and well done, although his failure to number sections and chapters may disconcert many readers. Intended for business leaders, this book will interest individuals of all types. Sufficiently well-documented with endnotes, but not a select bibliography, it is highly recommended for many public and some academic and special libraries. As a Nelsonfree product, it is available for free in audio book and ebook format from the publisher’s website once the printed version has been purchased. Additional no cost resources, not limited to a Derailed assessment, newsletter, audio and video downloads, are available on the book’s website, http://www.derailedleader.com . Review copy. Note: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. Availability: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, Bookschristian.com,Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Del Russo, Dawn. 101 Glam Girl Ways to an Ultra Chic Lifestyle: A Cheeky Book with Tidbits of Advice for a Glamorous Lifestyle.
With illustrations by Barbara Ann Scarrillo. BookSurge Publishing. 2009. 110p. illus. ISBN 978-1439256336. $14.99.
In this publication, Del Russo (Fashion Merchandising and Design, Parsons School of Design, 2002; B.S., Business Management, Wagner College, 2001; contributing fashion writer for select online magazines), an up-and-coming fashion stylist and founding owner of a successful, storefront and online, clothing and accessory boutique Bella Dawn, with the assistance of Scarrillo (Fashion Institute of Technology; Owner, Brushstrokes), a graphic designer from New York City with over twenty years experience, provides a pocket-sized, guide book for women, who may be searching for budget friendly glamour and quick, easy ways to go beyond their everyday fashion, beauty, and/or lifestyle routines. By means of 101 tips, each of which is boldly-presented and colorfully-illustrated on a separate page, the author sets forth practical and realistic advice that may have financial consequences. Covering clothing, jewelry, accessories, cosmetics, hair, personal hygiene, self-presentation, health, body, mind, work, home, travel, entertainment, and more, Del Russo focuses on outward and inward aspects of glamour, thereby broadening the scope of the subject and suggesting that there is more to the topic. For the author, glamour is more than skin deep. It goes beyond appearances and constitutes a mindset and way of life. While many of Del Russo’s recommendations may relate partly to socially- and culturally-accepted standards of decorum and fashion—ex. Tip #23 Wear deodorant … (p. 31)—and others are not new but rather longstanding and true—ex. Tip #13 Find a little black, “‘must-have”’ dress …(p. 21)—most if not all her “tidbits” are original, to the extent that they combine fashion, beauty, and/or lifestyle tips into unique statements. For example, on the subject of shoes, in Tip #42, Del Russo proclaims, “Slip into a pair of designer pumps. … Every girl should own at least one pair, right?” Yes, true, probably every “girl” or woman should own a pair of pumps, a well-known, widely-disseminated fashion principle. Del Russo further implies by the wording of Tip #42 that if you can not afford to own more than one pair of pumps, than at least buy a designer brand. The author believes quality matters and it usually is an excellent indicator of beauty and style, although not the only factor. For all women, but particularly for younger, single women, who may be “home alone on a Friday night” and more able to “dress red carpet style” (Tip #69, p.77) without a husband and/or children around, this well-presented, nicely-illustrated, unique, delightful, easy-to-read book serves as a useful, fun, beauty guide. While it is not comprehensive, it may serve as a good, first start for many women, who may need a little fashion, beauty, and/or lifestyle help to move beyond the everyday. A great personal gift, it also belongs in some public libraries as a complimentary, fashion, beauty, and/or lifestyle resource as well as an enjoyable read. Recommended. Review copy. Amazon.com, Bella Dawn.com
Sunday, January 31, 2010
With Bruce Makous. TowPath Publications. 2009. 464p. illus. bibliog.. index. ISBN 978-0-9776686-1-8. $14.95.
Due to millions of dollars being spent on unnecessary tests and incorrect treatments, technology- based healthcare in the United States has caused an economic squeeze that already has led to rationing of medical care and services. Here Makous, a noted, now retired, extensively trained and credentialed, primary care cardiologist, who practiced in Philadelphia, PA until 2000 (M.D., University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison, WI, 1947; American Board of Medical Specialties Certification, Internal Medicine, 1957; Subspecialty Certification, Cardiovascular Disease, 1961; faculty of The University of Pennsylvania Medical School, 1959-1995, and Thomas Jefferson Medical University, 1994; formerly, Regional President, American Heart Association; Distinguished Achievement Award, American Heart Association of Pennsylvania; author of "The Road Taken" (2006); http://www.normanmakous.com), with the enthusiastic, thematic and directional support of his son Bruce, a leading healthcare fundraiser and published author (Riding The Brand (2004) and Virtually Dead (2006); http://www.brucemakous.com), proposes that the patient-doctor relationship that was displaced by technology be returned to its central, fundamental position in the delivery of medical care and services in order to humanize treatment, improve the quality of care, reduce unnecessary spending and ineffective practices, increase doctor-patient satisfaction, and result in a happier and healthier society. In six parts, comprised of seventy-one, short, easy-to-read, conversational chapters, Makous discusses his medical education and healthcare services before the technological revolution, dramatic shifts in medicine resulting from technological innovations, the impact of these changes and developments in the field of cardiology, involvement by the government, hospitals, insurers, and others in the delivery of medical care and services, insights into the future of the medical system, and more. By means of his holistic approach to the subject, the author provides a wide ranging overview of the healthcare system as well as many explicit and implicit ideas and suggestions for making it better. Some of the subtopics he covers include, but are not limited to, the fundamental tenets of medical education and practice, the art of diagnosing, the art of educated guessing, shotgun testing, hospital practices, private practices, turnstile practices, medicine as an art and science, taking medical histories and doing medical examinations, patient-doctor communications and relationships, doctor-doctor communications and relationships, choosing a doctor, psychiatric cardiology, the “laying on of the hands,” follow-up visits, house calls, patient worlds, patient views, lifestyles, and expectations, screenings, emergency rooms, treatment standards and guidelines, age bias, end of life issues, advance directives, technology upgrades, new drugs, paradigms of medical science, the medical reimbursement systems, doctors as servants of many masters, referrals, malpractice issues, universal care, and rationing. Filled with dozens of case anecdotes, evidencing the historical and contemporary, crucial role that the doctor-patient relationship has played and serves in the delivery of excellent healthcare in the United States, this sufficiently well-documented—it includes a glossary of medical terms, diagrams, photographs, the author’s curriculum vitae, and a list of additional readings, but lacks footnoting and endnoting of the text-- compelling, fascinating, convincing, noteworthy publication, based on sixty years of medical practice by an expert physician-consultant is a must-read as the nation continues to struggle with healthcare reform. For general and more specialized readerships, it will be of particular interest to patients, aspiring physicians, practicing physicians, healthcare professionals, lawmakers, and others, who have significant, immediate stakes in the nation’s medical system. It should be required reading for all of the abovementioned persons and other individuals, who care about the current and future status and quality of healthcare delivery and services in the United States. Strongly recommended for many public, academic, and special library book collections. Advance Reading Copy. Availability: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and NormanMakous.com
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc.. 2009. c28p. ISBN 978-0-8059-5637-5. $14.95.
In this extremely brief publication, Redman (Owner of Peggy’s Job Preparatory Services; B.S. degree, Business Management, Concentration in Human Resources, Hampton University, Hampton, VA), a business owner with recruiting and job placement experience at Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp. and other companies, publishes a very concise guide to obtaining the job that you desire. Dividing into her book into seven chapters, the author covers the basic elements of a job search including job applications, cover letters, résumés, references, interviews, and keeping the job once you get it. Subtopics are not limited to follow-up methods, samples, tips, interview questions, proper dress, and more. This publication’s chapters are too short, averaging only three to four pages each. The longest chapter is the one on interviews, which extends over eight pages. Chapters also may consist entirely or predominantly of examples and blank forms. The chapter on references consists entirely of a blank form while the ones on job applications, résumés, interviews, and keeping the job include some additional content besides examples and blank forms. The chapter on interviews contains the most value-added advice and input from the author. The “mini dictionary” comprising the last chapter may be too general for more experienced job seekers to the extent that it defines words and concepts that may be familiar to them. Lacking sufficient advice and input from the author, a bibliography, and an index, this book will be of interest to general readers, who only may want to read a very concise guide or basic outline for conducting a job search. This publication also best suits job seekers, who may not mind paying more than fifty cents per page for a guide which functions more as a workbook than as a reference resource. Mostly due to its briefness, lack of sufficient value-added content, and costly price, this publication is not recommended for most libraries. 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: Amazon.com, Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc. Online Bookstore
Friday, January 1, 2010
Harper-Collins Publishers. 2006. 352p. index. ISBN 978-0-06-087908-2. $15.95.
Today because more people have college diplomas, obtaining a college diploma is not enough. College students face extremely competitive job markets and graduate school admissions criteria. Excellent college grades matter and are crucial. In this enjoyable, easy-to-read, first book to reveal insider secrets about how college professors grade, Jacobs (PhD, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University; Department Chair and Associate Professor, Art History, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville) and Hyman (Project Manager, Professors’ Guide LLC; www.professorsguide.com), who between them have taught over 10,000 college students at a total of eight universities, offer authoritative, practical tips, techniques, strategies, and methods for succeeding at each of the five grade-bearing moments in a college semester: the start, the class, the exam, the paper, and the last month. In fifteen chapters, organized chronologically according to the major grade-bearing moments of the semester, they discuss every aspect of college grading, not limited to common myths about grades, how professors grade, picking courses, determining an action plan for the first week, taking excellent lecture notes, preparing for, attending, and participating in class, studying for exams, going over exams, writing college papers, visiting the professor, and acing the final. Fast-paced, each chapter, which is started with an concise introduction and ended by a complete review section, is interspersed with value-added sidebars, such as top ten lists, do’s and don’ts tables, instructional boxes, professors’ perspectives, remembrances, opinions, extra pointers, case notes, and more. Serving as a significant how-to guidebook as well as a useful reference resource, this publication may be read from cover-to-cover or consulted by chapter as needed. While it may be most relevant for college students who will be taking a significant number of courses in the humanities and social sciences, this must-read by insider experts should be required reading for those aspiring to attain a college degree or degrees in any major. It also will be of interest to high school students planning to go to college and lifelong learners returning to school. Highly recommended for large, public and undergraduate, academic libraries as well as for school media center collections. Review copy. Availability: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com