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:, Barnes &

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Book Review: Rosen, Martin B. and Leibowitz, Abbie, M.D.. The Healthcare Survival Guide:

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:, Barnes &

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 to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team. Availability:,