Tag Archives: nonfiction inspirational

Guest Post: What You Love Will Get You Through by Kate Brenton

I have always been a doer and banked on working my way through anything, but how effective that is change throughout life. My first hint was at 41 years old and a few weeks away from delivering my first and only child, when my midwife was packing up her bag from our visit, she looked over her shoulder to say, “You know it’s good for moms to have things to do that are just theirs.”

I nodded.

Advertisements

“You, know,” she mindfully continued, “some Moms have to work, and some moms choose to work and it’s not so much the money at times, but what you get back for doing something that you really love to do, or just like to do, but it is something for you.”

“Uh-huh,” I smile. I am so naive in this moment I can only esoterically nod at what she was saying; I cannot really understand the lifeline she has thrown me before she walks out the door that day, but I bet she did. 

My son came into this world fully loaded with fire and change; his arrival opened a new era, and all change brings some dissolution. We can be surprised in the form, but as we journey forward in years we can start to sense those waves of change coming.

“You should start a podcast,” my sweet and reliable friend Joe told me one day out of the blue.

“What? I have a baby. I have no time,” I retorted.

“It’s not that hard and I think you would really enjoy it. Our podcast together has the highest ratings,” he continued. “And I could share my equipment with you..”

“What do you mean highest ratings?” I listened as Joe talked about the numbers on our one off show, and the details of microphones, and the help he was going to give me to get going. Our decades-old friendship had this swinging cadence of uplifting each other, so I was able to entertain this perplexing thought of me starting a podcast with only internal scrutiny because I knew his intentions were pure.

I hemmed and hawed over it. Crafted an intention and an arc, reached out to inspirational people I knew and the Rebirth podcast was born. You know what? I loved it. I loved talking. I loved the microphone. I loved sharing people’s stories. It brought me so much joy. Even when I had to record episodes in my car because the baby was sleeping, and there was no reception in the basement to record. Even when someone asked me how many listeners I had, and I didn’t know 50 downloads an episode was low, because 50 people was a great number for a local talk, which was how I looked at it. The podcast became a respite of creativity in a sea of self-less motherhood.

Life wasn’t in the easiest flow otherwise, and someone said to me, “You spend a lot of time on that podcast and it doesn’t make any money.” 

I was sitting at a table eating, legs crossed, fork in hand; I blinked. I felt a small dip in my stomach, when a voice inside—who I hadn’t heard for awhile—quietly cautioned me that this was not the thing to let go of. Her quietness gave me pause, even as my mind agreed that the podcast was not producing monetarily. I kept a solid face. I gave a non-verbal acknowledgment of the statement and decided to stay the course, with or without support.

About six months later, and I tell this story in the book, an acquaintance calls and tells me she is starting a publishing company and she wants to sign me as an author. I say yes, and again tell no one. If I had no time for a podcast, I certainly didn’t have the resources to write a book, but a someday-author doesn’t say no when the call comes. 

A good six months after the call from my now publisher, I have moved out of the house where I held my fork and my tongue, and I am sitting at a new coffee-table, a single parent with a book contract, immense writer’s block and deafening pressure. I keep going though, unseen and well loved hands, helping along the way. I invite my publisher on to my podcast to share her story of leaps and faith.

She calls me the next day, “Kate, the podcast is the book.”

“What?” I echo.

“You are so good at asking the questions and distilling the essence. I was thinking about it last night and I woke up this morning and realized, the podcast is the book.”

I felt a full body rush of agreement. 

The podcast began on a borrowed microphone in 2018, and the book hit #1 in New Thought on its release day (purposely set on Fall Equinox, a day of balance and harvest) in 2022. The book started as a postpartum project in agreement that sometimes it is good for a person to have and create what they love, to not get lost in the waves of sacrifice. The fire of change and dissolution that came through in my son’s birth, also created fertile soil for the lifelong-someday dream of being a published writer. If I had planned it, I would not have lived the process of growth to become it. 

Do not let go of that which brings you joy, for in the moment when you think there is no way possible, the innate roadmap of your rebirth has already begun making its way to you.

Advertisements

About the Author

Kate Brenton, author, teacher and mother, helps women connect the dots between their purpose and their passion. Her first book Rebirth: Real-life stories about what happens when you let go and let life lead hit #1 on Amazon for New Thought, and can also be found at your favorite bookseller. Once a high school English teacher, Kate spent seven years in Hawaii learning holistic healing and now braids the power of story — whether in the bones or on the page — to inspire and uplift. She teaches online classes and retreats for spiritual development and inspiration. She also hosts a cohort, Sit & Write for mission-led authors.

Buy the book:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rebirth-kate-brenton/1142118168?ean=9781953445261

https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=Rebirth+Kate+Brenton

Website: www.katebrenton.com

Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/rebirth-real-life-stories-of-letting-go-and-letting/id1451833998?i=1000581844581

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katembrenton/?hl=en

Substack: https://katebrenton.substack.com

Bookbubhttps://www.bookbub.com/profile/kate-brenton

Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22872643.Kate_Brenton

The Hope Raisers: How a Group of Young Kenyans Fought to Transform Their Slum and Inspire a Community by Nihar Suthar Review 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A group of young people in Kenya work through their band and outreach program to help young people seek artistic means of escaping a life of crime and hardship in author Nihar Suthar’s “The Hope Raisers: How a Group of Young Kenyans Fought to Transform Their Slum and Inspire a Community”.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

The poignant and inspiring true story of three young Kenyans who fought to transform their slum and improve the lives of those around them.

Korogocho is one of Kenya’s darkest slums, plagued by gang violence, food and water shortages, and rampant pollution. Most children have no future except for scavenging through trash piles or resorting to lives of crime. One day, a boy named Daniel Onyango decided to do more, creating a band called the Hope Raisers to inspire the kids of Korogocho. His friend, Mutura Kuria, quickly joined in.

In The Hope Raisers: How a Group of Young Kenyans Fought to Transform Their Slum and Inspire a Community, Nihar Suthar tells the amazing story of how Daniel and Mutura turned the band into a platform for change. They started teaching children on the streets how to express themselves through art and established a skating team after finding a pair of rollerblades in the dump. Suthar closely follows the story of one rebellious girl, Lucy Achieng, who refused to get married off at a young age and instead used competitive rollerblading to reach for her dreams. Lucy continues to inspire girls to stand up for themselves and challenge the longstanding practices in Korogocho of early marriage and prostitution.

The Hope Raisers is an eye-opening look into a world of poverty and violence where children receive only a basic education and are left with little to no means to get out. Yet it also reveals the remarkable impact that a few determined individuals can have on their community, even in the most challenging of conditions.

Part of the proceeds from all book sales will be donated to the Hope Raisers and toward improving the slum of Korogocho.

The Review

This was a truly inspiring story. The author did an incredible job of capturing the despairing nature of the Korogocho slums and showcasing the hardships and struggles that people face here. Many people outside of Kenya remain unaware of how difficult life there truly is, with many people having to work as trash pickers to find food or unique items to survive and feed their families while dealing with local gangs, and young women having to choose between prostitution or marriage at a young age. The hardships and struggles mirror the haunting tone of the reality of life for so many in this part of the world.

Yet the juxtaposition of this darkness was matched by the hopeful tone and positive atmosphere this group of young people brought through their music and actions within the neighborhood. In the face of such adversity, the fight to help young people find a creative outlet and means of escaping this chilling reality they live in was a true inspiration to read about, and the author’s incredible use of imagery and artistry in his writing allowed the reader to feel this hope radiate off of the page.

The Verdict

Thoughtful, inspiring, and engaging, author Nihar Suthar’s “The Hope Raisers” is a must-read nonfiction book of 2022. The haunting nature of life in this Kenyan slum and the bright notes of hope that these incredible young people bring to life on their streets make this story shine so brightly in the darkness that often feels like creeps into our lives. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Nihar Suthar is an award-winning writer, covering inspirational stories around the world. Believe it or not, he stumbled upon writing completely by accident after moving to New York City for the very first time (at the young age of 17). While in the Big Apple, Nihar noticed that there were thousands of people missing out on the greatness of everyday life, due to the very fast paced lifestyles they lived.

As a result of his observations, he had a big idea to inspire people around the globe by writing a book (which was strange, because he always hated reading books. Why would he ever write one?). With the support of his family and friends though, Nihar ended up debuting his first international book, Win No Matter What, with Balboa Press in May 2013.

Since then, Nihar’s work has taken him to both distant parts of the globe and down strange alleyways. For his 2016 release, The Corridor of Uncertainty, Nihar traveled to the United Arab Emirates and received threats from the Taliban, as he sought to chronicle the miraculous story of the Afghan cricket team. To deepen his understanding of the Middle East region, Nihar also studied Pashto, one of the official languages of Afghanistan.

Nihar graduated cum laude from Cornell University, where he studied applied economics and management, with concentrations in finance and strategy. He currently calls Tampa home. His newest book is about three young Kenyans who fought to transform their slum and improve the lives of those around them. Sign up HERE to receive exclusive content (early drafts, behind the scenes content, etc.) regarding Nihar’s next release, The Hope Raisers.

https://www.niharsuthar.com/

Rebirth: Real-Life Stories About What Happens When You Let Go and Let Life Lead by Kate Brenton Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author and podcaster Kate Brenton take readers on a journey to discover how one leap or small decision can lead to life-changing results in the book “Rebirth: Real-Life Stories About What Happens When You Let Go and Let Life Lead”.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

When life is calling, often we need only the space and the support to remember our way. Sometimes we lean into our expansion, and sometimes we bolt from our greatness. The biggest shock is that big change happens in small choices. In Rebirth you will find real-life stories of people who made courageous leaps, inspiring you to make your own. It’s time to step out of line and back into the spiral of life—that’s where the alchemy is. This book fits right into the side pocket of your bag + your life to inspire you as you read others’ stories of how they listened and learned to make embodied changes in their own lives.

The Review

This was a well-written and inspiring read. The author did a tremendous job of finding just the right balance of humor and charm in her writing with the hopeful stories the author collected from people. The sincerity and honesty with which these stories were delivered spoke to the inspiring tone the book held overall.

Yet it was the guidance and stories themselves that really brought the book together. The author delved into a number of topics for self-improvement and overall wellness through these stories, from how we define beauty to the never-ending journey to improve upon ourselves. The thoughtful and caring way the author presented these stories to the reader was truly remarkable.

The Verdict

Touching, engaging, and meaningful, author Kate Brenton’s “Rebirth” is a must-read self-help book of 2022. The teachable moments of this book mesh well with the heartwarming tales of overcoming the odds and finding oneself that define this book. The passion and heart that the author brings from the podcast that began this journey and into this book was so amazing to see come to life on the page. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today! 

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Kate Brenton, Ed.M., educator, author, mama, and healer, used to climb trees in her childhood to sit in and read books. A lifelong teacher, from secondary English to spiritual development, Kate has the archetype for sharing wisdom to empower and elevate through online courses, inspirational speaking, and retreats. Come say hello or listen to the Rebirth podcast at www.katebrenton.com

You can also follow her on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Substack.

Purchase a copy of Rebirth on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also add this to your GoodReads reading list.

Blog Tour Calendar

November 21st @ The Muffin

Join as WOW’s blog The Muffin as we interview author Kate Brenton about her inspiring book Rebirth and give away a copy to one lucky reader.

https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

November 21st @ Rachael’s Thoughts

Join Rachael as she reviews Rebirth by Kate Brenton

https://rachaelstray.com/

November 24th @ Deborah-Zenha Adams’ Blog

Join Deborah as she features a guest post by Kate Brenton about writing where and when you can.

http://www.deborah-adams.com/blog/

November 25th @ Freeing the Butterly

Join Michelle as she reviews Rebirth by Kate Brenton.

https://www.freeingthebutterfly.com/

November 27th @ Shoe’s Seeds and Stories

Visit Linda’s blog where she reviews the insightful book Rebirth by Kate Brenton.

https://lschuelerca.wordpress.com/

November 29th @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews

Join Lisa as she interviews Kate Brenton about her inspirational book Rebirth.

https://lisahaselton.com/blog/

November 30th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Join Anthony as he reviews Kate Brenton’s book Rebirth.

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/category/blog-tours/

December 1st @ Michelle Cornish’ Blog

Read Kate Brenton’s guest post about story as medicine over at Michelle’s blog.

https://www.michellecornish.com/blog

December 2nd @ The Frugalista Mom

Join Rochie as she shares her thoughts about Rebirth by Kate Brenton. You can also win a copy of the book!

https://thefrugalistamom.com/

December 3rd @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Join Beverley as features Kate Brenton’s guest post about writers needing a high inspiration diet.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

December 5th @ Balance and Joy

Join Sheri as she reviews Rebirth by Kate Brenton.

https://www.balanceandjoy.com/

December 6th @ Anthony Avina’s Blog

Join Anthony as he features Kate Brenton’s guest post about why what you love will get you through.

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/category/blog-tours/

December 7th @ Katherine Itacy’s Blog

Come by Katherine’s blog and read her review of Rebirth by Kate Brenton.

https://katherineitacy.com/

December 8th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Join Beverley as she reviews Rebirth by Kate Brenton.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

December 9th @ Rebecca J Whitman’s Blog

Join Rebecca as she features Kate Brenton’s guest post about when to keep going on faith.

December 10th @ A Story Book World

Deirdra showcases Rebirth by Kate Brenton, a must-read book for the new year!

https://www.astorybookworld.com/

December 13th @ Word Magic

Visit Fiona’s blog and read Kate Brenton’s guest post about the evolution of podcast to book and how it was a walk of faith.

http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com/

December 15th @ Create Write Now

Read a guest post by Kate Brenton on Mari’s blog today about the power of birth as a mother and as a creative.

https://www.createwritenow.com/journal-writing-blog

December 17th @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion

Linda interviews author Kate Brenton about her writing and her inspirational book Rebirth.

https://bootsshoesandfashion.com/

December 18th @ Choices

Visit Madeline’s blog and read Kate Brenton’s guest post about mothering, writing, and working in the modern world.

http://www.madelinesharples.com/

December 19th @ Liberate and Lather

Join Angela as she reviews Rebirth by Kate Brenton. Don’t miss this inspirational book!

https://liberateandlather.com/blog

December 20th @ World of My Imagination

Visit Nicole’s blog to read her review of Rebirth by Kate Brenton.

https://worldofmyimagination.com/

Full: Overcoming Our Eating Disorders to Fully Live by Melissa L. Kelley and Alayna Burke Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

TRIGGER WARNING: BOOK INVOLVES AND SPEAKS ABOUT THE SUBJECT OF EATING DISORDERS. FOR ANYONE WHO CAN NOT HANDLE A BOOK INVOLVING THIS SUBJECT, READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.

Authors Alayna Burke and Mellisa L. Kelley share a personal story of anxiety, eating disorders, and the path they took to overcome the odds and find joy in their lives in the book “Full: Overcoming Our Eating Disorders to Fully Live”. 

Advertisements

The Synopsis 

Growing up in the digital age, with the pressures of social media and increasingly competitive academics, Alayna’s perfectionism started early in life. She began to despise her body after a pre-teen wellness check when the physician told her to “lay off the snacks” and watch her weight. At age 16, Alayna was diagnosed with anorexia. She was three weeks from being sent to an in-patient treatment center when she decided to take charge of her life.

Plagued with body dysmorphia beginning at six years old, Melissa came of age in the diet culture of the 1970s and 1980s when fad diets, diet pills, and at-home exercise equipment dominated the golden age of advertising. Melissa was diagnosed with bulimia when she was 16 and her treatment included both inpatient and intensive outpatient programs over five years. After a series of traumatic events, she struggled with anorexia in her thirties.

Burke and Kelley weave their stories of illness and recovery through 12 topics that fed their eating disorders and share how they now manage those challenges to fully participate in life. FULL offers insight and hope to people struggling with eating disorders and those who love them.

The Review

This was such an emotional and captivating nonfiction read. The authors did an incredible job of finding just the right balance between the memoir style of writing and the specific focus on the topic of eating disorders and the impact they have on the person suffering from them. The atmosphere the authors create through their shared experience speaks both to the hardships they endured in their journeys and the hope they found in overcoming those disorders through the help of their families and proven techniques they discovered that helped them.

What stood out to me was both the exploration of each of these authors’ journeys in vastly different eras of history and the focus on personal experience more so than any technical or clinical focus on these disorders. The personal stories these authors share not only reflect their struggles but how the era they grew up in impacted how their disorders arose and presented themselves. This allows a larger group of readers to identify with the book and feel represented by the bravery and courage these authors have shown in writing this vitally important book. 

The Verdict

Thought-provoking, emotionally driven, and haunting yet hopeful all at once, authors Alayna Burke and Melissa Kelley’s “Full” is a must-read nonfiction and memoir-style book. The amount of knowledge and personal experience the authors share about their own journeys and how they related to one another over time, as well as the inspirational tone that the authors struck made this book readers won’t be able to put down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Alayna Burke started her idea for Full as an eighteen-year-old senior in high school. She grew up in Saint Charles, Missouri, and always loved to write as a kid. Alayna developed anorexia, stemming from anxiety and depression, as a sixteen-year-old. Outpatient treatment and a strong support system helped Alayna recover in about two years, although the voice of her eating disorder still nags at her every once in a while. Alayna often wished there was a book out there from the voice of a teen who could relate to her, so she’s providing just that for other women. FULL is Alayna’s first published work. She is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in nutrition and exercise physiology with a minor in psychology at the University of Missouri. Alayna plans to become a registered dietitian.

Melissa Kelley grew up in Saint Charles, Missouri, the third of six children. Her love for writing began in high school and blossomed in her forties when she began blogging and writing a memoir. Full is her first published work.Throughout her career, Melissa has worked in both corporate and civic non-profit organizations. She currently holds a leadership position in a company whose mission is to make the planet better through environmental sustainability services. In 2018, Melissa was named one of Saint Louis’ Most Influential Businesswomen by the St. Louis Business Journal. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Truman State University and a Master of Business Administration from Washington University in Saint Louis. She lives with her two children, Athena Robin Kelley and Erin Iris Christine Kelley, and their Cavapoo, Noah, in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Something More! Essential Attitudes for Building the Life You Want (and avoiding mistakes along the way) by Amrit P. Kirpalani Kathleen Goolsby Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Authors Amrit P. Kirpalani and Kathleen Goolsby take readers on a journey to discover how to find their true purpose in life, unlearn the bad habits in life that block them from achieving that purpose, and how make the decisions necessary to earn that purpose in their book “Something More! Essential Attitudes for Building the Life You Want (And avoiding mistakes along the way)”. 

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Do you keep thinking, “Is that all there is to life? I want something more!” Do you think you can’t achieve your best life? This book guides you in avoiding blind spots and challenges on your journey to fulfill your purpose and have a more meaningful life.

You may already have read other books discussing how to discover your purpose or calling in life. Or you may be just now starting to figure that out because you want to live your best life, a more meaningful life. Either way, Something More! provides what the other books lack: a guide to help you manage the emotional and decision-making challenges on your journey. And you absolutely need that information!

This book is like a journey map, guiding you in the way to achieve the life you desire, despite the challenges you’ll encounter along the way in your personal transformation journey. You’ll benefit from the insights shared from ordinary people, who share how they made the necessary decisions and career changes along the way and how they managed their self-doubts, past regrets, fears, and other inhibiting emotions so they could achieve their best life.

The book includes 16 Essential Attitudes and associated Do’s and Don’ts to help you avoid blind spots you didn’t know you have that can hinder your journey and to help you change the blind spots into attitudes and mindsets that will propel your journey. It also has practical tips for managing through change, despite any anxieties you may have. Most people are not comfortable with change; yet change is necessary to achieve a meaningful life based on your purpose.

It also provides all sorts of tips about making decisions, which is one of the most difficult aspects of a personal transformation journey to achieve the life you want.

It also shares insights about some self-defeating emotions and behaviors you may have that you need to “unlearn,” along with how your journey will evolve through several life stages.

Consider which of the following points describes where you are today:

  • You know what you want to pursue in life but feel stuck because of what seems like a lot of changes required to get to what you want to pursue.
  • You already started on your personal transformation journey but encountered challenges along the way that you didn’t know how to manage through; so now you feel stuck again or feel dispirited about trying to move forward.
  • You already discovered your purpose in life and started moving toward the dream of the life you want to live, but you weren’t a parent then and suddenly are now, or you weren’t handicapped then but are now.

Something More! is an insightful guide to support achieving your dream for your best life—no matter your fears, doubts, past regrets, or your age and well-being as you go through your journey from this point forward. I hope that, at this moment and with this book, you realize you now have all you need for your journey to a wonderful place—the fulfilling life you desire.

Buy it now and get started on transforming to your best life.

The Review 

This was such a well-written and incredibly put-together book. The authors did a brilliant job of presenting well-researched steps through interviews and studies to show the reader how they can accomplish their goals. The personable way the authors wrote the book out and the honesty they poured into their work allowed the reader to connect to the message and tone of the book much more. 

The thing that stood out to me immediately about the book was the way the authors presented the path that was taken to get to the point they found themselves rather than focusing on specific solutions. This allowed the book to feel more guidance based and less preachy in general and gave the reader a feeling that the lessons learned here and the goals we hope to see ourselves achieve are far more attainable than we thought possible. The way the authors presented this book as something to be used both for those seeking more out of life and those who have been impacted by negative events or thoughts who are seeking a means of pulling themselves back up was an inspiring direction to go.

The Verdict

Thoughtful, captivating, and engaging, authors Amrit P. Kirpalani and Kathleen Goolsby’s “Something More! Essential Attitudes for Building the Life You Want (And avoiding mistakes along the way)” is a must-read nonfiction and self-help read. The easy-to-follow steps the authors lay out balanced the personal stories and blend of quotes and anecdotes well, and the relatability of the authors themselves and their message helped keep readers invested long after they finished the book. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Authors

Amrit Kirpalani believes that most people want to make a difference in the world and that living your best life starts with discovering the “real you” and then using your uniqueness to contribute to the happiness of others. Amrit focuses on creating pathways to change and working with others to collectively make positive impacts in the world. He does this partly by advising community entities and nonprofits and serving on the boards of directors of various organizations. He also mentors entrepreneurs in successful mindsets and in how to avoid pitfalls in their new endeavors. And he advises leaders in Fortune 500 companies and other organizations in his role as CEO of NectarOM, one of two marketing consulting companies he founded. His favorite part of each day is when he spends time with his three daughters where the family lives in a suburb of Dallas, Texas.

Visit www.amritkirpalani.com to sign up for his monthly e-newsletter and see examples of the inspirational articles in the newsletters.

Kathleen Sassaman Goolsby misses a lot of sleep because she loves reading books (especially historical fiction and action-packed Westerns). When not reading, you’d find her playing Scrabble or enjoying the high-desert mountain scenery where she lives in New Mexico. She has a passion for helping others learn and does this through writing business, inspirational, and self-help books and articles. She has a B.A. in English from Friends University.

Follow Kathleen on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathleen-goolsby-5045a51).

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BHDZW5Q6/ref=x_gr_w_glide_sin?caller=Goodreads&callerLink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goodreads.com%2Fbook%2Fshow%2F63252333-something-more%3Fac%3D1%26from_search%3Dtrue%26qid%3D4U27qlhKN7%26rank%3D1&tag=x_gr_w_glide_sin-20

A Journey with Plato and My Monkey Towards Ground Zero by Khaled M. Issa Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Get ready to take a philosophical journey through one man’s self-reflection and accountability in author Khaled M. Issa’s “A Journey with Plato and My Monkey Towards Grand Zero”. 

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Do you know your monkey? Do you truly know who you are or how you became so?

I was living in an illusion in the world that I thought I knew. I had painted such a great picture of myself, that I loved so much. My shortcomings and uncalled-for poor personal behaviors were always justified by either nature or by the presumed faults of others.

Then I met my monkey and we decided to take a journey together with Plato, representing knowledge and wisdom. We discovered that nature and people, most of the time, have nothing to do with our bad habits and poor behavior.

Join us in a journey of searching for the best version of ourselves by going back to ground zero. Then and only then shall we live the true essence of happiness, prosperity, and peace of mind.

The Review

This was such an insightful and thought-provoking read. The author did a fantastic job of crafting a book that brought a balance of almost memoir-style writing and self-help philosophy. The tone and creative imagery the author used to bring these ideas and concepts to life allowed the reader to connect even more to the author’s message and kept me hooked on the author’s story. 

The book’s strongest moments came when the author was delving into the heart of this book’s themes. The personal writing style reflected these themes, as the guide and message to readers honed in on the need to reflect and find ourselves and our place in the world. Rather than viewing the world solely as we see it, the importance of examining situations based both on our experiences and the realities of the situation is crucial. Rather than blaming outside forces for our failures or mistakes, it is important to take ownership of those mistakes and faults and grow from them. The exploration of multiple aspects of one’s personality, including the conscious and subconscious minds as separate entities, was an inspired choice to examine this topic.

The Verdict

Brilliant, captivating, and engaging, author Khaled M. Issa’s “A Journey with Plato and My Monkey Towards Grand Zero” is a must-read philosophy and self-help book. The thought-provoking themes and lessons the author discovered and imparted to the reader were momentous and will have readers going back to the author’s work over and over again throughout their lives. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Khaled M. Issa graduated in 1986 from the University of Missouri at Rolla with a degree in mechanical engineering and became a patent holder with Caterpillar Inc. in 1991. With over three decades of experience in business management and consultancy, Khaled was able to create a successful career based on analytical thinking and process reengineering. During this time, Khaled was dedicated and passionate about employee training and leadership development, which made a significant impact on many of his team members both personally and professionally. He has not only been a CEO and board adviser of several companies, but he is also a loving father of five and grandfather to seven.

https://www.austinmacauley.com/us/book/journey-plato-and-my-monkey-toward-ground-zero

The Job Hunting Book by Ian Allen Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Ian Allen shares a step-by-step guide to readers on the best practices to create the best chances at finding work, especially that first graduate job, in his book “The Job Hunting Book”.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Searching for your first graduate job is an exciting time, but can often leave you feeling lost and frustrated. So here’s a secret— it’s not all about you! Getting a job interview is also about your employer. Added to this, the tools that recruiters and job seekers use have changed, and to be successful, you’ll need:

* An online and in-person profile for yourself before you even approach an employer.
* A job application that solves an employer’s problems, and fulfils their hopes and dreams.
* To use technology as the cornerstone of your job seeking process.

In this practical, step-by-step job hunting guide, industry veteran Ian Allan will become your personal career guidance mentor. You’ll be given a foolproof process for writing a resume and cover letter that will go straight to the top of the “yes” pile, and a method for job hunting that includes identifying your skills gaps—and what to do about them.

Plus, Ian will teach you useful strategies for finding the four out of five dream jobs that aren’t advertised, and share actionable tips on how to build relationships so you get that job interview.

Draw on Ian’s decades of experience as an employee, employer and consultant to ensure you become an ideal candidate and land the job you’ve always wanted.

Bonus content: FREE access to four hours of video training and job hunting resources, including LinkedIn profile tips, downloadable templates, and real-world examples of successful job applications.

The Review

This was a well-written and incredibly researched book. The author did a fantastic job of showcasing a clear line of connection between a person getting a job by identifying with the employer themselves. The balance of personable and professional writing styles really elevated this book. It allowed the subject to shine brightly without getting lost in other areas of discussion in the job market. 

The clear-cut guide and interactive element of the book that challenges the reader to utilize these steps for themselves were inspiring to read and watch unfold on the pages of this book. The way the author delved into the impact on the job market these last few years have had, from how COVID-19 has changed how we work experience to the importance of having an online presence for many employers, really made the book feel relevant and accessible to a wide range of readers who are seeking employment in this new world.

The Verdict

Thought-provoking, engaging, and insightful, author Ian Allen’s “The Job Hunting Book” is a must-read nonfiction book of 2022. The educational value alone will keep readers invested. Still, the relatable and thoughtful way the author approaches the subject with such honesty and conviction will have readers eager to engage with the author’s guidance and practices and in the field looking for work ASAP. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Life has a way of throwing up challenges. Mine happened in my late teens. In the final year of my apprenticeship a nasty workplace accident forced me to rethink my career.

Fast forward to my early 30s, I’d been a furniture restorer, a furniture removalist, a bingo caller, a pedestrian accident researcher, a condom tycoon (for some reason that failed to impress my girlfriend’s mother), a software engineer, and a lecturer and researcher in spatial science. I won jobs, sometimes due to my tenacity, but looking back, mostly through word of mouth.

In the 90s I started a consultancy and did spatial modelling for universities, the water industry, all levels of the Australian government and the UN. Magically, consulting work and now my employees came via word of mouth.

So, after 40 years as an employee and as a consultant, I’ve learnt that the secret sauce for getting work is relationships, especially professional relationships. These need not be insincere or manipulative. Opportunities naturally arise for those who make the effort. The trick to giving relationships their best chance of yielding work is to put yourself in the other person’s boots and empathize with their problems, their hopes and their dreams. Getting work becomes a simpler exercise when you’ve customized your offering to meet someone’s needs. And that idea is essentially what I’m on about.

I’m a teacher at heart. Now, in my 50’s, I can look back on my career as an employee looking for work, as a consultant winning work, and as an employer hiring and firing. The guidance I write was not around for me when I was starting out. In the absence of a mentor, I had to work it out for myself. And so here are some of my thoughts for you.

https://www.ianallanauthor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/IanAllanAuthor/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/i-allan/

Guide to Smart Wedding Planning by Edna Dratch-Parker and Jeri Solomon Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Readers are treated to a practical and thoughtful approach to wedding planning in authors Edna Dratch-Parker and Jeri Solomon’s “Guide to Smart Wedding Planning”.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

The Real Deal Wedding Insiders® Guide to Smart Wedding Planning gives you practical and actionable steps to take control of your wedding planning, make the best decisions, and keep your sanity along the way.

You’ll learn how to:

* Navigate stressful relationships

* Create a vision that represents you both

* Understand and build a realistic budget

* Choose the right venue and vendors

* Stay present and enjoy your wedding day

The Review

This was such an insightful and engaging book. The authors did an amazing job of taking the reader through the journey of wedding planning in great detail without losing themselves to an overabundance of backstories. The way authors were able to craft an interactive and educational read that has real-world practical applications that the reader will be able to share immediately.

The breakdown of information and reliability of the authors and their work is what stood out to me. The way the authors take the reader through every step of the wedding planning process, from the moment that you become engaged to the moment the wedding is over, was fantastic to read about, as there are so many aspects of the wedding process that the average reader doesn’t even think about. From the emotional side of things like learning how to be present in the moment of the wedding day to the finances and practical side of things that come with setting a budget with the person funding the wedding, this book does a great job of delving into the most important information that readers will be able to apply immediately.

The Verdict

Informative, thoughtful, and engaging, authors Edna Dratch-Parker and Jeri Solomon’s “Guide to Smart Wedding Planning” is a must-read book for the engaged couple seeking help with their wedding this season. The memorable and interactive writing style will keep readers invested in the information the authors have provided, and the brilliant and concise way the authors have collected this information will stay with readers well into their own weddings and beyond. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Authors

With a combined 30 years and hundreds of weddings produced, Edna Dratch-Parker, founder, and creative director of EFD Creative—Event Planning & Design, and Jeri Solomon, owner of Jeri Solomon Floral Design, bring their depth of knowledge and real-life experiences to help couples avoid common mistakes, reduce stress, and truly enjoy the wedding planning process.

Website: https://www.realdealweddinginsiders.com/

INSTAGRAM: 

@weddinginsiders

@efd_creative

@jerifloral

FACEBOOK: 

@RealDealWeddingInsiders

@EFDCreative

@jerifloraldesign

TWITTER:

Handles to tag:

@RDWedInsiders

@EFD_Creative

@JeriFloral

TIKTOK: 

@RealDealWeddingInsiders

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3MLX47b

Conversations Across America: A Father and Son, Alzheimer’s, and 300 Conversations Along the TransAmerica Bike Trail That Capture the Soul of America by Kari Loya Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Kari Loya shares an emotional and heartfelt journey of perseverance through adversity as he shares the physical journey he and his father made in 2015 as they rode their bikes in the early years of his father’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis and the conversations they had with others along the way in the book “Conversations Across America: A Father and Son, Alzheimer’s, and 300 Conversations Along the TransAmerica Bike Trail That Capture the Soul of America”. 

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Conversations Across America is about a father-son journey of a lifetime: a 73-day, 4,600-mile cross-country bike trip Kari took in 2015 with his 75-year-old dad, Merv, who had early-stage Alzheimer’s. Their adventure reminds us of the power of perseverance and adaptability in the face of uncertainty. It’s also a heartwarming example of listening and discovery, including 300 short conversations with people who approached them along the way, providing a rich snapshot of America, especially rural America.

Conversations is a mix of Blue HighwaysTuesdays with Morrie, and Humans of New York… on a bike. As you read, you can’t help but reflect on your relationship with your own father and children, while gaining perspective on Alzheimer’s—which now afflicts more than six million Americans—and getting a sense of the TransAmerica Bike Trail and America itself. Above all, you will be inspired to seize-the-day with someone you love—whatever that means to you.

The Review

This was such a powerful and moving story. The author’s ability to find the perfect balance between emotional and personal storytelling with inspired and honest conversations with hundreds of people across the country made this such a unique and memorable book. The way the author was able to take these stories and conversations from so many people and find a way of using these to explore the fabric of American society and culture through so many different lenses was inspiring to say the least and showcased the diversity and heart of the nation as a whole.

Yet the true heart of this book is in the story of Kari and his father. The impact that Alzheimer’s has on both those who are afflicted with the illness and those who love or care for someone who has it is something many people throughout the world, let alone in the United States, can relate to. The emotional story of this father and son duo as they come to terms with the realities of this diagnosis, as well as the passion they share to make this journey together, makes for a relatable and heartfelt experience that many others could see themselves in. The snapshots and diary entry style writing make this feel like an intimate look into the author’s life that elevates this emotional story more, and the father and son journey helps elevate the stories of those they come across as the book progresses. 

The Verdict

Thoughtful, engaging, and hauntingly beautiful, author Kari Loya’s “Conversations Across America: A Father and Son, Alzheimer’s, and 300 Conversations Along the TransAmerica Bike Trail That Capture the Soul of America” is a must-read nonfiction story of endurance, family, and the strength that comes from our connections to one another. The social and cultural ties that are explored through these stories blend well with the author’s personal journey to come to terms with his father’s illness and make this a heartfelt reading experience that will be impossible to put down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Kari Loya is an educational leader, storyteller, and adventurer. He has worked nearly three decades at a range of innovative educational institutions, beginning with Teach For America in 1993 and serving most recently as headmaster at the Good Hope Country Day School in the U.S. Virgin Islands, when he received a Klingenstein Fellowship from Columbia University. He is also an Emmy-winning bilingual voice talent, musical artist, and author. He spoke at TEDx UC Davis in April 2022 on the theme of “Metamorphosis.” He holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Columbia University. He currently lives with his wife and daughter in Sugar Land, Texas.