Archive for the ‘Self Help’ Category

Guest Post: Words with Friends – Larry D. Rosen

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Words With Friends: Another Stupid Game — or an Obsession?
We are becoming obsessed with our smartphones and all that they can do.
By Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D,
Author of iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming its Hold on Us

The New York Times Magazine ran a fascinating cover story on April 4, 2012 written with wisdom, humor and insight by Sam Anderson. Anderson’s basic premise is that the concept of gaming has changed. For decades, a special class of teen or young adult gamer would use specialized systems, to play complex multi-player, multi-level games that might last from a few hours to many days or even weeks. Now, however, anyone can play a quick game — what Anderson terms a “stupid game” — any time of the day or night right there on their smartphone that rests somewhere next to their body 24/7. And this, Anderson argues, has changed the world of gaming to ” . . . not just hard-core gamers, but their mothers, their mailmen and their college professors. Consumers who never would have put a quarter into an arcade or even set eyes on an Xbox 360 were now carrying a sophisticated game console with them, all the time, in their pockets or their purses.

For decades I scrupulously avoided video games even when my four children delighted in playing them. I think that I once played Pong and perhaps Donkey Kong in a bar somewhere but that was under duress and the influence of a few beers. I have never played a video game that resides on a console although I have watched, fascinated, as young children seem to understand intuitively what actions to take to make the next level or win the game. Just last night I watched my friend’s 9-year-old son sit down at a game console in a restaurant as we were waiting to be seated and without even glancing at the instructions, he popped in two quarters and played.

I have, however, always enjoyed card games and board games, particularly those that required thought or cunning to win the game. I consider myself a pretty good Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit player and delighted in winning nearly every Monopoly game with my children (I used a unique strategy that I refuse to divulge as I plan to use it with my grandchildren!). My iPhones (I have owned four of them) have always come with a hefty game center in the App Store, which, as you might guess, I have avoided like the plague. Until someone pointed out Words With Friends!

Arghhhh! I shall mark that day on my calendar as the day that my life — and my brain — changed. And I am pretty sure that it changed for the worse.

As soon as I downloaded WWF I was hooked. Now I am playing a dozen games with multiple players (all of my opponents are personal friends, as I think it is a bit bizarre to play with people you don’t know, although it is a good way to meet new people). In his NYT article Sam Anderson relayed a similar situation with his wife: “My wife, who had never been a serious gamer, got one and became addicted, almost immediately, to a form of off-brand digital Scrabble called Words With Friends. Before long she was playing 6 or 10 games at a time, against people all over the world. Sometimes I would lose her in the middle of a conversation: her phone would go brinnng or pwomp or dernalernadern-dern, and she would look away from me, midsentence, to see if her opponent had set her up for a triple word score.”

That is so true! Anderson’s wife sounds like me, and like everyone else that I play with. I am beginning to see patterns in my WWF friends (I call them that even though two are colleagues, one is my partner, one is a student in my lab and two are other people that I know very well). At first I said that I was going to “just play at night” after watching Rachel Maddow and Anderson Cooper but before The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Pretty soon I found myself pausing the news and jumping in and making a few plays, and then returning to the news. Then, I think I said “to heck with it” and left the news on and played WWF with the news as background. Now, who cares about the news. Who cares about anything. WWF RULES!

I confess that I am now addicted. But is it truly an addiction or is there more to it? I don’t feel like an addict. I am not shirking my responsibilities at home (I still cook every night although one night I had to grab a cooked chicken because I got into a vicious back-and-forth WWF game with someone — and I WON!) nor is my work suffering. I still teach, still write, but something is happening and I think that I know what it is. What I am feeling, I believe, is a compulsion. Somewhat like Jack Nicholson in “As Good As It Gets,” I feel as though if I don’t do a certain behavior — i.e., play WWF — I will meet with some dire consequence. I am not washing my hands constantly or locking and unlocking my doors, nor am I avoiding cracks when I walk in the neighborhood. But I feel anxiety much as Jack did when I spot my smartphone. And the anxiety is “I wonder if so-and-so played a word and I better check and play one, too.”

As I sit and stare at my phone wondering about WWF, I am not feeling the discomfort that someone feels when he or she has a true psychological addiction. I am not even hoping that playing will bring me pleasure. What I am feeling is an intense NEED to play or rather to check in to see who has played. And when I do play I don’t feel that rush of dopamine, which feels like pleasure. What I feel is . . . nothing. But then my phone beckons to me and I slide to the last page of apps (I made myself put the WWF app on the last page to make it more difficult to get to. What a fool! It must take me all of a second to flick a few times and it literally pops out at me when I get to that page) and press my finger on the icon and, voila, my games appear!

So, what do I think is happening? I had some time to think about this the other day. I was at public radio studio, waiting to go on a noontime radio broadcast followed by a TV taping. Since I always arrive early I had lots of time and only my phone to keep me busy. I knew that I was going to talk about this on the air so I spent some time with my phone in front of me trying to analyze what might be going on in my brain. Wow! After just a few minutes of “thinking” I somehow found myself looking at a WWF screen of 12 ongoing games. How did I get there? Well, partially I think it was a habit and partially I think I was compelled to do so in a way that resided just below the surface of conscious activity. Sure sounds like a compulsion to me.

How do I plan to break this compulsion? I have started giving myself “WWF Time” where I grant myself the option to play for 15 minutes and no more and then put my phone away, out of sight, and do something else for 45 minutes. I set a timer (on my phone, of course) and when it rings I play and when it rings again I stop. Not sure if it will work as I have only been doing this for a week but I am finding that the 45 minutes is going by pretty quickly now compared to the crawling seconds and minutes that appeared to barely move the first few times I waited for my WWF Time.

Do you feel compelled by your technology? Do certain games or activities that you do on the phone beckon to you? This is one of the main points of my new book, iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession With Technology and Overcoming its Hold on Us, where I devote two chapters to obsessions and compulsions surrounding technology. Let me know what you think.

© 2012 Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D, author of iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming its Hold on Us

Author Bio

Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D., author of iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming its Hold on Us, is past Chair and Professor of Psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills. He is a research psychologist and computer educator, and is recognized as an international expert in the “Psychology of Technology.” Over the past 25 years, Dr. Rosen and his colleagues have examined reactions to technology among more than 30,000 children, teens, college students, and adults in the United States and in 23 other countries. He has been quoted in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, CNN, and Good Morning America and writes a regular blog for Psychology Today.

For more information please visit

Guest Post – Eldon Taylor: Author – I Believe

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

The Mind-Body Belief System


Research with placebos—nontherapeutic substances are commonly thought of as sugar pills—is also telling when it comes to the role of belief and the function of the mind in matters of wellness. When the faith and expectation of a subject invests in the power of the placebo, amazing things happen. What’s more, the treatment is relative to the condition, so one false pill can treat pain half as well as aspirin and half as well as morphine. Not surprisingly, telling the patient that the same tablet increases discomfort will result in just that.

Placebos don’t have to be pills; they can be creams, injections, or even surgery. Just as interesting, the effect is larger if you increase the dosage size—say a larger capsule or two of them. Further, research shows that a branded item works better than a plain one, one in a shiny box elicits greater results than one in a plain package, a capsule trumps a tablet, with an injection working even better. If you use fancy, expensive-looking, sophisticated equipment, it yields even more dramatic outcomes. The bottom line is that the greater the expectation, the greater the effect. In other words, building a strong belief creates the foundation for the result.

There are still more revealing facts about placebos that dovetail directly into our human psychology. For example, color is often employed to evaluate mood states, as in the Lüscher Color Test. The validity of this test has been determined to be overall 81 percent in agreement with the Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis. So how does color correlate with the placebo effect? Well, blue is more effective as a “downer,” and red is the preferred color for an “upper.” Further, as Daniel Keogh and Luke Harris point out in their very informative Internet film, studies have shown that people who take their medication on a regular basis are much less likely to die than those who don’t adhere to their drug regimen, even if they’re only taking placebos. If that’s not enough to convince you of the power of belief, then try this one. Again, the creators of the aforementioned film point out that placebos can also be addictive. In one study, 40 percent of the women who’d taken an inactive medication for five years suffered withdrawal symptoms.

Remember that by definition, there’s no medical value to a placebo. It’s not what’s in the substance that matters but what we put in it via our belief. Clever researchers can weight our belief by feeding an already expectant psychology with the right color, shape, size, and so forth to further ensure the maximum effect! That’s right, a genuine medical result from a nonmedical intervention. It’s clearly our minds that have the power.

The Authority Figure

Several years ago, I conducted research that involved patients diagnosed with cancer. I used a cognitive approach by employing an audio recording (my Innertalk technology) designed to fundamentally influence what the subjects thought to be true, generating a positive outlook and confidence in the body’s ability to heal itself. In other words, the design of the study sought to measure the influence of a change in beliefs on the progression of cancer.

In short, this is what we found: First, every single patient who believed that the mind had a role in wellness, and whose physician believed this as well, was in complete remission (no evidence of cancer). By contrast, every single individual whose doctor reported that the mind had no role in wellness was dead. In a sense, it didn’t matter what the patient thought within this latter group—it all depended upon the medical authority.

Even though this was just a small test group, the results disturbed and puzzled me. That puzzlement changed recently when science learned through the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) that “parts of the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices, which play key roles in vigilance and skepticism when judging the truth and importance of what people say, were deactivated” in the presence of an authority. While the first study I noticed of this nature was about the clergy, other studies show that this effect includes anyone we think of as an authority.

Similar to the power of the placebo, it appears that the health-care professional can reverse the positive by informing us that matters are out of our hands, and as with the cancer patients in the study, we’ll just surrender to their preconceptions and die.


It now seems obvious: What we believe predisposes our expectation and behavior. It directly influences our health, sense of well-being, and even the aging process. So what is it that you anticipate? Do you think you’ll “catch” the cold, flu or other “bug” that’s going around? Do you assume you’ll be sick for a certain amount of time? Does it seem that some illnesses are more likely at a specific age, under certain conditions, or simply because of genetics? What would happen if you changed your own beliefs about this? Is it possible that you could become healthier, avoid many of the infections that go around, and recover more quickly when you do become sick? Many people are reporting just this result.

For information on the book launch, please visit here.

About Eldon Taylor

Eldon Taylor is an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of more than 300 books, audio, and video programs. He’s the inventor of the patented InnerTalk technology and the founder and president of Progressive Awareness Research. He has been called a “master of the mind” and has appeared as an expert witness on both hypnosis and subliminal communication.

Eldon was a practicing criminalist conducting investigations and lie-detection examinations for many years. He is listed in more than a dozen Who’s Who publications, including Who’s Who of Intellectuals and Who’s Who in Science and Engineering. He is a fellow in the American Psychotherapy Association and an internationally sought-after speaker. His books and audio-video materials have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have sold millions worldwide.

Eldon is the host of the popular radio show Provocative Enlightenment. He has interviewed some of the most interesting people on the planet. His shows are thought-provoking and always fresh in both their perspective and the exchange.

Mr. Taylor is currently on tour with Virtual Book Tour Cafe’.  Please visit his other tour stops here:

March  16 –  Guest Blogging at Speculative  Friction
March  19 – Interviewed at Writing  Innovations Ezine
March  20 – Guest Blogging at Rhodes Review
March  21 – Guest  Blogging at Waiting on Sunday  to Drown
March  23 – Guest Blogging at Books Are  Cool
March  24 – Guest Blogging at Hire to  Inspire
March 26 – Guest Blogging with Margaret West
March  27 – Interviewed  at MK McClintock’s  Blog
March  28 – Interviewed at Reviews & Interviews
March  29 – Review & Interview at Black  Diamonds Book Reviews
March  30 – Guest Blogging with Cindy  Vine
April  2 – Interviewed at Dr. Ni’s Notes & Nibbles

Interview: Alicia Arnold – Author of Creatively Ever After.

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Today we are pleased to have with us Alicia Arnold author of Creatively Ever After.

Rhodes Review: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

Alicia: I’ve enjoyed writing since I was a teenager, however, I didn’t consider becoming a writer until decades later. In 2007, I took a writing course where I was able to hone my writing skills and find my voice as an author. This course launched the concept for Creatively Ever After.

Rhodes Review: How did you start writing?

Alicia: My writing process started with identifying the problem, then creating a how-to book to answer the needs of business leaders and providing a solution to the creativity crisis.

Rhodes Review: How long does it take you to write a book? 

Alicia: Creatively Ever After took 4 years to write. I was working on a number of ideas simultaneously, but just couldn’t get the idea of writing a book on creative problem solving out of my head. 

Rhodes Review: What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? 

Alicia: I work best in the morning and late at night. Writing the book consisted of waking up hours before my two boys stirred and getting a couple of pages done at a time. As ideas came to me, I kept notes on whatever scraps of paper I could find and would then spend weekends, early mornings, and nights synthesizing the ideas into the plot. My schedule became a bit frenetic with the demands of a full time job and kids on top of writing. I found it best not to add extra pressure by creating a strict writing schedule. Instead, I wrote when the mood struck me. When I hit a wall with writing, I put the manuscript aside for a little while. What I found was that I had to fall in love with writing the book over and over again. Reading and re-reading early chapters kept me going. And, soon I became curious about how the tale would end. Once I hit this point, everything fell into place.

Rhodes Review: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? 

Alicia: When I hit particularly challenging points in writing the book, I would think about them just before going to bed and allow my subconscious to work out the details. This is how I wrote many of my best works while in college. Dreaming can be a wonderful tool.

Rhodes Review: Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they? 

Alicia: It is important to find a topic you are passionate about. Writing can be a marathon rather than a sprint. By writing about a topic you love, you’ll improve your chances for following through. I feel the topic is more important than the mechanics of writing as there are lots and lots of great editors to help with mechanics. 

Rhodes Review: What inspired you to write Creatively Ever After?

Alicia: There were two inspirations for writing Creatively Ever After. The first inspiration was all of the dialogue about the need for creativity and innovation in business. There were many research reports and studies, including work by IBM (, citing creativity as the number one leadership competency for the future. The second inspiration was research and reports citing the decline of creativity. Newsweek’s cover article on the “creativity crisis” ( helped shine a light on this issue. Knowing there was empirical evidence supporting creativity is learnable, I set out to help answer the call for creativity in business by writing a how-to book that would teach specific creativity skills, tools and techniques.

Over 50 years of research proved that creativity can be learned. When auditing all the reading materials around the topic of creativity, two things came to light. One, most of the material was academic in nature and challenging to read. The second was the material was not always well researched. Given these two dynamics, I decided to write an educational, yet entertaining book teaching based on the well documented and proven tools and techniques of creative problem solving.

Rhodes Review: Using Jack and Jill was a very interesting way to teach the process, how did you come up with this?

Alicia: Creatively Ever After is a business fable.In designing the fable format, I recalled vivid memories of Sesame Street and how I learned the alphabet through storytelling, song, and engaging techniques that seemed too fun to be called learning. When I teach creativity, I leverage these “edutainment” tools by teaching creativity through nursery rhymes. I’ve found even the toughest c-suite executives were able to let down their guard and open their minds to creativity when using this format. So, when thinking about how to combine the potential dryness of fact with the enjoyment of fiction, I landed on the business fable. Using the fictitious storyline of Jack and Jill to demonstrate the nonfiction creative problem solving process helped illustrate how the creative process can be used to solve challenges many think are not solvable. I chose Jack and Jill because it is a highly recognizable nursery rhyme and one that we’ve been trained to believe is unsolvable. Using the steps of the creative problem solving process I walk through how Jack and Jill – Define their Goal, Gather Data, Clarify the Problem, Generate Ideas, Develop Solutions and Plan for Action. As readers go through each of the chapters, Jack and Jill’s challenge with the hill becomes a metaphor for how readers can use creative problem solving to tackle their own challenges. Each chapter ends with content rich sidebars to recap learning and pose questions to help readers work through each of the steps of creative problem solving.

Rhodes Review: What are some of your favorite authors/books?

Alicia: My favorite books include A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Secret Garden, and Orbiting the Giant Hairball. I love the perspective of human nature of these three books provide. 

Rhodes Review: If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Alicia: I wish I could have dinner with Steve Jobs. There are lots and lots of people with great ideas. But, Steve Jobs was able to build a culture of creativity and innovation that broke through corporate culture and the barriers that stand in the way when introducing something new. Jobs’ vision and ability to execute were inspiring.

We’d like to thank Alicia once again for joining us here and taking time to answer our questions.

Review: Creatively Ever After – Alicia Arnold

Thursday, October 6th, 2011
 Paperback: 182 pages
Publisher: Alder Hill Press (August 14, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0983440514
ISBN-13: 978-0983440512
Order book here:


Order e-book here:


We all know the story, from childhood, about Jack and Jill. A brother and sister perpetually destined, like Sysyphus, to continually go up a hill to fetch a pail of water, only to come tumbling back down losing their water. But the story doesn’t end there. In fact, in Alicia Arnold’s book Creatively Ever After, the siblings set out to change their story. This is when they are introduced to The Creative Problem Solving Process, which is the main intent of the book.

Through this process, they are taught to define a problem, break it down into sections, look for new ways to approach the problem, and many other tasks.

Each chapter ends with a sidebar summary of the major points of that lesson. It’s a nice way to learn a new process, and Ms. Arnold does so in a matter that keeps the subject from getting dry. I found it quite entertaining actually to read and wonder how Jack and Jill was going to solve their problem.

If you are in management, especially in working with teams, I think this would be a beneficial book for you. For that I recommend it.

About the Author

Alicia Arnold holds a Master of Science degree in Creative Studies from the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College and an M.B.A in Marketing from Bentley University. Alicia is a certified facilitator of the Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem Solving process and an invited speaker at the annual Creative Problem Solving Institute. She is published on the topic of creativity with Bloomberg Businessweek, The National Association of Gifted Children, iMedia Connection and blogs about creativity and innovation.

By day, she is an award-winning, digital marketer and uses her passion for creativity and innovation to train teams on creativity techniques, develop breakthrough digital experiences and facilitate innovation workshops. Alicia is also a mom to two wonderful boys, a lifelong learner and someone who loves ideas and making them happen.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Rebecca at Cadence Marketing for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Please Stop Laughing at Me – Jodee Blanco

Thursday, October 7th, 2010


Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Adams Media (July 18, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1440509867
ISBN-13: 978-1440509865
Order book here:
Order E-book here:

School Bullying. We’ve all been hearing about it. Jodee Blanco experienced it. This experience became the basis for her book “Please Stop Laughing At Me”. The book is bookended by chapters of her arriving for her 20th Reunion. Afraid to go in, she reminisces on her school experiences.

It started out pretty normal for her. Things began to go awry, when she stood up for a younger deaf girl. From that point on, she always seemed to make a target of herself, generally by standing up for others. She was beaten, spit on, had rocks thrown at her, had her clothes destroyed.

She’d switch schools, things would be good for a while, then the whole process would start all over again.  It was a never ending cycle for her it seemed.  She admits at one point in the book that she just wanted to die. 

Teachers had the general attitude that kids will be kids. Her parents took her to a shrink to find out what was wrong with her. Why couldn’t she get along with the kids her age?

She managed to survive her school years. It made her stronger, and she has become an advocate for school bullying. For others though, it’s not so simple. Some take their revenge on their classmates, as we’ve seen happen at Columbine. Others take their own lives as we so often see.

You never know who experienced it, and what impact it had on their lives, or how their lives would be different. I experienced it to a much lesser degree than Ms. Blanco. I was overweight. Because of that, parts of my chest hung over a brace I wore. I was told different things growing up: “No girl will ever love you because your tits are bigger than hers”. “You have bigger tits than my girlfriend”. While minor, it caused me to withdraw.   I’d pondered suicide in middle school and high school, because I was so unhappy.

I don’t remember many close friendships from the time I was in Elementary school to my Junior/Senior year of High School. It was at that time, I started forming the person I am now, and forming friendships, that I’ve had the pleasure to renew after 25 years.   Because I felt neglected, ignored, and unwanted, it’s made me a much more compassionate person, I like to think.

Statistics say that in the U.S. every 100 minutes, a teenager kills theirself. In the month of September, there were at least 9 reported cases of teenagers committing suicide due to bullying. This bullying occurred either due to the fact they were gay or were perceived to be.

18 Year Old Tyler Clementi killed himself by jumping from the George Washington Bridge after being secretly filmed and put on the internet having sex with a man in his dorm room. 19 year old Raymond Chase, Student at Johnson and Wales hanged himself. Billy Lucas, 15 year old Freshman. Asher Brown, 13 years old. Was apparently bullied because he was perceived as being Gay. Seth Walsh – 13 years old, hung himself after being bullied because he was gay. Caleb Nolt, 14, Student at North Side High School in Fort Wayne, IN. Harrison Chase Brown, 15 years old. Rand Colorado. Cody J. Barker, 17, Shiocton Wis. Apparently bullied due to sexuality.

But bullying isn’t just kid on kid. As pointed out, kids can bully adults, as shown in a scene in this book. Adults can also bully other adults, as also shown in this book. And Adults can bully teens: Michigan Attorney General Andrew Shirvell went on a public blogging campaign against a University of Michigan student who was gay, was elected Student Body President. In La Crosse Wisconsin – A 14 year old girl at a pride parade, had a flag ripped from her hands and told to go to a country where people like her were hanged.

There have also been numerous cases of cyberbullying that have led to the victims killing themselves. And the victims fall on both sides, those being bullied, and those who don’t stand up for them, out of fear that they’ll be ostracized. And I’ll admit, I’m guitly of that as well, I saw people picked on in high school, but I rarely did anything to help, because I didn’t want to push myself lower on the social chain.

But back to the book.

This book had a very vivid portrayal of a young girls struggles with being bullied. It’s not just about the bullying, but about the surviving.  She does, as her parents often said, goes on to be a much stronger person, and it leads her into helping others cope with bullying. 

I beg all of you reading this to buy this book, read it, have your kids, grandkids, anyone you love who might be in a position to be bullied to read it. They need to know they aren’t out there alone. Parents, Teachers, and all of us need to stand together so we can fight this. As she points out, the bullies never remember, the bullied never forget.

Ms. Blanco runs a seminar business where she travels around to schools to discuss school bullying. You can learn more about this at Visit Ms. Blanco’s website. She as an excellent Q&A on Cyber Bullying, that is included at the end of the book as well.

About the Author:

Survivor, expert and activist Jodee Blanco is one of the country’s pre-eminent voices on the subject of school bullying. She is the author of The New York Times bestseller, Please Stop Laughing At Me . . . One Woman’s Inspirational Story. A chronicle of her years as the student outcast, the book inspired a movement inside the nation’s schools and is swiftly becoming an American classic. Referred to by many as “the anti-bullying bible,” it is required reading in hundreds of middle and high schools and numerous universities throughout the country. Please Stop Laughing at Me . . . has also been recognized as an essential resource by The National Crime Prevention Council, The Department of Health & Human Services, the National Association of Youth Courts, Special Olympics, The FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), Teacher Magazine and hundreds of state and local organizations from the PTA and regional law enforcement coalitions to school safety groups.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Anna at FSB Associates for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Entered this review into Cym Lowell’s weekly contedst: CymLowell

Clean, Green, & Lean – Dr. Walter Crinnion

Thursday, May 27th, 2010



Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (March 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0470409231
ISBN-13: 978-0470409237
Order from here:

We are being poisoned. That is the basis of this book from Dr. Walter Crinnion. The book is divided into different sections: Foods to Eat, Things to Clean with, Purging, Supplements, and Recipes/Meal plans. I found several eye opening things contained in this book. For example, Fish, my doctor has recommended that I eat less red meats and pork and more fish and chicken. However, reading this, there are very few fish that are safe to eat. The safest are things such as Tilapia. Some of the worst, Tuna and Salmon. When looking for fish, you must also look at how/where they were raised. If the label say’s farm raised salmon, they are probably Atlantic Salmon. Unless it specifies Pacific Salmon, it’s probably Atlantic Salmon, and has a lot more mercury. Tuna, the mercury from one sandwich of canned tuna can be in your bloodstream for 20 years.

In the areas of food, he gives apples, Bell Peppers, Carrots, Celery, Cherries, Grapes (imported), Kale, Lettuce, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, and Strawberries as foods to avoid. If you can’t avoid them, he says you should buy organic. The reason being, all get pesticides on their skins, that cannot be easily washed away. He does give scrubs for vegetables using things like vinegar, or recommends peeling them. What he calls the clean dozen, are things such as Asparagus, Avocados, Cabbage, Eggplant, Kiwis, Mangoes, Onions, Papayas, Pineapples, Sweet Corn, Sweet Peas, and Watermelon. These are okay to buy non-organic versions of.

He also goes into one chapter on avoiding Gluten, and covers through various means such as rice flour, buckwheat, etc. to avoid Gluten products. The whole basic idea is much of what we eat contains items that are toxic to our bodies. These toxins contribute to things such as Obesity, Diabetes, Asthma, etc. He gives many examples of patients who’ve followed his de-tox plans and managed to lose weight fast, and get rid of numerous medical conditions.

Some of the more delicate areas of the book, I won’t bother to mention. In the area of cleaning, he recommends getting rid of all carpeting, putting down real wood (not laminate) flooring, no plastic products, fragrant free clothes softeners, etc. I think following some of his ideas could only be more helpful to the environment, and more healthy. However, I could see serious problems with someone who has OCD and reads this book, you’d probably drive yourself crazy trying to follow every one of his directives.

I think the majority of this book was well written. I could see myself following some of his advice, particularly in the areas of organic vs. non-organic. If you want to get your house, your body, and your life a little more green, than I think this book may help. Now I’m not the best person out there to tell you whether he was accurate or not, healthy eating hasn’t been part of my life, but I’m trying to correct that in some areas. So I think for me, this book will help out some. Check it out if you get the chance, and use what helps you, and discard what doesn’t.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Anna at FSB Associates for a review copy of this book.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Happiness at Work – Srikumar S. Rao, Phd.

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010



Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (March 8, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0071664327
ISBN-13: 978-0071664325
Order from here:

It’s a situation we’ve all been in. Sometimes our jobs just seem to grind on us. In this book, Dr. Rao attempts to lead the reader in how they can obtain happiness at work. Some of it is practical advise. Many times it gave me a lot to think about.

One instance that caused a lot of thought was about the proof of existence. The author used the example of Gold. A golden ring has two parts. One part is the tool that made it, the other is the gold it was made from. You then ask yourself what made up the gold? This keeps going further and further back. The end result he says could be traced to The Big Bang, creation, or whatever you choose to call it. The idea is that if there were a creator, what material did he make the world out of. The answer turns out to be himself. The conclusion then, that we are all part of the same creator.

Many things he uses stories for. Another story involves a hotel analogy. Our bodies are just temporary facilities where our spirits stop by to rest. Problems that plague us aren’t really problems, unless we perceive them as such. Our mental attitude towards things determines if we are happy or not, outside that there is no such thing as bad things. In fact, he recommends dropping the “bad” tag altogether when describing things.

I think this book was very helpful. While reading it, there were often times where I just had to stop and ponder the ideas he presented. I didn’t find any that were impractical, and some actually seemed like they’d help. So if you want to try to achieve a little more happpiness at work, or most importantly just in life, then give this book a shot. The interesting thing is that most of his ideas, though it says at work, can be applied to every day life.

See an article on this book here.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Julie at FSB Associates for a review copy of this book.  It in no way influenced my review.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Naked Being – J.M. Harrison

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010



Paperback: 145 pages
Publisher: O Books (April 16, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1846943035
ISBN-13: 978-1846943034
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Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it
Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held
Believe nothing because it is said in ancient books
Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin
Believe nothing just because someone else believes it
Believe only what you, yourself test and judge to be true.
–Siddhārtha Gautama aka Buddha (563-483 BCE)

So begins the opening pages of the Naked being. Now dear reader, despite where your minds may be going, this book actually has nothing to do with being naked. I know there are some who will be disappointed. What the book is about, is stripping your mind/self down to the barest essence. As one of the quotes in the book, from Chief Seattle, says, “Man did not weave the web of life – he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.” The premise is that we are all connected, and that by stripping away misconceptions about self, we can find that connection.

The book is written as a series of ideas. I think it works best when you take the ideas and think and meditate on them. It’s not a book you can read cover to cover, and say “Oh, I get it now, I just need to do this.”. I didn’t have any Eureka moments, but can see where this book would be helpful to some. It’s a fairly thin book, running at 145 pages. If you are one of those wanting to get in touch with yourself, and connect better with others, than this book might possibly help you. Check it and see what you think.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Catherine at O Books for the review copy.  It in no way influenced my decision.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review – Wow: A Handbook For Living – Zen Ohashi & Zono Kurazono

Monday, April 12th, 2010


 Cover for Wow: A Handbook for Living

Paperback: 170 pages
Publisher: One Peace Books (March 16, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0978508483
ISBN-13: 978-0978508487
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This is a harder book to review than some. It’s actually a series of exercises that are supposed to help you live a better, or happier life. In a time period for a review, in which you need to turn around the book, it’s a little harder with something like this. You need to take the exercise and try them out for a few days, weeks, or months, and see if they work. They seemed to be fairly good advice though. Sometimes, however, it gave me the impression of listening to Dr. Phil (How’s that Working for you). One example, is to think of the biggest issue in your life. Now, take 5 seconds and think about how to solve it. That will usually give you the answer you need. I think that taken as a whole, following this advice could help you reflect more on things. Perhaps that’s the purpose, to take time and think over things.

There is actually very little text in the book. I read it in about an hours time. It’s mostly one or two sentences, some photos, and lots of white space. But as I mentioned, the purpose is to use the 31 ideas and spread them out over time. Concentrate on one area at a time, and see how that works. I’d recommend it, if you need a way to get in touch with parts of yourself. But then only if you have time to perform the exercises as needed.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing – Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards

Friday, April 17th, 2009




Paperback: 186 pages
Publisher: Paladin Timeless Books (June 15, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1933353228
ISBN-10: 978-1933353227
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When I first set out to start a book review website, I found it very difficult to find a good book to help me out.  Then I stumbled upon this book.  The purchase of this proved to be worth the money I spent.  The author covers everything from pitfalls of an amateur reviewer, responsibilities, and online areas to help get you started.  Among some of the ideas discussed, what does a reviewer do with with their review copies when their done.  Is it ethical to sell them, or do you give them away.  The most common practice I’ve seen is the give-a-ways.   If your a book reviewer starting out, and looking for a helpful guide to get you started, I’d start here.  While the book is fairly thin, it provides a lot of information and very helpful advice within its pages.   It’s definitely a niche product, but worth picking up for potential reviewers.

You can discuss it here