Archive for May, 2010

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.

Article: Happiness at Work – Srikumar S. Rao, Ph.D.

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Happiness at Work
Be Resilient, Motivated, and Successful — No Matter What

By Srikumar S. Rao, Ph.D.
Published by McGraw-Hill
April 2010; $22.95US; 978-0-07-166432-5

Are You Happy at Work?

Do you wake up each day radiantly alive and brimming with cheer?
Do you derive deep meaning from what you do?
Are you so passionate about your work that you would almost pay for the privilege of doing it?

These are just a few of the provocative questions that Dr. Srikumar Rao poses in this book, which is based on his wildly popular classes at schools such as Columbia Business School, the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley, and the London School of Business. Offering a radically different, Zen-like approach to business success, Dr. Rao’s profound teachings redefine what it means to be successful, rich, and happy — especially when the economy and job market throw you for a loop. This is no ordinary business book. This isHappiness at Work.

When you’re worried about your job, future, and monthly bills, should you really be asking yourself, Am I happy?Yes, because happiness works.That’s the simple but profound message behind Happiness at Work, an interactive book based on Dr. Srikumar Rao’s renowned teachings at the world’s most prestigious business schools. Using thought-provoking exercises and inspiring life lessons drawn from ancient wisdom, world history, and business, this transformative guide shows you how to reclaim your joy for living — and create your own vision of success.

Learn how to:

  • Greet each day with a sense of purpose.
  • Commit intensely — and joyfully — to everything you do.
  • Stop defining your life with “good” or “bad” labels.
  • Create your own miracles — no matter what life throws at you.
  • Attract positive people, energy, and actions into your universe.

Dr. Rao’s life-altering program will enlighten, amaze, edify, and inspire you, even in the most challenging of times. You’ll learn how positive thinking and affirmations can actually be bad for you — and how some of the things that you may desperately want can be the very things that devastate you. You’ll discover a new path to success based on your unique definition of what success means. And, with each exercise in the book, you’ll make a more profound connection to the joy that already exists in your heart.

Happiness doesn’t come from your job, house, or bank account — it comes from within yourself.

Author Bio
Srikumar S. Rao conceived the pioneering course “Creativity and Personal Mastery,” which has transformed the lives of thousands of students and executives at many of the world’s leading business schools and corporations. He has taught at the Columbia Business School, London Business School, Kellogg School of Management, and Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. He has spoken at and conducted workshops attended by executives of dozens of leading companies including General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, Google, Microsoft, IBM, MasterCard, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America. He was a contributing editor for ForbesFinancial World, and Success and an executive at Warner Communications, the Continental Group, and McGraw-Hill. Dr. Rao lives in New York City and frequently travels around the world.

Please visit for many tools and useful resources. You can follow him on Twitter @srikumarsrao, or become a fan of Srikumar Rao on Facebook.

“Follow Srikumar Rao’s instructions and you will enjoy the journey to more happiness and meaning in your life, no matter what!”
–From the Foreword by Marshall Goldsmith, author of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

Happiness at Work brings new understanding of the essential role that happiness plays in workplace learning and performance. Srikumar Rao’s guidelines for our journey to leadership include aspects rarely explored and newly significant. Cheers for Happiness at Work.”
–Frances Hesselbein, Chairman and Founding President, Leader to Leader Institute

“This book is a treasure chest full of wisdom. Each and every one of its 34 chapters introduced me to, or reminded me of, a very important principle for living a happy and successful life.”
–Jack Canfield, Cocreator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series and Coauthor of The Success Principles

Of Local Interest: Ohioana Book Festival

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Yesterday my wife and I took our first trip to the Ohioana Book Festival.  It wasn’t something I’d ever heard of until earlier this week.   The event was held at the State Library of Ohio.  I didn’t even know there were State Libraries.  It seems to be an archival area for works from authors born in Ohio, or who’ve lived in Ohio for a certain period of time.  They had many writers from a wide variety of genres.  One of the sponors of this event was Barnes & Noble.  From the 7th to the 13th of May, 10-20% of proceeds from Barnes & Noble went to help support the State Library. 

We weren’t quite familiar with the process, and weren’t quite sure what to expect.  We only were able to meet two of the authors there.  One was Terry W. Ervin II.  We purchased his novel  Flank Hawk.  I plan to post a review on this book later.  The other was a Graphic Novel prequel to Terminator: Salvation by Dara Naraghi .  We also spoke to a nice group of women representing Sisters in Crime an organization for women (and men apparently) writers in the Columbus area.

Having attended this event, I hope going forward, to contact some of the local authors, and do local features on their clubs, authors, books, etc. If you would like to have your work featured, and are from/live in Ohio, contact me, and we’ll work something out. We definitely plan on attending the event again next year.

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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
Order from here:

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: The Third Rail – Michael Harvey

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010


Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (April 20, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307272508
ISBN-13: 978-0307272508
Order from here:

Michael Kelly. Private Eye. Chicago is his playground. This is Michael Harvey’s third novel involving Michael Kelly. I haven’t read the first 2, but after reading this, I plan to pick them up. This story is set in and around the North side of Chicago. A woman is shot in the subway system. Moments later a 2nd woman is shot while sitting on the train. Michael Kelly is attacked. Who is doing the mass killings? What do they have against Michael Kelly?

I wasn’t 100% sure what to think at the beginning of this novel. There was one page where a young Asian woman, in a blue suit, took Michael to meet a man. That was a young white man with a brown suit. He took Michael to wait in a room where a young black man in a gray suit showed up. It seemed like it was going to be one of those novels where they get to verbose. That didn’t happen.

The story alternated between Michael’s view of the story, and that of the killer. Michael’s view is told from the first person perspective, while the killers is told from second person. This works very well in my opinion. It gave me the impression of the old 40s detective movies starring Bogart and others. The descriptions of places within Chicago, my having never been there, seemed quite vivid. I could almost picture the bars, hotels, and the run down buildings.

I think if you like detective thrillers, this is one that would be right up your alley. Sometimes I can guess what’s going on. This time I wasn’t able to even guess until the final few pages. A secondary short story called The Blue Line follows up with some loose ends left from the main story. Even with that, there are a few loose ends that I have a feeling will be revisited in a future novel. This book covers some issues faced by today’s society, and I think that helped add to some of the realism. Grab a copy, a cup of tea, and find you a comfortable seat.  We hope to have an interview with Mr. Harvey soon.  When we do you’ll be able to read it here.

An article about the book, and about Michael Harvey and Chicago can be found at the Knopf/Doubleday Website.

Trailer can be seen below:

YouTube Preview Image

Michael Harvey is the creator, writer, and executive producer of the television series Cold Case Files, as well as an Academy Award-nominee for his documentary Eyewitness, and is a former investigative reporter for CBS. He earned a law degree at Duke and a masters in journalism from Northwestern. He also owns a bar in Chicago. Visit his at website, Facebook Page, or on Twitter. A portion of the proceeds goes to Cambodian Childrens’ Fund.





*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Caitlin and Julie at FSB Associates for providing 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.

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Review: Iron Man 2 – Alexander Irvine – Based on the Screenplay by Justin Theroux

Sunday, May 9th, 2010



Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Grand Central; 1 edition (April 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446564583
ISBN-13: 978-0446564588
Order from here:

Tony Stark is back. This time there’s more Iron Man. More SHIELD. But the same old Tony. His main Nemesis this time around is Ivan Vanko. A secondary nemesis in a sense of the word, is the U.S. Government. They, along with Tony’s friend Lt. Col. James Rhodes, and industrialist Justin Hammer, want the Iron Man technology for weapons. Tony wants it used for defense, not offense. The book is full of action sequences. From the moment Ivan Vanko first shows up, it seems nonstop action until the end. I can’t go into much more detail, except to say it was a very enjoyable book.

There was some language/situations in the book that might not be wholly appropriate for those under 17. And of course there are some scenes of action violence, explosions, fights, etc. But for fans of Iron Man, Marvel, or just comics in general, I’d recommend this book. As of this writing, I haven’t seen the movie, but if the book is any indication, it should be quite a summer movie.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Anna at Hachette Book Groups 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.

Innocent – Scott Turow

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010



Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; May 4, 2010
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446562424
ISBN-13: 978-0446562423
Order from here:

Poor Rusty Sabich. It seems he’s always getting involved in the murder of someone he’s close to. 20 Years ago it was his lover, this time around his wife. A lot of the characters from Presumed Innocent return in this novel. There’s Nat Sabich, Rusty’s Son. Sandy Stern, the lawyer who helped Rusty the last time he was in trouble. Tommy Molto, Prosecuting Attorney. This time around they are joined by Anna, Rusty’s former lover. Marta Stern, daughter and lawyer to Sandy Stern, and Jimmy Brand, the Assistant PA.

The general story is that Rusty wakes up next to his dead wife’s body. He waits 24 hours to notify anyone. The main plot is him being charged again for a crime. Is it revenge from Tommy Molto for the past trial? Did Rusty kill his wife? If not Rusty, then who?

This novel kept me guessing up until the last chapters. I thought I’d solved it halfway in, but then the author kept throwing in twists. I was never sure who did it or why. The Trial scenes weren’t quite as in depth as they’d been in Presumed Innocent. Also, the voice of this book was hard at times. There were times I was reading a chapter and it was as if Tommy or Rusty were speaking to me. Other times it felt as if the narrator were speaking about them. There lacked a cohesiveness in that. Each chapter bounced between 1 of the primary characters. The reader gets the chance to see how some event played out from different perspectives. I thought that was a nice touch.

On a family friendly level, I’d recommend this for ages 17 and above. There’s strong language, and situations. But it’s a riveting story that keeps you reading to find out who murdered Barbara Sabich. Pick it up if you get the chance. It’s a new release, having just hit bookstores yesterday (5/4/10). I’d recommend you read Presumed Innocent first though, or this will spoil that book greatly. But pick it up, if you enjoy thrillers, you’ll enjoy this one I think.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Henry at Hachettte Book Group for an ARC of this book.  Also, thanks to Henry, I”m pleased to announce our first Giveaway for May.  Three Copies of Innocent will be given to lucky winners.

To enter for a chance to win, simply follow these simple rules:

1) One Entry if you’re a follower [You can follow through Google Friend connect to the right, you can also sign up to follow through Twitter or Facebook].
2) An Additonal Entry if you blog about this contest.
3) An Additonal Entry if you’re a new follower.
4) One entry each for posting on facebook and/or twitter.
5) Must leave a comment letting me know how you follow me, blog link to this post, facebook/twitter link, etc.
6) Contest will continue until May 19, 2010.
7) This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada. No PO Box addresses (street mailing only).

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

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Contest Winners

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

Here are the winners in the contests I’ve been holding this month:

The 5 winners for Sexaholics are: The Silver Devil, Beth C., Thrifty Canuck, Amber, Brat
The 3 Winners for Alex Cross’s Trial are: Alva, Jeff, and Heidi
The 5 Winners for Ironman 2 are: Brandon, Eileen, Melissa, Robert, Anne.
The 3 winners for Presumed Innocent are: Alva, Book Ventures, Brat
The 3 winners for I has a hot dog are: Bri, Cym, and Mozi

Congratulations to all the winners. E-Mails are going out to get your address. If no response within 48 hours, a new name will be drawn. Thanks to Anna and Valeries at Hachette Book Groups for all the giveaway copies.

Contests Winding Down

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

I’m going to draw names about 3:00 PM EST. Still about 3 hours to enter. 5 Contests going on:

5 Copies Sexaholics
3 Copies Alex Cross’s Trial
5 Copies Iron Man 2
3 Copies Presumed Innocent
3 Copies I Has a Hotdog