Book Review – Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off!

Did you know most of us are on a high-protein diet whether we know it or not? I didn't either until I read Johansen's book, Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off! Did you know the US is among the top 10 countries with the most overweight people? … that three out of ten people are currently trying to lose weight? … that the grapefruit diet has been around since the 1930's?

Johansen has prepared us with a dish of healthy common sense facts and truths about dieting. She gives 12 characteristics of fad diets and explains how to spot them. Specifically, she mentions 15 of such diets by name – Jenny Craig, Paleo, Atkins, Gluten-free, Cleanse, Blood type, Nutrisystem, etc. – and logically explains why these diets are not beneficial and even detrimental to most people.

Next, Johansen explains who should limit or avoid foods in certain food groups and who should not. After all, as she points out, "… it's important that we don't develop an unhealthy or fearful relationship with food." In her book, she also explains how to visualize serving sizes. For instance, it may be easier to regulate food consumption when you think of a cup of cereal as the size of a baseball or three ounces as the size of your checkbook or a gram size being that of a paper clip.

For dessert, some of the book is ironically hilarious as Johansen explains ridiculous diets such as the "cotton ball baloney" in which a person eats 5 cotton balls soaked in lemonade. As you read through these once-popular "diets", you are given a clearer perspective of today's trending diets. In addition, over 30 tips are given for healthy eating such as: "Don't drink your calories," "Practice mindful eating" "Take advantage of your support system" and many more. Further, six indicators of not getting enough water and a description of our most efficient energy source are served on the table along with the main content.

Lastly, Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off, provides two websites where you can find a plethora of information on healthy eating and, at the time, design a diet specific to your needs.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who eats and reads – especially anyone who has been on a diet, is currently on a diet, or is thinking of going on a diet.
(5 out of 5)

My favorite quote: "… keeping a food and exercise dairy is one of the most useful weight management tools available." – Lisa Tillinger Johansen

Why Book Reviews Are Important On Amazon

If you’ve bought a book from Amazon, you’ve probably had the author ask you to post a review of the book. While you might not think much about the request, the author is focused on getting good reviews.

There are a variety of reasons that book reviews are important on Amazon, but here are the eight most important ones from an author’s perspective.

1. A book review helps other readers determine whether or not the book is for them. Nothing is worse that someone who already knows a lot about a topic buying a book, then discovering it’s for beginners. Or vice versa.

While authors generally try to explain who the book is for, a good review can reinforce that point more effectively.

2. A well-written review points out the things to look for in the book. Since you often highlight your favorite portions of the book in your review, it makes it easy for other readers to look forward to that section. It also helps highlight the content that is most relevant to readers – and that provides valuable feedback to the author for their next book.

3. One review encourages the next one. Not everyone wants to be the first in line, so you are doing a great service by being the first person to write a book review. Once you’ve gotten the ball rolling, one review leads to another, with readers often piggy-backing comments, responding to others’ comments.

Also note that you don’t have to write a review in order to comment on a review. You can join the conversation about a book at any time.

4. The more positive reviews a book receives, the better it ranks. The better it ranks, the more people see it. The more they see it, the more likely they are to buy it. So by posting a positive book review you are helping the book move up the ranks for more exposure.

And a note about the star ranking – anything below 4 stars is considered “not recommended”, so it helps to be generous with your stars.

5. The simple act of “liking” a review helps boost that review up the list of reviews. As a result, the book reviews appear in the order of the most helpful first. Therefore, whether or not you write a review, take time to read and rate the reviews already posted.

6. Once a book has 10 reviews, it’s eligible to be included in the “also bought” listing, as well as the “you might like” recommendations. These listings, in turn, add to the number of sales the book is likely to receive.

7. After an unspecified number of positive reviews, a book can be included in the “Recommended For You” emails sent to individual Amazon readers. As with every other step of the review process, this adds significantly to the number of sales a book may receive.

8. Many book review sites will not consider a book for review unless they have a number of reviews on the Amazon book page.

With these eight items in mind, you’ll understand why book reviews are important and why an Amazon author is asking you to write a review on the books you buy.

Book Review: Black Fortunes

Wills bagged a winner with Black Fortunes-The Story of the First Six African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires. As the title suggests, the author portrayed the stories of six people: Mary Ellen Pleasant, Robert Church Reed, OW Gurley, Hannah Elias, Annie Turnbo Malone, and Madam CJ Walker. While some are familiar with the story of Madam's hair care empire, I believe the stories of her predecessors are just as fascinating.

What makes the book a page turner? You see the determination, ingenuity, courage, brilliance, and faith of people who despite their beginnings pursued their dreams; as a result, they amassed a fortune – enduring unspeakable circumstances. You're engaged from beginning to end. This article discusses some of the benefits that I think any reader will gain.

5 Benefits

· History

Burke asserted that, "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." Black Fortune packs a ton of American history. You name it – slavery, reconstruction, segregation, Jim Crow, growth of the west, the resettling of Native Americans, business, real estate, housing, government, interracial dating / relations, and you'll find it. Furthermore, find out how the millionaires used their money to support abolitionists.

In effect, I suggest that both high school and college instructors consider making this book required reading for history or business classes. In addition to acquiring knowledge that has been kept from history books, students will draw connections between the past and present. How can you avoid repeating what you don't know?

· Case Studies

Along with the benefit of a unique historical perspective, the book provides six amazing case studies. Despite the conditions each person unearthed a way to survive and thrive. Like many affluent African Americans today, these individuals used their prosperity to support worthy causes. Hence, their stories present lessons on building business (marketing, research, recruiting talent, business expansion, raising capital, investing, product development, community involvement, and more). Simply put, the rise of Black Wall Street merits close analysis. You're bound to evoke a range of emotions and lively discussions.

· Insight

At the same time, Black Fortunes offers insight for entrepreneurs. The trail blazers shared a keen intuitiveness as well as a knack for taking risks. Unlike many who shriek with fear in the face of adversity, this bunch searched for opportunities. Furthermore, they devised strategies to leverage products and services.

Are you an entrepreneur? If you answered in the affirmative, you need a copy. By reading a chapter or two on days when things seem impossible, you're assured to attain understanding and encouragement.

· Inspiration

When you look at what these six individuals endured, anyone will be inspired to live a life of purpose, especially people of color. How does someone barely out of slavery not only pull him or herself up but surpass the people who oppressed them? They had less to work with, they faced insurmountable odds, and they could not openly enjoy the fruits of their labor. In short, they proved everyone wrong by dismantling stereotypes. So, if the six individuals featured in this book achieved what they did then, today we can achieve more.

· Entertainment

Someone said, "Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn't know the first thing about either". In my opinion this book makes a good movie; it teaches and inspires.

The Business of the 21st Century: Review

Robert Kiyosaki, the author of the best-selling series of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” books has recently published a new book. This is a review of this latest book, “The Business of the 21st Century”.

He introduces the book:

“In The Business of the 21st Century, I’m going to show you why you need to build your own business, and exactly what kind of business. But this isn’t just about changing the type of business you’re working with; it’s also about changing you. I can show you how to find what you need to grow the perfect business for you, but for your business to grow, you will have to grow as well.”

The premise of this book is that you can STILL experience success in business. Despite the “tough times” that are present due to the worldwide economic crisis, fortunes will be made.

But the qualifier is that you must choose wisely.

It is a current reality that American workers are competing with workers in every country in the world. Many of these workers are HAPPY to do the same work for one-tenth (or less) of your current wage!

For this reason – and many more economic factors – we are living in an era of unprecedented unemployment levels. The rates are often correlated to “The Great Depression” but that is not a fair comparison.

While the percentages of people who are unemployed may be similar to Depression levels, we live in a completely different world. The level of education, technology, and mobility are a hundred times more advanced that in the 1930’s. And yet, tens of millions of Americans are unemployed – or “underemployed” and working in jobs far below their education and experience. This is especially true of “Baby Boomers” who have very slim chances of matching their old jobs.

Robert Kiyosaki touches on this realityin his description of “The Cash Flow Quadrant”. He says ALL income earners fall into one of four categories, or four corners of “The Cash Flow Quadrant”.

The four divisions are:

Employee: These people are looking for a good job with benefits. They are also 100% at the mercy of their employers, who are at the mercy of global competition. The goal of every employee is to have some money left after paying all their expenses.

Self-Employed: These are small business owners and sole proprietors, characterized by “Mom and Pop” stores and service providers. Unfortunately, many displaced workers have tried to open a business only to find that they merely “bought” themselves a 100-hour per week job. They also quickly learn that when they stop working they stop earning.

Business owner: These people understand that maximum earning potential is only attainable by leveraging the efforts of many, many more. A business builder creates a “machine” that operates around the clock, without their direct input in every stage of the process.

One of the HUGE differences in the wealth creation potential of a business owner is the legal and ethical ability to record expenses on a “pre-tax” basis.

And the fourth quadrant is the Investor. The Investor has achieved sufficient wealth so that their money now “works” for them! This is the goal that all people strive for, if only to reach the point where they can someday “retire”. Unfortunately, today the vast majority of Americans can never retire without a drastic reduction in their lifestyle.

According to Kiyosaki, Business owners and Investors represent less than 20% of the productive population. More than 80% of workers are not free to direct their own schedules – they are tied to their job or their store.

Robert Kiyosaki advises that EVERYONE should have the goal of being a self-employed business owner. He then writes WHY network marketing is “The Business of the 21st Century” for these reasons:

1. Network marketing is the easiest business model to transition from employee to business owner. You can also start part-time and transition to full-time. In addition, the cost of entry is very low – usually as little as a few hundred dollars.

2. Network marketing is a system that provides leaders who have a vested interest in YOUR success. These leaders – and the available marketing systems – ALSO provide extensive training to make you successful. In most cases, these training resources are available for FREE or at a very low cost. Note: it is ALWAYS less expensive to purchase the accumulated wisdom of successful people than to repeat their mistakes!

3. Network marketing provides the most effective means of promoting a product – that is, by using personal relationships to provide recommendations. (Today these recommendations extend online to thousands of “friends and followers”)

4. Network marketing leverages the efforts of dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of others. All of these people are working on THEIR business but also are creating a stream of residual income for you.

5. Network marketing provides almost unlimited opportunities to increase your knowledge and develop your personal skills – which makes you more valuable as a leader and resource to others. It also places you in the circle of influence of other leaders who are in the top 1% of income earners and opens up additional opportunities.

6. Network marketing is a scalable enterprise. There are many avenues open to successful network marketers. All of these can be expanded to increase the business, across the country or around the world.

7. Network marketing creates not only wealth creation but an asset. The business you build is legacy. You can create a business that will outlive you.

8. Networking marketing is one business that creates residual income. You also create multiple streams of income – unlike more than 80% of workers who have one paycheck and are helpless when that ends. Residual income means you earn even when you are not “working” and you can hardly turn it off! For these reasons, network marketing truly has no income ceiling!

9. Network marketing has no education prerequisites. You can even participate if you are over-educated! There are no barriers based on race, age, background, or any other factor that may make you “unemployable” in a typical job search. Today, hundreds line up for one job opening as a janitor. In network marketing you can bypass every hurdle and start immediately.

10. Network marketing is perfectly positioned to take advantage of modern technologies. While the industry has been successful for decades using only face-to-face sales methods, these new technologies expand the opportunities exponentially. In particular, the growth of social networking gives you access to thousands, even millions of people. It is also a fact that millions are looking for ways to increase their income at any one moment.

For ALL these reasons, Robert Kiyosaki concludes that network marketing IS “The Business of the 21st Century”.

Advantages of Poverty – Book Review

Andrew Carnegie was an American industrialist who amassed a great fortune toward the end of the 19th century and then gave most of it away. Many American cities still have a Carnegie library donated by this philanthropist. By the time he died in 1919 he had given away millions of dollars. He had long held that it was a disgrace to die rich.

Carnegie did not start off rich however. He came to America as a small poor immigrant boy from Scotland. His family lived in poverty, first in Scotland, and then in Pittsburg. As a small boy he had to drop out of school and work long hours six days a week to help support his family.


Over time he worked his way out of poverty and became a multi-millionaire. In his later years he wrote a number of essays and books. Among them was his Gospel of Wealth. In this essay he opined that a man had a duty to earn as much money as he reasonably could. He then had a duty to care for his family and dependents. Finally, he had a duty to responsibly give away all his wealth before he died, and that is what he in fact did.


Among these various writings Carnegie penned one called the Advantages of Poverty in 1898. In this essay he repeats much of his Gospel of Wealth but in particular makes clear that in his experience a poor child has the advantage of having to work his way out of poverty. A child born in poverty takes nothing for granted and expects nothing he does not himself earn. He learns discipline and the value of work. He learns how to build wealth for he must do so or be condemned to remain in poverty. For Carnegie poverty was the great teacher.

He wrote that while it was proper to give alms to alleviate the most terrible suffering and deprivation of the most poor, it was a disservice to give them too much. He firmly believed that it was much more helpful and even more morally defensible to help others help themselves than to simply help them.


Carnegie’s philosophy of wealth and poverty was informed by the social Darwinists of the late 19th century. It was common among men of that thinking to believe that men who grew rich had evolved to do so and those who were poor were equally evolved to such a state. However Carnegie had some more compassion and understanding than many of the rich of his time.


In fact, having been both very poor and very rich he may have been uniquely equipped to preach the truth about wealth and poverty. Whether or not you agree with Carnegie’s entire gospel, there is much wisdom in what he said. Poverty can be a good teacher in many instances.


You can find Carnegie’s essay on the Advantages of Poverty in the small book of that title which also includes his writings on How to Die Rich and The Best Gift. The entire small book is a mere 49 pages in length. It can be read in an hour but will instruct for much longer.


Advantages of Poverty

Andrew Carnegie

©2004 Executive Books

Rating: Over all this is a good book and very interesting. I recommend it.

Escape The Mundane With Fantasy Books

Fantasy books will let your imagination fly. There is something about sitting down and reading a book and imagining the characters and settings, that is far more satisfying than watching a movie of the story. Science fiction books and horror books have legions of fans. There are certain authors like Stephen King who have developed a sizable and loyal following over the years. He is a master of his craft and manages to come up with interesting plot lines even after so many years of writing. Sci Fi has spawned many movies and television shows that are very popular with the general public.

Reading these works is a welcome escape from drudgery for many people. It is easy to sit down in a comfortable chair and curl up with a good book. Nowadays it is also possible to download all the major works on an Amazon Kindle or other ebook. It is this type of technology that was first foreshadowed in the works of Science Fiction. Not many people forty years ago would have believed it possible to download thousands of books onto a small computer tablet. Sci Fi has certainly contributed to making this possible by firing the imaginations of the future inventors of these products.

Many gadgets once seen only on Star Trek are now available in the modern world. There were a number of Star Trek fans who asked themselves if such things were possible, and then went on to invent the technology that now powers devices such as cell phones. The ideas in these books tend to precede them actually being invented. Flying the Space Shuttle is certainly a very futuristic endeavor that would not have been possible without imaginations working overtime. Once something is conceived in a book it tends to be brought to the market place in due time.

Fantasy books are a great escape and fun to read. Stephen King will forever go down in history as a master of his craft. No one can write horror books quite like him. His works are timeless and classic tales. Science fiction books are responsible for firing the imaginations of many inventors. And thanks to these inventors we now have a myriad of modern gadgets that we would not have had otherwise. These genres have contributed greatly to the modern comforts of our society. Sitting down with a good book is something that everyone should indulge in on a regular basis.

6 Benefits Of Using the Kindle Platform

Kindle is one of the most widely used e-reader platform’s today. For so many reasons, readers have been captivated by the kindle because downloads of their favourite magazines, newspapers and books are faster and easier. Unlike other apps, it offers straightforward instructions which speeds up your downloading process. There are six benefits you should know about Kindle. Read below and find out.

Apart from the six benefits that are listed below, there is one feature of kindle that is very beneficial to readers. You can actually download for free the first chapter of any book. Yes, you heard that right. This is by far the most amazing feature of the Kindle platform.

Why you should use kindle:

1.) Stores more, Weighs Less. The volume that this app can store is remarkable. It gives the readers the convenience of storing all their favorite books in this portable app. The storage capacity can reach up to 3,500 books. Readers can also download their books anywhere using this app.

2.) Handy. Reference materials, reading materials, books and the like can be kept in one single device. You will have the comfort of bringing it anywhere you go. You can open and read anytime you want especially when you need immediate information.

3.) Features. The app takes notes of your recent reads and where you have left off. It allows the book to be restored available for the reader when app is reopened.

4.) Resolution. One of the Kindle reading devices uses a 6-inch screen with grey scale which is less strenuous for the eyes. This feature allows you to relax while having a good read book. They are many other types and sizes of Kindle devices available on the market today.

5.) Updated. This app updates every now and then. Obsolete is not a word for kindle. Readers will never be left behind. A very efficient platform.

6.) Access. It gives you links to similar books or reading materials you might want to acquire.

The life of the battery is also high with Kindle. There will be no hassle of charging and recharging your device. Moreover, it can let you borrow books from its library which include best sellers and also older classic books. Users can also share some books with other Amazon users.

Fortunately, Kindle books are offered at a much cheaper price and books are sold in the same manner apart of course from its free books.

Lastly, it is a wireless download and to top it all, it is an abundant library of over 650,000 books including the audiobooks.

Kindle is a life-changing platform that will surely improve your reading experience and how your literature is being obtained. While we wait for more developments about this amazing platform, let us enjoy first the benefits it presently offers.

Mesothelioma Book – Review

"Lean on Me" Cancer through a carer's eyes
Lorraine Kember (2003)
130pp.ISBN 0 646 49969 6

As Janet Craven, palliative care nurse, and Andrew Dean, palliative care physician note in their respective forwards to this book, Lean on Me is a unique and intensely personal description of a writer's responses to her husband Brian's diagnosis, treatments and final death from mesothelioma . The book also provides useful discription of the nature of pain, the usefulness of certain drugs, and the ways in which keeping a journal can assist the medical practitioner in assessing pain management. The overarching narrative, however, is the progression of Brian's cancer, and his erratic but inevitable deterioration. Interspersed with poems and excerpts from Lorraine's diary, this is perhaps the most confronting aspect of the book, simply because it is so personal. While Brian's death is factually noted, Lorraine's description of the moment is emotionally conveyed in a short poem and diary entry. The book concludes with reflections written days, weeks and a year later, on Brian's presence, and her search for meaning and love in her changed life trajectory. this is indeed a compelling read, and a useful resource for both carers and practitioners.

David Ritchie
Media, communications and Creative Arts Research
School of communicaton and Creative Arts,
Deakin University, Melbourne

Book Review – A Dog's Purpose

A Dog's Purpose: A Novel for Humans
By: W. Bruce Cameron
Publisher: Forge Books
Publication Date: December 2016
ISBN: 978-0765388117

Dog lovers have always known that dogs are smart, loving animals that are deeply devoted to "their humans." Author W. Bruce Cameron has taken this knowledge and added a unique twist that builds on it – a novel that imagines one dog, who lives several dog lives, and remembers each life, and the lessons learned in that life.

A Dog's Purpose opens with a puppy describing his life. It soon becomes clear that the puppy, along with his three siblings and his mother, are feral. Eventually the puppy, along with his mother and one brother, are captured by a dog rescue. They are placed in a backyard with many other dogs and while the puppy, who is soon named Toby, adjusts well, his mother can't handle the human interaction and manages to escape. Toby grows, makes friends and is eventually reunited with his sister. But trouble comes when the rescue is shutdown by the authorities for having too many dogs. Toby soon finds himself in a bad situation …

When Toby's life comes to an end, he is reincarnated as a beautiful Golden Retriever. Now the puppy is part of a healthy litter, kept with a breeder. When he sees other puppies, from other litters, being adopted and disappearing into the great beyond outside the yard, he wants to go. He remembers watching his mother from his first life open the door handle, and he works to copy her. It works and he escapes from the breeder and wanders around until he is scooped up by a kindly man who takes him for a ride in his car. Unfortunately, the man stops at a bar and leaves the puppy in his hot car. Once again the puppy is rescued, this time by a woman who breaks the car window just in time before heat stroke kills the dog. She takes the puppy home to her young son, and this is where the bulk of the story is – between "Bailey" the dog and "Boy."

After "Boy," Bailey comes back a few more times – once as a K-9 Search and Rescue German Shepherd and again as a black Lab. His final reincarnation as the Lab brings him full circle with a very satisfying conclusion to the story.

Told from the dog's point of view, A Dog's Purpose is a delightful story that immediately drew me in and kept me reading until the last page was turned. The author has a true gift of capturing the thoughts of a dog and it truly felt as if the dog was sharing his life with me. Toby / Bailey / Ellie / Buddy was a loving dog who knew that his purpose was to do what his human wanted / needed him to do, whether that was save a child from drowning, or go for a car ride to make a boy happy. Like every dog, this dog picked up words – "kennel," "bed," "sleep," etc. and basic concepts such as "Merry Christmas" that to him meant people coming to the house. He would be sitting at the feet of his owner and pick up a word from the humans talking – for example, his name – and get all excited, not knowing what the rest of the conversation was about. The author did include a minimum amount of dialogue from the humans to give readers a hint of what was happening, but even without that assistance, it wasn't hard to follow. Much of what the dog did was pick up on emotions of those people around him – sensing joy, fear, pain – and reacting accordingly. The writing style definitely worked quite well, and I look forward to diving into the sequel, A Dog's Journey.

Quill says: There's a reason Hollywood came calling and made a movie based on this book! If you love dogs, do yourself a favor and read A Dog's Purpose.