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The Essence of Music

Dr. Len Bergantino starts the book by giving a little background information about himself. He writes of when he was born and how his love for music started. Next, the author discusses his father, Dan Bergantino, and how he started him off reading music. Reading about Dr. Len Bergantino’s early years was thrilling and gave one a sense of nostalgia. I enjoyed reading about his interaction with musical instruments, how different elements inspired him to love music, and how jolly he was. The first chapter of this book is cheerful and gets one excited about the rest of the book. Dr. Len Bergantino knows how to draw a reader to his art as he writes from his heart.

The Essence of Music: Musicality, Pure Sound, the Art of Melody, and Inner Peace is an intense collection of information in relation to music. Why do people make music? How music influences the world, the author’s relationship with music and lessons learned, the significance of making constructive music, and many more things. Dr. Len Bergantino has a backstory for almost everything he writes about. I applaud the author for his style of writing as it makes the reader understand how every instrument is special and why art is distinct to every individual. Music heals the soul and is also used to spread messages. Dr. Len Bergantino shares personal tales as he writes about his love for music. My favorite story from the author is about the night he was Sophia Loren’s bodyguard. I enjoyed reading about that night’s activities at the Italian Cultural Institute in 1996.

Dr. Len Bergantino is an excellent writer and is also a man of culture. It is remarkable how the author is knowledgeable and connected to his roots. Reading about Dr. Len Bergantino will inspire the reader to bond more with their traditions and appreciate where one comes from. His approach of using Caps in some sentences was attention-grabbing as it gets one to read in a different tone and also stresses the message he was to share.

This entertaining book reads like a mini autobiography for Dr. Len Bergantino. The major topic is music and its effects, but the parts that stick with readers are the personal tales shared by the author. You can never go a few pages without some comic relief as the author gets to be hilarious when talking about himself.

In The Essence of Music, you will learn about different musical instruments, how to play them and how crucial they all are. Through the author’s story, you become exposed to different cultures and learn some complexities of life. This book is energizing to read and a great work of art when it comes to musicality. One of the major lessons you learn as a reader is that music has a healing component and the kind of music you listen to influences your perspective of life.

Pages: 286 | ASIN : B0876Q22FV

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I Am Woman

I Am Woman by author Mrs. Anthony is a powerful memoir that will take readers on an emotional journey. Readers follow Mrs. Anthony from her childhood to her coming of age years when she meets her husband, Tony. Falling in love, they vow to start a life and family together. Tony begins his career while Mrs. Anthony is still trying to start hers. In the early years of their marriage, she spent time taking care of the household while letting her own dreams and career fall to the wayside. She slowly puts off more things that make her who she is to support her husband and his career. She thought she had the perfect love with beautiful children until Tony’s battle with alcohol slowly ruined their marriage. Despite all of the disappointments Mrs. Anthony and her family endured to his disease, they continue to support and love Tony.

I Am Woman: Book One: My Journey, My Tony is an eye-opening read that I found hard to put down. I didn’t expect this book to impact me, but this is a true testament to the author’s ability to infuse emotion into her writing. I felt as though I was reading Mrs. Anthony’s private journal. I was able to experience a true sense of what she was feeling. The disappointment in her husband for not being present in their marriage due to alcohol abuse came through her writing clearly. Mrs. Anthony’s sense of loss for herself because she was focused on her husband and ignored her own dreams was heartbreaking at times.

The author’s life story is one that many women will be able to relate to. The constant need to put family and spouse ahead of themselves makes this memoir especially poignant. As women strive to support their husbands and their careers, like Mrs. Anothony, their own careers and dreams get put on hold. I felt sorry for the author because she felt bad for being angry at her husband for getting sick, and she had to be both a mother and father and take care of their household. The guilt women feel is real, and the author shows how deeply that guilt can run and control how they live their lives. The guilt often turns to anger when in situations like this, the woman is left with no partner and the additional task of caring for the one she vowed to share life with. It seemed her husband did not appreciate the sacrifices she made, and it consumed her in frustration and pain, all while trying to make it appear like things were okay for the outside world and her children.

The author’s writing immersed me into her world, and I could clearly imagine each scene, making this an impactful read. I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy memoirs from women who share the personal journey of self-discovery and balancing an ever-complicated life.

Pages: 328 | ASIN : B09LHBQPWW

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Sea Pay 

Sea Pay by Bob Dorgan is a rollicking tale of an enlisted sailor making the most of his time in the United States Navy during the late 70s and early 80s. The straightforward, autobiographical story follows Dorgan through his early years at Valley Forge Military Academy and then onto his Navy career stationed aboard the aircraft carrier the USS Midway. While bending some rules (and breaking others), Dorgan goes into great detail about his day-to-day duties and the wild adventures he and his fellow sailors went on during their precious time off-duty.

Sea Pay is an interesting read. Dorgan’s attention to detail is quite remarkable. As an electrician working in the E Division of the ship’s engineering department, the author’s duties amounted to more than mere grunt work. His descriptions of the internal workings of the Midway really paint quite a picture. I could imagine working in the bowels of a steam-powered aircraft carrier and just how exciting (or miserable) that could be.

As he familiarizes himself with his duties and the rest of his crew, Dorgan does get up to some unsavory practices to increase his “sea pay.” I’m not sure how many boy scouts would approve of his other enterprises. While Sea Pay is a nice slice of enlisted life, it does run aground on the technical side of things.

Bob Dorgan’s writing style is extremely literal. Almost every detail is specifically told, but little is shown. There’s a kind of emotional detachment. For example, after an entire chapter describing “wild” liberty in Thailand, he rather nonchalantly ends the chapter with, “We were sorry to hear that several of our shipmates did not make it back to the ship alive, victims of the big H—heroin. They were gone but not forgotten.” It’s a jarring end, and there is little to no reflection by the author.

Sea Pay is a fascinating depiction of Navy life from that particular time told from the viewpoint of someone that was living it. This true story account will give readers an inside look at life on an aircraft carrier.

Pages: 356 | ASIN : B0B23CJ8S7

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Embrace Grace; New Medicine for a Wounded World

At a young age, Arlene had already figured out her life’s goal; to be a doctor. As an American-Filipino deeply rooted in the church, and a devoted Catholic, she made both spiritual and physical preparations to realize this goal. However, the path to becoming the vessel of healing she was called to be was a tough and windy one. After years of obtaining certifications, winning numerous awards, and practicing in the field, Arlene realized something was missing in her service, and to reach her full potential she had to dig deeper and find the missing pieces of the puzzle. This opened a new chapter in her life.

Embrace Grace, by Arlene McCain, is an inspirational memoir that contains the candid thoughts and fascinating true life events of the author. Arlene McCain found some of the rules and regulations governing the organizations she served constraining and non-fulfilling. As time went by, she found her inner fire was beginning to deplete. An essential piece of her service was suppressed and she was contemplating quitting. However, after years of meditation, sitting with the word of God, and finding the right circle, she found the missing piece and through the light of God, was able to successfully integrate it into her work and step into her true essence. Embrace Grace is an uplifting testimony detailing Arlene’s journey of self-discovery. Readers will learn about her discoveries, her theories, and life lessons coined from one of the darkest periods of her life which birthed the perfect space to fulfill her life’s goal.

This is an emotionally-resonant autobiography that shows the power of faith, perseverance and the willingness to enact change. I enjoyed this memoir because of Arlene’s vulnerability, sincerity and candor. She invites readers into unheard and unseen moments of her life and her world of uncertainty and imperfection. I found this to be encouraging and I think it will inspire readers to brave the path to their respective life goals. Every page, right from her unrefined journal entries to the words in her memoir, drips with the unending trust, respect, and love she has for God.

Embrace Grace is an eloquent and heartening memoir and I enjoyed the candid account of Arlene’s journey towards her spiritual and religious calling.

Pages: 194 | ASIN: B0B3KHCMT5

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Our Own Healing Journey

Stacey Webb Author Interview

The Intuitive Detective inspires readers to listen to their inner compass and attune to their intuition, allowing themselves to be the detective in their own healing journey. Why was this an important book for you to write?

The answers we seek are always within us. However, there will be times we either seek those answers externally and/ or avoid and deflect the answers we receive within ourselves out of fear. I felt it was important to write this book to show how both of those avenues affected and shaped my life. Giving not only context to how we can listen and attune to our intuition but also how it can assist our own healing journey. It was important to show how choosing love over fear can be nourishing, nurturing, and empowering to our soul.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who struggles with listening to their intuition?

My advice is to always go back to the foundations. To first acknowledge what you are feeling in your body. Are you stressed, anxious, frustrated etc. Once you acknowledge how you are feeling, you can regulate your nervous system. This can be by breathing, using EFT, shaking, movement and other regulation tools to allow you to feel a sense of safety and connection back to your body. And finally, connect back to your heart intelligence, place your hands on your heart and breathe in the light from your heart to fill your whole body. This will allow you to attune to your intuition.

What is the biggest challenge you faced in your life and what did you learn from it?

The biggest challenge I faced within my life was believing within myself that I am enough, and to love myself just as I am. Facing this challenge allowed me to know I did not need to seek validation from others and be perfect to be loved. That, I did not need to lower my boundaries and people please to be loved. It allowed me to release the expectations I place on myself and love me for all of me.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?

I hope readers bring awareness to their intuition. To see where abouts in their life their intuition may have been trying to communicate with them so they can be aware, listen, strengthen, and follow their intuitive guidance in the future.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Do you listen to your intuition?
Even when you know following it will result in your life-changing forever. Or do you later wish you had followed your intuition after realizing you have been avoiding and ignoring it out of fear? No one knows this better than Stacey Webb

A police officer for fifteen years, thirteen as a detective, and with a passion to assist people experiencing trauma, Stacey Webb shows how she has been guided by her intuition in her personal and professional life. Not only to do her job investigating serious crime but to create and hold space for people at a time where they are most vulnerable.

Stacey Webb shares snippets of her youth, early career, and present-day experiences to bring awareness to the intuitive guidance she receives. Showing how facing her fears brings forth her own self-acceptance and reveals the layers within her own healing journey.

Stacey Webb inspires us to listen to our inner compass and attune to our intuition, allowing ourselves to be the detective in our own healing journey.

Letters from Vietnam

The United States entered the Vietnam War conflict in August of 1964, though the US had been involved in the conflict in a limited capacity since the end of World War II. After an American battleship was allegedly attacked, President Lynden Johnson called for air strikes, thus taking a stand in the ongoing conflict. The United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War was heavily criticized for many reasons, but despite that, hundreds of thousands of US troops made their way to Vietnam to fight.

Letters from Vietnam by Dennis Hoy is an autobiographical account of Hoy’s time in the United States military during the Vietnam war. He details his time from basic training to the jungle swamps of Vietnam and provides a first-hand account of the dangers and perils for a young man at war. However, Hoy keeps a thread of hope alive by sending letters back and forth to the love of his life, Beth.

Hoy and his wife, Beth, kept every letter they exchanged during Hoy’s time in Vietnam. Encouraged by some friends, Hoy wrote down his experiences in Vietnam to preserve the story of a dark time in the United States and World history.

The oddest thing about this book is that there are no actual printed letters between Dennis and Beth, which could have enhanced the book’s drama by showing their thoughts and feelings straight from the time of the war. However, Letters from Vietnam is a well-written book in a very conversational tone that helps an average reader understand this point in history without the language being overcomplicated. As the reader, you can tell that Hoy’s time in Vietnam affected him profoundly and continues to affect him even to this day. I highly recommend Letters from Vietnam to anyone who loves history and wants a first-hand account of a soldier’s days in Vietnam.

Pages: 164 | ASIN : B09GXQMCJD

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Rocky Mountains – A Self-Portrait

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It isn’t often that we get to sneak a peek into the hows and whys of the jobs and hobbies around us. Assumptions are easy to make, and it takes very little to make a guess as to what causes a person to become drawn to a career. Photography is one of those interests. There is much more to taking photographs than most of us will ever realize. This endeavor requires a great deal more than just a love of being behind the camera.

Photographer and author, Kent Gunnufson, shares his lifelong love and dedication to creating artwork with the camera in his autobiographical book, Rocky Mountains: A Self-Portrait. Gunnufson’s book is filled with the most amazing landscape images from his time spent in the Rockies. In addition, he has included photos of people and objects that seem to defy all logic in their beauty. The purpose of the author’s work is to share the story behind his career and his love of photography and his subjects, but the stunning imagery he has captured will be, without a doubt, what fascinates readers from cover to cover.

Gunnufson’s story is compelling and is a must-read for those interested in photography. There is a story behind each of the images he has taken, and they are all fascinating. He not only relays to readers how he found each subject, but he explains in detail the intricacies of the composition of each photo. This is something I found especially interesting as I read. Taking photographs seems, at first glance, like a simple task. Gunnufson, however, explains in language all readers will understand exactly how much thought and preparation goes into each one of them.

I have always been drawn to black and white photography whether it be nature or portraits. Gunnufson provides wonderful insight into the history of black and white photography and how it compares with color imagery. It really is a treat to see this side of photography and hear directly from the artist himself about the ins and outs of the process.

Rocky Mountains: A Self-Portrait is an astonishing look at the life of one photographer. Photographers and students of the art will appreciate the advice, insight, and history provided by the author. I cannot say enough about the beautiful images Gunnufson has created. There is a softness to his work that readers will find absolutely riveting. I highly recommend Gunnufson’s book for both his enchanting images and the heart he has poured into his personal narrative.

ISBN: 978-0-9605366-4-1

The Making of a Physician

The Making of a Physician is a captivating autobiography written by Harry L. Graber, M.D. F.A.C.C.. In his book the author addresses why he chose his career and the people that influenced and shaped his career today. Graber makes an interesting connection between these choices and our DNA, exploring the nature vs. nurture debate, coming to the conclusion that he was meant to become a physician.

In his journey to retirement Graber describes interactions he had with patients that shaped his career outlook. In addition to his own story, he also includes interesting anecdotes from doctors that he knows, providing their perspective on the central question; ‘are you satisfied with your career choices’?

This fascinating biography will be incredibly helpful and insightful for any student of medicine, or anyone beginning their career in that field. Graber details many reasons why he chose the medical field and the fulfilling nature of becoming a doctor. This book will also be beneficial for jaded doctors, as the author gives them reasons to continue with their practice, showing them just how much they contribute to society.

I also this think is a fantastic book for anyone who is looking for a detailed and compelling look at someone that has built a substantial career. Graber provides readers who are not in the medical field an inside look from a doctor’s perspective, allowing the reader to better understand physicians and the sacrifices they go through. The author is straightforward with his stories, not using much medical terminology to confuse his readers, which makes this story easy to read and accessible to a wide audience.

The Making of a Physician: This Was My Calling is a enlightening memoir that explores a fascinating concept on the influences in our lives and how they shape up.

Pages: 202 | ASIN: B0794TYLT6

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