Immersed in West Africa follows one man’s journey across many roads less traveled, giving a glimpse into a part of the world that is unfamiliar to most. Terry Lister begins his 2-month journey in Senegal, where he loops the region, exploring Gambia, Guineas Bissau and Conakry, amongst others, before ending his journey back where he began.
The beauty of Lister’s journey is that he writes in a way that made me feel like I was right there with him. Every page in this book was as if I were reading a postcard from a friend, accompanied by photos of Lister’s journey. It made for a quick read that I finished in one sitting, and his very casual style of writing meant it was easy to consume.
Before coming across this book, I was entirely unfamiliar with Lister. However, he addresses the reader as if you have a long history. Often, he reminds us of things that you ‘know’ about him, such as that he has a “thing for volcanoes… and a thing for waterfalls” and his passion for “renewable energy sources”. I am still not clear how we would already be aware of that information, but I found it charming, nonetheless.
Personal highlights include the tale of the time-consuming tea-making ceremony in Mauritania. Once again, Lister’s casual way of accounting the story made it feel like he was recounting the memory over a beer or coffee.
With that being said, I am unsure if this is intended to be read by anyone. The title mentions immersion, and while I have no doubt that Lister achieved that on his travels, the brisk explanations made it hard for me as a reader to feel the same way. More a memoir than a guidebook, I can picture future generations of Lister’s family sitting around and reading this compelling story.
Lister’s unwavering positive attitude throughout was undeniably charming. Given the endless amount of challenges Lister faced, from customs inspectors to taxi drivers, it was hugely admirable. It’s quite hard not to imagine Lister’s smiling face as I read the words on the page.
Pages: 156 | ASIN: B07WH7JH6G
Without positivity in this life, one is bound to be completely stumped and unable to keep going. There is so much darkness and sadness around. Amidst all of that though, there is also light and stories of triumph. It is important to concentrate more on these stories of light so that the darkness does not consume us. It is important to remember that the grace of God is always by our sides regardless of current status or position.
In The Fields: Our Journey through Medicine, Mission, Life, and Faith Manh Dang tells stories of his experiences as an oncologist. He is has been at the forefront of darkness for a long time. His faith and positivity despite his experiences are astounding. You can feel the light come forth as you read this book. This book will you teach how to appreciate your position. How to remain positive and hopeful when things are dark and thick.
This book has been written from the heart. The good doctor’s faith and compassion are evident from his choice of words and tone of writing. He writes with so much conviction and concern for the reader. The writer seems like someone you would feel comfortable talking to about your own life without the fear of judgment or condescension. The writer’s qualities that shine through make reading this book that much more important.
The language used in this book stands out. It is not that the vocabulary is complex. It is not that the writer has employed a lot of flair. It is just the brilliant way he has crafted his statements. His mastery of the language and how to manipulate it is exceptional. He seems like the kind of storyteller whose narrations anyone would enjoy. To think that the book is made up of Facebook posts makes it even more astounding.
The Fields is like a soft tender touch. It is reassuring and calming. It is exactly what you need without knowing if you even want it. This book is like an ember floating through the air on a dark night guiding your path. His descriptions and explanations are so vivid that all the intended emotions are triggered.
The point here is to be uplifting to anyone who reads. The Fields is an excellent read especially during a pandemic such as Corona. The writer is just the right amount of sunny in bleak times. He understands that sometimes the darkness can get to you. This is a good book to read and share with friends. It would make for a wonderful book of the week for a club. There is so much to talk about and discuss.
Pages: 372 | ASIN: B081G9Q36C
Tags: author, book, book review, bookblogger, christianity, ebook, goodreads, inspirational, kindle, kobo, literature, Manh Dang, nonfiction, nook, novel, Our Journey through Medicine Mission Life and Faith, read, reader, reading, story, The Fields, writer, writing
Mutual Funds takes an in-depth look at mutual funds, its composition, and it’s strengths as an investment. What inspired you to write this book?
I got inspired to write my third book buoyed by the success of my first two books and few questions raised by my friends and fans about investment in mutual funds such as how to invest, where to invest & when to invest.
I have emphatically conveyed through the book that every individual has the potential to make concrete decisions and the relevance of focusing on specific goals to achieve them in time by investing in mutual funds. The key objective of my new book, “Mutual Funds: A Powerful Investment Avenue for Individuals” is to advise people on how they can create wealth by making meaningful decisions in their life investing in different mutual funds: Large-cap funds, Multi-cap(Focused) funds, Mid-cap funds, Small-cap funds, Hybrid funds, and debt mutual funds.
What is a common misconception you feel people have about mutual funds?
Misconceptions about mutual funds may be two types:
- People do not know the structure, types & composition of mutual funds and its regulatory system.
- Lack of knowledge about the capital market and mutual fund products adversely affect their mind that invested money will erase in this market, and they never get good returns on their investment due to the high subdued market. The concept is purely a wrong perception & misconception.
You have 27 years of experience in personal finance. How has your experience helped you write this book?
I have 27 years of experience in the field of Finance and Accounts in a leading Public Sector Company in India & abroad. So far as personal finance is concerned, my interest in this field and my educational qualifications help me to write all three books. On the other hand, my friends and fans persuade me to write this complex subject in a very simple way so as to they would take the benefit for the same.
What do you hope readers take away from your book?
This book dedicates to young India, including my son & daughter. Equity is an asset class, which generate handsome returns over the long-run. The book contains so many hidden secrets, strategy in the investment, and magic formula of compounding, which induce the prospective investors & readers to purchase this book either kindle edition or paperback. The cost of the book is meaningless for readers as this book will change their life, fulfill their dreams, and brings their goals into reality and make them financially sound over the long-run due to value-based investment.
A renowned financial expert, R K Mohapatra has a vast experience of 27 years in personal finance and retirement planning across various investment products, analysis of mutual funds, cash and wealth management. The book, “Mutual Funds: A Powerful Investment Avenue for Individuals” is ideal for investors who are looking for a deeper understanding of mutual funds; benefits of investing mutual funds: equity, debt and liquid funds; the cost of investment and its risk & returns. This comprehensive handbook from the author outlines the details of mutual funds, its composition, and the operational and regulatory mechanism, which enables the common man to invest his hard-earned money to achieve specific goals. It helps investors select appropriate mutual funds with risk and return which is suitable for their goals. The author’s wide experience of personal and retirement planning helps readers understand the subject easily and enables them to manage their hard-earned money in a disciplined manner by investing in various categories of mutual funds: large-cap funds, multi-cap funds, mid & small-cap funds, interval funds, hybrid value funds and debt funds through SIP route in order to maximize their wealth.
Mumbet was the Rosa Parks of her day. Her venue was a small-town court, rather than a crowded bus. But her bravery in defying the largest landowner in her community is inspiring.
Two months before the last battle of the American Revolution, a black slave known as Mumbet summoned the courage to sue her master, in a bid for her freedom. Though slavery had been ingrained in Massachusetts for well over a century, Mumbet was inspired by the public reading of the state’s ground-breaking Constitution, and its words, “all men are born free and equal.” Her case against the largest landowner in the region attracted the support of two up-and-coming attorneys: Theodore Sedgwick, a friend, and aspiring politician, and Tapping Reeve, the founder of the first law school in America.
In this fast-paced story of racial justice in early America, author Ben Z. Rose paints a portrait of Mumbet against the backdrop of the rise and fall of slavery in New England.
As we search for insight into those who planted the first seeds of abolition, Mumbet reminds us of the courage and sheer grit required to topple an established way of life. She also reminds us that before slavery could be abolished in the South, it needed to be uprooted in the North.
Time for the World to Learn From Africa by Ruth Finnegan is an educational book that brings forth the historical and characteristic details of Africa from the perspective of a seasoned academic and researcher. Ruth Finnegan provides great insights into the African civilization and authoritatively correct widely held misconceptions about the cultural, artistic and educational foundations of the prestigious continent. She does this by tendering empirical evidence both from her research and the documented findings of others; including African academics.
Finnegan’s plunge into the intricacies of the cultural heritage of the 2nd largest continent isn’t without credible basis. Her solid educational background in the humanities, combined with the experience she garnered while living and teaching in Africa helped set the stage for this well structured and informative book. She divides the book into 11 parts, 10 of which are dedicated to specific cultural and artistic aspects of Africa. She begins her journey to set the records straight by first attacking the notion that all cultural subsets of the African civilization are fundamentally alike. Finnegan debunks this misconception by citing examples of multiple African cultural groups that differ in their social, religious and economic forms.
In subsequent chapters, Finnegan backs up her claims that there is much for the world to learn from Africa by delving into the traditional, historical and often overlooked artistic archives of the continent. Her first stop is the literary uniqueness of African cultural groups. Here, she discusses expansively the nature of African literature; pointing out that members of that civilization while not abandoning written literary works, favored oral literary forms and performing arts. I enjoyed this part more than any other because Finnegan doesn’t just treat the subject superficially, rather, she digs deep and supplies detailed information on Africa’s admirable oral-literary expeditions.
Finnegan then proceeds to touch on another of Africa’s intriguing peculiarity: language. She’s quick to highlight the complexity and varying dimensions of African languages, refuting the claim that African Languages are on the whole primitive and devoid of the structure of their western counterparts. I savoured this part as I got to see the enthralling bits of African languages, especially their extremely tonal nature.
The next chapter looks at the place of panegyrics or praise poetry in African traditions and how the vastly stylish literary components of these praise songs or chants are inspiring to both African and non-African artists. In other chapters, Finnegan assesses other deeply entrenched cultural components of African civilizations including the creative use of drums for communication, the intriguing bond that exists between musical performance and dance in Africa, the elaborate attention given to names and the naming process, the role of proverbs in African communication and a host of other captivating African themes.
Finnegan’s attention to detail and comforting simplicity ensures that even high school students can benefit hugely from her findings. She writes in an engaging tone and pulls you tenderly through the pages of the book by using her sharp storytelling skills, allowing you to enjoy your exposure to the cultural and historical details.
Pages: 228 | ASIN: B07RJTBDNF
Shortly before delivering her first-born child, Christina suffers a complete placental abruption, and her life is forever changed. She faces loss, confusion, and frustration as she tries to understand the hand she and her new husband have been dealt. Nothing feels like the loss of a child, and nothing compares with the pain it brings. An otherwise healthy pregnancy ending so suddenly creates a myriad of questions and tests Christina’s faith in everything she thought she once knew and understood. Her story is real. Her story is true. And her story is a painful one.
Surviving Baby Loss While Battling Infertility is a poignant true story written by Kiali Jackie Garrett. The main character, Christina’s, story is told in present tense making it all the more enthralling. As she moves through the moments leading up to the heartbreaking placental abruption that takes her first-born son from her, the reader is pulled into her world and witnesses the true devastation she feels and how deeply she mourns for the baby she wanted so badly.
From planning for her tiny son’s funeral to moving through the steps of grief, Christina’s story is one to behold. She learns to open her heart again and feel. The raw emotions and true challenges with which she is presented offer readers a clear and moving picture of loss and how others cope with such tragedies. Throughout the book, Christina makes clear her conflicting feelings and is open about her inner struggles. Readers will find her easily relatable and find comfort in knowing they are not alone.
One of the most touching parts of Christina’s story is her frankness about her feelings. The fact that she and her husband struggle with even sharing their story is very telling. It is indicative of the world we live in and the criticism and questions they feared they might face. Theirs is an extremely private and painful battle. The author is to be commended for placing this story in the hands of readers who so desperately need someone on their side who does not sit in judgement.
Never have I read a more open and touching account of the loss of a child and the battle to overcome infertility. I recommend this book to any reader who needs to feel less alone in their world of pain and questions.
Sean Kachmarski was overweight and out of shape. He would laze around his couch but when he got off it, he really got off it. He got up and ran. Not very quickly but his commitment despite not being an athlete was impressive. This is a story of one regular everyday man overcoming his personal limitations to do something wonderful, impressive and to see things through.
This is not a motivational story for the overachiever, the one who wins everything. It is a motivational story for the average person. The person who tries to achieve something by sheer will. It is a story of the trials and tribulations that come with committing to something and the urge to quit becomes so strong that you almost choke from it.
Sean Kachmarski has bared all in this inspirational book. He has let the reader see his whole journey. The bad, the ugly and the fortunate. The candid narration of his story from the futon to the lineup is not only inspiring; it is a kick in the butt for anyone who may be stuck in a rut.
Regular folks need motivational stories from other regular folks. Imagine an overweight unfit person being told how they can run a marathon by a seasoned athlete. If you were the overweight person, you would not believe it.
The way Sean tells this story makes it relatable. He makes his story interesting by relating personal stories with simple language. The story is relatable but its unique perspective gives the reader a heartfelt literary experience.
Sean Kachmarski delivers a down to earth story about the human spirit and the will to change yourself. By the end of the book, you really will know you can. You will no longer doubt your ability. His positivity is infectious and something I admired. This is a book you will both enjoy and benefit from.
Pages: 205 | ASIN: B084BVCDD2
Life Cycles proposes a groundbreaking new theory that states that we live our lives in symbolically repeatable twelve year cycles. How did you develop and refine this theory?
I originally discovered the strange correlation between important career events and the age of 36 by accident. As CEO of my Outplacement company I decided to do an ad-hoc validity study of the theory of career stages pioneered by Daniel Levinson (The Seasons of a Man’s Life ) and I was surprised that I found something quite unexpected.
Later this was extended to the ages of 24 (for early career achievements) and 48 (for later events) and it gave birth to the ‘life in 12 year symbolic cycles’ theory. I have derived everything from detailed biographical evidence and nothing else. I have no connections with the occult in any form and I am critical of their work.
Because events at 24/36/48 appeared to be like a personal revolution in many people’s lives I gave them all the name the “Year of Revolution”. I now have over 50 totally new terms and icons, but they are all based on the same easy-to-understand language. My theory is for everyone to use in their own lives.
The strength of my work is centred in a number of detailed Validation Studies that feature pre-determined, objective lists, so as to include cases that do not match up. I am aiming to show a much greater than chance distribution of what I term my “Significant Years” and key biographical markers.
My results are so astounding, as to be currently unanswered by any skeptical or rational rebuttal, in spite of me doing a test for a leading skeptical organisation. The theory became refined as I made a closer study of not just the years in question, but an exact sequence of stages within it. Later it got extended to the whole gamut of relationships, which was derived by combining individual profiles, using a concept I call “Confluence”.
I have now written four books and several hundred case studies, which are often published as blog and related articles. Yet the full extent of the evidence still amazes me and I often say to myself, “Why should this (almost ridiculously simple) ‘one-size-fits-all’ formula work, and why in the heck, am I the only one to see it and pioneer it?”
What do you find is a common misconception people have about your Life Cycle theory?
I find that some commentators, who have listed my writing on their blogs, have wrongly assumed I am referencing the 12 year cycle of Eastern astrology, or some type of numerology or other occult things. They also imagine that it is backed up by some natural cycle (like the orbit of the moon or wave vibrations and such forth). They don’t understand that it is purely driven by biographical evidence.
Others think that because I talk about an important career and/or life-defining event in mid-life; that it is only to be expected at some time in your ‘middle-life passage’ (eg. in your 30’s or early 40’s). They don’t see the mystery of the correlation with just one year (which is the birthday to birthday year, not the calendar year). Even when I show some people their own results they still don’t seem to understand or give it any credence.
A lot of research went into this book. Was there anything that surprised you about this idea while you were researching?
Yes, I always maintain that when I commence writing I’m not sure myself how the direction will go, in spite of extensive planning. For instance, most of the coincidence material and my own case examples I had well beforehand. However, the idea of analysing the lives of all the prominent skeptics and statisticians I had mentioned in the text, happened spontaneously as I was writing.
I couldn’t believe my eyes as one after the other showed what I call the “age 36 phenomenon”. Everyone from Dawkins to James Randi to Michael Shermer (founder of the worldwide Skeptics organisation) etc.
What is the next book that you plan to write and when is it available?
I have two separate projects coming up and I’m not sure which I’ll do first. There’s Life Cycles – The Dark Side, which will explore the lives of a small group of criminals, demagogues and the like. There will be a twist in this however. My early career began as a psychologist in a maximum security prison and I have a bunch of ‘stories from the inside’ that can only be told first-hand (eg. like the day I witnessed close up the breakout by the State’s most wanted man). I think most readers will enjoy this and I will blend a chapter of each side in turn.
The other project is what I think of as potentially my masterwork. It will explore what I consider may be behind my results. I have a number of cutting-edge concepts to introduce and show how my early life experiences relate to all of this. It builds on the Epilogue section of the current book and solves the riddle of the hieroglyphs.
There will be at least a two year gestation period for either project to appear.
Life Cycles is a ground-breaking new theory on what life is all about. It is both controversial and evidence-based and states that we live our lives in symbolically repeatable twelve year cycles. There are two important years and this is where we see fate take a hand in unusual ways.
Designed to entertain and inform; details from the public recoed are used to dissect the l;ives of world leaders, showbiz personalities, criminals and ordinary citizens. You will learn about your symbolic life purpose and be introduced to a whole range of new terms and icons.
You won’t read anything quite as original and intruiging and you will never look at your life the same way again.