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Elmer & Virginia

Elmer & Virginia by John Odell is an emotional and illuminating memoir of two young people in love, but forever changed by World War II. Their personal story is told through a compilation of letters Elmer and Virginia sent to one another. These letters were handwritten with love between the years of 1939 and 1944. The letters are endearing and really capture the feel of the times. I also admire their determination to keep a strong connection in a long distance relationship. At one point in the collection of letters, Virginia gets upset when Elmer doesn’t write her back. These moments ensure readers understand that these were humans doing their best in tough times.

Virginia, or affectionately called by Elmer in the letters “Ginny”, was a college student at Syracuse University. She expressed her love through poems throughout her letters. I enjoyed the poems that involved addressing her inner self. One poem in particular addressed her love for another man by the name of George Hall. Though later as I read on, it was made clear that no one had her heart like Elmer Odell. Virginia also had a diary where she would journal her more personal stories. Some snippets were used to help better understand the connection between her and Elmer. Unlike today where people capture their life stories in videos on Instagram and Twitter, these letters and poems bring you back to a time when life was not necessarily simpler, but a whole world different, and John Odell is able to capture that in this emotionally resonant biography.

Pictures of Elmer & Virginia and the letters were included in this collection. This, for me, was critical in connecting with them both and I really enjoyed seeing them. The chemistry between the two was as organic as it can get. They shared a love of music and dancing that helped their love to become deeper. It was interesting to read the terms and phrases that were used during that time as well as follow Elmer’s enlistment in the air corps.

Elmer & Virginia is a beautiful reflection on love and war. This is a book that has the ability to transport you back to that time and let you inhabit the personal lives of two very intriguing people.

Pages: 488 | ASIN: B08ZL49728

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The D Word

The D Word: 12 Steps to Diversity Recovery is a book that will make you appreciate everyone’s background, and understand that it is ok to be different. Susan McCuistion writes extensively about diversity, sharing her journey as a child of many cultures and writing about her experiences. The author did a lovely job telling her story. Many readers will enjoy and even relate to her tales. Susan McCuistion is a great narrator and one gets engrossed in the stories that she shares. When talking about diversity, the author ensures that the reader understands the importance of inclusivity and why working with people from different races, nationalities and ethnicities is a great thing.

Susan McCuistion is a great author not just because of how well she narrates her story, but also because of the solutions she gives when airing out issues. The 12 steps to diversity recovery shared in the book are what every adult needs to read in order to understand diversity better. The author breaks down diversity and goes deeper to share how it affects our daily living, each of the 12 steps is crucial in our growing and living. One of the biggest things that I took from the steps is that not many people admit when they are wrong. Society has conditioned us to group ourselves on the basis of us versus them, which takes a physical and emotional toll on many. Susan McCuistion writes on the dangers of grouping and gives effective solutions on how each situation should be handled.

The D Word: 12 Steps to Diversity Recovery is easy to understand, even when diving deep into topics. I also enjoyed this book because it gets one to be curious about different cultures and the ways of life of people that live in different parts of the globe.

The D Word: 12 Steps to Diversity Recovery provides readers with a candid examination and reevaluation of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and in our community. It provides actionable advice to implement real change and shows how that change will benefit us all in real and life changing ways.

Pages: 144 | ASIN: B0964CH26D

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Tribal and Human Values

Thomas Kochuthara
Thomas Kochuthara Author Interview

Christianity and the Tribal Societies of North East India provides readers with an in-depth exploration of Indian tribes and Christianity. Why was this an important book for you to write?

The north eastern region of India comprising of seven states, covering the sub-Himalayan mountain ranges, has seen waves of migration from time immemorial. It exhibits a plurality of cultures, races, languages and religions and is one of the most unique and romantic places. I lived there for fifteen years and thus had the opportunity to visit the places and have contact with people. My appreciation for their social, cultural and religious life and the way they led their political and economic struggles and faced the challenges and threats from the natural forces, prompted me to write the book to convey relevant messages to modern man.

What were some key aspects of tribal societies that were important for you to include in this book?

Their loyalty and faithfulness to the tribal traditions and way of life, their struggles to keep up their tribal identity in spite of modernization, their desire for imparting education to their children, their involvement in the struggles for obtaining political statehood on tribal basis, gender equality, higher status of women in some tribes as an inspiration for women liberation, absence of any caste system found in many major population groups in India, their love for singing and dancing etc., are some of the important aspects included in the book.

What kind of research did you undertake to complete this book?

It is a descriptive and analytic research that I have followed in this work. I have given a clear and precise picture of the seven states in the north eastern region of India, their topographical and geographical details, the tribal people inhabiting the states, their cultural, social, religious and political life, the struggles for the formation of the different states and the scope and challenges in the economic and agricultural fields. I have also analysed various aspects of their socio- cultural life and advances in education and political consciousness and I have made theological reflections in the light of these.

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

The one thing, I hope, the readers will take away from the book is their high sense of tribal and human values, characterised by sincerity, openness, simplicity, solidarity with fellow human beings and concern for the poor and the weak.

Author Links: Website | GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook

The north-eastern region of India comprising of the seven states known as the ‘Seven Sisters’ represents an area of enormous ecological, geographical and ethnical diversity. This region which is inhabited by 166 diverse tribes is blessed with dense and lush green forests, hills and valleys, rich flora and fauna, and holds immense mineral and power resources. Its passes and valleys have witnessed centuries of migration and served as a gateway of commerce and culture. The North East has a plurality of races, religions, cultures, languages and dialects, making it one of the most diverse and picturesque regions of India. Ending its isolation, this region has come into the main stream of national life through the educational and modernization process set in motion in the region chiefly by Christian missionaries. The region has also over the years been through much unrest and turmoil. With growing awareness, people have also been demanding a greater share in the achievements of the nation. But often their aspirations are met only partially, and the dissatisfaction with the poor development of the region and the absence of adequate opportunities prompt the younger generations to adopt what often turn out to be unconstitutional and militant ways to end exploitation and domination, culminating in much violence and bloodshed, throwing the entire region into turmoil. As Christianity has much influence on the life of the people here, it is its responsibility to take seriously the situation of insurgency and militancy that directly affect the people’s aspirations for an authentic, dignified and peaceful life. In order to enable the Church to respond adequately to this situation, it is essential that a suitable theology emerge in the multicultural and plurireligious context of the North East. Such a theology will not be limited to that region, but will have consequences also for dealing with several problems affecting the universal Church. The present study is undertaken with a view to examining the features of the theology that will emerge in the north-eastern context, and also its impact on universal theology. The North East of India can exert tremendous influence on the debates on current theological issues and can pave the way for the emergence of a Church with truly indigenous features.

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Millionaire Mind In 5 Days

Millionaire Mind In 5 Days by [Mark Spencer]

The biggest takeaway from this inspiring book is that it is never too late to turn your life around. Mark Spencer’s message is that of hope and inspiration. The stories he tells, the experiences he shares and the lessons he has learned through the years. Millionaire Mind in 5 Days is an inspirational book where Mark Spencer lays it all bare. When reading the book, you realize that the author is candid with the stories that he gives and is not ashamed to talk about his failures.

When first getting into the book, the author prepares you for the content that you will consume. The first few chapters help you understand where the author comes from and why everyone’s story matters. The first chapter is one of the most significant chapters in the book. The author has a list of five crucial questions every ambitious person should ask themselves. How often do you ask yourself if you want to be successful or rich or find inner peace? The author poses these questions to the reader, making them reflect on their journey in life and the decisions they make. The content in the first chapter is valuable and gives one the urge to keep reading.

Mark Spencer is engaging throughout the book and that is why Millionaire Mind in 5 Days is not your regular inspirational book. The author shares personal and thought provoking stories that help readers understand the content, and the author, on a deeper level. Reading this book was easy and refreshing. The author gives pragmatic and actionable advice along with a bit of humor to make it all feel conversational.

Mark Spencer provides thoughtful insight into finances, commercial success, and shows how we can fix the flaws in our lives. Talk of family, old friends, colleagues and even neighbors; this book will enable you have a better relationship with the people that you interact with everyday. Thinking like a millionaire and working towards being a millionaire are the goals. Millionaire Mind in 5 Days will help you get out of the hole that is making you unsuccessful.

Pages: 242 | ASIN: B091V6F4HZ

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Life’s Complex Journey

Anthony J. Cedolini
Anthony J. Cedolini Author Interview

The Classroom of Life shares inspirational stories, lessons learned, and wisdom gained through your life to help readers navigate the obstacles in their life. Why was this an important book for you to write?

The concept of the book was developed more than fifty years ago after our first child Maria was born. Each day as I looked into her darling face, I was confronted with the fact that life is replete with obstacles, challenges, and adversity. That epiphany sparked a personal mission to provide a more expeditious roadmap in order to successfully traverse life’s journey. It took 53 years to collect a compendium of useful knowledge and strategies from the many diverse gurus and sages of the past. As time passed, I determined that whether you’re a child, young adult, parent, or grandparent, this book would assist in navigating life’s journey. These lessons, inspirational stories, humor, memorabilia, and wisdom were gathered from the most venerated and enlightened minds and assembled in “The Classroom of Life”. It was my sincere hope that this knowledge would facilitate life’s complex journey.

What is a common misconception you feel young people have about challenges in life?

There are a number of misconceptions that young people have about their challenges in life. First and foremost is their naiveté about the dangers faced and the subsequent catastrophic consequences. Few are equipped with a realistic concept of what to expect. They include stress, melancholy, adolescence, sex, letting go of past events, addictions, fears, and many more. Problems are an everyday occurrence requiring strategies to deal with their variety and seriousness. In addition, many, especially young adults, have a perceived sense of invulnerability and unrealistic feeling of herculean strength.

What were some ideas that were important for you to explore in this book?

It was very important to explore the many intricacies of everyone’s life. My goal was to bring awareness and necessary action plans to tackle the many diverse and difficult situations faced regularly. It is with words of comfort and confidence that I offer new perspectives with meaningful answers. Being idealistic and optimistic I ultimately wanted to address the multitude of challenges we all face. They included the meaning of life, love, happiness, inner peace, freedom, and the pleasures that we all can achieve.

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

Hopefully, the reader will discover new understandings as well as viable and proven techniques to help deal with the daily stressors of age, anger, coping with difficult people, parenting, and the myriad of other obstacles and problems. Besides the many cogent quotes and righteous morals found throughout this treatise, I wanted to convey at least two very critical messages:

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant” Robert Louis Stevenson and, “We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or perish together as fools.” Martin Luther King Jr.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads | Website

Everyone’s life journey is replete with pain, stress, and worry. Obstacles and problems raise their ugly heads daily. Without tools and skills, it is impossible to slay these impending dragons. You will experience difficult people, failed relationships, love, death, addictions, temptations, and danger.
In 1967 I had a dream about my children and the future children of the world! Having already started my own journey, I had discovered the many obstacles needed to overcome life’s sojourn. If only I could build a classroom to guide my youngsters and their worldly brethren.
My treatise would address the problems met during life’s voyage, and it would propose solutions to each. The book would include the wisdom and advice of the sages, past, and present. It would embrace a compendium of stories, research, quotes, and down to earth lessons. This virtual classroom would identify the multitude of obstructions faced on life’s odyssey, including its painful trials and tribulations, the development of rules of conduct, a moral compass, social skills, emotional maturity, humility, character, and all the other necessary adaptations and applications to weather life’s struggles.
I began collecting as much documented knowledge as possible. It included quotes, stories, books, seminars, cartoons, articles, and notes. After a half-century, I was mesmerized at the volume of hidden jewels collected. And, humbled by the mental giants whose cherished words had endured for millennia. This was my Holy Grail, a cache of many rare and priceless antiquities. With resolute passion, I began my dream, to share this treasure trove of instructional and inspirational gems.

The Evil Within Us

Tayyib A Tayyib’s The Evil Within Us: Evolution of Social Systems & The Ideal State is a great book because it enlightens the reader on how nations operate and why it is important for countries to work in unity. Tayyib A Tayyib uses proven data to expound on his narrative of the world. When reading the book, you realize that the world is much more complex than you may have imagined. The Evil Within Us is about social, political, and economic structures across the globe. Reading this book makes one realize that despite various governments using different modes of operation while governing their states, the impact felt by citizens across the world is almost the same.

Lovers of history will also enjoy this book because of the historical events and facts that the author included in his book. Want to know why the United States got to be so powerful? Why are South American nations not thriving as they should? Will Africa remain in the same state year in year out despite its people working hard to elevate their position? Tayyib A Tayyib answers these and similar questions by going to the root of the problem and discussing how global political history has influenced the state of some of the nations that are not doing well. The author will teach you about inequality and the unfair distribution of resources. Reading this book gives one the impression of being in a political science class.

The content in this book is for individuals that are conscious about the political climate and socio-economic affairs in the area that they reside in. Reading this book will help you challenge systems and political structures as the author has written in-depth what ails many communities, societies, and countries, and how solutions can be met. His work experience and background have contributed to the information he has, which is a great thing as it will encourage readers to explore more and get exposed to things outside of the areas or countries they reside in.

The topics in this book are serious but Tayyib A Tayyib explains them in a thorough manner. The Evil Within Us will help readers understand that the gap between rich nations and poor nations can be reduced if those in charge do the right thing.

Pages: 468 | ASIN: B08XN2RZ7B

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Societal Annoyances

Tom James
Tom James Author Interview

Your Children Are Boring provides a humorous and cutting examination of modern parenting. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I think like many of us, child-free or not, we’ve noticed some in society leaning towards a position where not only are children treated like little gods, and their parents the high priests, and those who choose not as selfish and sad (particularly women). I simply felt it was time to try and point this out, and perhaps address a few other articles of faith that needed an alternative view. Now I’ve stretched that religious analogy beyond breaking point, I also wanted to make people laugh, have a bit of a rant, and to explore the subject myself. Which is why it ranged from the small societal annoyances to surrogacy.

What is one piece of advice you would give to new parents?

Firstly, I’d say, there must be someone better to give you advice than me. Then if not, I’d suggest they ask yourself why you want children? I like to think most people’s reasons are relatively decent, and not self-centred. Maybe hope is more accurate. And dig deep to think what sort of parent you think you’d be and why. I think people believe there’s this mythical switch that gets flicked and you just become one, but the best parents I know, were thoroughly wonderful people in the first place.

What were some ideas that were important for you to explore in this book?

I think how having a child has seamlessly been woven into social media currency and our current penchant for identity politics. That’s something I felt was not only interesting, but important. Children being used almost as a prop, or parenthood as a badge of honour. I also find the subject of surrogacy interesting as it seems to me to be a massive blind spot morally for some. And then I wanted to expand on that wonderful George Carlin bit about children being special, with the thrust being, you all say they’re special, well they can’t be, otherwise the word loses all meaning…

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

Honestly, I don’t expect anyone to agree with it all, so I hope it makes them laugh from time to time.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Are you sick of a society that seems obsessed with children? Do you find modern parents insufferable?

Your Children Are Boring is a uniquely humorous look at our culture’s obsession with children, a world where virtually every advert has a squawking child in it, where pubs are full of wailing infants, and where every other Facebook post is tagged #ProudDad.

Why do parents themselves behave like infants? Why having a child doesn’t make you less selfish, why it’s extremely unlikely that your child is in fact, ‘special’, and why modern parenting is ruining everything, not least the kids themselves.

All the answers lie within, and it’s your duty to read it.

Yes, Your Children Are Boring will make you laugh, but it’s much more than that. Once consumed you must take its teachings into the world and fix society. Or something. Oh and if you put ‘Dad’ or ‘Mum’ in your social media bios, this book is aimed at you.

THE SECRET OF PLANTS IN THE ENVIRONMENT

THE SECRET OF PLANTS IN THE ENVIRONMENT by [RISHIKESH UPADHYAY]

This is an enlightening and educational book that will help readers become environmentally conscious. This book is all about plants, caring for plants, observing how they grow, and planting more. I never knew that reading about plants would be so attention-grabbing and eye-opening until I got a hold of this book. The Secret of Plants in the Environment is the right book for you if you enjoy non-fiction books that can help build the community and much more. The content in the book is refreshing and beneficial to all plant lovers. Every chapter and text in the book is based on facts. The author provides statistics to support claims in the book and also writes about personal experiences.

The Secret of Plants in the Environment has 17 chapters. At first one may feel like the chapters are too many considering the author is talking about similar topics but once you start reading; you understand why Rishikesh divided the book into 17 chapters. You will love this book because of how direct the author is. The author does not add unnecessary text. Every topic in the book is well researched and thorough. Every topic in the book is relevant and every discussion is important and will change the reader’s perception of plants at the end of the reading.

I learned so much that I did not know through the chapters in the book. Some of the topics that I read more than once include the chapters on salts or salinity in plants, waterlogging and plant adaptations, mechanosensing in plants, heavy metal stress in plants, and the response of plants to chemical agents. These chapters made me realize that plants just like pets or human beings react differently to various elements. I enjoyed reading the other chapters too, especially since they were short and easy to complete.

The Secret of Plants in the Environment will expose you to a world of plants you were not aware of. The author uses scientific terms and plant jargon that are interesting to master but they are all explained in detail. This is an intellectually-invigorating book that brings fascinating depth to botany and explores the myriad of ways that plants are affected by environmental changes.

Pages: 206 | ASIN: B08738LKJP

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