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120 Seats in a Boiler Room

Lewis Kempfer’s storytelling is incredible. How the author chronicles his early days, relations with friends, the family encounters as an adult, and everything in between is thrilling. In 120 Seats in a Boiler Room: The Creation of a Courageous Professional Theater, Lewis Kempfer narrates his and others’ stories about this beautiful theater in Nashville, how it came to be, and the impact it had on the community.

The author’s storytelling aside, this book is an exciting read because of how descriptive Lewis Kempfer is when recounting events, locations, objects and even people. You get the real picture just by reading the text and get the appeal of being part of the story. This exciting book will inspire individuals in the arts and those who dream of owning a theater or something similar.

In the book, the reader is transported to Nashville. There is a rundown boiler room filled with waste and unpleasantness. What to do with this boiler room? Enter four ambitious friends who could use the boiler room for something else. Lewis Kempfer and his buddies have a theater company looking into making this boiler room a theater. Converting this old, unused boiler room into something locals would treasure was beautiful. I enjoyed reading about the strategies the friends took, the brainstorming process, completing the whole thing, and how it served the people. 

This fascinating book reads like a memoir, except it is not your typical memoir, as the author shares vital tips and also has guest authors chip in to tell the story. One moves from enjoying Lewis Kempfer’s personal stories to reading the how-to guides he shares to engaging with the letters to the editor. I appreciate having other individuals tell tales from their perspective, as it balances the author’s narration. 

120 Seats in a Boiler Room is unique, the storytelling and narration are remarkable, but the lessons readers will take from this book are invaluable. Sharing lessons on subjects like learning audience demographics, casting, licensing, production, media and public relations, staffing, and other crucial matters are all included. This is an entertaining book for readers that love semi-autobiographies fused with how-to guides. 

Pages: 418 | ASIN : B0BDKPG6JX

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Freeman Explains!

The title of this fascinating book instantly grabs readers, Freeman Explains:  The Things That Can Change, That Should Change. This is because the content in the book is literally what the title states. The author Dr. Michael J. Freeman is direct and gives readers exactly what the title promises. This book summarizes what happens in society and what is wrong with people’s approach regarding pertinent issues. Freeman is intentional and weighs on issues before offering a solution. The author examines the problem, digs down to the root, and analyzes every aspect of the issue before giving his final take.

There are multiple issues discussed in the book, but there is one particular topic that I am grateful for the most; Kids and pornography. This is a sensitive subject to some and is even outlawed in certain cultures. In Freeman’s book, however, the reader is given a clear perspective on the harm pornography causes to young minds. Freeman writes about the harm of pornography and how the internet, despite making life easier, is causing tremendous damage as anyone can access whichever content they please. The author hopes that internet pornography can be regulated. He even offers strategic solutions to this problem, giving rational answers to anyone with questions.

Other than pornography, Freeman also tackles more than a dozen other topics. Like the title suggests, Freeman explains things you need to know as a human being and a citizen of the world. Contemporary issues need modern solutions, and the author is here to do just that, offer sensible and logical solutions. I also enjoyed reading about drug problems, healthcare, politics and policymaking, medicine, religion, marriage, sex, education, voting rights, and civic education. Readers will get a discussion on almost all topics law-makers debate about.

What I like most about the author is his passion for children and young people. One can see the genuine concern he has through his text. He will share with you why children need to be protected and how every responsible adult can do it. Two of my favorite texts in the book are ‘Without perspective, you know nothing’ and ‘you don’t know what you don’t know.’ Both phases are in reference to children or young minds. On issues like pornography, children may not be able to know what is good for them and what is not because they are yet to see or experience what adults already have. Simply put, they lack perspective and thus don’t know anything.

Dr. Michael J. Freeman and his work are the true definition of ‘with age comes wisdom.’ The author, having experienced an eventful life, understands what ails society and knows what should be encouraged. Reading his thoughts was refreshing, as one can tell that the author is not influenced by modern trends. Freeman openly shared his takes and explained in detail his views. This thought-provoking book is perfect for those interested in how the modern world is shaping children and their futures.

Pages: 213 | ASIN : B0BLXW5PMH

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Think Unique

Think Unique, written by Ortal Green, co-founder of the Glittering Minds, is a workbook-style book designed to help teachers and parents learn the process and benefits of project-based learning (PBL). The author not only explains the rationale behind PBL, but she also leads readers through a series of reflections and questions that build the skills needed to effectively implement the strategy. Green suggests that using the methods outlined in her book, teachers will empower students to think more creatively and critically. The book is designed for the elementary classroom, but the concepts apply to students of all levels. 

Think Unique is divided into four parts: “Understanding Creativity,” “Why You Need to Develop Your Creativity,” “All About PBL,” and “Practical Tools and Exercises to Develop Creative Thinking.” Each section builds upon the last, creating a step-by-step guide to the world of PBL. By the end of the book, you have a toolbox of authentic PBL activities you can use in your classroom.

The first two sections focus primarily on understanding your creative potential, even if you feel you have none. The last two sections focus on the strategies of PBL, focusing on the RIDER (Research, Incubate, Dream, Evaluate, Realize) method, and providing examples of how the RIDER method can be used in the classroom to facilitate higher thinking. By understanding that process, you will learn how to design each unit so that students are compelled to think beyond what’s right in front of them. 

As an innovator in the field of education, Green challenges teachers to turn the traditional teacher-centered classroom into a more modern student-centered classroom that will foster innovative thinking through project-based learning. With the tools and tips in this workbook, you can learn to tap into your students’ full potential by teaching them how to think creatively.

Pages: 262 | ASIN : 0645224103

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A Misunderstood and Misrepresented Mushroom

Kevin Feeney Author Interview

What was the idea, or spark, that first set off the need to write Fly Agaric: A Compendium of History, Pharmacology, Mythology, & Exploration?

There were really two sparks that gave life to this book. The first spark was to produce the book that I had always wanted. When I first developed an interest in this mushroom as a teenager there was very little written about the mushroom that was accessible and the articles and books that were available were frequently vague on a number of important points. I had always wished I could find something that was comprehensive and that could provide a solid background on the history, pharmacology, and mythology surrounding this mushroom. The second spark was the realization that in the decades since I first developed an interest in the Fly Agaric there remained an incredible vacuum in the literature on this mushroom. Thus, the goal of producing the book was to simultaneously fill this vacuum and to produce the book that I had always wanted.

What was the collaboration process like with so many people contributing to this book?

The collaboration aspect was one of the thrilling elements of putting this book together. There were challenges in selecting and contacting the authors and researchers that I wanted to participate but I couldn’t be happier with the selection of individuals who agreed to contribute to this book. Some of the contributors had previously published their work elsewhere, but many of these pieces had been out of print for years or decades and were difficult for readers to find. This provided an opportunity to re-introduce readers to some very interesting literature on this mushroom. It was also great to work with authors on new works, to discuss topics, and lay-outs, and to take a more active editorial role. There were also several chapters that I co-authored, and I feel honored to have had the opportunity to work with each of these individuals as a collaborator.

What is one thing about Fly Agaric that you think is misrepresented in the media?

One thing the media is frequently guilty of is using images of the Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) in articles about Psilocybe mushrooms, frequently referred to as “magic” mushrooms. While the Fly Agaric is also psychoactive it is quite distinct from Psilocybe mushrooms, both in its appearance and in its pharmacology. There is potential for this misrepresentation to lead to confusion among readers, which could lead to unforeseen and potentially harmful consequences.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

There are no books currently in the works though I am presently working on several research articles related to the Fly Agaric, which will likely be published within the next two years.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

With more than two-dozen contributors and over 450-pages of content Fly Agaric is the most comprehensive book on the iconic red and white-spotted mushroom ever assembled. In the 29 chapters contained herein the reader is taken on a journey through history, folklore, and the magical landscapes experienced under the influence of the Fly Agaric, and its many close relatives. The reader of this book will learn:
How to recognize and identify over a dozen types of psychoactive Amanita species, subspecies, and varieties occurring in North America, and how to distinguish them from look-alikes.What psychoactive and other active compounds are found in psychoactive Amanitas, and how they affect the mind and body.The differences between the effects and experiences produced by psychoactive Amanitas and psychedelic Psilocybe mushrooms.How the Fly Agaric can be detoxified and safely prepared for the dinner table.The history of medicinal and homeopathic use of the Fly Agaric.How the Fly Agaric can be used topically and internally to treat conditions such as pain, inflammation, insomnia, and anxiety.Theories regarding the historical and religious use of psychoactive Amanitas around the world based on archaeological, folkloric, and other evidence.

Fly Agaric

Fly Agaric is what happens when a bunch of mushroom nerds get together and geek out about their favorite fungus- the Fly Agaric. The result is brilliant. The book is designed to be beginner-friendly. No prior knowledge is needed, because the book covers absolutely everything you would need to know, and Feeney has ensured that all the information in the book is 100% approachable. Something in the book is sure to grab your attention and, before you know it, you’ll be dragged into the weird and wonderful world of Fly Agaric fans.

This comprehensive book is divided into five parts, each with a different theme. It begins with a very useful beginner’s guide to mushroom hunting and identification. This section is full of helpful guides and safety information for any fledgling mushroom hunters. The second part is my personal favorite. It is a rundown of appearances of possible allusions to Fly Agaric use in religion, culture, and folklore. This informative book is very well researched, well written, and will likely change how you view some parts of history. Some of the conjecture used in this part is then backed up in part three where Feeney’s experts analyze archaeological evidence. The book then takes another turn in part four, where it becomes a Fly Agaric cookbook. It opens by telling stories of cooking with the mushroom and why doing so is a good idea. Feeney then takes over and tells us everything we need to know about cooking the mushroom. From nutritional information to actual recipes. Finally, the book ends in part five with the science of the Fly Agaric. This section is not too dry and is just as approachable as the rest of the book. The section has everything you could want to know if you wanted to experiment with Fly Agaric yourself.

Fly Agaric is a fantastic tool for anyone that wants to dive into this fascinating topic as it is extensive, thorough, and accessible. This enlightening guide would also make a great coffee table book. You’ll find yourself picking through it, reading the bits you find most interesting until you find you’ve consumed the whole thing. The book is a great read and Feeney and his writers have done an excellent job sharing their passion with the rest of the world.

Pages: 508 | ISBN: 0578714426

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If I Only Knew: Life Skills Not Taught In School

If I Only Knew: Life Skills Not Taught In School is the kind of book you need as you lead your everyday life. Bailee Walker covers everything you need to know as an adult. The book is about the lessons that were not taught in the classroom. Reading this book will make you realize that life is not just in black and white. You get to understand why some things work while others do not. Bailee Walker takes you through the reality of life, making you realize that you might have been living in a fantasy world. I like how the author is brutal with the truth, but also gentle when offering solutions to life’s problems.

While reading this book, you get the sense of what the author is talking about without much struggle. You get to learn that the universe knows how to balance things and that everyone’s destiny is mostly determined by the path they take. This book has lessons on technology and computer literacy, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, decision making skills, basic human interaction, politics, the justice system, education, social media and everything else. Reading this enlightening book is similar to learning about a dozen subjects in one class. The subjects’ covered are in the hundreds, but they are all smartly organized. Bailee Walker divided the book into three sections, with each section having particular subjects for discussions.

I enjoyed reading this informative guide mostly because of how the topics were arranged. Bailee Walker included news pieces and stories in the book. The news that is covered is eerie, disturbing and interesting. Having the news items gives one the impression of following a story that has a life lesson at the end. Bailee Walker’s stories are easy to read because they are brief and well summarized. The author went above and beyond to look for tales that will make readers reflect on what society has become, and how the masses react to issues. This book is excellent reference material for people that are looking for inspiration as they face daily challenges in life.

I recommend If I Only Knew: Life Skills Not Taught In School to readers for straight to the point advice that’s given in simple language so that it is easily understood. The author used real life stories that people can connect with. Bailee Walker provides practical and actionable tips that will help readers navigate the muddy waters of life.

Pages: 931 | ASIN: B09LNH61J6

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I Believe in Giving Hard Truths

David Poh Huat Soh Author Interview

Nature’s Gift of the Soursop Leaves is a short reference guide explaining what the soursop plant is, and what its uses are. Was writing this book therapeutic for you?

Writing this book is a challenge to me as
a. it is the first book to be written in the world
b. have to consider how reader will feel

It gives me more motivation and prompted me to write my second book two months later

Has writing and publishing a book changed the way you see yourself?

Yes, it makes me more committed to talk to people and help them.

Who has been the biggest supporter of your writing?

My wife and my late sister as she was a firm believer of the leaves. Sad that her caregiver failed to prepare.

Would you share something about yourself that your readers don’t know?

I am still doing financial but because of COVID I guess I was called to write the book.

I am very passionate in my writing as I believe in giving hard truths and experience.

Author Links: Website

The author writes from his heart based on real life experience which he wants to reach out to help people.

Nature Gifts of the Soursop Leaves

Nature’s Gift of the Soursop Leaves (Graviola Leaves) is a short testimony and a tribute. The author, David Soh Poh Huat, lost his sister Susan Soh Sung Choo to cancer in 2020. The informative book is meant to support all those suffering from cancer. The author lists out the benefits of consuming Soursop Leaves that are said to cure cancer and many other life-threatening chronic diseases. This flower and fruit-bearing plant is native to the tropics of America and the Caribbean and is consumed worldwide for its healing properties.

David Soh Poh Huat has written this enlightening book to spread awareness about the soursop leaves. It talks about preparing the soursop leaves, then moves on to the quality of soursop leaves that one should consume and where to buy them from. It further covers a list of benefits and finally moves on to various opinions, reviews and facts both supporting and opposing the use of soursop leaves. The author writes in a straightforward and concise manner, accompanied by visuals wherever necessary, which makes following the recipe a breeze. It is meant as an expert source to help readers understand how to source and consume soursop leaves and the potential side effects.

This informative book serves as an introduction to soursop leaves and their possible uses. Throughout the book, the author cautions the reader to talk with their doctors before they consume anything with this plant. Readers who want to know more about this interesting plant and its healing properties against cancer, side effects of chemotherapy, and several other chronic diseases should definitely pick this one up. The author cautions the readers to read up on the benefits, and side effects of soursop leave further as this isn’t a medically proven text, rather the author’s individual and learned experience.

Nature’s Gift of the Soursop Leaves is a nice introduction to the soursop plant and its potential uses. It is not a detailed reference book but does provide research information to get readers started on knowing more about this amazing plant. This would be a great resource for those that enjoy learning about different plants.

Pages: 37 | ASIN : B09BHKWX6F

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