Thoughts on: The Risk Agent by Ridley Pearson
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / June 19, 2012

Article first published as Book Review: The Risk Agent by Ridley Pearson on Blogcritics. About: The Risk Agent by Ridley Pearson is a fictional mystery/thriller taking place in China. The book is the first of a new series. The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book— use the Raf­fle­copter form at the end of the post to enter. 432 pages Publisher: Putnam Adult Language: English ISBN-10: 0399158839 My rating for The Risk Agent – 4 Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format More Books by Ridley Pearson Thoughts: The Risk Agent by Ridley Pearson (website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Pinterest) is a whirlwind of a ride through the business world of China. While I don’t know enough about the business world in that part of the world, that part of the novel certainly seemed authentic to me and made for a fascinating read. It seems that in China many companies, especially those who are not based in China, have a habit of giving incentives to government officials in order to gain the upper hand in the bidding process, or simply just flat out to get a job. Much like elections “incentives” (campaign donations), the act is frowned on officially but…

Thoughts on: The Art of War from SmarterComics: How to be Successful in Any Competition by Sun Tzu, illustrated by Shane Chester
4 Stars , Graphic Novels , Latest Posts / June 18, 2012

Article first published as Graphic Novel Review: The Art of War from SmarterComics: How to be Successful in Any Competition by Sun Tzu, Illustrated by Shane Chester on Blogcritics. About: The Art of War from SmarterComics: How to be Successful in Any Competition by Sun Tzu, illustrated by Shane Chester is a graphic novel of the famous book. Many think that this famous book is only about war, but truth be told, its lessons could be applied to management and management styles. 80 pages Publisher: Writers Of The Round Table Press; 2nd Edition edition Language: English ISBN-10: 1610660102 My rating for The Art of War from SmarterComics –4 Buy this graphic novel today Thoughts: The Art of War from SmarterComics: How to be Successful in Any Competition by Sun Tzu, illustrated by Shane Chester depicts Sun Tzu’s masterpiece by highlighting the main teachings of the classic guide. The artist portrays Sun Tzu as he guides the reader through the pages and applies the principles of the Art of War to modern life and management issues. While some folks have issues with this book (see the comments section of my post), I feel that the teachings are timeless. The situations in…

Eight (+1) Books for Father’s Day
Latest Posts / June 16, 2012

It’s not too late, it’s really not. You can still buy your dad a gift for Father’s Day, especially with the speed that eBooks or gift cards can be delivered.  Here are my top 5 recommendations for father’s day gifts which your dad would love. For the History Buff: Wash­ing­ton: A Life by Ron Cher­now  This  mar­velous Pulitzer win­ner book breaks the wooden image of Wash­ing­ton and brings out the char­ac­ter of the man we all learned about with all his charm and personality. For the Conspiracy Theorist: Ene­mies: A His­tory of the FBI by Tim Weiner  – A marvelous book which about tells of the 100 year his­tory of the famous orga­ni­za­tion. Mr. Weiner is a Pulitzer Prize win­ning author and a for­mer New York Times reporter who wrote largely about Amer­i­can security. For the Ambitious Dad: The Art of War by Sun Tzu While The Art of War was certainly written with ancient Chinese generals in mind, it applies to all types of management and could be read over and over again (the book is about 64 pages) with new insights every time. The gift that keeps on giving. For The Square Dad: Inside Delta Force by Eric L. Haney Do you ever wish your square…

Fun Facts Friday: Harriet Beecher Stowe
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / June 15, 2012

Yesterday was the birthday of Harriet Beecher Stowe (14 June, 1811 – 1 July, 1896). Stowe is known mostly for her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin but she was an avid writer all of her life. Picture from Nation’s history is embedded in portrait of a famous writer – boston.com Books by Harriet Beecher Stowe 1 ) Uncle Tom’s Cabin was originally slated to be a short series in an abolitionist magazine 2 ) Stowe was often criticized for not having firsthand knowledge of slavery. In response Stowe published A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin which revealed her sources. 3 ) After the American Civil War, Stowe bought a home in Florida and started schools for African American children. 4 ) It is said that Stowe danced in the streets when Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation. 5 ) When Stowe met President Abraham Lincoln he reported to have said: “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!” 6 ) Uncle Tom’s Cabin sold 300,000 copies. 7 ) In 1853 Stowe was welcomed in England as a literary hero. 8 ) In November 1857 Stowe was one of the original contributors to The Atlantic along with Ralph Waldo…

Thoughts on: The Art of War by Sun Tzu
5 Stars , Latest Posts , Non-Fiction / June 14, 2012

Article first published as Book Review: The Art of War by Sun Tzu on Blogcritics. About: The Art of War by Sun Tzu is an ancient Chinese military treatise. The book, a classic within the science of military studies is only attributed to the high ranking general and was believed to have been complies during the last spring and autumn of the Warring States period(either 476 BC or 453 BC). 62 pages Publisher: Simon & Brown Language: English ISBN-10: 1936041758 My rating for The Art of War – 5 Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format Thoughts: I first heard of The Art of War by Sun Tzu when I was in the military. I heard of the book in passing and read a bit more about it when I got home, but never picked up a copy until several years later. The first thing which struck me was how short the book was, but the more I read, the more I realized the wisdom behind the book. The second, third, forth and more I read this book I stopped for contemplation about what Sun Tzu’s words mean to me, how I implemented his advice both in the military and outside of it and the mistakes I made, how can…

Thoughts on: Equal of the Sun by Anita Amirrezvani

About: Equal of the Sun by Anita Amirrezvani is a fictional book taking place in 16th Century Iran. The story blends a mix of historical and fictional characters to create an intriguing novel. The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book— use the Raf­fle­copter form at the end of the post to enter. 448 pages Publisher: Scribner Language: English ISBN-10: 1451660464 My rat­ing for Equal of the Sun— 4 Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format More Books by Anita Amirrezvani Thoughts: I have never heard of Iranian princess Pari Khan Khanoom so I was thrilled to read Equal of the Sun by Anita Amirrezvani as my introduction to this fascinating woman.  The book’s fascinating descriptions of Persian traditions and culture is its biggest strength and most captivating aspect. The parts which looked into court life, palace intrigue and royal family politics were especially appealing. Most of the book focuses on how the cultural conventions pertain to the women in the court. The story is told through the eyes of Javaher, a eunuch (by choice!) who is working for Princess Pari. Some of the graphic aspects of the story made me, as a man, feel very uncomfortable including a…

Tightwad Tuesday — Free or Affordable eBooks — Mysteries
Latest Posts , Tightwad Tuesday / June 12, 2012

Another Tuesday and another post of Tightwad. I’m reading a pretty good mystery right now called The Risk Agent by Ridley Pearson so I thought I’d look up some free and/or affordable eBooks Please note: The prices for the post are current at the time of the post, please pay attention to make sure they haven’t changed before purchase. Authors: If you’d like  your book to be fea­tured on Tight­wad Tues­days please email me. For the Kindle: Daily Deal Carbs & Cadavers (The Supper Club Mysteries)  by J.B. Stanley Divorced, overweight, and shy, former English Professor James Henry moves back home to help his recently-widowed father. After arriving, James joins a supper club for dieters. When a mysterious death strikes fear in their small community, the club members dodge delectable temptations by working together to find the killer. Yesterday’s Price: $8.58 Today’s Discount: $6.59 Kindle Daily Deal Price: $1.99 (77% off) THE ACCIDENTAL HERO by Joshua Graham (A Digital Short) A ruthless hitman confronts his destiny in a startling tale of redemption.  The Murderous Fire (Unnatural Death Investigations, Book #4) by Ryan Clover Death is never as simple as it seems. The Unnatural Death Investigations is a mystery thriller series…

Guest Post: Modern Reading: Can You Multitask your Way There?
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / June 11, 2012

It seems like it’s more and more difficult to pick up a book and concentrate on it these days. I remember when I was younger, I would sit and read a book cover to cover, completely engrossed, only putting it down to attend to absolute necessities. But now I find myself buying books and starting them, only to get distracted halfway through by life in general, or another book entirely. We hear constant chatter on the news about modern conveniences leading to a more distracted, multitasking mindset. As quick as we may be to dismiss these claims, I find myself wondering whether my current go-go-go lifestyle has hindered my enjoyment of the simple process of reading a book. And, if that’s the case, what can I possibly do about it? It’s definitely true that our minds work in accordance with the way we live. I find myself getting online and flitting about from one thing to the next, trying to take in and keep track of everything at the same time, all while trying to get significant research or writing accomplished. As much as multitasking in this way feels natural to me now, I have to admit, sometimes I do…

Thoughts on: The Dump by Peppe Arninge
5 Stars , Latest Posts / June 9, 2012

Article first published as Book Review: The Dump by Peppe Arninge on Blogcritics. About: The Dump by Peppe Arninge is a photo book with a series of haunting images in black and white. The photos are taken around Cambodia’s garbage dumps and evoke powerful feelings. 78 pages Publisher: Publicera Publishing Ltd Language: English ASIN: B0076I642W My rating for The Dump – 5 Buy this book in paper (from blurb.com) or Kindle format or PDF Thoughts: When I was contacted by Mr. Arminge to read The Dump it took me some time to agree. Photo books are not really my forte (a good argument could be made that no books are actually my forte…but we’ll leave that alone). After doing some research and reading Mr. Arninge’s resume and  portfolio, I decided to have a look. The book shows some of the extraordinary photos Mr. Arninge took in Cambodia, it is an important historical document and a painful way to drive home a point. Seeing children digging through trash, fighting day by day other children, adults, rats, dogs and disease for a few scraps is heartbreaking. I have been witness to several acts of evil us human beings are capable of over the years – but cruelty against children…

Armchair BEA – Day 5 – Ask The Experts
Latest Posts / June 8, 2012

It’s been almost two years of blogging – still unbelievable to me – and I loved every moment. What have I learned in two short years? Not much and especially not as much as the more serious bloggers out there. If you check out the main post (with a linky) for the Armchair BEA on this topic you’ll find much needed and wise advice. In order not to repeat the already great advice given, here are a few of mine: – Book blogs are time consuming: This is an important point not only for new bloggers, but also for industry professionals. A book blog is a time consuming hobby, a blogger could spend around 6-10 hours on every book – reading, writing and setting up posts. –  Know your place: while your blog is all about you, as it should be, you have to realize that 99% of the time you don’t get free books because the publisher/author values your opinion, but as part of a comprehensive social media marking plan. Sometimes that plan works out (good review), sometimes not (a bad one), but the way you’re being looked at is inexpensive publicity. What should that mean to you? Nothing really, but it’s good to know. – “No”…

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