A Story of Karma by Michael Schauch

Book Summary: In 2012, Michael Schauch and his wife, Chantal, undertook an expedition deep in the Himalaya of northern Nepal, into a remote valley that had been closed off to outsiders for decades. They led a team of artists (a photographer, a musician, and a painter), with the objective of capturing a moment in time through their unique lenses. As a mountaineering fanatic, Michael had a second (and less conspicuous) goal to climb an unknown mountain he had only identified through a photograph. What unfolded in the mountains forced him to question his values and his own identity, and eventually resulted in meeting a little girl, which was the most profound encounter of his life. Little did either know that from that moment they would completely change the trajectory of each other’s life. A Story of Karma recounts this journey, and the years that follow as Karma (the little girl), and Michael and Chantal grow their lives together amidst the confusing dichotomies and backdrop of Karma’s 17th-century Himalayan village; the impoverished and polluted Kathmandu; and the modern world of Vancouver, Canada. Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/3l1KS2F
https://youtu.be/wPlgpoHTDTw

Reviews:

Each word ushers you deeper into an external journey to the Himalayas and an internal journey to the heart. Schauch’s masterful storytelling transports you to a healing realm where external and internal distinctions dissolve in the beauty of embodied love. Not only is this a tale of transformation for Schauch, the reader too is transformed. – Paula Arai, Ph.D., author of Painting Enlightenment, Bringing Zen Home, and Women Living Zen
A man’s mission to climb a mountain in the Himalayas turns into providing education for children in the most remote region of Nepal. A Story of Karma is a heartfelt and inspiring story about nature and human connection, and the amazing things that happen when you open your heart and mind to the unknown world. – Dorje Dolma, author of Yak Girl: Growing Up in the Remote Dolpo Region of Nepal
Schauch writes a moving story of personal growth and transformation in his encounter with the indigenous peoples of the remote highlands of Upper Manang, Nepal. The desire to climb a peak drew him there, but what changed him forever was the unexpected and extraordinary creation of family ties in Nar-Phu and the role that Tibetan Buddhism played in helping him transcend differences of culture to nurture that family. Read his story with an open heart and mind – it will touch you deeply. – Mark Aldenderfer, distinguished professor of anthropology at University of California Merced, and National Geographic Explorer
Michael Schauch’s vividly descriptive writing will transport you to a remote Himalayan village and leave you with the taste of yak butter tea on your tongue and the odour of dung-fuelled fires in your clothing. A Story of Karma is a thoughtful and passionate meditation on privilege and poverty, consumerism and spirituality, fate and chance, individualism and community. Above all else, this story is a testament to the power each and every one of us has to generate meaningful and lasting change in our beleaguered world. – Jan Redford, author of End of the Rope: Mountains, Marriage, and Motherhood
In this book, Michael Schauch shares the words of the Dalai Lama when describing the Beyul – the sacred, hidden valleys of the Himalaya – as places of multiple dimensions where the physical and spiritual worlds coalesce. ‘From a Buddhist perspective [these] sacred environments… are not places to escape the world, but to enter it more deeply… Such places often have a power that we cannot easily describe or explain….’ Schauch’s story introduces us to many hidden places and the people who inhabit them. It is a fine example of how the human spirit can face even the toughest challenges, and by overcoming them, change the lives of ourselves and others in a profound way. – Martin Parnell, author of Marathon Quest, Running to the Edge, and The Secret Marathon: Empowering Women and Girls in Afghanistan through Sport
A Story of Karma speaks to an inward journey of purpose, a quest for meaning and connection – something to which we may all aspire. What began as a test of strength, determination and grit, a monumental goal by any measure, became an invitation to an awakening of the heart, a softening of the human spirit. There is that rare combination of lyricism and raw honesty throughout. This book is a must read!” – Peter McCoppin, international orchestral conductor and national host/broadcaster
About the Author: Michael Schauch is a mountaineer, entrepreneur and storyteller who lives to explore remote places around the world and to share the depth and beauty of human connection he discovers along the way. With early success as an entrepreneur at age 15, and over 20 years of global financial investment experience, Schauch brings his business acumen and altruistic heart to lead and support local and international mentorship, fundraising and educational initiatives. These include the education of girls and student mentorship in Nepal, outdoor youth leadership for those facing barriers to access nature and holistic Indigenous leadership development in British Columbia. He holds an MBA from Queen’s University and is a member of the Explorers Club. He and his partner in adventure Chantal make their base camp in Squamish, nestled in BC’s rugged Coast Mountains and temperate rainforests. https://www.michaelschauch.com/astoryofkarma

Ballet Orphans by Terez Mertes Rose

Book Summary:

It’s 1990, and New York soloist April Manning is trying to rebalance her world in the aftermath of her parents’ deaths. An offer to join the struggling West Coast Ballet Theatre as a principal dancer seems like the perfect opportunity for a fresh start—a new life in San Francisco, an exciting step up in her career, and the hope of a redefined sense of family. But the other dancers are wary, clannish and tight-lipped, particularly about an incident that hastened the departure of their beloved artistic director, leading to the arrival of his replacement, the young, inexperienced Anders Gunst. And no one wants to talk about Jana, a former company member who defiantly walked out rather than work under Anders. It is Jana herself who offers April hints, and even friendship, where she reveals a loneliness and hunger to belong that newly orphaned April well understands. But there is something troubling about Jana, and what April doesn’t know could prove deadly.

A prequel to the Ballet Theatre Chronicles, BALLET ORPHANS explores the work and sacrifices required to arrive at the highest tiers of the professional ballet world, coupled with the primal, universal desire to belong, to love and be loved, and the lengths we’ll go to protect those we call family.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/3aMriWH

Good Reads giveaway – https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/315791

Review:

Rivalries and power plays roil a San Francisco ballet troupe in this romance.

As a 24-year-old soloist at New York City’s dazzling American Ballet Theatre, April Manning is near the top of the ballerina heap when suddenly she loses everything: Her mother dies, and a Bolshoi-trained phenomenon steals her role and her boyfriend, Vincent, a handsome ABT dancer. April decamps to the seemingly friendlier climes of San Francisco’s West Coast Ballet Theatre, where her pal Anders Gunst, the brilliant new artistic director, makes her a principal. Alas, WCBT proves to be a snake pit. Anders faces a mutiny led by the domineering, Machiavellian dancer Dmitri Petrenko. Meanwhile, April struggles—the crowd boos her after one performance—and feels that she’s in cutthroat competition with everyone from the senior ballerinas to the company’s 16-year-old prodigy; in addition, she becomes the obsession of a sinister ex–WCBT ballerina fallen on hard times. The one bright spot is her romance with Russell, a nerdy childhood friend from Omaha who’s become the attractive director of a hot Silicon Valley startup. That relationship becomes complicated, though, when Vincent arrives to dance with April in Romeo and Juliet; he’s a superlative partner who makes her shine onstage but also a possessive, egomaniacal jerk. In this prequel to her Ballet Theatre Chronicles novels, Rose paints a vivid portrait of life in a cloistered dance company—one that’s seething with insecurities and antagonisms yet also capable of pulling together when the chips are down. April endures both the physical pain and social sacrifices required by her devotion to her craft, but she also basks in the sensual exhilaration of sublime performances, which Rose conveys in sharply observed but also exuberant prose: “See how you’re making my heart pound? I pantomimed, and took his hand, laying it on my chest….He lifted me and I draped myself over his shoulder with wanton abandon, every move imparting a feeling of joyous euphoria, absolute infatuation.”

A stimulating and entertaining tale in which passion and art intermingle.

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/terez-mertes-rose/ballet-orphans/

Author Bio:

Terez Mertes Rose is the author of the Ballet Theatre Chronicles (OFF BALANCE, OUTSIDE THE LIMELIGHT, BALLET ORPHANS) and A DANCER’S GUIDE TO AFRICA. A former ballet dancer, her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including the Crab Orchard Review, Women Who Eat (Seal Press), A Woman’s Europe (Travelers’ Tales), Literary Mama and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She reviews dance performances for Bachtrack.com and blogs about ballet and classical music at The Classical Girl. (www.theclassicalgirl.com). She makes her home in the Santa Cruz Mountains with her husband and son.

The Black Market: A Guide to Art Collecting by Charles Moore

Book Summary:

Art collecting can be time-consuming, complicated and confusing for the beginner…

…but it doesn’t have to be.

In this clear and easy-to-follow guide, learn the necessary knowledge and skills to begin building your own art collection.

Art is the purest form of hope, dreams, and sentiments. A single image can reveal long-held secrets, spark the imagination, offer a sense of belonging and home.

Art conveys the words the artist often might not have been able to speak aloud. In, The Black Market: A guide to art collecting, Charles, a long-time art collector and art historian, introduces novice collectors and would be collectors to the art world, its deep roots, its connections to our pasts, and its hopes for our future.

In the first part of the book, you’ll discover the history of African American art and will find essays born in the decades between 1900 – 1990; fascinating lecture reviews on books and exhibition catalogs that invite art enthusiasts to explore the culture, the storied lives, the simplicity, and the everyday struggles and triumphs of the African American experience.

The final sections of the book offer insights and tips about the business side of becoming an art collector. You’ll find an overview of storage, collection management, a glossary of terms, and the all-important guide to insurance for your collection and interviews featuring prominent art advisors and collectors like Hill Harper and Keith Rivers.

If you ever wanted to become a collector, wanted to learn more about the African American art, or want to deepen your knowledge, The Black Market: A guide to art collecting is a fascinating, immersive, and essential guide to developing a meaningful and awe-inspiring collection.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2J8w3Ol

Reviews:

“Such an unique book that guides you on how to collect art from Black artists and takes you on an enriching journey through museums, galleries, etc. Minority arts specially that of African American have long been restricted in American museums. This book helps you recognise and appreciate them. The testimonials and peek into the history keeps you engaged. The author himself is an art historian and his impeccable hold over the subject was visible in each page. The insights were really helpful, easy and practical. The author’s understanding and experience helped him break for the process and present it in utter lucidity. And as he says at the very beginning, that the first step yearning to collect art is to read. So go and get a copy of this book. Read it and learn the process. You’ll surely end up learning so much through it.” ~ Abby

 

From the Author:

Many people are interested in starting an art collection from Black artists, but don’t know where to start. Charles Moore delivers an intriguing short history of Black artists in America and gives valuable insight into art collecting in his eye-opening book, The Black Market: A Guide to Art Collecting.

Black artists in the United States have a remarkable history that often is not as deeply understood as it should be. This carries over into the art collecting world, with existing potential collectors of Black artists that don’t quite know what direction to take. Charles Moore, an art expert and enthusiast for Black artists, is stepping up to help. Answering a clear need, Moore’s book dives into these subjects providing insight on Black art history and a blueprint for starting a collection. Not surprisingly, the interest surrounding The Black Market: A Guide to Art Collecting is in high demand.

“Before you begin collecting art, I recommend collecting books–about art, and learn to develop your taste,” commented Moore. “I think The Black Market would be a good addition to your reading and I’ve done my best to give some valuable guidance.”

According to Moore, the book is a guide to helping those interested in art collecting to learn more about the subject. It gives a brief art history lesson about Black artists born between 1900 to 1990, and then moves on to recommending literature to read about Black culture and Black artists. The Black Market also touches on museums and their exhibitions, galleries and art shows, and auctions, with the interesting results they can deliver. A number of interviews are highlighted that range from an artist who collects Black art, to a top art school revealing their secrets to readers, in hopes of building an understanding of the role they play in the growing art world.

The Black Market also features a collection of Moore’s essays on his interactions with art collectors from all walks of life, such collectors who started a year ago, to collectors with years of experience. To assist the new collector with an all-encompassing guide, the book includes a glossary of common terms, notes on art insurance, and art storage and maintenance complete the offerings.

https://www.charlessmoore.com/

The Twelve Realms by A.D. Sloane

Book Summary:

There are messages told through language.

There are messages told through symbols.

And there are messages told through terror.

Nabii Akachi, a young Moorish royal, unveils a series of cryptic messages and discovers her dreams are linked to an ages-old mystical prophecy with global implications.

The Twelve Realms is a historical re imagining that links kings and paupers, priests and soldiers, and shaman and witches in an epic adventure. Nabii is the key within a tapestry of intertwined people from Western Africa to the Far East and the British Isles who must join forces and find a weapon that will defeat the shadows prophesied to rise from the deep.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2USXkHd

Reviews:

Manhattan Book Review

The Twelve Realms by A.D. Sloane is a thrilling fantasy that carries readers on an epic quest to save humanity before time runs out and all of life is destroyed. From the very first page, Sloane creates such anticipation and a sense of urgency with her opening words: “In the mysterious tongue of my homeland/ Three words spoken, so pure, so sublime. Continuous whispers haunt me night after night/ Ni wakati wa. It is time. It is time. It is time.” Her writing is accessible and entertaining from the first to last page.

A.D. Sloane brings readers on a heroic adventure through numerous kingdoms and various explorations that are exciting and incredibly engaging. On this expedition, readers will meet an all-star cast of powerful heroes, crafty heroines, malevolent villains, and wicked scoundrels, all stocked with a litany of abilities. These capabilities appear in an array of situations that encourage the characters to grow or confront a deep sentiment once hidden or unknown. Sloane’s characters, which are well-rounded and diverse, are also filled with depth, and are relatable to readers across age groups and personal backgrounds. Some folks appear dangerous from their introduction but demonstrate true courage and valor when the need arises, whereas others that were at first perceived as champions will prove to have ulterior motives in time. The map and chart of clan members of the Twelve Realms at the beginning of the book provides readers with a visual reference of the domains and a clear outline of noteworthy individuals. Moreover, Sloane also includes a charming sketch of the Kingdom of Karacen for guidance and context to the narrative. This kingdom, in addition to many other stops along the way, will cleverly impress themselves upon the hearts of all those along for the ride. Readers will thoroughly enjoy traveling through the territories with Sloane’s characters, discovering the assorted differences and endowments between dominions.

Given the length of the text, an older reader will likely more appreciate the content and plot, although the frequent skirmishes and deep revelations in each chapter will hold the attention of any reader. In addition, the chapters are rather short and quickly move the narrative along. Readers familiar with texts such as The Lord of The Rings and other prominent action fantasy stories will thoroughly appreciate the fascinating tale Sloane has constructed. A.D. Sloane’s The Twelve Realms easily earns 5 stars and will quickly become a household favorite. Readers will anxiously await her next publication, eager to devour more by this mesmerizing author.

About the Author:

A.D. Sloane attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she earned her B.S. in Occupational Therapy and DePaul University, where she earned her MPA. She has enjoyed a career as a development officer for nonprofits and universities where she focused on student advancement and K-14 outreach. She lives near Chicago, Illinois with her husband and two children.

www.adsloane.com

What Method?: The Different Ways An Actor Can Train by Jessie Fahay

Book Summary:
There are many methods an actor may choose to study. What do all of these methods really do for the actor’s instrument? Is there a method that works best for you? Which one speaks to you? Where should you look for instructors who teach these methods? This short and practical guidebook gives you the nuts and bolts of four pinnacle training methods, sample exercises for each method, examples of actors who have used these methods, the places where you can find these methods being taught, and further in-depth literature on each method. The next steps are up to you.

Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2WxfHmj

Reviews:

“Fahay has a positive, forthright tone to her words of wisdom coming from experience. She acknowledges that acting and performing is hard work and takes a great deal of practise. At times it may even seem painful, but she says it isn’t, because “our work is something we love doing.” Fahay offers four major types of training that may fit in any combination for any type of performer. She also acknowledges what methods certain recognizeable actors have regularly used so that a prospecting actor can see where he or she may fit. Finally, Fahay has a composite of resources for aspiring actors to look into but never fails to recognize that constant practise and experimenting is the key to fulfillment. Bravo to her debut effort. This is an essential tool.”

Author Bio:
Jessie Fahay is a New York based actress, singer, producer who is out make a difference through artistic expression. With extensive experience in Personal and Professional growth, she is constantly researching and questioning human behavior. She has attained an MBA and MFA and is the proud founder of the award-winning performing arts company, RIPPLE EFFECT ARTISTS, which has been in existence for 10 years, employing Equity Actors and using the Arts to raise awareness and funds for Human Rights Initiatives. For project updates, visit www.jessiefahay.com or www.rippleeffectartists.com.

Learning to Quit by Suzanne Harris and Paul Brunetta

Book Summary:

Set yourself free from smoking. Strategy trumps willpower!

Personal stories paired with moving photographic portraits. Empathetic, non-judgmental advice to stop smoking for good.

Have you tried to quit smoking, only to find yourself reaching for a cigarette again and again? Tired of feeling bad about your health and making promises to the ones that love you? Set a “learning” mindset and reframe these past quit attempts as trial runs. It’s not your fault that you are a smoker. Nicotine is incredibly addictive, but you can beat it! Your amazing life as a non-smoker lies just around the corner.

This book provides the friendly, positive support you need on your quit smoking journey. Simply by reading this book, you’ll take an extremely important step to stop smoking cigarettes and end nicotine addiction. Every person’s journey is different, and yours is unique. The work that you’re embarking on is shared by the 24 people interviewed for Learning to Quit. Join millions of ex-smokers around the world who have broken free from tobacco.

What’s inside the newly expanded and updated second edition:

  • Frank and honest interviews with ex-smokers
    •Positive support to meet your quit smoking goals
    •Customizable and proven quit smoking plan
    •Strategies to survive your first week without cigarettes
    •Overview of smoking cessation medicines and quit aids
    •Information on vaping and eCig alternatives
    •Advice on how to get through your quit smoking detox
    •An easy explanation of how nicotine addiction takes control
    •Tips for dealing with urges
    •An extensive health information index
    •How to talk to loved ones about your quit smoking plans
    •Where to find a smoking support groups
    •A brand-new mindset for managing relapse
    •Moving portraits of ex-smokers by photographer John Harding
    Becoming a successful non-smoker is about strategy, not willpower. Maybe you tried Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking, but can’t make quitting stick. Trying to stop smoking cold turkey is one of most difficult and least effective ways to quit. Relying on willpower or piling on guilt doesn’t work. More than fear or negativity, clear and positive motivations for change move us toward freedom from smoking. This book gives you the best ways to quit smoking.

BONUS: You’ll not only learn how to quit smoking; the medical section will equip you with vital health information. Learn how smoking effects your lungs, heart, brain, mood, weight and pregnancy. Explore different smoking cessation medication options. Feel inspired learning how quickly your health and quality of life will improve after you smoke your last cigarette. Learn more about the vaping controversy, plus vaping dangers and health risks.

Suzanne Harris, RN, NCTTP and Paul Brunetta, MD cofounded the Fontana Tobacco Treatment Center and are both former smokers. They’ve offered assistance to over 1000 smokers seeking help. They specifically developed Learning to Quit share the action plan, knowledge and support you need to take control of your health.

This book is not just about becoming smoke-free, it’s also about change; it’s about radically changing your life by ending a huge relationship–your tobacco dependence.

This book includes access to an entire library of free resources, including quit plans, mindset exercises, nicotine dependence tests and more!

Book Link – https://amzn.to/2xq5VJd

Reviews:

Kirkus

Two experts on tobacco treatment—Harris, a nurse, and Brunetta (Pulmonary/Univ. of California, San Francisco), a doctor and lung cancer specialist—collect former smokers’ stories of how they quit and offer strategies for others who’d like to break the habit.

While working together at the San Francisco Medical Center’s Chest Clinic, Harris and Brunetta bonded over their passion for helping patients quit smoking. Together, they founded the UCSF Tobacco Education Center, which hosts a stop-smoking program and a weekly Freedom From Smoking Support Group, and they build on what they’ve learned from those experiences in this new edition of a 2018 book. They begin with brief profiles of former smokers they met through the support group, photographed by Harding (Streets of Discontent, 2018, etc.), then move on to 235 pages of engaging personal stories by members. Their former smokers had different reasons for quitting, so the accounts vary widely. Each story, however, explores an open-ended question like, “Who would you be without cigarettes?” or “What is your denial story?” in an effort to motivate and inspire readers. For example, one former smoker’s “denial story” was that she believed incorrectly that she could not have a heart attack because she didn’t smoke very much, remained active, and was a woman. The book subsequently asks readers to think about their own denial stories and provides space in which they can jot down their notes on the subject. The authors go on to explore how smoking relates to health, covering topics like the effects of smoking on lung function and of nicotine on the brain. There’s also a timely section on vaping and e-cigarettes. Throughout the book, there are helpful images by debut illustrator Marhofer and tables featuring such things as a comparison of the temporal cortexes of a smoker and nonsmoker and information on nicotine replacement therapies. Useful as that information is, the personal stories—told in former smokers’ own words—are what set this book apart from other guides to quitting smoking. Readers who would like to hear from real people who have successfully quit smoking will benefit from it.

A smoking cessation guide with inspiring personal accounts by people who have stopped.
https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/suzanne-harris/learning-to-quit-how-to-stop-smoking-and-live-free/

Author Bios:

Suzanne Harris in Her Own Words

When I first started smoking in my early teens, I felt grown up and powerful. Awkward, shy, and taller than all my classmates, I used cigarettes to mask my discomfort and find my place as a rebel. Years later as a nurse working in an inpatient cancer unit, I found that smoking had become a terrible burden and source of shame. I instinctively tried to abuse myself into stopping, berating myself for being stupid and weak; why else would I continue to do something that was in such conflict with being a good nurse and mother?

In finding my way to becoming a non-smoker, I developed some of the skills that are now in the pages of this book. Then, in 1984, I had the great good fortune to secure a position in an outpatient clinic in San Francisco, including working in the county hospital chest clinic for people with pulmonary diseases. There I saw the terrible toll smoking took on the health and psyche of our patients. I saw in my patients the same fear, defiance, and shame that I had felt as a smoker. So my experience first as a smoker and subsequently as a nurse has given me a dual perspective on tobacco dependence.

For me, stopping smoking involved developing a different relationship with myself, a relationship of love and respect rather than bullying and low self-esteem. And for the people I have worked with and learned from over more than 30 years of working in the field, a key for most has been to identify something they wanted more than a cigarette, and to go after that. In the process of that redirection, they came into a kinder relationship with themselves, just as I did.

Over the years, colleagues have expressed surprise that I would continue to find the work of a tobacco treatment specialist to be so engaging. In fact, the process of becoming non-smokers is rich with opportunities for transformation and empathy. Because smoking is interwoven with so many aspects of a smoker’s life, removing that thread opens a person to experiencing parts of themselves that have been ignored or unexplored. People discover strengths and gifts they did not know they had. I derive deep satisfaction supporting the single most important change a person can make to ensure a better future for themselves and the people they love: stopping smoking.

Paul Brunetta in His Own Words

My first cigarette at age nine was such a powerful experience that I can clearly remember it decades later. For kids, watching adults smoke creates a certain fascination with cigarettes and sends a strong signal that it’s what adults do. I remember Marlboro Man billboards and other positive images of smokers that were reinforced through TV and print advertising and movies in the 1970s as I grew up. In high school, I looked forward to smoking at beer-filled weekend parties. It strengthened a bond with one of my best friends, Brian, as something we shared that our other friends didn’t. Later, as an undergraduate in an intense pre-med program at Johns Hopkins University, I began to smoke regularly and realized that I was addicted. It took many attempts to stop, but with a high level of motivation I eventually did and developed a lifelong interest in nicotine addiction and tobacco related disease.

In my Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship at UCSF, I came across a kindred spirit in an amazingly talented and dedicated nurse named Suzanne Harris. Suzanne and I worked together in the Chest Clinic at San Francisco General Hospital, and, together, we cared for a constant stream of patients with tobacco-related COPD and heart disease and lung cancer. This was mirrored in my rotations through the VA hospital taking care of great veterans who had survived battles for our country but were sickened by long-term tobacco use. Suzanne ran a Group at SFGH, and I asked to sit in. It was one of those moments when you realize you’re in the presence of a master doing something very difficult but making it seem effortless. As a former smoker, Suzanne was uniquely able to connect with people in Group with such profound and non-judgmental empathy, but was also able to guide them toward the next step in a quit plan. When I joined the faculty in the Thoracic Oncology Program focused on lung cancer, early detection, and tobacco education, we were able to find some limited funding from the Mt. Zion Health Fund to create the Tobacco Education Center and hire Suzanne part-time. I eventually left this position to work in biotechnology as Suzanne continued Group. And, years later, in 2009, a fantastic Group participant named Jeannie Fontana generously donated seed money that allowed for the creation and ongoing survival of the Fontana Tobacco Treatment Center.

Suzanne and I have been working on this book in one form or another for more than 10 years. We hope you gain a deep understanding of these people on their journey toward better health. And Part 2 of the book has health information and smoking cessation medication knowledge in clear language that can be critical on your own journey away from nicotine addiction. We hope this book is useful to anyone looking to improve their health or improve the lives of a loved one who is dealing with nicotine addiction.

More info: http://www.learningtoquit.com/about-the-authors/

You can start reading Learning to Quit for FREE at www.LearningToQuit.com/free

 

Goodbye Homeboy by Steve Mariotti

Book Summary:

One sunny afternoon in 1982, a young businessman experienced a terrifying mugging in New York City that shook him to his core.

Tortured by nightmares about the teens who roughed him up, Steve Mariotti sought counseling. When his therapist suggested that he face his fears, Mariotti closed his small import-export business and became a teacher at the city’s most notorious public school–Boys and Girls High in Bed-Stuy.

Although his nightmares promptly ceased, Mariotti’s out-of-control students rapidly drove him to despair.

One day, Mariotti stepped out of the classroom so his students wouldn’t see him cry. In a desperate move to save his job, he took off his watch and marched back in with an impromptu sales pitch for it. To his astonishment, his students were riveted. He was able to successfully lead a math lesson for the first time.

Mariotti realized his students felt trapped in soul-crushing poverty. They saw zero connection between school and improving their lives. Whenever Mariotti connected their lessons to entrepreneurship, though, even his most disruptive students got excited about learning.

School administrators disapproved of Mariotti discussing money in the classroom, however. He was repeatedly fired before receiving one last-ditch assignment: an offsite program for special-ed students expelled from the public schools for violent crimes.

The success Mariotti had with these forgotten children—including coverage in the Daily News, The New York Times, and World News Tonight—inspired him to found the nonprofit Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship to bring entrepreneurship education to low-income youth.

By turns tragic and hilarious, Goodbye Homeboy shares Mariotti’s flaws and missteps as he connects deeply with his troubled students, and woos the most influential people in the world into helping them–saving himself in the process.

Today, Mariotti is widely recognized as the world’s leading advocate for entrepreneurship education. More than one million young people from Chicago to China have graduated from NFTE programs, and NFTE counts Sean Combs, Chelsea Clinton, Diana Davis Spencer, and many more business, entertainment, and community leaders among its staunchest supporters.

As Goodbye Homeboy powerfully illustrates, a spark of hope really can empower us to overcome life’s greatest hardships.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2T2ibbH

Reviews:

“Steve Mariotti’s moving memoir is a call to action for anyone who dares to dream, and dream big! Steve’s entrepreneurial spirit led him from calming his contentious classroom and nurturing his students’ ‘street smarts’ to becoming the founder of a booming nonprofit. Goodbye Homeboy powerfully illustrates how Steve went from reaching one student to reaching millions with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).”

—Erin Gruwell, teacher and author of The Freedom Writers Diary

“Goodbye Homeboy truly captures Steve Mariotti’s amazing journey as a teacher and an innovator. It’s engaging, heartbreaking, hopeful, and ultimately triumphant. This is the story behind the entrepreneurship-education revolution!”

—Jimmy “Mac” McNeal, founder of Bulldog Bikes Worldwide

“Steve Mariotti is one of the great teachers of our time. In this deeply personal memoir, he describes how a bunch of high-school dropouts in the South Bronx helped him discover the power of entrepreneurship education. Goodbye Homeboy is a page turner—once you open this book, you won’t be able to put it down.”

—Verne Harnish, author of Scaling Up and founder of Entrepreneurs’ Organization

About the Author:

Steve Mariotti is the founder and former CEO of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), and an advocate for entrepreneurs worldwide. His previous books include the Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Running a Business and An Entrepreneur’s Manifesto, which makes a convincing case for the power of entrepreneurship education to combat poverty, terrorism and totalitarianism. Mariotti is also the author of award-winning junior, high-school and college textbooks on entrepreneurship and small business management. He is a popular Huffington Post blogger.

In 1982, Mariotti left a successful business career to become a public high-school teacher in tough New York City neighborhoods like East New York, Bed-Study, and Fort Apache in the South Bronx. Frustrated at first by his rowdy classrooms, Mariotti discovered he could motivate even his most challenging students by teaching them how to run a small business. This experience inspired him to create NFTE in 1987 to bring entrepreneurship education to low-income youth, and empower them to create pathways out of poverty. Today, NFTE is widely considered the leading provider of entrepreneurship education to low-income youth worldwide.

Debra Devi is an award-winning author, journalist and musician based in Jersey City NJ. She has co-authored numerous books with Steve Mariotti, including The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting a Business, How to Start and Operate a Small Business, winner of the Golden Lamp Award for excellence in educational publishing, and An Entrepreneur’s Manifesto. Devi’s book The Language of the Blues: From Alcorub to Zuzu (foreword by Dr. John) received the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award. As a journalist, Devi has written for Investor’s Daily, American Banker, Crain’s New York, The Village Voice, RollingStone.com, Guitar World and more. An accomplished guitarist and singer, Devi performs internationally and received a proclamation from Jersey City for her contribution to the arts.

When We Were Brave by Karla M Jay

Book Summary:

In WHEN WE WERE BRAVE, we find a conflicted SS officer, Wilhelm Falk, who risks everything to escape the Wehrmacht and get out the message about the death camps. Izaak is a young Jewish boy whose positive outlook is challenged daily as each new perilous situation comes along. American citizens, Herbert Müller and his family, are sent back to the hellish landscape of Germany because of the DNA coursing through their veins. In the panorama of World War II, these are the high-stakes plots and endearing characters whose braided fates we pray will work out in the end.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2RaclUH

Reviews:

“When We Were Brave is not a novel about suffering, although suffering certainly makes up much of it. Rather, it is a novel about perseverance, the will to survive and push back against cruelty and death… It is what makes the novel exceptional and compelling.” -Daniel Casey, San Francisco Book Review

2019 Distinguished Favorites for New York City Big Book Award.
Jay’s (Speaking in Tungs, 2018, etc.) account is impressively ambitious, offering a sprawling view of the wages of war from three distinct perspectives. She ingeniously braids them into a coherent narrative tapestry, and along the way, she realistically describes the human degradation experienced by prisoners in the Nazi camps… – Kirkus Reviews 2019

Karla M. Jay’s novel When We Were Brave employs a dramatic triangle to create a highly-emotional, epic story of World War II, one that is as vivid as it is highly personal. Here is a moving, riveting tale that shows you how things once were–and how similar those times can feel to our own. Scott Lasser – Author of Say Nice Things About Detroit, Screenwriter for HBO’s True Detective Series

Great historical fiction teaches and entertains. When We Were Brave finds three little-remembered stories that beg to be heard. Told with vivid detail and meticulous research, these stories involve complex characters who demonstrate the resilience of the human spirit set against a backdrop of evil and tragedy. – Firoozeh Dumas, New York Times Bestselling author of Funny in Farsi, and Laughing Without an Accent

When We Were Brave is a vivid, heart-wrenching portrayal of holocaust years, as innocent victims grapple with loss, loneliness, and longing while the English and American forces fight against the Nazi army…The story is told from the perspective of three protagonists whose lives become entwined. The narrative is gripping and skillfully paced, and Jay’s depiction of her characters’ inner turmoil, hopes, fears, and mental anguish stir the reader’s heart. With complex characters and intricate plotting, Jay delivers a heart-wrenching, engrossing historical read. -The Prairies Book Review

2019 Silver Medal Winner, Readers Favorite Contest. Combining excellent historical research with a compelling storyline, the hard work of author Karla M. Jay really pays off the more deeply involved you become with the characters in her plot…As the plot threads and connections slowly come together, the conclusion marks the realities of war and sticks in your mind for a long time after. When We Were Brave is a highly recommended historical read.

“Jay demonstrates a mastery of emotion and landscape. The scenes are visceral, the dialogue is sharp and believable, and the narrators are immediately engrossing. For history enthusiasts, the level of detail, cultural accuracy, and research feels immersive. The world of the past spills out naturally, drawing readers into the relationships between these characters. When We Were Brave is a vivid portrait of a time and place with characters who are immediately recognizable.” Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★

Combining excellent historical research with a compelling storyline, the hard work of author Karla M. Jay really pays off the more deeply involved you become with the characters in her plot. I found Wilhelm’s story to be the most compelling … as a disillusioned SS officer trying to make things right for himself, and for the world. Jay really pays attention to the emotive aspect and motivations of all her characters, making them leap off the page with reality and endearing them to readers, which is what makes their hardship all the more harrowing to read about. As the plot threads and connections slowly come together, the conclusion marks the realities of war and sticks in your mind for a long time after. When We Were Brave is a highly recommended historical read.– Readers Favorite

Author Bio:

Raised in Western New York and Northern Pennsylvania, Karla M. Jay has worked as a speech pathologist since 1982. When she is not home in Utah gardening or writing, she is traveling, trying to see as many countries as possible–in particular, those with good coffee, ancient history, and great beaches.

Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall

Gift Guide Book Suggestion #6

Got someone who loves fantasy and adventure in their life?

Book Summary:

Gravedigger Volke Savan wants nothing more than to be like his hero, the legendary magical swashbuckler, Gregory Ruma. First he needs to become an arcanist, someone capable of wielding magic, which requires bonding with a mythical creature. And he’ll take anything—a pegasus, a griffin, a ravenous hydra—maybe even a leviathan, like Ruma.

So when Volke stumbles across a knightmare, a creature made of shadow and terror, he has no reservations. But the knightmare knows a terrible secret: Ruma is a murderer out to spread corrupted magic throughout their island nation. He’s already killed a population of phoenixes and he intends to kill even more.

In order to protect his home, his adopted sister, and the girl he admires from afar, Volke will need to confront his hero, the Master Arcanist Gregory Ruma.

A fast-paced flintlock fantasy for those who enjoy How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, Unsouled (Cradle Series) by Will Wight, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2svFjnu

Reviews:

WINNER of the B.R.A.G. Medallion for Fantasy

“Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall was rollicking good fun! Perfect for those who enjoy the Codex Alera series, the /Homas Wildus series and the Harry Potter series. Stovall is quickly becoming a name I look for.” – Seattle Book Review

“Volke carries readers into a darkly engrossing world with a passion that makes Knightmare Arcanist satisfyingly unique and hard to put down. Readers looking for a magic-based quest fantasy will find this story compelling and nicely written, with strong characters propelling action which is often unexpected and revealing.” – Midwest Book Review

“A spellbinding first installment of what promises to be an addictive series, Shami Stovall has produced a mesmerizing story of magic, intrigue, and true adventure.” – ManyBooks

“Richly crafted and laced with wry humor and intriguing magic, Knightmare Arcanist is a page-turner.” – The Prairies Book Review

Author Bio

Shami Stovall relies on her BA in History and Juris Doctorate to make her living as an author and history professor in the central valley of California. She writes in a wide range of fiction, from crime thrillers to fantasy to science-fiction. Stovall loves reading, playing video games, entertaining others with stories, and writing about herself in the third person.

Aye-Aye Gets Lucky – Endangered & Misunderstood Book 1 by Terri Tatchell

Gift Guide Book Suggestion #5

Book Summary:

Join endangered and misunderstood AYE-AYE on his quest to win back the hearts of the people of Madagascar after his mischievous pranks get him banned from his favorite village and labeled bad luck. Luckily for AYE-AYE, he meets a new friend who shows him first-hand how unpleasant being scared can feel. Armed with a little empathy and compassion, it doesn’t take AYE-AYE long to figure out that being kind and helpful is the best way to turn his luck around forever. On the surface “Aye-Aye Gets Lucky” is about a misunderstood lemur finding a way to win the love of the villagers, but look deeper and it’s a story about empathy, self-acceptance, community and second chances.

Book Link – https://amzn.to/2Pdazzk

Video Link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEJ3k7zGerY&t=19s

Review:

Aye-Aye is a small lemur who loves to play jokes on people, but his jokes are not much fun. They are mean jokes and often really scare the people he is playing the jokes on. Aye-Aye has big yellow eyes and long, sharp, crooked fingers. He is a pretty scary looking guy for people to see. Little children might be especially afraid of him when his would sneak up and wave his creepy hands at them. Aye-Aye has an ulterior motive. When he frightens people, they often throw food at him or drop it on the ground. Aye-Aye loves to eat, so this is a perfect result for him. But his antics get to be too much for the people in the village, and they ban Aye-Aye from the village and pass a law that says he cannot come back because Aye-Ayes are bad luck. It is not much fun for Aye-Aye to be all alone outside the village with no one to play pranks on and with no good food. He tries to think of ways he can get the village to welcome him back, but all he can think of are pranks and more pranks. Then a flying fox comes on the scene and teaches Aye-Aye a lesson about how it feels to be truly scared. Aye-Aye vows to change his ways and to find a way to get the village to accept him back. But is it too late? Can he ever gain their trust?

Author Terri Tatchell has written a truly engaging story that will keep youngsters entertained while teaching them an important lesson, but that lesson is well-hidden in a beautifully-written, rhyming text with perfect meter that will roll off the tongues of the adults reading the book aloud. There are a lot of funny touches that will have little ones giggling and keep them engaged. Aye-Aye is a fun character that kids will like and will root for as the story is read. The bright illustrations by Ivan Sulima are chock-full of delightful details that will keep youngster’s eyes on the pages searching for all the fun they can find. The charming illustrations really complete this story wonderfully. In addition, there are a couple of pages of back-matter that convey many interesting and important facts about Aye-Ayes and about Flying Foxes, which are endangered species. In addition to the facts, there are drawing lessons to allow youngsters to try their hands at drawing these two animals, and five ways to help the Aye-Aye to survive. This book is a terrific addition to any library, personal or public, and will become a favorite in a hurry.

San Francisco Book Review

Reviewed By: Rosi Hollinbeck

Author Bio:

Terri Tatchell is a Canadian writer known for her Oscar and BAFTA nominated work on ‘District 9’. Her love for animals and allegory have united in the creation of the ‘Endangered and Misunderstood’ series, giving the underdogs of endangered animals a lyrical voice filled with laughter, adventure and relatable themes.

Inspiring love and conservation for the endangered animals you’ve never heard of.

Endangered & Misunderstood is an ongoing series of picture books that takes a different approach to the serious subject of lesser known endangered animals, with an emphasis on laughter, adventure and relatable themes.

Proceeds from the sale of each book go directly to help the conservation of the featured animal.