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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Cash Flow for Life

Cash Flow For Life: How To Generate An Income OnlineCash Flow For Life: How To Generate An Income Online by Jon Mac
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I got this book for free plus shipping from the author.

This is a promotional book to get you to buy other services from the author. He talks about opening Facebook store to sell products made by others. He goes through all the details of how to do it, and provides examples of websites used by others. He even discusses selling the business later.

I liked this book because it didn't have a lot of fluff. I've read a lot of these books, and many of them have excess material that has nothing to do with the main point of the book, which is building a business. I do not always like being distracted. I like that at the end of each chapter, he asks a series of questions, designed to get you to think about what was just said. Sometimes that alone can help move you along. All in all, a good book.

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Friday, December 30, 2016

The Fishy Business Handbook for Mermaids

The Fishy Business Handbook for MermaidsThe Fishy Business Handbook for Mermaids by Raina Mermaid
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Full disclosure: I helped Raina edit this book. My name is listed in the book.

This is Raina's third book about being a professional mermaid. This book is more of a workbook than the other two. It is designed to be read in conjunction with the other two, as it references them frequently.

She addresses several issues she avoided in the first two books. One is mermaids who take advantage of you, or act inappropriately. Between the writing of the secondam and third book, she had to fire one of her mermaids for acting inappropriately. The key is to be firm. The second is working with kids. Some people shouldn't work with kids.

The book also includes pictures of how to get in a mermaid tail, and how to pick up a mermaid in a tail. It includes samples of contracts and media communications. Some of this information can be adapted to other businesses as well. An excellent book, along with the others, for anyone looking to be a professional mermaid. With Disney's scheduled release of a live-action Little Mermaid next year, there will be a lot more interest in mermaids. These books will be there to help.

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Monday, December 26, 2016

Mastering Civility

Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the WorkplaceMastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace by Christine Porath
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

Everyone wants civility in the workplace. People want to be treated fairly. The author makes the case that civility is good for the bottom line, and can make the workplace better. There are several tests in the book to determine how civil you are.

The book sounds like a lot of others I've read. It's good as far as it goes, but there are some things missing. For example, she recommends that employers ask prospective employees, "What would former employers say about you?" In many cases, the answer is, "They will only confirm dates of employment." Thanks to lawsuits, many employers are skittish about saying anything beyond that. Most companies won't go the trouble of deeper investigation.

Another area that doesn't go that far is in her chapter on what if incivility happens to you. Her advice is to focus on yourself and your situation. That's fine as far as it goes, but it doesn't address the situation when the incivility raises to discrimination or harassment. That requires focus on eliminating the problem, rather than simply focusing on yourself. That area was missing.

A minor issue. She uses Pete Carroll, coach of the Seattle Seahawks, as an example of civility in the NFL. After he left USC, the NCAA found significant recruiting violations had occurred during his time there. USC had to vacate several wins, including a national championship, and lost several scholarships. Reggie Bush gave back his Heisman Trophy. There was a sense that Pete Carroll got out of Dodge before the hammer fell. I don't think that was a good example.

Overall, a good book, just not complete.

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Sunday, December 25, 2016

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Saturday, December 17, 2016

World Almanac 2017

The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2017The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2017 by Sarah Janssen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I get a copy of this every year. It's a good reference book. It lists a lot of historical data and current events information. Obviously, things are described in a nutshell, because of space limitations, but it is a good starting point. As a writer, I use this to see if what I'm saying has any semblance of truth. When you write fiction, you can make things up, but they sound more believable if there is some basis in fact. Later editions include pictures of the prior year's events. This was published in mid-November, shortly after the elections, so anything after that is not included. It's a great book. You don't usually read it cover to cover, but it has something for everyone.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Operation Mermaid giveaway.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Operation Mermaid by Joseph McGarry

Operation Mermaid

by Joseph McGarry

Giveaway ends December 31, 2016.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sunday, December 4, 2016

You're A Leader, Charlie Brown

You're a Leader, Charlie BrownYou're a Leader, Charlie Brown by Carla Curtsinger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, a bullet point rang out!

I can imagine Snoopy being told to write a business book, and sitting on top of his doghouse writing this. I grew up with Peanuts. I've also read a lot of business books. This is the first time I've seen them together. It seems an odd combination. Charlie Brown was described as "wishy-washy" in the comics. How could he be a leader?

The book uses not only Charlie Brown, but also a lot of the other characters, such as Linus, Lucy, Sally, Schroeder, even Snoopy. It is sprinkled with classic Peanuts cartoons and illustrations. There is a helpful summary of the bullet points at the end of the book. A lot of them are ones that have appeared elsewhere. Some of them are "Learn from failures." "Know what kind of leader you are." "Write in a concise but conversational style." (Although, if anyone starts any memos or reports with, "It was a dark and stormy night," they picked up the wrong message.)

It's a short read. That can actually help business readers, since they won't worry about a lot of details. I also liked the cartoons. Very enjoyable, which you rarely hear about business books.

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Friday, November 4, 2016

Think Better, Live Better

Think Better, Live Better: Deleting Negative Thoughts, Labels, and AttitudesThink Better, Live Better: Deleting Negative Thoughts, Labels, and Attitudes by Joel Osteen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the latest book by Joel Osteen. For those who don't know him, he is the pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. He took over in 1999 when his father died. In 2003, the church moved into the former Compaq Center, where the Houston Rockets of the NBA used to play basketball. His sermons are broadcast every week on various cable channels.

This book, like his others, is a collection of his sermons. This concept by itself is not new. Priests and ministers of all religions have been publishing collections of their sermons for many years. I focused on the content of the sermons. To me, they felt like something I would read in The Secret, only with Bible references. The themes are eliminate negativity, you have possibilities, good things are coming your way, God wants you to have abundance, just believe. It's good to believe all these things. It's just not enough.

First, there are some things that will never happen, no matter how much you believe. I am 52 years old with major health problems, and have never been very athletic. I will never play professional sports. The Vikings will never call me to replace someone in their starting lineup. I can believe, I can tell myself it will happen, but it's not happening. It's not meant to be. That needs to be there.

Second, there's nothing in here about taking action. For many years, I wanted to write a novel. I could think about it, I could believe, but until I sat down at my laptop and actually started writing, it wasn't going to happen. It did happen, and I published my book, Operation Mermaid: The Project Kraken Incident, late last year. The inspiration helped, but not without action.

Third, he talks about abundance. I wonder what he thinks of this Bible story. I'm paraphrasing Mark 10:17-27. A rich man went to see Jesus, and asked, "What must I do to gain eternal life?" Jesus told him, "Keep the commandments. Don't lie, don't steal, honor your father and mother." The rich man said, "I've done all these things. What more must I do?" Jesus looked at him with love and said, "Sell everything and give to the poor. Then you can follow me." The rich man walked away sad, for he had many possessions. Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven." On the one hand, Joel Osteen is saying God wants you to have abundance and be rich. On the other hand, Jesus is saying it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. How do you reconcile those two?

The book is OK as far as it goes. It's just incomplete.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Kiss That Changed Me

As two brothers reach the final phase of their plan to seize the stolen powers of a God made flesh, the Psirens lay claim to the debris of the Occulta Mirum. With this, a race against the rising blood moon begins.
As the seconds tick away, Callie and Orion must journey to the farthest corners of the earth, learning to balance devotion and duty whilst reuniting the segregated Kindred of the Circle of Eight. If this is not enough the function of the conduit is still unknown, meaning Callie and Orion must learn democratic flare in multicultural waters to convince others to risk their lives as well. With their foretold future together in the balance, their unity has never been so crucial and one’s willingness to sacrifice the other for the greater good never more necessary.
Can the journey of an immortal lifetime hold answers to salvation, or will it only bring the mer to their final resting place as their race is threatened with extinction?
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