All posts by thezest4read

Find your Next Inspirational Non-fiction Read: Book Reviews

Tastes vary from person to person. This also applies to the books they prefer to read. There are some people who enjoy reading literary fictional stories. They love the characters they could relate to, love, and find inspiration in. You also love that endearing feeling of being friends with people across time and space.

While other readers are drawn to inspirational and spiritual non-fictions for constant inspiration. For me, memoirs and biographies are my favorite genres. Whenever I read them, they give the sense that there are other people like us out there who live a life that keeps shifting from one stage to another. Despite this, they have bounced back into a strong unshakeable figure of inspiration.

As a result, I have included a few book reviews for some nonfiction books that I have been reading lately.

1. Book: Towards Happier Choice

By: Michael Oborn

Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir, Inspirational

Towards Happier Choices shows how being vehemently opposed to fundamentalism has many consequences. It costs people in different ways. A lot of things are in play, such as relationships, happiness, and a sense of belonging. . It is significant and necessary, however, to be able to dream, make choices, and form opinions about life for oneself.

I find the memoir to be eventful and gripping, and it prompted many questions in my mind. A great deal of sarcasm and criticism is directed to many Mormon religious practices in the stories.

Read the whole review of Towards Happier choices at https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=198184

2. Book: LastWords From Above

By: Jeremy Brown

Genre: Non-fiction, Religious

Last words from above

The book structure of Last Words From Above is somewhat tedious, but for those who desire contemplation, this is a good choice. The book is intended specifically for Christians, but non-Christians might also benefit from it in many ways. I don’t think this book is very useful or interesting for atheists. The presentation is meant for those who are willing to trust in the power of God or believe in God.

Read the full book review of Last words From Above at https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=197592

3. Book: The Most Unlikely Champion

By: Vera Koo

Genre: Non-fiction, Inpirational, Memoir

In this book, a Chinese-American Vera Koo chronicles her turbulent and challenging journey. By demonstrating her endurance and willpower, she demonstrates that age is no barrier. In an industry dominated by a predominantly male presence, Vera Koo is breaking through the boundaries of tradition.

This book is for people who are seeking a way out of their challenges to fulfill their dreams. The Most Unlikely Champion will be an excellent motivational tool for such people.

Read the full book review at https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=199053

In each of these, I have endeavored to be as sincere and honest as possible. I hope you will get inspired by them and find rays of hopeful beams in some way or other.

Book Review: Wellness Toolbox Master, the Guide to fitness

Wellness Toolbox Master

Book: Wellness Toolbox Master

By: Don Roberts

Genre: Health Non-fiction

Wellness Toolbox Master Summary:

Four sections comprise Wellness Toolbox Master.

The first section begins with a collection of fitness myths and facts. This is followed by tips, reminders, and home/travel workouts by the author and Fitness and Nutrition Specialist Don Roberts. The second section features the author’s client’s before-and-after photos and a description of their transformation journey. This section also includes the author’s bodybuilding photos. Don Roberts’ personal pantry list, his tips for consuming less food, food pyramid, and nutritional tips follow in section three. Listed in section four are other health myths and facts, followed by suggested resources by the author.

From time to time, “A Don Story” is included in between the chapters. The myths, facts, tips, advice, and stories are all accompanied by a quote or proverb from an unknown or famous personality. Most of the points are followed by cartoon illustrations that illustrate the preceding idea. There is also a list of recommended books and films provided to assist the reader in achieving overall wellness.

Liked/Disliked elements:

The book is exceptionally edited. The writer took care not to make any topic monotonous when debunking all myths and providing facts. A full explanation of each topic is provided in a concise format.

I enjoyed the intriguing topic on the relation between a person’s mood and his craving for a certain type of food. I also like the fact that each myth and fact is not just a hollow assertion. The author relies on studies and research to support the assertions.

After reading many instilled myths being debunked in the book, I am still skeptical about a few points. However, I have no particular reason to dislike anything in the book.

My ratings:

I give Wellness Toolbox Master a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. At no point does the information seem overwhelming. The cartoon illustrations are enjoyable. Different types of exercises are addressed, along with their advantages and disadvantages. Furthermore, the section on nutritional tips contains a wealth of information. This also includes the benefits and side effects of each food mentioned. The book concludes with references that help alleviate, if not completely, any skepticism on the part of readers.

For readers:

In the book, several energy drinks are slammed as the worst on the market. This could offend such beverage companies if they are still in existence.

For fitness enthusiasts looking for a trusted guide in the form of a book, Wellness Toolbox Master is a good option. As a motivational injection for lazy, unmotivated people who need guidance, it is also a powerful means of getting motivated.

Exclusive Guide On Easter Eggs, 200 Ideas: Book Review

Easter Eggs

What Eggstravagant Easter Eggs is all about?

Eggstravagant Easter Eggs is a collection of 200 ideas, techniques, and designs that offer some pretty, if not extravagant, guidelines on how to make Easter eggs. Initially, the guide looks at the purpose of celebrating Easter and different ways to display Easter eggs. It further proceeds to the author Maya Elston’s preferred method for celebrating Easter & decorating Easter eggs. An introduction to the objective of Eggstravagant Easter Eggs is also added.

With 17 sections, the 1st section of the book provides readers with tips on how to choose appropriate eggs for their Easter celebration. There is a description of all types of eggs used for Easter eggs, along with their benefits and disadvantages. In the following section comes a detailed description of tools and equipment one may need to make any of the 200 Easter eggs in the book.

Throughout the book, there are fourteen categories encompassing all 200 ideas for creating and decorating eggs, with each category including eggs on a similar theme, except for section 17, which presents some random ideas to begin a new series.

Liked/Disliked Elements:

I appreciate the efforts Maya Elston put into providing an extensive guide on gorgeous eggs. She attempts to mention potential mistakes one might make while creating the eggs. The presentation of lavish and beautiful eggs was also a point of interest for me in the book.

The low readability score, however, is probably the only thing that disappoints me. To make the explanation easier, the procedure for making and decorating eggs might have been presented in shorter paragraphs, or points.

My Ratings:

The book gets 3 out of 4 stars from me. From simple and easy to complex and laborious, it’s a rigorous collection of inventive ideas & techniques for creating Easter eggs. Alternatives to expensive decorative items are provided. To facilitate comprehension, images of eggs from different angles are provided for laborious egg designs. Furthermore, the author has provided a list of all items she used to decorate her Easter eggs.

I found a lack of clarity in the procedures for some Easter eggs. The lack of brevity and clarity in several areas of the book made me snatch a full starts rating from it.

The audience for Eggstravagant Easter Eggs :

It is an excellent option for people who desire extensive do-it-yourself Easter eggs from beginner to advanced level. Though the eggs in the book can be prepared together with children, parent supervision is required.

Best English Book For American Idioms: List Of 300 Idioms

idiom book

How the book is structured?

Idiom Attack Vol. 1 Everyday Living is a collection of 300 North American idioms on 25 topics that concern everyday living. Each of the 25 topics consists of between 9 and 16 idioms. Moreover, each topic is followed by a four-layer revision process that consists fill in the blank questions, a paragraph story to illustrate idioms from the chapter, questions about the paragraph stories, and finally, questions for discussion to help learners confirm their understanding.

The book contains five sets of chapters, with each set including five topics on a similar theme. Each set ends with a crossword puzzle based on the set’s topics. Additionally, after the illustration of the 300 idioms, a fourteen-page index is provided where all the idioms are alphabetically sorted and accompanied by the page numbers for further reference. Answers to the crossword puzzles are provided at the end of the book.

Editing in the book is exceptional. With over 20 years of experience in teaching English to children & adults in South Korea, Peter Liptak seems to have mastered the correct method for instilling idioms in ESL learners. I appreciate the author’s efforts to ensure that the learner goes through several stages in order to inculcate every idiom. And to this effect, the four somewhat challenging revision process seems apt.

I don’t find any valid point to dislike something in the book.

My Ratings of Idiom Attack Vol. Everyday Living:

I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It has been very useful to me as a student of advanced English as a second language. The book categorizes and gives context to North American idioms, making them easier to understand and remember. The explanation doesn’t seem overwhelming, and all the possible meanings of an idiom are provided with comprehensible & catchy examples.

The Right Audience:

Idiom Attack Vol. 1 Everyday Living is an excellent pick for both intermediate ESL learners proficient in the language in edition (other languages edition is available) and advanced ESL learners, who wish to master English Idioms & sound like a native speaker.

IRONING Book Review: Factual Reality Through Fictional Stories

Book: Ironing

Author: Navajo

Genre: Fiction

What Ironing is about?

Ironing is a sundry collection of short stories of ordinary people of different age groups, backgrounds, & even cultural values. There is some connection between all these stories in that their setting is the same, i.e., London. The other aspect that brings about a link between the stories is the acquaintance between their characters.

Each story betrays in humans the natural tendency to be loving, selfish, anxious, kind, capricious, & incredible. They also show the human tendency to be slinking back and forth with these aspects. All the stories absolutely revolve around human & their dilemmas; caprice; transitory moods, the mere essence of being a human.

As the name suggests, Ironing is indeed full of irony, which ascribes to momentarily bringing smiles over reading. The author’s employment of ironies in the book instills incredulity in readers about human nature. In an instance, the statement of a Muslim father on her daughter’s marrying a white boy Roger, & calling him not a ‘proper white’ because he isn’t culturally one of them betrays the comical yet serious irony.

Liked/Disliked Elements in the book:

The aspects of the book that I enjoyed & looked forward to were ironies, and the casual conversations between the three girls reflecting the genuine talks between teenagers, who are social media freaks, love experts, gossips lovers, precocious, & a lot of times, impulsive & immature.

Although there were only a few stories that I found exciting & striking, it might not be the case for every reader. And though I liked the ideas presented by the writer, there also seemed to be a loose link between various stories.

The language in the story is bold, with a lot of offensive words & swearing. There is a scene of explosion & the explanation of the aftermath, which could be uncomfortable for some readers.

The book also shows a facet of cultural restrictions to a Muslim girl when she has to remove her headscarf to protect her friend. “It’s not covered, but at least it isn’t enticing”, is what the girl comments, which could be offensive to people belonging to that section of the society.

Ironing strictly exposes the negative side of dating apps, the mentality of people, the harsh realities &pains in the contemporary world. It presents, through fictional stories, the factual reality.

Book Review: Bridge To Haven, A book of Love and Trust

Book: Bridge To Haven

Author: Francine Rivers

Genre: Christian fiction, Romantic Suspense

Author Francine Rivers shows her writing talent in her 466-paged novel, Bridge to Haven, by showing how a long novel can stay riveting throughout and not become monotonous & tedious.

Bridge To Haven by Francine Rivers: Summary

The story begins with Reverand Pastor Zeke. He believes God to be an omnipresent power and the ultimate decision-maker and caretaker of everything.

On a cold October morning, while going for his daily early morning walk, he runs across a crying abandoned baby (Abra). Despite the inevitable degradation of his wife Marianne’s health, he gives in to her persistent insistence that they become Abra’s foster parents, understanding this as a divine message. He vows to provide every care for the girl, as a loving father would.

From unconditionally loving Abra to the point of having to give her away with a heavy heart, the non-deliberate act is what sends Abra into solitude. This is further watered by the feeling of not being understood or loved or wanted. Subsequently, it leads her to a reckless decision, which becomes the cause of her great suffering. Her insecurity ultimately lands her fate in an industry that many girls just dream of. But little she knew at what a big price…

My Take On The Novel:                                                               

Following a wrong decision in a callow stage, due to her lack of belief in the love and support from her family and friends, & God, Abra finds herself plunged into a maze of confusion. She is soon far from Haven and in a wild jungle.

The repentance for her misconception and the love for her people, homeland reconcile her to her Haven, revealing, Abra & readers, her real lineage.

Honestly, when I looked at this book in a Book store almost 2 years back, the main reason for picking it was the Book’s attractive cover and scent 😀

I didn’t touch it for a few months, thinking it to be a tedious and highly religious one. But it was way more than that. It captured my mind and thoughts throughout the storyline.

It compelled me to fall in love with the purity and calmness of Zeke and Joshua; adore Mitzi’s buoyancy. One commiserates with Abra’s Dilemma & could resonate with some aspect of each of its characters.

Who Should Read Bridge To Haven:

Bridge to Haven is brimming with spiritual and religious teachings of the Bible and the importance of love and family. It also emphasizes belief in the omnipotent God, & ceaseless faith in his plans for everyone.

Readers not into such conceptions & themes at all could find the piece a boring pick.

HAPPY READING! 🙂

Book Review: HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL

Self-help

Book: How To Be Successful

Author: M. Curtis McCoy

Genre: Self-help, nonfiction

What to expect in the Non-fiction?

How To Be Successful is not a book that preaches some magical points for its readers to adapt and benefit from. The book instead wonderfully presents for its readers the stories of some successful people. Moreover, it also highlights the importance of personal and spiritual success.

The book constitutes 27 chapters. While the interviews and separate chapters filled with insights and wisdom collectively work to show someone the way towards becoming a successful businessman,  the same principle could be applied to attain success in personal life.

After being successful at a young age, author M. Curtis McCoy fell victim to Brain Cancer. But what came about later in his life is an inspiration in itself. The doctor tells him that he has very little time left, but he does not give up. He works his guts out to not only beat cancer but also reach his goal.

His trust in God & passion, induced in him by her mother from a young age, drives him out of brain cancer, towards his Cellular Business, and eventually to helping people out through this Book.

Liked/Disliked Elements:

The best part of the book, for me, is the answers to the interview questions, which are inspirational and enjoyable to read.

The interviews are not just some talks about success; they are actual insights into the life of each interviewee, which weren’t as exciting or wonderful in the starting.

The interviewees could have been fewer though since certain questions feel repetitive at some points.

Who Should Read How To Be Successful by M. Curtis McCoy ?

If people have excuses for not starting the ball rolling due to hardship, lack of natural talent, or bad genetics, the book will help them contradict those thoughts.

HTBS is recommended to people struggling to achieve their goals and would like to gain insight into people successful in all aspects of their lives.

Interview with one of the Top Indian Book Bloggers(2021):

Khyati Gautam

Meet Khyati Gautam, a 23-year-old from Bhopal, marking a position among the Top 100 Book Review Blogs & Websites in 2021 with her Book Review Blog Bookish Fame.

Let’s get a panoramic view of her Blogging Journey:

1.You are quite young, & have made a place among the top 100 Book Bloggers. How long did it take you to reach this position? Tell us about your story?  

Bookish Fame began its journey in late 2016, or more appropriately, early 2017. It all started with a chance encounter with a friend who was into reviewing books. As the conversations flowed, I got more information about this up and coming industry. So quick I was to get my hands on books that I went ahead and started this blog. And, as the years rolled by, both of us have evolved together. Being counted amongst the top 100 surely gives the much-needed rush. I trust the Universe; there’s a long way to go.

2.What’s the story behind naming your blog Bookish Fame?

Bookish Fame just sounds like the thing that gets on your mind quickly. I came up with this name at the spur of the moment. I usually explain it as – my personality is so much ‘bookish’ while my first name Khyati means ‘fame.’ And, hence the name of the blog.

Also, I think all the small sets of achievements I have in my kitty are because of my involvement in book blogging. I wouldn’t be a part of this interview if not for my book blog!

3.Few tips for Book Bloggers who are starting on their Book Blogging journey?

You are a reader, first, and then, a book blogger. Blogging asks for patience and dedication. Even if you are passionate about it, you need to keep a check on your nerves for hanging in there. 

Besides this, the amount of hard work that goes into blogging might take a toll on one’s reading. In such times, relax and unwind. Read as much as you want or don’t read at all. Keep everything more fun because you have got this 🙂

4.How did you get into reading? (Your first read, other than the academic Books)

I have been into reading since my childhood. That has been my only way to bide my time wherever I went.

I don’t remember my first read.

5.Your favorite Genre(s)?

Self help, Spirituality, Business, Literary Fiction

6.A Book you wish you had written: 

None

7.Would you rather meet your favourite author or favourite character? (Can we get a hint as to the name?) 

Favourite authors – Ruskin Bond and Sudha Murty

8.The Book that wins the top position in your Favourite reads and why?

Tuesdays with Morrie because it teaches one to live life. The art of living is something we all should learn and master.

9.I observed in your blog that you wish to write a book someday; What would your Book be about? 

It would most probably be revolving around mental health. It is a topic that either becomes a taboo or a hype. I don’t exactly agree with all the conversations brewing around this subject. There’s a lot of depth and so many nuances waiting to be covered. The need is to dwell deeper and make healthy discussions around the topic.

Is Your Fate Predetermined? Puzzle Of Fate Review

Book Review

What to expect in Puzzle of Fate?

Puzzle Of Fate sets forth several factors and sub-factors which interlink to shape, determine, and engender our future happenings. It tells about those factors whose effects one can counter influence in their life; one can only exercise some free will; the factors on which we control complete will. Writer Dr. Reza Kamarei has recourse to vast information and examples to prove his thesis and put weight on his points.

At the end of the Book, the writer doesn’t leave the reader just to considering the factors that have shaped his fate. Or just wondering the factors he could have prevented from influencing his fate. The Book eventuates to a test for readers, to help them explore their fate, with a chapter devoted to how they can manage, if not pre-decide or control it.

Liked/Disliked Elements in the book:

What I disapprove of in the book is the abundance of overwhelming information on each factor. For the difficulty in assimilating everything without missing a point, one could occasionally lose interest in reading; however, probably the writer also sensed this, for, at the end of each detailed paragraph, a concluding remark summarizing the main points of the paragraph is given.

The summary helps the reader in not only revising the whole paragraph in short, but it also facilitates the reader to go back to each point without having to search through the whole chapter.

Mr ratings: 3/4 stars

POF succeeded in giving me a definite meaning of the word I often used though wasn’t aware of its literal meaning. It compelled my mind to question why I never thought what it could be which shapes our lives.

I wouldn’t give it 4 stars rating for the overwhelming content, which I think could’ve been shortened for readers to assimilate easily.

The right audience:

What have you understood the meaning of fate all your life? If you are not sure how to convey your thoughts on it or have no explicit definition for that matter, the Puzzle Of Fate is worth a read for you.

Puzzle of Fate may challenge some readers on their accepted interpretations of fate and its determinants. But it guarantees a new and never explained take on the ambiguous definition of the universally used term fate.

Dolphins Do Not Run Marathons: 26.2 thoughts Against Marathon

Book: Dolphins Don’t Run Marathons

Author: Sam Brand

Genre: Non-Fiction

What to expect in Dolphins Don’t Run Marathons by Sam Brand?

Dolphins Don’t Run Marathons is an epitome of a book that conveys its message with the help of riveting metaphors. The articulation of the idea is short, precise & to the point. The book starts with the explanation of three types of people running a Marathon (the race of life) in the jungle (the world): the human-ant, human-chimpanzee, and human-dolphin.

Describing himself as a human ant, the writer outlines his New York 2008 Marathon. The Marathon where every human ant is competing for one thing: the gold medal, the success goal. Regardless of the physical & mental health deterioration that it can ensue, they are running the race, the long run. Sam Brand, on many occasions, urges the reader to take advice from the human-dolphin friend. To consult the friend that helped him transform into a human dolphin. While the goal of human ant is to achieve the goal medal, the goal of human-dolphin is the ultimate happiness. 

Sam Brand has perfectly employed metaphors to convey his idea about the three human personalities in the world. Words such as jungle, marathon, and long-run, with their ambiguity could initially leave the reader guessing on their contextual use. However, gradually it clarifies the doubt, thus igniting commendation for the writer’s manner of expression.

Most liked/disliked elements in the Book?

The feature of the book that amazed me is the possibility to read the entire book in merely 2 hours! No idea seems redundant, and yet nothing seems to be left out to convey. However, the only flaw in the book I would bring up is the presence of the word ‘sex’ not less than 15 times. In addition to this, the use of a few dirty words could, unfortunately, hinder its path to the children’s shelf.

Dolphins Don’t Run Marathons deserves a 4 on 4 stars rating on my shelf. Being a human-ant runner myself, the book made me ruminate on the idea of the writer. How there are other important things too than just running in the jungle, towards a goal. Moreover, it also advocates the importance of sporting activities which not only revive the health but the quality of life as well.

Recommendation for prospect readers:

However, the Book has mentioned a good amount of times the flaws of the whole concept of the marathon race. The book could thus offend the people associated with it or the people having family members associated with it.

I would recommend this book to every marathon runner running the dead end to get the gold medal. It’s also a great read for people who are fans of short, easy read books with great meaning associated with it: Don’t stop running. Just keep it short doing short runs.

Happy Reading!