Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2009

Pour Your Heart Into It Book Review

Just finished a book by Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO from Starbucks. The book is co-authored by Dori Jones Yang (Hyperion, 1997).

Although the book is was written over ten years ago, the message that Schultz delivered is still relevant today. Working for more than the bottom line, loving the work, developing a mission, living the mission, always thinking of delivering a top of the line product and exceptional service to the customer, and believing in your self and your vision.

These are all messages that all levels of professionals need to hear over and again. It is easy to see why Starbucks has become the phenomena that it has - which is exactly the vision that Schultz had for the company from the very beginning. He wanted to share the espresso drinks that he enjoyed while traveling abroad with people living in America.

He started with one dream and developed it into a national vision. It is a good book with a good message and is worth being dusted off and brought down off the back …

The Art of Racing in the Rain Book Review

I usually only review business topic related books, but I recently read a book called The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (HarperCollins Publisher, 2008) that has so many life lessons scattered amongst the pages that I had to include a review of the book here.

Many of the lessons apply to personal as well as professional living. The book is story of a family that experiences several tragedies all of which are related to the reader through the perspective of the family dog. The owner of the dog is a race car driver and explains to the dog, "But a racer should never be afraid of the rain; a racer should embrace the rain."

And, that by changing one's mood, one's energy will also change. The narrating dog tells the readers up front that he believes he was meant to be born a man and even though at the time of the story, he is a dog, he believes when he dies, he will return as a man.

The dog's name is Enzo and he takes the readers through his experiences when he …

Girl on Top Book Review

Those women looking for a great read and great advice on getting their career in shape and coming out on top of their game, Nicole Williams' new book, Girl on Top Your Guide to Turning Dating Rules into Career Success (Center Street, 2009) is the perfect book for you.

It is only 194 pages and it is packed from page one to the end with usable advice for both dating and for growing one's career.

The author carries the innuendo-ish title throughout the entire theme of the book. Williams uses everyday language including one F bomb to tell young and not so young professional women how to get what they want out of their job.

The author is a professional career coach and from one who has worked in several different environments with varying levels of women only need to know how to type attitudes, this book and Williams' advice is a breath of fresh air.

A Profession of Love for Books

Over the weekend, I purchased several new books. A few are newly published and are now sitting on one of my to read stacks and a few were used and will be added to one of my many contemporary author collections.

As I was looking through my reading stacks today I just felt the need to share my love of books with others. I have always had this strong connection to reading. I have books stacked all over my house. I carry books in my cars just in case I get stuck in traffic or have to wait in the car for someone I might be able to read for a few minutes.

I generally take a book or two to dinner with me, on airplanes, on the beach, on hikes, and even on walks, I might have to take a short break to catch my breath and it makes for a good time to read. Much to my husband's despair, I have to pack one bag with my books when we travel.

I don't how I would react if I suddenly found that I could no longer read. My father-in-law made a comment one time when he was staying with us that I hav…

National Bookstore Day

Publishers Weekly magazine announced the National Bookstore Day is scheduled for November 7 this year.

Start making plans now to visit your local new and used bookstores. I couldn't live without going to the bookstore at least once a week. I spread my business around too. I visit the big chain stores regularly but I also visit the used bookstores that are still left.

We have a very large flea market in our geographic area and my husband and I walk through and buy used books for our various collections from those vendors.

My secret dream is to own my own bookstore and coffee shop and sell new and used books, CDs, magazines, and newspapers.

So take some time on November 7 and go into your favorite bookstores and buy a book....

Becoming a Category of One Book Review

Book Name: Becoming a Category of One
How Extraordinary Companies Transcend Commodity and Defy Comparison
By: Joe Calloway
Publsiher: John Wiley & Sons, 2003, 2009
243 pages

While Calloway's book is a revised and updated edition of his 2003 release, the information he provides is not any different than any other marketing or set your company apart from the others book.

The social marketing phenom om that has hit over the last two years is missing entirely. The most unique part of the book is that Calloway suggests that a company should develop their own category and by default that company would be number one in that category versus competing with other companies in the current categories.

The problem is that Calloway gives examples and case studies of what he feels are category of one companies, but he does not really give steps on how to create the category. He only details what a category of one company would do to become number one in a category of one.

The book is an easy read an…

Good Reading Skills Vital to Success

International Literacy Day is September 8, 2009. Take a moment to think about how many times you read something each and every day. How many times do you read the newspaper, look up a phone number or address, look up directions, read instructions on how to take medications, read through all of the legal stuff sent through your credit card companies, or just reading the ingredients in a particular food or cleaning product?

What would it be like to look at a book and see just a bunch of letters and not be able to form the letters into meaningful words?

It would devastate me. My mother had low reading skills and even lower math skills. She was born in the hills of Kentucky and only got a minimal education.

I've worked in adult education with a GED and reading program and I can tell persons who cannot read or read very well are in great emotional pain. They hide the fact they cannot read more than any other factor in their lives.

So on this International Literacy Day, donate a new book or…

Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged Final Review

I've posted several Atlas Shrugged (Plume, 1957) reviews at so my final review here is just to talk about the message and example delivered by the fictional story.

The story is a solid example of what could happen if the free enterprise system that the United States is built on where to be governed out of existence. Too much regulation, too many restrictions, limits on production, laws that destroy rather than protect are all practices that would stifle competition and obliterate the rights of all entrepreneurs.

In the back of the book, the author Ayn Rand writes about herself and said, "My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."

The book is a big read with an even bigger story.

Read my other reviews at:…

Reader's Digest Filing for Chapter 11

Earlier this week the publisher of Reader's Digest announced that it will file for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 protection.

It is one more disappointment in the magazine world with magazines falling off the rack faster than any one reader can keep track of. I've had numerous subscriptions just this year alone disappear because the magazines have closed their editorial doors.

The Wall Street Journal on August 18, 2009 reported (Chapter 11 Is Next Page for Reader's Digest, by Shira Ovide and Mike Spector), "The move also is a low point int he storied history of Reader's Digest, a onetime staple of coffee tables and doctor's offices that at it speak three decades ago sold 18 million copies a month. Circulation now is less than half that."

The magazine got its start over 87 years ago (1922) and provided its readers with condensed versions of articles from other publications.

The magazine had versions published overseas and eventually expanded into condensed book…

The World According to Twitter - Book Review

Book Name: The World According to Twitter
Author: David Pogue and his 50,000 followers
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc., 2009

David Pogue is a technology columnist that writes for the New York Times, has authored or co-authored over 50 computer books, and is a correspondent for CBS News Sunday Morning. His newest book provides readers with the results of his non-scientific recent Twitter test.

Every night at around 11 p.m. he posed a new question on Twitter and then waited for the responding tweets. His Twitter book consists entirely of the tweets he received to his questions - 95 questions in total and 2,524 tweet answers are in the book.

A sample of the questions include:

"What's your brilliant idea to improve the modern automobile?"
"You know it's time to look for a new job when..."
"Tell us the story of your tattoo."

Pogue tells readers that it takes about a week of using Twitter to actually "get it." He demonstrated how powerful it…

Atlas Shrugged Book Review - Part 1

I've been reading a phenomenal book by Ayn Rand called Atlas Shrugged. It was first published in 1957 by PLUME. It has gotten renewed attention of late because of the message it carries. The book is a work of fiction, has been a bestseller for over 40 years and according to the book's back cover is an "epochal novel" and "intellectual landmark."

The paperback copy of the book I have is mammoth in size coming out at 1,168 pages. I am about 600 pages into the book. Rand has taken a fictional story built around what she calls, "progressive social policy" and relates how men who govern in her fictional United States tell themselves they do so for the good of everyone all the while destroying the free enterprise system.

There are laws passed with names such as "The Equalization of Opportunity Bill", "The Preservation of Livelihood Law", "The Fair Share Law", and "Public Stability Law". There are federal organizatio…

Green Movement Continues

I am, like many others, an avid fan of the green movement. As such I've been reading about green in magazines, newspapers, enews, and of course the green books published over the past two years.

John F. Wasik, his bio is below, has written a new green book titled Cul-de-Sac Syndrome: Turning Around the Unsustainable American Dream, for which I am getting ready to read for review.

With the author's permission, I've posted a recent article he has written about green building saving the housing industry. The article is below and I hope you take a minute to read it.

How Green Building Can Save the Housing Industry By John F.Wasik,
author of The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome: Turning Around the Unsustainable American Dream

Green is gold. Why didn't home builders get this idea? They could be building new homes again, employing millions, making inner cities and suburbs habitable and bring down the cost of housing for everyone.

Home building needs to join the 21st century and apply the best, …

Books by Ayn Rand

I just started reading Ayn Rand's books, The Anthem, Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged. The last two are very in depth with thousands of pages so it may be a while before a review appears.

I have read The Anthem and I've visited the Ayn Rand Institutes's web site plus any background information that I've been able to find over the past week or so.

She appears to be a great and prolific writer. Her concept of Objectivism was way ahead of her time. Some of her writings appear to be more relevant today than when she wrote them.

I'll keep you posted (that's kind of a pun) on my progress....

Women on The Most Wanted List at Many Companies

A great new book called Womenomics (Harper Collins, 2009) by co-authors Claire Shipman and Katty Kay details new research that proves that women are “the hot commodity” in the workplace.

Women executives have proven to be better leaders, create higher profits, maintain a higher level of organization, and most important, they can use both sides of their brains.

A few new terms introduced include "pink profits", "asset-to-estrogen", "a new all" and the title itself, "womenomics."

Women are in big demand and the authors propose that it is a good time for women to ask themselves what they want at work and then ask their bosses for it. Flex time, or less time at the office, guilt free time off, or working from home some of the time are benefits that companies are starting to realize make good motivators and are received by women as benefits.

It is a great book with some really great statistics about women in the workplace.

Books About Books

Being an avid reader for most of my life, my recent discovery of all of the books about books and the books of lists of books have proven a pleasant surprise. The lists of books I'm working on now are off of a few of the lists of 100 best books provided by author Rachelle Rogers Knight.

Her book called Read, Remember, Recommend, a Reading Journal for Book Lovers, Bibliopages, 2007, is kind of a journal for readers. You can build your list of favorite books along with notes about the books and about your favorite authors.

The lists of 100 best books provides readers with author names, titles, year the book was published, and columns for readers to mark if they own the book, would recommend the book if they want to read it or want to own it.

The different 100 best lists are from sources like New York Magazine, Oprah's Book Club, National Book Critics Circle, Feminista Journal, Time Magazine, and The Modern Library.

I've decided one of my top goals before I age to the point that…

Earth Day Participation

Earth Day is April 22 this year. I have been seeing signs all over town promoting events and school participation. It is refreshing to see that even in a tough economy and with everyone feeling so uncertain about the immediate future that teachers and school administrators and our county's park system is still taking part is such a vital event of unity.

New Technology Offers Great Fun

I just purchased a Flip video camera and will soon be posting video blogs. It is so easy to use and so easy to transfer the video to the computer. It has a fold out USB plug that pops the camera right onto the computer.

Technology that is easy, meaningful and full of fun. It is small, works on batteries, and inexpensive. Check it out online or at your local electronics store...

Check back here soon for new vid-blogs....

A Great New Book That Makes Me Feel That I Can Belong

A great book that has really touched a part of me is The Fearless Fish Out of Water How to Succeed When You're The Only One Like You by Robin Fisher Roffer.
The author talks about how she has always felt like a fish out of water and never really belonged to any one group. She is a successful best selling author and CEO of Big Fish Marketing and works with high profile clients such as A&E, Bravo, and CNN. 
I have also always felt like a fish out of water. I was raised in a family that put more emphasis on marriage and raising a family than believing that a person can be and do anything they want in life. 
I on the other hand have always thought out side of my traditional upbringing and wanted to move to New York City to become a famous writer. Small town America residents were not supposed to think and dream so big.  So that always put me on the outside looking in. 
One of the author's paragraphs struck an especially nice chord for me, "accepting yourself for your differen…

Check Out My New Book

My first book has been released and is available for sale on and The book is called Making the Media Connection Topic, Timing and Type of Media.

The book addresses tips, techniques and ideas for making a media connection. It is a quick read and contains lots of tried and true techniques for pitching the news from a company or organization to news media.

The tips in the book can be applied to traditional media including newspapers, magazines and radio as well as the new online media such as social networks and online newspapers.

If you decide to purchase it, let me know what you think....

Definitive Resource for Green Business Stategies

Just finished a great book about green business. Green to Gold by Daniel C. Esty and Andrew S. Winston is an easy to read resource guide for learning what the actual issues are and how companies can implement a green initiative. I've read several books on green. Some have been worth the read and some have not. Some have just been more of the same while others have sparked ideas and motivated me to do more at my small office and convince others in my family to do more at their homes and companies. This book really got me excited because of the way the authors explained the issues facing now and in the future and then provided a workable solution to building a strategy. It's a great read. Check it out at

More Books With Dogs

Since reading Marley and Me last month, I have read two more books that have dogs as part of the main story line. I just finished a book by Dean Kontz (the Darkest Evening of the Year, 2007 Bantam Books) that had golden retrievers as part of the central theme. It was a really good book and he wrapped the story around the dogs expertly. 
And, I just started a book by Nicholas Sparks (The Lucky One, 2008 Hachett Book Group) that has the main character walking across the United States with his faithful companion, a German shepherd. I am only about 50 pages in on this book but the Dean Kontz book was a very good read. Kontz has included a golden retriever in at least one other book that I have read called The Watchers in 1987. 
He and his wife, according to the book jacket, own a golden and it makes sense that it would become intertwined in his writings.  
What is interesting at this time is that I have read three books from very different genres (Marley and Me was based on actual events, on…

Marley and Me - Could Have Been Me

I have been reading the book Marley and Me by John Grogan. It is a great book and a very fast read. But, after completing every page, I stop and say "I could have easily written this book about my black lab and all of the adventures we had with him in his 16 years with us."
My family's black lab named Black Bart was arrested, loved to run off and stay the night at houses with female dogs like rottweilers or golden retrievers (and somehow convinced the owners of the female dogs he could be trusted with them when he was not neutered), ran into two different cars, rode several miles in the back seat of our SUV wearing sun glasses when driving through Florida and opened every Christmas gift under the tree one very unforgettable Christmas. 
We loved that dog more than any other dog we ever owned. He really gave us a run for our money and always kept us on our toes. When he opened all of the gifts under the tree, he was actually trying to find the box that I had wrapped a candy …