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Showing posts from 2012

Holiday Book Lists

The 2012 Christmas shopping season has officially started. The holiday sales ads and emails are coming at us nonstop in the newspapers, on television, online and in magazines. Kids and adults are making their shopping and their wish lists and checking them twice. Other lists are making the rounds too, the season's reading lists.

Columnists all over the country are making their recommendations and offering up short lists of the thousands of books that line the bookshelves of the brick and mortar and the virtual bookstores. I'm about to add to those highly respected and highly read lists of books that make great gifts. I love giving books as gifts and love receiving books as gifts.

My current reading list includes four books that have made headlines over the past few months and a few that top the lists of enjoyable fiction books to read. I am either in the process of reading the following books, I have the books in waiting for me start reading or have them on my gift wish list…

Understanding the power of a good story

One of the most admired sports writers, Gary Smith (Sports Illustrated), shows his expertise in storytelling in a book full of a collection of his sports articles. The book, Sports Illustrated Going Deep 20 Classics Sports Stories (Sports Illustrated Books) was published in 2008 but the stories are still vibrant and relevant to learning the art of storytelling for any type of writer.

A few of the titles include:
"Higher Education" Deep in Ohio's Amish country, the unlikeliest of men changed a town's ideas about how to live."The Chosen One" Tiger Woods was raised by his father to believe he would change the world."The Boys on the Bus"Three days after 9/11, the author, strange though it felt, took his son to a high school football game. Those are just three of the titles offered in this book. The opening of "The Boys on the Bus"follows:

"Everything in the little town came to a halt at dusk on the day America mourned. Five police cars…

Summer Book Reviews

Summer is a great time to read books - both fiction and nonfiction. Reading while sitting on the beach or pool side or while traveling to a vacation destination all make for great times to read. I've spent the summer trying to finish the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. While the books are OK, they are not as spellbinding as I've read other reviewers write about the series. They have been a nice distraction from having to spend so much time inside an air conditioned building due to the unusual heat wave across the U.S.

I've also read many business books over the summer including a couple of good social media books. And, I'm currently reading the new Chris Spielman book, That's Why I'm Here, The Chris and Stefanie Spielman Story. I'm halfway through the book and it is a phenomenal read.

Here are few links to the some of the summer business and social media reading I've done this year. All of the reviews and many, many more are posted at I&#…

2012 Writer's Market

I recently purchased the 91st Annual 2012 Writer's Market book published by Writer's Digest. As in past years, the book is huge and filled with potential resources to help new and seasoned writers to get their work published and to generate income.

There are sections of listings for literary agents, book publishers, consumer magazines, trade magazines, newspapers, screen writing, play writing, greeting cards and contests and awards. Each section is prefaced with a page of tips on getting published in that particular market. One of the best examples is in the greeting cards section which offers a paragraph on "Freelance Realities" stating that most greeting card writers are staff writers.

I've shelled out the cash for many of the Writer's Market books in the two decades I've been freelance writing. Most years the book has been highly useful and I've gotten my return on investment. This year however with the current economic disaster we have going on …

Robert Redford The Biography Book Review

Biographies are important books to read for the historical perspective and for the many business lessons found in so many of the bios - including those of celebrities. A new biography by Michael Feeney Callan, Robert Redford The Biography (Alfred A. Knopf, 2012) is a biography that includes a few lessons learned.
The book took over 16 years to finish.  It is a lengthy 445 pages including a filmography in the back. The author starts the book way back in Redford's family tree making the first few chapters a bit slow in the reading. The story quickly picks up steam and gets much more interesting around the third chapter or so.

Redford participated in the writing of the book by providing the author with his personal papers, journals, correspondence and spent hundreds of hours taping interviews. Callan writes about how late Redford has always been his entire life including being late to movie sets and ultimately costing some of his producers a lot of money.

The book also covers Redf…

A few great phone apps

Many smart phone users may be getting tired of all the apps that others tell them they must download. Nonetheless, I'm recommended a few travel apps that are useful to any type of traveler.

First, the Kayak app is helpful to use when searching for the best deals for flights, hotels and car rentals. You can also check flight status and book hotel rooms with the app.Tripit is a useful for managing travel plans such as itineraries, flights and hotels. You can forward all trip information to the app and it will build an itinerary for you. There is a professional version that costs $49 per year. Google Translate is fluent in 63 languages. The app listens to someone talk and then will speak the translation. 
For travelers, these apps won't just sit there on the phone. They will be used again and again.