Friday, October 20, 2017

Book Review: How to Build a Piano Bench: Lessons for Success from a Red-Dirt Road in Alabama By Ruthi Postow Birch

How to Build a Piano Bench: Lessons for Success from a Red-Dirt Road in Alabama
By Ruthi Postow Birch


Manian Debil Productions is located in Wharton, Texas.  We tell you this because the author of How to Build a Piano Bench: Lessons for Success from a Red-Dirt Road in Alabama, Ruthi Postow Birch, spent a small part of her early life living in Wharton, Texas. This tells us personally that she came a very long way, from the bottom of the heap, in a very short time.

How to Build a Piano Bench is not about building a piano bench, but then again it is.  The author explains this and uses this as a way to teach a very important lesson.

This book is part autobiography, part life lesson, part lesson in how to sell, and all entertaining.  The author tells some very entertaining and often funny stories. Each story makes a point. If you aren’t careful, you just might learn something.

We give How to Build a Piano Bench all five stars and two artichokes (you will have to read the book to understand that).  It is very well-written and probably one of the most entertaining books we have read in a very long time. Many passages out of this book were read to our family because we found them so interesting and funny.

How to Build a Piano Bench actually fits in both our niche blogs because it is about business AND  personal growth. This would make a great gift for any person you know in leadership or management. It would also make a great gift for any parent who is feeling less than perfect.  It would make a great gift for any teacher, past or present.  In fact, this book would make a great gift for just about anyone.

We were sent a complimentary copy of this book.  We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.

We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.





Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Book Review: Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career By Elizabeth Hyde Stevens


Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career
By Elizabeth Hyde Stevens

We purchased Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career by Elizabeth Hyde Stevens in the Kindle format.

This is a very interesting read and very informative as far as learning more about the Muppets and Jim Henson.  

Readers learn a little about what decisions Henson made along the way.  Although this book is an interesting read and entertaining, we are not sure that it will be incredibly helpful to aspiring artists. That really remains to be seen.  Most likely this will depend upon the takeaway that each reader gets from this book.

One of the biggest concerns we have is the mention several times of a certain board that is used to delve into the occult.  The illustration is not needed and it takes it out of the realm of being “Christian Friendly”.

We give Make Art Make Money four stars.  We could not give it all five stars because we just don’t feel that the lessons the author is trying to teach are readily apparent.

As a biographical book, this is a good read.  As an  artistic “how to” book, it comes close but doesn’t quite make it.  As a business book, it is helpful but misses the mark slightly.

We suggest this book would make a fair companion book with Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins.


Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Book Review: When You Lose Someone You Love Written and Illustrated by Joanne Fink


When You Lose Someone You Love 
Written and Illustrated by Joanne Fink


Get out the giant size box of tissues and grab your copy of When You Lose Someone You Love, written and illustrated by Joanne Fink. Prepare for a roller coaster of emotions.

This little book is designed to help one deal with the loss of a loved one.  

On our How to Manage Your Monkey website, we talk about preparing for retirement and making pre-need funeral arrangements.

But, it is impossible to plan emotionally for the loss of someone you love.  Even if their death is not a surprise, it is still hard to deal with their loss.

Perhaps When You Lose Someone You Love will help you, or someone you know, deal with a loss.  There is no way to tell.  Each person is different and each loss is different.

That being said, we need to say that this little book is very well-written and helps reach those parts that are hurting and maybe helps someone who is grieving realize that their feelings, no matter what they are, are normal.

We give When You Lose Someone You Love all five stars.  We think for some people this will act like a salve to help soothe the hurts.  For others, it might not do anything.  

We suggest you buy a copy and read it before a loss takes place.  Keep a copy on hand and offer it to those you know who are going through a recent loss.

Like chicken soup when you are ill, it just might help and it probably won’t hurt. 

Note from Suz: I could relate to some of the issues and feelings Mrs. Fink shared in this book, though her loss was her husband. We are approaching the fifth anniversary of my daddy’s death. She shares some of her daughter’s words on the loss of her daddy. The wounds are still so raw from my own experience. I cried buckets reading parts of the song this girl wrote to her daddy.

This book doesn’t erase the pain. Nothing can ever fully do that, really. But, it offers understanding and a chance to not feel so alone in one’s grief.


We were sent a complimentary copy of this book.  We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.

We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.

Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Book Review: A World of Babies: Imagined Childcare Guides for Eight Societies


A World of Babies: Imagined Childcare Guides for Eight Societies

By Alma Gottlieb and Judy S. DeLoache



A World of Babies is unlike most other books we have ever read.  We believe it is probably meant to be a supplemental text for an anthropology course.  However, it is an interesting read just by itself.

The idea is that the book contains different case studies that are reported via fictional childcare manuals.

We found most of these to be very interesting and informative.  The book goes into a great deal of detail in some cases and the stories that are told are very believable and fun. However, it appeared to us that the last manual had an agenda the author was attempting to communicate to the reader.

Each section starts out with a little background information regarding the region and some of its history.  Then, sometimes we are given a fictitious biography of the alleged manual writer.  Finally the writer, or in some cases writers, of the manual will write as if giving childcare advice.

We can see that those wishing to learn more about cultures in other areas of the world will find this book very helpful.  With the exception of the last section, the book appears to be written in a very neutral tone recording everyday life in the area.

If you wish to learn more about different cultures, some you may have never heard of, A World of Babies is a good source of information.

FTC Required Notice:
We, David and Suzanne, were given a review copy of this book by the publisher without cost or obligation. Our policy on all reviews is to give our honest opinion of the book.  Neither one of us is an anthropologist, so we cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information contained in this book.




Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Product Review: Bradley Walker - Blessed

Bradley Walker - Blessed

 

We love great Gospel Music.  We were brought up on it.  We were so glad to get to preview Bradley Walker - Blessed which will be available for purchase October 6, 2017.

This album features Bradley Walker who sings along with several legendary performers and groups like The Oakridge Boys.  
The songs are amazing and the recordings are excellent.  This is the kind of CD that everyone will have on their wish list.  
We have not yet seen the DVD, but it has to be great. It is hosted by the legendary Bill Gaither, so it HAS to be great!
We give Blessed all five stars.  We know you will, too.
We were sent a complimentary copy of this album in the MP3 format.  We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.
We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.


Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Book Review: Keep Climbing: A Millennial’$ Guide to Financial Planning By David Rosell


Keep Climbing: A Millennial’$ Guide to Financial Planning
By David Rosell



We live in a very different financial world than our parents did.  Millennials have different hopes and dreams for their lives than generations past did.


Keep Climbing: A Millennial'$ Guide to FInancial Planning by David Rosell addresses this different financial world in a way that would be appealing to many Millennials.

Face it, most books on personal finance are about as entertaining as watching paint dry.  Rosell uses stories from his past adventures to illustrate the lessons he teaches in Keep Climbing

This book is entertaining while at the same time being educating. We live in a world where most young people look at text and respond with “TLDR”.  They do this because saying “Too long, didn’t read” is just too time consuming for this instant gratification generation.

We give Keep Climbing all five stars.  We think that the target audience will find it very helpful to them as they plan their financial futures.

We were sent a complimentary copy of this book.  We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.

We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.




Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Book Review: Secrets of My Vegan Kitchen: A Journey into Reversing My Diabetes Without Medication By Nara Schuler


Secrets of My Vegan Kitchen: A Journey into Reversing My Diabetes Without Medication
By Nara Schuler



Our family has been dealing with diabetes, and the complications that come with the condition, for many years.  We have been researching different ways to fix the complications and the answers keep coming back the same - eat whole, raw foods.


Nara Schuler was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and refused to accept it as a way of life.  Instead, she found a diet that helped her become diabetes-free.  She tells us about it in the excellent book Secrets of My Vegan Kitchen: A Journey into Reversing My Diabetes Without Medication.

This book is very well-written and researched.  The author has been eating the diet for years and it works well for her.

We have read many books that tell of the wonderful health benefits of eating a proper natural diet.  We have seen it actually work in a member of our extended family. We give this book all five stars.

Secrets of My Vegan Kitchen not only reports on the good results of living on this whole food diet, it also contains many delicious recipes to try.


We were sent a complimentary copy of this book.  We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.

We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.



Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.