Wednesday, October 22, 2014

G456 Mastering Negative Impulsive Thoughts Secrets for a longer, happier life! A powerful new philosophy that eradicates negative thinking to achieve ultimate health, wealth and happiness

Title of the book:  Mastering Negative Impulsive Thoughts Secrets for a longer, happier life! A powerful new philosophy that eradicates negative thinking to achieve ultimate health, wealth and happiness

Author:  Dr John and Elizabeth McIntosh

Publisher: GP Mx Solutions

Publishing Date: 2014

ISBN: 978-0-9924290-0-3

Summary:

Negative Thoughts occur impulsively in every single one of us. They just pop up in our heads as part of our internal dialogue or mind chatter. How you deal with your Negative Impulsive Thoughts (NITs) will have huge effects on your physical health, success in life and emotional happiness – so your health, wealth and happiness are at stake!

Everyone has experienced thoughts of self-doubt, self-criticism and lack of self-confidence. These NITs can also keep you awake at night, create unnecessary guilt, regret or just make you feel bad in general. Other people also generate negative thoughts and comments that can dramatically impact your emotional state. Therefore, controlling NITs in yourself and from others is critical to create your future happiness and maximize your full potential.

This revolutionary new philosophy will transform every area of your life – personal, family, children, relationships, work, business and sport. You will be empowered and uplifted and be in the driver’s seat on your journey to your ultimate successful life. Everyone around you will benefit as you will be an inspiration and they will learn from you these simple yet powerful techniques.

The principles of positive thinking have been well recognised for many years. However, this is the first time that negative thoughts have been simply defined and encapsulated. Mastering Negative Impulsive Thoughts also provides a unique three-question process to recognise negative thoughts, plus an easy to follow three-step strategy for replacing NITS with positive alternatives.

Just like the head lice (“nits”) that their name evokes, NITs need to be repeatedly treated and controlled. This book contains effective tools and techniques to filter out negative thoughts, stop them in their tracks, change them into positive alternatives and prevent the spread of NITs to other people. This book lifts the veil of ignorance about negative thoughts, and once aware of them, you will be amazed at their plague-like nature.

The techniques are excellent for personal development and inner contentment. It is also highly effective in managing children through their difficult times, as the challenging situations are addressed positively while maintaining a “class act”. Intimate relationships will blossom as each person gives and receives freely and with abundance, resulting in the ultimate relationship. In business, these NIT-free techniques provide solutions for interpersonal conflict and workplace crises, resulting in dramatic improvement in workplace atmosphere and productivity overall.

This concept was born out of our many years of our professional experience as a medical doctor and health consultant. It became clear to us that negative thoughts are like an unrecognised epidemic that is entrenched in most people’s thinking and they are often unaware of it. Unfortunately, this often has crippling results in their physical, psychological and financial achievements in their lives.

Research shows that up to 70% of visits to your family doctor arise out of negative thoughts and attitudes. Plus, studies prove that you will live nine years longer if you have a positive outlook on life. It has also been shown that this optimistic approach to life results in less heart attacks, strokes, cancers and common colds! Therefore, this is not a nebulous and fluffy subject; it is critically important for the health and wellbeing of every single one of us.

As you read this book, you will have many “Ah-hah!” moments when you are hit with new realisations and moments of enlightenment. The implications are endless, the possibilities are incredible, and happily there are solutions to solve the NITs epidemic and achieve a happier and healthier world. It all starts with YOU.

Prepare to be amazed – you have been warned!

Other Works:

I don't think the authors wrote any other books besides this one, yet.

Authors' Backgrounds:
(From the author kit)
About the Authors

Doctor H. John McIntosh is known as the “Medical Guru” through his columns and media presence.  He was educated as a medical doctor in Scotland. He received a general medical degree from Dundee University Medical School in 1984 and moved to Australia in 1993. He received his Specialist Physician qualification in 1988 from the Royal College of Physicians (UK) and specialist Family Physician qualifications in 1990 from the Royal College of General Practitioners. Other certifications include: Approved Trainer of medical students, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners; James Cook University Medical School, Central Queensland University; Trainer of Cognitive Institute programs, Cognitive Institute of Australia; Approved Trainer of sports medicine first aid courses, Sports Medicine, Australia; and Approved Allergan Cosmetic Injector training and trainer of injectors (doctors and nurses). Dr. McIntosh was the driving force in the building of the Mackay GP Superclinic. In 2013, his medical clinics were awarded the national AGPAL Community Engagement Award for outstanding level of commitment and involvement of the community and won a finalist award in the 2014 Telstra Australian Business Awards.

Rev. Elizabeth McIntosh is known as the “Positivity Expert” from her life’s work and
research in the field. She trained as a life and wellness coach; certified personal fitness trainer under Ken Ware, Mr. Universe of 1994; counselor, hypnotherapist, meditation and yoga teacher; and spa trainer. She is a Reiki master Levels 1, 2 and 3, and a Reiki Master Trainer. She holds a BMSc in Metaphysics from the University of Sedona and the University of Metaphysics, and is an ordained minister through the University of Metaphysics. She runs retreats at her resort in Bali and has produced a series of CDs on health, relaxation, and success, and a TV documentary series, as well as being a magazine columnist and radio talkback presenter.

Their latest book is the nonfiction/self-help, Mastering Negative Impulsive Thoughts.


Visit the authors’ website at www.positivityexpert.com.  

Theme:

"Negative Thoughts occure impulsively in every single one of us. They just pop up in our heads as part of our internal dialogue or mind chatter. How you deal with your Negative Impulsive Thoughts (NITs) will have huge effects on your physical health, success in life and emotional happiness-so your health, wealth and happiness are at stake!" (9)

Problems addressed:

While everyone seems to suffer from Negative Impulsive Thoughts (NITs), they are far more bigger and more pervasive than people think they are. How do people either deal or get rid of them? The book will give these solutions to the problems.

Summary of Content:

Basically, if you get rid of all the negative thoughts and opinions then good things will start happening, although its easier said than done.

Thesis:

"This revolutionary new philosophy will transform every area of your life-personal, family, children, relationships, work, business and sport. You will be empowered and uplifted and be in the driver's seat on your journey to your ultimate successful life. Everyone around you will benefit as you will be an inspiration and they will learn from you these simple yet powerful techniques." (9)

Main Points:

*What are Negative Impulsive Thoughts?
*How do you create great life habits?
*Negative Impulsive Thoughts in intimate relationships and love
*Negative Impulsive Thoughts in religion
*What is the NITs-free road to success and happiness?

Why Its Interesting and informative:

In this day and age of thinking positive and so forth, its interesting to see how NITs affect everyone from adult to child to baby and so forth. I am a skeptic by nature though, thus its a little hard for me to buy into the book.

Supports thesis:

Although I hadn't tried out tips, from reading the book, the authors do cover a lot of imaginable topics and so forth.

Issues book raises:

"Deep down, it is peace and happiness that everyone wants, and it all starts with you! You are the key- the "man in the mirror," It all starts with you and spreads with the incomprehensible ripple effect outwards around the world and beyond! So what happens next? We all live happily ever after!" (273)

Ideas in book vs larger ideas:

What I feel that the authors are saying is that not many people realize on how far and wide negative has spread, affecting everyone, and in this book they try to point that out as well as give tips and advice on how to battle it out.

Agree/Disagree: 

While I agree with some things, I do find a number of things a little uncomfortable. One of the things I find uncomfortable is that there is mention of law of attraction and that many people are healing themselves through wish and desire...umm why not mention specific studies of people who healed themselves with positive thoughts without any medical interference? I also disagreed with the fact that whatever happened to people, they asked for it.

Sources:

For certain things sources were used, but most of the book didn't use sources which became a bit problematic for me because what I was taught is to always back up your claims and sources, and they didn't seem to do it.

Conclusion:

I have to admit that I find it an interesting read, but as mentioned before, I'm not comfortable with some elements of the book and I'm really uncomfortable with the book cover which put me in mind of infomercial on TV.

For More Information


  • Mastering Negative Impulse Thoughts is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

This is for Pump Up Your Book



4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

G405 The Lost Tribe of Coney Island; Headhunters, Luna Park, and the Man Who Pulled off the Spectacle of the Century

Title of the book: The Lost Tribe of Coney Island; Headhunters, Luna Park, and the Man Who Pulled off the Spectacle of the Century

Author: Claire Prentice

Publisher: New Harvest

Publishing Date: 2014

ISBN:  978-0-544-26228-7

Summary:

Readers of Erik Larson will love this tale of sex, greed, and the American dream: A huckster imports a tribe of Filipinos to Coney Island’s Luna Park, and two cultures collide.

The Lost Tribe of Coney Island unearths the forgotten story of the Igorrotes, a group of “headhunting, dog-eating savages” from the Philippines, who were transported to New York in 1905 to appear as “human exhibits” alongside the freaks and curiosities at Coney Island’s Luna Park. Millions of fair-goers delighted in their tribal dances and rituals, near-nudity, tattoos, and stories of headhunting.

Journalist Claire Prentice, who has spent years researching the topic, brings the story to life with her fluid prose and vivid descriptions. The book boasts a colorful cast of characters, including the disgraced lieutenant turned huckster Truman K. Hunt; his Filipino interpreter, Julio Balinag; the theme park impresarios behind Luna Park, Fred Thompson and Elmer “Skip” Dundy; and Dogmena, a beautiful girl who became a favorite with New York’s social elite. The Lost Tribe of Coney Island  is a fascinating social history and a tale of adventure, culture-clash, and the American dream.

The Scholarly Approach:

1.With what particular subject or period does the book deal?

The author focuses on a tribe of Igorrotes that have arrived in early 20th century and how they ended up in Luna Park as well as being at the mercy of Truman Hunt. While that was going on, there were mentions of the war in 1890s that gave America the Philippines which creates an interesting contrast.

2.How thorough is the treatment?

The treatment is very thorough and well done. It feels that she doesn't leave the stone unturned and focuses a lot on the details and the experiences that the Igorrotes have gone through.

3.What were the sources used?

The sources that were used were numerous: mostly what I would think of as secondary/ primary sources. Secondary because she gives her own spin towards the Igorrotes instead of just agreeing with what the papers might have stated about them. Primary because the reporters who wrote the articles and/or stories were the witnesses in one way or the other.

4.Is the account given in broad outline or in detail?

The account is given in detail and spans two or three years at least, from 1905-1907. She introduces the characters, the players and the opposing teams.

5.Is the style that of reportorial writing, or is there an effort at interpretive writing?

I think there is a big and successful effort at interpretive writing because she takes us into the book and lets us experience and get to know the Igorrotes instead of just simply keeping us to the sidelines

6.What is the point of view or thesis of the author?

"As I noted in the introduction to this book, the idea of exhibiting human beings for entertainment is rightly considered grotesque today. Understandably, the subject of the Igorrote exhibition trade is regarded by many modern Filipinos as a shocking example of the subjugation and degradation of their forefathers. I hope that this book, in telling the story of the Igorrotes who were taken to America in 1905 does something to honor their extraordinary lives." (338)

7.Is the treatment superficial or profound?

The treatment does seem profound because everything is detailed and the author let the facts speak for themselves and didn't even put herself as narrator. Seriously, the style is the way I wish non-fiction was written.

8.For what group is the book intended (textbook, popular, scholarly, etc.)?

From the writing and the fact she seems to employ some storytelling as well, I honestly will say that its designed more for ordinary people, although scholars can also enjoy the story and check out the materials that she used.

9.What part does biographical writing play in the book?

Basically she attempts to humanize the players, either causing us to feel sympathy, anger or frustration with whoever might be narrating the story. She mentioned that she got interested in the story because of a picture she had.

10.Is social history or political history emphasized?

While the book does contain both political and social history, I think more of social history is emphasized than political because it focuses on people and what was going on, as well as this episode adding on to a bigger picture rather than it focusing on the ultimate picture and on political figures.

11.Are dates used extensively, and if so, are they used intelligently?

The dates are used extensively in beginning of each chapter the author mentions months as well as the years. I was amazed at how much a year was stretched out.

12.Is the book a revision? How does it compare with earlier editions?

The book is not a revision

13.Are maps, illustrations, charts, etc. used and how are these to be evaluated?

The maps and photographs are used, the map in beginning and the pictures throughout the book. I think they are pretty accurate and add on a lot to the story being told.

Personal Opinion:

I loved this book. Yes, I loved the writing, the details, the research and so forth. Its perhaps one of the more shocking books I've had a chance to read, and at the same time it made me realize that this is something similar to today's reality TV. (Seriously, how real is reality tv? Not real at all, just very exaggerated to help people forget mundane life.) I felt angry at Truman Hunt and what he was doing, angry at how people were treated and that Truman Hunt forces them to fall into a stereotype and so forth. The chase towards the end is very breathtaking and I found myself rooting for the people that were trying to help the Igorrotes and hoping that Truman will get captured. This is also a very important read for everyone, just to remind people that in truth, a century hasn't changed us, but made us have more sophisticated technology. Don't believe me? Think about what Truman is forcing the Pinoys to do, and what TV people are forcing the participants to do or to even behave.

This is for TLC Book Tour

Claire Prentice’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, October 13th: Sophisticated Dorkiness
Monday, October 13th: Booksie’s Blog
Tuesday, October 14th: Kahakai Kitchen
Tuesday, October 14th: Time 2 Read
Wednesday, October 15th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, October 20th: Wordsmithonia
Tuesday, October 21st: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Wednesday, October 22nd: She Treads Softly
Thursday, October 23rd: 50 Book Project
Thursday, October 23rd:  Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Friday, October 24th:  Dwell in Possibility
Monday, October 27th: BookNAround
Monday, October 27th:  Mental Foodie
Tuesday, October 28th:  girlichef
Tuesday, October 28th:  Lisa’s Yarns
Wednesday, October 29th: A Bookish Affair
5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G448 Book Review of In Doubt by Drusilla Campbell

Name of Book: In Doubt

Author: Drusilla Campbell

ISBN: 978-1-4555-1033-7

Publisher: Hachette

Type of book: Psychology, boundary issues, legal thriller, California, appearances, small town, secrets, PTSD, modern times, lawyer, realism

Year it was published: 2014

Summary:

Defense Attorney Sophie Giraudo is about to open a new legal practice in her hometown of San Sebastian, California, when the beloved governer is shot and seriously wounded during a celebration in the town park. The only thing more shocking than the crime itself is the identity of the would-be assassin: a seemingly gentle teenager named Donny. Driven by her desire to understand what could make a person with no history of violence suddenly commit such a terrible act, Sophie reluctantly agrees to take him on as a client, knowing that, at least, it will bring her some income. But soon she realizes that she also has personal motivations for taking the case: a desire to prove to her overbearing mother that she is not the reckless and self-destructive tennager she used to be, to prove to her ex-husband, who happens to be the prosecuting attorney, that she can win her case, and to prove to herself that the traumatic events of her adolescence no longer define her.

As she digs deeper into Donny's past, Sophie begins to suspect that he might not be the cold-blooded killer everyone thinks he is. Does Donny's narcissistic mother really have her son's best interest in mind? Is Donny's mentor who runs Boys Into Men, a program for disadvantaged youths, the altruistic man he claims to be? Is Donny a deranged murderer, or a victim of his circumstances acting out of desperation? As Sophie races to uncover the truth, she is forced to come to terms with her past and to fight for what she knows is right...even if it means risking her reputation and possibly her life.

Characters:

I really did wish that there was more focus on Donny's mother as well as Donny himself as character because they were very interesting people and I wanted to understand more about them. Sophie Giraudo is one of the main characters, a thirty-five year old divorced woman who has a complex relationship with her own mother and is trying to deal with some traumatic events as well. She is best described as determined and impatient. Donny is also a main character although not much is shown from his view. He is very fragile both psychologically and emotionally and has talent for plants. He also has complex issues with authority figures in his life. Elena is Donny's mother and she is wealthy, vain and pretentious, caring more for appearances than her flesh and blood. I have to say that she was the most interesting character. She is also a liar and is very determined not to let go of Donny.

Theme:

Nothing can be tied with a bow

Plot:

The story itself is in third person narrative from various characters' points of view, although most of it is from Sophie Giraudo who is trying to prove to everyone that she's a capable woman as well as give Donny a chance she feels he deserves. There is also great deal of focus on psychology and the reader gets only snippets of various characters, which can be unfortunate because I did want to know more about Donny's mother. The strengths of the story included dialogue and realistic yet engaging situations. What might or might not be a weakness (depends on what the reader wants from the book) is that its realistic and nothing is neatly tied up with a bow.

Author Information:
(From goodreads.com)


born
Melbourne, Australia 
gender
female

website

twitter username

genre

member since
September 2009


Drusilla Campbell lives in San Diego with her husband, the lawyer-poet-professor, Art Campbell, two rescued dogs and four horses. She was born in Melbourne, Australia and came to California when she was six years old. Before that she criss-crossed the United States by train and car with her brave and resourceful mother and mostly adorable baby brother. She had sailed the Pacific Ocean three times before starting first grade and knew how to run down a pitching outside deck and come to a sliding, slamming stop against a bulkhead, laughing the whole time. She grew up in the Santa Clara Valley in the halcyon days before the dot com magnates discovered it, attended San Jose State University, and then started traveling again. She taught in Melbourne, London and at a remote jungle outpost in Panama before settling down and marrying. While living in Washington, DC she got a Masters Degree in Broadcast Journalism from the American University and went to work for NPR's major DC affiliate, WAMU-fm. She has two sons, Rocky and Matt, and three grandchildren who are smarter, more intelligent and entertaining than anyone elses. The dogs, the horses, the family and friends and writing books keep her happily in one place.

Drusilla is an award winning author of 16 published novels, including the best-selling and award winning novels, The Good Sister, Blood Orange, and Bone Lake. Her latest novel, Little Girl Gone from Grand Central Publishing, is available is available January 31, 2012. you

Opinion:

This really wasn't a light read, and it seemed to ask more questions than it answered. Also, if you are looking for happy endings then its not the right book: however, if you are looking for something dark and realistic, its the right book to enjoy. I did enjoy reading the book and getting to know the unique characters that populated these pages. Some of the events that have happened were twisters, I wasn't expecting them. I did often wish to get to know Sophie, but I guess I have to be satisfied with the glimpses I got of her. Also as well, there really aren't any romance subplots, which isn't a complaint because once in a while its nice to read a book that shows off different aspects of being a woman other than love issues.

This was given to me by McKinneyPR for an honest review

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Part XXV: Updated List for Asian Men/White Women Literature part 3

In Part II Asian Male and White Female Novels, I have given some examples of some of the particular in depth Asian male novels and white female novels that I have read and enjoyed. It has been three years since I published that article and a lot more books with that particular topic were published and discovered. I have thought long and hard on how to separate the books I have discovered and ones I have talked about. I think I will do five AM/WF novels/short stories per article. This article will contain four short stories from an anthology titled How Does One Dress to buy Dragonfruit? and a memoir by Susan Blumberg-Kason titled Good Chinese Wife: A Love Affair with China Gone Wrong. Here are the short stories and the memoir:

Huangshan Honeymoon-Jocelyn Eikenburg

Ninety Minutes in Tsim Sha Tsui-Susan Blumberg-Kason

Here Comes the Sun-Leza Lowitz

Chinese Stonewalls-Ember Swift

Good Chinese Wife: A Love Affair with China Gone Wrong-Susan Blumberg Kason

Huangshan Honeymoon -Jocelyn Eikenburg

Summary:

The author and her husband are on their honeymoon in Huangshan, Yellow Mountain, along with the husband's father. While going through the honeymoon, the author reflects on importance of family in Chinese culture, as well how she and her father-in-law  eventually became close.

The Asian Hero:

I have to be honest that I read and often comment on Jocelyn's own blog. Jun Wu comes from Hangzhou Region and is the youngest or middle son in the family. He has ambitions on becoming a psychologist, is open minded, cares a whole lot for his wife. Physically speaking, he is slightly shorter than Jocelyn.

The White Heroine:

From what I know of Jocelyn comes from her blog. I think she has a biology or science degree and has a big heart in helping people that are in similar situation just like she. She is also very dedicated and is a talented writer.

The Setting:

The story takes place in Huangshan, Yellow Mountain that both Jun and his father desired to see for a long time, which is why the father-in-law tagged along with them. (As of this writing, the author has celebrated her tenth wedding anniversary.)

About the Author: (Summary taken from the book)

"Jocelyn Eikenburg is the writer behind Speaking of China, a unique blog focused on love, family, and relationships in China which was inspired by her own marriage to a Chinese national. Her essay "Red Couplets" was pubilshed in the anthology Unsavory Elements and other true stories of foreigners on the loose in China. A Cleveland, Ohio native, Jocelyn discovered her passion for the written word while living and working in China, and has resided in the cities of Zhengzhou, Hangzhou, and Shanghai."(From page  163 on my e-reader)

My Opinion:

I haven't met either Jocelyn or Jun Wu in person, but I did enjoy reading about their honeymoon and I also enjoy reading and gaining fascinating perspective on her blog.

Ninety Minutes in Tsim Sha Tsui-Susan Blumberg Kason

Summary:

Shortly after the divorce, the author goes back to Hong Kong and begins to reminisce about her relationship with her ex-husband. Some snippets from her memoir, Good Wife in China are also there, namely how she met his first ex-wife and daughter, as well as her visit to a doctor where she learned devastating news.

The Asian Hero:

I'm pretty sure that despite the name (in this one he is named Li, while in Good Chinese Wife he is named Cai Jun), is the same guy. He has previously been married before and even has a daughter from the union as well as a secret life. (Do read Good Chinese Wife if you're interested in learning more...) He probably has a music degree and is of the generation from either 1960s or 1970s.

The White Heroine:

I think that in the story she is best described as a little bitter at how her first marriage ended, although she is also relieved too. (I will get into more details about her in the actual book)

The Setting:

The story takes place in Hong Kong, although she also briefly reminisced about San Francisco and China where she met the ex-wife and the daughter.

About the Author:(Summary taken from the book)

"Susan Blumberg-Kason is the author of Good CHinese WIfe (Sourcebooks 2014), a memoir of her five-year marriage to a musician from central China and how she tried to adapt to Chinese family life as a wife, daughter-in-law and mother. She is also the books editor of Asian Jewish Life magazine and can be found online at her blog Remarried, Susan lives in suburban Chicago with her husband, three children, and a clingy cat. "(From page  220 on my e-reader)

My Opinion:

I think this is the story that can serve as either an epilogue or prologue because it does tie very neatly to Good Chinese Wife.

Here Comes the Sun -Leza Lowitz 

Summary:

The author and her husband have attempted multiple times to get pregnant without success, thus they decided to adopt in Japan. The story details how they meet their son, Yuto and how through patience and time they all became a family as well as how much emphasis the Japanese place on bloodlines and there is reluctance when it comes to adoption.

The Asian Hero:

The hero himself comes from an adopted family. (I forgot if he is adopted, or his father was adopted?) His name is Shogo Oketani and although not much is told about him in the story, he is very supportive of the heroine's wishes and desires.

The White Heroine:

She herself is a writer and was scarred by some issues during the childhood. She really desires to have a child, but biologically is unable to, which is where adoption comes in.

The Setting:

This takes place in Japan during modern times and there is focus on adoption and on hopes.

About the Author:

(Summary taken from the book)

" Excerpted from a memoir-in-progress entitled Here comes the Sun: A Memoir of Adoption, Yoga, and the Samurai Spirit. Leza Lowitz is a writer and yoga teacher in Tokyo. Her debut young adult novel, Jet Black and the Ninja Wind (Tuttle, 2013) received the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in the Young Adult category. Portions of her memoir in progress have appeared in the New York Times online, The Huffington Post, Shambhala Sun, Best Buddhist Writing 2011, and Yoga Journal. Lowitz's Yoga Poems: Lines to Unfold By, was a #1 Amazon bestseller. Her blog"(From page  234 on my e-reader)

My Opinion:

I have to admit that this is really one of the sweetest stories I've read in the anthology and I'm glad that the author and her husband have found happiness.

Chinese Stonewalls- Ember Swift 


Summary:

The author, who is a songwriter and a lesbian from Canada, falls in love with a man, and the story talks about her feelings when falling in love with a Chinese guy as well as how Chinese see and view homosexuality. She also mentions some portents that she saw on her first trip to China.

The Asian Hero:

The hero himself is named Guo Jian and he is very open minded as well as convincing. If I'm not mistaken he also comes from a band and he is determined to win the heroine's hand.

The White Heroine:

In beginning, the heroine identifies herself as a lesbian, but then she falls in love with a man. She is a singer from a band who has very strong views and opinions about homosexuality in China.

The Setting:

I forget where, but the story itself takes place in China and possibly Canada and its written about their courtship.

About the Author: (Summary taken from the book)

"Ember Swift is a Canadian musician, songwriter, performer, and writer. She has released eleven independent album recordings since 1996, one live DVD project, and continues to perform regularly in both North America and China. Now based in Beijing with her Chinese husband and two children, she maintains three popular blogs through her website and is a contributing writer for Women in China Magazine, Herizon's Magazine, Mami Magazine, Beijing Kids Magazine, China.org and InCulture Parent, an online portal for cross-cultural parenting."(From page  243 on my e-reader)

My Opinion:

If you are looking for a unique love story, then look no further but to this one. I actually liked reading the story too, especially the uniqueness of the heroine and hero.

Good Chinese Wife: A Love Affair with China Gone Wrong-Susan Blumberg Kason 

Summary:

A stunning memoir of an intercultural marriage gone wrong

When Susan, a shy Midwesterner in love with Chinese culture, started graduate school in Hong Kong, she quickly fell for Cai, the Chinese man of her dreams. As they exchanged vows, Susan thought she'd stumbled into an exotic fairy tale, until she realized Cai--and his culture--where not what she thought.

In her riveting memoir, Susan recounts her struggle to be the perfect traditional "Chinese" wife to her increasingly controlling and abusive husband. With keen insight and heart-wrenching candor, she confronts the hopes and hazards of intercultural marriage, including dismissing her own values and needs to save her relationship and protect her newborn son, Jake. But when Cai threatens to take Jake back to China for good, Susan must find the courage to stand up for herself, her son, and her future.

Moving between rural China and the bustling cities of Hong Kong and San Francisco, Good Chinese Wife is an eye-opening look at marriage and family in contemporary China and America and an inspiring testament to the resilience of a mother's love--across any border.

The Asian Hero:

He is named Cai Jun and he is of Chinese ancestry, from Hubei. In beginning of the story he is described as having movie star looks and is charming and sweet. However, when he and the heroine get married, he starts to obsess with punctuality, cares more for friends and the Japanese father than his own wife and its hinted that he leads a double if not a triple life. His major is in music if I recall right, and he has younger sisters.

The White Heroine:

In beginning of the memoir she seems to have low self esteem and she willingly bent forward and backward to satisfy her husband, never really stating her own needs and desires, and if she did state them, her husband seemed to put them down or ignore them. She also has an avid interest in China. As the memoir goes on and she begins to see how her choices will ultimately affect her son Jake, she starts to take drastic measures to make sure she will give him a good life.

The Setting:

The story is set in 1990s? in Hong Kong, China, Chicago and San Francisco and explores the themes of culture clashes, unstated desires and repression.

About the Author:

"Susan Blumberg-Kason is the author of Good CHinese WIfe (Sourcebooks 2014), a memoir of her five-year marriage to a musician from central China and how she tried to adapt to Chinese family life as a wife, daughter-in-law and mother. She is also the books editor of Asian Jewish Life magazine and can be found online at her blog Remarried, Susan lives in suburban Chicago with her husband, three children, and a clingy cat. "(From page  220 on my e-reader)

My Opinion:

I loved reading the memoir and I gained a lot of understanding from reading it on what it takes for a marriage to fail, as well as the importance of communicating with a spouse and not holding concerns back. I often imagine that should I ever marry, I will ask my future husband to read the memoir and see his opinion.

Want more of Asian male/white female literature? Check out links for two other lists I've done! 

List One:

List Two:

Be patient, more is coming!

Book Review for Tree of Souls The Mythology of Judaism by Howard Schwartz Book 2 Part 2.15

General Information:

Name of Book: Tree of Souls

ISBN: 9780195086799

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Year it was published: 2004

Overall theme:

"With only one God, heaven would be a barren place, at least in mythic terms. Yet the actual Jewish view of heaven is quite different. There are seven heavens, filled with angels and other divine beings, such as the Messiah [Not jesus!], who is said to have a palace of his own in the highest heaven. The clestial Temple can be found there- the mirror image of the Temple in the earthly Jerusalem- as well as an abundance of heavenly palaces, one for each of the patriarchs and matriarchs and sages, where he or she teaches Torah to the attentive souls of the righteous and the angels..." (xliii)

"Drawing on the full range of Jewish sources, sacred and nonsacred, ten major categories of Jewish mythology can be identified: Myths of God, Myths of Creation...Each of these categories explores a mythic realm, and, in the process, reimagines it. This is the secret to the transformations that characterize Jewish mythology. Building on a strong foundation of biblical myth, each generation has embellished the earlier myths, while, at the same time, reinterpeting them for tis own time." (xlv)

 Book Two: Myths of Creation

 Part II: The Creation of the World

95. The Seven Days of Creation

 Issue:The myth begins with first of genesis about G-d creating light and moves on to Him creating an expanse, then to creation of earth, then to vegetation, creation of sun and moon, as well as that of animals and birds, as well as domesticated animals followed by creation of man and giving the dominion over to them and at last rested on the seventh day.

96. Ten Things created on the eve of the first Sabbath 

Issue: On the eve of the first Sabbath, numerous things such as mouth of earth, mouth of the well, rainbow and others were created.

97. Five Heavenly Things Sleeping in the Universe

Issue: Five things of immense power are sleeping and all belong to G-d.

98. God the Creator

Issue: G-d covered Himself with light as garment and then proceeded to begin the creation of the world such as laying out roof of upper chambers with waters and so forth.

99. The Rainbow

Issue: Various legends about the creation of rainbow are given out, one that perhaps it was created on the sixth day, while another legend is that it was created after the flood. There is also a legend that it becomes forbidden to stare at a rainbow due to G-d's bride living within it. When there is no sign of a rainbow, a righteous individual appears to protect the world.

100. The Time of Creation

Issue: There is a mystery as to when G-d decided to create the world, or if there was anything prior to creation of the world.

101. Everything was Created at Once

Issue: Everything in the world was created at once and that also they weren't in any way deficient and they contained descendants within.

102. How God Begot Being

Issue: G-d had strange relations with knowledge and begot with knowledge this world.

103. What Does the Earth Stand on?

Issue: During the exodus times, a bull covered a cow and begot her with a calf, which Aaron brother of Moses witnessed. The bull carries the earth on its horn. When people sin though, the world grows heavier for the bull to carry thus its tossed from one horn to another which causes catastrophes and earthquakes.

104. Creation Ex Nihilo

Issue: G-d brought out the world from nothing and brought it into being. Its uncertain what G-d intends for the world.

105. The Order of Creation

Issue: The universe is created from top down and there are details on how it occurred.

To Be Continued... 

G453 Book Review of Ghost Horse by Thomas H McNeely

Name of Book: Ghost Horse

Author: Thomas H McNeely

ISBN: 9781928589914

Publisher: Gival Press

Type of book: Secrets, Texas, dark, Houston, 1975-1976, Catholic upbringing, immigration, racism, prejudice, wealth, elites, class, father/son relationship, friendships

Year it was published: 2014

Summary:

Winner of the 2013 Gival Press Novel Award / "An elegy for a lost father, an unforgettable fable of the power of art, Ghost Horse weaves a singular spell, captivating the reader and never letting go."--Adam Johnson, author of The Orphan Master's Son, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction / Set amidst the social tensions of 1970's Houston, Ghost Horse tells the story of eleven-year-old Buddy Turner's shifting alliances within his fragmented family and with two other boys--one Anglo, one Latino--in their quest to make a Super-8 animated movie. As his father's many secrets begin to unravel, Buddy discovers the real movie: the intersection between life as he sees it and the truth of his own past. In a vivid story of love, friendship, and betrayal, Ghost Horse explores a boy's swiftly changing awareness of himself and the world through the lens of imagination. / Lisa Peet, Associate Editor, News & Features, Library Journal, September 2014 "Ghost Horse by Thomas H. McNeely (Gival Pr.) [is] a coming-of-age (but only barely) story about a young boy and his fragmented family, shifting alliances, burgeoning racial awareness, and a Super-8 movie about the eponymous Ghost Horse. The writing is sensitive, beautiful, and ominous throughout—I hate when people use lazy author mashups to define a book, but I can’t resist: it’s as if Cormac McCarthy and Denis Johnson teamed up to write a 1970s Texas YA novel that went off the rails somewhere—in a very, very good way."

Characters:

The main characters include Buddy, Simon and Alex along with Buddy's parents and grandparents. While the men seemed to be drawn out and three dimensional, the women weren't as drawn out, and we learn very little about them. Buddy is the main character who has been exposed to the real truth and secrets way too early and he is struggling with keeping his sanity throughout the book, and allowing the darkness to take over. He keeps everything inside of him and on the surface is very respectful of adults, calling them "sir" and "ma'am." Simon is Buddy's friend at a wealthy private school and he has his own issues in his family. He also seems to know everything that's going on with everyone else in school. Alex is a talented artist from Mexico who owns a dog named Ysrael and is best described as serious and a bit forgiving, maybe? Buddy's father tries to make up for his sins, and he seems to be the type that likes to have two cakes, (that is have both a wife and a mistress, and unable to choose who he desires,) He also has a complex relationships with his own mother. As mentioned, the women weren't drawn out well: I didn't really get why Buddy's paternal grandmother detested his mother, or what happened to cause the father to leave in the first place?

Theme:

Secrets can be the straw that breaks camel's back

Plot:

The story is written in third person narrative completely from Buddy's point of view. While there are talented writers that can write novels from a single perspective, this one didn't do a very good job, at least for me. Buddy is someone I disliked intensely, and I had trouble understanding or even relating to him. I think if another point of view was added in, then I would have liked the story better. I also felt angry in trying to understand what was causing him to be self-destructive? There were way too many details, and while those can be a boon, in this case they seemed distractive in trying to understand the protagonist and why he acted the way he did. Also, what I didn't understand is that the dialogue is a bit weird: there are no quotation marks when it comes to some dialogue, while other dialogue is italicized. I'm unsure why it was done like that. I did like Buddy's father's dialogue with his mother.

Author Information:
(From TLC)


Thomas McNeelyAbout Thomas McNeely

A native of Houston, Texas, Thomas H. McNeely has received fellowships from the Wallace Stegner Program at Stanford University, the Dobie Paisano Program at the University of Texas at Austin, and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well from the MacDowell Colony, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Vermont Studio Center. His fiction has appeared in The AtlanticPloughsharesThe Virginia Quarterly Review, and Epoch, and has been anthologized in Algonquin Books’ Best of the South and What If?: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers. His non-fiction has appeared in Ninth Letter and The RumpusGhost Horse, winner of the 2013 Gival Press Novel Award, is his first book. He teaches in the Emerson College Honors Program and the Stanford Online Writing Studio, and lives with his wife and daughter in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Find out more about Thomas at his website.

Opinion:

While I admired the writing style and how there is some sort of line between reality and insanity that the author tip-toes I have to be honest that I have trouble liking it. On goodreads site, a reviewer mentioned that it would really benefit if there were multiple points of view instead of just one, and after reading it, I'm very apt to agree. Also, several words were repeated over and over on what seemed to be on every page which caused me to feel frustrated. Due to a certain scene at the very end involving main character and a dog, especially if you're a dog owner or an animal lover, I would exercise caution while reading it. I also have trouble articulating the summary because the back summary was misleading for me: basically Buddy's father comes back into his life and Buddy's life becomes topsy-turvy as he is forced to go to a wealthier school, has to learn secrets he'd rather not know, and try to cling to sanity amidst the lies and turmoil he is put through, although little by little he is fast becoming overwhelmed by the secrets and lies.

This is for TLC Book Tour

Thomas’ Tour Stops

Monday, October 13th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, October 14th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Thursday, October 16th: Fuelled by Fiction
Monday, October 20th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Tuesday, October 21st: Book Loving Hippo
Wednesday, October 22nd: Walking With Nora
Thursday, October 23rd: Readers’ Oasis
Monday, October 27th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Thursday, October 30th: Priscilla and Her Books
Thursday, October 30th: Book Wookie
3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Book Spotlight for The Dance of the Spirits by Catherine Aerie

Title: The Dance of the Spirits, 
Author: Catherine Aerie
Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis:

Spring 1951: it is the fiery zenith of the Korean War, a war that the youthful US Army lieutenant Wesley Palm and his men thought that they had won … until the Chinese swept across the Yalu River. Traveling with the million-man army bent on driving back the march of “American imperialism” is Jasmine Young, a Chinese surgeon who has volunteered herself into the war for unspoken, grave reasons. Through a chronicle of merciless battles, freezing winter, and the brutality and hypocrisy of human nature, the two will find themselves weaving through the twist and turns of fate and destiny, where an unquenchable passion, a resilient pursuit of liberty, and an inherent dignity light the darkness against the vast sky of a warring world and of nation and cultures that stand shattered and divided by the same forces that unify them.

About The Author: 
Catherine Aerie, a graduate from the University of California, Irvine with a master degree in finance. She was inspired to write “The Dance of the Spirits” while researching a family member’s role in the Korean War, deciding to revive an often neglected and overlooked setting in fiction and heighten the universality of resilient pursuit of love and liberty. Her debut novel was finished after about two years of research. She currently resides in southern California.
Website: www.catherineaerie.com
Amazon

Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-dance-of-the-spirits-catherine-aerie/1117019491?ean=9780989690928&itm=1&usri=9780989690928