Good and Dead

Good and Dead is a book copyright and written by E. L. Pini. It has been published by Producer & International eBook Publishing and sub-titled (An Avner Ehrlich Thriller Book 2) The translation from Hebrew is by Tal Keren.

The story begins in a manner well described to set the tenor for the entire story, or stories. It unfolds in an old rusted building situated in a seedy park outside of Moscow where a no-holds-barred wrestling match is in progress. The end of each match is declared when the ‘referee’ declares the loser “Good and Dead”. A young well-muscled Yuri Rasputin enters the ring shortly after the last loser has been removed and meets the huge reigning champion whom he cleverly eliminates by using a well-hidden blade. The reader does not again meet Yuri until about halfway into the book where he again appears as a major character in the deadly political chess game being waged and a dedicated enemy of our main protagonist, Avner Ehrlich. Avner, although in his thirties and with the physical results of many combative encounters in the field, once again has been sent on a mission. This time to Tehran to eliminate an Iranian nuclear scientist. This elimination is considered crucial to survival for Israel and possibly part of the rest of this section of the world. Complications develop and he is ordered to abandon the mission but in his usual manner ignores the order. Finally working his way into position for a direct sure shot at Hamdani when the man’s young son comes running into the line of fire. He does not take the shot, returning home through a dangerously tortuous series of maneuvers. Ehrlich takes responsibility for the debacle and is dismissed from duty and placed on leave for disobeying orders.

Because his intuitive abilities make him almost indispensable, he is called back quite quickly because Hamdani reportedly now is involved with Colonel Yuri Rasputin of the Russian Military in naval activity where a stealth submarine has been armed with a mega nitrogen bomb that although purportedly headed for Syria, actually is believed as being designated for Israel. Obviously it is imperative to destroy the bomb or Israel will cease to exist.

Discussion: This Book 2 of what is developing as a quite fascinating series appears to delve deeply into the games played by the many minds involved in this international political maneuvering, as well as providing details of the steps an organization such as Mossad must take to counter and survive. The one feature that may be open to question by the more pragmatic reader is his physical ability to react in the manner he does with the number of severe injuries he has suffered, e.g.; three slipped discs, plus possibly the frequency with which a man in Ehrlich’s position  must be saved from death by activity of others. However, the author has introduced a psychological element into Ehrlich’s physical/mental emotional composition that is compelling and quite unique to discover in persons involved in this line of work. So generally speaking, the true devotee of well-written thrillers will find this book as intriguing and enjoyable as any, and probably better than most, presentations in this genre.

5*Well-paced, beautifully written thriller highly recommended.

Beyond Balancing the Books

Beyond Balancing the Books by George Marino is provided with a more complete title following several relatively brief, but pertinent “Words of Praise” written by individuals respected as knowledgeable within this area of endeavor: The new entire title, Beyond Balancing the Books Sheer Mindfulness for Professionals in Work and Life, is followed by a rather lengthy disclaimer including (“The information in this book is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians or other healthcare providers” and more…) ISBN: 9781736380208 (e) “Published in conjunction with One Heart Coaching, LLC.” Then in turn, is an invitation to Download Your Bonus Companion Guide to Beyond Balancing the Books which is a nine-page bonus guide to aid you in applying the book’s principles to your daily work life. The following Table of Contents consists of a listing of introspective analyses with respect to work as a CPA and evaluating individual elements of various aspects of personal health gradually moving into Chapter structure with #1 Getting Started with Mindfulness Practice beginning an incorporation of Meditation and other ‘helpers’ to achieve incorporation in its totality so as to find it ‘as not something you do, but rather becomes a way of life you live completely’. It will help you manage stress along with breathing exercises, ability to learn how to recognize your present, how to begin, and steps to follow. to attain the level of relaxation you wish to attain (How to get to the “Deeper Level” experience, you need to focus attention and for this you must choose how you will focus – by visual, auditory or tactile senses.) Also you must develop your Acute Sense Perceptions so you can focus on the present moment and acquire an open awareness- of what is going on in your mind and body. But at the same time be sure it is a not judgmental.

The rest of the ten chapters follow the same path of instruction until a final presentation About the Author and Appendices provide an extensive list of reading for each chapter and bring the book to its conclusion.

Discussion: The author has put together a distinctly different instructional book concentrating on business accounting, accountants, and a projected manner in which they may survive the tensions encountered in its pursuit and enjoy the resulting ‘fruits of their labor’. The unusual opening structuring of the presentation, combined with the trend set forth by the comments made by the opening series of comments and the unusual, specifically directed disclaimer provide the instant recognition of the book’s direction. However, it is not until the reader begins to absorb the author’s message that it is begun to be absorbed. Basically, it is one advocating constant introspective analysis with evaluation of the messages received and incorporation of the better portions discovered while employing “Core components of mindfulness attention and noticing, open awareness, acknowledgement of an acceptance, detachment, conscious choice, and the necessity to create ‘quiet time.’” Often necessitating use of whatever form of meditation the person finds to be effective.

Summary: The author has offered a book that from this reviewer’s perspective is markedly unusual for readers of this area of endeavor. However it deserves far more than a passing glance because of the myriad pertinent ideas the author has set forth from his extensive association with his profession and the many associated activities thereof.

4* 5* for concerned readers and important suggestions for all.  .

Leviathan Rising

Leviathan Rising A USS Bull Shark Naval Thriller, Book Two, published and copyright by Scott W. Cook and Spindrift Press and written by Scott W. Cook.

The author has set forth a thriller following the engagement of two submarines during the American Japanese hostilities of WWII. The vessels are constructed quite differently from those routinely composing the fleets of these two opponents. Each has been constructed with features providing aid to allow them to provide destruction to the other while on the surface rather than in the usual below surface manner of function. Added are an underling problem between the captain and his executive officer; a prominent member of the crew who is a drug user/dealer; the man’s accomplices, one of who has provided information to the authorities; Japanese and American spies, counter spies and or double agents; all gathered together to determine the condition of the other’s surrendered ship.

Discussion: Not having read the first volume, this is a seemingly plot driven tale with little background of the characters, but an intriguing, fast moving story that presents a most enjoyable few hours of reading.

5* Enjoyable read

Apotheosis Now. Rabbit Hole to the Beyond

 

Apotheosis Now. Rabbit Hole to the Beyond assumed published copyright and written by Yanhao Huang.

Description/Discussion: The author seems to have aspired to set forth another pseudo-philosophical discussion on how to face life and the situations encountered with a basic need to discover “Do you want happiness or success?” He further hypothesizes that the answer is happiness and yet he points out how often, even if success is attained, how often happiness still is missing. Or that a goal reached results in only a short period of happiness and another goal must be obtained. This in turn, leads to a need to question even the basest suggestion that comes to mind and leads to extended introspection. In the author’s beliefs, these appear to be somewhat heavily affected by Asian religious philosophy, but generally lead to attempts to discover who he is? What are his true goals? Is a deity’s inclusion in the mix? And other similar questions.

The reason this particular review opens with a note as to the authors approach to a confusion that seems to be occurring more frequently because it is the 3rd approach to the subject I have read recently, the last just a little more than a week ago. Thus, to render a personal evaluation, as expected from reviewers, this book offers another dissertation on a subject that appears to be of rising interest in today’s reading population. It offers another interesting approach for the confused individual to read, evaluate along with the other approaches offered, and arrive at a decision with which he/she can live.

5* As discussed

Arnolfini Art Mysteries 2

Arnolfini Art Mysteries 2 ISBN: 978190053059 (eBook), an imprint of Digital Vista written by Rich DiSilvio.

The author has set forth for the prospective reader a most interesting series of mysteries ranging from almost priceless pieces of art to prominent architectural structures. The protagonist is a private investigator whose vocation/avocation is to appraise the authenticity of these objects for Museums and other interested individuals/groups who are willing to pay the expenses as well as the fees for which such unique ability is rendered. The first of the investigation the protagonist, Armand Arnolfini, describes in this book is of the authenticity of the long-lost Leonardo daVinci’s “Leda and the Swan” which his father maneuvers him into doing after setting-up Armand’s marriage to Andrea St. John, a young woman he found to be able to replace an irreplaceable wife who he had passed away a few years earlier. The marriage took place in a storied castle in Belgium with a list of attendees that was a list of the elite of the art world. From this initial offering the story travels through a number of other investigations of prominent pieces of art, buildings associated with architect/artists and then to a fascinating tale about the at one time tallest architectural structure in the world, the Woolworth building in the United states.

Discussion: the descriptions provided by the author are replete with details of an opulent manner of life only imagined by most as well as fascinating details of the varied and often serendipitous path these investigations can take. The amount of fiction included within the body of this work only can be judged by how much the reader knows about the art and architectural world and those who participate and/or have participated through the centuries. Definitely a rivet and ‘must read’ for anyone interested in investigations and especially for those having any interest and/or curiosity about art and architecture.

5* Riveting if interested in investigative art and/or architecture.

What if one and one is not two?

What if One plus One is not Two? by daniel r. mcmullan

From the very opening the author has provided a rather unusual book. It begins with a pre-pre-introduction “to provide definitions of writing-related words and clarity the “nonstandard” aspects of the format of writing that I will be using to write this book. If you are a human that reads writings in the English language “often”, then I recommend that you skip the pre-introduction, begin reading the introduction and simply refer back to the pre-introduction for writing-related word definitions and writing-format clarifications as needed. His explanation is that he will be providing definitions of many words and sets thereof that he thinks might be defined in a different way that he prefers to use and perhaps a manner that may introduce a ‘different’ manner in which to observe them. He provides examples in detail. These instructive chapters are followed by the main theme of questioning the world on various levels from his perspective of examining the veracity of the premises under which we live and whether they really are correct? Or are we accepting what we believe to be realities when actually they are not based on proven fact? Or do we really wish to live in this manner?

Discussion: The author has set forth a most interesting theme and discussed it from numerous aspects. Admittedly, transition from one’s ‘normal’ way of reading to adoption of the author’s concept takes time and admittedly is cumbersome in many ways as well as ‘over-simplified” in others. Some may well enjoy such seemingly ‘deep’ philosophical discussion, while other, perhaps more pragmatic individuals, will look upon this book with a certain amount of distain. Thus, and understandably, it is a book that probably will be read and assigned a widely ranging level of acceptance.

3* as discussed.

 

Mailstrom: Part II (Ryan Cunningham Book 2) by Rip Converseip

Maelstrom: Part II (Ryan Cunningham Book 2) Kindle Edition  by Rip Converse.

 The first book in this series was quite well-written. The characters are credible, even in highly dramatic scenes of being involved in a believably violent storm in the middle of the ocean. When the protagonist’s relatively small but seaworthy sail boat housing him and his adopted family is attacked by a large modern ocean going power boat seemingly owned by a South American cartel member, admittedly the reader may become a little ‘uneasy’. The story continues in this first part of the trilogy with the owner continuing to battle the elements and simultaneously the drug/alcohol saturated power boater as well. Part I  ends when the protagonist is rescued after losing  his boat, money and one of his adopted family and is  returned to his port of origin to be aided by close friends. This transition occurs for the reader by provision of 2 chapters of Part II, as the conclusion of Part I. The plot for this second portion of the story develops when the cartel member actually turns the situation into a personal vendetta against the former sailboat owner, now living ashore with what is left of his adopted family, the adult female of which having been again returned to her drug/alcohol habit. He meets a State Trooper who has had similar experiences with drug dealers and convinces the returned land dweller to accompany him in an effort to deal with this unrelenting miscreant. Part II again ends by introducing the reader to chapters of the next book in the series

Discussion: This time, for this reader, there did not seem to be sufficient credibility or interest in the story to purchase the next volume. It was regrettable, but the ‘uneasy feeling’ developed earlier in reading the first book continued its gradual decline of credibility in the tale. It really was quite disappointing because the original plot proceeded with so many possibilities including knowledgeable descriptions of sail boats, the seas and psychological possibilities underlying the entire project. Much beautifully described activity based upon genuinely believable details of boating and psychological attitudes and reactions was sufficient to lead to purchase of the second book but disappointingly, this particular reader did not believe there was sufficient hope for a return to the author’s basic knowledgeable early plot to progress further.

2* regrettably at best for this individual reader, as described.

Crisis Averted

CRISIS AVERTED PR Strategies to “Protect your Reputation and the Bottom Line” ISBN: 9781642252576 Published by Advantage Media, copyright and written by Evan Nierman.

The author opens the book with an introduction: A Crisis Averted Followed by PART I: An Introduction to Crisis PR, and four chapters; PART II: Bad Things Happen to Everyone with 3 chapters; PART III: Crisis Control and 4 more chapters. An Afterword closes the presentation.

“This profession centers upon high-stakes and high-profile situations that are hard to forget but are often best handled quietly without the world ever knowing or truly understanding what took place behind the scenes” and explains the procedure employed here. The author explains that good crisis management requires an empathetic individual who is cognizant of all the possibilities involved in all aspects and is a master of nuances when dealing with the situation. “Your client’s success can often hinge upon those subtle distinctions in the way you frame arguments, describe situations, and talk about companies.” You must know your subject matter!!

You also need to be willing to go help even though the call comes in the middle of a family reunion, or other you’re enjoying. You need to be able to converse comfortably with a high profile CEO as well as a blue collar worker and if the guy you’re trying to bail refuses to listen to you be willing to walk away. You also take the job because you believe in the guy who needs help and be willing to fight nasty opponents including reporters.

“A crisis is anything that is going to give people an inaccurate negative view of you or your company. If that is the situation in which you find yourself, then you had better not retreat into your shell, because it is not going to protect you. Instead, take a positive step toward keeping your reputation intact and discuss your circumstances with a crisis counselor.” No longer can you simply tell the truth, you must press for the truth!!! You often must think fast, act fast and even talk fast.

The number of people you are going to physically meet is a finite number, but with internet the number is billions and you are going to be painted as they wish, unless you PRESS for the truth to be seen AS YOU WANT TO BE SEEN! “Share with care and Post with Purpose”

Before facing any crisis situation, “formulate a clear and positive message”. Without such a clearly defined message it is “impossible to communicate powerfully without clearly articulating a primary message!”

Discussion: The author has set forth a book on how to deal with an unexpected crisis in a straightforward, easily understood manner that has gained kudos from numerous CEOs as well as individuals in other positions of importance in need of Crisis Control. The book is heavy on the importance of what the author’s particular team can offer that may be superior to that provided by others. However, in this reviewer’s estimation, it is a justifiable emphasis because of the breadth of his experience in a large number of areas and situations that crises frequently occur. This particular book is well worth reading for anyone and a must for anyone who has the misfortune to be involved in this situation.

5* Highly recommended read for all; a must for anyone involved.

Andy: Origins

ANDY: ORIGINS ISBN: 9781950547333 assumed published, copyright and written by Dirk Walvoord.

The story is fiction. The book opens with a quotation excerpted from Cyrus Bergen’s “The Theory of Likeability (Univ. of Northwest Press). If one can identify the things that a person likes and can consciously do those things and if one can also identify the things that a person does not like and consciously avoid those things, then one can make himself (or herself) likeable.” The plot follows the attempt by a university to coerce one of their brilliant staff professors to imbue a robot with these character traits. He is selected because he exhibits them personally, making him in great demand as a guest lecturer. Trouble ensues when the manufacturer who supplies the money to the University for the Project begins to work with, but also against, the institution’s Dean to provide other AIs to replace the personable professor.

Discussion: This is a highly credible plot from the standpoint that it has existed for many years when highly intelligent and investigative minds within universities are tempted, or actually are, coerced by their Deans and other administrators to accept grant money to further the university’s income from manufacturers to provide input into their projects. The new ‘twist’ is that this particular project entails development of lifelike robots as assistants that are ‘all things’ to their main ‘master’. The book is well-written, although perhaps a little confusing when the chicanery begins, by an author who is knowledgeable of his subject.

5* Application of a new plot ‘twist’ to a long-existent practice.

The End of an ERA

The END of an ERA, Diverse Thoughts From 100+ years of LIving ISBN: 9781636925639 Newman Springs Publishing copyright and written by John H. Manhold.

For readers who regularly visit my website, I am sure this is something different than what you expected to find. Specifically I should like to alert you to the imminent publication of this author’s latest book, The End of an Era. Final print copy is scheduled to be released for distribution and sale in print (soft cover) by next week, followed by an e-book, and an audible version shortly thereafter.

Briefly, it presents comparative observations of various aspects of life as it began shortly after WW I and progressed through the multitudinous changes that evolved as the years crept by “in there petty pace from day to day” through the year 2020 and the early part of 2021. The century’s changes overall have been accumulating for millennia – only recently the rate of acceleration has changed to a pace even faster than during the Industrial Revolution. The past one hundred years has moved from a time when a man’s handshake was binding, and a resident of the then United States of America was free to indulge in, and could attain top-level accomplishments in any number of fields, to the present era where an amazing amount of control is occurring. In 1919 there was no TV, Jet flight, DNA, Cloning, computers, huge technological companies attempting to correlate and direct an individual’s thought pattern and direction. Even general ownership of radios did not exist (my father, an electrical engineer, built our first ‘Crystal Set’). But perhaps on an even more personal level. What has happened to empathy? How frequently do you encounter understanding of a problem? Instead, is your boss or other “uncaring” person too occupied to even listen to what you are saying? Or if the person listens, how much is he/she really hearing? The last study of attention span of humans I found was 8.1 seconds, which is comparable to that reported of a goldfish. Have you noticed how rapidly advertisements change on TV? How rapidly people speak these days? When answering the phone, you immediately are addressed by a recorded message? What has happened to loyalty? Whom do you really believe you personally can trust?

Dependence upon machines, computers, and artificial intelligence is our way of life. Its pace and the quantity of material required to be gathered and stored has grown far beyond existing capabilities. Regrettably, no choice exists but to continue while opening our lives to any and every one because no computer made to date is immune to hacking.

The 1919–2021 period of change has been of sufficient magnitude even to be equated with the now almost forgotten Renaissance, an era of total upheaval in the mores of society was occurring that escalated to almost  unimagined levels in communication, transportation, housing, clothing, morals, matters of entertainment, patterns of thought—everything. Amusingly perhaps, also a time that has been compared with my unusual, highly varied life activities and often accompanied with suggestions—actual pressure—to publish them.

Until now, I have refused. Producing another exercise in self-serving egocentricity that few other than family and a few acquaintances might like to read always has seemed gauche until recently a young intern remarked that the opportunities I was offered no longer existed.  I was fortunate in that my career developed during a period when investigative opportunities were numerous and ability to meet and exchange ideas with notable people easily occurred. The conversation began an introspective progression of thoughts that led to my reconsideration and although I have not acquired any status as a celebrated professional athlete, revered statesman, honored warrior, or even received extensive media coverage as a celebrated stage or cinematic performer, I have gained a certain level of recognition in several areas that have provided me with an opportunity for worldwide travel and intimate time spent with people of many different cultures. Thus evolved the intention here to describe my serendipitous journey in an obvious and/or easily verifiable manner, and as it occurred with observations on the era differences and an intent to offer impressions gained through these years spent with many people of different, or possibly similar but somehow “different” mores as they change with time. Also, I should like to impart some of the insight (?) gained that could offer takeaway thoughts for others.

Generally speaking, there is little interest in the past. Few read history with the lessons that it teaches, and even historical novels are passé. This book sets forth a contrasting picture between the 1900s and the present century. It is one man’s story by a man who has lived through those 100+ years and set forth in his words as the events are remembered and written with obvious and/or referenced substantiation. You might discover features and/or circumstances that elicit personal thought(s).

John H. Manhold