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.

Chase Greatness

Chase Greatness ISBN: 9781642251890 Advantage Media Group copyright and written by Rajeev Kaper.

The usual forward material is followed by ten chapters and concludes with the author’s list of Rules by which to successfully operate a business of the nature discussed. Following in a very scholarly but easily read presentation with one hundred and nine very pertinent references included at the end. Between these ‘book ends’ the author sets forth a rather new aspect of operating a successful business in the new milieu that has begun to development accompanied by ‘workers with a different’ attitude. Gradually advancing his thesis chapter by chapter, he first explores where you’ve been and where you need to go. Then proceeds into the importance of the new social movement and how today the American workplace is more diverse with younger people much more comfortable with their individual identities and teaches that leaders must be comfortable as well and must accept these changes in both sexes and all races. All must be allowed to make and learn from their own mistakes, within reason of course. New kids are at home with social media- twitter, Instagram, etc. Most managers are not. They grew up with TV, arcades, movie theaters. You must remember and strive to create Commitment!! He points out that Millennials want to be loyal to their companies. According to surveys, most would like to stay with them for at least 5 years but, they want to be part of a diverse and inclusive workplace that should extend to every level of the company. They love to see diversity at the top and need exposure to people different from the usual top level; also, if there is too much focus on “the Bottom Line”, there actually is an overall decrease in it. How diversified are you in your interests, acquaintances, thought patterns? You must think long term, not short. To create an enlightened company today, you must respect your people and motivate them to greatness. Culture is the critical component where employees must be happy at work and feel appreciated. And a company must be tailored to the employees’ specific abilities. The author provides an excellent personal example of being required to build a successful company structure in China, a country that went from Communist to part capitalistic and changed to importance of cash, credit cards. Country club, etc. He offers other examples of India, where personal status is top priority. He emphasizes that employees must feel secure, valued and even lucky to be working at that company – maybe because it as simple as being “the town or section in which to work”. Further stressed are the need to develop excellent communication skills and by all means, be sure that your personal behavior lives up to the image you have portrayed.

Discussion: This book should be a revelation for any individual entering the business world of today. It provides a remarkable look at today’s corporate structure as well as many thoughts about why so many businesses are struggling so desperately. This is a munt read and besides his final presentation of Rules by which to operate, one other comment that at least to this reviewer is a gem set forth stating: “People buy people, not products.

5* Must 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

THE COLOR OF RAIN

The Color of Rain ISBN: ISBN: 9781735749747 (eBook) Published by Winter Wheat Press, Copyright and written by John W. Feist.

The author describes the book quite completely and simply as “A Kansas Courtship in letters.” Literally, the book presents a series of letters by a man and a woman conducting a gradually increasing growth of personal interest in one another through correspondence couched in the most appropriate verbalization required by the mores of the society in which they lived in the later few years of the 1800s. The developing courtship encountered further restrictions stemming from the fact that Irene, the woman, was a close friend of the man Frank’s, dearly loved wife who passed away at a relatively early year of her life. The deepening relation easily is discernable as the correspondence proceeds through a lengthy period of time and eventually does reach fruition after a series of set-backs, some manufactured by Irene as well as by Frank’s vacillation with respect to ‘letting-go’ of his guilt feelings with regard to his former wife, now deceased for more than a couple of years and to his two young boys who were an issue from this happy marriage.

Discussion: the author has done an excellent job of presenting the situation as it would be enacted in this particular segment of time with the strict codes as lived in this area at this time. The pace indeed is slow and probably will not be acceptable to readers other than those who enjoy looking into a section of Americana as it existed for a lengthy time period. For readers who enjoy well-written vignettes of such periods of history, the author has provided an excellent book.

5* for a particular type of reader, as explained.

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

 

 

The Carry Out

The Carry Out ISBN: 97811736734209 Seacoast Press, copyright and written by Kali Gadomski.

The author has presented a most intriguing fictional tale centered upon a group of characters each of whom has lost a loved one in the disastrous destruction of the Twin Towers in New York City by the airplanes purposely flown into them on 9/11. It is a story primarily about this group of freshman high school students being thrown together by being in the same area by residence and their class and associated activities in which they indulge. The title of the book, is the name of the cleaning establishment that offers service to residents of the area and where much activity of the pertinent characters is discussed, often next action decided, frequently initiated and decisions made for future moves. The characters exhibit the complexity of thought that assails every growing person of these ages but are provided a further depth by the nature of each person’s singular loss, the story it entails, and the underlying ethnic considerations.

Discussion: The author has set forth an appealing, even somewhat riveting coming-of-age tale for young readers that adults also will discover to be most thought producing. Perhaps it may be considered rather ‘Pollyannaish’, but the characters are well ‘fleshed-out’ and nicely managed as their gradual growth ensues. Occasionally their patterns of activity, as well as their depths of thought, are difficult to accept as high school freshmen, but are acceptable in the situations that do exist. To provide further actual details would be a disservice to the prospective reader, so suffice it to say: the book presents valuable lessons to the young adult, and a fascinating read (with even thoughtful suggestions for the fully adult) reader.

5* for reasons set forth.

 

The Helpers

The Helpers Library of Congress # 2010902607 assumed published, copyright (2010) and written by S. E. Nelson.

This is “A (fictional) International Tale of Espionage and Corruption” set in the African Congo. It is a tangled web of activities involving primarily French and Belgium internationally military and diplomatic trained members of these governments assigned to espionage positions in this country. Numerous other individuals of English and various other nationalities also are involved in this quite intricately involved plot that explores and lays bare the power hungry rulers of Colonial times and presents a picture of how pervasive it was and of the possibilities of the existence of persistent remnants of similar activity. Several major characters are murdered along the way with a few making it through to the end, mainly a dedicated American Free-lance Journalist and her photojournalist partner, a small local schoolgirl and her mother, a British world health worker and his wife, a wily French Intelligence Officer and his protégé, also some of “The Helpers” – the powerful secret group that is responsible for the constant warfare and “ethnic cleansing” that constantly causes the mass murders repetitiously occurring and set in position by their minions. The action is non-stop from beginning to end, and even beyond because the story makes most clear the fact that the use and misuse of power is a never-ending commodity in world affairs with seemingly special emphasis on Africa and its abundance of natural resources

Discussion: The author has set forth an intriguing multi-genre thriller that includes mystery, suspense, a degree of romance and large quantities of distrust, betrayal, treachery, deception and deceit. It also includes strong demonstrations of empathetic behavior and well fleshed-out characters. The story begins with a “Brief Synopsis” explaining the Congo and their interrelationship with “The Helpers”, a “very powerful underground organization whose members include international businessmen and high priests (who) are determined to maintain a stronghold on the natural resources of Congo.” In all, it is a long story that still will hold most readers interest throughout, even though the frequent switches to different characters, their thoughts and activities, do add considerably to the rather abundant repetition and redundancy as the author has handled it sufficiently well that most will not find it too annoying.

4* Long, but hard to put down, fast-paced multi-genre book, with noted slight flaws.