RECENT REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS

  • Modern Machiavelli
    Troy Bruner
    Philip Eager
    I will start off by admitting that when I was asked to read and review this book I very nearly said no, because it had “Machiavelli” in the title. At a second glance I noticed that it also has the word “integrity” in the title. That got my attention: how on earth do these things sit together? My curiosity made me say: sure, send me the book….

    It arrived. From the first page I was gripped! Now I actually wish I had read this book a few decades ago. There are so many scenarios in this book I recognise completely: have been there… have done that… have expected others to respond a certain way …. they have responded in a baffling or hurtful way…. a way that makes no innate sense to me.

    Over the years I have spent hours (and drunk many a cup of tea) unraveling such “case studies” (scenarios) with close friends. Over time I have learned many things the hard way. I realized (slowly, painfully) that we project onto others the way we are ourselves. Example: if someone does me a favour I would always remember that and actively look for an opportunity to do something in return for that person. For that reason I expect others to follow this principle of reciprocity too. Over the years slowly discovered that some people do not think like that at all – they think a person like me is a pushover, or “once the goods have been received, don’t give it another thought!”

    This book joins up the dots. It explains why people behave the way they do and essentially claims that for all of us to be truly effective in life, we need to actually master a degree of strategy. There is no other way! We need to learn about managing conflict and understanding both the overt and covert behaviour of other people. We also need to get some kind of handle on the dynamics of (what the authors call) “interpersonal power”.

    Earlier I said that I wish I had read this book a few decades ago. The only problem is that my twenty-something year old self (less experienced, more idealistic even than I am today) would not have believed what the authors wrote. “She” would have considered this a slightly depressing and cynical book and put it aside. And then she would have ended up learning ,many of those lessons exactly the hard way I actually did. On reflection… I would definitely have been ready for this book 10 years ago, perhaps even 15…

    Reading this book there were so many occasions when a penny dropped and I thought: AHA!, So that was the dynamic at work when X,Y or Z occurred. The authors describe the situation perfectly – even if events unfolded in baffling or upsetting way for me.

    My verdict is: if you repeatedly encounter dynamics that undermine personal or professional relationships – and you are ready to try a different approach – get a copy of this book! Even if just one key relationship improves, or one professional disaster is avoided because you will be more aware of meta-communication (unspoken messages conveyed) and baffling rules of the social game – it will be well worth the purchase!

    This is a book I am going to keep at hand and return to. I would say: read the whole thing (so you know what is covered) and then start again trying the author’s suggeestions for some scenario that persistently causes you difficulty or stress. Often a change in behaviour will change the whole “tango” because people can no longer suck you into the same old way of doing things. That is where greater awareness and more effective communication and agreements can occur.

    Oh and just to be crystal clear: this book advices you to act within the parameters of your own integrity at all times! This book actually deals with ethics. But ultimately it tells you that to live a life where intregrity is a core value (and not be disillusioned into giving up on fellow humans or becoming a recluse in the desert) you actually need to master the issues of healthy personal and professional boundaries, strategy, perceiving the true motivation of others and having an arsenal of effective methods for handling common situations occurring in the work place (and even our social circle or families).

    Highly recommended!! ~ Imelda Almqvist, Pagan Pages

  • Modern Machiavelli
    Troy Bruner
    Philip Eager
    I found it engrossing. I could see the different personality types I work with and provided good examples of how to deal with different situations both at work and in everyday life. I have already put the advice to use and feel better for it. Definitely recommended. ~ Peter Diggins , NetGalley

  • Living Beyond Lyme
    Joseph J. Trunzo
    Living Beyond Lyme is a much-needed and extremely welcome book addressing a specific approach to helping those with chronic Lyme disease manage the psychological and interpersonal effects of this life-altering illness.
    Falling ill with chronic Lyme disease is very often a true medical nightmare. It is more typical than not for sufferers to be ping-ponged between a myriad of medical specialists before ever being given a proper diagnosis. Once diagnosed, which can take place years and even decades after the first symptoms appear, chronic Lyme sufferers are then plunged down the rabbit hole of medical treatment which is definitely not for the faint of heart.
    All this to say that being struck by this multi-system, neurological, immunosuppressive illness often causes sufferers no end of psychological and emotional struggles and requires a complete paradigm shift about many things including: being repeatedly being let down by the medical system; the ways in which friends and family may or may not ‘show up’ as needed; as well as the sufferer having no option but to dig deep to find their own wellspring of strength and resilience which is an absolute requirement for them to go the distance in their healing journey.
    In order to cope with this chronic illness, Lyme sufferers require a psychological framework that will help them address the myriad of symptoms that they must endure from moment to moment, hour to hour, day to day, as well as the loneliness, fear and isolation that Lyme disease often creates.
    In Living Beyond Lyme, author Joseph Trunzo, PhD, has provided us with a very important psychological framework which teaches mindfulness skills and a values-based understanding in order to help sufferers create a more integrated, accepting and supportive approach to co-existing and living more amicably with the daily pain and challenges of chronic Lyme disease.
    ~ Lori Dennis, M.A., Registered Psychotherapist, and author of Lyme Madness: Rescuing My Son Down The Rabbit Hole of Chronic Lyme Disease

  • Living Beyond Lyme
    Joseph J. Trunzo
    Living Beyond Lyme is an excellent addition to the Lyme disease library of those who have tick-borne illness in their families, as well as the doctors and mental health practitioners from whom these patients seek help. Dr. Trunzo’s extensive knowledge of Lyme disease and ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) provided the foundation upon which he developed a new and effective model for working with those who are suffering. I applaud him for the fine job he has done explaining this complex illness, and how ACT can help those who are attempting to cope with the functional issues that produce a second source of trauma for these patients. ~ Sandy Berenbaum, LCSW Co-author: When Your Child Has Lyme Disease: A Parent’s Survival Guide

  • Soccer Thinking for Management Success
    Peter Loge
    "Soccer is war" Rinus Michels, the famed Dutch soccer coach, once said. Peter Loge doesn't go that far, but offers a highly original take on what business can learn from the addictive stew of tactical genius, technical brilliance and raw emotions that make soccer the world's most beautiful game. ~ Friso van der Oord, Director of Research, National Association of Corporate Directors; author of Johan Cruyff, the American Years; aging soccer player and lifelong fan.

  • Soccer Thinking for Management Success
    Peter Loge
    Though it may not have been apparent at first, I quickly learned that many of the principles and skills I learned on the soccer field and in the locker room directly applied to my new life in an office, handling and managing some of the brightest people I've ever met. Peter's book seamlessly brings both worlds together and shows just how similar they can be. ~ Danny Karbassiyoon, Co-Founder , PLAYRMAKR and Total Soccer: Road to Glory, author of The Arsenal Yankee, first American to score at Arsenal

  • Soccer Thinking for Management Success
    Peter Loge
    You don’t have to be a soccer fan to appreciate the lessons from ‘Soccer Thinking for Management Success.’ This is a fun and interesting read that anyone who manages, or who one day wants to manage, will find helpful. ~ Hon. Henry F. De Sio, Jr., 2008 COO of Obama for America and author of Campaign Inc.: How Leadership and Organization Propelled Barack Obama to the White House

  • Strip
    Catlyn Ladd
    Catlyn Ladd gives us a compelling and dramatic view into the world of desire. Her journey, mind and body and heart, takes the reader into her experience as a voyeur without judgement and with critical insight. The book is raw, dangerous, sensitive, and real, like the life Ladd portrays. It reads like social science with a storyteller's heart. ~ Michelle Auerbach, author of The Third Kind of Horse and Alice Modern

  • Soccer Thinking for Management Success
    Peter Loge
    I tell my management students the same thing I tell my soccer teams – communicate, support each other, and hold each other accountable. Peter captures these lessons and more in ways that show how thinking like a soccer player can help professionals succeed. ~ Matt Winkler , Director, Sports Analytics & Management, American University and Founder, The Sports Events Marketing Experience (The SEME), youth coach

  • Strip
    Catlyn Ladd
    Strip: The Making of a Feminist provides a detailed account of Catlyn Ladd’s experience stripping over the course of five years. While like other autoethnographic accounts of the strip club industry, Ladd’s contribution to the genre involves her incorporation of feminist critique within a sex positive framework. Ladd skillfully explores the nuances of female sexual empowerment while evaluating her own experience as “empowered” within a racist, capitalist, hetero-patriarchal work environment and culture. She reveals that although stripping can empower some women, this empowerment exists within the context of broader social systems that grant certain women the privilege of empowerment. In other words, some women choose to strip out of desire, while others choose to strip out of need, or perhaps do not have a choice. These realizations help Ladd synthesize her experience into a tale of growth, whereby the reader begins with a basic introduction to the industry in Section I and is lead through Ladd’s growing feminist consciousness in the following sections. It is within these sections we see Ladd explore the contradictions of female sexual empowerment, but it is this exploration that reminds the reader of sex positivity’s significance for women in the United States.

    ~ Katherine Martinez, Ph.D., Author of Somebody's Fetish: Self-objectification and body satisfaction among consensual sadomasochists, Journal of Sex Res

  • Strip
    Catlyn Ladd
    Strip: The Making of a Feminist challenges the patriarchal stereotypes of sexual women as undereducated, manipulative, and exploited. Taking an intersectional approach that considers privileges and oppressions, Ladd offers both her personal history and academic perspective on sex work. This book is not only relevant to the changing landscape of 21st century feminisms, it is useful to all readers who wish to deconstruct their own perceptions of female sexuality. ~ Neil Cannon, Ph.D., LMFT

  • Vegan Ethic, A
    Mark Hawthorne
    As a vegetarian transitioning to a vegan lifestyle I found A Vegan Ethic extremely thought provoking, informative & comprehensive.

    The book goes so much further than dealing with diet & animal cruelty. The author, Mark Hawthorn also covers human rights and equality issues... something I hadn't really considered as part of my vegan transition.

    It has inspired me not only to stop eating the few animal products I occasionally consume (eggs, cheese, butter & honey) but to also be mindful about how & where my plant based foods come from.

    I would certainly recommend A Vegan Ethic to anyone who is interested in raising their awareness of cruelty & exploitation to all living creatures (non-human & human).

    ~ Ali Thornett, Top 200 Amazon Reviewer

  • Master Communicator's Handbook, The
    Teresa Erickson
    Tim Ward
    Society for Technical Communications Journal, Feb. 2017, Book reviews, page 77

    The Master Communicator’s Handbook was written by a “Master Communicator” and is for those who wish to become one. It is one of the few books out there that is concerned not only with getting your message across to your readers and listeners but also with having them act on it. As the authors state, “Communication is not about output [by the writer], it’s about impact [on the reader]” (p. 21).

    This book is not Communications 101. It isn’t concerned with K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Silly), readability formulas, or Joe Williams’ elegance. It is not about grammar. Plenty of books exist today for that. The Master Communicator’s Handbook is about how to write to your readers and listeners so that they don’t hit the Delete button before they get to the second paragraph or turn to their phones while you are speaking. It’s written so that you become a “powerful advocate for your cause and your organization . . . a catalyst for transformation” (p. 3). As the authors state in their introduction, their “approach to communications is based on clarity, leadership and impact” (p. 2).

    The Master Communicator’s Handbook is specifically written for those in organizations “dedicated to making the world a better place,” such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Society of Conservation Biology, the United Nations, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Bank, all clients of the two authors. The authors sprinkle in actual stories of their clients’ communication challenges and their solutions.

    I began examining this book thinking I would simply skim it, yet by Chapter 2, I was reading slowly and underlining and annotating new ideas, underlying
    concepts, and tips. It is a book that recognizes and stresses the need to write reader–based documents. That need has taken the authors, just as it has this reviewer, to study neuroscience to understand how we read, why we act, and what
    makes us act the way we do, and then apply these theories to our communications.

    Several chapters are specifically concerned with oral communication, speaking to both large and small groups. These include aspects that are seldom discussed, including answering questions and using symbols and icons. Most chapters, however, contain recommendations that are applicable to both oral and written communication. These, too, contain topics that are almost never covered in books on effective communication, including framing an argument, what the psychologists term cognitive cultural dissonance, transformational storytelling, and reframing (changing people’s positions on a topic}.

    Anyone working in a nonprofit or environmental organization can find much needed assistance for “changing the world” in The Master Communicator’s Handbook. I certainly did.

    Carolyn Boiarsky
    Carolyn Boiarsky, PhD, is an STC Associate Fellow and a 1998
    winner of the Frank R. Smith Award. She teaches in the English
    Department at Purdue University Northwest-Calumet Campus.
    Carolyn is the author of three books related to technical
    communication, the most recent being “Risk Communication and
    Miscommunication” (2016).
    ~ Carolyn Boiarsky, Society for Technical Communications Journal, Feb. 2017

  • Vegan Ethic, A
    Mark Hawthorne
    A very definitive body of work on animal activism and being vegan. I have been vegan for many years and always respected the work of Mark Hawthorne. In this book he extends our beliefs of being vegan to compassion for humans as well . I appreciate his content on animal torture and the meat industry. He examines why people out of ignorance and culture choose to remain meat eaters and gives them solid life affirming reasons for being vegan. As a strict vegan and animal advocate I found this book very informative and to be useful for anyone that wants to explore being vegan, acting with compassion and understanding the depravity and torture of the meat industry. This should be required reading for any animal activist. Thank you with gratitude for the ARC of this fine book. I will be purchasing several for gifts and one to remain as part of my activism library. The knowledge here is critical .
    Thank you for the ARC which did not influence my review.

    ~ Lori Read, NetGalley

  • Enough, Already!
    Heather Jayne Wynn
    Heather Wynn is on a mission to transform the conversation about women and fitness. She knows you can't hate your body into true health. Instead, through the practices in her do-it-yourself self-help guidebook "Enough, Already!: Finding Happiness Now in a World That Wants to Sell You Perfection Later", readers will learn to make sane and lasting health and physique changes and finally arrive at a place of peace and love -- a state to which you've been worthy all along. Heather's insightful anecdotes from her personal journey as well as her professional work with clients, help readers to clearly and insightfully recognize the absurdity of the expectations for our bodies that we allow outside influences to determine for us, and the type of lifestyle we think we need to live in order to be healthy and fit. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Enough, Already!: Finding Happiness Now in a World That Wants to Sell You Perfection Later" is as informed and informative as it is practical and inspiring. While very highly recommended for personal and community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Enough, Already!: Finding Happiness Now in a World That Wants to Sell You Perfection Later" is also available in a Kindle format ($7.99).

    ~ the self help shelf, midwest book review

  • Enough, Already!
    Heather Jayne Wynn
    This book has a message for everyone. Love ourselves for our challenges as well as our accomplishments. Just because someone is not challenged by the same difficulties, this does not make anyone better or worse. Love everyone and most importantly, be kind to yourself no matter what journey you are on. ~ Kathleen Fleming, NetGalley

  • Modern Machiavelli
    Troy Bruner
    Philip Eager
    Dr. Bruner and Philip Eager have provided a much needed treatise on the basic behavioral “laws” that all of us need to fully understand if we are to truly work together to solve the many issues facing society. This book is not designed to show you how to manipulate co-workers, friends and family members, but rather provides the reader with a strategic awareness of the many facets that may be in play when individuals interact, regardless of the situation. This book is a must for the reader who is interested in a layman’s dive into moral development and offers approaches through professional insight and examples how to uphold the “fairness” expectations that many of us have grown up with without compromising our core values that make us who we are. ~ David White, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Research, University of Tennessee

  • Modern Machiavelli
    Troy Bruner
    Philip Eager
    Modern Machiavelli: 13 Laws of Power, Persuasion and Integrity is a book that crosses the areas of business, psychology, self-help and ethics. It is a realist’s manual for effective persuasion and conflict management. ~ Christine Joo, Ed.D., Christine Joo Psychotherapy

  • Modern Machiavelli
    Troy Bruner
    Philip Eager
    Modern Machiavelli provides key insights and inspiration to propel your life dramatically forward! ~ William Eager, speaker, corporate strategist and best-selling author

  • Modern Machiavelli
    Troy Bruner
    Philip Eager
    Every person experiencing interpersonal conflict or cut-throat competition should read this book. I have personally benefited from Dr. Bruner's consultation and highly recommend his book. It is the opposite of psycho-babble: concrete, specific, and dynamic. ~ Robert W. Forster, President and CEO, Forster Financial

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