RECENT REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS

  • 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

  • Modern Machiavelli
    Troy Bruner
    Philip Eager
    This is a book about how to swim with the sharks while living like a dolphin. It provides a unique mix of cunning and integrity - as if Machiavelli and Stephen Covey got together and wrote a book on the rules for living. Without being either pessimistic or cynical, the book deals with some hard truths about human nature that we ignore at our peril. The authors’ advice is both practical and tactical on topics such as dealing with conflict, office politics, difficult personalities, and not letting others take advantage of you. Master these techniques and you’ll be adept at handling the worst in others, while strengthening what's best in yourself. ~ Tim Ward, author of Indestructible You and The Master Communicator’s Handbook

  • Preparing for a World that Doesn't Exist - Yet
    Rick Smyre
    Neil Richardson
    This summer I was fortunate to have a book I had been waiting for become available, so I could sink my teeth into it. That book is Preparing for a World That Doesn’t Exist – Yet. It was written by my friends and colleagues from the Communities of the Future, Rick Smyre and Neil Richardson. Rick and Neil start out by making the case that the world is changing rapidly and that it is having profound impacts on our governance, economy, education and health system, and our communities. They further provide insight on how the systems we have relied on for the past few hundred years to transition from an agricultural society, to an industrial society, to a knowledge society for governance and wealth creation, are no longer working. These systems worked well when change was less rapid and more predictable and the economy relied on scaling-up and creating efficiencies. However, with the advance of digital technologies, distributed production, and globalization, change occurs too rapidly to be predictable beyond the very short-term. Thus, old and even current processes and techniques of strategic planning, forecasting, evaluation, and measurement are becoming less useful for understanding the economy and society. Rick and Neil lay a framework for building capacities for community transformation so that in our communities, regions, organizations and networks we can work to create new systems for governance, learning, and the economy. This new framework includes searching for “weak signals” about the future and rather than attempting to predict them, thinking about how we might prepare for them. It also includes developing new leadership that that is comfortable with the chaos and complexity of the unknown and unpredictable, and helping to support multiple networks of people to learn, deliberate, and act together. I am excited about this book as it incorporates work that I have collaborated on with Rick Smyre in our article: Searching for a New Dynamic: Rethinking Economic Development in which we discuss early concepts of a new Creative Molecular Economy and the need for change in economic development. Over the next year, I will be working to update that article and body of thinking and will be utilizing Preparing for a World that Doesn’t Exist – Yet as a guide. ~ Jim Damicis, Camoin Associates

  • Preparing for a World that Doesn't Exist - Yet
    Rick Smyre
    Neil Richardson
    In their new book, Preparing for a World that Doesn’t Exist—Yet: Framing a Second Enlightenment for Communities of the Future, Rick Smyre and Neil Richardson address that lacuna. They fill it with worthy insights for community leaders who want to think and plan now for a world being overturned by technology and its effects. The authors are persuasive in their reminder that since communities are where change is implemented and felt, it is in communities where a transformation in leadership and planning must take place. As they point out, reforms do not actually change systems, only transformations do.

    Full review: http://strategic-narrative.net/blog/2016/06/book-review-communities-of-the-future-could-flourish-amid-technological-change-heres-how/ ~ Amy Zalman, Strategic Narrative

  • Preparing for a World that Doesn't Exist - Yet
    Rick Smyre
    Neil Richardson
    All in all, both for advocates of change and, in particular, wisdom writers who wish to see the future of humanity more centrally guided and informed by wisdom, the new book by Rick Smyre and Neil Richardson is an important and valuable contribution and resource. The authors attempt to build their vision of a new society upon both a historically informed perspective and contemporary scientific thought. At a very practical level, realizing the essential social-community dimension of human life and effective change, they provide a great deal of useful information and guidance on how to instigate and implement informed and thoughtful social transformation, along numerous dimensions of human reality. For wisdom writers and change advocates, there is often a disconnect between the presentation of elevating ideas and their actual social impact and effective implementation. Smyreʼs and Richardsonʼs book is a guidance system for moving from idea to action and actual social change. ~ Tom Lombardo, Ph.D, Center for Future Consciousness and The Wisdom Page

  • Enough, Already!
    Heather Jayne Wynn
    It's good to find a book where a coach enlists all her mistakes instead of pushing us to be better like she is, I found it illuminating and closer to my experience as a person and as a psychotherapist - I liked this book a lot.

    ~ Maria Cristina Nardini , GoodReads via NetGalley

  • Master Communicator's Handbook, The
    Teresa Erickson
    Tim Ward
    You have a presentation to do? A speech to give in front of an audience? An article or a text to write and you want it to have an impact? Then, this book is great for you.
    Great to read if you want to boost your confidence and convey better your ideas. ~ Lucie Fuentes, New Books On My Shelves

  • Vegan Ethic, A
    Mark Hawthorne
    Mark Hawthorne is right to point out that “going vegan is a great first step, but it’s only the beginning”, urging readers “to take into account the lives of everyone, regardless of their species, race, colour, gender, sexual identity, or other social construct (and to) make choices that benefit not only ourselves, but those with whom we share this planet”, identifying this as “what it means to live a vegan ethic”. Although the author’s vision of “a vegan ecosystem in which we can grow a thriving new world” may be hopelessly idealistic, we should appreciate his reminding us that animal rights isn’t the only cause worth striving for. ~ Paul Appleby, Editor, OxVeg News

  • Beyond the Furthest Edge of Night
    Cliff Gogh
    Beyond the Furthest Edge of Night Review
    By Cliff Gogh
    Published by Changemakers Books
    Reviewed by Ally Barber, an intern for Dreaming Big Publications

    ABOUT THE BOOK

    To quiet his existential horror, a brooding young man seeks to understand life. Cliff Gogh is out in the dark, a solitary ghost examining himself in the night, with all of his mental faculties directed toward the intangible, pain, darkness, despair, fearlessness, love, and the incomprehensibly vast.

    Genre: Memoir
    120 Pages

    MY REVIEW
    4 out of 5 stars

    In this powerful memoir, Cliff Gogh provides the audience with a profound look into his psyche as he mentally explores himself and his life. Beyond the Furthest Edge of Night is a fascinating look into the mind and life of an interesting and quite troubled young man. The author’s writing style immediately sucks the reader in, leaving them eager for more and to continue reading. Gogh truly has a talent and a way with words that he skillfully uses to capture and keep the attention of his audience. Though Gogh is quite a brooding and apparently troubled person, it is not hard for the reader to feel a sense of kinship with him as he considers things that haunt almost of us – our relationships with others, our purpose in life, and the impact of our own actions on ourselves.

    Beyond the Furthest Edge of Night is a beautiful and endlessly interesting work. That being said, if one is unable to truly ‘get into’ the book and appreciate it for what it is, it could be easy for one to label it as overdramatic. Honestly, the language does seem a bit overdone or too ‘flowery’ at times. However, this does not detract from the beauty of it. Overall, Cliff Gogh’s Beyond the Furthest Edge of Night is an absorbing and beautiful work.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Cliff Gogh is an observer of life with a unique psychological and spiritual outlook regarding the deeper unconditioned nature of being. His background is one of travel, wandering, and mountain treks. His work, which has spanned over twenty years of self-searching and reflection, is an effort to both candidly reveal his own inner landscape and highlight the way the being can be open to other beings.

    Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for writing a review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own. ~ Kristi King-Morgan, Dreaming Big

  • Vegan Ethic, A
    Mark Hawthorne
    This was so very informative and yet so short. It gives you just enough information as to have a clear vision of how the meat and dairy industry works and the main reasons why people become vegan. Really liked it! ~ Anna Maria, NetGalley

  • Master Communicator's Handbook, The
    Teresa Erickson
    Tim Ward
    Absolute must read book for anyone serious about communicating their ideas to others. Extremely well written with numerous real life scenarios.

    The authors define simple strategies that can be used to communicate in numerous settings, virtually anywhere that you need to push an idea or thought across to an audience.

    They cover everything from being clear on your own vision to how to grab the attention of others so that they are receptive to really listening and understanding the points you are communicating. For those of use in teaching positions or administrators of online groups this book is a must have reference material.

    I can see so many possibilities for the use of these techniques for my own business and personal life as well. This book is already a favorite of mine. If you haven't read it, stop what you are doing and order it immediately! It will change the way you present yourself and your ideas to others in a very positive way. ~ Gina Francesca, The Fairy Intuitive, Via NetGalley http://thefairyintuitive.blogspot.com/2016/08/absolute-must-read-book-for-anyone.html

  • Vegan Ethic, A
    Mark Hawthorne
    A Concise and Compelling Introduction to Veganism and Intersectionality


    Despite what 30+ years of PETA campaigns would have you believe, ethical veganism is not inherently incompatible with human rights. In fact, many of us vegans believe (passionately!) that the opposite is true, thanks to the concept of intersectionality.

    First introduced by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, intersectionality is the idea that different forms of oppression don’t exist in a vacuum, but rather interact with one another. For example, Crenshaw coined the term to explain the myriad ways that racism and sexism interact, thus acknowledging that the oppression experienced by black women (“misogynoir”) is unique from and arguably more complicated than that experienced by black men or white women. The concept has since expanded to include all marginalized groups: women; people of color; immigrants; LGBTQ folks; those living with a physical or mental disability; sex workers; religious minorities; children and the elderly; the impoverished; and nonhuman animals.

    While the animal rights movement has been a little too slow (imho) to incorporate the idea of intersectionality into its activism (see, e.g., PETA’s many problematic campaigns, not to mention their vociferous defenders), more and more vegans are expanding their circle of compassion to include human animals. In his third book, A VEGAN ETHIC: EMBRACING A LIFE OF COMPASSION TOWARD ALL, Mark Hawthorne makes a concise yet compelling case for intersectionality and inclusivity. His argument is actually quite simple: “If veganism is about doing your best to not harm any sentient life, we must logically extend that circle of compassion to human animals as well.” What more is there to say?

    Quite a lot, actually! The connection between animal rights, human rights, and the environment is a complex and exciting topic that could easily fill a twenty-four volume, encyclopedic set (and then some!). So it’s no small feat that the author managed to boil it down to a mere 171 pages. Less, even: The Q&A section commences at the 66% mark, leaving precious little space to the chapters on animal rights, veganism, human rights, the environment, and putting it all together. (See the TOC below.)

    Yet he puts it to excellent use, exploring the many ways that the oppression of animals intersects with that of humans and the degradation of the environment. “Vegan” doesn’t always mean “cruelty-free,” for example; while it’s true that some of the worst abuses occur in slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants – where workers are forced to dismember animals, many of them fully conscious, at breakneck speed; often for little pay and without bathroom breaks, even; and considering that this violence is often carried home, resulting in increased rates of domestic violence and alcoholism among workers – those who pick our fruits and vegetables are also mistreated, abused, overworked, underpaid, coated with toxic chemicals, and sexually harassed and raped. In South America, the lands of Indigenous Americans (and the homes to countless nonhuman animals, some of who belong to endangered species) are stolen and cleared to grow soybeans (most of which is fed to cows); in Borneo, it’s palm oil. Likewise, chocolate is often produced through slave labor, particularly that of children.

    Food is an obvious avenue of exploration, but Hawthorne casts his net much wider: the prison-industrial complex and school-to-prison pipeline; the objectification of women (and the sexualization of meat and nonhuman animals); Black Lives Matter; cultural appropriation and the insensitive “borrowing” of imagery and slogans from other social justice movements; ecofeminism and the roots of patriarchy; the colonialist origin of zoos; and the link between interpersonal violence and animal abuse are just a few of the topics he touches upon. Hawthorne ends the main portion of the book with a look at coalition building and ideas for how vegans can reach across the aisle to find common ground with other progressive movements.

    A VEGAN ETHIC is by no means exhaustive, not is it meant to be. Rather, it’s more of a broad-scope introduction to the idea that veganism is intersectional, too. While I would have liked to have seen a longer and more extensive conversation, I also see how the diminutive size of the book might better appeal to more cautious or timid readers. It’s a small investment, time-wise, but boy does it pack a punch!

    Hawthorne addresses his appeal to two groups: vegans (who maybe haven’t given much thought to human rights), and everyone else (though a general predisposition to social justice is assumed). When an author targets such disparate groups, there’s a real danger of spreading yourself too thin and not properly serving either group. (This was my primary complaint with Melanie Joy’s WHY WE LOVE DOGS, EAT PIGS, AND WEAR COWS: AN INTRODUCTION TO CARNISM and MAKING A KILLING: THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF ANIMAL RIGHTS by Bob Torres. As a vegan, I’m already familiar with the horrors of animal agriculture. Let’s skip over that so you can tell me more about the psychology of carnism / anti-capitalism and anarchism, please!) Yet I think he did a really good job of balancing the two, as well as combining and distilling them into a cohesive argument.

    THAT SAID, of course there were certain things he omitted that would have went in my own (dream world) version of the book. Using Holocaust imagery to promote veganism is offensive to many people, but it’s also inaccurate to call what’s happening to cows, pigs, and chickens in animal agriculture “genocide”. Genocide is “the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group”; and it certainly isn’t animal ag.’s goal to exterminate “food animals,” since that would impact their bottom line. (The treatment of wolves in the Western United States, on the other hand…)

    And while it’s true that many domestic violence shelters don’t accept companion animals – with tragic results – some are starting to come around. I’d like to add “donate or volunteer to foster for a DV shelter” to the appendix! I volunteer for one of two such programs in the Kansas City area, and I cannot tell you how rewarding (and fun!) it is (babysitting dogs? sign me up!). Fostering animals who already have humans is also a great alternative for those who, like me, are apt to want to adopt ALL THE DOGS. (And thus quickly adopt yourself out of being able to foster.) I won’t lie and claim that I’ve never fallen head over heels for any of my foster furkids; but it is a wee bit easier to let them go, when there’s really no other choice. Similar programs also exist for the companion animals of deployed servicemembers and those requiring temporary hospitalization. ~ Kelly Garbato, Easy Vegan (via NetGalley)

AUTHORS YOU MIGHT LIKE
  • Mark HawthorneMark HawthorneMark Hawthorne is the author of Bleating Hearts: The Hidden World of Animal Suffering andStriking at...
  • Ann BetzAnn BetzAnn Betz, CPCC, CNTC, is the co-founder of BEabove Leadership and an international speaker and train...
  • Karen Kimsey-HouseKaren Kimsey-HouseOne of the earliest recognized luminaries in the coaching profession, Kimsey-House founded CTI in 19...
  • Michelle RayMichelle RayBorn in Australia and now residing in Vancouver, Canada, leadership expert and author, Michelle Ray ...
  • Tim WardTim WardTim Ward is an author, publisher, teacher, and traveler. He has written five books about his travels...
  • Robert K.C. FormanRobert K.C. FormanDr. Robert K.C. Forman is uniquely qualified, both personally and professionally, to re-imagine the ...
  • Karen SawyerKaren SawyerKaren Sawyer is a singer/songwriter, author of Soul Companions and The Dangerous Man and founder of ...
  • Teresa EricksonTeresa EricksonTeresa Erickson is president and co-owner of Intermedia Communications Training, Inc. For the past t...
  • Sherry Ruth AndersonSherry Ruth AndersonSherry's background is as a senior research psychologist at the University of Toronto Medical School...
  • Nicholas VeseyNicholas VeseyNicholas Vesey began life in advertising, working as a copywriter with, among others, Saatchi and Sa...
  • Marsha ScarbroughMarsha ScarbroughWhile studying journalism at the University of Southern California, Marsha Scarbrough was named Gues...
  • Rick SmyreRick SmyreRick Smyre is an internationally recognized futurist specializing in the area he helped originate ca...
  • Neil  Richardson Neil Richardson Neil Richardson is a strategist and a public servant who specializes in smart government advocacy an...
  • Itai IvtzanItai IvtzanDr Itai Ivtzan is passionate about the combination of psychology and spirituality. It makes his hear...
  • Kimerer L. LaMotheKimerer L. LaMotheLaMothe, a philosopher, dancer, and scholar of religion, lives with her life-partner and their five ...
POPULAR TOPICS