Remarkable Reefs of Cuba contains tales of striking contrast, fierce opposition, unyielding passion, and at times unity. This beautifully written book guides the average citizen on a voyage of what it is like to have a passion for preserving the ocean and its inhabitants while accepting the accidental role of an unofficial diplomat. The author follows in fellow oceanographer Jacques Cousteau's fins by writing to not only to reach the readers brains but also their hearts. This approach creates a more holistic perspective of multifaceted topics. I agree with Dr. Guggenheim’s statement that we need present-day experts who write with the same enthusiasm that 19th century scientists did expressing technical ideas through equal parts of data and poetry.
This fascinating book illustrates the complex issues scientists, citizens, and politicians navigate while advocating for the bottom of Cuba’s ocean. While there are tremendous insights into Cuba’s tangled past and current economic and political climate, nature is at the forefront of the discussion. The author shares that all is not bleak. There have been tremendous examples of bipartisanship, particularly with preserving the Everglades.
There are comical stories of cultural differences and misunderstandings. However, there are also examples of destroying hard-won good will with dignitaries and colleagues due misinterpreting cultural norms. Science geeks will delight in learning obscure facts like cement can float! The descriptions are so vivid that non-divers will experience the wonder of the ocean as if they are diving right behind the explorers. Dr. Guggenheim shares that over his 30-year journey, his work is as much about science as it is about the care and concern of all the people involved. This important book highlights and informs elements of what might be necessary to ensure a healthy, thriving planet and society.
Grow embraces the complexity of humanity in business. Readers will find tangible solutions to daily work struggles. Leaders will learn to advance business and become competitive in ways never thought possible. Michael even addresses the need for love in the workplace and brazenly uses the word. He defines measuring love as a lumens score to assess the level of love (or light) in working relationships. While the best teams are bound by trust and respect, I've never heard the word love used, but it's appropriate. I appreciate Michael's bravery in pointing it out.
The author addresses the need to continually learn and accept fluidity. Negativity is a poison and optimism is a choice. McFall advocates the need for sabbaticals - especially a the top. Everyone needs to know systems will work without their daily oversight. The ability to come back refreshed and renewed benefits all. It's great for mental health too. He shares how much the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) Worldwide helped take Biggby Coffee from Grind to Grow.
This book is so needed in today's fluid work environment. Recent graduates may have the skills to navigate academia, but getting into the workforce is a new arena which takes a different set of skills. Older workers, those over 50 years old, regularly get pink slips and need to learn how to start all over. This step-by-step guide outlines almost every situation a new employee may experience.
The logic in the book helps to identify satisfying career choices and eliminate biases that may hinder decisions. It includes advice on soft skills, including self-awareness and the importance of self-expression. It even covers how goals may change throughout one’s career and how necessary it is to evaluate this change when making choices.
The authors discuss the importance of uncomfortable feelings, a topic that is not often addressed in a business guidebook. They discuss the importance of dealing with the inevitability of mistakes. It’s often said emotional intelligence is more important than IQ; this book will help readers to develop the skills they will need to have a successful career and a meaningful life.
The 12 Skills will help employees at the beginning of their career, when they are in a career change, or when they are starting a new job.
I'm a big advocate of the health benefits of sleep. Health care was a significant concern for me when I started my first business in the 2000. I decided to meet with doctors I respected and ask what I could do to maintain the best health possible. The doctor I visited was board certified and also trained in ayurvedic medicine. She spent time in India learning and treating patients. She gave me mountains of excellent advice. Regarding sleep, she suggested I get up every morning at the same time and go to sleep at the same time.
I then became vigilant about my sleep. After nearly two decades working in corporate America under someone else's demands, I was shocked to learn I am a morning person. I think there is something extraordinary about working with the rhythms of the day versus battling them. I used to drink some pretty strong coffee when I was pulling all-nighters. When I worked in an office, my co-workers would warn others when I made the coffee. After receiving fair warning, they'd begin to back away from the carafe to find a beverage with less jolt.
Now I go to bed early and wake up with the sun rising over Lake Michigan every day. I do not use an alarm clock. The doctor was right - I feel great.
Because of my personal experience with the benefits of sleep, I was eager to learn what can be done to help children with sleep disorders. I always felt that children were run ragged, traveling to school, going to play dates, attending after-school activities, and perhaps going to the home of the parent they don't live with. From the outside looking in, it appears to be exhausting.
Dr. Dassani reviews all the physical and environmental issues in her book, The Tired Child, that may be impacting a child's ability to sleep. She offers suggestions to help parents understand medical diagnoses in plain language. She also discusses process steps with worksheets to help parents track and identify issues. The book further details how medical professionals with different specialties can aid in treatment and diagnosis. My favorite advice was "talk to other Moms." Any parent who reads this book will be more informed and able to assist their child in obtaining optimal health -- and probably a good night's sleep for all!
After being separated for two years due to the pandemic and political divisiveness, a good segment of my family joined in celebrating Christmas Eve in person. Some believe the vaccine is effective, while others don’t. Some praise Presidents Obama and Biden, while others think President Trump was on the path to saving the country. Climate changers, and climate deniers – we all got together.
The last two years have been painful as we were viciously torn apart.
However, for reasons I struggle to articulate, Christmas Eve was wonderful. Six children under six years old played together for the first time under their parents’ unacknowledged peace agreement. A high schooler and two college kids suppressed smiles while pretending they were reluctant to be there. Surprisingly no one brought up a topic that would trigger their opponents. By this time, everyone had chosen their perspectives, remained steadfast in their camps, and silently agreed to disagree.
There was PEACE.
No longer divided, the unvaccinated played and mingled with the vaccinated. Each individual was secure in the knowledge their health care choices were adequate. We shared what was good in our lives without attempting to solve global problems.
There was HOPE.
The display of pictures of my parents, who left this earth years ago, were gentle reminders that are parents valued family above all else. They often demonstrated this ideal by putting family harmony first and themselves second in the wake of painful disagreements or life challenges.
There was LOVE.
After two years of attacks, judgments, and arguments, we reunited to begin anew, as if we had never separated. We chose to BELIEVE the best in each other.
Christmas 2022 provided the gift of allowing us to live the Christmas story.
I am GRATEFUL.
We've had yet another horrific car vs. bicycle vs. pedestrian incident in Chicago. Due to a traffic jam, some drivers thought crossing the barriers and driving on the roads in a park was the right idea.
This Block Club Chicago article states that barriers need to be built. Unfortunately, barriers will not instill a sense of humanity in a person that thinks it's okay to operate a 3,000 lb. vehicle and risk lives of pedestrians and cyclists. If there is any sweet justice in this inconceivable act, it's that so many drivers decided to drive in the park, they created a new traffic jam. The pedestrians, cyclists, children, parents, and grandparents had a fighting chance of survival against the slow moving cars.
I wonder what the mindset of someone who justifies this behavior is. Does the driver say to themselves?, "I don't have time for this traffic. It's worth it to kill or maim a few people so I can get the parking spot in front of my house." Will a barrier avoid this kind of thinking? Or will we have to build higher walls?
In May 2018, I wrote a blog post detailing that cyclists are not always innocent and the new electronic signage is not intuitive. The previous day I discussed a road rage incident. In December 2018, I shared that Canada uses driver demerit points to sanction unruly drivers with higher rates. Perhaps if the trillion-dollar #insurance industry were to seek solutions, there would be some reform in the U.S. In the meantime, the best we can do is be aware and attempt to remain safe. Bankrate just published a Safety Guide for Cyclists.
I suppose conversation is a start. I've been blogging about this for five years. and with the recent crisis in Hyde Park. the situation only seems to be getting worse. I'm not sure cement barriers are a substitute for a sense of humanity, but anything that might solve this problem is worth a try. This situation I witnessed in June 2018 gave me some hope. A man and a woman got into a fender bender on I-290. They got out of their cars ready to do battle. When they recognized each other they broke out into big smiles and a warm embrace.
Let's try to remember that someone we haven't met yet, is a potential friend with many gifts to give to the world. Let's think about that and try to care about their safety too. Would that help?
We should ALL treat ourselves as solo agers because we may be regardless of our family situation. This essential guide provides so much information with creative solutions, it encourages the reader to embrace and look forward to retirement decisions vs. fear them.
This very thoughtful guide includes many important aspects of aging -- remaining healthy, having strong social networks, coming to terms with spirituality, and exploring creative living solutions.
I enjoyed the idea that it's wise to keep working and create a portfolio of work options. As people age, they've acquired many skills. Income alone is not likely the retirees' main driver at this stage in life. I thought the idea of re-exploring your first dreams at this stage in life was tremendously insightful. If not now, when?
This book was thoughtful and well done; after reading it, I'm sure many people will embrace this critical stage in life versus dread it.
I'm pretty well-versed with the mechanics of money; however, The 10% solution by Marc Allen showed me the heart of money. Prior to reading this insightful book, I was following an analytical plan which left me feeling empty.
Publisher Marc Allen is a self-proclaimed "lazy" millionaire. He published Eckhart Tolle's Power of Now among several other notable titles. He made a commitment to himself that he would be successful doing exactly what he wanted to do in his own relaxed way. Until then, he spent his time drifting from one activity to the next, avoiding debt collectors and scrambling to pay bills. The 10% Solution shifted my perspective on of giving. Any philanthropist or person who wants to create a better world will enjoy The 10% solution.
I've been a book reviewer for the Nonfiction Author's Association (NFAA) for over a year now. So when I agreed to review nonfiction books for their reward program, I had no idea how much I would enjoy it. I'm so grateful to Stephanie Chandler for starting the organization ten years ago. She found, as I have that many associations and development of the craft of writing are devoted to fiction writing; leaving nonfiction authors to attempt to garner what we can from the fiction world.
The most recent book I reviewed for NFAA was Battle Carried: Imperial Japanese Tiger Flags of World War Two by Michael A. Bortner. Wow, did I learn a lot. The book is well-researched and insightful on a very specific topic. Not only is the book well-written, the graphic design is thoughtfully laid out, organizing the illustrations of tigers by their position and stance. This was enjoyable to read and to view as there is so much to learn. This experience felt like being immersed in a wonderful museum exhibit.
When I'm asked to select a book to review for NFAA, I choose a topic to learn something new. This one certainly helped me to meet that objective. If this book didn't find me through NFAA, it may have found me at a used book store or on a table of unfiled books at a library. Fortuitously, the right books seem to find the people who are meant to read them.
I found Don't Shoot I'm the Guitar Man by Buzzy Martin in one of those take a book, leave a book boxes. There's serendipity when books find you, when they reach out asking to be read. I'm fascinated by musicians.
I gave this book a four-star Amazon review. The story is good but the writing needs a little tweaking. As stated in other published reviews, there is too much repetition in the daily journal entries. I was surprised to see that the book was published by a traditional publisher and made it through editing. The book was later turned into a film.
As I started to connect the dots, the reason a traditional publisher picked up this book started to make sense. Buzzy's experience took place in the late 90s. The world was an interesting place then. Pre-teen Polly Klaas was captured in her own home during a sleepover with two other young girls and ultimately murdered by a repeat offender. Her notorious crime created the "three strikes law," putting many in prison for life. It was also the time of the TV show Scared Straight! which was supposed to give at-risk youth insight into what prison life is like, scaring them to stay away. Buzzy, in addition to volunteering at San Quentin, worked with at-risk youth, teaching them music and trying to share the reality of prison life so they might make better choices.
The book was painful to read, and I'm sure, even more difficult to live through. The thought of prisoners serving life touched by the power of music and forgetting where they were for a moment is profoundly moving. Reading Buzzy's stories of interacting with child molesters and murders was harrowing. I'm grateful Buzzy's career path took him to work with at-risk youth and, ultimately, San Quentin prison. He touched people's lives in a way he never could have on a big stage. It broke my heart to learn how the prison was dubbed "San" Spanish for Saint. Like any good memoir, this book provides the opportunity to learn and grow. I can forgive the repetition in the writing. I'm grateful to Buzzy for sharing his gift and then sharing the story with the world.
Alicia Dale is a strategic thinking Creative that understands the power of words to influence, change and build new infrastructures. This Blog is to capture ideas that have no where else to go at this very moment. Who knows how they will be developed? Or where they will go? For now they are sparkles of light easily stored where I can search and find them when they call my name again.