Friday, July 9, 2010

So Many Shoes, So Little Money by Lisa Serwin

For women torn between shopping and budgeting, Lisa Serwin shares fun and creative money management tips in So Many Shoes, So Little Money: A Girl's Guide to Finance ( publisher Booksurge, 2009, ISBN: 9781439231214)

“Dressing with style takes patience, planning, and strategy. So does managing your money”, Serwin explains in the preface. There’s a pop quiz included that proves it’s not necessary to be a math whiz in order to learn how to create a plan, stick to goals and manage money.

Lisa Serwin includes but goes beyond the wise advice to use credit cards in moderation. She does this by providing easy to follow steps that teach how to save money while still having some leftover for fun.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

The Year of The Flood contains a dark warning of what the future may become if people continue to destroy the earth with greed and put corporations first.

The flood in The Year of the Flood is a “waterless flood” or a deadly disease that wipes out the majority of people. The few that survive were just lucky that they happened to be protected at the time.

Environmentalists in The Year of the Flood

Most of the survivors in The Year of the Flood are or become “God’s Gardeners” which is sort of a hippy cult. They’re vegetarian, gorilla gardeners and they only use found or handmade items. There are existing similarities to these environmentalists in groups like the Freegans and Food Not Bombs.

Read more at Suite101: The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Power of Premonitions: How Knowing The Future Can Shape Our Lives by Larry Dossey, M.D.

 The Power Of Premonitions: How Knowing The Future Can Shape Our Lives is a fascinating and educational book about premonitions. It’s quite detailed and must have involved a lot of research.

Premonitions Defined

A premonition is simply a forewarning of something that will happen in the future. It may come as a feeling, hunch or vision in a dream.

Larry Dossey shares his own experiences with precognitive dreams and how he came to the conclusion that they were more than mere coincidences. He acknowledges that everyone doesn’t agree that premonitions are facts. He also cautions others not to confide to people who might think they’re crazy.

Read more at Suite101: Review of The Power of Premonitions: How Knowing The Future Can Shape Our Lives by Larry Dossey, M.D.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Living A Charmed Life by Victoria Moran

From going green gracefully to starting a serendipity log, Victoria shares unique and uplifting ideas to jump-start the magic that may be missing in life.

Living A Charmed Life is an uplifting and empowering book, because it encourages people to take control of their lives so they can create their own magic. Victoria’s appealing down to earth style discourages limits and embraces opportunities for anyone at any age.

Living A Charmed Life: Your Guide to Finding Magic in Every Moment of Every Day (Victoria Moran, HarperCollins Publishers, 2009, ISBN: 9780061649899) is directed at women, but there’s wise advice contained in the book for everyone.

Law of Expectation

The law of expectation is similar to the law of attraction. You get what you expect, so it’s a good idea to expect the best. For example a mother whose young son is in the hospital may say, “Johnny won’t eat that.” A jolly nurse pops in and plays airplane with his food while talking about how yummy it is. Johnny eats it all up, because it’s expected.

Read more at Suite101: Living a Charmed Life by Victoria Moran: Guide to Finding Magic in Every Moment

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Book Of Negroes

The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill begins with slavers capturing 11 year old protagonist Amanita Diallo from a small village in West Africa. She works as a slave on an indigo plantation in South Carolina, where she bonds with a motherly woman named Georgia who teaches and protects her. Aminata then reunites with an old friend, which helps add romance to the story.

Read more at Suite101: The Book Of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

Monday, May 10, 2010

Don't Call Me a Crook! by Bob Moore

Don't Call Me a Crook is at times amusing but at others disturbing. It does offer the rare opportunity of delving into a rogue's travels and view of the world.
Bob Moore was a survivor who kept cool under pressure, trusted his instincts and was extremely resourceful. He was also a funny Scotsman without intending to be and an excellent storyteller.

On the down side, Bob Moore was a liar, thief, racist, drunkard and murderer, with little to no remorse for those that he harmed. He seemed to think he was superior, even when he was scruffy and out of work. He referred to any race different from his own with a derogatory slang term. In the 20’s and 30’s this was more common, but that doesn’t excuse it.

Bob’s Crimes

If his slang gets confusing in Don’t Call Me A Crook! (Bob Moore, Dissident Books, ISBN: 9780977378807, 2009) there are handy footnotes with definitions included. It seems more authentic to keep the original written words intact anyway, and it made for a fascinating tale of a rogue who seemed slightly psychotic. It was originally published in 1935 without much fanfare and only recently was republished.

Death didn’t faze him and even when his hand caused the death, he brushed it off casually or excused it. He refused to admit that he was a crook (hence the name Don’t Call Me a Crook!) or thief and refers to stealing as swiping, as if that’s somehow better.

In between jobs he did a lot of stealing and conning, so the places he could travel became limited since victims of theft or police were after him everywhere. Anyone with money, jewelry or booze was a target to Bob. He still certainly made his rounds by traveling all over the world on ships. His escapades in England, China and the U.S. were particularly of interest.

Bob Moore and Women

There were several women he led on and charmed out of their money and he didn’t think twice about ripping off a boss on his way out the door. He would occasionally do favors for friends, but there was almost always something in it for him. That’s not to say he never had any sympathy for anyone, but he tended to favor drinking buddies with money.

At one point he did bow to family pressure and made an attempt at settling down and marrying in Glasgow. Since Bob seemed incapable of staying in one place or job too long, this didn’t work out.

 He describes his travels, experiences and associates so well that they’re easy to envision. An engineer by trade, Bob Moore had no problem getting jobs on yachts or ships. These were full of adventures including rowdy parties, pirate shootouts, fistfights and drowning. How anyone ever managed to survive this lifestyle full of danger, diseases and violence is a mystery. Whether everything Bob wrote is true or not is another mystery.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford

This book may help avoid years of therapy. Repressed memories, feelings and hidden aspects of individuals come to light with shadow work.

If negative aspects aren’t brought out into the open, they may become internalized and manifest themselves in addictions, depression or other illnesses.

Acknowledging and examining the dark side isn’t easy, but The Dark Side of the Light Chasers shows how to embrace the shadow so that it becomes integrated with other aspects of the personality.

Debbie helps make it real by bravely sharing personal information about her past struggles with addiction and anger. The Dark Side of the Light Chasers is based upon ideas she developed for a course to help embrace the shadow.


Qualities that might drive someone crazy are usually those that others see and hate in them. These negative qualities are mirrored back to reflect and project onto someone else. Once that’s acknowledged, it’s easier to completely accept and forgive the self along with everyone else.

When people can accept themselves, they no longer need to judge others. There is a freedom in embracing the shadow and when people stop finger pointing, it makes them easier to get along with.

Gifts in Hated Qualities

There are gifts in many qualities individuals may hate in themselves. For example “cheap” becomes thrifty and practical. Aggressive may become persistent and insistent. The Dark Side of the Light Chasers encourages people to list these qualities and find their hidden gifts so that they become easier to accept and integrate into the whole person.

Inventing New Interpretations

Instead of forgetting about the past, Ford encourages people to reinvent thoughts surrounding past incidents. Thoughts are something everyone can learn to control, so it becomes empowering to take responsibility for thoughts about individual memories.

Acknowledge Our Greatness

People are often told not to toot their own horn, so they may be uncomfortable embracing the great things about themselves. Debbie Ford also shows others how to embrace the good and let their light shine.
  • There are effective exercises in The Dark Side of the Light Chasers: Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance, And Dreams (Debbie Ford, Berkley Publishing Group, 1998, ISBN: 1573220965) that help people to break down their walls and embrace their shadows. At the end there’s an important helpful chapter that shows how to create a mission statement and action plan for the future.
This is an excellent guide that gently helps examine individual’s hidden dark aspects. It sounds painful, but in the end it actually brings freedom and helps ends suffering.

About Debbie Ford

Debbie Ford is a popular speaker, coach and best-selling author. She runs a workshop entitled “The Shadow Process Workshop”. She’s been a guest on many radio and television programs including Oprah, Good Morning America and Larry King Live. For more information about her books or upcoming workshop topics see