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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Balance of June

During June I read/watched and reviewed the following:

Software:

- "Italian Instant Immersion Levels 1, 2 & 3" from Topics Entertainment. Read my review.

Books:
- "A Reluctant Queen" by Joan Wolf. Read my review.
- "Golf for Dummies" by Gary McCord. Read my review.
- "WE x ∞" by Charlie Pedersen. Read my review.
- "Switzerland" a Fodor's Travel Guide by Kati Clinton Robson et al. Read my review.
- "When Lightning Strikes" by Kay and Bobby Brunson. Read my review.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Book "When Lightning Strikes" by Kay and Bobby Brunson



About the Book: (From Kay Brunson) If you are afraid of dying, wonder about Heaven, or can't visualize your loved one with Jesus, then this is the book for you to read. My husband, Bobby Brunson, was struck by lightning and died for 28 recorded minutes, only to return with a stunning, life-altering glimpse of the hereafter. Here, he recounts his journey to our Heavenly home and lends his perspective on death. Bobby shares his story with people in churches, hospitals, civic meetings, and any occasion that may present itself. Thousands have seen the expression of joy on his face when he talks about Jesus. His love in sharing his trip to Heaven with others is contagious, and his trust in God in the realities of everyday living is real. This is a message of hope for the terminally ill, a message of peace for those whose loved ones have passed on, and a book filled with his anticipation of seeing our Lord again. Bobby's message is simple: God loves us all the same, don't sweat the small stuff, and live life in a way to make Heaven your ultimate home. The story of Bobby walking on golden streets, talking with his deceased father, and holding the hand of Jesus make it a must read for those looking for assurance and a way to deal with death and dying. I have watched as Bobby has talked with people and witnessed their enthusiasm to talk with a man who talked with Jesus. His story never fails to touch them, and it won't fail to touch you. Kay Brunson

About the Authors: Bobby Brunson is a native Charlestonian and his wife, Kay, of 46 years was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico. They have two adult children and 3 grandchildren. All reside in Charleston, SC. Bobby and Kay both attended college in Charleston, and went on to start three businesses. Bobby was in the Coast Guard when he met Kay at church. They are charter members of Cathedral of Praise Church, which was founded in their home with Pastor Mike Lewis and where they still attend and serve. Bobby retired as a conductor with CSX Railroad after some 25 years. Kay continues to run the family business, BOC Oil Company, Inc. Bobby and Kay have spoken in many states and numerous churches. They have been involved in helping small group marriage classes and Kay has taught adult Sunday school classes, small groups and continues to serve on the board at Cathedral Academy.

My Review: This is an amazing book, very easy reading and very well written by Kay and Bobby and it is a boosting on your faith, if you have any doubts that Heaven is for real.
Although short in the sense that we could stay reading forever about Heaven, this book brings us the experience suffered by Kay Brunson and her husband, when he was hit by a lightning and stayed dead for 28 minutes. She had to exercise all her faith and find strength in Jesus. When he came back to life, his testimony was incredible. He described the looks of Heaven, his talking with his deceased father and holding the hand of Jesus. Very touching story. This should be a mandatory reading in every church as the testimony given by Bobby is straight forward in the sense that we do not have much time to repent from our sins.

This book was written by Kay and Bobby Brunson and it was published by CreateSpace. The authors were kind enough to provide me with a copy of the book so I could review it.

For information on ordering this book, visit www.createspace.com/3428668. It is also available from Amazon.com.




If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Book "Switzerland" a Fodor's Travel Guide by Kati C.Robinson et al.



http://bookscrier.com/fodor-switzerland-full-color-travel-guide



About the Book: Full-color guide • Make your trip to Switzerland unforgettable with illustrated features, maps, and color photos. Customize your trip with simple planning tools • Top experiences and attractions • Practical advice for getting around • Easy-to-read color regional maps. Explore Zürich, the Alps, Lake Geneva, and beyond • Discerning Fodor’s Choice picks for hotels, restaurants, sights, and more • “Word of Mouth” tips from fellow Fodor’s travelers • Illustrated features on scenic trains and drives, the Jungfrau region, winter activities, and Lavaux's vineyards • Best hiking, shopping, and mountain villages. Opinions from destination experts • Fodor’s Switzerland-based writers reveal their favorite local haunts • Frequently updated to provide the latest information.

About the Authors: Kati Clinton Robson followed the Von Trapp family's example and journeyed accross the Alps in search of a new life in Zürich. After a period of extensive European travel, Kati has spent the past six years as the editor of Swiss News, a national news magazine for English speakers. When she is not hiking, exploring remote valleys, or indulging in Swiss cheese, she can be found introducing her husband to the pantheon of classic Hollywood cinema. For this edition, she updated our Graubünden chapter.
Other writers are Katrin Gygax, Gail Mangold-Vine, Alexis Munier, Tim Neville, Heidi Hagemeier and Kerrin Rousset.

My Review: Fodor's Travel Guides never disappoint and this one in particular is no exception. The writers and the editor did a superb job putting together this wonderful guide, with full description of places, that should be able to fulfill all your needs for information on what to do, how to do, where to go, etc... when you are in Switzerland.
I visited that region some years ago and looking at this guide made me want to come back and revisit many places, as well as visit new ones. This guide is fully illustrated with beautiful photos and maps and they go deep in details on every attraction that you can find in that country, covering even Liechtenstein (as a bonus). Among many remembrances I had from my trip, one most treasured was when I visited Geneva, and those memories were revived through photos and precise description of places.
They propose a sampler itinerary for a 10-day trip that cover the most important places in that whole country (Zürich, Luzern, Zermatt, Geneva and Lauterbrunnen), besides giving you a high level picture of the history of each place. Suggested attractions to visit have a reference price and hours of operation. Other itineraries proposed are a Swiss Gastronomy (9-days) and a Castles & Cathedrals (8-days) itineraries.
Finally the "Where to Eat", "Where to Stay" and "Nightlife" sections of the guide are a tremendous help when you are planning your trip.
This is an outstanding result for a combined effort from seven different writers and it was published by Fodor's Travel, a division of Random House Inc. in May 2011. I recommend this book for those who are serious about planing their trips and also for those who want to remember details on previous travels, while wishing they can return to Switzerland some day in the future.
Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this book for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not request to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Book "WE x ∞" by Charlie Pedersen



http://bookscrier.com/charlie-pedersens-we-x-infinity

 



About the Book: A cosmic path out of the political, social and environmental chaos we call the twenty first century.
Do you ever feel that our world society is going to Hell in a handbasket? One of the greatest thinkers of our time questioned how the human race can sustain the next one hundred years? What are we leading up to and how can we survive?
Here’s how.
What if twenty second century quantum science cosmologists discovered how to trace particle change in reverse across the arrow of time and convey to us our imprint on what became their living past?
What would today’s powerbrokers do to know the future and get an upper hand on their destiny?
WE x ∞ is an intriguing and suspenseful blend of fiction, contemporary events, and science that allows us the “futuresight” to face our most daunting challenge, our own denial.
What are the real solutions, real answers, and real changes necessary to transform our political, social, environmental, and yes, economic chaos into a more effective society?
Take this journey across the planet and the centuries and face the terror of our own making: WE x ∞; society’s World Equation times an infinity of what?


About the Author: Charlie Pedersen emerged from the executive ranks of information technology, finance and the aerospace private sector to write genre-blend novels that tackle contemporary issues, placing them in a world of international suspense, science, and society . With a broad background that includes working with the Apollo Lunar module systems and the creation of what became America's largest Automated Teller Network, the Star System, he was able to achieve a clear understanding of the human and organizational dynamics necessary to effect significant large-scale change. You’ll find the work a compelling story taking you on a trek around the globe and across two centuries; a new level of knowledge, with compelling information and hyperlinks ; and on the leading edge of relevance. His genre is fiction/visionary and science faction: the line between fact and fiction traveled by the reader’s imagination. He’s drawn to people who think “outside the building”, thus his fascination with quantum science and global challenges.
His second book, WE x ∞ is an “E-quel” spun from his first novel Turn of the Century 2100, published 2/2007 and revised 11/2009. An E-quel is a quasi-screen play novel in hard and soft cover, but enhanced in eBook form with hyperlinks and an easy to visualize dialogue driven format…a compelling read with your mind’s eye taking you to the future and across the world-like watching a movie while absorbing its embedded documentary...
First read WE x ∞, browse the hyperlinks, and then read Turn of the Century 2100. It’s the product of eight (8) years work. This is disruptive literature in a world described by some of our greatest minds as “chaos”. You’ll not only enjoy it, you’ll get it whether a conservative, liberal/progressive, libertarian, or just an avid reader. You won’t be without opinion and will be disrupted with the “answers” (not blame).It should be read by everyone who cares about our present and future, and especially all “college age readers” around the globe. Have I left anyone out?  Whatever your opinion, you will get it or go back under your rock!
A native New Yorker, and a “native Californian”, splitting his life on both coasts, the last  20 years in Huntington Beach (the true Surf City), and Westminster California. Charlie is a world traveler, most recently including all the continents including Antarctica. His depictions of the San Francisco bay area, New York City, and worldwide locations are factually and graphically accurate, albeit in a fiction context. He has raised four boys (these days, does it ever stop?),  is divorced, and 67.

My Review: I love science-fiction. I really do. And this book did not disapoint me at all. It is very well written, easy reading in kind of screenplay format, ready to go to the movies. The plot is simple and quite interesting: scientists from one hundred years in the future send intelligent e-messages in hologram form across the space-time continuum to thirteen quantum science labs across the world. Those messages constitutes what they call the five oracles that should guide humanity to a better outcome. Problems related to fresh water, energy, world health, slavery, trafficking, terrorism, illegal immigration, and militarism are discussed on the messages.
Sometimes during my reading, the author's idea reminded me of the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" from Al Gore. We deny our problems till the moment they hit us on the face.
This is an explendid wake up call book that every serious person should have in their permanent library.
Mr. Charlie Pedersen suggests that if we cannot learn from the past, maybe we could learn from the future. Genius! Science fiction at its best!
There are plenty of data mentioned in the book that makes clear the amount of research the author did in order to base his information in real facts. Some links are provided and if you read the pdf version of the book you can connect directly through the links into the places where the information resides.

This book was written by Mr. Charlie Pedersen and it was published by Outskirts Press, Inc. The author was kind enough to provide me with a copy of the book so I could review it. The front cover of the book is excellent and very well chosen.

If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment with your ideas.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Book "Golf for Dummies" by Gary McCord

http://bookscrier.com/golf-for-dummies-by-gary-mccord



About the Book: If you don't know the difference between a lob wedge and a lemon wedge, check out Golf for Dummies, by CBS commentator Gary McCord, one of the game's most colorful--and knowledgeable--characters. It's a wonderful, often hilarious, never boring introduction to the game. Don't let the foreword by Kevin Costner or the afterword by Hootie and the Blowfish confuse the issue; this is a terrifically sound, easy-to-follow primer. McCord's potato-chip drill--yes, potato-chip drill--will revolutionize your swing, and your thinking, with overtones that could spill directly into off-the-course existence, as well.

About the Author: Gary Dennis McCord (born May 23, 1948) is an American professional golfer, commentator, author, and actor.
McCord was born in San Gabriel, California and raised in southern California. He was a two-time Division II All-American at UC Riverside. He won the NCAA Division II individual championship in 1970 and turned professional in 1971.
McCord's best two finishes on the PGA Tour were at the Greater Milwaukee Open, placing second in both 1975 and 1977. During his years on the PGA Tour, he had nearly two dozen top-10 finishes.
McCord credits golf pro Brad Britton for teaching him the ins and outs of the golf swing and especially the mental game.
At age 37 in 1986, McCord joined CBS Sports as a golf analyst, a capacity in which he still serves. He is noted for his outspokenness, a trait that has seen him barred from the CBS commentary team for The Masters. During the network's coverage of the 1994 Masters, he remarked that the 17th green was so fast that it seemed to be "bikini-waxed", and that "body bags" were located behind that green for players who missed their approach shots. Augusta National Golf Club, which organizes The Masters, used its influence with CBS to have him removed from The Masters commentary team. While McCord has continued to cover virtually all other golf events aired by CBS, he has yet to return to Augusta with the network.
Aside from his CBS commentary duties, McCord also plays on the Champions Tour. After turning 50 in May 1998, he won his first event at the Toshiba Senior Classic in March 1999, and also won that year's Ingersoll-Rand Senior Tour Championship. Back in 1991, he won the Gateway Open on the Ben Hogan Tour, the second-tier tour in the U.S., now called the Nationwide Tour.
McCord has also written two books, Just a Range Ball in a Box of Titleists and Golf for Dummies. In 1996, he appeared as himself in the Kevin Costner movie Tin Cup. He and Peter Kostis are partners in the Kostis/McCord Learning Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is also a co-announcer on the EA Sports' Tiger Woods PGA Tour series along with David Feherty.

My Review: I received my first golf clubs as a gift from my dearest friend Alexey. He patiently tried to make me learn how to play golf. In order not to disappoint him, I tried to improve my swing and in this matter this book was a big factor, contributing with detailed description and photos on how to swing. The style of the author makes this book very easy reading and his humor is appropriate under the circunstances. He first suggest which golf clubs are appropriate for you and what else you need to play this game. He mentions the importance of being in shape, where to play, how to swing and improve your move, short-game secrets, putting, banker play, solving common problems and much more, including etiquette, rules and keeping score.

This is an outstanding result for an effort from the author to introduce the most important topics for beginners on this game. The book was published by For Dummies in March 2011. I recommend this book for those who are serious about learning and improving their golf swings and the game overall, as well as learning some curious facts and history of this game.

Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this book for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not request to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Book "A Reluctant Queen" by Joan Wolf

http://bookscrier.com/a-reluctant-queen-by-joan-wolf



About the Book: You've read it as a biblical tale of courage. Experience it anew as a heart-stirring love story.
She was a simple girl faced with an impossible choice. He was a magnificent king with a lonely heart.
Their love was the divine surprise that changed the course of history.
The beloved story of Esther springs to fresh life in this inspired novel that vibrates with mystery, intrigue, and romance.

About the Author: Joan Wolf is a USA TODAY bestselling American writer, whose acclaimed Regency romances have earned her national recognition as a master of the genre. Her many historical and contemporary romances, some of which have been chosen as Literary Guild selections, have been highly praised by reviewers and authors alike.
Joan was born in 1951 and she grew up in the Bronx, New York. A former English teacher, she obtained a Bachelor's degree in Mercy College and Master in English and Comparative Literature at Hunter College. An avid rider and horse owner, Joan lives in Connecticut with her husband Joe and two grown children, Jay and Pam.

My Review: This is a magnificent piece of work from Joan Wolf. Very well written, easy reading and captivating from the first page. Her sensibility and her way of describing characters and scenes makes us participate in the plot of the book. The book is a fiction that portraits a love story with characters based on the Book of Esther, from the Bible. The author, as in any fiction work, took liberties and adapted the story to her imagination and the result was superb. I have read many critics on this book, saying that it is not Bible accurate. This is a fiction. If you want accuracy on Esther's story, go directly to the source, the Book of Esther, in the Bible.
The front cover of the book is very well chosen.
This book should be part of a permanent library of any serious reader that loves romance and Christian novels.
This book was written by Joan Wolf and published by Thomas Nelson in 2011 and they were kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing through their Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers Program.

If you are reading this review, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Software "Italian Instant Immersion Levels 1, 2 & 3" from Topics Entertainment

About the product: Instant Immersion - The quickest way to learn - guaranteed. Instant Immersion uses natural image-association techniques to help you learn as easily as you learned your first language. With Instant Immersion, you will have more fun, save money and reach your goals faster - guaranteed*!

My review: This was my first experience with this type of learning tool. And it was a pleasant experience overall. The package comes with four disks.
The first disk is the program itself, labeled "software". The installation is as smooth as it can be, with an Autorun application running as soon as you put the disc on the drive player. My only complain here is that installation is not completely done on hard disk. You still need to have the CD inserted on the player each time you want to execute the program. I understand the security against illegal copies, but it is annoying anyway, at least for me. After selecting a profile, you can go to the lessons, clicking on a menu with all the options. The course is divided in three levels. In Level1 you learn your first words, like foods, colors, numbers, time etc. The printable picture dictionary is phenomenal. The feature that allows you to record and play back your own words helps you work on pronunciation. Level2 teaches you vocabulary for family, school, hobbies and friends, traveling, home, etc, and finally Level3 teaches you through more games vocabulary for seasons and lots of business talks (meetings, travel, trading, IT, banking etc).
The second disk is an Audio CD with MP3 files and should be used as a reinforcement from what you were learning from the first disk. It also contains the pdf files with the transcripts of the audio files, which is great.
The third disk is a DVD that you can play in your standalone DVD player. You have quizzes and games.
The fourth disk is a mystery game called "Who is Oscar Lake?" and it is a fun way of improving your knowledge.
Overall this software package is worth its value and you should be able either to polish your italian or learning from scratch if you do not have any previous experiance with the language. You will not go deep in grammar at all, but you should be able to communicate in italian at basic level and I believe that this is the purpose of this tool.
Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this software for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not request to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!