Sunday, December 28, 2014

Recent Book Purchases

This past Friday I visited my parents. My trip home is not complete without a visit to Square Books and Off Square Books in Oxford, Ms. This trip was successful! I found these three books. Plus, I now have a coupon for $17.00 off my next book. I don't know what I want yet, but I am excited about my upcoming book purchase. 

Challenges

I am trying hard to achieve my goal of reading 15 books in 2014. What was your reading challenge this year? How many books did you read this year? 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Guest Post: Financial Book Review: The Bank On Yourself Revolution by Pamela Yellen By Teresa Kuhn

Financial Book Review: The Bank On Yourself Revolution by Pamela Yellen
By Teresa Kuhn 

"The Bank On Yourself strategy gives you a rare combination of guarantees, safety, liquidity, and control. Your money grows by a guaranteed and predictable amount every year, and that growth gets better every year you have it," Pamela Yellen- "The Bank on Yourself Revolution"

Several years have passed since the publication of "Bank On Yourself," Pamela Yellen's first attempt at articulating for a wide audience the benefits of using specially-designed whole life insurance in financial planning. Since that time, the ever-fluid, ever- chimerical world of personal finance has grown even more unfathomable and unpredictable.

As a Bank On Yourself authorized advisor, I believe that a sequel to the original Bank On Yourself book was long overdue. This is why I was so pleased to learn of the publication of this second, more comprehensive discussion of a truly unique cash management system.

In the sequel, The Bank On Yourself Revolution, Yellen has gone to considerable effort to deconstruct the Bank On Yourself method in a way that makes it even more accessible and understandable to the average person. She lays out a concise, solid, yet still passionate case for using specially-designed, dividend-paying whole life insurance policies as vehicles for preserving and growing wealth. When put together correctly, she says, these policies build up cash value as quickly as possible and provide unparalleled safety and security.

Yellen explains that a person can make tax-free withdrawals and loans from the accumulated cash value in the policy to finance large purchases, such as college tuition, automobiles, and cash-producing real estate. You use your policy and are able to pay yourself back, with the loan secured by the death benefit. This idea, which has been around in various forms for well over 150 years, is referred to by some as "becoming your own finance company." Yellen does a good job of explaining the ideas behind Bank On Yourself without losing the reader in a fog of insurance-speak or marketing hype.

Implicit in her explanations is the understanding that anyone wanting to use the system laid out in BOYR should do their own due diligence. It is definitely not for everyone.

In The Bank On Yourself Revolution it is evident that Yellen has put a lot more thought and effort into the content and layout of the book, making navigation from topic to topic easier and keeping her commentary focused and free of anything that could be perceived as excessive verbiage.  She does an admirable job of making the ideas presented clear and easy to understand, even for those who have little financial education.

The Bank On Yourself Revolution introduces us to some old school financial concepts that Yellen admits aren't "sexy," but which work, such as the "10-10-10" money management method and the common sense idea of not having much debt.  She makes a strong case for designer whole life polices over both term insurance and the always trendy indexed universal life (IUL) policies

Nice additions to this volume are the "takeaways" at the end of chapters which give the reader nuggets of information designed to be easy to grasp, retain and implement. Yellen also includes stories of real-life users of the system ranging from housewives to entrepreneurs to former professional athletes. Such anecdotes obviously have value, especially to financial professionals who are introducing the concept to their clients for the first time.

People feel better knowing that "real people" just like themselves are finding success with Bank On Yourself.

The Bank On Yourself Revolution makes for an entertaining read and is a worthy contribution to a growing body of evidence supporting the wisdom of using permanent life insurance in financial planning. If you are someone who is looking for alternatives to banks, Wall Street, and finance companies, this book will help you understand one such alternative- Bank On Yourself.

For more in-depth discussion of the topics explored in The Bank on Yourself Revolution, please visit the [http://www.livingwealthyfinancial.com]Living Wealthy Financial site.

File under: Yellen, Pamela. "The Bank On Yourself Revolution" published February, 2014 by Benbella Books.

Learn more about financial topics that are important to you and your family. Visit http://www.livingwealthyradio.com or call us toll free to receive free information.

(800) 382-0830 (USA ONLY)

Article Source: Financial Book Review: The Bank On Yourself Revolution by Pamela Yellen

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! <3 Cassandra AKA Mississippi's Bookworm Diva :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past by Sharyn McCrumb

Order your book now!
Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past by Sharyn McCrumb offers a refresher course on the importance of the Christmas Spirit.  Not familiar with Sharon McCrumb's ballad series, I am now curious about them and will start reading them.  Containing two parallel stories, this book takes place on Christmas Eve.  McCrumb's talent as an author is evident in her ability to tie both unique stories together.

The first story involves Nora Bonesteel and her "sight ability." Possessing a peculiar gift, Nora is often the center of inquiry for mysterious events that take place.  A couple, who believes that their home is haunted, asks Nora for her expertise.  Nora is able to use her gift to contribute to the couple's enjoyment during Christmas.

The second story involves the local sheriff and the sheriff deputy.  Due to unlikely twists of the plot, the sheriff and deputy demonstrate exactly what the Christmas Spirit is all about.  Ironically, the lesson begins with the pursuit of a criminal and an arrest warrant.

Initially as I read the book, I wasn't quite grasping the overall gist of it.  Yet, with each turn of the page, I was drawn more and more into the story.  I would definitely recommend this book.  I think everyone should add it to their TBR list.  Check out mine on Goodreads.com.

Now here is what you can do since you have read thus far!!! You can click on the link and order the book I have just shared with you. If you really enjoyed reading about this book, share this post on Twitter or Facebook. Don't forget to share you thoughts and comments below.

Praise for Sharyn McCrumb & her pervious bestselling “Ballad” novels

“Ms. McCrumb writes with quiet fire and maybe a little mountain magic... She plucks the mysteries from people's lives and works these dark narrative threads into Appalachian legends older than the hills. Like every true storyteller, she has the Sight.” —The New York Times Book Review 

“There are few writers today who are able to blend past and present, tradition and law, legends and headlines in a wholly credible fashion—Tony Hillerman springs inevitably to mind. Sharyn McCrumb is another; her widely acclaimed Ballad series is one of the finest being written today.” —Bookpage 

“McCrumb provides fresh evidence that there is no one quite like her among present-day writers. No one better, either.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune

“True to the language and culture of its time and place...the Ballad series could be headed for bestsellerdom.” —Library Journal 

“With fluid writing and sensitive telling, McCrumb presents her Appalachian series as perfectly as dogwood in the spring.” —Houston Chronicle

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Credara Flashback



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"This book keeps begging me to turn the page. #jehenderson #credara #book #books #bibliophile "

Credara



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"I am reading a Credara by J E Henderson. A book does a body good. #bibliophile #books #book #reading #jehenderson #credara"

Am I the Only One?



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"Just one more page... This struggle is so real right now. #credara #jehenderson #book #books #bibliophile "

Upcoming Blogpost



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"I wasn't ready for that ending! Stayed tune for blogpost #reading #book #books #bibliophile "

Boring: Finding an Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life by Michael Kelley

Finding an Extraordinary God
Boring: Finding an Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life by Michael Kelley is quite an interesting read.  Living in a society where boring is become taboo, I am amazed at Kelley's unique desire to force readers to appreciate the "boring" aspects of life and how God speaks to us through those things.  Often times, extraordinary things are desired and are correlated to being better than doing mediocre things.  Kelley's narrative of his own life within the text actually helps to paint a picture of how important it is to appreciate the mundane things, which occur in our lives.  Kelley achieves his aim of provoking the reader to question his/her thought pattern about their lives and how to live a fulfilling life.  Kelley speaks directly to people, who spend most of their lives struggling to achieve something extraordinary and who forget that they are living a fulfilling life now. I must point out that Kelley is not saying that something is wrong with extraordinary. In Boring, Kelley attempts to encourage the appreciate of the daily happenings in our life.  The daily routines in our lives point to exactly how God is working in your life. Check out this YouTube Video about the book.

Now here is what you can do since you have read thus far!!! You can click on the link and order the book I have just shared with you. If you really enjoyed reading about this book, share this post on Twitter or Facebook. Don't forget to share you thoughts and comments below.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Credara: Rise of the Kraylen by J. E. Henderson

Credara: Rise of the Kraylen forced me to devour it from the beginning to the end.  Written by J. E. Henderson, brother of Tempestt Bledsoe from The Cosby Show,  this book is the first of a fantasy series.  Even though I can't remember ever reading fantasy as an adult,  this book was EXCELLENT. Taking place after the Great War and the casting out of Lucifer and other angels, this book diminishes my initial bias against fantasy fiction.  The immaculate use of sensory details drew me into the plot.  I devoured this book in one day.  Even though my clock stated 3 a.m., I was hypnotized by J. E. Henderson's ability to have me enwrapped within the plot, as if I was viewing the action as it unfolded.  There is never a dull moment within this text.  He leaves you guessing until the very end.  Even the ending makes you want to finish the series to see what happens.  I highly recommend reading this book.  I am considering using this book in one of my classes to help students write descriptive and narrative essays.

Read previous blogposts about the author and the book.
1. Credara: The Rise of the Kraylen
2. Celebrity Book Review by Tempestt Bledsoe - Credara: Rise of the Kraylen


Now here is what you can do since you have read thus far!!! You can click on the link and order the book I have just shared with you. If you really enjoyed reading about this book, share this post on Twitter or Facebook. Don't forget to share you thoughts and comments below.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Book Giveaway



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"Look what I picked up for FREE. Is anyone studying for the Praxis? I'm in the mood to bless someone with this book. #praxis "

Where is your copy of Life and Struggles?



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"Where is your copy of my book?! #lifeandstruggles #writer #writing #bibliophile #books "

Life and Struggles



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"Life is full of ups and downs. Your reaction to them determines the flow of your life. (Life and Struggles Poetry Book - Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B008DW2X34) Where is your copy? #amazon #lifeandstruggles #poetry #book #bibliophile "

Purchase My Books



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"Purchase my book... www.cassandrahawkinswilson.weebly.com Available at Amazon.com and your favorite bookstore. #books #bibliophile #writer #writing "

Rabbi Ben Ezra BY ROBERT BROWNING

Rabbi Ben Ezra

BY ROBERT BROWNING
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith "A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!''

Not that, amassing flowers,
Youth sighed "Which rose make ours,
Which lily leave and then as best recall?"
Not that, admiring stars,
It yearned "Nor Jove, nor Mars;
Mine be some figured flame which blends, transcends them all!"

Not for such hopes and fears
Annulling youth's brief years,
Do I remonstrate: folly wide the mark!
Rather I prize the doubt
Low kinds exist without,
Finished and finite clods, untroubled by a spark.

Poor vaunt of life indeed,
Were man but formed to feed
On joy, to solely seek and find and feast:
Such feasting ended, then
As sure an end to men;
Irks care the crop-full bird? Frets doubt the maw-crammed beast?

Rejoice we are allied
To That which doth provide
And not partake, effect and not receive!
A spark disturbs our clod;
Nearer we hold of God
Who gives, than of His tribes that take, I must believe.

Then, welcome each rebuff
That turns earth's smoothness rough,
Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand but go!
Be our joys three-parts pain!
Strive, and hold cheap the strain;
Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge the throe!

For thence,—a paradox
Which comforts while it mocks,—
Shall life succeed in that it seems to fail:
What I aspired to be,
And was not, comforts me:
A brute I might have been, but would not sink i' the scale.

What is he but a brute
Whose flesh has soul to suit,
Whose spirit works lest arms and legs want play?
To man, propose this test—
Thy body at its best,
How far can that project thy soul on its lone way?

Yet gifts should prove their use:
I own the Past profuse
Of power each side, perfection every turn:
Eyes, ears took in their dole,
Brain treasured up the whole;
Should not the heart beat once "How good to live and learn?"

Not once beat "Praise be Thine!
I see the whole design,
I, who saw power, see now love perfect too:
Perfect I call Thy plan:
Thanks that I was a man!
   Maker, remake, complete,—I trust what Thou shalt do!"

For pleasant is this flesh;
Our soul, in its rose-mesh
Pulled ever to the earth, still yearns for rest;
Would we some prize might hold
To match those manifold
Possessions of the brute,—gain most, as we did best!

Let us not always say,
"Spite of this flesh to-day
I strove, made head, gained ground upon the whole!"
As the bird wings and sings,
Let us cry "All good things
Are ours, nor soul helps flesh more, now, than flesh helps soul!"

Therefore I summon age
To grant youth's heritage,
Life's struggle having so far reached its term:
Thence shall I pass, approved
A man, for aye removed
From the developed brute; a god though in the germ.

And I shall thereupon
Take rest, ere I be gone
Once more on my adventure brave and new:
Fearless and unperplexed,
When I wage battle next,
What weapons to select, what armour to indue.

Youth ended, I shall try
My gain or loss thereby;
Leave the fire ashes, what survives is gold:
And I shall weigh the same,
Give life its praise or blame:
Young, all lay in dispute; I shall know, being old.

For note, when evening shuts,
A certain moment cuts
The deed off, calls the glory from the grey:
A whisper from the west
Shoots—"Add this to the rest,
Take it and try its worth: here dies another day."

So, still within this life,
Though lifted o'er its strife,
Let me discern, compare, pronounce at last,
This rage was right i' the main,
That acquiescence vain:
The Future I may face now I have proved the Past."

For more is not reserved
To man, with soul just nerved
To act to-morrow what he learns to-day:
Here, work enough to watch
The Master work, and catch
Hints of the proper craft, tricks of the tool's true play.

As it was better, youth
Should strive, through acts uncouth,
Toward making, than repose on aught found made:
So, better, age, exempt
From strife, should know, than tempt
Further. Thou waitedst age: wait death nor be afraid!

Enough now, if the Right
And Good and Infinite
Be named here, as thou callest thy hand thine own
With knowledge absolute,
Subject to no dispute
From fools that crowded youth, nor let thee feel alone.

Be there, for once and all,
Severed great minds from small,
Announced to each his station in the Past!
Was I, the world arraigned,
Were they, my soul disdained,
Right? Let age speak the truth and give us peace at last!

Now, who shall arbitrate?
Ten men love what I hate,
Shun what I follow, slight what I receive;
Ten, who in ears and eyes
Match me: we all surmise,
They this thing, and I that: whom shall my soul believe?

Not on the vulgar mass
Called "work," must sentence pass,
Things done, that took the eye and had the price;
O'er which, from level stand,
The low world laid its hand,
Found straightway to its mind, could value in a trice:

But all, the world's coarse thumb
And finger failed to plumb,
So passed in making up the main account;
All instincts immature,
All purposes unsure,
That weighed not as his work, yet swelled the man's amount:

Thoughts hardly to be packed
Into a narrow act,
Fancies that broke through language and escaped;
All I could never be,
All, men ignored in me,
This, I was worth to God, whose wheel the pitcher shaped.

Ay, note that Potter's wheel,
That metaphor! and feel
Why time spins fast, why passive lies our clay,—
Thou, to whom fools propound,
When the wine makes its round,
"Since life fleets, all is change; the Past gone, seize to-day!"

Fool! All that is, at all,
Lasts ever, past recall;
Earth changes, but thy soul and God stand sure:
What entered into thee,
That was, is, and shall be:
Time's wheel runs back or stops: Potter and clay endure.

He fixed thee mid this dance
Of plastic circumstance,
This Present, thou, forsooth, wouldst fain arrest:
Machinery just meant
To give thy soul its bent,
Try thee and turn thee forth, sufficiently impressed.

What though the earlier grooves,
Which ran the laughing loves
Around thy base, no longer pause and press?
What though, about thy rim,
Skull-things in order grim
Grow out, in graver mood, obey the sterner stress?

Look not thou down but up!
To uses of a cup,
The festal board, lamp's flash and trumpet's peal,
The new wine's foaming flow,
The Master's lips a-glow!
Thou, heaven's consummate cup, what need'st thou with earth's wheel?

But I need, now as then,
Thee, God, who mouldest men;
And since, not even while the whirl was worst,
Did I,—to the wheel of life
With shapes and colours rife,
Bound dizzily,—mistake my end, to slake Thy thirst:

So, take and use Thy work:
Amend what flaws may lurk,
What strain o' the stuff, what warpings past the aim!
My times be in Thy hand!
Perfect the cup as planned!
Let age approve of youth, and death complete the same!


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