Why I Don’t Read Introductions

Today, I decided to get a library card at the Oxford Public Library. I cancelled my Scribd subscription, since membership is increasing. Whi...

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Carl Van Vechten [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
My oldest son is finished his first, freshman semester of his advanced English course with an exam on Their Eyes Were Watching God, which was written by Zora Neale Hurston, who is one of my favorite authors. When he informed me that he needed the book, I became excited and disappointed.  I was excited because he would be experiencing real literary talent from the Harlem Renaissance. I was disappointed because even though I own numerous copies of this book, all of them are packed away deep in my storage unit.  ( I really miss seeing my books.)

Hearing my son say that he enjoyed reading Their Eyes Were Watching God, I felt all warm and fuzzy inside. I appreciated how my son was able to recognize the work of a writer, who had inspired authors like Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison.

Due to traveling for my job and dealing with family emergencies, I have been unable to engage in "book talk" with my son about Their Eyes Were Watching God. I am hoping that during the holiday break, I am able to engage him in literary conversation about his analysis of the text.  I want to compare my analysis of the book with his and just chat about it.  Engaging in in-depth discussion about various literary texts is something that I miss since I no longer teach English.

I must say that my son was never tempted to watch the movie version of the book.  I even mentioned it once to him, and he did not take the bait.  I was so proud of him. He wanted to read the book, and he finished it without being entangled in the web of comparing the book to the movie.  So many students fall deep into this trap. He did not. He wanted to devour the text, and knowing this fact makes me very proud.

My children know that my love for reading is very serious.  Give me a book, as a  gift, and I am overjoyed.  Take me to a bookstore and allow me to sit undisturbed for hours, I am forever grateful.  However, when my children share my love for a book(s), like my son did for Their Eyes Were Watching God, "my cup runneth over."

Purchase Book
My love for books was instilled in me by my mother and father. When we traveled, we always found a bookstore or a library.  Because of this habit, I do the same thing when I travel.  My parents always read.  They read to us. They taught us how to read. They read in front of us.  To this day, I love seeing my father fall asleep with a book in his hand.  He is always reading and always learning.  To be able to share my love of Zora Neale Hurston and Their Eyes Were Watching God with my oldest son is such a blessing. I am trying to savor each and every moment with him.  Before I know it, he will be in college, and he will be away from "my nest."

Have you read Their Eyes Were Watching God? Who do you share you love of reading with?

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Guest Post: How to Be a Successful Adult Student - Taking Notes While Reading

How to Be a Successful Adult Student - Taking Notes While Reading

How to Be a Successful Adult Student - Taking Notes While Reading
By John Steely

An adult student needs to be able to read a paper or a chapter and understand the material on their own, outside of the classroom. One of the best ways to make sure that this happens effectively is to take notes while reading, writing down the ideas and thoughts inspired by what is being read.

Most students are taught to highlight while reading. This can be somewhat useful, but simply highlighting does little to improve the understanding of what is being read. Highlighting is an effective method of finding a passage later, as is underlining and even making comments in the margin. However, none of these are as effective as taking notes.

The Purpose of Taking Notes While Reading

The reason the student is reading something is, usually, to gain an understanding of something that was previously not understood, or at least to improve the existing understanding of the material. Often, the reading assigned to an adult student is more condense and full of information than reading done in grade school. Thus, the reading can be more difficult.

The purpose of taking notes while reading is two-fold. On the one hand, the student is trying to understand what is being said, and to incorporate that understanding in a larger picture of the course or goal of the reading. This purpose means that the student must understand not just the content but also the structure of what is being read. By taking notes while reading, this structure can often become clearer, more easily understood. On the other hand, the student does not want to read the material more than is necessary; after all, the student is working within a time frame that can sometimes put constraints on the amount of time spent in the reading. Being forced to read the material more times than is necessary can be a waste of time. This does not mean that the student will read the material only once; in many cases, multiple readings are needed. But readings should not be wasted. By taking notes, the material can be understood faster and more effectively.

How to Take Reading Notes

Unlike the classroom, the student has the opportunity to read the material more than once. This fact means that the method of taking notes can be more deliberate; the student can take the time needed to create a set of structured notes, rather than using a method of note-taking that minimizes time. For this reason, probably the best method of taking notes while reading is to use an outline. By creating an outline, the structure of the material can be more easily understood.

The outline should be constructed as a sequence of layers, rather than trying to get the entire outline done with one pass. The first layer should be based on the structure of the reading; if section headers are provided, these can provide a readily available initial structure. Within each section, the first thing to determine is the purpose of the section. Is this section putting forth an argument? Is it explaining an idea? Providing an example? Once the purpose is determined, this should be written under the section heading.

After the section's purpose is determined, the reader then needs to put in the details. I have found that doing this twice and comparing the results creates the most effective notes. Read the section through, creating an outline based on the reading. After the section is done, the student usually has a better understanding of what that section of reading is doing. Then reading the section a second time, creating a fresh outline can provide a fuller understanding. Whether this second reading is done immediately after the first is entirely up to the student. With particularly difficult sections, taking a break between the readings can provide a fuller perspective on the reading, creating a better outline.

Once the outline is created, it should be reviewed for completeness. Is anything in the outline unclear, confusing? If so, then the student has two options. Either he can reread the material, looking for a clearer understanding, or a question can be created for the next class, looking a clearer understanding from the instructor.

Reading Technical Material

This technique works best in material where claims are made and supported, such as in economics, design principles, or surveys. Technical writing, such as mathematics and electronics, need a slightly different approach. The key sections for technical material are often not the sections provided by the reading material but the formulas being presented. Once the formulas are presented, then the outline should provide first an explanation of what is in the formula then at least one example; more examples are useful if the material is not clearly understood the first time.

Practice makes Perfect

If there is any academic activity which improves with practice, it is reading and taking notes. Initially, the student will find the endeavor difficult and fraught with uncertainty. Working with others, comparing notes and examples, can be of immense help when learning how to take notes on reading material. As the student practices, however, she will notice a remarkable improvement. As in many other efforts, persistence in reading and taking notes pays off.

John Steely has been teaching mathematics, study skills, and habits of success for over 25 years. You can access a number of free resources he has found and made at Steely Services

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/John_Steely/330623

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Book Review: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Book Title: Small Great Things
Author: Jodi Picoult
Format: Audiobook
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

When I decided to read Small Great Things, I knew nothing about the book.  I just noticed that many of my book hearts on Instagram and Twitter were posting about this book.  Without reading the book synopsis or the book reviews, I added it to my TBR list and downloaded it on Audible.  

I should have read the book synopsis and book reviews. However, if I had read the synopsis or the book reviews, I would not have read the book so soon.  I have been reading a lot of books about racism, and the recent presidential election was bringing the hatred out in full force. Being sick of the ever-present troll known as racism, after reading the Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (book review coming shortly) and starting on Queen Sugar (I haven't finished it yet.), I probably would not have read this book for a long time. 

Therefore, I would have missed out on devouring a book full of life that included so many spoken and silent lessons.   I may have even forgotten that the book was on my ever-growing TBR list on Goodreads.  

Nevertheless, I listened to Small Great Things and was not disappointed. Jodi Picoult writes a book about race relationships, but from three different viewpoints, which makes the book so interesting.  She writes from an African American woman's perspective, a white supremacist's view, and a white woman's perspective.  

Ruth, the African American woman, is a neo-natal nurse, who encounters Turk, the white supremacist.  Turk requests that Ruth and anyone else of color not to provide care to his son.  When Turk's son dies, Ruth is immediately thrown under the bus by Turk and the hospital for his death.  Kennedy is the public defender, assigned to Ruth's case.  Not only does Ruth and Kennedy learn from each other, but they actually "see" each other.  Jodi Picoult demonstrates the profound lesson in "seeing someone."

Many times, as I listened to the text, I understood Ruth's confliction as an African American woman. I understood being the "only one" in particular settings.  I learned a valuable lesson about trying to "prove" that you were worthy enough to be accepted or educated enough to perform.  I understood not fitting in with the African American children and not fitting in with the White children.   Both her childhood and her adulthood mimics certain incidents in my life, which I could relate. Jodi's ability to paint vividly each perspective is remarkable.  The research that Jodi performed to gain insight into each aspect is translated into an amazing story that leaves you wanting to promote some change and any action.


I do not read the author’s note, but since I was listening to the audiobook, I was made aware of how hard Jodi Picoult worked to tell the “truth” in her fictional novel.  The story is based on a similar incident that occurred in Michigan.  An African American nurse, Tonya Battle, sued the hospital after it granted a man’s request that no African American nurses were to care for his newborn child.  A note was placed on the assignment clipboard that read “No African American nurse to care for baby.” Before reading Small Great Things, I was unaware of this event that took place in 2013. The news article can be viewed on USA TODAY. Her lawsuit was settled according to USA TODAY.

The author’s note is a must read and helps to understand how and why Small Great Things were written.  After reading the book, I decided to read the reviews.  I am glad I did not let the reviews determine if I read this book.  I am glad that I was exposed to this book and its many messages.

I would recommend Small Great Things to everyone.  All ages. All ethnicities.  If I was still teaching college-level English,  I would figure out how to use this book in my lesson plans because of the profound messages within each page. So many themes are present in this book: compassion, racism, mental illness, hatred, and much more. Check out the excerpt of Small Great Things.

Have you read Small Great Things?  What did you think of the book?  Are you going to add this book to your TBR list?

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Guest Post: Read a Book: To Know That You Are Not Alone

Read a Book: To Know That You Are Not Alone

Read a Book: To Know That You Are Not Alone
By Divya Revindran

"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them" - Joseph Brodsky.

In these busy times, when we don't even have time to eat breakfast, there is no wonder that we gave up reading, rather forgot the importance of reading.

I was also not a reader. I thought it as a boring task to read a 100 or more pages book. But I was wrong. We are really missing lot more than what we think without reading.

When I start being at home after my work without nothing much to do, I choose books as my companion. I found it really amazing to read, which cannot be described in words. We can understand it only with the actual experience. It's the best way to avoid boredom.

Now I am an avid reader and I wish I would get enough of my life time to read all the great books.

There is much more to life than our work or spending time aimlessly with latest technology products. Reading books gives us that much needed break from chaos of life. It instills peace inside us, makes us relaxed and also exercise our brain in the process.

When we read a book, it feels great to put ourselves into a world of characters that the writer has created for us. It is the same like watching a good movie.

When we spend hours and hours reading a book, creating a world with different characters in our mind, our imagination powers are sure to get a boost.

Thanks to the technology that we can find good articles to read on the internet. A great article can motivate and inspires us as the same as a book do. The only reason I recommend reading books over short articles is that when we spend hours with a thought or an idea that it's more likely to stay with us than spending few minutes tinkering with it.

Just reading a book is not good enough. The way how we read it also matters. When we come across a new idea or different opinion, think upon it deeply. Do not accept it or eject it blindly. Try to reason with it and understand the writer's point of view.

As we continue this habit, we will start forming our own thoughts and values. It will challenge our mind and the thoughts, customs and tradition that we have grown up with.

It's very easy to get involved too much into the reading process, that we forget the actual purpose of reading is to make us a better person. Just finishing one book after another without any real action from our side won't help us.

Reading articles which spreads negativity, hatred and wrong content is dangerous. It is better not to read anything at all rather reading such articles.

Always read the content from a safe distance. Neither too close nor far away from the eyes.

Always prefer quality over quantity. Better to read one great book than hundred bad ones.

Don't accept anything blindly. Think upon it and try to understand the reason behind what's been written.

Focus completely on what we are reading. Do not think about other stuffs while reading.

Even our education system acknowledges the fact that reading is important for the development of an individual and hence it is considered a top priority in primary education. We can read almost anything including encyclopedias, novels, and magazines and so on. What we read is not important as long as we like what we are doing.

The foremost thing is that reading improves our vocabulary, Command on the language and the communication skills, as we regularly come across new words, phrases, idioms and writing styles. Reading books of a variety of subjects helps us to add our knowledge, which, in turn, helps us with different attributes of life.

The habit of reading yields rich dividends, and that's a fact which cannot be questioned. So it's high time you find a cure for bibliophobia, i.e., the fear of books (especially thick books) and dive into the world of literature or whatever you like to read. In this world of competitiveness, it's always advantageous to amass vast knowledge, and there is no better way to do so.

"Everything in the world exists in order to end up us a book "- Stephane Mallarme

To Know more about the benefits of reading visit http://divyarevindran.blogspot.in/2013/12/10-reasons-why-you-should-be-reading.html

Divya Revindran: http://divyarevindran.blogspot.in/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Divya_Revindran/1779875

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Top 5 Books Read in 2016

As the year comes to an end, I realized that I have been devouring a significant number of books.  This year, my goal was to read 15 books in 2016. Since I have a 4-hour daily commute, I have been reading audiobooks.  Before my lengthy commute, I only read physical books and ebooks. Now, I am addicted to audiobooks.

I have compiled a list of my top 5 books for 2016.  My list of books includes business books, memoir, fiction, and non-fiction.  I have reviewed some of the books on my list.
1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - I read the paperback version, which I purchased at Barnes and Noble.  This book was really great. I enjoyed the novel.  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a very talented writer.  I plan to read more of her books in 2017. 

2. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes - Year of Yes was actually read by Shonda Rhimes, which contributed to me enjoying the book.  Hearing her read this book and express various life lessons, I am glad that I chose this book from Audible.  

3. I'm Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi - This book is HILARIOUS, but there are numerous lessons, which can be learned from each essay.  Luvvie gave me life in this book.  Sometimes, she was even talking about me.  This book is a must-read.

4. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene - I first heard about this book, when I was listening to a podcast by Myleik Teele.  This book is on my list to read every year.  The 48 Laws of Power applies to your personal and professional life.  Next year is about self-development. I am glad that this book was introduced to me.

5. The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris - I am still trying to wrap my mind around this concept, but I really enjoyed the book because Tim Ferris shares so many different resources that can be used for a variety of reasons.  The book links to his blog, which shares, even more, resources.  I listened to the audiobook version, but I plan to read it again and purchase the physical book.

  • What book(s) did you enjoy reading in 2016?  
  • What books are left on your TBR List?

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Guest Post: Benefits of Reading Literature

Benefits of Reading Literature

Benefits of Reading Literature
By Almahmud Rony

It is often said that literature contains the best things that have been thought and said in the world. It is the mirror of life and it deals with everything related to our life. There are many benefits of reading literature. The study of literature improves our sensibility and provides us with a certain depth of perception. It consoles and braces us up in our hours of gloom, stimulates and ennobles our morality. It helps us widen our outlook and develop our personality. As a matter of fact, it has diverse benefits. It has academic benefits, cognitive benefits, social benefits and emotional benefits.

It is universally admitted that reading literature is delightful. It gives readers immense pleasure. Young students read different kinds of literary works basically for pleasure. Good literature helps them develop a reading habit and this habit has a positive impact on the academic studies also. By reading it students get exposed to the authentic use of language which ultimately contributes to the development of their writing skill also. Students can enrich their vocabulary by reading it also.

A literary text does not have one meaning only. It often has a surface meaning and an underlying connotative meaning. In order to understand a text fully a reader has to delve deeper into it. A text can be interpreted in different ways. This develops the thinking capacity of the students. Readers of literature enjoy a greater ability to think and reason about the world than other people.

Another benefit of reading literature is the social benefit. A reader lives in a particular society. He can be influenced by some negative aspects of the society. But in literature they come to know about many characters coming from different social classes, races and ethnic groups.

The next benefit of reading literature is the emotional benefit. Literature is the subject of liberal education and its chief object is to develop human personality. It is supposed to bring about a harmonious development of the human mind to create a balanced personality. Reading literature can expand readers' emotional range. Good literature can help readers to get rid of bad emotions like anger, heartache and loss. It can also help readers develop positive emotions like love and sympathy for others. It gives readers an opportunity to grapple with and process strong emotions in a safe setting without feeling overwhelmed by those emotions.

So, it can be said that reading literature is not pleasure only. It has both an entertainment value and a utilitarian value.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Almahmud_Rony/1646716

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Saturday, October 01, 2016

Book Review: I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi

Book Title: I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual
Author: Luvvie Ajayi
Format: Paperback

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Ajayi is widely known throughout social media as Awesomely Luvvie because of her blog, which is where I first became introduced to her.  Luvvie was blogging before blogging was a "thing" and has contributed to presenting incredible commentary on one of my favorite shows, Scandal.  So, when I heard that she had a new book, I wanted to get it ASAP.  When my ARC copy arrived, it was a very sacred moment.  I did not want to ruin the pages or crinkle the cover. What would Ajayi think of me if I did not handle her book with care? I decided to wait until I could focus on reading the book.

Riding on the passenger side during a trip to visit my in-laws, I decided to devour the book.  Reading the first page of I'm Judging You, I knew that I would not be disappointed.  Ajayi makes you laugh out loud.  My husband kept giving me major "side-eye" as I kept bursting out in laughter.  I know he thinks that I am a bookworm and weird when it comes to my books, but I confirm it all thanks to Ajayi.  

In her book, Luvvie invites you to perform a reality check on yourself and those around you.  Using her "tell it like it is" humor, Luvvie brings to your attention all of the issues and challenges facing society.  For instance, the story of her "friend" and her romantic interest is hilarious, true, and maybe points the finger at me, but I am NOT telling on me. This story can be found in the chapter, "When Baehood Goes Bad." I will not give away any spoilers, but if you have a friend, who is dating someone unworthy, please share this book. Tab the chapter. Highlight the section.  Please do anything that will get her to read that chapter.  I even let my mom read the dating chapter because she did not believe me as I tried to explain the story to her. My mom has been married for 40+ years, and women were different during her dating years.  She was floored when she read the story.  Of course, I left out the part about how I had been in somewhat similar situations with dating after my divorce, but I eventually "snapped" out of it.  Whew! 

In I'm Judging You, Ajayi addresses so many topics, which include dating, racism, social media, culture, friendships, and so much more.  Thanks to her book I re-evaluated the email address that I was using.  I mean I have a Gmail account, but I do not use it as much as my Hotmail account.  Ajayi was judging me.  She gets major side-eye for that, but I get her point. Furthermore, she says want you to want to say, but you choose to hold your tongue.  She shares the truth about herself and suggests that you start examining your truth.  Being from Nigerian, she exposes the truth of American culture and how American behavior usually is enwrapped in a web of tangled foolishness.  There is even a chapter entitled, Racism is for Assholes. 

The Epilogue, Do Something that Matters, illuminates why Ajayi is sharing such profound life lessons with the reader. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I highly recommend this book.  Since Christmas is just around the corner, I will be giving this book as Christmas gift

Have you read I'm Judging You? What was your favorite chapter?
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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Book Review: Look by James Gilmore

Book Title: Look: A Practical Guide for Improving Your Observational Skills
Author: James Gilmore
Format: eBook

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Look: A Practical Guide for Improving Your Observational Skills by James H. Gilmore focused on being more aware using a fresh outlook on observation. Gilmore was inspired by Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats Method to create a metaphor known as the Six Looking Glasses.  Binoculars, bifocals, magnifying glass, microscope, rose-colored glasses, and blindfold looking are the six skills that Gilmore provides intense instruction.

I enjoyed Gilmore’s ability to explain each skill thoroughly.  Additionally, he provided examples and exercises to ensure mastery of each skill.  The text lacks variety and becomes somewhat repetitive.  Once, I reached the microscope skill the book became dull.  Honestly, this book reads more like a textbook than a book for leisure.  

The practicality of the book is immense.  If you can trample through the dullness, it is jammed pack with information that can enhance your observational skills.  I would suggest reading the book at a minimum of two times and not in one sitting.  

Each skill must be read individually, digested, practiced, and implemented to grasp Gilmore's perspective on observation fully. I would recommend this book for people, who are looking for innovative methods to be more aware of their surroundings.  

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Book Review: Basic Black by Cathie Black

Book Title: Basic Black: The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life)
Author: Cathie Black
Format: Audiobook
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Recently, I listened to the audiobook version of Basic Black during my work commute. Basic Black shares the story of Cathie Black, who is known as the media's world guru.  Cathie Black is the president of Hearst Magazines, and she uses her memoir to emphasize how to be successful in career and life by sharing her lessons.  Her humble beginnings, her determination to be successful, and her perseverance inspire me.

I like Basic Black because of Cathie's honesty.  She does not paint a picture of her life being a bed of roses.  She not only shares her successes, but she includes her mistakes.  She desires for the reader to learn from her mistakes or her exposure to the mistakes of others.  Laced with humor and wisdom, Basic Black functions as a manual to maneuver through life and work.

The beginning of the book sets the tone for it.  Cathie explains how she was caught using company time and resources to copy her resume.  She forgot to remove the original copy from the copier.  The senior executive was the person, who informed her about this mistake.  I am sure that she probably could have died, but Cathie used this as a learning experience.  I especially liked the story of getting Oprah to create a magazine with Hearst.  Through the story, I gained insight about being adequately prepared and knowing the audience.

Additionally, Basic Black identifies the importance of being driven, having passion, choosing risks, and developing as a leader.  Through her book, Cathie gives advice that people, who do not have a mentor, can benefit.  The advice that she gives is not a one size fits all, but she shares her lessons to ensure that you can understand what you could learn from her experiences and mistakes.

I would recommend Basic Black to entrepreneurs, career changers, and anyone interested in being inspired or motivated in their current jobs. I am glad that I read this book for the second time.

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Guest Post: 5 Great Books on Public Speaking You Cannot Miss

5 Great Books on Public Speaking You Cannot Miss

5 Great Books on Public Speaking You Cannot Miss
By Tan Kwan Hong

Participants in my public speaking workshops have often asked me to recommend some great books that they can read to take their mastery of public speaking to the next level. Indeed, reading is a great way in which you can gain new ideas and novel perspectives on speech delivery.

Here are 5 books I highly recommend that you can read to improve your public speaking skills.

Book #1: Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun

A book that divulges the secrets behind what great speakers and communicators do, and how you can emulate the success of these speakers through highly practical tips.

Book #2: Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds by Carmine Gallo

The ideas presented in this book are current and cutting-edge. If you want to learn how to sell yourself and your ideas on stage, this book is for you.

Book #3: Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln: 21 Powerful Secrets of History's Greatest Speakers by James C. Humes

Great leaders like Churchill and Lincoln are not only remembered for their heroic leadership, but also for their mesmerizing and captivating speeches. If you want to learn how to deliver inspirational speeches that capture the hearts and souls of your audience, pick up this book right away!

Book #4: Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds

Garr Reynolds is going to change the way you deliver presentations using PowerPoint and Keynote. This book presents noteworthy ideas that transform the way you prepare, design and deliver your presentations.

Book #5: The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speakingby Dale Carnegie

A classic book of public speaking by the guru of communication, Dale Carnegie. This book discloses the fundamentals of how you can influence minds and win hearts through effective speaking. Another book not to be missed!


While I strongly believe that the best way to learn how to deliver exceptional speeches is to do the real thing itself (yes! keep getting stage time to practice your speeches and hone your craft), reading books for new ideas and novel perspectives can put you on a highway to success and accomplishments in this arena. So go forth and pick up a book right away!

About The Author

Kwan Hong helps professionals, business executives, and youths gain rapid mastery in communication skills, personal peak performance and career growth. He has synthesized knowledge from 8 Degrees and Diplomas, from over 100 certifications and from 1000 books to bring his clients the best tips, tricks and techniques for personal success.

Till date, 120,000 participants from over 100 organizations and events have benefited from his speaking engagements.

Reach out to him at http://www.TanKwanHong.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/tankwanhong.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Tan_Kwan_Hong/2304484

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Book Review: for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf

Book Title: for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf 
Author: Ntozake Shange
Format: Audiobook
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I checked this audiobook from my local public library.  I have been procrastinating on reading it because of the scene with the children being dangled out of the window.  I watched the movie first, and that image still resonates with me.  

However, since I have a two-hour commute one way, I felt that now would be a good time to be entranced by Shange, and I must say that I was.  I cannot believe how talented she is.  She entraps you inside almost every emotion and feeling that women encountered, as they journey through life.  Shange chooses the language within the text to articulate power, beauty, anger, happiness, and so much more.

I hate to admit that the stories of the seven women are very familiar.  Why? I have either experienced the incident or know of a woman or women, who have experienced it.  

Within this text, Shange captures what it means to be a woman and what it means to be a woman of color.  Regardless of race, all women can relate to this text.  Incidences of infidelity or abuse are well known to women.  Shange's ability to capture the reality is amazing.  

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Tuesday, August 09, 2016


Initially, I started with a subscription to Scribd. However, I did not like how I could not access the books after I read them.  If you haven't guessed it, I am a book hoarder, whether in paperback, hardback, or electronic form.  I checked out available audiobooks at my local library.  Also, I downloaded free audiobooks from LibriVox. Additionally, I decided to sign up for Audible.  Audible costs more than Scribd, but I own the books, and I can replay them, which is very important to me.  I love that I can download them to my iPod or in iTunes, or I play the audiobooks in the Audible app on my phone.  Since I have been commuting to work, I have devoured several audiobooks:

  1. for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
  2. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person
  3. Meditations
  4. The Art of War 
  5. The Science of Getting Rich
  6. The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels
  7. The Power of Now
Currently, I am listening to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.  I am really enjoying how many books I have completed in less than 30 days.  I will review them as soon as I can, but for now, I will keep listening.  

Do you enjoy audiobooks?  What is your favorite audiobook? 

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my currently-reading shelf:
Cassandra Hawkins Wilder's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (currently-reading shelf)
Check out my other blog: Transitioning to Me: Life after Divorce.

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Letter to My Daughter
Their Eyes Were Watching God
The Color Purple
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Invisible Man
The Diary of a Young Girl
Eat, Pray, Love
What to Expect When You're Expecting
Waiting to Exhale
How Stella Got Her Groove Back
Getting to Happy
Life Histories and Psychobiography
If Beale Street Could Talk
Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment
The Confident Woman: Start Today Living Boldly and Without Fear
100 Ways To Simplify Your Life
Let the Lion Eat Straw

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Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It
Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention
Annie Allen
A Taste of Power: A Black Woman's Story
They Tell Me of a Home
The Best of Simple
Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment
Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time
The ABC's of Real Estate Investing: The Secrets of Finding Hidden Profits Most Investors Miss
Principle-Centered Leadership
The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear
Becoming a Writer
A Colony in a Nation
Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE
Write to Market: Deliver a Book that Sells
My Journey : Transforming Dreams into Actions
Queen Sugar
Dangerous Intimacy: The Untold Story of Mark Twain’s Final Years

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Favorite Books

  • A Piece of Mine
  • A Worn Path
  • Americanah
  • As I Lay Dying
  • Black Boy
  • God Help the Child
  • Jubilee
  • Ligeia
  • Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry
  • The Fall of the House of Usher
  • The Pit and the Pendulum
  • The Souls of Black Folk
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God

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