On Liberty – A Book Review and Summary

On Liberty is often said to be one of, if not the most significant influences on the individualistic, tolerant culture of today. Its author, John Stuart Mill, was inspired to write this work after having his own liberty restricted all throughout his childhood by his demanding father. His father imposed a strict educational regime upon his son: Mill had read all the major Ancient Greek philosophical works by age 9 – in Ancient Greek! So he was groomed by his father, molded into a figure not of his own choosing, and he realized this at age 20, when he thought that everything about him was not a result of his own freedom, but he was almost a creation of someone else; this caused him to have a serious mental breakdown, and it took him a few years to recover from this catastrophic realization, now knowing the importance of individual liberty for our happiness.

"The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant"

The fundamental underlying principle of Mill's whole philosophy is described as thus: 'Over one's mind and over one's body, the individual is sovereign', and that the only instance that this can be broken is if the sovereign will of the harm of another. So, for example, it has been used to try and legitimize all drugs, as an individual should be able to choose what they do to themselves, arguing it only affects themselves; but there are problems when others rely on you: a mother for instance, would not be justified in claiming her drug-use was only affecting herself, as the effects of the drugs would impair her ability to take care of her children; so there are great difficulties in defining exactly what constitutes sovereignty.

"The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it"

This really only constitutes physical / material harm however; Mill was also gravely concerned about social stagnation, brought about by widespread and sheep like adherence to societal norms and beliefs, that created a world of uniformity. So he felt that invasion of personal sovereignty extended to a cultural level, where people were made to feel alienated and ridiculous for holding unorthodox beliefs, and that this certain societal coercion and pressure restricted the spiritual freedom of all of society. This concept has been reproduced in pretty much every century ever since in one form or another, most recently the 'Beat Generation' of the 1950's and 60's. On Liberty is a book outlining the benefits of being highly tolerant of differences in society, and as such is a great read when keeping in mind the tolerance of many societies today.

"No one can be a great thinker who does not recognize that as a thinker it is his first duty to follow his intellect to whatever conclusions it may lead"

Book Review, In the Neighborhood by Peter Lovenheim, Searching For Community One Sleepover at a Time

Peter Lovenheim lives in an affluent Rochester, New York suburb. In February 2000, a murder-suicide involving a physician couple occurred in a house on his street. Two children ran from the house after 10 pm shouting that their father had killed their mother. No one in the neighborhood knew the family well, which had lived there for seven years. Lovenheim was bewildered how a street of 36 homes lacked a sense of community. He desired to know the people whose houses he passed each day, beyond their professions or number of children. He wanted to know the depth of their experience and their essence. Lovenheim knew from childhood sleepovers and summer house exchanges that waking in their beds, fixing meals in their kitchen and walking their neighborhoods provided insight conversation alone could not do. His mission would require a sleepover. Some residents declined; and yet, many said yes. In The Neighborhood: The Search For Community on An American Street One Sleepover At A Time, is Lovenheim’s near-decade experience to embrace his neighborhood.

Eighty-one-year-old Lou was the first resident to honor Lovenheim’s request to sleep overnight. Lou, a retired surgeon, lost Edie, his wife of 52 years, five years ago and misses her dearly. They raised six children who now live throughout the U.S. Lou welcomes Lovenheim’s company, as his schnauzer, Heidi is his only companion. Lovenheim accompanies Lou to the local Y where he exercises. There, his regular workout buddies laud Lou’s arrival. He appreciates their acclaim, reminding him of his popularity during his surgeon days. Yet, when he returns home to an empty house, as Lou says, “My life is zero.”

Forty-something Patti, lives just doors down from Lou and they’re unconnected. Patti, a radiologist, diagnosed her own aggressive form of breast cancer. She abandoned medicine to undergo chemotherapy. Lovenheim befriends Patti, a divorced mother of two pre-teen daughters. She too accepts his sleepover request. Lovenheim witnesses her health decline over time and helps whenever he can.

Grace, nearly 90, had walked Lovenheim’s neighborhood almost everyday for forty years without acknowledgment. She lived in a nearby town but chose to exercise among the Rochester suburb’s beautiful surroundings. Residents named her “The Walker” from afar. Lovenheim approached Grace during one of her strolls and explained his book project. She invited him to her apartment where he learned her fascinating background. She once lived in New York City and was an accomplished pianist and harpist. Once while walking, she fell. She crawled across the street back to her car and drove herself to the emergency room. Lovenheim questions if a place where an elderly woman falls and is unattended to can fairly be called a “neighborhood.”

Married couple, Deb 32, and Doug, 42 represent the younger faces of Lovenheim’s street. Lovenheim spends the night and senses a more self-sufficient couple. Both are on the fast track in corporate America, childless, and trying to conceive. They’re active members of the local country club. Deb tells Lovenheim she once needed vanilla for cookies and made Dave drive in a snowstorm to buy some. Ideally, he thought, she should have been able to borrow some from him as her neighbor.

Lovenheim rides with Brian, the newspaper deliveryman at 4:00 am to experience his street from a different perspective. He also walks along Postman Ralph’s delivery truck (Postal regulations prevent vehicle passengers) as he does his daily route. Ralph chronicles helping residents, including recognizing the signs of stroke in a customer and calling for help. Lovenheim believes Ralph knows more about his neighbors than they do: “I began to realize that in some ways he was a better neighbor to us than we were to each other.”

Lovenheim validates his neighboring efforts by introducing Patti to Lou. Lou welcomes the opportunity to drive Patti to her doctor’s appointments; making him feel needed. Lovenheim borrows sidewalk salt from Deb; and she agrees to take Patti’s daughter to the skating rink as her health deteriorates. When Lovenheim’s romantic interest ends, he turns to Lou for comfort. They share breakfast almost daily for two weeks as Lovenheim readjusts. “That it would end up being me who would find shelter at a neighbor’s house is something that never occurred to me when I started my journey, yet there it was,” says Lovenheim.

Lovenheim deserves credit for taking on such an assertive project. He displayed immense patience as he befriended his neighbors for some time before requesting to sleepover. He faced rejections too by those weary of his intentions.

In an age of social media where we’re quick to boast 50,000+ Twitter “followers,” reading Lovenheim’s narrative poses the question: Do we in fact know our next door neighbor?

For thought-provoking questions about neighborhoods, view In The Neighborhood’s Reading Guide: http://us.penguingroup.com/static/rguides/us/in_the_neighborhood.html.

An Intriguing Book Review on "Five Go Off To Camp" a Famouse Five Adventure by Enid Blyton

INTRODUCTION:

Children fall into the beautiful habit of reading books right after they read a couple of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five. It’s not the case every time for everyone. But taking into account of my personal experience, I fell in love with books right after reading my first ever Enid Blyton’s novel “Five Go Off To Camp”. I started to read books right from my childhood, but I tell you this book rekindled my long lost flair to read or maybe I realized that I was born to read books.

A VERY HELPFUL ASPECT:

Though “Five Go Off To Camp” is the 7th book in the Famous Five series, Ms.Blyton makes it a point to present a vivid description of the main characters which prevents the new readers from going blank.

THE FAMOUS FIVE:

The adventure opens up when the four children Julian, Dick, Anne, their cousin Georgina and her dog Timothy decide to spend their the summer holidays all on their own to camp in the moorlands. To their disappointment their parents appoint Professor Luffy, an insect researcher as their caretaker.

THE SUDDEN TURN OF EVENTS:

As they reach the moors and settle down all their disappointments wear away as they easily get along with the professor and start to enjoy the atmosphere of the moorlands.Whereever they go they find themselves indulged in mysteries but little did they realize that these beautiful moors hold the deadliest of the mysteries ever solved by them.

THE PICTURIZATION OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS:

Though in their preteens they are depicted as highly responsible, witty, brave and well behaved children which makes them famous and loved by all.Their dog,Timmy, as they call it,plays an important role in the process of unlocking every mystery they get into.

THE BEGINNING OF THE ADVENTURE:

During their stay in the moorlands they befriend a farm boy named Jock who shows them around the moors. One day while playing near a deserted tunnel at the end of the moorlands they are confronted by a one-legged old man named “Wooden legged Sam”, who scares them with terrifying stories of spook trains which comes out of the deserted tunnel every night and disappears into thin air. He threatens them and asks them to stay away from the haunted place. But the Famous Five were not the children who loved to stay away from trouble. This small piece of information triggers the thirst of an adventure among the kids and they decide to spend the rest of the holidays in unfolding the mysterious events of the less habitated moorlands.

THE SPECIAL DESCRIPTION:

One of the most important thing to be noted while reading this book is about the beautiful description of the delicacies the four children have each day. The way the author describes it can salivate you even though the menu is just bacon and eggs.

CONCLUSION:

The whole book captivates the readers as if they are enchanted by the spell cast by the 4 children and their dog and makes us feel that we are part the Famous Five in the moorlands unlocking the mystery.

Kindle E-Book Store: New Enhancements

An all new and improved Kindle e-book Store app was launched this month. The app topped the line of tools at Amazon. This news may not be so new to a lot of readers but some have not yet downloaded this app because of two reasons: Some wrong notions have been spread about the app and some have not yet heard about it. This wrong notion must be corrected and facts about the advantages and improvements of the app should be noted.

The kindle e-book Store has improved due to request of users and readers who have found many advantages in using the platform. The new Kindle Paperwhite e-reader will surely help to transform and enhance your reading experience. It is a reading evolution you should experience.

“This is one of the few reasons why I choose kindle e-store, it just improves through time. They provide readers and users the comfort and ease we need,” Jenny said, an avid user of kindle.

This is only one of the many reasons why kindle belongs to the list of royalty apps at amazon and why it is dubbed as The Best Service Provider.

Techtimes stated that Kindle is by far the widest e-book app used in the world. The latter also provided details on why this is so.

First– the Kindle Paperwhite innovation which features 62 percent more pixels with new features such as the time to read which estimates the speed of reading time a reader takes to read a page. Lights can also be adjusted in your preference.

Second -Kindle offers subscription options and traditional e-store. Moreover, it offers 700,000 e-books and audio books available to download in any device. The service offers Whispersync which allows you to switch to audio when you like to listen instead of reading the book.

Third – It offers e-book purchasing without subscription. It also lets you know what’s available to read for the next month. This is another plus to those book lovers who want to read the latest books before anyone else.

Fourth – The store also gives you the bonus of reading four editor picks on any device through the app. For prime users, they can get these books for free.

The Kindle e-book Store offers great deals for readers and non-readers alike. Surely, non-readers will have a change of heart when they try this app. If you are too tired to read then you can switch to audio so you would just listen to your favorite book instead of reading it.

“Everyone should experience this platform. It encourages people to read and be informed. A person who reads is thrice better than a person who has not read at all. If you have no time to read but would definitely want to read if given the time then this is the innovation for you. It offers adjustments that will suit your comfort and convenience,” a testimonial by one of the users at amazon.

The Benefits and Advantages of Ebooks

An ebook is a book in electronic format. It is downloaded to a computer, PC, Mac, laptop, PDA or any other kind of computer, and is read on the screen. It can have numbered pages, table of contents, pictures and graphics, exactly like a printed book.

Ebooks present many benefits and advantages, and this article shows some of them.

It is very simple and easy to purchase and download ebooks through the Internet. It is exactly like purchasing any other product. The only difference is that after payment you will either be directed to a download page or receive the download link in an email. All you have to do is click on the link and the ebook will automatically download to your computer, to a folder of your own choice.

After download you don’t have to be connected to the Internet in order to read the ebook. You can stay offline. If you wish to have it printed, it is very easy. Just click on the print button in the ebook, to print it with your home printer.

So what are the benefits and advantages of ebooks?

1. Ebooks are delivered almost instantaneously. You can purchase, download and start reading them within minutes, without leaving your chair. You don’t have to go to a bookstore to buy them, neither wait for them for days, weeks and sometimes more to arrive in the mail.

2. No trees are required to manufacture paper for the pages of ebooks.

3. When you need certain information, you can get it immediately, by downloading an ebook.

4. Many ebooks are sold nowadays with bonuses, which you usually do not get with a printed book. This adds value to your purchase.

5. Ebooks take up less space. You practically don’t need any space to store them. You don’t need a library or a room for them. You can store hundreds and thousands of ebook in your computer.

6. Ebooks are portable. You can carry a whole library of hundreds of books with you, on CD, in a laptop, notebook or any ebook reader, without worrying about their weight.

7. With today technology you can read ebooks anywhere, on the bus, train, airplane and while standing in line.

8. Ebooks are more safely stored and carried from one place to another, than ordinary books. They also withstand time more than books.

9. Ebooks can show links, for easy access to more information and related websites.

10. Ebooks are searchable. You can easily search for any information in an ebook, instead of turning page after page.

11. Ebooks can be interactive and contain audio, video and animations, which can enhance the message that the author is trying to convey.

12. As ebooks are delivered through the Internet, there are no packing and shipping expenses.

13. Ebooks can be printable, so that if you wish to read an ebook in the traditional way, you can very inexpensively print it with your home printer or at any printing shop.

14. Fonts in ebooks can be resized, making it easier to read for people with disabilities. With an additional software it is possible to turn some of the ebooks into audio books.

15. Ebooks are very easy to to sell and distribute.

16. It is very simple and easy to purchase and download an ebook. People living in big modernized cities, in a remote village in a far away country or on a small island, can equally access an ebook. It takes them the same amount of time to purchase and download an ebook, provided they have an Internet connection.

17. It is possible to purchase an ebook 24 hours a day, every day of the year, from the comfort of your own house or office. You can purchase and download an ebook, even if you are on a vacation, if you have a laptop and wireless Internet connection.

18. People are already spending a lot of time in front of their computers, so why not read and ebook, instead of doing something else?

Nowadays one can find ebooks about every possible subject, fiction and nonfiction, free and not free.

Considering non-fiction ebooks, such ebooks disseminate knowledge not pages, which means that it is not correct to evaluate the price of an ebook according to the number of its pages. The price should be determined by the information it contains, its usefulness and relevancy, and on how much it gives you in terms of practical knowledge, inspiration, motivation, tips and advice, and also by the uniqueness of the information it contains.

© Copyright Remez Sasson

Book Review: I'll Be Looking at the Moon: A Novel About Finding Home by Lucia Barrett

A fitting book for spring, since it is about rebirth and life, "I'll Be Looking at the Moon" by Lucia Barrett will fill your lungs with the fresh smell of wild flowers. While it can easily be cataloged as romance, the novel has deeper layers to it, which surpass the stereotypical love connection between a man and a woman. It is also a story about family and above all about the Self.

The story kicks off with a strong start. The reader is practically thrown into the inner world of the lead protagonist being exposed to her most personal thoughts. Once we share a glimpse of Elizabeth Parker Morgan's present, we are torn away from it and sent back to the past, on a journey to discover (alongside her) why and how this present came to be. With a Freudian approach, the focus falls on her childhood and how the relationship with her parents and brother, but especially her mother, helped shape her as a person, and more particularly her capacity to give and receive love. As she matures into a successful businesswoman, she experiences France with all the romantic perils that would make such a cultural experience whole. She meets a man torn from her dreams in which she finds the coveted reciprocity she longed for all her life. But the illusion of a fairy tale love story soon shatters and both parts are left only with shards that will not fit together anymore. It is up to Elisabeth to rebuild herself and integrate this story into her life experience.

While the main focus falls on the love Elisabeth shared with Antonio, there are several other romantic strings that run through the pages of the book. Lucia Barrett takes on an inter-generational love story presenting very different type of relationships. First, there is the accomplished couple represented by Elisabeth's grandparents, who are best friends for life and still care deeply about each other at their old age. The second pair, Elisabeth's parents fell in love with each other easily, but they grew apart over the years. Their shared experiences uncovered mainly their differences and widened the gap between them. Finally, the love story of the heroine remains for you to discover in which category should fall, but hold your judgment until the last pages of the book.

"I'll Be Looking at the Moon" is a play on perspectives. A surface will materialize before our eyes depending on how the light will cover it. Whoever controls the light source controls what we see. In this case, Lucia Barrett takes the steering wheel and directs your attention to unexpected details.

Book Review: Cruise Control

Robert Weiss has written a very interesting and unique book about gay men who are involved in sex addictions. Throughout he not only describes the changes that have occurred over time for the gay culture but also addresses many of the stereotypes that have been held by society.

Weiss begins by clearly defining sex addiction and the myth are surround it. He keeps it simple with statements such as “Active sex addiction is an unhealthy way to get your emotional needs met”. (Page 48).

The author describes the delicate interplay between nature and nurture as well as factors that can lead an individual into an addictive cycle. He also addresses the shame and other vulnerabilities trap the addict not only in their dysfunctional sexual patterns but also in other chemical and activity obsessions.

Knowing the differences between healthy, addictive and offending sexual behaviours can be confusing but Weiss clears up the confusion with his honest and detailed writing style. He does not generalize or label “right” and “wrong” but instead talks about the expectations and boundaries that couples have for themselves and each other. Their relationship is jeopardized when these are broken or disrespected.

When is comes to change, Weiss states that promises to self and others are not enough. The sex addict is unable to make and maintain healthy changes on his own They need a carefully designed written plan as well as support from helpful friends, professionals and others in recovery in order to maintain long-term transformation.

“Cruise Control” outlines the specific steps in detail for creating goals and writing the boundary plan. It consists of goals, beliefs and principles in three specific areas. The Inner boundary is for those behaviours that are damaging and can no longer be tolerated. The Middle boundary identifies triggers such as people, places and experiences that will lead back to addiction. The Outer boundary states the rewards that will be enjoyed as a result of the desired changes. Examples of Boundary plans are included as well as a template for creating a personal boundary plan.

Weiss uses two chapters to talk about the need and benefits for getting support from others and for obtaining appropriate therapy. He devotes a chapter to technology and provides one for partners and spouses.

It is obvious that Weiss wants the reader to understand that there are resources to help the addict and their loved ones to become healthier. Lists for Recommended Reading, Support Resources as well as a screening test are included as appendices.

This book is amazing. It provides an educational as well as a therapeutic perspective for any reader who is interested in learning more about how humans think and act. You don’t have to be gay or involved with someone who is gay in order to benefit from the wisdom that Robert Weiss has invested in “Cruise Control”.

Download Audio Books To Listen To While You Workout

Audio books are becoming a favorite way of learning a new skill, developing self-confidence, or keeping us going with a new exercise regime. An increasing number of people are finding that they get the best out of their workout when it is accompanied by an inspirational or educational audio book.

Audio books can make the daily workout an enjoyable and stress free process and there are a variety of audio books available today that can help you to get the optimum benefit from your daily workout. You can now download audio books that are specifically workout related and these can help you find better and more enjoyable ways of exercising.

If you are new to a regular exercise regimen, you can download audio books that will help you to get a head start in the workout process. The right one can take you through your workout step by step. Some of them intersperse this instruction with mood music that helps you to relax into what you are doing. Getting your mind in sync with your body means that workout time is less stressful. You are then more inclined to keep up the exercise regime and reap the benefits.

Instead of watching the clock, thinking you have five more exercises to do in the next ten minutes, you will be taken up with what you are hearing and so find the exercise almost effortless. This helps to increase your self-esteem because you will complete the exercise program instead of giving up halfway through the process. Many of the negative feelings we experience about ourselves and about workouts is a result of our failure to complete the course. Going the whole way with an exercise program will contribute to your understanding of yourself as a healthy and capable individual.

Listen to something inspirational. There are plenty of audio books that help you to work on all areas of your life and audio books are especially suited to those programs where affirmations are part of the process. Hearing and repeating affirmations while you are working out helps to plant the ideas deeper into your subconscious mind.

With audio books, you can do you daily workout while you are learning another skill at the same time. Many people use audio books to learn a language or to increase their knowledge of the subject they are studying while they are performing other tasks. The audio book can help you to do this. No more excuses when it comes to exercise because you can use the time to study or to catch up on your novel reading. Listening to a tale that you enjoy, or learning something new can be done at the same time as you are getting yourself fit.

This makes listening to an audio book while you are working out a win-win situation. You improve your mind and your body and end up looking and feeling much better than when you started out.

Bead on Trouble by Barbara Burnett Smith – Book Review

I just finished reading Bead on Trouble by Barbara Burnett Smith, a mystery novel set among beaders (makers of bead jewelry) in Central Texas.

First of all, let me say how amazed I was at the fragmentation of the mystery novel market. Of course I was aware of standard genres, such as the police procedural or the English whodunit, as well as mystery series with regional connections. I had even come across mystery series with themes such as rare book collecting (John Dunning's Booked to Die is an excellent read for bibliophiles) or running a teashop.

These days however, there appear to be mysteries for quilters, potters and scrapbookers as well – can you imagine the problems for bookstore owners ("Where do you keep the mysteries about juvenile herb gardeners?")

Despite these somewhat odd trends, Bead on Trouble is an entertaining book. The protagonist, Kitzi Camden, is an ex-politician in her 50s, turned corporate trainer and part-time beader. When she attends a beading camp in the Texas Hill Country, mayhem ensues. There is an old flame of Kitzi's, a potential new love interest, fierce competition among the beaders for a lucrative contract from an art catalog, and a mysterious death … May Feather, a talented beader is found dead in a creek.

Of course it does not help that Kitzi discovered earlier that the victim was having an affair with the husband of Kitzi's best friend Beth.

Naturally, Kitzi wants to solve the case, while the local sheriff suspects her of murdering May …

This makes for nice reading, and the author keeps stringing you along (sorry, could not resist the pun), so that the ending is rather surprising. The best part is the witty dialogs. So, if you enjoy craft-themed mysteries, Bead on Trouble would be a good choice.

Christian Living Book Review – The Cup, The Cake and The Coin

By: Dr. I.V. Hilliard (2012)

Published by New Spectrum Media Concepts, 15814 Champions Forest #75 Spring, TX 77379

ISBN 978-0-9851176-0-3

Book Price: $20.00

Accomplish greater success

Dr. Ira Van Hilliard began his ministry career at 10 years of age. He was known as “The Wonder Boy Preacher.” He leads New Light Christian Center Church with over 28,000 members, has started his own TV network, credit union, apartment complex, bible institute, several successful organizations, and is an accomplished author.

Focus on honoring spiritual leadership

Dr. Hilliard expresses keys to honoring spiritual leadership and the rewards. He shares on human resistance to the keys (Ch. 1); revealed truth about honoring spiritual leaders (Ch. 2); the role and responsibility of spiritual leadership (Ch. 3); our responsibility to financially support spiritual leaders (Ch. 4); and much more!

Keys to honoring spiritual leadership

Dr. Hilliard takes a personal, transparent tone, teaching through examples and life illustrations, to draw readers into his experience. He is careful to relay principles that have been working in his life for decades! Introducing his topic of honoring leaders he states, “This principle is one that I learned and embraced over four decades ago.”

Confronting controversial issues is Dr. I.V. Hilliard’s specialty. He unapologetically presents the remedy for many crisis situations. He boldly addresses readers with, “… it is God’s plan to bless you by rewarding your obedience with an impartation of divine favor… You cannot disrespect God’s servant and expect God’s Spirit to move.”

Readers receive insight through Dr. Hilliard’s interactive explanations. He expresses, “You may be saying to yourself, “I thought honoring my pastor meant showing appreciation and regularly expressing gratitude for his or her impact on my life.” You are correct, but not complete. To honor spiritual authority means more than saying, “Thank you.” Honor, in the Biblical context, means to give fitting and due respect, recognition, and resources.”

Dr. Hilliard shares pointed advice, as, “… you should never set yourself in a position to judge your pastor.”

Dr. I.V. Hilliard encourages readers by focusing on benefits, sharing, “The key that I want to convey to you is that whenever you are led to show appreciation by giving financial support to your pastor, you should do it unashamedly and boldly because you are positioning your life for exponential blessings.”

Helping readers to experience the best life

Dr. I.V. Hilliard helps readers to experience the best life by teaching them how to honor and receive from honor.

Success Step: List 7 things a leader, mentor, or spiritual leader has done to help your life go better. Honor them!