sâmbătă, 1 decembrie 2012

Living to Die, Dying to Live

By D. O. Grant

Reviewed by E.L.S.E.
You can pick up a copy at the online bookstore:  
at the
This e-book was provided by Dorrance Book Review Team.
The book is published by Dorrance Publishing.

            I was thinking how to define into a single word the general impression created to me by the book entitled “Living to Die and Dying to Live” written by D. O. Grant., and the single possibility it is to use the word: “Sadness”.
            For somebody who wants to find out what it is happening in an African-American family, how are they integrated into the white man circles, this book it is very illustrative. But, we must declare from the beginning, we don`t believe that it is a pattern for all the families being in the same conditions.
            Of course the African – American youngsters are protesting against the domination of the white man, but who can tell how much from this protest it is directed against their own fellow kinds, who are their teachers, their parents, their bosses?
            Many times people use something which appears to be good for justify their bad behavior and their lack of values. Using the fight for civil rights to justify that you don`t want to work but to still, or using the liberty pretext (of course liberty it is not just a pretext!) to kill, dealing drugs or prostitution, isn`t make better your deeds.
Look what the mother of the main character, named Terry, said to him in this respect: “Terry, that is not the way you should be thinking at a stage like this in your life. If you keep containing those thoughts like the rest of our black people, you’re going to be making excuses just like them to not work for white folks.” P. 7
            These days, I think in all worlds wide, there is a changing of values, a search for these values, a redefining of them, for the human society pass in history. But, like priest professor doctor Dumitru Staniloae says in the book entitled “Jesus Christ or the Restoration of the Man”, history, the human society, are given to man for preparing him to receive the Revelation. So the constant search for himself must be a constant of the man.
            The book uses a phonetic translation of the slang used in conversation by the youngsters. First of all, the language forms the consciences. The consciences express through language. Than language study it is an important way to learn about a culture, to understand people. This book it is a perfect example for that. The slang for somebody unaccustomed for this type of talking it is a little tiresome.
            The action of the story steadily grows to disaster. From refusing to work and making contraband to kill people it is not so far away. 
            There is a conflict between the old fashion life, the family`s one, and the life of the young people, living in a kind of jungle.
The aggressiveness in all the young characters are doing, their violence, can`t be a solution. That isn`t a life, but just a visceral trying to escape sufferance by getting pleasure as much as possible, no matter how and who do you hurt.
The opposition to the white man world it is used all the time to justify the own wrongdoings. At the end, the destiny it is individual and our deeds define us. A wrong thing can`t be repaired by doing another wrong thing. I will not suffer less if I will make people suffer back. An injustice can`t be made right doing at you turn another injustice.
Why to read this book? To understand! Around us there are so many things about which we know nothing. Understanding makes us to forgive, to try to be better.
All in all, reading makes we better humans.

    You can pick up a copy at the online bookstore:
 http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/dorrance_2236_584823298 at the www.dorrancebookstore.com   

sâmbătă, 27 octombrie 2012


You Are the Problem

You Are the Solution

By Andy Holligan

Reviewed by E.L.S.E.

10. 30. 2012


You can pick up a copy at the online bookstore:


at the www.dorrancebookstore.com

This e-book was provided by Dorrance Book Review Team.

The book is published by Dorrance Publishing.

Motto: “Don’t be your own worst enemy.” (pg. 44)

Dear reader, this book is a collection of lesson about life.

I read many books before of how to get a better life. All of them are optimistic, but not so realistic. This one has something more: it is very clear written.

The partition in two sections, the first one identifying the problem and the second showing the solutions, is so logical.

The author begins his book by telling us about fear; how to deal with it.

“There is only one way to conquer fear and that is to take action.” (pg. 3)

The author quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said:

“Do the thing and you will have the courage.” (Pg. 3)

The main way to change our life, like the author sais, is to change our sub conscious: “It has also been proven that whatever we picture in our minds repeatedly is looked upon as a “goal” by our subconscious and it will draw us toward it in actual physical reality. (Pg. 5)

Using negative thinking affects us and attracts bad things upon us:

“When we worry we are actually vividly picturing what we don’t want to happen, and if we do this on a regular basis we can actually attract the very thing we don’t want. On the other hand, people have used visualization to help them achieve some extraordinary goals in life. (pg.5)”

“The bad feeling you got was your subconscious trying to warn you of impending danger. (pg. 6)”

“may have used certain techniques, such as positive affirmations, visualization, or the miraculous power of prayer, but their attitude was one of faith that they would get better instead of expecting to get worse (pg. 7)”

The secret is to change our mental attitude, for we are free to do it:

“(…) you have the freedom to choose your mental attitude; that is your choice and your privilege. Although your conscious mind may know the facts, the subconscious part of your mind doesn’t care about facts. It responds to what you believe, even if what you believe is contrary to the truth. This is an amazing law of the mind which few people understand.” (pg. 7)

Some people healed by graver illnesses because they believed they can:

“(…) their subconscious mind responded and a healing took place. That is how powerful belief is.” (pg. 8)

“Remember that your subconscious is linked to your immune system and controls about 90 percent of all your bodily functions including the healing process and the constant renewal of every cell in your body. You need to be very careful what information you feed into your subconscious as it will respond accordingly. It will accept harmful or destructive suggestions just as quickly as it will accept good, positive suggestions, so my advice is do not accept about yourself that which you do not want to be true, as this will become your reality.” (pg. 8)

How to program our mind? The author answers to this question in just the following chapter title and in its content:

“Fight Thoughts with Words” (pg. 9)

“Most people vastly underestimate the power of words. Your words control your life whether you like it or not or believe it or not. The Bible tells us, “The tongue has the power of life and death” “ (Prov. 18:21). (pg. 9)

“Words are more powerful than conscious thoughts. What we need to do is break this negative thought pattern with spoken words, as spoken words immediately affect the subconscious mind and will override conscious thoughts. If this negative thought pattern is deep rooted and long held, the subconscious will resist these words to begin with but, if you persist, the subconscious will gradually start to accept these new commands.” (pg. 9)

There is a distinction that the author makes in which way we have to formulate our thoughts. They must be direct, positive, clear:

“I am wealthy,” (pg. 11)

Continuing the idea that all things are appreciated by our mind, consider this affirmation:

“The mind is its own place and can make a heaven of hell or a hell of heaven.” (pg. 12)

There must be highlighted the pleasant style of the writing. The argumentation develops very logically, from the most general level to details, the convincing argumentation, the use of an essential content only, without inutile complications. This is book for everybody.

The author has an interesting way of thinking about words! I totally agree, since I also published the book entitled “Identity Sheets” in which I wrote: “The word has its own power, can heal, can materialize thoughts, can be a way towards God, but only if it is spoken or wrote to create communion between people and keeping always the middle path. The word stays at the basis of the Gnosis, in the attempt to explain the un-explainable, guiding the spiritual traveler through the ascending stairs of knowledge: rational, imaginative, and intuitive, and above all, at the conscious nescience. The word is also the vehicle of the prayer, which connect us with the uncreated energies and elevates us from our decayed condition. But we must take care, because, like the sacred texts are saying: “The word of God isn`t a blather”, and even Jesus Christ commands us to have our words simple, “yes” if it is “yes”, and “no” if it is “no”. The holly fathers advices us to not talk much, because this dilute the spiritual load of our words. “Identity Sheets” is trying to show how words become our different identities, how they build around us the world in which we whish to live.”

The same interesting is the conclusion about, even positive or negative: “(…) in a sense, all words are affirmations (…)” (pg. 13)

Mister Andy Holligan reiterates the consideration that: “(…) actions do speak louder than words (…)” (pg. 13)

Exactly because of the power of words, the author tell us: “A word of warning: Affirmations should only be used for good purposes—that means your own good and the good of other people—any attempt to use them in a negative way will surely backfire on you in one way or another.” (pg. 14)

Very interesting are the “mantras” from the pages 14 – 15. I never see these types of affirmations so clear illustrated into another book: “I get on well with everyone.”

Must be mentioned that this book benefit by the clear religious inclination of the author, who advices the reader and guide him in which regards the spiritual aspects: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.With God all things are possible.”(pg. 15)

The author seems to talk to us from his own experience. Some affirmations are surprisingly precise: “For the subconscious mind to accept new programming opposite to the way you’ve been thinking up until now, it will take a minimum of four weeks to notice any change, assuming that you’re using affirmations every day.” (pg. 15) This affirmation it is so likely with the holly fathers words from Phylokalia: “faith that it is working” (pg. 15)

I think this author is a genius of pedagogic science, presenting us so clear and suggestive examples and explications. Also he is a very skilled specialist in psychology. The tone of the speaking is not so much the one of a teacher who teaches us, but rather one of a friend, a parent’s who share his wisdom with us.

Nuances are used to encourage us: “You need to realize there’s a big difference between failing at something and being a failure.” (pg. 18)

We can do almost everything, but: “Selfimposed limitations are like a disease of the mind that needs to be gotten rid of if you are to be successful in life.” (pg. 18)

Andy Holligan has a vast range of inspirational sources; even Bruce Lee is quoted: “The only limits we have are those we place on ourselves.” (pg. 19). In the same spirit the author says: “The trouble with us is that we think too small and we limit ourselves.” (pg. 50)

About the commandment to love the fellow creature like we love ourselves, look what the author says: “(…) expectation is a powerful force and is constantly attracting things to us, so doesn’t it make sense to treat all people the way we would like to be treated?” (pg. 31); “Who we are is who we attract.” (pg. 32)

Maybe in the past we made a bunch on mistakes. Don’t despair!: “One thing God always does is He separates the behavior from the person.” (pg. 32)

We must watch our tongues, because: “The trouble with that is that once you say or do something you regret, you cannot turn the clock back.” (pg. 33)

The responses to the various stimulus isn’t something given, but learned. The author advises us how to improve our reactions: “By changing your attitude or belief you also change your emotional response. Isn’t it worth it, just to be happy?” (pg. 34); “(…) a person experiencing revenge could very easily start to experience guilt and fear later on (…)” (pg. 35); “(…) anger turned inward can lead to depression (…)” (pg. 35); “

In a sense, “you are your world.” As your emotions change, so does your perception. As your perception changes, so does your world. So if you want to change your world, you need to change yourself.” (pg. 36)

Andy Holligan is very aware about social life. He has a advanced social conscience, which manifest in affirmations like this: “We need to have law and order to protect our citizens, but I’ll be the first to admit that the law is not always fair. In fact, it seems as if everything today is geared in favor of the criminal instead of the victim.

That may be true, but two wrongs still do not make a right.” (pg. 39)

Searching for our success, seeing people who succeeded already to achieve their goals, we can feel jealousy, but the author warns us: “The reason jealousy will be a barrier to your own success is that jealousy often leads to criticism. Whatever people are jealous of they will criticize, and you cannot attract that which you criticize.” (pg. 41). The finesse of analyze and of the conclusions are remarkable.

The author continues: “Remember: if you desire something you don’t yet have, you first need to recognize that it is good before you can attract it.” (pg. 42)

Look what words make you to be wrong: “To say, “I can’t help it,” is a loser’s statement, because the minute you say, “I can’t help it,” you have just given power to the situation. (pg. 44). So, the author advices us to: “Have faith instead of fear; have faith that everything is always working out for your highest good.” (pg. 45); “So that even when things don’t go our way, we still have a positive mental attitude towards life.” (pg. 48); “Remember your subconscious mind creates situations, conditions, and events according to belief. You will attract people, circumstances, or whatever is necessary to make it a reality.” (pg. 48)

Most of people have fear to try something, to ask for something, because of the fear of being ridicule. Andy Holligan says: “Don’t worry about ridicule — actually, it’s to be expected, because all great achievers in life were ridiculed at first, until they became successful. A lot of people will try to discourage you and put you off because they don’t want you to get ahead of them. Realize that people who do ridicule you probably do so because they don’t have any goals themselves, or they could just be envious of you because you have the guts to step out and do something with your life. Remember, they are not going to pay off your mortgage or provide you with financial security, so why should you listen to them?” (pg. 50)

Why we have such a behavior? Because: “Teachers, parents, and well meaning but ignorant friends tell us to be “realistic” and ask us what kind of job or career we want to have and immediately limit us to mediocrity. (pg. 51). What is the solution to get rid of it: “Remember, you are only limited by the size of your thinking, so dream big. God didn’t limit us, so why should we limit ourselves? “No good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless” (Ps. 84:11) (Pg. 52)

In life, the levels achieved can be maintained only through constant action: “There’s no such thing as standing still; we are either going forward or going backward.” (Pg. 52)

Do you want to be financial free?: “(…) you’ll never be financially free working for a boss (…)” (Pg. 53)

When to begin to make the told changes? The author says: “So don’t wait until you’re dying of thirst before you dig your well; dig now while the going is good. Think long term and prepare for tomorrow. Who knows, you may be glad you did.” (Pg. 54)

About having faith in God, Andy Holligan states that:” I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of anything better than being looked upon with favor by the Creator of the universe, can you?” (pg. 59)

One can think that there is an easy way to make money rapidly. But the author warns us: “Pornography promises to serve and please, but only enslaves and dominates.” (Pg. 62)

Into the book there are some things which are to hard to be told openly, at least in this review, but I urge the reader to discover it by himself. I am only mentioning the one from the page no. 67, paragraph no. 2, and the one from the page no. 68, paragraph no. 5.

We have to believe in our success. But for that we must act daily: “Someone once said that faith is like a muscle, it can be developed over time.” (pg. 67)

In the following mister Andy Holligan presents a very nice quote: “Someone once said that coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.” (pg. 69)

A constant care we must have for our attitude: “It has been said that our attitude is our most priceless possession, and I totally agree with that because it colors and taints everything we look at. In fact, our attitude will determine how successful we become in life.” (Pg. 80)

What attitude we must have? The one described bellow:

“( 1 ). Accept what has happened.

( 2 ). What can I do about it?

( 3 ). Begin immediately to put this plan into action.” (pg. 82)

Let’s see life not a string of problems, but a succession of decisions: “You don’t have a problem, you only have a decision to make.” (pg. 82)

We must fight to keep our attitude in our control: “Another thing that can happen to us is that people or situations can “steal” our attitude, but only if we let them. No one or nothing can steal our attitude unless we first give them permission to take it. In other words, we decide to react negatively.” (Pg. 84); “If you got angry then that person has stolen your attitude. But if you decide not to let it bother you, then you are a bigger person than they are, and you are still in possession of your attitude. Don’t let people or situations control you by dictating how you will feel. Stay in control of yourself, and remember, your attitude is valuable so don’t let anyone steal it.” (Pg. 84 – 85)

Tormenting ourselves because of the wrong attitude we have in front of problems, stress us and can make us ill: “It’s a proven fact that 80 percent to 90 percent of all ailments are stress-related.” (Pg. 86); “Every thought we think, every word we speak, and every emotion we have has a corresponding effect on our physical bodies.” (pg. 86); “Our emotions are really a subconscious response to our conscious thinking, which in turn will lead to either good health or poor health.” (Pg. 88)

Sometime the things are going wrong. But we must fight, because, no matter what happens, it: “could take away your freedom, your dignity, and even your life, but as long as you were living, there was one thing that they could not take away. He referred to this as the last of the human freedoms, the ability to choose your attitude in a given set of circumstances. Our attitude is the one thing over which we have 100 percent control. It’s not so much what happens but how we respond to the pain that determines whether we become successful or not.” (Pg. 157)

There are some ways to improve and exercise our positive thinking: “(…) positive thoughts will multiply by reading positive books (…)” (Pg. 120)

An assertion of the author is not I will not follow: “Sometimes I read up to half an hour a day, but personally I wouldn’t go above that because if you were reading that amount every day it would be ample information for your mind to work on a day-to-day basis. Your mind will absorb more (or a higher percentage) of fifteen to thirty minutes reading than it would by reading two or three hours at once. So we need to pace ourselves by reading a little bit every day rather than a whole lot now and again. We need to look upon the game of life as a marathon rather than a sprint.” (Pg. 120) Why is that? Because I am reading like the end of the world it knocks at my door and by reading I will be saved. It’s an addiction, but a very nice and pleasant one.

In folklore there is a proverb: “Tell me who are your friends for I tell you who you are.” Andy Holligan tells us this way: “Remember, you become like the people you associate with.” (Pg. 123)

An important part of the book speaks about communication. One thing is this: “If you can master the art of making people feel important, this will go a long way toward increasing your effectiveness when dealing with other people.” (Pg. 127)

Most of the considerations are very useful to managers, teachers, even to the parents: “It’s important that we see people as they can be, not just as they are. We all have the potential to be great. Even though none of us will ever reach our full potential, we are all still capable of becoming so much more than we are. (Pg. 134) – So, you see, dear reader, this it’s such an optimistic book! It’s encouraging us!

Practical rules are discussed very natural. For example: “The 70/30 rule simply means this: SAVE. 10%, GIVE. 10%, INVEST. 10%, And live off the remaining 70%.” (Pg. 145)

The main fight of the author is against wrong mentality: “Habits create your mentality. Your mentality then creates or attracts the physical equivalent. This is a very important principle, but is seldom understood, especially by the masses.” (Pg. 147)

Another principle is this: “Whatever you give you receive. Whatever you share multiplies. Whatever you withhold diminishes. Whatever you lust after, you lack.” (Pg. 148)

Some of the affirmations worry the author, because he believes that the reader will hardly accept, so they are followed by argumentation: “For example, if a person believed that money was scarce (lack mentality) then that’s exactly what they would see manifested in their life. Whereas a person who believed money was abundant (wealth mentality) would see abundance manifested in their life. Each time you give money away, you create an abundance mentality.” (Pg. 148); “Remember, God will do more with the 90 percent than any of us could ever do in a million years with 100 percent, because the 90 percent that’s left over multiplies.” (Pg. 149)

We fight for success, and eventually we will find it. But can we handle it?: “Be assured that success will never attack you.” (Pg. 150)

Our attitude in life seems to be formed wrong: “Unfortunately, in school you are only trained to look for a job.” (Pg. 151)

Must we be scared about failure? The author assures us we mustn’t: “The only time you fail is when you give up and quit. As long as you persist and keep taking corrective action, you are on the road to success.” (Pg. 156)

It seems that if we dream small, we will achieve small things. We must dream big, because: “How big is your dream? Is it big enough to keep you going when disappointment and fear threaten to steal your dream? Is it big enough to keep you going when there no longer seems any point carrying on?” (Pg. 157) and “(…) your dream is a major key to your ability to persist (…)” (Pg. 161)

We mustn’t complain because of the struggle: “The harder the struggle, the stronger we become. There is no way of bypassing the struggles in order to become successful.” (Pg. 158)

Fulfilling our dreams involve speaking to the people. It’s natural to be afraid at the beginning. But we must persist: “When you are first to speak then you are risking rejection, but rejection is something you need to get used to if you want to become successful. Average people fear rejection; successful people embrace it. Even if you do get rejected, so what! It’s not life threatening; you just simply move on and speak to someone else. Little by little, you begin to be able to handle rejection. Not that you will always be rejected—but when you are, you may be emotionally knocked down but not knocked out. You learn to pick yourself back up and dust yourself off.” (Pg. 162)

All our fears can be diminished. Andy Holligan tells us that: “It’s a psychological fact that if you have fear of something and you are exposed to it long enough, then the fear begins to diminish. There is no other way to overcome fear but to continually do what you are afraid to do. Winners have learned to make a habit out of doing what’s uncomfortable. When you do the uncomfortable long enough, eventually something interesting happens. The uncomfortable becomes comfortable and you create a new comfort zone. Now that you have experienced a higher way of living, what once used to be a comfort zone would now be very uncomfortable to go back to, and you have no desire to go back to it.” (Pg. 162)

Around us there are successful people. A first impression is that they were always so: “What we don’t see is the years of hard work and discipline that they had to put in to get there. We don’t see the pain, the suffering, and years of sacrifice which contributed to their success. We don’t see the failures, the defeats, and the times when they almost quit. We don’t see the tears and the painful emotions they experienced along the way. But just because we didn’t see them doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.” (Pg. 164)

The author warns us that: “The truth is that we are the biggest stealers of our own dreams, not other people.” (Pg. 164)

We must believe in God!: “God wants to be our Partner in success.” (Pg. 165)

Andy Holligan urges us: “If you’re going through hell, don’t stop there!” (Pg. 165); “Hell usually seems to be the last destination just before reaching our dreams. It’s almost as if we are being tested to see if we are strong enough to handle success.” (Pg. 166); “Many people who choose to get off while going through Hell had absolutely no idea how close they were to the next station, which is their dreams. (Pg. 166)

The author declares, in conclusion, that: “Everything we need to know regarding how to live our lives successfully is in the Bible. (Pg. 167)

We are closing this review with the words of the author, addressed to all readers of this book:

“May God bless you on your journey of life, and may all your dreams come true.” (Pg. 171)

You can pick up a copy at the online bookstore:

http://store.yahoo.com/dorrance/youarepryoua1.html at the


sâmbătă, 29 septembrie 2012

Three Lights in the Window

By Anne C. Sellmansberger  

Reviewed by E.L.S.E.
You can pick up a copy at the online bookstore:  http://dorrance.stores.yahoo.net/thliinwi.html  at the www.dorrancebookstore.com
This e-book was provided by Dorrance Book Review Team.
The book is published by Dorrance Publishing.

Maybe isn`t relevant but I noticed the interesting wordplay created, I think by who edited the present e-book: he or she added at the end of the author`s name the two letters from the last and the middle names, so the title of e-book file became sellmansbergerac, Bergerac being the famous French writer…
It is also interesting the introduction made in verses.
From the beginning the reader can observe the rhythm and the musicality of the verses. The author has a special form in which write poetry, grouping verses four by four in two tetrastichs on each page of the book, except the page 10.
When the author says to us: “My budget was broken; I kept up with the crowd.” (pg. 2) what else to be there if not generosity? But the nuance that the author gave to his material generosity, analyzing further his attitude, it is described in the following words:
“By sharing my dollars instead of my soul.
I paid for acceptance from friends where I live” (pg. 2)
The advice is to not look only at the material way to express our love, but to gift away our soul, through Jesus.
Entire book is a story in verses, sad but also full of hope, about the author herself.
How many children in this world are like the little girl described like this:
“Her mother was ill, her father unknown.
All that she wanted was a place to call home.
She asked if I knew of somewhere they could live,
Although she, herself, had nothing to give.” (pg. 3)
Sometime the author, with his feminine sensibility realizes images loaded by such a force and expressivity that impresses us:
“I knew at that moment, she’d given it all—
Her truth, her hope, right there in the mall.
Her whole life she shared in one simple request. (pg. 4)
The poem entitled “Guard Duty” is a cry against the insanity of war. Which leave behind people who:
“(…) stumble along the dusty, dark road
As if they were bearing their most cumbersome load.” (pg. 10)
The author comes again at her obsession about the futility of material aid and she is telling us:
“‘Your money won’t help me; it’s your prayers that I need.” (pg. 14)
 Also, there is present the tendency to moralize people who sin:
“My wealth is a cover for my whole lifelong scam.’” (pg. 15)
I was saying before that the book offer us hope. Here is an example:
“You can find it, you know, if you look for the truth.’” (pg. 16)
With the poem entitled “Conclusion” the author closes the circle of the book, returning to that Christmas Eve night with which the book starts.
One can say: “A book composed from five poems?!”. My answer is yes! Why not? Because these five poems mean an entire life, of somebody whose mind and soul are alert, searching for the simple truth.   

You can pick up a copy at the online bookstore: