Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Only Negotiating Guide You'll Ever Need by Peter B. Stark and Jane Flaherty

The Only Negotiating Guide You'll Ever Need by Peter B. Stark and Jane Flaherty is a book that I didn't expect to enjoy.  I thought it would be a helpful self help book to increase my ability to negotiate.  These two authors have been employed as consultants for very large companies such as Sony and Paramount Studios.  This is an easy to follow guidebook for your own personal use.  I had no idea of the amount of times that everyone negotiates with others in their daily life.  These things can be a simple process of buying a bed to the more complex buying of a car or a home.  Then there are the things that one thinks of when thinking of negotiating such a asking for a raise or even negotiating deals at your job.  This book suggests that if you are planning to continue having a good relationship with the person with whom you are negotiating that you should plan for a win-win solution.  You should not plan to win the argument but rather negotiate the deal so that both people are happy with the deal.  This book suggests that you don't want people to cringe when they see you coming but rather the person that they are happy to return to when they next need to negotiate with you. 
When I picked this book I was thinking it would come in handy for requesting a raise from my boss but I had no idea of the negotiating that everyone does just as they go through life.  For instance negotiating with your child about why he can't have the latest toy that everyone has.  You know that child, Everyone, with the perfect parents and endless bank account.  And don't forget the negotiating with your spouse regarding where or what to eat for supper or what movie to pick for viewing.  The authors have named the various techniques names which are easy to remember and also describe what the technique is at the same time.  One such technique is the Puppy Dog which is the technique of letting the buyer play with the object whether the puppy, the car or something extravagant like a boat for the day or the weekend so that they have the opportunity to fall in love with it before negotiating the price.  This book is priceless in the amount of information contained in it.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snelling

The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snelling is the beginning of this authors new series, Under Northern Skies.  This is the story of Rune and Signe Carlson's immigration to America.  Rune's uncle, Einar sent a letter offering land and passage to Minnesota in exchange for working for him lumbering in the forest he owned and caring for his ailing wife.  Signe who is pregnant with their forth child does not want to go.  She loves living among their families even though they are so poor that they mostly eat porridge every day. Rune sees America as an opportunity that he would never get if they stayed in Norway and accepts the offer to move his family which included 3 sons to Minnesota.  The trip over the ocean was much harder than any of them but then when they get to the farm they find it in much worse condition that they expected and the work much harder than they expected.  The boys, Bjorn, Knute, and Leif, were all school aged but Einar expected them to all work like men.  Einar was a hard man never asked always demanded and always, always was stern.  Gern his wife was always screaming to Signe for something that she wanted and was also demanding in her own way but since she had gotten so weak and sick with her heart was unable to  be as demanding as Einar.  Signe stood her ground however when Einar said that the boys would not be able to go to school and so the 2 younger boys went to school when September came leaving only Bjorn to work in the forest with his dad and Einar.  Bjorn had a love of timbering and was glad not to go to school and oddly enough even Einar was more pleasant in the woods.  Signe on the other hand was in the house with Gern.  Signe had decided that she would make Gern well and started demanding that she move and get out of bed and at least sit in a chair.  Gern slowly but surely became stronger and as she regained her health she also became more nice and less demanding.  All were learning English, the boys were learning in school, and things continued to look up until the horrible accident with Bjorn.  How would they continue?  Well partly by Signe and Rune standing up to Einar and Signe figuring out just how much they owed Einar and realizing that they had already paid him back with all their hard work.  Read this book to find how this God loving family meshed with their hard unfeeling relatives and become one family.

I loved this book though I am not nearing as patient as Rune and Signe were with their relatives.  I believe most any older girl or woman would enjoy reading this delightful book on their coming to America.  There is little violence in this story and what there is would have been considered strict discipline in those days. There is no sexual content.  Any child who wished could read the book if they had the ability.   I received this book from BethanyHouse for this review.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Beloved Hope Chest by Amy Clipston

The Beloved Hope Chest by Amy Clipston is the 4th installment of the Amish Heirloom Series by this author.  Where the others in the series feature the 3 daughters of Mattie and Leroy Fisher this segment of the series looks back into the life of the parents, Mattie and Leroy and how they spent their childhood as the very best of friends and though Leroy always knew that he loved and wanted to spend all his life with Mattie it took some convincing for Mattie to realize the great love that she had for Leroy. Mattie catches the 3 girls looking through her beloved hope chest just after they find the baby boy's clothing.  Mattie can no longer keep the secret that she and Leroy had never shared with the family.  Mattie in fact had met and in a whirlwind courtship had married Isaiah and at the beginning of the novel is pregnant and eagerly anticipating the birth of their first child.  Isaiah had run to the bank quickly before lunch but when he didn't return for lunch and then the police officer had knocked on their door to change her life completely.  The officer reported to the family that Isaiah had been in the bank during a robbery and in order to protect a woman had been shot pointblank in the chest.  Mattie doesn't know how she will be able to care for herself and the expected baby but moved back into her parents tiny home.  Within 4 months time though Leroy stepped forward and offered to marry her and help her care for the expected baby.  Mattie loved Leroy but only as a friend, Leroy on the other hand had always loved Mattie as much more than a friend from childhood.  This is the story of how Leroy and Mattie grew to love each other and even though the great tragedies that threatened to tear them apart in their first year together their love grew to be the one that would be a strong base for their family.

I loved this story quite possibly the best of the series.  Often an author starts out a series with the best story and then the others fill out the plot begun in the first.  But this series held the interest for the build up to the 4th installment it seemed to me.  I love this author's ability to tell a story and make the reader fall in love with her characters.  Great job Amy Clipston. 
 I received this book from BookLook for this review.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore

Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore is the newest book by this Christian author/educator.  This book is about Beth's advise on getting out of your own "pit of despair", whether it be drug dependency, sexual deviance, drinking, or gossiping.  All are sins and equally sinful.  Beth preaches that it doesn't really matter how you ended up in your slippery pit of filth but that you can get out of it and more importantly stay out of it.  She backgrounds her advise with scripture as always and usually the subject of honor in this book is Joseph with his famous coat of many colors who was thrown into his pit by his brothers.  Beth very openly discusses her own pit of sexual exploits as well as many of the causes.  Beth further explains that though she was abused as a child and that started her journey that Beth had to get out of her pit for her own well being as well as the future family who would have suffered needlessly if she had not.  Beth states that her family benefitted but that she had to do it for her own good.  Beth further states that though she had to work very hard at doing this herself with very little help from family or friends she could not have done it without the help of her friend and savior, Jesus Christ.

This book is sad in that it tells some of the story of Beth's sad childhood and tells further how adults can so easily and deeply injure the very being of who a child will turn out to be as an adult.  It also tells of how even though she could have wallowed in the self pity of her disastrous childhood and wallowed further in the pity of others she could not have an eternal life of joy until she made that long slippery climb out of that pit and stayed out of it.  She tells of how the enemy would entice her back into the pit, sometimes successfully, but when she finally climbed out of the pit for the last time how her life can only be truly happy when she lives a clean healthy life staying far away from the pit.  She states that she no longer will ever go back to the pit but the enemy continues to tempt her and that she remains strong but the help of God, scripture, prayer and her family.  Read this book if you need assistance getting out of your own pit or know someone who needs help getting out of their pit.
I received this book from Handlebar for this review.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall

Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall is the third installment of the Amish of Summer Grove series.  This series follows the story of the fire in the birthing center of an Amish community.  When the fire occurred there were 2 women giving birth, an Amish woman a set of twins-a boy and a girl- and a young girl, Brandi, gave birth to a baby girl.  All were rescued by the father of the twins, Isaac.  In the 2nd installment the families find out that the girls were actually switched during the rescue and the Amish couple would like to get acquainted with their biological daughter and started the ball rolling to have their biological daughter returned to them, of course they wanted to keep the daughter that they raised also.  That daughter, Ariana, is engaged to be married.  Skylar is a drug addict who is living with her mother and causing trouble in her family.  When Nicholas, Ariana's biological father, finds out about the switch he threatens a lawsuit on the birthing center and the only way he will not sue is to switch the girls back for a full year.  Ariana willingly goes to avoid the midwife being sued but the only way that Skylar agrees to go is because she is threatened with either drug rehab or live with the Amish family, the Brennemans.  The second installment is the first part of that year in which Ariana and her friend, Quill, who was Amish raised but left the family, convince Nicholas that Ariana needs to be returned and she will maintain contact with her biological family.  This installment is Ariana's return to the home and getting acquainted with Skylar who decides to remain in the Brenneman home for the rest of her time.  By this time Skylar has fought through her addiction and is helping the family keep Ariana's new restaurant take off in Ariana's absence. 

Ariana has been "out in the world" long enough to question authority and this irritates the church fathers as well as her own father, Isaac.  Ariana has also developed a friendship with Quill who has been rescuing women who are abused by their significant other and getting them into safe houses.  Quill has managed to irritate the Amish further by helping Amish people escape into the "English" world.  This installment is how Ariana and Skylar along with Abram the other twin become close family and all three learn to integrate into one family and maintain contact with Nicholas and Brandi also.  The three began to call themselves triplets and work together to make the restaurant a success in the community as well as working with their parents to see that the powerful Amish leaders are treating Ariana as well as the entire Brenneman family unfairly.  This book powerfully portrays how religious leaders can maintain their power to the detriment of the church and it's members.
 I think this book is one of the authors best books.  She takes a difficult subject, controlling leadership in a church, and tells how the church members suffer by it and learn to overcome it.  I think that this book should be read by all though most enjoyed by older girls and women.
I received this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah  for this review.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Egypts's Sister by Angela Hunt

Egypts's Sister by Angela Hunt is this author's newest book out.  Just to clarify, I love this author's work and I also loved this newest book of hers.  Egypt's sister is a fictionalized story of Cleopatra the 7th (the one most people think of as Cleopatra) from her childhood through her death.  This story follows the life of Cleopatra's fictional Jewish childhood servant/friend Chava.  In this story Chava and Cleopatra, who in this story is called Urbi by family and friends, are fast friends as children and young adults.  They do everything together and Chava lives a charmed Jewish life which includes many luxuries not often enjoyed by Jews of this time.  Chava even has a slave given to her which lives with her.  Chava's father is the tutor of the palace children and therefore Chava is educated along with the palace children but also enjoys the luxury of living with the tutor so actually has a better education than the palace children.  Chava's father has an assignment in which Chava must go through the scrolls and find and write down all of God's names and their meaning.  It is interesting work but Chava has no idea how important that this knowledge will be in her future.  Chava heard God once say to her that "Your friendship with the queen lies in my hands.  You will be with her on her happiest day and her last.  And you, daughter of Israel will know yourself, and you will bless her".  As adults Chava is offered the gift of citizenship for herself and her family if she will only worship in the various temples of the Egyptians.  Chava is told she doesn't have to actually believe the temple worship is real and she can pick which ever god she choses and she can also continue her Jewish worship.  Chava turns down this offer because of her Jewish belief and this starts the beginning of the end of Chava's charmed life.  Cleopatra is deeply insulted by this refusal of her gift and has  Chava and her father are arrested and sold as slaves.  For the 15 years that Chava is a slave Chava grows stronger and though she first rejects some of God's teachings she eventually learns that God is still guiding and protecting her life while she is a slave.  Chava still can keep track of some of Cleopatra's work as queen while working as a slave and she never gives up on the hope that eventually she can buy her freedom and her father's and come back home.

Read this book if you are at all interested in history of the Jews or of Cleopatra.  Read this book is you just enjoy a good read.  This book is well written and chronicles Cleopatra's life well and in the back of the book even tells more historic background of the time.  This book is not preachy nor particularly religious in its writings.  This author is one of the best historical fiction writers that I read and I also try to read them as they come out because they are so good.  Do yourself a favor and read this book.
I received this book from BethanyHouse for this review.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ascension of Larks by Rachel Linden

Ascension of Larks by Rachel Linden is simply a fabulous book about life.  Maggie met Marco in college and they formed a fast friendship.  So many things about them were similar and they just fit together in life.  Maggie's roommate in college was Lena and Lena was so very different from them but oddly enough they all worked and loved each other.  All 3 of them were incredibly smart and talented but when it was all said and done Maggie and Marco were driven and Lena, well Lena mostly wanted to be a mom and make the home a comfortable place to come home.  Marco and Lena married and Lena became mom to 3 children.  Maggie became Aunt Maggie and visited their summer home every August on the island.  Shockingly Marco then suddenly died in a drowning accident and threw their life into a tailspin.  Lena is in shock and is mostly unable to handle life and Maggie steps in to help her.  Then Lena finds out that she is deeply in debt because of a loan that Marco took out in business and she finds that she simply cannot take it any more.  Lena takes off in her car by herself and has a car accident.  She is alive but she is in a coma. Why didn't she at least slow down before hitting the concrete retaining wall.  The police ask that question but no one but Lena can answer it and she is in a coma.  Maggie and Lena's aunt have all that they can do to take care of the children and the house but what about the Marco's loans?  One day the kids and Maggie go to a museum about the island's history and find out that there is a "beckoning" practice on the island in which they have a ceremony to beckon the dead back home so that they could then go to heaven.  The children decide to beckon their dad back home but then they also decide to beckon their mom back home so that she will get well and come back home to them.

This book is spellbinding.  It easily holds the reader's attention. You just won't want to put it down.  Ms. Linden takes the reader's emotions and you feel the hurt of the widow, you feel the terror of not having any money to take care of debts that you didn't even know existed earlier.  The sadness of the children who don't know what to do when their father unexpectedly dies and quickly after that their mother is in an accident and is possibly facing death also.  The San Juan Island's old customs and ceremonies, will they work?  Will they help the kids get through this overwhelming grief?  I would recommend reading this book to any woman who enjoys reading. 
I received this book from Booksneeze for this review.