Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Book Review: The Right Prayers For Every Need

This is a truly beautiful prayer book that provides comfort and inner peace to the soul.  There are lots of practical and spiritually healing prayers for all situations in life. Whenever you need the courage, the confidence and the spiritual support to face whatever crisis and challenges in life, you can refer to this prayer book.  I found the prayers very calming to my panic attacks.  I carry it inside my handbag at all times because I feel that it's my lucky charm.  I like to be able to take it out and flip a page to read a prayer whenever I start panicking or whenever I get discouraged.  The prayers are very soothing and they have a calming effect on me.  I actually read a prayer from this book every morning before I start my day. The prayers are all very short, and the couple minutes spent reading a prayer from the book are absolutely therapeutic.  I also love that there are lots of beautiful photos inside.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Book Review: Girl Boss

Is success really this easy?  Is it really simple to build a multi-million company from nothing in just a few short years?  From being broke and without health insurance to be the CEO of a company that has revenue at over $100 million (2015 revenue according to Style.com), the author of this book is the poster child of one of those "rags-to-riches" stories.  The book is short and very easy to read but it lacks details on giving much useful business advice that wasn't already retold a million times elsewhere.  From the way the book was written, the author seemed to have lived in a dream all those years, albeit a sweet one. It's because the story is so vague and so lack of details in so many ways that it resembles a really good dream when the good life just breezes by.  I'm sure there was lots of hard work involved but the book made "striking rich" sound so easy.  The clothing business isn't an innovative business, neither is selling vintage fashion on Ebay an original "golden" idea. The book didn't provide much detailed information on how exactly the author's business beat out the crowd to become the $100+million company today.  Besides, all the book talks about is the sales revenue.  It didn't say much about profit.  $100+ million sales revenue a year is very impressive but how much profit is this sales figure generating?  Besides, is this sales figure audited by any accounting firm?  How is Nasty Girl compared to Baby Phat as a business other than the somewhat difference in fashion style? Tossing big sales revenue figure makes the story sounds spectacular but in the end it's the net profit that matters.  Afterall, where is the once very famous Baby Phat nowadays (when it used to have $900++ million annual sales revenue)?  

The book spends more pages on detailing  the author's  very mundane hitchhiking and drifting early years than solid advice and specific strategies on how to successfully start and grow a profitable business.  Venture capital plays a very important role in the success of Nasty Girl Inc, very much like the role of a model scout from an elite model agency, without whom, there is no super model.  But how can a start-up get discovered by the venture capital without relying on pure luck or a chance encounter?  The book doesn't provide detailed advice on that.

Overall, it's a nice little book to read by the beach.  But for readers who are serious about starting and growing a competitive and profitable business other than the general "feel good" encouragement, we need to read a book that is more substantial on strategic information.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Book Review: The Girl On The Train

Is "Diary Narratives" the chic of novel writing now?  Like the book "Gone Girl", the story of this novel is told in the form of  diary entries.  After "Gone Girl"  I found myself reading the troubled marriage of another sad woman again.  Is marital trouble going to be the inspiration and the foundation of all the best-selling novels from now on??  The fact that this type of topics is the mainstream tastes of the readers, is starting to feel a little disturbing to me.  What does this kind of taste profile tell about the readers or the women today?  I suppose most of the readers of this book are females.  What are the women going through in their real lives now that they enjoy reading this type of story?  What do you think?  I don't know what to think of it. This book just makes me sad.  After all,   I can only read so many novels based on a sad woman in a sad marriage.  Why am I spending time and money on reading something that makes me sad?  "Gone Girl" was okay to me because at least the woman was smart and she was in control.  I read this book because it receives such good reviews.  I read it because I got sucked into the "herd" effect.   To me, the main character Rachel is a very sad woman, and she is quite passive aggressive.  She is so sad that it's hard for me to keep motivated to follow her train rides day in and day out.  But I pushed myself through because I thought I was going to be rewarded in the end if I hanged on to her boring train rides to the final destination where all wrongs would be righted, where she would snap out of her sad life and find salvation.  But in the end, I was disappointed to realize that the finale of her sad train ride would give her so much trauma that she may never be able to snap out of it, given her inability to deal with the earlier blows before her train journey.  Even the book didn't talk about it much, anyone who experienced what Rachael experienced in the end of the book is going to be haunted for the rest of her life. 

Whatever happened to Rachael before she shared her diary with me was sad enough, and bad enough, but the ending of the story would top all Rachael's miseries. It was a finale of the worst fate that she was unfortunately casted in. Having experienced a bad marriage is bad enough, but what Rachael experienced in the end will certainly not help pave an easier path for her to move on.  The end of the book wasn't a closure to Rachael's unsettling problems that destroyed her.  It was just another blast of cruelty that life had unfairly tossed onto Rachael once again. Only this time, there will be no hope for any closure, there will never be closure. It will forever be the tragedy that Rachael will never be able to forget.

While the book made me sad, the story was nevertheless creative and suspenseful.  

Friday, April 3, 2015

Book Review: Make Your Life Prime Time

Book review Make Your Life Prime Time Maria Celeste Arraras
Life is short and time is precious.  This is one of those books that are worth spending our precious time reading.  Through her recollection of her life journey, the author shared with us all the valuable lessons she had learnt.  It's always good to have a mentor who had experienced it and who had made it to help us navigate our scary journey called life.  But not everyone is lucky to have a mentor.  I myself never had the fortune to meet anyone who can mentor me on my education or on my career.  My life would have been much better now if I had such a mentor.  I just wish I had been given this book years ago.  But it's not too late for me yet and I think this book certainly helps what I am dealing with now and what I will be dealing with in the future.  Most of those lessons are very relatable to women, particularly young women. It's easy to read and it's easy to understand.  The author had told her stories with her infectious conviction. Reading this book  is like having a mentor cheering you on. I highly recommend this book as a graduation gift for this coming May.  All mothers will do themselves a great favor by reading this book together with their daughters.  After all, a mother can only make her life prime time by helping her daughter make hers a prime time. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Book Review: Gone Girl

Book Review Gone Girl

I decided to read this book after watching a movie trailer on Youtube.  The movie trailer's footage somehow reminded me of the Scott Peterson murder case years ago and all that media frenzy that came with it.  After knowing that the movie was based on a novel of the same title, I wanted to read it to find out what was so interesting about the novel that made Ben Affleck pick it up to produce it into a movie.

Just as I originally suspected, the first part of the book, which took up almost half of the total pages, was almost like a detailed story re-telling of the Scott Peterson murder case;  that put all the news releases, the footage and the stories that we read and watched at the time into words, and detailed descriptions.  It was quite boring to me because I didn't need to read pages of words that described the news crew from the media storming Scott Peterson's home, or crowding the venue of the news conference room...  It was all Dejavu to me and I had to take many breaks so I could continue reading.  To me, the first part was just a mundane reenactment of the Scott Peterson murder case with the throw-in of the diary of the mundane life of the girl who was gone. I was bored and I wasn't interested in knowing the heroine's mundane life through her diary in the first part.

Then the story started to get good in the second part. So after I spent over a week, painstakingly forcing myself to continue with the book, I finally got to a point where all the good stuff started pouring in.  It was from there I couldn't put the book down.  After reading the whole book, I realize how smart it was for the author to tell the story from both the husband's side and the wife's side.  The parallel stories brilliantly explained and unfolded to me the "whats" and "whys" behind the twisty plots.  It's definitely a story that is inspired by the Lacy Peterson murder, but it was provoking in a way that it made me think if the truth of that case was really what I saw and heard from the media.  After all, there is always two sides of a story.  There is always more to the surface of everything we see.   The book is brilliantly written, and it's very entertaining.  But the readers have to read the entire book before they can fully enjoy it.  Now I can't wait to see the movie.