#BookReview – The Social Entrepreneur’s Step by Step Guide by Chris Bouchard

The blurb reads,

Have you ever wondered what owning a business would feel like? But more importantly, have you wondered what YOUR business could do for the people around you? If your answer is a yes, then maybe you should give social entrepreneurship a chance. Business for the Soul: The Social Entrepreneur’s Step-by-Step Guide to Success is a book for those who are interested in understanding the various concepts of a social enterprise, its pros and cons, and how to become a competent social entrepreneur. This guide will offer a comprehensive understanding of the development and management of a social enterprise for beginners as well as professionals. The author, Chris Bouchard, is a successful social entrepreneur and experienced grant writer himself and his work is based on his past and present experiences in the field of social entrepreneurship.


Business for the Soul offers its readers the implements, concepts, noteworthy tips, and a strategic approach that will definitely help those in need of wise counsel on starting a social enterprise, conducting the daily business operations and leading your organization and programs to success. The author has illustrated how social prospects and resultant entrepreneurial activities could be defined and carried out, setting the stage for future development of this exciting global phenomenon.”
I happened to come across this book and bought it on an off chance that it will be something I will need for my own business and I was right. This book is a small book but it has a LOT of knowledge. Let me be clear, it is a book for beginners. It has a lot of basic ideas for someone who doesn’t know where to begin and what to do. In that sense, having everything so succinctly explained is a great tool to have. 
The book covers a lot of different avenues going right from the structure of a business to project management which is a logical extension of the business. I feel this is a great blueprint for a business owner or even someone who wants to start out on their own.

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#BookReview – The Man in Blue by C.S Luis

The blurb reads,

The Man in Blue

Claudia Belle never imagined what life would be like with her parents gone. Now she must face that horrible reality.

With her parents, dead and her grandfather a perfect stranger, Claudia has never felt so alone. Her mind-reading abilities have always made her feel like an outcast. And now will those same abilities reveal who she really is?

Following the death of Dr. Edwards, a new principal is sent to take his place, undercover for a secret organization called The Company. The Man in Blue’s true mission is the identification and eradication of alien life forms. The entity he pursues, this time, is as dangerous as they come. He must identify the source of the creature’s powers to capture the subject and complete his job.

There is just one problem, his one weakness: women. And Claudia fits the description of his dream girl.

Success or downfall. Which outcome awaits him?”

 

I absolutely loved reading this book. I only had to read the first chapter and I knew I would like it. The book had my attention from the get go and I didn’t realize when I had read over a 100 pages in one sitting.

The mystery involved was an intriguing one and I loved the different points of view which got me to the conclusion. I was gunning for the characters and I could feel every emotion they felt. I can’t agree enough with the other reviewers when they say the book is captivating.

Each chapter brings out a new facet about the character or some background which is like one more piece of the jigsaw puzzle that fits in place. That makes the book a thoroughly engaging experience.

The one part which really got to me was Claudia when she loses her grandfather. Having lost a grandparent recently, I can imagine the pain, the void that this loss leaves. And in that sense, I could feel how well the book was written. I really felt every emotion Claudia went through.

I will definitely be reading the next books in the series.

#BookReview – Random Bullets by Joy Mutter

The blurb reads,

“Set in Jersey, Cornwall, Manchester, London and other places not of this world, Random Bullets is a contemporary crime thriller with a paranormal twist. After shooting and killing his nephew, a gunman runs wild in a London park. What drives Edward to commit such heinous acts? Who will survive yet another of his moments of madness?”

This is a story about a murder. And the things that lead to the murder and how the different characters are interconnected. It’s actually quite well written, even though a little heavy on the details and characters.

The central point of the book really made me think. A person is not always driven to commit heinous crimes. There is always something that pushes him/her to the precipice. And that is what made me think. I mean Edward, the villain spent his whole life being pushed down and humiliated. This pushed him over the precipice.

It was nice to see details about the lives of people who were impacted by the incident. I mean you often wonder about the people who die in accidents when you hear about it and this book had a lot about them as well.

I really felt bad for Edward, and at the same time, the learning I took was that it’s really important for a person to be in charge of their own life. I mean, incidents keep happening. Life doesn’t go as per one’s wishes and that being so affected by external circumstance is not the right way to go on. I could explain Edward’s reasons for doing what he did but that would be the spoiler.

The book’s title is apt, Random Bullets. When a person lashes out, the most unintended victims are those who are not connected to the matter. These are the random bullets that hurt.

I really enjoyed this book. It was a tad heavy on the details like I mentioned but a good read nonetheless.

#BookReview – America Under Mind Control by Jamell Crouthers

The blurb reads,

“What happens when society takes control of your mind and how you think? This book speaks on all of the issues going on in today’s society and how the rich, wealthy and elite do everything in their power to keep the American people under mind control. There are different tactics and ways they use to make sure we as a people don’t strive for greatness in life.

It starts from when you’re a child in the education system and how we’re taught to be obedient and to respect authority all the way into Corporate America. Our minds are programmed on a daily basis and whether we realize it or not, we don’t take the time to see the bigger picture of how the world is run.

From the music we listen to, to the television we watch, the politics they control and infiltrate, this book deals head on with how we the American people are controlled by so many messages on a daily basis. It’s a book that speaks truth into how this country and the world is in shambles and how we need to come together as a nation and as a people and do better.”

 

I have been working with Jamell to promote his book and had the chance to read this gem and boy, IT WAS HARD HITTING!

You know, this book is like holding a mirror to our life. There are so many things wrong with our life at this moment. The world is so obsessed with greed, money, earning and then living a comfortable life, that they don’t care about the people they crush in the process. A multinational may not give a second thought about the farmer that killed himself because of their arm flexing. Or another one may not care about destroying a consumer’s life while pushing credit cards on them, and ruthlessly collecting afterwards.

The point I am trying to make is, there are so many subtle markers around us, which point out to this irony, which try to protect us from it and yet we fall into its trap. Take for example, the advertising world. Or the beauty industry. It’s an industry that thrives on our low self esteem. If we were happy with ourselves, would we buy their products? If we were happy with our clothes, would we make them rich by spending money we could otherwise have invested? NO!

The book is filled with stories or poems like that which are literally so true about the American society today. I live in India but because for us, mentally, a lifestyle followed by people in America is idolised and thought of as the right lifestyle here. I can literally see it. People buying products to fit in, or just because someone endorsed it. Or buying product after product simply because of the push advertising. Or the fact that their behaviour is so influenced by how things are put. Or how opinions are controlled because of how things are reported.

The world is not black and white and in this bucket of grey monotone, it is worth noting that we need to look into the mirror. We don’t need fast fashion. We don’t need a television. We don’t need a credit card or anything that someone else tells us is necessary. Is our mind subtly being controlled by corporations who want nothing more than our dollars? This is the whole crux of the book and it is something that is worth thinking about very deeply.

In a world where humans are reduced simply to their worth in money, it is worth thinking where we are spending that currency which determines our value. Perhaps if we introspected a little and supported our own opinions as compared to something that the so called society seems to thrust on us, we will be better people and will  be able to make the world a better place.

And I don’t mean this for a utopian world. Our habits or what we do simply out of impulse needs to be checked. You never know who is behind the strings controlling this behaviour.

This is an excellent excellent read! The words are hard hitting and a poem or two into the book, you realise that this is reality. And it isn’t a pleasant one.

5 full stars from Books, Food and ME!

#BookReview – Imagine A Fly by Martin Sommerdag

The blurb reads,

“Just like a common housefly, a man’s love cannot be contained in a jar and must be set free. A story about love. A true love story, if you can imagine it.”

This was really unlike any other book that I’ve read before. The storyline is weird and lyrical and it made me think. The author gets one thing right, you do need to imagine the story to feel it, to understand it.

Life is fickle. Death is even more fickle. Losing a loved one is never easy. The feeling you get when life is taken away is horrible. And what is even more horrible is not being there with your loved one.

I understand the need to contain your love and hold on to it as strongly as possible. Sometimes love makes you want to just hold on to your loved one and never let him go. I feel that several times. But that’s not the right way. Love breathes when it is let free. You have to trust that your love will draw the person back to you. And that I feel is the essence of this book.

To love and then to let go trusting that the love will return back. That in itself takes a herculean effort.

This was a good read. It involved considerable mind chow which I like and a fair bit of imagination. But the message is beautiful and clear. Martin is a filmmaker and I love how filmmakers can put across things just ever so beautifully.

Martin can be found on Facebook! Go check out his work and his films for some excellent viewing!

#Book Review – Debris by David Miklos

The blurb reads,

“A turn of the screw from magical realism, Debris is a novel where everything is unique, yet repeats itself indefinitely.”

It took me a long time to get wrapped in this book. And once I did, I really understood the meaning of the blurb.

There are 3 to 4 different stories which are going on side by side. And it takes a while for the reader to understand the relevance of the different stories and the connection to the picture as a whole.

The writing is lyrical and looped and it really feels like you’re going in circles until the pathways begin to clear up one by one. The stories are linked one before and one after the other. That’s where the book is genius.

I can’t really discuss much without giving the story away, but the book reads a little differently. Don’t expect the standard fare where things are linear. This book is as twisted as it gets. And that’s where it is an excellent read. It feels like different diaries have opened up at different points of time to show you different pictures and as you’re seeing the different pictures, a clearer complete timeline emerges.

This was a nice book to read.

My Rating: 3.5/5

My rating as such because it took almost one third of the book till I made connections and that made it a little hard to want to continue reading. It’s a toss up between having more clarity and having a completely dreamy quality that the book has. It is a good read nonetheless.

#Interview with Jamell Crouthers, author of America Under Mind Control

Today we are in conversation with Jamell Crouthers, the author of 4 books and the hard hitting, America Under Mind Control! He answers some of our questions about writing:

Jamell can be found at:

Q: How many novels have you published? What are they about?

I have published 4 books so far and it’s been so much fun writing them.

The first book is The Struggles and Growth of a Man. It’s a story about a young man named Robert who is dealing with various experiences as he’s growing into a man. He grows up in a tough neighborhood with his younger brother Michael as his mom is addicted to drugs and his father left the family. He is saved by his guidance counselor in school and he becomes Robert’s role model and father figure and helps him turn his life around. Through it all, he learns that the world has taught him things that aren’t true about life, growth and being a man.

The second book is The World We Live In, this book is about various people who have dealt with experiences in their lives that have changed them in many ways. This book tackles on societal issues that go on in the world daily. You only get the character’s name and you do not know of their race or ethnicity. The goal is to make people understand that societal issues such as rape, domestic violence, drug addiction and other issues have no specific race or ethnicity, it can happen to anyone.

The third book is The World We Live In Part 2, this is a continuation of a 5 part series of books that will be published where the 19 characters deal with the aftermath of the events they’ve experienced in their lives. Some characters deal with their situations and head for the better, some for the worst but it’s a matter of reading the book to find out what happens.

The fourth book is America Under Mind Control which tackles all of the issues that are going on in America and how we are controlled mentally in so many ways from what we watch on TV, what we listen to on the radio, and how Corporate America along with the government do anything to keep us in control. A lot of subject matter is discussed such as the education system, television, radio, credit cards, gambling and many others.

 

Q: What prompted you to write this book?

What prompted me to write this book was I felt it was time to be blunt, honest and truthful in what’s going on in America and what are we doing to make change. I knew I had plenty of things to say and the only way I can get it all out was to write a book. It’s hard to discuss societal issues with people so a book was only fitting to write so everyone can read it. My mind is a churning motor that is full of thoughts so I needed to tackle these issues accordingly.

Q: Why poetry?

Poetry has always been my format of writing. I’ve tried to write the traditional format that everyone reads and it didn’t work. So I went with what what I’m good at, it’s about self-awareness and utilizing your talents and abilities. Poetry is a form of expression but to incorporate that into a storyline, format it correctly and make sure you get the point across, it was only fitting that I write it that way. I’ve managed to incorporate poetry and societal issues into one and was able to write books, it’s not something that’s ever been done before. Plus I wanted to carve out my own niche, be different and not be the traditional author who writes a certain way.

Q: What do you think is wrong with America today?

Where do I begin? I’ll try to formulate my thoughts without writing a biography since I tackled a plethora of issues in my recent book. I think the biggest issue is we’ve become programmed robots and we let the world/society dictate our lives and our every move. We spend most of our lives living average, buying things we don’t need, to impress people we don’t like all to prove that we have something. Perfectly said by actor Will Smith, he nailed it with that line.

Q: Tell me about your writing process.

My writing process isn’t anything crazy but I do have routines and things I do. For starters, I write a bunch of book ideas that I have (most of them turn into books or will eventually turn into books). Next is brainstorming sessions I have on chapter titles and what I feel I can discuss in my book. The goal is figuring out what message I want to convey and how to engage the reader and keep them engulfed in my book (the first chapters of every book are always eye openers or controversial to get the reader sucked in).

When I write, I mostly do it on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday’s, I listen to music to allow my thoughts to flow freely. I listen to a lot of ambient/electronic music with no words. Joey Fehrenbach, Kodomo, Koan, Mokhov are a few artists I listen to to get my mind flowing and just write. Later on I re-read/edit and change sentences to make them sound better. After I write my books I figure out an appealing synopsis that sounds good, that’ll draw people in.

Q: What advice do you have for newbie writers?

Carry a book with you and pens to write down all of your ideas, whether good or bad. Spend time writing content and just let it flow. Set goals for yourself, find different ways to motivate and inspire yourself. Do things your way, not what other people tell you. Always do what works for you and what your vision is, no one knows it better than you.

If you want to get things done, it takes a lot of mental focus. Learn the business of publishing, creating book covers, writing a synopsis, formatting and royalties, don’t bank on a publishing company to do it all for you. Publishing companies are a business too so self-publish if you must. Ball on a budget (it means spend wisely), there are websites and places to utilize, where you can accomplish your goal for publishing your book.

Lastly, enjoy the process, embrace the grind, if you want this as a career forever, it’s all about patience and going at it everyday. You won’t make money on your first book, so plan your first 3 books that you’re going to write. More content, means more readers. Build connections and utilize your favorite social media pages to connect with people.

Q: What is your inspiration?

My inspiration is the world around me, the people I meet, the experiences they’ve dealt with and been through. A lot of my writing comes from experiences I’ve been through, or what others have been through. I watch the world and the things that go on and understand that there are a lot of things we need to discuss more.

We spend most of our lives not living for ourselves and others. I feel inspired to tell stories that make people emote and understand what’s going on around us. Sometimes we forget to be there for each other and take time to understand what we’re going through. There’s a lost art of feeling and emoting and that’s why I continue to write my books. I want people to be angry, be happy, cry, and bring out other emotions while reading my books.

Q: Any parting words or a line you swear by?

I have a quote that I made up years ago. You have a birth date and a death date, but it’s what you do in between that time that matters the most in life. It basically means, make the best out of everyday, impact someone. Make someone smile or laugh. We’re not meant to just grow up, become adults, become robotic machines with monotonous routines of working in Corporate America making others richer to not follow our own goals and dreams, pay bills, retire at nearly 70 years old to die not long after. Follow your goals and your dreams, have a passion for something and pursue it.

Thank you Jamell for those amazing pearls of wisdom. We wish you all the best.

Jamell can be found at:

#GuestPost – America’s Reality Today by Jamell Crouthers

The concept behind me writing America Under Mind Control was to enlighten people on how much we are controlled mentally on a daily basis. What we fail to realize is society programs and trains our minds to act and be a certain way. Whether we know it or not, we surely don’t take the time to understand the messages being conveyed to us everyday.

From the moment we are coherent and able to speak as little children, there are messages being told to us. While we don’t realize that as children, as we get older, we should start to grasp the concept that the world does anything and everything to control our minds and keep us separated from each other.

Let’s just take the education system for example, which is something I do delve into toward the end of my book, do you remember anything that you were taught in school? Besides the basics of learning the alphabet, learning to write and simple functions of math, how much of what you were taught actually relates to your life?

You ever take the time to question what you were taught in your history books and science books? Probably not because you took everything those teachers taught you at face value. Meanwhile, a lot of it were all lies but at this point, how much do we care?

We were taught to be obedient in school, respect authority, don’t question what you’re being told. You ever catch yourself sitting with someone or in a meeting with people and you have your hands folded most of the time? Yup, that was indoctrinated into your mind and you subconsciously do it now because you did it so much repetitively that it’s ingrained in your mind.

This all works perfectly into a Corporate America environment where you are to respect authority, don’t challenge the big bosses and do what your told. America teaches you to go to college, bury yourself in debt, get a plethora of degrees only to be paying loans back a large percentage of your life which makes you what?

You ever notice you’re not taught the most important aspects of life? Critical thinking, cognitive thinking, challenging yourself and others. The most important things you learn in life you learn on your own or through others, opening a bank account, money management, stocks and bonds, buying a car, buying a home, building and growing your own business. Imagine if we were taught through hands on experiences (which is what life mostly is when you think about it), but that’s not what the rich and wealthy want from you.

Take the time to just think about that alone and then imagine how many other things the wealthy people are doing to control your mind. I tackle things such as music and radio, television, our shopping habits, print media, gun control, technology, credit cards, gambling, student loans, the food you eat, politics, diseases and medicine and many other things.

Until we start understanding and realizing the world around us, we will continue to be average, we aren’t meant to live a life like that. If you have an open mind about life and the world, my book is definitely worth reading, it’s available on Amazon and other bookstores.

Jamell can be found at :

Social Media Info:

Website: www.aquarianmind.info
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Author Profile Page: www.bublish.com/author/view/6877
Amazon Page: www.amazon.com/author/jamellcrouthers

You can get America Under Mind Control on Amazon: