April 2015 Independent Press Profiles
Timothy Frantz, MD
The Hear Doc, LLC Publishing
P.O. Box 338, Red Bluff, CA 96080
One might anticipate that a book from a certified ear, nose and throat physician would include a promotion for hearing aids and an assessment of their pros and cons; but the second updated edition of Hearing Loss Facts and Fiction is actually so much more, and is recommended for any who either have hearing loss or know a friend or family member with such.
Chapters focus on how we hear, what happens during (and influences) hearing loss, and how to achieve better hearing through a combination of approaches.
Even more importantly, it provides plenty of tips on how to interact more effectively with those suffering from hearing loss, providing invaluable insights that include assessments of the pros and cons of various over-the-counter products, discussions of various ear conditions (such as ear wax) that can affect hearing, and options for affording hearing-improvement devices, from veteran's benefits to insurance.
The result is a wide-ranging discussion recommended for any who find hearing loss confusing and challenging.Hearing Loss Facts and Fiction, 2nd Edition
Return to Index
Mail: Inga, 435 Camino de la Costa, La Jolla, CA 92037
9781502303868 $12.99 paper $5.99 Kindle
Inga Tells All pretty much sums its contents up in its subtitle: A Saga of Single Parenthood, Second Marriage, Surly Fauna, and Being Mistaken for a Swedish Porn Star - and if this doesn't grab you, nothing will.
It's a lively memoir and a fun read that follows thirty years of life events with a kind of humor that's often attempted but too rarely seen: "Olof has always maintained that I married him for his skills with a sewer augur but that's only partially true. It wasn't long after my first husband and I divorced that a friend perused my 11,000 square foot lot and observed, "You need a lover who likes gardening and pool maintenance."
Twelve years as a single mom. Experiences with "old people yoga". A "partial Catholic" who struggles with saints. Encounters with pets ("If I had one piece of advice for parents, it's to never let your kids get pets with a life expectancy greater than yours. We know of what we speak."). Social observations and wry ironies.
Getting older? Inga is too. On her daughters-in-law: "I was thinking about writing a guide on how to be a good mother-in-law, but truthfully, it can all be summed up in two words: "Shut. Up" And then there are those adult sons: "I get that sons need to separate from their mothers. But do they have to be so mean about it?"
All of these experiences in Inga's life are here to laugh over and learn from - and that's the best opportunity a memoir can offer to its readers; especially with an account that doesn't come from a famous name, but makes a stand on its own merits.Inga Tells All
Return to Index
Inspirations to Turn Struggles into Success
RockStar Publishing House
Self-Aid: Inspirations to Turn Struggles into Success is packed with affirmations and inspirations designed to encourage readers to actively participate in creating their own positive course in life, and comes from an author who shares her personal tools for breaking down barriers she imposed upon herself in her own life.
Now, there are many books out on the market that provide positive affirmations and inspirational readings; so what's different about Self-Aid? Part of this difference lies in the author's roots: born in a traditional Chinese family and as a single mother in her forties, Woo faced a series of life challenges that led her in a different direction: there to gather inspirational affirmations to help guide her.
That's the foundation of Self-Aid's inspirational collection, which offers its advice in snippets of wisdom that make it digestible and accessible by even those with limited attention spans under emotional turmoil.
One might anticipate such words of wisdom would come from famous leaders or philosophers, but Woo gathers these pieces from all walks of life wherever they are to be found - thus Ellen Degeneres, Gandhi, Jim Morrison, and Martin Luther King Jr. all share the stage. This and the fact that these short words of wisdom can be quickly accessed make Self-Aid an exceptional gathering.Self-Aid: Inspirations to Turn Struggles into Success
Return to Index
to Date Again
Ann Anderson Evans
She Writes Press
1563 Solano Avenue #546, Berkeley CA 94707
Daring to Date Again: A Memoir is a sassy internet dating memoir with an attitude, and comes from a woman who offers tales of romantic ventures in cyberspace and how they led to adventure and changes in her life.
Before she re-entered the dating world, Ann Evans was celibate for twelve years and in her sixties - and not contemplating becoming sexually active. But sexual activity isn't the heart of this memoir: hers is a fun story of a search for love using the internet circles, and as such, it provides a story of overcoming two divorces to re-enter the world of romance.
One doesn't expect wit along with the wisdom, but it's there. What's also unexpected is the spirit of adventure in a sixty-something who is willing to travel halfway across the world to Zimbabwe to meet an internet contact - but it's there, too. Most surprising of all is the quest for sexuality in older years: something few dating books even discuss. The result is best viewed as a rollicking train ride that leads to a few wrecks, excitement, and a lot of fun.Daring to Date Again
Return to Index
Stolen Light of WoMen
Annu Esoteric Press
6525 Gunpark Dr., Suite 370, PMB 170, Boulder CO 80301
The Stolen Light of WoMen: A Quest for Spiritual Truth Beyond Religion comes from a mystic who explores the spiritual truths in some of the most controversial Biblical writings, and is recommended for spiritual thinkers looking for a feminist analysis and approach that goes beyond most Biblical examinations.
Through this consideration of a woman's soul and acceptance of spiritual revelations comes an awareness of how Biblical texts have been purposely used to repress women and men alike, and why current religious climates don't necessarily represent the reality of Christian teachings.
From sexual diversity in the ancient world and the trinity of Satan, God, and Man to a unique vision of faith brought about by one who died and returned, The Stolen Light of WoMen is no simple read and offers many concepts which may prove indigestible to those immersed in traditional belief systems.
The oppression of women and the control of their sexuality may be the singular most scandalous story of human history. Presented here from a new perspective, The Stolen Light of WoMen makes for a gripping, critical new vision of women's issues and is quite a different version of Judaic and Christian history.The Stolen Light of WoMen
Return to Index
Beneath the Perk
Tattered Cover Press
Opening and managing a neighborhood coffee shop sounds relatively simple: after all, it's a limited product line with predictable customer hours - what could be challenging about getting involved in such a business?
The realities simmer here, though, and the result is compelling in Brewing Beneath the Perk: My Journey Through a Coffee Shop Business…to Me, a blend of autobiography, business, and barista encounters that will delight any coffee fan who dreams of owning their own such establishment.
This was no idealistic venture or viewpoint: Teri Meehan found possession of such a business demanded ownership of her own failings and strengths as well, and she grew not only a business, but her own personality as a result.
When Meehan and her partner Debbi moved back to Denver after a stint in California, they had no idea they would become involved in a coffee shop business; much less manage young baristas who often came with their own attitudes. Wash Perk linked into all the angst and unresolved psychological attitudes that simmered beneath Meehan's own surface, and took over her life as she struggled to make a success of the business in a tough economic climate that was especially crushing for new start-up ventures like hers.
The challenges read like blows, with Meehan facing problem after problem in a realistic assessment that pulls no punches and crushes many an idealistic vision of business in general and the coffee industry in particular. So if it's a sunny tale of success that is desired, be forewarned: Brewing Beneath the Perk holds a lot of insights into business startup, incentive programs for employees, customer experience, and mixing personal into business values.
As such, it's a special recommendation for any who would venture into the realm of small business in general and coffee shop management in particular, offering candid stories of what the author did wrong, right, and everything in between.Brewing Beneath the Perk
Return to Index
An Eponym Dictionary
Michael Watkins & Bo Beolens
Scientists interested in the origins of species names in general and sharks in particular will relish Sharks: An Eponym Dictionary, with its attention to covering the vernacular and scientific names of sharks and their relatives.
More than just a word origin guide, it expands each entry to include stories and facts behind each name, adding describers and authors of the original descriptions alongside names that appear to be eponyms.
Now, one would think the audience for this book would be limited to scientists alone; but in fact any reader with an interest in word origins - especially those harboring a special interest in natural history - will also find it accessible, pairing an in-depth survey of shark words with inclusion of these involved in naming a species.Sharks: An Eponym Dictionary
Return to Index
Misadventures in Computer Land
Belinda Vasquez Garcia
Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alicia's Misadventures in Computer Land: Hackers and Heroes provides a zany take-off on Alice in Wonderland by presenting the story of sixth grade computer hacker genius Alicia, president of the school's Chaos Computer Club, who is known as 'White Rabbit' amongst her computer geek peers.
In quite a different, modern take on the original, a storm and computer interactions shrink her into a tiny 'virtual girl' and send her into cyberspace, where she becomes trapped in a computer, facing down a virus.
In such a world, a hacker named Caterpillar and other characters both challenge and help her along. There's enough allusion to the original Alice to prove satisfying; especially to middle school readers who will find comparisons between the two books to be lively and fun.
From an ant army anti-virus whose program involves combat and who marches into a WAR file to Alicia's ability to reach her brother in the real world through his obsession with computer games, Alicia's Misadventures in Computer Land is a hilarious, refreshingly different read that will engage middle school grades on up with quite a fun, different perspective on Alice and her modern-day Computerland tribulations.
And while its audience is the middle grade levels, it should be mentioned that any adults partial to the old Alice, computer environments, and fantasies featuring a sassy, fun protagonists will find this a compelling, absorbing saga.Alicia's Misadventures in Computer Land
Return to Index
Autism Discovering Neurodiversity
Stephanie Allen Crist
Stephanie Allen Crist, Publisher
Discovering Autism Discovering Neurodiversity presents an increasingly common scenario: the author discovered her children had developmental delays and had no clue about the special education system and how it operated.
She would learn only after she sought a diagnosis for her older son and discovered autism was a thread affecting the entire family; but she would also come to realize that a diagnosis or the availability of special education alone would not be enough to help her family.
Discovering Autism Discovering Neurodiversity follows Crist's learning curve as she came to realize what an autism diagnosis meant for her three children. It offers one woman's inspiring battle against a world that would consider her children flawed and expendable, and it provides insights, hope, and inspiration for any parent who finds themselves with a new diagnosis and concerns about the future.Discovering Autism Discovering Neurodiversity
Return to Index
on Low: Harnessing the Power of
Upper West Side Philosophers, Inc.
High on Low: Harnessing the Power of Unhappiness is difficult to easily categorize; and that may prove its ultimate strength, even though it presents somewhat of a marketing challenge.
It's of diminutive stature (less than a pocket-sized paperback in height), it toes the line between philosophy, spirituality, and self-help guide, and it posits a surprising thought: does the definition of living a full, successful life mean never (or seldom) being unhappy? Wilhelm Schmidt offers the perspective that discontent, sadness and depression are actually an important part of leading a well-rounded, active life - and that unhappiness should not be 'treated away' so much as accepted as part of this process.
In the ongoing search for chronic happiness, have we forgotten the underlying benefits of sadness? This little book covers the gray areas between melancholy and depression, finding meaning in a sense of place where one is unhappy, and pinpointing the real values in life.
Unhappiness holds its own strengths in powers not to be found in an ongoing state of contentment, and this book shows how to recognize and accept these positive points.
Without the bad, there can be no adequate recognition of what is truly good: this and the idea that melancholy actually brings with it its own form of strength makes High on Low an unusual perspective recommended for any who would understand the formula of real psychological and spiritual success and its many underlying influences.High on Low: Harnessing the Power of Unhappiness
Return to Index
Don't Die By Accident
ASIN: B00Q3NAVYI $5.99
While on the face of things RoadWise looks like another book to hand to a new teen driver, it's actually much more than a discussion of safe driving habits, and promotes a recognition of the underlying responsibilities that driving presents to anyone behind the wheel.
This message is long overdue, as over a million people die from often-preventable road accidents each year. Tony Balis explains that this is frequently because drivers fail to embrace the social responsibility inherent in negotiating the highways of the world.
Most auto accidents can be prevented with a simple combination of respect, awareness, and driver insight, and all these come together in a discussion adults should embark upon with any new young driver.
While some topics might seem obvious (such as what a stop sign really means), others (such as how to navigate an unfamiliar roadway, drive in foreign country, or deal with animals that run out in front of the car) offer concrete information which many an adult driver (even with years of driving experience) will want to know.
Of special note are the reasons why certain kinds of devices aren't a good idea behind the wheel: "We need our ears to drive well, primarily to hear the warning of nearby car horns or the sirens of emergency vehicles. Earplugs and earphones are therefore always a bad idea."
Plenty of driver's education discussions stop at "don't". Too few take the time to explore the "why". The aim of RoadWise is to create better understanding and, thus, better drivers. Towards this goal, it more than succeeds with an eye to encouraging not just better driving skills, but better social interactions; of which encounters on the roadway are only one piece of the puzzle.RoadWise: Don't Die By Accident
Return to Index
House of Anansi Press
110 Spadina Avenue, Suite 801
Toronto, ON, M5V 2K4
9781770893894 $22.95 USD - $15.95
House of Anansi Press is represented in the United States by
Publishers Group West / Perseus Books Group
Birding with Yeats: A Memoir is more autobiography than birding guide, although birding was the impetus that sparked this mother's newfound connections to her son. As such, it will be applauded more by memoir enthusiasts than by avid birders looking for yet another guidebook, and fulfills its promise to show how birding can be used as a process to change lives.
Lynn Thomson raised a 'blended family' and started her youngest, 13-year-old son on the process of bird watching as a way of sharing a hobby.
This memoir describes their time together on these early birding expeditions and presents observations of a mother's feelings and all kinds of nature - not just birds.
While the title Birding withYeats might imply some kind of literary association relating to natural history, be forewarned: Yeats is the name of the author's son, and 'birding' holds a wider embrace of (and appreciation for) nature than just feathered fowl.Within the process of identification, appreciation, and evolution comes the changes between mother and son in a deeply felt, gentle memoir that is recommended for those seeking a poignant, easy read that blends nature observation with personal lives.
Birding with Yeats
Return to Index
Anyone who knows movies well has heard of (if not seen) the movies Somewhere in Time, Blue Lagoon, or Battlestar Galactica. There's a common denominator in these seemingly-disparate films, and that's Jean-Pierre Dorléac, who chronicles his years in the film industry as a costume designer in his new autobiography The Naked Truth.
Because his story does not come from the usual producer, director or screenwriter's perspective, it succeeds in adding insights on the industry that are fresh and different; and because this story covers a dozen years in the industry (from 1973 to 1985), it succeeds in capturing the final years of a film era that saw its glamour fall to the lure of television. Also, because the author spent his early years as a childhood actor, he offers a unique blend of perspectives that are presented with a humorous tone but include very real insights into the film industry's transitions.
Chapters are packed with anecdotes both from the author's own background and from those who shared their own stories with him. They probe the world of professional costume designing and detail a time period rarely covered in Hollywood exposés, when corporations moved in like vultures to peck at the dying carcass of Hollywood's glamour days, selling off decades of props and costumes that should ideally have been preserved in museums.
Anticipate first-person encounters with the stars, funny mishaps and union confrontations, and brutally candid observations of the industry: "I think this business is like King of Hearts, where they opened the asylum doors and let the patients loose. No one in production knows much about anything, and all the behind-the-scenes people are merely pretending, just like actors. They have no inkling regarding good taste, flair or panache, or the ability to create.”
The Naked Truth is hobnobbing with the stars, autobiography, and Hollywood history and politics in one book, and will delight any who want a personal, lively exposé of the industry's heyday. The chatty tone sets the stage for a rollicking good leisure read; so if it's serious analytical history that's sought, look elsewhere. Just because it's 'the naked truth' doesn't mean that Jean-Pierre Dorléac has gone light on its entertainment value: lively storytelling devices the norm, here: not the exception.
Return to Index