Holy Spirit of Fire

by Tim Henry
Author’s Tranquility Press

book review by Barbara Bamberger Scott

“We need to constantly seek Jesus and the Holy Spirit with the baptism of the fire of the Holy Spirit.”

Writer and pastor Henry has composed this lengthy treatise to share with others the truths he has gained in a life of Christian exploration. His title references the great blessing left to all humanity after the earthly death and miraculous resurrection of Jesus—the gift and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Henry makes numerous points through his conveyance of passages from the Holy Bible, such as using scripture to demonstrate that this gift existed even before “man or even the earth had form.”

With the advent of Jesus, humankind’s chances for salvation were firmly and permanently bestowed. Scripture recounts and the author presents and interprets hundreds of large and small incidents in which Jesus proved his power and wisdom. These are especially seen when Jesus is questioned or challenged, as when two men possessed by demons approach him begging to have the devils thrown to a herd of pigs, which then rushed to drown themselves. As Henry points out, these demons, who clearly recognized Jesus and his holy powers, were asking him for their own destruction.

Another example concerns Jesus being questioned by the Pharisees, who hope to trip him up by asking if men should “give tribute unto Caesar.” Jesus, who is not fooled by their tactics, tells them that since Caesar’s picture appears on the coin, it should be paid to him, and they should also render unto God the things that come from God. Throughout the New Testament, which forms the major crux for Henry’s assertions, Jesus, acting through the Holy Spirit, will continue to help followers of faith make the right choices, including which church to attend and how to deal with the interference of Satan in one’s life. Using events in his own life as further food for study, Henry concludes that God made possible our relationship with Him through the works of Jesus and thence through the seal of the Holy Spirit.

Henry is a Pentecostal pastor who has made mission trips abroad and participated in religion in his Georgia home region. As he frankly recounts, it took many years for his deep bonds to the Christian faith to be formed. He has developed this multilayered material based on his personal religious life and the times he strayed far from the spiritual path, giving his words sincerity, credibility, and empathy. The book he presents would certainly have been time-consuming and laborious to create, with biblical passages on nearly every page, accompanied by his discourse upon them. The sequence is logical, and his writing style is didactic yet humble, allowing readers to think through each moral matter raised freely.

Henry urges readers to choose their church carefully, considering what Jesus would wish and in what ways the institution’s tenets will mirror their desire to follow the leadings and feelings of connection with the word of God and the impetus offered by the Holy Spirit acting on their lives. Regardless of sect or denomination, Henry’s words should be read and discussed by sincere Christians for further revelations into the meaning of scripture and its application to belief and action.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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God is the Cure, Love is the Answer: A Memoir

by Aimee Cabo Nikolov
Kharis Publishing

book review by Dylan Ward

“…I was born to a loving God. My nature is to see the good in people…”

Cuban-American author and radio talk show host of The Cure, Aimee Nikolov, examines the continual, decades-long abuse she suffered, lessons learned, and the almost insurmountable odds of recovering from it. As a survivor’s tale, this affecting memoir is both a revelation of the author’s life-long wounds and a testament to her steadfast faith in God and belief in love’s powerful healing. For some, this will be a difficult book to read. It will anger and move the reader, and Nikolov leaves nothing to the imagination in her portrayal of the malicious physical and mental exploitations thrust upon her. All that Nikolov endured deeply impacted and shaped her life, from childhood to adulthood, but ultimately it did not stop her from persevering through the molestation, suicidal ideations, drug addiction, poverty, and a near-death encounter.

Written in an accessible narrative that weaves forwards and back in time, Nikolov’s introspective memoir is filled with beauty and tragedy, illuminating her punishing upbringing in the Dominican Republic and Miami to the more optimistic present with her own children and a mostly happy marriage. Growing up, her life is encompassed by trauma, medicine, and religion, and in gripping detail, Nikolov navigates the dark, complex family dynamics she experiences as a child. She explores the cold isolation amid her mother’s reluctance to protect her from her stepfather’s appalling maltreatment. As truths come to light, Nikolov’s family is inevitably divided, and the high-profile “Case from Hell” publicly unveils their shocking story to the world. But it is Nikolov who bears the weight of guilt for splintering her family, is repeatedly blamed for the aftermath, and spends years trying to reconcile with the ramifications of this damage.

However, not all is bleak for Nikolov. Her adulthood is marked by positive change and vigor after vanquishing some of her blemished past. She fiercely protects and raises a beautiful daughter, finds newfound love with a husband, welcomes the birth of children, and manages to graduate from school with honors. But even when she thinks she can finally exorcise the demons from her past, new turmoil emerges, compelling her to rely again upon God’s strength and the power of prayer to guide and safeguard her.

It is Nikolov’s astonishing empathy for others that allows her to see the good of people, even with all of their abhorrent flaws and animosities. She gallantly confesses her impulsive mistakes and ill-informed choices, many of which are not pretty, while sharing what she learned from them and how they helped her mature. By writing this memoir, it is clear, as Nikolov recounts each of the strenuous moments and events that nearly destroy her, that the author remains the strongest person in the room, disallowing herself to be cruel to those who are the most brutal to her. In reading her words, one cannot help but marvel at Nikolov’s sustained confidence and her unending courage and tenacity to stand up to the viciousness of the world.

An updated version of the author’s previously published memoir, this slim but graceful and profound page-turner depicts one woman’s resilience against tragedy and the ability to eclipse the darkness that tries to bind her. Nikolov’s narrative is forthright yet approachable, despite its sensitive subject matter, and readers come to love and care for the author in her plight while uplifted by her wins. Here, Nikolov adds new detail regarding recent events involving her daughter, whom she nearly lost, and the continued legal battles with her ex and family. Once more, she is compelled to confront that charging bull, a striking vision recurring throughout, which aptly symbolizes the horrors Nikolov faces. Each chapter is introduced with inspirational or spiritual quotes correlating to the author’s story and her devout faith. It is a heartrending tale that celebrates the triumph of good over evil. There is much to admire in Nikolov’s restorative account, and by its end, her unforgettable memoir leaves the reader in awe.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

King Solomon’s Empire: The Rise, Fall, and Modern-Day Influence of an Iron-Age Ruler

by Archie W. N. Roy, PhD and Margaret P. Roy
Ambassador International

book review by Nicole Yurcaba

“Solomon’s ambitions destroyed the domestic cohesiveness between the twelve tribes which David’s statesmanship and openness to God had achieved.”

In this well-researched, informative book, readers gain a deeper understanding behind not only an empire that shaped a significant part of the Middle Eastern region but also King Solomon, the man responsible for an empire’s rise and dissolution. The book details Solomon’s family origins. It also gives information on significant historical events like the end of King David’s powerful reign, Solomon’s consolidation of power, and even Solomon’s focus on the arts and sciences. As the book concludes, readers gain advice about balancing worship and faith in the current era’s demands for worldliness, understanding how real life merges with the end times, and how to live a life in balance with the needs of others.

This book is not only a history text. It is also a guide for achievable Christian living. Throughout its pages, readers find thought-provoking statements like “There are times and seasons in all of our lives and also in our Christian walk with God.” These insights eventually blend the personal with the universal, an engaging strategy that helps readers understand that their individual walk in faith is part of a larger one. This wisdom is found in the chapter “A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven,” which encourages readers to understand that while life operates on a system of opposites, it is “not about whether the activity is right or wrong but about the time or season when the activity is carried out.” This encouragement helps readers understand the historical importance of Solomon’s work, and it also helps them understand the shifts and seasons occurring in their own lives.

At other times, the book helps readers understand the cultural nuances of Solomon’s time. One of the best examples of this happens in the chapter titled “The Song of Solomon.” The chapter highlights common and popular metaphors applied to the story. It provides a careful examination of the language used in this well-known biblical book and clarifies the meaning behind some of the book’s confusing phrases and comparisons. Notably, it provides an overview of how a wedding in Solomon’s time would be conducted, which helps readers understand cultural and religious expectations and rituals. This particular chapter also helps readers understand Solomon’s legacy and influence throughout the New Testament.

Scripture and biblical studies can be daunting for many. This book is the perfect supplement for those looking to strengthen their historical and academic understanding of the Bible. It relies on scripture as a resource and reference point and then supports its claims with a variety of academic resources to which readers can refer for future use. This book is a worthwhile read for those interested in history because it uses common associations and understandings of Solomon as a foundation but provides various viewpoints to explain and deepen the conversations surrounding one of the Bible’s foremost figures. This book would also be a great resource for Bible study groups, Sunday school teachers, and students taking a religion course. Moreover, this book is an exciting, educational read that is easy to follow and understand.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Einstein: The Man and His Mind

by Gary S. Berger, MD and Michael DiRuggiero
Damiani

book review by Gretchen Hansen

“The photographs from the second half of his life in particular, evoke an image of a friendly, non-conformist…”

Einstein is one of the most recognizable figures in the world. His brilliant mind eclipsed even the best thinkers of the modern era. This breathtaking book, full of his portraits, handwritten letters, and scientific papers, is like viewing his personal scrapbook. It is a window into his life outside of how the media chose to portray him. There is a thoughtful authenticity to the collection, perhaps because one of the contributors, although not a physicist himself, was still deeply impacted by Einstein. Einstein’s quiet fire for life shines through in his photos and letters to friends. They reveal his relentless drive for peace and sense of humor but never neglect his superhuman intelligence. Outside of his scientific work, he preferred the company of philosophers, artists, and poets, which illustrates his extraordinary creativity and curiosity.

The authors offer clean, concise commentary that is often poetic without being syrupy. The elegant sepia tone of the photos elevates the aesthetic. The book is as visually stunning as it is intellectually stimulating. Crediting the photographers brings the scenes to life while reminding audiences that, like most of these talented photographers, Einstein was a refugee. Already fascinated with Einstein, Berger’s experience visiting the home of Einstein’s friend, Max Herzberger, made him focus specifically on portraits of the scientist. He and DiRuggiero have assembled a truly outstanding collection of materials that paint a unique picture of the man behind one of the most famous faces in modern history. The book is beautiful, whimsical, and thought-provoking all at once. It will delight readers with a wide range of interests, especially those who love history, art, or biographies.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

ACE Your Life: Unleash Your Best Self and Live the Life You Want

by Michelle P. Maidenberg, Ph.D., MPH, LCSW-R
Morgan James Publishing

book review by Michelle Jacobs

“You must chisel away those barriers and ‘stuckness’ to reveal and unleash your personal power.”

The three components of this revelatory guide for transforming your life are acceptance, compassion, and empowerment (ACE). With insight and wisdom founded on professional knowledge and experience, Maidenberg breaks down each component and incorporates inspiring stories alongside scientific and philosophical expertise. Maidenberg also provides self-discovery exercises, questions, and prompts to engage readers and seekers in actionable work that can lead to true transformation. Each section offers definitions, benefits, methods, and strategies that combine to provide a way forward for people who may feel stuck in unfulfilling lives and cycles of frustration and missed opportunities.

This book offers an alternative to the social pressure and current trends that emphasize happiness and gratitude as ideal states, which only serve to enforce negativity and hopelessness. Instead of focusing on achieving the impossible, Maidenberg encourages mindfulness and celebrates the spectrum of emotions people feel daily and through a lifetime of experiences. With practice, readers can work through uncomfortable or negative feelings and make value-based decisions by honoring the space between thinking and doing.

The work of personal transformation is not easy, but with Maidenberg’s steady input of information and motivation, progress is possible, and growth is attainable. Lives can be changed when consistent strategies are enacted to cultivate acceptance, compassion, and empowerment. The impact on relationships, health and wellness, and self-actualization is undeniable. Maidenberg backs up her methods with examples and stories from her professional practice, which will help readers see this work in action. Many of the struggles she recounts are easily relatable and have a universal quality to them that will help readers apply the learning to their own lives. For those who may be overwhelmed by the explanations which are founded in the science, philosophy, and the self-help movement, they will find wonderful bite-sized lists of tasks to try, such as “18 Ways to Work on Habits to Foster the Empowerment Process” or “15 Ways we Beat Ourselves Up and Solutions to Thrive.” In addition, the book contains helpful graphics that highlight the main elements of the ACE method.

Having a guide is paramount to success in pursuing personal growth and betterment. Useful self-help books like this one offer people a way to focus their energy on specific behavioral changes that garner results. The past few years have proven that people cannot control many of the things that come into their lives. The need today is strong for equipping people with tools to face adversity “proactively with curiosity and flexibility, exercising acceptance and compassion to cultivate self-worth, self-belief, self-love and self-efficacy.” Maidenberg answers the call to help people with her commitment to communicating with clarity the truth of transformative practices. Along the way, the author also validates readers’ feelings and experiences and thus creates a safe place to explore and uncover inner power and deep wells of hope and change. Readers should prepare themselves to highlight passages and dog-ear pages as line after line sparks a surge of possibility and a desire to live life more fully. Integrating these principles into one’s life will likely help one move forward with confidence and purpose through obstacles and challenges.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Unconventional: A Memoir of Entrepreneurism, Politics, and Pot

by Jamie Andrea Garzot
Girl Friday Books

book review by Kate Robinson

“I saw the potential to create a store that was different, that did not have the ‘stoner’ customer at its center but instead embraced all customers.”

Scores of inspirational, entrepreneurial memoirs are appealing, but few are quite so riveting as this title. With humor and the same point-by-point fastidiousness displayed in developing her pioneering cannabis dispensaries, Garzot outlines her entry and ascendency into an industry in which she originally had no interest. Never a consumer of cannabis, Garzot’s life took an unexpected turn when she sought relief for insomnia and discovered that a single cannabis edible brought her a full night’s rest. From there, she became a pioneer in the virtually unregulated California market that, even after many years of regulation, still has many peculiarities. Dispensaries still engage in cash-only transactions because most banks don’t allow accounts for dispensaries, a situation created by the federal status of “pot.”

Garzot felt uncomfortable with the “head shop” atmosphere of dispensaries when she left a secure position in community relations at energy giant PG&E to enter California’s fledgling legal cannabis industry in 2009. Though she continued to be a cannabis consumption greenhorn, her vision embraced a more sophisticated, upscale operation infused with her community outreach skills to help create an inclusive experience for all customer types. Set against the dramatic political and economic backdrop of cannabis regulation that continues to this day, Garzot shares her deeply personal struggles and successes in bringing a frequently misunderstood substance into grudging and then wider acceptance with her 530 Collective dispensary (and later, her Synergy dispensaries) in the conservative northern California communities of Shasta Lake and Redding. Armed with virtually no business experience and with only a four-figure investment, Garzot methodically manifested her multi-million-dollar businesses through meticulous consideration of location, product, community support, and sheer creative risk. This memoir is rooted deeply in state history and a personal determination to succeed.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

One Family: Indivisible: A Spiritual Memoir

by Steven Greenebaum
MSI Press

book review by Barbara Bamberger Scott

“Each of us can make a difference. And together, we can all make a difference.”

Author Greenebaum’s childhood was spent as a member of a respectable Jewish family in a safe, all-Jewish neighborhood of Los Angeles. At the age of about six, he heard grownups discussing the Holocaust, forging a deep, lasting impression. He realized, “I am Jewish,” and some people, not just Hitler but Americans, even Christians, hated Jews. Greenebaum was sometimes bullied by other children because of his small frame, invoking yet another “life lesson” about the perils of mob consciousness. In the sixth grade, after some years of religious education, a voice, the first but not the last, spoke to him, saying, “They are killing each other in my name. Stop it.” Looking back, he believes that message changed his life. As a thoughtful young person, he would grapple inwardly with such issues as pride. Should he be proud of his accomplishments or avoid any form of self-congratulation?

This ability to examine many sides of a single topic pervaded his life at many turns, influencing his university experience where choosing a major was based on a complex series of circumstances. It involved not only his interest in the subject matter but his relationships with professors and even with his father, whose domineering stance finally forced Greenebaum to move out and support himself. His first introduction to singing in a choir convinced him that music would be a prime mover in his future, though physical limitations would prevent him from being a lead singer. From choral singing to choir direction, he entered the realm of Christian worship and thence to contact with the Unitarian Universalist church. The group’s doctrines struck a chord with him as he gradually developed his sense of inclusive religious faith, underpinned by yet more messages from a mystical source. He made another of his inwardly driven choices by not completing a degree in his belief system’s ministry. Instead, he holds master’s degrees in mythology, music, and pastoral studies, indicating the wide range of his interests over the years. He fulfilled a longtime goal when he founded the Living Interfaith Church and has taken a studious, activist interest in topical, humanitarian issues, as indicated by his support of the Standing Rock Sioux peoples and involvement in numerous environmental concerns.

Greenebaum’s spiritual philosophy, as propounded here, combines erudition and eclecticism. Devout within his family faith, Greenebaum’s etheric messages have indicated a need for a spirituality that can be shared with people of all religious persuasions. In recent years the Living Interfaith Church has flourished with the active participation of Cathy Merchant, whom Greenebaum has supported in her assumption of ministerial roles as he began to battle critical physical challenges. He presents his notable memoir with verve, sensitivity, and a light-hearted sense of self-mockery as he recalls past missteps. His book also provides enough intimate recollection to reveal to the reader a person always determined, with his eye continually on the prize of human kindness and overarching forgiveness. Greenebaum’s memories have the power to evoke both laughter and tears, and his dedication to religious sharing will likely attract readers from a broad scope of beliefs and aspirations.

A 2021 Eric Hoffer Book Award Category Finalist

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Coming Full Circle: A Sweeping Saga of Conservation Stewardship Across America

by Budd Titlow & Mariah Tinger
Olympia Publishers

book review by Mihir Shah

“This massive clear cutting led directly to major environmental impacts. Many wildlife populations were rapidly declining because of the annihilation of their habitats.”

Using a blend of historical fiction and poignant truths, the narrative delivers a spirited discourse on conservation, our environment, oneness, and, chiefly, the concept of coming full circle. With authors whose credentials speak for themselves and their commitment to Mother Earth, the beauty of this book lies in how easily it is brought to life for audiences. Titlow, whose background in natural history and photography, and Tinger, who helps future leaders fuse business with sustainability at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, leave no stone unturned in delivering a truly comprehensive commentary on the origins and imminent threats our planet faces.

The dynamic between colonists and indigenous tribes working in unison for the preservation of all species, a human code of conduct of sorts, is established from the get-go with the stories of notorious trapper Thaddeus Adams and Strong Bow, the son of a tribal chief. Both intersect around the concept of compassion and necessity, with the former opting not to use his musket against a grizzly bear that has meandered into his camp and the latter exhibiting a sense of compassion by not letting his arrow fly toward a mother deer who is nursing her fawns. The tone of appreciating all species and understanding the interconnectedness of every being is set early and carried out throughout the novel.

While the focus is predominantly on the multi-generational family of Adams, the synergy with native Americans at every turn of their journey is pertinent in demonstrating the peace-loving nature of Native Americans. Interestingly, the theme of the ever-moving circle of life manifests itself in myriad forms in the novel, beginning with the westward move beyond the Mississippi for Thaddeus and his family. When his children come of age, they embark on their own journey rife with danger in the form of bandits and inclement weather, such as devastating snowstorms. The destination is San Francisco during the Gold Rush.

The book almost seamlessly incorporates true historical elements within the Adams story, especially after Adams’ kids, Caleb and Ethan, grow their own families. The generations beyond, like Abbey, have direct interaction and collaboration with prominent conservationists and nature lovers like John Muir and Marjory Stoneman Douglas, a staunch defender of nature’s paradise, the Everglades. Getting a chance to see the beauty of nature come to life from the prism of the characters is awe-inspiring, yet it is just as heartbreaking to see the vision of hundreds of carcasses of wild animals hunted for mere greed.

From the renowned Oregon Trail to navigating the Rocky Mountains with all their belongings, the authors use plotlines to help paint a panoramic portrait of nature, both in its majestic form and its more harrowing ones. Though biodiversity and the ecosystem are heavily featured, especially the concept of coming full circle from birth, life, death, and then back to life, there’s a flawless mix of romance (Thaddeus and Minerva headline this aspect of the book) and life as a whole. In many ways, nature bears witness to the lives of the Adams family, tracking their humble beginnings and westward expansion to the younger generation’s involvement as wildlife ambassadors. Overall, the authors’ expertise in the topic of conservationism and their knack for storytelling is on full display from start to finish, making for a highly recommended read.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Art Imitating Life Imitating Death: An Exploration of Guests of the Nation by Frank O’Connor

by Cónal Creedon
Irishtown Press

book review by Kate Robinson

“It is often the case that the people telling the story are more important than the story they tell.”

Cónal Creedon’s contributions to Ireland’s and international arts and letters are legion and nearly legendary among his fans. This volume reprints his original lecture exploring the memorable short story “Guests of the Nation” by eminent Irish author Frank O’Connor. It is the title story in a collection of the same name, first published in 1931. The story quickly became a classic and was included in an Exploring English I textbook anthology in the mid-1960s, where Creedon first encountered it as an impressionable twelve-year-old schoolboy.

The visceral tale is set during Ireland’s War of Independence in a remote cottage in County Galway where two young IRA volunteers—Bonaparte, the story narrator, and Noble, his less militant partner—are in charge of holding Belcher and Hawkins, two British prisoners of war. As Creedon explains, the story is an exploration of “…friendships, ideologies, and divided loyalties—tested against the cold brutality of duty.” The easy relationships between the soldiers on both sides and the nameless old woman who owns the cottage are periodically broken by the appearance of the IRA commander, Jeremiah O’Donovan, who checks on his recruits and the captives. As the narrator, Bonaparte struggles with all the nuances of the bonds that develop between the four men and the old woman, who greatly appreciates the household help she receives from the two British POWs.

Creedon candidly shares his initial impressions and early exposure to the story and states, “I was too young and politically naïve to grasp the full implications of the complexity and competing loyalties explored in O’Connor’s story. But the sheer pain and heartbreak of a friendship tested by the demands of duty has resonated with me throughout the years.” In 2003, Creedon was commissioned by the Irish National Broadcaster, RTE, to adapt “Guests of the Nation” as a radio play as part of the centenary celebrations of Frank O’Connor’s birth. “And so,” he says, “I set about deconstructing the story and exploring O’Connor’s work from the perspective of a writer rather than a reader… a more intense level of focus.”

It is likely not an overstatement or hyperbole to suggest that Creedon understands this story better than most writers and readers worldwide. It also seems not coincidental that both O’Connor and Creedon were/are Cork natives. Creedon’s examination of O’Connor’s text is steeped in both men’s literary talents and their understanding of what transpired in Irish history to motivate the writing of and the consequential interest in this story. Creedon’s thorough analysis of the story’s significance touches on several points in brief but comprehensive chapters: the character’s names and lack of a name for the old woman; historical incidents that likely influenced and inspired O’Connor, who was a former IRA member familiar with various tales of British hostages; and lastly, Creedon’s memories of spending a day as a guest of the people of Donoughmore where the prisoner of war, British Major Geoffrey Compton Smith, was executed by an IRA volunteer on April 30, 1921, in retribution for the British executions of four IRA volunteers on April 28.

Creedon succinctly explores details about this retributive execution and related historical events in which strong bonds of friendship arise between sworn enemies, with the most logical conclusion that the capture and execution of Compton-Smith have the greatest number of similarities to the “Guests of the Nation” plot. The brief but thorough and fascinating analysis is followed by Creedon’s radio script, an adaptation of O’Connor’s original story. Creedon is well-known for the quality and depth of his sixty-plus hours of original radio dramas. Literary readers who revere the original story may or may not be pleased with the adaptation, but for many casual contemporary readers who prefer brevity to literary depth, the adaptation condenses, clarifies, and makes the story a more visually and auditorily compelling experience than the beautifully written and more challenging prose and slower pace of the original tale.

The third part of this volume is an extended, online Covid-era conversation between the author and Dr. Conci Mazzullo (University of Catania). The text explores many questions that Creedon fans would ask about his family life in Cork City that led to his devotion to the arts and literature and the many historical changes across Ireland and N. Ireland that have influenced his body of published work. As such, this book is a compelling biographical piece that touches upon so many facets of Creedon’s life and letters that readers will hope for a much larger and more comprehensive biography or memoir soon. This volume is a significant guide not only to the O’Connor story he examines but also to some important facets of Ireland’s national history that drive Creedon’s motivations as a writer.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Wisdom of the Men

by Clint Arthur
Wharton MBA Books

book review by Robert Buccellato

“Everyone wants home runs. No one wants to do the work.”

One of the great aspects of the modern age is that it is now easier than ever for promising authors to share their stories, and some of their tales really need to be shared and discovered. This engaging book is one such offering. It is told by a talented and earnest storyteller who has managed through a tenacious drive to propel himself towards success. Along the way, he formed a compelling recipe for personal achievement and collected anecdotes from a laundry list of famed celebrities.

What is perhaps so inviting about this book is that it is not a self-congratulatory trip down a lifetime of memories. Instead, it is an intimate look at a man who was fortunate enough to meet most of the key figures of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and ask them their secrets. Instead of presenting himself as an all-knowing business leader with all the answers, he remained humble and kept developing. Each section is not just an encounter with a president, celebrity, or scholar. Instead, it is a catalog of insights the author was earnest enough to gather from these people.

The author’s openness allowed him to gain impressive access to some powerful individuals, their fabled fortunes, and their keys to success. Now he is sharing this remarkable volume of collective knowledge with the world. It is an amazing gift and makes for a pretty charming read. The author’s style is entertaining and masterful and, at times, surprisingly touching and soulful. This is a book for anyone ready to take the world by storm.