Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
and on Twitter

I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Chicken Hero

Chicken Hero: Fascinating Stories Based on Life Experiences, Uyi Osifo, Amazon Digital Services, 2018

This is a group of very short stories about growing up in present-day Nigeria, and eventually moving to America.

As a young child, after an afternoon of playing soccer with his brothers and cousins, the author drank from a bottle of clear liquid, thinking that it was water. It was actually gin. In the beginning, he went to church mostly because his friends also attended. In Nigeria, begging on the street is normal. When he moved to America, he wondered where the beggars were hiding.

Poisonous snakes are a fact of life in Nigeria. Every village seems to have one or two snake whisperers, people who are not afraid of them. Nomads bring cattle from the north of the country. A cow was so focused on grazing that it didn't notice that the rest of the herd was gone. The cow then got mad and started chasing anything that moved. The author had malaria several times as a child. The usual treatment is a drug called chloroquine. Serious itching is a common side effect.

The author was successful in the annual lottery to get an American Green Card. This was around the time of 9/11. He eventually moved in with his sister and her husband, who were living near Chicago. There is a difference between seeing snow on TV, and seeing it in person. Driving home from work one night, he was not sure if he missed his highway exit. He kept driving, and thought it would be a good idea to pull over and call 911 for directions when he passed a sign that said Welcome to Iowa.

This is an interesting book. The stories are very short, and the whole book is a very fast read. This will keep the reader interested.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Precious Silver Chopsticks

Precious Silver Chopsticks: A True Story of a Korean Noble Family, Mae Adams, CreateSpace, 2017

This memoir is an attempt to tell the author's American-born husband what her life was like before they met.

Born in North Korea, her mother did not want a second daughter, so she tried to abort the pregnancy. When she was born, Mom gave her to her parents to raise. Grandma gave Adams lots of love, and allowed her to explore her Korean heritage. She received a Japanese-style education, and her most prized possession, a pair of silver chopsticks. It was a time when class structure was very important, along with religion and astrology.

World War II came, and the family was forced to flee south, while Grandma stayed behind. A few years later, the Korean War forced the family to again become refugees. The author was now old enough to get a job with the US military, and to begin thinking about marriage. Later in life, the relationship with her mother was still "difficult".

This is a really good book. The author does a fine job at showing one family's journey through the mid-20th Century, in a different part of the world. Yes, it is well worth reading.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Result

The Result: The Practical, Proven Formula For Getting What You Want, Dave Crenshaw, Amazon Digital Services, 2018

Many books have been written purporting to show how a person can get what they want from life, personally or professionally. This book attempts to do it in less than 100 pages.

What result do you want that you are not getting right now? It's tempting to write a long list. Focus on just one thing at a time. It also needs to be specific. Saying that, for example, you want to lose ten pounds in the next two months is better than simply saying you want to get healthy. How will you know when you have reached your goal? What will you (or others) feel when you have reached your goal? Give your self a reasonable amount of time to reach your goal.

How are you going to do it? Start with the formula Systems + Accountability + Motivation = Goal. All three elements are required. The book looks at what happens when each of these elements are missing.

Accountability to a third party is essential. Someone else is needed to encourage (or push) you when your willpower is lacking. Follow-up is the way to gauge, and maintain, your accountability. What is your motivation? Set a specific period of time each week to think about your goal. Are you still on the right track? Resolve to do just one goal-oriented thing every day.

This is a gem of a book. It is made for busy people who want to get right to the action steps. It is very easy to understand, and is time and money very well spent.