Sunday, February 13, 2011

Reviews: "Chicken Soup for the Soul-Shaping the New You", "Changing the Conversation"-Gary Klaben

Book Reviews: "Chicken Soup for the Soul-Shaping the New You"-my own contribution inside and lovely email from a fan. "Changing the Conversation"-Gary Klaben teaches how to separate emotion from your pocketbook.

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"Chicken Soup for the Soul-Shaping the New You"-A Review from a Contributor

Subject: Hello
Hello Ms. Patricia,

I guess you are the one who wrote the wonderful story "Right in my backyard own," from the Chicken Soup for th Soul series, right? My heart was so touched and deeply moved for the most beautiful heart touching article I have ever read in my life. The story had a very positive impact on my life. It greatly warmed my heart and gently touched my soul. The author's writing style is very rich.

Best regards,
Hamza Balol
Saudi Arabia
I received the above via email and, frankly, I was flabbergasted.

I'd submitted my story of my morning backyard exercises to the famous "Chicken Soup for the Soul" anthology as a result of a request for our stories of personal unique methodologies to achieve, or maintain, a fit body.

Perfectly timed, the anthology hit the stores in late December. Wisely, the book's compilers did not try to make the Christmas gift rush. Gifts given with a theme of getting fit are hardly fun type of things to receive on a festive holiday that is probably the last time of year folks want to be thinking about such as exercise and diets.

However, aha, AFTER Christmas, such a book would be pulled off the shelves in droves by shoppers resolved to get fit for the New Year.

I received the above email a week after New Year's 2011, from Saudi Arabia, no less.

Well my story is a good one, my exercise method is quite original. I daresay the book's producers would not have accepted my contribution had not the shine of truth and simplicity been evident from the story and the words.

Well no, I would never suggest that my story would be anybody's most heartfelt story read in their lives. That thought boggles my mind.

There are over a hundred other stories of very non-professional folks like myself contained in this book and they've all got good stories. Somewhere in the book there is contained the perfect method to achieve fitness, whether for the handicapped, for the very busy, for those with no resolve...if it's YOUR problem, the solution is somewhere between the covers of this book.

Also, well my own story is in there and read the above, the writing is very rich.

"Changing the Conversation-Transformational Steps to Financial and Family Well Being"-Gary Klaben"-Better Read When Young.

Gary Klaben is a financial guru who advises people on how to handle their wealth. He is very conservative, a graduate of West Point, he is very conservative.

There is nothing in this book that is new to me. But then I am 60 years old.

Thus throughout my reading I kept exclaiming, in my innermost mind, that it would be great if: a)my 34 year old daughter were to read this or, barring that, b)that my granddaughter begin the read when she becomes a young adolescent.

Which is not to say, I must caution, that the lessons, examples, experiences as given by the author would be for naught for a person struggling with life's journey even if well in to their 40's or 50's. As we age, not to state the obvious, we are always going through ages we haven't experienced before.

Loss of a spouse, changing a job, becoming a grandparent, retiring...these are all things we go through as we grow older. Since it is new to us, Gary Klaben effectively covers it in this well-written, conservative and exemplary piece of non-fiction.

The bigger caution would be for any potential reader to think that this book is all about money. How we handle our finances is a major force in the book, for sure. What author Klaben does well is tie in our emotional reactions to how we handle our money. Which all, as is illustrated in many chapters, come together is some fashion, possibly good, possibly bad, depending on whether our mind rules or our heart rules.

I sure would love for this book to be required reading for young people, perhaps around Middle School, High school, even a college freshmen.

It's a lesson for a happy life and if don't get this sort of teaching as we go through life's educational journey, I must ask, why not?

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