Book Review: The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines

· The book is reader friendly.

The format is simple and easy to read. This hard cover book consists of 15 chapters totaling 182 pages. You don't need a dictionary to look up words because the authors don't talk over your head. Instead, the language is clear and straightforward. Even the setup of the chapters is interesting.

Throughout the book, Chip and Joanna alternate telling their story. While Joanna's part is in darker type, Chip's part is in a lighter type. At the same time, view pictures of the couple on their wedding day, Chip in his glory days, Joanna as a little girl, the dogs that landed Chip in jail, and more.

· It holds your attention.

Moreover, the book is a page turner. Once you begin reading you don't want to put it down. Like the show, the book is entertaining. You keep wondering what's next.

· Discover the story behind the glory.

Chip and Joanna give you the whole scoop. They leave nothing out. You learn about their backgrounds, their families, how they started dating, how they started flipping homes, and how they landed a television show. You unearth how Chip started buying and renting homes to college students while he was still a student. You find out that Joanna, who is a journalism major interned in New York under Dan Rather; Joanna thought she was headed to the big apple after graduation. Likewise, Chip was being groomed to be a professional baseball player. At length, you'll ascertain the significance of magnolias.

· See what happens when you follow your heart.

The thing that touched me most was reading in black and white how everything boiled down to them following their hearts, which meant following God. Joanna worked in her father's automotive shop. She mentioned that she always kept notepads where she doodled and sketched ideas. Although Chip trained diligently to be a professional baseball player, he knew his heart was in business. He had an entrepreneurial spirit.

· Appreciate the respect that Chip and Joanna have for each other.

Better yet, appreciate the love and respect that Chip and Joanna have for each other. It's real and it's special. Why? We live in a day when people avoid marriage and disrespect the sanctity of it. Here, you see the power of their union and how they have built a solid family and business because of it.

· Uncover the importance of keeping first things first.

Before the hit show Fixer Upper came along, Joanna had other successes. Nevertheless, if she felt they interfered with being the mom she really wanted to be or reduced her time with the children, she dropped them like a hot potato. Walking away is easy when something is not working out, but Joanna walked away from enterprises that were flourishing. Like me, you will begin to see what seems to be a pattern. If she followed God's lead, He honored her obedience by blessing whatever she set her hand to do.

· Get inspired to live your dream.

All in all, this book will inspire you to live your dream. As I always say, you only live this life once. The Magnolia Story nudges you to go for it.

Book Review: Computer Investigation by Elizabeth Bauchner

Who is the target audience for this book?

Make no mistake. This book is not targeted for computer professionals. If you have a degree in Computer Science or just know a lot about computers, you won’t learn anything from this book. This book is targeted to children in the middle school age group, but it would also be a good introductory book for adults.

That said, what does the book talk about?

What is the science of computer forensics?

Computer forensics is a two-part process. First, data is retrieved and then the data is used. It is different from other forensic sciences because the data usually stands on its own and does not need to be interpreted.

What are the many duties of a computer forensics technician?

While doing their job, computer forensic specialists must preserve evidence, not introduce viruses or worms into a system, handle data properly, keep evidence within the chain of command, reduce the impact of the system’s analysis on any businesses affected, and make sure privileged information is not divulged.

Following those rules, computer forensic professionals find hidden files, swap files, and temp files used by the operating system and by applications. They access these files and protected and encrypted files, searching for information relevant to the case. They analyze the data found, especially in areas normally considered inaccessible. They perform an over all system analysis and list all relevant files. They provide an opinion of the system’s layout and who authored which files. They make notes of attempts to delete or protect files, and they provide expert testimony and/or consultation in court as needed.

The book gives definitions for commonly used words, or jargon, in the industry.

A hacker is someone who is really interested in a piece of technology and learns all possible about the technology.

A cracker is someone who uses their hacker knowledge for bad.

Hackers are white hat, and crackers are black hat hackers.

A phreaker was a person who scammed the telephone company to get free long-distance calls.

Spoofing is mimicking a website (or an email) so the receiver thinks the sender is someone else.

Phishing is trying to get information from people, like their user accounts and passwords, and social security numbers.

A virus is a program, attached to another program, that infects a system when the program is opened. The virus can’t do anything unless the program is opened and ran.

A worm is like a virus, but it can replicate itself without other programs being opened.

A Trojan horse is a program that pretends to be a different kind of program.

Denial of Service (DoS) is when a cracker tries to prevent a system from being accessible by its normal users.

Book Review: Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder

Truly amazing! Excellent piece of intellectual fiction! This is what I have been looking for!

Sophie’s World is a beautifully written tale (within a tale (within a tale)) that will take you to an inspirational journey through the history of philosophy. Dyed in the colors of mystery with a tint of fantasy, soaked in intriguing lines that will spark imagination and thinking and inspire you for the rest of your life; this book will teach you the art of philosophy in a simple story-like manner.

This is a story of a 14-year old Norwegian girl named Sophie who begins her correspondence course of philosophical lessons via a dog under the guidance of an unknown tutor named Alberto who takes her to a philosophical time-travel from Ancient Mythology to Hellenism to Christianity and Natural Philosophy, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque and Romanticism, teaching her philosophical achievements of each period. The plot takes a mysterious twist when surreal characters are thrown in creating confusion and mystery in the novel. Add to this, the story takes a U-turn when a girl named Hilde receives a birthday gift from her father–a book written by him titled ‘Sophie’s World’. From here onwards the story switches to Hilde’s perspective where Sophie Amundsen and Alberto Knox become a mere characters of a book that Hilde is reading. As the philosophy lessons progress so does the story which turns in to a story written within a story (within a story) and the reality and imagination overlaps so much that even the characters become suspicious of their own existence. Hilde believes in Sophie’s existence in real world while Sophie becomes sure of her existence only as a character from a book and her presence in the mind of Hilde’s father who is writing a book for her daughter.

The ending is enchanting and philosophic (“Yes, we too are star dust”). The book is filled with inspiring one-liners and thought-provoking dialogues that will rouse your imagination. With lots of twists and turns what keeps the novel moving is its continuous shift between reality and illusion captured in surreal fashion where Gaarder teaches history of philosophy in simple terms omitting too much detail and depth that otherwise would have stolen the beauty of the story.

This Alice in Wonderland of philosophy is strongly recommended to all those who possess a philosophic mind, eyes of a child and taste for intellectual readings…(“The path of Ultimate Truth lead inwards”)

"My Journey With Maya" Book Review

Maya Angelou has now passed but her memory lives on through those who knew her and share their stories. Tavis Smiley met Maya in 1986 at the age of 21. For his job, he was asked to deliver a letter to her from the Mayor. That chance encounter led to 28 years of mentoring.

Maya permitted Tavis to ask tough questions and challenged him to think deeper. Somehow she was always right but was gracious in her responses and gave room to let things go.

The only issue she would never back down on was use of the “n” word and profanity. She was able to impart how our choice of words affect how we are seen and the impact it can have on our futures.

Tavis’ journey began with an invitation from one of Maya’s lady friends to join them on a trip to Africa and they provided the resources to make it happen. That trip changed his life.

Maya followed his career and lovingly encouraged him throughout nearly thirty years. When she disagreed or thought something could be done differently, they would have intelligent debate. Sometimes, it was after a period of time went by that he would remember something she said and contemplate how he could grow from it.

She shared stories of other well-known people who had crossed her path. She never judged others but was able to make them better people just by speaking to them. She also listened before she spoke. When she did speak, she had their attention.

I was so inspired by the stories Tavis shared, I wish I could be like her. Yet, she would tell me to just be the best “me” I could be. She genuinely built people up no matter the paths they chose.

Although Maya was a hero to African citizens and African-Americans, her wisdom is such that we can each aspire to reflect. There are probably treasures like her in every cultural group. I would like to see more of this kind of mentoring cross all boundaries. Kindness and wisdom unite race, religion, education or financial stations.

The wise person will grow from their mistakes, make correction, let others see a difference in them and develop others to be the best they can be. I am not known to the world and have never traveled abroad. I hope I made a difference to someone and when I get to Heaven get to meet people I didn’t even know who share stories of how we intertwined.

This was a good read. I finished it just in time for sweet dreams. Have a blessed night.

Eunuch, A Novel – Author, Len Lustgarten – A Book Review

eu·nuch [yoo-nuhk] n. 1. A castrated man employed as a harem attendant or as a functionary in certain Arab palaces. 2. A man or boy whose testes are nonfunctioning or have been removed. 3. A castrated person employed to take charge of the women of a harem and act as chamberlain, ideally suited to guard the bedchamber. 4. Informal: An ineffectual, powerless, or unmasculine man.

I believe it’s best to begin this review, as I have done above, with the definition of the title “Eunuch: A Novel” by Len Lustgarten. Although a word that many may have thought they knew the definition, “Eunuch” reveals the meaning. Until you read this masterful book you cannot imagine the intricacies of such a life. Alien as the world Charlton Heston crash landed on in Planet of the Apes, Len Lustgarten writes of the Arab princely lifestyle that treat humans like some form of pet.

Arab oil billionaires bankroll the kidnapping of helpless boys, women and men and force them into a lifetime of modern day slavery. Eventually allowing them to be free – giving extreme wealth as a form of gratitude – these desert kingpins make this a currently ongoing barbaric behavior of pseudo generosity. As money makes the world turn, the world turns a blind eye to this cruel cultural practice and justifies it under the religious allowances of Islam.

With this background in mind, let me say “Eunuch” is quite honestly a spectacularly original and creative work of literary genius. Get the picture? I loved it. From the very start Len Lustgarten immerses the reader into a world of clones, cultures, and concubines. You are transported to a palace of sex, slavery and seduction, into the realms of power, passion and prestige.

Written by a M.D. with the skill and mastery you would expect to see from another doctor, Michael Crichton, Len Lustgarten goes into the medicine of cloning, and exponentially embellishes a story that is frankly pure adrenaline. When you think you know what’s going to happen, you’re thrown a curve, and then a new sub-plot unfolds. As aggressively as a competition squash game, Lustgarten takes killer shots of storylines into the corners of logic with such startling speed the reader is left in awe.

If you take a close look at the cover, you see sand dunes with a model of what we commonly see as the double helix structure of DNA behind the title. But if you take a closer “subliminal look” at the dunes, what appears void of detail reveals a heart (in the shadow), representing the romantic theme of the book, a woman’s breast, representing the sensuality, and the wrinkles of a male scrotum. You can use my visionary description and tell Dr. Rochart that I’m psychologically imbalanced, or you can begin seeing the deepening genius of Len Lustgarten’s creative masterpiece, “Eunuch”.

Book Review – Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr Joseph Murphy

The power of your subconscious mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy has many innovative approaches to healing the human thinking flaws. Negation and skepticism of the self is one of the key subjects it handles. He invokes the power of prayer as one of the tools to overcome these two strong negative forces. His portrayal of the tool goes beyond the limitations of religion and tradition. Unlike the many spiritualists he treats "Desire" as a positive element that can lead to the orientation of the mind on the right path. He says desire is also the infinite power that lifts the subconscious mind from the state of mediocre thinking into a state of a dynamic force.

Subconscious Mind and Belief
Surprisingly, Dr. Murphy makes no distinction between belief, faith and blind faith in this book. According to him, they are multiple forms of the same power that transcends the known barriers and transforms life. At the same time he cautions about belief that can cause harm to the self and the others. Here one needs to use the logic of the conscious mind to differentiate the good from the bad.

· End Goal : Being in the state of realized goals while setting them is the stated method to attain them without any deviation from the path. Here you can think of an athlete who wishes to run the 100 meters sprint within a specific time limit. If he starts suggesting to his subconscious mind that he has already done it once, the probability of achieving that goal increases multiple times.

· Mind Feed: According to Dr. Murphy, the subconscious is a powerful machine that simply works according to the input from the conscious mind. If a person feeds fear, self-doubt, and other negative inputs to the subconscious, it will walk on the same path without questioning. On the contrary feeding of positive aspects can result in the desired results, sooner or later.

· Scientific Prayer: According to Dr. Murphy, prayer is an act that stimulates the subconscious mind into accepting the belief of the conscious mind. It knows no logic, reason, analytical thinking, or the knowledge to differentiate the good and bad. When a person starts praying from the conscious mind, the waves naturally pass onto the subconscious to make it flexible and strong. These prayers are stated to be the indelible and indestructible imprints on the subconscious. The praying individual can never forget them while being awake and asleep.

Dr. Murphy goes on to suggest many techniques and methods for sleep, gratitude, affirmation, argumentation, decree, body to mind connectivity, etc. According to him, every organ in the human body has its own intelligence that is untouched by the conscious mind. The working of the heart, lungs, white blood cells, blood veins, and countless other organs are examples he illustrates. This intelligence will take care of the body and the subconscious when it is left undisturbed by the conscious mind.

The book is worth reading only when its principles are put into practice. It does take time, effort, and patience to start growing towards the set goals in life.

Book Review for: "Texas True"

Book Review for: Texas True
Written by: Celia Yeary
Desert Breeze Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-61252-028-5
Avail as: eBook only
4.5 Stars

Yeary pens a suspense-filled character driven western romance with "Texas True." True Cameron longs for a loving husband, a big family, and to live on a ranch, but to make these dreams come true, her patience, courage, and inner strength will be tested like never before.

Set in Texas just after the turn of the 20th Century, True Cameron is a young lady making her debut. Handsome Sam Deleon makes her acquaintance and quickly intrigues her. Sam sets about to win her heart and True is primed to fall.

While True's feelings are genuine and sincere, Sam's motives are more complex. He must marry and get an heir so he can come into his family's inheritance and trust. While he goes about sweeping True off her feet, he does not allow his heart the luxury of love.

True and Sam marry and True quickly determines that the man she married would rather be at the oil fields than with her. True is forced to take in Sam's niece and nephew once their mother dies, and she realizes she has to live a fuller life than what she is doing. She moves back into her old house, but has erected a stone battlement around her heart, one that won't be easy for Sam to dismantle now.

True goes to the oil fields to make her marriage to Sam work. The days are long and hard and while the couple share a physical intimacy, they lack the foundation of an emotional one. True, however, has proven to Sam she's made of sterner stuff and cracks the amour around his heart. Will the news that she's expecting a baby shatter Sam's amour or will he draw back and focus on fulfilling duty so he can come into his inheritance?

The story opens with a grand ball, immediately capturing the reader's attention. The novel flows well and just when the reader lulls into a comfortable pace, Yeary throws in a surprise, building and heightening the suspense.

Yeary's dialogue rings true, bringing out a rich authenticity to the characters. Her descriptions paint a vivid picture of the beauty which belongs to the Texas range.

The most satisfying part is the rich characterization and Sam's journey. True lives up to her name. She's true to her heart, loyal, honest, and courageous. True is also steadfast and it's that quality that allows Sam to spread his wings emotionally. Sam's had a hard life and knows only a certain way. His journey will warm the reader's heart.

The novel is sophisticated for romance readers and Yeary's love scenes smolder. A pulse-pounding ending will leave the reader on the edge of their seat. "Texas True" will sweep one off their feet and transport them to a time where the west offered an exciting adventure and a chance at finding that rare love of a lifetime.

Reviewed by: S. Burkhart

Book Review of "Roxaboxen"

I almost cried was I read "Roxaboxen", written by Alice McLerran and illustrated by Barbara Cooney. It was such a sweet story and reminded me of my own childhood play with friends.

In the back of the book, the background behind the story the author shared that it came from her mother's childhood. She did research from relatives, former residents and childhood papers. It was located to be at Second Avenue and Eighth Street in Yuma, Arizona.

As a new resident of Yuma, I had to see the site as well. Sure enough, it's there and has been preserved as a neighborhood historical site. It wouldn't mean much to you if you hadn't read the book once you have, you can envision children at play. It is a rugged hill with just a bunch of boulders and rocks. A sidewalk, benches and sign have been added.

In the story, children built a town using smooth rocks and colored glass. They elected a mayor. Sticks became horses to ride. They had Wild West adventures. They pretended there was a river. Rocks became play money for currency used in pretend stores made from old wooden crates. They made a graveyard for lizard. They sucked honey from Ocotillo blossoms.

One gray-haired man recalled fond memories as he picked up a rock on a beach. Fifty years later, the woman who the story was about returned and found the rocks still there.

When I went to see the site, I didn't see a chassis, graveyard or wooden crates. I did see the rocks and outlines of the towns in the story. The area is a low-income, industrial, run down one. Yuma is a true old west town. It is being developed and snow birds inhabit the Foothills area but it is still open enough to appreciate the history behind it. You can see mountains all around for miles.

As I recall my own childhood adventures, I can envision these children at play. They would not have been wealthy. They remind me of "The Little Rascals" that we emulated. They also remind me of "Peter Pan".

Children are the same from generation to generation, worldwide. There is an innocence in childhood that we lose as adults but is always there for us to draw from when we are ready to return to it. In this case, it is fortunate for us that it has been preserved. I plan on reading the story to my grandchildren and taking them to the site when they are a little older.

Three Ways to Download Books From Google Books

The internet is an ideal source to get all the information you need, anytime you need it. By connecting your PC to the internet, you can find out the latest news, celebrity gossips, job vacancies, and more. Today, you can even download your favorite books in digital format from the internet. There are numerous websites that offer you thousands of titles available for download, and one of them is Google Books. It is a virtual library that provides millions of publications from many publishers and libraries around the world. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t give permission for you to download the books. You can always read them on website but this means that you have to stay connected to the internet. It is not very convenient if you are always on the go and do not always have internet connection. But now there is a way to download your favorite novels from the website to your PC. You just have to follow one of the three techniques below:

1. Use Google’s PDF download feature. This tool enables you to download the out-of-copyright books. To get your favorite title, simply click the “Full view books” button. If the one you are interested in is a public domain book, you will find a “download” button and you just have to click on it to download the file in PDF format. However, it is worth noting that not all publications can be downloaded as PDF files.

2. Download books from the browse cache. The books on this online library are presented as PNG images on HTML page. It means that you can save each page as an image file to your PC. However, it is not very practical as you have to scroll down the pages and save each page manually. To make the process a bit easier, you have to use your default browser, and follow the steps below:

– Open the folder “C:Documents and Settings%USER%Local SettingsTemporary Internet Files” on your PC and delete all contents.

– Open your default browser and view the book that you have chosen and scroll it down to the very last page.

– Next, go back to the “Temporary Internet Files” folder and copy the PNG files.

– Create a PDF file from the multiple PNG images or print them out for a more convenient reading experience.

3. Last but not least, you can use the Google Books downloader software. This software enables you to download books in either PDF or JPEG format.

Before downloading a book, make sure that you verify if the download is legal or not. You have to know the rules about public domain materials applied in your country. This is why Google doesn’t recommend you to redistribute, sell, or help people to sell or buy books.

Diet Solution Book Review

I find the Diet Solution Book is much more than a simple diet program. This book changes our perception on what is healthy and what makes you gain weight allowing you to make better food choices. As you read you start to realize that the media has got our facts upside down regarding nutrition and dieting, actually most of the foods considered healthy (and boring), actually make us store fat and even make us sick.

Isabel de los Rios set us straight from the beginning, the Diet Solution Book is NOT A DIET, her program is more like a guide to help you body get to its best fat burning level. Although her books makes us realize that sadly we had it almost all in weight loss matter she gives us good news: you can stop counting calories and burning your self out in the gym as this is not how healthy and effective weight loss really happens, and what´s best you may not have to quit your favorite food at all!

The DSP Precedents

Nutritionist and fitness expert Isabel de los Rios, has written The Diet Solution Program with an expertise of more than ten years. This book comes as a result of her own battle against overweight when she was back in college.

The Diet Solution is a program that changes your life style, this is not a simple diet; in fact this program encourage us to leave behind that old and silly habit of dieting and begin to eat and enjoy our life. This program takes us to our ideal weight and figure trough tiny modifications in our diet, it´s all about knowing what fats and carbohydrates are good and which are bad for you.

Must people think that drop off those extra pounds has to be difficult, but the Diet Solution Book proofs this wrong. Isabel uncovers all dieting and "healthy food" myths, teaching us how losing weight can be very easy if you have the correct information at hand. As you read trough this book you will immediately sense how all she says is actually very logical and trustworthy, in fact this program is so good that it is medically approved and it has a 30 day money back guarantee.

How it Works

The Diet Solution Program rationale consists of three fundamental rules: take heed of the types of food that lead to fat storage, discover the types of foods that make you burn fat and lastly, learn how to mix and cook these fat burning foods to increase their fat burning capability. Just from the beginning, Isabel will tell you in great detail why these rules are important, how they work and most importantly, how to incorporate them into your life. Don´t worry if you feel flood out by the amount of weight loss facts you will learn, you can always opt to introduce them to your diet one at a time. I personally did it this way and shortly after I began to see the results, and this was not only reflecting in my figure, my cravings for junk food disappeared, I also started to notice that I felt satisfied with smaller portions of food.

The other feature I loved about this program was that instead of being forced to eat the diet of hospital-like food, this program is flexible enough to let you eat almost whatever you like (contrary to most diets). Let me give you an idea of ​​what Isabel recommends you to eat to burn fat: beacon, eggs, spelt bread, peanut butter, nuts and of course all the variety of fruits and vegs.

Another important point is to remember that not everyone´s body is the same. This is why you might be frustrated because you are following the exact same diet as your best friend without getting the expected results. With the Diet Solution you will personalize your food intake according to your metabolic type.

For this, Isabel has included a Metabolic Test, with this you will find out if your body process better fats or carbs, so if after eating you are left feeling hungry you can just add more of these according with what your body can digest quicker. If you are in a hurry to lose weight and want to know more about what Isabel's program might do for you, Click on the link to read my I Need To Be Skinny! article.