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Ohstacy has commented on (17) products.

Talk Like a Winner: 21 Simple Rules for Achieving Everyday Communication Success by Steve Nakamoto
Talk Like a Winner: 21 Simple Rules for Achieving Everyday Communication Success

Ohstacy, June 28, 2010

Talk Like a Winner: 21 Simple Rules for Achieving Everyday Communication Success—A Winner!

First and foremost, I appreciate author Steve Nakamoto’s candor when it comes to revealing his own social angst and challenges in life. I always admire someone who is confident enough to be vulnerable with his or her own foibles as opposed to hiding behind a façade of professional accomplishments. On the topic of professional accomplishments, Mr. Nakamoto certainly has a background that sets a resume apart. His other books, “Dating Rocks!” and “Men Are Like Fish” each won an award from Writer’s Digest. In addition, Mr. Nakamoto served as a human relations and communications instructor for Dale Carnegie and Associates, not to mention that he fulfilled the role of a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) personal development trainer for Tony Robbins for seven years. Winning stuff to be sure!

In his introduction, he states, “For most of my life, I’ve had a terrible fear of public speaking. I remember one regrettable time when I gave an oral report in my 7th grade English class and started shaking and gasping for air.” He goes on to say that his English teacher shamed him in front of the class. From the introduction to the end, as a whole, it’s a gutsy book outlining rules written by a gusty man…I mean, how many people intimidated by social situations go on to become tour directors for tourists?

Mr. Nakamoto’s simple strategies to help people succeed in everyday conversations broken down into twenty-one rules are, as the title suggests, simple. He expounds on one rule per chapter. Some of them, however, become a bit too elementary (for example, talk about current events; smile; make people laugh). On the other hand, the bulk of the book gives the reader many ideas to mark with a yellow highlighter. For instance, “Interrupt the negative talk with a surprise physical movement.” (Can’t wait to try it!)

I think, also, that Mr. Nakamoto needed to add a chapter that detailed the importance of being a skilled conversationalist without the need for forsaking one’s true personality. The point is, sometimes the book’s pointers sound forced and seem to promote phoniness and not authenticity.

Overall, though, the book makes for a winning read…do not forget your highlighter.

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Practical English Level 365 Volume 1 by Kaakyire Akosomo Nyantakyi
Practical English Level 365 Volume 1

Ohstacy, June 16, 2010

“Practical English”: A practical addition to any library

"Practical English, Level 365, Volume 1" is a no-nonsense approach to mastering the language without mincing words! Seriously, the book is a straightforward, comprehensive guide to help students, including English-as-a-second-language students, learn what can amount to some pretty confusing rules of grammar without feeling too overwhelmed. In fact, it appears that author Kaakyire Akosomo Nyantakyi, who is a seasoned teacher, probably fills up his classes pronto, since his unique voice, forceful, jubilant and passionate, shines through the text and makes the bone-dry subject matter certainly more pliable, if not enjoyable (not sure if I would stretch it that far!).

The organization of the book works to the upmost degree. Broken down into a variety of single-themed lessons, whether covering vocabulary, myriad elements of written and spoken English, proper punctuations, tenses, self-administered quizzes, and so on, the author provides students with indispensible principles that will eventually afford them the advantage of both verbal and written use of the language. In the future, it would be convenient and advantageous to the student to have an accompanying workbook. Additionally, for the next edition, I hope the author adds an index, which will further help the reader maneuver the book.

With the influx of immigrants in the United States, “Practical English” should be a required manual for all who cross these shores and bask in the endless opportunities our country provides. In fact, the author himself, a Ghanaian-born native, now U.S. citizen, who holds a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing, is a great source of inspiration. He has written and self-published a book that is a surefire motivator for any serious student.

And I do mean serious. The author’s two assignments for 365 days (no days off) certainly will separate the wannabes from the “authentic-bes.” As a teacher myself, I admire his approach and fully believe that discipline and self-sacrifice may not be an easy road, but in the end, the steadfast traveler does not run into a dead end…instead he or she runs into a super highway with endless possibilities. Remember the old adage—as Mr. Nyantakyi points out—no pain no gain…"Practical English” will surely help alleviate the roadblocks.

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Flavors of Friuli: A Culinary Journey Through Northeastern Italy by Elisabeth Antoine Crawford
Flavors of Friuli: A Culinary Journey Through Northeastern Italy

Ohstacy, June 9, 2010

“Flavors of Friuli”: Fantastico! Stupendo!

I had never heard of Friuli; actually, I do not even know how to pronounce the word. However, after about ten minutes of perusing “Flavors of Friuli,” I had an inexorable yen to take the first flight out to the northeastern region of Italy.

Before doing anything rash, though, I will probably synchronize such a trip with one of the unique events or festivals in the region, such as during the Carnevale Muggesano, (begins a week prior to Ash Wednesday) and indulge in a megafrittata, which, as the book states, may be the world’s largest frittata, cooked in a giant 13-foot-wide frying pan.

Wow! “Flavors of Friuli” serves the reader a multi-course feast of history, sights, flavors, each dollop of information presented in easy to digest text and a bountiful cornucopia of colorful photographs, as appetizing as the next!

The focal point, to be sure, is food. Elizabeth Antoine Crawford provides nearly 300 pages of culinary fusion that breaks traditions with the customary, pop Italian recipes. In fact, readers will discover one of the most eclectic gastronomic experiences that has transcended from a region influenced by Roman Venetian, Austro-Hungarian and Slavic traditions. Best of all, the author’s know-how and “insider’s view” give the reader an intimate view of the passionate food-making process and the enchanting people behind it.

From appetizer to dessert, recipes range from simple concoctions, for instance, an asparagus and egg salad, to the more elaborate dishes of, say, a dried fruit and nut spiral cake. It seems, too, that everything is coming up gnocchi! A fact that scores a bonus, since these devilishly good quasi-pasta delights are, in actuality, quite easy to create. One thing to be sure, Ms. Crawford’s recipes will surely please the most pernickety palate, and greatly inspire squelching boring fare at the table.

Reading “Flavors of Friuli” is a treasured journey that will stir the senses…get ready to buckle up for a ride to a deliciously distinct destination.

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Bringing a Product to Market from Your Home by Gary R. Bronga
Bringing a Product to Market from Your Home

Ohstacy, May 27, 2010

Think that thingamajig can generate loads of mullah so you can retire, live under the palm trees somewhere and do nothing more vigorous than slurp pina coladas all day? Dream on! “Bringing a Product to Market from Your Home” is a complete roadmap for entrepreneurial types to venture out on a pathway to success, but what author Gary R. Bronga makes clear is that owning your own business is not for the faint-hearted man or woman.

Fortunately, Mr. Bronga provides a comprehensive manual for anyone who has ever dreamed of creating and selling a contraption from an invention’s conception to its introduction to the consumer market and beyond. The author’s approach is thorough. He does not leave any step for success up to the imagination. He gives us facts, figures, a look at the psychological side of business and actual business forms to use. He even goes into things like predicting next year’s hot color!

I particularly love Mr. Bronga’s get-up-and-smell the coffee style. How’s this for direct? “We live in a rip-off or knock-off society, and most successful products will be copied at a later date, regardless of whether or not they have patent protection.”

Or this:

“There is also a hard-to-explain phenomenon in this country. People love the underdog. They do love to see a small guy succeed, but they also love to tear down the large industrial giant or market leader. At times, jealousy comes into play.”

Best of all, Mr. Bronga’s chitchat style of writing is clear and lively to the point of feeling as if you can hear his voice: prodding, coaching, guiding and inspiring. The author’s own story is pure motivation. Here’s a glimpse into his journey: “Often, I was in my office working until 7:30 p.m. Then, I was up at 4:45 a.m. to check and answer e-mail.”

The end result is that he has accomplished a good livelihood after creating CLIPEZE, a lapel pin for attaching company identification badges. His writing makes it apparent that money has not ruined his zest for living passionately. Don’t, however, think he has not experienced a few downsides in business. Mr. Bronga shares freely the ups and the downs and comes out an ace every time.

“Bringing a Product to Market” is real advice for dreamers who have ideas of doodads rolling around in their minds, but who are gutsy enough to give them real life.
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Magically Delicious! by Felicia Martin
Magically Delicious!

Ohstacy, May 12, 2010

“Magically Delicious,” Kitchen Genie

What do you get when you add some interesting ingredients like V-8 Garden Broccoli Soup and concoct some creative ways to mix them all together? Delicious magic, all right! Take, for instance, author Felicia Martin’s spin on good old boring Tuna Casserole. Her recipe calls, in addition to the tried and true ingredients, for a few pinches of Ms. Dash, smoked paprika and Old Bay Sea
soning, not to mention an interesting mix of cheeses…now doesn’t that accent the same old, same old with a little zest?

I do, however, hope that the second cookbook volume will include color photos and a table of contents, and I do hope the author pens and publishes another cookbook to follow this one!

What plopped a cherry on the top of everything, and we are not just talking desserts here, was the extras—sort of like tasty tapas—that Ms. Martin includes in the book. For instance, the spring cleaning tips had me reaching into a few dusty kitchen cabinets, and her tips for growing herb gardens may just inspire a bit of green in my thumb after all.

Overall, “Magically Delicious!” is the book to buy, try and share with others—even the non-foodies may get cast under Ms. Martin’s delightful spell.

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