self-help

Lessons for Life in Small, Tasty Bites

Posted on

Small Bites 4.0 by Jim Yarbrough

5 star

5 Stars

Small Bites 19058879Many of life’s lessons are packed into this powerful book. Filled with stories, anecdotes and quotes, Small Bites invites the reader to enjoy – no, savor – the author’s wisdom in “small bites.” Broken into discreet chapters and themes, it offers a series of short stories with lessons learned, acronyms, and structured outlines to help the reader remember salient points, and page breaks to give them time to jot down their own thoughts.

At its heart, this is a management book for life. But it’s more than that. It’s a guide intended to help the discerning reader find an easier path on the road of life. Light on spirituality but heavy on profundity, the book weaves the strands of wisdom from many ancient and modern philosophies into a beautiful tapestry of poetry and prose. Few books quote Gandhi, Michael Josephson, Mark Twain, John Wooden, and others with such eloquence.

I enjoyed the personal stories that the author shared showing his humanity and his quest to rise above the challenges that made him a better person. Not many writers are so willing to share some of the most difficult – and compromising – moments of their lives with an unknown audience, but Yarbrough did. And he did it with class, using his own lessons learned to demonstrate a better way the reader can follow.

The author wrote this book for his three children. It’s a labor of love they can cherish forever. He could have kept this treasure to himself or in the family, but he chose instead to share it with all of us. I appreciate his sincerity and learned at least one take-away in each chapter applicable to my own life. This is the kind of book you don’t read once; you read it over and over again to glean new insights. If I have any quibble about this wonderful book, it is this – I hope that the author’s next book will expound more on his own great quotes.

I give Small Bites five (5) stars and highly recommend it to anyone with an open mind, a willingness to learn, and who enjoys wisdom in small, succinct bites.

Small Bites 4.0 is now available at:

Amazon

BookLikes

Goodreads

LibraryThing

Riffle Books

Shelfari

The Copia

Basic Beginner’s Guide but Others May Be Better

Posted on

 

Publish Children’s Books by Caterina Christakos

3 star

3 Stars

The title of Caterina Christakos’ short guide sold me on it, but a short read later left me wondering if I should have picked a different book. It’s very short – perhaps ten pages. While packed with information, it does not offer many new tips or suggestions for authors who have already published one or more books. The guide offers some money-saving advice that could prove valuable but is generally available elsewhere. It does not go far enough in giving the reader value for their money by offering more options. In the audio books section, for example, it did not make reference to Audible.com, Amazon’s audio bookseller, or producing an audiobook using Amazon’s ACX. Perhaps this was an oversight or the guide needs to be updated.

Although advertised as a resource for publishing children’s books, the guide is applicable to writers of many genres. This is a plus in that you don’t have to be a children’s writer to get something out of it. On the other hand, a children’s writer may not find Ms. Christakos’ guide useful enough to make it worth buying.

There are other, better reference materials on publishing children’s books, including free options such as newsletters and publishing guides for writers that provide more in-depth information. If you are a beginning author who needs some general information to get started, this might be the book for you if it’s reasonably priced. If not, take a pass and check out other resources.

Publishing Children’s Books is now available at:

Amazon

BookLikes

Goodreads

LibraryThing

Shelfari

Outlining Your Novel a Roadmap that Almost Takes You There

Posted on Updated on

Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success by K.M. Weiland

5 star

5 Stars

K.M. Weiland’s book is a great read for writers who use outlines to plan novels and need help fine tuning their writing strategy. It’s also for those who are skeptical of the benefits of writing outlines. After reading this book, those who prefer to write by the seat of their pants may find themselves convinced that outlining is a better way to go.

The author makes a strong case for writing outlines and includes interviews with published authors at the end of each chapter that explain why many writers believe it is an important part of the writing process. She also offers discrete ways to outline a novel. I liked that this book goes beyond what lies within its pages to provide lists, templates, and links to external resources that help writers deal with challenges such as developing back stories. One list features interview questions writers can ask their fictional characters, while another ferrets out information about a novel’s setting. These are practical, concrete tools any writer can use to organize their thoughts.

If I have one quibble with the book, it’s that the author takes a strong stand in favor of outlining a novel, even though Ms. Weiland readily admits that some authors have found commercial and literary success writing without first charting their course. Still, it’s a good read for any writer to help them decide whether to do an outline.

I give Ms. Weiland’s book 5 stars and highly recommend it. It won’t outline your novel for you, but it comes darn close. It will put you a few steps closer to finishing your next outline.

Outlining Your Novel is now available at:

Amazon

Goodreads